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I have recently digitized a VHS tape using VirtualDub. Here is the MediaInfo of the original file.

General
Complete name                            : capture.avi
Format                                   : AVI
Format/Info                              : Audio Video Interleave
Format profile                           : OpenDML
File size                                : 28.0 GiB
Duration                                 : 26 min 19 s
Overall bit rate                         : 153 Mb/s

Video
ID                                       : 0
Format                                   : YUV
Codec ID                                 : YUY2
Codec ID/Info                            : YUV 4:2:2 as for UYVY but with different component ordering within the u_int32 macropixel
Duration                                 : 26 min 19 s
Bit rate                                 : 151 Mb/s
Width                                    : 656 pixels
Height                                   : 480 pixels
Display aspect ratio                     : 4:3
Frame rate                               : 29.970 (30000/1001) FPS
Color space                              : YUV
Chroma subsampling                       : 4:2:2
Compression mode                         : Lossless
Bits/(Pixel*Frame)                       : 16.000
Stream size                              : 27.8 GiB (99%)

Audio
ID                                       : 1
Format                                   : PCM
Format settings                          : Little / Signed
Codec ID                                 : 1
Duration                                 : 26 min 19 s
Bit rate mode                            : Constant
Bit rate                                 : 1 536 kb/s
Channel(s)                               : 2 channels
Sampling rate                            : 48.0 kHz
Bit depth                                : 16 bits
Stream size                              : 289 MiB (1%)
Alignment                                : Aligned on interleaves
Interleave, duration                     : 33  ms (1.00 video frame)
Interleave, preload duration             : 233  ms

Since I can't import this AVI file into Final Cut Pro for editing, I did some processing in ffmpeg to help make it more... compatible? Here was my command:

ffmpeg -i "capture.avi" -c:v copy -c:a alac "capture.mov"

... and here was the output:

Input #0, avi, from 'capture.avi':
  Duration: 00:26:19.21, start: 0.000000, bitrate: 152535 kb/s
    Stream #0:0: Video: rawvideo (YUY2 / 0x32595559), yuyv422, 656x480, 150994 kb/s, 29.97 fps, 29.97 tbr, 29.97 tbn, 29.97 tbc
    Stream #0:1: Audio: pcm_s16le ([1][0][0][0] / 0x0001), 48000 Hz, stereo, s16, 1536 kb/s
Stream mapping:
  Stream #0:0 -> #0:0 (copy)
  Stream #0:1 -> #0:1 (pcm_s16le (native) -> alac (native))
Press [q] to stop, [?] for help
Output #0, mov, to 'video.mov':
  Metadata:
    encoder         : Lavf58.45.100
    Stream #0:0: Video: rawvideo (raw  / 0x20776172), yuyv422, 656x480, q=2-31, 150994 kb/s, 29.97 fps, 29.97 tbr, 30k tbn, 29.97 tbc
    Stream #0:1: Audio: alac (alac / 0x63616C61), 48000 Hz, stereo, s16p, 128 kb/s
    Metadata:
      encoder         : Lavc58.91.100 alac
frame=47329 fps=196 q=-1.0 Lsize=29252562kB time=00:26:19.43 bitrate=151723.3kbits/s speed=6.54x    
video:29107335kB audio:144639kB subtitle:0kB other streams:0kB global headers:0kB muxing overhead: 0.002010%

... and here's the resulting MediaInfo of capture.mov

General
Complete name                            : capture.mov
Format                                   : MPEG-4
Format profile                           : QuickTime
Codec ID                                 : qt   0000.02 (qt  )
File size                                : 27.9 GiB
Duration                                 : 26 min 19 s
Overall bit rate mode                    : Variable
Overall bit rate                         : 152 Mb/s
Writing application                      : Lavf58.45.100

Video
ID                                       : 1
Format                                   : YUV
Codec ID                                 : yuvs
Duration                                 : 26 min 19 s
Bit rate mode                            : Constant
Bit rate                                 : 151 Mb/s
Width                                    : 656 pixels
Clean aperture width                     : 656 pixels
Height                                   : 480 pixels
Clean aperture height                    : 480 pixels
Display aspect ratio                     : 4:3
Frame rate mode                          : Constant
Frame rate                               : 29.970 (30000/1001) FPS
Color space                              : YUV
Chroma subsampling                       : 4:2:2
Compression mode                         : Lossless
Bits/(Pixel*Frame)                       : 16.000
Stream size                              : 27.8 GiB (100%)

Audio
ID                                       : 2
Format                                   : ALAC
Codec ID                                 : alac
Codec ID/Info                            : Apple Lossless Audio Codec
Duration                                 : 26 min 19 s
Duration_LastFrame                       : -35 ms
Bit rate mode                            : Variable
Bit rate                                 : 750 kb/s
Channel(s)                               : 2 channels
Channel layout                           : L R
Sampling rate                            : 48.0 kHz
Stream size                              : 141 MiB (0%)
Default                                  : Yes
Alternate group                          : 1

There didn't appear to be any errors, and I am able to view the new video file in Quicktime, without any issue.

When I open FCP v10.5, I am unable to import capture.mov. I can't even select it from the list of files to import -- it is disabled, just like the AVI file.

My question: what can I do, or change, about the way that I capture the video and audio in VirtualDub -- or -- about the way that I transcode the captured AVI file, to allow it to be imported into FCP? I do not want to encode the raw video into ProRes if possible.

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I would say you have 2 options.

  1. when you digitise your tape make sure you use a FCP supported codecs.

  2. use Compressor to transcode the files

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  • Compressor can't open any of the files, even the one I transcoded into the mov container. – TheVistaGroup Jan 19 at 1:45
  • @TheVistaGroup Just out of curiosity, did you try for example Resolve? – German Dude Jan 19 at 8:56
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For VHS using uncompressed is overkill. In ffmpeg you could convert it to Prores HQ which is a very good codec which still provides far higher data rates than you need and which will play nicely with FCP (because Apple).

ffmpeg -i "capture.avi" -c:v prores -profile:v 3 -c:a pcm_s16le "output.mov"

I don't know enough about virtual dub to say if you can capture to prores without the intermediate step, I'm guessing this is probably possible.

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