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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a Panasonic AG-W1 VCR, which does a fantastic job of converting (playing) PAL VHS tapes on an NTSC (CRT) TV.


When I output the same tapes to my Sony KDL-40XBR4 TV via composite video connection, the result from an NTSC tape is an acceptable picture considering the source, however the results from a PAL tape are barely tolerable to say the least.


The picture looks like it is in real need of 1) deinterlacing and 2) upscaling.


I can convert them to DVD as follows:

1) using the AG-W1 to do the PAL to NTSC conversion

2) then feeding the video signal through my DV camera to convert from analogue to digital,

3) then to my PC via the 1394 card,

4) to DVD burner (after editing as necessary) using Adobe Premier Pro.


Using this method does result in acceptable results, but it is still far from HD. It also takes a long time. An hour or so to play and record the tape, editing time if done, then transcoding and burning. It can take a whole evening to make one DVD.


Maybe this is the only solution, at least I will have them on DVD in Region 0 and NTSC format. The only downside is that I have a large collection of PAL VHS tapes. None of it is available in NTSC VHS or even PAL DVD format and is unlikely to ever be so.


Does anyone have a possible solution which will improve the result when I play the PAL tapes directly from the AG-W1 (set to NTSC output) to my Sony KDL-40XBR4.


If I am in the wrong forum, I apologize, please point me to the right one.


Thanks in advance for any help anyone can provide.
 

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From my experience with video conversion you need to get a device that allows you to do a 1:1 transfer of the PAL VHS to your PC.


From there convert that file to a 720p video with borders. | Image |

This will retain the native pal video's resolution also allowing you to view it on your hdtv without issues.



Something like this should do it:
http://www.amazon.com/ION-Audio-Vide.../dp/B0017PJ5FI
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi Xabora,


I had considered the ION Audio VCR 2 PC USB VHS Video to Computer Converter, however I need to convert to Digital video to feed my computer via the 1394 card. USB only handles analog. My software will not recognize analog signals which means I cannot capture it.


Thanks for the suggestion though.
 

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Quote:
I had considered the ION Audio VCR 2 PC USB VHS Video to Computer Converter, however I need to convert to Digital video to feed my computer via the 1394 card. USB only handles analog. My software will not recognize analog signals which means I cannot capture it.

USB is just as digital as FireWire. A device like that would produce some kind of digital video file (most likely an uncompressed AVI or compressed MPEG2).


Perhaps you mean you need video in the DV file format and not MPEG2? Some editors only work with DV. Adobe Premier should handle both, though.


Keep in mind that NOTHING will make VHS tapes look "HD". It's basically a game of making it look less awful.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hi Matthias99,


My Adobe Premier Pro will only recognise a DV signal via the FireWire (1394) port.


I have converted lots of NTSC tapes to DVD using the process described in my first post. The AG-W1 resolution is far superior to most VCRs. While I agree they do not come out as HD, but they are a lot better than the VHS tapes themselves. However I cannot process PAL tapes the same way as my NTSC Sony HC96 will not digitise PAL.


If I could get hold of a PAL HC96 even one with a dud transport or CCD, I would be in good shape. Anyone know of one or other Mini DV camcorder with DV in and out and AV in?


Thanks for your help.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by mb300e /forum/post/14305293


Hi Matthias99,


My Adobe Premier Pro will only recognise a DV signal via the FireWire (1394) port.

Are you capturing it live from the camera through Premiere? I don't have much experience with this, since I don't have a camcorder. I looked briefly on Adobe's website, and it does look like they only really support DV capture over Firewire. That's what probably 99% of the DV cameras out there output, so I guess it makes sense.


My suggestion was that you could use the software that comes with the converter device to record the video to a file on your hard disk. Then you could edit it with whatever program you want (including Premiere) and burn it back to DVD.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matthias99 /forum/post/14312514


Are you capturing it live from the camera through Premiere? I don't have much experience with this, since I don't have a camcorder. I looked briefly on Adobe's website, and it does look like they only really support DV capture over Firewire. That's what probably 99% of the DV cameras out there output, so I guess it makes sense.


My suggestion was that you could use the software that comes with the converter device to record the video to a file on your hard disk. Then you could edit it with whatever program you want (including Premiere) and burn it back to DVD.

Hi Matthias99,


The PAL to NTSC converter device is a multi standard VCR made by Panasonic. It has no software. The process is as follows (simplified):


1) PAL tape is played on VCR.

2) VCR does conversion from PAL to NTSC.

3) VCR ouputs analogue NTSC video signal.

4) Analogue signal is fed to Sony HC96 Camcorder via A/V input.

5) Camcorder does analogue to digital signal conversion. Again no software involved.

6) Digital video signal is fed to PC via 1394 Firewire port.

7) Digital video is captured as AVI clip(s) by Adobe Premier Pro.


It looks like the only solution to improving the quality is to get my hands on a "black box" or a PAL Mini DV camcorder with A/V in and DV out to perform the analogue PAL video signal to a digital PAL video signal.


I have kit to capture analogue via USB, but the results compared to digital are like comparing chalk to cheese.
 

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Wow, I was doing exact what you did. My converting VCR is Samsung and my DV is Canon and my old TV was sony 36 wega and new TV is 50" Panny. All my PAL tapes were Hi-8 and some normal vhs tapes. I never tried to play them directly to my 50" plasma. I will have a shot tonight to see and let you know. I did the same conversion to capture them, then burn to DVD. My suggestion is to get a faster PC, and transfer all of them to DVD just in case Hi-8 video camcorder broken or your conversion VCR broken. The conversion VCR was expansive, I bought the Samsung around $450 8 years ago. My 5 years old PC took 1 hour to capture 1 hour video and 5 hour to do DVD encoding. Now I just bought a new PC as HTPC for my 50" plasma, it only took 35 min to do 1 hour DVD ecoding (you still stuck with capture time as 1 hour). All software are came free with Window vista home premium ($30 more than home basic to give you media center). The operation is dead simple compare with old Nero 6 I used. Transcoding and burning is one step for window DVD maker software. The quality is good as source material. If you think your video tape contents are important, just bite the bullet and covert it to DVD. Otherwise you will regret if any equipments broken down. Before doing it, get a new PC to save time.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by mb300e /forum/post/14313708


Hi Matthias99,


The PAL to NTSC converter device is a multi standard VCR made by Panasonic. It has no software. The process is as follows (simplified):


1) PAL tape is played on VCR.

2) VCR does conversion from PAL to NTSC.

3) VCR ouputs analogue NTSC video signal.

4) Analogue signal is fed to Sony HC96 Camcorder via A/V input.

5) Camcorder does analogue to digital signal conversion. Again no software involved.

6) Digital video signal is fed to PC via 1394 Firewire port.

7) Digital video is captured as AVI clip(s) by Adobe Premier Pro.


It looks like the only solution to improving the quality is to get my hands on a "black box" or a PAL Mini DV camcorder with A/V in and DV out to perform the analogue PAL video signal to a digital PAL video signal.


I have kit to capture analogue via USB, but the results compared to digital are like comparing chalk to cheese.

No, I understand what you're doing now. I'm just saying you could potentially get a standalone NTSC capture device (or card for your PC, etc.) that doesn't suck. Then you could skip running it through the camcorder, and you'd have a file you could edit or process with just about any editing software.


If you can get a relatively clean capture of the (interlaced) original, running your video through something like DScaler might work even better than your camcorder. Although I must confess I have no experience trying to do PAL->NTSC conversion, and maybe that just screws everything up.
 

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mb300e:

I tried to play the PAL tape direct to my 50" Panny. The quality was acceptable compare playing to 36" Sony CRT. There was some color spill from solid color, but this was given as how good the original video-8/hi-8 tape recording was. This was all I can say.


Matthias99 :

A NTSC PC capture card would not help. If the capture card can capture PAL, then it helps. The NTSC camcoder (my canon mini-dv) act as an A/D coverter, and via IEEE1394 cable, comptuer gets straight digital in. It still ended with a computer avi file that can be edited by any PC software.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by dealkb /forum/post/14338141


Matthias99 :

A NTSC PC capture card would not help. If the capture card can capture PAL, then it helps. The NTSC camcoder (my canon mini-dv) act as an A/D coverter, and via IEEE1394 cable, comptuer gets straight digital in. It still ended with a computer avi file that can be edited by any PC software.

I use the NTSC version of this in my HTPC: http://www.hauppauge.com/site/products/data_pvr150.html


That's a hardware MPEG2 capture card; it's not the best for editing, but works really well as a PVR. It needs very little CPU power. It comes out pretty well if I cap at something like 7-9Mbps. There's a PAL/SECAM version, too, but I don't know if it is equivalent in quality.


If you've got a lot of CPU horsepower and a big hard disk, a lot of cheap software capture cards can record uncompressed video at very high quality. That might be worth a try, since they usually only run something like $30 (although it might be tough to find a PAL one if you're in the US.)
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matthias99 /forum/post/14339789


I use the NTSC version of this in my HTPC: http://www.hauppauge.com/site/products/data_pvr150.html


That's a hardware MPEG2 capture card; it's not the best for editing, but works really well as a PVR. It needs very little CPU power. It comes out pretty well if I cap at something like 7-9Mbps. There's a PAL/SECAM version, too, but I don't know if it is equivalent in quality.


If you've got a lot of CPU horsepower and a big hard disk, a lot of cheap software capture cards can record uncompressed video at very high quality. That might be worth a try, since they usually only run something like $30 (although it might be tough to find a PAL one if you're in the US.)

There is a PAL version available, but unlike the NTSC version the specs do not say anything about capturing video from an external source such as video tape. Here is a quote:

WinTV-PVR-150 features

Watch TV on your PC screen, in a window or full screen, using WinTV-PVR-150's analogue TV tuner. Surf the net while watching TV on your PC!

Record your TV shows or home videos to disk using the built-in hardware MPEG-2 encoder. While recording, the WinTV-PVR-150's hardware MPEG encoder does all the work so your PC continues to run at full speed!

Pause your live TV shows with instant replay, fast forward and rewind.

Includes WinTV-Scheduler, so you can schedule your TV recordings on a daily, weekly or once only schedule.

Includes an MPEG-2 trim editor, so you can cut your TV recordings without losing video quality.

Windows Media Center Edition compatible.



It seems I am back to square one. A Sony (PAL) DCR-HC96 (Mini DV) will do the trick, but the price is high for one in working order. One with a broken tape transport or dead CCD would fill my needs. Or a similar make/model Mini DV with analogue input and DV output would also do. Getting equipment from the UK or elsewhere is not a problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I may be wrong, the UK version hints at being able to accept an external video source. I will go to the UK site and dig deeper into the specs etc. If not I will call my Brother in the UK and let him go to one of the shops that sell them, then he can ask the right questions. I will be surprised if the PAL version has less features than the NTSC version. It is usually the other way around. They are not hamstrung by the US movie industry. Have you tried buying an all region DVD player in a US big-box store like Best Buy? I have 6 of them now, including an HD upconvert model.
 

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Wow, you still have one of those! I owned an AG-W1 at one time, purchased in 1991. (The world map on the front has dedicated buttons for East Germany and U.S.S.R, which tells how old it is...) It does work as advertised but its standards converter is very rudimentary: it either drops or repeats lines or frames depending on the selected line conversion (525 625) and on the selected frame conversion (50 60). If I remember correctly, the frame buffer is only 1 Mb.


I guess you can see where I'm going with this... Get a better standards converter. I haven't looked into it recently, but you can probably find something that does real time conversion at a much higher quality than what the AG-W1 does. You can still use the AG-W1 as an analog PAL VCR.


I still have a need once in a while to make a PAL DVD, I capture NTSC to my PC, then use Tsunami MPEG to encode PAL MPEG2, then the usual tools to make a DVD file set.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I have solved my Problem.


I purchased a Laird LTM-5500FS AV to DV; DV to AV convertor that does PAL and NTSC.


I play my PAL tapes through the AG-W1, convert them to DV, my NLE software captures them and burns them as region free PAL with menus etc.


I play my NTSC tapes through and capture them the same way.


This way it does not matter whether the AG-W1 performs standard conversion badly (in some people's opinion) or not. I have seen a lot of crappy standards convertors around for lots of money, and I would not give them house room.


ALL of my DVD equipment plays and upconverts anything in SD or HD from anywhere, regardless of region or video standard.


Results: Brilliant.
 
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