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Wow!, do I have a problem.

Talk about computer software/hardware problems, related to digital video or otherwise.

Wow!, do I have a problem.

Postby HSA » Sun Feb 10, 2019 1:38 pm

Wow!, do I have a problem.

Around 2011-2012 (yes, seven or more years ago), I wanted to convert family VHS tapes to computer and DVD. I did a LOT of homework, including this excellent website and I purchased Steve Grisetti’s book. My computer system at the time was Windows XP; the motherboard had a Firewire 1394 port. Safe in a closet, I still have this old computer. I had also purchased a used JVC HR-S9800U, S-VHS machine, which was in several places described as one of the best ever made (for my intended purposes), and a used Canopus ADCV110 converter.

For personal reasons, I put the intended project on hold ---- for several years. In the meantime, a few years ago, I built a new PC; it has an Intel motherboard and USB 3.0 ports; I installed the then most recent operating system: Windows 7. I also purchased (new) and installed Adobe Premier Elements 11; the intent was to learn and practice. Again, that was several years ago.

This past week I decided to resurrect the project that I had planned, but never got around to, some seven or eight years ago. But OMG, I just realized that my Windows 7 computer does not have a Firewire port! After several “ah sh-ts”, I calmed down to reconnoiter and analyze the situation.

I unearthed my old Windows XP computer (having a Firewire port), and other than a low motherboard CMOS battery, the machine works. However, it will not connect to the Internet no matter what I have tried. Nonetheless, while I intended to execute the “capture” of the VHS video (through the Canopus 110) using Premier Elements 11, but that program is on my Window 7 machine. While I have the original installation disc, I’m not sure that one can load it onto my Windows XP machine if it’s already properly installed on my Windows 7 machine. Should I try to install Premier Elements on the old Windows XP machine, to be used solely for capture? Is there instead a simple, downloadable, “capture” program, so that Premier Element is not needed for capture?

Separately, but very much related, I am aware that converters like the Canopus 110 (which later became Grass Valley) are no longer manufactured. Further, Firewire seems obsolete. So if one were starting today, how would one get the video from VHS into his computer? First is the Firewire matter: Is it the case that USB 3.0 and 3.1 (and Thunderbolt on the horizon) are fast enough that Firewire is no longer needed ---- or is no longer the preferred connection? And then as to the “capture” software, as of the past few days I have read in several places that capture from an analogue to digital converter (such as the Canopus 110) does not work, or does not work well, with versions of Premier Elements after version 11 or 12. Some say that they have kept their old version (11 or earlier) of Premier Elements for capture, but then use the latest version (2018 or 2019) for editing etc.

So, if someone can turn-back their brain to, say, year 2010 or 2011, and then consider my situation in the context of year 2019, what should I ---- can I ---- do?

Thank you for any help,

Howard
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Re: Wow!, do I have a problem.

Postby Peru » Sun Feb 10, 2019 1:51 pm

You can use these free programs for capture:

For DV: WinDV http://windv.mourek.cz/

For HDV: HDVSplit https://www.videohelp.com/software/HDVSplit

I use these for capture only. I never use Premiere Elements for capture.
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Re: Wow!, do I have a problem.

Postby Peru » Sun Feb 10, 2019 2:01 pm

HSA wrote:Separately, but very much related, I am aware that converters like the Canopus 110 (which later became Grass Valley) are no longer manufactured. Further, Firewire seems obsolete. So if one were starting today, how would one get the video from VHS into his computer?


I keep several old computers alive that have Firewire because I still shoot HDV.
There are also Firewire cards that can be added to a computer.

As for converting VHS, you would have to search for a used VHS player and a used Canopus device on places like eBay and Amazon.
You could also look for a used camcorder that can be used as a pass through device instead of the Canopus.
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Re: Wow!, do I have a problem.

Postby sidd finch » Sun Feb 10, 2019 2:19 pm

Welcome to muvipix.

I found a VHS player that also burned to DVD. I got the VHS to dvd then inported the DVD to my editing program.

Amazon also has the ROXIO VHS to DVD for $39.00

https://www.amazon.com/Roxio-Easy-Plus- ... +dvd&psc=1

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Re: Wow!, do I have a problem.

Postby HSA » Sun Feb 10, 2019 2:29 pm

Dear Peru:

Thank you. You'll note in my original post, however, that I DO have a (very excellent) VHS machine and a Canopus ADVC 110 converter. They have been in my closet, untouched, for all these years.

My primary issue is "capture" software, since my Premier Elements version 11 is on my Windows 7 machine (that does not have Firewire), not on the Windows XP machine (which has Firewire).

And then the greater conundrum is what a person would do if he were starting today (no Canopus converters and no Firewire)? Starting with a good (but old) VHS machine, how TODAY would he convert the analogue signal to digital and onto his, say, Windows 10, computer? Perhaps, as you may be suggesting, adding a Firewire daughter card to a new computer is the only way. I wonder.

Thank you,

Howard
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Re: Wow!, do I have a problem.

Postby HSA » Sun Feb 10, 2019 2:41 pm

Peru wrote:You can use these free programs for capture:
For DV: WinDV http://windv.mourek.cz/
For HDV: HDVSplit https://www.videohelp.com/software/HDVSplit
I use these for capture only. I never use Premiere Elements for capture.

____________________________________________________________________________________

Thank you, Peru. I looked at the windv.mour.cz website. I have little or no idea what all the cells mean or how they might best be set. Do you know if there is an instruction sheet (PDF) or video tutorial on how to use this capture utility?

Thank you again,

Howard
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Re: Wow!, do I have a problem.

Postby Chris B » Sun Feb 10, 2019 6:19 pm

And then the greater conundrum is what a person would do if he were starting today (no Canopus converters and no Firewire)? Starting with a good (but old) VHS machine, how TODAY would he convert the analogue signal to digital and onto his, say, Windows 10, computer? Perhaps, as you may be suggesting, adding a Firewire daughter card to a new computer is the only way. I wonder.


There are plenty of s-video/composite to USB converters that will capture the data. They seem to be of varying quality but it would probably be the easiest (and cheapest - as you already have a USB port) solution today. When I looked into this a long time ago (late 2010 it seems from my Amazon history - so that would have been on a Windows 7 machine :-8 ) one thing that seemed worth investigating was whether you could get an s-video output from your VHS - rather than composite - as this should produce a better picture. Then again VHS (in the USA) is roughly 333×480 pixels resolution (with less for colour information - source wikipedia) - so don't expect miracles.
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Re: Wow!, do I have a problem.

Postby HSA » Sun Feb 10, 2019 9:39 pm

Chris B wrote:
And then the greater conundrum is what a person would do if he were starting today (no Canopus converters and no Firewire)? Starting with a good (but old) VHS machine, how TODAY would he convert the analogue signal to digital and onto his, say, Windows 10, computer? Perhaps, as you may be suggesting, adding a Firewire daughter card to a new computer is the only way. I wonder.


There are plenty of s-video/composite to USB converters that will capture the data. They seem to be of varying quality but it would probably be the easiest (and cheapest - as you already have a USB port) solution today. When I looked into this a long time ago (late 2010 it seems from my Amazon history - so that would have been on a Windows 7 machine :-8 ) one thing that seemed worth investigating was whether you could get an s-video output from your VHS - rather than composite - as this should produce a better picture. Then again VHS (in the USA) is roughly 333×480 pixels resolution (with less for colour information - source wikipedia) - so don't expect miracles.

___________________________________________________

Thank you. Yes, I DO have an S-VHS machine with S-Video output connector. And the Canopus 110 converter has both composite and S-Video input and output jacks. Of course the Canopu 110 output to the computer is Firewire only. And do I have to dig out an old Windows XP machine that I have, which has a Firewire port.

So the heart of my question was what would one do if he did not have an old Windows XP (or perhaps Windows 7) machine having a built-in Firewire port? The reports on the "new" converters (some as cheap as $30 or $40) having USB output are quite poor. Further, it is my understanding that for these purposes on wants "AVI" files to work with, which, it is my understanding that the Canopus creates. I donj't know what comes out of the new USB-output converters. Any idea?

Thank you,

Howard
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Re: Wow!, do I have a problem.

Postby Steve Grisetti » Sun Feb 10, 2019 10:28 pm

I've been using the Video Grabber with both analog and DV video and the results are every bit as good as I got using FireWire. That's why I did tutorials for it on YouTube (and soon to be on Muvipix).


The Diamond VC500 is another good USB capture unit available on Amazon.

Remember miniDV and analog are pretty low resolution formats compared to today's video. There's not much to be gained spending a fortune to capture it IMHO.
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Re: Wow!, do I have a problem.

Postby HSA » Mon Feb 11, 2019 12:08 am

Thank you for your note. That leaves one open question:

I already have an old (but properly functioning) Canopus 110 converter and a spare old (but properly functioning) Windows XP computer with Firewire. (And I have a very good S-VHS player with S-video output.) I intend to edit the resulting digital files in Premier Elements.

For purposes of capturing the signal from the VHS player to a computer, would you suggest I use the Canopus converter I have (on my Windows XP computer), or purchase one of the newer USB converters such as one of those you mentioned (capturing to my newer Windows 10 computer)?

Thank you,

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Re: Wow!, do I have a problem.

Postby HSA » Mon Feb 11, 2019 12:28 am

Steve –

I just watched the video that you placed in your message. Thank you. I have one question.

In the tutorial, in the CAPTURE dialog, you said to select file format MPEG4, MP4.

In the days of Canopus converters and Firewire, the preferred format (for subsequent editing in Premier Elements) was AVI.

Has something changed? Was it not the case that AVI was preferred because it was uncompressed (or less compressed) and thus produced a better final result, whereas MPEG was already highly compressed and thus the results after editing were degraded further?

Thank you,

Howard
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Re: Wow!, do I have a problem.

Postby Bob » Mon Feb 11, 2019 3:55 am

Has something changed?


Yes, the industry has moved on from Standard Definition video to High Definition video. This drove the development of considerably better mpeg compression algorithms. Today, mpeg is the dominant recording format and video editors support it very well.

That wasn't the case in the time frame you are talking about. Then, mpeg was considered a delivery format for viewing and poorly suited for editing. Early video editors were designed to work with AVI files containing digital video such as the ones captured using the Canopus device. Many early editors couldn't edit mpeg source files at all or had problems doing so. How times change.

I already have an old (but properly functioning) Canopus 110 converter and a spare old (but properly functioning) Windows XP computer with Firewire. (And I have a very good S-VHS player with S-video output.) I intend to edit the resulting digital files in Premier Elements.

For purposes of capturing the signal from the VHS player to a computer, would you suggest I use the Canopus converter I have (on my Windows XP computer), or purchase one of the newer USB converters such as one of those you mentioned (capturing to my newer Windows 10 computer)?


Since you have all the equipment necessary, as long as it's working, why buy another solution? WinDV should work well on your XP computer. You can copy the captured files to your current PC and use them as is in Premiere Elements.
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Re: Wow!, do I have a problem.

Postby Steve Grisetti » Mon Feb 11, 2019 7:42 am

I agree with Bob completely. If you have a solution that works, there's no need to buy new equipment.

But it's virtually impossible to find an off-the-shelf computer these days that includes a FireWire hook-up. I've got a lot of old 8mm videotapes and a Digital8 camcorder that will output digital files from them -- but that connection only works over a FireWire connection. For a long time I kept an old computer with a FireWire port just for capturing this type of video (and my old miniDV).

But since I've started using these USB MP4 capture devices, I've come to believe that the results are virtually the same as video captured over FireWire. And they work on pretty much any computer.
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Re: Wow!, do I have a problem.

Postby Peru » Mon Feb 11, 2019 10:06 am

HSA wrote:So the heart of my question was what would one do if he did not have an old Windows XP (or perhaps Windows 7) machine having a built-in Firewire port?


As I said earlier:
There are also Firewire cards that can be added to a computer.
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Re: Wow!, do I have a problem.

Postby HSA » Mon Feb 11, 2019 1:22 pm

Steve, Bob and Peru, thanks so much for bringing me "up to date". Wow, things have apparently changed quite a bit over the past years (when I was not involved).

I remember when Steve had to practically "scream" at people intending to convert VHS tape to digital NOT to use MPEG, but AVI only. Somehow I got the impression that even now AVI was the preferred choice if one were intending to EDIT the file, such as in Premier Elements, as one is starting with a much larger and uncompressed (or less compressed) file. Though I do understand that AVI is about 13GB of one-hour running time, I have no idea about MPEG formats.

Which raises a question: Since the older "Canopus/Firewire/AVI" method results in AVIs that are about 13 GB per hour, and if MPEG4 produces just as good a result, would MPEG4 be preferred because the video file is much smaller?

Thanks,

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