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Will the ADVC 300 help me preserve my old memories on PAL VHS Tapes?

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  • Will the ADVC 300 help me preserve my old memories on PAL VHS Tapes?

    I have been doing extensive research to find a good way to capture all my PAL VHS tapes that is over 10+ Years old on to the PC with the best possible quality. I tried a few cheap USB capture device and they did not produce satisfactory results. So I decided to bite the bullet and jump into the much more advanced ADVC 300. Some of the tapes contains very precious memories that I want to preserve before they all degrade away.

    Many of my OLD VHS tapes are actually recorded footage from my VHSC (mini VHS) camcorder and all are in PAL format. Thus they are quite noisy and the camcorder only has Composite out. Will the ADVC 300 do a good job a cleaning up the signal, especially in terms of the noise, artifacts and general annoyance from an analog source? I read on the spec that it has hardware digital noise reduction and edge sharpening.

    The reason why I jumped from a $70 device to a $500 device is because the cheap capture device do not have any hardware based image enhancement. I must use virtualdub and filters to clean up the video, but after comparison, the filtered video looks worse than the original video.

    Maybe some of you guys here can answer my question :)


    Thanks!

  • #2
    It will try... and you are correct that with an analog source, you are best off doing any adjustments in the analog realm, before things are "committed" to the digital realm.

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    • #3
      Here are some screenshots of the videos in question. THey are raw untouched AVI captures:

      http://img224.imageshack.us/img224/3296/86556093qi7.jpg


      http://img224.imageshack.us/img224/3154/76595024ru5.jpg


      http://img68.imageshack.us/img68/3457/32241640jg0.jpg


      http://img520.imageshack.us/img520/835/37802811zu9.jpg



      Do you think the ADVC300 will do a good job a cleaning and enhancing those videos?

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      • #4

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        • #5
          To be honest, your video looks pretty darn good for VHS... You might end up turning up the sharpness a tiny bit, but really... I have VHS (recording in EP/SLP mode) that looks WAY worse than yours.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by GrassValley_BH View Post
            To be honest, your video looks pretty darn good for VHS... You might end up turning up the sharpness a tiny bit, but really... I have VHS (recording in EP/SLP mode) that looks WAY worse than yours.
            Wow..i am suprised that you say the video is actually good in quality...Maybe I am too used to 1080p clips haha..

            But the video in general is still quite noisy with lots of artifacts..Will be ADVC300 do a good job a cleaning those up?

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            • #7
              I agree with Brandon, your captures are excellent quality. I don't think you would see much improvement with quality with the ADVC300, except for a slight benefit from sharpening. However, the ADVC300 will stand you in good stead when you come across poorer quality tapes.

              Ken.

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              • #8
                Thanks to everyone for your response. The reason why it looks so good is maybe the picture is reduced in size making the image smoother. Those images are captured via composite. Since the ADVC300 can split the composite signal into two sources + digital noise reduction, will the quality further improve then?

                I am also guessing the bundled Edios software will also allow color adjustment. I mean there must be alot of benefit associated with a $500 device compared to a el cheapo $50 dongle lol...

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                • #9
                  Cheaper solutions tend to simply soften to the image, instead of applying actual noise reduction algorithms. Remember that nothing's going to make your VHS look like HD or even Digital8 quality. There are lots of differences both from the original optical capture to the storage and compression.

                  Another thing to consider - are you viewing your captures pixel-for-pixel (1 to 1) or are you viewing it on a HD display? Viewing SD on a HD display will give you non-scientific results because the display's scaler is now involved. It's still good for relative comparison (viewing on the same monitor), but it's not the "true" signal.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by GrassValley_BH View Post
                    Cheaper solutions tend to simply soften to the image, instead of applying actual noise reduction algorithms. Remember that nothing's going to make your VHS look like HD or even Digital8 quality. There are lots of differences both from the original optical capture to the storage and compression.

                    Another thing to consider - are you viewing your captures pixel-for-pixel (1 to 1) or are you viewing it on a HD display? Viewing SD on a HD display will give you non-scientific results because the display's scaler is now involved. It's still good for relative comparison (viewing on the same monitor), but it's not the "true" signal.
                    You are right, I do not have a CRT hooked up to my PC so what I am using right now to view my captured video is a Lenovo L220X LCD (1920X1200)..so maybe i am seeing way too much stuff that shouldn't appear on a regular TV. I definitely hope the noise reduction, sharpening filters will help the video a little bit.

                    Also, the Edius or the Picture Controller software allows individual color channel adjustment to improve the video color?

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                    • #11
                      Picture Controller, no, but EDIUS, yes.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by wasserkool View Post
                        the Picture Controller software allows individual color channel adjustment to improve the video color?
                        No, can't adjust individual colour channel but can adjust hue and saturation. See this thread for a comparison of the ADVC300 with the ADVC110. Somewhere in there is a list of all the things the ADVC300 can adjust.

                        Ken.

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