Freevideoworkshop provides digital video explainer articles, tutorials and video guides for beginners.

Devices, Fixes, VHS, Video Capture

How to Fix Video Capture Device Flickering: Easy Ways Explained

Fix Video Capture Device Flickering

Last updated on February 6th, 2024 at 10:18 am

You spend time setting up your computer to capture video from your tapes.

You’ve got your connections right.

You don’t have a problem with capturing video. The problem is your video flickers when capturing is in progress.

It’s rather annoying when you are excited about converting your tapes to digital.

You wonder how you can fix the problem. Where do you start?

Fret not. Here are some ideas to help you solve the problem.

VHS Capture Flickering

If you capture VHS and the picture starts flickering, you likely have a time base correction issue.

But before you confirm that, test another tape to see if there’s flickering. If so, then we can go about settling the problem.

You don’t have to buy a costly time base corrector to solve the problem.

Use a DV camcorder or DVD Recorder

If you have a Digital8, mini-DV camcorder, or a DVD recorder you can (in most instances) use it to solve the VHS capture flickering problem.

You can use the analog-to-digital pass-through method.

How does this work? Well, you connect your VCR player to the DVD recorder or camcorder. You then connect the DVD recorder or camcorder to the video capture device.

For example, your VCR composite out is connected to the DVD recorder composite in, and then you can connect your DVD S-Video or composite out port to the video capture device’s S-Video in or composite in.

No Need Pass-Through for Audio

It is not necessary for the audio connection to pass through the DVD recorder. You can connect composite audio (red and white) directly to the video capture device.

When connected this way, the video signal from the VHS player will undergo time base correction in the DVD recorder. The corrected signal is then sent to the capture card, displaying a clean, flicker-free signal.

Be reminded that not all DVD recorders support the pass-through feature.

If you’re really serious about using a DVD recorder as a passthrough device to correct your video capture device flickering problem, use the following DVD recorders.

Three Panasonic DVD recorder models are known to function as excellent passthrough devices.

Before we look at some DVD recorder models, look at this video, which shows the difference in VHS quality with and without DVD recorder passthrough.

DVD Recorders that Work as Pass-Through Device

Check out the Panasonic DMR-ES10S DIGA Series DVD Recorder.

DVD Recorder to Fix Video Capture Device Flickering 1

Check out the performance of this DVD recorder as a time base corrector.

Take a look at the Panasonic DMR-ES15S DVD Recorder.

DVD Recorder to Fix Video Capture Device Flickering 2

Philips DVDR3475 DVD Recorder

DVD Recorder to Fix Video Capture Device Flickering 3

These DVD recorders have been tested to works as pass-through time base correctors when capturing VHS footage.

Use a DV Camera as a Passthrough device

You can use a mini-DV or Digital8 camcorder as a passthrough device to fix your video device capture flickering issue.

How does it work? It’s more complicated than using a DVD recorder. You cannot use an analog video capture device connected to your computer.

You would have to use a Firewire capture device. There must be a Firewire port on your computer.

Steps to Use a Digital8 Camcorder as Analog to Digital Passthrough

Sony recommends the following steps to use a Digital8 camcorder as an analog to digital video passthrough device.

Step 1 – VHS AV Out

Connect the AV/Out of the VHS player to the AV/In the Digital8 camcorder.

Step 2 – Camcorder Firewire Connection

Connect a Firewire cable from your Digital8 camcorder to the Firewire port of your Computer. This would be a 4-pin (camcorder) to 6-pin (computer) Firewire connection.

Step 3 – Camcorder Set to VCR/VTR Mode

Switch on your VHS player or VCR, or analog playback device

Step 4 – Tape Removal

Remove the tape from your Digital8.

Step 5 – Demo Mode Off

Turn off Demo Mode in the camcorder. Demo mode is when the Camcorder LCD screen will display the video signal connected to it. Refer to your camcorder manual to do this.

Step 6 AV to DV Enabled

Turn on the A/V – DV out mode. This will ensure that the analog video signal from the VHS player can be channeled into a DV signal through the Firewire cable.

Step 7 – VHS Player Power On

Power on your VHS player.

Step 8 – Open Video Capture Program

Launch your video capture software on your computer.

Step 9 – Play VHS Tape

Start playing your tape on the VHS player.

Step 10 – Start Capturing with Software

Start video capture on your software.

If you’ve set up everything as instructed, you should be able to fix your video capture device flickering problem.

You can also employ the same method with a mini-DV camcorder. Do check the manual to confirm if it supports passthrough.

Digital8 Models that Support Passthrough

The following Sony Digital8 camcorders (NTSC models) are known to support passthrough. However, you must check with your camcorder manual to confirm this.

DCR-TRV120
DCR-TRV320
DCR-TRV720
DCR-TRV820
DCR-TRV230
DCR-TRV330
DCR-TRV530
DCR-TRV730
DCR-TRV830
DCR-TRV240
DCR-TRV340
DCR-TRV740
DCR-TRV840
DCR-TRV350
DCR-TRV460
DCR-TRV480

Summary Table

Take a look at the table below for a summary of the fixes you can try for the problem of video capture device flickering.

StepActionDescription
1Identify the source:Close any other applications using the camera or graphics card, as they could interfere with the capture device.
2Check connections:Ensure all cables (USB, HDMI, etc.) are securely plugged into the capture device and computer/recording software. Try using different cables if available.
3Update drivers:Outdated or faulty drivers can cause flickering. Update the drivers for your capture device, graphics card, and chipset to the latest versions.
4Adjust software settings:Close any other camera or graphics card applications, as they could interfere with the capture device.
5Close conflicting applications:Ensure all cables (USB, HDMI, etc.) are securely plugged into the capture device and computer/recording software. Try using different cables if available.
6Change lighting conditions:Fluorescent lights and other flickering light sources can interfere with video capture. Try recording in a different location or with different lighting.
7Check for power issues:Ensure your capture device is receiving sufficient power. If using a USB connection, try plugging it directly into a computer USB port instead of a hub.
8Update recording software:Make sure you’re using the latest version of your recording software, as older versions may have bugs that cause flickering.
9Test with different software:Try using a different recording software to see if the flickering persists. This can help isolate the issue to the capture device or software.
10Try a different capture device:If none of the above steps resolve the issue, the problem might be with the capture device itself. Try using a different capture device to see if the flickering persists.
Free Video Workshop - Beginner's Guide to Digital Video