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Old 7th April 2020, 19:00   #1  |  Link
tugatomsk9
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VHS capture using Avermedia Game Capture II

I’m thinking of digitally recording my personal motorsports VHS collection that spans over 20 years, but I’m unsure as to what hardware should I buy.

I’ve had a poor experience with a MAGIX usb-pen video capture device. It uses proprietary codecs that are a hassle to configure and the maximum video bitrate is not impressive. Moreover, the audio quality is poor, with noticeable signal noise. This is the reason why I haven’t considered ElGato’s video-pen device.

My PC has no available PCI or PCI-e slots available, so fully dedicated video capture cards are not an option.

Then there’s this: the Avermedia Game Capture II. Even though it’s mainly designed for videogame capture, but the fact it could work as a standalone video capture device caught my attention.

Can its maximum 14000 kbps using k264/AVC could record interlaced video with good quality, i.e., without interlacing or other artifacts? Also, can this device double the framerate (from 50i to 50p) via hardware directly into a finished video file?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 8th April 2020, 23:15   #2  |  Link
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Avermedia Game capture II (115..125€) will employ a hardware encoder.
If its implementation is poor and generates artifacts you can not avoid that.

A Blackmagic Intensity Shuttle USB 3.0 (190..210.-€) can deliver 4:2:2 10bit uncompressed.
From a VHS tape source this would mean: without a visible quality loss.
You may work your Avisynth way from there, enhance, encode as you prefer.
But it needs a dedicated USB 3.0 port to work, see:

https://forum.doom9.org/showthread.p...55#post1847255
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Last edited by Emulgator; 8th April 2020 at 23:31.
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Old 9th April 2020, 00:30   #3  |  Link
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In my testing with my Intensity Shuttle the last two bits of the 10-bit capture, using their software, were 0s when capturing from s-video. This is really a non-issue, uncompressed 8 bit is great for VHS anyway, but I would not bother capturing s-video in 10 bit with the Intensity Shuttle.

I would still recommend it over a hardware encoder.
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Old 10th April 2020, 00:30   #4  |  Link
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Emulgator View Post
Avermedia Game capture II (115..125€) will employ a hardware encoder.
If its implementation is poor and generates artifacts you can not avoid that.

A Blackmagic Intensity Shuttle USB 3.0 (190..210.-€) can deliver 4:2:2 10bit uncompressed.
From a VHS tape source this would mean: without a visible quality loss.
You may work your Avisynth way from there, enhance, encode as you prefer.
But it needs a dedicated USB 3.0 port to work, see:

https://forum.doom9.org/showthread.p...55#post1847255
My motherboard is USB 2.0 only. Does that rule it out?
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Old 13th April 2020, 16:53   #5  |  Link
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Yes, USB 2.0 is excluded, sorry for that.

BTW, just counterchecked one of my samples of Blackmagic Intensity Shuttle captures.
Codec was v210 uncompressed, decoding in Vegas 16 shows a densely populated 10 bit histogram without regular holes.
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Old 17th April 2020, 18:50   #6  |  Link
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Thanks for the help anyway, it was much appreciated.
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Old 10th September 2020, 19:33   #7  |  Link
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So, I ended up buying the Avermedia Game Capture HD II which generates mp4 video files.

The recorded video quality of the Avermedia device in "576i optimal" (for VHS content) is good, but not great. The 8bit AVC average bitrate of only 7500 kbps is merely serviceable. VLC player plays it fine, though. The aspect ratio is 1:1, apparently, resulting in 720x576 video files. I guess it makes resizing easier?

The VCR being used is primarily a 2003 Panasonic NV-FJ623, with an older mono Sony SLV-135 whenever tracking becomes an issue.

The recording process is somewhat convoluted because I lack a composite to HDMi converter (I've ordered one, it just hasn't arrived yet). The signal from the VCR passes through a Sony DVD recorder (Sony RDR HX-710) via SCART. Then, the signal from the component output of the Sony recorder enters the Avermedia through the component input via a composite cable. It may seem terrible, but guess what, it works great, all things considered!

I'm trying to adapt the earlier avisynth script to these new mp4 files. I'm using Virtualdub 1.10.4 as a frameserver so I can check for errors.

Another issue is light aliasing present in the original VHS playback, like this, albeit not as strong:
https://forum.videohelp.com/threads/...nt-v-s-S-video

I tried figuring out if the aforementioned convoluted recording setup could be related to this. The conclusion is that it seems to be completely random, it doesn't happen all the time. I can't find a logical explanation. The tape in question was recorded in the late 80s with a long-gone National VHS VCR. There's no correlation with any of the cables used or the VCRs. Moreover, I used the Sony DVD recorder plenty of times in the past without aliasing issues.

To make matters worse, opening the avisynth script in Virtualdub is only sucessful if I don't use QTGMC, santiag (trying to test its anti-aliasing). It returns the error "File does not have a video stream"...

I even dumped the whole original mp4 in Virtualdub just so I could figure out if it was a case of fields swapped. I used "Field Swapping" in Virtualdub but it did not improve things.


EDIT: Here's a sample video.
https://mega.nz/file/aZBSyQZY#cPYbb4...1ywo51OREItECs

Last edited by tugatomsk9; 10th September 2020 at 20:19.
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Old 11th September 2020, 11:38   #8  |  Link
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You have duplicated frames. Throw away every second frame, then QTGMC.
Code:
v=LWLibavVideoSource("E:\_VID\era uma vez a vida (trim).mkv")
a=LWLibavAudioSource("E:\_VID\era uma vez a vida (trim).mkv")
AudioDub(v,a).SelectOdd().QTGMC()
You want to capture 720x576 @25fps, not 50fps.
You want to leave that conversion to QTGMC.

Once you can use a component (YCbCr) VHS-VCR you can go directly into
the component (YCbCr) inputs of Avermedia and you can save a bit more quality.
Still any attempt to improve the video signal will come after lossy compression of the interlaced source,
so too late ™.
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Last edited by Emulgator; 11th September 2020 at 11:58.
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Old 11th September 2020, 21:44   #9  |  Link
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A lot of troubles can be solved when one emplyos the real stuff.

I think the limiting factor in your case is the VCR.
VHS is inherently composite, because that were the things back then, not because of the technology - S-VHS makes use of the native YC storage of VHS system.

I have checked the eBay for pro VCRs and saw some Panasonic AGs that could do the job. I have myself three of them and there is no return even to the best of consumer decks., and yes I have also Digipure 4MB (normal only 2MB) JVCs. Only the tracking knob and VUmeter are worth the money, alone.

The choice of an interface is simpler now as there are only 3 chips - the only issue is to check it has no HW encoder, which usually is bad because it has to be cheap - and feed it with the YC coming from a S-VHS deck, this way the combfilter is not needed, which again must be cheap and is consequently bad.

My setup is simple - one of the Panasonics (the AG-7700) feeds a TBC with DSP (colour controls, sharpening, colour shift vert-hor) and the cleaned video is fed to a DVD in XP mode (max quality). I use either the Pioneer DVR-7000 or the Panasonic E20 (the European version has not the pedestal issue that plagued NTSC ones, until EH series) or the HS2 (an E20 with HDD for longer movies - I can recover it directly from HDD afterwards). The audio is taken via XLR to a mixer also with DSP (to clean the sound) then fed to the DVD. There is no delay between A and V, and even if, it can be solved in the audio mixer or at remuxing/mastering stage. It's real time, but the results are at least as good as 10 times wasted in various scripts - yes, sometimes it's no way out and one has to do things in avisynth, but only for cassettes that are really bad.

There are nice but very old by now guides and howtos both here and videohelp or digitalfaq.
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Old 12th September 2020, 08:44   #10  |  Link
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What I meant in the above post was that, contrary to the widespread misconception, one CANNOT use the crappiest VCR and videocard and get wonderful results with some wonder scripts.
No, the whole chain has to be good, starting with the VCR.
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Old 10th December 2020, 01:36   #11  |  Link
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After some work and research, I finished an avisynth script that produced rather good results, all things considered.

But there's something that's keeping the output video from being perfect: the final aspect ratio.

Quote:
LWlibavVideoSource("G:\WORKING\era uma vez a vida.mkv")
AssumeFPS(25)
AssumeTFF()
#QTGMC( Preset= "Slower" )
QTGMC( Preset="Slower", MatchPreset="Slower", MatchPreset2="Slower", SourceMatch=3, Sharpness=0.9, TR2=2, Lossless=2 )
SelectEven()
Overlay(GreyScale(last), last, x=-3, mode="chroma")
LanczosResize(768,576)
Crop(20, 4, -12, -8)
hqdn3d(ls=1.0, cs=1.0, lt=6.0, ct=1.0, restart=7)
As you can see, I tried to transform the original square-pixel 720x576 resolution into the resolution that simulates the original PAL PAR, ie, 768x567. I then cropped as needed, including at the bottom due to it being a tape recording. Cropping after the resize shouldn't change the PAR, right?

Anyway, for some reason, the circles and spheres in the output video didn't turn out perfect.

Here are the original video and the output test.

original piece:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/11kF...ew?usp=sharing

output:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1SVp...ew?usp=sharing


What am I missing?
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Old 10th December 2020, 19:57   #12  |  Link
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Your source had been captured at 50fps. Should have been 25fps.
AssumeFPS is not the correct way, rather SelectEvery(2,0).
(Since content is the same for 2 consequent frames you throw away every other frame.)
Now you get the interlaced 25fps of the source back without having to recapture.
P.S. No, flagging of the capture was wrong.
Tells 50fps but is indeed 25fps. Your choice was correct: Assumefps(25)

From there go to QTGMC. Here you get the 25fps field-frames bobbed to 50fps progressive.
Then you may crop off any garbage, head noise, 2x 8..10 pix black pillars as you did.
Then you may resize vertically to suit your playback device to 576? 720 ?
If DVD then PAL 576, then obey the SAR/DAR for 4:3 then no 50p possible, reinterlace to 25i.
If Blu-ray then 720 @ simply SAR=DAR=1:1, then 50p possible too.
then resize horizontally until you get round circles/balls while previewing with the correct SAR/DAR.
Use VirtualDub, your eyes and a ruler for that.

Cropping after resizing left you with a 736x564 pixel video, only a mediaplayer can play that.
You may check that using medainfo.
And, even if DAR was embedded as 4:3, PAR is destroyed by doing crop after resize.
You want to crop first, then resize.

A script suggestion for 720p50 Blu-ray:
(you may omit the sharpener, the stabilizer, go for a better dehaloing first)
Code:
v=LWLibavVideoSource("F:\_VID\era uma vez a vida ORIG PIECE.mkv")
a=LWLibavAudioSource("F:\_VID\era uma vez a vida ORIG PIECE.mkv")
AudioDub(v,a)
Assumefps(25)
AssumeTFF()
QTGMC()
Stab()
MedSharp2(str=2)
SmoothCurve(HQ=true, interp=100, limiter=false, debug=false, screenW=1280, screenH=768, \
Ycurve="0-12;30-28;127-127;180-180;240-240;255-245", \
Ucurve="0-0;70-70;123-127;140-140;255-255", \
Vcurve="0-0;70-70;123-127;140-140;255-255")
#Lanczos4Resize(720, 576, src_left=20, src_top=4, src_width=-12, src_height=-7)
Lanczos4Resize(960, 720, src_left=20, src_top=4, src_width=-12, src_height=-7).AddBorders(160,0,160,0)
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Last edited by Emulgator; 16th December 2020 at 03:33.
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