[SOLVED] TV Card to capture retro VHS and Betamax

Vulmaro

Honorable
May 12, 2014
117
2
10,685
0
Hello,

I am not from the US so every component I will be talking about are in PAL format. NTSC is not an option here and I do not know enough about these old tech.

I would like to loselessly capture videos from all the VHS and Betamax tapes that I have because I heard that they lose their magnetism over the years and then become useless. I still have a West German made AKAI brand VHC player which has SCART and antenna outputs. (I will get a Betamax player later) When I connect the player to my LED TV via SCART/coaxial to Side AV, the picture and the sound are greater than I expected with smooth frame rate in 50Hz PAL. 25 FPS videos are really like 50 FPS!

However, I have a cheap, Chinese usb capture/grabber with its drivers installed.



I could not get sound from the tapes and the picture is horrible compared to the direct Coaxial connection to my TV. (I use the same TV for my PC as an output screen via HDMI 1080p in 60Hz) It gets even worse when capturing with that device. I tried every format option available for that (AVI, MPEG2, VCD, DVD, MPG4) Despite the big size from AVI output which was around 8 megabytes per second approximately, it was still noticeably worse.

I tried everything in an old laptop with Win7 32bit. Although I get sound this time, it was the same bad video quality.

There are no brand new TV cards here where I live, only some old second hands are available. I do not want to waste time and money for a bad, low resolution encoder or an incompatible one. My motherboard has one free PCI Express x16 (PCIEX4) slot, three PCI Express 1 slots and two PCI slots. I cannot find any information about TV cards for my motherboard.

My system:

WINDOWS 10 x64 PRO EDITION
GIGABYTE 970A-UD3P
FX 8350 @4.0 GHZ w/ HYPER EVO 212
CORSAIR 4X4GB 1600MHZ CL9 RAM
SAPPHIRE DUAL-X OC R9 280X
AOPEN 650W 12V 624W 52A BRONZE PSU
COOLER MASTER SILENCIO 650 CASE
SAMSUNG EVO 840 250GB SSD (OS INSTALLED)
SAMSUNG HD753LJ

Her are the second hand TV cards, my purpose is to get lossless videos no matter what the sizes will be, I have one terabyte free space and then I will encode the videos too.

AverMedia studio 203


AverMedia studio 303



AverMedia M150 - D



And this one, AverMedia HD DVR Video Capture card with the HDMI cable in the background! But it is very expensive. Would it be overkill for VHS/Betamax tapes or the best option ? I never watch TV or stream PC games and will never go beyond 1080p@60hz



TL;DR

I am going to capture VHS and Betamax tapes with the best quality so what should I do ? Storing very big lossless files are not a problem for me.
 

Paperdoc

Glorious
Ambassador
Here's what I could find.

There is little info to find on the AverMedia studio 203. A manual is here

https://www.manualslib.com/manual/1122281/Avermedia-Avertv-203.html?page=2#manual

It indicates clearly that this card was intended for use under Win 98, and of course you need the CD of drivers and software to use it. It does say the card can handle both NTSC and PAL signals. It uses a PCI slot.

Here are specs for the AverMedia AVerTV Studio 303


It has tuners for VHF and FM radio, inputs for Composite Video and S-Video and stereo audio, and outputs for similar. It records in MPEG-1 or -2 format at a resolution of 720 x 480, can use both NTSC and PAL. Runs under Win 98SE up to XP. You need its CD of drivers and software. It uses a PCI slot.

More features listed here

https://pctuner.club/files/view/AVerTV303.pdf

The AverMeadia M-150D is virtually the same as a retail version called AverMedia UltraTV 1500 MCE, and some buyers back around 2005 when it was new liked it. HOWEVER, it is for NTSC only, it appears. I could not find a clear statement about which video system the M150-D model can do.

Early video capture cards had all of the capture and digitization encoding of the incoming analog signals done by the computer system hardware and software. The AverMedia cards you linked to were part of a new trend among several makers to put dedicated capture chips on the card, and they do a much better job than the older systems that relied on the main CPU etc. Then came the USB2 video capture device like the EZ Grabber you have. They are constrained in what they do by the limited data transfer rate of the USB2 standard, so they capture the video and then compress it significantly in order to get all that data into the computer. The newest USB capture boxes use the USB 3 system, and that has ten times the max data transfer rate. So these new boxes do NOT compress what they have captured normally. Moreover, many of them can digitize to higher resolution than the older units limited to 720p and 30 fps. BUT that ONLY works if your computer has a USB3 port to work with. IF you try to use any of the new boxes with an older USB2 port, you will get lower quality from compression. So, IF you have a computer with USB 3 to use, and you can get one of the new capture boxes designed for using USB 3, you might find the results significantly better than the EZ Grabber you have. Then you might not need to get an old card and find a way to get it working in a newer system.

An alert for you. Many of the PCI cards like those you linked were designed for easy use with a new Microsoft system called Media Centre that was included in Win XP and some following OS's. But Microsoft has stopped supplying Media Centre with the new Windows versions, so you will need some of the older software tools that came with those older cards. You MAY have a problem getting device drivers for those cards that work in Win 10.

Last comment to offer. Another company, Hauppauge, also has been making video capture and tuner cards for quite a while and has a pretty good reputation. I have one of their recent cards which is not what you need - it has dual tuners for both analog and digital TV signals, an FM tuner, and high-resolution dedicated encoder chips. Your needs do not include any digital TV signals, or even a tuner. (But most video capture cards will have a tuner.) But your search for a PCI capture card should include looking for Hauppauge cards, too - maybe limited to older cards with analog TV signals only, since that's all you have to feed it.
 
Reactions: Vulmaro

Paperdoc

Glorious
Ambassador
Here's what I could find.

There is little info to find on the AverMedia studio 203. A manual is here

https://www.manualslib.com/manual/1122281/Avermedia-Avertv-203.html?page=2#manual

It indicates clearly that this card was intended for use under Win 98, and of course you need the CD of drivers and software to use it. It does say the card can handle both NTSC and PAL signals. It uses a PCI slot.

Here are specs for the AverMedia AVerTV Studio 303


It has tuners for VHF and FM radio, inputs for Composite Video and S-Video and stereo audio, and outputs for similar. It records in MPEG-1 or -2 format at a resolution of 720 x 480, can use both NTSC and PAL. Runs under Win 98SE up to XP. You need its CD of drivers and software. It uses a PCI slot.

More features listed here

https://pctuner.club/files/view/AVerTV303.pdf

The AverMeadia M-150D is virtually the same as a retail version called AverMedia UltraTV 1500 MCE, and some buyers back around 2005 when it was new liked it. HOWEVER, it is for NTSC only, it appears. I could not find a clear statement about which video system the M150-D model can do.

Early video capture cards had all of the capture and digitization encoding of the incoming analog signals done by the computer system hardware and software. The AverMedia cards you linked to were part of a new trend among several makers to put dedicated capture chips on the card, and they do a much better job than the older systems that relied on the main CPU etc. Then came the USB2 video capture device like the EZ Grabber you have. They are constrained in what they do by the limited data transfer rate of the USB2 standard, so they capture the video and then compress it significantly in order to get all that data into the computer. The newest USB capture boxes use the USB 3 system, and that has ten times the max data transfer rate. So these new boxes do NOT compress what they have captured normally. Moreover, many of them can digitize to higher resolution than the older units limited to 720p and 30 fps. BUT that ONLY works if your computer has a USB3 port to work with. IF you try to use any of the new boxes with an older USB2 port, you will get lower quality from compression. So, IF you have a computer with USB 3 to use, and you can get one of the new capture boxes designed for using USB 3, you might find the results significantly better than the EZ Grabber you have. Then you might not need to get an old card and find a way to get it working in a newer system.

An alert for you. Many of the PCI cards like those you linked were designed for easy use with a new Microsoft system called Media Centre that was included in Win XP and some following OS's. But Microsoft has stopped supplying Media Centre with the new Windows versions, so you will need some of the older software tools that came with those older cards. You MAY have a problem getting device drivers for those cards that work in Win 10.

Last comment to offer. Another company, Hauppauge, also has been making video capture and tuner cards for quite a while and has a pretty good reputation. I have one of their recent cards which is not what you need - it has dual tuners for both analog and digital TV signals, an FM tuner, and high-resolution dedicated encoder chips. Your needs do not include any digital TV signals, or even a tuner. (But most video capture cards will have a tuner.) But your search for a PCI capture card should include looking for Hauppauge cards, too - maybe limited to older cards with analog TV signals only, since that's all you have to feed it.
 
Reactions: Vulmaro

Vulmaro

Honorable
May 12, 2014
117
2
10,685
0
Here's what I could find.

There is little info to find on the AverMedia studio 203. A manual is here

https://www.manualslib.com/manual/1122281/Avermedia-Avertv-203.html?page=2#manual

It indicates clearly that this card was intended for use under Win 98, and of course you need the CD of drivers and software to use it. It does say the card can handle both NTSC and PAL signals. It uses a PCI slot.

Here are specs for the AverMedia AVerTV Studio 303


It has tuners for VHF and FM radio, inputs for Composite Video and S-Video and stereo audio, and outputs for similar. It records in MPEG-1 or -2 format at a resolution of 720 x 480, can use both NTSC and PAL. Runs under Win 98SE up to XP. You need its CD of drivers and software. It uses a PCI slot.

More features listed here

https://pctuner.club/files/view/AVerTV303.pdf

The AverMeadia M-150D is virtually the same as a retail version called AverMedia UltraTV 1500 MCE, and some buyers back around 2005 when it was new liked it. HOWEVER, it is for NTSC only, it appears. I could not find a clear statement about which video system the M150-D model can do.

Early video capture cards had all of the capture and digitization encoding of the incoming analog signals done by the computer system hardware and software. The AverMedia cards you linked to were part of a new trend among several makers to put dedicated capture chips on the card, and they do a much better job than the older systems that relied on the main CPU etc. Then came the USB2 video capture device like the EZ Grabber you have. They are constrained in what they do by the limited data transfer rate of the USB2 standard, so they capture the video and then compress it significantly in order to get all that data into the computer. The newest USB capture boxes use the USB 3 system, and that has ten times the max data transfer rate. So these new boxes do NOT compress what they have captured normally. Moreover, many of them can digitize to higher resolution than the older units limited to 720p and 30 fps. BUT that ONLY works if your computer has a USB3 port to work with. IF you try to use any of the new boxes with an older USB2 port, you will get lower quality from compression. So, IF you have a computer with USB 3 to use, and you can get one of the new capture boxes designed for using USB 3, you might find the results significantly better than the EZ Grabber you have. Then you might not need to get an old card and find a way to get it working in a newer system.

An alert for you. Many of the PCI cards like those you linked were designed for easy use with a new Microsoft system called Media Centre that was included in Win XP and some following OS's. But Microsoft has stopped supplying Media Centre with the new Windows versions, so you will need some of the older software tools that came with those older cards. You MAY have a problem getting device drivers for those cards that work in Win 10.

Last comment to offer. Another company, Hauppauge, also has been making video capture and tuner cards for quite a while and has a pretty good reputation. I have one of their recent cards which is not what you need - it has dual tuners for both analog and digital TV signals, an FM tuner, and high-resolution dedicated encoder chips. Your needs do not include any digital TV signals, or even a tuner. (But most video capture cards will have a tuner.) But your search for a PCI capture card should include looking for Hauppauge cards, too - maybe limited to older cards with analog TV signals only, since that's all you have to feed it.
Thank you for the support. You have answered all of my questions and plus, given me a good advice. Now I know what to look for.
 
Reactions: Alabalcho

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