Nice to be on a forum again after so many years . I'm looking for advice, and yes I have read a few threads already, honestly, that is what's caused me to create this thread.
For the last 2 years, I have digitising my VHS-C tapes with the following workflow:
Pansonic VHS-C Camcorder (PAL) -> Samsung VCR with an HDMI out (VR355) -> Elgato HD60 -> OBS writing to an MP4
Not ideal, but it worked for me. In the last few months managed to break my VCR during transport (does not output via HDMI anymore, uncertain about AV Component). I purchased a Samsung VR375, however, whenever I open OBS I'm just getting a solid blue screen through my capture card during playback. I confirmed that I can output to my TV via AV Comp, so I am assuming this is some sort of piracy protection. Even though the input is from my Camcorder.
Given the circumstances, and now having a bit more of a budget, I'd like to explore my options in terms of capturing uncompressed footage. I'd like to be able to decide what I do to the footage (deinterlacing, etc). I almost bought a Dazzle (DVC100-107), however, I'm hearing mixed reviews about driver support on Windows 10.
I digitise footage and also attempt to capture footage from circuit-bent devices, this is not meant to be for archival purposes, and I understand the best of the best digitising won't be available to me unless I spend big amounts, or get lucky finding rare equipment. I'm based in Australia so I don't really have many options.
What options are recommended for generally good digitising these days?
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In the last few threads in the capturing section two USB sticks are often mentioned and tested by few members in the forum such as Lollo, But like any capturing workflow where capturing is handled by a modern computer there are quirks that you have to work around.
I purchased a Samsung VR375, however, whenever I open OBS I'm just getting a solid blue screen through my capture card during playback. I confirmed that I can output to my TV via AV Comp
If you're going the analogue route, the IOData GV-USB2 (Composite and S-Video) works well with all versions of Windows. I have one and despite trying others, I always come back to it.
I'd like to explore my options in terms of capturing uncompressed footage.
Use AmarecTV as capturing software.
About worflow, the most important element is the player. It should output a Y/C and lineTBCed stable signal. Hauppauge USB Live-2 and IOData GV-USB2 are excellents cards, highly recommended especially with modern OSs. My preference is for the first, but when working in proper conditions they are almost indistinguishable.
Depending on the conditions of the tapes an external TBC device may be required.
The HDMI ruote is a valid alternative when the digitizer is a specific DVD recorder, you just transfer the digital stream to the PC with a hdmi capture device. I ignore if your Samsung provide a good digitized signal, i suspect not because is originated from internal VHS output and may be not adequate. I may be wrong.
Here's my workflow:
VHS composite > Videonics MX-1 > Avermedia USB capture > AmaRecTV capturing w/ Lagarith lossless 640x480 > Deinterlace via Avisynth+ running in Vdub64 and QTGMC at Fast or Medium preset and clipping edges as needed, spline64 to 640x480 and color correction only if needed > encode to mp4 in handbrake to 640x480 and retaining the bob'd framerate
I am capturing on a Windows10 desktop machine using an AMD Ryzen 5400 CPU and a dedicated 1TB M.2 NVMe drive.
Without the MX-1 I do notice a lot of horizontal jitter and highly recommend it unless your tapes are completely trashed. Maybe one day I'll try to find a S-video player, but they're just so expensive at this point i'm not sure i'll be able.
I tinkered around with the resolution and didn't see any difference.
I opted for the $150 MX-1 instead of much more expensive S-vid vhs players out there nowadays. I have a pretty high end sony player as it was. I saw a lot of comparisons of composite vs s-video and I just didn't see the cost benefit. What i did think was worth it was having a the MX-1, which took out all of the shuddering and some of the noise. I had zero problems with color as some people on here claimed the MX-1 has; maybe I just have a good one.
It may not make much of an economical sense to you but the difference is significant, Don't trust those online comparisons, especially the ones that come out of youtube. As to resolution, 720x480 is the native hardware capture resolution. Off course every little thing does not make a difference to the untrained eye but they do add up to a significant difference. I'm not picking on you, I just want the OP to be aware of the factors that can influence the quality of a capture.
Last edited by dellsam34; 30th Aug 2023 at 13:58. Reason: typo
If only there were a site out there that would post raw capture clips comparing composite vs s-video to show if the $600 on a s-video deck is worth it....
Alright all, thanks for the advice. Again, really nice to be a community that helps rather than bickers.
I purchased a USB-Live 2 and got some footage recorded using Amarec and UT Codec (couldn't get Huffy to appear as an option in Amarec TV). It's looking much better, I'd say the colours are a bit off compared to previous captures but I'm not sure if that's tape degradation.
I'm not sure if anyone will be able to answer this particular question though:
I do a bit of video bending/glitching and use a Mismatcher01 to glitch incoming composite signal, adding this device definitely changes colours and in general is meant to ruin the signal. However, when adding this device to my workflow it is picked up as black and white (without any processing) into my USB-Live 2. This doesn't happen when connected to my CRT or previously to my VCR workflow. I'm wondering if it's something to do with Amarec?? If I push the signal hard enough I can force VERY distorted colour into the signal, so I'm assuming it's more likely to do with how my glitcher works with the capture device.
In regards to adding a Line TBC to my workflow, I might be able to get my hands on an ES-15? I've again heard it's almost not worth it due to oversharpening and unnecessary processing, is that true? My source will 99% of the time be directly out of a consumer VHS-C Camcorder. I have a VHS-C to VHS converter, but assume that that would degrade the quality significantly too. The output of my Camcorder isn't bad, but again wondering where I could improve. Were there VHS-C Camcorders with S-Video out? Or am I needing to move up to newer Tape formats?
As long as you don't have a S-VHS player with S-video output and internal TBC, and as you now have an Hauppauge USB live2, it may well be worth to go ahead with your current tape player with composite output and connect it via one of the recommended Panasonic DVD recorders (ES10, ES15,....) in passthrough, means VHS player composite OUT -> DVD Recorder composite IN -> DVD Recorder S-Video OUT -> Hauppauge USB live2 S-video IN.
The DVD recorder will stabilize the signal (remove horizontal wiggle and flagging) and insert a 3D comb filter to separate luma from chroma preventing dotcrawl and rainbows. The luma/chroma separating filter of the Hauppauge USB live2 is poor, actually pretty much useless.
It's a budget solution worth to try in your case I think.
There are plenty of posts about such setup in this forum.
Last edited by Sharc; 31st Aug 2023 at 02:37.
I cant speak to the ES-15 specifically but the TBC's really do make a noticeable difference.
The flagging is gone, but the dotcrawl (or hangning dots) of the composite video is even stronger (or perhaps just sharper). If there is a setting like "Comb filter ON/OFF" or similar, enable it.
Totally. And I find freeze frame comparisons are sometimes misleading insomuch that a steady stabilized image with some dot crawl may look better than an un-stabilized image that is moving all around.
@Snacky2Wacky: If you think you have a DHCP/handshake/protection error, a converter that has HDMI IN & OUT (hence HDMI passthrough) will overcome that, without any other changes to the HDMI signal.
A good/prosumer analog to HDMI converter connected from the component video output of your ES15 will also work for your Elgato card.