View Full Version : VHS capture

11th January 2002, 22:51
my sytem : 1.4 Athlon, Asus V7700 GTS deluxe 64mb AGP card, 512 MB DDR, 2 40 GB drives, win 2k(WDM capture drivers)

What are the best methods for capturing VHS video and outputting it for 1) web downloads 2)CD distribution. essentially low file size and relatively high file size.

any help would be appreciated.

12th January 2002, 18:22
Ideally you'd capture at full-res and save losslessly (using virtualdub). Then you take the resulting avi and edit it, deinterlace it using smart deinterlace, and resize it to 2 different resolutions and frame-serve (or resave it) it to wherever it is you're encoding. For the high file size use something like 512x384 or 480x360, anything over it is overkill, and encode in Divx4. For the lower filesize something like 320x240 and Real media.

14th January 2002, 01:11
In addition, some noise filters would help, especially for the downloadable videos. You can visit my guide for further help:


15th January 2002, 00:10
So if I capture using my capture utility with the huffyuv codec the resulting file will be a lossless AVI, correct? Then I would use virtualdub and run smartdeinterlace on it and maybe some noise filters, OK so far? Would I encode it to divx at the same time or would I run the filters and then encode?
Thanks for your help

Pojken Purken
15th January 2002, 00:18
You could save it to DivX directly but for best result you should do a two-pass Nandub encode. In this case you should save your work as a new AVI using Huffyuv. You could of course frameserve to Nandub (to save diskspace) but the filter steps are rather timeconsuming so you have to be very patient since framserving means you have to do them twice.


18th January 2002, 10:52
Encoding directly or frameserving is indeed the only way if you are short in diskspace. The drawback, if you are doing two pass encoding, is time. I also just got into capturing and encoding. I captured at 720 x 480 from PAL VHS (which I'll reduce to 512 x 480 in the future because I am resizing to 512 x 384) and for processing, I strictly followed Lukes guide. The results are FANTASTIC (of course, to the limit of VHS resolution): perfectly stable image, no noise in the colors, as sharp as it can get. The drawback is processing time. Luke inserts 5 or 6 filters and compression on my 1 MHz Pentium III is at 0.8 - 1 frames per second. Thus, a two pass encode of 1 hour of video took more than 24 hours ... but it's worth it and I'll continue to work this way until I added a 40 gig hard drive.

Thanks, Luke!

19th January 2002, 23:35
Glad to hear I could help, Ftack. I assume you are working on cartoon video, correct?


21st January 2002, 09:24
Originally posted by Cart
Glad to hear I could help, Ftack. I assume you are working on cartoon video, correct?


In fact, it is not cartoon video. The result is nevertheless much pleasing and overall a big improvement over the original capture. For real live video as opposed to cartoon, filtering must be applied more gently, though, allowing some noise to remain. For my first try, I applied your guide literally, and although many scenes looked much(even spectacularly) better, faces in close-up tended to loose too many detail and got kind of a 'plastic like' appearance. Nevertheless, your guide was an excellent starting point for me and convinced me that extensive post processing can indeed result in greatly enhanced video. Overall, it is for me a great, in-depth and at the same time very accessible guide for being initiated in capturing and processing DV. Thanks again for this great site. Perhaps, anyone can list other sites dealing in detail with Virtualdub processing to enhance captured VHS video.

22nd January 2002, 00:54
Originally posted by ftack
I captured at 720 x 480 from PAL VHS
Surely a res of 480 is not a good thing for pal, you should be using 576 as the missing 96 lines will cause the picture to suffer from alaising. This goes even if you are resizing to a smaller height later on.

22nd January 2002, 08:33
I capture to either Huffyuv or Mjpeg and then encode it to DivX using Nandub and even 2hr movies that fit on 1cd look good.
I also capture straight to DivX using the vki mpeg4 v3 codec and my special settings and the quality is better than capturing to VCD and compares to a SVCD capture but is half the size.

28th January 2002, 06:07
Thanks Ftack,

I was just wondering if you were using my cartoon-geared filter settings.

Capturing 480 lines for PAL could be an issue depending on the capture card, the interlacing, and how you want to handle it, but if it looks good then it's not too big an issue.