--- My (VHS) Video Capture Guide ---

Getting started with a Blackmagic product? Ask questions here about setup and installation.
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Eric-Jan

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--- My (VHS) Video Capture Guide ---

PostWed Sep 05, 2018 9:46 pm

Equipment used:
    1. VCR-DVR combo Panasonic DMR-ES35V (SCART version)
    2.Intensity Shuttle (Thunderbolt2)
    3.MacBook Pro 13" (early2015) 8GB RAM 256GB SSD

Install the software that comes with the Intensity, in this case: the Desktop Video Setup driver utility and Media Express (BMD app) (the Desktop Video Setup will be installed in the System Settings of the Launch Pad)
You only can set the capture input specs in these apps when the Intensity (Shuttle) is connected, (internal light lights up)
(check these settings before each startup of the device and the software, with me it was sometimes changed for no reason, in future versions this might have been solved)

Most important: know your hardware !, and it's limitations, depending where you live, or the tapes you want to capture, The (analog) system formats can be:

NTSC = USA =525 lines 30 frames per second interlaced, (30i)
PAL = Europe, Australia 625 lines 25 frames per second interlaced, (25i)
SECAM uses the same resolution as PAL (625 lines) but transmits the color information sequentially: R-Y on one line and B-Y on the next. SECAM is used sparingly around the world and can be found in France, parts of Greece, Eastern Europe, Russia, and Africa.

be sure the VHS tape can be played in the correct tv system standard in the VHS player/VCR, and adjust tracking for optimal video and sound quality, before capturing.

Your VCR needs to give a stable video signal , (the BMD products are "semi professional" products)

(The Panasonic DMR-ES35V has build-in stabilization,which does a good job, check if this feature is switched on your VHS payer, it's called TBC most of the time )

When you get image jumps/freezes, black frames, or capture stops completely, the playing VCR is not suitable for capture without a TBC.

- important -
Capture will also fail due to build-in copy protection or encryption, BMD hardware/software will not defeat this, and should not be asked for on any BlackMagic forum, due to legal issues.
-

The PAL/NTSC/(ME)SECAM system specs should be set in the Desktop Video Setup utility, (also select the input you are going to use of the Intensity Shuttle) Media Express should be set with these also, (checkout the tabs) plus the codec you want to use: compressed, or uncompressed, uncompressed will need more storage space, and is overkill for the VHS quality, compressed will give slower data transfer rates, which is an advantage with "not so" fast storage devices.
You also get dropped frames by using a too slow storage device during the capture, try to use a stronger compressing (ProRes) codec



Depending on the VCR, try to use the optimal quality output connection present, in this order: component > red,green,blue RCA plugs, S-Video > mini DIN plug, composite > yellow RCA plug, audio/sound (analog) > right channel > red RCA plug, left channel > white RCA plug HDMI > "trapeseum kind" of plug
HDMI is already a digital signal, complete with digital sound through it, but, the encryption, or communicating protocoll of it, could prevent you to do any capturing, for VHS there might be little advantage to capture over HDMI anyway, even HDMI recorders might have problems with non protected material use of component video is always the best option for VHS capture.

(s-video connection might also be available through a SCART connector (if this is an option) check the manual for this)

If HDMI is an option for all your devices, you can try this, but a lot can go wrong in the process, even converter/adapters for this might not work.

If all has been correctly set, and you have Media Express running, select the red capture tab, and if the tape is running in the VCR you should now see the video capture, and see moving sound bars, (capture starts when you click on the red capture button) if the green audio bars are showing red tops, the sound is too loud, and you should un-check the HiFi option under the audio tab of the Desktop Video Setup app in the System Settings app from the Mac Launch Pad app. you also need to slide the linked audio sliders to the left, to decrease the sound volume, with me sound was way too loud with some tapes.

In Media Express you can choose for ProRes422 codec (compressed format) as your capture file format for VHS, ProRes422 LT is good enough is my experience, it doesn't make too large files, and has a low data write speed to a (internal/external) storage drive, SSD or HDD (too fast data rate can cause dropped frames)
Uncompressed codecs will have have high data rates, and will create large files,

ProRes422 (compressed) codec(s) are designed (by Apple) for having smooth post edit work, and are used professionaly, checkout Apple's white paper about it for details, (BMD has now also it's own RAW codec)

Your digital capture (output) resolution format should be as close to the original resolution as possible, (NTSC: 720x480, PAL 720x576 ) upscaling will do no good to the end result, you can scale up during playback on your media player.

(an upscale might have a good effect when putting it up on Youtube)

To make 4:3 full screen on a 16:9 wide screen, would mean you chop off the upper and lower part, but this will enlarge the original 4:3 analog captured video format.
Aspect ratios: https://finearts.uvic.ca/sim/tutorials/ ... o_res.html
Once your analog PAL/NTSC VHS tape is captured, it is "unbound" from it's country tv system limits, and can be played on any hard or software player.

It's best to try with short captures, to see the results at once, and experiment with different settings,
(check if "tracking" is optimal, if this is not done automaticly, or you want to set this to "manual" if this causes the On Screen Display to appear, and adjust by hand before captures are made)

Keep in mind you will see much more detail now, then when you watched it on a regular Cathode Ray Tube Television, in "the olden days" :)
If you want to burn your video to a video DVD, you should compress the capture to MPEG2,
Check your edit prog. which input file formats it will accept, otherwise use Davinci Resolve, this free version does not de-interlace.

The frame rate depends in which country you live 50Hz or 60Hz mains AC frequency.
NTSC = 1 frame/sec = 2 fields of 525 lines = 30 complete frames (29.97) from 60 (59.94) fields
a de-interlaced video image should not be jagged and would be shock free,
de-interlacing is a subject on it's own and will also be added in due time.

Using Davinci Resolve you have some nice options, like Crop, and Transform, because you see much more of the image surface then on an analog CRT tv at the surrounding borders of the capture, and in the end you put a clean 720x480 or 720x576 (depending on NTSC or PAL) capture in your "render/deliver" list in Davinci Resolve.
You may prefer to "mask" the "dirty" borders, or you might want to remove them, by removing them, you will slightly enlarge the video image, which gives a lower resolution, which might not be prefered.

note: recently i also did some tests with the JVC HR-S8960 which has aslo some sort of TBC, but this recorder gives some more noticeable "video-dirt" artifacts, if you have a choice, do tests with different playback recorders, depending on the video material this will matter.
Long play VHS recordings will best be played on multiple heads vcr's (4 or 6) since these extra heads were designed for that purpose,(if you still get dropped frames, try transfering through a DV box or a DV camera)
dirt or miss allignment will also have bad effect on playback.

( the flying erase head in some VCR's was a "feature" for clean "on tape" edits, when recording.)

I only changed the sound settings in the Desktop Video Setup app. so no color corrections during the capture.
You might want to set the video settings if you are using a different video in/output, and watch for skin tones, or use a recorded (color) test pattern, once set, leave these so, and only correct in post if needed.

You can convert to MP4 depending the usage: storage, Youtube, Vimeo, iPhone iPad, Smartdevice, or digital photo frame in post. (BMD Davinci Resolve)

I hope i covered some "needs" this way for starting in video capturing, otherwise, let me know... and feel free to comment.
Last edited by Eric-Jan on Sat Dec 21, 2019 1:25 pm, edited 18 times in total.
equipment/software used:
UltraStudio Mini Recorder, Intensity Shuttle, ATEM Mini, Davinci Resolve 15, Media Express, Avidemux, UniConverter
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Eric-Jan

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Re: --- My (VHS) Video Capture Guide ---

PostSat Sep 29, 2018 9:26 am

Update: i recently did some adjustments in the video settings for the component input, (Video Desktop Setup) which is a bit "flat" in default settings, when you compare them to the original or s-video color input colors.
Upscaling during capture does not work for me, maybe this is only for the HDMI input, i have no experience with that sofar, Davinci Resolve can do everything you want in post, before importing your capture in Davinci you can set your project settings in Davinci, and after the import, you can "fit" your captured video within that quiet easily,
and you see the result instantly.
Because my VCR can output progressive over de component outputs, i don't need to de-interlace in Davinci,
which is a paid function in the Studio version, so you can do first a Quicktime ProRes422 "Delivery" with Davinci, and render with a converter of your own choice.
equipment/software used:
UltraStudio Mini Recorder, Intensity Shuttle, ATEM Mini, Davinci Resolve 15, Media Express, Avidemux, UniConverter
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Shannara

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Re: --- My (VHS) Video Capture Guide ---

PostMon Oct 01, 2018 3:31 pm

Thank you for this guide!

I have a few VHS tapes from the 90s, and a mini-dv tape of my wedding from 2001. I really, really, need to get them converted to digital.

Thank you for the guide. It points me in the right direction to get this done.

~Shann
Windows 10.0.17134.285 Pro X64 | DaVinci Resolve Studio 15.1.1
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Eric-Jan

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Re: --- My (VHS) Video Capture Guide ---

PostTue Oct 02, 2018 2:53 pm

Thankyou for your praise,
Do you already have some equipment ? VCR/DVR ? do you have still a miniDV camera, does it have a Firewire connection ? do you have a capture device, Mac or Windows pc or laptop ?
equipment/software used:
UltraStudio Mini Recorder, Intensity Shuttle, ATEM Mini, Davinci Resolve 15, Media Express, Avidemux, UniConverter
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Shannara

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Re: --- My (VHS) Video Capture Guide ---

PostTue Oct 02, 2018 3:01 pm

Good Morning :)

I think I might have the miniDV camera in a 10 year old box somewhere. It is firewire, and I have (or had) a firewire PCIe card somewhere. I still have the tape though.

I am thinking, I might have to find some sort of player only for VHS and mini-dv and plug it directly into my windows box.
Windows 10.0.17134.285 Pro X64 | DaVinci Resolve Studio 15.1.1
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Eric-Jan

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Re: --- My (VHS) Video Capture Guide ---

PostWed Oct 03, 2018 3:01 pm

A VHS VCR from JVC or Panasonic might be a good choice, some of the later models have a build-in Time Base Corrector, well.... some sort because you can't compair it to a broadcast quality one...
A DVD recorder can also be used, as a passthrough, if it is not a combinaton of VCR & DVD...
if it has also component video output that would be even better, composite and s-video outputs give a foggy smeared image compaired to that.
The Infinity Shuttle USB3 version can only be used with a select choice of USB chip sets/motherboards, (there's a list on the BlackMagic Design website in the Support section.
Don't know if your miniDV camera has a video input....
Davinci Resolve runs on my MacBook Pro (early2015) on a Windows PC/laptop, it needs a fair amount of resources.
With Media Express you can capture compressed to storage in ProRes, which saves CPU resources.
Just a "normal" old VCR will be no good to capture, and to find a good TBC is not an easy task, you should not try to find a TBC, an good VCR would be a better choice, and save a lot of troubles.
the recycle store has often one that can be used, better name the type here, before buying, a PDF manual of it is easy to find online.
equipment/software used:
UltraStudio Mini Recorder, Intensity Shuttle, ATEM Mini, Davinci Resolve 15, Media Express, Avidemux, UniConverter
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Piercarlo

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Re: --- My (VHS) Video Capture Guide ---

PostSun Nov 04, 2018 12:17 pm

Great stuff, thank you very much!

I'm on the verge of buying a Blackmagic Instensity Shuttle, but before making up my mind (it's not cheap!) I need to know a couple of things. Hope you can help me.

The reason of my purchase would be converting my old VHS tapes to transport stream (ts) files. I already have a vintage DVD recorder and it coverts my tapes to DVD in decent quality. But the resolution is only 720*576 pixels. I thought about buying a device which can capture in bigger resolution (the aim is 1920*1080) in the hope of getting even better quality. In theory, the quality of a 1920*1080 pixel file is better than a 720*576.

Let's say I buy a Blackmagic Intensity Shuttle. Would I be able to capture VHS videos in 1920*1080 (interlaced, 25 fps) resolution? Is it possible with a Media Express software? Would the quality be better if I use 1920*1080 pixels instead of 720*576?

Any help would be appreciated!
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Jack Fairley

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Re: --- My (VHS) Video Capture Guide ---

PostMon Nov 05, 2018 9:09 pm

Quality won't be better, the source material is not 1920x1080.
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Eric-Jan

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Re: --- My (VHS) Video Capture Guide ---

PostTue Nov 06, 2018 10:57 pm

(VHS is not 1920x1080, only when it is upscaled by a device, but quality=analog PAL/NTSC)
Your tv/screen will scale it to full screen, no need to scale your capture, there will be no difference, it only could make things worse.
see it as a chess board.... enlarge the board, and you will also enlarge the "places" on it.
so transferring to DVD will be just fine for you, because DVD quality is allready higher in quality than VHS,
in fact, capturing (by composite?) could give some losses through the composite video connection(s)
A VHS/DVD combo recorder would be a good choice if you "only" need DVD as end result, DVD recorders will also give the choice of amount of compression.
You could also use these files created,(DVD Recorder/video converter) in a DVD authoring application, to add nice graphical menu's
equipment/software used:
UltraStudio Mini Recorder, Intensity Shuttle, ATEM Mini, Davinci Resolve 15, Media Express, Avidemux, UniConverter
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ghammons

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Re: --- My (VHS) Video Capture Guide ---

PostTue Dec 18, 2018 12:42 am

Eric, will the Intensity Shuttle Thunderbolt work with a Macbook Pro with Thunderbolt 3? If so what adapter would I need?
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Eric-Jan

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Re: --- My (VHS) Video Capture Guide ---

PostTue Dec 18, 2018 3:58 pm

Don't have experience with that, i have a MacBook Pro early 2015 which is Thunderbold2,
You should ask this in the "Live Production" BMD forum group, if it can be "adapted" you should look for a Apple brand adapter. only trust answers from BMD or people talking from their own experience.

I found these threads:
viewtopic.php?f=3&t=55599
It looks like the BMD-IS is detected, but it will not capture through a Thunderbolt 3 >2 adapter.

https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT207443

better is to contact BMD by email for this, i could not find a real conclusive answer yet.

It also seems to be a power issue, the Intensity Shuttle receives no power to operate through the adapter.
equipment/software used:
UltraStudio Mini Recorder, Intensity Shuttle, ATEM Mini, Davinci Resolve 15, Media Express, Avidemux, UniConverter
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Re: --- My (VHS) Video Capture Guide ---

PostTue Jan 22, 2019 7:34 pm

Hello,

I've got Intensity Shuttle USB and I'm looking to capture some of my VHS and Video8 tapes.
I read some posts regarding TBC, and since my Sony handycam flickers I was hoping to get some advice on how to proceed keeping in mind I can't afford a proper TBC.

I don't have a VCR but I have a chance to get a Panasonic NV-FS200 (i.e. AG-1980) since I see in some forums say it can do pretty decent job. Now my question is can I also use the NV-FS200 as a 'passthrough' for the handycam. If not I read that some DVD recorders or VCR/DVD combos can be used for that purpose so I would appreciate if some one can advice on a brand/model. (I could get SONY RDR-VX410 for $30)

I would greatly appreciate any advice.
Thanks
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Eric-Jan

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Re: --- My (VHS) Video Capture Guide ---

PostSat Jan 26, 2019 5:50 pm

You should allways go for a VCR or DVR with build-in TBC, most "normal" VCR's or analog handycams give not a stable signal to have it to be captured in a good way on a BMD device, (BMD have only pro devices)
I presume you have your Intensity Shuttle working in a good way with your PC over USB....
An option without the Intensity Shuttle would be a DVD/HDD recorder, and capturing the video input on DVD RAM disc/HDD if that's an option, and converting those MPEG? files to what ever format, the low resolution VHS or 8mm video quality will alow to do this.
With analog video, the BlackMagicDesign products expect a clean, good analog video signal,
Some VCR's without build in TBC give that, but that's more an exeption than a rule, and you will have dropped frames, these kind of questions about vcr's or DVDr's you should ask in fora like the one on Videohelp...
BTW... TBC is a wide understanding, different machines with it have different qualities in that range.
If a device like recorder has an option to output VHS over component video, you should go for it, but watch out, not all combo's output VHS over component uotput, it was mostly done for the DVD player on most models,
my Panasonic ES35V VCR/DVR combo does output VHS over component i discovered, since i did not expect this at first, you also have the advantage/option to output straight into progressive mode like 720x480p or 720x576p since this was meant to be an output for a LCD/Plasma screen in those days.
You should avoid any HDMI connection because of it's "communication" protocol or build in encryption...
BMD hardware does not defeat any protection sceme, like present on copyright protected media or streams,
you should look elsewhere if that's the case.
Hope this answers your questions, i will be happy to help you further if needed !

edit>
by reading the manual just now, of the SONY RDR-VX410, i see, has also component video output, but the manual doesn't mention if this is also for VHS playback... so maybe it can output VHS over component... it's a gamble if it wil work for VHS, but i would take the gamble,(for that price) this combo has some nice features ! go for it,(if it's working model) VHS machines are running scares anyway, even more like this one with DVR ! it will also play those chinese video-cd's, no compatability with dvdram discs though :(
Since the SONY RDR-VX410 is a recorder combo you make a good chance it will meet your requirements.
The AG-1980 is a edit VHS deck i see.. with a TBC,(so it can be used as a pass-through) this would also an option for you, but i like SONY RDR-VX410 more, if it can play VHS also over it's component video output, this would be ideal in combination with the Intensity Shuttle !

btw. i read in the forums that the Panasonic NV-FS200 is a PAL version of the AG-1980, you have PAL VHS tapes & the 8mm camcorder has PAL video output ?

edit>
just found it in the manual: VHS will also output over component video output, (see attachment), but the manual doesn't mention any build in TBC....
The Panasonic NV-FS200 (PAL) does have a TBC, and can be used as pass-through,
If the Panasonic NV-FS200 is fully functional, and comes with it's remote, it's a sure bet,
For the price you mentioned and if functional with remote, i would buy the SONY RDR-VX410 also :)
you can allways compare quality, and see if you get better captures with it's component video output.
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equipment/software used:
UltraStudio Mini Recorder, Intensity Shuttle, ATEM Mini, Davinci Resolve 15, Media Express, Avidemux, UniConverter
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Re: --- My (VHS) Video Capture Guide ---

PostWed Jan 30, 2019 8:18 pm

Eric-Jan Thanks very much for the comprehensive answer.

I will get the equipment and try the setup, hopefully I'll get some good results.
I also did a gamble and purchased a Panasonic DMR-ES15 from ebay (owner says cant try it since doesn't have a power cable) and if it works I plan to use it as external TBC for pass-through.

So my setup would be:
for VHS: FS200 -> DMR-ES15 -> BMD Shuttle
for Video8: Handycam CCD-TRV45E -> DMR-ES15 -> BMD Shuttle

In this case I probably don't need the SONY RDR-VX410 though.
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Re: --- My (VHS) Video Capture Guide ---

PostFri Feb 01, 2019 5:43 pm

Well if it does not work as a TBC, and the DVD burner still works, you can make DVD copies of your tapes.
Cheers
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SHA Productions
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Eric-Jan

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Re: --- My (VHS) Video Capture Guide ---

PostFri Feb 01, 2019 6:35 pm

I just checked the DMR-ES15 manual, and the component video output will have best result connecting it to the Intensity Shuttle, You should also set the progresive mode, so you don't have to do any de-interlacing in post,
Because it's progresive, you can use Davinci Resolve to do your editing and color correcting, Davinci Resolve is free, and easy to work with, and has many options, if your system can't handle Davinci Resolve, Movavi or Openshot are also some feature rich video editors.
First try the FS200 without the DMR-E15, The FS200 should be enough in both cases for you, as player for VHS, and as passthrough for de 8mm camcorder, i have my doubts about the DMR-E15, because what that seller says about it.
I like the Sony option more, because of the features,(dvd & vhs recorder) but having no TBC, makes it only usable for straight to DVD transfer, where you can use the disc, or it's MPEG2 files.
equipment/software used:
UltraStudio Mini Recorder, Intensity Shuttle, ATEM Mini, Davinci Resolve 15, Media Express, Avidemux, UniConverter
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Martin Nelson

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Re: --- My (VHS) Video Capture Guide ---

PostTue Feb 05, 2019 8:55 pm

Eric-Jan,

What a generous sharing this is. Thank you. I feel I may have simply overlooked this, but I did not find in your posting, nor have I found anywhere else, what connector I should use when trying to input composite from a single (as opposed to R,G and B) output.

I hope to capture some old VHS from an old VCR. I have the Intensity Pro 4K and the breakout cable. I know from reading your post that I may have no luck as it is unlikely my VCR has a built-in TBC. But I would like to see what happens. However, the deck has only a single composite (RCA connector) output for Video and only one for Audio. Obviously, I can simply choose left or right input for Audio.

But what do I choose for Video input when I only have a single output?

Thanks,
Martin

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Eric-Jan

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Re: --- My (VHS) Video Capture Guide ---

PostTue Feb 05, 2019 10:32 pm

Thank you for your compliment !
quote:

"Depending on the VCR, try to use the optimal quality output connection present, in this order: component, S-Video or Composite, and audio will come from the analog (red=right white is left) RCA connections, ..."

I did not mention the type or color, though... my mistake.. (i'll update that soon)

if s-video mini-DIN (output) is available,(on the back of the vcr) this would be better then composite.
, composite would be the yellow RCA (tulip?) connector
If your vcr has also SCART connectors on it's back side, the S-video connection might be available through that connector, you should check your vcr's manual for that.

btw .. keep in mind that R, G, B, only refers to the color of the RCA plugs, not to R, G, B, from a SCART plug,
R, G, B, will, in this case be intended for RGB for input to a CRT tv for better picture quality.
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Martin Nelson

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Re: --- My (VHS) Video Capture Guide ---

PostWed Feb 06, 2019 6:53 pm

composite would be the yellow RCA (tulip?) connector

Eric-Jan,

Thanks, that was what I was looking for. This is a pretty basic VCR and the single RCA connector and a coaxial are all that are available.

The 'Y In' connector (which is green on my breakout cable, despite representing yellow) worked. And, by the way, even without any sort of TBC, I seem to be getting a stable signal. Footage is pretty ugly after a decade plus of looking at HD, but I'm getting what I came for.

Thanks again for your help.
Martin

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Eric-Jan

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Re: --- My (VHS) Video Capture Guide ---

PostThu Feb 07, 2019 12:59 am

Nice to hear ! There's a big chance your device(s) already have build in TBC, or are just in good state,
I like to know the brand, and type for further refference, it could also help other people with the same equipment, or for which equipment to buy.
I also will look into the manual specs, because it's easy to find (pdf) manuals online.(even service manuals, with "secrets") :)
equipment/software used:
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balmyhoney

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Re: --- My (VHS) Video Capture Guide ---

PostMon Mar 11, 2019 3:10 am

Hi Jan, thank you for all the information and dedication to others.

I have a very similar problem to the one described by Martin Nelson. Please excuse, I am an absolute beginner. I am looking to digitize a large number of VHS tapes with an Intensity Pro (not 4K) that I just bought and installed into my Windows 10 PC for that purpose. I also bought an Sony SLV-N71 on craigslist, and it seems to be playing the tape. I want to digitize the tapes strictly for the documentary evidence they provide--that is, image quality and even skipped frames doesn't concern me.

I do not seem to be getting a signal: "If all has been correctly set, and you have Media Express running, select the red capture tab, and if the tape is running in the VCR you should now see the video capture, and see moving sound bars"

I have the tape on play, but only see black in the "capture" window. I have a yellow composite "out" on my vcr, as well as white and red audio "outs." I am assuming that, just like Martin, I should connect the composite yellow "out" to the green "8 Y In" on the breakout cable, and the red and white audio "outs" to the red and white audio "ins." Then I should select "composite" as my input connection in the desktop video setup application.

Nothing is working, even if I shift to the other "in" cables. Any suggestions?

Thanks again!

Best,

Oskar
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Eric-Jan

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Re: --- My (VHS) Video Capture Guide ---

PostMon Mar 11, 2019 9:41 pm

What i don't see you mentioning, is the tv settings format, this should be correctly set in both the Desktop Video Setup util/driver and Mediaexpress (prefferences) 525i59.94 NTSC if NTSC is your tv system...
or 625i50 PAL if PAL is your tv system
Otherwise your VCR can't deliver a stable enough video signal, looking at the manual for this vcr, i can't discover an build in TBC function, a JVC or Panasonic vcr or combo recorder with TBC would be a better "workhorse"
I guess you want the MP4 video format as end result ? if not you could look for a DVD recorder and burn discs directly that way. best option would be a VCR/DVD combo recorder, which you also can use as passthrough.

btw. A VCR/DVD recorder combo is a easy to do option, because of the build in functions, if i want to duplicate straight onto DVD, i set the counter of the tape to 0000 at the start and fastforward to the end and watch where the time counter stops at the end of the planned playback piece of the tape, i rewind the tape to 0000,
and program the DVD recorder to COPY that time segment of the tape.
That way it is a automated process, if the disc needs no further recordings, you can program it also to finalize,
this is a harware only setup this way,

Capturing on the pc you would capture the tape completly, and edit/cut parts not needed later, if that's possible in your case, I use the ProRes422LT codec, which doesn't make a too large file.
equipment/software used:
UltraStudio Mini Recorder, Intensity Shuttle, ATEM Mini, Davinci Resolve 15, Media Express, Avidemux, UniConverter
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Clinton Vadnais

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Re: --- My (VHS) Video Capture Guide ---

PostWed Mar 13, 2019 6:34 pm

Thanks for this guide and information. I'm setting up my latest rig to finally try to capture my VHS collection. Mostly concert bootlegs recordings and the like. One thing I still get a little confused with. I'm NTSC and I guess since I have only S-Video and Composite on my S-VHS I have to go interlaced. I used to try to use scaling hardware to upscale but found that the interlacing always or often left artifacts even when the scalers should have been dealing with it. When I look at the Intensity Shuttle (Thunderbolt) for the capture device the specs mention SD Video Standards:
625i50 PAL, 525i59.94 NTSC, 625p50 PAL, 525p59.94 NTSC. Why is 720x480 not there? What are you doing in your workflow? Thanks so much.
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Denny Smith

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Re: --- My (VHS) Video Capture Guide ---

PostWed Mar 13, 2019 6:42 pm

Actually, 525i94 is 720x480, just another way of noting it, like some manufacturers use 60i to deonote 59.94i. So for NTSC SD, use the 525i94 setting, and it should work just fine, as long as the VCR is outputting a good continuous time code signal, otherwise you may need an goo time base corrector between the vcr and computer.
Cheers
Denny Smith
SHA Productions
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Eric-Jan

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Re: --- My (VHS) Video Capture Guide ---

PostWed Mar 13, 2019 6:59 pm

when you capture an analog signal that are lines, you convert it to digital,
so, NTSC = 525lines interlaced = one frame = two interlaced fields.
Your capture result will be digital 720x480i good de-interlacing will make aprox. 60 (59.94) pictures per second out of that.
There's a lot to google about de-interlacing, Yadif seems a good one, like i said with me the VCR does this job for me, so i don't have much experience with that, some people say you shouldn't de-interlace.

Because movement in the video image isn't allways within the two fields of a frame, making analog to digital picture quality suffers from this, and you jagged artifects with movement in the video image,
so an image doesn't seem to be " complete" not one sharp image.
Sometimes the field order is in an other order, and picture seems to go back one step before it goes forward,
then some settings need to be changed, depending on which software you are using,
When i searched one time for this, i noticed there's a lot of confusing among FinalCutProX users,
so my guess is that FinalCutProX does not handle this well, de-interlacing is not much needed, only with
analog video capturing i guess...
I'm going to do some research, Youtube :) and i will add this also to my original post, "work still in progress" :D
https://larryjordan.com/articles/fcp-x- ... -timeline/

the frame rate depends on the AC frequency of the mains in your country, it's a "legacy" of the "olden days"
i live in the Netherlands (PAL) here the frame rate is 50(Hz)
It's a subject on it's own > frame rate, and why the movie industry choose for 24 frames/second > sound.....
Last edited by Eric-Jan on Thu Mar 14, 2019 12:29 am, edited 1 time in total.
equipment/software used:
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Eric-Jan

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Re: --- My (VHS) Video Capture Guide ---

PostWed Mar 13, 2019 7:46 pm

Denny Smith wrote:Actually, 525i94 is 720x480, just another way of noting it, like some manufacturers use 60i to deonote 59.94i. So for NTSC SD, use the 525i94 setting, and it should work just fine, as long as the VCR is outputting a good continuous time code signal, otherwise you may need an good time base corrector between the vcr and computer.
Cheers


remark: Some people are very relaxed to talk about external Time Base Correctors, this is also a subject on it's own, where there are different TBC's for different "corrections", so which, or even when available, not an easy task for someone to start with, a VCR or VCR/DVD recorder combo with build-in TBC would be easier to find, and a good chance for it to work with a BlackMagic Design capture device. Panasonic or JVC are populair for this reason, also, once when all the analog material is transfered, the equipment is not needed anymore, most of the time.

The options given in MediaExpress for PAL are also a bit confusing: 625i50 PAL & 625p50 PAL ....
capturing 625i50 will give 720x576i25
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Clinton Vadnais

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Re: --- My (VHS) Video Capture Guide ---

PostThu Mar 14, 2019 9:40 am

Denny Smith wrote:Actually, 525i94 is 720x480, just another way of noting it, like some manufacturers use 60i to deonote 59.94i. So for NTSC SD, use the 525i94 setting, and it should work just fine, as long as the VCR is outputting a good continuous time code signal, otherwise you may need an goo time base corrector between the vcr and computer.
Cheers


Okay. Thanks. I still find it a little odd. I would think the 525 is vertical lines and if that is actually 480 it seems like the setting should show 480i59.94 NTSC. Oh well it doesn't matter I guess. I'm sure it will make sense someday. I do have a TBC thankfully because I've never been able to get the Intensity to lock onto VHS without one.

Regarding deinterlacing. I have been wanting to try QTGMC method but it appears to be harder to accomplish on a Mac. Does anyone by chance know anything about that? Thanks a lot for the knowledge!
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Eric-Jan

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Re: --- My (VHS) Video Capture Guide ---

PostSat Mar 16, 2019 11:15 am

A lot of the lines of the analog video signal where never shown on CRT tv's, vcr dirt, Macrovision on prerecorded video tapes, Closed Captioning data for subtitles, Teletext/Ceefax (info text service in Europe) where all hidden in those lines outside the CRT "image".
de-interlacing:
MPEGstreamclip is also available on mac, it is a encoding/rough edit tool, and has an option for de-interlacing, you should try it, it also accepts .mov files, i guess tools to de-interlace have lots of settings, but you need to know a lot about, to make good use of them.
I try to avoid that, and start first with free versions, Youtube is also a great help for "how-to's"
I will do some experiments on de-interlacing in the future, when i have some interlaced captures, and will add this to my original #1 post,

btw. the multipass function of MPEGstreamclip does not work properly with me on my MacBook Pro (Retina, 13-inch, Early 2015) 2,7 GHz Intel Core i5 8 GB 1867 MHz DDR3 grapics: Intel Iris Graphics 6100 1536 MB.
without multipass it works fine.
With anamorph you would keep the same resolution, with LetterBox you would loose resolution either way.

The lines are allways horizontal, When WideScreen came into play, you could watch it either LetterBoxed, or Fullframe on a 4:3 screen, later, other "in between" options became possible, to "bridge" things to keep everybody happy, depending on content or tv.
equipment/software used:
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Eric-Jan

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Re: --- My (VHS) Video Capture Guide ---

PostTue Dec 17, 2019 1:42 am

Denny Smith wrote:Actually, 525i94 is 720x480, just another way of noting it, like some manufacturers use 60i to deonote 59.94i. So for NTSC SD, use the 525i94 setting, and it should work just fine, as long as the VCR is outputting a good continuous time code signal, otherwise you may need an goo time base corrector between the vcr and computer.
Cheers


To the previous poster:
The difference is : we are talking about two different formats, one is analog, (lines) the other is digital, (pixels)
The analog signal is: PAL = 625 lines (two interlaced fields) and NTSC = 525 lines (two interlaced fields)
PAL becomes 720x576 pixels digital resolution, NTSC becomes 720x480 pixels digital resolution,
most of the time progressive, which means the "frame" is a complete picture, which is part of amount of pictures per second,
a WIKI can explain it much better than me... you should check the software you are using, which other settings are used, and google for the specs of those.
Last edited by Eric-Jan on Sun Dec 22, 2019 4:15 pm, edited 2 times in total.
equipment/software used:
UltraStudio Mini Recorder, Intensity Shuttle, ATEM Mini, Davinci Resolve 15, Media Express, Avidemux, UniConverter
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krikro1952

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Re: --- My (VHS) Video Capture Guide ---

PostThu Dec 19, 2019 7:39 pm

There is a lot of good info on this thread. Thanks. I'm digitizing svhs through Media Express on a mac. I've tried all of the codec options. They all look the same to me. You used ProRes422 and ProRes422 LT for your vhs. What is the best codec to use for svhs?
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Eric-Jan

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Re: --- My (VHS) Video Capture Guide ---

PostSat Dec 21, 2019 11:23 am

krikro1952 wrote:There is a lot of good info on this thread. Thanks. I'm digitizing svhs through Media Express on a mac. I've tried all of the codec options. They all look the same to me. You used ProRes422 and ProRes422 LT for your vhs. What is the best codec to use for svhs?


Well you've said it yourself in your answer,

The quality of SuperVHS will be a good source, where you maybe won't see any degradation in the first generation of it, when using the Proxy version of ProRes, as soon you have any noise patterns in bad quality VHS recordings, you will see difference soon,
ProRes is meant to offload the hardware/software the workload it must do, like "transport" in a system,from one point to the other point, like from capturing en going to storage on a HDD or SSD, or during editing and adding effects.

So, if you have a good quality source, you don't have much to worry.
When quality of a VHS tape is bad, you should be using a version that will compress less, ProRes is a codec
from the Apple (Mac) company, they have a "white paper" there's table graphic which shows how compression relates to quality and file size, also to x generation from copy of a copy where de-generation can occur, you get a idea what /where it all relates to.
https://www.apple.com/final-cut-pro/doc ... _Paper.pdf

I hope you get a good idea from my answer, if you really want highest possible quality from ProRes, you should look with which version you get dropped frames during capture, or hickups during your post production,
Then you know what your hardware or software can handle, but large files is just overkill when you don't see any difference, and you're using it at just a step during your post production.
The compression of ProRes differs from a codec like MP4, each frame is reworked with ProRes, while MP4 stores parts that not have changed, if there's still some fine noise in your final ProRes, result, your coding to MP4 will sometimes "filter" this away :)
If you want to store the ProRes files as backup, for future "re working projects" you can make other "setups" i guess ...
MP4 or MKV as an end product is maybe more important, bitrate video (how big the file gets) and what quality, is a balance between quality and filesize, and if you play it on a big display or just your smartphone,
A lot of it is just experimenting with it... and if is it for yourself or somebody else.
Storage on 2.5 HDD is more safe for backup, 3.5 HDD drives get hot, and have more troubles over time is my experience, DVD or CD's aren't that bad like they thought in the early days , though should be stored out of direct light.

okay, this is it for now, ask me again, if i missed out on something,

bye,
equipment/software used:
UltraStudio Mini Recorder, Intensity Shuttle, ATEM Mini, Davinci Resolve 15, Media Express, Avidemux, UniConverter
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Christer Hiort

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Re: --- My (VHS) Video Capture Guide ---

PostSat Dec 28, 2019 5:42 pm

I apologize if this has been answered, but would this capture work?

PAL Video Cam output with SCART ->SCART to S-Video converter -> S-Video input on Thunderbolt Shuttle

I guess what is important as noted on previous posts is that the Shuttle capture software is set to PAL ?


I.e. I would NOT need a PAL/NTSC VCR (mutisystem) to capture ?

Thanks
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Eric-Jan

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Re: --- My (VHS) Video Capture Guide ---

PostSat Dec 28, 2019 7:47 pm

Christer Hiort wrote:I apologize if this has been answered, but would this capture work?

PAL Video Cam output with SCART ->SCART to S-Video converter -> S-Video input on Thunderbolt Shuttle

I guess what is important as noted on previous posts is that the Shuttle capture software is set to PAL ?


I.e. I would NOT need a PAL/NTSC VCR (mutisystem) to capture ?

Thanks


First of all.... a video cam recorder/player ? I never heard of such a thing with SCART connection, you are sure this is not a japaneese or China product ? SCART is/has being/been used in europe or PAL regions.
Could you give more info on the "cam" ? brand and type name/number ?
Avoid converters, most of the time they do not what they promise,
Also... the s-video connection could already be a connection/pin in the SCART connector !
That's why (good) info on the "cam" is important for this, and what you are trying to achieve,
because there could be an other solution for a good capture.

indeed you can setup the Shuttle for PAL or NTSC, no need for conversion, conversion/converters will give quality loss.

your capture will result in a 720x576 or 720x480 format, depending the tv standard, and if both tape and player are of the same tv system, or switchable, if the "cam" serves as player, (only PAL60 or NTSC50 could be a problem)
If the cam is indeed just a video camera, (no tape involved) the camera signal should be stable enough to capture, when used on a tripod, The Intensity Shuttle needs a good stable video signal, most "normal" VHS VCR's can't deliver that, because once the video signal is put on tape, it's a mechanical "thing" that makes the signal, and the quality of the mechanism is important in such a case, only good electronics can make this better, internaly or externaly, already mentioned in the previous posts here.
equipment/software used:
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Christer Hiort

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Re: --- My (VHS) Video Capture Guide ---

PostSat Dec 28, 2019 10:01 pm

The camera is a Philips VKR 6837 Explorer.
It has an A/V out with a DIN looking round connector. I remember that it had a SCART in the other end.
I bought this in Holland in 1988.
However, I have bigger problems with just getting it to start up properly. :oops:
It turns on and then off like it is loosing power. (While connected directly to power)
But that would be for another Forum.
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Eric-Jan

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Re: --- My (VHS) Video Capture Guide ---

PostSat Dec 28, 2019 11:22 pm

I found the manual online for this camera recorder/player, for use with vhs cassettes, although old, this is a very advanced camera ! it can do insert editing, to begin with :)
You can connect a title generator, which means it synchronizes the title signal with the tape/camera signal,
it uses VITC which could be a sign that this "device" has a signal to sync up with a second device for editing of scenes, or maybe could help you to get a clean video signal (with extra device) for capturing.
so, for now i can say there's a good chance that you can capture in a good way, from this camera, and that the recordings made with this camera are of good quality.
this camera also uses a button cell battery, did you know that ? if not, you should maybe put a new one in, so it remembers stored settings.(this button cell is also used for the timecode it records with the video signal, is my guess)
The camera itself uses RCA connectors, so it will give no s-video output on the optional SCART cable, converting to s-video is also not much of use, you gain nothing with that, composite is what you will need to use for capture, in this case, so you should try that with the Intensity Shuttle, if this will not work, you should try a passthrough option with a VHS/DVD (recorder) combo, or a DVD/HDD recorder, as passthrough or making Mpeg 2 or Mpeg 4 files etc.....

Oops, i see i overlooked a question from you, regarding PAL/NTSC,
converting from one to the other is not needed, as long your equipment and tapes are of the "same kind" you set the Intensity Shuttle in that mode, If you have a multi-system device, the question is, if there's a conversion "going on" is it true PAL or true NTSC, for meeting the capture "demands" this is because PAL countries and NTSC contries have different mains (AC) frequencies, but i guess the camcorder and Intensity Shuttle are the only ones "in play" so there should not be any inconvenience of some sort of that.

The problem of switching off could be a powersupply problem, electrolitic capacitors that are "worn out" over due time wise, have gotten old... or also in the camera itself, and need replacing, i'm no expert in that so you should ask for a second opinion for that.
An other option would be to use an other player, and put your camera tape(s) in a VHS VCR, for capturing your camera tapes.

hope this helps,
equipment/software used:
UltraStudio Mini Recorder, Intensity Shuttle, ATEM Mini, Davinci Resolve 15, Media Express, Avidemux, UniConverter

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