Wow, it's already over two years since you have started this thread, Have you concluded that the VCR line TBC is inferior to the eval. board's line TBC? I would keep it on all the time and use the external line TBC for problematic tapes, Could you post two samples one with VCR LTBC ON and one with the board' LTBC ON using the same scene from the same tape?
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Sometimes it still feels like 2019...
I purposely went with a S-VHS deck that had little to no bells and whistles. There's no TBC functionality to turn on or off (unless there's something built into this early 2000s deck that is always on and I haven't seen documented anywhere).
I'm also banking on 2011 integrated chip tech to outperform what was available a decade earlier Adaptive Digital Line Length Tracking
Disabling the frame TBC on the ADV7842 often led to dropped frames. Disabling the line TBC seemed more subtle (when the frame TBC was already on) and I didn't pixel peep for too long to highlight the differences - figured it wouldn't hurt to have it on regardless.
Last edited by petet; 23rd Jan 2023 at 06:08. Reason: clarity
The ADLLT is quite a technology, when I acquired the S&W TBS-800 I was shocked that it fixed baked in line errors found in a second gen dub tape, I believe it doesn't care about the HBI signal put by the dubbing VCR, it just averages signal to noise ratio and predicts where the actual line should start from, Otherwise it doesn't make sense that the VCR's LTBC could not fix those errors and the TBS-800 did. However for normal tapes, VCR's LTBC has the advantage of working out of a freshly decoded clean Y signal while an external LTBC works out of a noisy Y signal, it's worse when composite is used.
Some electrical engineering automagic for sure.
Going the vhs-decode route seems to offer all the glory of that still rather dirty 'clean' Y signal at the test points. I saw other documentation for random TBCs that had 8 or less bits of digital processioning, so I just wanted to cut out as many ICs between me and the signal without going down the rabbit hole of what VHS deck has the cleanest test points and best drum/mechanics setup feeding those points... always something!
I think that answers my own question, I think I found my limit! Some stop at easycap, some pull out the big guns, and everyone else is is playing junkyard wars on ebay.