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I am trying to record all my old VHS tapes. I bought a video grabber, usbtv 4-1.2:1.0: Fushicai USBTV007 Audio-Video Grabber, but somehow that does not work well. I tried using VLC, but that has some strange effects. Often it shows past frames while running. Maybe some buffering is needed? I also tried ffmpeg, but that gives me a lot of errors, and also those past frames in between. Maybe the driver is not that good? I also tried in Windows using the software that came with it, called honestech vhs to dvd. That appears to not show the flickering/past frames issue, but it barely has any configuration options, so I would rather not use it.

Does anybody have any experience with this?

Thx.

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    Could you maybe upload a sample video somewhere which shows the problem ? What OS / OS version are you using (Windows, Linux..) ? If you're using Windows, you can try VirtualDub, which I've used successfully for video capture. – JonasCz - Reinstate Monica Dec 26 '16 at 9:56
  • To @JonasCz questions, I'd add: What controls are missing from the honestech software that you'd like to use? – Michael Liebman Dec 26 '16 at 17:26
  • USB devices are not really fast enough for video work, even something as low bandwidth as VHS. see @MartinAndrews answer below. – pojo-guy Sep 24 '17 at 12:32
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I did this a few years ago, digitized dozens of my family's old home videos.

The way I did it was, as at the time I was doing it from home and didn't have a IO device such as a DeckLink, I simply used a MiniDV Portable Recorder I got off eBay; which allows composite, component, and S-Video In.

Once the VHS tapes were transferred to my "Digital Intermediate" so to speak, I simply did a standard FireWire Capture using Premiere.

This also provided me with a set of DV Master Tapes as a backup.

You can likely get a used MiniDV HDV Record Deck off eBay for a few hundred dollars now that tape is dead; and just flip it when done (basically no cost if you can sell it for what you pay for it).

Going straight from Analog Tape, really requires a real IO device such as a DeckLink card to get good results, and a DeckLink card with analog IO will be much more expensive.

  • Going to DV means copping quite a big loss of quality due to the fairly heavy compression in that codec. How important this is depends on the user, but it's worth noting. – stib Dec 28 '16 at 10:09
  • I recommended going to HDV. While still compressed, from VHS which at best will produce in the neighborhood of 210-230 lines of resolution, using HDV, which has a horizontal resolution of 1080; should not, to any eye, be noticeable. On a scope, at high magnification, I'm sure there would be a bit of loss in under limit and over limit (0 and 100) luma and chroma, but for what he is describing, not even the best trained eye on a reference monitor would likely see the difference between the HDV and an uncompressed capture of a 20 year old VHS tape. – McFlySoHigh Jan 10 '17 at 5:47
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I may have found the answer ... I tried a different tape, and all seemed to work well. Stupid me did not check if the error is already on the tape :D

Thanks!

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