I've been reading a lot on these forums and digitalfaq and elsewhere, trying to figure out how to proceed. So I got a bunch of hi8 tapes, and some video8, and I wanna digitize them losslessly. The camcorder we had only had composite out, a CCD-TRV36 and a CCD-TRV108, I think. So I just bought a used CCD-TRV87, which should have s video and appears to be the latest model that had XR support, I might not find that useful but eh.
Bought a capture card too, a Datapath VisionRGB E1S. This was bought mainly for retro gaming capture, since it appears to be able to handle 240p from analogue RGB. In fact, it only supports analogue RGB, YPbPr, and DVI/HDMI. I'll need a way to, either digitize the s video signal from the camcorder first, or get a s video exclusive capture card. I can do either, it doesn't hurt. I'll be sticking with Windows 10, and AmarecTV. I've had good results with Amarec versus VirtualDub but I don't mind trying either, whichever works.
I attempted something like this back in 2014, and was able to get my hands on a Datavideo TBC-1000. It was pretty nice, unfortunately they're ridiculously expensive now, like $1000 on ebay. That ain't happenin'. Returned it on Ebay, so now I'm now looking for alternatives. A lot of the TBC and/or Frame Synchronizers I've been finding on Ebay are Rackmount and from the 90s. That just screams no. I'd rather get recent equipment if possible.
I heard about these DVD recorders acting as passthrough. Supposedly they're not as good as the datavideo or the green avt-8710, but they're good enough it seems. I wouldn't mind settling for one. Do they all have DNR? I really don't wanna have to remove noise from my captures. I'd rather do that in post production. If I could avoid DNR, that'd be preferable. I know there's a big population of people that love film grain, for example.
Recently, I stumbled upon a thread that talked about the ADV7842 Eval board. Now that seems like a nice digitizer/tbc/3d comb filtering/misc chip. I wouldn't mind getting one of those. It would also simplify my setup, since I could plug the output of that eval board into my visionrgb. Anyone have any experiences with this eval board? Any issues?
Think that's everything I got. Please let me know if my questions can be answered. Thanks!
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If you are wanting to save money on a TBC, and don't ever care to have a TBC for VHS. You might look into getting a Digital8 camcorder which many of them had builtin TBCs. Like my DCR-TRV460. My old thread about it. https://forum.videohelp.com/threads/381533-Video8-Player-vs-Digital8-Camcorder-for-capturing-Video8 Many Digital8 cameras should still be fairly cheap but just be sure to read the manual to verify it has it before buying.
I looked at your current Hi8 camera and it does not seem to have a TBC.
External TBC / Frame synchronizer will not have a DNR, Only line TBC inside the VCR or camcorder will have it, you want that DNR because later on noise in the video will drive the compression algorithm nuts, you want the noise gone first unless you capture lossless for editing and digital cleanup and compress at last.
Hey Karma so thanks for replying. Actually the CCD-TRV87 does have a line TBC. I checked the manual just to confirm and sure enough it's there. You can take a look. I'm mainly looking for a frame synchronizer, that's why I asked people's opinions on that ADV7842 EVAL board, as it has a really nice chip and it says it can handle signals like vhs and tape. I know there's like one other person on these forums who's used it. Forget the name.
Check out page 57. Looks like it also has a DNR. I'll have to turn that off, at least I have the option.
Yeah dellsam34, I'm actually planning on capturing lossless and then compressing it later. I was asking about the DNR in DVD recorders, because I know a lot of people use that here as a pass through before the vhs signal goes in their capture cards. I was saying if I had to use that, I would prefer if DNR was not active or at least minimized.
I know DNR is frowned upon for film, like film grain, so I was taking a similar concept to tape. With DNR I might lose fine detail in the VHS and/or Hi8 captures, so if I could turn that off, the better.
If anyone has any experience with that EVAL board, hit me up! Or some other recent analog devices like chip. The frame synchronizer is the last part of my workflow for this, already have a line TBC.
Don't underestimate the benefits of DNR on noisy consumer video sources, It mainly cleans up the chroma noise (nasty blue and red grains) and hardly eliminates luma grains, it's a pretty clever circuitry if you ask me. Do a test with and without DNR for each tape and turn off as necessary, because once it's digitized that noise is permanent and eliminating it in the digital domain can be a problem. I rarely had to turn it off and I do test with every tape and every scene in the tape but almost all the time I get better results with it being ON.
Ok that's cool see. I was looking at a photocopied version of the manual that wasn't searchable by text. I like the TBC in my camera, it's probably the same or similar to this model.
Hey thanks everyone for replying! I'll definitely try the DNR then, who knows it might make it better not worse. Maybe the common wisdom for film grain doesn't apply to tape? I've always thought you could apply a software DNR in post production? That's what I heard a lot of people do when they're remastering old classics for bluray and they don't want noise. Like I heard a big fuss about that for the DBZ blurays.
You know....I'm thinking about switching up my capture card to that Magewell Pro Capture AIO. I've heard it uses the ADV7842 chip but unfortunately it's disabled a lot of the features like 3D comb filtering or any line TBC or frame synchronizer. I know there's FLP437 who still uses it regardless it's missing these features, and it appears to work great for 240p games over RGB. I'll still have to look that latter part up. If anyone has any experience with this capture card, hit me up! I'm like scouring the forums and google to see if this could work for tape and 240p gaming. Worst comes to worst, I could always get that engineering sample ADV7842. I know that for a fact has all those missing features enabled, at least according to that one person posting earlier, petet.
Hi8/Video8 signals are noisy, drop frames. A full frame TBC is still almost always a must.
The ES10/15 as passthrough are hit-or-miss for reliability, as those are not TBCs. Combined with some other units, it can be a 99% TBC(ish), but with the drawbacks of said workflow, especially posterization and aggressive NR. The passthrough is only suggested for tearing or severe timing errors, where side effects are better than tearing/timing.
DNR (digital NR) is fine for most tapes, and should be the starting point. Turn it off only when it causes quality issues, rather than improve the video.
Use a capture card that is known quality for Video8/Hi8, not one made for video game capturing.
In terms of price, this isn't a forever purchase. You don't buy it, use it, then stick it in a drawer. Buy it, use it, then resell it when done with the project. You're likely to get most of your money back, if not all, and sometimes stars align that you can actually profit on it.
VHS and Video8/Hi8 capture has a formula for good quality, and a good capture experience. Use it.
Thanks lordsmurf. I've seen plenty of your posts. Don't think I'll be doing a lot of what you said, if only because it'll be a lot of used equipment and these old capture cards, old OSes, and old full frame TBCs are hard to find. I don't mind settling with newer stuff even if the quality suffers. The most I care about is s video and no sync drop outs. If that ADV7842 eval board can do that, or hell that capture card, it'll be good enough. I plan to keep this stuff for a long time, as I can help out other family members and friends with their stuff. A lot of them just use simple capture software through composite video and usb. This'll at least be better than that.
I'll definitely be considering the ES10 or ES15 as a passthrough if that ADV7842 doesn't work as a full frame TBC. It's better than nothing. I'll definitely keep that DNR advice to heart. New information here, I always thought it was good to keep grain. At least that's what the film enthusiasts espouse. Eh, maybe tape is different.
I'm just trying to get information from people who've tried similar things to what I'm looking at. I've read your workflow has to do with the TBC-100, the ATI AGP capture card, and Windows XP, but that stuff is so out of date, I am not touching that with a 10 ft pole. Lol.
Hmm, though I might have to consider a different capture card for VHS and game capture at least. That suucks.
The DNR in the Sony camera seems to be mostly to reduce noise from the decoding process, so like the others here I leave it on. It doesn't do much about tape grain. The Sony cameras do have some always on chroma NR though, normally it's fine but a purist may find it a bit aggressive.
Hi8 was THE best analog video tape format, video signal wise, only the video sensor chip was a bottleneck, even Hi8 tapes transfered to VHS tapes look good captured from these VHS tapes,
Capturing directly from a Hi8 player would be better ofcourse, using a pro-sumer or semi professional capture device would be a good option, also because you can use up to date computer equipment and OS+software.
Ok so I finally got that EVAL board! It took a while and I apparently needed to get a HDCP stripper because it sends a HDCP signal to my capture card. Weird, it's not supposed to do that. I'm going to contact Analog Devices; see what they say. Anyway, I got some clips here, and maybe someone could help me out. Since the eval board comes with line and frame TBC, I have TBC and DNR set to OFF on the camcorder and EDIT set to ON. I also have other clips where I go directly to capture card and don't change any of the settings, and set TBC to ON in the last clip. Both of the latter two clips are directly to the capture card, the first is through the EVAL board. I'm trying to see if I need this eval board at all. Hopefully others here can tell what video footage is supposed to look like with non functioning line or frame TBC.
Hi8 is more stable than any other consumer analog format so it's hard to see any difference between those 3 clips, but the eval board may need some external control to turn things on and off, possibly it's running in default mode so it acts like a normal capture card.
What capture card are you using in these examples? Capture cards vary in their ability to deal with unstable video.
are those clips the original video captured? videocam footage of someone's room? why do they all have the same time stamp? there's no way to do that with different captures.--
"a lot of people are better dead" - prisoner KSC2-303
Poor test footage for TBC. This is a brand new self-record/playback, i.e. the ideal conditions to have the least amount of timebase errors. You either need to intentionally abuse the camera when making a new recording, or use an old recording.
I think you need a better S-Video cable. All of your samples have dot crawl (chroma decoded as luma) everywhere there is saturated color, from Y/C crosstalk.
amarec(20200120-1350)_TBC-OFF_ADV7842-EVAL_CLIP: lots of noise on blue screen at end
Did you set up the EVAL board to enable its TBCs? The horizontal timing ("delay"?) that you have places a large black bar on the left, with the right edge slightly cropped. And your vertical timing is wrong; black bar on the bottom with the top of the image cropped.
Also, ugh, Sony's Hi8 sharpening is so gross.
Alright cool thanks for replies everyone!
So yeah this is a test recording I made off of a new tape I bought. I wanted to test out the camcorder that I bought on Ebay first, before putting some old tapes on it. Make sure it didn't mess up the old tapes.
I bought the EVAL board from Digikey. They don't have any in stock right now, looks like I got the last one. You can always place an order and they'll request it for you, from the manufacturer. Damn thing had HDCP encryption though. It's not supposed to. I'm trying to get that fixed. Had to use a HDCP stripper.
The capture card is that Magewell Pro Capture AIO, I mentioned earlier. I have DNR turned off for all of these captures. Only thing on that I have is EDIT, and TBC for the last capture. Also the latter two captures are connected directly to the capture card, where as the former is through the EVAL board.
The different TBCs are enabled on the EVAL board. I made sure to check that. You can download scripts from Analog Devices and one of them is a 10 bit S-Video preset. That has TBC enabled and Manual Gain Control.
I was wondering why the footage was looking off! Guess I need to invest in a high quality S-Video cable. Any recommendations? I was going to scour Amazon for some high quality shielded cable.
Yeah that's my room. Lol. Please excuse the mess, I need to organize.
These were all three different captures of the same tape. It was a 7 minute recording, where I'm showing just this one minute clip.
Edit: Forgot to mention, there were some inserted frames in the latter two captures, the ones not connected to the EVAL board. When connected to the EVAL board there were no dropped or inserted frames.
Last edited by TheDrifter363; 21st Jan 2020 at 08:09. Reason: Forgot to include information about inserted frames
In 2015, based on posts around these forums, I bought a 10-foot S-Video cable from Blue Jeans Cable for $41 + shipping & WA tax. I don't regret it, for the peace of mind, but I have one-dollar 6-footers from the local PC recycler that show no artifacts.
Awesome thanks Vaporeon! That cable's a bit pricey so I might get it a later. I have a question, how could you tell my cable was having interference and noise in the capture? It'd be great if I know what I'm looking for.
Edit: Could you also go into detail about the Hi8 over sharpening you mentioned? How would I avoid that? Sony's like the only manufacturer of these camcorders.
Dots in areas of color, like seen here: https://forum.videohelp.com/threads/331681-s-video-artifacts?p=2134863&viewfull=1#post2134863
Sharpening... If you look at the black lettering in the screenshots aedipuss posted, for example, there are white lines along the edges. Canon and Samsung also made Hi8 cams. I haven't tried them (yet).
You don't need longer interconnects unless you have to, the shorter the better. I believe there are two versions of the eval board, one with HDCP and one without it with two part numbers you may have gotten the wrong one, Not sure though I did research this board few weeks ago but I forgot the details.
Yes, I just checked, look at this page under "Buy" tab, EVAL-ADV7842-7511P is the one without HDCP :
Last edited by dellsam34; 21st Jan 2020 at 15:00.
The capture card is that Magewell Pro Capture AIO,
You normally want the camcorder TBC on in any case, it may be able to use some of the pilot tracking signals or other data on the tape to stabilize a bit better than what anything external can do.
Alright what is up guys! I finally got the HDCP issue resolved. Note to others, make sure the 0xAF register, on the ADV7511, is set to 0x6. In other words, HDCP desired and Frame Encryption have to be set to 0. Also do not click on START or startrep anywhere.
So I got a quick question, I'm thinking about turning the camcorder's line TBC on, but as you know, the evaluation board also has its own line TBC. Would this cause any issues? My main reasoning for having line TBC off on the camcorder was to get the purest analog signal without a bunch of A > D > A conversions. I thought I read somewhere that going through a line TBC has to go through one of these conversions.
Someone above me said something about pilot tracking signals and having line TBC on may help with tracking? If that's true, I don't mind leaving it on, on the camcorder.
I know with VCRs, which I eventually plan to get to, the line TBC and DNR can't be separated. At least with the JVC VCRs. None of those I could find with line TBC, also had the ability to control DNR. They came in a package. You turn them both on or turn them both off, which sucked. I'd rather do my own noise reduction in software. It's why I got this evaluation board. Plus I can get a cheap S-VHS VCR instead of having to spend hundreds of dollars on Ebay on one with the line TBC functionality. Plus with DNR as a bonus that I can't turn off without turning off line TBC, I didn't want to deal with that. I think you could turn off DNR, and leave line TBC on with the Panasonic? But those are ridiculously expensive. I saw one for $1000. Yeahhh no.
Ok so let me summarize, two line TBCs on at the same time? Ok? Anyone have any experience? Is that what those Panasonic DVD recorders do as a passthrough? A line TBC? Anyone hook one up to a VCR with its own line TBC? Let's discuss!
(Btw, I'm going to have to put a lot of this tape restoration on hold on account of classes got started and apparently my s-video cables SUCK. I'll show you clips with different s-video cables, since I STILL can't see what chroma bleed should look like. I really should be able to notice a difference.)
Someone above me said something about pilot tracking signals and having line TBC on may help with tracking? If that's true, I don't mind leaving it on, on the camcorder.
When it comes to VHS, the effectiveness of an internal TBC contra ADV board / dvd-recorder will vary. Internal ones can access some additional signals from the VCR itself (though I don't know how often it's made use of.), while the ADV board and DVRs have much more memory and processing power and may let you skip one A > D > A step. The Panasonic AG1980P in particular has some advanced digital decoding circuitry, most other VHS VCRs have more primitive TBCs that can only buffer a few lines at a time.
Two line TBCs on at the same time isn't an issue, but the second one won't stabilize any further as the first one will re-create the horizontal synchronization signals when converting the video back to analog (that's how horizontal wiggling is fixed after all.)
Ok so these are four different S-video cables I just tried that same previous clip with. EDIT is ON, TBC is OFF, and DNR is OFF. I'm thinking there's still chroma bleed or whatever, so I'm guessing the cables are all crap? I just thought it'd help to have a fresh set of eyes on it. Btw guys, I appreciate everyone taking a look at this and helping me out. I suck at being able to tell good quality video from these tapes. All I know is S-video good, composite video bad. Lol. It's so much easier with a video game system. Even there, different between S-video and RGB is hard to pick out. Composite video and S-video is clear as day.
Also the fourth s-video cable is new. So whatever that's worth.
Yikes, the poor admin's server space.
All of your samples are clipped to Y=[16 to 235]. Don't know what's causing that, but it has to be on the capture side, not the source (camcorder) side.
Back up and take the Hi8 camera out of the equation. Do you have access to a DVD player? Burn VHPatterns2 to a DVDR and see if you can capture that without interference.
Here are screenshots meant to exaggerate the issues with the captures so they are more obvious.
amarec(20200120-1407)_TBC-OFF_CLIP. Dot crawl in luma. The "V" channel noise looks diagonal.
[Attachment 51637 - Click to enlarge]
amarec(20200120-1350)_TBC-OFF_ADV7842-EVAL_CLIP. I don't know what you would call the luma noise, but there is a rolling bar. Unlike the Magewell decode, neither chroma channel has a diagonal appearance. Your four recent samples don't look much different from this or one another.
[Attachment 51638 - Click to enlarge]
For comparison, my own Sony CCD-TR818 bluescreen with the same script. Luma noise is just random dots and chroma noise looks like horizontal streaks.
[Attachment 51639 - Click to enlarge]
Adapted from a script posted by jagabo in another thread.
StackHorizontal(Greyscale().ColorYUV(off_y=-910,gain_y=5000), \ UtoY().ColorYUV(off_y=-2700,gain_y=3200),\ VtoY().ColorYUV(off_y=-2000,gain_y=4300))