Best Video Capture for Laserdisc to DVD.

Discussion in 'Computers' started by Daniel T, May 20, 2004.

  1. Daniel T

    Daniel T Stunt Coordinator

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    I want to capture my original Star Wars LD and burn them on DVD. I want the dolby pro-logic sound to come with the video capture. What is the best product to hook to the LaserDisc and the computer to achieve this goal. Thanks,

    Daniel T
     
  2. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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  3. JeremySt

    JeremySt Screenwriter

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    This is exactly what you are looking for.
     
  4. John*C

    John*C Stunt Coordinator

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    Jeramy I read all the posts and your point is?
     
  5. Rob Gardiner

    Rob Gardiner Cinematographer

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    Daniel,

    The word "best" is a dangerous word to use in these situations, and on some other forums, you will get your head bitten off for asking for the "best" of anything. But I am happy to describe my own positive experience with a particular piece of hardware.

    My office uses the Canopus ADVC-100 Advanced DV Converter. It is pricey ($299 list) but very reliable. It is a little black box (for lack of a better description) with various A/V inputs & outputs, and connects to your PC via firewire. I use it to capture video from VHS tapes, using the standard red/white/yellow RCA jacks (composite video and stereo audio). The box also has S-Video jacks for your LD player. I use the free program WinDV to do the actual capturing. The result is a series of AVI files (encoded with the Canopus DV codec) which can then be transcoded to MPEG-1 (VCD), MPEG-2 (DVD), MPEG-4 (DivX), QuickTime, or practically any other format. Since your goal is to produce a DVD, you are probably best off using the MPEG-2 encoder in the registered version of TMPEG, which costs about $50.

    Other folks have mentioned the high quality captures of the FlyVideo 3000. However, if I understand correctly, this card captures video only, and you will have to use your soundcard to capture the audio. One major advantage of the ADVC is that the audio & video are kept together, greatly reducing the possibility of sync problems. My thoughts are that the FlyVideo would be best for watching LDs on a HTPC in real-time, but the ADVC would probably be "best" for converting LDs to DVD.

    If anyone has experience with the FlyVideo 3000 and knows of any advantages I have neglected, I would appreciate any comments.

    Best of luck, Daniel. Once I get a bigger HD at home, I plan to borrow the ADVC for the weekend and see if I can get Star Wars onto DVD before George Lucas can. [​IMG]
     
  6. JeremySt

    JeremySt Screenwriter

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    The point is: that thread is excellent source of information on the subject at hand. They are experimenting and using various methods to capture LD. You can avoid alot of trial and error, because they have already done alot of work. There are well over 40 pages of text in that link, Im sure if you read them all, you would have realized what my point was.
     
  7. Will_B

    Will_B Producer

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    I use this same gizmo myself and I love it. The audio is always in perfect synch with the video.
     
  8. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    I use the Datavideo DAC-100 DV Converter and it was only $181 (shipping included) from Harmony Computers.
     
  9. Joseph S

    Joseph S Cinematographer

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    Has anyone tried a combo of the ADVC and spdif from an RF demodulator?

    If I can't do it right yet, I probably won't waste my time with the current conversion methods until something better comes along. I want to keep the DD from my discs.

    DVD will likely be done with DVDSP 3.0 Acad edition, can capture on PC or Mac.
     
  10. Jeff Jacobson

    Jeff Jacobson Cinematographer

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    I also have the ADVC-100 and it works great. Note that the AVIs it produces are DV compressed. If possible, you should capture using a lossless codec such as HuffYUV. But if you're computer can't handle that (resulting in dropped frames and out-of-synch audio), then the ADVC-100 is a good alternative.
     
  11. Rob Gardiner

    Rob Gardiner Cinematographer

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    Jeff,

    My understanding is that the compression used in the DV format is intra-frame rather than inter-frame compression, meaning each frame is compressed independently of one another. Each frame is in effect an "I-Frame" and frame-by-frame editing can be performed, unlike inter-frame compressed formats such as MPEG-2, in which each frame depends on information from the frames that precede and follow it.

    Are you aware of any direct comparisons between DV and HuffYUV material? I was under the impression that there was practically no difference to the naked eye.
     
  12. Glenn Overholt

    Glenn Overholt Producer

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    Can someone explain to me why this thread hasn't been locked up? You're talking about copying a copyrighted movie to another format. I thought that was illegal to discuss here.
    Glenn
     
  13. Christian Behrens

    Christian Behrens Supporting Actor

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    There is absolutely nothing wrong with this under the "fair use" rules, since he owns the LDs; otherwise everyone using an iPod would be guilty as well, as you cannot buy iPods with music pre-installed [​IMG].

    -Christian
     
  14. Jeff Jacobson

    Jeff Jacobson Cinematographer

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    I think there were some comparison screenshots posted here.
     
  15. Rob Gardiner

    Rob Gardiner Cinematographer

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    Jeff,

    Thank you for that link. That was exactly what I was looking for. There are screenshots comparing the picture quality of the FlyVideo 3000 with the HuffYUV codec to the ADVC-100 with the Canopus DV codec. Apparently, there is some bad news for DV users:

    Click on "FlyVideo3000 vs. NTSC capture comparison Screen Grab"

    The difference in quality is not due to the intra-frame compression of the DV, but rather the fact that the DV codec uses 4:1:1 color sampling, while the HuffYUV codec accommodates 4:2:2, which is more accurate, especially on diagonal lines that are red in color.

    However, there is also some good news for DV users. This effect can be greatly mitigated by using a color interpolation filter for either VirtualDub or AviSynth (I am an AviSynth man myself). See the results here (click "4:1:1 Comparison").

    The VirtualDub filter, 411Helper, is available here.

    The AviSynth filter, ReInterpolate411, is available here.

    Even with this issue, I am still inclined to go with DV. Even the pro-HuffYUV folks in the thread Jeff posted admit having a difficult time obtaining analaog captures without dropped frames or out of sync audio. Apparently, getting perfect captures with an analog capture card is a delicate balancing act involving: the "best" driver version for your card (not necessarily the most recent!), the "best" version of capture software (again, not necessarily the newest), bus speeds, ram speeds, soundcard performance, IRQ conflicts, and a variety of other factors.

    NONE of these issues exist with the ADVC-100. It appears the color sampling is the biggest (only?) disadvantage of the ADVC, and it looks like the filters above can greatly mitigate that issue.

    There are also cheaper alternatives to the ADVC-100. Canopus makes several other models. Some are in the form of an internal PCI card, rather than an external box. Some only allow analog-to-digital conversion and leave out digital-to-analog, which is really necessary only if you want to output Star Wars back to VHS, and I can't imagine why you would want to do that! [​IMG] Also, there is a competing product, DataVideo's DAC-100 (I see Patrick Sun has mentioned it). All of these are less expensive than the Canopus ADVC-100. The DataVideo product provides slightly more accurate color than the Canopus products, according to some folks who posted in the thread Jeff linked to.

    I think I will take the opportunity this May 25th (Star Wars Day) to borrow my office's ADVC-100 and begin some tests. If only George Lucas had left well enough alone, none of this would be necessary! LOL.

    Remember, HAN SOLO FIRED FIRST.

    Good luck, and may the Schwartz be with you. [​IMG]
     
  16. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    Thanks for the 411 on 411Helper [​IMG]

    I noticed during light saber scenes that the vertical lines in the ligh saber's angle in diagonal directions would cause the scenes to look a bit on the messy, jagged side, so I tried the 411Helper, having VirtualDub frameserve my captured AVI via my Datavideo DAC-100 in DV and the resultant DVD video file looks smoother than before without the use of the 411Helper filter.

    Now I have to re-encode my other LD->DVD efforts from the past 4 months, but I think the effort will be worth it.
     

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