SECAM-L VHS capturing project:
I've ordered the following VCRs from a couple of French sources:
Combi Lecteur VHS DVD LG DVS7700
Magnétoscope SONY SLV-SE720
I understand that straight TBC devices are hard to come by and some are choosing to obtain VHS/DVD combo units which can serve as TBCs. E.g.: Panasonic DMR-ES10.
Here's my questions:
1. Any VHS/DVD combo units which can a.) serve as a TBC for pass-through, and b.) support a SECAM-L for the pass-through?
2. The LG DVS7700 appears to be a DVD player.
3. On the box for a tape I am looking to capture, it actually says SECAM. But I've read in other threads & forums that there are no actual SECAM tapes? Is this true? Thus even though the tape I'm looking to capture says SECAM on the box it's really just a PAL VHS cassette?
4. I'm poking around some of the French sale sites and I see a small number of VHS DVD combo units which can actually burn DVDs - a key to such units having some TBC function? But it's fairly hard to check to see which will allow the proper workflow: Playing a VHS tape from Franch which says SECAM on the box (but which might be PAL because SECAM was only broadcast). Having some TBC function to deal with the signal. Capturing device on my computer.
5. Anyway I don't know what a European equivalent is of a DMR-ES10 which can handle this SECAM (PAL?) VHS cassette from France, to perform the TBC function.
6. Are any of the USB capture devices reasonable? This one claims to support SECAM & PAL: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0029U2YSA/
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Like I already stated in the other thread, if you actually bothered to read what was written, there IS a difference between a French VHS and a French DVD.
So whilst SECAM-L is a broadcast standard, same for that matter as is NTSC and PAL, and all their variants, all original VHS cassettes for the French market were SECAM. Play a SECAM tape in a PAL vcr and you will not get color.
Fast forward to the digital age and France moved from SECAM to PAL. And all DVDs for the French market are PAL. Which is the sole reason why I inferred that a VCR/DVD combi for the French market would play a SECAM tape but author the resultant DVD as PAL.
Now there is a potential conflict. Our French friends acquiring such a unit and still want to play their SECAM tapes in to a tv that was accepting PAL dvds could find an issue. I do not know for sure but I would imagine that French TV's had some means of converting the SECAM signal to PAL. And as you already stated that conversion might have be done in the combi itself by means of a signal-out setting.
But without any input from French members then you will have to play the tape in a SECAM player to find out. Of course a capture device that also supports SECAM will be more useful than one that only supports PAL (and NTSC). Same goes for the need of a TBC.
And was a new thread really necessary ?
Greetings, Thanks for your responses. Seemed appropriate to pose new questions in capture.
Info re there not actually being SECAM VHS came from a separate thread researched, but sounds like that info is incorrect - that yes there are actually SECAM VHS cassettes and a SECAM player is required.
Have read ADVC-300 is not a sub for TBC, but there's mostly no TBCs available as such anymore (right?), except for what a DVD-burning VHS playing combo unit can provide (DMR-ES10). Thus I've been trying to do my homework.
Answers perceived thus far:
Q: 1. Any VHS/DVD combo units which can a.) serve as a TBC for pass-through, and b.) support a SECAM-L for the pass-through?
(Observed & perceived) A: Only a handful of units available anyway. Perhaps not knowable unless I go & buy several.
Q. 2. The LG DVS7700 appears to be a DVD player.
A: Passthrough TBC? Maybe not as it's not a DVD burner.
Q. 3. On the box for a tape I am looking to capture, it actually says SECAM. But I've read in other threads & forums that there are no actual SECAM tapes? Is this true? Thus even though the tape I'm looking to capture says SECAM on the box it's really just a PAL VHS cassette?
A: Yes there are actual SECAM tapes.
Q 4. I'm poking around some of the French sale sites and I see a small number of VHS DVD combo units which can actually burn DVDs - a key to such units having some TBC function? But it's fairly hard to check to see which will allow the proper workflow: Playing a VHS tape from Franch which says SECAM on the box (but which might be PAL because SECAM was only broadcast). Having some TBC function to deal with the signal. Capturing device on my computer.
A: See A1.
Q 5. Anyway I don't know what a European equivalent is of a DMR-ES10 which can handle this SECAM (PAL?) VHS cassette from France, to perform the TBC function.
A: Only as handful of units left which are DVD burning VHS playing combo units which do SECAM, maybe. At least a few ads claim they do SECAM, but as to what part of the required workflow they'll do is an open question.
Q 6. Are any of the USB capture devices reasonable? This one claims to support SECAM & PAL: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0029U2YSA/
A: On this point I hearing more no votes, but in a few threads I found it seems some liked the more pricey ones (?), but they also reportedly burn out over time.
In any case I've ordered a couple of decks. I'll see what I get. I may pay a service to do the rest after I try to see what I get first with the decks I'm getting. And while it's true that I'm only doing one film, seems like there's a few other interesting one which might be fun to convert / save.
Also the availability of conversion tech is apparently fading and it's true that time is money. Reg TBCs gone. Only passthrough TBC via DVD-burning-VHS-playing combo units I guess - at least re what I can still easily buy. But getting such units to reliably support SECAM? Well maybe I'll just buy one of the last 8 apparently available and see.
If these machines are under 20 years old.....you just wasted your money.
I Googled the Sony, that's a normal PAL machine that displays NTSC and SECAM(MESECAM).....no mention of SECAM-L.
SECAM-L is a completely different animal.
The 'argument' about an ADVC-300 is well known in these pages.
I have contributed to this 'argument'. But I can only write of my own experience since I have used one for many years. When I was capturing direct from the vcr to the capture card/device I would experience the typical 'tearing'/unstable issues. Some time later I acquired an ADVC-300 and was active in the 'trading' market. So you can imagine that VHS I received could be 2nd or even 3rd generation copies. Yet I can not recall a single tape that did not pass through the ADV without any such issue. So whilst it may bot be classed as a TBC it does, as far as I am concerned, does have some line-TBC qualities.
For fun and excitement I'm now in theory receiving three units:
Pioneer DVR-RT602H-S Lecteur DVD VHS / DivX avec disque dur de 80 Go
Combi Lecteur VHS DVD LG DVS7700
Magnétoscope SONY SLV-SE720
We'll see if any of these can play SECAM (not MESECAM) natively and ok.
Also interesting to see if the DVR-RT602H-S can do some sort of a pseudo-TBC via passthrough.
I may consider additional hardware but this is what I'm starting with, plus some capture device. Got an HP 8300 CMT tower with some empty slots.
Separately for my smallish domestic collection of VHS tapes, a few years ago I gave up a Funai ZV427FX4. I really don't have a strong need to burn to DVDs though. Rather just do capture & then burn later. Probably giving up the Funai was a mistake, before actually converting all of my domestic tapes. Should I repent from my mistake & get another ZV427FX4? I'm ok with a combo unit which can burn DVDs, but it's not a requirement.
My out of work JVC HR-8600MS could transcode PAL->secam and Secam->pal), i'm reading the manual now but with some limitations:
- How well does it perform doing that i don't know (the manual suggest it's best to keep original signals)
- the internal TBC will not work with secam signals (B,L ...whatever).
Thus, assuming you find such vcr you could use a dvd recorder or dedicated TBC to correct the PAL signal
The above pic reminds me of visits to Belgium.
Now Belgium was a PAL country but since part of it is French-speaking one could get quite a lot of SECAM tapes alongside the PAL ones in the stores - had to be quite dilligent when you were shopping (and frustrated when the film you really wanted was only on a SECAM tape)
hech54 wrote: "You are wasting your time."
Because all the machines I'm getting are under 20 years old?
How can one obtain a 20+ year old SECAM (French) VHS player, that still works?
Any good models you'd recommend out on ebay.fr or fr.shopping.rakuten.com?
The tapes definitely say VHS SECAM on the case edges.
Separately, for NTSC: ZV427FX4 go or no go? What's your vote? If you see a unit on ebay or amazon you'd recommend let me know. Thanks.
YOU NEED A SECAM-L VCR.
Both of my PAL VCRs (Panasonic and Philips) say they can handle SECAM....but the DO NOT handle French SECAM-L
If I drive out of my driveway and turn left.....drive for 5 hours....I'M IN FRANCE.
I still have not found a straight French SECAM-L VCR.
Even my hugely expensive Aiwa HV-MX100 that I had in America could not do a SECAM-L tape(according to it's spec sheet - never tried one)
Why don't you pick up a PAL U-Matic tape too while you are at it.
This is the list I have of SECAM-L machines:
HITACHI VT 598EM
Never found any, so unverified.
I know the Samsung SV-7000W does SECAM-L, and at least one the Panasonic AG-W# models (not sure which, 7000 rebadges it), but it's a plain VHS VCR, and I'm not a fan. It's a last resort, least-worst option (ie nothing, no option). My only SECAM-L capable deck went years ago, and I never even used it for SECAM-L. It was rarer than something like MicroMV, of which we do still have a working camera (at least last I checked, not been used in years).
I've even looked into re-chipping a Panasonic machine with the SECAM-L decoding chip.....micro soldering is a young man's thing.
Out of le three machines being sent by some French people to me, via a Germany package forwarding place because the Frenchy website used to order sometimes doesn't allow shipping to the USA, hopefully at least one will play SECAM-L. Need to let the German folks send the units to me & for me to test, before I can make that determination apparently, because online I can only find service manuals for the units, not user manuals. On the front of all the units it says SECAM PAL. So one would hope that SECAM & PAL players in France & sold by French people would actually play SECAM-L tapes. But perhaps SECAM-L was so out of style, even in France, that such players won't play SECAM-L? Hmmm. We'll see...
Or, as our French friend stated above.
The French vcr plays SECAM but transcodes to PAL output for more 'modern' TV's
That same vcr could still output a pure SECAM-L signal but you would have to rely on your capture device to detect it accordingly.