HELP! Not so great quality with new Sony DVD Recorder - RDR-VX555
First off, every DVD I've created has a blurry line across the bottom. Perhaps 1-2% of the total screen, but it's there on every disc I've created, regardless if the original source was 8mm camcorder or VHS (using the built-in VCR).
The major annoyance is pixelation. I've done everything in "HQ" (High Quality) the best setting. Provides 60 minutes per disc. The newly created DVD's all show pixelation whenever there's any movement at all. It's not HORRIBLE, but it's noticeable and obviously annoying.
It this normal? Am I stuck with these issues? I thought with such a new (and pricey) DVD recorder I wouldn't have these issues. I thought I'd get good quality video, certainly as good as the old 8mm camcorder and 30 year old VHS that is the source material. Right now, I've spent countless hours and used 10 DVD-R's and I'm not thrilled with the results.
What the heck am I doing wrong? Do I need to move to a PC-based capture system???
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The noise at the bottom of the frame is normal for VHS and 8mm. It's VCR head switching noise. Not visible on a normal TV (due to standard overscan of the frame).
As far as macroblocks/pixelation goes... VHS and 8mm have a tremendous amount of grain and chroma noise. This makes encoding them to MPEG2 (DVD) difficult at best. The MPEG2 encoder goes bonkers trying to encode all that video noise. Some video noise reduction filtering prior to encoding helps quite a bit. I don't know if your particular DVD recorder has effective video noise reduction filters or not (Sony units typically don't).
Visit the restoration section for info on techniques to transfer VHS to DVD.
You might get better results recording to a PC first, processing the video, and then making a DVD on the PC, but such a process takes a lot longer than just using a DVD recorder. If you want to do it quickly via a DVD recorder, your options are limited. I agree that you should check out the restoration section for helpful hints, which unfortunately for you may involve you having to buy another DVD recorder. That is why you need to research electronics BEFORE you buy them to be sure that they will do what you want rather than just buying anything and assuming it will work OK.
I'm certainly willing to do a bit more work to improve my results. I'm not even really looking to improve the quality of my old camcorder and VHS right now. I just want to digitize them with at least the same level of quality so I can pack up the original tapes and never mess with them again
Sounds like a different DVD Recorder would probably be a good option. I'm not totally against using the PC, but I feel like I'd end up with glitches because my PC does 12 other things, you know?
My LiteOn does not pixilate on transfers from VHS
Your LiteOn has an LSI chipset that filters.
The Sony DVD recorder is naturally noisy on MPEG encodes, and has no filtering.
Be sure to only record 1-2 hours on most DVD recorders (very few, like JVC and some Toshiba, can do more than 2 hours with good quality).
Thanks Lordsmurf. I decided to address the name of the topic in minimal words - since I have found myself dumping on SONY an inordinate amount lately.
So is the consensus that I should simply get a better DVD recorder? That I'd get acceptable results from these old analog sources with a good DVD recorder?
I know these things have been discussed before, but its sometimes hard for
people to find the info they are seeking, through searching. But..
Its been thoroughly drilled that the VCR is the single most important part of
the vhs transfer/restoration -to- new video storage format .. usually, mpeg.
The other importnat part of this endeavor is Capture equipment.
And, then anything else in-between the VCR -|- Capture device. However,
the less items in between, the better, unless your source require it.
Then, you Post-Process (edit/filter/restore, etc) the captured source video
Then, you Encode it to your final destination format, usually, dvd mpeg-2.
And, knowledge/skill, etc.
Finally, the end results of your finished work, the quality of, will depend on your
source medium and its condition .. what was the condition of your vhs tape
and the video in it, and so on and so forth.
I have done a large number of transfers from VHS to DVD in both 2, 3 and 4 hr mode. While the bit rate is different, the difference between 2 and 3 hr mode is negligent. In 4 hr mode, I only use this mode once in a while, you might notice a slight diminishing of the picture
I am at present doing the same with LD disks, which are also analog with the video files.
I have never had any pixelation or other problems such as lines at the top or bottom
I dont know about 8mm but with VHS 1hr HQ is a waste of disk space, The same for LD disks. The resolution is not there.
If one mistakes MV CP as pixelation and is running into this with commercial disks, Note the compliant of lines. The Sony will surly pick it up.
As I understand it the Sony is the capture device.
Sony is the last unit I would consider but than most all units made today are CP compliant, buth analog and digital
As to dumping on Sony
Sometime back I primarily purchased Sony products. I havent for a long time, as I feel they have become so engrossed in CP that and to a large extent, their products are over priced and fail to operate correctly.
Their service and support Sucks.
Some of there DVD drives work great as a replacement in a Liteon but than they were most likely made by Liteon with a Sony label.
Originally Posted by w@ntonsoup
Again, there is a huge volume of info about this subject in the Restoration section. Visit digitalFAQ.com as well.
I went out to Target at got the new Panasonic DVD / VHS machine. Similar results. (Pixelation artifacts during motion on the video)
I actually have a JVC SVHS VCR in my basement collecting dust. It's worth a try to see if that improves the situation. I'll try that tonight and post back.
I have used the Panasonic ES30V, ES35V, and the EZ37VK to transfer hundreds of VHS and VHS-C family tapes. They will do a good job if the tapes are noise free but as the tape quality goes down so does the quality of the transfer. I use the Panasonic because most of the tapes I have are in good conditon. For the tapes that are not in the best shape, the Panasonic combos are the only combos I have found that allow you to use external hardware processors between the VCR side and the DVD recorder side.
I have a JVC JX-C7 video corrector which also has a noise filter sitting between the VCR and DVD side. That said, I would only use a combo setup like this if most of the tapes are good and do not need external hardware processing. It is less convenient to use a combo with external hardware processors than it is with a separate VCR and DVD recorder.
If you use an external VCR with a Panasonic, use the "Display" button, then select "Video" to access a "Line-In NR" function (NR = noise reduction). It might help a little.
I have posted photos of the effects that can be achieved with the JX-C7 in the Restoration Forum sticky on this page,
What brand of discs are you using? It seems a little strange that it would do it on motion scenes if it's the discs, but most problems like that are cheap discs.
TYG01 4x Taiyo Yuden DVD-R media - so that ain't da problem
What about the TV? What's it connected to? I haven't done much VHS, but even my first generation Panasonic recorder doesn't have those problems in 1 or 2 hour modes and the later model recorders do even better. LCDs and Plasmas have pixelation problems, it's just the way they are, especially on poor quality sources.
I'm watching back on my computer.
LCD or CRT?
LCD does not have problems on lower quality sources. It's HD that has the problems. I've got an EDTV LCD and there are not any quality issues there.
HD is not the problem. My HDTV is awesome. There's no blurring, pixelation, etc., ever, except when watching the crappy PBS feed we have. The new TVs are the problem, not HD. You don't even own an HDTV, so your opinion on the subject means nothing.
w@ntonsoup haven't read all replies so sorry if I repeat,
I've got a Sony GX300 which does a realy good job at HQ but at SP picture quality drops, never use any lower than that. The int. TBC is quite good. BUT in comparson to other recorders it will be worse. I've always found that my Sony 'enhances' the picture this seems to cause a slightly darker/contrasty picture and it possibly sharpens a touch which emphasizes the white line to the left of dark objects, not there in orgigal digital picture.
If your coping analogue like VHS then HQ should really be enough to stop most grainyness but Sony are poor on NR which I prosume your model has by way of an option. The Sony NR is best avoided and left off. I've found my replacement DVD recorder, a JVC, is better but to be honest it ain't 'chalk and cheese' I had hoped for better but at the end of the day it's never going to really improve that poor tape, not much anyway.