7 Replies Latest reply on Feb 1, 2011 5:19 PM by julianelliott

    VHS Capture Alternatives

    julianelliott

      I have begun to transfer old family VHS files to disk in .avi files using an inexpensive Diamond One Touch capture device. Perusing the forum archives, it appears that the consensus is that this has editing limitations over DV-AVI (not yet entirely sure what the difference is, however).  I have, however, noticed that the quality of transfered video seems less than the analog direct-to-TV image.  This is without any enhancement via Premiere settings, nor prior to any edits.

       

      My question:  I am trying to assess if it is worth the project delay and the expense to acquire a more robust capture system (eg, GV ADVC 110) to improve quality and flexibility.   I am a "civilian", not a pro, and while this is a substantial project, it is not something I feel I must absolutely must have. I would be interested in opinions as to whether this is worth the incremental effort.  You guys have guided me well so far....

       

      Julian

        • 1. Re: VHS Capture Alternatives
          nealeh Level 5

          I think you will see a lot of negativity towards the USB capture devices. But prior to getting my Green Valley ADVC I captured with the Magix USB Capture device. After tracking down and disabling a 'feature' that made the sound go out of sync, it was quite good. The package included a version of 'Movies on DVD' - a cut down version of their Movie Edit Pro - and this captures well (using their propriety high quality codec). In one respect I find it better than PRE - one can make cuts in the timeline and then export each section as an individual DV-AVI Type 2 file - Smart Rendered so no re-encoding.

           

          So why did I get the ADVC unit? Because I had a few very ropey VHS tapes and wanted to see if it gave me a better capture, I wanted to copy some of my commercial VHS tapes to DVD with best quality, because it IS easier with the Firewire connection, and I happened across a good deal for a refurbished unit.

           

          So would I go back to the Magix device? No. But I do still use it's software if I want to split a long video into multiple individual files.

           

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

          • 2. Re: VHS Capture Alternatives
            Steve Grisetti Adobe Community Professional

            I'm with you, Neale. I would never recommend capturing analog video with anything less than the ADS Pyro AV Link or Canopus ADVC unit, both of which connect by FireWire cable to your computer.

            http://forums.adobe.com/thread/431853?tstart=0

            • 3. Re: VHS Capture Alternatives
              the_wine_snob Level 9

              Julien,

               

              I have begun to transfer old family VHS files to disk in .avi files using an inexpensive Diamond One Touch capture device

               

              I do not know that device, or its capabilities. Can you clarify exactly what your workflow was?

               

              The reason that I am asking is that you mention AVI, and also "to disk." One can capture to AVI (hopefully to DV-AVI, which is a special version of AVI), and then write those AVI files to disk, i.e. to a DVD-Data. Or, they could possibly write to a DVD-Video, which is a totally different thing, and will yield different files. Knowing exactly what you have done will be very helpful to giving you tips on how to proceed.

               

              In the meantime, you might want to look over this ARTICLE, if you have not done so already.

               

              Good luck, and please let us know more,

               

              Hunt

              • 4. Re: VHS Capture Alternatives
                julianelliott Level 1

                I feel like I'm peeling an onion with many, many layers!  Luckily, I have a bit of time to learn about this.  Thanks for your patience.

                 

                Hunt, your attached article was useful, and I certainly have a lot to learn re files, rendering, etc.  You layman's analogy was helpful.  Re workflow -- for the time being, I am directly transferring from VHS composite thru USB into avi files on my hard disk.   Using Gspot, the video codec is shown as Conexant UYVY, and Status say "No Codec required".  The audio codec is PCM at 48K Hz.  (I would attach a screen shot, but this forum doesn't seem to support attachments, and the image insert isn't very clear.)

                 

                I must admit I'm not sure what this implies.  My initial disappointment was with poor color/vibrancy of the captured video; now I want to look closer at video/audio synch, etc.

                 

                Neale, you anticipate my next question  re workflow; how I will cut the timeline of a large file and export into multiple smaller files for editing.  PE doesn't seem to do this well, if at all.  The capture device came with a copy of Corel Ulead VideoStudio 10, which may do what you say.  I'll look at it.

                 

                Reading between the lines, am I to understand that I can/should be transfering the raw files direct to DVD prior to cutting up into smaller. editable files?  If so, didn't know I could do that.  Given each unedited 1hr tape will require 15-20 GB before cutting up, this is interesting if doable.

                 

                So much to learn....

                 

                Julian

                • 5. Re: VHS Capture Alternatives
                  the_wine_snob Level 9
                  Reading between the lines, am I to understand that I can/should be transfering the raw files direct to DVD prior to cutting up into smaller. editable files?

                   

                   

                  No, if you are talking about DVD-Video (as opposed to DVD-Data, just for storing the files). You will want to keep DVD-Video out of the workflow, until you output to DVD, when you have finished editing. DVD-Video requires the MPEG-2 compression, and if at all possible, you only want that one time - at the very end of the workflow.

                   

                  Using Gspot, the video codec is shown as Conexant UYVY, and Status say "No Codec required".

                   

                  I am totally unfamiliar with that CODEC, but then, there are so very, very many out there, that one cannot know them all. This Comment reflects on some of its uses. Not much detail.

                   

                  Good luck,

                   

                  Hunt

                  • 6. Re: VHS Capture Alternatives
                    julianelliott Level 1

                    I have enough information to start my project.  Thanks for your help.

                     

                    J

                    • 7. Re: VHS Capture Alternatives
                      the_wine_snob Level 9

                      Good luck with that Project, and please report your success.

                       

                      Should you have any questions along the way, do not hesitate to drop back by.

                       

                      Hunt