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I got some movies on a VCR that i want to move to my computer somehow. (for personal use)

I have a video capture card and all hardware required. I'm looking for the software - programs, codecs etc.

I like the format that most torrents come in and got some of these i'd like to use as reference for comparison. How can i see what codec, bitrate, etc a movie is using so i can pick this and know that it will work and look good. For AVI-files the bitrate is visible in explorer but it doesn't mention the codec used and i also have a lot of MKV-files that explorer can't handle.

All kinds of tips, tricks and other suggestions are welcome. This is completely new to me. How do I avoid that video/audio gets out of sync for example, many movies you download have audio out of sync so i guess this can happen quite easily.

The encoding-program has to run on windows and for playback the movies should work on at least VLC for windows.

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3 Answers

up vote 2 down vote accepted

What I recommend you to do for the highest preservation of quality is :

  1. Use the application that comes with your capture card.
  2. Choose the highest possible resolution and format you can capture (3MBps DV-AVI if possible). (Since you are capturing from VCR, anything above 640 in resolution pixel width will not result in much gain.)
  3. Use Handbrake to convert to the desired format. To understand what is the best quality output you should set for your video, you can read this forum thread here.

Audio/Video sync issues are not a concern nowadays if your source is good, and you keep the in-between conversions between formats to a minimum. In short, just do this :

Capture from Source > Handbrake Conversion

And you will have a very high chance that audio sync issues will not be present.

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I still have problems with audio and video sync, capturing from a mini DV camcorder to disk. VirtualDub loses sync, but WinDV doesn't. Haven't tried Handbrake though. –  M. Dudley Sep 13 '09 at 18:10
    
+1 Handbrake. I have only add a sync problem once and that was due to me doing another conversion for the ipod at the same time. PS: Welcome back scoop –  Diago Sep 13 '09 at 18:26
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WinDV is an excellent application for capturing video. It will keep your video and audio in sync and doesn't drop frames (remember to disable antivirus when capturing).

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VirtualDub is an old, famous, open-source and still actively-developed video capture/processing software (for Windows only). It is simple and powerful, with lots of features and fine-tuning settings. It's is not a full general-purpose video editor, but I think it might have the exact features you need.

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