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Thread: VHS&HI8 when/how to improve quality/enhance -i.e. reduce noise, brighten?

  1. #1

    Default VHS&HI8 when/how to improve quality/enhance -i.e. reduce noise, brighten?

    I have 22 year-old VHS to capture (and less old HI. Where in the workflow (and with what tools) do you best get to improve/enhance the noise or lighten the video and maybe even out the sound? Is it with the capture conversion software/hardware, or with video editing software that you can actually improve the video. I've been looking at Vegas and Pinnacle -- but can't find out what, if any 'enhancement' features are available. Please help!!! (Really would like to avoid the "Pro" prices -- stuff in the the $400 up range unless it's ABSOLUTELY necessary to get these enhancement capabilities)
    Thanks so much for your help!!!

    P.S. Also, is there a site that explains the different file compression types and when they are used? (I have a technical knowledge of photo file types, etc. Also, when you capture the video is it in 'uncompressed' format (similar to RAW in a photograph???? Or is it also 'compressed' to some point.) What file type is shown as 'video clip' when looking at folder contents in My Computer (is this an AVI, MPEG of some sort? Or does it depends on what software/hardware you captured it with)? Again, thanks for any help -- or pointing me to some good current reference material.


    Just realized I was in the hardware forum -- should I repost this in the software forum? How would I move it?

    Thanks (my first post and I have very limited experience with forums)
    Well, I'm copying it into the software forum as no responses in hardware.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Bristol uk
    Blog Entries


    Any basic editor will allow you to tweak levels and things but rarely can a huge improvement be got.

    Vegas lite versions or prem elements reccomended by me.

    A good capture is key to a good result.

  3. #3


    If you use Adobe Premier (Pro or Elements) there is a plugin called Video Denoise

    Video DeNoise for Adobe Premiere

    there is also a standalone app (but mac only) called VideoPurifier but it is quite expensive. - It is all about visions

    There used to be some freeware filters (I think they were called Flaxen VHS or something) which I had when I used the ever to be cursed Pinnacle Studio software, but since I long ago wiped the Pinnacle installation from my Windows box the filters went with it! I just googled flaxen and it looks like they are now available for virtual dub but the guy's site is down and appears to have been for a while.

  4. #4


    Thank you both for your info. I have been using the trial version of Pinnacle Studio 12 Plus -- I was about to purchase a copy -- but your comments give me pause. I've seen the very strong opinions held on the different software titles. I am on an XP with NO 'upgrade' to Vista soon. Would you say most of Pinnacle's shortfalls are to do with Vista and HD (this seems to be a lot of the negative opinions I've seen)? I'm going to be working on the last 22 years of analog video and scanning film for quite awhile At least until the grandkids come along -- then it will have to be HD or whatever

    I'm very torn after hearing about Vegas, Pinnacle, Premier. Does anyone have any favorite reviews/comparisons on the CURRENT versions of these programs for a prosumer who is technically oriented and doesn't mind a learning curve if allows powerful tools???? As I said -- I will be doing Analog capture only and would be interested in the quality of the capture enhancement in the programs - or addons like you mentioned! Any leads/opinions will be appreciated! Any special forums/groups for those of us working on old analog?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Western Europe


    Forget about Pinnacle and go for either Sony Vegas or Adobe Premiere Pro CS3 (slightly cheaper) or the up to date version CS4. You can download a 30 day trial of each from either the Sony or Adobe websites and see which one you like best. VHS is very difficult to improve, it is so low quality there is not much you can do to it to make it look better. HI 8 even with the extra lines is still an old analogue format but should have less colour bleed on it.

  6. #6


    If you have a finite budget, you'll find Pinnacle 12 is perfectly adequate for this type of work and has a range of tools for improving the appearance of the footage and cleaning up the audio. It's also easy to learn and use.

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