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  1. Why in gods name are time base correctors so expensive? Some type of conspiracy like printer ink? Is there an international union of video preservation/conversion workers conspiring to keep the technology in the hands of an elite few?

    All joking aside does anyone know why the cost is so high?

    If it's corporate greed, why not crowd source fund and assign some freelance engineers to come up with a piece of hardware that works and is economical?
    Last edited by AmigaFanBoy; 14th Nov 2019 at 04:13.
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  2. dunno, but you can start one yourself
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    Why are Amigas so expensive? Same reason, supply and demand. As for crowd sourcing, limited demand for a high priced niche product not needed for non-analog video.
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  4. Time-base correctors were expensive high-end professional equipment when they were made, and now they are getting more scarce. There is nothing magic about them though, the datavideo and cypress TBCs are really just a pair off-the-shelf video decoder (philips) and encoder chips(varies) with some memory to buffer frames in between and a FPGA chip to set up some settings and make the buttons change things on the chips. DVD recorders arent all that different in how they act with video being passed through them, thought they have to abide by macrovision, and usually lack the adjustments one might want such as turning off agc and setting levels right to avoid clipping. For whatever reason (probably cost) capture devices usually don't contain the extra memory and buffer to cope with all of the instability one gets with a tape source like VHS, but it would certainly be doable to make a capture card with the same capability as a standalone TBC.

    You can see an example of a home-made TBC here (datasheet) which is based around the same video decoder used in the AVT-8710. Of course one could go further and incorporate a video decoder chip that contains functionality to correct horizontal jitter as well.
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    I paid $300 for my TBC-1000 in the late 90's / early 00's and it was cheap compared to anything else on the market at the time. Ironically, I bought it primarily for it's distribution amp because Betamax machines generally ignored Macrovision.
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    If one would design a capture card/TBC it would have composite/S-video/component inputs and digital output only to save money, So it would have line TBC, a frame TBC and frame to video processor and out via USB, Such evaluation boards already exist like the EVAL-ADV7842-7511P it just needs someone with coding and PCB design skills to make a final product.
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    Originally Posted by AmigaFanBoy View Post
    Why in gods name are time base correctors so expensive?
    Define expensive. The best TBCs were almost always in the $500+ range, with some notable exceptions. And there are equally lots of cheap TBCs that are not suggested for certain tasks (ie, don't use rackmounts on VHS, etc).

    why not crowd source fund
    Costs will be higher than you think, I've looked into this. And crowdfund tends to have niche/expensive pricing, not Walmart/Aliexpress pricing, so forget about it somehow being cheaper than what we're able to get from existing sources.

    Originally Posted by lingyi View Post
    I paid $300 for my TBC-1000 in the late 90's / early 00's and it was cheap compared to anything else on the market at the time.
    Before somebody reads that sentence, and stupidly think a TBC-1000 should be $300, don't forget inflation, and market conditions (supply chains, volume profits). Also understand the TBC-1000 was $500 by EOL in mid 2000s. There were small windows where certain new/used TBCs were a steal, but that didn't last long. I don't think I ever saw the TBC-1000 for as low as $300 new, even at B&H or those shady NYC dealers.

    Originally Posted by oln View Post
    Time-base correctors were expensive high-end professional equipment when they were made, and now they are getting more scarce.
    Yep, that's it. The devices had a high new price, and somewhat lower (but still not cheap) used price. When discontinued, user price rose to new price, plus inflation. A few choice models went even higher due to the eBay effect.

    Originally Posted by oln View Post
    the datavideo and cypress TBCs are really just a pair off-the-shelf video decoder (philips) and encoder chips(varies) with some memory to buffer frames
    The problem is the chips. Good chips are no longer fabbed, which is a primary reason that led to the TBCs being discontinued (though I'm sure slumping sales didn't help, as we move more into digital era, and analog>digital became more a legacy task, though still with steady traffic of latecomers).

    Originally Posted by oln View Post
    in between and a FPGA chip to set up some settings and make the buttons change things on the chips. DVD recorders arent all that different in how they act with video
    but it would certainly be doable to make a capture card with the same capability as a standalone TBC.
    DVD recorders and capture cards probably could have incorporated some of these, but it would have driven up costs, remembering that the primary audience of cards was really PVR/TV and not truly capture outside of uber-budget cards, and not tape transfer that needs it.
    Last edited by lordsmurf; 8th Dec 2019 at 01:19. Reason: typo
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    My TBC-1000 was definitely $299.99 back then. I think I got it directly from datavideo from an ad in a video magazine. The price did start rising after that, I think to $399 the last I checked. As I said, I got it primarily for the distribution amp, which were sold separately for $100-$200 back then. I didn't even know what a TBC was, just that could [it] could bypass Macrovision which was a secondary purpose for me as I'd already moved on to Asian movies which didn't have Macrovision anyway. It conked out after a few years of use and I called datavideo and asked how much it would be to repair and I think I was quoted $200 and just the power brick (hoping it was just that) was $50 or $70. It sat in my closet for years and I think I just tossed it after trying to give it away on Craigslist.
    Last edited by lingyi; 8th Dec 2019 at 00:49.
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    Looking back on it, I must have gotten it in the mid to late 90's since the majority of the Asian movies [I watched] were primarily available, often exclusively on Laserdisc [in the late 90's] which is why I didn't have a need for it.

    Edit: @ lordsmurf

    Keep in mind that I was an unusual consumer with unusual needs, often early adopting equipment that most consumers wouldn't need or even know existed. I remember seeing a $600 Sony matrix video switcher at a store and asking the salesperson about it. He looked at me and said "Why would you need one?". I explained I already had more than six Betamax(s) at that point. Fortunately, I knew someone at Sony and managed to get one.

    An example is I got the PC version of the Video Spigot circa 1996 for $149 or $199 when the more powerful Mac version was going for over $500. The price for the PC version went up before disappearing from the market.
    Last edited by lingyi; 8th Dec 2019 at 02:00.
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