Capture VHS to PC - Too many choices! - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 11-28-2003, 08:11 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm still a bit new to the whole DVD burning process but thanks to Jim's tips, I've had success burning shows from DVArchive to DVD.

My boss asked me if I can do some editing of some material that is on VHS. I realize there will be some loss of quality no matter how I do it but I'm coming up with too many ideas on how to initially capture the VHS content.

One way is to simply capture directly from VHS to the PC. I'm not 100% sure I can do this with the tools I have plus I'm not sure how good my video card is so I'm questioning the quality of the capture. I'll probably test this further today to see if it's even doable.

Another way is for me to use one of my Replays by doing a manual record from VHS. I know this way will work but I'm wondering if I should use High Quality or Medium since I know that Medium will not require any further processing by Womble. (Time is not a factor so I'm more interested in the quality of the final, edited video.)

The last way I came up with was to use my Sony Digital-8 camcorder. I thought about copying the VHS down to D8 then using firewire to capture it to the PC. If I do this, should I be capturing it in DV or DVD format? Is this even worth doing considering the above choices?

I realize that I'll probably get a multitude of opinions and I'll probably experiment a bit more to get a better feel for what the finished product looks like.

In case it matters, I have copies of Womble and Ulead DVD software (whatever it's called) and obviously DVArchive.

I hope to get this finished sometime tonight or at the latest by Sunday night. Thanks for any and all suggestions!
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post #2 of 9 Old 11-28-2003, 08:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Rudy

The last way I came up with was to use my Sony Digital-8 camcorder. I thought about copying the VHS down to D8 then using firewire to capture it to the PC. If I do this, should I be capturing it in DV or DVD format? Is this even worth doing considering the above choices?
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This is probably your best bet. Some Digital camcorders allow for direct extraction of the video signal (into the audio/video jacks of the camcorder) via the digital firewire output to the pc, without having to make a digital intermediate tape. But this depends on your particular camcorder, check the manual. This would be preferred to going the Replay route since you'd be avoiding the dreaded timebase error problems. Even if you have to do an intermediate tape, it's still the way to go.

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post #3 of 9 Old 11-28-2003, 08:25 AM - Thread Starter
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I tried that method a few days ago. I didn't check the manual but when I initially hooked up the VCR to the camera, I was able to see the video on the camera's LCD.

If I unhooked the VCR and hooked the firewire from the camera to the PC, I was able to see and control the camera using Ulead.

The problem was that as soon as I hooked up the VCR and the firewire together, the camera LCD went blue and I was unable to see anything on the Ulead capture window.

I'll do some more messing to see if this will work but I'm thinking that unfortunately my camera is one of the ones that doesn't do it.

The intermediate tape concept is sort of what I alluded to in the first post. If I do that, when I capture using Ulead, do I choose DVD output format or DV output format? When I initially played with this, the DV output format was choppy -- not sure if I had everything set right.
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post #4 of 9 Old 11-28-2003, 08:40 AM
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I'm not familiar with Ulead' product (I use Vegas Video) but what is your ultimate output? back on VHS? The choppiness you experience with DV may just be a manifestation of not enough horsepower under your pc's hood. DV uses a lot more bits to store the video than mpeg compressed files do. Did you actually print to tape and view that?

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post #5 of 9 Old 11-28-2003, 08:43 AM
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Yes, the best quality would be to go directly through the camcorder. My Sony TRV740 allows you to use pass through without using the tape.

However, since your source is only VHS I would suggest utilizing your Replay's MPEG encoder on medium. This way you won't have to encode on you computer which can take hours and hours for a 1 hour episode.
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post #6 of 9 Old 11-28-2003, 08:53 AM - Thread Starter
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Bayside, the ultimate output is back to VHS but I assumed that burning it to DVD first then copying that to VHS was my best bet.

jdfrey, as I mentioned, time is not a factor if it helps the final quality. If I used the Replay on high quality, would the final product, after hours of encoding, look better than the medium, no encoding product?

My camcorder is a Sony DCR-TRV510. It was a first generation Digital-8 model. Does the TRV740 display the video on the LCD while both the VCR and the firewire interfaces are connected?
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post #7 of 9 Old 11-28-2003, 09:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Rudy
Bayside, the ultimate output is back to VHS but I assumed that burning it to DVD first then copying that to VHS was my best bet.
DVD is compressed, but, as the original is VHS (read that as low-low quality) and the ultimate output is VHS, having a DVD master, while not affecting the quality in any way, will give you an easy way to make as many VHS dupes as you may need. So yes, encode and print to a DVD, then do a DVD to VHS analog print. That should address most of your issues.

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post #8 of 9 Old 11-28-2003, 09:22 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally posted by BaysideBas
DVD is compressed, but, as the original is VHS (read that as low-low quality) and the ultimate output is VHS, having a DVD master, while not affecting the quality in any way, will give you an easy way to make as many VHS dupes as you may need. So yes, encode and print to a DVD, then do a DVD to VHS analog print. That should address most of your issues.
Thanks for confirming that Bayside. I kinda figured having a DVD master would be smartest.

Now I just need to figure out the hard part...
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post #9 of 9 Old 11-28-2003, 05:37 PM
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One BIG problem I've noticed with trying to capture VHS with a ReplayTV (both Showstopper and 4160) is whenever the tape shows one of those horizontal silver lines (video dropout), the ReplayTV goes into the "no video signal detected" blue screen and won't record until the silver lines go away.

Bob Simandl ... somewhere near St. Louis
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