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Re: On VHS capture hardware/software that works with Debian

Hi, Rainer.

On Mar 02 2009, Rainer Kluge wrote:
> Rogério Brito schrieb:
> > 
> > I have a friend of mine that has an old ATI Rage 128 card (if I am not
> > mistaken) with line in. Would it be possible to make it work under
> > Linux?
> Should work without problems, I had this card working in the past.

I just remembered what the card seems to be (if I'm not mistaken, it is
an ATI Rage 128 Fury).

I read about some old gatos things, but it seems that some of the
support for those things (parts of the ati.2 driver) was incorporated
into upstream (X.org mainline).

> > If I happen to have to purchase something, what would be the recommended
> > hardware (with Free Software support)?
> I used some old TV cards from Pinnacle (PC TVSAT) and Terratec
> (TValue), which have a video-in port which is supported by the v4l2
> drivers. So you should have a look at http://linuxtv.org/v4lwiki for
> supported hardware.

That is quite nice to know. I didn't know about that already.  I am
always voting with my pocket, since I only get things that are "Free
Hardware", and I'm not that experienced with video cards.

> Then you have the choice to capture video in raw format (yuv4mpeg) and
> encode it offline to whatever you want. Or to encode it on the fly to
> MPEG4 while capturing.

Nice. I think that I will package a new trunk version of mplayer with
the multithreaded support (the experimental branch).

I already packaged newer things than Christian Marillat's packages (and
am willing to keep up with some packages that were dropped from sid,
like grip).

> There is a bunch of tools for capturing from /dev/video: transcode,
> mencoder, xdtv, xawtv....

I've been using mencoder for the task, as I'm not familiar with this
video 4 linux {1,2} thing. Only now is that I have the (strong)
motivation to keep me updated.

> On my P4 / 2.8GHz / Lenny, I got best results with xdtv, encoding
> directly in high quality mode to MPEG4/AVI.

I don't seem to have such a powerful machine (it's a Pentium D 805, with
2.6GHz in each core, and I'm tracking sid).

> When capturing in raw format, I loose lots of frames, probably due to
> insufficient processor performance or slow hard disk access.

Yes, I know, too much bandwidth.

> If you want to do some post-processing on the video (de-noising), have
> a look at transcode's hqdn3d filter.

Yes, the material, coming from VHS, will have a *lot* of noise. For
those purposes, I'm used to using two solutions:

* yuvdenoise, from mjpegtools;
* hqdn3d, with the "hqdn3d=7:6:9" option to mencoder.

The part where I am a complete layman is regarding hardware and the v4l{,2}
that you just pointed me to.

> If you prefer a GUI approach, have a look at avidemux, which provides
> the same filters as transcode, and allows also video editing.

Even though I prefer the command line approach (I'm an old Unix user), I
may, on occasion, use some GUI, but that is only occasionally.

> My experience shows that you can do everything in video capturing and
> editing with Linux, but it takes a lot of time to find out the best
> solution for your specific case.

Thank you very much for that part. I didn't know anything about the
hardware support. I'm only familiar with videos that are already

> If you need a quick solution, maybe you better buy one of those
> Pinnacle USB boxes and do the job under windows (grrrrr......)

I will see if I can get the ATI card, experiment a little and post back
the results. Going to Windows is a very last resort option, as I'm not
familiar with the environment.

Thank you very much, Rogério.

Rogério Brito : rbrito@{mackenzie,ime.usp}.br : GPG key 1024D/7C2CAEB8
http://www.ime.usp.br/~rbrito : http://meusite.mackenzie.com.br/rbrito
Projects: algorithms.berlios.de : lame.sf.net : vrms.alioth.debian.org

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