OT: VHS transfer looks "soft" on TV - not on monitor

ScottW wrote on 7/9/2004, 12:22 PM
I've been doing some VHS to DVD transfers and this is driving me a little nuts - so I figure I must be missing something obvious that hopefully someone can point out.

When I view the results of my transfer from VHS to DVD on a TV, the DVD image looks quite a bit, well, softer. I've played both the original VHS and DVD back at the same time and switched back and forth, and in some cases the difference is quite striking. Now I didn't expect an exact copy, but I also didn't expect to see such a major difference.

I've tried the transfer in a couple of different ways:

1) Used a JVC SR-MV30U (with the TBC and everything).
2) Captured with ADVC-300, rendered via Vegas/MainConcept at best setting; single pass VBR. Burnt with DVDA.

And both are showing the same differences. Now I've not done any of the various restoration techniques outlined in various places here - my original goal was to try and get as good as I can without doing anything really time intensive.

Another thing I'm not understanding is that when I look at stuff on my Sony broadcast monitor, I'm not seeing the same issues - but that's more of a curiosity at this point.

Are my expectations for what I should be able to get from a transfer like this too high? Or is something like the SignVideo Proc Amp going to help me out (it's not entirely clear from reading the various posts)?



johnmeyer wrote on 7/9/2004, 12:40 PM
If "soft" has to do with black levels, this may be the 16-235 problem discussed many times. If you capture using other software, or if you save in other than DV format (or both), the video will look washed out.

If "soft" means lack of sharpness, then this can happen during the encode process. You definitely want to keep the bitrate above 6,000 kbs.
ScottW wrote on 7/9/2004, 12:47 PM
By soft I meant that I seem to be losing a lot of detail and sharpness (sorry for my using loose terminology). I'll try a CBR encode above 6,000.

Spot|DSE wrote on 7/9/2004, 1:29 PM
You also might want to use Restore Blacks, and perhaps even tweak/crop out the bottom if you have the normal VHS noise. This noise hammers the encoder severely.
ScottW wrote on 7/9/2004, 2:56 PM

I think I need to do some more playing with my ADVC-300 as I'm trying to avoid doing a lot of stuff in Vegas; if I can clean things up before it even gets to Vegas, the more the better. As I was re-reading the manual and comparing settings I realized there are a few settings that could also be impacting my capture.