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A capture card to flawlessly record VHS

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    A capture card to flawlessly record VHS

    I thought this might be something the people of this forum would know about. I would like to record VHS tapes on my computer but I am afraid at the kind of equipment that may be required to do this. Because I would like the resulting files to be absolutely identical in quality to the VHS. I have tried recording VHS with my antique capture card but it is definitely not suitable for the job.

    I know nothing about this stuff... Would I need to get a capture card able to record 60 frames per second for example?
    • Computers I'm looking for: Olivetti M380-40 • Olivetti M486 • Olivetti M6 620 suprema • HP Vectra VL 6/400

    #2
    NTSC TV is only 30 fps (actually 29.97...), so no, 60 fps wouldn't be needed. A good Bt848 chipset compatible PCI card should capture OK VHS quality video, if you're looking for something retro. Or track down an Iomega Buz, which does MJPEG hardware based capture.

    For modern USB based, there are some $40 or so devices that should work OK to capture NTSC video... USB 2.0 is plenty fast for regular old NTSC.

    Comment


      #3
      I just did this last week using a common Hauppauge tuner card (with composite input) on a modern PC. I recorded off a VHS VCR using the Hauppauge app (on windows 7) to a single MPEG2 file (2-hrs was about 7 GB) and then used a (free trial) program called VideoReDo TVSuite V5 to make simple cut edits and then output the result as MPEG4 AAC (for iPad, etc) with smart deinterlacing at PAL resolution (you would use NTSC resolution.) I'm happy with the result.
      IBM 5170/5053, 2 x 5150/5051
      Sun IPC, Ultra1 and SPARCclassic
      HP Apollo 9000/735
      Silicon Graphics Indy, O2
      Radio Shack TRS-80 model 100
      Apple Mac Plus

      Comment


        #4
        The hauppage cards work quite nicely, however my personal choice (if you've got a firewire port and a copy of premiere, that is) would be something from the Canopus AVDC line, like the AVDC-110. Some of them have onboard TBC (Time base corrector) and can be found if your patient for cheap. Friend of mine got his at an estate sale for $30

        Another option, if you've got access to a newer digital camcorder (again, firewire) is to use the pass-through option like so:
        http://www.videohelp.com/dvanalog
        -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
        Currently Looking for Samsung Sens Pro Laptop's (500, 520,800,820) and accessories, specifically a docking station.

        Comment


          #5
          You need a good VCR for playback and there are a number of options for new and old hardware to record. Most of the cheap old solutions have issues with audio sync after a few minutes. You also have to figure out what format you want the output to be in.
          What I collect: 68K/Early PPC Mac, DOS/Win 3.1 era machines, Amiga/ST, C64/128
          Nubus/ISA/VLB/MCA/EISA cards of all types
          Boxed apps and games for the above systems
          Analog video capture cards/software and complete systems

          Comment


            #6
            A Canopus AVDC seems like the kind of thing that would be really hard to acquire for me. Why do you need to have premiere by the way?

            Time base corrector huh... My computer does not have any firewire ports (what computer does by the way hahaha) but I could probably add some with a card right.

            Don't have any camcorder.

            What format? Whatever's the best one I guess.

            I have a Sears (Sanyo) VCR... Hahaha don't laugh, in some aspects it may leave to be desired but it's got a great picture and sound when it works right.
            • Computers I'm looking for: Olivetti M380-40 • Olivetti M486 • Olivetti M6 620 suprema • HP Vectra VL 6/400

            Comment


              #7
              Remember that VHS is analog, so no digital conversion is going to be "absolutely identical" to the contents of the tape. And unless you use a lossless codec (which will generate huge files), there will always be some artifacting even if you don't notice it.

              Comment


                #8
                I've been told, the old ATI video cards with the Theatre 200 chip are close to perfect without getting $10,000 Matrox (or whomever) solutions. I have a whole pentium 4 setup for just such a task, with professional svhs tape decks. Just dont have the time to start recording. For the record, I'm referring to the late agp era cards like the 9800 or X850.
                It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems just with potatoes.

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                  #9
                  Originally posted by salamontagne View Post
                  The hauppage cards work quite nicely, however my personal choice (if you've got a firewire port and a copy of premiere, that is) would be something from the Canopus AVDC line, like the AVDC-110. Some of them have onboard TBC (Time base corrector) and can be found if your patient for cheap. Friend of mine got his at an estate sale for $30
                  I second this highly. I used to use an ADS Pyro A/V and it dropped out all the time on VHS tapes (it was fine with a composite signal from my Commodore). I upgraded to a Canopus ADVC-300 and I've yet to have a dropout since.
                  I use my C128 because I am an ornery, stubborn, retro grouch. -- Bob Masse
                  Various projects and oddities: http://oldvcr.blogspot.com/
                  Machine room: http://www.floodgap.com/etc/machines.html

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Watch Trixter's video here on how to properly convert interlaced video from VHS tapes and other composite sources : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sn_TDa9zY1c
                    My Retro Computing and Vintage Gaming Blog : http://nerdlypleasures.blogspot.com/

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Personally, I cut the computer out of the loop and used a Toshiba kr10 dvd recorder. I hooked my vcr to it via s-video cables and got good quality copies to dvd. I got tired of fiddling with all the hiccups trying to use a tv tuner card and older media center software.

                      Once the recording is on DVD I can make an image .iso to the computer and play that .iso file with vlc, etc., and then transcode from the dvd if desired.

                      Oh, lots of vhs tapes will have a copy protection that prevents recording the tape. I got some little gizmo that would allow me to record such tapes to dvd,

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                        #12
                        Yes, you can get those kinds of Macrovision defeaters, or some devices will do it with an undocumented setting. My Canopus does, for example, though I also have a standalone Macrovision filter on my DVD player so I can use it with the TV/VCR (or else the DVD's synthetic Macrovision makes the disc unwatchable).
                        I use my C128 because I am an ornery, stubborn, retro grouch. -- Bob Masse
                        Various projects and oddities: http://oldvcr.blogspot.com/
                        Machine room: http://www.floodgap.com/etc/machines.html

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Don't use a capture card. Use a DV camcorder with analog passthrough, such as a MiniDV or Digital8 Sony Handycam -- or a Video Walkman if you are lucky enough to find one for an affordable price. They have built-in Time Base Correction and are immune to Macrovision encoding. The captured footage is rock-solid even on worn-out or damaged tapes, and the capturing and editing workflow is the same as with any DV source, which has been an industry standard for over 20 years. And with some editing tricks (as described in Trixter's video) you can get smooth 60fps video from it, that doesn't look half bad when upscaled to 960x720 HD:



                          The only catch is that you need a FireWire port, which has pretty much disappeared from modern computers (although if you have a Mac with a Thunderbolt port you can use an adapter to connect FireWire to it). If you have a desktop with PCI slots or a laptop with a PCMCIA or ExpressCard slot you can easily add a FireWire card, but if all you have are USB ports, you're SOL (no, cheap FireWire to USB adapters will not work).

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by Doug G View Post
                            ...
                            Oh, lots of vhs tapes will have a copy protection that prevents recording the tape. I got some little gizmo that would allow me to record such tapes to dvd,
                            I have a Panasonic video mixer that is totally immune to this, and I can do fades and wipes while copying.....
                            --
                            Thus spake Tandy Xenix System III version 3.2: "Bughlt: Sckmud Shut her down Scotty, she's sucking mud again!"

                            Comment


                              #15
                              DV camcorder with analog passthrough. Connect into computer with firewire. Capture with WinDV... Can you tell me what are some of the models that can do this? What is the one you showed in your video for example?

                              This time base correction seems suspicious to me by the way... So time base correction would be able to able to clean the signal recorded on a very very wrinkled area of a tape? Also I'm afraid that it might malfunction and mess up a good signal...
                              • Computers I'm looking for: Olivetti M380-40 • Olivetti M486 • Olivetti M6 620 suprema • HP Vectra VL 6/400

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