3 Replies Latest reply on Jul 31, 2018 4:44 PM by Stan Jones

    Sudden VHS capture problems

    lightsandsounds Level 1

      I have been capturing old VHS tapes.  The VCR is an S-VHS JVC HR-S3600U.  I've got the VCR (via S-Video cable for the video, and RCA for audio) going into a Sony DCR-TRV350 (Digital8) camera because it gives me my firewire output so it's my AV->DV converter.  I'm capturing with a mac on Premiere Pro CC. 


      Anyhoo, it was working just fine.  At first.  Then it would sometimes cut out bits of audio so I'd have to recapture and it would work.  Now it's gone full haywire and I can't get anything audio to work properly.  The audio can be several seconds out of sync immediately, and when the computer and the Digital8 camera both have audio going, the audio on the camera's feed is correct to the video, but the Capture window is often way out, and what happens in the Capture window is what the final file looks like.  Sometimes the audio will come through on the Digital8 camera but the video doesn't show up in the Capture window for 5 or 6 seconds, and the audio is 5-6 seconds off. 


      TL;DR - Capturing VHS using a Sony Digital8 camera as the AV->DV converter and the VHS footy (video and audio) plays just fine on the foldout screen on the camera, but goes all wonky by the time it hits the Capture window.


      Here's the confusing part:  I converted a jillion Hi-8 tapes using that camera recently and it worked just fine, along with some VHS, and it can't be the VCR if the video/audio show up just fine on the camera, right?



        • 1. Re: Sudden VHS capture problems
          Stan Jones Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          No fix, but since you haven't gotten any responses....


          I suppose there's a conversion issue that could still mess up even if it plays on the camera.


          My method in the past was to record to DVD at the highest quality on a DVR that had a VHS/DVD combo. Then I'd copy the VRO files (yeah; sony oddities) and work from there. The advantage was that the DVR was stabilizing the VHS playback.


          Try one of the tapes that worked okay before. Perhaps there are issues on some of the more recent tapes.

          • 2. Re: Sudden VHS capture problems
            lightsandsounds Level 1

            Hi Stan,


            Thanks for the reply.  Never heard of that Sony file type.  Their odd proprietary stuff is why I avoided them for years.


            If forgot I posed this question.  What I've been through is pure hilarity.  Turns out it was Premiere Pro's problem.  iMovie (new version) will let you press record and the counter goes off, but it doesn't actually record anything.  Then I tried iMovie 9.0.9 and it works, although during capture there's no audio (the audio shows up in the actual file though).  Because it's the old iMovie, it captures in .dv so I then have to use Quicktime to convert them to .mov.


            I'm capturing on an old macbook pro that still has an adapter to allow firewire in because my new stupid macbook pro only has USB type C ports, and for some reason that old laptop does the conversion until the very last second and then has an error, so I have to plug my external drive with the VHS into my new macbook pro where Quicktime doesn't have that error.  What a black comedy this whole ordeal of capturing analog stuff has been.  Turns out I need 2 computers and an old version of iMovie or I'd still be stuck at square one.  Premiere Pro is a joke.


            It's cumbersome, but at least I can capture anything now, and it works.  The goofiest part is that I have a Super VHS VCR with S-Video, and the quality from it isn't even in the ballpark of a regular RCA cable 4-Head Panasonic VCR I found in my moms closet (that I cleaned the heads on with isopropyl alcohol).  And I mean not even close.  I wish I could get ahold of an S-Video enabled VCR that I could test before buying because I want the highest quality possible, but I won't blindly order one online after seeing how awful the one I have is.


            By the way, remember MacroVision?  You used to have to buy that "stabilizer" box that ran on 9-volt in order to copy the tape?  Not with digital, haha.  

            • 3. Re: Sudden VHS capture problems
              Stan Jones Adobe Community Professional & MVP

              Thanks for reporting. I'll try to remember to report my results when I get around to seeing if my VHS to DVD recorder is still working!