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VHS Capture Issues

Discussion in 'Video capturing from analog sources' started by D90, Oct 8, 2007.

  1. D90

    D90 Member

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    Hi, I have recently tried to convert some old vhs videos I have into DVD for future use. I used Virtualdub to capture the video, however after capturing I noticed that the audio and video were out of sync, upon investigation I discovered that a huge amount of frames had been dropped during the recording process. Today I tried once more, this time useing the Huffyuv codec and no audio compression, still within 10 seconds of capturing I had dropped 3 frames. The same happened using the default YUY2 (no recompression) codec. Could someone please explain to me how I can capture using virtualdub without dropping any frames...any help will be greatly appreciated. Further specs are below:

    Virtualdub
    ==========
    Resolution: 720x576
    Format: PAL
    FPS: 25
    Virtualdub Version: 1.7.5

    System
    ======
    Intel p4 3.2Ghz w/HT
    1GB DDR RAM
    200GB SATA HDD
    ASUS TV 1734 <--capture device using composite cords (Yellow, White, Red)
    nVidia 6200 256MB TC video card
    Win XP Pro SP2
     
  2. olyteddy

    olyteddy Regular member

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    Shut down all unnecessary processes, defrag your hard drive or better still use a second drive to capture to, get a hardware encoding card, try a different codec, get a faster processor, read the guides on capturing...There's a few suggestions.
     
  3. VJ2K2

    VJ2K2 Member

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    I, too, have troubles with VirtualDub (VDub). I think many people do because the FAQ's for VirtualDub have that audio sync problem at the top of the list. The other problem is dropped frames.

    One thing for sure, we must capture to a hard drive that is separate from the drive upon which Windows resides. Windows is just too busy to give up enough time to video capture. So, we just add another hard drive and capture the video to that. That usually takes care of most people's frame drop problems.

    Then, there's lots of people like you and me who always have these audio sync problems.

    Lots of the video cards we use only process video. This includes the AGP as well as the PCI and PCIe cards. That also includes the external USB2 devices that process only video. Problem is, we run audio through a separate card.

    One device for audio, one device for video: That's two different computer clocks that can never sync themselves. Windows XP and Vista supposedly have methods to compensate but from what I read on the web, it's a dismal failure at best for most people--including me.

    We can be sure of audio/video sync during capture only if our device processes both sound and video. There's a few internal cards in the non-professional price range that do this. They run about $150 to $300 U.S. at the low end. That's the maximum I can afford.

    Some of them have built-in MPEG encoders, however, and if they don't allow you to bypass the MPEG chip on the board, then you can't capture raw video to HuffYUV. Besides those that force MPEG encoding, however, there are still a few cards out there that that do have sound processing and video processing on the same card or in the same device.

    There are some external USB2 devices that process sound and video but they require WindowsXP or later in order to have any hope that the video and audio streaming through the USB2 port are actually going to be in sync. I don't know how well those work. I've heard of problems with many so my personal choice is to stick wtih PCI or PCIe cards. (AGP would be okay but I've never seen an AGP video card that also has sound processing chips on it.)

    Capturing to HuffYUV means we must capture a stream of uncompressed audio and video and then let the computer convert it to HuffYUV. That's a pretty big stream of data. The PCI bus can do it--no sweat. Those USB2 devices, however, must negotiate through the USB controllers and I'm not entirely sure the USB controllers are suited for large continous streams that require precise timing. I could be wrong. Maybe someone will tell us if they are able to capture 720 x 480 to HuffYUV with no frame drops and no audio sync problems using one of those USB2 devices (not the ones with MPEG encoders in them)?

    If sound and video are timed each with different clocks on different cards, that's a problem but also, the AGP/PCI/PCIe/ISA slots are taking turns sending data down the pipelines to the rest of the computer. Audio and Video coming from two separate slots on the bus are bound to be separated sometimes.

    So, we need a card or a device that does video and sound. If we don't do that, we are going to be spending a lot of our time manually adjusting the captured file just to get audio sync. That's no fun. We want to get on with the fun part of conversion and editing don't we?

    Problem with most of those video cards and devices that capture raw video are built using just one or two different chips from the same manufacturer. I won't mention the company because I don't want to get into flame wars here.

    My point is, however, those chips are pretty good, but, they drive me crazy ... grainy video from one of the 8-bit chips and that can never be filtered out. The other 10-bit chip designs also introduce artifact that drives me crazy like strobing colors in white or light colored fields and interlacing artifact and motion artifact coupled with noticeable loss of detail in the frame image.

    I've got an analog to DV25 converter that I use because it captures beautiful video with sound that is absolutely always in sync. Those analog-DV converters are fixed format however--720x480, 48KHz, DV format. So, I can't capture raw video with it. It's the standard by which I will have to judge all other devices, however, because its captured files are beautifully detailed, with deep brilliant color, and audio that's always in sync.

    I still yearn to play with HuffYUV and VirtualDub and raw video avi. However, until I find a card that has something besides a Conexant or BrookTree chip, I know that I'll never be happy with the video quality even if the audio and video are easily sync'd during capture.

    I'm still searching for that card. I found several cards that process sound and video. Now I've got to discover one that offers better video quality than those Conexant or BrookTree chips.

    If I find it, I'll post in these forums. I've been looking for a long time. I don't expect to get lucky any time soon.

    I always find it comical when I read forum threads like this one where we discuss audio sync problems. There's always one, two, or more people who will post that they have something like a old 800MHz Pentium machine and they have no problem capturing 720 x 480 to HuffYUV and they always have perfect audio sync and they never drop a frame even during a 300 minute capture.

    Why can they do it and we can't? I don't know. I know we aren't alone. This is my 6th home-built computer. All of the last 3 had about 5 times more power than should be necessary and yet, I've always had this audio sync problem with HuffYUV when capturing full frame.

    I use a little $20 Conexant CX23883 chipped card for experimenting with raw video capture right now.

    Know what, though? I can capture with that little $20 card through VirtualDub straight to the XviD codec (using the suggested real-time settings) and audio is always in sync. I mean it is absolutely always in sync--even if I do a 2 hour movie when I capture to the XviD codec.

    Now, XviD requires a lot more compression than HuffYUV. Why does XviD work through VirtualDub with perfect audio sync when HuffYUV doesn't?

    Know what else? I can capture straight to MPEG 2 using MainConcept MPEG Encoder from that little $20 Conexant chipped card. Video and audio are always in sync then, too.

    Why do I have troubles with VirtualDub and HuffYUV? I don't know. I just don't know.

    I think there are thousands who have this audio sync problem. I also think there's only a few hundred who are willing to keep banging our heads against the wall. I think many have just resigned themselves to 352 x 240 capture. That usually works reliably. Beyond that limit, we have problems.

    When I need good video, I use the analog-DV converter. When I want to experiment at my hobby, I thrash around with HuffYUV.
     
  4. bluesbabe

    bluesbabe Regular member

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    Your knowledge about these issues far exceeds mine, but I thought I'd hop into this old thread, anyway. I too am plagued with sync problems. But oddly it is the computer that is making the difference. I capture cable tv signal with an old plextor usb capture unit. I have a 2005 Inspiron XP MediaCenter laptop (2.0 processor)- I used for this for years and it worked okay. When I got a new XP Pro Vostro (2.2 Core2 Duo processor), I switched, thinking I'd get better results, since plextor recommended a minimum of 2.0. Besides, the newer one had better everything else, too. That's when I started having variable sync problems. Exact same equipment, exact same software (Ulead), but it starts out okay, and the audio drifts way far from the video, and then wanders back again, only to drift away some more. It's making me crazy. I don't understand most of what people have posted about this problem. Is there any simple fix for idiots? Or can anyone explain a complicated one so I'll understand it?
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2010
  5. davexnet

    davexnet Active member

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  6. bluesbabe

    bluesbabe Regular member

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    Thanks for the help. I took a look at the software. But it says it will capture to AVI or WMV. I want to make these into regular DVDs, so don't I want to capture in MPG2? (I accidentally did AVI once, and it took 2 days to render an ISO.) I should warn you, I REALLY don't have much computer savvy, so whatever I do, it needs to be idiot proof, and uncomplicated.
    But I completely stumped as to why doing what I already do works just fine on one computer, but not the other. The older, lesser one captures perfectly. And eventually, I'd like to figure out if there's a way to fix the out of sync ones I already have, that I can't capture again.
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2010
  7. davexnet

    davexnet Active member

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    2 days to render a DVD? Very slow /old PC ?
    With Stoic you can capture to Huffy, it's lossless, easy to edit.
    Use AVStoDVD to create a DVD. Shouldn't take more than a few hours
    to create the DVD.

    Where does your capture audio feed come from? DO you have something plugged into the
    sound card? Or is audio/video captured simultaneously through the USB ?
     
  8. bluesbabe

    bluesbabe Regular member

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    No, that's the point- it's not a slow computer. Generally it renders an ISO lickety split (well under an hour), and only minutes to burn the DVD. But this time it was making it from an MPEG4, instead of MPEG2, which I usually use. I hadn't meant to click on AVI for the capture setting, and once I did, it flipped itself to MPEG4. MPEG2 is the one to use, right?

    I record in various situations, depending on where I am, at the time. The 2 most common are: 1) cable wire plugged directly into Plextor USB capture card (PXTV402U) which sends audio and video through USB, OR 2) S-video and composite audio from cable box to same Plextor capture card, still through USB. Occasionally, I'm using all composite to the Plextor, to record old family video tape from a VCR with no S-video plug. Always, everything goes through the Plextor, using the Ulead VideoStudio 8 software that came with the Plextor. But universally, regardless of how it's connected, the older computer does fine, and the newer one renders out of sync. It is not the software or hardware, as far as I know.
     
  9. davexnet

    davexnet Active member

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    It's my understanding that when the audio and video go through the same
    device, sync is handled in the device.
    Check all the settings in the Ulead SW for differences between the two PC's.
    Look for driver updates in the newer PC.

    Mpeg-2 is the DVD compliant file type. If you capture it directly, all well and good.

    My alternative was to install the Huffy codec, capture to Huffy/AVI and then convert
    it to dvd-compliant mpeg-2 in a program such as AVStoDVD. It slower, but you have a
    potential benefit in the the captured avi file is much easier to edit/trim .
    You can clean it up, then convert it to DVD (ISO if you prefer) in the program
    I mentioned above.
     
  10. bluesbabe

    bluesbabe Regular member

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    I want you to know how much I appreciate the help you're giving me. I'm completely clueless about this stuff, and have been flying by the seat of my pants, for a long time.

    As to file types- I should correct myself. I just noticed that it isn't necessarily MPEG2 I'm capturing in- it actually just says MPEG, and I don't know if that's the same. But whatever it is, it's what I've been using to capture. Whenever I edit these, clipping out parts is a piece of cake, and when I'm done editing, I just tell Ulead to make a new file, and it does it in minutes. I delete the original and store the new one as a final product to save for easy viewing, and also make an ISO to burn a DVD to keep on the shelf. (Is this a sensible procedure?) So, in a sense, there's no reason to switch, unless there are other benefits you think are worth the extra time and trouble.

    Also, again re file types: When I tell Ulead to capture, I have a list of options for file types. Could you please read through them and tell me if I'm making the best choice? Here's what's available to me- avi (switches automatically to MPEG4), DV (also switches to MPEG4), MPEG, VCD, SVCD, DVD, MPEG4, DivX home, DivX portable, and DivX handheld. I'm not sure what a DVD file actually is.

    I looked quickly at settings, but I'm not sure what they all are, exactly. Can you suggest which ones are relevant, to compare? I will look more closely. I will also check for updates for the new laptop, but am not sure what hardware or software is part of the process, so I'm not sure what updates to be looking for. On the other hand, the Ulead software is pretty old, and they stopped supporting/updating it a long time ago.
     
  11. davexnet

    davexnet Active member

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    I can't advise on the Ulead software explicitly because I don't have it installed and
    I'm not familiar with it. Regarding file types, mpeg-2 is, in many cases,
    preferred. My own capture device uses it as it's native format and it works quite
    well.
    If you plan on going to DVD, mpeg-2 captures both fields of the interlaced image
    and so maintains the fluidity of the original. You should capture mpeg-2 at
    720*480 (NTSC) 29.97 frames per second, or 720*576 (PAL) 25 fps.
    Mpeg-1 drops one of the fields and is a poorer choice to transfer to DVD.

    You can check the file specifications using a program called MediaInfo.
    http://www.videohelp.com/tools/MediaInfo

    In general, avi (mpeg-4) usually refers to the commonly used Divx/Xvid. Not a
    great capture choice. DV, easy to edit but big - 13GB per hour.
    Your DVD setting probably refers to DVD compliant mpeg-2 - you can certainly try it
    and check in MediaInfo.
     
  12. bluesbabe

    bluesbabe Regular member

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    Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!! This is immensely helpful.... I will check the settings, and I will definitely try the software you mention- I hope it will explain how to check file types.

    Your last statement- as above in my reply- are you referring to "DVD" in the file type options? Just so I'm clear, are you saying I should select DVD as the file type instead of MPEG? Since the MPEG option doesn't say 1 OR 2, I'm not sure what the heck it even is.

    And just to tie this all back to the original question: I haven't checked yet, but if the settings (29.95 frames/sec, which sounds familiar) are the same on both computers, (meaning settings are not why the sync problem occurs on ONE computer only) and it turns out I have been using MPEG1 all this time, would this explain the sync issue in any way? See, I do want to solve the problem, but I also want to understand the solution, and I'm not sure what you mean when you say MPEG1 "drops one of the fields." By the way, I caught an error in my original post, so in case it makes any difference: the older Inspiron has an old style 2.0 processor, not a 1.8, and the new Vostro has a 2.2 Core2 Duo, just in case that sheds any more light. I'll go correct the info.

    Again thanks a million, for the straight answers.
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2010
  13. davexnet

    davexnet Active member

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    Use the program I mentioned,Mediainfo. Use it to open your captured file
    and it will tell you about the format you have captured.
    It will tell you lots of useful info such as the type, bitrate, resolution, etc,etc.

    If your target is to go to DVD, then set the software to that and it should set it up
    properly for you. For example, on my own with hardware encoding, it writes at
    8Mbit constant bitrate - yours may be similar, you'll have to try and see.

    VCR's used interlaced encoding, which means two fields per frame. If you use the DVD
    setting, it should capture both fields, which is what you want.

    Capturing mpeg-1, probably at 352*240 or 352*288 is OK if you want to view it on the
    computer, but a poorer choice if you want to make a DVD from it.

    If you're not sure whether you're getting what you want post a small section
    (10 to 15 seconds) to a file sharing site and I'll take a look at it.
    You can use http://www.mediafire.com/ or similar.
     
  14. bluesbabe

    bluesbabe Regular member

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    Okay, let me look into all this, and experiment a little. I will get back to you when I have more concrete info to provide. Thanks so much for all the help.
     
  15. bluesbabe

    bluesbabe Regular member

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    DAVEXNET-
    I have some preliminary results, but this is a fly-by post to update the discussion. I used the mediainfo software you recommended, but I look at the result, and I'm not sure what it means. I think it's telling me that the video is MPEG2, but the audio is MPEG1.

    I am VERY pleased and delighted to report that I tried recording video in DVD file, as you suggested, and in terms of the original issue, the result is much much better. There are slight sync issues, but then again, I'm watching for them. I think this may have been the solution. I did have some problems with editing, though: I nipped out a few frames that had pixelated badly in the original, and the resulting file had a loud POP in it, that I couldn't seem to get rid of.

    I can't seem to copy/paste the mediainfo results, but I could save a screen shot of the report for you.

    I'M SO HAPPY............!!!
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2010
  16. davexnet

    davexnet Active member

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    Sounds as if you're making some progress...
    Use Mediainfo and select view/text. copy and paste the info and put it in this post
     
  17. bluesbabe

    bluesbabe Regular member

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    DAVEXNET
    I am posting text version. But sadly, as of last night it all may be mute. While working on my laptop, Windows installed updates, despite not being set to do so automatically. I thought nothing of it, at the time, but when shortly after, I tried to record brief video to provide you with a report, my capture device refused to function properly. It was working fine before the update, but now may be nothing more than an expensive doorstop. I haven't tried it on the other laptop yet- perhaps there is hope. But I will proceed anyway, because one way or another this is information I will need to understand. The results are:

    General
    Complete name : E:\(nipped).mpg
    Format : MPEG-PS
    File size : 2.47 GiB
    Duration : 1h 53mn
    Overall bit rate : 3 128 Kbps

    Video
    ID : 224 (0xE0)
    Format : MPEG Video
    Format version : Version 2
    Format profile : Main@Main
    Format settings, BVOP : Yes
    Format settings, Matrix : Default
    Format settings, GOP : M=3, N=15
    Duration : 1h 53mn
    Bit rate mode : Variable
    Bit rate : 2 842 Kbps
    Nominal bit rate : 6 000 Kbps
    Width : 720 pixels
    Height : 480 pixels
    Display aspect ratio : 4:3
    Frame rate : 29.970 fps
    Standard : NTSC
    Color space : YUV
    Chroma subsamplin : 4:2:0
    Bit depth : 8 bits
    Scan type : Progressive
    Bits/(Pixel*Frame) : 0.274
    Stream size : 2.24 GiB (91%)

    Audio
    ID : 192 (0xC0)
    Format : MPEG Audio
    Format version : Version 1
    Format profile : Layer 2
    Duration : 1h 53mn
    Bit rate mode : Constant
    Bit rate : 224 Kbps
    Channel(s) : 2 channels
    Sampling rate : 48.0 KHz
    Video delay : -67ms
    Stream size : 181 MiB (7%)
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2010
  18. davexnet

    davexnet Active member

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    It's OK, the only thing I would say about it is the bitrate is a little low.
    Under "video" above it says Bit rate : 2 842 Kbps.

    It will work, but the picture quality may suffer a little.
    Normally a bit higher would be better, perhaps above 5000 kbps.

    The main thing is the video is 720*480, which is as it should be,
    and the audio is at 224 kbps p/s, 48KHz sampling rate, format mp2.

    Have you tried creating a DVD from this file? Perhaps with DVD flick or AVStoDVD?
    If it recognizes it as compatible the DVD creation will be very quick,
    since it wont have to re-encode it - just author it to the DVD file spec.
     
  19. bluesbabe

    bluesbabe Regular member

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    Wait, can we back up for a sec? I don't want to get ahead of myself. The original question I was asking was about serious sync issues between audio and video. I want to make sure I understand why that was happening before I move on to anything else. I think we were trying to determine if the file type I was using was the wrong one and would explain the problems. The file I checked with Mediainfo (and posted) was an older one, which I had captured the way I had been doing it before, not the new way I switched to, at your suggestion (saving as DVD file). I was not sure how to interpret the following section of the report:

    Audio
    ID : 192 (0xC0)
    Format : MPEG Audio
    Format version : Version 1
    Format profile : Layer 2

    Does this mean the audio was MPEG1? And if so, is that why I was having such trouble with out of sync audio? If not, then I still need to figure out why one laptop made perfectly good videos, but the other one didn't, when using exactly the same settings. That way, I'll know what to look for, if I ever have this problem again. Now that I think of it, I should have checked one file made on the first computer, and checked it against a file made on the second computer. Maybe I'll see if I can do that. I don't know if I saved any from the second computer, since they were so bad.

    By the way, I can't tell you how delighted I am with Mediainfo- I have found it very useful in a number of situations, and I'm very grateful for the tip. Only today, in an effort to help a friend figure out why a DVD wouldn't play, ("format error") it identified it as PAL, not NTSC, saving me a lot of trouble trying other fixes. I'm not sure what to DO about it, but at least I know what's wrong.....

    I will check the other specs you indicated, but it's going to be problem, now that the capture device (or else its software) seems to have quit working, apparently because of an update from MS. I will have to experiment and see if other capture software will do it. I have an unopened Nero 7 full version- I'll see if that includes capture software. Otherwise, is there software you recommend?

    LATER UPDATE:
    I found one video left from the other laptop. The settings weren't exactly the same, and I do see some differences in the result. I'm posting them here
    General
    Complete name : C:\Documents and Settings(nipped) .mpg
    Format : MPEG-PS
    File size : 1.68 GiB
    Duration : 56mn 21s
    Overall bit rate : 4 263 Kbps

    Video
    ID : 224 (0xE0)
    Format : MPEG Video
    Format version : Version 2
    Format profile : Main@Main
    Format settings, BVOP : Yes
    Format settings, Matrix : Default
    Duration : 56mn 21s
    Bit rate mode : Variable
    Bit rate : 3 954 Kbps
    Nominal bit rate : 6 000 Kbps
    Width : 720 pixels
    Height : 480 pixels
    Display aspect ratio : 4:3
    Frame rate : 29.970 fps
    Standard : NTSC
    Color space : YUV
    Chroma subsampling : 4:2:0
    Bit depth : 8 bits
    Scan type : Progressive
    Bits/(Pixel*Frame) : 0.382
    Stream size : 1.56 GiB (93%)

    Audio
    ID : 192 (0xC0)
    Format : MPEG Audio
    Format version : Version 1
    Format profile : Layer 2
    Duration : 56mn 21s
    Bit rate mode : Constant
    Bit rate : 224 Kbps
    Channel(s) : 2 channels
    Sampling rate : 44.1 KHz
    Video delay : 26ms
    Stream size : 90.3 MiB (5%)

     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2010
  20. davexnet

    davexnet Active member

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    See what it says under "mpeg audio"
    http://www.dvddemystified.com/dvdfaq.html#3.6.2

    You'll see that sometimes it works and some times it doesn't depending on the player.
    It's not a problem, in a file such as yours. AVStoDVD (or similar) will use the
    video as is and re-encode the audio to ac3 2-channel.
    Nothing wrong with that.

    Are you using XP? Check the device manager to see if any error crept in with
    device enumeration. It may be necessary to reinstall the device driver.

    Also consider reinstalling your capture software although it really shouldn't be necessary.
    What update caused this problem?
    Nero 7 doesn't have a good reputation.
     

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