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  #1  
Old 2009-11-21, 05:14 PM
zr1fevr zr1fevr is offline
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Best quality transfer of VHS Tapes?

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
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  #2  
Old 2009-11-21, 08:34 PM
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Audioarchivist Audioarchivist is offline
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Re: Best quality transfer of VHS Tapes?

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.
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  #3  
Old 2009-11-21, 09:33 PM
peaktime peaktime is offline
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Re: Best quality transfer of VHS Tapes?

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).
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  #4  
Old 2009-11-21, 09:59 PM
xjsb125 xjsb125 is offline
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Re: Best quality transfer of VHS Tapes?

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.
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  #5  
Old 2009-11-21, 10:06 PM
peaktime peaktime is offline
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Re: Best quality transfer of VHS Tapes?

Quote:
Originally Posted by xjsb125 View Post
What resolution are you recommending the h264?
720 x 480
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  #6  
Old 2009-11-21, 10:19 PM
peaktime peaktime is offline
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Re: Best quality transfer of VHS Tapes?

or 720 x 576 if they are PAL
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  #7  
Old 2009-11-22, 12:21 AM
zr1fevr zr1fevr is offline
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Re: Best quality transfer of VHS Tapes?

Quote:
Originally Posted by xjsb125 View Post
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!
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  #8  
Old 2009-11-22, 12:32 AM
mbself mbself is offline
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Re: Best quality transfer of VHS Tapes?

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.
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  #9  
Old 2009-11-22, 12:50 PM
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AAR.oner AAR.oner is offline
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Re: Best quality transfer of VHS Tapes?

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
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  #10  
Old 2009-11-24, 07:22 PM
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BoloBus BoloBus is offline
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Re: Best quality transfer of VHS Tapes?

what kinds of bands do you have?
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  #11  
Old 2009-11-24, 11:34 PM
zr1fevr zr1fevr is offline
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Re: Best quality transfer of VHS Tapes?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BoloBus View Post
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...
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  #12  
Old 2009-11-25, 10:13 PM
bestatworms2
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dazzle, recommended for transfer?

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!
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  #13  
Old 2009-11-26, 12:17 AM
mbself mbself is offline
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Re: dazzle, recommended for transfer?

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.
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  #14  
Old 2009-11-27, 04:12 PM
Ziggzzster Ziggzzster is offline
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Re: Best quality transfer of VHS Tapes?

Any software recommendations to work with the uncompressed .avi to add fade in/out or titles, etc, without screwing up the file?
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  #15  
Old 2009-11-28, 10:27 AM
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showtaper showtaper is offline
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Re: dazzle, recommended for transfer?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mbself View Post
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........
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