VideoHelp Forum

Our website is made possible by displaying online advertisements to our visitors. Consider supporting us by disable your adblocker or Try ConvertXtoDVD and convert all your movies to DVD. Free trial ! :)
+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 5 of 5
Thread
  1. I've been experimenting with my setup and doing some test captures, and thought there was a chance some on this forum may like to play along at home. The source is a relatively noisy but fairly stable off-air VHS recording, and the end result is a Lagarith capture via a Hauppauge USB-Live2. But what hardware have I used in between? Well, in the interests of science and impartiality, I'll leave it a little while, and if there's any interest in this thread, I'll give all the details then.

    There follows 10 screenshots - each from a slightly different setup - and attached below that are 10 corresponding video samples for your perusal. (I realise these are big files so this may be overkill, but take your pick.) Each of the samples have been through a "Direct stream copy" in VirtualDub to match their starting point, so they can easily be dropped into the NLE of your choice and compared by eye and with whatever scopes you like. The files are 25fps PAL, 4:3, interlaced (upper field first), YUY2, with no audio.

    Which is your favourite? Any and all observations and opinions will be interesting to read, and I'll do my best to answer any questions you may have.

    Screenshot A
    Image
    [Attachment 50136 - Click to enlarge]


    Screenshot B
    Image
    [Attachment 50137 - Click to enlarge]


    Screenshot C
    Image
    [Attachment 50138 - Click to enlarge]


    Screenshot D
    Image
    [Attachment 50139 - Click to enlarge]


    Screenshot E
    Image
    [Attachment 50140 - Click to enlarge]


    Screenshot F
    Image
    [Attachment 50141 - Click to enlarge]


    Screenshot G
    Image
    [Attachment 50142 - Click to enlarge]


    Screenshot H
    Image
    [Attachment 50143 - Click to enlarge]


    Screenshot I
    Image
    [Attachment 50144 - Click to enlarge]


    Screenshot J
    Image
    [Attachment 50145 - Click to enlarge]
    Image Attached Files
    Quote Quote  
  2. Mountains of gear vaporeon800's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Location
    Vancouver, Canada
    Search PM
    Something wrong with one of the heads on the VCR that recorded this? Even-numbered fields look less noisy. Odds play back with more noise, more halos, more rainbows, more wiggle... The alternation during the crowd shot at the end is fantastic.

    And a minor thing I noticed: at least with some of the files, at the top of the screen, in the middle, there are a few lines with an artifact that alternates between green and magenta every frame.

    Now the meat. Hopefully I didn't typo any of the letters. It was fun, but I should get to bed now, so I can't go any further.

    ---

    A, B, J were played back on VCR1, using the composite output.
    - A: heavy rainbows
    - B: minimal rainbows, notable 3D comb filter errors (dots in saturated colors and especially along the head-switching noise)
    - J: tough to tell comb filtering through the diagonal mess

    VCR1 has better dropout compensation than VCR2 (seen at 0:08).

    C, F, H: VCR2 adds halos and a sort of diffuse outline
    D, E, G: VCR2 sharpening increased; more halos, less diffuse-ness
    (VCR1 is not halo-free, mind you.)

    Except for A & B, all of the samples are shifted down 2 lines via added black (1 line per field). E & F have Widescreen Signaling (WSS) added to the first half of analog line 23, which I have seen with samples from PAL LG DVD recorders.

    A, C, D are direct to capture device from VCR: the head-switching area extends all the way from the left to the right edge, which violates analog blanking.

    A, D have wiggles. C has fewer wiggles, so C has VCR TBC on.

    Much less rainbowing with C, D compared to A so I will assume that VCR2's S-Video output has been used.

    F is VCR TBC & DVD recorder TBC both used.
    E is VCR TBC off & DVD recorder TBC used.

    H, I are also VCR TBC on, but I can't guess what's in between the VCR and the capture device.

    G straightens lines below the head-switch point, so VCR TBC is off and a different TBC is used. Panasonic passthrough?

    The frame that's numbered 316 in the others is missing from H, and the complete file is 1 frame shorter.
    Last edited by vaporeon800; 18th Sep 2019 at 02:52.
    Quote Quote  
  3. That's sensationally impressive, vaporeon800 - you're right about practically everything, you've spotted just about all that I wanted to bring up, and you've even raised a couple of points I hadn't noticed! I'll address your post straight under this one, but first the explanation...

    I used two tape decks for these samples - one VHS and one SVHS:

    VHS = Sharp VCMH704
    SVHS = Panasonic NV-HS1000

    I also used two DVD recorders for passthrough:

    Sony = Sony RDR-GX350
    Pana = Panasonic DMR-ES10

    Where I list either [Scart|Composite] or [Scart|S-Video], I'm using this style of 'breakout' cable:

    Image
    [Attachment 50584 - Click to enlarge]


    The point really is that the VHS and Sony are consumer-level products which I bought for normal consumer reasons way back, while the SVHS and the Pana are more recent purchases and my attempt to upgrade specifically for capturing. How do they compare? Here are the chains I used for the above samples:

    Capture A
    VHS - [Scart|Composite] - Hauppauge

    Capture B
    VHS - [Scart|Composite] - Sony - [S-video] - Hauppauge

    Capture C
    SVHS (TBC&AI on) - [Scart|S-Video] - Hauppauge

    Capture D
    SVHS (TBC&AI off) - [Scart|S-Video] - Hauppauge

    Capture E
    SVHS (TBC&AI off) - [Scart|S-Video] - Sony - [S-video] - Hauppauge

    Capture F
    SVHS (TBC&AI on) - [Scart|S-Video] - Sony - [S-video] - Hauppauge

    Capture G
    SVHS (TBC&AI off) - [S-video] - Pana - [Scart|S-Video] - Hauppauge

    Capture H
    SVHS (TBC&AI on) - [S-video] - Pana - [Scart|S-Video] - Hauppauge

    Capture I
    SVHS (TBC&AI on) - [Scart|S-Video] - Pana (front) - [Scart|S-Video] - Hauppauge

    Capture J
    VHS - [Scart|Composite] - Pana (front) - [Scart|S-Video] - Hauppauge

    (The AI switch is supposed to be a one-stop-shop for the SVHS's optimal settings - the jury's very much still out on that particular claim - and it overrides certain settings made elsewhere. It's recommended to be used in conjunction with the TBC, so I've basically treated them as one - either both on or both off.)
    Quote Quote  
  4. Originally Posted by vaporeon800 View Post
    Something wrong with one of the heads on the VCR that recorded this? Even-numbered fields look less noisy. Odds play back with more noise, more halos, more rainbows, more wiggle... The alternation during the crowd shot at the end is fantastic.
    I think you're right - it's part of the recording rather than a playback problem. That wasn't part of the test, though.

    And a minor thing I noticed: at least with some of the files, at the top of the screen, in the middle, there are a few lines with an artifact that alternates between green and magenta every frame.
    I hadn't even spotted that, and now I can't unsee it! No idea what can cause that - some sort of chroma shift? I'm not going to lose any sleep over it, though.

    A, B, J were played back on VCR1, using the composite output.
    100% correct.

    - A: heavy rainbows
    That's the direct capture, so I suppose that makes sense.

    - B: minimal rainbows, notable 3D comb filter errors (dots in saturated colors and especially along the head-switching noise)
    That's going through the Sony, which to my eyes improves the picture (over a direct capture), but also introduces problems. I think there may be level issues with it in that it dulls the highlights slightly, and going from a very light picture to black usually results in an intermediate navy blue frame. (The latter's not evident from these samples, of course.)

    - J: tough to tell comb filtering through the diagonal mess
    Yes, I and J are the only samples going through the Pana's front inputs (one composite, one S-video), which are fundamentally broken. I've no idea whether this is a problem with my specific one, or whether the ES10 has this issue in general.

    VCR1 has better dropout compensation than VCR2 (seen at 0:08).
    YES. This has been a real bugbear of mine, ever since I got the SVHS. In fact, it's almost a deal-breaker - for all the problems the VHS has, the intrusive glitches served up by the SVHS are just about enough for me to go with the former. Am I mad for thinking that way?

    C, F, H: VCR2 adds halos and a sort of diffuse outline
    Those are the ones with the TBC and AI switched on.

    D, E, G: VCR2 sharpening increased; more halos, less diffuse-ness
    TBC and AI off, which means that the Sharpness slider kicks in. Now, there's a notch that causes the slider to come to rest in the centre, which led me to assume that was the neutral position (and that's how all of these were captured). Now I'm not so sure.

    (VCR1 is not halo-free, mind you.)
    I've searched the menus for a sharpness or noise reduction setting, but there isn't one. It's probably set to artificially sharpen slightly. (That said, some of the ghosting may be poor reception when recording. So many variables!)

    Except for A & B, all of the samples are shifted down 2 lines via added black (1 line per field).
    Those are the direct captures. Looks like both my DVD recorders do the two-line shift.

    E & F have Widescreen Signaling (WSS) added to the first half of analog line 23, which I have seen with samples from PAL LG DVD recorders.
    Both SVHS through Sony. Strange.

    A, C, D are direct to capture device from VCR: the head-switching area extends all the way from the left to the right edge, which violates analog blanking.
    Absolutely - well spotted!

    A, D have wiggles. C has fewer wiggles, so C has VCR TBC on.
    Ditto

    Much less rainbowing with C, D compared to A so I will assume that VCR2's S-Video output has been used.
    Indeed - always S-video where possible.

    F is VCR TBC & DVD recorder TBC both used.
    E is VCR TBC off & DVD recorder TBC used.
    Yes. Well, it's the Sony DVD recorder, so whether that counts as a TBC or not is up for debate, but in essence you're right.

    H, I are also VCR TBC on, but I can't guess what's in between the VCR and the capture device.
    It's the legendary ES10!

    G straightens lines below the head-switch point, so VCR TBC is off and a different TBC is used. Panasonic passthrough?
    There we are.

    The frame that's numbered 316 in the others is missing from H, and the complete file is 1 frame shorter.
    Yes - well spotted (again). I found this particularly ironic as, on paper, H should be the most stable of all the captures (SVHS, TBC, ES10...), yet it's the only one that skipped a frame.

    Thanks for taking the time to download, watch, and reply. Do you find any of the above surprising? I'm still tinkering and trying to get the best setup that I can, so any and all suggestions will be gratefully received and considered. I may even post a couple more samples. You have been warned!
    Last edited by Mr Chris; 18th Oct 2019 at 17:16.
    Quote Quote  
  5. Originally Posted by Mr Chris View Post
    That's going through the Sony, which to my eyes improves the picture (over a direct capture), but also introduces problems. I think there may be level issues with it in that it dulls the highlights slightly, and going from a very light picture to black usually results in an intermediate navy blue frame. (The latter's not evident from these samples, of course.)
    I have the HDD version (RDR-HX750) of this, I do captures from the HDMI output. Based on the manuals the GX350 seemed to have the same TBC capabilities (same NEC chipset). There are some brightness/level settings that can be adjusted on these to play around with under Picture adjustment, it's set separately for each input. I don't remember the exact settings, but I have changed them a little. To avoid clipping adjust black/white level a bit and enable White AGC which brings down the white level a little if it's too high as the HDMI output is limited to 16-235. Doesn't need as much adjustment for analog outputs. There is also noise reduction on/off and comb filter settings there. My subjective impression is that putting 3D Y/C (comb filter) all the way to the right (Still) worked the best for VHS sources when using the composite in but ymmv.

    Originally Posted by Mr Chris View Post
    Yes, I and J are the only samples going through the Pana's front inputs (one composite, one S-video), which are fundamentally broken. I've no idea whether this is a problem with my specific one, or whether the ES10 has this issue in general.
    I think it's a common issue with PAL panasonics. My ES10 has several borked (non-working) inputs, which includes working S-Video input. What I've read suggests it's the input/output switcher chip that breaks for whatever reason, possibly due to the dodgy capacitors they used in the power supply that frequency fail (replaced 2 bulgy and leaking ones in mine but it didn't fix the issue).

    I have a EH57 as well, which seems have pretty similar tbc capabilities, it has a similar issue and was completely dead until I replaced a bad power supply capacitor that had blown. Thankfully one of the S-Video inputs still work on this one.

    One issue I have with both, and I've been told is a problem with other PAL panasonic DVDRs as well is that they clip bright spots, so on tapes where I need them I have to reduce the video signal level before it gets into the recorder if I don't want them to be badly clipped.

    YES. This has been a real bugbear of mine, ever since I got the SVHS. In fact, it's almost a deal-breaker - for all the problems the VHS has, the intrusive glitches served up by the SVHS are just about enough for me to go with the former. Am I mad for thinking that way?
    I have the same beef with the NV-HS1000 we got here. I did some adjustments that made it a bit better, avoiding the black lines at least, though the DOC is still not great even when comparing with lower-end decks. It seems to be very limited in how many lines of dropout the DOC is active for before turning to noise. It may be that there is something else that can be done to improve it but I haven't found anything so far. Maybe the adjustment will help for you as well, though it's a bit tricky as it's hard to see the video and adjust at the same time (it's supposed to be serviced with some extension cables so the boards can be taken out but have to make do without that.)

    Note that there are two revisions of the NV-HS1000 (in addition to variations with different tuners), it seems the newer one (NV-HS1000 EGC/BYP/ECP) improved the DOC a bit among other changes, and the video head drum is different. The one we got here is the older EC variant, since you have the same issues I'm guessing that's what you have as well.

    The bad DOC, and tendency for the heads to get clogged makes me not use it very much unless I'm dealing with a pristine tape.

    TBC and AI off, which means that the Sharpness slider kicks in. Now, there's a notch that causes the slider to come to rest in the centre, which led me to assume that was the neutral position (and that's how all of these were captured). Now I'm not so sure.
    I've found it to be a bit too sharp at the middle, so I turn it town a bit further. AI seems to always be a bit too sharp. Keep in mind VCRs are set up with viewing on a CRT in mind so it's not uncommon for them to over-sharpen a bit. You can also turn off most of the filtering (disables sharpness and AI settings) by changing one of the switches on the front from player to passive. I find it to be a bit sharp and it can get overly noisy on crummy tapes though.
    Last edited by oln; 18th Oct 2019 at 19:57.
    Quote Quote  



Similar Threads