I really like the video stabilizer feature in JVC SVHS VCRs, it prevents jumpy video. I use it more than its TBC feature. Is there an external device that does a similar thing? So far I found these two device on amazon and reviews are good.
Does an external TBC like DataVideo TBC-1000 and AVT-8170 function as a video stabilizer as well?
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No, the stabilizer in the JVCs is a function inherent to the internal transport/electronics of the VCR. It cannot be reproduced externally, since it involves direct control of the video heads and other VCR bits.
Other than JVC, nobody really used the term "stabilizer" to reference that type of feature. Every external "stabilizer" you'll encounter works on an entirely different element of the video: patching over dropped frames or filtering anti-record signals (or both). The Grex is best at repairing anti-record signals, TBCs are better for dropped frames and faulty sync. The DataVideo and AVT had a good early run but they don't hold up well under hard use, and more recent examples have terrible quality control issues / sample variation problems.
Instead of a TBC, most of us have switched over to much-more-reliable second-hand DVD recorders: connect your VCR to the DVD line inputs, and the DVD line outputs to your video encoder inputs. In such a setup, the DVD recorder is simply "passing thru" the signal, conditioning it with its own stabilizer & frame sync circuits. The DVD drive doesn't even need to be operational.
Get a Grex if you need reliable anti-record filtering. TBCs theoretically can do this too, but they tend to be flaky and inconsistent at it. DVD recorders used in pass-thru cannot filter anti-record signals at all (they are designed to respond to them), so place the Grex ahead of the recorder if you need the signal processing of both.
External TBC's are just hard to get, and you should know which one to buy, A good VCR with build in stabilization is a better bet, I have a Panasonic, DMR-ES35V (PAL) which does also NTSC (multi system) very stable signal, even with fast forward with picture there are no frames dropped, it has video component out, which has even more advantages like defeating the anti copy signal, because you can set the component output to progressive, works perfect,(if you capture over component video out) plus, you don't need an extra vcr.
It's a VHS-DVD deck where both can record, this model is still for sale on the internet.
Last edited by Eric-jan; 16th Dec 2018 at 07:00.
Grex is discussed here: https://forum.videohelp.com/threads/388472-Does-Grex-really-work-on-VHS-MV
lordsmurf has a short list of recommended TBCs here: http://www.digitalfaq.com/forum/video-restore/2251-tbc-time-base.html#buy
And as he notes (my emphasis):
"And if it's not listed here, it's NOT recommended!
- non-green era (2000s) Cypress units
- rack-mount units by Leitch, DPS, Snell & Willcox, etc, that expect studio sources (not VHS, Hi8/Video8, etc)
- the cheaply made noise-prone Key West Big Voodoo devices
- the wanna-be/fake "filters" and "clarifiers" from Grex, Sima, and others
- and (for most people), composite-only TBCs like the FA-128/130, and ancient 90s Cypress units"
You may not agree with everything lordsmurf says, but he's one of the few posters here and at digitalfaq.com that has done VHS transfers professionally and doesn't just post anecdotal evidence from his one off experiences. You have his ear at digitalfaq.com with your post there. I suggest you use that opportunity to continue your discussion there as he doesn't always visit VH and post to all topics.
Since you've stated money is no object, I highly recommend reading and following lordsmurf's recommendation for a professional video workflow:
"So, in review, a professional workflow is:
at least 3 high-end VCRs
at least 1 camera
at least 2 TBCs
at least 2 capture cards
and likely several other devices that rotate in as needed
A PAL workflow will repeat all this will PAL equipment. (Or NTSC, for those of you across the ponds.)
And it overlooks the computer setup: calibrated IPS monitor, reference or near-reference grade speakers. Plus dozens/hundreds of terabytes of workspace."
Note that it will likely take you months to find all the necessary components.
Not too slow workspace
They're useful and often necessary, but people just now looking for these units today are about nine years too late. The few models still available new have problems, many (if not most) second hand units have problems. It is very very hard to find an external TBC or high-end VCR that works perfectly as we approach 2019.
This type of discussion always leads to the LordSmurf paradox: he is absolutely right in his recommendations, but you are more likely to poop gold bricks than track down (today) any of the hardware he recommends in perfectly usable condition. LordSmurf is in a unique position shared by almost nobody who seeks his advice: he is a professional who gets PAID to do vhs digital transfers and restoration, and he started doing it so many years ago that he acquired multiple examples of all the best hardware when it was still being sold brand new and/or before the mfrs started getting sloppy. As a professional, he has financial and technical resources available to him that aren't so easy to come by for those doing personal projects: the cost and difficulty of repairs can be somewhat subsidized as business expenses.
This is why a large number of people who cannot find good copies of the recommended TBCs have turned to using discarded DVD recorders instead: in many cases, their frame synchronizer circuits do as well or better than a currently-available TBC. Connect a good VCR to the recorder inputs, and the recorder outputs to your PC encoding device (same as you'd connect a TBC). The results may or may not measure as technically perfect as you would get with a perfect TBC, but again: good luck today finding a "perfect" TBC of the quality LordSmurf depends on (unless you hire him to do the work for you). Those who live in PAL-standard countries may encounter somewhat different availability issues with premium VCRs and TBCs. The PAL-market variants can be easier or harder to find than NTSC, depending on country and the particular unit desired. With some very problematic tapes, it can come down to only one model of DVD recorder or one model of TBC ever made can handle their video signal properly: in such cases, you are likely better off just sending the tape to a pro like LordSmurf.
More realistically in 2019, the need for a Grex or "FYL" is quite diminished from say 2006. Today, it is usually pointless to digitize an inferior protected VHS when you can simply buy a FAR better official digital remaster on DVD or BluRay, or stream such titles on-demand from NetFlix or Amazon. These options were not available or much more expensive twelve years ago, making a degraded VHS transfer more appealing (i.e., better than nothing). Today, its silly to digitize such tapes unless they are extremely rare and were never officially re-released in any digital format. No amount of money and hardware can make a great-looking digital transfer from a protected old Hollywood VHS tape: the protection signal inherently cripples potential video quality. Buy a digital disc, or stream it.
Last edited by orsetto; 18th Dec 2018 at 15:13.
Yes but the VHS titles I have are rare in that they contain scenes that aren't available on DVD/Blu-ray. For ex. https://originaltrilogy.com/topic/Analog-Releases-of-Films-That-Contain-Deleted-Extend...page/1#1224341
My VHS collection began in 1980 when I was in my teens, I've been at this hobby for decades. As I've gotten older and more honest with myself, I've come around to the view that the "deleted scenes" obsession is just geek wankery. Yes, those scenes are nice to have, but if they aren't included in a modern digital release then you're stuck watching them forever as a truly awful VHS dub. And that gets really annoying, really fast unless you're a card-carrying super geek who gets off on the rarity more than the actual movie. Make no mistake: any transfer you create from this kind of VHS is going to look bad on a PC screen and godawful on a large LCD television. No amount of money, hardware, software or expertise can make old Hollywood VHS look palatable on today's VHS-hostile display technology. Its tolerable at best.
Put another way, I have the official "original trilogy" bonus DVDs George Lucas grudgingly (and intentionally poorly) released some years ago. They were OK on a Sony Trinitron CRT television, but are hard to watch on a 42" Sony Bravia or Samsung HDTV flatscreen. Any VHS you digitize yourself won't even come close to the lame quality of those bastardized official LucasFilm DVDs: as long as you're prepared for that, and calibrate your expectations, it can be worthwhile. Personally, I don't care anymore: the quality of the abridged or recut official remasters is so much better my eyes take precedence over my heart. When I want to geek out or be nostalgic, I'll watch the crummy dubs, but its painful. I'll endure it for guilty pleasures like the bloated extended network TV version of 1978 "Superman", the unadulterated "Star Trek:TMP", a few long-suppressed trivial scenes from the original theatrical version of "Close Encounters", and thats about it.
Last edited by orsetto; 18th Dec 2018 at 22:55.
lordsmurf sold off most of his surplus equipment earlier this year, but as of 11/20/18, he said he had two complete VHS capture workflows available including the following:
The "kit" includes:
- JVC SR-V101U S-VHS with internal line TBC
- DataVideo DVK100 + DMR-ES15, TBC(ish) combo, modified for capture workflows
- ATI 600 USB clone capture card
- 1 @ $775 + shipping
Read more: http://www.digitalfaq.com/forum/marketplace/8831-sale-complete-workflow.html#ixzz5a6Gwy536
I follow what's going on at digitalfaq.com almost as often as I do here (daily here, every couple of days there) and I don't think he has separate components left.
FYI, I'm not in any way shilling for him. I just hate to read about people spending good money and coming here to complain that their POS purchase doesn't work.