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post #1 of 45 Old 10-12-2002, 09:48 PM - Thread Starter
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I have a small fortune invested in children's VHS movies. Is there a good way of copying these tapes to DVD so my kids can watch them in our new minivan that has a DVD entertainment system?
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post #2 of 45 Old 10-13-2002, 06:30 AM
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The following process assumes you would do it through a PC with an internal DVD writer. Otherwise you can ship your tapes to a company that can create DVDs from VHS tapes (given certain copyright restrictions). There are also standalone DVD recorders (more expensive than internal PC DVD recorders) that can have a VCR connected to it without a PC (like the Panasonic DMR E20) The standalone process will be simpler than the one outlined below.

1. Get a PC capture card or device. You can check the list of available cards here:

http://www.vcdhelp.com/capturecards.php


2. Connect your VCR to one of the capture device's inputs and capture the VHS program as an MPEG file by playing the VCR connected to the capture device.

3. Use a DVD authoring program such as ULead's DVD WorkShop or MovieFactory to convert the MPEG file on the PC to a DVD project (IFO & VOB files).

4. Use either the DVD authoring program or another DVD writer program (such as Nero or Primo Prassi) to write the results to DVD.

Steps 2, 3 & 4 are usually done seamlessly (all in one step) by a DVD authoring program which has capture capabilities (such as Ulead WorkShop or Sonic's MyDVD).

I personally use the ADS InstantDVD device, connecting my VCR to this little box that connects to my PC via a USB port. I have transferred over 20 VHS tapes (of older films) to DVD. The ADS InstantDVD device does not require you to open up your PC to put in a card (assuming you have a PC with USB ports).

An internal PC DVD writer will cost you from $250 to $400. A capture device can go from $200 to $1000. The software if not bundled with the capture device can go from $100 to $500. Expect to spend at least $500 on the project from the beginning. (I also transfer TV shows to DVD from my Tivo using the same methods so the money initially spent to convert VHS to DVD now also covers the ongoing TV to DVD process).

The DVD medium itself can cost you from $0.75 per disc to $3.00 depending upon whether you buy named brands (such as Pioneer or Sony) or generic ones. I usually buy a spindle of 25 (no-name brand) for $40 on the Internet. Depending upon how much you put on one DVD, the no-name brand may give you perfect results or sometimes flawed ones.

If you go the PC route, check out www.vcdhelp.com for a lot of tips & hints for converting or transferring videos.

BTW There are two types of DVD formats (& recorders): DVD-R (DVD-RW) and DVD+R (DVD+RW). You would have to chose between the two (though Sony is coming out with a DVD recorder that does both formats). I purchased the Pioneer 104 (DVD-R). You would have to check if your mini-van DVD player is compatible with either format (or both). As well, some DVD players have problems with no-name brands.

On a final note, many DVD players will play a video CD format (VCD or SVCD). VHS tapes can be transferred to VCD or SVCD (usually for programs 1/2 hour or less for good picture quality). You could make CD copies of VHS tapes to play in the mini-van (the input process would still be the same thru a capture device). In this case you wouldn't need a DVD recorder (just a CD writer) though a DVD recorder will do both DVDs & CDs. Once again this assumes the mini-van player can play video CDs (not all DVD players will play CD-Rs). CDs are cheaper than DVDs but give you poorer picture quality (and less recording time). However using menus (available in some DVD authoring software), you could put multiple VHS tapes on one DVD (up to 2 hours of programming). vcdhelp.com has procedures for CD video.
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post #3 of 45 Old 10-13-2002, 10:00 AM
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Moved to Home Theater Computers from DVD and LD Software.
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post #4 of 45 Old 10-13-2002, 10:17 AM
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I have tried this....

Problem is the macrovision on the tapes will prevent you from capturing them on the PC.... I have tried various schemes around this - all unsuccessful.

Mike
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post #5 of 45 Old 10-13-2002, 11:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by bwam
The following process assumes you would do it through a PC with an internal DVD writer. Otherwise you can ship your tapes to a company that can create DVDs from VHS tapes (given certain copyright restrictions). There are also standalone DVD recorders (more expensive than internal PC DVD recorders) that can have a VCR connected to it without a PC (like the Panasonic DMR E20) The standalone process will be simpler than the one outlined below.

1. Get a PC capture card or device. You can check the list of available cards here:

http://www.vcdhelp.com/capturecards.php


2. Connect your VCR to one of the capture device's inputs and capture the VHS program as an MPEG file by playing the VCR connected to the capture device.

3. Use a DVD authoring program such as ULead's DVD WorkShop or MovieFactory to convert the MPEG file on the PC to a DVD project (IFO & VOB files).

4. Use either the DVD authoring program or another DVD writer program (such as Nero or Primo Prassi) to write the results to DVD.

Steps 2, 3 & 4 are usually done seamlessly (all in one step) by a DVD authoring program which has capture capabilities (such as Ulead WorkShop or Sonic's MyDVD).

I personally use the ADS InstantDVD device, connecting my VCR to this little box that connects to my PC via a USB port. I have transferred over 20 VHS tapes (of older films) to DVD. The ADS InstantDVD device does not require you to open up your PC to put in a card (assuming you have a PC with USB ports).

An internal PC DVD writer will cost you from $250 to $400. A capture device can go from $200 to $1000. The software if not bundled with the capture device can go from $100 to $500. Expect to spend at least $500 on the project from the beginning. (I also transfer TV shows to DVD from my Tivo using the same methods so the money initially spent to convert VHS to DVD now also covers the ongoing TV to DVD process).

The DVD medium itself can cost you from $0.75 per disc to $3.00 depending upon whether you buy named brands (such as Pioneer or Sony) or generic ones. I usually buy a spindle of 25 (no-name brand) for $40 on the Internet. Depending upon how much you put on one DVD, the no-name brand may give you perfect results or sometimes flawed ones.

If you go the PC route, check out www.vcdhelp.com for a lot of tips & hints for converting or transferring videos.

BTW There are two types of DVD formats (& recorders): DVD-R (DVD-RW) and DVD+R (DVD+RW). You would have to chose between the two (though Sony is coming out with a DVD recorder that does both formats). I purchased the Pioneer 104 (DVD-R). You would have to check if your mini-van DVD player is compatible with either format (or both). As well, some DVD players have problems with no-name brands.

On a final note, many DVD players will play a video CD format (VCD or SVCD). VHS tapes can be transferred to VCD or SVCD (usually for programs 1/2 hour or less for good picture quality). You could make CD copies of VHS tapes to play in the mini-van (the input process would still be the same thru a capture device). In this case you wouldn't need a DVD recorder (just a CD writer) though a DVD recorder will do both DVDs & CDs. Once again this assumes the mini-van player can play video CDs (not all DVD players will play CD-Rs). CDs are cheaper than DVDs but give you poorer picture quality (and less recording time). However using menus (available in some DVD authoring software), you could put multiple VHS tapes on one DVD (up to 2 hours of programming). vcdhelp.com has procedures for CD video.

I want to convert many VHS Home Videos to DVD and also clean up some of the poor quality. For Example, I want to convert my parents wedding Video onto DVD.

I appreciate the nice long thread. However, I would like to know what is the best CONSUMER way to convert VHS to DVD. I would like to know what the best software and hardware options are?

Thanks
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post #6 of 45 Old 10-13-2002, 11:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by mjcumming
I have tried this....

Problem is the macrovision on the tapes will prevent you from capturing them on the PC.... I have tried various schemes around this - all unsuccessful.
I've been able to convert many VHS tapes to DVD by playing them thru a VCR into a capture device. With older Hollywood films from the 40's, 50's, 60's & 70's that the studios haven't made to DVD yet. I haven't had any problems with macrovision going from VCR into my capture device (ADS USB InstantDVD).
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post #7 of 45 Old 10-13-2002, 11:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by ApoDoc
I want to convert many VHS Home Videos to DVD and also clean up some of the poor quality. For Example, I want to convert my parents wedding Video onto DVD.

I appreciate the nice long thread. However, I would like to know what is the best CONSUMER way to convert VHS to DVD. I would like to know what the best software and hardware options are?

Thanks
By "consumer" do you mean a process that doesn't require purchasing a DVD recorder and PC capture device?

There are companies that will do the conversion of tape (all formats) to DVD for you. Send them the tapes, they return you the DVDs for a price. You can find them on the Internet by doing a search on "tape to DVD conversion".

The other option is to buy a standalone DVD recorder such as the Panasonic DMR E20 which doesn't require a PC. The process is much simpler to yield a DVD. The cost of a standalone can be from $600-900.

I have filmed a friend's wedding (JVC Digital Video Camera) and converted the tapes (Mini DV) to DVD with a capture device (camcorder to PC via firewire) and DVD recorder. Software used was Sonic MyDVD.

One links any camcorder to a PC capture device and inputs the video stream into the PC. Different camcorders can link to a PC thru either a firewire card, USB port, or RCA audio/video ports on a capture device (which can be your video card). Whichever way the camcorder is linked to a PC, the resulting file will be an MPEG that one transfers to DVD via the software mentioned (Ulead DVD WorkShop or MovieFactory, Sonic MyDVD, etc).

There is inexpensive video editing software available such as Womble.

Some software packages such as Ulead DVD Workshop or Sonic MyDVD will do the whole process - from capture to DVD burning. However they assume you have an input capture device & DVD recorder. If you purchase a DVD recorder, software like that may come bundled with it to handle the process from A to Z. Some PC firewire cards also come bundled with video input & editing software.

Depends on how you would feed the VHS tapes into the PC. If your camera can link to a PC via a USB port, then all you need is the software & hardware to burn a DVD. Otherwise you would need some type of capture device.

As far as what the best hardware & software options are, there are many threads at vcdhelp.com that discuss the pros & cons of each video capture device, the merits of DVD recorders, and the best (or worst) experiences people have had with different pieces of software for video capture & editing. The debates & prices are endless... My experience over the past 2 years has been whatever devices or methods one uses (other than the standalone DVD recorder) will cause headaches and take a lot of time devoted to experimentation. I scrapped 30% of my first 25 DVDs trying to get acceptible results.
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post #8 of 45 Old 10-13-2002, 02:57 PM
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Why would you want to go through all the trouble of putting VHS on DVD? Most VHS release are Pan and Scan. Just buy them on DVD. Not only you'll get better video quality, but it will be in OAR as well. Teach you kids about OAR. Teach them while they are young. They WILL understand.

Typed with DVORAK!!

My DVD Collection
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post #9 of 45 Old 10-13-2002, 03:12 PM
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"""" Teach you kids about OAR"""

hehe teaching them young.. the hearts and minds approach :D

actually I have videos that can not found on dvd and are now hard to find period, which I would very much like to archive on dvd. so this idea has merit.

Pardon my spelling, the checker hangs my system.
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post #10 of 45 Old 10-13-2002, 04:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by bwam
I've been able to convert many VHS tapes to DVD by playing them thru a VCR into a capture device. With older Hollywood films from the 40's, 50's, 60's & 70's that the studios haven't made to DVD yet. I haven't had any problems with macrovision going from VCR into my capture device (ADS USB InstantDVD).

What capture device?? All the ATI cards recognize macrovision and so do all other cards that I know of.

Mike

Mike
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post #11 of 45 Old 10-13-2002, 05:02 PM - Thread Starter
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what's OAR?
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post #12 of 45 Old 10-14-2002, 08:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by mjcumming
What capture device?? All the ATI cards recognize macrovision and so do all other cards that I know of.

Mike
I'm using the ADS USB InstantDVD box. I connect a VCR to it and connect the ADS box to my PC via USB. The mpeg conversion gets done inside the box in hardware and I get the resulting mpeg2 on my PC. I use that as input to Ulead DVD Workshop to create a DVD project (IFO + VOBs) to burn to DVD.

There are many films on VHS that have not made it to DVD because they weren't that popular when originally released (though they were good). Since I have phased out my VCR from my living room, I keep all my material on DVD now.
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post #13 of 45 Old 10-14-2002, 08:33 AM
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Quote:
what's OAR?
guessing but origianal aspect ratio to eliminate the need to pan & scan in the VHS tape?
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post #14 of 45 Old 10-14-2002, 09:25 AM
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The best consumer way to do this is to get an EMR-30k and a macrovision buster if macrovision is a problem for you. Of course if macrovision is an issue then you might be doing something illegal. I don't know if transferring a tape you own to a DVD is considered fair use. It might.

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post #15 of 45 Old 10-14-2002, 10:54 AM
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Hold the press. What I meant by consumer way; is by PC not by generic home components.

I would like to know what software to utilize?

I just purchased the pioneer PC Deck

Thanks
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post #16 of 45 Old 10-14-2002, 11:29 AM
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OK. As far as hardware goes I reacommend the new Canopus ADVC-100 which is an analog to firewire capture device. It goes for about $250 roughly. That will give u the best possible capture conditions. I don't know whether or not you will need a macrovision buster with that or not.

Once its in Mpeg2 format you can in theory burn it straight to dvd with an authoring package. Pinnacle studio 8 comes with dvd burning capability and its only $99, but I haven't used that function of it yet. I have used it for video editing and I'm extremely pleased with it (except for the occasional crashing). Sonic also has some dvd packages out like MyDVD. I don't like most packages because they don't offer 5.1, but for what your doing its just fine.

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post #17 of 45 Old 10-15-2002, 05:59 AM
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For what it's worth, Dazzle makes an ADS USB InstantDVD work-alike called the DVD Creation Station.

I have not tried it, but the Dazzle DVD Creation station has S-video, composite, and analog inputs like the ADS unit, and connects to the PC via USB, too.

Again, like the ADS, the Dazzle has an on-board MPEG2 encoder chip and supposedly passes the MPEG2 via USB to your PC. You could then author a DVD from the MPEG2 files.

Perhaps the Dazzle and ADS use the same MPEG2 encoder chip?

I know that Dazzle's track record with driver and application stability is quite poor, reading reports here and on other web forums, including reports at vcdhelp.com. But Dazzle has updated their hardware, drivers and video editing apps recently, with Movie Star 5 supposedly showing some improvement in stability and editing capability. Movie Star 5 is Dazzle's capture and editing suite, analogous to Pinnacle's Studio 8.

Which is better? I don't know.
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post #18 of 45 Old 10-15-2002, 06:11 AM
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Speaking of Pinnacle and USB MPEG2 encoding, Pinnacle makes their own ADS INstantDVD/ Dazzle Creation Station work-alike, too.

Pinnacle's USB MPEG2 encoding solution is the "Bungee". Don't know how they came up with the name, but it's going for only $99 at CompUSA (at least in SE Michigan).

There have been positive reports on this forum about the Bungee in the past year or so.

Like the ADS Instant DVD and Dazzle DVD Creation Station, the Bungee connects via USB, has composite, S-video, and analog audio inputs. Unlike the others, the Bungee includes a TV tuner!

For $99, I find it hard to believe the Bungee has an MPEG2 encoder chip- it may rely on your CPU for compression, although a USB interface means bandwidth is limited, so the MPEG2 compression might be done in the external box, too.

Here is the Bungee product site:

http://www.pinnaclesys.com/ProductPa...22&Langue_ID=7

The Dazzle DVD Creation Station specs:

http://www.dazzle.com/products/dcs200.html

So, there are at least three "one-step" (no re-encoding to MPEG2 necessary) VHS-> DVD USB solutions for the PC out there.
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post #19 of 45 Old 10-19-2002, 08:27 AM
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Try also the SNAZZI III USB 2.0 which uses USB 2 to the comp so the bandwidth is much higher and encodes up to 9 MB/s are possible. Also, it has hardware audio/video lock so there is no out-of-sync problem with the encode. Wish ADS had gone this route. I spent $450 CAD on their unit which I have not used in 4 months since I got my ATI All In Wonder 7500. I've been able to get around the Macrovision problem by using the registry tool which disables it on video in. Works like a charm on my Win 98SE system...

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post #20 of 45 Old 10-21-2002, 05:07 PM - Thread Starter
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what exactly did you edit in the registry? can you post it or point to a link that describes it.
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post #21 of 45 Old 10-21-2002, 05:16 PM
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Check out this article on Whiningdog.net on using an iMac and a Canopus ADVC-100 to archive VHS to DVD-R (Link here)
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post #22 of 45 Old 10-21-2002, 07:36 PM
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Gee, why is everyone mentioning these relatively expensive solutions when an IOMagic capture card ($40), VirtualDub (free), Ulead DVD Movie Factory ($45) and a Pioneer A04 dvd drive ($250) will do a more than adequate job with VHS? Did I miss something?

Al
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post #23 of 45 Old 10-22-2002, 06:53 AM
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I would also highly recommend the Canopus ADVC-100. It will cost you about 250 US dollars, but it is definitely well worth it! This device has the top user rating on vcdhelp.com - perfect 10 almost all the time. I've used other capture cards before, but they resulted in a few dropped frames, and the quality wasn't that good. With the Canopus, I never dropped a frame.. not one single frame! I was astonished to say the least. While it hurt my wallet to dish out 250 bucks for it, it made me feel so much better that I've paid for what I got.. a great product! The DVD drive I used to record came with my computer as well as the software (Pinnacle), which I've used to capture. I'm using TMPGENC to encode into MPEG2, and finally something simple (Ulead DVD Movie Factory) to edit/author/burn. The only thing that I and other folks were suprised about for the Canopus ADVC-100 was that it didn't include any software.
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post #24 of 45 Old 10-22-2002, 07:35 AM
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I just copied a video from vhs to DVD ("The Negotiator" which I'm assuming has macrovision).

I used an ATI AIW Radeon with their latest MMC 7.7 and did a DVD compatible mpeg2 capture (720x480, VBR 7.5mbs, 48khz audio, max gop). No problems with macrovision. The quality is better than a vhs copy but you can tell it's a copy. You will also need at least a P4 1.5 to capture realtime and get decent file sizes (about 2gig per hour). You could probably pick up a aiw radeon on ebay for <$100 these days, plus it has a TV tuner should you want to want to use that down the road.

I burned the mpeg2 file to DVD using Dazzle's DVD complete and my Pioneer dvr-103. I use DVD complete because it can burn the captured files without doing and audio or video transcoding, plus it's menu generation is really good.

If I were buying a TV/analog capture card today I would probably try the pvr250... I've heard the capture quality is a little better than my AIW. I'm sure the quality would be even better with a canopus or dazzle product but I think macrovision would be an issue. I would highly recommend DVD complete, much more functionality than dvdit and still easy to use.

Al
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post #25 of 45 Old 10-22-2002, 08:09 AM
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Hi BigAl: I've been hearing nothing but good reviews for Dazzle's DVD Complete software. I'm just wondering about one thing.. how is the quality of encoding compared to TMPGenc (or overall if you've never used TMPGenc before)? I've read somewhere that it used the MainConcept encoder, but the dvdcre8.com website said it used Ligos encoder. (I was at CompUSA the other week and almost got it! I hear that there is a 30 usd rebate on it.) Very tempting..
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post #26 of 45 Old 10-22-2002, 08:43 AM
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FYI. Dazzle has a new product called Digital Video Creator 150 for $199 MSRP. The main difference compared to other USB products is that it uses USB 2.0. According to Dazzle:

"The DVC 150 has a Hi-Speed USB 2.0 interface to the computer which means you will get almost 25% better video quality than if you were using USB 1.1.".

I have read that USB 1.1 can be a limitation at the high bit rates. This looks like it might be a decent "all-in-one" solution.

Here is the press release.

Jay
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post #27 of 45 Old 10-22-2002, 08:51 AM
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Great info so far on vhs capture!

I have run into a couple problems though I hope someone can answer:

1. When I capture using my Geforce4 Ti4400, I get a nice picture using 720x480 but I get this annoying flicker at the bottom of the video, just 1 or 2 lines. Anyone know how to get rid of this?

2. I use Virtualdub for editing and would like to use it for capturing too , but it keeps creating a bad .avi file. When I play it back all I see is a green image? I can see the info playing, and when its doing the capture I can see the frames, space usage ...etc data on the RHS updating, it just appears to be saving wrong or something.

3. My files are huge! Since I can't get virtualdub to work I'm using WinProducer. I can pump out 2gb in 10min. Is there a way to compress the image while its saving? I use the DVD standard which I believe is 720x480, I figure make the quality good or don't even bother.

4. What's the best compression codec for giving the cleanest image with reasonable space. I use TMPEng which seems to do the best job so far. Although I start with .avi files that are ridiculously big.


Thanks for any responses in advance.

rhuala
System Specs:
AMD 1700+, 512MB RAM
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post #28 of 45 Old 10-22-2002, 10:08 AM
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What software are you using to capture? I was having a similar problem using Asus digital VCR. I switched to Power VCR II and I'm getting much better results with picture quality, stability, and file size. Be sure you're using the latest WDM caputre drivers and Video drivers. I record most 1 hour programs in MPEG II at a bitrate of 3000-3500 with mp3 audio at 128k. After editing out the commercials, this allows about 40 minutes (a 1 hour show) to fit on a CDR.

For maximum quaility from a minimum amount of space, try capturing to AVI with the huffy codec and encode to DIVX with a product like Vidomi. Excellent results but the process is long and slow. PowerVCR II still gets my vote.

David.. "It must be weird to be normal"
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post #29 of 45 Old 10-22-2002, 11:47 AM
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Could someone please reply as to how to fix flickering at the bottom of a captured movie. I have tried just about every setting and I can't seem to get rid of it. The Geforce4 Ti4400, isn't a cheap card either, it was $350, just 6 months ago, and is around $220 now. Please don't tell me I need a new vid card :(
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post #30 of 45 Old 10-22-2002, 01:37 PM
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re: "Gee, why is everyone mentioning these relatively expensive solutions when an IOMagic capture card ($40), VirtualDub (free), Ulead DVD Movie Factory ($45) and a Pioneer A04 dvd drive ($250) will do a more than adequate job with VHS? Did I miss something? "

Al-

I used to think the same thing. But, as this thread and many others all over the net attest, capturing frame-drop-free video at 480x480 or higher resolution with perfect audio sync is not a "given" on the PC platform.

Latency issues, motherboard chipset driver issues, and PCI timing and IRQ conflicts all conspire against the PC platform to prevent "perfect" A/V capture.

Some people are tolerant of minor A/V sync drift or an occasional frame drop. But many PC users want to archive legacy formats (analog video tapes, LD's) to current SVCD (480x480) or DVD (720x480) formats and media. And they want to feel that they have captured the source faithfully, without compromise, so that when the old tape or LD media becomes damaged beyond repair or unplayable, the capture has preserved 100% of the information, resolution and integrity of the legacy media.

Further evidence of the poor suitability of the PC architecture to the A/V capture task: Why is there a proliferation of USB 1.1, USB 2.0, and Firewire A/V capture devices with hardware DV or MPEG2 encoder chips, many mentioned in this thread? If the 100's of low cost PCI TV tuner/ S-video cards could do reliable 480x480 or higher recordings, with perfect audio sync and no frame drops, there would be no need for all the USB and Firewire capture devices out there.

Also, with a USB or Firewire capture device, the hardware DV/MPEG encoder chips mean that audio sync is guranteed, with far less CPU capacity required in the PC. And external A/D conversion means cleaner video capture with less noise.

A 1.5Ghz P4 or XP chip might allow 480x480 capture with no frame drops, but then the audio sync is still an issue, since a card like the IO Magic still requires the audio capture from a separate sound card.

Thankfully, USB capture devices are getting better and lower cost, like the new Dazzle 150 or the $99 Pinnacle Bungee DVD.

The Bungee DVD is an incredible value, as it is currently the lowest cost hardware MPEG2 encoder solution out there, beating all PCI hardware MPEG2 cards, too! An dthe Bungee throws in a OTA/cable tuner in addition to the composite and svideo inputs!
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