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VHS to DVD looking pixulated

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Olly Lawer
VHS to DVD looking pixulated
on Dec 7, 2010 at 6:26:20 pm

Hi,

I may be expecting miracles here, but I have followed the following process and the end product is not as good as I expected.

1. Use elgato to convert a VHS to H.264 - which strangely comes out as a MP4...?

2. Use toast to convert to DVD dual layer.

On a 42' LCD TV, the picture looks very pixulated. The resolution appears to be 640 x 480. I guess this is standard VHS resolution? I cannot try on a smaller CRT TV unfortunately.

For info, I also used compressor to create the MPEG-2. Worked fine on a small short VHS (30 mins) but keeps crashing DVD Pro now I have tried with a larger almost 3 hour (down to 8.7 GB with bit rate of 5.0)

Any suggestions welcome.

Olly Lawer


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Chris Blair
Re: VHS to DVD looking pixulated
on Dec 8, 2010 at 3:16:10 am

MP4 is the typical format of H.264, although it can also be contained in MPEG2, AVI, MOV and others.

H.264 is designed as a delivery format, so you're basically heavily compressing your VHS (which is the lowest quality known to man to begin with); then recompressing going to MPEG2. Additionally, you're viewing it on a big 42" LCD that's likely HD, which means it's then blowing up your 720x480 video to something like 1280x720 (or thereabouts). So it's not surprising it looks pixelated. The best you can do is eliminate the first step and digitize the VHS directly to MPEG2. That will elminate one compression step, but it will still probably look pretty bad on a 42" HDTV.

Chris Blair
Magnetic Image, Inc.
Evansville, IN
http://www.videomi.com
Read our blog http://www.videomi.com/blog


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David Johnson
Re: VHS to DVD looking pixulated
on Dec 8, 2010 at 3:40:02 am

Starting with VHS and fitting lots of content on DVDS, you can't expect much in the way of quality anyway ... have you considered just spending $50 at Walmart or your local pawn shop for a VHS-DVD deck? Most have SP, LP & EP record modes like straight VHS decks so you can fit as much as 6 or 8 hours without the compression nightmare and time of trying to do that manually. Just my two pence ... hope it helps.


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Olly Lawer
Re: VHS to DVD looking pixulated
on Dec 8, 2010 at 2:59:30 pm

Hi,

Thanks for your reply.

I thought that a VHS to DVD recorder wouldn't go to dual layer DVD (or one would cost me a fortune if so).

How do I go straight from my VHS to prores? I take it I would bypass elgato and go straight into FCP? Not sure how to do this?

Always a great help, thanks.

PS- the picture quality is OK, maybe a little soft and pixulated, but OK. Will buying a professional VHS to DVD recorder improve the image noticeably? I.e. Is it worth the money?

Olly Lawer


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Chris Blair
Re: VHS to DVD looking pixulated
on Dec 8, 2010 at 7:28:39 pm

I'm not sure you're understanding what David and I are saying. There's no advantage to going to ProRes or any intermediate format first, then going to MPEG2 for DVD. You should simply to straight to MPEG2/DVD.

You're not going to improve the quality of the original VHS recording in this process. The only way to improve it would be to capture it uncompressed then use enhancement software in After Effects or other compositing and NLE apps, which I'm sure isn't worth the time or effort.

VHS to dual-layer DVD recorders are made and they're a little more expensive than regular VHS--->DVD recorders but not much.

If you can't afford that, just capture direct from the VHS to MPEG2 (if possible). If that isn't possible, then capture to the highest quality you can in your system, then encode to MPEG2. That's the best you're going to do.

Chris Blair
Magnetic Image, Inc.
Evansville, IN
http://www.videomi.com
Read our blog http://www.videomi.com/blog


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Olly Lawer
Re: VHS to DVD looking pixulated
on Dec 9, 2010 at 1:10:17 pm

Thanks - I now understand.

Damn, I was told that they their weren't any dual layer recorders by both Curry's and Hughes!!!!!!

Anyway, have now employed someone to do it, but there recorder only burns to single layer.

My question is for 3 1/2 hours the bit rate is 4mbps. The quality is understandably not great. How better would the quality be if I quickly invest in a dual layer DVD burner?

If not a huge amount, i'll just stick with this guy.

Olly Lawer


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Olly Lawer
Re: VHS to DVD looking pixulated
on Dec 9, 2010 at 2:12:14 pm

PS - would something like this do it?

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Toshiba-DVR19DTKB2-Freeview-Recorder-Combi/dp/B002F...

Olly Lawer


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Martin Curtis
Re: VHS to DVD looking pixulated
on Dec 10, 2010 at 12:26:43 am

Personally I can never tell the difference between 2 hour and 4 hour recording on a single layer DVD.


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