14 Replies Latest reply on Apr 2, 2014 9:05 AM by A.T. Romano

    DVD quality problems from VHS


      I am using Premeire Elements 7 on a PC (Dell XPS Gen4, XP Pro sp3) trying to make DVDs of some old home movies, etc that are only on VHS. The problem is that the DVD seems to be somewhat washed out, with less color saturation and brilliance, almost like the difference between a tv show that was filmed and one made by video.


      I tried capturing the video/audio 2 ways, recording to MiniDV tape on a Panasonic GS120 and then capture to PE via Firewire and also using GS120 with no tape (passthru) via Firewire to PE. Does not seem to make a quality difference viewing in PE or on the DVD. The DVD is watchable but there is a big difference from the original VHS. The connection between the VHS and TV is the same composite video jack used for capturing on the Camcorder. (I had tried a newer VHS player with SVideo but that one had developed a problem with light and dark vertical areas in dark scenes that even shows up viewing the cable tv signal being passed thru to the TV, a major bummer because that was a great recorder with SVHS and commercial skip!)


      I tried boosting the saturation in PE which helped a little but was still nowhere as good as the vhs tape. Are you supposed to loose that much fidelity on digital copy of analog source or is there some other thing I am doing wrong? I will try to borrow another VHS player to test but I read that the only real difference with a SVideo connection was no dot crawl.


      Any suggestions would be appreciated.




        • 1. Re: DVD quality problems from VHS
          Steve Grisetti Adobe Community Professional

          VHS is actually pretty low quality video. It's only about half the resolution of standard miniDV video -- so, even with the best equipment, you're just not going to get a particularly good video capture from it. And the pass-through method and record/capture methods you describe are both pretty effective ways to catpure your video.


          But even with the best equipment and time base correction, VHS is still VHS. Pretty mediocre resolution with pretty bad color drift.


          Which project settings did you use when you started your Premiere Elements project? You can see but you can't change the project settings under the program's Edit menu. You should be using the project settings for standard DV.


          I'm not sure why you're seeing a desaturation between the original tape and the DVD. Have you tried outputting a Quicktime file from your Premiere Elements project and watching it on your computer, just to see how it looks?


          I assume the video looks pretty good in Premiere Elements. And there's no reason the quality should drop so much in the conversion from DV to DVD.

          • 2. Re: DVD quality problems from VHS
            the_wine_snob Level 9

            I agree with Steve about the quality difference between VHS and DVD.


            For digitized VHS tapes, I find that a bit of Three-Way Color Correction is necessary to get the ultimate quality. That is a very useful, and powerful Effect, but does take a bit of experimentation to get the best results.


            Good luck,



            • 3. Re: DVD quality problems from VHS
              the_wine_snob Level 9

              Just an add-on - I cannot remember when the Three-Way Color Corrector was added to PrE, so it might not be a viable answer for PrE 7. [Before it was added, I used it often in Premiere Pro, and loved it.]


              Good luck,



              • 4. Re: DVD quality problems from VHS
                Steve Grisetti Adobe Community Professional

                FWIW, the 3-way Color Corrector was added in version 10, Bill.

                • 5. Re: DVD quality problems from VHS
                  A.T. Romano Level 7



                  The Three-Way Color Corrector was new to Premiere Elements 10 and can be found in Premiere Elements 10


                  Edit Header


                  Video Effects

                  Color Correction

                  where you will find the Auto Tone & Vibrance Effect as well as the Three-Way Color Corrector.


                  Premiere Elements details for these effects can be found in the Premiere Elements Effects Reference Document, under Color Correction

                  http://help.adobe.com/en_US/premiereelements/using/WS4B8135DA-083C-42eb-B09E-65070ECBC889. html#WSeffff8bffc802084cc1873012fdd6069b3-8000



                  • 6. Re: DVD quality problems from VHS
                    A.T. Romano Level 7



                    Sorry, I did not see your post until after I had posted mine.



                    • 7. Re: DVD quality problems from VHS
                      Steve Grisetti Adobe Community Professional

                      Great minds think alike, ATR. Some just type faster.

                      • 8. Re: DVD quality problems from VHS
                        Mike_zZ1 Level 1

                        Hi Steve,

                        thanks for the quick reply.

                        Here are my project settings in the edit menu, I just started the project with the NTSC, DV, Standard 48kHz Preset:


                        Edit mode: DV NTSC, Timebase: 29.97 frames/sec, 720c480 4:3, PixAspRatio: D1/DVNTSC(0.9), Fields, Lower Field First, DispFormat: 30fps Drop-Frame Timecode; Capture: DV Capture; VideoRendering, Format: DVNTSC, Compressor: DVNTSC, CDepth: Millions, Optimize Still is Unchecked


                        I just made a quicktime movie and it did not look any better. One thing I have noticed is that in general, DVDs do not look quite as good on a computer screen, even the Mac I use at work does not seem to display DVDs as well as the tv.


                        I am not expecting the resolution or quality of a DVD from my VHS tapes but I had hoped at least the quality would be close to my originals. I will try to get another VHS player to test. If the player is not adding to the problem, I would have to try PE 11 since I have a nVidia video card and PE 10 has reported problems with it. I'm not sure my computer is powerfull enough to run the latest PE12.


                        Thanks to all for your help



                        • 9. Re: DVD quality problems from VHS
                          the_wine_snob Level 9



                          Thanks for that confirmation. I knew that it was not available for some time in PrE, but just could not remember which version got it first. I find it to be a great tool.





                          • 10. Re: DVD quality problems from VHS
                            nealeh Level 5

                            Capture via Firewire is not going to be affected by your video card (PRE makes no use of advanced video card functions). Nor is updating from PRE10 to PRE11 or 12 (but feel free to download the trials and test for yourself).


                            To get the best quality use an analogue to digital converter with an embedded hardware chip. I use a Canopus ADVC300 (but they no longer manufacture it) but there are cheaper models available in the Canopus range - http://www.grassvalley.com/products/advc_professional_family.


                            Insanity is hereditary, you get it from your children


                            If this post or another user's post resolves the original issue, please mark the posts as correct and/or helpful accordingly. This helps other users with similar trouble get answers to their questions quicker. Thanks.

                            • 11. Re: DVD quality problems from VHS
                              Mike_zZ1 Level 1

                              I wasn't thinking that the Firewire would be affected by my video card but rather that the notice at the top of the PRE forum indicated a font problem with PRE10 and nVidia, so I would have to skip PRE10 and try PRE11. This would be to get the 3-way color correction that Bill mentioned which I don't have in PRE7. I looked at the ADVC55 and it could be a good option for me once I confirm that my VCR is not part of the problem though I don't know if it would be better than my camcorder in passthru mode.


                              Thanks again for the help. Searching this forum has been really helpful as I start to use PE again.



                              • 12. Re: DVD quality problems from VHS
                                A.T. Romano Level 7



                                Just in case note...you may not need the following, but...


                                What video card/graphics card does your computer use? The Premiere Elements 10 NVIDIA Ge Force issue is specific for display problems for Premiere Elements 10 NVIDIA Ge Force users. These problems have not been reported for Premiere Elements 10 whose computer uses another brand of video card. I have Premiere Elements 10 on Windows 7 64 bit and Windows 8.1 64 bit, both use a Intel HD Graphics video card, and I have no problems, display or otherwise, with the program.


                                Also, your Premiere Elements 7 is a 32 bit application even if it is on a 64 bit system. But Premiere Elements 10, 11, and 12 will be 64 bit applications when run specifically on Windows 7, 8, or 8.1 64 bit.


                                Definitely go the tryout route before purchase to determine just how effective that Three-Way Color Corrector is for your footage as well as how compatible the program is with your computer environment.





                                • 13. Re: DVD quality problems from VHS
                                  Mike_zZ1 Level 1



                                  I have a nVidia GT 630 which replaced the Geforce 6800 the computer shipped with. My Dell XPS Gen4 uses XP Pro 32bit and has 3 gigs of ram with an intel hardware raid controller and 2 74gig drives level 0 striped for a total of 133GB. I also have a 500GB firewire connected external HD used as scratch space and backup. The Adobe programs think ithas 2 processors but it has only 1. It is the forerunner to dual core, Hyperthreading. Being almost 9 years old it might not be fast enough to run the latest versions of things. I use Pshop, Illustrator and InDesign CS4 and have installed CS5.5 but those programs take a very long time to launch. Do you know if PRE 12 would tax my system more than PRE11? They both have the same system requirements but then so do CS4 and CS5 and the latter definitely runs slower for me. I thought about upgrading to Windoze 7, 64bit but it would cost a couple of hundred and require a total clean install so the money might be better spent on a new system in the future. I really don't care for Windows 8 though.



                                  • 14. Re: DVD quality problems from VHS
                                    A.T. Romano Level 7



                                    Running Premiere Elements 11 or 12 in Windows XP Professional SP3 32 bit is going to be the same, and they will present as 32 bit application with the 32 bit limitation of max supported installed RAM = 4 GB of which typically 3.2 or 3.0 GB are available. And you only have 3 GB to start with. For your larger SD projects especially, consider taking that installed RAM from 3 GB to the max 4 GB.


                                    Premiere Elements 10, 11, and 12 will be 64 bit applications specifically when run on Windows 7, 8, or 8.1 64 bit computer. That carries with it additional resources related to the 64 bit application in the 64 bit system.


                                    Please let us know if you need clarification on any of the above.