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  1. Everything I say is false koberulz's Avatar
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    Like what? The TBC-5000 is absurdly expensive, and AFAIK doesn't have proc amp controls. That and the AVT are the only recommended full-frame TBCs I'm aware of.
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  2. Member PuzZLeR's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by koberulz View Post
    Like what? The TBC-5000 is absurdly expensive, and AFAIK doesn't have proc amp controls. That and the AVT are the only recommended full-frame TBCs I'm aware of.
    The proc amp on the 8710 is mostly useless - very rudimentary, awkard control, on buttons that feel like the thing is going to bust and cave in, etc.

    You will get (much) better results with an external dedicated proc amp. A good one is the Elite Video BVP-4 (Plus), especially for more problematic content. I personally prefer my Studio 1 (which is pretty much a SignVideo with a different dress) which has a meter that lets you know if you're within IRE range, and will let you know if you're clipping/crushing.

    The latter solutions are the best option for proc amps IMO, but you will still also get better results likely with an internal proc amp that comes with your capture device, or using a Histogram, than you would with the 8710's proc amp.

    (Personally I don't know why you're using a BlackMagic for VHS capture. I would just use a good USB 2.0 stick for this.)

    As for an actual TBC, unless you require MV removal, you really don't need a full-frame unit. More, and more, of us are moving on from flaky TBCs such as the 8710 and using a DVR passthrough. Ackboo's post will start you off.

    Most such passthroughs AFAIK are only line-based, but do an excellent job in correction. If you really need MV removal, you can accompany your chain with a Grex, or you can look into a "video stabilizer" (but don't know if any of the latter are any good, but they're dirt cheap).
    I hate VHS. I always did.
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  3. Everything I say is false koberulz's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by PuzZLeR View Post
    You will get (much) better results with an external dedicated proc amp. A good one is the Elite Video BVP-4 (Plus), especially for more problematic content. I personally prefer my Studio 1 (which is pretty much a SignVideo with a different dress) which has a meter that lets you know if you're within IRE range, and will let you know if you're clipping/crushing.
    Those only support NTSC.

    The latter solutions are the best option for proc amps IMO, but you will still also get better results likely with an internal proc amp that comes with your capture device, or using a Histogram, than you would with the 8710's proc amp.
    Which I've been using. But given it's clipping blacks, I'm guessing an external proc amp is necessary.

    The proc amp isn't even the only reason I'm keen on the AVT-8710, though; the TBC-5000 is insanely expensive.

    (Personally I don't know why you're using a BlackMagic for VHS capture. I would just use a good USB 2.0 stick for this.)
    What makes you think I am? Have you read the thread?

    As for an actual TBC, unless you require MV removal, you really don't need a full-frame unit. More, and more, of us are moving on from flaky TBCs such as the 8710 and using a DVR passthrough. Ackboo's post will start you off.

    Most such passthroughs AFAIK are only line-based, but do an excellent job in correction. If you really need MV removal, you can accompany your chain with a Grex, or you can look into a "video stabilizer" (but don't know if any of the latter are any good, but they're dirt cheap).
    I already have a line TBC.

    I've found a second-hand AVT that's been tested and is working, though, so the above is all moot.
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  4. Member PuzZLeR's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by koberulz
    Those only support NTSC.
    Ah, I see that you're in PAL-Land. Is this confirmed though? All the posts I've read seemed hazy. That, or you've done better research than I on it.

    There's also the Vidicraft model, and I do hear good things about it, but it's budget, composite only, and limited (like brightness/level controls). Again, I wouldn't know if it's NTSC/PAL/whatnot, but if it fits, it would be better than any proc amp quality the 8710 offers.

    Originally Posted by koberulz
    The proc amp isn't even the only reason I'm keen on the AVT-8710, though; the TBC-5000 is insanely expensive.
    Yes, of course. The proc amp is not the priority here with the 8710, but it would've been a nice bonus.

    But there's a funny thing about the 8710 as a TBC. The people behind the 8710 (of which I spoke to a few) seem to say, and I quote one tech, "These are results I expect to see from a time-base corrector in its price range."

    To me, that would fly if its correction performance is not as good as a broadcast level solution many times its price, but it's still no excuse for it being unreliable.

    Sure the 8710 has done some good work for me, but there are times when it's headache inducing - when it completely flakes out and makes nothing worth it, even if its price was 10 cents USD.

    Then again, $200-$300 USD is still alot of money, and if I was on a low income I'd be feeling that loss now.

    Originally Posted by koberulz
    (Personally I don't know why you're using a BlackMagic for VHS capture. I would just use a good USB 2.0 stick for this.)
    What makes you think I am? Have you read the thread?
    Well, your posts, starting with the first line, started with the BlackMagic in your chain/workflow, and continued on for many more into the thread. I guess after some 4 pages I lost you somewhere. My bad.

    Originally Posted by koberulz
    As for an actual TBC, unless you require MV removal, you really don't need a full-frame unit. More, and more, of us are moving on from flaky TBCs such as the 8710 and using a DVR passthrough. Ackboo's post will start you off.

    Most such passthroughs AFAIK are only line-based, but do an excellent job in correction. If you really need MV removal, you can accompany your chain with a Grex, or you can look into a "video stabilizer" (but don't know if any of the latter are any good, but they're dirt cheap).
    I already have a line TBC.

    I've found a second-hand AVT that's been tested and is working, though, so the above is all moot.
    That's fine and all. I responded because I thought you mentioned your AVT wasn't working correctly.
    I hate VHS. I always did.
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  5. Everything I say is false koberulz's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by PuzZLeR View Post
    Ah, I see that you're in PAL-Land. Is this confirmed though? All the posts I've read seemed hazy. That, or you've done better research than I on it.
    Yes, they're confirmed as only compatible with NTSC.

    Well, your posts, starting with the first line, started with the BlackMagic in your chain/workflow, and continued on for many more into the thread. I guess after some 4 pages I lost you somewhere. My bad.
    My first post just mentioned the equipment I had, that's all. I've got the BlackMagic for HD capture, but I figured I should mention it, because if it would do what I needed there was no point getting anything else.

    That's fine and all. I responded because I thought you mentioned your AVT wasn't working correctly.
    Yes, the new one I purchased was faulty. I've since located the second-hand one, which is confirmed to function properly, although I do not yet have it in my possession.
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  6. Member PuzZLeR's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by koberulz View Post
    Yes, they're confirmed as only compatible with NTSC.
    This is disappointing, even for me being in NTSC-Land. I was looking into getting a PAL VCR to do some work for a couple of international relationships and some of their personal content. It still would be nice if anyone does respond with any info on an external proc amp for PAL (that is priced below buying a house).

    The 8710’s proc amp feels like a toy to me, but, I suppose, maybe in tandem with the capture device's internal, and a histogram, one can still use it somewhat if need be.


    Originally Posted by koberulz View Post
    My first post just mentioned the equipment I had, that's all. I've got the BlackMagic for HD capture, but I figured I should mention it, because if it would do what I needed there was no point getting anything else.
    Yes, further reading into more posts and pages I see that you did indeed give the BlackMagic “a miss”, and acquired a Hauppauge USB-Live2 - which is indeed one of this Forum’s recommendations for VHS capture, and one that I own too and can attest to. It would be convenient if one can do it all on one device, HD and VHS, etc, but, unfortunately, the only common denominator here is the word "capture", as each method of "capture" is quite a different adventure.

    As an aside I'd like to comment on, I also notice that you mentioned a 7 year old PC you have available. Just to note, if this unit is still fully functioning, clean, and well cooled, and has a separate internal reliable HDD, then I can assure that it would be more than sufficient for VHS capture, and for devices like the USB-Live2. I'm currently using a dedicated XP capture box that will be 10 years old soon. It's the only one I use for VHS capture, and it still works just fine.

    (Also worth noting, I purchased this PC late summer of 2006, purposely timed to buy a PC as modern as possible in the XP era, just before Vista was to hit the market with new PCs. I honestly had a gut feeling that Vista would be bad.)

    As per cables, Jagabo said it best. Even when talking analog, super-expensive will be overkill for VHS (or maybe even counter-productive IMO). Also, since we're talking only VHS here, super-cheap may not lack that much in image quality but there may be issues with sheilding, reliabilty, geometry, etc.

    But you do want to do yourself a favor and buy something somewhere in the middle. My recommendation for this would be Pearstone (at B&H). Super price, very nice quality, and even with all the abuse they took from me (high volume usage, lots and lots of captures with TV, VHS, etc, even stepping on them and rolling a chair over them many times, etc.) for some 5-10 years now not one has died, or even deteriorated, on me.

    Originally Posted by koberulz View Post
    Yes, the new one I purchased was faulty. I've since located the second-hand one, which is confirmed to function properly, although I do not yet have it in my possession.
    As far as the claim that it's "confirmed to function properly", it could be a rather loose assessment, especially if the current holder, or party who made that claim, has limited knowledge on the subject. All they may have done is run the cable through and got a signal, and that's the end of the "test".

    However, if it is indeed a fully working unit, with none of that crosstalk screen, bad ghosting, overheating, and especially more so if there is none of that "morphing" then please report back with any details of this exact unit. If it's from a good batch run in MFG, I assure you this Forum will want to know about it.

    (Then again, I'm afraid the "morphing" may be a feature that is flawed instead of a defect or something faulty, even on the "good" models. But I could be wrong.)
    Last edited by PuzZLeR; 5th Mar 2016 at 11:44.
    I hate VHS. I always did.
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  7. Everything I say is false koberulz's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by PuzZLeR View Post
    The 8710ís proc amp feels like a toy to me, but, I suppose, maybe in tandem with the capture device's internal, and a histogram, one can still use it somewhat if need be.
    My thoughts at this stage are to use the 8710 to bump the blacks up high enough not to clip, and let the internal handle everything else. Although whether that'll be how it pans out, who knows.


    As an aside I'd like to comment on, I also notice that you mentioned a 7 year old PC you have available. Just to note, if this unit is still fully functioning, clean, and well cooled, and has a separate internal reliable HDD, then I can assure that it would be more than sufficient for VHS capture, and for devices like the USB-Live2. I'm currently using a dedicated XP capture box that will be 10 years old soon. It's the only one I use for VHS capture, and it still works just fine.

    (Also worth noting, I purchased this PC late summer of 2006, purposely timed to buy a PC as modern as possible in the XP era, just before Vista was to hit the market with new PCs. I honestly had a gut feeling that Vista would be bad.)
    I've got it all plugged into my brand new Windows 10 laptop at the moment. Captures fine (to an external USB 3.0 drive), and I can run the SCART out to my TV at the same time as having the USB-Live2 plugged in via S-Video and the RCA audio.

    As far as the claim that it's "confirmed to function properly", it could be a rather loose assessment, especially if the current holder, or party who made that claim, has limited knowledge on the subject.
    It's lordsmurf.

    However, if it is indeed a fully working unit, with none of that crosstalk screen, bad ghosting, overheating, and especially more so if there is none of that "morphing" then please report back with any details of this exact unit. If it's from a good batch run in MFG, I assure you this Forum will want to know about it.
    MFG?

    The story as I know it is all units manufactured before 2011 are fine. They're primarily green. The newer units are hit and miss, and completely black.

    Might be wrong on the colouring, but the general gist is there was a change in the chip being used sometime around 2011, and the new chip is bad. But apparently there were still units showing up after that that functioned fine.
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  8. Member PuzZLeR's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by koberulz
    MFG?
    For some reason, I tend to use acronyms in this context, like MFG=Manufacturing, QC=quality control, QA=quality assurance, P/OM=Production and Operations Management, etc. Didn't mean to confuse.

    Originally Posted by koberulz
    My thoughts at this stage are to use the 8710 to bump the blacks up high enough not to clip, and let the internal handle everything else. Although whether that'll be how it pans out, who knows.
    The 8710's proc amp isn't really unreliable, just awkward and too simplistic. Hence, if a task is not too demanding for it, such as this, and you know what you're doing overall, then I agree with you that this is worth trying.

    Originally Posted by koberulz
    I've got it all plugged into my brand new Windows 10 laptop at the moment. Captures fine (to an external USB 3.0 drive), and I can run the SCART out to my TV at the same time as having the USB-Live2 plugged in via S-Video and the RCA audio.
    Personally, Windows 10 as the O/S, a laptop as the computer, and external drives as the output medium are not my ideal choices for VHS capture, but, if you got it working smoothly, without all those dropped frames, buffers, lag, etc, and in full compatibility with devices and codecs, etc, then that's fine, and all you should care about.

    Originally Posted by koberulz
    It's lordsmurf.

    The story as I know it is all units manufactured before 2011 are fine. They're primarily green. The newer units are hit and miss, and completely black.

    Might be wrong on the colouring, but the general gist is there was a change in the chip being used sometime around 2011, and the new chip is bad. But apparently there were still units showing up after that that functioned fine.
    Yes, heard that tale too, and mine is among the black units (I think indeed from 2011), so I could be among the abused generation here.

    The overheating, or even the crosstalk screen, and some other faulty quirks, can be overcome in your workflow if you manage it properly.

    However, I'd be particularly interested in the "morphing" that the 8710 does with the green batch, or older units -if they even do it at all. The behavior I'm talking about is that when the 8710 senses what it "determines" is a "bad" frame - when it will freeze the frame before it, and morph it with the next frame it "determines good" (while dropping every frame in between it "determined bad"). This is a "favor" it insists upon that I consider a flaw, and I also even disagree with its judgement of which frames are "good" or "bad" to begin with.

    I don't know if you will have both in your possession at the time of your testing, but if you notice no morphing in the supposed good unit (especially when you may have seen it with a post-2010 black unit on the same video segment) then this would be an assessment I'd consider with merit, and would be personally interested in going back to the 8710, perhaps searching for a green unit.

    This is my personal dealbreaker. If the green, or earlier, units also morph frames too, how reliable or whatnot their other attributes would be is all moot to me. I can deal with some faults, but not flaws like this.

    I've included a sample to demonstrate this morphing effect. (Note: Content is from an old Tony Little video, and from World Cup 1990 - No copyright infringement is intended.)
    Image Attached Files
    I hate VHS. I always did.
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  9. I think of "morphing" as the special effect involving blends and distortions. In the sample, it's merely holding one field for a longer duration, without respecting its pair.

    Code:
    FFVideoSource("Morphing (AVT-8710).mp4").AssumeTFF()
    
    SeparateFields()
    
    StackVertical(SelectEven(),SelectOdd())
    This is a stupid thing to do, of course, because when you view it on a TV or bobbed, it flickers back and forth between "now" and some number of milliseconds in the past.
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  10. Everything I say is false koberulz's Avatar
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    So I got the second-hand AVT from lordsmurf, but couldn't find a compatible power supply until just now. Plugged it in and it's all working perfectly. No ghosting or anything, on menus and tapes that were ghosting horribly with the new AVT.

    So, now I just need to re-read the entire thread again, because I've forgotten basically all of it by now, and then I can get to work. Finally!
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  11. Everything I say is false koberulz's Avatar
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    Should I be using the proc amp (either the AVT or the internal) for anything other than avoiding crushed whites/blacks, or is it best to leave that for post? I've got a tape with the whites in almost exactly the right spot, but all the blacks are about halfway between the blue mid-line and the start of the lower yellow area.
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  12. Everything I say is false koberulz's Avatar
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    Well, tried it both ways.

    Any feedback?
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  13. Member PuzZLeR's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by koberulz View Post
    So I got the second-hand AVT from lordsmurf, but couldn't find a compatible power supply until just now. Plugged it in and it's all working perfectly. No ghosting or anything, on menus and tapes that were ghosting horribly with the new AVT.
    I'm very curious about any "morphing", like I described in my sample a few posts ago.

    Have you noticed this with a later version and not with this older version? (That is, if you had possession of the two at the same time, or worked on the same tape with both).

    Originally Posted by koberulz View Post
    Should I be using the proc amp (either the AVT or the internal) for anything other than avoiding crushed whites/blacks, or is it best to leave that for post? I've got a tape with the whites in almost exactly the right spot, but all the blacks are about halfway between the blue mid-line and the start of the lower yellow area.
    Not sure what you mean with the blue mid-line and lower yellow area, to be honest.

    At any rate, there is no "black" in VHS, only a dark brown, so don't beat your head over it (and similarly for "white").

    But if you're using a proc amp, the best reason is indeed to avoid clipping, or crushing - in other words, to avoid straying outside the IRE limits, otherwise you will have scenes that may be too bright or too dark in certain monitors/TVs/etc.

    Yes, there is that odd tape that needs more saturation, or better hue, but that can be corrected in software anyway, and a proc amp isn't as necessary here. But clipping is impossible to fix in software as it's information that is lost forever.


    Originally Posted by koberulz View Post
    Well, tried it both ways.

    Any feedback?
    I see clipping in both, but less with the ProcAmp version, so at least you're on your way. (Look at the top part of the histogram - Original, then ProcAmp below.)
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    I hate VHS. I always did.
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  14. ColorTools in VirtualDub isn't great for checking levels. It works in RGB after a rec.601 conversion. That conversion clips Y values below 16 or over 235.

    The proc amp has pulled overall levels down by about 8 units and decreased the gain by a tiny bit. You can get the original to match pretty closely with ColorYUV(gain_y=-4, off_y=-8). Neither has hard clipping at Y=255 or Y=0.

    The black level in the clips is probably way too high, around Y=50, not Y=16. I say "probably" because it's always possible these two shots are supposed to be this way. But I think they should look more like:

    Click image for larger version

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  15. Member PuzZLeR's Avatar
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    Hi Jagabo,

    I've re-adjusted the parameters a bit better, and I still see clipping, particularly more so in the Original, but even in the improved ProcAmp. The Y channel is fine, but I'm concerned about the R, G and B. Yes, no hard clipping as you say, but clipping nevertheless even when there are no serious "flatheads". Should we be concerned here? (Again, "Original" first, "ProcAmp" version next.)
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  16. Originally Posted by PuzZLeR View Post
    even in the improved ProcAmp... I'm concerned about the R, G and B. Yes, no hard clipping as you say, but clipping nevertheless even when there are no serious "flatheads".
    There are a few pixels with Y>235. But most of the problems are from illegal combinations of Y, U, and V (even when each is within its individual valid range) because the video is way over saturated. For example, at Y=235 the only valid U and V value is 128. Any other U or V value will lead to an illegal RGB color. Only about 1/6 of the possible YUV values leads to a valid RGB pixel. See the "RGB Colors Cube in the YCbCr Space" image at this site:

    https://software.intel.com/en-us/node/503873
    https://software.intel.com/sites/default/files/did_feeds_images/0EF01A88-F874-4ECB-B2B...1EB8211A76.jpg



    The outer box represents all possible 8 bit YUV values. The inner box is the portion that leads to valid 8 bit RGB values.

    During capture you're really only worried about hard clipping at 0 and 255 (Y, U and V). Everything else can be fixed later. Of course, you don't want too little range in the YUV values. That will lead to posterization problems.
    Last edited by jagabo; 25th Jun 2016 at 18:31.
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