Hi, I am hoping for someone who may recognize the problem with some VHS-C video capturing. I have about 90 tapes and about half are great, buttery smooth good videos. But I have 40 or so that have a problem with 'staticy' horizontal lines. Most have 3, 4 or 5 tiers of this static line. I have a link below to see an example of the problem. All the videos were recorded on a VHS-C camcorder and are family movies. I have tried the tapes in 3 different VCRs. Let me describe my workflow/setup:
1. VCRs tried/used: Toshiba DVR620 (used just for the VHS player), JVC HR-A591U (cannot even produce a visible image), Sharp VC-H810 -- The toshiba and Sharp have virtually identical playback. All the players have had the heads cleaned with a Sony T-25CLD head cleaner cassette.
2. Video out via RCA composite to TBC
3. TBC is a Hotronic AR31 (I have also used a Sony GV-D200 8mm tape player as a pass thru to use the TBC in the player but it had no improvement.)
4. Capture card is a Hauppauge USB Live 2
Yes, I realize already that S-Video is preferred over RCA composite. I do not think the problem is indicative of the use of RCA composite video.
I am not sure if the problem tapes have a physical problem - although nothing I can see visibly wrong with the cassette or the magnetic tape.
I am not sure if the problem with the video was recorded on the cassettes this way -- in which case I doubt there's much that could be done about that.
This doesn't look to me what I would usually term as a tracking problem, but maybe it is. I'm not sure how to rectify the issue if it is tracking. Manually adjusting tracking doesn't help.
The tapes are in SLP, 30 minute tapes with 90 minutes. This, I realize, is likely a big part of the problem.
The problem usually runs a majority of the tape, if not all of the tape's duration. There's sometime some variation in how the problem appears. There can be anywhere from 1 to 5 of the horizontal static. It is always at the top of the video and the more lines of astatic, the further it extends downward toward the bottom. On a couple tapes, the video rolls.
What is this type of problem called? Does anyone recognize this issue and have any idea if it can be overcome?
I have captured quite a lot of VHS tapes for myself and others and I really haven't come to a problem such as this. I apologize in advance if there's already a thread covering this specific issue, but I have searched for hours on this website and DigtialFAQ and I haven't run across this issue. Plenty that sound similar but the visual is not the same error/problem.
Here's the sample:
Thank you in advance to any help that can be offered.
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Last edited by p2d; 7th Apr 2023 at 14:03. Reason: Left out detail
a. video is private
b. reencode of a video usually isn't really helpful, better attach video hereusers currently on my ignore list: deadrats, Stears555
Selur, Thanks. I uploaded it here.
There were three different VHS record/playback speeds. The format started out with SP, recording 2 hours on a full-sized cassette. JVC then slowed down the tape and created the 4-hour mode. This was LP. In the war with Sony's Beta, they eventually added the 6-hour EP mode.
Most VCRs in the mid- to late-1980s handled all three modes, but eventually most VHS manufacturers dropped the 4-hour LP mode.
If you play tapes recorded in that 4-hour LP mode on a machine which doesn't support it, you can get something similar to what your sample shows.
I checked your JVC HR-A591U, and it does NOT support LP mode. I didn't have time to check the others, but see if you can find a VCR which can record in the 4-hour mode and then try using that.
I had a few minutes to search. Go to the 1:13 mark of this video:
He plays the same tape on several VCRs and it plays just fine (if you watch the video from the beginning, you'll see that the tape plays fine). However, when he puts it into a VCR that doesn't support LP, he got this very familiar (to the OP) image:
The noise bars on this are a little stronger than in the OP's video, but the spacing between the bars is very similar.
OP, How's the audio sounds like? Is it fast or normal speed? Your sample is very short I couldn't make out the audio speed, If the audio is normal then you have faulty tapes that were recorded on a misaligned camcorder or the camcorder had a defect like bad pinch roller. I can't say for sure unless you confirm the audio condition or post a longer sample.
Thanks for the help
Last edited by p2d; 8th Apr 2023 at 09:45. Reason: forgot to thank
In that case the only way to get those tapes to playback correctly is to miss align a VCR or a camcorder for just the purpose of playing back those tapes, Find a cheap VCR or camcorder for that task, If you can't do it yourself you will have to send the tapes to someone who can.
No, the youtube video link has a completly different problem and the tape is fine. Your problem is miss aligned recordings on the tape.
Last edited by dellsam34; 8th Apr 2023 at 17:43.
On the longer sample it is interesting to note that when the camera moves sideways there is an artifact very similar to a rolling shutter artifact where objects bend and wave back and forth. I don't know what to conclude from this and only offer it as an observation from which others may come up with a better idea of what is causing the problems.
Further observation: at the 5 second mark, it takes 3-4 frames to go from one scene to the next.
One conclusion: each horizontal band is coming from a different point in time. People may not like my LP idea, and maybe it's not correct, but as the head is spinning as the tape goes by, it is picking up video from different points in time.
It would be interesting to see what sort of effect you get if you have a VCR that can play these tapes in high quality slightly slow or fast motion. My JVC decks can do something like this.
Last edited by johnmeyer; 8th Apr 2023 at 18:23.
This image shows what I mean. As the camera pans left, note how each band shows the edge of the wall and the window in different locations. At the top is the earliest point in time, with each succeeding horizontal band coming from a later moment.
I got intrigued with another idea so I brought out the cheapest VCR I have, a late 1990s budget Sharp which won't play LP or S-VHS. I was unable to prove my theory about LP tapes because I couldn't find a tape recorded at that speed, but I did find that if you try to play S-VHS tapes in a player which can't play them, you can get some interesting visual effects, depending on the original speed of the S-VHS tapes. I don't believe any of the models listed plays S-VHS tapes.
However, the picture was generally more garbled than what the OP shows.
I continue to think that there is some sort of format incompatibility.
Grasping at straws, check to make sure the Hauppauge settings didn't get changed when capturing these tapes. I fired up my PVR2 and I think it is possible to set it to capture component instead of composite.
Last edited by johnmeyer; 8th Apr 2023 at 20:53.
classic case of misaligned heads during recording if you ask me. Now you'll have to tweak the AC head of your vcr in order have a decent playback
The lower portion of the tape reel is dedicated to the "tape speed setting" (SP,EP,LP)
check at 11m40 on this video:
How to align the lienar audio (Hi-fi is different)
No, It's not a speed problem, I confirmed that with him by posting a longer sample and the audio speed sounds normal. this has nothing to do with SP/EP/LP and miss aligning the AC head will not fix the problem, it will just screw up the factory alignement.
While I don't yet know if this will solve the problem, I have hope it will. The camcorder that made the recordings has been found. I need a working battery so it may be a few days before I can post an update, but maybe they can be played back on the original camcorder. Wish me luck!
Wow, that is a great find!
While this will give you the best possible chance of transferring the tape, I mentioned earlier the problems I had with a malfunctioning Sony 8mm camcorder. It was actually my dad's first camcorder, back in the mid-1980s, and when it started to malfunction, the tapes would not play back smoothly, even on the camcorder. This was true just a few minutes after the recording, not years later.
However, it will be absolutely wonderful if everyone is right and it is a head alignment problem which the original misaligned camcorder might be able to play.
Got the camcorder up and running. The camcorder plays the videos without any issues. So I am thinking it must be a head alignment issue on the tapes. No one remembers dropping the camcorder, but clearly some of the tapes have an issues of some type recorded onto the tape.
Thanks very much for you all lending your expertise to me. Thank you to johnmeyer, dellsam34, themaster1, and selur.
So, this does bring to mind another question. Suppose I hadn't been able to use the original camcorder, how would one physically change the head position? It sounds impractical to do, but is it possible? Would be a matter of guessing and attempting to bend the support frame that the head is attached to?
Again, thanks for the help folks!
What a great ending to the story!! I am so glad you are going to be able to transfer the tapes.
dellsam34 and themaster1 both said it was head alignment, although in post #18 dellsam34 seemed to back off and said that intentionally misaligning the head on a good VCR would not let you play the tapes. He'll have to say what he meant by that, after earlier predicting that it was likely a head alignment problem.
I don't have enough hands-on experience fixing VCRs to speak with any authority, but I do know that there are two variables which might make it difficult to get your tapes to play on another machine. The first is the head drum size. The camcorder uses a smaller drum size. I don't know if a misalignment (if that is indeed what has happened) of that smaller head drum could be exactly matched by intentionally misalignming the drum on a tabletop VCR. There is also the question of the number of heads. It has always been my understanding that the extra heads found on premium VCRs were only there to help improve playback during fast forward/reverse, but I suspect that there might be other issues which might interact with alignment.
I'm glad you didn't have to mess with alignment because without the proper test equipment and service manual, I don't think you could have gotten the VCR back to factory spec.
dellsam34, thanks for the great reply. I do wish I'd had a chance to go to TV & VCR technical repair school. I remember telling my girlfriend (now wife) on the day I graduated from college with an EE degree that I knew a whole lot about the theory and physics of electrical circuits but that I had no idea of how to repair a TV set.
johnmeyer, you are absolutely right. I can write several programs or set up automation of various processes on a computer, but engineering assignments have always puzzled me. During my studies I found a solution for myself at https://essays.edubirdie.com/engineering-assignment-help but for repairs I need some kind of technician that I can contact. Especially when it comes to such old or complex devices.
Can you recommend someone to whom I can send the tapes with a similar issue?
Last edited by johnnycage15; 25th Sep 2023 at 10:19.