How do I record from an NTSC source

kotatsuneko wrote on 7/13/2008, 9:33 AM
I'm using the 'Resuce Your Video Tapes' software.

I'm trying to record some of my old NTSC VHS tapes on to my laptop, but the picture I get is flickery and black & white. I would have thought that changing the video standard to one of the NTSC ones under the Display option in the Advanced Settings window would have done the trick, but no luck.

Even if I'm using a PAL source I have the same problem, which is wierd.

If any one can help it would be much appreciated.



Thank you ralftaro.

I've now resolved the PAL issue. I was connecting to my VCR via an S-Video cable, but by switching to the composite cable it seems to have resolve the black & white problem. However, I do still get the B&W issue with NTSC tapes.

My VCR is a UK model that has a Scart output and it allows for NTSC playback.

I'll try and get a sample posted at the weekend.

*Edit 2*

Here is a link to short piece of footage from my NTSC copy of Night on the Galactic Railroad. As you can see, it's come out black and white for some reason.

As for my VCR, it automatically recognises the type of tape it's playing and adjusts itself accordingly. All I have to do is pop a tape in and press play (nice and simple - just the way I like things).

*Edit 3*

Thanks for all your help. Much appreciated.

*Edit 4*

Thank you for all the effort you've gone to. Shame we're no where nearer a solution. I'll try a couple of things out over the next couple of weeks to see if I can resolve this issue and if I ever find an answer I'll post them here somewhere for furture reference.

Thanks again.


ralftaro wrote on 7/15/2008, 2:42 AM
Hi there,

Where are you located and what kind of equipment are you using for playback? Do you possibly use a VCR that has a SCART output (i.e. a European one) but does allow for NTSC playback?
Also, can you possibly show a sample of the captured result and the flicker you're experiencing. Maybe you can render a small sample clip to WMV, upload it to YouTube and post the link here. Thanks.

ralftaro wrote on 7/16/2008, 7:04 AM

Thanks for the update. I was suspecting that the old SCART/S-Video issue was involved. Glad to hear you already sorted it out for PAL by switching to Composite for the video signal. I'm standing by for your NTSC capture sample. Maybe that will give me some better idea.

Best regards

P.S.: Maybe you can double-check whether your VCR requires any kind of manual setting adjustment when using it to replay NTSC material or whether it just automatically generates the correct output signal when it detects a NTSC tape.

ralftaro wrote on 7/21/2008, 1:15 PM

Thanks for posting the material on YouTube. From what I can tell, the foremost (or only) defect really seems to be the lack of color. Right now, I'm out of ideas what could be causing this, as you've already switched to Composite for the video signal and your current driver for the capture hardware generally also seems to be capable of capturing colors just fine. I've also already successfully captured NTSC with this equipment, but not with the identical setup. I will try to simulate your setup as good as possible. I got the VCR with the SCART output that can also do NTSC. All I need now is to dig up some old NTSC tapes that I still have somewhere. I won't be able to do that before the weekend, but I will keep you posted if I can still come up with anything useful.
ralftaro wrote on 8/1/2008, 1:47 PM
Hi again,

Sorry for the delay. Got around to testing this now. Also, I was told in the meantime, that this is a common problem (or rather technical limitation) of European VCRs that can play back NTSC. Apparently you will usually get a B&W signal from NTSC material, e.g. also when you use a device to record onto a second VCR. I don't really know about the technical background of this issue and hadn't heard about it before, but then again, it's a very specific issue and I've only ever owned one VCR that can also do NTSC and have hardly used it to actually replay NTSC.

Surprisingly, in my test, the playback and recording of the NTSC tape worked fine - with color and all. I used a JVC HR-V510. However, there are a few odd details which lead me to believe that not all those VCRs work in the same manner and my test might not really emulate your use case. What it is, is that I could only properly get a signal and record the NTSC tape when the software side (program and driver) where set up to record in PAL. So, I basically ended up with a PAL recording. My assumption is, that the VCR I used does an internal conversion to PAL and therefore always outputs PAL. Might be different from a recorder that outputs PAL when you play a PAL tape and actually outputs NTSC when you play a NTSC tape. So, I'm afraid my test left me with more questions than it answered.