Originally Posted by mtallent
I don't know about any other D-VHS machines, BUT my HD-5U does a very good job of DIGITIZING S-VHS and regular VHS analog tapes and outputting through the firewire output to my XP computer using CapDVHS software.
The analog video is digitized to 720X480 at 9.5 mbps and the audio is mpeg2 at 48KHz at 384 kbps and it looks just fine for SD TV that is.
Well, I'm an idiot! Turns out you are absolutely correct! I didn't know that (although I really did try and confirm this for myself last night before posting... and had a million complications that prevented me from finding out for sure one way or the other).
I've just now hooked up my downstairs DT100U to my Sony 34XBR960 HDTV (which has three 4-pin "iLink" firewire connectors, one on the front of the HDTV and two on the rear) and played a S-VHS tape. Sure enough... output via firewire displayed on the Sony, exactly as you describe! That XBR960... most wonderful HDTV ever (inputs: one HDMI, two component video, three firewire with onscreen firewire GUI, three S-video/composite, memory stick for JPG, ATSC tuner, optical audio out to receiver, separate user-menu memory settings for each input, unbelievable service-menu tweaking capability, etc.). GORGEOUS PICTURE... HDTV ON CRT!
Anyway, in retrospect now that I think about it I'm not completely surprised that S-VHS is emitted over firewire as well as all the other outputs. After all, the VCR already digitizes in order to present 480i output over both component video as well as HDMI, so why not just prepare it in TS/MPEG-2 form and deliver the same data to firewire output. Furthermore, the MPEG encoder is already present in the electronics in support of the LS3 (digital) mode of recording analog 480i source. Presumably this is exactly what is streamed out over firewire... the LS3 MPEG compressed data that would otherwise be recorded by the VCR if you wanted to.
So it all does make sense. I never knew this for sure before, but thanks to your tip I do now. Again, I should be absolutely sure about what I say in this forum!
But last night I was actually trying to prove or disprove this for myself last night (before I posted) but hadn't thought to just use my downstairs DT100U and nearby XBR960 to perform the experiment very simply.
Instead I was going to test this out using my real WinXP 32-bit and and CapDVHS environment. But when I got started I discovered that I had unwittingly neglected to install the MEIDVHS drivers the last time I reinstalled WinXP (about four months ago) and got sidetracked doing that, just to get ready to begin the real experiments.
Then I got into trouble because I was monitoring the video output using HDMI plugged into my Eizo HD2441W monitor and active, which forces the simultaneous S-video output on the VCR to shut down (which I'd forgotten about) so that I couldn't see any video from the S-video input on my TV card with either of my two TV apps although I had audio (and HDMI input on my monitor's PIP window), and got sidetracked with that issue.
And then I was further unable to see anything streamed from the DT100U to CapDVHS via firewire with the DVHS tape I was using for the test (although the HDMI output to the Eizo monitor PIP window was visible), and got preoccupied trying to chase that one down. Never did resolve that one (at least last night), but in my sleep it dawned on me that the DVHS recording was from FXHD and might well have been 5C-protected.
Sure enough I've now just tried this same DVHS-to-CapDVHS experiment but using a known 5C-freely (OTA local network), and SURE ENOUGH IT WORKS PERFECTLY! 1920x1080i at full HD bitrate.
I've also run your experiment as well, this time using an S-VHS tape, and SURE ENOUGH IT WORKS PERFECTLY, yielding the exact same 720x480 resolution and 9.5Mbps bitrate that your comment describes.
I kicked myself for falling into the same dumb trap last night and spending all of that unproductive time, when I'd foolishly done the very same thing in years past when I casually grabbed a "Sopranos" DVHS recording (from 5C-protected HBO-HD) which also would not play out of the DT100U to CapDVHS on my PC. Spent many days trying to figure why I had no data stream before it finally dawned on me that I was using a 5C-protected tape!
Anyway, once I went to 5C-freely DVHS and unprotected analog S-VHS tapes, DT100U -> CapDVHS recordings work perfectly (of course they do!).
Now that I'm "stable" again, I'm going to pull out my Panny PV-HD1000 from its current home in a closet and experiment using it as the playback VCR but playing 5C-protected DVHS material. This 1st-generation 1st-ever DVHS VCR is [theoretically] NOT 5C-compliant as I recall, and therefore does NOT prevent streaming what would otherwise be 5C-protected content via firewire which the 5C-compliant DT100U would not deliver. So presumably I could actually use it to play back a 5C-protected tapes to CapDVHS for recording on PC. I'll report back on my results.
So I would suggest for the best capture of S-VHS use XP 32 bit and firewire capture using CapDVHS or DVHSTool. I have never used TSReader, what source filter do you use for D-VHS capture?
Well TSReader launches VLC (VideoLan player) to play and record the streaming data arriving via firewire. But again, it's limited to 1-minute of play/record with TSReader Lite. You need to buy the full TSReader product for $99 if you actually want to use it (plus VLC, fed by TSReader) to do this. Otherwise, just use CapDVHS for free.
If you hold the CTRL key down when you launch the TSReader program so that it presents its list of input methods, you choose the "firewire - DVHS.dll" input, described as "firewire D-VHS interface". If the VCR is already playing (and streaming data over firewire to the PC) you should see a frame of the video presented over on the right side of the TSReader window.
Then if you select the Playback option on the Menu bar, and then select VLC-> from the dropdown menu, and then select PLAY on the flyout menu, VLC will launch (at a window size matching the native resolution of the stream... which you can then re-size if you want). But again, VLC will only play for 1-minute with free TSReader Lite.
Can't recall how you do the Record using TSReader/VLC... but it's either from a Record item on the TSReader Menu bar, or maybe it's from a Record function within VLC itself. Anyway I don't use this approach... mostly because I have the free TSReader Lite and it's limited to 1-minute in any case. I simply use free CapDVHS with fine results.
I have that advantage of being able to monitor what the DVHS player is putting out over firewire via the HDMI output to my Eizo monitor (displayable either as full-screen/native resolution or as a small hardware PIP window in any of the four corners of the screen). This visual hardware/HDMI presentation lets me know when to push the REC button on CapDVHS (as well as the STOP button if I want to manually control things). Normally I know that I want to copy n-minutes so I set up the recording limit to be a bit longer in CapDVHS and just let it stop automatically by itself at that point.
I then use VideoReDo TVSuite to do my editing of the raw recorded TS stream out of CapDVHS. The trimmed and edited results are saved as MPEG-2 for the next step. Incidentally VideoRedo runs just fine on Win7 64-bit as well, so it's really only the CapDVHS "capture from DVHS" step which requires that I be in WinXP 32-bit.
I then use VirtualDub (which again also runs just fine on Win7 64-bit) to convert the edited MPEG-2 output from VideoReDo into my output AVI. VirtualDub does not accept TS input, but does accept "TS inside of MPEG-2 wrapper" through an input filter, which is exactly why I save my VideoReDo output as "TS inside of MPEG-2 wrapper" form.
Depending on the source, I create my final AVI using either (a) xVid with a target quality quantizer of 1.9, or (b) H.264, using the x264vfw codec and a quality quantizer value of 21.
Both of these codecs install as "video compression filters" for VirtualDub, and operate perfectly under Win7 64-bit.
Sure, the H.264 compression takes a while but the results for HD are truly stunning. I probably could get by with a larger quantizer value (which would produce smaller files) but I'm more concerned about visual quality of the result and I've just decided 21 gives me the results I want.
Same story with xVid (which I've used in the past for some HD content, but mostly for SD content recorded via my TV tuner card)... with final file size vs. image quality causing me to settle on 1.9 as my quality value.
For 4:3 content I also use a "resize" filter in VirtualDub, to trim off the left and right black bars if it came from a 16:9 source (e.g. 2001 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show originally recorded on DVHS at 1920x1080i but containing 1440x1080 image inside). Actually, in the case of this particular recording I decided to further "shrink" the result from 1440x1080 to 1068x800 because it wasn't shot with an HD camera and at the larger resolution the SD (but great SD) nature was more apparent.
For true 16:9 HD content I create my final AVI at original native resolution (i.e. with no resizing), which gives me ultimate flexibility at playback time if I want to shrink the media player window. My 1920x1200 24" Eizo monitor lets me watch 1920x1080 content in native size if I want, but on a smaller monitor this would not be possible.
For interlaced content I also use the "smart de-interlace" filter in VirtualDub. VideoReDo automatically deinterlaces its presentation while you're editing, but VirtualDub's de-interlace filter produces the desired result in the final compressed AVI.
For SD content I also use the "sharpen" filter in VirtualDub, with a value of 10 (modest sharpening, but definitely an improvement for SD).
I have a variety of media players that I can select for playback of these captures (as well as lots of other video formats), but the one I really prefer is a 2004-vintage version of Sonic CinePlayer v1.55 with Surround Sound. They don't sell it any longer (as Sonic was purchased by Roxio, and Roxio CinePlayer v5.3 is now bundled inside of their Creator 2010 product). This player is crummy, clumsy, slow, bloated, and has a window WHICH CANNOT BE RESIZED!!! So, no matter what size your video resolution is it either gets enlarged or shrunk TO FIT THE WINDOW and inevitably looks like garbage. Or you can go to full-screen, where virtually everything is enlarged and looks even worse! Obviously it was not really designed for video clips, but rather for playing DVD.
I also have the free AC3Filter product installed, which comes in to decode and assist on any Dolby Digital or Dolby Stereo audio in AC3. Does an excellent job, and includes a wonderful mixer, audio controls, and visual GUI. Sounds great (helped along by my terrific Altec-Lansing 641 speakers... which they also don't make any longer).
That's my story.