I am hoping someone can give me their expertise on transferring 28 year old betamax tapes to digital format. My issue is that the quality seems to be degraded in my transfers to digitial.
My setup is that I have a Sony SL-HF600 Betamax player/recorder which is in excellent condition hooked up to the Hauppauge HD PVR through the front Audio Input and Composite Video ports. The PVR is connected to a 42 Flat Panel through the Audio and Video ports in back, and the USB cable is connected to a Dell OptiPlex 755 Computer with a basic video card(This may be my problem but I need to confirm prior to spending any money on a video card.) The OptiPlex has 2 internal drives, one for the OS and programs, and 1 for the data that is converted to be written to which is a 10000 RPM Enterprise Class SATA drive.
The Betamax standard is 350×480 resolution and the PVR is stating input of 720X480 Resolution, and the Bit Rate Encoding is set to 5MB. I have tried increasing this to the maximum of 13.5 MB but that did not help the quality of the digital file. I am not expecting High Definition conversion. I am hoping for similar digital to what I am seeing directly form the tape to the monitor. What I am seeing is a crisp (for a Betamax tape) image that is played on the Flat Panel, but the digital recorded image is quite a bit more blurry with less detail than what is displayed on the Flat Panel.
I am using the TotalMedia ExStream 2 Software that came with the Hauppauge PVR, and on the Computers LCD screen as it is recording, I can see that the image is blurry. I have tried recording to MP4 ant TS formats but the quality seems to not change.
So, I am wondering if the computer, the video card is causing this, or if there is a setting that I should be looking at that changes the quality.
Thanks in advance for any assistance with this.
Then you need to judge if the applied sharpness is good enough by viewing the image only in the ArcSoft preview screen. You won't see any change in the quality of the image on your monitor connected to the 'through' output of the Hauppauge box. That output is just an analog copy of the input and doesn't reflect what's going on with the actual image being captured.
Bit rate really doesn't affect the overall the sharpness either. It will give a better picture when there's a lot of moving objects in the original video, but setting the bitrate higher and higher with the hopes of getting a sharper recording is just a waste of bits. For something like Betamax, anywhere between 3-4 MB should be more than enough.
Your computer setup sounds OK and your video card has nothing to do with your ability to capture. Crank up the sharpness in the Device Settings, and if that's not good enough then you need a different capture device from someone else. The Hauppauge devices have always put composite video in the back seat, quality wise.
Thanks for replying Scoosdad and GaryLex67.
The Betamax only has the RCA Composite and the standard coax outputs. I did turn up the Sharpness, but is still is not what I would expect. Can someone recommend a good composite video capture device that will improve my capture quality?
I am an IT professional so I know how different computer components can help, but I do not spend much time with video transfer, and production so my knowledge on these devices is limited.
From Consumer website's reviews, The Diamond VC500 ranked high, but I question the quality that I will get with this device. For under $50.00 it seems as though the quality of the hardware and software would be limited. I have also read that an internal PCI or PCIx card would improve the quality at a higher cost. Since I am not a video expert, I can't say if this will help me or not. Is there anything that is a Pro-Consumer quality that doesn't break the bank account?
I have read several posts on several websites, and to be honest, most of the answers to posts seem to forget that resolution 25+ years ago was no where close to today's resolutions and the answers don't seem to take that factor into the quality of the transfer to digital.
Thanks again for the replies.
I'm at a loss at to why your files are blurry. From my experience the 1212 does a good job in capturing this material. What's the source of the tapes you're trying to capture?