11 Replies Latest reply on May 3, 2010 5:19 PM by the_wine_snob

    VHS to digital conversion


      I've recently converted a few home movie vhs tapes to mpg format. At low resoution the quality is still quite good. However, TVs are much larger today than 15 years ago. I'd like to watch them on my 46" HDTV (4:3 of course). How do I change the resolution to a larger size and maintain the video quality. Currently, the mpg files look terrible when played on my 46" HDTV. I'm told Premiere has a function to up-convert (I hope that's the right terminology) and keep video quality. I'm a noob to Adobe Premiere Pro. I have CS4. Thanks.

        • 1. Re: VHS to digital conversion
          Harm Millaard Level 7
          How do I change the resolution to a larger size and maintain the video quality.


          The only feasible approach is using RedGiants Instant HD Pro plug-in. All other approaches make it even worse.

          • 2. Re: VHS to digital conversion
            Jeff Bellune Level 5

            Welcome to the forum!


            How do the original VHS tapes look when displayed on the big TV?  You won't get any better quality than that no matter what format is used during the conversion.


            How are you playing the .mpg files?  Did you convert to MPEG2 DVD, burn a disc and then watch the DVD?



            • 3. Re: VHS to digital conversion
              the_wine_snob Level 9

              As you are starting with SD material, you would get the best quality by keeping MPEG out of the mix, until you output to DVD. Using MPEG as a source, and then outputting to DVD will give you two quality hits. This ARTICLE might give you some options on the initial A-D conversion, using DV-AVI Type II files initially.


              Then, going from SD to HD for output to a BD is limited. Harm's suggestion is probably as good as it gets. Do not expect miracles here, but if you keep your workflow based on DV-AVI Type II, until you're ready to output, things will probably look MUCH better.


              Good luck,



              • 4. Re: VHS to digital conversion
                jstaffon22 Level 1

                I converted theVHS tapes via a WinTV card in my PC. I played the tape and captured the video in uncompressed mpeg. I then play the mpeg file on my Tivo through the networking feature on the Tivo. It doesn't look bad but when I play the mpeg on my computer in a small window, it's very crisp and clear. My hopes were that Premiere Pro had a similar feature that Photoshop did where a re-sampling of sorts could be done to increase the resolution of each frame and fill in pixels to make the larger image appear crisp and clear.

                • 5. Re: VHS to digital conversion
                  jstaffon22 Level 1

                  I'm new to video stuff so some of what you're talking about is over my head. The only thing I've done besides the uncompressed mpeg capture is to convert to avi to decrease the file size. I normally use mp3 for the audio and a codec like Xvid mpeg-4, 720x480, 29.97 fps for the video. I use TMPGenc currently. If Premiere Pro can help me tweak the video quality, I'd like to learn how.


                  • 6. Re: VHS to digital conversion
                    jstaffon22 Level 1

                    I've done some reading on DV-AVI Type 2. Sorry for the stupid question but the capture method talked about mostly involves a Firewire connection from a camcorder with a DV source. Can I get DV-AVI Type 2 video captured from my VCR if I can find appropriate software for my WnTV PVR-150?


                    Thanks in advance!


                    • 7. Re: VHS to digital conversion
                      John T Smith Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                      Probably not... look at


                      http://www.grassvalley.com/products/advc110 for good tapes, or
                      http://www.grassvalley.com/products/advc300 better with OLD tapes

                      • 8. Re: VHS to digital conversion
                        Curt Wrigley Level 4

                        John mentioned the ADVC300.  I did a review on it for a magazine long ago.  Here's a summary with some online demos.


                        I dug this up from an old post:


                        If you will be transfering a lot of old VHS tapes and Dont have a good deck with TBC, consider the canopus ADVC 300 AD converter with noise correction. Below is a review i did a while ago...




                        For me the biggest benefit of the box is doing the color correction in real time as it is captured while cleaning some of the grain at the same time. This is faster for me than correcxting it in PPRO. Also, it is better to attempt the clean up while the video is analog rather in post; there is more information available. I liked the AGC (auto gain corrector) for video and audio. As sceens change it does a decent job making adjustments. (Sometimes the changes are too abrupt, so it depends on the footage)


                        Note; My VCR has a TBC built in. So, it does a pretty good job on its own stabalizing footage ebfore it even gets to the ADVC300. So, the results would be more dramtic if I was using a VCR without TBC.


                        For the curious, below are links to 5 videos I output to WMV showing the videos captured via a DV deck -vs the ADVC (using split screen)


                        My setup is as follows:


                        - Capturing without the ADVC300:
                        JVC HRS9911 SVHS VCR conneted through a sony DSR-25 DV deck via Svideo. The sony DV deck simply provides analog passthru to DV. Of course the deck is connected to my NLE via 1394.


                        - Capturing with ADVC300:
                        JVC HRS9911 SVHS VCR connected to ADVC300 via Svideo. ADVC300 connected via 1394 to my NLE


                        Test 1: Old VHS Beach footage
                        This was using the default settings of the ADVC right out of the box.


                        Test 2a Home movie with 3d NR filters on strong
                        This compares original to advc with the 3d NR filters on the strong setting. The 2D filters are off. Note; you will see some of the ghosting problem during the fast movement.


                        My WebpageTest 2b Same Home movie capture showing NR on AND off
                        Same footage as the previous clip. This time the left shows capture via ADVC300 with NO Noise filters on. Right side is with the same 3D NR filters on Strong.


                        Test 3 Wedding footage vhs dup in EP mode
                        Here's everyone's favorite. A VHS wedding copied to another VHS in EP mode. No magic here, but the NR does improve the background quite a bit.


                        Test 4 Old super8 footage that was transfered to VHS several years ago


                        I encoded these to WMV ata fairly high rate so you can hopefully see the differences. I hope these help others who may be considering this box. It cant fix everything, and there are tradeoffs to the 3d NR, but my quick testing reveals the box does improve footage. And thats what I was after.


                        Conclusion: If you have a VCR without TBC or are just using a cam Passthr, you will see improvement in the video quality if you route though this box rather than a cam or non tbc vcr. If you do analog xfers alot, this box can really help. If you have a VCR with TBC (or an external TBC) then the ADVC300 will provide SOME improvment, but I suspect the TBC will in itself make a big difference. Not for the casual users as it costs $500.

                        • 9. Re: VHS to digital conversion
                          the_wine_snob Level 9

                          PrPro can do Scaling, but its algorithms pale compared to PS (for still images), and are not likely to help much, if at all.


                          The workflow is introducing issues, regarding quality. To greatly simplify things, I would look into using an A-D bridge, like the Canopus/GV 110 or 300 (thanks for that review Curt). This will allow you to Capture with PrPro to DV-AVI Type II, and the quality will be greatly enhanced. Basically a one-step workflow and you will quickly pay for the A-D bridge in just your time, with probably 5 tapes.


                          Good luck,



                          • 10. Re: VHS to digital conversion
                            jstaffon22 Level 1

                            I really appreciate all of the replies! Thanks!



                            • 11. Re: VHS to digital conversion
                              the_wine_snob Level 9

                              You are most welcome. We try!


                              Good luck,