I am about to start capturing all my VHS material into the computer.
The VCR is a Toshiba S-VHS W-808 which has DNR but no TBC.
I intend to capture through a Sony TRV-120 Digital8 camcorder which has a built in TBC
I also have a Panasonic DMR-ES10.
Should I put the DMR-ES10 in the mix (VCR -> ES10 -> TRV-120) or leave the ES10 out? I'm uncertain if it provide any benefit or not given the other devices.
S-Video will be used for the video connection through all devices.
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Last edited by HDClown; 29th Oct 2013 at 14:48.
You tell us, since you have the equipment to try both ways. Or post some samples of both workflows. If you don't see wiggling vertical lines or similar anomalies in your VCR -> TRV-120 captures, I would leave the ES10 out.
If we're talking about first generation SP speed VHS recordings which play back without any problems in your JVC there should be nothing for the ES10 to fix, except the usual slight horizontal wobble that you get from any VHS tape without a (line) TBC in the VCR.
The ES10 is known to somewhat fix the wobble which full frame stand alone TBCs not necessarily do very well by the way (those are focused on providing a rock solid signal, visually there may be no improvement).
So your camcorder has a TBC built in? I don't think so to be honest (I have a similar camcorder which I used in pass-through, DCR-TRV 33E).
But it doesn't matter, assuming there is one built in this doesn't imply it will fix wobble, so I suggest you simply try with and without the ES10. My DCR-TRV 33E doesn't fix the wobble, I have to use the line TBC of my VCR for that.
You may want to record half a minute of a test pattern (crosshatch, res wedge, anything with vertical lines) to VHS to determine the effect of the ES10 in conjunction with your camcorder.
Also, I would be careful with the DNR in your VCR, usually it's not any good and too aggressive imo.
The TRV-120 does have a TBC, as well as DNR. There are even options in the menu to turn either one of them ON/OF independently.
I've got a ton of VHS stuff that was recorded on various source camcorders (Sony Video 8 and Hi8 camcorders, unknown brand VHS-C camcorders, possible some straight VHS camcorders). Some of it went straight from source tape to VHS, some of it was recorded off of other VHS tapes to consolidate content so there is a huge mix here. I'd have to say 99% of this is 2nd generation recording, some could be 3rd.
Does the generation and source have an impact on this decision? If I do some tests with a test pattern, will that give me an answer that is relevant to all my VHS tapes that need to be imported, or will it vary based on what was used to put together each VHS?
So, if the quality of source material, tape generation, tape quality, etc. can all have an impact on what benefits the ES10 and potentially the built in TBC can provide, it seems that I would need to do a test with very single tape I have to determine optimal settings, and then I would possible need to test every segment on each tape that came from different sources (which is very difficult to determine).
Unfortunately, I have a lot of tapes, so I don't think that will be feasible for my time. So I think I need to go with a generalized approach and stick with it for all tapes. if I happen to notice any given take or segment on a tape appears noticeably worse than others, I can do some testing with that tape/segment, but otherwise I don't think I want to do it with everything by default.
I purchased the ES10 used, and back when I got it, I used 1 tape to do a few tests to see what the picture would look like when passed through the ES10 and when not. With that particular tape, I couldn't tell of an improvement with my eyes. The main thing it confirmed is that passing through the ES10 wasn't causing any noticeable degradation.
Your first reply said the ES10 could still reduce wobble even if there is TBC in the TRV-120 that will actually work on pass-through video. If that's the case, is there any reason to not leave the ES10 in place? I realize that with the goal of getting the best possible import I wouldn't want any extra devices/cables in the mix, but based on prior experimentation, it seems like it wouldn't cause any harm at a minimum. It's just questionable if it will provide any benefit on any given tape.
here). But then again, if your camcorder's TBC does a job similar to the ES10, it would be (ever so slightly) better not to use both because after all we are talking about another analog->digital->analog conversion here and those always come with a degradation in some way. If you feel there is no degradation I'd say it's OK to use the ES10 all the time anyway.
Yes, it may even vary depending on the tape, but first you want to know how the TBC in your camcorder acts to determine if there's any prossible benefit to expect at all from using the ES10.
If the ES10's noise filter is like the ES15's you should disable it. It is over aggressive and causes ghosting and loss of detail in moving, low contrast areas.
Only use it when the tapes needs it. I find that ~5% of tapes need it. So 95% of the time, it should be off.
And to prolong cap health, I'd unplug it.
I highly doubt the camera TBC behaves the same. The ES10 doesn't actually have a TBC, but rather a sophisticated sync filter found if few other devices.
I've used one of these for 7+ years now. A nice tool in the toolbox when I need it.
Will the ES10 pass-through audio/video when it's turned off and unplugged, or would I actually need to re-route my cabling to bypass it that way?
When the ES10 is off is doesn't pass=thru anything. You'll get no image.Our inventions are wont to be pretty toys, which distract our attention from serious things. They are but improved means to an unimproved end. -- Henry David Thoreau
Keep in mind that smurf doesn't need to use the ES10 95 percent of the time because he uses S-VHS decks with built in line TBCs.