It is currently 17 Aug 2019, 15:49




 Page 1 of 1 [ 12 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: Total Newbie With A Forming Interest
PostPosted: 20 Sep 2018, 06:35 
Third post and above
Third post and above
User avatar

Joined: 01 Jul 2017, 19:32
Posts: 5
Location: United States
Has thanked: 0 time
Been thanked: 0 time
Hello all!

I've been a browser of LDDb for some months, finally decided to take the plunge and open a dialog as I've recently won an auction that's made me truly consider working out a decent LD/VHS to Computer capture setup in the near future.

I'm a big fan of somewhat obscure movies (absolute favourites: 200 Motels, Murder By Death and HEAD to name a few) but I'm also slowly getting into a few animes, two of which are very much of the Laserdisc era, Dirty Pair and Slayers.

For Slayers, I've recently managed to acquire all three LD season boxes, Movies and two OVA for a pretty good price. I've inspected them and they've come with nearly all the original inserts, and the discs themselves are still in that U-shaped plastic and look great.

I didn't expect to be able to collect such a bounty so soon! I'm also a fan of some "Saturday morning" cartoons and neither did I expect a copy of the first Darkwing Duck LD twofer to show on eBay recently, I have the VHSes and DVDs of that cartoon but bought the LD as soon as I saw it listed, it's not as clean, but was still in the old shrink wrap which was nice.

The point is for these two shows I've had two personal restoration projects I've wanted to do for some time (once I could afford the vintage gear for such an idea of course). The first was a complete set of Darkwing Duck episodes with a reconstruction of the pilot using elements from the uncut VHS/LD releases and the syndicated edits on DVD. That's a somewhat simpler project as the only ripping I'd need to do would be the pilot and a couple of the non-DVD episodes, the 37 unreleased episodes would be filled in by carefully cleaned copies of overseas and native satellite rips. Overseas for the clearer video, and the native English audio synced up. I've already handled that, audio cleanup took under a week and tedious amounts of colour correction and framerate syncing on the video took a couple weeks, but ironically all those are ready for the next phase way, way ahead of time.

When I got into Slayers, the heavy level of MPEG-2 compression used to cram so many episodes on each disc of the official US DVD boxset leaves a LOT to be desired. At first, I wanted to track down the early Japanese DVD releases which are split up like the LD boxes (7 discs each), but those sets fetch far higher prices than I expected, plus those are still encoded with MPEG-2 so it's still not "there" enough for me; digital may be more stable than analog, but it's like the endless CD vs Vinyl debates, analog may be prone to more inconsistencies but there IS the possibility of a higher-quality signal if captured right. I watch that series with Japanese audio and English subtitles, and this project idea stems from a double irritation of the heavily compressed video and the English spellings of the place/character names. I'd intend to do a complete overhaul with mostly uncompressed rips from the LDs, for both video and audio, and retyped subtitles to fix all the place names and occasional line that went untranslated. That's a heftier project that I think about in the same vein as a hobbyist, a big ol' time-consuming labor of love that'll take who knows how long amongst all the other stuff I have to get done but will be all the sweeter once it's completed.

But this all rides on my hypothesis that it'd be feasible to capture a decent analog SD signal from these LDs to a digtial file on my computer.

I've been reading some posts related to this and been trying to understand, but I think it'd be better if I put this forth to you all than sink some money into an older piece of gear that may very well be the wrong model!

From what I understand I'd need to work out a flow going roughly: decent higher-end LD player -> Composite OUT (due to S-video comb filter in LD players being poorer than modern ones) -> DVD recorder (or S-VHS deck so I can also rip my VHSes in the process) with decent Comb Filter and TimeBase Controller -> S-video OUT -> S-video to HDMI adapter (I was thinking the Monoprice one) -> HDMI OUT -> HDMI capture card (I was thinking an Elgato brand due to it being a YouTuber gaming favourite) -> USB OUT -> capture software of some kind for iMac (I think the Elgato ones come with their own)

Does that sound feasible?

I'm a completely foolish newbie who needs a lesson in how analog video flow works, I'm making my best guess at the flow I'd need for my needs.
I'd love to hear from those on the forum who have dealt with such projects about how setting up a decent kind of setup (but not for more than triple-digits) I'd need to capture these LDs I now own.

Thanks for your time!
Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Total Newbie With A Forming Interest
PostPosted: 20 Sep 2018, 21:21 
Young Padawan
Young Padawan
User avatar

Joined: 14 Jan 2010, 09:44
Posts: 3579
Location: United States
Has thanked: 61 times
Been thanked: 151 times
Do you like Star Wars?
Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Total Newbie With A Forming Interest
PostPosted: 20 Sep 2018, 21:24 
Jedi Master
Jedi Master
User avatar

Joined: 03 May 2004, 19:05
Posts: 5705
Location: United States
Has thanked: 77 times
Been thanked: 106 times
signofzeta wrote:
Do you like Star Wars?

Probably more obscure like Empire Strikes Back.
Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Total Newbie With A Forming Interest
PostPosted: 20 Sep 2018, 22:06 
Third post and above
Third post and above
User avatar

Joined: 01 Jul 2017, 19:32
Posts: 5
Location: United States
Has thanked: 0 time
Been thanked: 0 time
signofzeta wrote:
Do you like Star Wars?


I've seen a number of versions of those, even have the CBS VHSes someone gave me a long time ago, not really my thing outside of the first one. The production mayhem is neat to read about and I do have the soundtrack albums of all three though, I like those.
Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Total Newbie With A Forming Interest
PostPosted: 22 Sep 2018, 00:45 
Young Padawan
Young Padawan
User avatar

Joined: 14 Jan 2010, 09:44
Posts: 3579
Location: United States
Has thanked: 61 times
Been thanked: 151 times
I’m asking because every few months here we have a new member (maybe the same guy, maybe sometimes the same guy) who introduces himself with a huge post about how he loves making custom edits of Star Wars movies. He knows way way more about the subject than anyone here so not much happens after that because he only cares about LD insofar as that Star Wars is on it.

Your post looks a lot like the Star Wars person/people so I had to ask.

I wouldn’t involve S video in your chain unless you have specific gear that requires it. S video leads to a lot of dead ends. I also wouldn’t put enough time into Slayers to watch it all let alone re-do the whole series in a way that will only result in wasted effort once a decent Blu-ray comes out, which is the definition of inevitable.

This is a video I did with a JVC DVD recorder (DR-MV150) and a Pioneer CLD-99. Composite connection. The resultant DVD was then extracted as a VOB and that was uploaded to YouTube. I didn’t change anything. I used the highest quality setting for DVD recording which IIRC only allows 1 hour in a DVD-R.



In theory I could have gotten much better results by not recording to DVD (which limits you to DVD res) and instead just ran the video through the player and out the HDMI at higher resolutions and then captured that with my Elgato doodad but I’m sort of having a hard time imagining this looking any better. Both the player and the recorder are excellent.


Last edited by signofzeta on 23 Sep 2018, 22:11, edited 1 time in total.
Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Total Newbie With A Forming Interest
PostPosted: 22 Sep 2018, 03:50 
Third post and above
Third post and above
User avatar

Joined: 01 Jul 2017, 19:32
Posts: 5
Location: United States
Has thanked: 0 time
Been thanked: 0 time
I see, I apologize for giving that impression. I am cluttered with my speech.
I won't lie, I do love working on edits, Zappa compilations or nitpicky stuff like attempting to colour correct revisionist Blu-rays, but I have no interest in tinkering with Star Wars or any of its sequels, there's enough people who obsess over that kind of thing.

Anyways, I put S-video in the chain for both/either to make use of an S-VHS VCR's filtering and for an Extron YCS SW2 I found on eBay I'm waiting for to arrive.
For cost reasons, I've been debating going with the s-video-to-HDMI converter/upscaler option, or just attempting to capture the signal via a SD USB adapter.

Due to a lot of my favourite programmes either not getting a Blu-ray reissue or getting terribly botched ones, I've somewhat abandoned the thought of waiting for those. The Slayers Movies & OVAs BD-BOX (Japan only) is a pretty good set, but it got canceled briefly and then delayed for a year, and despite great quality throughout, the colour timing was a little messy on the first two films, Slayers RETURN suffering from a blue tint that does not belong to it. And for another anime, Gunsmith Cats is only getting a beautiful restoration put onto Blu-ray due to a crowdfunding project. The ITV-approved HD remasters of Jeeves & Wooster are terribly DNRed and mess up the credits a bit, but they are a great improvement over the poorly telecined broadcast masters that get reissued on DVD every now and again, (those are so bad they sometimes appear less than 480i) although the HD remastes only appear on ITV's service or a Russian Blu-ray box (thankfully with English audio) that is questionable to it's "officialness".

There are great Blu-rays out there that get released without all that though, don't let my pessimism lead you wrong. The 40th Anniversary release of Monty Python And The Holy Grail is one of the most true-to-source and colourful transfers yet (so of course it got meager comments on its visual quality, ugh).
But there are films and/or shows I like that are just not in the line to get a proper reissue unless some fanatic with a bunch of money pushes for it; and I may be fanatic, but I don't have a bunch of money.
And y'know, so what if I'm wrong in the case of Slayers and my efforts are "a wasted effort", that still doesn't mean I can't have fun cleaning it all up for my own purposes. There already are B/PAL Blu-rays sets from Spain for the Slayers TV seasons that have pretty decent colour to them, I don't know what master they used for those but I'd love to see it myself. I might even add them to my collection when I find a good deal for them.

Maybe in the end I can chalk it all up to curiosity; I once spent a few weeks putting together a collection of old computer emulators and trying to get them to run okay on my own machine. I had no idea what I was doing but somehow got them all to start except for an Amiga one. Out of sheer "need" to have the set be complete, I spent far more time than anyone might want to getting that emulator to start up and run a few programs, still not quite understanding how it all worked. The irony is I never really used it or any of the other emulators after that point, other stuff to do, and the computer those were on is long since gone. But it sure was fun and something I still remember warmly with a chuckle.
If my ripping and cleaning stuff turns out redundant, I can at least hope I might have learned something along the way.

Again, I apologize for my cluttered speech.
Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Total Newbie With A Forming Interest
PostPosted: 23 Sep 2018, 22:07 
Young Padawan
Young Padawan
User avatar

Joined: 14 Jan 2010, 09:44
Posts: 3579
Location: United States
Has thanked: 61 times
Been thanked: 151 times
If you use a thing that takes S-video and outputs HDMI then that piece will be the most important thing in the setup. Therefore getting it from Monoprice sorta seems backwards if quality is important. Let us know how it works, I guess. In 2018 I'd be looking at all-in-one solutions. You aren't going to find too many things with s-video on them anymore and the ones that do probably just combine them instantly, maybe even in the adaptor cable, by basically just twisting the two together. Meanwhile the comb filters built into a lot of things nowadays are amazing.
Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Total Newbie With A Forming Interest
PostPosted: 23 Sep 2018, 22:25 
Jedi Master
Jedi Master
User avatar

Joined: 03 May 2004, 19:05
Posts: 5705
Location: United States
Has thanked: 77 times
Been thanked: 106 times
Thanks for posting that video, I made a few direct rips for friends of LDs back in the day when I owned a DVD recorder.

It was really the best and easiest way to do it.
I did buy a program for my computer and was going to rip to that and then burn a disc but it would have been double the time for encoding etc. Ended up returning it
as it was a waste, and this was back in 2003/4
Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Total Newbie With A Forming Interest
PostPosted: 24 Sep 2018, 13:30 
Advanced fan
Advanced fan
User avatar

Joined: 23 Jun 2017, 01:55
Posts: 717
Location: United States
Has thanked: 119 times
Been thanked: 35 times
signofzeta wrote:
If you use a thing that takes S-video and outputs HDMI then that piece will be the most important thing in the setup. Therefore getting it from Monoprice sorta seems backwards if quality is important. Let us know how it works, I guess. In 2018 I'd be looking at all-in-one solutions. You aren't going to find too many things with s-video on them anymore and the ones that do probably just combine them instantly, maybe even in the adaptor cable, by basically just twisting the two together. Meanwhile the comb filters built into a lot of things nowadays are amazing.


I agree. If you are already spending a bunch including on a high end player then you might as well get a good analog to digital converter.
Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Total Newbie With A Forming Interest
PostPosted: 26 Sep 2018, 02:42 
Third post and above
Third post and above
User avatar

Joined: 01 Jul 2017, 19:32
Posts: 5
Location: United States
Has thanked: 0 time
Been thanked: 0 time
Kinda of a side note, but a funny story: I had never noticed DVD compression artifacts until I bought the MST3K Vol. XIV box years ago, the one with "Soultaker" on it. I've gotten used to ripping discs and storing mp4s of them on my hard drives. Sometimes tweaking them along the way. A few artifacts are passable, but if I see that blocky structure begin to creep in I start over with even lower compression settings. Bigger file sizes result, but at least they're not too uncomfortable to look at.
That is until I noticed this disturbing blocky pattern take hold during the static effect where Joel tunes in. No matter what I did it wouldn't decrease. I got so frustrated I popped the disc back in and watched that section carefully, and there the artifacts were! Baked right into the DVD! It was at that moment I got super paranoid and couldn't stop noticing such artifacts of varying intensity in every DVD I have. Once you notice a format's limitations, I don't think it's possible to un-notice them. Haha!
Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Total Newbie With A Forming Interest
PostPosted: 26 Sep 2018, 03:02 
Jedi Master
Jedi Master
User avatar

Joined: 03 May 2004, 19:05
Posts: 5705
Location: United States
Has thanked: 77 times
Been thanked: 106 times
sirquacky wrote:
Kinda of a side note, but a funny story: I had never noticed DVD compression artifacts until I bought the MST3K Vol. XIV box years ago

True, this is one of the main reasons I stuck with LD rather than taking the plunge into DVD but now if you get a better player and TV set you
notice less but its still there.

When was this BTW? I ask as I noticed it when I first picked up a DVD player around 2003-4, I hated the glitch from the layer change.
Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Total Newbie With A Forming Interest
PostPosted: 26 Sep 2018, 16:40 
Third post and above
Third post and above
User avatar

Joined: 01 Jul 2017, 19:32
Posts: 5
Location: United States
Has thanked: 0 time
Been thanked: 0 time
rein-o wrote:
When was this BTW? I ask as I noticed it when I first picked up a DVD player around 2003-4, I hated the glitch from the layer change.


The box set came out around 2009, I bought it with a few of the other ones sometime around 2015, a big lot on eBay that contained the earlier OOP sets. I'm pretty late to the game on any front, haha! Didn't have a proper TV for some time, so I got used to the way things looked as they plated back on my computer through a Pioneer BD/DVD/CD USB 3.0 player (model BDR-XD05B), my eyesight has never been the best either so until I read about or finally see a huge problem in a source it never clicks that little ones are there too.

Sometime late-2015 when this happened, I was also able to acquire a decent no-frills HDTV and prescription glasses. Those two things happening at the same time gave me a veritable leap in clarity (though my eyesight is still permanently "off-kilter" in terms of depth, doesn't matter for 2D media though!) and I started comparing the discs I had with the rips I put on my hard drives and started noticing these artifacts all over the place.

It was, later on, I learned about CD samples and the similar process done to compress media on DVDs and my whole notion of this being a great format started to break, it became merely "good".
I'm not saying I expect some kind of HD miracle to come from analog stuff like LD, but in theory, if I take a complete fluctuating signal over a stable-yet-overly compressed signal, there is a chance for sections where the analog will produce better quality output.

I'm not rich though so I'm going halfway, nothing will be "the best" but everything will be decent, decent cables, decent gear, nothing that exceeds triple digits, collect what I can on both formats, make a few judgment calls as to which things would be better as an analog rip vs the digital releases (if any available).

For example, I could also try acquiring all the Dirty Pair LDs for the same kind of setup, but those have low-cost/low-compression DVD reissues by the RightStufAnime company from 2012/2013, with newer video transfers taken from the official Japanese 10-disc remastered set. They've already synced up the English subtitles so all I have to do buy and enjoy and rip to my hard drives at some point.
Meanwhile, Slayers' TV episodes are entirely out-of-print on both sides of the pond barring a heavily compressed gen-of-a-gen, occasionally mis-translated 12-disc set from Funimation. There is no reissue in sight unless somehow the new 16th main series book is going to jumpstart some Western interest, despite if not getting a release in the west as the last book that got an official translation in English was the 8th! Hopefully another Japanese reissue with take place and I can snag those while they're in print, but no word on that yet.

The benefit to being a fan of a series that's not in vogue is you can find neat old merch and releases for great deals, the loss is that those deals you find are most likely all there'll ever be; first come first serve.
Offline
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
 Page 1 of 1 [ 12 posts ] 


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to: