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  1. Member
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    Hello!

    I've been trying various ways to capture VHS & betamax with my black magic shuttle but haven't been successful, so wondered if anyone could suggest a setup?

    I understand I need a time base corrector for this device and heard that some DVD recorders can be used as a TBC. I tried this out but didn't have any joy, although there may be something I haven't tried I'm unaware. I can get a HDMI signal from a cheap media player which records fine, so I think the device is working properly.

    I'm getting bamboozled about the best way to achieve a result as I've spent whole days experimenting and researching methods on youtube, understanding about conflicts like HDCP, trying various scart leads etc, but after 10 years I still haven't managed it.

    If anyone could point me in the right direction it'd be really helpful. I'm often testing a lot of methods which have lead me down a few rabbit holes, since I have researched a lot, but there might be a few fundamental reasons for it not working that I'm perhaps unaware of to my knowledge.

    Any help will be very appreciated if you get chance to throw any ideas my way.

    Thanks, Neil
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  2. Formerly 'vaporeon800' Brad's Avatar
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    Which DVD recorder did you try? Did you confirm that VCR -> DVD recorder -> TV worked?

    Which output(s) from VCR and from DVD recorder have you tried?

    My own preferred workflow here in NTSC-land is:

    S-VHS VCR <YC> SignVideo / Studio1 analog proc amp <YC> Panasonic DMR-ES25 or Philips DVDR3575H <HDMI> HDMI splitter that strips HDCP <HDMI> AVerMedia C027 or C127

    (YC = Y/C = S-Video)

    It's still not perfect: each DVD recorder has its own quirks, such as varying levels from AGC (both), two blacked-out lines (ES25), etc. And I have to reinterlace 480p to 480i. I think most PAL models allow 576i over HDMI though.
    Last edited by Brad; 12th Feb 2020 at 10:19.
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  3. Member dellsam34's Avatar
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    50% of the problem is the lack of line TBC in the VCR, the other 50% is lack of external TBC for timing signal correction, You may get away with a good VCR with LTBC and Panasonic ESR15 in the stream, all connections S-Video, otherwise get a capture device from back in the day such as Pinnacle boxes with Windows 7 machine.
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    [QUOTE=vaporeon800;2573550]Which DVD recorder did you try? Did you confirm that VCR -> DVD recorder -> TV worked?

    Thanks, it's a Panasonic DMR-EX79 DVD Recorder. The model number isn't to hand at the moment for the VCR, it's a modern panasonic VCR.

    VCR > DVD Rec > TV didn't gain a signal, this is what I tried but I was experimenting whilst being new to testing this method:

    Scart cables connecting VHS out > DVD Rec > HDMI out from the DVD Rec > black magic Shuttle.

    I realise I haven't been using S-video & have every AV lead necessary other than one of these, so I will get one asap. I've been trying scart and phono out.
    Last edited by Neil-Betamax; 13th Feb 2020 at 04:57.
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  5. Member
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    Originally Posted by dellsam34 View Post
    50% of the problem is the lack of line TBC in the VCR, the other 50% is lack of external TBC for timing signal correction, You may get away with a good VCR with LTBC and Panasonic ESR15 in the stream, all connections S-Video, otherwise get a capture device from back in the day such as Pinnacle boxes with Windows 7 machine.
    Some great thoughts here to consider, thanks. Years ago I bought an unbranded USB capture device that worked on a cheap laptop running XP, but I wasn't entirely happy with the quality. I could only get it to work in windows movie maker, it we're similar to one of those easycap devices. I also bought an Canopus ADVC 100, never got that to work so eventually chose the black magic shuttle, thinking it'd work like the easycap but with better, uncompressed quality, never realised what I'd need to understand & the extra gear I'd need to get it to work, but its been a few years.

    I'm going to go with S-Video, get myself a lead & experiment further. I also have a HDMI splitter so I'll have another try to see if I can get a result with the Black Magic.
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  6. I saw a lot of problems with intensity shuttle. It’s not a recommended capture card.
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  7. https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/686585-REG/Blackmagic_Design_BINTSSHU_Intensity...BI%3A514&smp=y

    Read the comments. Good luck!
    "Disappointed!
    If you are planning on converting your old VHS tapes to digital, the Intensity Shuttle will not do this alone. You will also need a broadcast quality Time Base Corrector which are no longer sold on the market. You can try to pick one up on EBAY but I've had no luck finding one. A used TBC will also cost you several hundred dollars. Best bet is to take your old tapes to a company that does this kind of work. It'll probably be cheaper than buying a TBC. Disappointed."
    ...

    That said, don't connect the vhs.
    Just pop in a disc into the dvd player, dvd main menu, can the shuttle pickup anything solid through composite/svideo/hdmi?

    If it can't, get a different capture device.

    ...
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  8. In short, the shuttle wants a perfect signal input or it's going to give you fits.

    You need to do that by adding a high quality tbc to the signal before it enters the shuttle most likely.
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  9. It also has big quality problems.
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  10. mr. Eric-jan's Avatar
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    I got a tip for using the Shuttle Intensity with a composite to hdmi converter... when using the Marmitek AH31 between your (or any) VCR and the Intensity Shuttle, the Intensity Shuttle is happy ( i did some tests) no TBC needed. TBC's are overrated..... and you really need to know your stuff about TBC's any TBC will not do.... and they are not cheap, yes, it's easy to say you need a TBC
    If you read that ad from BH you see they never mention VHS The Intensity Shuttle captures great from the component and HDMI inputs, is my experience.
    VHS/BetaMax/V2000 is low video quality to start with, and will not exceed that, investing lots of money into that ?
    The Marmitek will output 1280x720p60 on HDMI in 16:9 you need to set 4:3 when encoding to MP4
    The Marmitek will accept PAL, PAL60, NTSC and NTSC50 on it's input.
    Last edited by Eric-jan; 15th Feb 2020 at 23:35.
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  11. Member
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    Ironically the Marmitek AH31 is a "kind" of TBC.. it first digitizes the composite signal into digital and then outputs that as the HDMI signal. Anything that has to perform the analog to digital conversion first will output a "perfect" signal. Hence the use of DVRs for pass-thru "cleanup". There is no guarantee they will do as good a job as a dedicated TBC for broadcast or commercial use.. or a TBC for consumer use.. but its better than the original raw signal.

    Scan converters for projectors and Format transcoders will similarly first digitize the analog input and then buffer it and output a perfect digital or analog signal.

    But on the analog input it could reject, frame drop or do other things.. but the buffering will enhance the capture on the digital output by repeating the frame or doubling it.. or whatever it has to do to remain in specification.

    Old TBCs would take analog input and provide "perfect" analog output.. and leave the digitization up to the capture device.. this might be what you wanted if you planned to further pass the signal through a standalone proc-amp, or scopes to visualize and set the levels before the signal reached the digitization step.

    These days.. with analog TBC's so hard to find.. an analog to digital TBC might be the best alternative.. as long as it has a good reputation.
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  12. What about the conversion quality of this Marmitek AH31?
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  13. mr. Eric-jan's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by ginopilotino View Post
    What about the conversion quality of this Marmitek AH31?
    Not perfect, but this device is a little bigger than a matchbox, sometimes colors can be oversaturated, but in general, you're helped with this device,
    It's a big deal if you know that the Intensity Shuttle only expects a clean signal, i could even fast forward the vhs tape and it kept capturing.
    still... my best option will stay my Panasonic ES35V as passthrough, using the component output, (which only few vcr or combo recorders have.)
    I still have to test for macrovision with this AH31.... but most of the time you don't need that feature anymore in this time and age
    Last edited by Eric-jan; 16th Feb 2020 at 07:17.
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  14. Originally Posted by jwillis84 View Post
    Old TBCs would take analog input and provide "perfect" analog output.. and leave the digitization up to the capture device.. this might be what you wanted if you planned to further pass the signal through a standalone proc-amp, or scopes to visualize and set the levels before the signal reached the digitization step.

    TBCs like the commonly used datavideo and cypress units digitize and buffer the signal in the same way really, they use off-the-shelf A/D chips from Philips/NXP to do the job. Difference is that they convert it back to "perfect" analog again rather than output a digital stream over e.g HDMI/SDI/Firewire. Very ancient units used with open reel tape etc may work differently.
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  15. Video Restorer lordsmurf's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by jwillis84 View Post
    But on the analog input
    That's the aspect many overlook, or ignore.

    TBCs do something on input, during processing, and on output.

    Converters don't do that. There's really no separate input/process/output stages to correct/improve the signal. So garbage in, garbage out. And that's not a TBC. Many of those converters just outright rape a signal, especially the cheap HDMI converters.

    Originally Posted by Neil-Betamax View Post
    Years ago I bought an unbranded USB capture device
    it we're similar to one of those easycap devices..
    Terrible items, the nickname "Easycrap" is deserved.

    windows movie maker,
    Use VirtualDub.

    I also bought an Canopus ADVC 100, never got that to work
    Also a terrible device, loses 50% of color quality with 4:1:1 compression. Requires WinDV, though NLEs will "work" (but often badly).

    so eventually chose the black magic shuttle,
    Another lousy device not intended for VHS work (contrary to some marketing claims, the techs at BM correctly state otherwise). Extremely touchy SD input. Not suggested.

    I also have a HDMI splitter so I'll have another try to see if I can get a result with the Black Magic
    HDMI splitter will really screw with quality. It's like an anti-TBC.
    Last edited by lordsmurf; 17th Feb 2020 at 22:12.
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  16. Member dellsam34's Avatar
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    The bottom line is if you buy the BM intensity shuttle for just capturing analog SD formats then just return it if you can because having another lousier device to digitize the analog signal for it means it's not doing its job (digitizing). It's like hiring a plumber to do the job but instead he throws his tools and tells you to do it yourself. There are so many warnings about the BM IS yet people keep buying them for whatever reason.
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    Thanks again everyone, I've managed to find an S-video lead in my box of many, many leads! So I'll try out what I can from whats been suggested. I'm not too concerned about improving the signal in terms of what a TBC can do, its just so I can get the output to record initially.
    I'll be in a position now to test things through with what I have and see if I can get some results.
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  18. mr. Eric-jan's Avatar
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    There's nothing wrong with the Intensity Shuttle, or any BMD device, it does exactly what BMD tells you, for me it works perfect with ES35V as source with a VHS tape in it, this device does not mention it has any TBC function, The problem also is, there are not many good capture devices for a crappy VHS output, they need to make a good VHS player
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  19. Member dellsam34's Avatar
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    The point is BM is not the one doing the capturing, another device with a built in ADC is doing the work so what's the point of paying $300 for a port converter?
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  20. mr. Eric-jan's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by dellsam34 View Post
    The point is BM is not the one doing the capturing, another device with a built in ADC is doing the work so what's the point of paying $300 for a port converter?
    Everybody is searching for a miracle device, but there isn't one, we live in a digital world now, and the VHS video signal is analog, made by more or even less healthy mechanical machine, you can only try to make it look less worse, perfection there isn't with VHS, or other tape formats (Hi8 being the best of the lot)
    Also the price is right, for what it can do, + having multiple different in and outputs.
    It all depends on your hardware setup, the hardware you can get, and keep experimenting with all options available.

    VCR: output - connections & setings

    capture device: - chipset - current/new version, interface speed > (USB 3, Thunderbold,PCI,m.2), (virtual/PRoRes)-compressed or uncompressed capture ?

    media storage: HDD or SSD & interface speed (again)

    Operating System: current version for good hard and software & driver support, enough system RAM

    Graphics card: > a good one to unload the CPU
    Last edited by Eric-jan; 23rd Feb 2020 at 14:56.
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  21. Member dellsam34's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Eric-jan View Post
    Also the price is right, for what it can do, + having multiple different in and outputs.
    What does it do? Obviously it is not stabilizing the signal, it is not digitizing, so what Am I getting for $300? I'm just trying to understand the hype about this BM device.
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    Originally Posted by dellsam34 View Post
    so what Am I getting for $300? I'm just trying to understand the hype about this BM device.
    Fools and their money are easily parted? It's Canopus ADVC all over again.
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  23. Member
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    It's so uncanny, because after tons of research I got the Canopus ADVC, couldn't get it to work, then got the Black Magic Shuttle!
    Haha, so it appears I've chosen to of the most problematic devices. That said, I'm going to put a day aside this week and try what I can with the hardware I have available. Hopefully I can at least get a signal even if its not perfect, something good enough or as close to the original output I can get
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