devices to interface vhs tape and digital tape devices with premeire pro

New Here ,
Jan 21, 2021 Jan 21, 2021

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I relize that there are many devices that will important to their software and then send it to premiere pro.  But the more times I have to transfer the file the more degredation i will receive.  So i asking for the nest direct access to premeire pro form digital tape and analog tape.

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Most Valuable Participant ,
Jan 21, 2021 Jan 21, 2021

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I used a Grass Valley ADVC 110 when I needed to connect to a VHS player to convert tapes from a really old camera

 

That device is no longer sold, but you might find one on eBay

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 21, 2021 Jan 21, 2021

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While devices like the StarTech Composite & S-Video to USB 2.0 Video Capture Adapter Cable* at $40 (Windows only) will capture your analog video source via S-Video or RCA video, it results in an MP4 file which, as you've pointed out, is not a good source for editing as it won't hold up to compression generation loss.

 

You want a device that includes software that can capture to a format that's good for editing.

 

While the Blackmagic Design Intensity Shuttle for USB 3.0** comes in at $200, it can capture to Apple ProRes422 via the included Blackmagic Media Express applications. If you capture to, let's say, Apple ProRes422 LT, you have a format that was made for editing. Match that with ProRes422 LT for your Sequence Video Previews and export to that as well and you're taking advantage of Smart Rendering*** in Premiere Pro as well (everything is a lot faster in PR when you use a CODEC that's supported by Smart Rendering).

 

If you're capturing from VHS, BETAMAX, Regular8, or Hi8 and just want to archive the footage to watch later, go with the $40 StarTech (the Elgato USB Analog Video Capture Device**** at $90 is also a very good choice - great capture software and works on both Windows and Mac). You'll have a 1st generation MP4 that you can watch later; however, it's not a good file for editing.

 

If you're capturing from VHS, BETAMAX, Regular8, or Hi8 and want to edit the footage, go with the Blackmagic Design Intensity Shuttle. You'll have the option to choose a format that's very good for editing (like Apple ProRes). You can export it to H264 or H265 before or after editing.

 

Blackmagic makes a variety "Intensity" products for capture and playback. It might be worth a conversation with their sales department if you're not sure which one will meet your needs. They also have Thunderbolt based devices as well as devices with connectors for higher-end video (BETACAM, 3/4-inch, DigiBETA, D1, D2, etc.).


All that said, if you happen to already own a DV-NTSC device with analog video input and a FireWire or Thunderbolt port on your computer, Premiere Pro probably supports it already via File > Capture. The DV device has to support analog passthrough and you won't have DV deck control.  If you have Thunderbolt, you'll need at least one, but maybe two, adapters that are only available from Apple to patch the MiniDV connector on your device to the Thunderbolt port on your computer.

 

 

 

 

*StarTech Composite & S-Video to USB 2.0 Video Capture Adapter Cable $39.11 (Currently available)
https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1563850-REG/startech_svid2usb232_s_video_composite_to.html

 

**Blackmagic Design Intensity Shuttle for USB 3.0 $200 (Discontinued)
https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/686585-REG/Blackmagic_Design_BINTSSHU_Intensity_Shuttle.html

 

***Adobe Premiere Pro User Guide - Smart Rendering
https://helpx.adobe.com/africa/premiere-pro/user-guide.html/africa/premiere-pro/using/smart-renderin...

 

****Elgato USB Analog Video Capture Device $89.99 (Currently available)
https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/625264-REG/Elgato_Systems_10020840_Video_Capture_USB_Analog.h...

 

 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 21, 2021 Jan 21, 2021

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I also use a Grass Valley ADVC 110.  You might be able to find a used one on eBay or Amazon. 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 21, 2021 Jan 21, 2021

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From this day forward could we please not recomend the Intensity Shuttle for VHS capture. The Intensity Shuttle requires a TBC to capture wornout VHS tapes. The ADVC 110 does not. As of now both produts are discontinued. The video below shows why I use both products. That being said I think Windows 10 and OS X are dropping support fore Firewire OHCI.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 22, 2021 Jan 22, 2021

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Everything I linked to is currently available.  I have the PCI version of the Intensity as well as the Envato device listed.

 

Time base correction has always been preferable for analog capture, even when VHS tape was new.  My JVC VHS deck has a TBC built-in.

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 22, 2021 Jan 22, 2021

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Warren, you are incoorect. The Intensity Shuttle is discontinued. Your own link even says it disontinued. The Intensity Pro 4K is a PCIe card that is still being manufactured. That being said most people's VCRs will not have a TBC built in. We need to give good advice. That includes mentioning the Intensity Shuttle needs a TBC. As far as the Startek is concerned could you post the quality compared to your Intensity Pro 4K?

A lot of the cheap USB video capture devices can be a pain in the buttocks for a multitude of reasons and also yield poor image quality.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 23, 2021 Jan 23, 2021

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That's weird.  I could have sworn that the 2.0 version of the Intensity Shuttle was discontineud and that the 3.0 version was still available.  I've updated my post.  Although. I did recommend speaking to Blackmagic Design sales to see about the best product to meet the users needs while also attempting to recommending products for this post that are available.

 

When it comes to a time base corrector, yes, that should help with problematic tapes; however, that was of utpmost importance for analog to analog transfers.  If this post was about A to A, I would stress the importance of it.  This is analog to digital.  A VHS desk with well maintained video heads should be adequate for going directly to digital.  And as I mentioned in my follow up, some VHS decks have an internal TBC.

 

Elgato USB Analog Video Capture Device at $89.99 works really, really well for catpure to MP4.  It even allows for the user to trim the capture afterward.  

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 23, 2021 Jan 23, 2021

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Warren,

You are confused. A VHS deck with well maintained video heads is not the issues. If you stick an old wornout VHS tape in a brand new VCR the Intensity Shuttle will not work because the tapes get stretched out over time. Once the timing is off the Intensity Shuttle will not work. You could have a brand new VCR 25 years ago and have wornout tapes from the video rental house that would not playback correctly not matter how hard you tried to adjust the tracking because all tapes become bad over time.

That being said could your upload a sample video clip that was captured using the Elgato and also upload a clip that used your Intensity Pro 4K? I would like to see the clips at 100% and then at 200%. I am curious to see the quality between the two.

The orignal poster could comapre you methods to using an ADVC 110.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 24, 2021 Jan 24, 2021

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I completely agree that a time base corrector is a good option to improve picture quality.

 

For just about anything with S-Video and/or RCA Video, you can patch through a TBC.  It does not have to be built into the VHS deck or into the capture hardware.

 

An ADVC 110 is a great option if you happen to already own the hardware needed to use it.  It's not as simple as just picking up one up from eBay and then connecting it to your computer. 

 

I've used the Elgato to catpure most of my old BDA awards tapes (there's still another box to get through).  I'm not sure if that can be shared publicly or not.  

 

My Intensity PCI card is the version before the 4K now installed in a Thunderbolt PCI expansion box after having been pulled from an older Mac Pro. That's mostly been used to capture Hi8 for a documentary.  If it ever gets finished, I'll be sure to post a link to where you can purchase it from the distributor for review.  The Hi8 was supposed to have been bumped to Beta when it was originally shot, but that didn't happen.  Fortunately it was tored vertically in a cool, dry place and there were no unexpected issues.

 

 

 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 24, 2021 Jan 24, 2021

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Warren,

A TBC does not improve picture quality. It simply allows the tape to be in sync with broadcast compliant hardware (NTSC or PAL). The probelm is you cannot find a TBC today unless you buy it used because tapes are a thing of the past. In that case you might as well buy the ADVC 110. The ADVC 110 is as easy as plugging it into your PC by Firewire or Thunderbolt adapter. There is no other hardware needed. The Intensity Shuttle requires drivers that can be problematic at times.

That being said Premiere Pro is going to loose support for Firewire on the Macs. Is it because of the M1 chips? Who knows? Some people have said iMovie still works.

I don't need you to post a link to the Intensity PCIE card. I know where to buy BMD products. In fact I have two Intensity Shuttles (USB and Thunderbolt).  The hardware is the same as yours. Only the interface is different. I did not want you to post your video samples for me. It would be nice for the OP to see the end result of your method. All you have to do is capture any VHS tape so we can see a sample. I know for a fact a lot of the cheap USB devices can be problematic.

That being said you do not want to transfer the Hi-8 to Betamax or Betacam because you would be skipping a generation and loosing image quality.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 25, 2021 Jan 25, 2021

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Practically, a TBC minimizes picture quality degradation inherent to generation loss introduced when you dub analog tape.  Is it really necessary to take this thread off into a conversation about vertical sync?

 

Bumping Hi8 to BetaCAM was for long-term storage in the days before digital video.  It was common practice at MTV when the Canon L2 was the go-to low-budget camcorder as well as for late-night infomercial production.  Today, you would just digitize Hi8.

 

Okay... I'll only suggest products available for purchase new if you'll do the same.  Deal?

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 25, 2021 Jan 25, 2021

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The TBC only provides sync it does not enhance the quality nor would my ADVC 110. Going from Hi-8 to Betacam is skipping a generation. Why would you skip a generation? Not only will you have worse image quality but you will also have a larger video tape. That makes no sense if you are trying to archieve the videos. I could maybe see going from Betacam to Hi-8 to save space but not Hi-8 to Betacam.

Regarding your last comment I say no deal! I see nothing wrong with recommending used gear if it works great. There are no mechanical parts in the ADVC 110 that will wear out. If the product is 6 years old or 6 months old you will not be able to tell the difference. I think it is best to suggest the best solution regardless if it is new or used. That being said I would like to see what results you get with the Startech device. If it looks good I will recommend it in these forum. So will other people. In fact I will post links to your video on my channel if you show us some samples. Is that a deal?

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 25, 2021 Jan 25, 2021

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Hi8 never held up well to jog/shuttle non-linear access.  So, you'd shoot Hi8 with a nice camera and dub to 3/4-inch or BetaCAM which hold up extremely well to jog/shuttle.  It's pretty much simple as that.

 

Unfortunately, we have no idea if the original poster has a Thunderbolt or FireWire port.  Also, if that person happens to get a deck for bringing digital tape across, that device will very likely handle VHS capture as well.

 

I do not own the StarTech.  I own the Elgato.  That said, it would not surprise me if each product came from the same factory with different branding.

 

By any chance were you trying to capture with an Intensity Shuttle directy in Premiere Pro?  Have you tried Blackmagic Media Express?  That's all I've ever used for analog capture with a Blackmagic Intensity product.  The Decklink Extreme works well in Premiere Pro, but I've heard of the Intensity working.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 25, 2021 Jan 25, 2021

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I am hip to Betacam and 3/4" as well as transfers for editing purposes but you were talking about for storage (archieving) after the video editing is completed. If you take a Hi-8 and transfer it to Betacam for editing where the Betacam tape will get stretched and wornout during the editing process it would be best to trash the Betacam version and keep the virgin/unedited  Hi-8 for archieving. It will have the best quality. If they need to edit it again they can digitize it or transfer it to Betacam again for editing if it was 1995.

We make suggestions to people's comments but our suggestions may apply to other people. That being said all the new Intel chips in 2021 are supposed to have Thunderbolt on the CPU die.

If you own the Elgato show us a sample. Maybe your method works great. If so I will recommend it but keep in mind the OP wants to use Premiere Pro and I know the Elgato does not have drivers for Premiere Pro. The ADVC 110 does work with Premiere Pro (except the latest version of Premiere Pro and OS X).

I have captured using Media Express. It still require a TBC. Keep in mind the OP wants to use Premiere Pro not Media Express. I have made several videos about the ADVC 110, The Intenisty Shuttle the Diamond VC 500 and even the Easy Cap. My channel is kind of dedicated to the easiest way to capture VHS tapes but still have good quality. I have heard horror stories from my subscribes about using the Elgato, Pinnacle, Dazzle etc. They all say the ADVC 110 looks much better and is hassle free. You should check out my channel and read the comments.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 26, 2021 Jan 26, 2021

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Regarding "but you were talking about for storage (archieving) after the video editing is completed"


You miss-understood.  I was talking about the pre-ingest phase of post-production, not archiving.  That said, when we were printing an edited master to analog tape, it was likely to be 3/4-inch or BetaCAM for compatibility and archiving.  Printing video directly to VHS was also pretty common.  Of course, we're getting to the point that anyone who still has a large library of content on analog tape formats may have waited too long.

 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 23, 2021 Jan 23, 2021

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Softball_Junky:

 

I forgot to address digital tape.

 

Premiere Pro's video capture supports DV and HDV - so the digital tape that use FireWire/IEEE-1394/i.Link.  You didn't mention which digital tape format, but you'll need a camcorder or deck that supports whatever digital tape you have like Digital8, MicroMV, MiniDV, DVCAM and HDV (finding a camcorder/deck in good working order may be the biggest challenge).  DVCPro should also be supported directly via Premiere Pro, but I haven't captured that one in PR myself (only in Final Cut Pro classic).  Of course, your computer needs to have FireWire port.  FireWire PCI cards may still be available (last time I purchased and installed one for an HP tower was back in 2018).  If you have Thunderbolt, that can be adapted to FireWire, but Thunderbolt 2/1 to 3 is a $50 adapter and Thunderbolt 2/1 to FireWire800 is $35 (each is sold by Apple).  Sometimes it's easier to pick up a used Mac or Windows machine with built-in FireWire or iLInk for DV capture than it is to connect a new machine.  A 2012 13-inch MacBook Pro with FireWire will set you back $300 to $600 "reconditioned" on Amazon (yeah, it's crazy that old Macs hold value) and will run macOS Catalina, allowing you to use the current version of Premiere Pro for the capture.  

 

For the digital tape formats that use SDI like DigiBETA and D1, you'll need a device or card that supports SDI.  That would also be captured through 3rd party software that goes with capture card/device.

 

Another thing that may be worth mentioning:  even though MiniDV was widely available, tapes reordered in one make/model camcorder may not play back as expected in a different make/model camcorder or deck.  So, if you happen to know that your DV tapes were recorded with, let's say, a Canon GL2, then try to capture from a Canon GL2.  

 

 

 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 24, 2021 Jan 24, 2021

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Heya Softball_Junkie:

 

I'm going to throw one more option out, but it has pros and cons.

 

You could purchase a DVD/VCR Combo (DVD player VCR player/recorder) and use that to record your VHS tapes to DVD-R.  On the off chance it also has FireWire, you may be able to patch that to FireWire or Thunderbolt Port on your computer and capture straight through.  I've had a Panasonic that could do that about ten years ago.  More than likely, it won't have FireWire and you'll have to record to DVD-R instead.  Some DVD recorders write to a "Sonata" format (I think all of the Sony branded models do so) which makes it impossible to import the results directly into Premiere Pro, but Mac DVD Ripper Pro can convert that to MP4 for you.  You might want to convert DVD-Video data on a DVD-R to a video format anyway.  Unfortunately, the best application for it, DVDxDV Pro is discontinued and if you manage to get a copy only runs on macOS High Sierra 10.13 or older.

 

The pros are that you can usually just press one button on the DVD/VCR combo and come back in an hour or two (the DVD-R side needs to be set the appropriate mode for record duration) and you can then extract the DVD on a comptuter with a DVD drive.  While slow, it does not need to be monitored.  The cons are that you're stuck with MPEG2 as an interim format and then MP4 for import into PR.

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