Hey all! I'm converting a bunch of VHS tapes to digital using a cheap USB capture device from Amazon and OBS studio. It's going well except probably about half of the time the color in the video goes grayscale with a bunch of horizontal RGB lines through it. I assumed it was just because the tapes are old, but I thought I'd post here in case someone else knows the cause of them. Like maybe something wrong with the VCR or maybe the head needs cleaned? Here is a video of the distortion. Towards the end the distortion goes away.
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No, not dirty heads. When that happens you get snow. Does the artifact always occur in the same place? Across different tapes?
The artifacts always occur in the same places per tape and I see them on multiple tapes. I might have some old store bought movies on VHS. If I can find those I'll try and see if they show up on those too. Maybe it's just these old home videos.
This can be so much things, tapes losing magnetic information, electronics like old electrolytic capacitors that need replacement, hard to say. Did you try on other VCR's?
A VCR with a TBC would be the best to test your tape.
As a quick test: do the same problems show up if you watch the tapes on a TV?
I was going to ask the same thing. It might be bad tapes and not the capture card.
If the the damage is consistent in the same location of the tape then probably there is nothing he can do about it, Those rainbow artifacts usually happen in second generation tape recordings. The only way to know for sure is using a VCR with built in TBC and S-Video cable hooked up to TV or good quality capture card/device.
Video like that was often always like. Meaning not a playback VCR, not aging, etc.
And lot of people mis-remember tape condition, so falsely assume the issue is current, or from aging.
I'd try another VCR. That sort of error can be many things, and in my experience, anything not present on the tape at record time is from a bad playback deck.