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  1. The image becomes unstable when used with an external TBC. Looks like this is a universal technical limitation of the two technologies, they cannot be combined. At first I thought it was a design limitation from JVC.
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    I never use the JVC stabilizer. Only the TBC/DNR, which works fine with an external TBC to handle vertical jitter. When the tape is too awful for JVC's line TBC, then I turn it off and feed through a Panasonic DMR-ES15.
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  3. You TBC it twice? OK. ^^;

    What do you do with jumpy images? You need a video stabilizer for this.
    Last edited by digicube; 10th Jan 2017 at 19:05.
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    The JVC TBC corrects horizontal timing errors, i.e. wiggly lines. My external DataVideo TBC-1000 handles vertical timing errors, i.e. jumpy images. They complement each other. Or I can just go through the Panasonic, which does both, although it's not my first choice because it looks a little soft.
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  5. Anyone know where can I get a pdf manual of I.DEN IVT-7? That's what I have.
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  6. The JVC stabilizer is a unique feature that is unfortunately incompatible with any additional signal processing. So its kind of a hail mary, last ditch sort of option in many cases: you need to decide which flaw is more irritating (what the stabilizer fixes, or what external boxes can fix).

    You can't find a manual for the I.DEN because the damned thing is older than Moses and completely worthless for VHS work. Many of us have been down the alluring path of suddenly-affordable uber-professional gear that turns out to have no capability whatsoever for consumer VHS tapes (if I had a nickel for every person who was suckered into buying an I.DEN off eBay, and came to VH looking for a manual, I'd have a lot of nickels). I've been thru several I.DENs, Panasonics, and For.A professional pizza-box TBCs myself, and they all sucked with VHS: couldn't even reliably clear MV, and myriad image problems due to decayed electronics and rotted control pots. "Pro" hardware does not migrate well to a consumer workflow: avoid "pro" VCRs and signal processors unless they are VERY recent models (even then, think twice).

    I've had three samples of the DataVideo TBC-1000 since 2008, each of which disappointed me. Two broke down completely after sitting unused for a few months, all three softened the picture to an annoying degree. Full-bore TBCs are rarely required anymore anyway: they were a necessity 12-14 years ago when PC encoders and early dvd recorders would choke on every tiny VHS flaw, but later PC encoding accessories and dvd recorders are much more forgiving. Today, you are almost always better off using a recent dvd recorder in pass-thru mode as a "TBC-like" signal conditioner- they will repair all but the most ludicrously defective VHS tape signals. Any Magnavox or Toshiba dvd-only recorder made since 2007-2008 will serve, and they can be found fairly cheap with dead dvd drives (recent LGs, JVCs, and Panasonics will also work but they are still very expensive and sought-after DVD/VHS combo units). They don't impact picture quality nearly as much as the famous, earlier Panasonic ES-10, ES15, and ES20: those should be reserved for REALLY bad tapes where you are willing to trade some PQ loss against signal repair. The Panasonics use a brute-strength signal conditioner which isn't always necessary, newer recorders are less capable with terrible tapes but are more transparent. Since recorders with dead dvd drives can be had for under $100, it may pay to own one of each (just as owning multiple VCRs is useful).

    "Pass thru" dvd recorders won't solve protection signal problems, for that you do need a "real" TBC or dedicated box. I've found devices like The Grex more reliable, less annoying, and much cheaper than any external TBC for this task. If you need to combine signal processors, connect any Grex-like device ahead of the pass-thru recorder.
    Last edited by orsetto; 11th Jan 2017 at 13:14.
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  7. Is the I.DEN IVT-7 really that bad? So far it's a very good TBC but the color adjustments is a major headache, it's very hard to get accurate colors. Can I buy Color Test Screen on VHS or 8mm tapes?

    When was I.DEN IVT-7 released?
    Last edited by digicube; 11th Jan 2017 at 13:29.
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  8. The I.DEN IVT-7 models are at least 21 years old. If yours is solving a problem reliably for you, by all means continue to use it. But the twitchiness of the color controls is a sign of aging and decay. Calibrating color against a test screen wasn't easy even when they were new due to the design of the adjustment pots. My critique was more to ward off anyone else from buying random old "pro" TBCs on eBay, simply because they're at giveaway $50 pricing now compared to the original $3K cost. A worn out 1993 Cadillac might seem like a bargain, too, until you actually get it home and discover a 2008 Toyota Corolla would have been a far better purchase.
    Last edited by orsetto; 11th Jan 2017 at 14:37.
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    "Hard to get accurate colors" is not what I would call "a very good TBC." It's a losing battle with the I.DEN. You need calibrated test tapes, a signal generator and video scope to set it up properly. All legacy gear that is either hard to find, very expensive, or worn out. The old TBCs are really only worth using with a professional VTR that has advance sync input.
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  10. Yea, got mine for $50 on craigslist. Very happy to see that it works well, though still trying to get the colors right. Glad I didn't have to spend $200-$400 on a TBC.

    It sucks to be on a limited budget but you get what you pay for.
    Last edited by digicube; 12th Jan 2017 at 07:29.
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  11. Originally Posted by digicube View Post
    It sucks to be a limited budget but you get what you pay for.
    Perhaps we could offer cost-effective alternatives if you explain why exactly you thought you needed a TBC in the first place? Were you having a problem with your tapes that is not curable by the JVC stabilizer alone? About the only thing an old I.DEN might do for VHS is rebuild the sync to solve the "dropped frames" issue common to junk-level USB video dongles (and some older "pro" PC encoders). If its in REALLY good shape, an I.DEN may also filter Macrovision, although they're rather spotty at it (and they don't seem to filter CGMS-A well at all).

    But overall, the ancient I.DENs and For.As just don't do a heckuva lot for VHS. While they are indeed technically TBCs with color adjustments, their primary design purpose was to lock several video sources (U-Matic or Betacam or 1") to a reference sync for mixing and editing. VHS wasn't remotely a consideration in their design: VHS has instabilities and random flaws an order of magnitude worse than the VTRs these TBCs were targeted at. As they age out, whatever minimal benefits they provide for VHS dwindles away to nothing. And as you've discovered, color drift can render them intolerable.
    Last edited by orsetto; 11th Jan 2017 at 15:31.
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  12. I got a TBC for my ADS Pyro because it was dropping frames. It did solve this problem but now I have to learn how to calibrate the colors correctly on the IDEN. Also $50 for a $2K item was very tempting. ^^;
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  13. You probably will not be able to get the I.DEN colors dialed in properly: the controls are a giant PITA.

    The frame dropping thing is a specific, rather simple issue that is best solved today using a dvd recorder passthru (assuming it does fix it for your encoder). The endlessly problematic TBC boxes are best avoided unless absolutely necessary: all of them soften the video, many screw up the color. I would go out on a limb and suggest most people would be better off ditching their extremely finicky encoders for a newer or more VHS-forgiving design, rather than subject themselves to all the BS, frustration and expense that TBCs entail.

    Consider scouring your local Craigslist for a dvd recorder like one of the following (they go for less on Craigs List than eBay, and you don't pay for shipping). Connect the recorder between your VCR and ADS Pyro exactly as you had the I.DEN. It doesn't need to have a functional dvd drive: just power it on, select the line input your VCR is patched into, and it should fix the dropped frames nonsense without adding additional color casts or softening. This setup can be an effective substitute for a "real" TBC that avoids dealing with old decrepit hardware: it works well for many people, but I can't swear it will with your ADS Pyro since I haven't used that device. Your chances are good, tho. If it does work, resell the I.DEN for whatever you can earn back. If it doesn't help, resell the recorder at a small loss, or try another encoder device like EZ Cap or Diamond or Hauppauge. Buying an encoder device that doesn't choke to death on VHS, dropping frames all over the place, is a better use of cash than wasting time (and risking picture quality) trying to make a VHS-hostile encoder work with random TBCs.

    "Pass thru" dvd recorders you should be able to find between $50 - $90:

    Toshiba DR-620 or 630 (dvd-only model)

    Toshiba DVR-620, 630 or 670 (dvd/vhs combo: look for one with dead VCR or dvd drive)

    Magnavox ZC352MW8 (dvd-only model)

    Magnavox ZC320MW8B (dvd-only model)

    Magnavox ZV427MG9 (dvd/vhs combo: look for one with dead VCR or dvd drive)

    Magnavox ZV450MW8 (dvd/vhs combo: look for one with dead VCR or dvd drive)
    Last edited by orsetto; 11th Jan 2017 at 20:18.
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  14. Thanks, will keep a lookout for these models.
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