I'm trying to find the way to get the best results/video and audio quality converting VHS tapes to DVD.
This has been a bit of an experiment for me so far, and since I haven't obtained crystal clear quality, I would like to share this to see if others have any suggestions, or maybe just to acknowledge that what results I've got are as good as I'll get for the equipment I am using.
I know this isn't specific to Pinnacle Studio, but since I am using it for video capturing and editing, and since others on this forum are pretty helpful, I thought I'd post this summary and see if anyone has any ideas.
Let's start with the specs of the components I am using:
IBM Intellistation E Pro 2.2GHz Pentium IV w/1GB RAM
running Win2K Pro SP4
C: (system disk) 100GB Seagate Barracuda ATA Internal IDE
D: (capture disk) Maxtor 160GB DiamondMax Plus 9 Internal IDE
Video Board: ATI AIW X800XT AGP
Camcorder: Canon Optura 600
Samsung DVD-4600A DVD/VHS Dual Deck
Sony VCR SLV-N88
1. Ok, so I started with the easiest configuration to play the video tape on the Samsung DVD/VHS Dual Deck hooked up in the following manner:
Samsung DVD/VHS Dual Deck via coax -> AIW X800XT I/O Connector: Cable TV Input Connection
When I play the video tape, after the tracking is complete, there is all sorts of interference and the video often gets scrambled, so this doesn't work for me. This doesn't happen with all video tapes, but the tape I am trying to convert is an older one, although newer ones have other video problems which are not as serious, but serious enough not to use it for this conversion. This is an ongoing issue I've had using this configuration. I'm not sure if it is an issue with the video board or with the DVD/VHS Dual Deck.
2. Next I tried the following configuration:
Samsung DVD/VHS Dual Deck via RCA/S-Video Cables -> ATI Input Connector -> AIW X800XT I/O Connector: Adapter Input Connection
To my surprise, this also had similar problems as the first configuration above.
3. Next I tried the following configuration:
Samsung DVD/VHS Dual Deck via Canon MTC-100 Multi Cable -> Canon Optura 600 -> PC via DV to Fireware Cable (no DV tape involved)
This had markedly better results, without the interference and scramble of the other configurations, although there is a noticeable shimmer in the video and the audio has a constant crackling sound in the background. Also, I let this run for 2 hours and there were approximately 300 frames lost in the process. This was also not acceptable.
4. The video shimmer is probably something I can live with but the audio crackling and frame loss are not acceptable so I tried the following with my other VCR:
step 1. Sony VCR SLV-N88 via Canon MTC-100 Multi Cable -> Canon Optura 600 transer to Panasonic DVC Professional Grade 80 min. DV Tape AY-DVM80KJ
step 2. Canon Optura 600 -> PC via DV to Fireware Cable
This configuration worked the best and is good enough for editing and burn to DVD. It solved the audio problem but the video still has the noticeable shimmer. I'm thinking this is probably as good as it gets with an old VHS tape (i.e. the shimmer is due to the VHS tape, not the VCRs) but I'd like to hear any opinions or suggestions on what I can do to improve the video if that's possible in this case. I haven't tried it for an extended amount of time (i.e. full 80 minute DV tape), but I suspect I shouldn't have the frame loss in this configuration.
Sorry for the long post, but as you know in this forum, the devil's in the details!
Thanks for any ideas/suggestions.