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Best Method To Convert VHS To DVD

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Jackie Luffy
Best Method To Convert VHS To DVD
on Aug 21, 2014 at 2:45:47 am

Hey all, I have the Pinnacle Video Transfer too, its one where it writes the video straight to usb, I have to say though I am not pleased at all with it, not only does the "best" setting have noticable pixels in it the video seems to look interlaced in some way, everytime there is movement you can see horizontal lines everywhere, I know you can fix this by rendering it out in a editing software as progressive but still, there is a clear quality loss when viewed on a vhs player and the transfered file on your computer.

I seen a few others that look pretty promising.

The best one seems to be the Elgato Video Transfer, I seen a review on youtube and the quality looked very good, he never did comment on how well it was compared to the actual VHS though.

So does anyone know of a better method or if this Elgato thing really is worth it? Please let me hear your thoughts!


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Jeff Pulera
Re: Best Method To Convert VHS To DVD
on Jan 5, 2015 at 5:54:58 pm

Hi Jackie,

You will get what you pay for with the cheaper "capture" solutions unfortunately. If your computer has a "Firewire" port, also known as 1394, or you have a desktop computer to which you can ADD a cheap 1394 card, then look at a DV conversion solution such as as the Grass Valley ADVC-55 unit. This will convert an SD signal from the VCR into the DV format that you can capture over 1394 cable with any edit app that provides DV capture.

This includes Windows Movie Maker, Adobe Elements or Premiere Pro, Sony Vegas, practically any editing software out there since DV is a long-established standard.

USB 2.0 does not have enough bandwidth for high-quality video transfer, so the cheaper capture units over-compress the video to a lower-quality format.

Note that computer screens are ALL Progressive by nature, so it is normal to see interlace artifacting while editing 480i SD footage. If you export to DVD, you could check the results to see if it looks ok on your TV set. Might be ok there.

Thanks

Jeff Pulera
Safe Harbor Computers


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Kuhnen Brown
Re: Best Method To Convert VHS To DVD
on Jan 15, 2016 at 4:41:44 pm

Hey Jeff,
Is it better to record the VHS to a codec other than DV? The Matrox MXO2 mini with Vetura capture can record incoming video in ProRes using a composite cable. I'm not sure if there is much difference in those two codecs.
Thanks
Kuhnen

Kuhnen Brown
InterMountain Digital
Oregon


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Jeff Pulera
Re: Best Method To Convert VHS To DVD
on Jan 15, 2016 at 4:52:17 pm

Hi Kuhnen,

DV is not a bad codec, uses 5:1 compression ratio at 25Mbps, with 4:1:1 color. I shot DV for many years and the image was great!

That said, using a capture card can provide 4:2:2 color and higher bitrates. Will you really see any difference? Probably not, given how old VHS tapes look to start with.

Also, I'm on the PC but the MXO2 is giving me weird diagonal interference lines in SD analog captures. It didn't used to, but at some point it started with newer drivers. Maybe that doesn't affect Mac capture, but I'm not thrilled with results.

If you have a Canopus ADVC converter that will allow you to capture as DV, or maybe an old DV camcorder that has ability to convert analog to DV for capture via Firewire, might be a better bet.

Using an S-VHS deck to play the VHS tapes will provide S-video output, which will be a little better than Composite for analog capture purposes. Many S-VHS edit decks also have TBC functions to help stabilize the signal. Every little bit helps!

Thanks

Jeff Pulera
Safe Harbor Computers


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Kuhnen Brown
Re: Best Method To Convert VHS To DVD
on Jan 16, 2016 at 9:19:34 am

Thanks Jeff
I do in fact have a Canopus AVDC on the shelf. Put it there after getting the MXO2. I have not seen any flaws with Ventura capture on my MacPro with composite out from a regular VHS machine. It's good to know SVHS is a good alternative. You provided very useful info in this thread. Thanks
Kuhnen

Kuhnen Brown
InterMountain Digital
Oregon


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