11 Replies Latest reply on May 18, 2009 7:45 AM by the_wine_snob

    Capture problem - dropped frames


      I am trying to capture VHS tapes to Adobe PE 4 from VCR using ADS Pyro AV Link.  When I try to capture, the video preview window keeps freezing and then un-freezing during capture and tells me I have dropped frames after I stop capture.  Even before I hit the capture button and just view the video in preview it does the same thing.  Also tried capturing in WinDV and it showed 350 dropped frames in the first 30 seconds.  Any idea why this would be happening?  I have tried defragmenting and restarting computer with no help. Thanks.


      Just tried something else.  When I had the above problems I was using a VHS-C tape with adapter in VCR.  When I use a regular commercial VHS tape (without adapter) problem does not happen.  Okay good enough, but now how do I get all the VHS-C tapes I have captured?  Original camera used to record them no longer works.

        • 1. Re: Capture problem - dropped frames
          N9JCR Level 2

          I have had very good experience with the Pyro.  Unfortunately some combinations of PE and hardware don't mix well and you get dropped frames.  You can go through the process of making sure your drivers are all up to date (see this FAQ item: http://forums.adobe.com/thread/416585?tstart=0 ) and that may help.  It's possible there are processes running that are competing with WinDV and PE that are causing the problem also - look in your task manager and see if something else is running that may be slowing your system down.


          If you are running VISTA, check this FAQ also:  http://forums.adobe.com/thread/415316?tstart=0


          Since I switched to WinDV I have not had any problems.



          • 2. Re: Capture problem - dropped frames
            Paul_LS Level 4

            Is it all your tapes? And how old are they? The Pyro will freeze and then restart (timing is lost) when working with older or poor quality tapes particuarly if there are any "bad" bits in the tape. This is different from the odd dropped frame that you might get. I had the same problem when working with my old tapes. If I tried a new tape or a commercial tape there were no problems but when trying to capture older tapes that I had recorded I had the issue. In the end I invested in a Timebase Corrector, this totally eliminated the problem... but they are not cheap. First thing to try is test with a different VCR, this sometimes cures the problems.

            • 3. Re: Capture problem - dropped frames
              the_wine_snob Level 9

              Before I Capture a client's VHS, I always play it through completely, and then play it backward to the beginning. This is much slower than rewind, and is less stressful on the tape. Yes, the tape does pass over the play heads, but this is usually a lot easier on older tapes, than the high-speed FFWD and REW. This also helps eliminate "hub bump," the little dent in the tape at the hubs. Once the tape has basically been "retensioned," I have yet to have any dropped frames, and this is over ~ 100 tapes, some very, very old and stored in poor conditions in Arizona.


              This might do nothing for your case, but it might help rull out a hanging tape, hub bump and similar problems that can develop with VHS tapes.


              Good luck,



              • 4. Re: Capture problem - dropped frames
                justmytype Level 1

                Yes the tapes are a bit old, some 10-15 years old, but they did play okay on the VCR hooked to a TV just a few weeks ago so I'm not sure why all of a sudden they wouldn't now.  Anyway, this timebase corrector -- where would I find one of these?  How expensive are they?  May consider trying that if you think it might work, as I do have a lot of tapes to convert -- about 30 or so -- and may help my dad to transfer some of his too.  Thanks.

                • 5. Re: Capture problem - dropped frames
                  justmytype Level 1

                  I'll also try the other suggestions too.  I'm getting a little frustrated with this whole analog to DVD capture process.  I've been trying to get these tapes done and I keep running into problems.  First had a bad ADS Pyro AV Link and after talking with their support staff for two weeks finally got that replaced and now this problem.

                  • 6. Re: Capture problem - dropped frames
                    justmytype Level 1

                    How exactly do you "play it backward to the beginning?"  Don't know if my VCR does this or not.  Do you mean that you hit the play button and then rewind instead of hitting stop and rewind?  Thanks.

                    • 7. Re: Capture problem - dropped frames
                      the_wine_snob Level 9

                      Most VHS decks allow forward and reverse Play. My Marantz decks, my Panasonic deck, my RCA deck and my NEC VHS deck all allow this. Not sure what model that you have.


                      I use a Turtle Beach A-D card for the VHS tape transfer. I have never used the ADS Pyro, but it gets very high marks. The Canopus 110 and their 300 also get rave reviews. If I did not have the Turtle Beach, I'd buy the Canopus 300 for my work.


                      If you have not done so, you might want to visit Muvipix and look in the "Community." Many users there use the ADS units.


                      Good luck,




                      BTW, in doing Captures of about 60 VHS tapes, I have never had one dropped frame - YET!

                      • 8. Re: Capture problem - dropped frames
                        Paul_LS Level 4

                        Yes, my tapes played fine when viewed on the TV but this does mean they will capture OK. Try as Hunt suggests, and also try to use a different VCR. But if you are unsuccesful your only solution may be a TBC. Hunt mentions the Canopus range of analog to digital convertors... the ADVC 300 has an inbuilt line TBC which may be sufficient, I went for a full frame TBC:


                        • 9. Re: Capture problem - dropped frames
                          justmytype Level 1

                          Unfortunately I have an old Toshiba W512 VCR and it does not have the play backward feature.  So I guess I have a few options.  May get another VCR and try that.  I know they don't sell VCR-only models anymore.  What about a VCR/DVD combo?  Any good ones to try?  Also on the TBC, is this is a card or stand alone unit and how do the connections work?  I see several on the website you linked, but confused as to which one I would get.  Sorry I'm new at this.  Do I use it with my Pyro Link?

                          • 10. Re: Capture problem - dropped frames
                            Paul_LS Level 4

                            I think the cheapest TBC on the site   http://www.datavideo.info/en/products/tbc.shtm   is the TBC-100 which is a PCI card that fits in your computer. I have a unit similar to the TBC-1000, it is a stand alone unit. Basically they have s-video and/or composite video inputs and outputs. So you would connect the VCR video output to the TBC video input and then the TBC video output to the Pyro. You have the audio connected directly between the VCR and the Pyro.


                            Regarding a VCR I bought a JVC S-VHS VCR with a line TBC on Ebay. The VCR has an inbuilt line TBC, but this corrects distortions in vertical lines in the picture that are due to time base errors but does not help with the dropped frames... which I why I also use the full frame TBC.


                            If you use a VCR/DVD combo you could capture the VHS to DVD... the VCR/DVD combos are quite insensitive to dropped frames. Then you could use the Pyro to capture from the DVD. This will avoid dropped frames but is a two step.

                            • 11. Re: Capture problem - dropped frames
                              the_wine_snob Level 9

                              The Panasonic unit in my editing suite is a VHS-DVD, and the output is directed to the Turtle Beach card. To date, I have not had to use the mentioned workflow with any tape, but usually do, as you suggest, to provide the client with a DVD "backup" of the tape. This is always my "Phase 1," and has worked great, so far. I then replay the VHS tape and do the Capture via the TB card to DV-AVI Type II, which is Imported into Premiere (and also stored on an external HDD for archiving) and edited. Though a PCI card is inferior in many ways to a full A-D hardware bridge, this workflow has yielded great results, again with the qualifier "so far."


                              I'm surprised that the ADS Pryo has been problematic. While not unheard of, I see so very many glowing reports on its performance, especially in its price-range.


                              Because of the high success rate with that piece of hardware, and the positive reviews, I included the Muvipix link. So many users have and love the ADS Pyro. Unfortunately, I have never used one, so know only what I read.