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Having trouble digitizing VHS tapes

3583 Views 8 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  spinner456
I'm not sure if this is the proper place to start this thread, but here it goes.I love TV....always have and I love saving stuff from TV.The result of this is I now have hundreds of VHS tapes that I want to digitize and put on a hard drive, so I can finally put VHS AND VCRs behind me for good.Until recently I was working on an 8+ year old computer, so I didn't exactly have the best computer for getting the job done.On top of that I've actually got an HD DVR, but it's been full for a while, and again, no way to get my recordings to my PC, but I came into a little money recently, so I finally upgraded my system.

To make sure I was up to the task I just got a new computer(Intel core i7 3770 3.4GHz quad core ivy bridge, 1GB AMD HD Radeon 7570 video card, 8 gigs of ram soon to be 16) and a new video capture card, the Avermedia USB HD DVR with built in hardware H.264/MP4 encoder.It works great for dubbing stuff off of my DirecTV DVR.It's like no stress on my system.I can even do other stuff while it's capturing.Now all I have to do is digitize all of my old VHS tapes.The problem is that everytime i've tried so far at some point in the tape it starts to drop frames and video and audio get knocked out of sync.

Now, these tapes are relatively old(maybe about 10 years, or so), but they're in decent shape.I'm also using a regular 4 head Hi-Fi HQ Admiral VCR.This is really frustrating for me.Is there a way to fix this?Is there a way to fix it in editing?I thought maybe I can just adjust the audio and video time lines to sync them back up.Would that work?The card and software outputs the file in TS format and I don't know any good video editing software that works with that format.If anybody can help, i'm all ears.
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It is because of the encoding they use on video tapes that are produced by companies. There really is no way around the copyright scheme. Only those tapes that you produced or filmed, that would not have the copyright protection scheme would be able to be copied.

It is because of the encoding they use on video tapes that are produced by companies.

there is no encoding on a VHS tape.
There really is no way around the copyright scheme.

He's attempting to tell you it's due to macrovision encoding, but it's not. Macrovision just puts extra pulses in the vertical interval, it won't cause dropped frames like you're experienceing.

Only those tapes that you produced or filmed, that would not have the copyright protection scheme would be able to be copied.

You mentioned that you recorded thes from a broadcast...therefore they won't/can't have any macrovision encoding in them.

A time base corrector will help you.

Greg lives in a different 'reality'.
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AVS does not have a video encoding forum, I suppose the nearest is HTPC as it's computer/video card related.

Dropped frames and out of sync usually is due to some bottleneck or hardware not catching up quick enough. Why it only happens with VHS but not DVR isn't immediately clear, but I presume DVR is using component video in HD and VHS composite? More scaling to do? And playing VHS itself is OK with no sync problems?

You haven't told us what resolution, frame rate, bit-rate etc. but there's no clear reason to use HD resolution (AVCHD/Blu-ray) for VHS, esp. when you run into some problems. Try plain old mpeg2 (if available) and burn to a DVD and it's much simpler. I can do that on my 10-year old 1.4GHz PC with ATI card, and CPU is only running 60%. Or if you insist, use SD resolution for AVCHD. Have you actually checked what your CPU is doing?
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Yes, i'm using composite for VHS.Just playing VHS is fine when it's hooked up to the TV.It's when using my capture card, that there's a problem.As for resolution, framerate, and bitrate.......720x480, ?, and 5000 kbps.The software that came with the card, apparently the only software that will work with it, doesn't really give you options as far as settings.It comes with these default settings and that's it.As for burning to a DVD, I want my videos on a hard drive, not DVD, or are you telling me to try a DVD recorder?Is there any difference in the way a DVD recorder works VS a capture card?

My CPU isn't doing much of anything.As I mentioned, the card has built in hardware encoding, so it's doing most of the work.
Sam, that's really disappointing to hear.It was really hard to scrape together enough money for a new computer.Now you're telling me I need to buy yet another expensive piece of equipment, with what i'm assuming is no guarantee that it will solve the problem.*Sigh*Can you recommend a good one, or I guess a VCR with one built in?Also, I still need some good video editing software that can work with TS files, if you can recommend something for that too.
You might want to check out the thread for Hauppauge HD PVR recording device, in which you should be able a lot more help than here on the video processor board:

For editing TS files you might wanna try SmartCutter or VideoReDo. Again, check the HDPVR thread, as the users there have to deal with .TS files as well.

For your dropout problem: I had the same when I started digitizing tapes in 2003 or 2004. Back then I used a PMS Sweetspot card for recording. There are s-video decks which have integrated TBCs and we can be had really cheap. I used a Sony SVO-1500P deck for playback without TBC, but ran the signal through a standalone DVD/HDD recorder before going into the PC card. The HDD/DVD recorder didn't record anything, just passing the signal and converting the signal from composite to component.
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If you want to read up on why your system is dropping frames (it can be a real Pandora's box!) I'm directing you to another website: www.videohelp.com (I don't necessarily want to direct you to another website but...this is a good place to learn).

Go to the forums, you will find many threads about this and what you can/can't do to help the problem.

There are lots of experts on that site experienced with VHS transfer and they can give you the best advice.

I've done it myself. I don't mean to discourage you but oftentimes it is not easy or cheap. (Your best/easiest bet may be a DVD recorder.)
Thanx, thextguy.You turned out to be right.I ran the A/V cables out of the VCR into the DVD recorder and out of the DVD recorder into the capture card.I don't know why, but that seems to have stablized the signal.
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