Having a problem with a few very old VHS tape that I'm trying to capture. The quality of these tapes are quite poor as these are home moves from around 20 years ago. In fact, one of the tapes contains stuff I copied from a Bata recorder I once owned.
The tapes play not to badly going directly to the TV from the VCR. However, the signal doesn't appear to be strong enough for my DV camcorder to do the A/D conversion. I've tried a couple of VCR's, but no luck. Possibly one of the hardware capture devices might work, but I'd prefer not to spend the money for just a couple of tapes and besides it might not work anyway.
Are there any other devices out there that might work (e.g., something designed specifically to boost a signal) or any other ideas.
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You can purchase video amplifiers for composite video, but a normal VHS deck should output a 1Volt standard signal that should work fine with most devices. Radio Shack in the US has these kind of amplifiers and there are likely other suppliers. But they generally will amplify the noise as much as the video signal.
I have a lot of 20YR old VHS tapes. Most VHS tapes are that age in this day, so that's not uncommon. It sounds like it was recorded improperly. You can try boosting the video out, but I would not count on that solving the problem.
An interesting experiment would be to try feeding the RF out of the playback VCR to the RF in of a second VCR and capturing the Video out of the second VCR in passthru mode. The AGC system of the RF input might normalize the Video level back to 1 volt...
I have been archiving some old VHS tapes and I have been using the Canopus ADVC-300. This device helps boost the signal and allows you to clean it up as it is captured.
It's a bit pricey but to me it was worth the investment since the bulk of my business is video tape archiving.
If you don't want to go this route, try using the S-VHS input of your camera( if one is available). This may help.
I would checkout "video stabalizer's" , not amplifier's .
You need to stabalize the signal , not boost it .
Same thing here with some older , slightly damaged tape's ... signal appear's to be broken at time's which trip's up the recoding device on the pc .
As for passthrough to another vcr ... even this may not work , as the signal has to be stable enough for it to keep track of input signal .
Recording it to another vcr may be the cheapest method , then record from this tape ... though this dose degrade from the original source , but would be stable enough for the pc to record from .
I used to do this , and did very well , though it meant constantly stoping both unit's , rewinding a bit , play recording unit to point and stop it at exact moment required , playback original , when just about at point where signal had been lost , start recorder from that point till signal problem re-appeared ...
People were amazed at how dead on accurate I was able to do this .
A video stabalizer would have made it easier , but were more than $200.00 at that time ...