I am converting my VHS tapes made in the 80's from an old Magnavox VHS camcorder. I am using the s-video output from my Toshiba DVR670KU VHS/DVD recorder, a Diamond VC500 capture device, and VirtualDub to capture the video. When playing back the capture in VirtualDub before converting to DVD format, there is some intermittent flickering in the captured video (see attached sample). Could this be due to poor stabilization in the Toshiba unit? Would using a pass through unit such as the Panasonic ES-10 or ES-15 eliminate this type of anomaly? If I capture the video using the composite video out the flicker does not occur but the quality is not as good.
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Thanks for the sample. The flicker looks like false copy protection errors. Your video levels are way off the charts (permanently blasted highlights, crushed blacks), instead of lossless compression the sample is uncompressed RGB24 and about 4 times the file size of a proper losslessly compressed YUY2 capture using Huffyuv, Lagarith or other lossless compressor. The RGB conversion blew out-off-spec YUV levels apart and can't be corrected, but the burnout looks as if was in-camera.
We see a lot of this.
Last edited by LMotlow; 16th Feb 2020 at 08:46.- My sister Ann's brother
Maybe hints here.
Did you try vhs to dvd disc, then play/rip the disc on your pc?
This would help isolate the issue to either the tape or something else (hardware).
Thanks for the comments on my post. I realized afterwards that I saved the original posted clip incorrectly. I did not select direct stream copy in VideoDub when I saved it. I have attached a couple more clips from the same tape to this post. I also adjusted the brightness and contrast using the histogram in VideoDub before capturing these clips. One is from the s_video output and the other from the composite video output. I had tried previously to copy directly from the VHS tape to DVD in the Toshiba unit as suggested but some flicker still exists. I wanted to eventually make some edits to the video so that's why I wanted to capture using VideoDub so that re-encoding would not occur multiple times due to ripping and then editing. At this point I believe the flicker is either due to the tape itself or the copy protection even though this tape was made from a camcorder and not copy protected. Am I correct is stating that in either of these two cases nothing can be done about correcting it except maybe trying a different machine?
1. How does the video look when played from the VHS directly to a TV set?
Any flickering/strobing of the brightness like this?
2. should have any flickering going from VHS to DVD unless
a. The stupid Macrovision detection is accidentally thinking you've got a commercial tape and trying to copy it illegally (thus it prevents you by messing up the video).
b. The VHS deck is failing/poor.
c. The VHS tape itself has issues (aging, poor recording, etc).
I'd do #1.
If #1 picture looks good, then play the tape in another VHS deck to your capture card to your computer.
If #1 picture looks bad, it's the deck or tape. Play the tape in another VHS deck connected to a TV. Looks good? VHS deck. Looks bad? Tape.
The composite clip is free of the flickering and is less blown out. You can see the levels in the attached waveform monitor video. Make sure any auto brightness/contrast controls are disabled in the capture software/driver.
Last edited by jagabo; 18th Feb 2020 at 17:02. Reason: added video clip
As I noted in my response to your DigitalFAQ thread, I call this problem Funai Flicker.
I didn't realize that the S-Video output is also digitized, like the composite output is in Dubbing Mode, but it makes sense. These crummy combo units utilize a composite playback path from VHS, so all other outputs need to be Y/C separated from this. This is done using a digital comb filter, so the S-Video output ends up going through the whole path of AGC & TBC.
The faulty AGC causes the flicker, while the TBC is beneficial. Lines are straightened and the video is frame sync'd.
[Attachment 52074 - Click to enlarge]
[Attachment 52075 - Click to enlarge]
If you run the composite output into a Panasonic DMR-ES10/15 for passthrough as you suggested on DigitalFAQ, you'll get the TBC benefits without the flicker, but you'll likely still have highlights clipped unless you use an analog proc amp to bring down the over-exposed highlights before the Panasonic digitizes them.