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  1. Hi.

    Does it matter if a person uses a VCR, DVD/VCR combo or Blu-ray/VCR combo to capture VHS tapes? I have read in some capture guides in ca.yahoo.com search to not use the combo players. These posts seemed old and written around when the DVD/Blu-ray/VCR combo machines were being released.

    Are there differences? Benefits? Recommendations?

    Is it possible for composite and s-video to be used simultaneously as an output with the DVD/VCR combo or Blu-ray/VCR combo's?

    I have read that cassette tapes react differently in different VCR's.

    Thanks.
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  2. Member hech54's Avatar
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    Combos are notorious JUNK, both recorders and players.....and you can forget about S-Video with a combo. Oh you might find one obscure machine available only in Malaysia or some other far-off country that had S-Video out....but you probably won't get your hands on one and it may be PAL format.
    Long story short...skip the combo idea.
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  3. Member
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    Originally Posted by SyncroScales View Post
    Hi.

    Does it matter if a person uses a VCR, DVD/VCR combo or Blu-ray/VCR combo to capture VHS tapes? I have read in some capture guides in ca.yahoo.com search to not use the combo players. These posts seemed old and written around when the DVD/Blu-ray/VCR combo machines were being released.

    Are there differences? Benefits? Recommendations?

    Is it possible for composite and s-video to be used simultaneously as an output with the DVD/VCR combo or Blu-ray/VCR combo's?

    I have read that cassette tapes react differently in different VCR's.

    Thanks.
    Some VCR/DVD combos only play discs and tapes and won't record. These machines cannot be used by themselves to transfer recordings from tape to DVD. The VHS part of VCR/DVD combos is often not especially good, and they cost more than a good used consumer VCR.

    The two N. American model Blu-Ray/VHS combos that came up in my search only play tapes and discs. They were produced in 2009 and 2010, and never made again. Since they play VHS tapes, but cannot record to DVD or Blu-Ray, they don't offer you any advantage over an ordinary VCR. If you have one, you could always try it for playing tapes but given that they are expensive even as used items, I wouldn't run out an buy one for this project.

    Yes, different VCRs do a better or worse job playing individual tapes. Just get a few used VCRs in good shape. They cost very little compared to the alternatives you asked about.
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    The main reason we advise against combos will never change. It's because you may need to put a TBC between the VCR and the capture device in some cases and if you need to do that, it's impossible with a combo. You have to have separate units to do that. Of course, it's possible that you may not need a TBC at all, but using a combo does box you in where if you need it, it's no longer an option. If by any chance you are planning on capturing commercial video tapes then you are definitely going to need a TBC (Time Base Corrector).
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  5. Thanks for the replies.

    I was told about these two TBC's: AVT-8710 and the TBC-1000.

    Is there any pre-processing or post-processing equipment that the AVT-8710 and the TBC-1000 would benefit from? I see that the AVT-8710 has that built in. But any ideas are welcome and information is appreciated.

    VCR's: I have seen some recently online and they are regular ones but cost more than a blu-ray player with many features...

    How can I clean or tune-up a VCR? Any recommendations? I have a tape cleaner with alcohol, but not the brush-heads unfortunately.

    I think I am looking for this with a VCR, any other recommendations? A multi-system would be nice, but I probably won't get that at this time.

    HiFi
    4-Head
    Self-cleaning heads
    S-VHS - With S-Video
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    Frame level TBC's like the AVT-8710 and TBC-1000 are usually used to defeat Macrovision. Are your tapes copy protected?

    Tape playback requires a line-level tbc. The two TBC's you mention are not line-level tbc's. Does the VCR that you mentioned have a line tbc built-in?

    Are your tapes 6-hour long-play recording? If so, and if the VCR you mention is from JVC, you won't get very good playback from 6-hour tapes.

    It helps to give VCR model numbers if you want better info.
    - My sister Ann's brother
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  7. Hi. Thanks for the info.

    I have some tapes with Macrovision. I also keep an eye out and occasionally look for VHS cassettes since some were not released onto DVD, Blu-Ray or digitally.

    In another post I thought the AVT-8710 and TBC-1000 were line-level TBC.

    I found this TBC unit: CDM-831T. Will this do the job? Is this a line-level TBC?

    I have not mentioned any VCRs. But I am asking what features I should look for.

    How can I clean or tune-up a VCR? Any recommendations? I have a tape cleaner with alcohol, but not the brush-heads unfortunately.

    Is there any pre-processing or post-processing equipment that the AVT-8710 and the TBC-1000 would benefit from? I see that the AVT-8710 has that built in. But any ideas are welcome and information is appreciated.
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  8. I am also finding products like this Toshiba DVD Recorder/VCR Combo With 1080P Upconversion (DVR630).

    Heres a link but these are sold at many stores http://www.visions.ca/catalogue/category/Details.aspx?categoryId=66&productId=22560&sku=DVR630.
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  9. I'm a Super Moderator johns0's Avatar
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    Just visit your local thrift shop for a used vcr,in our town of 5000 people they sell them for $5 and they are usually hifi name brands.
    I think,therefore i am a hamster.
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  10. I think I'll do that But if I found a good unused VCR in a box still, I'd buy it for a decent price.

    When people on this forum do buy used, do you tend to leave them as is, or get some repairs done? How can you tell what is good and what is not? What is the typical thing to watch out for?

    Would it be the same for a multi-system VCR or PAL/SECAM VCR's? I am looking for one of these.
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  11. Member
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    Originally Posted by SyncroScales View Post
    Is it possible for composite and s-video to be used simultaneously as an output with the DVD/VCR combo or Blu-ray/VCR combo's?
    Yes.

    Originally Posted by SyncroScales View Post
    I have read that cassette tapes react differently in different VCR's.
    True. But the tapes don't react. Different models and quality of VCR's react to the same tape differently, for better or worse.

    Originally Posted by SyncroScales View Post
    I have some tapes with Macrovision.
    You'll need a frame-level TBC to bypass Macrovision.

    Originally Posted by SyncroScales View Post
    In another post I thought the AVT-8710 and TBC-1000 were line-level TBC.
    That post, wherever it is, is full of beans.

    Originally Posted by SyncroScales View Post
    I found this TBC unit: CDM-831T. Will this do the job? Is this a line-level TBC?
    It's not a line level tbc. As a synchronizer with frame tbc it's serious overkill for VHS. If you have $700 to spend, I'd suggest you save half your money and get a good prosumer VCR with built-in line tbc and other essential features, including a decent tape mechanism with stable tracking. You can find such rebuilt units at http://www.tgrantphoto.com/sales/index.php/categories/professional-vcrs and a few other shops that specialize with this stuff.

    Originally Posted by SyncroScales View Post
    I have not mentioned any VCRs. But I am asking what features I should look for.
    Robust tape mechanism, refreshed electronics such as new capacitors and rebuilt i/c boards, s-video output, line tbc, clean audio, clean playback without oversharpening artifacts or overly aggressive noise reduction. No one cares whether they have head cleaners or not.

    Originally Posted by SyncroScales View Post
    How can I clean or tune-up a VCR? Any recommendations? I have a tape cleaner with alcohol, but not the brush-heads unfortunately.
    Without specific electronics training and a few thousand dollars' worth of shop equipment, you can't "tune up" a VCR. You can clean the heads. There are special chamois cleaning swabs sold at Amazon, cheap. Do not use cotton swabs to clean video heads, even if idiots on YouTube say you can.

    Originally Posted by SyncroScales View Post
    Is there any pre-processing or post-processing equipment that the AVT-8710 and the TBC-1000 would benefit from? I see that the AVT-8710 has that built in. But any ideas are welcome and information is appreciated.
    There are only a couple of good, affordable proc amps designed for what you want to do. Neither are currently in new production, but some overstock and used units can be found. The best of them with the cleanest output and a handy luminance LED meter is the SignVideo PA-100, shown here: http://www.signvideo.com/products/product_information/video-proc-amp.htm. They have their place but they're not essential.

    Originally Posted by SyncroScales View Post
    I am also finding products like this Toshiba DVD Recorder/VCR Combo With 1080P Upconversion (DVR630).
    I believe the verdict on these godawful combo units was already discussed, more than once. The unit you linked to isn't made by Toshiba anyway. Neither Toshiba nor any other big name has made a DVD player, VCR, or combo machine in years. All the combos sold under the Toshiba, Magnavox, and Panasonic labels today are alike inside, all made by Funai. Upconversion has nothing to do with VHS capture. Don't capture VHS at 1080p: it looks like crap, and it's not BluRay/AVCHD compatible.

    The link below is to a post showing a capture from VHS without a line tbc. It is slowed down for the demo, but at normal speed the line will wiggle faster: https://forum.videohelp.com/threads/306272-Computer-video-capture-vs-vcr-to-dvd-combo?p...=1#post1882662. You can use a decent VCR -- which does not include combos or cheap players -- that has no line tbc, but you work around that by using one of a very few older DVD recorders that had decent line tbc functionality, connected between your player and your capture device. You don't record to the recorder, you just use it as pass-thru for its line tbc to a capture device.

    There is an older guide to VHS capture, restoration and encoding that covers a lot of material. Yes, most of the hardware mentioned isn't made today but many still use and sell the stuff. The hardware might have changed, but the principles of video capture and processing remain the same whether you use old equipment or new. http://www.digitalfaq.com/guides/video.htm .

    Originally Posted by SyncroScales View Post
    I think I'll do that But if I found a good unused VCR in a box still, I'd buy it for a decent price.
    All VCR's are not alike. That's like saying you see a car on sale and you plan to buy it because "it's a car". A model number would be helpful. You'll see a lot of still-boxed Pansonic "PV-V" models on sale from a few years back. These are horrible players, not equal to prosumer models and not nearly as good as 1995-1996 vintage higher-end Panasonics. Off hand, I'd say forget about it. But who can say, without a model number?

    Originally Posted by SyncroScales View Post
    Would it be the same for a multi-system VCR or PAL/SECAM VCR's? I am looking for one of these.
    Among the best of these is an older AIWA machine that cost around $800 new and was made by Panasonic. You still see them sold on auction sites now and then, but they're not cheap. Any such unit will be hard to find in North America. Even if you made a PAL DVD from a tape, North American players would have no idea what the heck to do with them.
    Last edited by LMotlow; 18th Dec 2014 at 07:22.
    - My sister Ann's brother
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  12. Thanks for the info LMotLow. I have a lot to look up and read or see. I'll check out the web-site(s) you mentioned. Any other ones are appreciated too.

    The thing with PAL or SECAM tapes, is that I could transfer them to disc or files. The files should be readable on computers. If I burned a disc and it was PAL/SECAM format, I could manually capture into NTSC, or use some of the methods in the guides that the link you supplied talk about. My DVD player and blu-ray player also ead PAL DVD's. It's not a huge issue.
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