Preset for VHS Tapes

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PGrimes
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Joined: Tue Aug 18, 2020 4:39 pm

Preset for VHS Tapes

Post by PGrimes »

I'm in the process of converting my VHS to digital format. I'm using a Cloner-Alliance Evolve as the first step to get them into digital format.
It's very limited in the selections for capturing. I currently have it set to capture an MP4 at 1280x720, 60fps, 6000 kbps.

For a 6 hour tape this results in a 16 GB file.

I'd like to reduce the file size, but still want decent quality. Is there a recommended preset or are there recommended settings to make a custom preset for such an application?
Woodstock
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Re: Preset for VHS Tapes

Post by Woodstock »

Your overall preset should be something in the 480p class, which will enable removal of the interlacing, but you will probably want to go to the filters page, set "Denoise" to "NLMeans", with a tune of "Tape". The NLMeans preset would depend on how much overall noise there is.
musicvid
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Re: Preset for VHS Tapes

Post by musicvid »

Your VHS is 640x480 NTSC. Capture at those dimensions and your files will be smaller without losing anything.
Last edited by musicvid on Tue Aug 18, 2020 7:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
PGrimes
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Re: Preset for VHS Tapes

Post by PGrimes »

Woodstock wrote: Tue Aug 18, 2020 5:16 pm Your overall preset should be something in the 480p class, which will enable removal of the interlacing, but you will probably want to go to the filters page, set "Denoise" to "NLMeans", with a tune of "Tape". The NLMeans preset would depend on how much overall noise there is.
My current settings are as follows. Let me know if you see anything out of line:
Dimensions
Source: 1280x720, PAR 1/1
Width: 720 Height: 480
Anamorphic: Automatic
Modulus: 2
Cropping: Automatic

Output
Display Size: 858x480, PAR 640x537

Filters
Detelecine: Off
Interlace Detection: Default
Deinterlace: Decomb, Preset: Default
Denoise: NLMeans, Preset: Medium, Tune: Tape
Sharpen: Off
Deblock: Medium, Tune: Medium (8x8)

Video
Video
Video Codec: H.264 (x264)
Framerate (FPS): 30
* Constant Framerate
[x] 2-Pass Encoding, [x] Turbo first Pass

Optimise Video
Encoder Preset: Very Slow
Encoder Tune: Film
Encoder Profile: High
Encoder Level: 3.1
Advanced Options: ref=5:bframe=5

Quality
* Constant Quality: 20
musicvid wrote: Tue Aug 18, 2020 5:58 pm Your VHS is 640x480 NTSC, or 576x480 PAL. Capture at those dimensions and your files will be smaller without losing anything.
Unfortunately, the Cloner-Alliance Evolve does not have those options. I'm currently capturing to create the smallest file size possible with this device.
musicvid
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Re: Preset for VHS Tapes

Post by musicvid »

Well at least you're back at SD resolution, although DVD and vhs aspect are different.
PGrimes
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Re: Preset for VHS Tapes

Post by PGrimes »

I've done a lot of testing over the past few weeks and thought I'd share my findings.

Summary:
Given a VHS capture from a VCR at 1280x720, 60fps, 6000 kbps the file size can be greatly reduced (10:1) by using the Very Fast 480p30 preset with the following modifications- Constant Framerate 30 FPS, Encoder Tune = Film, Advanced Options ref=5:bframes=5. The encode time is about 1/4 the time of the video being encoded.

Details:
A 4 minute test video was captured using a Cloner-Alliance Evolve. The file was captured at 1280x720, 60fps, 6000 kbps. The resultant file size was 307MB. 20 video files all set to 720x480, 30fps were created using Handbrake. Various filters, Quality Settings, ans Optimise Video settings were used to create the files. Resultant file sizes were 8MB to 78MB. Encoding times varied from 1/4 the video time to 3x the video time. Once all the encoded files were available, Two videos were played simultaneously using Quicktime. The better of the two was chosen and compared to the next encoded video. This was done in an "eyeglass exam" fashion (better one, better two?... better one?... better two?...). Video frames were closely synced during playback. Still frames were also compared for differences. In many cases, it was difficult to see any objectionable differences between the two despite the encoder settings. In those cases, the file with the smaller size was chosen to move forward. During the comparison, the encoder settings were unknown. In the end, a stock preset (Very Fast 480p30) offered very good results with a file size of 34MB and an encode time of 52 sec. There were a few minor changes done as noted in the Summary which brought the file size down to 32MB. The next best video choice had filtering and a lower (better) Constant Quality number, The resultant file size was 29MB and had an encode time of 10:39. The video quality was nearly the same between the two. The runner up had a slightly smaller file size, but took significantly longer to encode.
musicvid
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Re: Preset for VHS Tapes

Post by musicvid »

Capturing an SD file at 720p and then reducing it back will introduce losses, perhaps unacceptably.
PGrimes
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Re: Preset for VHS Tapes

Post by PGrimes »

musicvid wrote: Fri Sep 11, 2020 12:05 pm Capturing an SD file at 720p and then reducing it back will introduce losses, perhaps unacceptably.
Just did a comparison of two samples. One with the resolution down scaled to 720x480, the other with the original resolution of 1280x720. The scaled down version took 57 seconds and created a 32 MB file while the original resolution took 1:34 (65% longer) to create a 82 MB (2.5x larger) file.

The original one has better color, but appears slightly grainier. The down scaled on looks like it has a slight diffusion by comparison. I had to bounce between then quite a few times look very closely for these differences. It's really splitting hairs at that point. If files size and encode time did not matter, then I probably would go with the original resolution of 1280x720 due to the slightly better color quality.
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Rodeo
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Re: Preset for VHS Tapes

Post by Rodeo »

PGrimes wrote: Fri Sep 11, 2020 3:11 amGiven a VHS capture from a VCR at 1280x720, 60fps, 6000 kbps
Why would you capture a VHS in 720p to begin with?
musicvid
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Re: Preset for VHS Tapes

Post by musicvid »

He says it's his capture card.
PGrimes
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Re: Preset for VHS Tapes

Post by PGrimes »

musicvid wrote: Sat Sep 12, 2020 1:16 pm He says it's his capture card.
That is correct. The Cloner-Alliance Evolve offers two resolution settings for capture: 1080p and 720p.
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