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  1. Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
    Location
    Atlanta
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    Hey - I have a question and wanted to find out if I could get any help.

    I transfer video tapes to digital format and use cameras to connect to my computer and a VCR player. The program that I use to convert the videos is Pinnacle Studio 21, but I have run into a problem when I try converting VHS-C tapes.

    With all other tapes, I will get a nice full screen video, not always a great picture quality, but with both other camera formats and from a VCR. I connect the cameras through a Dazzle and have never really had a problem, but when I ever play a VHS-C tape through the Pinnacle program the picture quality drops. The bottom of the video will be curved and the whole picture frame will look the same. I've attached a picture of the video when playing back and you can see all of the curves in the frame. The audio is fine.

    Now, I've tried three different cameras and they all look the same, but when I play them in the cameras, the picture looks fine. It's just when I connect it to my computer when the picture changes and looks terrible.

    What causes this and what can I do to get a better copy of these video tapes? As I've said, I use other cameras and a VCR that all work fine and have nice pictures, it's just when I try to convert VHS-C tapes where this starts. And yeah, I have tried a VCR tape where the VHS-C cassette fits inside of it to be played in a VCR, but the quality drops. I would say that it was just these tapes, but it happens every time I try to play a VHS-C tape through Pinnacle.

    Any ideas? I thought about transferring the VHS-C tapes to VCR tapes, but the time it would take to do this for all of them would take days and to always do it in the future scares me.

    Thanks for any help,
    Sean

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    [Attachment 49706 - Click to enlarge]
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  2. You need a line time base corrector. Most S-VHS decks had them but finding one in good working order is difficult. Many old DVD recorders have them -- just pass the signal through the recorder before the capture device. It probably won't do much for the head switching noise at the bottom of the frame. Another VHS deck might do a little better. But the best solution is to just crop it away.
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  3. I won't argue against using a time base corrector, but given how you describe the problem,
    but when I play them in the cameras, the picture looks fine.
    your problem may not be time base errors. In particular, if the VHS-C tapes play OK in the original camcorder, then the real issue may be a tracking problem. You can try using the manual tracking adjustment (consult your VHS deck owner's manual). The other thing would be to simply use the camcorder as the playback deck. I've done this before and it usually completely eliminates any issues which result from the differences in alignment between the original recording device and the playback machine.
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  4. Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
    Location
    Atlanta
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    I am using the camcorder as the playback device and that's what I don't understand. It looks fine while playing in the camcorder, but when it shows up on my computer screen is when everything goes bad.

    As for a TBC, what would you recommend? I'm not looking to spend too much. The problem there is to find one that's good and has a good price, not a cheap one just to say I'm using one. I will probably buy one, but make sure that if it doesn't change anything, I can return it.
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  5. Computer capture devices are much more sensitive to time base errors than the display built into the camcorder.

    The old Panasonic ES10 and ES15 are know to be good for TBC passthrough. The DVD drive doesn't need to be functional.
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