# Lossless VHS Captures in VirtualDub 2 ## Install VirtualDub 2 First things first, we will need to install VirtualDub2. The original VirtualDub in my experience is problematic and requires additional steps to properly configure various encoding formats. For this reason I personally stick to VirtualDub2. Go ahead and download the archive here: https://sourceforge.net/projects/vdfiltermod/ After it downloads we will want to unzip and move the directory to the appropriate location. These days most people are using 64bit systems so on Windows the appropriate location will be your `Program Files` directory. e.g. `C:\Program Files` ![](https://i.imgur.com/78S5MTf.png) There are some filters that only work on the 32bit version but I wouldn't worry about these too much, you can generally get by just using the 64bit version. If you really end up needing to use a 32bit based plugin you can continue to capture in the 64bit version and then open the video file in the 32bit version afterwards to do post-processing. ## Additional Settings (Maybe Not Necessary) In my experience I have found that some captures that end up being larger in file size will have issues upon saving where the indexing is corrupted which results in many issues, namely that seeking in your video will be broken or very slow. I have also noticed that this results in many artifacts or sync issues when you post-process and/or encode. This is easily solved by setting a larger value than the default settings for the `superindex`. In the menu we will go to `Options>Preferences` ![](https://i.imgur.com/NnX8A7H.png) Then on the left side choose the `AVI settings` ![](https://i.imgur.com/q1wKCca.png) Notice the option for `Superindex entry limit` this should be 256 by default so changing it to 512 is double and should be more than enough for any analog tape capture. It's important that this value remains a power of 2 so don't just choose any arbitrary value. ## Capture Card Settings This section may vary to some extent depending on your capture device, region, video input and a bit of personal preference. I am using a `Hauppauge USB Live-2` capture devices with S-Video input in the NTSC region. VirtualDub2 provides multiple encoding formats ready to use but in this tutorial we will be using the HuffYUV format and opting to use 4:2:2 chroma subsampling. Chroma subsampling is a fancy way to say that we are retaining more color information (i.e. less compressed) From rtings.com ``` A signal with chroma 4:4:4 has no compression (so it is not subsampled) and transports both luminance and color data entirely. In a four by two array of pixels, 4:2:2 has half the chroma of 4:4:4, and 4:2:0 has a quarter of the color information available. The 4:2:2 signal will have half the sampling rate horizontally, but will maintain full sampling vertically. 4:2:0, on the other hand, will only sample colors out of half the pixels on the first row and ignores the second row of the sample completely. ``` When we open up VirtualDub2 64bit the first thing we will do is turn on capture mode by going to `Capture>Capture AVI` in the menu. ![](https://i.imgur.com/drPMJUE.png) Go into the device settings in the menu and make sure your capture device is selected as the input. ![](https://i.imgur.com/Q2owbmf.png) ## Video Settings Now we will adjust the video settings which will include things like encoding format, the format of the tape being captured, and additional settings like video levels etc. The first set of options are for the video preview window. I personally use the `Overlay` option but it's been reported that some capture devices can be problematic with this option. The same can be said for the `Preview` option, apparently it works well in some setups but can be sluggish in others. I would personally try to use `Overlay` and if you notice skipping/lagging maybe try `Preview` or vice-versa. ![](https://i.imgur.com/EvuwO1k.png) The next set of options are for your capture device input. You will want to select the `Video Source` that makes sense for your setup, in my case I'm using S-Video so that is the option I use. Your options here may vary depending on what inputs your capture device supports. ![](https://i.imgur.com/eIxLS04.png) `Capture Pin` is for incoming video stream options. If you are in North America you will most likely want to ensure `Video Standard` is set to NTSC_M and `Frame Rate` to 29.970, unless of course you are working with tapes from another country that use a different format (e.g. PAL) which is outside the scope of this tutorial. `Video Standard` cannot be changed here so if you do need to change this keep reading. `Color Space/Compression` should ideally be set to YUY2 for analog tape formats but some capture cards may not support this. In fact your capture card may only have one option here so obviously you will just need to use what is provided (if it's not YUY2 it will likely be YUVY). `Output Size` will likely be set to the appropriate default value but for NTSC tapes this should be 720x480 ![](https://i.imgur.com/3sxDF5Q.png) `Capture Filter` contains additional settings for the incoming video stream. This is where you can change the Video Standard settings from before if necessary but it should default to the appropriate value for your capture device/region. I'm not 100% sure what the VCR Input tick box is for but have always opted to leave it ticked if it's available. The `Video Proc Amp` tab may have some processing amp settings where you can adjust things like Sharpen, Contrast, Brightness, etc. I have always left these values their default settings EXCEPT for the sharpness which I personally set to 0 because I prefer to use software designed for sharpening in my post-processing if I sharpen at all. With analog video if you don't denoise you are really just sharpening the video noise present in the capture. This set of options may not even be available depending on which capture device you are using. I have never fiddled with the `Video Image` set of options so I wouldn't recommend changing anything there unless of course you are brave and/or know what you are doing. ![](https://i.imgur.com/MTdcZYu.png) The `Crossbar` settings should be configured automatically by your capture device. I have never needed to change anything here. The `Tuner` settings will be for TV tuner capture cards and are outside of the scope of this tutorial. The `Level` settings will be available on some capture devices and are the same settings available in the `Capture Filter>Video Proc Amp` settings that we already addressed. The next group of settings are for things like cropping, video noise reduction, level adjustments, etc. Personally I would not recommend using any of these. If you choose to crop your videos or post-process you should do this after you capture your video with software tools that are better equipped. ![](https://i.imgur.com/iISk1az.png) This leaves us with the compression/encoding settings. ![](https://i.imgur.com/uHfTviC.png) In our case we will be configuring `HuffYUV with 4:2:2 chroma subsampling` as mentioned before but of course you are free to use whatever encoding formats you prefer. Go ahead and select `FFMPEG Huffyuv lossless codec` in the left menu bar. Then will will select the `Configure` button on the right hand side to adjust the chroma subsampling options. ![](https://i.imgur.com/scQUCJZ.png) Select the drop down menu and choose `YUV 4:2:2` Some people prefer to use `bit depth` of 10 but personally I have noticed no difference in video quality with this setting and have experienced some crashing with VirtualDub with this option. I believe analog video formats are maxed out at a certain point as far as how much detail you can really pull in so I would not use anything more than 10. Save the adjusted settings and we are good to go. ![](https://i.imgur.com/DO93LZ7.png) The last option relevant to us will be `Set Custom Format` Ensure the `Frame Size` is set to 720x480 for NTSC formats and that the `Data Format` is set to `YUY2 YUV 4:2:2 interleaved` As noted, some formats are not supported by all capture devices. HuffYUV only supports `YUY2` and `RGB` if I'm not mistaken so choose accordingly. ![](https://i.imgur.com/pi64JST.png) ## Audio Settings ![](https://i.imgur.com/LcfPCQe.png) As far as audio settings go, there is not a whole lot to change (at least in my case) but could potentially differ if you are using an audio input that is seperate from your capture device e.g. dedicated sound card You will want to ensure `Enable audio capture` is selected. I have found that leaving `Enable audio playback` on while capturing can result in lags that can result in audio drift so personally I never leave this on while capturing. The `Volume meter` when selected will display the audio volume levels and can sometimes be helpful for ensuring the audio is working as intended while capturing since you won't actually have the audio playback turned on (i.e. you will not be hearing the audio while you capture) In `Compression` you can change the audio encoding settings but personally I leave this as `No compression (PCM)`. Ideally you will be encoding your AVI video file into a more friendly format for playback so you would encode your audio during that step as well. We want to retain as much video/audio data as possible in our lossless capture. ![](https://i.imgur.com/m5LiswE.png) I don't change any of these other settings at all besides for making sure that my capture device is selected in the list of audio inputs at the very bottom. Again, this may vary if you are using a different audio input. ## Capture Settings ![](https://i.imgur.com/EahgG6H.png) `Capture` settings will include various options for timing, starting/stopping your captures, timers to stop your capture, etc. Personally I don't mess with anything in here minus `Timing` and then starting and stopping my captures. The `Timing` settings may be the most contended set of options in VirtualDub and depending on who you talk to you will likely get various configurations recommended to you. I have played with this extensively across multiple computers, VCRs, and capture devices and these are the settings that seem to work best for ensuring the audio and video is in sync. Some people claim you should leave the top two boxes ticked but in my experience this will result in unnecessary frames being dropped or inserted no matter what hardware you use and no matter what shape the tapes you are capturing are in. If you notice sync issues perhaps try playing with these settings and doing small test captures, 5-10mins in length, to find the configuration that works best with your setup. ![](https://i.imgur.com/YFingm5.png) ## Resources [Sanlyns VirtualDub Capture Guide](http://www.digitalfaq.com/forum/video-capture/7427-capturing-virtualdub-settings.html) *this is where I originally learned most of this stuff and I still reference it when I am unsure on something [Chrome Subsampling Information](https://www.rtings.com/tv/learn/chroma-subsampling) Thanks to the follks at DigitalFAQ and ugnaught who helped me with understanding a lot of this stuff years ago. Hope this tutorial helps!!