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  1. Here is a video without TBC https://mega.nz/#!KgcAlBRA!0bggpoCkVbGDX05F1XY3dftAMeSXM398bh3inyO7BN0

    Here is a video with 1T-TBC-GL TBC https://mega.nz/#!K1Uh2QoY!JRL36ylPHmNeGbJ7K7ofxF2nNrfRF6v-7zkQJxjQJL4

    Is this a known problem or is my unit defective? Is the bug present in the AVT-8710 too since both are Cypress products?
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  2. Member
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    Turn down the black level ("BRT") and then the white level ("CONT") if necessary.
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  3. Doesn't work for me. Several different shades of whites have been mushed together, I can't separate them out by changing the brightness and contrast. Just another crappy Cypress product. No wonder the Datavideo TBC-1000 is $400 on ebay, it's probably the only good choice.
    Last edited by digicube; 17th Feb 2017 at 13:07.
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  4. Originally Posted by digicube View Post
    No wonder the Datavideo TBC-1000 is $400 on ebay, it's probably the only good choice.
    Don't bet on it.

    Like many an overhyped, discontinued product priced like gold on eBay, the DataVideo TBC-1000 ain't nearly as good as it was cracked up to be. I've owned three, bought several years apart, and all sucked big-time. The typical DataVideo signature is added noise overlaid by mushy softening: that is, if the garbage distribution amp doesn't cut out the signal altogether at random. When they operate reliably, the DataVideos ARE overall more effective than the Cypress junk: the catch is finding one that works reliably. $400?? You'd likely have better luck passing your video signal thru your credit card.

    Re your white-on-white problem: thats exactly the kind of tape that the otherwise-lame TBC built into the old Panasonic AG1970 SVHS VCR excels at handling. All over eBay for $60, but perhaps not worth chasing one down unless you have at least a dozen such tapes. Sample variation would apply, as with all this old gear.
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  5. Member
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    Okay, here is some reality from me.

    I paid $99 for a TBC-1000 and it works fine. The DA is a little low on the black level but nothing I can't fix with the proc amp on my A/D card. (In fact, it's fairly easy to bypass the DA card and tap the TBC output if you want.) On some really unstable sources, like a 1/2-inch EIAJ videotape, it outperforms both the Cypress box and the Panasonic DMR-ES15.

    I had an AVT-8710 for a while. With the exception of one bug, it did a good job as a frame sync and even provided some modest horizontal timebase correction. The bug, however, was fatal: when it lost sync on a field, it would hold it frozen while the other field remained in motion. The ghosting on bad patches of tape was unacceptable.

    Outboard solutions at the prosumer level are always going to have their quirks, particularly in AGC response. That's why I keep my analog proc amp handy to address level problems before the signal hits any digital gear.
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  6. Originally Posted by JVRaines View Post
    I paid $99 for a TBC-1000 and it works fine.
    Sample variation. Sample variation. Sample variation.

    eBay lottery. eBay lottery. eBay lottery.

    Those are the over-riding considerations today. I'm very glad yours works well, as I'm glad for anyone who doesn't get burned by any of the hardware we discuss. But much of this gear we post about is discontinued and/or usually gets bought used. As far as TBCs specifically, both the DataVideo TBC-1000 and the Cypress group of AVT-8710 variants suffered from "niche product syndrome" even when brand new. Back in the stone age early-2000s, when first introduced and championed on these boards, both were excellent. The DataVideo always had a minor drawback with its flimsy built-in distribution amp (that nobody asked for and would have saved DataVideo many headaches not to include). The Cypress units always had an issue with overheating that could be worked around. Overall, they were both decent, and a lifesaver in the days when no video input board or dvd recorder could handle VHS without vomiting on it.

    By 2010, both experienced a notable uptick in mfrg defects when new. Sample variation exploded into a serious problem. People were returning/exchanging the AVT two or three times at superstores like B&H until they got a "good" one. The DataVideo design became increasingly power-sensitive and the internal connections to its DA outputs became increasingly shoddy. The result was a flood of bad units into the secondary eBay market, with no way to identify the earlier, more reliable versions from the recent junk. This led to many of us migrating to the dvd recorder pass-thru option, which is more dependable and transparent.

    DVD recorders eventually became better equipped to stabilize and condition VHS signals, enough that they could sub for a DataVideo or Cypress in pass-thru to a PC unless the tape had MacroVision contamination, or was such terrible quality it required a "real" TBC. MacroVision can be handled by dedicated filters (or better yet by just buying the damned dvd or blu-ray re-release instead of wasting time on pointless VHS transfers). Tapes that are so poor they require specialized equipment or jumping thru hoops, I no longer tolerate. Life is too short. I throw those against the wall until the shell shatters, and feel better. Unless you're hopelessly addicted to fourth-generation unobtanium anime, it isn't worth knocking your head into a wall trying and discarding multiple TBCs, encoders, and recorder pass-thrus, hoping to find the magic one that will fix your really dodgy tapes. Almost anything we think is vanishingly rare turns up somewhere on cult video sites or youTube: get it from there, and save weeks or months out of your life.

    That said, I certainly understand the plight of those who absolutely venerate their personal collection of tapes, and want to make the best transfers possible. After doing hundreds and hundreds, I've just grown weary of the tedium involved, especially the unpredictability of each tape's interaction with each vcr, each TBC, each encoder. Between the second-hand abused VCRs, flaky used TBCs, and mostly-junk new encoders, pure luck now dominates more than ever.

    If a "full" TBC seems absolutely required, choose a DataVideo TBC-1000 over the Cypress (AVT, CBT) models. All the DataVideos provide "true" TBC performance, while the Cypress units vary wildly from 90% TBC capability to utterly useless. The larger DataVideo is more easily disassembled and upgraded. As JV Raines noted, the problematic distribution amp can be bypassed by anyone with basic soldering skills: disconnecting it eliminates the source of most TBC-1000 issues. Its power sensitivity may be more difficult to address: the better DataVideos came with much more powerful and stable external transformer bricks (almost as big as the TBC itself). The better the power brick, the better the TBC-1000 video performance. Later DataVideos came with a puny, less stable power brick that causes problems. Europe and Asia mostly got the large power brick, North American DataVideos mostly got the medium-size or puny version. Its possible to dummy up a top-grade custom PSU for the DataVideo, but not a task for the unskilled DIY-er.

    eBay asking prices for used DataVideos are cyclical. If prices are hovering at or above $200 at the time you need one, consider lesser-known alternatives like the professional Hotronic AP41 or perhaps Key West VooDoo TBCs. These perform similarly to the DataVideo with VHS, but are more likely to be found in reliable condition in the $200-$300 price range. Gambling $99 on a used TBC-1000 is reasonable, gambling $400 is ill-advised.
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