I'm quite new at this and am about to to transfer some VHS tapes to DVD discs. The chain will simply look like: Pal VCR (s-video, in-line tbc) directly to a PAL DVD recorder (dvd discs). I've found some DVD-recorders on the local market, which one(s) do you think are better than the rest? I've read that Pioneer, LG, Toshiba, Philips, and a few models from JVC and Panasonics are the most recommended brands/models.
The LG DR4912V seems to be the only one with LSI chipset as I've been cross-checking from a lsi-logic-chipset-list , so I guess this would be a good candidate. Do Lsi-logic-chipset dvd recorders enhance visual quality, not frame sync, if I understood correctly? But is the frame sync function for the LG DR4912V still as good as the ones in other DVD recorders?
Also the pioneer dvr-520H or the dvr-5100h might seem like an alternative too
The Panasonic DMR-ES10 is the NTSC version, but one question about it anyway: It's good as a pass-through, is it good to use as a standalone option to burn out DVD-discs, comparable to other DVD recorders? If so, is the TBC comparable to other DVD-recorders' TBCs (the good to better ones), as in reducing the loss of frames etc and not only picture quality enhancements?
I think I'll pass on the Bluray compatible players to be sure about the compatibility for old recording mediums such as vhs tapes. What about HDD recordings? I'm aware it can support higher bitrate with HDD recordings instead of transfering to DVD discs directly from the VCR, but as of today, or the more revered or good enough, recorders from a certain time span, has it gone so far that it is as stable with HDD captures with such old machines as VCRs instead of going directly to DVD-disks?
The recorders currently on the "local" market
Toshiba DVD-Player SD-2109
Maybe less prioritized ones (probably, what I heard):
Sony rdr - gx210
With the exception of the three PAL DVD recorders I mentioned before (the LG and Pioneer ones), I should look up whether the rest of the DVD recorders support PAL recordings or not.
I'm leaning towards the LG one, (because I read that it's a common problem that the Pioneer 520H burners have been worn out by now) - unless anyone would recommend any other DVD recorder on the list here?
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Are you wanting to transfer commercially bough VHS or are they self recorded from TV, if you have any which you store bought they will probably have copy protection and you will need a time base corrector to remove the copy protection, using a tbc is a good idea even with self recorded vhs and it stabilizes the signal to the dvd recorder.
I am astounded at the rarity of tbc's on ebay, amazing.
If you are only transferring self recorded vhs then I had good success with the JVC and Panasonic dvd recorders , Pioneer also, I never "got on" with sony dvd recorders.over 5 years ago from the UK. I do not know how good vcr's with tbc's(Supposidy) are any good at removing copy protection. Like this one:-
If you want to message me with what you are transferring if commercially sold I may be able to save you some work.PAL/NTSC problem solver.
USED TO BE A UK Equipment owner., NOW FINISHED WITH VHS CONVERSIONS-THANKS
Forget the Philips ones. Those are OLD and most likely will not work.
Don't get ripped off. DVD Recorders died out quite a while ago. People are selling them because they don't record (or finalize) discs anymore.
There has been a recent breakthrough in getting recordings off of DVD recorder's hard drive with ISOBuster software.....but that requires removing the hard drive from the recorder and buying ISOBuster.
PAL/NTSC problem solver.
USED TO BE A UK Equipment owner., NOW FINISHED WITH VHS CONVERSIONS-THANKS
I may try out computer digitizing in the near future as well. Last time I did it the video suffered from blended interlacing, like this - https://forum.videohelp.com/threads/392932-Getting-rid-of-frame-interpolation-in-VHS-captures , but it was perhaps not expected, but at least not super surprising considering the gear and software I had back then. Now I've upgraded to a USB-live 2 capture device and more, resting in a box atm, just in case. Having different options seems like a good idea
Yea, an external tbc like that wouldn't be bad at all. I heard it's a gamble nowadays to find one but also to get one working at its fullest though , the same high, risk high reward as with acclaiming a functional dvd recorder as stated in the thread
That sounds like a useful feature. Might try that out later with ISOBuster. I have mounted/demounted HDDs into computers before but it's probably trickier when it comes to dvd recorder hdds
Originally Posted by victoriabears
Hmm seems like the links are missing in your last post? If they are modern recorders, with BD or 1080 upscaling support or similar, do you think they are stable for old medium such as vcr tapes or handle these as well as the older dvd recorders?
There are some LG HDD/DVD recorders and their cousin Medion recorders who have had the ability to pull the MPEG2 recordings from the hard drives.
I have the Medion version.
The web site for the LG/Medion is long gone but I still have the Windows software to pull the data from the discs.....now I just need to remember which LG/Medion units were involved.
I'll do a bit of HDD searching.
would it be any easier to just hook up your VCR/ DVD player to your PC
and use a recording software to capture your VHS Tapes & DVDs ??
If you don't use an LSI based DVD recorder for VHS transfers, just forget about it. All non-LSI DVD recorders compound VHS noise, while LSI chipsets remove it. DVD recorders were never intended for converting VHS, but rather recording from a clean source like a DV camera or analog cable/satellite TV.
ES10 is great for passthrough, a POS for recording. Panasonic and Sony are the noisiest recorders made.
All the "new" gear is Funai-made garbage. Several brands, same unit. The quality stuff is used, and only used -- unless you find a unicorn "new old stock" unit, which does sometimes still happen.
Ok, I see, about the ES10's primary usage
so just a quick question. I saw there's a Lumatron DVDHDR-77 DVD recorder on the local market here, which is in new condition (but its brand is lesser known, it only seems to support dvd-rw and dvd+rw dvd discs, and doesn't have a LSI chipset. On the plus side there shouldn't be any trouble with the burner, and I think it was released later than the second recorder I'm about to mention though, couldn't find any manual for it online).
Another one I'm interested in is the Philips DVDR 3355 DVD Recorder, which has an LSI Chipset, available on the local market here. On the other hand I saw an older post from Orsetto :
My intention is to capture vhs tapes' signals into dvd discs
Which one to opt for in your opinion? Or should I wait some other months until something better pops up on the market, preferably something that has a LSI chipset?
TL, DR: the most flexible and best results would come from following LordSmurf's recommended workflow at his DigitalFAQ forum, which entails using a premium VCR passed thru an external TBC to a good capture device plugged into your PC. There can be personal reasons for choosing a DVD/HDD recorder workflow instead, like you already own one or three such recorders (), but starting from scratch today its probably better to get hold of the good PC setup while you still can. Otherwise:
Why this precisely is I don't know, but in my experience recorder-based transfers (more often than not) hit a brick wall outside the DVD disc itself. This wasn't as serious a limitation ten years ago as it is today: disc usage throughout the world is rapidly dying off now in favor of direct file playback and streaming, optical disc drive mfrs are dropping production right and left, a decade from now dedicated standalone disc players may only be a memory. A VHS transfer burned by a DVD recorder and played on a hardware player to a TV via HDMI connection can look passable, ripped to a server or converted to any other format it can look like a trainwreck (interlace gone haywire, etc). Being boxed in could prove to be a nightmare.
What I said in the older thread you quoted still stands: forget the vintage Philips recorders, newer Toshiba, very old Pioneers and Sonys, and generic-branded stuff like Lumatron. Only a handful of recorders are worth bothering with at this point, bargains and knockoffs aren't worth the aggravation that would ensue. Toshiba is trickiest: their self-made silver-finish XS-34, XS-54, XS-35 and XS-55 models are the desirable LSI units with VHS cleaning inputs (everything Toshiba sold after 2006, usually black finish with DVD-only or DVD-VHS, was made by Funai as generic meh units).
With the requisite gloom-and-doom warnings out of the way, lets assume you're fine with the limitations of a recorder-produced DVD transfer. The next question is how complicated do you want to get with the setup, because doing it the "right" way, with the vintage workflow recommended by pros like our esteemed LordSmurf, is almost as complicated as using a PC solution. The dvd recorders with LSI chips that actually do any serious VHS noise cleanup are all ancient first or second generation units that gag to death on "bare" VHS input from an ordinary VCR. At the very least you'll need an external TBC box to make VHS input tolerable to one of the "legendary" LSI recorders, and likely a higher-end VCR with its own inbuilt TBC variation. If you're going to make that investment anyway, why get burdened with a recorder-produced DVD as final end result? May as well go all-in with a PC-based digitizing workflow, so you end up with much more flexible and portable files that will play better from video servers and on multiple non-disc devices.
Editing is another wrench thrown into the mix. IMO, today in 2020, there is almost no point whatever in trying to build a "legendary LSI recorder" system if you have the slightest expectation of doing any editing after the tape is digitized. There are no surviving examples of legendary LSI recorder models with built-in hard drives, just DVD-only units (if you can even find one), which means for editing you're back where we started with ripping the recorder DVD to a PC and praying it doesn't look like garbage when opened in video software. The only practical recorders for VHS work are DVD/HDD combo models, which function like standalone dvd authoring computers (the VHS is recorded onto the units hard drive, where you can easily edit to your hearts content, lay out a template of the DVD exactly how you want, then have the unit burn the DVD for you). Recorders without the HDD feature can only record directly from VCR to DVD, the only possible editing method being to ride the pause control. The only LSI recorders with VHS noise cleaning that also had HDD were made by JVC (long LONG gone, blink and you missed 'em) and Toshiba (long gone, can be tediously rebuilt if you're really hell-bent on using one, pre-rebuilt sometimes available at high cost).
The LG and Medion (Lite On?) DVD/HDD units often recommended by hech54 for their nifty ability to to transfer files from their HDD to PC are a wildcard to me. They were not widely available in USA so I have no direct experience with them. My impression has been that they do not have the additional VHS cleaning filter circuits of the older vintage JVC and Toshiba models, which puts them more in the category of some Panasonic LSI models (i.e., average performance). hech54 is still active on VH, perhaps he will see this and clarify whether LG has the filters or not based on his actual experience with the machines. If you can find a well-functioning LG, the ability to directly transfer its HDD recordings to a PC is a great advantage.
Otherwise, at this late date, your choices of reasonably-recent (post-2006) DVD/HDD recorders that don't choke on VHS input are down to Pioneer, Sony, and Panasonic. These were available for several years longer in Europe than in USA, Panasonic particularly fielded a plethora of new PAL models after USA availability ceased. Other than perhaps Sony, Panasonic was the most popular best-selling brand of DVD/HDD recorder in Europe- and the most polarizing. People love them or hate them for VHS, depending how they feel about the resulting DVD video appearance. You will find a wider array of user reports and technical opinions of the European PAL Panasonic models on Euro-centric sites like AV Forums UK.
Sony and its Pioneer clones have flown a bit more under the radar, with no overly-passionate fans or detractors. As long as their burners are functional, and the source tapes aren't dreadful, they are fine journeyman decks that will make a passable DVD from any decent VCR directly connected to them. They cheerfully accept VHS input from ordinary typical VCRs without additional hardware. If you can find and afford a well-functioning external TBC, and/or premium SVHS VCR with its own TBC and noise reduction features, so much the better. I've been slowly transferring a dauntingly enormous collection of VHS to DVD using Pioneer recorder for over a decade: other than wearing out a burner on rare occasions, they have been problem-free.
Unlike Panasonic, which had a bewildering array of PAL design generations you need to parse to find the best models, the Sony/Pioneer twins are grouped into just three easily-identifiable generations: terrible, good and very good. Terrible is anything made before 2004-2005, good is 2005-2007, very good is 2008 and later. In model name terms, for Pioneer you want to avoid anything with a four digit model name (i.e. 5100) and any model number ending in 20 (i.e. 520). Sony is even easier: avoid model numbers ending below 50 (i.e., RDR-HX750 and above are good, below x50 less desirable for VHS). Pioneer models ending in 30 (like DVR-530) digitize VHS fairly well, the followup x40 models like DVR-540 can be a tad fuzzier, the final 550, 560 and LX series of 2007-2009 had upgraded video encoder chips that are somewhat cleaner with VHS input. Later Sony variations like RDR-HX780 split the difference between Pioneer 540 and 550, incorporating encoder ideas from both.
Last edited by orsetto; 2nd Apr 2020 at 13:42.
Thanks for the elaborate answer, making it easier to decide what to pick
The reason why I don't think I will go for the direct-to-pc digitizing route as of now is because it's too much of a gamble to get a good TBC as of today that also isn't too worn out to be able to function well. And reselling it again or arguing to get the money refunded and the item returned would be somewhat of a hassle I could imagine. (Otherwise I have a newly formatted win 7 computer with an extra internal HDD installed, JVC S-VHS VCR with in-line TBC and a fairly good USB capture device, and I have setup and configured virtualdub and amarectv to a ready-to-go state (only thing that's a bit trickier is the timing options, but since I don't have an external TBC I should probably not bother too much with it, I've just experimented with these apps so far.)) I may go this route later on when I don't have to prioritize other things in terms of time money, risks and such. I want to save the tapes rather "soon" (this thread is about one year old, but relatively speaking) too and also before the magnetism "weakens" in the vhs-tapes too much, but at the same time not on the expense of losing too much output quality. I will probably save the more safe but complex direct-to-pc route that leads to more convenient and easily read files, like you said, for later probably
They produce excellent results, IF you can get one with a still functioning burner. That's why I have a few spare units in my stash.
You do see some on eBay from time to time, and aside from "as is/for parts" offerings that are worthless, you often see some saying "fully tested / no remote," which is a deceptive oxymoron, so caveat emptor. But if you can get one with the remote where you're sure the burner has been fully tested and is working, it's hard to beat these machines.
BTW, hi @oresetto, my longtime AVSForum guru buddy. plplplpl here.
Last edited by p_l; 5th Apr 2020 at 19:36.
Toshiba does not use LSI.
Toshiba uses .... something else. (Zoran? Don't think so. Renesas? No, that's Pioneer. Some of my past posts, from a decade+ ago, has more detailed chipset information. But it's not LSI.)
Whether or not the much-admired Toshiba XS units did or did not employ LSI chipsets is a moot point all these years later, for several reasons. A), they perform very similarly to the vaunted LSI units, B) if you want the very useful HDD feature along with "LSI" performance, Toshiba was and remains literally the only brand that had a remotely significant market presence, and C) "good luck" finding one in full, reliable operating condition today (they were flakey when brand new, after 15 years don't expect too much).
One also really needs to look behind the curtain and understand the "wizardry" of LSI was not consistently applied: the fact that any given recorder used an LSI chipset does NOT guarantee that recorder will perform with VHS in the manner that LordSmurf describes. All LSI chipsets were not created equal: the only recorders with LSI that 100% meet LordSmurf's criteria were the early 2003-2005 JVC branded machines. These are limited to DVD-only or DVD-VHS combo units: JVC only offered a couple of rare models in DVD/HDD configuration, with such tiny market share they may as well never have existed. Virtually none are in working condition today, and even if you could repair it the JVC HDD interface was so poor it defeats the whole purpose. So essentially, if you want to follow exactly in LordSmurfs footsteps, your choices are limited to the JVC DRM10, DRM100, DRM-V1, DRM-V3, and DRM-V5. The performance of these units stems from their combination of specific LSI chipset JVC chose, and JVC's own circuit design. Other non-JVC recorders with LSI chipsets vary from very good (LG, Lite On) to problematic (the few Panasonics with LSI all seem to be disasters). None really deliver the signature "JVC LSI" look when converting VHS.
The Toshiba XS series of DVD/HDD were the closest you could get to the JVC performance in a non-JVC unit. Whatever encoder chip, noise filters and supporting circuitry Toshiba used, it beat any other recorder (including all the non-JVCs with LSI). The huge advantage the Toshiba XS had over the "JVC Holy Five" was its DVD/HDD configuration: the hard drive vastly simplified matters, as described in earlier posts. In addition to the valuable HDD feature, Toshiba XS models remain the single most advanced recorders ever sold in terms of editing and authoring versatility. Difficult units to master, but once mastered they could do almost anything (main menus + submenus, elaborate chaptering and indexing) without resort to a PC. Unfortunately they were plagued by the same syndrome that afflicts many other high-performance products: dismal reliability. Their original optical drives tended to fail before the warranty expired, and OEM replacements have been unobtanium since Toshiba dumped all of its consumer product line over to Funai fourteen years ago.
Dedicated owners swap war stories of generic PC drives they've tricked their Toshiba XS into burning on, but this comes with a long list of "gotchas". Similar burner issues apply to the non-HDD Toshibas of the same era (2004-2006): most of these had similar VHS encoding performance to the XS, but lacked the HDD and editing/authoring features. Recent advances in the third-party ISObuster dvd utility may have opened another workaround: transferring the Toshiba HDD files to a PC, or swapping the HDD out for a memory card that can be easily moved between recorder and PC. Of course this workflow is unorthodox and arcane: as yet no heavy users have posted re their experiences with this method.
One more now-forgotten issue with a small percentage of vintage DVD recorders was IRE mismatch: some USA/Canada models left the factory miscalibrated for our specific IRE (brightness/contrast) analog video standard. Instead, they are set to Japanese IRE, resulting in brighter flatter recordings. In the Toshiba XS lineup, this error occurred with the first generation XS-32 and XS-52, so those are probably best avoided now in favor of the later XS-34, XS-54, XS-35 and XS-55.
A final note regarding the LordSmurf-approved JVC LSI models that may not have been clear from earlier posts: they often choke on bare VHS signals patched directly from a typical VCR, resulting in distortion and tearing. You can't generally get the best from these old JVCs unless you also have a premium vcr with built-in TBC/DNR, and/or a good VHS-optimized external TBC like DataVideo TBC-1000, AVT-8710 or CBT-100. This same applies (to a somewhat lesser degree) with Toshiba XS. If you won't or can't invest in these additional upgrades, you'll get more stable results from a 2006-2009 Pioneer or Sony DVD/HDD model. These (arguably) trade off some ultimate VHS noise cleaning for more consistent handling of random VHS input from random nondescript VCRs.
Last edited by orsetto; 6th Apr 2020 at 15:35.
AFA the XS series Toshibas, I own a working XS-35 Toshiba(don't know who made the silicon) and it makes fabulous recordings, basically the best DVDR I've used(as far as picture quality) and like Citibear said it's editing features are second to none. Unfortunately, I don't really use it as I'm paranoid about the DVD burner failing, it already refuses to burn to RAM discs even though it's supposed to but it burns to R discs just fine, well the little I've ever used it. I agree that if you don't already have such a recorder, trying to purchase one at this point of time is probably not the best thing to do unless again you plan on using the methods he mentioned about trying to bypass the built-in burner, something I'm not really interested in.
RD-XS32 / XS52 uPD61171F1 10-Bit 4:2:2 w/Time Base Corrector
RD-XS34 / XS54 uPD61181F1 10-Bit 4:2:2 w/Time Base Corrector
RD-XS35 / XS55 uPD61181F1 10-Bit 4:2:2 w/Time Base Corrector
All NEC chips
The RD-XS32 used the µPD61171.
The RD-XS34 used the µPD61181 based on the µPD61171.
[Attachment 53285 - Click to enlarge]
from the NEC Digital Consumer brochure
2003 Press release for the uPD61171
2004 Press release for the uPD61181
MPEG2 Audio & Video Codec µPD61171
MPEG2 Audio & Video Codec µPD61181
Time Base Correction, Pg 17
(3) Time base corrector (TBC) is a frame-type TBC. It is possible to make stable encodings of video with interruptions due to channel changing and unstable video signal sources such as VTR.
(4) Noise reduction The noise reduction of the luminance signal and the color signal can be set separately to three levels each.
Last edited by jwillis84; 17th May 2020 at 12:16.
On a slightly hopeful front.
I missed a note in Apr-Dec 2019 that a Retro -Arcade team has created in limited quantities an SD card CD/DVD .iso file based IDE adapter.
This is shocking in that its still occurring.
And its a (hurtle) over a previous barrier to IDE to DVD "Simulation".
Last edited by jwillis84; 18th May 2020 at 12:03.
Wow.. literally minutes after I typed this. I got an encouraging message back from the designer/programmer.
He didn't think it would be too much trouble, but somehow the device has to respond to a "blank - media type" request before it will start the burning process.. so he has to come up with a simple method to do that.
Last edited by jwillis84; 18th May 2020 at 01:46.