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Viability of cheap VHS capture
I remember when this thread was 1 page long and can't believe this thread is 20 pages long.

For anyone who has been putting off converting VHS tapes, it will only become more difficult as time goes on.

I don't know what was said in the past 20 pages however use the best VHS/DVD-R combo you can find, it's that simple. Anything else will have lesser quality and won't capture Teletext/CC.

At this point in time, VHS/DVD-R combos are rare and expensive, however ~10 years ago there were many available for ~$100.
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VCR/DVD combos dont always bypass Macrovision.
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Just want some opinions. When the captured video drops frames is this usually a device problem, software problem, computer problem, VCR problem, or a combination of any of the above?? I’m having this problem and not sure how to get around it. Not sure it’s a device problem as most of my captures seem to have this problem despite what device I use. Not sure it’s a VCR problem as a few months back i did some capturing from a cable box and got some glitches there too. Not sure it’s a software problem since I’ve captured on more than one program and still got this. Is it a problem with the TBC perhaps?? Perhaps it’s time for a new laptop?? What do you guys think??
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I can only tell you what I've experienced. USB devices drop frames occasionally. Especially a USB 2 device going into a laptop. If you had a PC with a pci-e capture card you'd probably never drop frames.
Thanks given by: crissrudd4554
(2017-10-27, 12:22 AM)althor1138 Wrote: I can only tell you what I've experienced. USB devices drop frames occasionally. Especially a USB 2 device going into a laptop. If you had a PC with a pci-e capture card you'd probably never drop frames.


Should add the following causes:
  • uncompressed capture
  • compressed capture with a demanding codec
  • CPU processing power not high enough
  • too many processes opened at the same time
A 1.8+GHz dual core, using HuffYUV codec, with no other processes opened, internal PCI card, is able to capture SD (PAL or NTSC) video and uncompressed PCM audio with no dropped frame.
Fundamental collection thread | Vimeo channel | My personal blog
Thanks given by: crissrudd4554
Thanks guys. I guess perhaps my USB ports are weakening or aren't strong enough. Might be time to invest in a new computer.
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Dunno if it was mentioned anywhere and dunno if that is the type of dropped frames you are referring to (probably not), but when you have VHS stuff that is in bad shape AND/OR Macrovision protected (Hope I'm not mixing it up), you can use a TBC (Time Base Corrector) to digitize it anyway. Without a TBC, capture devices can get confused and sometimes completely drop out for a few frames if the state of the tape is very bad or if its copy protected. That was actually how the copy protection worked I think, by scrambling the time base signal (I don't know the details, hence such a rough "explanation").

I once owned one of these and used it with great success in order to record the signal of a very shitty analogue wireless cam. Without the TBC, whenever the picture would get too noisy/weak, my capture device would just record completely blank frames. With the TBC, I got to record all the beautiful noise, haha. Same applies when you have recorded something over something else on a VHS, you then get these incredibly long transitions full of noise and chaos; a TBC won't fix those, but allow you to capture them without getting blank frames (or dropped frames maybe, depending on how the capture device is designed to handle such things).

Though, you might have a hard time finding a TBC that doesn't slightly degrade/"subsample" the signal. Then again, VHS quality isn't THAT high, so you may find that acceptable. Or you could do two captures and then just replace the faulty parts with the time base corrected capture.

The TBC I used was called "TBC Enhancer", I think by a company named "Electronic Design". Could be a bit tough to come by these days. Though, higher class VHS players sometimes/typically have TBCs integrated.
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I am using a DVD recorder as a TBC unit.
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Ah fair enough.
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