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Forums Storage & Archiving Archiving video from PC to VHS using Firewire.

  • Archiving video from PC to VHS using Firewire.

  • Jack Jack

    March 15, 2022 at 8:35 pm

    I am also curious about this.

    It’s ok Sebastian, some people will call themselves video professionals, yet they will only preach the knowledge they have, and deny the rest even exists.

    *shrug* All I know is I know nothing.

    In hopes to progress the subject a bit further, I am glad to discover you have similar objectives as me in the world of video aesthetics. I Have come across a few DVHS machines with FireWire input, wondering if they would allow recording to analogue VHS using the digital FW signal. Maybe there is a conversion internally and live video from the PC screen, or a DV cam, or 1080p VGA to FW capture box like a Canopus, can be captured to the VHS.

    I have been working with odd converters for years, and I’m sick of only getting Composite and S-video quality on Master recordings… or emulating the VHS effect on PC… All I want is a superbly clean image onto my VHS tape to get a true VHS quality. I have a Panasonic BD-VHS combo unit that presents VHS in 1080p in 444 12-bit color via HDMI and it is brilliant for preservation, but sadly it doesn’t record. A unit that could record HDMI to VHS would be nice, but that’s impossible… non-existent.

    Research has led me to currently have my sights set on VHS Duplicator machines, which have SDI inputs. Outputting the SDI signal from my PC via converters seems to be the next move, but FireWire is still something I am very much interested in. I feel it might be a contender in quality versus a raw SDI signal, although I’ve seen some sharp shit out of SDI in some VHS samples.

    Like I said earlier, I know nothing, so I’m not sure any of this works. Regardless, I wish you good luck on your research findings Mr. Fudali, I eagerly await to see results of your work.

    P.S. I’ve attached some pictures for educational purposes. Hopefully it grows interest.

  • Sebastian Fudali

    March 15, 2022 at 8:56 pm

    At this moment, I render the master DV file and output it via FireWire from PC, through D8 camcorder’s analog outs to my D-VHS. The caveat is I have PAL machine and PAL DV is 4:2:0, which is enough colour quality, Not the Smartest Choice is 4:1:1 and this is less tham optimal, hence many people denouncing that method, I have spoke about it with a known professional and he says there’s nothing wrong with PAL DV route. Also, your NTSC D-VHS machien has both FW in and out and the output will be in MPEG-2, so you can use it directly for ripping. My PAL deck, one of 3 PAL models ever made only supports DV input, like all 3 models. No digital output on them. So here’s where my trusty D8 camcorder comes in as A/D converter.

    Also, I know this duplicator, I’m saving cash for one, but it doesn’t have SDI input, it has propriatary Y/C connector for analog video input. Unless you know a specific model with SDI.
    as for that BD/VHS combo model, there are demos on youtube, the image quality is below archiving quality, it’s passable to watch, but I wouldn’t transfer it. Plus, composite and S-video are perfectly capable of transmitting resolution far greater than that of (S-)VHS, so there’s nothing wrong there. Unless that LaserDisc RF ripping method was finally successfully adapted for VHS.

  • Jack Jack

    March 15, 2022 at 9:13 pm

    Ah, good to know. Thanks for letting me know about the Y/C signal for the VHS duplicator. I literally started my research yesterday, lmao.
    As for the composite or S-video, I am not happy with the quality. I see much better results from other people’s methods vs my previous experience with composite and s-video. If I record (for example) a terminator 2 clip from my pc via composite and compare it to my terminator 2 original VHS, the quality of the original VHS is much sharper. I feel composite video really blurs the source too much.
    I was not aware of the BD/VHS unit’s issue. I was convinced by many it was a very decent system. Had it for about 5 years now. I haven’t seen any demos since I got it. Something I’m going to look into now i guess, lol. Do you have any links I can follow?

  • Jack Jack

    March 15, 2022 at 9:37 pm

    I’ve been going through some comparison videos, and they really don’t do the Panasonic BD-VHS player justice. The player outputs at 444 12-bit, which might look more washed out if comparing it to composite or S-video on a TV that doesn’t have color set up for the former purpose. The colors might seem washed out, but it is more color-space to play with. There is more room to adjust darks and whites, and there is also ultra-black to consider from HDMI being turned on or off. Ever since they updated the firmware on the machines, I’ve had excellent results.

  • Sebastian Fudali

    March 16, 2022 at 7:39 am

    In terms of post editing and colour correction probably yes, but it won’t do S-Video tapes.

    What is your setup for recording from computer?
    Keep in mind that for duplication they were using either 1″, C-type, or later digital formats like D-1 to D-3, only at the dusk of VHS era they used DVCAM and the like.

    The results my workflow produces are crystal clear. It might be, that your combo unit is simply not that good in recording.

  • Jack Jack

    March 16, 2022 at 8:08 pm

    The BD-VHS unit doesn’t record onto tapes, it has no record function, it’s strictly to output VHS via HDMi. I’ve tested it using a few capture cards, and even upscaled to 4k using the HDfury DIVA, but its HDMi 2.1’s 4k 444 depth limit is 8-bit, so I’d much rather record in 1080p 12-bit and upscale in post. Great quality to be honest. Capture cards used are Blackmagic 4K quad, the Micomsoft X-Capture1 and the ElGato 4k60 mk2 with updated firmware for 444 12-bit depth.

    As for Outputting from the PC to Standard definition, i have a few methods. Most of them involve composite or s-video output. I have basics, mini-displayport to composite/s-video, HDMi to composite/s-vide, VGA to composite/s-video, DVI to SDI then my favorite Canopus VGA to FireWire, a HDMi to FireWire (bit strange that one), then some thunderbolt/pcmcia/usb3 blackmagic, matrox and micomsoft capture cards with breakout cables and output ports for Y/C, composite, s-video, SDI … a 4k atem, a 4k Ultrastudio … I have a some gear that can output really good quality to be honest.

    What I am missing is a VCR that can input/record anything other than composite/s-video. The average VCR isn’t good enough. If those DVHS VCRs you asked about can record the FW DV onto VHS or SVHS, and work really well, keeping the quality during the digital to analogue conversion, I’d like to look into them.

    I am still very much interested in VHS dupilcators or a stack of pro VHS editing units as the solution for my VHS projects. The additional hookups and editing tools would probably help with yielding better results anyhow. I found a few cheap ones for under $100. Any you might recommend?

  • Sebastian Fudali

    March 16, 2022 at 8:16 pm

    Sounds like a lot of gear. I had limietd budget and options, so I adapted the bare minimum I already had.

    There could be some professional studio editing VCRs that can accept composite, but I’m afraid nothing better than that.
    That being said, this is more or less (sans youtube compression) how my D-VHS machine records and plays back VHS from digital source:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-SL3sCacIc4
    By mistake the raw DV transfer file ended up on youtube which downized it to 480 from source 576, I had the youtube master prepared upscaled to 1080, but it ended up not used.

    Also I am interested in whatever models you were able to find around ~100$.

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