--- My (VHS) Video Capture Guide --- The best way to do it

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Robert Khnanisho

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Re: --- My (VHS) Video Capture Guide --- The best way to do

PostFri May 08, 2020 10:41 pm

Eric-Jan wrote:btw @Robert Khnanisho: you can't set 625p50 in the BMD software ? (Video Setup & Media Express)


Hi Eric, please see my post above and also the link to my other thread. It appears the SD standards are different in the Intensity Pro 4K and the Shuttle models.

On another note, I’m posting replies instantly, however this forum moderation is taking days to approve and is really stifling conversation.
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Denny Smith

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Re: --- My (VHS) Video Capture Guide --- The best way to do

PostSat May 09, 2020 12:48 am

Robert, SD progressive is not a standard SD format, as SD is normally interlace, 625i50 for example. The CRT TVs used then do not support progressive video. I believe 625p50 was a PAL DVD format.
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Eric-Jan

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Re: --- My (VHS) Video Capture Guide --- The best way to do

PostSat May 09, 2020 7:30 pm

Denny Smith wrote:Robert, SD progressive is not a standard SD format, as SD is normally interlace, 625i50 for example. The CRT TVs used then do not support progressive video. I believe 625p50 was a PAL DVD format.
Cheers

That's correct, depending on the device, first generation dvd players had maybe only composite and RCA RGB connections, later came SCART mostly Europe i guess... SCART would have RGB, CRT was still in fashion, but next to it also RCA component connections would appear for LCD or beamers, later on dvd recorders also HDMI came available, because digital came with the LCD tv screens which is also used for audio Dolby Digital, which i think is a great addition for watching video, and the use of only one cable. (SCART like)
concerning the available resolutions with capture devices of BMD, i do not see clearly the reasoning about the options.. for PAL i only see 625i50 and 625p50 available, in both Video Setup and Media Express, plus where NTSC has one analog input setting more, did the devolpment of the software for the Intensity series just stopped somewhere ?
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Ian Edmond

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Re: --- My (VHS) Video Capture Guide --- The best way to do

PostSat May 30, 2020 11:38 am

Hi all (and Eric in particular) - first post having just got an Intensity Pro 4K.

I see the same options as Robert in his post earlier in this thread (from May 2nd - I would link to it but the board software tells me I am not allowed to post URLs). Does anyone have a recomendation for the best Capture File Format to use with 625i50 PAL for VHS capture? Thank you!
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Eric-Jan

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Re: --- My (VHS) Video Capture Guide --- The best way to do

PostMon Jun 01, 2020 7:53 pm

Ian Edmond wrote:Hi all (and Eric in particular) - first post having just got an Intensity Pro 4K.

I see the same options as Robert in his post earlier in this thread (from May 2nd - I would link to it but the board software tells me I am not allowed to post URLs). Does anyone have a recomendation for the best Capture File Format to use with 625i50 PAL for VHS capture? Thank you!

It depends... i guess you're on Windows 10, i'm on MAC OS, and then it's easy to use ProRes, ProRes422 LT to be exact, but i'm thinking about using ProRes422 it has less compression, although it's intra frame compression and not inter frame like h.264.
On Windows you can use the AVID codec, un-compressed will be heavy on your system during the capture, and might cause dropped frames.
But.. you did some tests already ? what do you use as player ? and does it need stabilisation of some sort ?
Tell about your setup, with as much of details, to avoid misunderstanding.
UltraStudio Mini Recorder, Intensity Shuttle, ATEM Mini, Assist 6G. Davinci Resolve 15 on Sierra, Resolve 16 on Catalina. Media Express, MacX Video Converter Pro, UniConverter (Using Apple OS 32 & 64 bit on different MacBook Pro's
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Re: --- My (VHS) Video Capture Guide --- The best way to do

PostTue Jun 02, 2020 11:57 am

Eric-Jan wrote:
Ian Edmond wrote:Hi all (and Eric in particular) - first post having just got an Intensity Pro 4K.

I see the same options as Robert in his post earlier in this thread (from May 2nd - I would link to it but the board software tells me I am not allowed to post URLs). Does anyone have a recomendation for the best Capture File Format to use with 625i50 PAL for VHS capture? Thank you!

It depends... i guess you're on Windows 10, i'm on MAC OS, and then it's easy to use ProRes, ProRes422 LT to be exact, but i'm thinking about using ProRes422 it has less compression, although it's intra frame compression and not inter frame like h.264.
On Windows you can use the AVID codec, un-compressed will be heavy on your system during the capture, and might cause dropped frames.
But.. you did some tests already ? what do you use as player ? and does it need stabilisation of some sort ?
Tell about your setup, with as much of details, to avoid misunderstanding.

Thanks for the advice so far. I'm actually waiting for a cable to turn up before I can start capturing, so I haven't done any tests yet. I'm going to be capturing VHS footage, so it seems unnecessary to use a high quality setting, and this is for personal rather than commercial use so I don't have to consider compatability with HD output, for example.

I've seen mention of ProRes442 as a good choice in this thread, but as with Robert earlier in the thread, I'm not sure where this option can be selected in the current version of Media Express. Like him, my list of options are:

AVI 8-bit YUV
AVI 10-bit YUV
AVI 10-bit RGB
AVI Motion JPEG
QuickTime Uncompressed 8-bit YUV
QuickTime Uncompressed 10-bit YUV
QuickTime Uncompressed 10-bit RGB
QuickTime DVCPRO 50
DPX 10-bit RGB

I think that any uncompressed options are overkill for my needs. I'm capturing via component, so I assume that a YUV option is best. Is there a great difference between 8-bit and 10-bit?
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Eric-Jan

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Re: --- My (VHS) Video Capture Guide --- The best way to do

PostTue Jun 02, 2020 7:00 pm

For VHS 8 bit is enough, you should do some tests with:

DPX 10-bit RGB
QuickTime DVCPRO 50
AVI Motion JPEG

These codecs use intra frame compression, which means that each frame stands on it's own, which in turm means that this is an advantage for editing/post work, in this stage you edit or add some effects if wanted...
when done with that, you convert to stronger compression like h.264 for your end result.
using these codecs you can compare how they "act" by means of file size, and if you get dropped frames,
if you get dropped frames, it will mean that your system is not up to it, during capture it can not store the capture in time onto your HDD/SDD, to capture the "next load"
I guess AVI 8-bit YUV is uncompressed, and will leave you with very large files, and also dropped frames.
Just try 5 minutes of capture for each codec, and see what the result is.

Depending which capture device you use, and if you have the option for it on your VCR/DVD recorder,
you could also capture in progressive mode, which saves you de-interlacing in post, the Intensity Shuttle has the option to capture in progressive mode the Intensity Pro does not have this option, far as i know, it all depends on the hardware and options that are possible in these cases.

You could also add codecs to Desktop Video Setup, but you should do the research for that, i have no experience with that, MAC comes with ProRes,AVID, and un-compressed codecs pre-installed.
You can install 3rd party codecs like Avid, you should install them onto your Window$ OS, after that you should re-install (BMD) Desktop Video Setup
(don't know if installing the QuickTime video player will help, but you could see if this makes a difference)

hope this helps, succes !
UltraStudio Mini Recorder, Intensity Shuttle, ATEM Mini, Assist 6G. Davinci Resolve 15 on Sierra, Resolve 16 on Catalina. Media Express, MacX Video Converter Pro, UniConverter (Using Apple OS 32 & 64 bit on different MacBook Pro's
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Re: --- My (VHS) Video Capture Guide --- The best way to do

PostTue Nov 24, 2020 8:46 pm

Hi Eric. About 15 years ago I transferred all of my home movies on VHS to digital. I just loaded them in my old Panasonic VHS player and captured the composite signal somehow (I don't remember) into the PC.

I read your thread here today and am interested in maybe upgrading the quality of the digital copies by using a component VHS player. Do I need the Intensity Shuttle though for a Windows 10 PC? Isn't there some cheap dongle that will just take component input and send it to USB?

Are there any options for VHS players without DVR that will output component video? I looked on ebay for your Panasonic DMR-ES35V and the SONY RDR-VX410, but people want over $100 for these still. This is a one-time conversion, so I don't want to spend a lot on hardware I'll never use again.

Thanks!
Bryan
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Eric-Jan

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Re: --- My (VHS) Video Capture Guide --- The best way to do

PostSun Dec 20, 2020 1:17 am

Most of video capture has already been said here, you can go the easy way, and spend some money,
or the hard way buying cheap stuff, which is more miss than hit, there are lots of video capture dongles like the EasyCap ones, try to find the original one, the rest of them are EasyC(r)ap, try some of them, and hope for a good one, analog video isn't that steady anymore once put on VHS, this is why a combo recorder or dvd-recorder helps, TBC's are rare and costly.
(or be sure you can resell your used equipment)
Expect that home movie videos are more unstable, because of the handling of the camera, (rotation of head drum is disturbed during the recording)
The capture from the component video output is a big advantage, or a vcr with build in TBC are the most important things for a good capture.
Forget HDMI to capture from, the devices get mixed up communicating or the lack of it.
Composite and s-video are mostly on the same level, some vcr's will slightly give better performance through s-video, but with cheap vcr's there isn't.
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Re: --- My (VHS) Video Capture Guide --- The best way to do

PostSun Dec 20, 2020 4:49 pm

Eric-Jan wrote:Most of video capture has already been said here, you can go the easy way, and spend some money,
or the hard way buying cheap stuff, which is more miss than hit, there are lots of video capture dongles like the EasyCap ones, try to find the original one, the rest of them are EasyC(r)ap, try some of them, and hope for a good one, analog video isn't that steady anymore once put on VHS, this is why a combo recorder or dvd-recorder helps, TBC's are rare and costly.
(or be sure you can resell your used equipment)
Expect that home movie videos are more unstable, because of the handling of the camera, (rotation of head drum is disturbed during the recording)
The capture from the component video output is a big advantage, or a vcr with build in TBC are the most important things for a good capture.
Forget HDMI to capture from, the devices get mixed up communicating or the lack of it.
Composite and s-video are mostly on the same level, some vcr's will slightly give better performance through s-video, but with cheap vcr's there isn't.


OK, thank you Eric - I appreciate all your help in this thread!

I am thinking maybe I should just put my VHS tapes and a USB drive in a box and send to someone who has the equipment to transfer them for me. It will likely cost as much as buying the hardware myself. I wonder if you know anyone who would do that?

Thanks again,
Bryan
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Eric-Jan

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Re: --- My (VHS) Video Capture Guide --- The best way to do

PostSun Dec 20, 2020 8:19 pm

Some photo shops have a service for this, maybe that's an option for you, and this can maybe be found near to your location, just ask around is my guess...
UltraStudio Mini Recorder, Intensity Shuttle, ATEM Mini, Assist 6G. Davinci Resolve 15 on Sierra, Resolve 16 on Catalina. Media Express, MacX Video Converter Pro, UniConverter (Using Apple OS 32 & 64 bit on different MacBook Pro's
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Re: --- My (VHS) Video Capture Guide --- The best way to do

PostSun Dec 20, 2020 8:41 pm

Thank you, Eric. I was hoping you might want to do it. lol
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Re: --- My (VHS) Video Capture Guide --- The best way to do

PostThu Dec 24, 2020 3:20 pm

Eric-Jan wrote:Some photo shops have a service for this, maybe that's an option for you, and this can maybe be found near to your location, just ask around is my guess...


Eric, if I can get a VCR with component output, I need to somehow get that signal into my PC to record it. Would something like this work OK for that?

https://www.amazon.com/Component-Converter-YPBPR-Support-Player/dp/B07TYBLFYM

or this

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07T29D4RY
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Re: --- My (VHS) Video Capture Guide --- The best way to do

PostSat Dec 26, 2020 1:20 am

Hi Eric,
appreciate your guide here and informative comments on other posts related to Intensity and capturing from pre-HDMI AV devices. I have worked in AV production before and was keen to try out a Blackmagic product. I purchased an Intensity Shuttle Thunderbolt in 2019 for the purpose of capturing and editing quality outputs from a number of old sources - Hi8, VHS-C, S-VHS and VHS.

I have to say that it has been really disappointing experience. I was using well maintained cams and figured out pretty soon that the Intensity could not perform as advertised due to TBC. I had ongoing issues when running as AV input through a JVC HR-S5800AM player. I was only able to get a successful using S-Video or composite inputs when capturing from a DV cam.

"Capture and playback with any HDMI, component, s-video and NTSC/PAL video devices such as video recorders, game consoles, TVs and more!"
After spending nearly $500 on the essentials ($320 on the Intensity, $79 on a TB cable and $69 on a TB2-TB3 (USB-C) adapter), it is absurd that a pro TBC device, an elusive old VHS-DVD player or an analogue-HDMI converter are required in order to have the Intensity function. Even then, it still seems hit or miss as to if the outcome will be successful.

I have retried with a borrowed VHS-DVD player that 100% has TBC and still no luck. I will try and sell the Intensity and cables and just put it down to an expensive lesson. Am now getting quality upscaled capture of these old sources by running them through my Samsung 4K TV (which has solid onboard upscaling) and recording via my Samsung phone. Sure it's MPEG-4 AVC/H.265, but for the minimal amount of editing required - less headaches and expense than trying to get the Intensity to work.

"It's easy to add the world's highest quality, HDMI, analogue component, s-video composite and analog audio capture and playback to your Thunderbolt computer!"
Nah, it aint Blackmagic.
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Eric-Jan

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Re: --- My (VHS) Video Capture Guide --- The best way to do

PostWed Dec 30, 2020 7:03 pm

No, HDMI is very unreliable, this is because of the "handshaking" within HDMI, any HDMI capture device must also comply to HDCP because of legal legislation, just like any consumer video recording device, only from video cameras you can record by HDMI, some converters can fail to comply to HDCP, but that's more mis than hit, and i can't help you with that, for me the Panasonic ES35V combo works perfect with the Intensity Shutle, but any video output from the ES35V works fine, my guess is that the VHS video signal is electronical processed, so any video capture device would have no problem with that, so the cheapest way would be to find such a combo or use a dvd-recorder as passthrough before your capture device, a thrift store would be the place to look for that.
An other cheap way is to have secondhand DV or Digital8 camera that can record from an external source via it's composite/s-video connection, your computer, and this camera should also have Firewire connections,
the computer should have software that will transfer from Firewire, quality will somehow less but should not make that much difference for VHS quality.

note:
The Intensity Shuttle does exactly what BlackMagic Design says, the only problem is that the analog video signal from consumer analog recording equipment, is not a clean and steady one, so, the same troubles you have with the Intensity Shuttle, you also have wih cheap EZCAP devices or de best ATI capture devices, if such a device is more forgiving, quality will also be lost.
(My setup doesn't have any Time Base Corrector in it)
The best feature of the Intensity Shuttle is it's component (YUV) video input, in combination with the very populair Panasonic ES15 (as passthrough) would be a good combination.
Otherwise it is very hard to get good results on a low budget.
If people say BlackMagic Design is a bad product, it's because they want you to buy their used equipment, because they have no use for it anymore. There are a lot of "haters" in forums like Videohelp and Digitalfaq.
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Re: --- My (VHS) Video Capture Guide --- The best way to do

PostSat Feb 13, 2021 5:32 pm

Hi all! Eric-Jan, thank you for all your efforts and for providing this guide, this helps a lot new users. I followed many of your advices, but ran into several issues during the process.

I need to capture old family videos on several VHS tapes, most of them are MESECAM, so i bought all required equipment. My setup is the following: Sony VCR -> Sony RDR-HXD 870 DVD/HDD DVR used as passthrough -> Component I/O -> Intensity Shuttle Thunderbolt -> Mid 2014 MacBook Pro 16 GB RAM running MacOs Catalina 10.15.7. Software: Video Desktop 11.7, Media Express 3.6.2, DaVinci Resolve 16.2.8.

The DVR, used as passthrough, allow to stream video signals in progressive, Intensity Shuttle is set to capture 625p50 PAL using ProRes 422 LT codec. The issues I meet are the following:

1. While capturing in Media Express I have no sound on the Mac, but the captured clip have audio embedded.
One minute clip gives me a file around 420 MB. Is that okay?

2.Tried to use DaVinci Resolve for encoding purposes. While I can add the captured media in library, play, edit, etc, when I click on Deliver thumbnail the file doesn't appear there, "Add to Rendes Queue" is greyed out. I'm aware that there are plenty of other good encoders, but I'm just trying BMD software to work as it's supposed to do. Is there something I'm doing wrong?

Thank you in advance for your answers and possible solutions,

Regards,

Ivan.
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Eric-Jan

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Re: --- My (VHS) Video Capture Guide --- The best way to do

PostWed Feb 17, 2021 1:09 am

No sound on the MAC is with me too, monitor the VU "led bars" so they don't reach the red level.
best way is to set your project to the correct capture resolution before importing the media.
looks like MeSECAM is played out as normal PAL in your case if picture quality is okay...
First add to render queue before delivery, you can check in settings at the right if resolution is okay.
You first need to set codec before you set it in the render queue, you can use profiles like Youtube or custom ...etc I f you did these steps, all should be fine, otherwise take some screen shots of the steps of your workflow, maybe i can see some details of where things might go wrong that way...
LT codec should be fine for capture, with long captures, audio stays in sync ?
Looks like your you're on track with your workflow, and good hardware for the job...
Maybe somehow the codecs are not set in Davinci, or not installed ?
i hope i put my finger somewhere on where it went wrong, with my story above..
This is my "quick answer" sofar, in the weekend i have more time to look into it.
UltraStudio Mini Recorder, Intensity Shuttle, ATEM Mini, Assist 6G. Davinci Resolve 15 on Sierra, Resolve 16 on Catalina. Media Express, MacX Video Converter Pro, UniConverter (Using Apple OS 32 & 64 bit on different MacBook Pro's
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Re: --- My (VHS) Video Capture Guide --- The best way to do

PostThu Feb 18, 2021 3:35 pm

Eric-Jan, thank you for your answer, this helped a lot. While capturing process with Intensity Shuttle is clear now for me, I have several questions about encoding in DaVinci.
Eric-Jan wrote:LT codec should be fine for capture, with long captures, audio stays in sync ?

For now I just tried to capture small one minute clips for testing purposes in order to understand how all the hardware works together and to organise future workflow.
Eric-Jan wrote:Maybe somehow the codecs are not set in Davinci, or not installed ?
i hope i put my finger somewhere on where it went wrong, with my story above..

After your post, went for some further testing in DaVinci and found what exactly I was doing wrong: I did not drag the imported media in the timeline, so it was not showing in the deliver tab... My fault, should have learned the basics, I guess this happens when you start to discover a new complex software...

So capturing a one minute clip with Intensity Shuttle in PAL using ProRes LT gives me a 430 MB file.
Encoding in DaVinci using H.264 gives a 55 MB file, job is done in 20 seconds.
Encoding using H.265 gives a 25 MB file, rendering is very slow, about 10 minutes for this one minute clip. I also (re)discovered that my Mac have cooling fans)) maybe this 2014 MacBook Pro is too old for this kind of task?

I wonder if you have any favourite presets that you are using for this kind of job in DaVinci? I' not working with some pro media but some old family videos and of course trying to optimise storage. Or maybe you are using and can advise other encoders, they are plenty of them in your signature?
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Eric-Jan

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Re: --- My (VHS) Video Capture Guide --- The best way to do

PostSat Feb 20, 2021 2:36 am

Okay, you are learning ! i guess i made the same mistakes when i started, but you learn from your mistakes, and it only gets better, with Davinci Resolve once you "Deliver" you're in the Custom preset or H264, (I use Custom)
And set "Quality "from"Quicktime" to "MP4" so you get the MP4 extension instead of the MOV extension, codec to H264" and change the "automatic" option to "restrict to" and set the value to 1500 this is a good value for VHS, which leaves quality intact, and does good compression (makes the file smaller) you can change that value depending the result you get, a bigger value makes quality better, and the file larger, and visa versa...(try keep the original source frame rate, a lower frame rate will make the file smaller, but can have side effects you don't want)
(check also the settings [in the lower right corner cogwheel], if the resolution settings are the same that you have set in the previous left section)

(btw. i don't use H265 because it degrades the VHS quality too much i think, it's a stronger compression, H265 is mostly designed for 4K footage, to make smaller files, and for better streaming performance, with the same bandwith/datastream)

The other software i also use and like, MacX Video Converter Pro, which is easy to use if you just want to convert and change/edit minor things, like cut parts, or change aspect ratio by cutting parts of the image or mask, or change sound codecs, Uniconverter is also like that, but has more codec options, is also easy to use, both these programs you have to pay some money for, not much, i think it's worth the money you spend, some updates to these programs cost money, but if your happy with it, you don't have to do these updates, i stopped updating, and am happy with it's use.
Resolve is a fine editor, it's free, while others with same options are not, there are lots ot youtube tutorials by users, for the different features of Resolve, and while it's professional software, it's still easy to use, is my opinion.
Try to discover the transform and crop options, these are handy if you want to remove the typical VHS tape "dirt" you see in the lower portion of the screen (video head switching signals).

Capturing by Component video will show more detail, which also mean that you see more noise paterns that a normal CRT did not make visible, this noise will be less visible once compressed with a MP4 codec.
Also the orginal recording will make a difference, a broadcasted movie or a video studio recording will result in different quality due to interlace artifacts interlaced "footage" will be made progressive once it's digital,
a movie frame may view better because the two fields are the same in one progressive frame while a video source frame can have two different "fields" because the time it took to make one "field" takes time and the second field is different because of the fast movement of the image between those fields, i hope you can follow this,
it comes down to that you try to make the best of it, with the source material you've got.
Capturing from composite makes the image slightly softer, which makes the image more washed out, (less resotion) which some people think is nicer to see, but color seperation is worse, red colors will fan out into the other part of the image, and gives a kind of prism halo on sharp edges, this effect is less with s-video, but still there, I think capturing through component video is the best way to do it, but component video made it's introduction very late into professional analog video, it came with the rise of digtal video also with MPEG encoding and decoding, hence ... DVD :)
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