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Old 08-07-2014, 12:51 AM - Thread Starter
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VHS capture via HDMI?

I've got some 20/30-year-old VHS tapes (sentimental value) that I want to capture/edit with best possible quality. I've got a combo VHS/DVD player with HDMI output, so I bought a Startech capture card with HDMI input port. But, the StreamCatcher software that came with it won't let me grab anything from any manufactured VHS tapes. I can see the scenes, but if I try to grab them, I either get an error window, or a big black HDCP screen.
Is there any good way to overcome that, and get absolute top quality, when I capture VHS?
I'm hoping there's a simple software fix, comparable to the way I can use Nero, Ulead, Adobe Premier, etc, to capture VHS video using a SuperVHS connector (I can do that; I'm just hoping/thinking HDMI might be better quality).
If not, is there some sort of box I can put between my VHS player, and my computer, with HDMI input and HDMI output ports?
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Old 08-07-2014, 01:44 PM
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The short answer, I believe, is no...there's most likely no 'easy' way to overcome the copy protection inherent in HDMI.

You mentioned that you want to capture the absolute highest quality from the VHS, and even if you could capture it, this wouldn't result in the highest quality capture. I've been digitizing VHS tapes for the better part of five years now, and the best tried and true method for getting the highest quality is going S-Video into a MiniDV camcorder...you then have the option of recording on to MiniDV tape, or into a computer via Firewire.

The camcorder does the encoding for you, recording or transferring it as an AVI-DV 'file.' The reason why this is the best, is because it records all 'I' frames - instead of 'B' and 'P' frames you find in more compressed formats (mpeg-2). 'I' frames have the entire picture of every frame - B and P frames only contain the data that's changed between frames (thus allowing for lower overall file size). Your file sizes are bigger with AVI-DV, but you know that all of the information present on the original VHS tape is being captured.
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Old 08-07-2014, 05:19 PM
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HDMIis a connection and supporting specifications – it has little or nothing to do with capturing your footage.

‘Is there any good way to overcome that’ – yes, it’ll require suitable software on your PC orMAC.

‘and get absolute top quality, when I capture VHS?’ – as per Post above you are starting with a pretty poor ‘master’so don’t expect any miracles.

An JohnstownFlood says a SVHS player or Camcorder with Firewire into a suitable capture device on your PC or MAC is about as good as it’s going to get.

Is there no ‘modern’ version of the content you are working with?


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