help please...

4 replies [Last post]
Joined: Nov 2 2001

I have posted the two posts below at other boards and wanted to see what responses I get here...for advice and recommendations...and want to thank PD for his heads up on the tiger dual mp board..i am rma'ing mine and the processors and getting the soyo below...

I have been all around reading about capture for 3 wks now, and now am lost more than ever..wanted the dv500+, then the rt2500, then the dvnow.av, then the dazzle II, then the dv storm and so on..all have good points and all a bad point or two.

But can you guys recommend something that will give good quality video, proper synching and so forth? All I want is to transfer vhs videos to the computer to burn on dvd. I will purchase a minidv camcorder next year. But for now, I need a good capture card/hardware to put vhs onto dvd. With as good of quality from the vhs as the vhs is(not looking like 2nd gen vhs), audio synching properly and so on, even for longer than one hour capturing..

I have heard the dazzle II quality is not the best, the DC1000 has audion synching problems, the rt2500 is picky, the dvstorm has crisper pic than the rt2500(too expensive), the dv500+ is less picky than the rt2500, but does not capture directly to mpeg2, therefore takes a long time in rendering..and so on...Can anyone advise me on what I need to fulfill my needs concerning this and provide first hand experience with any product that may be a solution and how it performs? I am looking at both the capture to mpeg2 and other capture that will have to be rednered..thanks so much..t

My system is as follows...soyo dragonplus socket A mb kt266a, 1800+amd xp processor, 768 megs ddr pc2100 ram, 450w enermax powersupply, asus v7100 64meg ram pure mx400, 2 80 gig maxtor d740x hdd(tho they are ata133, can only use ata100 with this mb), 1 18gig ultra160 scsi hdd, with controller card, adaptec 4300 firewire card, soundblaster live( if it will work with the board, otherwise onboard sound), 52x cdrom, 56k modem, and the forthcoming philips dvd+rw dvd drive.

-what my main reason for video capture is- I have several vhs-c home movies of my daughter. All I want to do is to put them on dvd so regular dvd players can play them and watch them on vhs deteriorates over time ..I want to preserve them on dvd. I want the best possible quality to output to the good as or better than the vhs recording....I don't want it to look like 2nd generation frame drops and so forth. which will provide this for me? with my system?

I had ordered the dv500+ but sent it back...Correct me if I am wrong...I know dvd players won't play dv format..they require mpeg1 or mpeg2...but I also understand that both those are lossy, more so than dv format. but mpeg2 is supposed to be that all, right? so, that is why they said the dv500 was not what i wanted..that what I should look for is something to capture straight to mpeg2 because the 500 would take time converting from dv to mpeg2...I assume that was what they meant. Again, all I want to do is to put vhs onto dvd disks, to play just like dvd movies...with good quality.

4-I intend to get a minidv camcorder early next year, and so want something that will be able to transfer the dv from it as need one that will do that as well?

As may be shown by my post I am totally new to this dv world, and would like some sound recommendations and advice on these questions, as right now,
I have posted many questions at other forums trying to learn all I can....but when you are laying out 500-1000 dollars you need to make absolutely certain that it will be what you need..

I ask for any input from users and members here..thanks..t

Joined: Aug 15 2000

1. From the list of your computer components you have a firewire card. This alows you to transfer Digital Video from a DV camara. This means that you don't have to buy a dual DV/analogue card (RT2500, DV500 etc) but you can also look at analogue only solutions.

There are benifits of buying a RT2500, DV500 such as processing transistions, titles etc in real time but this is going to cost about double what an analogue only solution will cost. (£250 vs £500)

2. Whatever you go for, you cannot improve the quality of the footage. Its never going to look like DV output (or even mpeg2 footage generated from DV) (mpeg2 video does not have a set quality. You can trade off space/encoding time with quality but it will always be of lower quality than DV). Therefore your aim is to preserve as much of the quality as possible.

Like you I want to transfer VHS-C (and 8mm Cine!) footage. As I already have a DV camera and Adobe Premiere I have been looking at the dazzle DVC II and the dazzle DV Bridge (and similar products).

The former got a fairly good review in the November magazine (the bundled software was critised, but the mpeg2 encoding is good and in real time).

The DV Bridge plugs into the firewire port and converts analouge to DV in real time. The footage can then be edited and then encoded to MPEG2 to be put on DVD. The potential problem is that the footage is encoded twice (leading to some degredation), however the software MPEG encoder I use (TMPG - its free) usually scores better on quality than the DVC II encoded footage. The only downside is that TMPG is not fast, but I usually leave it overnight.

3. If you have Windows 98/Me you will not be able to capture an hour+ of footage at one go whichever format (mpeg2/DV) you chose. This is an issue with the maximum size of file under Win 9x. Either you work in smaller chunks (Its not that restrictive) or get Win 2000 (or Win XP if you are prepared to put up with it)

4. You should try and check the compatibility of DVD+RW disks in your DVD player. Older DVD players (and some new ones) have problems with DVD-R and DVD-RW disks. Considering who are involved in the DVD-RW camp verses the DVD+RW camp I would expect more compatibility problems with the +RWs.

I hope this helps.

Joined: Nov 2 2001

Hi Bomag...and yes your reply was clarified a couple things and it seems that an analog only is what I need...especially since I will probably be getting a minidvcamcorder early next year with passthru.

You mentioned the dazzle II...I was looking at it also, saw some bad posts about it and some unsure on it..the dv hollywood bridge caught my eye first, and then I read some pretty bad stuff about it, like what you mentioned about the encoding twice. At an unofficial dazzle II forum, seems there were some probs with video/audio synch. and I am totally new to this so would have no idea of how to correct something like that.

Another option I have found is the usb instant dvd at

but have heard that usb capture is degenerative, but not sure if that applies to raw dv capture or mpeg2 capture by a usb device. What are your thoughts on this?

also another product am looking at is this but can't make heads or tails of what it captures to or if it is a capture device like the dazzle two or dv bridge and you don't need anything to go with it...will email them I guess..

I had heard also that hardware encoding was preferable to software encoding...assume that the dazzle two is hardware and your tmpg is software, and if tmpg scores better than dazzle, then not sure now of getting hardware or software encoding solution.

I use win2k so no prob on the capture size..

Thanks for your time and your post it really did make it clear to me that I need an analog only..and pointed out the extras of the rt2500 and so now will concentrate on analog only's..smiling..thanks again..t

Joined: Aug 15 2000

1. For MPEG2 encoding there are two issues. Quality and speed. At present the TMPG encoder is considered by many to produce the best quality output, however as it a software encoder (and free) and concentrates on quality is is fairly slow.

There are various hardware based encoders which can encode in real time, however the quality varies from abismal to near that for TMPG. On the DVD, MPEG section there is a link to a site which tested a number of encoders - do a search.

2. The ADS Instant DVD is similar to the DVC II. However it is USB and full DVD quality MPEG2 footage is pushing the limits of the bus. It is also an external box which means that when you start using a DV camera you cannot use it to directly encode edited DV to MPEG2 for DVDs.

The Canopus is similar to the DV bridge it converts analog to DV and Vice Versa. It probably is a slightly better solution than the DV bridge. However you really need to find an independant review of both.

Joined: Mar 7 1999

The Canopus is an analogue-DV-analogue converter box, so, yes, it is like the DV Bridge.

It has two distinguishing feature though - it uses Canopus's own DV Codec and has locked audio, so the video and audio should not drift apart, even on the longest of recordings, or so Canopus says.

And, because it uses Canopus's own Codec, the company doesn't have to pay a large fee to someone else for a Codec, and that should mean that the product is CONSIDERABLY cheaper than any other converter box - at least, cheaper than others on sale in the UK.

From memory, it is going to be about £230, including VAT, which makes it £50 cheaper than its cheapest competititor - the Dazzle DV Bridge.

Oh and we received in the office today a review sample of the ADS product.

Bob C