Converting VHS to digital

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overkill22
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Re: Converting VHS to digital

Post by overkill22 »

phd21 wrote:
Fri Oct 19, 2018 11:42 am
Hi overkill22, JerryF, and Everyone Else,

Although converting or capturing VHS videos may not be as high quality as converting DVD/Blu-ray, it is still very much worth doing to preserve the videos into digital format because the "tape" inside the VHS cassettes will not last.

I tried most of the options for using a video capture device, and "guvcview" is still the easiest to install and use and it works great. Some of the other options for capturing (recording) from Video For Linux (V4L) devices do not work anymore because they have not been updated for newer versions of Linux.

I use Kdenlive for most of my video editing needs, but I also have most of the other video editors installed for testing and reviewing for other Linux Mint users and myself.

To "JerryF": How did you get the "OpenShot" video editor to view and record from a Video For Linux source (V4L) like a webcam or video capture device? I do not see that option? Although I love the Kdenlive video editor and it too can capture from Video For Linux devices, it has never worked well for me and my webcam and crashes Kdenlive although everything else works great.

The "Cinelerra-GG" video editor worked well for Recording from V4L devices with various recording options. The "Lives" video editor also worked.


The great multimedia player VLC can also do this and it works too with various options.

WebCam Recording with VLC PLAYER !!! :) | dwaves.de
https://dwaves.org/2016/06/18/linux-deb ... lc-player/

How to record video using VLC and DVI2USB 3.0
https://www.epiphan.com/solutions/recor ... i2usb-3-0/


FYI: Kdenlive can increase (upscale and improve) the lower resolution of VHS quality videos or other videos fairly well (and can apply some effects like sharpen, etc...), by selecting a default profile of let's say 720 at 25-30 fps, and importing (adding) the converted (recorded) video clip from the VHS tapes without changing the Kdenlive project's video profile if asked, and answering yes if asked to change the video clip to match project's profile, then when you output (create, render) the video, it will be at a higher resolution. You can also "transcode" the videos in the project clip manager (right-click), but not really necessary as this can be done when rendering. Obviously, you may have to experiment with the output options to see what works best for your converted videos (advanced options for interlaced vs progressive, slider quality settings, various video file formats, etc...). But, once you found the "best" options, you can use that for "upscaling" and or converting all the other videos. I just tested this upscaling again on a small video length of 3min. 40secs (.webm, 640x360, 23fps, 16:9 widescreen, 6.35 mb) and it worked very well actually improving the video quality, but the file size also increased a lot resulting in a 4x times larger video (.mp4, 1280x720, 29fps, 16:9 widescreen, 26.5mb) - well worth it. To the same video format but higher resolution (.webm, 1280x720, 29fps, 16:9 widescreen, 15.3mb)


Hope this helps ...
.
kdenlive1.jpg
The upscale thing is quite interesting, do you have a couple of screenshot or short video before/after?
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Re: Converting VHS to digital

Post by Hoser Rob »

Upscaling does NOT in itself improve quality one bit. You cannot put in information that isn;t there. Quite pointless.

I think you need to go here for some real experts:

https://www.videohelp.com/
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Re: Converting VHS to digital

Post by JerryF »

Hoser Rob wrote:
Sat Oct 20, 2018 7:57 am
Upscaling does NOT in itself improve quality one bit. You cannot put in information that isn;t there. Quite pointless.

I think you need to go here for some real experts:

https://www.videohelp.com/
Agreed!
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Re: Converting VHS to digital

Post by phd21 »

Hi overkill22, & Everyone Else,
overkill22 wrote:The upscale thing is quite interesting, do you have a couple of screenshot or short video before/after?
If you have a video that you do not mind sharing with us, provide a download link to me and I will create a quick video tutorial on using Kdenlive to "upscale" (increase, enlarge, transcode, etc...) a video from its current lower resolution to a higher resolution. The "rendering" output settings I already provided should work well. Then, you can tell me and the rest of us whether you think the video looks as good or better (improved) than the original.

In my previous reply, I was just suggesting that people who have lower resolution videos (480p or less) that they might consider trying to upscale (enlarge, increase resolution) which will also transcode (convert) them into higher resolution using Kdenlive video editor before archiving them or putting them onto discs.

I know that just "upscaling" videos and images do not normally "improve" the quality and normally can actually reduce the quality. I cannot explain, because I do not know, why the excellent Kdenlive video editor is able to "upscale" (increase, enlarge) and "transcode" video and images as well as it does, but it does and better than any other video editors that I have tried. Anyone can try it for themselves to see what I mean. If the original video and or images are very low quality and "grainy", then it will probably still be that way when upscaled and transcoded although there are effects that can help with some of that. I did not use any of Kdenlive's "effects" when doing this, I simply selected the project resolution (720 at 29fps), added the video clip, put the clip onto a video timeline, clicked "Render" button and adjusted the rendering options like my screenshot, then clicked render to file button. FYI: Enlarging (upscaling) images is not supposed to work well either, but Gimp v2.9 or v2.10 with the "Resynthesizer" plugins does very well at enlarging (up-scaling) images.

Kdenlive FYI: I always install Kdenlive from the "Synaptic Package Manager (SPM)" with all of its recommended and suggested packages which provides various video and audio support packages (codecs), then I add their PPA for the most current version. They also have an AppImage which I sometimes use which should work an all editions of Linux Mint. Because Kdenlive is a KDE application, for Cinnamon, Mate or Xfce users, I also recommend installing the "kde-runtime" from the Software Manager or Synaptic Package Manager (SPM) which is perfectly safe to do in all editions and versions of Linux Mint . I also install "ffmpeg" version 3.x which is in Linux Mint 19.x "Synaptic Package Manager (SPM)", but requires a different installation method like a PPA for Linux Mint 18.x, then also install "x264", "x265", h264enc, as well. (restart your computer after installing these before using Kdenlive)

Kdenlive release : “Kdenlive” team PPA
https://launchpad.net/~kdenlive/+archiv ... ive-stable

Current Kdenlive AppImage file
- save it, move it to where you want it (perhaps your home folder or an "apps" folder underneath your home folder), give yourself permission to run it, then double-click the AppImage file to run it. You can create desktop and or menu shortcuts to this file. There is also an "AppImageLauncher" helper application available for people to use if they want it.
https://files.kde.org/kdenlive/release/ ... 4.AppImage


AppImageLauncher helper application.
- click the link below then click the appropriate regular deb file for Linux Mint 18.x and the Bionic deb file for Linux Mint 19.x, double-click the deb file to install it.
https://github.com/TheAssassin/AppImage ... r/releases



How To Install FFmpeg on Ubuntu 18.04 (Linux Mint 19.x) & 16.04 (Linux Mint 18.x) LTS
https://tecadmin.net/install-ffmpeg-on-linux/
To install this using the PPA method, open a console terminal, type in, or copy & paste, each line below one by one: Click "Select All" above command, right click the highlighted command, select Copy (or Ctrl+Insert), click in the console terminal window, and right click paste ("Shift+Insert" or "Ctrl+Shift+v"), repeat for each command.

Linux Mint 19.x Ubuntu 18.04 Bionic - ffmpeg v3.x is already oin the "Synaptic Package Manager (SPM)"
but users can also install the PPA below.

Code: Select all

sudo apt-get install ffmpeg x264 x265 h264enc
Linux Mint 18.x Ubuntu 16.04 Xenial

Code: Select all

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:jonathonf/ffmpeg-3

Code: Select all

sudo apt-get update

Code: Select all

sudo apt-get install ffmpeg libav-tools x264 x265

The Digitization of VHS Video Tapes – Technical Bulletin 31 - Canada.ca
https://www.canada.ca/en/conservation-i ... tapes.html


Hope this helps ...
Phd21: Mint 20 and 19.2 Cinnamon & xKDE (Mint Xfce + Kubuntu KDE) & KDE Neon 64-bit (new based on Ubuntu 20.04) Awesome OS's, Dell Inspiron I5 7000 (7573) 2 in 1 touch screen, Dell OptiPlex 780 Core2Duo E8400 3GHz,4gb Ram, Intel 4 Graphics.
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Re: Converting VHS to digital

Post by phd21 »

Hi overkill22, & Everyone Else,

Okay, I just created a video tutorial on Converting VHS to digital video files using "guvcview" and using Kdenlive video editor to convert (transcode) the video into a higher resolution and or different video format.

Click the link below to view the video which you can make fullscreen or "theater mode" or perhaps even download it.

You can fast forwards to around 21min for Kdenlive installation and usage or to the end to see the before and after video comparison of the original videos and the transcoded videos (upscaled, enlarged, & converted to another video format).
https://youtu.be/WvfLdorJzYo


Hope this helps ...
Phd21: Mint 20 and 19.2 Cinnamon & xKDE (Mint Xfce + Kubuntu KDE) & KDE Neon 64-bit (new based on Ubuntu 20.04) Awesome OS's, Dell Inspiron I5 7000 (7573) 2 in 1 touch screen, Dell OptiPlex 780 Core2Duo E8400 3GHz,4gb Ram, Intel 4 Graphics.
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overkill22
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Re: Converting VHS to digital

Post by overkill22 »

phd21 wrote:
Sat Oct 20, 2018 11:41 am

If you have a video that you do not mind sharing with us, provide a download link to me and I will create a quick video tutorial on using Kdenlive to "upscale" (increase, enlarge, transcode, etc...) a video from its current lower resolution to a higher resolution
For this you'll have to wait arount Xmas time. I won't be back home earlier. :/
phd21 wrote:
Sat Oct 20, 2018 7:45 pm
Hi overkill22, & Everyone Else,

Okay, I just created a video tutorial on Converting VHS to digital video files using "guvcview" and using Kdenlive video editor to convert (transcode) the video into a higher resolution and or different video format.

Click the link below to view the video which you can make fullscreen or "theater mode" or perhaps even download it.

You can fast forwards to around 21min for Kdenlive installation and usage or to the end to see the before and after video comparison of the original videos and the transcoded videos (upscaled, enlarged, & converted to another video format).
https://youtu.be/WvfLdorJzYo


Hope this helps ...
Interesting and thank you for the effort. Do you mind to do a short video with both videos playing in fullscreen and do a before/after/before/after switch? I tried with the youtube video to see if I notice any difference but I couldn't.
And did you try to watch the two videos on a tv screen? Let's say something bigger than 32"?

Thanks again!
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Re: Converting VHS to digital

Post by phd21 »

Hi overkill22,

You are welcome...

As I said before, if you have that video capture device, you can try this process yourself. Or, if you have any digital video files at lower resolutions, or you could download a video at a lower resolution, then try "Kdenlive" yourself. If you cannot see any difference between the videos then that is great because that means there was no degradation, no visible decrease in quality, by increasing the resolution (enlarging or upscaling) even if you did not see any improvement in quality.

Unfortunately, I do not have a smart TV and the LED TV I have is only 32" with a max 720 resolution :( .
Phd21: Mint 20 and 19.2 Cinnamon & xKDE (Mint Xfce + Kubuntu KDE) & KDE Neon 64-bit (new based on Ubuntu 20.04) Awesome OS's, Dell Inspiron I5 7000 (7573) 2 in 1 touch screen, Dell OptiPlex 780 Core2Duo E8400 3GHz,4gb Ram, Intel 4 Graphics.
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Re: Converting VHS to digital

Post by BG405 »

I'd also like to add my 2p worth to this.

When doing captures from a source such as VHS which has quite poor timing stability, it is of great benefit to use a capture method which incorporates a "genlock" (= digital frame store); this stabilizes the video and provides typically much better results than a straight capture. It'll also compress much better to DVD formats etc.. DVD-VHS combination recorders have these built in; I have one and it produces a rock steady picture from any decent enough source .. well, it did, until the stock regulator fault showed up .. :|

This thread has reminded me that I have a BT848 based PCI capture card. Once I fix the caps on the Athlon board I'll have to give it a try. The hardware (particularly storage) I had when I bought the card was not up to the job; have much faster HDDs now so hopefully won't need a RAID array just to use it above 320x240@15FPS.
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Re: Converting VHS to digital

Post by overkill22 »

BG405 wrote:
Mon Oct 22, 2018 10:11 am
I'd also like to add my 2p worth to this.

When doing captures from a source such as VHS which has quite poor timing stability, it is of great benefit to use a capture method which incorporates a "genlock" (= digital frame store); this stabilizes the video and provides typically much better results than a straight capture. It'll also compress much better to DVD formats etc.. DVD-VHS combination recorders have these built in; I have one and it produces a rock steady picture from any decent enough source .. well, it did, until the stock regulator fault showed up .. :|

This thread has reminded me that I have a BT848 based PCI capture card. Once I fix the caps on the Athlon board I'll have to give it a try. The hardware (particularly storage) I had when I bought the card was not up to the job; have much faster HDDs now so hopefully won't need a RAID array just to use it above 320x240@15FPS.
This sound like something really professional. My plan is just to preserve the VHS on DVD/HDD, since I'll do this only once in a lifetime, I'd like to spend only a limited amount of money, ideally below $100.
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Re: Converting VHS to digital

Post by overkill22 »

An update to this topic.

I bought a cheap converter card like this https://amzn.to/2ZvtcD6 and the result truly sucks. I've cleaned the VHS head but still the quality was really really low.
I'm still looking for an acceptable solution that won't cost me hundreds of dollars.
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Re: Converting VHS to digital

Post by phd21 »

Hi overkill22,

That is a bummer, perhaps you can send it back for a refund because Amazon.com is great with that?

I would highly recommend getting a device like the one below that does not even require a computer to convert VHS and other video sources with video and audio cables (camcorders, etc...) directly into digital files on a microSD card that should work for anyone using any computer operating system. Don't forget to get a microSD card (32gb+) if you do not already have one.

Amazon.com: DIGITNOW Video To Digital Converter,Vhs To Digital Converter To Capture Video From VCR's,VHS Tapes,Hi8,Camcorder,DVD,TV Box and Gaming Systems: Gateway
https://www.amazon.com/DIGITNOW-Digital ... 89&sr=8-13

Keeping in mind, that the results will only be as good as the original video and audio sources.

Hope this helps ...
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Re: Converting VHS to digital

Post by overkill22 »

phd21 wrote:
Tue Apr 23, 2019 2:26 pm
Hi overkill22,

That is a bummer, perhaps you can send it back for a refund because Amazon.com is great with that?

I would highly recommend getting a device like the one below that does not even require a computer to convert VHS and other video sources with video and audio cables (camcorders, etc...) directly into digital files on a microSD card that should work for anyone using any computer operating system. Don't forget to get a microSD card (32gb+) if you do not already have one.

Amazon.com: DIGITNOW Video To Digital Converter,Vhs To Digital Converter To Capture Video From VCR's,VHS Tapes,Hi8,Camcorder,DVD,TV Box and Gaming Systems: Gateway
https://www.amazon.com/DIGITNOW-Digital ... 89&sr=8-13

Keeping in mind, that the results will only be as good as the original video and audio sources.

Hope this helps ...
Yes, I think you pointed this out earlier, it was too expensive for my budget at that time. I will probably give it a try.
Do you have one? If yes, could you post a video sample?
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Re: Converting VHS to digital

Post by phd21 »

Hi overkill22,
overkill22 wrote:Yes, I think you pointed this out earlier, it was too expensive for my budget at that time. I will probably give it a try. Do you have one? If yes, could you post a video sample?
No, I do not have one of these stand-alone VHS to digital converters although I would love one. It has a 4 out of 5 star rating and the reviews are good. The resulting digital video files should work on any computer using any operating system or a device like a smartphone or a tablet, TV, Blu-Ray DVD player, etc... for that matter.

You might be able to improve an original lower quality or degraded older video using a good video editor like Kdenlive by using its video and audio filters (sharpness, denoise (despeckle), color correction (brightness, tone, contrast, etc...), etc...

kdenlive improve video quality - Google Search
https://www.google.com/search?source=hp ... 1OGvWmIPwc

kdenlive improve audio quality - Google Search
https://www.google.com/search?ei=jmK_XP ... GILmG_uE_w

Hope this helps ...
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Re: Converting VHS to digital

Post by SamuelP91 »

overkill22 wrote:
Tue Apr 23, 2019 2:47 pm
phd21 wrote:
Tue Apr 23, 2019 2:26 pm
Hi overkill22,

That is a bummer, perhaps you can send it back for a refund because Amazon.com is great with that?

I would highly recommend getting a device like the one below that does not even require a computer to convert VHS and other video sources with video and audio cables (camcorders, etc...) directly into digital files on a microSD card that should work for anyone using any computer operating system. Don't forget to get a microSD card (32gb+) if you do not already have one.

Amazon.com: DIGITNOW Video To Digital Converter,Vhs To Digital Converter To Capture Video From VCR's,VHS Tapes,Hi8,Camcorder,DVD,TV Box and Gaming Systems: Gateway
https://www.amazon.com/DIGITNOW-Digital ... 89&sr=8-13

Keeping in mind, that the results will only be as good as the original video and audio sources.

Hope this helps ...
Yes, I think you pointed this out earlier, it was too expensive for my budget at that time. I will probably give it a try.
Do you have one? If yes, could you post a video sample?
Hi overkill22,

how did it go? Did you find an appropriate solution to your problem?

I'm in a similar situation now.
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Re: Converting VHS to digital

Post by JerryF »

overkill22 wrote:
Wed Oct 17, 2018 11:12 pm
I have a bunch of VHS that would like to convert to digital. A quick search on amazon and I found that there are cheap devices that convert the RGB to digital:
https://www.amazon.com/REDGO-Video-Capt ... 49036b01ec

https://www.amazon.com/Roxio-Easy-Plus- ... aaa7773ec6

but they are Windows compatible, and some not even MAC compatible.
I was wondering if there's anything for linux mint, or what are the solutions for linux.
Any advice about how to do the job would be really appreciated. I'm sure here there are many that already did the conversion.
I have one very, very similar to the first one you linked. I've been able to use it directly in Mint. My suggestion is plug it into a USB 3 port, even though the adapter is USB 2.

I used OpenShot Video Editor to capture the video.
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Re: Converting VHS to digital

Post by phd21 »

Hi overkill22, and anyone else,

I decided to try this using one of the least expensive options.

I bought this device below for $11 us from eBay
EasyCap DC60 USB Video Capture Card Adapter with ChipSet UTV 007
https://www.ebay.com/itm/172863272062

I just tested this a moment ago from my VCR out using guvcview app. and it worked very well. I was surprised how well. This device was plug and play with my Linux although I did restart my computer after plugging it in.

I have an old stand alone DVD VHS recorder that I have been using to convert the VHS tapes to DVD which I then easily rip to digital video files using various Linux apps, but this easycap device works.

Hope this helps...
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Re: Converting VHS to digital

Post by JerryF »

phd21 wrote:
Sun Feb 02, 2020 5:59 pm
...
I bought this device below for $11 us from eBay
EasyCap DC60 USB Video Capture Card Adapter with ChipSet UTV 007
https://www.ebay.com/itm/172863272062
...
That is the one I have!
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