Basically i've finally decided to go ahead and buy a TBC and i've seen two TBCs and am confused about why one is more expensive than the other.
I live in the UK and I was looking at the AVT-8710 and the CTB-100 and thought they looked way to similar.
So I did some research and have found out that the two TBCs are exactly the same, they are just sold under different names in different countries.
Now what I want to know is, if they are the SAME, then why is the CTB-100 more expensive than the AVT-8710?
Heres two links of them being sold on the same website however one is cheaper than the other...
Has the CTB-100 got some little extra features which make it a little bit more expensive or am I good to go with the AVT-8710?
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This question has been popping up with increasing frequency in recent months. The two units are thought to be exactly the same, made in the same factory, the only notable difference being the CBT-100 was primarily marketed in Europe while the AVT-8710 was the version sold in North America. Given the terrible state of the world economy, my guess is that the mfr has relaxed its regional brand restrictions, or EU importers have found a way to source the AVT version from jobbers for a lesser wholesale cost. Its unlikely either one would have an advantage over the other, but do take care to ask the seller if the AVT is covered under warranty in the UK (it might be "grey market" or "parallel import"). If you cannot get a clear answer, buy the CBT. Or, search eBay.uk for a second-hand DataVideo TBC-1000 (in the same price range but larger and sturdier).
This has been discussed here: Alternative AVT-8710 TBC models?
Direct link: http://www.digitalFAQ.com/forum/showthread.php/alternative-avt-8710-1853.html?t=1853&h...hlight=cypress
CTB-100 = Cypress Technologies TBC
AVT-8710 = CTB-100 as sold by AV Toolbox in N.A. (different color plastic case, that's all)
Why not the same price? Why are off-brand Office Depot DVD-R and name-brand TDK media not the same price, when both were manufactured by Ritek? Both are the same disc! There's no good answer.
I would tend to agree with the gray market theory.
Ok thats cleared that up.
Also will I be able to input both PAL and NTSC signals using this TBC or is each one specific to the region, e.g. CTB only takes in PAL and AVT only NTSC?
Also the reason for purchase is because some old VHS tapes I have tend to shake/jitter which causes dropped frames when capturing, so will this help sort that problem?? The picture is actully very clear, its just the jitter which makes the frames drop every few seconds.
Thanks in Advance
Thanks alot for the help guys
Either TBC will lock the signal down enough to prevent dropped frames and audio issues, that is their primary function. They do have some corrective effect on mild jitter but much depends on whether the jitter source is mechanical (VCR issues) or due to weak or poor sync signal on the tape. Consumer-level TBCs can't do anything for VCR-induced jitter, and may actually make it worse in some cases (especially if the tapes are recorded in the slower LP or EP speeds). A TBC will often "technically" repair the dropped frames issue while doing nothing to cure the visual aspects of the problem.
Oddly enough, the strongest jitter correction device you can buy is an old Panasonic DVD recorder, the model was DMR-ES10 in North America. This Panasonic has a very effective proprietary jitter reduction circuit, stronger than any consumer or even professional accessory. You connect your VCR to its line inputs, and your PC or newer DVD recorder to the Panasonic's line outputs. The Panasonic does not need to be in record mode, simply powered on: it will pass the corrected signal thru to your recording device. The ES10 can work wonders on some impossibly distorted or jittery tapes, but it isn't transparent: it does tend towards a somewhat murky overall image. Many people are willing to compromise on this to get rid of other distortions, it has to be evaluated case by case. You might find the PAL version of the ES10 on eBay.uk very cheaply, especially if it has a dead DVD burner (the burner is unnecessary when using the ES10 as a pass-thru correction unit).
I recently got a ES15 with the DVD part somewhat broken. I didn't even ask the seller if it could be repaired.
But I didn't have the chance to test it yet
OK one more question...
My VCR doesnt support S-Video output so I will have to use a composite cable to connect it to the TBC. So what I want to know is can I output the signal from the TBC using a S-Video cable and will this provide a better picture because i've hear S-Video cables provide sharper and clearer pictures than composite cables, or will I only be able to output from the TBC using composite because the input is composite.
There isn't much to be gained from using S-video out on the TBC if your input source is limited to composite: the S-out can't improve on the limitations of the input. S-video has much more impact on the VCR side, because it (sometimes) outputs a more detailed signal. S-video on the recording unit input will not do anything useful unless the source VCR is also an S-video connection. Transcoding, the feature that converts composite to S-video, is not mentioned in the instruction manual for these TBCs, nor is mention made of selectable input/output jacks. The unit auto-senses everything, so if your input is RCA composite you might be better off sticking to RCA composite output even if the TBC appears to output a signal from its S-video jack. Experiment to see how your individual TBC operates in tandem with your VCR and digital recorder.
BTW S-video connections are not a cure-all or a 100% guarantee of improved results. Many consumer VCRs had poorly-implemented S-video output circuits which can cause unpleasant artifacts when digitized. This is more common when playing non-SVHS tapes thru an S-video jack, if your tapes are true SVHS you're more likely to notice an improvement. Again, test recordings should be made so you can judge what looks best to your eye with your tapes and your hardware. You'd be surprised how often the composite RCA connection digitizes better than the S-video.
You really know your stuff
Ok im going to stop firing questions now and go ahead and buy one of these, so hopefully I will help me out in digitizing my old tapes.
I think I will just stick with the RCA input and output, like you said, I dont think it will make much difference.
But anyway now I just have to wait until I get it and then start testing it out, hopefully with positive results.
Just curiosity. What are you going to use for capturing?
I use a capture card, I think the model is a Philips SAA7130. Now its not a big brand or popular card but i've been using it for a few years now and the captured footage is always perfect.
The software I use to capture is Pinnacle Studio and I capture to DV-AVI. The card has a hardware MPEG2 encoder, but I hate capturing direct to MPEG2, the quality is just not the same as encoding from a high quality AVI.
The only issue i've ever had is frame drops when using old/worn VHS tapes but I think this happens with most capture cards if an old/worn tape is used, and thats why I want a TBC to help out with that.