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  1. Member
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    I thought I'd share a snapshot from 4 different capture methods as I've been slowly learning more. I thought it might be of interest to newbies to see the difference between capture devices on Windows 10. If this isn't appropriate, just let me know and I'll delete the post.

    The source is NTSC VHS and I'm on a budget.

    My setup:
    VCR: JVC SVHS HR-S2913U with S-Video
    Machine: Windows 10 21H1.
    Capture Software: VirtualDub 1.9. All captured with the same settings.

    1. Honestech VHS to DVD 5.0
    This was my first capture method.
    Honestech VHS to DVD 5.0 shows up as USB 2.0 VIDBOX NW03 in VirtualDub. According to Linuxtv it is Empia + SAA7113H video decoder.

    This is stretched slightly compared to the other capture methods below. Explained by Skiller: "For the Honestech the correct width for capture is 704, not 720."

    In VirtualDub 1.9, the audio would sometimes be slightly clipped (distorted). In VirtualDub2, the audio wasn't clipping, instead it seemed a bit lower and less punchy.

    Image
    [Attachment 61579 - Click to enlarge]



    2. Roxio Easy VHS to DVD 3 PLUS
    This was my second capture method. I borrowed this unit from a friend. I understand that it is NOT a recommended capture device, but I wanted to try it anyway.

    The colours are washed out (for lack of technical lingo) with this capture.

    I also could not adjust the volume level and there was often distortion / clipping in VirtualDub. I have read that there are sometimes registry settings that can be adjusted, but it wasn't worth investigating.

    After using the device for a short while, red colour distortion would happen at the top, maybe due to overheating? This only happened in VirtualDub and didn't happen in the Roxio software.

    Image
    [Attachment 61580 - Click to enlarge]


    Image
    [Attachment 61582 - Click to enlarge]



    3. Pinnacle 710 USB VHS Video Capture Card Device
    This was my 3rd capture method.
    Since I'm on Windows 10, the Pinnacle 710 USB is a device tested and recommended by LordSmurf.

    I saw my best results with this (not surprisingly). Nice audio and video.

    [Edit] Uploaded wrong file before. Here is correct one. Good catch Brad!
    Image
    [Attachment 61587 - Click to enlarge]


    4. Pinnacle 710 USB + Panasonic DMR-ES15 TBC(ish)
    This is my 4th capture method. I added in a Panasonic DMR-ES15, which is a budget way to get TBC(ish) functionality.

    This also provided nice results with this. Nice audio and video.

    The colours are different compared to setup #3 without the DMR-ES15, which I found interesting. With the DMR-ES15, they seem more realistic and with less contrast. Or maybe less vibrant - I can't decide.

    This is with Input Darker / Output Lighter on the DMR-ES15
    Image
    [Attachment 61583 - Click to enlarge]


    [Edit]:
    This is with Input Lighter / Output Darker on DMR-ES15 (which seems to be what is recommended)
    Image
    [Attachment 61588 - Click to enlarge]


    Just thought I'd share.
    Last edited by brockway; 3rd Nov 2021 at 10:47. Reason: Fixed wrong photo upload for 3rd capture. For 4th capture method, added snapshot for different colour settings on DMR-ES15
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  2. Formerly 'vaporeon800' Brad's Avatar
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    I'm just viewing on my phone, but attachments 61579 and 61581 appear to be the same file.
    (Formerly vaporeon800)
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  3. Member Skiller's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by brockway View Post
    This is stretched slightly compared to the other capture methods below. I'm not sure why.
    That's because for the Honestech the correct width for capture is 704, not 720.
    If you need 720, you would add 8 black pixels to the left and right side (16 in total) after capture. You will find the captures line up then.


    4. Looks best to me. Especially the levels look right. All the others are too bright.
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  4. Regarding contrast and saturation: you should adjust the capture driver's proc amp to get the good levels. The default settings are usually meaningless. As it is, the first image (Honestech) appears to have the best levels (one has to see a wider variety of shots to say for sure). The last one (Pinnacle+ES15) has some crushed blacks -- but it has the best horizontal time base.
    Last edited by jagabo; 3rd Nov 2021 at 10:42.
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  5. Member Skiller's Avatar
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    The Roxio capture (2) looks seriously flawed on the horizontal axis. It looks like aliasing, as if Nyquist's theorem wasn't met. Or something like a point-resize happened to it for whatever reason.
    It pretty much renders the Roxio cap useless imo.
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    Originally Posted by Brad View Post
    I'm just viewing on my phone, but attachments 61579 and 61581 appear to be the same file.
    Good catch Brad. I updated the picture.

    Originally Posted by Skiller View Post
    Originally Posted by brockway View Post
    This is stretched slightly compared to the other capture methods below. I'm not sure why.
    That's because for the Honestech the correct width for capture is 704, not 720.
    If you need 720, you would add 8 black pixels to the left and right side (16 in total) after capture. You will find the captures line up then.
    That's great to know about capturing at 704! I hadn't come across that before. I kind of want to re-capture at 704 to compare snapshots without it being stretched, but probably not worth the time.

    Originally Posted by jagabo View Post
    Regarding contrast and saturation: you should adjust the capture driver's proc amp to get the good levels. The default settings are usually meaningless. As it is, the first image (Honestech) appears to have the best levels (one has to see a wider variety of shots to say for sure). The last one (Pinnacle+ES15) has some crushed blacks -- but it has the best horizontal time base.
    I just added a 2nd Pinnacle + ES15 with different color settings. I also found the blacks were crushed with the original snapshot / video, but after changing the settings on the DMR-ES15 to "Input Lighter / Output Darker", the blacks are looking better in the video. I think it's hard to tell from the snapshot. I think the whites also look truer too.

    One thing I have wondered regarding the capture driver's proc amp settings: Do these need to be adjusted once based on my digitizing pipeline setup? Or should these be adjusted on a per VHS tape basis? I have around 40 tapes to digitize. If it's once for the whole setup, I'm willing to try and optimize them, but unfortunately I don't have time on a per tape basis. Thanks!
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  7. Originally Posted by brockway View Post
    One thing I have wondered regarding the capture driver's proc amp settings: Do these need to be adjusted once based on my digitizing pipeline setup? Or should these be adjusted on a per VHS tape basis? I have around 40 tapes to digitize. If it's once for the whole setup, I'm willing to try and optimize them, but unfortunately I don't have time on a per tape basis. Thanks!
    You should at least set the proc amp for the hardware you're using. Find compromise settings that keep YUV values legal and close to the correct levels over a variety of tapes and shots. You can always make final adjustments in post if necessary.
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  8. Member Skiller's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by brockway View Post
    I also found the blacks were crushed with the original snapshot / video, but after changing the settings on the DMR-ES15 to "Input Lighter / Output Darker", the blacks are looking better in the video.
    Living in PAL land I am not familiar with the NTSC model's "lighter" and "darker" settings, but someone please confirm:

    isn't that a IRE 0 vs. IRE 7.5 setting (black level pedestal)?


    Because if it is you want IRE 7.5 for input and output in Canada. Other than that I cannot think of a reason why these settings would exist. It's certainly not found in PAL Panasonic machines.
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  9. Yes, the lighter/darker settings refer to 7.5 IRE setup for North American NTSC vs. 0 setup for Japan and elsewhere. Technically the correct setting for NA are Darker (input), Lighter (output). If you are recording to DVD you should use those settings. But because of the way it works internally you get less posterization in passthrough with Lighter/Darker. Then you adjust the capture devices proc amp accordingly.

    https://forum.videohelp.com/threads/380285-Where-did-I-go-wrong-What-am-I-missing#post2460874
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    Thanks for this advice. As you can tell, I'm quite new to this, so I appreciate it.

    Originally Posted by jagabo View Post
    You should at least set the proc amp for the hardware you're using. Find compromise settings that keep YUV values legal and close to the correct levels over a variety of tapes and shots. You can always make final adjustments in post if necessary.
    Do you have recommendations on reading I could do about how to "keep YUV values legal and close to the correct levels"?


    Originally Posted by jagabo View Post
    Yes, the lighter/darker settings refer to 7.5 IRE setup for North American NTSC vs. 0 setup for Japan and elsewhere. Technically the correct setting for NA are Darker (input), Lighter (output). If you are recording to DVD you should use those settings. But because of the way it works internally you get less posterization in passthrough with Lighter/Darker. Then you adjust the capture devices proc amp accordingly.

    https://forum.videohelp.com/threads/380285-Where-did-I-go-wrong-What-am-I-missing#post2460874
    Great insight. Thank you!
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