I'm considering getting a "REAL" tbc for capturing. I have a wintv pvr 250 which I LOVE but I use a cheap old stereo JVC vcr for capping (I'm not even sure it has 4 heads).
What are the price ranges for actual hardware addon TBC's??? (US) I'd be interested in getting one used if it was in the $50 range. I have plenty of older tapes that go out of tracking range when played on a vcr that they weren't originally taped on
Any suggestions/guidelines would be welcome.
Maybe there should be a sticky or guide for buying TBC's. Is there one on this site?? If so sorry for posting
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Thread: TBC buying guide?????
Donatello - The Shredder? Michelangelo - Maybe all that hardware is for making coleslaw?
Note: I wrote an updated/expanded guide at: What is a TBC? Time Base Correction for Videotapes
A TBC is usually what people start looking to buy when they decide to improve the quality of their recordings, not just accept whatever the tape, VCR and capture card/DVD recorder decide to do on their own. And it is a good first step towards hardware restoration, though often misunderstood...
There's really not much to this.
Here's the quickie, all you really need to know:
- Price. Under $50? Good luck, shop eBay, and cross your fingers. Expect to pay $225-450 for a new TBC, prosumer grade full-frame. Maybe half price used. Maybe. DataVideo TBC-1000 and AVToolbox AVT-8710 are the two most popular models.
- Improve quality? An external TBC corrects the signal. It is not there to "improve quality". It may improve quality, usually seen to remove jitter or odd movements. The visual improvements are often small, but very valuable. Many people observe that it works best to remove slight vertical jitter.
- Line? Full frame? Do not confuse a "line" TBC (mostly worthless, for the purpose of stabilizing) with a "full frame" TBC. DVD recorders have worthless line TBCs, do almost nothing. Those line TBCs are better off in cameras, can actually make a difference there.
- Passthrough TBC? Camera TBCs are not why passthrough "removes" MV. It just digitizes a signal and has no way to interpret MV in the hardware. Simple as that. TBC has zero effect.
- JVC TBC? The JVC series S-VHS VCRs have DigiPure DNR (digital noise reduction) circuits integrated into the TBC. It is a special kind of TBC, and is why this one can "clean the picture quality". It is NOT only a TBC at work here.
- Audio TBC? TBCs with audio connections merely passthrough the audio, nothing more.
- TBC makes my tape worse? No TBC is perfect, so about 1% of the time, it's known to make a tape worse. (Or more often if all of your tapes have the same flaw.)
Originally Posted by lordsmurf
Not quite the price range I had in mind. For that money I'd rather buy a good svhs vcr.
I guess I'm happy with my current setup.
KevinDonatello - The Shredder? Michelangelo - Maybe all that hardware is for making coleslaw?
LS, Could you elaborate a little more on the difference between a line TBC and a full frame TBC.
Also I always thought this explanation of a TBC and what it does by Cap was probably the best one I read.
Originally Posted by thecoalman
"This is where the vertical timing is stored, and is also where Macrovision pulses appear in the original source material. Line TBCs, like those found in camcorders and VCRs, do nothing to help vertical timing ...only horizontal."
Line TBC's digitally sample, store and correct the sync pulse timing for one, or two, or four, or sixteen (you get the idea) scan lines at a time.
A TBC that corrects 262.5 lines (NTSC) at a time is a full field TBC (like what is built in the Panasonic AG-1970/1980 VCR's).
TBC's that correct 525 scan lines (NTSC) at a time are full frame TBC's. In fact, some full frame TBC's actually buffer up to four full frames at a time. Full frame TBC's are generally more robust and effective than line TBC's, plus have the added benefit of completely eliminating all copy protection signals from videotape.
Early TBC's were all line TBC's due to the high cost of digital memory... plus were bulky, heavy and very expensive. As digital sampling circuits and memory declined in both price and size over the years, TBC's became smaller, less expensive and more effective. For example, some consumer VCR's, camcorders and DVD Recorders have a simple line TBC built in to a single digital video processing chip, usually along with several other processing functions.
Oh, and I agree that Cap's basic explanation of what TBC's are, what they do and how they work is excellent.
gshelley61, capmaster, lordsmurf and all
I thought the AG-1980 had improved upon its predecessors built in TBC. Are you sure they both used 262.5 line (half field) TBC? Of the best analog VCRs, which is your favorite from the list below and why:
Please consider this from the perspective of a casual user who wants a unit that has great reproduction quality and is economical to repair himself (ie: no exotic parts that fail).
Here's something to remember too:
Marketing BS and the "virtual TBC"
Originally Posted by nania
Panasonic AG-1970 has a pretty good picture, and a built-in full field (half frame) TBC which is cool. The Sony SVO-2000 (same machine as the SLV-R1000) has a significantly better picture than the Panny, but no TBC. Not nearly as sturdy as the JVC 378 (mostly plastic parts).
I had a JVC HR-S9500U on hand for a while, and now have the HR-DVS1U combo MiniDV and S-VHS unit. The VHS playback on both these machines is excellent, IMHO.... and they are very well made. Not full of plastic like the newer machines. Both of these units have the 4MB TBC/DNR processor.
Although I've never tried one, the HR-S9600U is reported to be the best performing, most well made consumer VCR that JVC ever built.
Yeah, the DVS units are great not only for their playback ability but also for their digital convenience. Plastic gets a bad name but in some locations it makes for a smoother and quieter transport which results in better playback. I had hoped that you would have known the nature of the improvements made on the Panny 1980 over its predecessor. People who I have spoken to said that the difference in jog and shuttle playback is significantly better in the newer model but they weren't able to tell me if it was because the TBC was increased to two fields (full frame) or whether it was solely an improvement in firmware. Another interesting thing about those Panny 1970s is that some are much sharper than others. Whether this is a function of cable interaction or the nature of the discreet parts being used in those decks I couldn't say but that may explain the great disparity between your opinion of the deck and the others who swear by them. I've noticed when using an external TBC, the picture is influenced by the vias being used. Different cable combinations create color shifts and changes in noise. The funny thing is that some of the most highly regarded cables are the worst offenders. I think the manufacturers shipped connection cables that had impedence and inductance characteristics which matched closely the circuit characteristics of the decks. I've experimented with aftermarket cables and even the expensive ones don't always work better than the ones that shipped with the unit.
Any one care to explain exactly what the Canopus ADVC300 does or doesn't do as opposed to the Datavideo 1000. The reason I ask is this:
> Digital 3D frame synchronizer Stores incoming signals into a frame buffer to supply a stable, synchronized signal to the DV encoder chip
> Digital Line Time Base Corrector (LTBC) Detects images with strong horizontal
jitter and employs powerful correction methods to repair the jitter
Canopus uses buzz words to basically say "virtual TBC". Not real hardware. Not real TBC. I hate their BS sneaky marketing. Borderline unethical.
so about 1% of the time, it's known to make a tape worse
I'd say increase that figure to 50 percent
You see I think we put up with a decrease in certain aspects to achieve a sharper or more stabilized image at the possibility of other losses.
Just be careful not to overbrigten, sharpen or the like
Its a tendecy when you get one of these things.
I speak from working with 100's of hardware TBC's in the 70's and 80's
and those built into SONY 1" or Betacam Gear
Maybe the've got wholly different character in the SOFTWARE CONTOL domain..but TBC's were alway 'computers' standalone or otherwise, So I'd doubt it
Thanks for ther reply LS but I'm still not getting it cmpletely.....
> Digital 3D frame synchronizer Stores incoming signals into a frame buffer to supply a stable, synchronized signal to the DV encoder chip
Then there's this:
> Digital 3D noise reduction Eliminates noise in the analog video signal by detecting noise based on the characteristics
Removes any sudden noise by comparing previous and subsequent frames
Clean, stabilize and preserve analog video
ADVC300 employs advanced 3D Y/C separation, 3D noise reduction and Line Time Base Correction (LTBC) functions for perfect frame synchronization. Poor analog source video is filtered and stabilized prior to DV conversion. ADVC300 is also ideal for cleaning old analog video and output back to analog tape.
and says nothing about FULL FRAME STABILIZATION
all the advertizers say '3D frame sync' where they got it from I dunno..because at CANOPUS they make it clear its only capable of LINE synchronization
(but they do not reveal how many lines if more than one can be stored)
Originally Posted by dcsos
Making a tape worse using a modern full-frame TBC is something you rarely experience. And that's a nice feeling. Like a magic box sometimes. While some units may slight soften an image (still unconfirmed and widely argued), it's a fair trade-off for otherwise correcting an image. So, even if that's the argument, it's still not "worse" in the overall sense of things. It has still fixed your broken video.
Ahhh the canopus does have onboard memory and if I'm correct it actually has more than the Datavideo..... still trying to piece together the differences. Anyone have any input?
TBCs are wholly different now, so I'd have to say that experience is sadly, much like much of my computer experience from the 80s and even the 90s ... totally worthless.
Well I don't consider my years of working with stand alone devices
"worthless", and base my understanding of VIDEO and EDITING on these
years of working "outside the box" literally!
Time Base Correctors are not wholly different, and provide the exact same function they always have since the first unit (CVS 1973)its just the control surface and formfactor that has changed. Video clocked into memory can be
read with modified parameters in close to realtime, repairing timebase errors
They still produce many undesirable artefacts, I see terrible misuses of
CORING, MOTION ARTEFACTS, and other undesirables are the results of over processing.
I'm just saying don't be overzealous and trust your eyes..don't turn it up to eleven like SPINAL TAP!
First I hope the link works.
This looks like it would be a fun project. Any thoughts on if it would be worth a crap?IS IT SUPPOSED TO SMOKE LIKE THAT?
I didn't see any NOISE SPECS or test results on theat home built site at all.
Looks interesting, but that's one of the problems with a NON-COMPUTER interface,
See all the settings are interactive, and with one of those STAND ALONE boxes its really hard to toggle thru all those soft menu windows and make adjustments without getting all the other tweaks messed up
I find myself visiting this excellent forum once again and heres my latest TBC shopping list :
Or maybe one of the higher end datavideo models, although ive had little success with my tbc 1000
So who's using what these days ?I used to be indecisive but now I just cant make my mind up.
Now that many of these "professional TBCs" are more available to normal folks like (most of) us, I also embrace the buying guide or "review" type idea. I got a Prime Image model 50II and am running through some tests right now. The manual is right here: http://www.primeimageinc.com/opman50ii.pdf
Some of the more handy features include detail enhancement, freeze on field or frame, and controls to move the color up, down, left or right. I did a few screeen caps I'll share of the detail settings. You can choose between off, low, and high.
Note: I hate blasting away text only threads with pictures. Perhaps a forum could be dedicated to those who feel the need to compare pictures from various VCRs, TBC, video conditioners, etc...
Here's another interesting circumstance. If you've looked into TBCs, I'm sure you've seen the documented cases of tearing in the picture. I connected this Prime Image TBC to each of my SVHC VCRs. Here is an example from my Victor SVHS VCR (without the built-in TBC engaged):
And my Toshiba SVHS which oddly enough doesn't play the tearing game for some reason but tries to make up for it with that annoying green vertical line on the right all the time (built in TBC engaged):
*edit* Did a bit more testing on a longer piece. The Toshiba seems to "want" to put that tear up there. Every once in a while it will tear for a second or two and go away. Every once in a while it will jump a bit too.
In those tearing images, I bet the Panasonic ES10 sync filters would correct it. The recorder part still sucks, but the filter passthrough is quite handy at fixing this fatal flaw.
The JVC tends to enhance that kind of error because it is trying too hard to correct it. But it still exists. It's really the only flaw of the JVC. Sometimes it can fix it, sometimes it cannot. Same for the TBC-1000, sometimes it fixes it, sometimes not.
The ES10 is the only thing I have found that keeps the error stable about 99% of the time.
Originally Posted by fmctm1sw
Lordsmurf or Anyone who owns and knows about TBC VHS / VCR Machines.
I would like to know if you can use a TBC VHS / VCR (with DNR), such as a JVC or Panasonic model as a path-through? I want to know if I can hook another VCR / DVD / laser disc / beta player through a TBC VCR's inputs and then run cable from its outputs to my capture media (computer) to correct the video from the non TBC'd source (player)?
Basically do any of those machines work as a pasthrough TBC / DNR or do they only work on the media from within the player (VHS tape)..?
JVCs do not provide a TBC/DNR passthru...
an old post i realize but lots of valuable info here. one question i'm trying to determine is which is a better machine, a jvc 9800 or the panny 1980. in this thread the panny is described as having a full field TBC, the jvc is described as having the "4MB TBC/DNR processor". I don't know if that's also full field or frame or if the TBC is any better in one than in the other.