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Old 19th February 2002, 23:52   #1  |  Link
-i-
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how's my capture/encode process for VHS->DVD?? (crosspost)

OK, I am starting to capture VHS and migrate them to DVD via DVDit! PE, but I have a feeling I am either missing a step, or something (sorry if some of these questions were already posted by me, I wanted to put them in one post, so I can get a clear answer)...

Also, I have a feeling I am doing this the LONG way, any ideas to shorten my labor time?

first, here is the machine:

AMD 1600XP @ 1.533 (prime can run for days with no errors)
2x256 crucial 2100 DDR (no mem errors)
Abit KR7A-Raid (not running raid though)
ATI All In Wonder Radeon 8500dv
Soundblaster Audigy Platnium
40gig IBM Deskstar as C:/
60gig IBM Deskstar as my capture drive
Pioneer A03 DVD-R
DVD-R General disks from americal.com
cheap samsung VCR (I plan on replacing)

first I capture with vdub 1.4.7, 352x480 (so as to capture both fields in the virtical), YUY2, compress via Huffyuv 2.1.1 @ "predict median". 29.97fps. Audio is captured at 44.1 PCM, I get only a handfull of dropped frames

I then throw the capture file into vdub again, to size it. I also compress it again, and I usually just use divx 3.11, only because I am familiar with it. I would like to resize and go straight to MPEG2, but VDUB doesn't seem to have a MPEG2 codec. Any suggestions as to doing a resize AND a good compress at the same time?? If I don't compress, I get a nice fat 100+gig file, which isn't a good thing ;-]

I am looking into the stand alone MPEG2 encoders, like CCE, but I have 2 problems, I can't find the free ones that are any good, and I am still at a loss as to what to compress with in vdub when I do a re-size.

anyways, after I get my resize to 704x340 (is that an appropriate resolution?) and compress the video, while leaving the audio in 44.1 PCM, I then load the AVI into DVDit! PE, and do my authoring. I then set the output to all the appropriate settings for a 4.7 DVD-R, and I should be good to go??


some extras:

I do NOT do IVTC, because these DVD's will be viewed on a TV only. Am I right in that notion??

These captures have to be *exact* as the source, it is a project for my family, we have alot of VHS that are not on DVD, and they are rare or old. But if the DVD video os less in quality, I have to eat the cost of equipment!!!

I frequent this forum and site, VCDHELP, and especially lukesvideo guides, just so you know where I am getting my ideas and info. Lukesvideo is what I rely on for capturing in vdub.

thanks for any input!!!
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Old 20th February 2002, 08:27   #2  |  Link
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first try a program called"avi_io"to capture with,its easier to use and u will proberbly find you have no dropped frames.

to encode straight to mpeg2 use"tmpgenc" www.tmpgenc.com -it has time limit on mpeg2 encoding but is very good quality,easy to use and can re-size.

you will proberbly get better quality results though if you encode the source to divx(around 3000kb/s)first and put it through a softening filter(e.g temperal cleaner) and a de-interlacing filter if needed.

thats as far as i can help as i don't auther DVD's.
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Old 20th February 2002, 08:27   #3  |  Link
Sulik
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Why not capture directly to MPEG2 from MMC.
If you have a high enough bitrate, it will look very good, especially for DVD (anything will look good at 6Mbps, even with 0% motion estimation)
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Old 20th February 2002, 23:02   #4  |  Link
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hmm,
why capture at a verticle resolution of 480?

doesnt vhs only have 300 lines?

400x300 sounds better, im probably wrong, but hey
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Old 21st February 2002, 01:42   #5  |  Link
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No, res is ??? x 480 for NTSC, ??? x 576 PAL, even with VHS.
I capture at 640 x 576.
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Old 21st February 2002, 05:01   #6  |  Link
Crucio
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vhs-c = 250lines (Nx250)
vhs= 300
s-vhs= 400
ntsc broadcast=480
dvd=500
DV=525
hdtv=1,080(for 1080i)
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Old 21st February 2002, 10:50   #7  |  Link
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Where to start ?

** first I capture with vdub 1.4.7, 352x480
:: This is not standard resolution for DVD and will make you more problems then you think as well as loq qality.
DVDit only support 720X480 for NTSC.

** Audio is captured at 44.1 PCM,
:: Minimum Audio for DVD is 48Khz 16Bit. Capturing 44.1Khz will make you audio sync errors, if DVDit will even accept it. In case it dose accept it and convert it to .AC3 then you loose quality.

** I get only a handfull of dropped frames
:: What do you expect me to say ? Any Frame Drop makes your audio and video out of sync and incert more problems. This is the first Issue to solve. You can't work if you have Frame drops.

** YUY2, compress via Huffyuv 2.1.1 @ "predict median". I also compress it again, and I usually just use divx 3.11,....
::: NEVER Re Compress material. It's calld Cascading compressions and it's the first mark in the way for Shitty quality. Mpg2 is compressd enoght.
Capture at the highest quality that you can and compress only one time after that to Mpg2. NO need to compress it to Dvix in the middle.

** I am looking into the stand alone MPEG2 encoders,
:: My suggestion, First learn on TmpgEnc. Then AFTER you got it right think on Going the CC way. you might want to skip it alltogether and go the hardware Encoding way.

there are more steps on the way to valhala
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Old 21st February 2002, 13:53   #8  |  Link
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the reason why I capture 352x480 is so I can cature BOTH fields in an NTSC scan. remeber, I am using a teclined 29.97 source, and I have interlaced fields. Id I don't capture at 480, I will literally loose a large portion of video. I resize via vdub after though to make everything appropriate.

audio, I will change, thanks for pointing that out.

is anyone able to capture such large files as such large resolutions without dropped frames?!?!? I am surprised if so. I get maybe 1 every rare moment, like once an hour, if I am doing full movie captures. That still is too much, the capture is junk?

Going to stop doing a middle compress too....

hardware encoding is not cheap!!

thanks for the response though, I appreciate it!
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Old 21st February 2002, 13:56   #9  |  Link
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oh wait, I just realized what you are saying in the first point. I would capture at full resolution, but I only have like 60 gigs avail right now, and that is way too small for a huffyuv and 720x480...
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Old 21st February 2002, 15:11   #10  |  Link
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Then don't capture huffyuv.
As far as I know the AIW Radeon can also capture directly to Mpg2. I don't want to imagin the quality but try it.

Capturing Mpg2 on my system at 6Mbit with uncompressd 48Khz audio I can put about 25 hours of video on my 60&somthing raid.

If I were you I'd be looking for a analog/DV convertor and work in DV. this things are running at the 300$ range new, but worth the money.
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Old 21st February 2002, 15:20   #11  |  Link
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On the Huffyuv. I am caturing that because I **have** to capture as perfect as possible. The people that I am capturing for will not tolerate *any* degredation from their original VHS source....

and with the analogue to DV converter, hmmmm, you mean items such as the dazzle???

The ATI card does the same thing, it has a little box, that supports analogue and DV (via firewire), I think it does the same conversions that the other converters do, unless I am misunderstanding what a converter is, I will have to research and compare. The quality of the ATI is perfect, as far as the video quality (at least for this project), I am certain that I can get it worked out with a little more research, and with tips from good people like you;-]. BTW, the RAID config, has that been truely beneficial for you and capturing?

I have the ability to go RAID0, but was wondering if was worth the cost if all I would do is capture.
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Old 21st February 2002, 17:05   #12  |  Link
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You can't eat the cake and live it whole <- I wonder how meany spelling mistakes are here

If you want to have good quality you HAVE to capture full D1 resolution. In your case (NTSC) it's 720X480.
If your 60G Video drive is not enoght then get a second drive and raid them together. For size and speed.

In any case since your target material is Mpg2, if you can capture directly to it in good quality. It's recomended For both encoding time and cascading compressions wise.

Yes, when I am talking DV/Analog convertors I talk about the Dazzle Hollywood DV Bridg or the canopus ADVC 1000.

If you care about your time and or your Clients video quality I recommend that you look into the Pinnacle DC1000DV or the new canopus MVR-1000
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Old 21st February 2002, 17:22   #13  |  Link
-i-
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sounds good, yes, I think getting 2 IBM 80gigs in raid0 will be perfect, I will look into it...

the reason why I don't have an outboard MPEG2 encoder yet is that the clients (my family) want to see it done with what I have, before they invest any more into it....

they are picky, but the ATI card has decent enough quality, at least with huffyuv, to get it done. But more space seems a nessessity...

thanks
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Old 21st February 2002, 19:07   #14  |  Link
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352x480 IS a valid DVD-resolution

352x480 is a valid resolution for DVD if you are capturing NTSC video. I have never authored a DVD but it sounds strange that your program complaints if you use that resolution in the mpeg2 file.

I have made SXVCD discs at 352x576 resolution (I live in Sweden, so its PAL) and the quality is OK at bitrates above 3 mbit/s and with 48 kHz audio compressed to 192 kbit mp2 audio. I expect to be able to use this mpeg2 file without recompression if I want to put it on DVD later, I guess that I have to remultiplex it only.

You can capture at 352x480 30 fps video and 48 kHz audio with AVI-IO. Then use Virtualdub to add some noise filters and do macroblock optimized resizing with black bars (no point in encoding the part of the video that not is visible on the TV). Then I would frameserve the video from virtualdub to TMPGEnc Plus 2.52 and encode it. Use the toolame plugin for the audio because gives better quality.

Use the freeware-tool FitCD for proper macroblock optimized resizing to 1/2 D1-resolution. You can also use it as a bitrate calculator. There is no point in capturing at a lower resolution and resample to a higher resolution because then you will loose quality and why not use the valid DVD-resolution 352x480 as it is?

Another option for capture could be using a mini-DV camcorder with analogue video-in connector and then capture the video with a DV-capture card. This method requires less from your computer and you will capture full DVD-resolution. Another alternative is to capture with mjpeg codec in AVI_IO. You will then save harddisk space and perhaps it's aslo possible to capture at a higher resolution than huffyuv without frame drops. But you will loose some quality because of the compression but mjpeg at a high quality setting like 18 is not too bad.

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Old 21st February 2002, 19:31   #15  |  Link
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I have yet to see a Video dedicated hard drive that is big anogth...
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Old 4th June 2002, 10:47   #16  |  Link
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MJPEG

why don't you try the Morgan Multimedia's MJPEG codec?
It gives very good quality and I find it perfect when using for capture. I would place it somewhere between HUFFYUV and MPEG2 in terms of visual quality, and filesize is a little bit bigger than the MPEG2 one.
It is OK for post-deinterlacing also, and is not as CPU intensive as the MPEG2 codecs.
I capture from VHS to 704x576 MJPEG, than add some filters and transcode to SBC_DIVX (with Nandub). Quality is great.
But still, usually I don't have to deinterlace, thus getting a sharp picture.

Last edited by tarambuka3500; 4th June 2002 at 10:56.
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Old 10th July 2002, 18:43   #17  |  Link
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In all of this no one has mentioned the basic problems of captureing VHS... noise and more noise.

VHS has always been considered a distribution format, not an archival format, but there are some things that can be done to increase the quality of VHS caps significantly.

FILTERING:
As already mentioned Filtering can have an overall appealing effect on the video, a TemporalSmoother(2,1) (I use Avisynth with the mpeg2dec plugin) will remove some VHS noise at the small cost of softening the video somewhat,
BUT..

The basic problem of filtering VHS caps, is the 'flaq waveing' effect that screws up filtering threshholds. We have all seen the static text that 'shimmers' on a VHS cap. This is due, to small timing errors introduced into the output signal because of tape stretching.

TBC or Time Base Corrector:
I have found that a Full Frame/Infinite window TBC is needed to compensate for the timing errors, as it strips the original sync of the video, and regenerates it.

Using a Hotronics AR31 I have significantly improved my VHS caps, and my filtering has been more effective. I picked mine up on Ebay $161. Also some SVHS JVC decks S7900,S9800,S9900 have built in TBCs. The S7900 costs $268 at Profeel.com

From -i-:

Quote:
I am caturing that because I **have** to capture as perfect as possible. The people that I am capturing for will not tolerate *any* degredation from their original VHS source.
It sounds like a TBC should be used. In addition, when the video is filtered with a TBC, I can encode at lower bitrate to maximize a DVDs space, because the encoder isn't wasting macro blocks on tape noise.

My 2 cents.
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Old 11th July 2002, 05:12   #18  |  Link
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OK, let me start out by saying that you should compress your captures only once-to mpeg-2(or 1). The more times you compress a video the less the quality will be. I am not sure where you got the idea to use DIVX-but don't-not in this situation. Another thing to keep in mind is that you are not going to be able to improve the quality of these videos no matter how long you work at it. What you are going to spend hours on is just trying to get these videos to look like they did when you view the VHS tapes. Bad VHS noise and quality can really mess with mpeg video-so be prepared. Now on to the quotes:

"I would like to resize and go straight to MPEG2"

This gentleman asked this question and I did not see frameserving until a few posts down. With AVISynth and VirtualDub you can frameserve to CCE or TMPEGEnc and use all of the filters for both tools and go straight to your encoder of choice. Look on the guides in VCDHelp to learn how to do this.

"I do NOT do IVTC, because these DVD's will be viewed on a TV only. Am I right in that notion??"

Actually, using AVISynth (or TMPEGENc) to do IVTC is DEFINITELY the way you will be able to achieve the best quality. You can use pulldown to take the video back to 29.97 after you have encoded it. This will give you a %20 increase in quality. I have gone back and redone all of my VHS transfers since I learned how to use IVTC. If you want, I can tell you more about this....

"If you want to have good quality you HAVE to capture full D1 resolution. In your case (NTSC) it's 720X480."

NOT true. A VHS picture is 352x480. No more. If you capture at full D1 it is a waste of space. If you capture at 720x480 just to go down to 352x480 then you are just doing a space expensive noise filter.

You can fit basically 2 hours of good quality video at 720x480 on a DVD. Compare that to using 352x480-I can get about 55 minutes (good quality, vhs source) of video on 1 CD. So what does that mean I can get on a DVD? Well, I am doing the math in my head, but it comes out to almost 275 minutes-4 1/2 hours...and that is lowballing it.

"I have made SXVCD discs at 352x576 resolution (I live in Sweden, so its PAL) and the quality is OK at bitrates above 3 mbit/s"

I make VBR CVDs (look at them on VCDHelp) with an avg. bitrate of 1800-1900 kbits/sec and a max of 2592 kbits/sec and they look like the VHS I am copying-if I capture to Huffy, use IVTC and CCE to encode. I have seen the work of these hardware encoders and they look ok when up at 3MBit/sec...but nothing beats a 3-pass CCE encode to take a movie down to 2 CDs.

My recommendations-

Learn AVISynth...faster and more flexible than VDub- you can do all that VDub can do and more-and you can even use VDub filters if you are inclined.

Here is what I do for my VHS transfers (I don't have a DVD writer):

1) capture YUY2 352x480 44.1kHz sound with Huffy (just like you)
2) run through AVISynth (I have the perfect file for an AVISynth newbie if you want to try it) doing IVTC and necessary noise cleaning and spatial softening.
3) grab the audio out (44.1kHz) to wav from VDub-encode it with TMPEGEnc and toolame
4) get the audio again-using VDub to resample it to 48kHz (for later DVD backup)-encode it with TMPEGEnc and toolame
5) pop the .avs file (AVISynth frameserve file) into CCE
6) calculate my bitrate with FitCD and encode
7) run pulldown on the resulting .m2v (mpeg-2 video stream)
8) load my audio stream and video stream into bbMPEG and mux(although I hear DVD authoring programs ask for the stream seperately)
9) burn
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Old 14th July 2002, 13:51   #19  |  Link
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About dropped frames: not every dropped frame makes your audio out of sync. Some frames are deliberatly dropped by VDub to keep the audio in sync! So, the better your soundcard keeps to the settings, the less frames VDub has to drop. A few single framedrops per hour are not noticeable, so don't mind.

btw. you're using VDub 1.4.7, but that's a pretty old version. Get 1.4.10, it's free!
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Old 16th July 2002, 15:38   #20  |  Link
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re: VHS -> DVD transfers

Therick, could you post or PM me your script file? I'm starting to do some VHS -> DVD transfers. I use Premiere to edit so I am not sure if I can use AVIsynth as a frameserver with the filters (frameserving from Premiere hasn't worked too well for me -- I usually just use the CCE plugin 2 pass VBR).

Thanks.
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