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  1. Member
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    Apologies if this has already been asked, but I did some searching and didn't find it.

    The issue I'm having is that I'm capturing from a Betamax to digital, using an I-O Data capture device and Nero Vision software. It works fine at the start, but as soon as there is a gap in the recording, from original recorder stopping and starting again, sync is lost and the picture freezes. I need to stop capture, and start it again, which means multiple files per videocassette and a lot of babysitting. I'd prefer to start a capture and walk away for a couple of hours. Is the issue likely with my capture hardware, or the software I'm using? I need a combination that will keep going even if the tape has blank spots or if the sync changes. Thanks!
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  2. Capturing Memories dellsam34's Avatar
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    Welcome to the rabbit hole of USB video capturing, You have two options unfortunatly, Babysit the tape or spend $1600 for a time base corrector, Some people had luck with a Panasonic DMR-ES10 or ES15 used as a passthrough, but it may introduce new problems, Good luck.
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    Originally Posted by dellsam34 View Post
    Welcome to the rabbit hole of USB video capturing, You have two options unfortunatly, Babysit the tape or spend $1600 for a time base corrector, Some people had luck with a Panasonic DMR-ES10 or ES15 used as a passthrough, but it may introduce new problems, Good luck.
    Thanks for that! I don't feel like getting a TBC, and if the ES15 doesn't work all the time, I'd have to babysit it anyway, so I guess babysitting it is.

    I've had some success recording to a Magnavox DVD recorder, but now I have a DVD that I still need to rip. The pass through from the Magnavox recorder still has the sync issues, even though the recorder manages to make a clean DVD.
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  4. Member Skiller's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by GrudgeMonkey View Post
    The pass through from the Magnavox recorder still has the sync issues, even though the recorder manages to make a clean DVD.
    Most likely related to your capture settings, rather than the Magnavox. Only use VirtualDub or AmarecTV to capture. Forget about Nero Vision.


    While I agree passing through might introduce new, but probably minor problems, it sure fixes the issues of your capture spazzing out on tape gaps because the output of a DVD-recorder is a rock solid signal, which is easy to capture. Any instabilities are already "baked in" at this point and thus do not disturb devices further down the chain.
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    Originally Posted by Skiller View Post
    Most likely related to your capture settings, rather than the Magnavox. Only use VirtualDub or AmarecTV to capture. Forget about Nero Vision.


    While I agree passing through might introduce new, but probably minor problems, it sure fixes the issues of your capture spazzing out on tape gaps because the output of a DVD-recorder is a rock solid signal, which is easy to capture. Any instabilities are already "baked in" at this point and thus do not disturb devices further down the chain.
    Thanks! I realize that I wasn't actually feeding the output of the Magnavox to the capture device. I had the Magnavox driving a monitor, and video going separately to the capture device. It makes sense to change things around, so that I feed the capture device from the output of the Magnavox. I'll try that, and I'll try Amarec too.
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    Originally Posted by Skiller View Post


    While I agree passing through might introduce new, but probably minor problems, it sure fixes the issues of your capture spazzing out on tape gaps because the output of a DVD-recorder is a rock solid signal, which is easy to capture. Any instabilities are already "baked in" at this point and thus do not disturb devices further down the chain.
    Do you think the Magnavox needs to be recording for its output to be rock solid, or does it always pass through a signal that has been stabilized?
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  7. Member Skiller's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by GrudgeMonkey View Post
    Do you think the Magnavox needs to be recording for its output to be rock solid, or does it always pass through a signal that has been stabilized?
    The basic process is always the same. The DVD-recorder samples (digitizes) the incoming CVBS or Y/C signal (along with the audio), which is exactly where the "magic" happens, because after that it is a digital stream of zeros and ones inside the unit (plus hopefully some corrections applied during digitization such as straightening lines).
    The unit then may use this stream to do MPEG2 encoding and record to a blank DVD or a HDD if the user wishes, but more importantly to us, the stream gets also converted back to analog and is being output at the unit's outputs. At this point the signal is as stable as any digital source would be, thus easy to capture if everything else is set up correctly.

    So no, it does not matter if you record with the Magnavox at the same time or not.
    It would actually require additional circuits to be able to just route the signal through untouched. It is simply easier and cheaper to always process the incoming signal from a manufacturer point of view.

    You should however check if it does shut down itself after some time. If it does and if there is no option to disable that ("Power saving") recording at the same time fixes it.
    Last edited by Skiller; 17th Oct 2021 at 10:07.
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    Originally Posted by dellsam34 View Post
    Welcome to the rabbit hole of USB video capturing, You have two options unfortunatly, Babysit the tape or spend $1600 for a time base corrector, Some people had luck with a Panasonic DMR-ES10 or ES15 used as a passthrough, but it may introduce new problems, Good luck.
    You weren't kidding about the rabbit hole! I'm trying a variety of hardware and software combinations, and I see that even within VirtualDub, there is a wide choice of codec. I tried uncompressed first, and ran out of disk space, so I tried MP4, which didn't sync the audio well, actually two seconds off between audio and video. I did some research, and it looks like maybe the thing to do is to use the uncompressed option (after freeing up some space) to a temporary file, then convert the temporary file with other software. That makes sense to me, since my CPU isn't that powerful, so asking VideoDub to do real-time compression might be unreasonable. I've downloaded VideoDub2, but haven't tried it yet.

    I'm making test recordings without the DVD recorder, so I can see which hardware/software combination is the most reliable even with an imperfect signal. I think when I combine that with the DVD recorder for stability, I'll get some decent captures.
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  9. Member Skiller's Avatar
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    Use a lossless codec such as HuffYUV, Lagarith or UtVideo.

    Then, after capturing, you may use that to make whatever format you need for playback.


    VirtualDub 1.9.x versions are recommended for capturing, see here why.
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    Originally Posted by Skiller View Post
    Use a lossless codec such as HuffYUV, Lagarith or UtVideo.

    Then, after capturing, you may use that to make whatever format you need for playback.


    VirtualDub 1.9.x versions are recommended for capturing, see here why.
    Thanks! I'll use one of the codecs you recommend. Do you recommend particular software for converting from lossless to some compressed format, such as MPEG-2 or MP4? I've read that Handbrake is good. I've also got Nero recode.
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  11. Member Skiller's Avatar
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    Handbrake is good, StaxRip is good. But they both don't do MPEG2 encoding. For MPEG2 you need a stand alone encoder such as HCenc which is free. Note that you only need MPEG2 if you want to make DVDs.

    Don't know about Nero recode, but given the rivals I do not see a reason to use Nero.
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