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VHS capture to Mpeg 1, 2 or 4?


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Old 25-01-2013, 13:29
justjax
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I've bought some software and a dongle type gadget to capture VHS to PC and it captures to Mpeg 1, 2 or 4? Any suggestions as to what I should opt for? I know Mp4 is newer but is it lower quality due to higher compression. Also is there any other thing i should consider in deciding whether to use mp2 or mp4?
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Old 25-01-2013, 13:34
anniebrion
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Just because something has a higher compression this does not always mean it is a lower quality!

MP4 will be fine for VHS quality.
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Old 25-01-2013, 14:41
Stig
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If you are going to burn to DVD video then you might choose MPEG2, otherwise go for 4.
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Old 25-01-2013, 14:57
justjax
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If you are going to burn to DVD video then you might choose MPEG2, otherwise go for 4.
Thats the sort of thing I was wondering about. Is that because its easier to convert MPEG2 to DVD format? For most of the VHS tapes I'm content with just keeping them as files on my PC, but I do want to back up a few to proper DVDs, as some are home videos and my family want copies.
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Old 25-01-2013, 14:59
anniebrion
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DVDs are MPEG2 format and just need minor conversion to VOB during the DVD creation stage.

You only need to create DVDs if you are going to play them in a standalone DVD player, if you just want to backup the files to DVD then use MPEG4 and save to DATA DVD format rather than VIDEO DVD format.
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Old 25-01-2013, 15:39
flagpole
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I've bought some software and a dongle type gadget to capture VHS to PC and it captures to Mpeg 1, 2 or 4? Any suggestions as to what I should opt for? I know Mp4 is newer but is it lower quality due to higher compression. Also is there any other thing i should consider in deciding whether to use mp2 or mp4?
mpeg 4 is a more efficient codec. you have it arse about face.

for the same amount of data of file size it will have the best quality.

you do need to check that you are able to encode in real time.

the on the fly encoding used in video capture will not be as efficient as a variable bit rate technique. so if it were me i would capture to a very high bitrate mp4. then transcode it with some 3D noise filtering to whatever i want it.

mpeg 1 is 20 years old and should play no part in your life.
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Old 25-01-2013, 15:49
justjax
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mpeg 4 is a more efficient codec. you have it arse about face.

for the same amount of data of file size it will have the best quality.

you do need to check that you are able to encode in real time.

the on the fly encoding used in video capture will not be as efficient as a variable bit rate technique. so if it were me i would capture to a very high bitrate mp4. then transcode it with some 3D noise filtering to whatever i want it.

mpeg 1 is 20 years old and should play no part in your life.
Yes it encodes in real time, haven't tried it yet (it arrived today so waiting to go home to install it), but in the manual it says it encodes real time, so a 180 min tape will take 180 mins to encode. It comes with PowerDirector8 for editing. I'm hoping its easy to use as I've never been very good with video editing software for some reason.
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Old 25-01-2013, 16:02
c4rv
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Yes it encodes in real time, haven't tried it yet (it arrived today so waiting to go home to install it), but in the manual it says it encodes real time, so a 180 min tape will take 180 mins to encode. It comes with PowerDirector8 for editing. I'm hoping its easy to use as I've never been very good with video editing software for some reason.
I think flagpole meant that your PC can keep up real time encoding. The cheap conversion units rely on your PC/laptop CPU.

mpeg2 being a lower compression format has less CPU overhead then mpeg4. It might make a difference. Also be aware of sound sync issues if you are capturing long clips.
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Old 25-01-2013, 16:25
justjax
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I think flagpole meant that your PC can keep up real time encoding. The cheap conversion units rely on your PC/laptop CPU.

mpeg2 being a lower compression format has less CPU overhead then mpeg4. It might make a difference. Also be aware of sound sync issues if you are capturing long clips.
Right, sorry I read it wrong. Well the PC is only about a year old, but it was Fusion AMD based motherboard if I remember correctly more aimed at being a Media Center PC. So your saying encoding to MPEG2 will put less pressure on the CPU? As for sound sync issues, that was my main worry in general as I've had issues in the past just converting AVI files to DVD format. I was going to just let the tapes run for the full period (3hrs) as I don't know whats on half of them, but if thats going to be an issue then I guess I could do an hour or so at a time.
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Old 25-01-2013, 22:38
justjax
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Okay got it working but when I try to record to AVI (easycap software) or DVD quality via PowerDirector 8 (only options are AVI and MPEG2 in DVD quality) it starts to stutter the sound and the sound goes out of sync in the recordings. Got it to record okay using the easy capture software but only capturing in WMV format, but iat the price of quality. As soon as you click record (when set to wmv) the picture quality changes like there is a mesh on the screen? I think it's called deinterlacing?
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Old 25-01-2013, 22:50
flagpole
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Vhs only has a vertical resolution of 240 lines so you don't need to record in a resolution higher than that, convert it up to DVD res when you convert to DVD.

There's loads if capture software around. Maybe even something multi threaded.
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Old 26-01-2013, 00:06
Loobster
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I've bought some software and a dongle type gadget to capture VHS to PC and it captures to Mpeg 1, 2 or 4? Any suggestions as to what I should opt for? I know Mp4 is newer but is it lower quality due to higher compression. Also is there any other thing i should consider in deciding whether to use mp2 or mp4?
The answer is obvious.

It depends on what you are going to use to play back the resulting video.

If you are going to use devices that can't play mpeg4, then you will need to use mpeg2.

Also, mpeg 4 and mp4 are not the same (since your original post seems to indicate that may be what you thought).
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Old 26-01-2013, 13:11
justjax
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Think I've partly sorted the issue. Switched to using my laptop as its more powerful and now it seems to be capturing in MPEG2 without issue and better quality than WMV in the easy capture software. Just testing it now so will see what it looks like on my TV (via Media Center PC) when its done.
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Old 26-01-2013, 15:52
c4rv
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The answer is obvious.

It depends on what you are going to use to play back the resulting video.

If you are going to use devices that can't play mpeg4, then you will need to use mpeg2.

Also, mpeg 4 and mp4 are not the same (since your original post seems to indicate that may be what you thought).
its quite possible to convert after capture if you need to.
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Old 26-01-2013, 23:26
Loobster
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its quite possible to convert after capture if you need to.
... losing more quality ..... one round of encoding is always better than two.
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Old 27-01-2013, 08:27
c4rv
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... losing more quality ..... one round of encoding is always better than two.
Its VHS, it really is not going to make much difference.
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Old 27-01-2013, 09:26
flagpole
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... losing more quality ..... one round of encoding is always better than two.
Its VHS, it really is not going to make much difference.
funnily enough vhs is very difficult to encode. all that static, noise and jumping about, as far as the codec is concerned is part of the picture and needs to be replicated and uses a lot of bandwidth.

obviously the best thing to do is encode directly to whatever format you want whilst applying 3D noise filters etc. on the fly during capture. but this is rarely practical.

like i say for my money i'd capture at the highest bitrate i could manage and then transcode.
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Old 27-01-2013, 11:41
James2001
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Personally, I always capture in DV format (high bitrate, no inter-frame coding, uncompressed sound), then compress down to MPEG-2 using 2-pass VBR later. You get much better quality than you would if you captured directly to MPEG-2.
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Old 27-01-2013, 13:09
Orbitalzone
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I'd agree - For VHS I always capture at DV format which seems to get the best master of VHS tapes, from there you can transcode to whatever format you want. It's probably the best suited for VHS or SVHS and is not very demanding to edit on an older lower spec PC, it does take up a reasonable chunk of space but no issues with your hardware not being up to scratch providing it's a PC from the last 10 years.
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