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yowser

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About yowser

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  1. Thanks. I see the "Capture Settings" dropdown offers DV, DVD HQ, DVD SP, DVD LP, VCD (defaults to DV). The DV choice is AVI and says I have 2h43m (34.8GB) available, and the others are MPEG-2 with 10h5m, 19h38m, 43h6m, and 61h43m, respectively. I'm happy to use AVI to retain the quality, though that 10h5m is tempting. My notebook has an SSD which is why there's only 35GB free. Could I capture directly to an external HD? I have a USB3 port and powered USB3 hub, so I could use USB3 (port's maximum data transfer rate is faster than HD's internal). In terms of a strategy, I take your point that a 100GB (8hr) file might be unwieldy. Unfortunately so is the sequential access of a tape. Assuming I have more space, would it be reasonable to capture the tape, either in one chunk (if maybe 2hr SP recording) or in 30min chunks, then break it apart after? The Preview window in Roxio Media Import is frozen while the tape FFs (it may be the VCR does that) so I'm hunting blindly to guess where a show ends and the next begins -- and I'm not even capturing, I'm FFing 30min at a time to see what's on the tape. Perhaps it's worth capturing everything (in chunks) without looking at it, then access the AVI instead of putting more strain on the tape? That might even save time in the long run, since I could let the tape run for 30min at a time (assuming 30min chunks). And you know the playback quality doesn't look all that terrible, at least in a fit-to-video (480px) window. And I suspect it wouldn't be too bad on a TV assuming it's not blown up to 1080px of course! It's testament to how fast the world has changed (and is changing), I'm sure some of these tapes are <10yr old and recording overnight TV in SLP on a sequential recording medium was quite acceptable -- because the alternative was either not to watch it, or to spend a fortune on a limited HD-based recording device. Now we just stream everything and a Redbox seems like too much trouble. Though I did just see a new outdoor Redbox at the local gas station - they do know it gets cold in Ottawa, right!?, that machine is going to be frozen solid in a couple of months - and I've got only 40GB/mo here, so I guess DVD rental @ $1.50 doesn't look so bad. For that matter, since I also have a 24" CRT TV (and no cable) I'm happily watching SD recordings off my ancient TiVo, and these digitized VHS recordings will probably look pretty good too.
  2. Thanks myguggi. I take your point that after capture, the AVI file is digital. Am I right that it's about 13GB/hr using the default settings? That's a lot for lousy 6hr (SLP on this machine) VHS mode. Would a full tape recorded in SP (i.e. 2hr) still be ~78GB, or would it be 13GB/hr? Are there settings I could adjust that would reduce filesize without losing anything? My initial goal was simply to capture the video tapes before they deteriorate or otherwise get damaged, then maybe later remove any commercials (if recorded off TV) or extraneous material (if recorded live) and either share the digital files or maybe burn DVDs for those without huge data allowances. Then I could also archive the initial video so I'd have the closest to original as possible. This 100GB for an 8hr tape makes me rethink that though. I will stay away from CineMagic, thank you for confirming that. If I don't want to do any editing of a given AVI, does Copy & Convert Video > Convert Video > Movies > Output to DVD|VIDEO do what I want and not lose much from the original AVI? Obviously a VHS is not going to be great quality, so I don't want to lose any more! For archiving the digital video, would I want WMV, MPEG-2, H.264, or MPEG-4? Under Custom Output, all four compression algorithms do seem to offer 720x480, so I think I'd want the one that retains the most of what little quality these VHS tapes have to begin with. Thanks again!
  3. I finally got my VCR hooked up to the Roxio USB adapter and captured some video for the first time. My ultimate goal is to convert some tapes that cannot be replaced, e.g. of a family member. I am using a Memorex VCR with 3 RCA outputs, Roxio USB adapter, Creator 2012 Pro, on a ThinkPad X220 with Win 7 (64 bit). Windows may have installed drivers, which I know was a bad thing, but it seems to be working. With Roxio Media Import open, I can hit Play on the VCR and the recording plays with audio in the window. I can capture it (as an AVI [892786 KB], to which it defaulted) and play back with audio. My trouble seems to come when I try to edit the captured file. First, if I say "Edit Automatically" (because I'm not worried about effects or even editing, really -- for now I just want to convert that tape to digital), I get "Create a CineMagic Movie" and it seems to insist on a style (vignette, etc.). I couldn't find any way to say "no style", is there a way? For output, I tried "DVD Playback", "MPEG-2 for DVD, normal quality", and the 4m1s recording became 1m40s (this according to the "Render" window, which reported that total duration as soon as it started). The resulting .mpg has no audio and is 91197 KB, according to Windows Explorer (which also says it's 1m39s). OTOH, if I say "Edit Advanced" and follow essentially the same steps, I get a 4m1s .mpg (219808 KB) with audio. Is this how it's expected to behave? And for digitizing VHS tapes, is there a better approach? I'm wondering if the 13GB/hr AVI is excessivly large, and also if there's a better output format. For example, "DVD Playback" defaulted to normal quality, but I'm happy to use best quality if that will retail more of the limited quality the VHS source has, or conversely perhaps smallest file size will be good enough (still better than the VHS). And maybe "Edit Video" isn't even where I want to be, maybe I just need "Drag & Drop Convert" or "Copy & Convert Video", using the AVI as source? If there's a tutorial for all this, I'm happy to study it, but the only manual I could find online was a bunch of tips for specific features and I'm not there yet. Thanks!
  4. yowser

    Roxio Video Capture Usb Device

    Borrowed Video Capture hardware (only) from a friend, and hooked it up expecting to install drivers and get some free software to test it. Of course (I now know) that might not have been the right thing to do. I now have a copy of Creator 2012 which I installed. I have not yet connected the hardware again. Is there something I should do before I connect the hardware again? e.g. something to delete from Device Manager? Also, this notebook (ThinkPad X220) doesn't have an optical drive, so I used an external drive to install the software. Is there anything else I need the DVD for, before I disconnected the external optical drive? Thanks! =yowser
  5. yowser

    Roxio Video Capture Usb Device

    NXT is now $37.19 on Amazon, still not $20 but lower than when I posted last. I got a copy of Creator Pro 2012 but haven't hooked up the Roxio hardware since installing it. I'll create a thread in the 2012 since I'm sure I'll have lots of questions. Thanks again everyone! =aw
  6. yowser

    Roxio Video Capture Usb Device

    Thanks Brendon. =aw
  7. yowser

    Roxio Video Capture Usb Device

    Thanks I'll watch for that. Is there a risk that it won't work because it was activated on a different machine? And is there documented what they took away when they produced NXT? And any opinions on Creator 2012, 2012 Plus, and 2012 Pro? =yowser
  8. yowser

    Roxio Video Capture Usb Device

    Hey I still have files on 100MB Zip drives. Of course I have no idea if they're still okay, and I'm afraid that trying to use the drive will kill the disks (click of death). Some day I'll value the files so little that I'll risk the drive (there's the cruel irony). I agree about reviews and I do check the comments on a bad rating (or a good rating, but especially on a bad rating) to make sure they're not downgrading for spurious reasons. That said, some of the 1* Amazon reviews did seem to start with "I've been using this software for 10 years..." which at least suggests they know what it does. And the reviews of NXT on download.com (or is it cnet.com) are even worse -- 12/12 are 1*. If those ratings are misplaced then I think someone (from Roxio) should be responding. Oh well. My friend found his disk (Creator 2010) and I'm happy to see it's supported under Win 7 (for some reason I thought it wasn't). When I get it from him, I'll be able to at least test the hardware and the tapes and see if there's anything to be recovered. Might not (won't) invest in NXT at this point (though it's dropped back to $42 on Amazon). Or is Creator 2010 sufficiently old/limited that I need to be thinking of NXT already? Thanks everyone for the help. I expect to be back with more questions soon (but not here I think, since it's an NXT thread). =yowser
  9. yowser

    Roxio Video Capture Usb Device

    Creator NXT is now $46.63 from Amazon. Yesterday (and the day before) it was $19.99, as I posted here at the time. I didn't know enough about it to know whether it was worth investing $20 in NXT, or if it was only useful as a stepping stone to Pro. And it had (has) a lot of bad reviews on Amazon -- the same number of 1* as 5*, and some sound like they know what they're talking about. At $47 I'm not sure I want to invest that much in what might be non-functioning hardware or tapes that are not salvageable. I'll work through jim_hardin's email (thank you) later this weekend and will follow up then. One thing is I'm actually thinking about not burning to DVD except as needed, but rather just keep on a HD.. =aw
  10. yowser

    Roxio Video Capture Usb Device

    You saw the part where I said "on sale at Amazon"? $20 boxed (eligible for Prime free shipping) or $20 for the download. Much cheaper than the older versions. ASIN: B008MR2GYQ But I used to see them doing it all the time on Law & Order! Joke. Yeah, "you can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear" of course. but I wasn't thinking so much of making BD quality from 6hr VHS (for example). I did think there might be some cleanup possible, such as (to pick something arbitrary, really) the tracking static across the bottom. Maybe (hypothetically) good software is good enough now to interpolate (extrapolate?) pixels and replace the white with something else. In the same way we've gone from redeye removal with PhotoShop (or PhotoPaint) where you manually grab colour from nearby pixels, to the software automatically finding redeye and fixing it. I also did a cleanup several years ago of some audio files from a conference -- I used some free software and went through and manually removed all the "um" and "ah". It was a painful process (for me) though I could actually _see_ most of them in the visualization. I'd imagine today there's software out there that does a decent job of identifying them and cutting them out without me having to do it over and over. Or analogous to the evolution of OCR software from dedicated Kurzweil devices in the 1980s to today, where they both do a better initial job on poor scans, and do a better job of learning as the user corrects their initial miscalculations. What I was thinking is that I have several choices for getting analogue tapes to digital files. I can copy on my DVD Recorder, I can use the Roxio hardware and (buy) Creator NXT, I can buy some knock-off cheapo hardware and use some crap bundled software, etc. I wondered if it's possible (especially given the relatively poor quality of a VHS tape at its very best) that _any_ video capture will do fine, and the difference in quality at the end (which will always be bad, but might be tolerable in a small 480-line window, or on my old 24" CRT TV) would be more a function of the software (NXT vs NXT Pro, for example). In the latter case, I could "rip" (not sure if that's the right term in this context) using $20 NXT or free DVD Recorder, then park the digital files until I was ready to treat them with some respect. If starting with the DVD Recorder, and finishing with NXT Pro at some future point, will result in a final product every bit as tolerable as starting with the Roxio hardware and $20 NXT, and finishing with NXT Pro at some future point, then I might as well use the Recorder and save the $20 towards NXT Pro at some future point. If starting with the Roxio hardware and $20 NXT, and finishing with NXT Pro at some future point, will give a better result, then I could consider spending the $20 now. I'm assuming that a <$15 knock-off capture hardware with no-name bundled software will give an inferior (more intolerable) result, but I guess it's possible the source is so bad that it's all total overkill. Thanks for the advice so far. I have a collection of cassette tapes I might also digitize, though again (and even more than video) it's almost all probably available as CD, or streaming audio online now. -yowser
  11. yowser

    Roxio Video Capture Usb Device

    Thank you, that's very helpful. When my friend lent me the hardware without a disc, I figured there would be a (hypothetical) "Creator SE" that came bundled and that I could probably download free. He's looking to see if he has a disk, but even if he does, from the discussons here, anything that was bundled with this older hardware probably won't run under Win7/64? My immediate need is very simple, get videos off these deteriorating VHS tapes. Some are recorded off-air (so not a lot of value) and some are speeches by a now-departed relative (so some value even if quality is bad). I was hoping that the cheap/free software (hypothetical Creator SE, or VHS-to-DVD, say) would at least capture the incoming stream, even if I needed something better to clean it up, edit, etc. I can buy Creator, I see NXT is on sale on Amazon but has very bad reviews. Are those because it's tricky and the users didn't pursue proper answers (i.e. here) or is it actually as buggy/challenging as they say? And at a high level, what's the difference between Creator NXT and NXT Pro? I suspect NXT will do what I want, but if it's more like a $20 version of an intro package, with ads and size limitations, then I should look at Pro or doing something else. BTW, is VHS-to-DVD essentially a stripped-down Creator (the hypothetical Creator SE that I expected), and that's why it's bundled but not available separately? Finally, getting really off-topic in some ways, I think my DVD Recorder (PYE Video) may actually work after all. Would the borrowed Roxio hardware and $20 Creator NXT likely give me better results than just recording directly to a DVD? If not, maybe I should use the DVD Recorder to capture the video via RCA|S-Video cables, then maybe move it to my hard drive at some point in future to do better with better software (perhaps NXT Pro). If for some reason I'll get better digital conversion with the computer and the old/basic Roxio hardware/software (old and basic, respectively) I could invest $20 in NXT. But if not, then it's $20 down the drain that could be put toward NXT Pro -- later! Thanks again! -yowser
  12. yowser

    Roxio Video Capture Usb Device

    A friend lent me his Roxio Video Capture USB hardware, which I think he's never used. Based on this thread, I believe it's the "old style". (Matches picture at http://www.roxio.com...e/overview.html ). He doesn't remember if it came with software. The page I cited above says, Minimum System Requirements: Only compatible with Roxio Creator™ 2010, Roxio Creator™ 2010 Pro, Roxio Creator™ 2011 and Roxio Creator™ 2011 Pro, Roxio Creator™ 2012, Roxio Creator™ 2012 Pro, Creator NXT and Creator NXT Pro which is fair enough, I can buy a copy of Creator NXT if necessary (though the reviews aren't great on Amazon). But then it appears this hardware was also sold as part of "Easy VHS to DVD" or whatever it is. Did that bundle include Creator, or some other software? I'm wondering if there's other software out there, perhaps not Roxio, that would let me test this device -- I don't even know if it works, so I'm hesitant to invest in software only to discover it's defective and then turn around and buy (hardware+software) like Roxio VHS-to-DVD again. Thanks! yowser
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