June 1, 2017

Capturing and restoring video from VHS tapes losslessly

Filed under: Technical — Tags: , , , , — James Bunton @ 12:00 am

Back in the 1990s my family recorded some home videos using a VHS camera. It’s pretty hard to play these on modern equipment, so back in 2013 I digitised them all.

Of course when using an analogue source like tape it’s not really possible to do a lossless copy. However I wanted to do the highest quality capture with the equipment available to me, and I wanted to be able to redo post-processing in the future in case I have the time, motivation and technology to improve things further.


May 1, 2016

Fixing PAL speedup and how film and video work

Filed under: Technical — Tags: , , , , — James Bunton @ 12:00 am

I have a large collection of DVDs and I live in Australia. Because of history this means most of them are in ‘PAL’ format. This means they tend to be about 4% faster than they should be, resulting shorter playing times and higher pitched voices and music.

I’m a bit of a purist. This bothers me enough that I must fix it! What follows is a somewhat lengthy explanation of how film/video works, followed by instructions on how to use my fix-pal-speedup script.


May 10, 2011

SBS Downloader in Python

Filed under: Technical — Tags: , , , — James Bunton @ 11:33 pm

Update: See WebDL

Just wrote a simple downloader script for SBS’s website. The SBS Player interface is all in flash and is very hard to use on my TV, so this script lets me download the stuff I’m interested in and play it however/whenever I want.

It has a simple command line interface and requires that you already have rtmpdump on your path. Get the sbs-downloader script here.