So since moving back to Apple, I've had to figure out how to capture VHS (and other analog footage) for archiving. I've looked into a lot of different ways, but one thing I've wondered is if it's possible to record from my AG1980 deck to my Atomos Ninja 2 with the help of a composite to HDMI converter. The answer seems to be yes, BUT it seems that all the converters upscale the footage to 720p and 1080p,which isn't what I want. I'd like to preserve the resolution and interlacing.
Does anyone have any suggestions? If this isn't doable, is there capture device that I can connect to my MacBook Pro to record to ProRes?
Thank you for any help you can give!
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you need something to stablize or regenerate the horizontal and vertical sync (a line, or frame base, time base corrector), then something to capture a frame or two and then release it on schedule to compensate for lost or corrupt frames.. that will make the analog suitable for capture by simple analog to digital conversion boxes.
analog capture devices of the past didn't do most of this, and it wasn't as important when signals were broadcast and not coming off a vcr.
old tapes, old vcrs make correction and frame compensation more important now, the longer the capture the more important
uncompressed, or prores formats require a fast computer and hard drives to store the data to prevent losing video frames or audio samples
most consumer version don't have time codes embedded, so your only aware if you see a problem later, or the capture software aborts capturing and tells you something went wrong
professionals use a different capture format called SDI, serial data interface, that has time codes and there are analog to SDI capture cards and firewire or usb dongles.. but they usually don't fix the sync or frame problems of an old signal from a vcr before trying to capture and convert it to SDI.. for that you need something else put before the analog inputs to the captrue device
blackmagic design doesn't clean up analog signals.. so for a consumer.. their stuff is probably not ideal.. without a lot of equipment in front preparing the analog signal for capture
aja equipment is better, they do to some degree apply some algorithms to regen sync and frame compensate, but are very expensive
brighteye and canopus grass valley made some equipment that handles analog to SDI fairly well.. but its expensive and very hard to get today
snell & wilcox out of britain used similar chips to aja and handles analog signal prep from a vcr well.. but they are even more expensive and hard to find
an "all in one" device is a rarity.. most people string a bunch of boxes together and do the best that they can.. a vcr with a tbc (like the 1980) and then maybe a frame/sync buffer and then an analog to something converter.. usb, firewire, thunderbolt, pci, pciexpress, sdi
you sound like an editor, so more details of what you expect to do with the captured video would probably help others recommend specific equipment you can still get
as for inbetween uncompressed or prores.. you might look at matrox mx02 or aja xena/kona stuff.. those mostly ended the SD/HD capture era in the pro world and that stuff can be found pretty cheap.. but you'll need win7 or a osx machine to use them.
cheaper tv cards and compression direct to other format is not very welcome these days
Last edited by jwillis84; 30th Jul 2022 at 02:07.
The Panasonic AG1980 has a TBC built into it, since it's a professional deck, so I should be good to go. I've successfully done conversions with my old PC for years, but now that I'm on a MacBook Pro M1 Pro (late 2021) I don't have the option of adding an analog capture card like I did to my old rig. That's why I was wondering if there was a way to use my Atomos Ninja 2, which is an external recorder that supports 480i capture to ProRes. The problem I'm finding though is that most of the boxes that convert the signal to HDMI will upscale the video and deinterlace it. I'd like to avoid that, as any upscaling and deinterlacing I'd rather do myself for better results.
A problem with a lot of older hardware/software is that it probably doesn't work with the latest version of iOS.
With newer Macs you are pretty much out of luck, You can invest in a SDI converter that captures analog video into SDI and then from SDI get a modern SDI-Thunderbolt or SDI-USB3 interface that should work fine under your Mac platform.
BlackMagic Design has several options in converters and recorder type interfaces (Thunderbolt 3)
My DMR ES-35V gives a stable signal for this setup, (Video Assist also) and just works, with a good TBC setup it should also work.
The SDI to HDMI 3G allows you to import a LUT so you can color correct while you're capturing,
[Attachment 66166 - Click to enlarge]
composite, s-video, component to SDI
[Attachment 66167 - Click to enlarge]
[Attachment 66168 - Click to enlarge]
SDI / HDMI to Thunderbolt 3
Last edited by Eric-jan; 31st Jul 2022 at 07:22.
Thread moved to the mac forum where you can get more help.I think,therefore i am a hamster.
I think the Blackmagic Design UltraStudio HD Mini might be the easiest, though a bit more expensive, option.
You can do Analog to SDI and then SDI to HDMI for your Atomos, or SDI/HDMI to Thunderbolt 3 to your MAC,
The cheap converters scale always to 16:9 because these devices are for gamers,(the scale function has a kind of TBC function i noticed, but you need to fix the ASR) i do know/have a cheap scaler to HDMI that leaves ASR intact, but has only component input, do you have component output ?
I guess your Atomos does support 525i
Last edited by Eric-jan; 2nd Aug 2022 at 20:17.