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  • Digitize VHS using FCPX

  • Bill Parsons

    May 7, 2021 at 8:24 pm

    I would like to stream VHS and S-VHS tapes into final Cut Pro X on my MacBookPro. What device is recommended to feed FCPX?

    I have been trying with a Black Magic UltraStudio HD Mini, fed a component signal generated by a Black Magic Intensity Shuttle. The Intensity Shuttle is powered by usb from my computer and has Yellow-White-Red composite inputs that come from the video device and has the outputs for Y out-Pb out-Pr out going to the component inputs on the UltraStudio HD Mini. The UltraStudio HD Mini is connected to Thunderbolt 3.

    I am running FCPX, 10.5.2, on a new 16″ MacBookPro that is running Big Sur (11.3).

    I am totally baffled.

    Thanks for any assistance. Bill Parsons

  • Pablo Rivasplata

    May 8, 2021 at 2:58 am

    I guess all you need to do is connect your VHS Player to your UltraStudio HD Mini using the breakout box cable analog connectors that come with it. Then use Blackmagic Desktop Video to capture your videos and then import them into FCP.

    Hope this helps,

    Pablo

  • Bill Parsons

    May 8, 2021 at 11:58 am

    Pablo, thank you for your response. The problem I am having is that my video sources only provide composite outputs and the Black magic device only accepts component inputs. I have found a device from Elgato that converts composite into a usb feed, but I have yet to test it. When it arrives, I should be able to capture to a computer — using the software that Elgato provides — into a video file that Elgato creates. I anticipate that I would then use that file as input to FCP for editing purposes. I am hoping that the Elgato device will communicate with FCP so I can capture into an FCP file rather than a disk file of Elgato’s choice.

    In effect, I am looking for a device that will convert composite to component that I can use in the video streaming process. I thought that the Black Magic device was going to do that. It doesn’t.

  • Bill Parsons

    May 8, 2021 at 10:23 pm

    A further question about composite to component:

    I am considering a converter and am looking at 2 boxes that are quite similar:

    Composite S Video to Component RGB Multi Media Format Converter

    and

    Composite S-Video to Component Video RGB Sync On Green Converter

    I want to connect video devices that output composite (yellow-white-red) via rca plugs to send video to Final Cut Pro on my MacBookPro (Big Sur, v. 11.3). I have a Black Magic UltraStudio HD Mini that interfaces with the MBP via thunderbolt-3 and requires component input. The converter will change my video composite signal to interface with the component inputs on the Black Magic box. I am looking for the best quality video signal.

    I will not be converting in order to reach devices that use sync-on-green. Does SPG make a difference to the video signal quality/content that I should be aware of? Is it a useful feature that I want to have handy? I am not a gamer and am not trying to drive a video screen, just to get data to FCP.

    Many thanks for the assistance.

    Bill


  • Pablo Rivasplata

    May 10, 2021 at 3:41 pm

    Hi Bill,

    I’m possitive that you can capture composite video directly with your UltraStudio HD Mini. The “Y” component input is the one that accepts the composite video signal. If you have RCA cables, then you should get an RCA to SDI adapter and 2 RCA to 1/4″ audio adapters as well.

    See the attached graphic from the blackmagic website.

  • Paul Carlin

    May 11, 2021 at 5:45 pm

    You should be using the Black Magic Intensity Shuttle as your capture device and bypass the UltraStudio Mini completely. The only other device you might want to add is a TBC to stabilize the video before it reaches the Black Magic Intensity Shuttle (for example the TVone-1t TBC Time Base Corrector). A TBC will make a big difference in the quality of a VHS capture. If you have an S-VHS deck, use the S-Video output into the Shuttle (or TBC->Shuttle). Be sure to capture native interlaced 720×486 to something like ProRes 422 HQ, and then use BMD Resolve 17 to deinterlace (new feature in v17 is improved deinterlacing) or something like Topaz Video Enchance AI to deinterlace and upres. And be careful not to clip your whites and blacks by interpolating any captured video as full video range, and use color correction to make it legal again.

  • Bret Hampton

    May 11, 2021 at 6:14 pm

    Both the others are right. Mini takes composite video. It’s in their specs.

    Use that or Intensity but not both. That’s adding an unnecessary step.

    Either will digitize and send to your computer via Thundeerbolt, HDMI, USB depending on which device you use and FCP input formats.

  • Bill Parsons

    May 13, 2021 at 3:37 pm

    Thanks to all. I am somewhat patiently waiting for the device from Elgato to arrive today. I am hoping that it will transfer to my MBP properly. I was somewhat ridiculously seeking the best video capture device. Of course, when I look at the images from S-VHS and VHS tapes that are 20 years old, I realize that there isn’t much point. The VHS images are mostly desaturated, some blue and some luminance. I can see the dancers. The S-VHS tapes are better. I also notice that retail VHS tapes have degraded less than the VHS ones that I recorded. Funny: when I played either before this — well, it’s years ago — they seemed to have the same quality.

    The problem with using the Intensity Shuttle is that I had to upgrade to Big Sur (11.3) recently and the software for that device won’t work with this version of MacOS. Since the I-Shuttle has been sunsetted, there won’t be a software upgrade. I’m not getting rid of it, tho. It’s the Swiss Army knife of video conversion. If I have to use it, I have Mac’s with older versions of OS in the house (just have to ask the bride for permission to use them).

    I have a composite to component device. The B-M UltraStudio HD Mini shows that the component inputs are set to 525i (StdDev), but there is no image on the little screen of the Smart Panel.

    If the Elgato device doesn’t do the job, I’ll be on the phone to Black Magic again. They are the ones who sent me off to get the composite-to-component device.

    If only my degree were in EE. I’ll keep this thread current so as to post the final resolution (note I do not say ‘solution’) to the problem.

    Best to all, Bill

  • Frank Maxwell

    May 21, 2021 at 10:22 am

    I have been using Elgato for transfer of VHS and mini tapes. it comes out as a Quicktime file and then I import into FCP.

  • Bill Parsons

    November 11, 2021 at 4:08 pm

    Thank you, Frank. I received the Elgato device and it works very well. I get a .mov file as output and can use it in FCP. I had no luck with the Black Magic devices and have a friend who was using the Intensity Shuttle and also finds it sometimes has problems.

    It is surprising that there are so few solutions for a problem that so many of us have — and the clock is ticking on the videotapes. The images evaporate almost as fast as cooling coffee. 😉

    Regards to all, Bill

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