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  1. I have been waiting a long time to capture this SECAM VHS I have because I do not own a TBC and was waiting till I could buy one. Now I see the AVT-8710 is discontinued and the actually good TBCs are well out of my price range... even the AVT-8710 prices seem to have skyrocketed when they do show up now.

    So tonight I tried capturing this tape just to see how bad it would look and get an idea. I captured with ATI All In Wonder card to HuffYUV, with a AG-W1 VCR - not a good VCR, I know, but its what I have that is capable of SECAM playback.

    I was just wondering if I could get some feedback on the attached clips. There are lots of problems with the video, but I am wondering if a TBC would help with some of the issues shown in these clips. In the first clip, it is flashing some colors and in the second clip you can see a white horizontal line appear at the bottom of the picture. These lines will appear randomly throughout the video.

    I'm not sure if these issues specifically could be addressed by adding a TBC, or if its a problem with the tracking on the tape. Although the AGW1 isn't the best VCR, I don't have these problems with other tapes - its specific to this one.

    I am also wondering if using a DMR-ES10 in passthrough would help at all - I know it doesn't have an actual TBC, but just wonder if it would help at all because TBCs appear to be way out of my price range. I also know the ES10 can't do SECAM, but the AGW1 can convert the SECAM to NTSC signal, although that also isn't ideal, I would be willing to do so if I could get a better picture.

    Thanks
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  2. Member DB83's Avatar
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    Corrected: (different player used)

    I do not associate a flashing image (clip 1) with time base issues. Others might (and probably will) disagree
    Last edited by DB83; 8th Dec 2018 at 05:18.
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  3. Member DB83's Avatar
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    Actually, upon reflection, the issue with video 1 methinks is more to do with mv and can be corrected with a full-frame tbc.

    I do not think that pass-through can assist since, in my book, that means Secam in and Secam out. Since most dvd-recorders can only be configured for NTSC or PAL at excludes that. Of course I have no experience with Secam equipment but I do know that if you 'captured' a Secam signal with a ADVC300 then you end up with A Pal DV recording.
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  4. Well like I said in the bottom of my post, my AG-W1 has the capability of converting NTSC/PAL/SECAM between any of those formats for the output signal

    So I can play my SECAM tape from this VCR while sending out a NTSC signal

    This isn't something I'd want to do as obviously its not going to be a great conversion, but its my only option currently and if the passthru with the DVDR would improve the problems, then I would do it.
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    Originally Posted by DB83 View Post
    I do not associate a flashing image (clip 1) with time base issues. Others might (and probably will) disagree
    I might, and will. That's false copy protection errors, and I've had it happen to me several times with poor tracking and bad tape on home-made VHS. A frame-sync tbc (not pass-thru) will fix it.

    Originally Posted by DB83 View Post
    ADVC300 then you end up with A Pal DV recording.
    Why would anyone want lossy DV with a tape that looks this bad? I think autephex was correct to go with lossless huffyuv.

    Originally Posted by autephex View Post
    So I can play my SECAM tape from this VCR while sending out a NTSC signal

    This isn't something I'd want to do as obviously its not going to be a great conversion, but its my only option currently and if the passthru with the DVDR would improve the problems, then I would do it.
    You're right, pass-thru won't fix copy protection errors, even if the errors are false positives.

    You didn't capture NTSC. You captured 25 fps, and the frame size 640x524 isn't valid for NTSC or PAL. It isn't even valid for 4:3 square-pixel. If you want to use Avisynth on these captures you'll have to do something about the frame size -- many Avisynth filters won't work with mod-4 dimensions.
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  6. Member DB83's Avatar
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    OK. I was merely illustrating what a ADVC does with a pure Secam signal.

    Only he can explain where that 640*524 image size comes from. I thought Secam was similar to Pal in that respect. Maybe he has already cropped the capture. Incorrectly.
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    autephex explicitly stated "I can play my SECAM tape from this VCR while sending out a NTSC signal". Neither the framerate nor the frame size look like NTSC to me.
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  8. LMotlow you didn't read my post...

    I said that I have the ability to produce a NTSC signal with the VCR, not that I did so for this capture. I was including the possibility because I would be able to use the VCR with said DVD recorder as pass through, if there was any chance in the DVD recorder's pseudo-TBC helping with the picture. It was just a possibility, not something I did.

    Also, the recorded resolution is valid for SECAM.

    Despite many posts here claiming that SECAM is the same as PAL, it isn't. It has a different resolution and my All In Wonder card doesn't even give me the option to use standard resolutions when recording SECAM signals.

    SECAM VHS is 576 vertical and I captured at the larger resolution option available in the AIW SECAM options for flexibility in editing... but the picture isn't really good enough to process at this point anyway, probably.
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    Originally Posted by autephex View Post
    SECAM VHS is 576 vertical
    Yet your capture sample is 524 vertical?

    I'm getting the idea that reading your posts isn't a good idea. Thanks for reinforcing that impression numerous times.
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  10. As stated previously, I captured in the highest resolution setting the All In Wonder software allows for SECAM signals.

    I'm not sure what your problem is, I guess you're the type that needs to always declare their superior knowledge in every reply instead of being helpful.

    Both posts you've responded to, I am asking direct questions about specific issues with provided clips, and you just reply to tell me things that you assume I'm an idiot about, when you can't even be bothered to read what I've actually written

    Well, if that's all you have to add, please don't read my posts.
    Last edited by autephex; 8th Dec 2018 at 14:54.
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  11. Member DB83's Avatar
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    Could I humbly suggest that you configure the VCR to output as ntsc and do another sample capture to see if these video issues are still there.
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  12. I had thought about trying that just to see, and I will do so. Never hurts to experiment.

    Most of the tape captures without the color issues shown in the clip, it just happens during a few scenes so far in the first attempt.

    Of course, there are plenty of other issues to address as well. But my main question starting out was how much a difference a TBC would make in relation to the shown problems.
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    Of course a Pal capture would be better but I suggested ntsc should there be playback issues for you.
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  14. I can do both an NTSC and a PAL, just for the sake of trying... when I get a chance a bit later today

    I don't think it should make too much a difference, other than supported resolutions by the capture card.

    The All In Wonder card is one of few cards that supports SECAM, and since the VCR is playing back SECAM I wouldn't think its causing any problems

    But again, never hurts to try different things and see what the result is
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  15. Member DB83's Avatar
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    I agree. But I also see that Secam captured resolution as being rather weird.

    Just one more thought. Is this a commercial French tape and not some tv recording from another country that used Secam or one of its variants.
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  16. It is a commercial tape from France, released in 1985

    The resolution doesn't match the tape, I just picked the highest setting available in SECAM options for the ATI software. When changing from NTSC/PAL options to NTSC/PAL/SECAM, it limits the available resolutions and does not include the typical resolutions used for most captures, such as 640x480

    It does seem odd though that there wouldn't be an option above this for x 576 on height. I will look again in case I missed something, or maybe try capturing to smaller size even if its less than the 576 resolution of secam VHS
    Last edited by autephex; 8th Dec 2018 at 17:26.
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  17. Ok, my mistake, there is one more setting above the one I used. I must have selected this one below it by mistake.

    The highest resolution option available for secam on the ATI card is 704x576 which looks to be the ideal capture res for a SECAM or PAL signal:
    https://forum.videohelp.com/threads/151501-At-what-resolution-VHS-tapes-should-be-captured

    Sorry for the confusion on that.

    So I can retry at correct resolution settings at least, as well as try a NTSC capture, but not expecting either to solve original issues.
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  18. Ok so here is the same segment as clip1 in original post, re-recorded in 704x576, still SECAM signal. This time the color flashing did not happen, so it at least appears to be an issue which doesn't happen at the same spot. I still think its maybe tracking related, because the tape has trouble tracking initially and produces some of the same kinds of color flashing until I set the tracking up manually.

    Keeping the clips very short due to the huge filesize, but if a longer clip should be desired I could compress

    I can still try an NTSC signal, but it seems that with keeping SECAM the same issue is at least randomly happening, and could always do multiple captures to cut together.

    I also noticed for some reason if I switch tabs in the ATI software to change color levels for example, it resets my capture preset to different preset I didn't choose. Not sure if that had something to do with my previous capture settings.
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    secam just sucks. there are at least 12 different standards for secam - a through m. all because the french didn't want to use US standards. are you sure it's even secam? not straight pal?
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  20. pretty sure its secam, although not sure how i would test that

    its a commercial french tape from 1985, like i said

    if i set my vcr to "through" for the playback, which does not alter the signal, and I set the output signal to secam, then i get the picture how its suppose to look. If i set the output signal to PAL or NTSC, while also set to "through" then picture becomes severely distorted
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  21. Member DB83's Avatar
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    If the tape was for the French market then it will undoubtably be Secam-L. It's a standard that prevented me from acquiring any tapes in France during my travels.

    Confusion can occur in neighbouring Belgium which, in part, is French-speaking.. The stores would also sell Secam VHS but also sold PAL ones.

    I took a look at the redone capture. You said it's still a Secam capture. Mediainfo reports it as PAL but it is not unknown for mediaifno to get it wrong and might only have referenced to the frame size. I noticed some drop-outs especially in the top section these can always be fixed post. Of course if there is a tracking issue that could be down to either the tape or the quality of the vcr heads.

    So while the flashing has not occurred here it is not to say it will not appear elsewhere. And if you only have this one tape then if I was in your position I would just take it as it comes rather than go to any additional expense.

    My only experience with a Secam tape was when I acquired a privately created dvd of a 1960's film (The Hellfire Club) which was a slightly different version to what is generally available. That capture suffered from poor colours (skin tones were somewhat yellowish etc.) but since that version is not, and neither likely to be, on dvd then I accepted it as is.

    You sure this film is not on dvd ? Have you checked Amazon.fr ?
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  22. If you see colour then flag is irrelevant - you can't capture colour SECAM trough PAL mode - it will be then BW video.
    Last capture looks OK to me (SECAM should most accurate composite colour system available but sacrifice chroma vertical resolution by half).
    If you are unsure about your current HW and SW go for some older machine and buy Bt478/Bt878 capture card.
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  23. Member DB83's Avatar
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    ^^ But that vcr claims to support all standards and can output a different one than it's source. So I read that you can have a Secam tape and output a PAL signal.

    Even so that is not what the OP states he did for the later capture.
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  24. Originally Posted by DB83 View Post
    ^^ But that vcr claims to support all standards and can output a different one than it's source. So I read that you can have a Secam tape and output a PAL signal.

    Even so that is not what the OP states he did for the later capture.
    Nope - i doubt if SECAM is translated to PAL on analogue device - this may be possible if VCR has internally digital processing (Digital Demodulator/Decoder and Digital Encoder/Modulator) - SECAM use Frequency Modulation for Chrominance signal where PAL and NTSC use QAM (Phase + Amplitude) Chrominance signal.
    Normally this should be not a problem as digital demodulators used by acquisition boards support usually all colour composite systems however it may be situation when SECAM demodulation is not supported correctly - maybe not tested by SW developer - i can imagine such situatin.
    Using old HW with SW capable to tweak every aspect of colour composite encoding may be better approach... Old PC with PCI connector on board and Bt478/878 (479, 879) with Windows XP may provide best results... And cost probably in total less than 100$ (Pentium 4 machine should be capable easily to record MJPEG signal, same for HUFFYUV)
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    ^^ So what does a Panny AG-W1 actually do ?
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  26. Originally Posted by DB83 View Post
    ^^ So what does a Panny AG-W1 actually do ?
    This is very good question, afraid can't say a word how this model is able to deal with ubiquitous formats conversion as such it is better to use something that only decode SECAM instead transcode SECAM to PAL. Remove from equation as many unknowns as you can.
    I don't trust new devices not because of hardware but due of software as even nice hardware may not work if not correctly programmed.
    And everything inside AG-W1 is custom - not sure if you can upgrade firmware - perhaps but i bet it can be done by Panasonic service only and this service not exist since at least 10 - 15 years... Thus once again - it is better to perform capture and use embedded decoder only once instead rely on programmed firmware and transcoding from SECAM to SECAM (as even pass trough on AG-W1 is related to capture, decode, encode i assume - doubt that you can process such signal purely in digital way or perform RAW-RAW ADC to DAC capture).
    Additionally Bt478/878 offers possibility to perform software decoding and TBC in software - https://forum.doom9.org/showthread.php?t=162832
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  27. The AG-W1 can playback any of the formats and output any of the formats as well. I don't know how it works, but it does. I can play this SECAM tape and output a PAL or NTSC signal and it does work.

    But in the posted capture, I played it as SECAM, outputted as SECAM, and captured as SECAM (set as SECAM-L on my All In Wonder capture card - the card supports all SECAM formats and I had it set to capture SECAM-L). If mediainfo reports PAL, I imagine the program doesn't even detect SECAM, if SECAM can even be detected, as finding any accurate information on SECAM at all is virtually impossible. I'm quite sure the only thing mediainfo looks at is the framerate.

    Yes, SECAM seems to commonly have problems with issues like color and other stuff.

    I will take a look at the suggested Bt478/878, but as far as building new systems goes its not really feasible for me to do. I already built an old XP computer with the All in Wonder card for capture, and I am trying to work with what I have. It may not be the best setup, but I am not looking for perfection, just to get the best results I can with what I have. This one tape isn't worth spending hundreds of dollars.

    This is a rare movie, only available in fullscreen DVDs which were themselves recorded from other VHS releases - very poor quality.

    The tape I have is the only known source of a widescreen print for the film, which is why I am trying to capture it.

    In the meantime, my XP capture desktop has suddenly started crashing whenever I load the All In Wonder TV software... so I may be screwed
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  28. Originally Posted by autephex View Post
    If mediainfo reports PAL, I imagine the program doesn't even detect SECAM, if SECAM can even be detected, as finding any accurate information on SECAM at all is virtually impossible. I'm quite sure the only thing mediainfo looks at is the framerate.
    Mediainfo reporting digital video where SECAM is analog video and PAL is used by mediainfo as acronym to 720x576i25 video format not composite color encoding.

    Originally Posted by autephex View Post
    Yes, SECAM seems to commonly have problems with issues like color and other stuff.
    SECAM should not have problems with color accuracy (depend on FM demodulator linearity but this is issue to analog SECAM implementation not digital one).

    Originally Posted by autephex View Post
    I will take a look at the suggested Bt478/878, but as far as building new systems goes its not really feasible for me to do. I already built an old XP computer with the All in Wonder card for capture, and I am trying to work with what I have. It may not be the best setup, but I am not looking for perfection, just to get the best results I can with what I have. This one tape isn't worth spending hundreds of dollars.
    Then perhaps just Bt478/878 card will be enough or something with Philips on board but... but issue may be related to source also - i mean VCR... Real SECAM VCR's are very rare...

    Originally Posted by autephex View Post
    In the meantime, my XP capture desktop has suddenly started crashing whenever I load the All In Wonder TV software... so I may be screwed
    This is rather software than HW issue (drivers).
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  29. Right, SECAM is just the analog format and once its transferred to digital medium its not any different from PAL...

    Every post I've read about transferring SECAM tapes is nothing but problems with stuff like color issues... not saying that the issues are always there with SECAM but its all I seem to see when searching for info on the net.

    I'll look at the Bt478/878 as a potential option, and yes, I'm sure there is an issue with the VCR because as said, its not the best quality VCR in general even aside from its age. As you say, SECAM VCRs are hard to come by, particularly in the US and importing one isn't something I'm willing to do.

    I would send it off to the pros for a transfer, but don't have the cash for that either. If I have to buy a reasonably priced piece of equipment, I can always sell it after using it.
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  30. Originally Posted by autephex View Post
    Right, SECAM is just the analog format and once its transferred to digital medium its not any different from PAL...

    Every post I've read about transferring SECAM tapes is nothing but problems with stuff like color issues... not saying that the issues are always there with SECAM but its all I seem to see when searching for info on the net.
    Issue is that SECAM use two different FM carriers, one for so called Dr and second for Db chrominance components. Both carriers are quite high frequency when compared to VCR bandwidth thus some tricks are required to store them on VCR. In most of cases those frequencies are divided by 4 (so frequency is also 4 times lower).

    Originally Posted by autephex View Post
    I'll look at the Bt478/878 as a potential option, and yes, I'm sure there is an issue with the VCR because as said, its not the best quality VCR in general even aside from its age. As you say, SECAM VCRs are hard to come by, particularly in the US and importing one isn't something I'm willing to do.

    I would send it off to the pros for a transfer, but don't have the cash for that either. If I have to buy a reasonably priced piece of equipment, I can always sell it after using it.
    Honestly i doubt that you will succeed with currently owned VCR - first VCR should be analog type to utilize SECAM VCR output - for AGW1 it may be not possible as i think it was one of the first consumer VCR's utilizing digital video signal path thus it should have TBC digital color encoder, at least field/frame memory and finally digital color encoder thus able to perform system conversion.

    Now it will be part that is not liked by many persons on this forum however i feel that this alternative need to mentioned.
    With time this approach may be only one option to recover tapes.

    There is project for LD acquisition trough all digital processing. Same approach can be used for VCR especially a rare SECAM or similar recordings (PAL-M etc).
    In theory you can capture VCR head signal directly and perform all steps in software then in theory you can get quality way better than any even PRO VCR can provide.
    https://github.com/happycube/ld-decode/wiki
    https://github.com/happycube/ld-decode
    https://www.domesday86.com/?page_id=978

    I think that Bt848 can be programmed (in VBI capture mode) to capture (perhaps pulses from VCR head switch can be required to generate H sync pulse) RAW FM signal.
    IMHO this approach is too costly for single tape (but may be good for some commercial company).
    I assume GNU Radio can be used to simplify signal processing.

    If you are software guy with some HW skills then perhaps this may be interesting alternative.
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