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  1. Member
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    Hi everyone,

    I am revisiting some VHS tapes that were converted for me a few years ago.
    I have some video conversion gear that I doing my own transfers with and am rearchiving in order to compile some new DVDs with footage in chronological order.

    I am hoping someone might advise me about a PAL / NTSC issue I appear to be encountering. I have learned a couple more things since I first posted about this issue, hence I am posting this new thread. ie I checked some old tapes that I am familiar with and I came across the issue again, showing the tapes are not the problem – it is evidently my chain.

    The attached images illustrate the problem under the circumstances I will describe. The problem is evidently in my conversion process or chain because a) VHS player > TV shows no problem ie I see a full 4:3 colour image and b) The finished product of a professional transfer some years back is also a full colour, full frame 4:3 image. That clarifies that the tapes are not the problem.

    As the famous Jagabo mentioned recently in a previous thread, It looks like what can in theory (to me) what might happen when NTSC tapes are captured in PAL mode, with the system expecting 576 lines but only getting 480. Again, the problem does not occur when I run straight to the TV and I have had some of the tapes converted by a professional service some years back with no such problem.

    My chain:

    Sony SLV E1000 > Panasonic ES10 (in pass through mode, as this has excellent image stabilisation and will even the most cruddy tapes produce a clear image) > Canopus ADVC 100 > iMac (FCPX).

    Here’s what I’ve tried:
    ES10 in PAL > ADVC in PAL mode
    ES10 in NTSC > ADVC in PAL mode
    ES10 in PAL > ADVC in NTSC mode
    ES10 in NTSC > ADVC in NTSC mode

    Bypassing the ES10 altogether produces a constantly rolling BW image with the ADVC in NTSC mode and no image at all in PAL mode.

    The VCR PAL / NTSC settings have also been tried in all permutations and the image either does not change either way, or when it is switched to NTSC the tape is actually played slower and the image still BW.

    Essentially what it all comes down to is that when the ADVC is in PAL mode, I get a full colour, clear image which is “squashed” to something like a 14:9 ratio with black spacing below. When the ADVC is in NTSC mode, I get a full frame 4:3 image but the image is black and white. The colour system PAL / NTSC toggle on the VCR makes zero difference to this.

    I get exactly the same results with my alternative JVC player. Note again that running straight from VCR to TV is fine and when I had someone convert these tapes, the output image was also fine. It’s something in my chain or that I am missing or doing wrong...

    Any advice would be really appreciated! I need to get these conversions done myself at home and I want to establish how to do so properly for NTSC videos. I have no such problem with PAL videos. I am hoping that the only solution is not to buy an expensive new thing as the Aus to US exchange rate is terrible now and I am not exactly cashed up....

    Thanks!
    Image Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version

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  2. Can you upload short sample videos? Try to include shots with a moderate amount of motion so we can see if there are missing or duplicate fields/frames.

    Though I think this may be a PAL60 problem. When PAL VHS decks play NTSC tapes they output a hybrid signal that has NTSC timing (59.94 fields per second) but with chroma on a PAL subcarrier. PAL TVs are designed to display that properly. But most capture devices will not capture it correctly. If you set the capture device to NTSC you will get an NTSC picture with no color.

    If this is the case there are two ways around it. Get a capture card that supports PAL60, or get a pure NTSC VHS deck and capture as NTSC.
    Last edited by jagabo; 7th Sep 2015 at 22:07.
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  3. Member
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    Originally Posted by jagabo View Post
    Can you upload short sample videos? Try to include shots with a moderate amount of motion so we can see if there are missing or duplicate fields/frames.

    Though I think this may be a PAL60 problem. When PAL VHS decks play NTSC tapes they output a hybrid signal that has NTSC timing (59.94 fields per second) but with chroma on a PAL subcarrier. PAL TVs are designed to display that properly. But most capture devices will not capture it correctly. If you set the capture device to NTSC you will get an NTSC picture with no color.

    If this is the case there are two ways around it. Get a capture card that supports PAL60, or get a pure NTSC VHS deck and capture as NTSC.
    Thanks, Jagabo - I will upload some sample vids tonight. I use a mac, so I don't have a card interface of any kind - unless you use the term generically and there is something firewire, thunderbolt or USB based that is out there? I did not even think of seeking a pure NTSC VCR, however I guessed that my Sony SLV E1000 qualified as being able to properly handle NTSC given the NTSC / PAL toggle options it has?

    As far as NTSC VCR goes, would something like a Sony SVO-1630 be suitable? I am also trying to establish if these have a stereo audio out... and it has to be reasonably priced as I would have to import one and also buy a power converter...
    Last edited by tj7; 8th Sep 2015 at 00:14. Reason: Additional question
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    Jagabo, here's a link to the video: https://youtu.be/rWdcuhM-oj0
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    Yeah, PAL60 signal captured as PAL.


    Two solutions:

    1) A capture device capable of PAL60 (you would also have to exclude the ES10 for passthrough as it is not PAL60 compatible!). Older PCI TV capture cards are very often capable of PAL60, but are inferior in many other ways...

    2) A VCR that outputs NTSC tapes in NTSC.
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  6. Originally Posted by tj7 View Post
    Jagabo, here's a link to the video: https://youtu.be/rWdcuhM-oj0
    Uploading the original DV AVI to this site would have been better. But here's what I can tell from the Youtube re-encoded video. It is 25 fps but it's obvious every 5th frame is missing. Ie, the source was 29.97 fps and it was captured as PAL 25 fps, discarding every 5th frame. The full frame TBC of the ADVC device filled out the bottom of the frame to pad the 480 NTSC lines to 576 PAL lines. So your tape is NTSC, you captured as PAL. You need an NTSC VHS deck to output a true NTSC signal and record as NTSC. Or check your VHS players settings to see if it has a true NTSC output mode.
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    Originally Posted by Skiller View Post
    Yeah, PAL60 signal captured as PAL.


    Two solutions:

    1) A capture device capable of PAL60 (you would also have to exclude the ES10 for passthrough as it is not PAL60 compatible!). Older PCI TV capture cards are very often capable of PAL60, but are inferior in many other ways...

    2) A VCR that outputs NTSC tapes in NTSC.
    Thanks. Again, I use a mac, so cards are not something I can use.
    As for 2, I am using a VCR that supposedly does this, but evidently it does not. I'd like to know if the Sony SVO 1630 would suffice and if it has stereo output (I can't find that info so far, the manual certainly doesn't make it clear and there are no good shots of the rear I can find in a google image search..)

    As for not using the ES10, I imagine this may pose problems. This unit has amazing image stabilisation and I worry that without being able to use it in passthrough, my video will be full of picture roll and blackouts...
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    Originally Posted by jagabo View Post
    Originally Posted by tj7 View Post
    Jagabo, here's a link to the video: https://youtu.be/rWdcuhM-oj0
    Uploading the original DV AVI to this site would have been better. But here's what I can tell from the Youtube re-encoded video. It is 25 fps but it's obvious every 5th frame is missing. Ie, the source was 29.97 fps and it was captured as PAL 25 fps, discarding every 5th frame. The full frame TBC of the ADVC device filled out the bottom of the frame to pad the 480 NTSC lines to 576 PAL lines. So your tape is NTSC, you captured as PAL. You need an NTSC VHS deck to output a true NTSC signal and record as NTSC. Or check your VHS players settings to see if it has a true NTSC output mode.
    Sorry, I presumed I would have to use youtube, normally sites like this only allow pic uploads!
    My Sony SLV E1000 has NTSC playback mode, but as for "true" NTSC output, obviously there is no way I can establish this for certain (the manual does not help) but I can guess the answer is no, or I would not be having this prob.

    As far as an NTSC VCR goes, would something like a Sony SVO-1630 be suitable? I am also trying to establish if these have a stereo audio out... and it has to be reasonably priced as I would have to import one and also buy a power converter...
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    Man, this is harder than I thought.
    I am not about to spend the cash on getting a professional service to convert 12 tapes for me when I have come this far....
    It's just diabolical. If I buy a US (NTSC) VCR and a power converter, I have to wonder if I am going to be faced with problems re: not being able to use my ES10 in passthrough, and if this will mean needing to buy yet more gear to stabilise the image....
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  10. Originally Posted by tj7 View Post
    As for 2, I am using a VCR that supposedly does this
    No. Most VHS decks that play NTSC tapes in PAL countries produce PAL60 output, not PAL or NTSC output. They rely on the TV being able to display PAL60 (which nearly all PAL TVs do).

    Originally Posted by tj7 View Post
    I'd like to know if the Sony SVO 1630 would suffice
    That appears to be a pure NTSC deck from what I've seen.
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    Originally Posted by tj7 View Post
    I have to wonder if I am going to be faced with problems re: not being able to use my ES10 in passthrough, and if this will mean needing to buy yet more gear to stabilise the image....
    The ES10 is fine with NTSC and PAL, it just doesn't understand PAL60. So you can perfectly use it with a VCR that outputs NTSC.
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    Originally Posted by Skiller View Post
    Originally Posted by tj7 View Post
    I have to wonder if I am going to be faced with problems re: not being able to use my ES10 in passthrough, and if this will mean needing to buy yet more gear to stabilise the image....
    The ES10 is fine with NTSC and PAL, it just doesn't understand PAL60. So you can perfectly use it with a VCR that outputs NTSC.
    Thanks! That make sense, given the unit has a PAL / NTSC output option. Ok, i'll now hunt for a Sony SVO 1630 or something similar....
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    Argh.... a new thing I have no idea about:

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Sony-SVO-1630-Professional-VCR-Video-Cassette-Recorder-VHS-Pla...item58cccfdf6b

    This and similar units in my price range don't have the RGB outputs I am familiar with, and which are required for plugging into my Panasonic ES10...

    It's evidently a BNC video output.
    The ES10 has RGB or SVHS input capability.

    Questions:

    1. Is there such a thing as a proper BNC to RGB converter cable? I have searched and what I find is confusing:

    https://www.google.com/search?q=BNC+to+RGB+cable&client=firefox-a&rls=org.mozilla:en-U...w=1113&bih=823

    ...confusing because the SVO 1630 has just ONE BNC video output. Why do all of these converter cables have multiple BNC jacks at one end?

    2. If I can use a converter to output the BNC signal to SVHS input on my ES10, will there be problems using the ES10 RGB outputs to output to the RGB inputs on my ADVC?\

    3. Can I even use BNC to SVHS if my source tape is merely a standard VHS tape and not S-VHS?

    I really appreciate the help I am getting from experienced people.
    Last edited by tj7; 8th Sep 2015 at 19:15.
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  14. RGB? You mean composite (usually a yellow connector)? If that's what you need a simple BNC to RCA adapter will do.

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/BNC-Male-Phono-Female-Connector/dp/B00BY1ZXZ6/

    I know SCART can carry RGB but few VHS decks put out RGB.
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    Originally Posted by jagabo View Post
    RGB? You mean composite (usually a yellow connector)? If that's what you need a simple BNC to RCA adapter will do.

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/BNC-Male-Phono-Female-Connector/dp/B00BY1ZXZ6/

    I know SCART can carry RGB but few VHS decks put out RGB.
    Ah, that simplifies it. Yes, the yellow connector for video is what I actually meant.
    Is the S-VHS connection a superior way to do things? Is it even something I should look at if I am only transferring standard VHS?
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  16. Originally Posted by tj7 View Post
    Is the S-VHS connection a superior way to do things?
    If your deck has s-video out you should usually use that instead. Even standard VHS record luma and chroma separately. On playback they are combined together for composite output. Separating them again in the capture device is difficult to do well and usually leads to dot crawl artifacts. Using s-video avoids that.
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    Originally Posted by jagabo View Post
    Originally Posted by tj7 View Post
    Is the S-VHS connection a superior way to do things?
    If your deck has s-video out you should usually use that instead. Even standard VHS record luma and chroma separately. On playback they are combined together for composite output. Separating them again in the capture device is difficult to do well and usually leads to dot crawl artifacts. Using s-video avoids that.
    Great, thanks, Jagabo.
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    Originally Posted by jagabo View Post
    If your deck has s-video out you should usually use that instead. Even standard VHS record luma and chroma separately. On playback they are combined together for composite output. Separating them again in the capture device is difficult to do well and usually leads to dot crawl artifacts. Using s-video avoids that.
    Jagabo, I've been scouring ebay for the top recommended (US and therefore NTSC) JVC S-VHS capable players that are listed here:

    Within my budget the best I have come up with so far is the HR-S3800U http://www.ebay.com/itm/JVC-HR-S3800U-Super-VHS-ET-Remote-included-works-perfectly-/33...item4d37be0641

    Is there any reason I look at something else instead? I am most likely not going to find one with inbuilt TBC within my budget and I use my ES10 to sort most errors out...

    Thanks again
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  19. Be careful. Some cheap S-VHS decks used the same chips as regular VHS decks. Those chips output composite video. They then produce s-video from that composite output -- usually with a worse comb filter than the one in your capture device. I don't know anything about that particular deck.
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