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Discussion Starter #1
I have a couple VHS tapes I'd like to convert to the hard drive and burn to a disc. Would it do me any good to capture them at anything above mpeg1 at 352 (320?)x240? Would there be any benefits to capturing in mpeg2 and/or higher resolutions?


I'm using an All In Wonder Radeon card to do the capturing.
 

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More horizontal resolution won't help much, but you'll want 480 lines vertically or you'll be losing half the picture. That is, unless you're talking per field rather than per frame -- 352x240 at 60fps is fine since you're capturing both the odd and even fields, while 352x240 at 30fps means you're essentially dropping every other field. Capture software is often ambiguous on the whole field vs. frame thing. (In case anyone reading this isn't aware of the distinction: a field is essentially one vertical pass across the image, which on an interlaced display skips every other line, while a frame is the entire image, two fields on an interlaced display.)


VCDs are half the vertical resolution of VHS, for example. On a sufficiently small screen you won't be able to tell much difference, but on a big screen VCDs look horribly blocky.


MPEG2 is more time-consuming to encode but will give you better picture quality (fewer compression artifacts) for the same number of bits if properly configured. Properly configuring it, assuming you're using the free TMPGEnc encoder, isn't exactly trivial.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for your comments, Steve.


Most of the VHS tapes are now close to 10 years old, and before they deteriorate any further, I wanted to archive them onto a digital format.


Looks like I'll spend some time playing around with the capture settings on my All In Wonder and see what looks best.


Thanks again, and if anyone else has comments to add, please don't hesitate to do so.
 
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