Hi Bjorn, VHS videos are very difficult to restore to anything good, but with Topaz AI there are a lot of ways to get the best.
To start - let me say, if you have a ‘first generation’ VHS tape - that means the tape that was in the camera that shot the video, then that is the best start point. Next is a VHS that has been a copy of some other format, like 8mm or better still Hi-8 or S-VHS or DV tape. These give even better results. That is because their original video is higher detail than VHS, so the loss in making a copy is not so bad.
So - there are two things that VHS does to make the quality fit the old tape when it records. It does half the luminance detail (the black and white part of the video) and even less of the detail in the chrominance (colour part of the video). If you understand this, then it helps to work out better results.
The worst tape, which I have at the moment, is a VHS of a wedding made in 1998 which was a copy of the camera VHS tapes edited. So it has very poor quality and is a good example of how much work can be done.
The first thing is to capture the video to the computer in the best format. This is interlaced AVI usually.
Remember, in addition to the loss of detail, in older videos there is also a lot of noise in the dark part of the video, or if there is not good light on the original video. This noise can make the detail fuzzy and not easily seen.
My first question is, - do you have video edit software on your computer?
I use Vegas Pro as I used to be a Vegas beta tester when it was owned by Sony, and know how good it is for helping to restore video with Topaz Video AI. Also, let me say, that too much sharpening will ruin the picture quality of VHS restoration and make it look visually artificial and uncomfortable. You will understand that my background working for ten years at the BBC has taught me a lot, which I am trying to tell you about in a couple of emails! So, if you follow my ‘exact’’ process, then you will get the same results as I do. BUT - it does depend on having the Vegas video software to complete the best quality final video. I’ll do more information for you when I know that you have Vegas. Also, you need to do this with plenty of hard drive space. So for an hour of video, to get the best, you will need a hard drive space of nearly 3 TB spare - just for the restoration. The Vegas Pro video lets you make HEVC mp4 files of your results that look amazing and also are fast to make because they use the power of the 3080Ti to encode. I think Topaz ‘may’ include that part soon, but it does make a huge improvement in workflow with Vegas. You can also make many different formats and sizes of video with Vegas Pro in all sorts of codecs. More soon…?