Hi all - long time lurker.
I have been reading and testing a million different capture types, settings, programs, etc to get the best digital capture I can of approx. 40 family Video8 tapes with the available hardware.
Currently I am comparing two captures of a clip and trying to figure out which method I should be working with/which looks better to most people. Details of hardware and software:
-Sony Handycam Digital8 DCR-TRV310 Camera and videos are on regular analog Video8 tapes
-(Method 1) S-Video from camera to cheap USB 2.0 capture device with S-Video/RCA inputs
-(Method 2) DV-Out from camera to PC Firewire card with Firewire cable
-VirtualDub 1.10.4 on Windows 11 PC
See screen shots below - I figured just screenshots alone will tell a knowledgeable person which one is on the right track, if either.
I have captured a short clip using each above method to compare, both captured using default codecs in VirtualDub and 720x480 format (though the DV one came out with 736x480 buffer somehow, so maybe ignore the stretch it has). To me, the S-Video clip looks slightly sharper but noisier and the DV/Firewire one looks a little smoother/less detailed with less noise. The DV clip size is 200MB vs the S-Video at 90MB.
Am I on the right track with either of these and the way I am trying to capture? I am going nuts with all the things I've read and suggestions, it's just overwhelming. First I had tried using VDub with the suggested HuffYUV codec and YUY2 format, but VDub gives me an error when I try to use either of those for capturing using either output type, which is why I went back to using their default codecs for each.
Any feedback and suggestions appreciated!
EDIT: Actual clips embedded for DL in this post:
[Attachment 64656 - Click to enlarge]
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Last edited by just4747; 5th May 2022 at 13:59. Reason: pic
The S-Video capture is trash IMO due to over-sharpening. The noise doesn't bother me, but the halos do.
With the USB capture device, in VirtualDub capture mode try Video -> Levels. Neutral Sharpness level is often 0. Sometimes it's the middle setting.
The Firewire version looks remarkably natural to me. I'm surprised it's Video8.
And what are the halos you refer to? I don't see anything obvious.
Also I tried to adjust levels in VDub and in OBS and both have the sliders grayed out/unavailable when using the USB capture device and this camera.
Doesn't everyone say DV is lossy and that S-Video is preferred for a situation like this though (capturing analog video to digital)? I know that results are what matter in the end but I've read that several times now, though some say to use DV like you are.
I did not know one could use VirtualDub for capturing DV. Does it preserve the original bitstream? Judging by non-standard frame size, it seems it does not. Do you have anything against WinDV or Scenalyzer?
Contrary to many members of this forum I prefer digitizing Video8 and Hi8 through a Digital8 camcorder: you get reliable quality in an industry-standard codec with correct metadata without fuss.
Looking at your S-Video capture, I suppose you are going to fix the incorrect aspect ratio.
The DV capture looks like it was shot with a native Digital8 or MiniDV camcorder to me – it's remarkably good if this really is Video8 on the tape.
The S-Video capture has some major issues that Brad named.
VDub for DV transfer - I saw mention of that over any other program honestly. I just hear that it's a really good way to get high quality DV captures and lossless ones if needed with certain codecs and such. I've really never used WinDV or Scenalyzer so not sure how to compare them all or if I should be using one over the other.
Also, I am using a Digital8 camcorder for transferring these Video8 tapes, so same as you said - just trying to figure out DV vs. S-Video and the right software, etc.. Still many many options and methods regardless of how. Do you have a recommendation of exactly how to do it using one of these outputs from the camera and which software/method?
And what did you mean by non-standard frame size? The screen shots are just the clips playing in VLC player at original size and the DV one is slightly different because it exported with a 736x480 canvas for some reason even though the video is 720x480.
I am not going to question using VDub for DV capture, I just did not know it could do that. As long as it gets the bitstream from a Firewire port and saves it as a proper DV-AVI file, it is all good. It should come as 720x480, you just mentioned 736x480, which threw me off.
And I swear it's Video8 tape going through a Digital8 camera. Maybe it looks so good just bc it's a screen shot? I forget what it called the default compression for DV capture (I don't have it hooked up right now but it was whatever it defaults to/the only option), but the default compression setting used for the S-Video in VDub says "No recompression: MJPG" and has "FOURCC code" and "Drive name: uncompressed" next to it.
Here are both the tape and my camera FYI:
[Attachment 64661 - Click to enlarge]
Both are AVI files - how can I re-copy like a 15 second part from each clip and drop the audio while keeping the same quality and look/detail each have now? Is that possible?
this old guide recently; looks pretty good. Just modify it by choosing No audio.
Then Upload files/Manage attachments on the forum (lower left of reply box).
Am I on the right track with either of these and the way I am trying to capture?
I ignore if VirtualDub saves the DV stream coming from the camera firewire port or if it is decoding/encoding to DV (I never used it for this purpose). Just use WinDV or Scenalyzer.
Last edited by Sharc; 6th May 2022 at 04:36.
At this point there are some oddities and questions remaining about your capture processes.
Assuming both are about the same length, an S-Video capture should be much larger in file size than an actual DV capture; even with M-JPEG codec it should at least not be vastly smaller. I'm thinking you may not be capturing the actual DV bitstream. VirtualDub never used to be suited for DV capture so that's a strong indication for this theory. For DV capturing you should use WinDV or Scenalyzer.
If you cannot get HuffYUV to capture it might be because your driver is set to an unsupported color space. In VirtualDub in capture mode check what it says if you click "Video" then "Capture pin...".
Color space needs to be "YUY2".
Do not capture with any weird "default" codecs.
I attached the two clips below, cut down to 16 seconds each with no audio. I still have to address some other comments here how I did the captures but these are the clips from the OP.
Last edited by just4747; 5th May 2022 at 14:09.
I will definitely be trying WinDV or Scenalyzer to capture DV though, hopefully it's simpler and less issues. Is either recommended over the other in my kind of situation?
That DV sample is actually a proper DV bitstream. It looks fine, in my opinion you should go that route. The S-Video capture has been deinterlaced, is over-sharpened and has lots of noise (wondering where that comes from).
...so I guess that simplifies it a bit.
Is either recommended over the other in my kind of situation?
edit: Skiller arrived first
Any idea though why my DV capture is so much larger than the S-Video one? It sounds like I did it wrong and maybe when I go to one of the other programs it will solve it, but still curious.
The hardware (camera player) is the same in both scenarios if I am not wrong, so lossless S-Video is preferable anyhow. But you are right about the sample provided, it has some bad in it, I ignore why.
When you say lose quality compared to the first scenario - do you mean S-Video output?
and I would say this is why it looks so bad.
Here is one of the recent discussions... The OP has left the thread by the end of the first page Mind you, I still think that DV->FireWire route is better for, shall I say, normal people.
+1 to all of that ^
I capture 4:2:2 lossless via TBC , capture card etc etc, but it's not for everyone and can be a real pain until you have all the kinks worked out. Firewire > DV is the easy mode and it's "good enough" for most people, and won't have the same issues as those junk $15 amazon usb card that capture to h264.
Texas Instruments XIO2213B as it's basically the only readily available PCIe chipset that's proven to be reliable. The IEEE 1394a cards based on VIA chipsets are hot garbage.
If you have a Thunderbolt port handy, try the Apple Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) to Thunderbolt 2 Adapter in combination with the Apple Thunderbolt to FireWire Adapter, which is both reliable and works in Windows.