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ADVC100 O/P to AVI produces interference line

Discussion in 'Video capturing from analog sources' started by joep42, Mar 20, 2007.

  1. joep42

    joep42 Member

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    Hi Minion - I hope you are still around (or anyone who can help).

    With your generous assistance I started a project a little over 2 years ago to convert my VHS home movies to DVD. I upgraded my system and purchased an ADVC100 converter and started to experiment but due to family and health issues, the project languished until now. Where I left off and where I am starting again is with step one - capturing the VHS tapes, from a VHS camcorder to my hard drive as AVI files through the ADVC100.

    THE PROBLEM: No matter what home video tape or VHS playback device I use, I always have a small noticeable artifact or interference line at the very bottom of the captured AVI video. The the captured video otherwise looks (and sounds) fine in all other respects. No artifact or interference is visible when the same VHS home videos are viewed on a TV.

    SOLUTIONS ATTEMPTED: I use the highest quality setting in the capture programs. I tried both WinDV and MS MovieMaker2 set to DVI-AVI capture. No help.

    I have used the 3 different VHS-VCR's/camcorders, including the one the home videos were recorded on. Adjusting the tracking during capture does not help. I tried inputting through both the S-video connection and regular analog video input on the ADVC100 without success.

    I tried capturing a store bought VHS movie and that too had the interference at the bottom of the captured video.

    Realizing my 5 year old Dell is light on horsepower I temporarily moved the capture operation to my wife's 5 month old Gateway - an Intel Core 2 Duo 2.13 GHz, w/2 Gb Ram, Nvidia 7300LE video card, 160 Gb 7200 RPM SATA II hard drive w/8 Mb cache running XP Media edition. Made no difference! Still have the interference in the captured AVI file!!

    WHERE I NEED ADVICE: I'm assuming the problem is either with the ADVC100 (I have triple checked all dip switches and changed cables) and/or in the capture programs. I'm looking for a quick and inexpensive fix but if I have to I can live with this. Any suggestions? Is there a way I can slightly (and easily) crop the video? BTW, the ADVC100 warranty runs out in about 3 weeks.

    2ND QUESTION - I'm looking to take the captured video (avi files), adding a few titles in MSMM2 and getting them in one step to DVD. Quality is important and you have already recommended a load of programs/step to accomplish this. But I was hoping for a one step solution like ConvertXtoDVD and tried an evaluation copy. I wasn't thrilled with the results. Your opinion on this product before I invest more time in it. Any other 1 step quality solutions (avi to directly DVD) that are not to expensive?

    Many, many thanks in advance.

    My Video System: (not used for any other purpose of than for this video project)

    Dell 8100 P4 1.5 GHz
    512 Mb Rambus
    Video - Nvidia GeForce2 MMMX 400 (32Mb)
    Two 160 Gb 7200 RPM w/8 Mb cache hard drives
    PCI Firewire Adapter (for the ADVC100)
    WinXP Pro SP2
     
  2. attar

    attar Senior member

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  3. moonrocks

    moonrocks Regular member

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    If you are seeing distortion at the very bottom of the frame in your captured file then that's nothing to worry about. It's not a problem with your ADVC-100.

    When you capture from a VCR you'll get video noise at the bottom of the frame due to the VCR heads contacting the tape. It's normal.

    You'll see the distortion when you view the file on your PC. You won't see the distortion when you view the tape, or the DVD captured from the tape, on your TV. Your TV's overscan blocks it out.

    If you plan on watching the captured video on your PC you could always crop out the distorted lines. If you plan on watching the captured video on your TV then I would just leave it alone, you won't see the distortion.

    EDIT: Sorry, just followed up the link in attar's post. He's already got it covered.
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2007
  4. joep42

    joep42 Member

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    Thanks moonrocks and attar for your prompt response. I also received the following response directly from Canopus;

    "These scan lines are normal during the Analog to Digital conversion. It is outside of the NTSC safe area, so it will not show up in your TV when you export it to a DVD or VHS tape. If you are still concerned about these lines, you can use the mask I created to block them. This is an alpha matte picture, and you just need to place it in the timeline while you are editing."

    You all all correct - this retired geek learns something new every day. Had I tried to play the ConvertXtoDVD sample I made on a TV (which I did tonight) I would not have seen the interference line.

    Speaking of ConvertXtoDVD, can anyone provide some suggestions on inexpensive one solution AVI to DVD programs? The ConvertXtoDVD sample output I made was very jerky both on fast camera pans and when people moved quickly when played on my computer or TV, but there was no jerkiness visible in the captured AVI file.

    Again, many thanks to everyone.
     
  5. attar

    attar Senior member

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  6. joep42

    joep42 Member

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    Thanks everyone for your response. I thought I had this problem solved (line of interference appearing at the bottom of the captured video which is not on original VHS tapes) but it is still there when the DVD output is played on my TV.

    Quick summary: VHS analog home videos captured via ADVC100 using Windows Movie Maker 2, using the DV-AVI setting, performing some quick edits, transitions and titles and saving the movie as WMV files (Best quality for playback on my computer). The saved WMV file is then run through ConvertXtoDVD on the highest quality setting.

    The DVD turns out quite well except as noted above with the line of interference. I was unable to get the filter Canopus supplied, to correct this, to work.

    Any other suggestions? Bad ADVC box? Use different software to capture video to AVI file?

    Expense is of concern and if I have to live with it, saving these old home VHS movies takes precedent. This old retired geek needs to get this done before the grim reaper calls.

    While the ConvertXtoDVD output was quite good, it is not as crisp as the original analog tapes. Is there better software that can improve the quality - at reasonable cost? I have read good things about Adobe Premiere Elements 3.0.

    Thanks....Joe
     
  7. attar

    attar Senior member

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    You mentioned that you captured 'AVI'.
    Does the card not save the video as MPEG (VCD quality video)?
    I don't think any amount of processing will improve on the native format of the card, so it would be better to save the tapes as VCD;that would ensure optimum quality.
     
  8. joep42

    joep42 Member

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    I don't use a capture card; rather I use an external analog to digital converter box - the Canopus ADVC100. The converter connects between my VHS camcorder (or VCR) and my PC. I have used both WinDV and Windows Movie Maker 2 to capture the analog video and the resulting file, containing the video, has an AVI extension.

    WinDV only saves to an AVI type of file. MM2 allows selecting several formats, depending on the intended use of the captured video, as well quality desired. Consequently, the bit rate could be fixed or variable, and the display size and the FPS (frames per second) can vary. Despite 20 choices, the saved file type will either be .AVI or .WMV.

    I have chosen to use the "DV-AVI (NTSC)" option, with a bit rate of 25Mbs, display size 720x480, FPS of 30, output file type AVI. There is only one other setting that seems to be higher quality - the "High Quality Video (NTSC) which has the same Display Size and FPS, but the bit rate is variable and the output file type is WMV. Should I be using this setting? I thought a high fixed FPS was better than one that is variable.

    One thing about all this experimenting - I getting a lot of coasters.....

    Thanks, Joe
     
  9. moonrocks

    moonrocks Regular member

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    If you're using your Canopus to transfer to digital, then I'd recommend using WinDV rather than Movie Maker. Movie Maker will encode your file to mpeg2, but for image quality you'd want to use a decent mpeg encoder, TMPGEnc or MainConcept. The ADVC-100 is a great box, but its quality is wasted if you then use a mediocre mpeg encoder. Transfer your home video to DV-AVI with WinDV, then use a good mpeg encoder.

    As to the distortion at the bottom, when you transfer analog to digital, video noise at the very bottom of the digital file is normal, but if it's showing up when you watch the DVD on your TV, then something is wrong.

    You're doing a number of steps with your videos, VHS to digital via Canopus/Movie Maker, edits, transitions, a WMV file through ConvertXtoDVD.

    You'd want to isolate exactly where in the process that bottom video distortion is being introduced. Simplify things just to rule out your Canopus box and home videos as the source of the problem.

    Use your Canopos ADVC-100 and WinDV to transfer 1 minute from one of your home videos. Then also transfer 1 minute from a commerical VHS tape. Encode those DV-AVI's to .mpeg2 with a simple mpeg encoder like TMPGEnc. Don't do anything else to the videos. Burn each of them to a DVD. See what they look like on your TV. Is the video distortion at the bottom still visible? That should answer a lot of questions.

    For testing use Memorex DVD's. Very inexpensive, they were pretty much designed to be coasters:)
     
  10. joep42

    joep42 Member

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    Hi Moonrocks, I did everything you suggested and more, including using different Firewire ports, changed brand/type of blank DVD's, used both Windows MM2 and WinDV to capture the VHS video, used both ConvertXtoDVD and TMPGenc to encode but the line of interference would not go away when the burned DVD was played on my tabletop DVD player and TV.

    I was thoroughly convinced by now the problem was with my ADVC100 box. Wrong!!

    I found out where the problem is occurring but don't know why. Despite using different capture/encoding/authoring/burn software, it is occurring somewhere in these processes. Why? Read on.

    Today I thought I'd capture a new piece of video and burn it DVD. When I played it on my tabletop DVD player & TV there was no line of interference. Huh?? Same DVD player, TV, computer system, same programs, nothing unplugged or changed, nothing deleted or added to the system since I last used it, it's not even connected to the internet. All I did today was turn everything on.

    At first I figured the ADVC100 box was now behaving properly, so I captured/burned more video, from the same VHS tapes used in prior tests that have always given me the problem. Again - no interference line on the TV.

    To confirm it was the ADVC100 box I then ran avi files from previously captured VHS video used for testing - ALL of which had produced the interference line when burned to a DVD and played on my TV. Fortunately these files were still on my hard drives. Ran 4 of them plus a small clip from a commercial movie through ConvertXtoDVD and they now played just fine (no interference line)!! What is going on?? That eliminated the ADVC100 box.

    I was using a DVD-RW disc for a lot of tests to cut down on the coasters from all these experiments. So I redid the last test using DVD+R's. All came out just fine again.

    I powered every thing down more than once, rebooted - I cannot get that line of interference on the burned DVD no matter if I capture something new, or use AVI files that previously had the problem.

    BTW, TMPGenc was horribly slow, and its output was no better, if not slightly worse, than ConvertXtoDVD. But I not impressed with ConvertXtoDVD's quality either.

    I know this problem is going to come back. If I could just mask (crop) the line out I would be done with it and could move on.

    Any thoughts, ideas would be most welcome while I bang my head against the wall. I have spent hours on this.......

    Thanks, Joe.
     
  11. moonrocks

    moonrocks Regular member

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    So you were able to take your old ADVC-100 .avi files, and then run them through ConvertxtoDVD, burn them and now the distortion is gone. And that occurred with no hardware/software changes from the first problem tests. Well, at least you know your Canopus ADVC-100 is OK, and that your basic hardware/software setup will work.

    You did edits, transitions, titles, saved as WMV then used ConvertXtoDVD the first time. The recent testing, I'm assuming, left out those steps and you just did a straight .avi to mpeg encode then authored and burned. If that's the case then I would think the problem is somewhere in those intermediate steps. You would have to test and troubleshoot, adding each step one at a time, to see where the problem is coming in.

    You could use a filter to mask the line out, and you may want to do that. To me though, that shouldn't be necessary. If you're getting distortion that's visible on your TV then clearly some part of your current software process is failing or not set up correctly. I would want to fix that rather than compensate for it.

    "I powered every thing down more than once, rebooted - I cannot get that line of interference on the burned DVD no matter if I capture something new, or use AVI files that previously had the problem."

    Well, that's a good thing. Your hardware is fine and it's not likely the avi to mpeg encoding or the burning that produced the distortion earlier on. It's coming in somewhere else. You said you still got the distortion just using WinDV and TMPGEnc, and that's without any editing/effects etc? I don't know what to make of that.

    Keep track of the basic steps that gave you the clean results then one by one add steps back.

    Yes, TMPGEnc is slow, but it's decent quality, perhaps not the best, but I still use it. If you're looking for a better encoder you might want to check out Procoder 2, CCE or MainConcept.
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2007

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