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  1. I have an EZCap (SMI Grabber) Device. When the video has tracking problems, it will just capture a blank screen. The same thing also occurs when rewinding or fast forwarding while playing. The VCR menu will not even show up when the VCR isn't playing a tape. Is there anyway to correct this? If not, are there any USB capture devices that capture everything?
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    Define "tracking problems". I doubt any capture device can capture an incoherent signal.
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  3. Any tracking problems that are worse than just a few lines. A TV can display it, why can't a capture device capture it?
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    I posted a video sample while ago, it seems capture devices handle the situation in various ways.
    An Avermedia card I was using at the time captured a video with serious picture interference due to tape damage
    and managed to capture the whole thing without missing a beat.
    Even the audio stayed in sync.
    Perhaps the OP could try another capture device.

    Here's the clip again, poor tapes can be captured with the right device.
    https://forum.videohelp.com/threads/366337-Proper-VirtualDub-timing-settings-for-best-v...=1#post2339020

    The above clip was from a children's VHS tape, Teletubbies Christmas (1999). A commercial tape, curiously
    produced with out copy protection.

    Another problem may be the stationary head that reads the control track (top edge of the tape).
    Perhaps open the unit and clean this head with the appropriate head cleaning solution and a swab.
    Also try rewinding the tape to the end and back a few times to normalize tension.
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  5. That part of the video would show up as a black screen on my device. I have a laptop and also no firewire port, so that I would prefer something with USB.
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    Originally Posted by Hypersonic1 View Post
    That part of the video would show up as a black screen on my device. I have a laptop and also no firewire port, so that I would prefer something with USB.
    I have no idea which USB devices may be more robust in their handling of a poor signal.

    If the top edge of the tape is damaged, could be a lost cause, have you checked the tape?
    Perhaps try a different VCR, and/or try the maintenance I suggested.
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  7. I have no idea which USB devices may be more robust in their handling of a poor signal.

    If the top edge of the tape is damaged, could be a lost cause, have you checked the tape?
    Perhaps try a different VCR, and/or try the maintenance I suggested.
    But it's not the tape because if the VCR is connected to the TV, the TV will still play those parts.
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  8. Originally Posted by Hypersonic1 View Post
    But it's not the tape because if the VCR is connected to the TV, the TV will still play those parts.
    TVs are much more tolerant of a bad signal than capture cards, especially inexpensive capture devices. If you throw a TBC between the VCR and the EzCap you will have much better results.
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  9. Which one would you recommend? I already spend a lot of money, so I need something cheap.
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  10. It looks like the Datavideo TBC-1000 would be the right one. However, I need to know if this will solve the problem. Will it cause the capture device to display everything, including rewinding and fast forward? Currently, my capture device won't display that.
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    Originally Posted by Hypersonic1 View Post
    Which one would you recommend? I already spend a lot of money, so I need something cheap.
    Just how much was that EzCap ?
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  12. $20. The AVT-8710 might be a better choice for a TBC.
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  13. Member DB83's Avatar
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    $20.

    So it's not even a genuine Ezcap. Wasted money.

    As earlier said, there is no guarantee that any capture device would handle extreme tracking issues. And time-base errors are not tracking errors. So you could also waste even more money.

    But, of course, we still have to take your word that these are tracking issues and not time-base errors.
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    Originally Posted by Hypersonic1 View Post
    The VCR menu will not even show up when the VCR isn't playing a tape.
    That is one of my biggest pet peeves too. I have that problem with both a dedicated capture CARD and my Hauppaoge USB device.
    If you are not shy about capturing to BIG files first (uncompressed or HuffyUV), I always recommend DScaler. When all else fails DScaler will get it done for me.
    My normal capturing softwares are WinTV7 (for my Hauppauge CARD) and Magix Movie Edit (for my Hauppauge USB Live|2).
    Uncompressed or lossless? - DScaler.
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    Originally Posted by Hypersonic1 View Post
    It looks like the Datavideo TBC-1000 would be the right one. However, I need to know if this will solve the problem.
    Probably not. At least, not 100%. There are two basic types of TBC, line level and frame level. The worst and most visible problem with tape playback is the timing of each scan line within a frame. If that line-sync timing is off, you'll have various "tracking problems" such as wiggling lines and borders, tearing or "flagging" across the top of the frame, image hopping or jitter, torn or distorted images, and other problems caused by scan lines not appearing at the capture point "on time". The other problem is frame-related -- frames sync is off, so some frames don't arrive with the proper sync timing and dropped frames, duped frames, and audio sync problems occur. A line-level tbc handles the line timing within frames but has no effect on frame sync. A frame-level tbc corrects frame timing but has no effect on lines within frames. The TBC-1000 and the AVT-8710 are frame-level tbc's. They have no effect on line sync.

    Originally Posted by Hypersonic1 View Post
    Will it cause the capture device to display everything, including rewinding and fast forward? Currently, my capture device won't display that.
    TBC's don't capture anything. They just transmit input to output.

    $20 is next to spending zero on analog to digital transfer. At least a real EasyCap, which costs maybe 3 or 4 times more, is a halfway decent product. But it doesn't correct line or frame sync. Most people don't understand that a capture device is an analog to digital process, whereas tape via TV is analog to analog. What people don't seem to get into is that a TV is basically a digital-to-analog converter -- that front panel on your TV outputs analog light waves, not digital 1's and 0's. Capture devices don't "see" a tape signal the same way a TV does, although even on TV or even a CRT you can see the effects of bad line sync with border and line wiggles and excessive noise.

    A legacy Panasonic DMR-ES10 or ES15 has decent line- and frame-sync circuitry that can be used as a tbc pass-thru device into a capture device. Some older high-end Toshiba DVD-R's can also be used. The other way to get tbc performance is with an SVHS player with built-in line tbc and an outboard frame tbc connected between the player and the capture card. The pass-thru is somewhat cheaper and frees you from dependence on any single VCR.

    There is no dirt-cheap way to transfer old analog tapes to digital formats. That's just the way it is.
    - My sister Ann's brother
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  16. That is one of my biggest pet peeves too. I have that problem with both a dedicated capture CARD and my Hauppaoge USB device.
    If you are not shy about capturing to BIG files first (uncompressed or HuffyUV), I always recommend DScaler. When all else fails DScaler will get it done for me.
    My normal capturing softwares are WinTV7 (for my Hauppauge CARD) and Magix Movie Edit (for my Hauppauge USB Live|2).
    Uncompressed or lossless? - DScaler.
    What does that have to do with this? The problem with using HuffYUV and other loseless codecs is that Premiere Pro clips the while and black values upon import.

    I noticed that ezCAP will record one of my VCRs rewind and fast forward video, whereas the better VCR shows black. Same with the Hi8 camcorder, just black when rewinding and fast forwarding while playing. Why?
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    Originally Posted by Hypersonic1 View Post
    What does that have to do with this? The problem with using HuffYUV and other loseless codecs is that Premiere Pro clips the while and black values upon import.
    Premiere will clip anything from YUV AVI's if you go into RGB processing, and so will a lot of other programs if you don't make colorspace conversions properly.

    Originally Posted by Hypersonic1 View Post
    I noticed that ezCAP will record one of my VCRs rewind and fast forward video, whereas the better VCR shows black. Same with the Hi8 camcorder, just black when rewinding and fast forwarding while playing. Why?
    You're capturing fast forwarded segments? To each his own. Maybe the "better" player has a setting that avoids video head contact during fast forward? Beats me. Have you come to any conclusions about what a "great" deal that $20 capture device is?
    - My sister Ann's brother
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  18. You're capturing fast forwarded segments? To each his own. Maybe the "better" player has a setting that avoids video head contact during fast forward? Beats me. Have you come to any conclusions about what a "great" deal that $20 capture device is?
    heck54 is having the same issues and has more expensive capture devices. By the way, the VCR is a JVC SR-S365U.
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  19. Premiere will clip anything from YUV AVI's if you go into RGB processing, and so will a lot of other programs if you don't make colorspace conversions properly.
    Actually, it will clip it just by importing the losslessly compressed AVI. It will not clip it if it is an uncompressed AVI. I thought I tried this already.
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    Hogwash.
    - My sister Ann's brother
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    Originally Posted by Hypersonic1 View Post
    You're capturing fast forwarded segments? To each his own. Maybe the "better" player has a setting that avoids video head contact during fast forward? Beats me. Have you come to any conclusions about what a "great" deal that $20 capture device is?
    heck54 is having the same issues and has more expensive capture devices. By the way, the VCR is a JVC SR-S365U.
    Not really. I wish I could see my VCR's menu settings before I capture.....I have no idea why anyone would want or expect a digital device to capture while fast-forwarding.
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  22. Not really. I wish I could see my VCR's menu settings before I capture.....I have no idea why anyone would want or expect a digital device to capture while fast-forwarding.
    I never said I wanted to do that. I was just describing what my capture device will not capture, and I am wondering if it is related to the fact that I cannot capture images with tracking problems.
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    I can't recall running into severe tracking problems. I've been blessed with either good VCRs or descent quality tapes.
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