PDA

View Full Version : Best quality transfer of VHS Tapes?


zr1fevr
2009-11-21, 05:14 PM
I have numerous low/1st gen VHS tapes of shows from mid 80's to mid, late 90's. What is the best way to turn them into dvd's? I have a stand alone Panasonic DVD recorder, no firewire connection. I have a Sony Hi-8 camera w/ firewire. I ran a vhs player into my camera via S video, to my computer via firewire as a test. Quality was terrible. Any suggestions on what I should do? I was surprised how bad the picture and sound were when I played back the sample on my pc. Is that because of The software? Not sure which way to go. I know I have better versions of many shows I have seen being traded, many VH shows. Anyway, thanks for any suggestions...
Kevin

Audioarchivist
2009-11-21, 08:34 PM
Must be some software problem - capturing though a camera can give much better quality than a standalone transfer. With a computer recording, you would be able to properly author a DVD with real menus, and be able to control the amount of video compression used (i.e.: make it as uncompressed as possible) and also be able to make the DVD with an uncompressed LPCM audio channel instead of AC3 or Dolby Digital which are compressed like the dreaded eMPty3 file!

Standalone recorders usually don't have options to make a disk in full quality uncompressed mode like you can do with a computer. The only drawback with full quality is lack of time - at full resolution for DVD and LPCM, you can fit just about 1 hour of great video on a single layer disk. If video and / or audio are compressed then you trade quality for extra capacity.

I don't know why the camera pass-trough method you've got isn't working right. See if you can get some different software to capture the video.

peaktime
2009-11-21, 09:33 PM
if you want the best quality, capture it with something like a canopus, uncompressed, and then author a blu ray using h264 and lcpm audio. blu ray discs are expensive, so you can always watch the m2ts on your PC or stream to an HDTV, and then split the m2ts file with winrar and archive all the blu ray files on data dvds.

authoring a dvd using mpeg2 will result in noticeable compression artifacts (less quality).

xjsb125
2009-11-21, 09:59 PM
What resolution are you recommending the h264?

Agreed on using a conversion box like the Canopus 55/100/110. Those boxes will allow you to capture your video in an uncompressed .avi file. Find a quality VCR with S-Video out. Be sure to manually adjust the tracking for the best picture. Don't settle for auto-tracking. As far as compression to watch on your PC, h264 should yield a nice picture for you. Just make sure you use good rendering software. The same applies if you decide to author a DVD.

peaktime
2009-11-21, 10:06 PM
What resolution are you recommending the h264?

720 x 480

peaktime
2009-11-21, 10:19 PM
or 720 x 576 if they are PAL

zr1fevr
2009-11-22, 12:21 AM
What resolution are you recommending the h264?

Agreed on using a conversion box like the Canopus 55/100/110. Those boxes will allow you to capture your video in an uncompressed .avi file. Find a quality VCR with S-Video out. Be sure to manually adjust the tracking for the best picture. Don't settle for auto-tracking. As far as compression to watch on your PC, h264 should yield a nice picture for you. Just make sure you use good rendering software. The same applies if you decide to author a DVD.

What is a good software to use? Is h264 the compression? Does good software allow you to choose this kind of thing? I am clueless, trying to learn. Thanks everyone!

mbself
2009-11-22, 12:32 AM
Try to find a time base corrector (TBC) or a VCR with a TBC built in. Older VHS tapes can have a seriously weakened Time Base pulse which is what causes that "warping" effect at the perimeter of the picture (especially the top).

This can also cause more dropped frames during capture and as a byproduct, cause audio/video sync issues.

I had videos that were almost unplayable until I bought a TBC off of ebay and it helped me rescue a lot of home movies from the early eighties.

Of course, some of the canopus cards have a TBC built in, but most pros recommend an outboard processor.....i think.

AAR.oner
2009-11-22, 12:50 PM
quality transfers depend on a number of factors, the 2 most over looked in trading circles are:

1. a professional S-VHS deck w/ clean heads
2. a quality A/D converter with TBC

as for software to capture with, if yer on a PC there's numerous options like Adobe Premiere, Sony Vegas, Avid, etc etc



i'll tell you what i tell most folks, unless you have the $ and time to invest, better to send the tapes to someone with the gear & knowledge to do the transfers for ya

BoloBus
2009-11-24, 07:22 PM
what kinds of bands do you have?

zr1fevr
2009-11-24, 11:34 PM
what kinds of bands do you have?

Well, hard rock stuff.. I had a good friend, Chris Ketchum, (you out there?) who had a bunch of good connections, so I received a lot of Low gen Van Halen tapes...

bestatworms2
2009-11-25, 10:13 PM
i have a dazzle, some of the shows i have are on VHS, its the only way I can transfer them to my pc and then to DVD. is it recommended to use a dazzle? will it be lossy? I got pinnacle studio, adobe premiere and tmpgenc

let me know if i should use a dazzle for convertering from vhs to dvd. if they are okay to use and be seeded using this method!

mbself
2009-11-26, 12:17 AM
as with everything, it kinda depends.

Which dazzle do you have? My old DVC 80 suuuuuxxxxxx. resolution is (i think) 320 by 320 which is not adequate. Also, i had sync issues where the audio and video did not match. Another problem is that the audio capture quality is just not that good. I did have some luck when i captured video with the dvc 80 and audio with my tascam us-428 (seemed to help the sync issues a bit).

I think the newer dazzle models have better capture quality. As to whether it is lossy...capture in AVI to edit and it will not be lossy. Capturing straight to MPEG-2 can be problematic if you need to do a lot of editing/enhancement. If you are just going to capture and burn, then it is probably ok. AVI is not lossy, MPEG-2 is.

Ziggzzster
2009-11-27, 04:12 PM
Any software recommendations to work with the uncompressed .avi to add fade in/out or titles, etc, without screwing up the file?

showtaper
2009-11-28, 10:27 AM
as with everything, it kinda depends.

I think the newer dazzle models have better capture quality. As to whether it is lossy...capture in AVI to edit and it will not be lossy. Capturing straight to MPEG-2 can be problematic if you need to do a lot of editing/enhancement. If you are just going to capture and burn, then it is probably ok. AVI is not lossy, MPEG-2 is.

You'd better check your AVI capture settings as AVI is just a container and
can hold compressed or uncompressed video and audio........

AAR.oner
2009-11-28, 12:56 PM
Any software recommendations to work with the uncompressed .avi to add fade in/out or titles, etc, without screwing up the file?

if yer on a PC -- Adobe Premiere, Sony Vegas, Avid, etc

for Mac -- Final Cut, Adobe Premiere

gsh
2009-12-14, 04:02 PM
What resolution are you recommending the h264?

Agreed on using a conversion box like the Canopus 55/100/110. Those boxes will allow you to capture your video in an uncompressed .avi file.
No they don't. They capture to DV AVI, which is 25mbit/second, approximately 8:1 compression over true uncompressed AVI.
If you want to capture to uncompressed AVI you will have to use a capture card and have a pc that has a fast enough processor to not drop frames while encoding (not too difficult these days). IMO, as long as the person doing the transfer work knows what they are doing, DV capture is more than good enough for vhs sources.
The most important part of the equation is the playback device - you need to get the best signal possible from the tapes, and that will require a good prosumer vcr (a minefield in itself as not all tapes will play back better on a particular machine so having a number of different prosumer vcrs with different features/filters etc to choose from helps), then ideally a hardware tbc and proc-amp for making the most of the source during capture. Once on your pc software filters can possibly help clean/enhance the image more.
You must be careful not to do more damage than good - often fixing one problem can introduce even more.

Limulus
2009-12-14, 06:42 PM
and be some careful with using TBC....they can help in getting a non-trouble transfer to harddisc but often they reduce quality aswell.

rotwang999
2009-12-14, 09:24 PM
The best prosumer vhs player is the Panasonic AG-1980 with switchable TBC.
99% of the time it will lock on your tape and actually improves the quality of the image by stabilizing it. I have had other tbc standalone units that are shit and over a grand. You can get used ones on ebay for $500 or less and worth every penny.

AAR.oner
2009-12-14, 09:46 PM
i use a Panasonic AG1980 as well...makes for great transfers when paired with the ADVC-300 [w/ TBC] :thumbsup

Limulus
2009-12-14, 09:58 PM
also try different svhs vcrs, at points cheaper ones give even better results than the high-end models. this is from many years of experience.

sabkisscrue
2009-12-15, 01:15 PM
I would start by getting your friends tapes or even better asking your friend to contact the people he got HIS tapes from and getting their 1st gens or masters. Your tapes arent worth transferring. You want the lowest possible generation tapes to transfer, first of all.
Second of all, you already own a 9800, you need to look for pro quality s-video wires such as the ones I use AR Pro II Series, two of them one to connect from the vcr to the es10 and another from the es10 to the camera. They get the most sharpness and color and clarity out of the picture.
Next, you need to make sure your camera has "analog to digital pass through" and a tbc/dnr feature. Because, unlike what anybody else has mentioned in this thread, you must clean the noise up on these tapes. This is the biggest issue with vhs. Next, you need a Panasonic ES10 DVD Recorder, simply to be used as a pass through and black level corrector, you set both in and output black levels to darker and the line in NR on. This unit helps to fix some jitter you get when turning the 9800's tbc/dnr on. Finally, everybody says to get a Canopus, dont. We're talking VHS here. It has to be cleaned up and it has to go through noise reduction filters.
The JVC DRM100 Dvd Recorder that I use has probably the best encoder for transferring vhs tapes and it also happens to have noise reduction filters that really produce a result that is better than what your vhs looks like.
But again this also depends on getting and transferring the lowest possible generation sources, 1st gens.

Bix
2009-12-15, 05:25 PM
Check out the VCR buying guide thread at VideoHelp. (http://forum.videohelp.com/topic347374.html)

I have a Panasonic AG-1980 and a Go Video SDV-650 (clone of the JVC HR-S9800U). It's better to both a Panasonic SVHS and a JVC SVHS or DVHS (or a Mitsubishi DVHS) to make sure you can play back as many tapes as well as possible. Some tapes are better in the Panasonics, some are better in the JVCs.

sabkisscrue
2009-12-18, 03:12 PM
i use a Panasonic AG1980 as well...makes for great transfers when paired with the ADVC-300 [w/ TBC] :thumbsup

The ADVC-300 doesnt have a tbc. It has a frame synchronizer.
http://forum.videohelp.com/topic376651.html

AAR.oner
2009-12-18, 03:37 PM
yes, it has a frame synchronizer...and uses LTBC [line time base correction]