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Video capture device

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January 2, 2012 5:23:10 PM

I have a Hones-tech VHS to DVD that came with a usb vidbox 1.2 capture device. How can I improve the video quality. It's not the input source as it is crystal clear on my TV.

More about : video capture device

January 2, 2012 7:31:31 PM

unless its a hd capture device its likely not to capture any higher than 720 x 576 (pal uk) dont know if ntsc goes that high

might not even do that high

looked at loads for my cctv capture and that was the best i could get without spending a lot more for a hd one
January 2, 2012 7:57:16 PM

The problem stems from the way TV's and computers work.

TV's like that you may have connected to the VCR(if it is a CRT) will only refresh every second line per frame. Computers do not work this way and you may see lots of artifacts(they can look like lines or blurring on motion from side to side) as a result.

This said, a CRT TV is an interlaced device(well most are) and works in this way very well. This means videos will look sharper on that screen. The TV also has a lower resolution in most cases, while this sounds like a bad thing, it is a very good match to the video type being played. The computer and even LCD TV's have to upscale the image to make it fill in all that extra resolution.

I will try to cover some basics

The capture device it self
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Most USB capture devices rely on the cpu to "De-interlace" and compress this video feed. I find this to be a very hit and miss thing(removing the lines, but still being rather blurry).

There are cards out that are Hardware capture cards(mostly internal, but some are external, mostly noticeable by the fact that they need a power source that is not the usb port), this kind of card does all the work(it has its own cpu onboard) and offers far better image quality. The image is still interlaced, but it is done is such a way that your playback software will make it look good. DVD's are interlaced as well.

The source
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I know the source looks good, but once again i am going to say it is the relation between the source VHS and the TV it self that make it look so good.

Recommendation?
----------------------

I recommend a good hardware encoder for the job, it will look better and can filter out noise(but analog noise was not like digital noise and i found it less annoying to begin with).

An HD card is not needed as the source will not be HD, but most HD cards have a hardware encoder onboard(but NOT stick type tuners.).

Also, it is best to always use the BEST output from the VCR to the pc, so if you have s-video and the capture card has it, go that route.

Failing this, capture and burn a test DVD to try on your TV, it may look better then on the computer...Once again, older TV's are very well suited to the lower resolution images.
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January 2, 2012 10:12:48 PM

It captures at 720x480, but it's not clear. I did a dvd test but it wasn't clear neither. I'm not trying to get HD quality just regular DVD quality. The sound plays crystal clear and the video plays smoothly just that it has poor pixelated image quality. The source is HD cable box down converted to DVD quality.
January 2, 2012 10:25:23 PM

What software are you using?
January 2, 2012 10:38:29 PM

amuffin said:
What software are you using?
I'm tried Windows media encoder and VHS to DVD 5.0 Deluxe that came with it both about the same quality.
January 2, 2012 10:42:45 PM

Have you looked for an option to increase the bit rate. Higher bit rates should help with macro blocking(large pixels) issues.

I personally use Media Center for all my recoding of TV.

For DVD's(to burn them later) you will want to use Mpeg2(there may be a DVD option as well) video in whatever software you use. This would be to avoid having to reconvert the file later to a DVD format after saving it in lets say mpeg 4 to begin with.

Can i get a screen capture of your recordings?
January 2, 2012 10:48:10 PM

nukemaster said:
Have you looked for an option to increase the bit rate. Higher bit rates should help with macro blocking(large pixels) issues.

I personally use Media Center for all my recoding of TV.

For DVD's(to burn them later) you will want to use Mpeg2(there may be a DVD option as well) video in whatever software you use. This would be to avoid having to reconvert the file later to a DVD format after saving it in lets say mpeg 4 to begin with.

Can i get a screen capture of your recordings?
My capture device doesn't work with windows media center as it has no hardware encoder. Is their any freeware software I can try that lest me choose bit-rate and will record smoothly with my athlon 64x2.
January 2, 2012 10:59:37 PM

I think there is an advanced mode in the software that came with the card.

It looks like the easy mode has an option for "Best Quality". Does this setting look any better?
January 2, 2012 11:16:08 PM

nukemaster said:
I think there is an advanced mode in the software that came with the card.

It looks like the easy mode has an option for "Best Quality". Does this setting look any better?

I tried every possible mode with the software it came with and still poor quality.
January 2, 2012 11:24:40 PM

I am not sure what you would move to after this.

The software should be designed to get the most out of the card.

I have not used that setup, so can not comment too much on it.
January 2, 2012 11:41:25 PM

Quality is OK with windows movie maker, but the problem is movie maker in vista doesn't have the option to capture like the xp version does, and my XP computer only has a "sloooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooow" celeron d causing alot of dropped frames.
January 3, 2012 12:18:57 AM

Try cyberlink power director, it should give you many options for bit rate.
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