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Noisy VHS tape gives dropped frames

Discussion in 'Video capturing from analog sources' started by nikcain, Jun 23, 2004.

  1. nikcain

    nikcain Member

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    I know this question gets asked a lot, but so far I've not seen an answer that's helped me.

    I have an old VHS tape that gets those static noise lines push in from the bottom every now and again. When I'm trying to capture, I get dropped frames very severely at moments when that noise is bad. The dropped frames leads to the sound going out of sync quite badly. Reducing the size from 352x288 to smaller has no effect, and I'm fairly convinced this isn't a frame dropping issue due to the lack of processing power. I capture on a hauppauge wintv card, and the PC is strong enough to capture normal tv input with no dropped frames while encoding directly to xvid or divx. For this VHS tape I'm encoding with no compression, and cpu usage is less than 10%.

    Normally I capture with VirtualDub, but in trying to fix this problem I've tried VirtualDub_sync, Virtual_VCR, Amcap and the hauppauge winTV app - all fail to keep sound in sync (bizarrely amcap claims to have *no* dropped frames, yet still can't keep the sound in sync).

    At what end of the process are the frames being dropped - internally in the capture card, or at the software end? By the way that all these capture programs are failing (even the sync mod of virtualdub), it's making me think it's due to the capture card - are there any tweaks or settings on a WinTV card that I could do?

    thanks,
    nik

    ps for the sake of only one VHS tape, I don't want to buy either a new VCR or capture card - for the price of that I could take the tape to a professional lab perhaps?
     
  2. Minion

    Minion Senior member

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    You will Drop Frames when the frames are Corrupted on the Tape...Once a Tape is so old that the Frames are bad there is really not much you can do about it...I have a Bunch of Old Tapes this happens with and there isn"t really anything I can do about it...sorry
     
  3. nikcain

    nikcain Member

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    That's a real shame. I was wondering if there was software that would replace the corrupt frame with a copy of the last good frame (during capture), which at least would keep the audio in sync (with possibly very jerky playback during the noisy bits).

    The other option I was considering was using screen capture software such as Hyperionics HyperCam (http://www.hyperionics.com ), which I'll try at the weekend perhaps, although I can guess it won't be easy. Even if I can get round the overlay problems, I'm sure I'm going to be stuck with an odd fps which might be hard to change to mpeg2.

    The last resort option might be to record for only short periods, and then 'frequency shift' the audio to match (more or less!) - I made that term up, but hopefully it describes what I meant :). The thing I'm not sure about is the video frame rate again - if it ends up at around 20-ish fps, can that be put onto a DVD? Or must it be 25fps?
     
  4. Minion

    Minion Senior member

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    You can"t even Make a Mpeg file with a Frame rate of 20fps..Mpeg only supports 23.976/24fps,25fps 29.976/30fps ,50fps and 59.94/60fps...

    If you had an Analogue/Digital converter like the Canopus ADVC-100 or the Canopus ACEDVio then it would work because it has an audio lock feature that gaurantees that the audio will stay in sync with the Video ,They are also probably the best capture devices but they are over $200.....

    You can try maybe Recording the Bad Tape to to a Fresh VHS tape and Capture that and see if that works??
     
  5. ghr4

    ghr4 Member

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    I recently got a JVC DRMV1 VHS/DVD recorder combo unit, and I'm in the process of converting VHS tapes to DVD. I've got many old VHS tapes that (when first playing them after a few years on the shelf) also have those static noise lines pushing up from the bottom every few seconds. But I've found that in most cases, the second play through of the tape is problem-free! So now, as a matter of course, I simply fast-forward the tape completely through, rewind, and play. This seems to eliminate the static in most cases. Hopefully this little trick will work for you.
     
  6. nikcain

    nikcain Member

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    hi,
    Thanks, I'll try fast forwarding and rewinding the whole tape a few times. It's funny that the second play-through improves things for you - I wonder if it's because the tapes were a bit loose or stretched.

    I'm afraid my tape is definitely past its best though, and my VCR is an antique as well. Unfortunately I can't even borrow a friends VCR since I now live in france and all the VCR's are SECAM here (The tape and VCR are from when I was in the UK, and so they're PAL). Perhaps when I see my parents at xmas I'll try their VCR player and maybe that'd help as well.

     
  7. flarko

    flarko Member

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    Hi,
    Had exactly the same problem. Caputured old PAL VHS tapes and the noise would skip frames. I bought the Miglia Directors Cut 2/Premier and the same result. Anyway found this software that has shown some very good results. Try this link : - http://www.goodervideo.com/videos/index.html
    Regards.
     
  8. nikcain

    nikcain Member

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    thanks - which one of their products was it? (motion perfect at a guess). $50 dollars is a bit steep considering I'm doing just one tape, but then again it is an important one....
     
  9. flarko

    flarko Member

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    Yeah, it is a fair amount of cash but the results were worth it. I initially downloaded the trial; it converts about 15 seconds so gives you a good feel for the overall result. I would take a snippet that has lots of skips and give it a try. Their other products seem good too, tried the camera shake trial on one of my wife's masterpieces and it turned out ok.
     

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