Is there a Linux alternative to the opensource software VirtulDub for digitizing VHS tapes

I came across this extremely helpful tutorial for digitizing my analog video library:

He walks you through the process of using an open source app (which ironically isn’t available for Linux) and it has a ton of helpful features such as resolving timing issues, dropped frames, error correction, deinterlacing, etc.

I’m wondering if there is a Linux alternative that I can use?

You generally want to have a Time Base Corrector (TBC) on analog video. Without it, a dirty part of the tape will mess up your digital recording.

TBH, nowadays, the best capture setups are using video scalers from composite with 3D Y/C noise reduction and then converting it to HDMI and capturing HDMI.

You can get a Framemeister and a UVC capture card like the AVio HD.

OBS can then record that in HD (I’d recommend 720p) in DNxHD QT using the custom FFmpeg output.

The Framemeister cleans up and de-interlaces everything for you, so you don’t have to do it later in software.

That’s a pretty expensive product. I’m wondering if there’s software that can do what it does (or do most of what it does)

To denoise in post processing, the best solution I can think of is a plugin called “Neatvideo.”

It’s not open source though, and is a commercial program, but is compatible with Linux.

More importantly though, you want a TBC, 3D Y/C comb filter, then an analog capture. Straight up analog capture will result in bad frames if there’s no TBC.

The Blackmagic Intensity Pro (original generation) is going to be a lot better than those USB 2.0 solutions since it streams the video feed like firewire did over PCI-E.

In all honesty, given all those options, it makes more sense to fire up Windows and use virtual dub?

Trying to polish a bad input is only going to do so much, cause you can’t recover dropped frames if a signal decides to de-sync on a bad analog to digital conversion using a low end capture with no TBC.

Your best bet is to clean up the signal using dedicated hardware. Interpolating a missing frame isn’t the best way to do stuff once it’s already digitized and you’ve thrown away the source tape.

I’ve digitized tapes using those cheap EasyCap things from China (see video thumbnail) and OBS. My capture device kept overheating—I had to take off the plastic case and point a desk fan at it, otherwise it would freeze after ~15 mins of recording.

Quality wasn’t great, but not bad either; I can’t say if the bottleneck was the capture device, the VCR, or both. Do you need an archival-quality copy or just a close-enough copy?