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  1. Member mjgreer's Avatar
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    I have a JVC HR-A591U VCR with composite video output. And, no, let's not go down that road again, I don't have the $$$ to upgrade to a better VCR.

    I have a Diamond VC500"Capture Card". First off, why do they call it a "Capture Card"? It's the software that does the capturing. This device only converts a composite signal into video over USB 2.0. Hardly "capturing".

    A few years ago I made an effort to get my VC500 "Capture Card" to work. Both with the software supplied with the device, and then Virtualdub. If I remember right, it seems I initially had success with Virtualdub, but eventually, I could no longer "capture" video from my VC500 with it. Since then, I've had to do a clean install of my Windows 1O Pro desktop.

    A couple of days ago, I decided to try it again. I haven't installed EZGrabber yet, but, I installed Virtualdub2, and except for a few frozen frames, I was not able to get any video from my VC500.

    I've also tried with OBS Studio, which posters here insisted would capture from my VTC500. I just get a blank screen with it.

    I bought a small screen display, that had composite inputs, just to check that my VCR was still working. I'm searching for a way to troubleshoot my VC500 to see if it is putting out USB video, but, so far I haven't figured out the correct rigging. So, later, I will install EZGrabber to make sure that my VC500 is still working.

    Reading through the many, now outdated, replies on this forum, I see that LMotlow insists that the VC500 can be used with Virtualdub to convert video from VCR to digital format.

    I guess my question is, after I've verified that I'm getting good video out of my VC500. Would someone please walk me through the settings. Which Codec? I think, from all of the posts that huffyuv is about the best. Has that changed over the years?
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  2. Member mjgreer's Avatar
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    It does work with EZGrabber, so my VC500 is good.
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  3. Video Restorer lordsmurf's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by mjgreer View Post
    I have a Diamond VC500"Capture Card". First off, why do they call it a "Capture Card"? It's the software that does the capturing. This device only converts a composite signal into video over USB 2.0. Hardly "capturing".
    Not accurate. The chipsets inside the capture card do the A>D. The software just saves it (sometimes reencoding it).

    but eventually, I could no longer "capture" video from my VC500 with it. Since then, I've had to do a clean install of my Windows 1O Pro desktop.
    Win10 is a lousy capture OS. Every updates tends to screw stuff up.

    I installed Virtualdub2,
    VirtualDub2 is not VirtualDub. And 1.9.x is usually the best version.

    I've also tried with OBS Studio,
    That's streaming/screen recording software. Not capture.

    Reading through the many, now outdated
    It's not outdated. Most info on video capture is now evergreen.

    I guess my question is, after I've verified that I'm getting good video out of my VC500. Would someone please walk me through the settings. Which Codec? I think, from all of the posts that huffyuv is about the best. Has that changed over the years?
    - Huffyuv, yes
    - The VC500 is a variable quality card, due to variations in production. The worst is the AGC issues.
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  4. Member mjgreer's Avatar
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    Thanks for responding, LordSmurf.

    Yeah, I suspect that Windows 10 is the culprit. It is unreliable with its updates. I used to work in a telephone central office where I managed the software and the hardware that captured the calls we could bill. I would call the company which created and maintained the software about a problem, something it was doing wrong, they would send out an update, sometimes, not always, the problem I called in about would be fixed, but, always, it would break something else. It was a real game of whack-a-mole.

    Wouldn't you call saving the video to digital form 'capturing' the video? As opposed to the VC500, which output just 'streams' the video.

    Info being evergreen, does that mean that the information from over 10 years ago is still accurate today?

    Since Window 10 is so unreliable, then, I suppose I could set up Windows 7 as a virtual machine. I've tried capturing video on a Ubuntu machine. But, both have their own issues, even more unsurmountable than trying to get Windows 10 to work.

    I'll put a little more effort into it, but, in the end, I think I'm just gonna have to trash about 50 Videocassettes.
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  5. Member mjgreer's Avatar
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    LordSmurf. You gave me good advice. I downloaded virtualdub 1.9.11 and it seems to be working excellently. There is a YouTube video, an old one "How to Convert VHS Video Tape to 60p Digital Video (NTSC)" by The Oldskool PC who explains a lot of the technical details, such as the interlacing. I fired up my VCR, used virtualdub 1.9.11 and then I could follow along with what was shown in the video. Thank you so much. This will work, until the next Windows 10 update.....Ooph!
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  6. Video Restorer lordsmurf's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by mjgreer View Post
    LordSmurf. You gave me good advice. I downloaded virtualdub 1.9.11 and it seems to be working excellently. There is a YouTube video, an old one "How to Convert VHS Video Tape to 60p Digital Video (NTSC)" by The Oldskool PC who explains a lot of the technical details, such as the interlacing. I fired up my VCR, used virtualdub 1.9.11 and then I could follow along with what was shown in the video. Thank you so much. This will work, until the next Windows 10 update.....Ooph!
    That Youtube video gives really bad advice on settings.
    The term "60p" alone is nonsense. (VHS is 59.94i aka 29.97fps interlaced.)
    He also suggests using crappy VCRs, and an Easycap.

    Read this instead: Capturing with VirtualDub [Settings Guide]

    The info is evergreen, no more changes, because it's essentially now time-locked. Capturing itself is largely OS-locked to WinXP/7.
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  7. Member mjgreer's Avatar
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    The term "60p" alone is nonsense. (VHS is 59.94i aka 29.97fps interlaced.)
    Yes, if you watch the video, he does have you use the 59.94 and the 29.97 settings.

    I don't recall him even mentioning the model of the VCR he was using during the video. I plan on watching it again today, so I'll see if he does. Regardless, as I mention in my first post, I'm using what I have on hand, my JVC HR-A591U. I'm sure it's not the best money can buy, but it is the one that I have. Frankly, between my less than optimal VCR and my VC500, I'm more than satisfied with the video/audio quality. But, after digitizing five more videos, I'll see if this is still true.

    I was surprised myself though, at The Oldskool PC's use of a very cheap "capture" card. From all that I've seen so far, the most recommended "caption" card, is the elgato video caption card. I ordered this from Amazon, although, I don't really think I'll need it. My VC500 seems adequate.

    I find the criticism of others advice on how to digitize VCR tapes to be amusing. I'm fairly deep into the technical aspect of computers, and I can discern different strata of tutorials. There are beginners, intermediate and advanced tutorials. Since I am a newbie to this, I have to learn how to walk before I can learn to run a marathon. I recognize The Oldskool PC's advice as being at the beginner's level. And, right now, I just want to become a competent walker. I have no goal of running a marathon at this point.

    Your advice was great in getting me out of the rut I was in, that is, not using the correct version of virtualdub. For that I am grateful.
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  8. Member mjgreer's Avatar
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    OK. All he says, is that he is using an analog handycam.
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    Capturing itself is largely OS-locked to WinXP/7.
    My IO Data GV-USB2 hums along on Win 10 21H1. I use VDub 1.9.11 to capture.
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  10. Member mjgreer's Avatar
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    Yeah, so far, I'm doing OK with Windows 10. It seems to me, that the whole process of digitizing VCR Tape video, is a hit or miss operation. It's hard for me to find any operation that works good twice in a row.
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  11. Video Restorer lordsmurf's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by mjgreer View Post
    OK. All he says, is that he is using an analog handycam.
    But the main is is the settings used.
    One setting, for example, just disables dropped frames detection, it doesn't prevent dropped frames. So you're flying blind.
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  12. Member mjgreer's Avatar
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    Thanks LordSmurf,

    Also good advice. I've digitized about four VHS tapes, well, segments of the tapes, actually, now, and I have the settings written down in a notebook which I go over like a catechism now for each time I process a tape. Fortunately, most of the settings are set where you don't have to do any changes, but, just in case, I run through them anyways. Maybe by the time I've done 100 tapes I will trust the process without having to go through the same old rigamarole. Probably not.

    I go through the process described in The Oldskool PC's video, and have been getting pretty consistent, acceptable results. It is tedious, but, I am making progress.

    After I do about 10, I plan on trying Virtualdub2 again. I understand, that it is able to compress to mp4, all in one step. I've been using Handbrake to convert my AVI file to mpeg4.

    I don't know if I'll go through the difficulties of burning these videos onto a DVD. I understand that for DVDs, the videos have to be in MPEG2 format. Not sure if Handbrake can to this and/or how much quality I lose.
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  13. Member Skiller's Avatar
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    If you have never encoded, authored and burned DVDs before, it is another rabbit hole to go down.

    Originally Posted by mjgreer View Post
    Not sure if Handbrake can to this and/or how much quality I lose.
    Handbrake doesn't do MPEG2 at all. You need a designated MPEG2 encoder for that (well, if you want quality anyways). A well made DVD looks excellent with no visible quality loss whatsoever.
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  14. Originally Posted by mjgreer View Post
    ....After I do about 10, I plan on trying Virtualdub2 again. I understand, that it is able to compress to mp4, all in one step.
    I wouldn't really recommend this. Your computer may just be too slow to do the capturing plus mpeg4 compression on the fly (real time) in 1 step with acceptable quality. There is a high risk of dropped frames which becomes worse with stronger compression/quality settings. But you may try yourself.
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  15. Member mjgreer's Avatar
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    Well, that didn't last long.

    I was getting consistent, fairly good recordings.

    Now, my raw AVI files are OK. But, when I edit them, they are either not displayable at all, or, the video and/or audio is very choppy.

    It all started when I edited a 2 hour and 50 minute section of VHS tape. I've tried to cut this in half to see if the problem could be solved. I tried editing and leaving the computer alone and is chunked through the editing process. Nothing seems to help.

    I thought that maybe Windows 10 was performing some process in the background, such as an update, or a file backup procedure, but, I've tried the process about three times now, and haven't produced a presentable, edited AVI clip yet.

    I'm going to move on to another tape. Maybe I'll figure out what I'm doing wrong.
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  16. Member Skiller's Avatar
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    What did you use to do the editing? VirtualDub?

    What codec did you use for capture?
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  17. Member mjgreer's Avatar
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    Hi Skiller,

    I used the same procedure I had used on the four videos, virtualdub v1.9.11. And I've tried both UtVideo YUV422BT .601 VCM and Lagarath. Both of these Codecs have worked adequately in the past.

    I create a raw AVI capture, and then I go back to edit out bad sections of the tape and to set the deinterlace filter to Yadif -top field first, which seems to always work with my capture device.

    The raw AVI file looks just fine, it's after I process (edit) the AVI file, that it is now misbehaving.

    -Mike
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    Hi, I also have a Diamond USB VC500 card and after going through a lot of software (honestech, ezgrabber, virtualdub, PowerDirector) I ended up staying with TotalMedia 3.5, for a reason, it never fails. It is the only software that gives me security in my captures. It does not capture AVI, only mpeg2.

    with virtualdub and vc-500 I had good and bad experiences. Surely the bad ones were due to bad configurations on my part but I got tired of always going back to the same thing.
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  19. Member mjgreer's Avatar
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    I have all of the steps I use, all of the configurations, written down in a notebook, which I follow for every new VCR tape.

    This is about the third time I've tried digitizing my tapes and it always seems the same. The first few work just as advertised, and then I just don't seem to be able to digitize any more.

    I'm of the belief that is has a lot to do with changes in Windows 10 and their constant upgrading.

    I have an Ubuntu machine, but I can't seem to make video capturing work on it.
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