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Analog Capture Card advice - thinking of purchasing Diamond VC500
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justin81 [Avatar]
Newbie Private Message Joined: Jan 15, 2020 19:19 Messages: 1 Offline
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Hello,

I'm considering purchasing the Diamond VC 500 capture device to assist in converting some VHS tapes to DVDR. I understand it is bundled with a verison of PowerDirector - though I cannot find any information about which specific version. Before I do this, I am curious about some of PowerDirector's features. Unfortunately, I cannot find answers to these questions through the usual sources, so figured I would ask here.

Some background - I'm trying to capture analog VHS tapes direct to MPEG2 at 720x480 for DVD burning. I was an ATI All in Wonder user for MANY years, but my last computer with an AGP slot finally bit the dust, so I am looking at my current options. VCR wise I have a JVC SVHS machine and a Panasonic SVHS machine. I also have a DataVideo time base corrector. I use the S Video outputs and inputs.

1. Is there a counter or indicator that indicates if frames are dropped during the recording? I was annoyed to find that Catalyst Media Center does not report this information. So, does Power Director?

2. Is it possible to crop the overscan area during capture?

3. Also, can I adjust the bitrate accordingly? Some software has a "good" "better" "best" quality setting, but no other control. That won't cut it for me.

Lastly, I'm on the fence between the VC500 with PowerDirector and the Happague USB Live 2.0 which uses (I believe) Happague Capture. Any opinions or advice about which may be the better option here?

Thanks in advance,
Justin
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tomasc [Avatar]
Senior Contributor Private Message Joined: Aug 25, 2011 12:33 Messages: 4744 Offline
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I believe that the ati all in wonder agp can capture only in i frames back then so I purchased a pinnacle analog pci capture card to capture in avi and recode to mpeg-2 with an editor. All the capture software I used back then reported no frame drop as a PIII 500 Mhz cpu is fast enough.

Beleive that is PD12 Deluxe included with the purchase as reviewed here: https://www.toptenreviews.com/vhs-to-dvd-converters-diamond-video-capture-review . They are all made in China. Each company place their own software bundle. You may have your own software.
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BarryTheCrab
Senior Contributor Private Message Location: USA Joined: Nov 06, 2008 22:18 Messages: 5964 Offline
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We have very similar setups for analog capture.
I use the VC-500 and the Hauppage Hybrid 850.
The VC-500 can sometimes capture a bit dark, but that can be tweaked in the proc amp.
Unfortunately the VC-500, though a good card, has only 2 sliders working the proc amp in Windows 10, the brightness and contrast.
The Hauppage 850 I have has all proc amp controls working in W10. The 850 might only be available used.

I cannot remember if PD reports dropped frames, I believe it does, and you can create your own capture profile in the PD interface.
If capturing a crappy tape to MPG I always raise the bitrate to 12K to capture every last possible molecule of video. If the videotape is of good quality and no renders are needed, then straight to MPG is acceptable (not to purists).

My preferred workflow is to use Vitual Dub 1.911 for capture to a lossless AVI codec, preferably HuffYUV. Others are Lagareth, UTvideo, and MagicYUV.

The lossless codec allows me to render fixes, and render again, and deinterlace, and render again all without any perceptible loss of quality. There is a learning curve, but the final result can actually be better than the tape.

VirtualDub will interface with USB dongles such as the Diamond and Hauppage.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at Jan 16. 2020 05:51

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BarryTheCrab
Senior Contributor Private Message Location: USA Joined: Nov 06, 2008 22:18 Messages: 5964 Offline
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Proper analog capture for restoration requires VirtualDub, and processing can be done in VirtualDub, Avidemux, and Hybrid, all free.
Powerdirector only comes in to play for editing and final delivery format. My website http://bgillcyberstudio.com/index.html LINKS TO PDTOOTS & hundreds of other valuable resources!
HP Envy Phoenix/4thGen i7-4770(4@3.4GHz~turbo>3.9)/Nvidia GTX 960(4GB)/16GB DDR3/7,200rpm/w10x64---
Canon Vixia HV30/HF-M40/HF-M41/HF-G20/Olympus EPL-5
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