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sadkkf
09-10-2018, 06:26 PM
Hi--

So way off topic here, but I'm need of a quick way to digitize video from a VCR. I've found the DigitNow products (BR120) and it looks like it would be ideal, but I'm wondering about video quality.

Does anyone have any experience with anything like this? I'd love to capture uncompressed, but I realize that's probably not realistic.

Any suggestions would be helpful.

Thanks!

Ma3rk
09-10-2018, 08:55 PM
How much footage ya got timewise? Might be all around quicker, easier, cheaper to search for a service if you've less than a couple hours.

I've always leaned toward BMD's stuff myself. You'd need to find one that matches your output options of your playback deck of course & I'm not seeing anything current with S-Vid. Perhaps one of their converters.

https://www.blackmagicdesign.com/products/decklink

Shloime
09-10-2018, 10:41 PM
Look for BMDs Intensity Line, Intensity Pro as a PCI Card, or Intensity Shuttle for USB3, they should have S-Video and be around used for a good price.

TheLexx
09-11-2018, 03:21 AM
Arrgh, I wrote a long answer but accidentally deleted it.

Even a high end BM or AJA card will not save the situation (https://forum.blackmagicdesign.com/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=53597) unless you have a TBC in the chain, otherwise the digital capture will have no qualms dropping video frames to compensate. There are some consumer solutions which are far superior to others. One guy did it well on the cheap, and at least shows the importance of trying to get it right (you would probably use different equipment now).
http://www.unterzuber.com/TBC.html

There are also some consumer dvd recorders back in the day which had a particular chip made by LSI which was reckoned to be excellent (but bad capacitors had flooded the market, giving some machines a shorter shelf life with "loading error" faults, etc). Particular JVC models were reckoned to be the best.
http://www.digitalfaq.com/forum/video-capture/238-lsi-chipset-dvd.html

Particular Sony Hi8 camcoder models had a "passthrough" mode which would accept video/audio then output via firewire. Certain professional equipment comes up for a song now on Ebay...if you can recognize it. I got a $15,000 Snell unit for 100 (cough, cough, cough).

Good luck !

:)

TheLexx
09-11-2018, 09:57 AM
Forgot to ask the basic question, which VCR are you going to use please ?
Further info (https://www.tgrantphoto.com/sales/index.php/content/direct-to-dvd-transfers)from a rated company.

sadkkf
09-11-2018, 09:58 AM
Thank you, everyone. I appreciate the guidance here.

I'm not exactly sure how much I have, but easily 2-3 hours. And my source is actually VHS-C. With my adapter, I can play it in a VCR.

Buying a lot of hardware for this is more than I care for. It's only to archive some old video shot by my dad who passed a couple of weeks ago. The video is crap already, but I'd like to avoid artifacting if possible.

For US$100 the DigitNow box may be fine and if it doesn't work I may be able to return it or toss it.

It would be nice digitizing it so I can edit it some and burn DVDs with chapters. Nothing here will win awards. :)

sadkkf
09-11-2018, 10:01 AM
Forgot to ask the basic question, which VCR are you going to use please ?
Further info (https://www.tgrantphoto.com/sales/index.php/content/direct-to-dvd-transfers)from a rated company.

I think it's a Toshiba. Consumer grade and works well enough.

raymondtrace
09-11-2018, 10:35 AM
First, sorry for the reason to convert. I did something similar in a rush a couple years ago. I used this:

https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B000VM60I8/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

This may be a little different than the product you're looking at. This is basically just a video input for your computer so you could probably capture uncompressed if you wanted. It was so long ago that I don't recall what I did to get the best result. I remember I chose it because it worked on Linux and Windows...and with and without the bundled software. I think I settled on the bundled software.

EDIT: I'm reading reviews of it now and recalling my own challenges. Some of the bundled software is touchy and if it senses macrovision (even from faulty timing from an old tape) it won't process the input. This may be why I tried other free/opensource capture software on some personal tapes that were degenerating. For most of my tapes, the default software was fine.

I might go back and try again with the nifty info TheLexx shared. This looks interesting:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Communications-Specialties-Inc-Deuce-Pro-2210-Intelligent-Video-Scaler/162925106161?hash=item25ef17d3f1:g:v0IAAOSwSRVamF~ X

sadkkf
09-11-2018, 11:43 AM
First, sorry for the reason to convert. I did something similar in a rush a couple years ago. I used this:

https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B000VM60I8/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

This may be a little different than the product you're looking at. This is basically just a video input for your computer so you could probably capture uncompressed if you wanted. It was so long ago that I don't recall what I did to get the best result. I remember I chose it because it worked on Linux and Windows...and with and without the bundled software. I think I settled on the bundled software.

EDIT: I'm reading reviews of it now and recalling my own challenges. Some of the bundled software is touchy and if it senses macrovision (even from faulty timing from an old tape) it won't process the input. This may be why I tried other free/opensource capture software on some personal tapes that were degenerating. For most of my tapes, the default software was fine.

I might go back and try again with the nifty info TheLexx shared. This looks interesting:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Communications-Specialties-Inc-Deuce-Pro-2210-Intelligent-Video-Scaler/162925106161?hash=item25ef17d3f1:g:v0IAAOSwSRVamF~ X


Thanks for the ebay link. That looks interesting. I have some time yet and will need to do a little more research on this. My computer should be able to handle capturing basic SD video with audio. USB 3.0 and 7200 RPM drives. I have an SSD, but that's a system drive. I wonder if I could use an external drive to capture.... Maybe pick up a cheap SSD external for this.

Markc
09-11-2018, 11:48 AM
I bought Elgato video capture to capture some video (only 4 to 5 mins), but seems to work ok.
Approx 82 on Amazon uk.
This just connects between your vcr and usb, and has software which does everything.

Sympathies for your loss...

sadkkf
09-11-2018, 01:39 PM
I bought Elgato video capture to capture some video (only 4 to 5 mins), but seems to work ok.
Approx 82 on Amazon uk.
This just connects between your vcr and usb, and has software which does everything.

Sympathies for your loss...

Thank you. I looked at these too. This might be a good solution for capturing to a drive first.

jbrookes
09-11-2018, 02:05 PM
Plug the RCA connectors on the VCR into the triple-banded 1/8" output of a Canon MiniDV camcorder.

The Camcorder will detect the VCR and reverse the port so that it records. Hit Rec on the remote to record to MiniDV tape.

When done recording, plug the Camcorder into the PC or Mac's Firewire port and record as an AVI file.

sk810
09-26-2018, 12:28 AM
To capture VHS I have an old Mac (or PC) with FireWire and I use either a digital 8 or miniDV camera (which you can pick up cheap) that allows the capture through the RCA cables to DV footage with iMovie capture (or just use any other editing software that can capture.) then you will end up with interlaced DV codec files that are higher quality than VHS.

Kaptive
09-26-2018, 02:10 AM
Amazon link UK (https://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=vhs+capture+dongle)

Something like that works pretty well. Having used one, it was pretty easy and the results seemed fine. It really depends on final usage, but VHS is so low quality/res, that even simple cap dongles like this are exessive. :)

sk810
09-26-2018, 01:54 PM
I have an old Elgato USB capture device that I've used. It captures as h.264 and isn't the highest bitrate, plus it does it's own deinterlace. It doesn't look as good as using the DV camera passthrough I mentioned above.

Mr Rid
09-27-2018, 04:13 AM
I agree that a TBC or frame synchronizer may be required. I was recently trying to capture VHS, and any time the signal strength fluxed around edits (a lot of edits in my old tapes) Premiere or something (not sure which component in the chain) kept muting the audio. Until I ran it thru an old S-VHS mixer with a frame synchronizer, which functions like a half-baked TBC.

lightman
09-28-2018, 06:17 AM
Well if you live near me I would do it for you as I have the old JVC vhs & DV editing tape deck . That thing would make it so easy. just put in your tape and it spits out a digital file over firewire , or I also have an old but still functional Matrox Digisuite system that can do totally uncompressed video.
So i'm in Ontario DeepRiver Canada if that's anywhere near you.