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  1. Hello guys, I am new to this forum but have had quite a long history with tape since my childhood. Now 23, and putting all the VHS tapes and audio cassettes i made to digital. The audio cassettes were well-recorded and preserved perfectly, using a WM-D6C with a stereo mic and dolby C, so my childhood audio is crystal clean. The VHS tapes were a mixed bag however.

    I have been having a problem transferring VHS tapes that were taped from Video8 originals from the same camera, all other VHS tapes from the other camera and other sources are fine. The fault manifests like this, and only during digital capture. The tapes are older than me even, i would pick up the cheapest possible tapes, some of which were 20 or so years old at the time.

    https://youtu.be/oIq7AIcczXY

    The heads are fully clean, the VCR is a Sharp VC-MH705, the same VCR the tapes were originally recorded on a few years back. Due to the cost, i would erase and tape over the video 8 / Hi8 originals and only have a few of those left, those are fine, i would put onto VHS the more 'trivial' stuff as VHS has less resolution than Hi8, although after my mother passed in 2013, the 'trivial' of me, my mother and my sisters moments are now no longer so trivial to save. There is always hindsight, eh?

    I have a vast data store which has multiple backups neatly ordered of all pictures and video from 1967 to present day of the family history and my history but need to add these VHS tapes to it. As my mother has passed away, salvaging these tapes is really crucial, and I am at a loss as to what is causing the problem. I am wondering if the signal coming from them is out of spec somehow, I wasn't sure if i should invest in a (True) TBC or VCR like the JVC HR S7700K with an inbuilt TBC, as I am aware many VCRs that claim to have a TBC are not a true TBC.

    I have two copies of each VHS tape bar two of them, owing to my desire to keep backups, and both copies will do this effect when trying to capture them. Some of them have childhood moments of me and friends, which is another thing that makes them worth saving.

    I would consider myself quite competent in dealing with analog gear, being a collector of analog audio and familiar with how it works.

    My budget is about 200 for the VCR/TBC, i already have a capture card : AVerMedia CE310B (PCI-E), using virtual dub.

    I was also looking for a way to remove the 'combing' as the camera pans, which isn't noticeable on a TV.

    What would you guys recommend to avoid the problem shown?

    These are PAL tapes.

    I will say this, that VCR was heavily used since 2003, and the head drum has signs of noticeable wear on it, although the heads themselves are ferrite?

    Thank you very much for your help guys in avoiding this problem, as I know it doesn't appear when viewing the tapes on a TV i am sure they are savable. Its almost like the digital capture card is less tolerant of any errors...
    Last edited by jacobmayes94; 25th Nov 2017 at 13:59.
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  2. Member
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    Sorry to see you're having problems. But what you need to do first is learn to submit original, unprocessedd captures, not videos photographed off a monitor screen (is the screen causing those problems? How would we know?) and not YouTube copies of originals (is YouTube processing causing some problems? How would we know?). Use VirtualDub to edit your sample of 8 to 10 seconds, a scene with motion or panning (no jumpy pans, please, they're always just a blur). Save the edit in VirtualDub using "direct stream copy" mode to avoid any added processing or colorspace conversions. You can post up to 500MB, but an unprocessed 8 or 10 seconds in the original colorspace won't be nearly that large.

    Originally Posted by jacobmayes94 View Post
    My budget is about 200 for the VCR/TBC,
    Don't expect quality with that budget. You need 3 to 4 times that much. You need two types of tbc -- line-level and frame-level. You might be able to get away without a frame-level tbc. If any of your tapes are slow speed multi-hour recordings slower than 2-hour SP, you'll be disappointed with JVC players and should look at Panasonics or Panasonic clones

    Originally Posted by jacobmayes94 View Post
    I was also looking for a way to remove the 'combing' as the camera pans, which isn't noticeable on a TV.
    TV's mask many problems. Digital capture gear doesn't. Better gear will help. and you'll have to learn Avisynth.
    http://www.digitalfaq.com/forum/video-restore/1567-vcr-buying-guide.html#post37136
    Last edited by LMotlow; 25th Nov 2017 at 14:46.
    - My sister Ann's brother
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    I don't need to see an original capture to know that you've got severe horizontal sync problems. Analog-digital converters are very fussy about such things compared to analog displays, which are designed to roll with the punches.

    A line TBC should be able to clear it up. Frame synchronizer probably not necessary I don't see vertical jitter.
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  4. All recordings are in SP. Only my grandads tapes were LP. These transferred fine. The distortion seen there with the way the video blips in and out is the same as on AVI files on two different machines, definitely not the monitor. Ill upload a raw capture from virtualdub soon. Out of all the tapes these are the only ones giving me problems (present on both copies of the VHS, both copies are different tape stock).


    My budget is pretty much capped at 200 although if i wait until Febuary, I will be be able to up it to 1k.

    Edit: So Horizontal sync issues are probably causing this? What is the best Line TBC you guys would recommend for my budget?
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    The TBC built into several JVC recorders may do the job, but sometimes it leaves smaller artifacts. The Panasonic DMR-ES10 and 15 DVD recorders have very robust analog conditioning and will probably handle it.
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  6. I will have a look into those and see, so you mean use the Panasonic DMR-ES10 as a pass through?

    Jacob
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    I've used an ES10 for a few years now for tbc pass-thru with non-tbc vcr's. They work fine as long as you disable the Panny's noise reduction, which can cause smearing and posterizing. The ES10 also has nominal frame-sync, works OK as long as you don't have Macrovision, which the ES10 will not defeat.
    - My sister Ann's brother
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  8. No macrovision here, all home video tapes. The Panasonics seem cheap enough to give it a shot with one of those. Noise removal and sharpening are probably best done in POST after capture.
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    You'll also want to play with the input/output level settings on the Panasonic. I forget which way they go, but you can find tips in the Capturing section of this forum. I use an ES15 which does a great job except for bumping up the black level easily fixed with the software processing amp in my capture card driver.
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  10. Thank you for your help guys. I ended up finding a JVC HR-DVS1 VCR on eBay for 75 (An S-VHS and miniDV Combo). Not fully tested but took the gamble, works a treat now i dismantled it and the heads and guides have been cleaned. I can also use this to play my miniDV tapes which I still use. For the sake of backup, i will copy my VHS tapes to MiniDV for an additional copy.

    It is NIGHT AND DAY compared to my old machine, no problems with transferring the problem tapes as it has a TBC as i understand it. Even some of the extremely noisy ones recorded on our old bad TV Combo VCR were stunning. Combined with a tiny bit of sharpening on my PC, you wouldn't know these videos were shot on such an old camera. I think my good storage of my tapes helped here though, although most of my original VHS-C and Hi8 tapes exist, many of the Hi8 tapes were taped over and reused to save my pocket money as a kid so these are second generation copies.

    Even as a 9 year old, i kept the VCR heads clean on both the camera and the VCR with isopropyl alcohol, a decision I do not regret now. I am going to upscale the files now.


    This VCR is well worth getting, especially if you still shoot MiniDV, although i don't think it plays the 1080i MiniDV tapes (which i mostly use) unless someone can correct me here as i havn't yet had chance to test one out, although it played the older MiniDV tapes fine.
    Last edited by jacobmayes94; 10th Jan 2018 at 09:48.
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