Need to copy old VHS tapes to DVD's

Discussion in 'Amateur Video Production' started by Kenny Maultsby, Jan 6, 2004.

  1. I have just purchase a DVD burner for my computer and I want to copy some of
    my old VHS tapes to DVD. What products our out there that will let me do
    this?

    Kenny
     
    Kenny Maultsby, Jan 6, 2004
    #1
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  2. Kenny Maultsby

    dylan_j Guest

    dylan_j, Jan 6, 2004
    #2
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  3. Kenny Maultsby

    Ken Maltby Guest

    If you are not Trolling at my expense; and you have
    a lot of tapes. This is a faster way to copy VHS quality
    source video to DVDs or Menued CDs. This is also
    a way to do a larger number of TV episodes a day.
    At any reasonable bitrate, the quality well be near that
    of the source.

    My setup:

    I can tell you the setup that works for me (whether this
    is due to its being "Idiot Proof" or not is debatable.)
    It is easy and requires only a few, relatively quick and
    simple steps. While some have suggested that a higher
    quality can be achieved, I find that my results are nearly
    indistinguishable from the source. The only real drawback
    might be in the limited editing with this approach, but all
    I need is to "cut and join" which I can do easily. The
    majority of the video quality "editing", I can handle by
    careful selection of capture settings.

    Keep in mind when reading this long post, that once this
    is setup and working as you like, it well be a simple process
    to create your CDs and or DVDs.

    Components:

    1. A relatively fast computer.
    2. At least 512 meg RAM
    3. A large file structure sys. (prob. NTFS)
    4. At least 30GB of fast HD space (7200rpm on UDMA,
    or better)
    5. A MPEG capture device ( I like the PCI card type , but
    the USB2 type should work as well ) Stay away from the USB1
    type and any that well not digitize the audio along with the video.

    [ The card I use is the "Adaptec VideOh! PCI" AVC-2000
    which has been replaced with a new model based on different
    ICs. They are now shipping the AVC-2010. The AVC-2010
    uses a different chipset (Conexant) which Moviemill won't recognize.
    I have heard that "SageRecord" (www.sage.tv) works great on
    the new card though.] I would suggest that you do a thorough search
    and find the best current hardware MPEG card/box you can afford.

    Be sure to check out www.dvdrhelp.com info on capture cards,
    including comments from users.

    6. The best capture driver software you can find compatible
    with your card/box. This may not be that which came with the
    card. (check on www.dvdrhelp.com ) What you are looking
    for is software that gives you the most control over the capture
    settings. ( I use "Snazzi* Movie Mill ver: 2.0.260 but this well
    only work for cards using certain ICs, like mine.)

    7. DVD Authoring Software, this well also work with CDs.
    This software creates the folders that you well burn to your
    CD or DVD. ( With my normal capture settings I fit an hour
    long TV episode [with the commercials removed] on a CD,
    and 6 episodes or a full length movie on a DVD.) ( I use
    "TMPGEnc DVD Author".)

    8. DVD Shrink (3.0 Beta 5 works good) so you can shrink
    your authored VIDEO_TS folder if it should turn out a little too
    big for your CD or DVD. Adds < 5min to the process, if/when
    you use it. (It's still free as far as I know) There are other SW
    to perform this function but I haven't used any other as this
    works very well.

    9. Burning Software, basically any that well burn a proper
    DVD format to your burner. ( I use the burning tool in TMPGEnc
    DVD Author or Nero)

    The Process:

    1. Capture:

    Cable your source device (VCR, Tvio, LaserDisk ect...)
    to your capture device using the best connection you can.
    (Component Video is better than SVideo which is better
    than Composite [RCA] )

    If all you are doing is capturing a signal source that is the
    same "Quality" as what your display can produce, then the
    fewer steps the better (and easier). Since your objective is
    a DVD or CD to provide a signal to a normal TV, then a
    capture made to compatible format makes the most sense
    ( to me at least).

    So here in the US it would be a MPEG-2 325X480
    capture at the highest bitrate that well fit the source onto
    your CD or DVD. (4.05 Mbps VBR works good for me)
    Such a capture well require only "Authoring" and need not
    be reencoded, before burning the CD/DVD.

    This is were you can adjust capture settings for the most
    practical and acceptable compromise between Video Quality
    and File Size.

    I use a PCI card that has a hardware MPEG encoder and
    captures both video and audio. (No sync problems) With a
    fast machine, a software encoding approach may have an
    advantage, as it can be improved and incorporate new
    advances in encoding algorithm. (Although no amount of
    improved encoding well make a VHS or Normal TV signal
    carry more info than it can now)

    This well take as long as it takes to play your source
    video. It well produce .mpg files.

    2. Author:

    Your Author program well let you load your MPEG2
    clips/.mpg files and cut & join them together; make menus
    & chapter points; then output the two DVD compatible file
    folders. It is here that you would remove commercials
    and create any menu structure you may want. (Including
    no menus) If you want to load a DVD with a number of
    episodes; then make each one a separate track, not a chapter.
    If you capture one big file and then cut out commercials you
    well automatically create chapters, if you make menus then
    you can skip ahead during playback.

    3. Burn:

    Follow the instructions for burning DVD compatible disks
    using you burning software.

    That's it, all done.

    Luck;
    Ken
     
    Ken Maltby, Jan 6, 2004
    #3
  4. Kenny Maultsby

    les Guest

    I found that in some situations, people prefer a straight-forward and easy
    way
    to do this translation in media without needing to understand the software
    and
    hardware aspects, much less need to figure it out if they don't need to do
    any
    editing or other effects. I've seen both ends of this solution, and done
    both.

    Desktop DVD burners do it all in one box. Simply input your S Video or
    composite video into the RCA jacks and let it roll off the VHS deck.
    One can do simple on/off edits and create chapters, but it doesn't require
    understanding file structures and menus. For some this is way beyond what
    they
    want to major in.

    This is just another idea, and it frees up your time and PC for other
    things.........
    and they are getting rather cheap now too.
     
    les, Jan 6, 2004
    #4
  5. Thanks guys I am still researching.
     
    Kenny Maultsby, Jan 7, 2004
    #5
  6. Kenny Maultsby

    Brian Guest

    Let us know what you decide on Kenny and the reasons for your choice.
    It would be a help to others like myself.

    Regard Brian
     
    Brian, Jan 7, 2004
    #6
  7. Just to let you guy's know this just a one time deal. I am planning on
    purchasing DV camera later this year. My camcorder now is HI8 which I have
    stop using. The VHS stuff is thing like golf instruction tapes and how to
    tapes which I want to preserve on DVD.
     
    Kenny Maultsby, Jan 7, 2004
    #7
  8. Kenny Maultsby

    Marc Guest

    Am I understanding this correctly? I don't need to capture at a higher
    resolution from VHS when going to DVD?
     
    Marc, Jan 7, 2004
    #8
  9. Kenny Maultsby

    Bariloche Guest

    Dvd can output a better signal than VHS. It's not exactly resolution,
    but to speak in comparable terms, VHS would give you a 300+ horizontal
    resolution, and DVD a 500+ one. So your VHS capture can hardly benefit
    from anything above the 320, 352, 384 at most, horizontal resolution.
    Even if DVD can output a better signal, the limiting factor is in your
    source material, which is VHS.

    On the other hand, you can get the full vertical resolution (480 NTSC,
    576 PAL), for the best available quality from VCR tape.
     
    Bariloche, Jan 7, 2004
    #9
  10. 1) His VHS capture probably has noise. It is easier to remove that
    noise (and keeping detail) at full resolution.

    2) You get better quality when capping at 704x576 instead of
    something smaller and then upsizing to 704x576 with Vdub/AviSynth
    or with whatever editing program. You can check this yourself.

    Wilbert
     
    Wilbert Dijkhof, Jan 7, 2004
    #10
  11. Kenny Maultsby

    Ken Maltby Guest

    For both speed and efficiency it's better to process
    the analog signal prior to the encoding/compression
    that takes place during capture. Ground loop
    elimination/isolation, careful attention to cabling,
    even the physical placement of the source device
    relative to your computer can have effects and need
    to be dealt with. There are various analog signal
    conditioning boxes that have been available from
    time to time. (personally I just boost the video 6DB
    and let the capture filters take care of the rest)

    All in all encoding noise at any res. is best
    avoided.

    Luck;
    Ken
     
    Ken Maltby, Jan 7, 2004
    #11
  12. Kenny Maultsby

    J.Clarke Guest

    FWIW, people often forget that it's a system--until you've got it
    digital losses add up--even after it's digital some operations lose
    resolution or other aspects of image quality. Anywhere you can
    with reasonable effort eliminate or minimize one of those losses it's
    best to do so. Capturing VHS at 320 doesn't get you the full resolution
    of the tape, it loses a bit in the capture and a bit more in the
    rescaling to DVD res. Capturing from VHS at 704 also doesn't get you the
    full resolution of the tape, but it gets you more of it than 320 did and
    there's no rescaling loss. Generally speaking if you know the target
    resolution up front then it's best IMO to capture at that resolution. If
    you don't know the target resolution then (again IMO) capture at the
    highest resolution your hardware and available storage will allow.
     
    J.Clarke, Jan 8, 2004
    #12
  13. Kenny Maultsby

    Ken Maltby Guest

    I might say: If you *can* capture to a DVD compliant
    MPEG at an acceptable bitrate, do so. It's quicker mostly
    because it well *not* require any "rescaling", "reencoding",
    or "re-anything". IMHO, this is the way to go if your goal
    is to transfer from VCR or other consumer analog signal,
    and fit it on a CD or DVD; for playback on a normal TV.

    If you *cannot* capture to a DVD compliant MPEG
    at an acceptable bitrate, (your system can't handle it) then
    don't. Capture with a less compressed format, (not MPEG)
    and then do a lot of "remuxing" and "reencoding". This is
    also the way to go if you want to do any image altering
    editing.

    As to the question of what "resolution" a VHS tape
    playing at SP or EP might be, my head starts vibrating
    at about that point in my research into this subject.
    But from my own experience the 1/2 D1 MPEG
    Format seems to have the best fit for such signal
    conversions.
     
    Ken Maltby, Jan 8, 2004
    #13
  14. Kenny Maultsby

    Bariloche Guest

    That's the thing. If you intend to make a 704x480 Dvd, then you are
    better capturing at that resolution. But you can capture at 352x480,
    and make a 352x480 mpeg2 that is also within the Dvd standards. Now,
    where an 8000 kbps bitrate would give you a good Dvd at 704, you only
    need 4000 kbps for the same quality, in terms of mpeg compression, at
    352. May be not exactly the same quality as the 704 material, but very
    close, and it allows you to put 2 times as much on the same disc.
    Then, you can bring up the bitrate, and get better quality than with
    704, as far as compression is concerned. For instance, 352x480 with a
    bitrate of 6000, would be the equivalent, as far as mpeg encoding is
    concerned, of 704x480 at 12000 kbps bitrate (which is very much above
    the highest bitrate you can use with 704x480), and you would still be
    able to put more content on the disc. So the quality advantage that
    704 may give you at capturing, can be compensated by the quality
    advantage on mpeg2 encoding for 352.

    But that is just my reasoning, and I may be proven wrong, of course.
     
    Bariloche, Jan 8, 2004
    #14
  15. : That's the thing. If you intend to make a 704x480 Dvd, then you are
    : better capturing at that resolution. But you can capture at 352x480,
    : and make a 352x480 mpeg2 that is also within the Dvd standards. Now,
    : where an 8000 kbps bitrate would give you a good Dvd at 704, you only
    : need 4000 kbps for the same quality, in terms of mpeg compression, at

    Can I be using 8000kbs with 352x480 resolution for DVDs?

    Actually I just compared a screen shot of MPEG-2 for 704x480 with 352x480 that
    I captured from a VHS. 704x480 looked tiny better. But still 352 is a good
    opportunity to fit a 2 hour video.

    --Leonid
     
    Leonid Makarovsky, Jan 9, 2004
    #15
  16. Just curious. In case your source is noisy, which one gives better
    quality after denoising?

    I take it that you leave your mpeg2 interlaced? In that case it is a bit
    tricky to denoise it.

    Wilbert
     
    Wilbert Dijkhof, Jan 9, 2004
    #16
  17. I don't denoise it. In fact I don't apply any filters. I just don't
    believe I will be able to obtain a better quality using filters. But
    my source was a factory made VHS so it was pretty good quality.
    Yeah, I leave it interlaced 'cause I will be planning to watch it on
    TV at the end.

    --Leonid
     
    Leonid Makarovsky, Jan 9, 2004
    #17
  18. Kenny Maultsby

    Bariloche Guest

    You should be able. And then this gives you the mpeg2 quality of a
    16000 kbps full D1! This is about 100% quality. You may be losing a
    bit in terms of resolution, but would gain a lot in terms of mpeg
    quality.
    Which bitrates did those mpeg2 have? To evaluate the advantage of 704
    vs 352, one would encode 352 at half the bitrate than for 704, and
    then rise up the 352 bitrate to evaluate the advantage of a better
    mpeg2 encoding quality.
     
    Bariloche, Jan 10, 2004
    #18
  19. :>Can I be using 8000kbs with 352x480 resolution for DVDs?

    : You should be able. And then this gives you the mpeg2 quality of a
    : 16000 kbps full D1! This is about 100% quality. You may be losing a
    : bit in terms of resolution, but would gain a lot in terms of mpeg
    : quality.

    That's the thing, if I'm doing it from VHS source, am I losing quality going
    from 704x... to 352x...?

    :>Actually I just compared a screen shot of MPEG-2 for 704x480 with 352x480 that
    :>I captured from a VHS. 704x480 looked tiny better. But still 352 is a good
    :>opportunity to fit a 2 hour video.

    : Which bitrates did those mpeg2 have? To evaluate the advantage of 704
    : vs 352, one would encode 352 at half the bitrate than for 704, and
    : then rise up the 352 bitrate to evaluate the advantage of a better
    : mpeg2 encoding quality.

    I used 8000kbs for both.

    What I'm trying to do is to fit as much as possible without losing quality.
    I can either go from 704x... to 352x... at 8000kbs or stay at 704x... with
    lower bit rate. I just need to figure what gives me better quality...

    Off topic: one thing I noticed is that 352x... resolution with Philips based
    capture card still gives a better quality than 704x... with Brooktree based
    capture card.

    --Leonid
     
    Leonid Makarovsky, Jan 10, 2004
    #19
  20. Kenny Maultsby

    Ken Maltby Guest

    Love that Philips SAA-7000 series chip!!

    Luck;
    Ken
     
    Ken Maltby, Jan 10, 2004
    #20
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