Boring Old VHS

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    • #66428

      I have a bunch of VHS tapes that I want to digitize. I'd like to capture the footage with the least amount of compression artifacts being introduced. Additionally, I don't really want to have to monitor the entire process. Ideally I would just hit play on the VCR and let it record the whole tape, then come in and create the individual clips digitally. If I capture the footage, then cut it up into smaller pieces, and then do final editing I'll end up with the equivalent of a copy of a copy of a copy, each introducing a loss in quality, right? Any advice to keep as much of the quality that remains in those boring old VHS tapes?

    • #207794
      Mike Wilhelm

      My advice is to use a good VCR (ideally one that uses an s-video connection), and capture to a lossless format (here is a list of your options). Remember that generational quality loss, when we're talking about digital files, comes in the form of compression. It's not the same as analog duplication where there is signal distortion over copper wire.

    • #207806

      Your best bet is to get either an ADVC-110 or an ADVC-300. Both are bidriectional composite/Y-C analong to digital (i.e. firewire) converters. The 300 is a more money because of it's built in TBC and noise reduction features. They convert your analog footage to DV-AVI which is as good as it gets.



    • #207836

      I used my old MiniDV camcorder (with passthrough ability) to capture old VHS tapes. Excellent results.

    • #207847

      I have the ADVC-110. I looked through the list of lossless formats and I don't recognize any of them. Is there a software package that handles the capture format in a lossless format? Part of the problem I've encountered is that when I go back to review the footage, on one pass I'll get static on a few frames but if I run it again, I'll get the static on other frames. So I want to keep the best parts from both runs and every time I have to render the clip introduce as little compression artifacts/loss of quality.

    • #207857

      Are you using your firewire port to get the footage in from your ADVC-110? If yes, then your footage is in DV-AVI format and you have no need to do anything other than edit it.



    • #207930

      VHS tape recordings can benefit from motion adaptive de-interlacing just as much as other source material.

      But some loss occurs with recording on regular DVD. The VHS source (and all analog NTSC source) has individual coloration for each scan line. Whereas DVD preserves only enough color information for every other scan line. So you have to go to hi-def (Blu-Ray) to actually preserve all of the content, and provided that the particular recorder handles the video just right.

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