I was wondering if any of you here could recommend any specific TBCs out there on the market that are well-suited to locking onto and correcting video from tapes with really noisy/unstable sync, e.g. EP-speed VHS tapes. I realize that it's mostly garbage-in-garbage-out as far as picture quality goes (save for video noise reduction and a few other enhancements out there), but I'm mostly looking at a "heavy-duty" TBC (if there is such a thing) that can handle noisy sync (especially the vertical sync pulses), to just at least put out a stable, non-jittery picture.
The reason why I'm asking is that I have 2 TBCs I use at work for transferring consumer-type video formats (VHS, Video8) to DVD or other digital media: a Prime Image TBC/Freeze II that I have directly connected to my BlackMagic Intensity Pro video card installed in my NLE PC running Premiere, and a Nova 900S Super TBC I have connected to a Panasonic DVD recorder. Both seem to not handle weak or noisy vertical and/or horizontal sync very well, even from tapes that otherwise look clean (especially Video8 tapes, which always seem to be less noisier than VHS) with the TBCs bypassed. The Prime Image unit will jitter by shifting the video up 2/3rds for about a frame's duration sporadically on even moderately noisy tapes (like LP or 2nd gen dubbed SP) and even on some clean-looking tapes (which probably aren't--only a waveform monitor would tell, which I don't have handy). And the Nova will either intermittently jitter between fields, and sporadically have intermittent "flagwaving" at the top of the screen.
I contacted Prime Image about their TBC doing this, thinking it was defective, but one of their engineers who replied back told me that particular model of theirs looks at the 50% point of the incoming sync for each frame, and if there's any noise at that point, it won't be able to lock on to it. I wonder if the Nova I have operates in the same fashion. I've found that I usually get better results if I feed the video directly into the recorder, these TBCs will usually make things worse, depending on the tape. With other tapes they'll perform flawlessly, it's become a real crapshoot.
I'd guess the reason why these TBC's are so "underpowered" is probably because they're engineered for less-noisy, higher quality professional analog formats, i.e. 3/4" & 1" Type C, or for frame-sync duties (using gen-lock) for an outside video source.
Are there any TBC's out there that can handle problematic sync from consumer-grade video formats that any of you would recommend?
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Last edited by misternuvistor; 23rd Jan 2014 at 19:46.