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  1. magikarp99
    >Have you tried running the older version in a VM, and using PCI or USB passthrough to give control over your capture device?

    I thought of that, and VirtualBox had just come out with the feature, however it requires a CPU with VT-x and VT-d extensions, which I didn't have. It's my plan to ensure my next upgrade has this ability.

    me
    >I saw very little difference actually, because the tv I was watching it on seemed to auto normalize the levels.

    2Bdecided
    >capture devices will AGC the signal

    That's what I meant to say, thanks
    If your signal has setup, then something with a diode may work then.

    @magikarp99
    I bet there's a trimmer pot somewhere inside your TBC to fix the output levels too, that's an even better solution as it's at hand.
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  2. Mountains of gear vaporeon800's Avatar
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    Sorry if I misinterpreted what you said, at first read it sounded like the DPS-470AV was causing the bending in the image, but then you went on to say that you "have three DVD recorders now that straighten the signal just fine", indicating the image was bent before the DPS-470AV and required fixing.
    As jagabo said, all VHS contains timebase errors. It's a known issue with the format, as well as U-Matic, Beta, etc.
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  3. Originally Posted by magikarp99 View Post
    As was mentioned previously when someone brought this up, I have not waited until 2014 to do this, but have only recently acquired these tapes. I knew the BMI would need a TBC, I just didn't realise TBCs were so inconsistent, the TBC-1000 had received a lot of praise. Besides, I didn't buy the BMI to just capture VHS. As to why people spend time and money on this, this can be a learning experience and a hobby.
    It is best not to buy equipment ahead of time for a subject you are not familiar with.
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    Originally Posted by jmac698 View Post
    I bet there's a trimmer pot somewhere inside your TBC to fix the output levels too, that's an even better solution as it's at hand.
    Unfortunately I don't believe there is, but it is a good thought.

    Originally Posted by vaporeon800 View Post
    As jagabo said, all VHS contains timebase errors. It's a known issue with the format, as well as U-Matic, Beta, etc.
    If your picture is bending a significant amount, then either your tape is in bad condition, or the tape deck that either recorded or played the tape requires servicing. For example, tapes that produce an image like this:
    https://forum.videohelp.com/threads/360511-Vhs-DVD-clarity-question?p=2287517&viewfull=1#post2287517
    I don't believe that professional TBCs are all designed to account for the recovery of such tapes, but are generally designed to rectify the minor timebase errors present in all tape formats. Consumer TBCs fix this issue because they are designed for a workflow where equipment is routinely unaligned and unserviced, and tapes are abused. Perhaps your tapes are not bending this much though, I do not know. However, as with all tapes, my tapes have timebase errors, but they are relatively minor. I am not dealing with bending images in any of my tapes.
    Clearly however, your DPS-470AV is not a good unit. You mentioned it desaturates the signal, which indicates it either requires servicing or was never of a good quality.

    Originally Posted by Steve(MS) View Post
    It is best not to buy equipment ahead of time for a subject you are not familiar with.
    Agreed, however, I am familiar with this subject. The TBC-1000 did not perform in accordance with the recommendations I had read online. My VTR and capture device are performing exactly as expected. The issue with the TBC-1000 is not due to a lack of understanding the subject.
    Last edited by magikarp99; 4th Feb 2014 at 08:23.
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  5. Originally Posted by magikarp99 View Post
    Originally Posted by jmac698 View Post
    I bet there's a trimmer pot somewhere inside your TBC to fix the output levels too, that's an even better solution as it's at hand.
    Unfortunately I don't believe there is, but it is a good thought.

    Originally Posted by vaporeon800 View Post
    As jagabo said, all VHS contains timebase errors. It's a known issue with the format, as well as U-Matic, Beta, etc.
    If your picture is bending a significant amount, then either your tape is in bad condition, or the tape deck that either recorded or played the tape requires servicing.
    We're not talking about gross errors like that. Every VHS tape/deck has small horizontal time base errors (jitter) like this:

    https://forum.videohelp.com/threads/306272-Computer-video-capture-vs-vcr-to-dvd-combo?p...=1#post1882662

    It's caused by the inability to keep the drum rotating at a perfectly constant speed. That random horizontal motion of every scan line eats up bitrate when encoding with inter-frame codecs.
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    Originally Posted by jagabo View Post
    We're not talking about gross errors like that. Every VHS tape/deck has small horizontal time base errors (jitter) like this:
    Vaporeon800 said the image was bent, if he meant jitter then it's my mistake.
    Originally Posted by vaporeon800 View Post
    The default mode of the DPS-470AV leaves a bent picture with VHS sources.
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  7. Originally Posted by magikarp99 View Post
    I don't believe that professional TBCs are all designed to account for the recovery of such tapes, but are generally designed to rectify the minor timebase errors present in all tape formats. Consumer TBCs fix this issue because they are designed for a workflow where equipment is routinely unaligned and unserviced, and tapes are abused.
    Being consumer equipment doesn't change the fact that it's more advanced, modern equipment that's simply better at correcting analog signals. It just doesn't offer you any means of control over that correction as pro equipment would. Those pro TBCs are just ancient designs, that won't ever be updated in the way that modern consumer devices implemented them.

    Originally Posted by magikarp99 View Post
    The TBC-1000 did not perform in accordance with the recommendations I had read online.
    Unfortunate, but you have already been given a cheap, viable alternative (several times) - the DMR-ES10/ES15 DVD recorder. Confirmed to send a stabilized signal that the BMI is happy with. Problem solved.

    All other 'dedicated TBC' alternatives carry the same or more risk of disappointment as your Datavideo.
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    So the best suggestion here by far has been from jmac698, I am looking into getting a good proc amp.

    As per the suggestions of others I be avoiding other consumer TBCs. I will however keep an eye out on eBay for pro TBCs going cheap.

    I have ruled our the Panasonic ES10, it may provide good recovery functions, but my tapes do not need these. Reading around, it seems the ES10 does not provide a neutral image either, and will also encore my video to MPEG2, meaning all my footage will be encoded twice when authored to DVD.

    A proc amp won't fix my ghosting or heightened head switching noise, but it seems no alternative can guarantee this either.
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  9. Originally Posted by magikarp99 View Post
    I have ruled our the Panasonic ES10, it may provide good recovery functions, but my tapes do not need these.
    You do if your VHS deck doesn't have a line TBC,

    Originally Posted by magikarp99 View Post
    Reading around, it seems the ES10 does not provide a neutral image either
    Your VHS tapes are probably way off and you'll need to fix levels and colors anyway. As long as a device doesn't result in clipping or some weird non-linear, hard to fix error, it's worth using it for line and frame TBC functions.

    Originally Posted by magikarp99 View Post
    and will also encore my video to MPEG2
    Not in pass-through mode.
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    Originally Posted by magikarp99 View Post
    I have ruled our the Panasonic ES10, it may provide good recovery functions, but my tapes do not need these. Reading around, it seems the ES10 does not provide a neutral image either, and will also encore my video to MPEG2, meaning all my footage will be encoded twice when authored to DVD.
    Devices like the ES10 aren't used as recorders in the manner discussed here.

    Meanwhile, I pass.
    Last edited by sanlyn; 19th Mar 2014 at 07:24.
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  11. Originally Posted by magikarp99 View Post
    As per the suggestions of others I be avoiding other consumer TBCs. I will however keep an eye out on eBay for pro TBCs going cheap.
    And you think the pro TBC route is less of a risk? And less trouble? Answer - it's more.

    Originally Posted by magikarp99 View Post
    I have ruled our the Panasonic ES10, it may provide good recovery functions, but my tapes do not need these.
    So your logic is ruling out your cheapest and easiest solution, on the basis that it does something you think you don't need.

    Originally Posted by magikarp99 View Post
    Reading around, it seems the ES10 does not provide a neutral image either, and will also encore my video to MPEG2, meaning all my footage will be encoded twice when authored to DVD.
    No it will not encode your videos to MPEG2. I don't know where you read that. At minimum, it will be more neutral than what you've reported about your Datavideo unit. And if you're that concerned about fidelity...

    Originally Posted by magikarp99 View Post
    I am looking into getting a good proc amp.
    ...then you certainly shouldn't be adding anything else. Even the best proc amps are known to have undesired effects along with the extra step of A/D. Jmac698's suggestion is good in that it allows more options and control - but IMO it's unnecessary in your situation.

    But do as you please.
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  12. Regarding the Panasonic ES10 as pass-thru, magikarp99's concerns aren't entirely unfounded. The ES10 is a device that polarizes opinion: people either love it or hate it. Most posts and samples I've seen here, dating back to 2005, indicate it isn't exactly transparent. LordSmurf (who also polarizes people) has stated several times here and at DigitalFaq that he considers the ES10 a last-resort device to be used only when distortion or tearing is so bad that curing it trumps all other aspects of picture quality. He also said the ES10 circuits don't simply correct analog pass-thru: the analog video is digitized, processed, converted back to analog, and passed thru in a corrected (but not transparent) form. The accuracy of that description is open to argument, but enough similar comments have been posted on European and Australian A/V forums to merit personal testing of individual ES10 units before use in an important project. Sample variation is a definite possibility, given the ES10 was mfrd at the tail end of the "counterfeit capacitor" mess.
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    Originally Posted by SixFiftyThree View Post
    And you think the pro TBC route is less of a risk? And less trouble? Answer - it's more.
    What I have taken from this thread is that there is plenty of experience with consumer TBCs and there are some great recommendations for when tapes are in bad condition and in need of severe help. For these situations, these units are the best trade-off as they recover the image, but they are not neutral. Examples of issues are signal gain, softening, increasing head switching noise and ghosting. Some people have experience with professional units, but they also have issues, some have suggested this is because they are too old or require servicing. Some suggest that it is because they are unsuited to particularly bad tapes. My tapes are in good condition, so this is not a concern. Ruling out consumers TBCs that will probably give me similar issues, I may get lucky with a pro unit off eBay that is going cheap. It may not function, but note I am not going to pay retail, so it is of little concern.

    Originally Posted by SixFiftyThree View Post
    Originally Posted by magikarp99 View Post
    I have ruled our the Panasonic ES10, it may provide good recovery functions, but my tapes do not need these.
    So your logic is ruling out your cheapest and easiest solution, on the basis that it does something you think you don't need.
    If you continue to read you will see that I am explaining the use case for such a device, and explaining how it does not apply to my situation.


    Originally Posted by SixFiftyThree View Post
    No it will not encode your videos to MPEG2. I don't know where you read that. At minimum, it will be more neutral than what you've reported about your Datavideo unit. And if you're that concerned about fidelity...
    I have read elsewhere that the output is the signal as encoded through the MPEG2 chip, with compression and all. Perhaps it is wrong.
    http://www.avsforum.com/t/1252109/panasonic-fans-vhs-conversion-lsi-vs-inhouse-es10-pa...eh50-vs-others
    Regardless I have seen examples of the footage that is passed through and it is kind of muddy, details are lost. This an acceptable trade off for tapes requiring great help to re-stabilise them, this is not the case in my situation.


    Originally Posted by SixFiftyThree View Post
    Originally Posted by magikarp99 View Post
    I am looking into getting a good proc amp.
    ...then you certainly shouldn't be adding anything else. Even the best proc amps are known to have undesired effects along with the extra step of A/D. Jmac698's suggestion is good in that it allows more options and control - but IMO it's unnecessary in your situation.

    But do as you please.
    So you are saying that it is better to have a clipped luma signal than correct it with a proc amp? One of my issues is that the Datavideo is adding so much gain to my luma it is causing the signals to clip beyond that which can be rectified in software. It doesn't sound unnecessary at all. Am I wrong?

    Originally Posted by orsetto View Post
    Regarding the Panasonic ES10 as pass-thru, magikarp99's concerns aren't entirely unfounded. The ES10 is a device that polarizes opinion: people either love it or hate it. Most posts and samples I've seen here, dating back to 2005, indicate it isn't exactly transparent. LordSmurf (who also polarizes people) has stated several times here and at DigitalFaq that he considers the ES10 a last-resort device to be used only when distortion or tearing is so bad that curing it trumps all other aspects of picture quality. He also said the ES10 circuits don't simply correct analog pass-thru: the analog video is digitized, processed, converted back to analog, and passed thru in a corrected (but not transparent) form. The accuracy of that description is open to argument, but enough similar comments have been posted on European and Australian A/V forums to merit personal testing of individual ES10 units before use in an important project. Sample variation is a definite possibility, given the ES10 was mfrd at the tail end of the "counterfeit capacitor" mess.
    Exactly.
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  14. Of course a DVD recorder's passthrough isn't 100 percent transparent. I can't speak for the ES10 but I've used an ES15. It changes levels and saturation a bit (depending on the source). But VHS typically has levels and saturation all over the place and require adjustments anyway. You can just as well make those adjustments after the passthrough -- as long as they aren't too badly mangled (which hasn't been the case in my experience). I haven't see the posterization and ghosting problems that some people have referred to. But I always turn off the ES15 noise reduction circuit.

    https://forum.videohelp.com/threads/319420-Who-uses-a-DVD-recorder-as-a-line-TBC-and-wh...=1#post1980617
    https://forum.videohelp.com/threads/319420-Who-uses-a-DVD-recorder-as-a-line-TBC-and-wh...=1#post1980617
    https://forum.videohelp.com/threads/319420-Who-uses-a-DVD-recorder-as-a-line-TBC-and-wh...=1#post1982320
    https://forum.videohelp.com/threads/319420-Who-uses-a-DVD-recorder-as-a-line-TBC-and-wh...=1#post1980617

    All modern time base correctors convert analog to digital, perform the correction, then convert back to analog. The issue is how well it's done.

    LordSmurf... has stated several times here and at DigitalFaq that he considers the ES10 a last-resort device
    But he has a lot of S-VHS and VHS decks and other hardware to choose from. If you can go out and spend thousands of dollars on S-VHS decks, standalone full frame TBCs, and video proc amps, you might consider a DVD recorder a last resort option too. But for someone how has one VHS deck and doesn't want to spend a ton of cash, a DVD recorder for $75 is a good investment.
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    The ES10/ES15 color variations are an issue, of course. Not that it can't be corrected -- VHS needs humongous color correction anyway, regardless of how it's captured. Having used an ES20 and an ES15, I have to say that color and levels via my Toshiba pass-thru's was far less problematic. How much more tbc power is in the ES15/ES10 over the Toshiba is anyone's guess, but they look about the same to me. All of the models I mentioned seem a nudge below my old (retired) ES20. I suppose if I had a really screwed up tape I might have to go for the ES15, according to what others have reported with bad tapes, but I no longer have tapes in that condition.

    The only advantage I can see for an external proc amp is setting levels during capture. That's a klutzy affair anyway, whether you use a proc amp or a capture card's settings or VirtualDub's hook-in to capture drivers: VHS levels change constantly during playback and often go haywire for a few minutes. The best one can do is (a) capture 2 minutes of tape, capture another 2 minutes when the levels change, capture 2 more minutes at different settings, etc., etc., until you get a headache and/or ruin a tape. Or (b) set up for a worst-case levels scenario and capture the whole thing, then adjust as needed in post processing. Trying to correct analog color during capture is an exercise in pure frustration; like levels, color balances change constantly. A proc amp does become useful when a totally whacko tape with severe chroma problems is at hand. But usually a tape that bad isn't worth capturing anyway, and even then you'll have to tweak the results. Color correction filters for post-processing are far more sophisticated and versatile than a proc amp.
    Last edited by sanlyn; 19th Mar 2014 at 07:24.
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  16. Since I own an ES10, I speak not from speculation but from personal experience. I have seen no posterization as claimed, and certainly no MPEG2 encoding on passthrough (which would be pretty obvious). Tests made on this very forum back that up, minus some minor levels differences. Any other complaints can most likely be attributed to the heavy NR - simple, turn it off.

    Originally Posted by magikarp99 View Post
    So you are saying that it is better to have a clipped luma signal than correct it with a proc amp?
    Yes, I want your tapes to look bad. But really, you may avoid this entirely without resorting to either a pro TBC and/or proc amp, and just trying out the recorder(s) we've been discussing first. I got mine for $40...meanwhile you insist on spending hundreds more to begin with.

    Anyway, nothing more I can see to add here.

    PS: Couple of excellent posts above me by Jagabo and Sanlyn. If you won't listen to me then listen to those guys.
    Last edited by SixFiftyThree; 4th Feb 2014 at 14:53.
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  17. Originally Posted by SixFiftyThree View Post
    Since I own an ES10, I speak not from speculation but from personal experience. I have seen no posterization as claimed, and certainly no MPEG2 encoding on passthrough (which would be pretty obvious). Tests made on this very forum back that up, minus some minor levels differences. Any other complaints can most likely be attributed to the heavy NR - simple, turn it off.
    Exactly what I was trying to convey: you and jagabo see little to no issue with ES10 passthru, while others do and have various difficulties trying to counterbalance it. Like with every other damned VHS>Digital question posted in the history of this forum, it depends on the VCRs and tapes involved, and sample variation among ES10s (even the most fanatical boosters of using daisy-chained Panasonic DVD recorders instead of PC capture allude to this). My impression of magikarp99 is he isn't interested in experimenting and testing with variables: he wants slam-dunk recommendations for "totally transparent" TBC-like devices. The ES10 is an extremely popular go-to correction device, with extraordinary capabilities unrivaled by multi-thousand-dollar pro gear. But we cannot guarantee to someone like magikarp99 that it will meet such exacting standards without their own personal testing.

    Originally Posted by sanlyn View Post
    VHS levels change constantly during playback and often go haywire for a few minutes.
    Absolutely agree, which is why a quest for 100% utter perfection in VHS transfers is doomed to disappoint. One way or another, there is a tradeoff between defects corrected and defects tolerated.

    Originally Posted by jagabo View Post
    Of course a DVD recorder's passthrough isn't 100 percent transparent. [...] All modern time base correctors convert analog to digital, perform the correction, then convert back to analog. The issue is how well it's done.
    Again, absolutely agree, which is why I don't think any of us can possibly recommend any TBC or TBC-like device as guaranteed to meet magikarp's standards of 100% non-intrusive transparency. We're all on the same page on this point. Debating just how much or how little degradation various devices might contribute is ignoring the elephant in the room: magikarp99 doesn't care about those distinctions. He was hoping to hear confirmation that buying a pro TBC like Hotronic AP-41 would give staggeringly better results than his disappointing DataVideo experience. This confirmation we cannot give him, and his standards are such that virtually nothing available is likely to meet them. Is a properly-functioning Panasonic ES10 more likely to be compatible with his Black Magic encoder than a flaking DataVideo? Probably. But it is also likely to disappoint in other aspects that magikarp99 seems highly sensitive to.

    VHS is what it is: a crappy consumer format that was optimized for highly forgiving old-school analog CRT displays which concealed flaws in ways impossible in the brutal world of digital. That VHS can be digitized passably at all is a minor miracle. Expecting to correct certain flaws without introducing other compromises is unrealistic: that is really the only answer we can give to someone who craves perfection. The rest of this thread is just quibbling over details: overall, all the responses agree.
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    It is true. It's impossible to get a perfect. one-shot, ready to encode capture or recording from these analog sources. We have threads by people who use fair-to-midland components on up to the "best" that are usually recommended. The fair stuff probably needs more post-processing work than the premium players and capture cards; but in the end, those who are willing to make an effort do get results that are considerably improved over the starting point.

    There are reasons why many users have adopted and popularized the use of certain components, rejecting others. The comparisons are documented all over the place, in many cases documented by technical gurus who are eons ahead of the casual users they advise. Those recommendations are the best anyone can hope for, and they are all we have to work with.
    Last edited by sanlyn; 19th Mar 2014 at 07:24.
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