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  1. vs Mitsubishi HD2000. Don't you agree? I wonder what's wrong with it.
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  2. If you look at these two blown up sections of the same frame from each capture, you will see that the HR2000 clip is sharpened.

    Despite that one capture looks softer, that is OK. In fact, you WANT to turn off all sharpening when doing transfers because the sharpening circuits built into the VCR actually hurts the image. To turn off sharpening on the HRS7600U, go to page 57 of the manual and learn about the Edit feature. You want to turn ON Edit, which turns OFF sharpening.

    You can then add sharpening using software, if you like that look.

    Doing it this way preserves the most detail and gives you the best transfer.
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  3. Thanks for the tip. I do like the look of the sharper picture better. It's like composite vs s-video shown on this website even though it's U-matic, not VHS. https://thegreatbear.net/video-tape/copy-umatic-tape/

    I've been conditioned to see noise/grains as details. Good to know nothing is wrong with my VCR.
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  4. Noise, grain, and halo-based sharpening can each fool the eye into thinking it is seeing more detail. However, none of them contribute to real detail. However, certain types of modern software-based sharpening can help make detail become more apparent, but without the darned halos and other artifacts of cheap sharpening. Here is a before/after of some 8mm film I transferred a decade ago, and which shows the improvement that proper sharpening (NOT the stuff inside the VCR) can do.

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  5. The difference is night and day. Do you have an example for sharpening interlaced analog videos like VHS?
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  6. Yes, I have a sharpening option in my main VHS "restoration" script, but I seldom use it.

    Here is some of that code. This function contains little snippets of sharpening code. It shows how I apply it to interlaced VHS material (I never deinterlace VHS). As you can see, I have tried Unsharpmask, UnsharpHQ, and LimitedSharpenFaster. I think all of these are pretty old now, and other people will have better suggestions for how to sharpen SD interlaced video.

    Code:
    function MDegrain2i2(clip source, int "blksize", int "overlap", int "denoising_strength", int "dct")
    {
    Vshift=0 # 2 lines per bobbed-field per tape generation (PAL); original=2; copy=4 etc
    Hshift=0 # determine experimentally 
    overlap=default(overlap,0) # overlap value (0 to 4 for blksize=8)
    denoising_strength=default(denoising_strength, 400)
    dct=default(dct,0) # use dct=1 for clip with light flicker
    
    fields=source.SeparateFields() # separate by fields
    
    #This line gets rid of vertical chroma halo
    #fields=MergeChroma(fields,crop(fields,Hshift,Vshift,0,0).addborders(0,0,Hshift,Vshift))
    
    #This line will shift chroma down and to the right instead of up and to the left
    #fields=MergeChroma(fields,Crop(AddBorders(fields,Hshift,Vshift,0,0),0,0,-Hshift,-Vshift))
    
    #Use Delta=2 because video is now fields, and you have to look TWO fields back to match upper with upper, and lower with lower.
    super = fields.MSuper(pel=2, sharp=1)
    backward_vec2 = super.MAnalyse(isb = true, delta = 2, blksize=blksize, overlap=overlap, dct=dct)
    forward_vec2 = super.MAnalyse(isb = false, delta = 2, blksize=blksize, overlap=overlap, dct=dct)
    backward_vec4 = super.MAnalyse(isb = true, delta = 4, blksize=blksize, overlap=overlap, dct=dct)
    forward_vec4 = super.MAnalyse(isb = false, delta = 4, blksize=blksize, overlap=overlap, dct=dct)
    
    denoised = MDegrain2(fields,super, backward_vec2,forward_vec2,backward_vec4,forward_vec4,thSAD=denoising_strength ) 
    
    #UnsharpMask( clip , int "strength" , int "radius" , int "threshold" ) 
    #strength: strength. The default is 64.
    #radius: the scope of the blurring process. The default is 3.
    #threshold: threshold. Absolute value of the processing component is greater than the threshold blur. The default is 8.
    
    #Unsharpmask sharpening
      even=selecteven(denoised)
      odd= selectodd (denoised)
      denoised = interleave( unsharpmask(even,20,3,4), unsharpmask(odd,20,3,4) )
    #  denoised = interleave( unsharpmask(odd,20,3,4), unsharpmask(even,20,3,4) )
      #The following seems to be a better sharpener for VHS
      #denoised = interleave( UnsharpHQ(even,THRESHOLD=20, SHARPSTR=4.0, SMOOTH=0.5, SHOW=false), UnsharpHQ(odd,THRESHOLD=20, SHARPSTR=4.0, SMOOTH=0.5, SHOW=false) )
    
    #This function is unstable under SetMTMode
    #limitedSharpenFaster(smode=1,strength=160,overshoot=50,radius=2, ss_X=1.5, SS_Y=1.5,dest_x=720,dest_y=480)
    #LimitedSharpenFaster(strength=150)  #Default strength=150
    
    Weave(denoised)
    }
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  7. The Mitsubishi HS-HD2000U DVHS with TBC/DNR is a fine VCR that often gets an unfair bum rap for being a hair off from the entrenched performance expectations set by the "classic" JVC SVHS models. Instead of dismissing or overlooking it outright, the Mitsu is best thought of as a "third path" alternative choice between the traditional "any JVC at any cost with a TBC button" and the amazing (but lethally self-destructing) Panasonic AG1980. The only slam against the Mitsubishi is the same one that gets lobbed against the AG1980: "eeeewwwww, even when set on neutral its playback circuits add a trace of hardware sharpening, aaargghhh, gag, retch, vomit, call the midwife". Relax, people: if you prefer the JVC, then just use a JVC- nobody's forcing anybody to use the Mitsu or Panasonic if they prefer the JVC. Each of the three brands offers a different package of positives and negatives that will appeal to different users with different needs.

    The Mitsubishi HS-HD2000U splits the difference, more or less, between JVCs and Panny AG1980. TBC/DNR functionality mimics the JVC design very closely but not 100%: there is some residual sharpening even when picture controls are set to Normal/Neutral/Edit/Off. Tracking ability at SP mode is slightly better than JVC, but HiFi tracking is the same and its about as poor as JVC with EP/SLP. Tape transport is very smooth, and its easy to reform a good tape pack using FF/REW. The main advantage of the Mitsu 2000 is TBC/DNR combined with electronic and mechanical reliability: significantly less trouble-prone than many aging classic JVCs and vastly better reliability than Panasonic AG1980. If you prize durability over the last percentage point of JVC video specs, the Mitsu 2000 is the most solid choice in a TBC/DNR equipped VCR (esp for less complex direct capture workflows without software post-processing stages).

    The JVCs (if desired) can be set to give a dead neutral utterly unsharpened signal output, the basis most flexible and useful to those who employ PC software filters to process uncompressed captures, such as the technique johnmeyer posted above. If you regularly plan on these methods, then a JVC is likely to be the most satisfactory source deck. But that comes at a cost: JVCs are the worst at tracking SP tapes made on other VCRs, even tapes from other JVCs, esp HiFi audio (and forget EP/SLP tracking). The TBC function cannot be separated from the DNR function in JVCs: its all or nothing, which can be problematic with some tapes that react badly to the TBC but would benefit from the DNR. Some of us have had a lifelong love/hate affair with JVC VCRs: when they work, they're great, but reliability can be a sore point (esp now that they're older and passed thru multiple ownerships). Of the three choices, a JVC is most likely to eat a tape at the worst possible time, followed by the AG1980, with the Mitsu least prone to it.

    The Panasonic AG1980 is the best tracking deck with TBC/DNR feature: unless defective, this is easiest premium VCR for nailing the compromise between video and hifi audio tracking. Its also the best choice for tracking EP/SLP tapes, by a considerable margin. The TBC and DNR functions are separated: TBC can be switched in or out, while the DNR is always active: much more flexible than the other two brands if you have a lot of touchy tapes. The AG1980 TBC and DNR are a distinctly different flavor than the JVC and Mitsu (which closely mimic each other). The TBC is more powerful yet somewhat less intrusive in the Panasonic, while the DNR is noticeably less prone to over-processing of motion and turning actor faces into plastic parody. The bad news? You cannot get a 100% unprocessed signal out of the 1980: even when set to EDIT there is a bit of sharpening. Depending on your workflow, this may or may not be a dealkiller, and subjective taste enters into it: i.e. to my eyes the sharpening artifacts of the 1980 are far, FAR less irritating and noticeable than the horrific softening and temporal distortion inherent to the JVC/Mitsu TBC/DNR. Sadly, the AG1980 has an notoriously poor electronics design prone to repeated failure: difficult and hideously expensive to get repaired (if the JVCs or Mitsu 2000 fail, its usually simple mechanics, not bespoke electronics burning out).
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