If the program used to capture from the VHS tapes uses a heavily compressed CODEC, like the MPEG, then you will loose qualtiy.
For analog to digital, I would recommend looking at this article: http://forums.adobe.com/message/3748554#3748554
Many thanks, Hunt, I'll take a look.
>When I play the .prel file
That is a project file, which contains instructions about the video file(s) you have imported, and what editing you are doing
Importing Video http://forums.adobe.com/thread/1065281
-and project settings http://forums.adobe.com/thread/1112086
Steve's Basic Training Tutorials... steps are the same for several versions
-start at http://forums.adobe.com/thread/537685
Much appreciated, John, thank you.
I will read through them over the weekend.
Thanks for your help.
From the Arcsoft website Showbiz looks to be a PRE competitor product. According to it's technical specifications it can output AVI, M2TS, MOV, MP4, MPEG1, MPEG2, and WMV formats. For VHS capture I suggest you try setting the capture save format to .AVI at 720 x 576 PAL_B. This should substantially improve the quality for use in PRE. Make sure you check out other capture settings in the product options - it is likely there are other settings relating to quality.
For the second part of your question the answer is no, PRE does not support capture from USB analogue converter devices.
I use a Canopus Firewire converter so can capture directly to PRE (although by choice I use WinDV) but I've recently helped a friend who was having issues with a Pinnacle USB converter as he had lost the software disk it came with. I found an interesting FREE product 'NCH Debut' that can capture from USB converters. Its native save file format is .avi but it can capture and save in .dv format which is as good as you'll get for VHS video capture. Note that it installs another free product, ffmpeg, to provide the .dv support - some have reported this gives problems on their systems but I have never had any issues with it. And for support of an unusual video format Adobe themselves suggested I install it (and it did solve the problem). Note that .dv files use around 13GB per hour so you'll need plenty of disk space if you do captue in this format. So if you're unhappy with Showbiz, give NCH Debut a try, if you do and have problems with it post back here and I'll guide you through its options. During the Debut install watch out for the check boxes - it offers to install trial versions of other NCH products - just deselect them all.
Insanity is hereditary, you get it from your children.
What a very helpful answer, Neale. It certainly sounds promising. Many thanks for the time you have spent on this. I will give NCH Debut a trial tomorrow, but will also set the capture format in ShowBiz along the lines you propose.
Thank you again!