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  1. What is the difference between these two processes? I know that a computer with a video capture card will convert the analog vcr signal into a digital file. It will then transfer the digital signal into a dvd file format. How about the combo units?
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  2. The Old One SatStorm's Avatar
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    The way you put it, it is the same.

    The difference, is that you can process yourself manually what you capture with the computer, while the VCR-DVD combo gonna do all those steps automatically.

    Also, the encoding methods are different. You can put more on one DVD-R if you follow the PC root.

    But, for most users, the VCR-DVD combo is better, faster, easier and cheaper to follow.
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  3. Hi
    Capturing in DV allways seems to give me better results than when I capture with my DVD recorder, I edit the DV however I want, & then encode to what ever I want, usualy XviD, DVD recorders are alot more simpler, I record stuff that I am missing out on, but am not intersted in keeping. Stuff that I want to archive, I will capture to DV with my PC & edit my self
    Denis
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  4. Capturing on a computer gives you more options for editing, filtering, authoring, etc. And a DVD recorder won't copy macrovision protected tapes. And will sometimes think your old home videos are macrovision protected.
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    Originally Posted by Haopengyou
    How about the combo units?
    Pretty much what everyone else stated except one thing, never use a combo unit, as in a VCR & DVD Recorder in one unit!!

    If you want to transfer the easy way use a stand alone dvd recorder in conjunction with a VCR then at least you can bypass any macrovision issues, or mistaken macrovision issues or other issues by at least being able to use a TBC.
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  6. Thanks! Is there any way to buy a device that will use tbc for < $100?
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  7. Get a used Panasonic ES10 or ES15 DVD recorder. They have a built in line TBC that works via the pass through as well as when recording. That will clean up all the squiggly lines. Here's a cap from a cheap VHS deck (left) and the same deck with the ES15 passthrough (right):



    That's a 4x enlargement (point resize) and the frame rate slowed down to 4 fps. This type of motion, caused by time base errors, is a killer of MPEG compression.
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    I used to recommend using a DVR for ease of use until my friend got a Philips 3576H DVR and wanted me to edit and convert to DivX for him. Every single DVD that the Philips recorded was out of sync when transferred to the PC.

    Until then, I really wanted one of those units but I will never waste my money on one now. I have a Hauppauge HVR1800 to capture VHS, analog cable, QAM cable and OTA digital and am considering buying the Hauppauge HD PVR for capturing HD from my digital cable box.
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  9. Note, my caps were both made with a Hauppauge PVR-250. One directly from the VCR, the other via the ES15's pass through.
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    Originally Posted by jagabo View Post
    Get a used Panasonic ES10 or ES15 DVD recorder. They have a built in line TBC that works via the pass through as well as when recording. That will clean up all the squiggly lines. Here's a cap from a cheap VHS deck (left) and the same deck with the ES15 passthrough (right):



    That's a 4x enlargement (point resize) and the frame rate slowed down to 4 fps. This type of motion, caused by time base errors, is a killer of MPEG compression.
    You mean I could get the TBC functionality without having the analogue signal further degraded by another step of reproduction? Just by sending the Philips' video to the Panasonic input and the Panasonic output to the Diamond VC500 (or Elgato, if I replace the Diamond)?
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  11. Originally Posted by alastair View Post
    You mean I could get the TBC functionality without having the analogue signal further degraded by another step of reproduction?
    No. Any kind of processing will cause some kind of degradation of the signal. The issue is whether the benefit from the processing outweighs the degradation. In the case of a DVD recorder used as a line TBC the benefit usually far outweighs the very small degradation. And some of the degradation (small levels/color changes) can be easily fixed in later processing.

    https://forum.videohelp.com/threads/319420-Who-uses-a-DVD-recorder-as-a-line-TBC-and-wh...light=recorder
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    since you mention vcr DVD combo, i assume you are talking broadcast TV, either OTA or Cable etc..

    i used to do use a capture device with my PC

    but i have switched to using a Homeworx PVR that records directly to external HD,
    i can play or edit the captured video on my PC (if i want to)
    it records the video in the full broadcast resolution, and it doesn't need my PC to do the capture
    and the cost of PVR and hard drive was less than the cost of a vcr-dvd combo and takes up less space
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  13. Member PuzZLeR's Avatar
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    A DvD combo unit gives you convenience - very easy - but a ceiling in quality/options.

    A PC setup, with lossless video - albiet a bit more painful - gives flexibility, with the opportunity of many more options for filtering, processing, editing, etc, and much higher quality.

    Although a bit closer to a convenience solution IMO, a good middle-of-the-road solution is a separate VCR to a DVR.
    I hate VHS. I always did.
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  14. Member PuzZLeR's Avatar
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    Just thought I'd point out something since this thread started some 6+ years ago - nothing's really changed since regarding methods/technology with this topic, and all points made here are at the same level of validity today.

    (Except some of the hardware has been discontinued, or gotten much older, since...)
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  15. Dinosaur Supervisor KarMa's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Noahtuck View Post
    Originally Posted by Haopengyou
    How about the combo units?
    Pretty much what everyone else stated except one thing, never use a combo unit, as in a VCR & DVD Recorder in one unit!!
    My combo JVC SR-MV45 is pretty great for outputing into my capture card. I can also record the VHS onto a DVD just for the purpose of capturing the CC subtitles onto the DVD, as long as there is no macro.
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  16. Member PuzZLeR's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by KarMa View Post
    Originally Posted by Noahtuck View Post
    Originally Posted by Haopengyou
    How about the combo units?
    Pretty much what everyone else stated except one thing, never use a combo unit, as in a VCR & DVD Recorder in one unit!!
    My combo JVC SR-MV45 is pretty great for outputing into my capture card. I can also record the VHS onto a DVD just for the purpose of capturing the CC subtitles onto the DVD, as long as there is no macro.
    This may be a bit different when you talk about using the actual VCR part of the combo to your computer.

    Most of the advice against combo units is really in using them to capture/record the final output.

    As for the VCR part, and its quality, that's another matter. Personally, since convenience is emphasized on such units, I would tend to believe the VCR part would have lower quality than a regular 4-head HiFi stand-alone VCR emphasized for playback would.
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  17. Dinosaur Supervisor KarMa's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by PuzZLeR View Post
    This may be a bit different when you talk about using the actual VCR part of the combo to your computer.

    Most of the advice against combo units is really in using them to capture/record the final output.

    As for the VCR part, and its quality, that's another matter. Personally, since convenience is emphasized on such units, I would tend to believe the VCR part would have lower quality than a regular 4-head HiFi stand-alone VCR emphasized for playback would.
    It's a S-VHS VCR with a built in TBC. I think it falls under the vague term of "pro-sumer". Mostly got it for the TBC.
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  18. Member PuzZLeR's Avatar
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    Like I said, if you just use the VCR part, and for capture to your computer, that's a different story. I still wouldn't trust it as a high end solution when capturing/recording on it though, regardless of mfg/model.

    As per the VCR part, yes, I can see that it's a "prosumer" model, and the VCR part should be like the prosumer JVCs. Not to be negative, but I do hope they didn't compromise any VCR quality for convenience in a smaller package like other combo units would. But checking up on it online, I can see the VCR part is very much like my JVC (SR-V101US), which indeed is a prosumer model. And it's nice to see you can buy this thing brand new today. Not cheap, but encouraging nevertheless.

    For a number of reasons, I personally don't like my JVC unit, and didn't benefit from its "TBC". But that's me, and again, another story. There's others here that do enjoy their JVC prosumer models, and hopefully you're one of them.
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    Surprised to hear your troubles with your JVC unit. Before I bought my used unit off of ebay last year I read through all of the comments on Amazon for the whole SR-MV line. Most of the problems people were angry over, was a cheap DVD Writer which would die after a few uses. With that in mind I bought it thinking unit I would get either a dead or dying DVD drive. Has yet to die on me but I can live without it. The TBC in it did react badly to one batch of tapes from Time Warner distributor but everyone else does fine.

    Anyway, this unit is worlds better than my only other unit. My linear-mono-only Panasonic which I got in the late 90s for +$100.
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    As for units with burners, I have a Pioneer DVR-520 that I still use for recording SD TV to its hard drive, and a Panasonic ES15 DVR that I use for TBC pass-through. I haven't used their burner trays, in years for the 520, or never for the ES15. I'd consider your JVC combo unit's burner in the same category - I just wouldn't use it or care for it at all. I'd use it as a VCR (assuming you like the output of it).

    Although this may be off topic, I personally don't like my JVC unit. It produces a picture that looks over-processed - it looks "clean" and colorful, but what it really is is a blurriness with a strong sharpening filter over it, and maybe some added saturation, and its line-based TBC actually produces more jitter in many cases. The JVC is especially bad with older EP recordings. It can be OK on some commercial tapes, but that's it, and unfortunately that is not what I work on anyway.

    And speaking of a Panasonic "ordinary" unit, I love my PV-V4520. Fabulous detail, and great tracking. And using it with the mentioned ES15's line-based TBC in the chain I can produce a very nice capture - a much more detailed and steady picture than almost anything I got out of the JVC.

    Not being negative, just being honest. Like alot of things I stopped using, my JVC unit is collecting dust.
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    Originally Posted by KarMa View Post
    Anyway, this unit is worlds better than my only other unit. My linear-mono-only Panasonic which I got in the late 90s for +$100.
    Those later cheapo Pannies were junk. I bought one as spare at a closeout price when a local Wiz shut down, kept it in a closet as a spare. I used it a about a year later to capture half a tape. The image was so ugly and noisy (the color corruption looked really dirty), I gave the VCR to Goodwill.

    That JVC has had plenty of bad press, for many reasons. It was a lightweight job with a cheap tape transport and weak tbc. But if you like it, by all means use it. You could do worse, but you can do a lot better.

    Originally Posted by PuzZLeR View Post
    And speaking of a Panasonic "ordinary" unit, I love my PV-V4520. Fabulous detail, and great tracking. And using it with the mentioned ES15's line-based TBC in the chain I can produce a very nice capture - a much more detailed and steady picture than almost anything I got out of the JVC.
    The PV-V series was at the end of the Panasonic VCR line. The best used consumer Pannies are the PV-4500 and PV-4600 series, which avoid the over sharpening, pumped contrast, and fluttery playback of the later PV-V's. Orsetto has mentioned the differences in several posts. My mainstay players are the PV-4664, PV-S4670 (SVHS), and the PV-S4672 (SVHS), all reconditioned from the original 1996 models, all with metal Dynamorphous heads, and which often replace my AG-1980 for playback of many tapes. You might want to browse for some of Orsetto's posts on these models and try to get one. The SVHS players will be really hard to find. Their output looks a lot like the AG-1980 but without the slight softening from the 1980's dnr. Sometimes the output from those 1996 babies looks so smooth I'm tempted not to use the ES10's line tbc, but I use it anyway.

    I went through three high-end JVC's myself. When they died (which didn't take long), I saw no advantage in replacing them.
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    Originally Posted by LMotlow View Post
    That JVC has had plenty of bad press, for many reasons. It was a lightweight job with a cheap tape transport and weak tbc. But if you like it, by all means use it. You could do worse, but you can do a lot better.
    Assuming you're talking about the mentioned JVC units, I tend to agree - hey, if one likes them, then it's perfectly fine for them to go ahead and use them. I mean, the capture can look good in some cases, and it's certainly not nearly as "terrible" as from a cheapie unit, and there is demand for them - some like the "plastic face" look, and like it in their workflow. (I think Orsetto mentioned something about this too somewhere.)

    Originally Posted by LMotlow
    I went through three high-end JVC's myself. When they died (which didn't take long), I saw no advantage in replacing them.
    I'm done with JVC decks. I bought my unit brand new a few years ago for, don't remember exactly now, roughly ~$400 +S&H, or something like that. I'm not broke, and it's not the money, but it still sucked when I was disappointed in its performance.

    For the sake of less clutter I could sell it, but don't have the conscience to do so. Even selling a unit that is almost new still, with little use other than testing, I'd still feel I'd be scamming someone.

    Originally Posted by LMotlow
    Originally Posted by PuzZLeR View Post
    And speaking of a Panasonic "ordinary" unit, I love my PV-V4520. Fabulous detail, and great tracking. And using it with the mentioned ES15's line-based TBC in the chain I can produce a very nice capture - a much more detailed and steady picture than almost anything I got out of the JVC.
    The PV-V series was at the end of the Panasonic VCR line. The best used consumer Pannies are the PV-4500 and PV-4600 series, which avoid the over sharpening, pumped contrast, and fluttery playback of the later PV-V's. Orsetto has mentioned the differences in several posts. My mainstay players are the PV-4664, PV-S4670 (SVHS), and the PV-S4672 (SVHS), all reconditioned from the original 1996 models, all with metal Dynamorphous heads, and which often replace my AG-1980 for playback of many tapes. You might want to browse for some of Orsetto's posts on these models and try to get one. The SVHS players will be really hard to find. Their output looks a lot like the AG-1980 but without the slight softening from the 1980's dnr. Sometimes the output from those 1996 babies looks so smooth I'm tempted not to use the ES10's line tbc, but I use it anyway.
    Again, this is just me, but I hated the JVC, and the Mitsu, and the Panasonic AG-1970. The AG-1980s could have been nice, but one is very flaky, and the other one died. And the 1980's DNR on a number of tapes was annoying to me.

    And yes indeed, Orsetto's posts were my original motivation for those Panasonics you mentioned. When I saw a 4521, brand new, at a warehouse clearance I jumped on it, and picked up a used 4520 on eBay later. Both initially needed some cleaning, but now, yes, very sharp picture but not over-sharpened, and great color. Loved them since. With my ES15 in the chain, and multiple captures and median methods, their output is unbeatable. Some here will disagree with me, and that's fine, but I honestly have no more appetite for any of the prosumer models.

    And, as you know, composite/RCA output is sufficient for VHS. Yes, I too tend to like the output without the ES15 in some cases, but, mmmmmm, still feel it safe to include the ES15...

    I've even tested these 4520/4521 units with recordings from other units I still have (Sharp, Toshiba, etc). Believe it or not, the Panasonic 4520, and 4521, plays these recordings even better, with nicer detail and picture control. Yes, it plays them better than the actual units that recorded them. Honest!

    I will look into your suggestions due to my confidence in this line/series - are you suggesting a 46XX or SVHS model would be even better?
    Last edited by PuzZLeR; 23rd Oct 2015 at 12:26.
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    The older and more well regarded models are the "PV" and "PV-S" series, made 1995-1996. The much later ones were the PV-V series with that extra V. There's a big difference in performance (cleaner output, more rugged tape path) between, say a PV-45xx and a PV-V45xx. Very late in the Pannies' run cycle Panasonic re-used the old numbers with a "V" stuck in the middle. For shame. During that period, the older higher-end 4xxx series were selling for a pretty penny, many of them sold used for even more than new retail "V"s that were still on store shelves back then.
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    Originally Posted by LMotlow View Post
    The older and more well regarded models are the "PV" and "PV-S" series, made 1995-1996. The much later ones were the PV-V series with that extra V. There's a big difference in performance (cleaner output, more rugged tape path) between, say a PV-45xx and a PV-V45xx. Very late in the Pannies' run cycle Panasonic re-used the old numbers with a "V" stuck in the middle. For shame. During that period, the older higher-end 4xxx series were selling for a pretty penny, many of them sold used for even more than new retail "V"s that were still on store shelves back then.
    Thanks.

    I was indeed looking into another, third, backup for my 4520/4521 units anyway (since they don't make them anymore) so taking up on your suggestion seems like a great idea. Yes, mine are from 2000/2001, so why not include a mid-90s model into the mix if even better?

    Currently eyeing a 4652 (no second V and from 1996), and a couple of others. Can't wait.
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    Reviving this thread to update my findings.

    I have since purchased, and have been testing, two Panasonic models from the mid-90s, without the extra "V" (as stated), the Panasonic PV-4652 and the Panasonic PV-4601 (against my PV-V4520 and PV-4521 from a different manufacturing scheme).

    So far, I’m not convinced (yet) they're any better than my PV-V4520 and PV-V4521.

    Sure they're nice, and make great backups or primaries, which is what I wanted anyway, so not disappointed in the purchases. I did notice the picture may have been slightly cleaner, and color less smeared, and not as oversharpened with the PV-4652, and the PV-4601, but only very slightly and not on most frames. However, they had a slight less amount of detail than the PV-V4521 and PV-V4520 models. And I know it was real detail that was missing, not noise.

    And, in the end, after some processing with removing crosstalk, median methods, noise removal, etc, I really don't see any difference in the final result as one better than the other.

    @LMotlow: If you’re still around, is there something I’m missing, or should look for? If you like, I can give a sample comparison for you to look at. I’d value your opinion.
    Last edited by PuzZLeR; 18th Dec 2015 at 23:57.
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