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VHS archiving: sequence, file format, and de-interlace questions

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Lee Overstreet
VHS archiving: sequence, file format, and de-interlace questions
on Nov 4, 2016 at 6:33:47 pm

I'm FINALLY doing the classic home video archiving project for all my NTSC tapes (VHS, VHS-C, S-VHS, 8mm, Hi-8, DV). I'm using Premiere CC 2015.2 in Windows 7 Pro 64-bit, since that's the last configuration supported by Matrox for my MX02 Mini capture device. (Don't buy Matrox unless you can afford to upgrade hardware regularly!)

For all my tapes, I'd like to:
1) Capture uncompressed
2) Export MPEG-2 for DVD, make DVD for safekeeping.
3) Edit and export an h.264 non-interlaced file for viewing on home network into the future, as well as uploading to YouTube
3) Use some videos in a video podcast later (from my days as a radio DJ) to be combined with modern HD footage.


Q1) Steps 1 & 2 above are straightforward enough. For step 3, is it best to just create a new sequence to match the source, and let Adobe Media Encoder do the work to make it progressive and h.264?

Q2) Is there any compelling reason to have a different h.264 file with different / better settings as an archive for home viewing vs. what I send to YouTube? Right now I'm using the default YouTube SD footage setting but with the bitrate bumped up to 10 target / 15 max just to make me feel better.

Q3) Am I correct that the "progressive" check box in Media Encoder is the simplest form of de-interlacing, just throwing away one of the interlaced fields? It does appear to reduce detail. You'd think in a piece of software as sophisticated as Premiere, the default de-interlacing would include some motion detection and better blending of NTSC fields. Am I also correct that After Effects can do the more sophisticated method of de-interlacing?

Q4) Is there a recommended file format suitable for later editing like Matrox's MPEG-2 I-frame 4:2:2 .avi at ~25Mbps that ISN'T from Matrox? The aforementioned podcast where I'll edit some of this NTSC stuff with modern HD from a DSLR won't happen for a while, and I don't want to rely on a Matrox codec any longer than I have to, nor edit from the h.264 files. I'd keep the uncompressed files but I don't have a bunch of 50TB hard drives lying around! 11GB per hour is practical, but 80GB per hour isn't. I considered saving everything as standard DV format for later editing, but I understand I might lose some color quality due to the 4:1:1 subsambling. Am I overthinking things?

Sorry for all the questions, but I dove into the deep end with the Adobe CC suite. Thanks for any help! :-)

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Ann Bens
Re: VHS archiving: sequence, file format, and de-interlace questions
on Nov 4, 2016 at 7:10:25 pm

1. for uncompressed you need a special card and huge disks. Capture in DV avi (pc) mov for Mac. (about 13 gig/hour)
3. for you tube you deinterlace on export. For dvd leave interlacing (lower) as it is.

Adobe Certified Expert Premiere Pro CS6/CC
Adobe Community Professional

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Lee Overstreet
Re: VHS archiving: sequence, file format, and de-interlace questions
on Nov 4, 2016 at 7:29:04 pm

Hi Ann,

I'm capturing uncompressed with my Matrox MXO2 mini just fine. And I'm already familiar with creating DVDs, as well as the basic de-interlacing on export. I'm looking for more specific answers to these questions. Thank you, though!

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Chris Wright
Re: VHS archiving: sequence, file format, and de-interlace questions
on Nov 4, 2016 at 7:37:59 pm

you don't need to capture more than 640x480 interlaced top field first. mjpeg is better than h.264 capture(less artifacts). uncompressed is often unrealistic due to disk speed/space

Resize in your NLE later.(more on this later)

If you want better quality deinterlace, export out high quality digital intermediate
and deinterlace with alchemist od or some other personal preference(almost anything else is better out there for deinterlace
in the world of adaptive deinterlacing)

If your framesize is different from youtube, then alchemist can also resize or use premiere's preserve upscale.

just use adobe's youtube presets. You'll want to match the size with preserve upscale effect so that youtube doesn't try to resize again losing more quality.

i'd transcode all the files to prores hq/dnxhd or cineform for offline. or proress 4444/dnxhr if you want almost perfect backups.

you can also edit the h.264 via the new proxy ingest feature to use cineform(which is the smoothest to edit)

I think AE does the same deinterlace algorithm or a smidge better. It's been a while since I compared.

I wouldn't transcode the h.264 into dv because you would lose a lot of quality going from a 4:2:0 to a dv 4:1:1 re-compression of really really low data rate.

I haven't compared the matrox codec compression but you might(as a compromise) try handbrake, then reencode with the constant quality slider at around 18 and see if you like the quality/filesize.

unfortunately, any backups of high quality and small file size do not exist, as even wavelet codecs like cineform and prores require a lot of hd space. Although they came out with a 5TB for $80, so its getting cheaper everyday.

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Lee Overstreet
Re: VHS archiving: sequence, file format, and de-interlace questions
on Nov 4, 2016 at 7:51:48 pm


Thanks for your answers, but maybe I put too much in my questions or wrote it badly. My uncompressed capturing is working perfectly. My exported h.264 files are fine except I don't love the de-interlacing. The Snell stuff you mentioned is definitely overkill. I should probably make the de-interlacing question a separate topic altogether, maybe on the After Effects forum.

Like I said, I may have written my questions in a confusing manner. I'm capturing to uncompressed, then making DVD compatible files from that, then also making h.264 YouTube files with the default settings from the uncompressed (I never plan to edit with the h.264 files), and then I'd like to save out another file from the uncompressed in an editable but reasonably sized (~25Mbps like DV) file format that's not Matrox specific but preserves the color better than DV.

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Chris Wright
Re: VHS archiving: sequence, file format, and de-interlace questions
on Nov 4, 2016 at 11:46:50 pm

sorry, i may have gone overboard and missed your question. anyway, since you're happy with the capturing, and auto youtube resize,
you could take a gander at a few deinterlacing products:

free avisynth QTGMC Deinterlacing Script
Fieldskit deinterlacer
red giant frames
BCC deinterlace

I also forgot about quicktime's photojpeg which has a selectable jpeg compression. It's smaller than quicktime png.
there's also prores 422 LT or DNxHD 36 is 36 Mb/s or even Avid DV(though you'll probably have compression artifacts)

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Gary Huff
Re: VHS archiving: sequence, file format, and de-interlace questions
on Nov 5, 2016 at 4:03:30 am

[Chris Wright] "Fieldskit deinterlacer"

I have to second Fieldskit. The only one out of the list I own, and I own but don't use Frames. Fieldskit has saved my bacon more than once.

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Lee Overstreet
Re: VHS archiving: sequence, file format, and de-interlace questions
on Nov 11, 2016 at 5:03:12 pm

Thanks, Chris! (And Gary.) Sorry for this slow response. Life issues intervened this past week.

RE: deinterlacing...

-The free avisynth QTGMC Deinterlacing Script is intriguing for being free, but looks like it has a learning curve that might keep me from ever actually proceeding with my archiving project. Also, I'm not sure how to integrate it into a Premiere workflow.
-I've seen Fieldskit mentioned here and there quite positively, and as a plug-in to Premiere I have a fighting chance of figuring it out and using it. Maybe I should start another thread regarding how to use it in my workflow. Like, when exactly would one apply the deinterlacing? Completely separately to export a new version of a video? Within a progressive sequence? That'll take some figuring out, but as much as Premiere's simplistic deinterlacing bothers me, it'll be worth the effort and $89, I think.

RE: 4:2:2 editable format at decent bitrate...

-I suppose I just need to experiment with what's available in Adobe Media Encoder, maybe ask this question in the AME forum. I hadn't considered ProRes with it being an Apple format and me being on a PC. I don't guess that actually matters. Like I said, I'd use Matrox's MPEG-2 I-frame 4:2:2 codec, since it honestly looks quite good, but I'm mad at Matrox for dropping support for my MXO2 mini, and I'd rather not rely on their codec into the future. And I only ever considered the standard DV codec and it's poorer color subsampling because it so universal and recognized by everything. If I make ProRes files for future editing from my uncompressed captures, that should work well, yes? I'll keep some tapes uncompressed if they're special or if I know I'll finish with them soon.

Thanks for the help!!!

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