Transferring SVHS Footage onto Hard Drive

Kyle1974

Standard Member
Hi

Hoping someone can help me - many years ago I ran a Doctor Who convention and am finally getting round to transferring the footage off my SVHS tapes onto my PC so that I can share them with people via social media. I have backed up the first 2 x four hour tapes and the size is coming out 16gb per a tape/recording which seems high. Is this right for the best quality for my my initial transfer from the tape or am I wasting disk space? I am using PowerDirector and the encoder is set to 680x480 MPEG 2 Video DVD HQ Fast.

Thank you
 

noiseboy72

Distinguished Member
No, that's about right.

You can reduce the file size about 10 fold by encoding with a more efficient code like mp4 or h264.

There's plenty of free and paid for programs to re-encode the files, so it's just a case of finding one that works well for you.
 

Kyle1974

Standard Member
Thank you noiseboy for the response - if I was to use something like handbrake as a starting point - what sort of settings would I be best to use if as a basic rule of thumb? My idea is to chop the days up into the discrete panels and then put them on YT so people could enjoy them really. I'd like to keep the SVHS look if I could as I still thin the tapes look fairly decent despite their age.
 

noiseboy72

Distinguished Member
You might be better to use a basic video editing program, as that way you can top and tail clips, as well as add titles and captions etc.

Da Vinci Resolve is free, but probably a bit ott. Other options are also available.
 

Kyle1974

Standard Member
Thank you (again) - I see in PowerDirector there are quite a lot of conversion and editing options (I am usually in my linux system so I am relearning). I think I will split the clips using that and the convert using a 264 codec to get the size down and keep the quality, rendering to a second drive for safety - that would seem the best option so I don't have to transfer the originals again
 

next010

Distinguished Member
Thank you (again) - I see in PowerDirector there are quite a lot of conversion and editing options (I am usually in my linux system so I am relearning). I think I will split the clips using that and the convert using a 264 codec to get the size down and keep the quality, rendering to a second drive for safety - that would seem the best option so I don't have to transfer the originals again
There are free open source video editors on Linux like kdenlive and openshot if you want to stay on Linux and save as lossless video then load into handbrake or whatever to convert.

Anything uploaded to Youtube gets auto converted into H.264/VP9/AV1, so you could just upload your MPEG 2 captures as is if you wanted, I believe Youtube supports .mpg as an input.

Or convert to H.264 or H.265 (better compression but takes longer) and upload those.

If using Handbrake or editor with constant quality feature a CQ value of 18 is generally close in quality to original source material, use a higher value for more compression, Handbrake defaults typically to 22.

Handbrake has a bunch of presets, general/HQ 480p Surround should be fine, the filters tab can be useful for old video too, sharpen, deinterlace, denoise etc.
 

Kyle1974

Standard Member
There are free open source video editors on Linux like kdenlive and openshot if you want to stay on Linux and save as lossless video then load into handbrake or whatever to convert.

Anything uploaded to Youtube gets auto converted into H.264/VP9/AV1, so you could just upload your MPEG 2 captures as is if you wanted, I believe Youtube supports .mpg as an input.

Or convert to H.264 or H.265 (better compression but takes longer) and upload those.

If using Handbrake or editor with constant quality feature a CQ value of 18 is generally close in quality to original source material, use a higher value for more compression, Handbrake defaults typically to 22.

Handbrake has a bunch of presets, general/HQ 480p Surround should be fine, the filters tab can be useful for old video too, sharpen, deinterlace, denoise etc.
That's very helpful, thank you - I shall start with that at the weekend.
 
Last edited:

IAmATeaf

Active Member
Slighty off topic but can I ask how you transferred the footage as I've been meaning to do this for ages but the last time I tried using an USB adaptor thingy the quality was just plain rubbish, I know that standard VHS isn't great but what I ended up on the PC just looked even worse.
 

noiseboy72

Distinguished Member
To get a good copy, you need a high quality player with heads in good condition, and an SVHS output, so that colour and luma information is separated prior to encoding. This will improve the perceived quality of VHS as well as SVHS.

A time base corrector and proc amp will help with improving frame drop and roll, as well as some correction of basic colour, brightness etc.
 

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