View Full Version : Suggestions for vhs to dvd conversion?

13th July 2003, 01:29
I have a lot of ntsc family videos in vhs format that I want to transfer to dvd. The vhs tapes are in decent condition. I'll be using a Hauppauge WinTV-dbx card (bt878) with the btwincap drivers and I'll probably be following this guide (http://www.arstechnica.com/guide/audio-visual/videocapturing/vidcap-1.html) for the actual capture, unless there's a better guide I'm unaware of. The 720x480 test captures have turned out pretty well so far. That is the resolution I should be capturing at in this situation correct?

Anyway, once I get the 720x480 video onto my hard drive, I'm uncertain of how to proceed. What's the best way to deal with the standard vhs interference at the bottom of the screen? Should I deinterlace the capture and how? Which filters should I try? etc etc. A guide for the clean up and conversion of the "raw" avi into dvd format would be ideal but any suggestions/tips would be most appreciated.

13th July 2003, 09:29
here's the guide you're looking for: http://www.doom9.org/capture/start.html

"That is the resolution I should be capturing at in this situation correct?"
well, that is the resolution you should end up with when burning the video to DVD. as you mentioned yourself, you usually get some jitter on the bottome of the video. therefor it is smarter to capture at a sligthly higher resolution and then, when post processing your video with avisynth cropping to the right solution.
anyway, almost all of this is described in the above mentioned guide in great detail!


13th July 2003, 15:18
link is dead

I think that guide mentioned by you is very good.
After couple days of experimenting I found for best following methode:
Virtual Dub VCR with BT Tweaker is very good combination for VHS capture. To get rid of bottom instable lines use Tweaker's vertical shift. This will make black bar at top, but much less dropped frames if record is not very good. In any case it's not possible to get whole vertical resolution from tape, so you can add borders at top and bottom, or resize to 480 - what is not so good idea, I think.

You can not deinterlace bottom 'interference lines', best way is to cut them.
Deinterlace is necessary, we have lot of deinterlace filters for AVISynth, you need to try which is best for you. Same stays for noise filters. For FILM origin, you may try IVTC (inverse telecine) with decomb, but it may be not so good with VHS.

13th July 2003, 20:38
Try capturing then use Donald Graft's Smart Resize filter combined with cropping to get rid of the junk at the bottom.

For VHS, you're probably fine to create 1/2 D1 with audio rate of 48. This can be burned onto CDR as if it were SVCD and will play in most modern players. The files can also be burned to DVDR at any time as 352x480 with 48 audio is legal DVD resolution.

Deinterlacing non-film NTSC can be done but why? NTSC is NOT ~30 pictures/second split into halves. It is ~60 pictures/second in 2 distinct streams.

It sure is possible to get the entire frame, I do it all the time. This is a function of the playback deck. Low-end decks put the squiggle at the bottom, better decks have filters and stabilization to prevent this.

14th July 2003, 01:04
Thanks for the replies. I've been doing some test burns with a rewritable dvd today. I captured at 720x480 and then converted it to dvd format with tmpgenc. I Haven't tried any filters yet, but I might just use whatever tmpgenc offers. I didn't deinterlace or crop the garbage at the bottom of the screen and it looks fine on my tv. Apparently my dvd player is deinterlacing the file itself anyway and the vhs interference doesn't show up. I suppose I'll crop out the interference so pc playback isn't annoying though.

Back to experimenting.

14th July 2003, 20:23
Originally posted by FredThompson

For VHS, you're probably fine to create 1/2 D1 with audio rate of 48. This can be burned onto CDR as if it were SVCD and will play in most modern players. The files can also be burned to DVDR at any time as 352x480 with 48 audio is legal DVD resolution.

If I go the 352x480 route, should I capture at that resolution or cap at 720x480 and then resize it to 352x480 when converting to a dvdr compatible file. I assume the former but this stuff has me confused.

When converting the 1/2 D1 capture avi to a dvd compatible file, what settings should I use in tmgenc? In my earlier attempts I just followed this guide (http://www.dvdrhelp.com/tmpgencdvd.htm). But with a 352x480 resolution, I'm not sure what to do to get it work properly on a dvd. I also assume I should be doing 2 pass vbr encoding, as suggested here. (http://dvd-hq.info/Compression.html) Which leads me to my next question.

What do you prefer for the audio format? Ac3, mpeg2 or pcm audio? If ac3, how should I rip it from the captured avi and what program should I use to encode to ac3?

The further I get into this process the less I have figured out :)

14th July 2003, 20:46
I haven't done anything with Dolby Surround so can't advise you on that.

I prefer to use DVD2SVCD although I'm moving to ToK (www.kvcd.org) because of the quality at low bitrates.

I capture everything at 720x480, do all the processing, then resize as a final step.

There is no 1:1 relationship with digital video pixels and analog video. However, I've found things work better this way.

Let's put it this way: you can't go wrong by having more samples than you need and downsizing. proper audio is 4x oversampled at the highest frequency. That's a similar operation, converting an analog signal into digital.

14th July 2003, 20:59
I think it would make most sense to go for mpeg2 audio, but that is just my opinion. ac3 @ 192 kbit would be perfectly fine too!

i also think that capturing at full res and resizing after post processing will yield the best results (if you want to resize), but keep in mind that this way you will loose a lot of speed as you have to post process a lot more information. imho it's worth it though!


14th July 2003, 21:45
Good solution could be to capture directly in DVD format.
Most of capture cards comes with software for it. I don't know which programs you get with Hauppauge card, can only mention couple very useful:
Win DVR - good VHS capture, noise filter by it, etc.
It captures in Mpeg2, has some standard settings (including DVD) plus custom settings.
Pinnacle cards come with good Mpeg2 capture software for example, even burning of disks is possible directly from programm.

14th July 2003, 23:37
Capturing directly to your destination format is a horrible option if quality matters at all. Think about it, you'd be requiring all filters and the compression to work on the fly and in one pass.

15th July 2003, 08:43
Originally posted by FredThompson
Capturing directly to your destination format is a horrible option if quality matters at all. Think about it, you'd be requiring all filters and the compression to work on the fly and in one pass.

VHS will be horrible in any case for my eyes. I spent lot of time (mostly computers, and mine too) to filter some VHS captures. It was terrible slow (5-6 fps) and result is still far behind any decent TV capture - unsharp, instable etc.

There is no problem to make Mpeg2 compression in one pass for such bad source like VHS - usually you will loose nothing.
Of course best capturing is with huffyuv - not everybody has today 80 GB and bigger disks.
All this depends on that how many time you want play with it. For hobby is OK to experience and go for maximum quality. But if you make it for money, better look to make it faster, because it can't get so much money how much complicated can be.

15th July 2003, 08:57
Look at my page: http://www.geocities.com/fredthompson6

Near the bottom is a screenshot from S-VHS. The VCR has filters and stabilization. The picture of the girl on the black background is S-VHS from cable before and after filtering. My filtering is better than what is shown on that page. It's almost 4 AM so I must get some sleep. More examples will go up tomorrow along with the filter script. The bleeding red is from NTSC DV passthru from the S-VHS deck.

If you use a cheap VCR and have low-quality tapes, the results will be less than what I show.

My Athlon 2100 filters at 9-10 fps for full D1. If you use a filter like flaxen VHS, it will be very slow. The filter can be stripped down a little bit to get 15 fps with very good results.

16th July 2003, 16:05
Visited your site, but don't see mentioned pictures near to bottom.

Anyway, I don't want going to far (or deep) with filtering. It's good for making picture cleaner. But we never get real sharp picture from VHS, especially for old ones. I personally like more sharp picture with little noise than clean, but unsharp.

16th July 2003, 16:58
You should see some red links with "DirecTV -> S-VHS" in their title.

I know about the colorspace issues of the developmental filter script on that page.

Pure VHS samples are now at the bottom of the page. Neither is a truely good exmaple. One is low-end VHS camcorder, the other is a 1950 B&W movie. Still, they're fairly clean and the only pure VHS captures I have in the computer right now. I'll make a grab from one of the Indiana Jones movies later today.

I agree about over-sharpening being bad. However, I don't think capturing to MPEG2 at the final destination size is a good idea. Even with my hardware MPEG2 encoder the results do not compare with filtering and final compression. The problem is inline encoding cannot analyze the stream enough and without good filtering it's very noisy which eats up bandwidth.

I've had great results filtering after capture and making 1/2 D1 with 48 audio to 770M after filtering VHS source. (Can move those directly to DVDR when I get one.) If I try to do that during the capture, the results are horrible.

16th July 2003, 17:18
I agree that always is better to capture in some special capture format (best is huffyuv of course), and later perform filtering etc.

Question is just is it worth of effort? Sometimes people just wants to preserve their old shots from VHS to more reliable format, but don't want to spend to much money and time in it.

When I see DV camera shots after VHS ones, I loose all my ambitions :)

16th July 2003, 18:04
I feel the same way when somebody sends me a "fantastic copy" of a VHS source and it's a mess.

you're right, if it's just a quick and dirty encode, go for final format and get it done quick.