26 Replies Latest reply: Jul 2, 2013 12:46 PM by the_wine_snob RSS

    VHS (C) settings in Elements 11

    SteveH59 Community Member

      Hello

       

      I have recently download a VHS (C) tape onto my PC with the free software that came with the hardware. The tape is saved as .mpg. There is a qualitative difference in the VHS tape when played via a VCR connected to my TV and the .mpg file when viewed through Windows Media Player. That is secondary, but the .mpg file was saved to the PC with the following settings:

       

      MPEG2 format/codec with a resolution of 720x480 and an aspect ratio of 16.9. It is a UK camcorder tape so there are 25fps and a video bit rape of 8.0Mbps. The audio format has a MPA Codec and a audio sample rate of 48KHz. The audio channel is 2 and the bit rate is 192Kbps.

       

       

      I attemped to emulate this in Elements 11 - that is the application I have bought - to see if I could obtain a similar quality. In Elements 11, I firstly went to File | New | Project and in 'Change Settings' I clicked on PAL (under Available Presets), the DV, then Standard 48KhZ (see _Settings screenshot).

       

      _Settings.jpg

       

      I then added the movie. Then, to export it, I used the following settings (Settings4Elements screenshot).

       

      settings4Elements_MPEG and widescreen.jpg

       

      The result, also an .mpg file and also played through Windows Media Player, is of a significantly lower quality. Most noticeable is that there are soldiers with trumpets (during a Disneyland parade) and, unlike the movie I can see when the VHS tape is played via a VCR connected to my TV, and unlike the finished movie from the free software that came with my VHS (C) tape hardware, I cannot hear the band AT ALL in the finished Elements 11 .mpg file. Moreover, the figures move a little like something out of the Keystone cops.

       

      How may I improve the quality of the Elements 11 .mpg file, please?

       

      The following, for information purposes, is information from MediaInfo about this particular movie:

       

      General
      Format                                   : MPEG-PS
      File size                                : 1.04 GiB
      Duration                                 : 31mn 17s
      Overall bit rate mode                    : Variable
      Overall bit rate                         : 4 746 Kbps
      Writing library                          : ArcSoft MPEG-2 PAL

      Video
      ID                                       : 224 (0xE0)
      Format                                   : MPEG Video
      Format version                           : Version 2
      Format profile                           : Main@Main
      Format settings, BVOP                    : Yes
      Format settings, Matrix                  : Custom
      Format settings, GOP                     : M=3, N=10
      Duration                                 : 31mn 17s
      Bit rate mode                            : Variable
      Bit rate                                 : 4 427 Kbps
      Maximum bit rate                         : 7 500 Kbps
      Width                                    : 720 pixels
      Height                                   : 576 pixels
      Display aspect ratio                     : 4:3
      Frame rate                               : 25.000 fps
      Standard                                 : PAL
      Color space                              : YUV
      Chroma subsampling                       : 4:2:0
      Bit depth                                : 8 bits
      Scan type                                : Interlaced
      Scan order                               : Top Field First
      Compression mode                         : Lossy
      Bits/(Pixel*Frame)                       : 0.427
      Time code of first frame                 : 00:00:00:00
      Time code source                         : Group of pictures header
      Stream size                              : 991 MiB (93%)
      Writing library                          : ArcSoft MPEG-2 PAL
      Color primaries                          : BT.601 PAL
      Transfer characteristics                 : BT.470 System B, BT.470 System G
      Matrix coefficients                      : BT.601

      Audio
      ID                                       : 192 (0xC0)
      Format                                   : MPEG Audio
      Format version                           : Version 1
      Format profile                           : Layer 2
      Duration                                 : 31mn 17s
      Bit rate mode                            : Constant
      Bit rate                                 : 224 Kbps
      Channel(s)                               : 2 channels
      Sampling rate                            : 48.0 KHz
      Compression mode                         : Lossy
      Delay relative to video                  : -34ms
      Stream size                              : 50.1 MiB (5%)

       

      Many thanks.

       

      Steve

        • 1. Re: VHS (C) settings in Elements 11
          nealeh Community Member

          What is the software that came with your digitizer? I suspect that MPEG is a default format but that if you investigate the software settings there are other formats you can choose that would give you better quality.

           

          MPEG is already compressed, so when you then export it again from PRE you are further compressing a compressed original - and as you have seen the quality deteriorates.

           

          You should also be aware that when viewing on a high resolution computer monitor you aren't getting a true feel for how it may look when played back through a TV via a DVD player.

           

          Cheers,
          --
          Neale
          Insanity is hereditary, you get it from your children.

          • 2. Re: VHS (C) settings in Elements 11
            SteveH59 Community Member

            Hello Nealeh

             

            Thanks for your reply.

             

            It's called ShowBiz from ArcSoft.

             

            I have tried by-passing it in order to use Elements 11 directly but according to those who have answered my previously questions, that is not possible - hence, I am having to do it this way.

             

            In terms of other formats that may offer better quality, do you have any suggestions that I might try?

             

            Thanks again.

             

            Steve

            • 3. Re: VHS (C) settings in Elements 11
              the_wine_snob Community Member

              Steve,

               

              Does that ArcSoft program allow for the capture to be saved as a DV-AVI? That would be optimal.

               

              If you can list all of the ArcSoft capture options, that might be a better way to go, as we might be able to help you tweak one of those.

               

              Good luck,

               

              Hunt

              • 4. Re: VHS (C) settings in Elements 11
                SteveH59 Community Member

                Hello Hunt

                 

                Thanks for getting back to me.

                 

                Unfortunately, the default is set to MPEG2 and I can't change it.

                 

                Steve

                • 5. Re: VHS (C) settings in Elements 11
                  John T Smith CommunityMVP

                  If your computer has a Firewire port, http://www.grassvalley.com/products/converters sells converters that create DV AVI type 2 files

                  • 6. Re: VHS (C) settings in Elements 11
                    SteveH59 Community Member

                    Thanks for that John

                     

                    Yes, I have a Firewire port. How would that work with a VCR?

                     

                    I'll make enquiries with the company.

                     

                    Cheers

                     

                    Steve

                    • 7. Re: VHS (C) settings in Elements 11
                      John T Smith CommunityMVP

                      >How would that work with a VCR?

                       

                      I have a Pinnacle DV500 card (bundled with Premiere 6) so you will have to read at the Grassvalley site for directions on how you hook your VCR to their device

                      • 8. Re: VHS (C) settings in Elements 11
                        nealeh Community Member

                        Quite a few people have posted recently with the same issue that are using the Arcsoft Showbiz software. I'm guessing Arcsoft have recently agreed bundling deals with the digitizer manufacturers.

                         

                        In  many ways it is a competitor product to PRE. If you look at the technical specs at http://www.arcsoft.com/showbiz/techspec.html it supports many formats besides mpeg. Capture direct to the Showbiz Timeline then exporting  as one of the other formats (e.g. AVI, MOV, MP4 or WMV). You should find settings in those formats for greater control over the output quality and get a better quality within PRE.

                         

                        Cheers,
                        --
                        Neale
                        Insanity is hereditary, you get it from your children.

                        • 9. Re: VHS (C) settings in Elements 11
                          SteveH59 Community Member

                          Hello Neale

                           

                          That's very helpful, thank you.

                           

                          Since a fair number of people have posted here about this same issue, would it be fair to say that Elements 11 is more geared to the demands of camcorder (whatever their guise) owners who use Elements 11 to capture and edit their work, as opposed to those who may have boxes of old VHS tapes stored somewhere and wish to burn them to DVD?

                           

                          Anyway, you have been very helpful and thanks for that link.

                           

                          Steve

                          • 10. Re: VHS (C) settings in Elements 11
                            John T Smith CommunityMVP

                            Read Bill Hunt on editing a VOB/MPG file http://forums.adobe.com/thread/464549

                             

                            Editing and sharing (exporting) a compressed file gives you TWO compressions... and lower quality... since PreEl does not do "smart rendering" http://forums.adobe.com/thread/1080719

                             

                            Using a Grassvalley device will let you start with a file that is easier to edit

                            • 11. Re: VHS (C) settings in Elements 11
                              SteveH59 Community Member

                              I will do, John, thanks. And for the links, too. I have also contacted Grassvalley.

                               

                              Thanks for your advice.

                               

                              Steve

                              • 12. Re: VHS (C) settings in Elements 11
                                the_wine_snob Community Member

                                Steve,

                                 

                                Since a fair number of people have posted here about this same issue, would it be fair to say that Elements 11 is more geared to the demands of camcorder (whatever their guise) owners who use Elements 11 to capture and edit their work, as opposed to those who may have boxes of old VHS tapes stored somewhere and wish to burn them to DVD?

                                Not really. PrE works perfectly fine with digitized analog footage, BUT will only do so directly from an A-D Bridge, like the GrassValley/Canopus, hooked up to the computer via FireWire. When using many other digitizing devices and cards, thre can be issues, and usually with the software that they use. Before my Canopus, I had a high-end Turtle Beach card, but had to use it's software, since it was PCIe, and not FireWire. I always ended up with OOS of 12 Frames, even though that software could capture to DV-AVI Type II files - just a common problem with the software, that comes with most of those devices/cards.

                                 

                                With the Canopus units, one just basically plugs in the composite cables from the VCR deck, to the Canopus, and then use the FireWire to connect to the computer. The beauty of that arrangement is that one can then Capture directly into PrE. The only limitation is that one does not have Device Control, since the VCR deck is hooked up via its composite cables, which are one-way. With but a bit of practice, one will soon learn to hold the VCR remote in one hand, and the mouse in the other - start Capture with the mouse, then hit Play on the remote. You will get a few blank Frames, but those are easily Trimmed out of the Clips.

                                 

                                Good luck, and if John T. did not link to it above, please see this article: http://forums.adobe.com/message/3748554#3748554

                                 

                                Hunt

                                • 13. Re: VHS (C) settings in Elements 11
                                  SteveH59 Community Member

                                  Hello Hunt

                                   

                                  Many thanks for your explanation and for your articles such as the one John posted on VOB/MPG files (above). They seem to strip bare the elements that form the video composite, the engine, so to speak.

                                   

                                  They will take some disgesting, so I'll need to read them a couple of times but let's say that I know more about the issue now than I did 24 hours ago!

                                   

                                  Because of the kaleidoscope of video files, formats, codecs, PAL/NTSC, and resolutions - to say nothing about hardware! - sometimes it's a little easy to feel overwhelmed. Still, I suppose that's why we're here.

                                   

                                  Thank you again.

                                   

                                  Steve

                                  • 14. Re: VHS (C) settings in Elements 11
                                    the_wine_snob Community Member

                                    Steve,

                                     

                                    Video can be a bit overwhelming. Also, new CODEC's and specifications seem to be introduced on a quarterly basis. Even the pros have difficulty keeping up.

                                     

                                    I'm busy reading up on the H.265 CODEC, which offers some big promise. Will be interesting to see how it is implemented, and how it might/might not affect existing NLE programs.

                                     

                                    Happy editing,

                                     

                                    Hunt

                                    • 15. Re: VHS (C) settings in Elements 11
                                      John T Smith CommunityMVP

                                      >reading up on the H.265 CODEC

                                       

                                      What we can all HOPE is that Adobe will either be part of the codec writing effort, or at least have access to the codec while it is being written, so by the time the codec is release, Premiere Pro and/or Premiere Elements will actually be able to edit video created with the codec

                                       

                                      Or, if 265 is not a camera codec, the two P's will at least be able to output h.265 files

                                      • 16. Re: VHS (C) settings in Elements 11
                                        the_wine_snob Community Member

                                        John T.,

                                         

                                        We can all hope, can't we?

                                         

                                        Hunt

                                        • 17. Re: VHS (C) settings in Elements 11
                                          nealeh Community Member

                                          Steve, My primary use of PRE is for VHS conversions. I capture my VHS with a Canopus ADVC300 unit using WinDV or Exsate Capture Live software (both free products) and edit / burn from Premiere Elements.

                                           

                                          Cheers,
                                          --
                                          Neale
                                          Insanity is hereditary, you get it from your children.

                                          • 18. Re: VHS (C) settings in Elements 11
                                            SteveH59 Community Member

                                            Hello Neale

                                             

                                            Yes, I think the Canopus ADVC300 or such is the way to go (John Smith and Hunt seem to reinforce that point).

                                             

                                            I have contacted Grass Valley and await their reply.

                                             

                                            Thanks again for your insightful post.

                                             

                                            Steve

                                            • 19. Re: VHS (C) settings in Elements 11
                                              SteveH59 Community Member

                                              Hello

                                               

                                              Can I ask if this:

                                               

                                              http://www.pinnaclesys.com/PublicSite/uk/Products/Consumer%2BProducts/Dazzle/Dazzle%2BVide o%2BArchiving/Dazzle%2BVideo%2BCreator%2BPlatinum.htm

                                               

                                              does a similar kind of job, that is VHS -> PC -> output = AVI as the Canopus ADVC. I know the quality would be nothing like the Canopus (which is not cheap at all).

                                               

                                              I just wanted to get an idea that I was on the right lines.

                                               

                                              Thanks!

                                               

                                              Steve

                                              • 20. Re: VHS (C) settings in Elements 11
                                                the_wine_snob Community Member

                                                Steve,

                                                 

                                                I have not seen much success with the Dazzle products. Going back to when I used Pinnacle Studio, their forum was filled with posts from people trying to get the Dazzles to work with the packaged softwre - Pinnacle.

                                                 

                                                From time to time, we do see a Dazzle post around here, and the OP is usually having issues with them using PrE. The normal rec. is "just use Pinnacle," and the common reply is "I have been trying, but can't get that to work either."

                                                 

                                                Based ONLY on my years of reading of the Dazzle products, I could not recommend them, even with the use of Pinnacle. Now, things might have improved between Dazzle and Pinnacle software, but I have not seen any evidence of that. Head over to the AVID/Pinnacle Forums, and see if recent experiences have been better, before you buy.

                                                 

                                                Good luck,

                                                 

                                                Hunt

                                                • 21. Re: VHS (C) settings in Elements 11
                                                  SteveH59 Community Member

                                                  Hello Hunt

                                                   

                                                  Thanks for your useful information - I am glad I didn't take the leap!

                                                   

                                                  I may wait until something like Neale's ADVC300 comes on eBay (but probably the older ADVC100 just to whet my appetite).

                                                   

                                                  Thanks again.

                                                   

                                                  Steve

                                                  • 22. Re: VHS (C) settings in Elements 11
                                                    John T Smith CommunityMVP

                                                    If you ONLY want to go one way, from tape to computer... and your tapes are in "good" condiction... the ADVC55 (click the grassvalley link) is all you need

                                                    • 23. Re: VHS (C) settings in Elements 11
                                                      SteveH59 Community Member

                                                      Thanks again, John.

                                                       

                                                      I have contacted them - just awaiting a reply.

                                                       

                                                      Steve

                                                      • 24. Re: VHS (C) settings in Elements 11
                                                        the_wine_snob Community Member

                                                        The Canopus ADVC-300 was worth the $, if one had a lot of older VHS tapes, since one could do Time Base corrections, on the fly. That said, one could also apply most of those same corrections in the NLE (Non Linear Editor). For me, it was basically spend the $, or the time later. As I was doing most of the VHS to Digital conversions for $, time = $, for me.

                                                         

                                                        Were I buying now, in retirement, I would probably go with the ADVC-110, and save the $. However, I sort of missed the VHS thing, staying in film, until I went digital. While I still have some friends, with VHS, I will digitize those for free, so Time ≠ $ for me, anymore.

                                                         

                                                        Actually, I have more tapes in Umatic, that were converted from my films. In retirement, I probably should look for a Umatic deck (used to be a half-dozen per major TV station) on eBay, and digitize some of those old films. I'd love to have digital masters of all footage on one, to completely re-edit that, but heck, it did get nominated for an Academy Award, so guess that it wasn't all THAT bad. It did not get past the first round for an Industrial Short, but I had the tux at the ready, just in case. Still, given the raw material, I would make some major changes to Reaching Out, sort of like a Director of Photography's Cut.

                                                         

                                                        Good luck in your search.

                                                         

                                                        Hunt

                                                        • 25. Re: VHS (C) settings in Elements 11
                                                          nealeh Community Member

                                                          Yes, I got mine at a substantial discount where it had been sold and returned and so was in an opened box. I couldn't have justified buying one at full retail price (mind you have you seen their HD Digitizer price!).

                                                           

                                                          My biggest frustration with it is the appalling manual. It describes how to set options but gives no real indication as to the effect of changing options - i.e. what they do. Whenever I've asked I usually get a reply along the line of 'most people just use it at its default settings and get good results' (which is true - but could I get BETTER results with tweaking?).

                                                           

                                                          Cheers,
                                                          --
                                                          Neale
                                                          Insanity is hereditary, you get it from your children.

                                                          • 26. Re: VHS (C) settings in Elements 11
                                                            the_wine_snob Community Member

                                                            Yes, I have seen that price. B&H Photo has the ADVC-1000 for a mere US$ 1,800.

                                                             

                                                            Were I buying today, I would need to have a lot of digitizing sitting on my desk, with a bunch of checks for that work. Now, it may have a better manual, or maybe not?

                                                             

                                                            Hunt