The only video hardware/software manual that has ever been worthwhile was the massive encyclopedia-sized books that came from version 1.0 of Final Cut Pro. I wish I still had it. It was an excellent crash course in digital video, at least at the time.
All it does is confuse newbies, and questions like the BNC reference made above make me cringe. Such a tangent, such a waste of time to read some of this crap.
+ Reply to Thread
Results 61 to 90 of 125
So, "Frame TBC" == frame synchronizer sync'd to internal sync generator.
Hi all, just thought I'd update that my shiny new (for me) JVC HR-S9850 arrived today. I've run a bit of a test tape through it and I have to say I'm very impressed. Some of the improvement is clearly because I've changed my capture card - the old Elgato VHS card was truly horrible, it refused to output more than 480i even though I'm in PAL land and I think the codec that it's software used was rubbish, or at least set to rubbish settings. The first capture I did (just using OBS as a test - yeah I know, but it does support recording now so I suspect it's better than it was and is OK for a test anyway), the detail that has come out is amazing. And I did not realise how much the tape signal on this particular tape was wobbling around. And it just all comes out perfectly straight and sharp, better colour and detail, there are things there that don't even show up in the conversion. So I'm pretty impressed! Now to choose some good Mac capture software and a video codec.
Well something that I do have a strong skillset on, is IT and that includes Windows and Mac. I have both machines but prefer Mac as my daily driver nowadays. So if you don't mind, could you explain what you've learnt the benefits exactly are of using Windows over Mac for this task?
When you say lack of support, you mean lack of availability? I'm not sure what this means really - sounds like a broad negative generalisation towards Mac more than a positive describing windows benefits. And then I think you're saying that if I get these PC tools to run on Mac to help the community by saying how? Is that what you're saying? Sorry I can't quite understand from that sentence. Thanks.
Regarding video, Apple touted full support for AVCHD when the latter came out. Turned out that FCP (and iMovie?) had to convert AVCHD into intermediate format to work with it. Huh? Apple even created a sort of AVC-lite (do not confuse with AVCHD Lite) spec with 960x540 @ 30 fps just because it could not handle AVCHD in realtime. All the while Vegas on Windows would use it natively without proxies or intermediates at realtime speed. This turned me away from Apple big time.
This was an old story. Now Apple has M1, which handles 8K H.265 video in realtime, so I guess things have changed. But I don't think anyone was developing software in 2010s for analog video capture. Is there old software that is any good? If one looks what is being sold now, then there are packages for Mac, I don't know how well they work, but the do not capture uncompressed. Is there any native software available that can use one of those dongles and captures uncompressed? IDK.
Software doesn't exist. Not "support" as in staff at the (non)Genius Bar.
I like my Macs. And I prefer Xubuntu and Mint for daily driver -- even Win11! But not for capture. Wrong tools.
Which Mac is it? Use Bootcamp.
If new M1/M2, you're screwed, no path whatsoever. Too new, capturing is a legacy task.
Mac = Quicktime, and that's often the limiting issue for 640x480.
So the answer to the benefits of Windows over Mac is more around available software?
I'm M1 Pro, but I do happen to have an old 27" x86 Mac I can bootcamp. I am in an apartment so space is very limited and this is one of the problems really. I also do have a nice threadripper setup. If I were to continue with my current capture device, I'd need to get a firewire card for the PC - there are plenty of those. I have both the Canopus AVCD 100 and 110 - they have some subtle differences, but both are limited to DV codec obviously. I did get a Hauppauge analog capture card for the threadripper just in case which has an s-video in socket. I'm not really keen to use that as I'm not really convinced it will be worth it for PAL content. I'll need to check what colour standard it supports too. But you convinced me to get an SVHS player with TBC and that seems to be really solid advice, the quality improvement is insane. I'm comparing to my earlier captures and there are entire segments that did not convert at all / black squiggly bars which were caused by the VHS carry pack we used to have when recording obviously misaligning the tape to the recording heads - now all play back perfectly. It's like magic. So I'm open to ideas. This is a much bigger journey than I thought it would be!
And available hardware + drivers.
Firewire for what?
Those Canopus boxes are crappy 1990s technology, and lose about 50% of the image quality.
Firewire to continue with my current capture device.
Regarding the remainder of your commentary, Ive seen the discussion previously, from memory it seems to state:
Canopus use DV codec, DV codec uses 4:2:0, VHS is more than 4:2:0 so quality is lost. Apparently more quality is lost for NTSC than for PAL. I'm on PAL. Also, apparently it's way harder using Analogue on Windows than these other devices, so weigh it up. So far I like these Canopus devices and I certainly wouldn't call them crappy - they may have designed limitations, but the build quality is good and what they do they do consistently without variation. That isn't crap, that's design, a design I can choose to accept or given other information and an appropriate alternative, choose to change.
The consensus seemed to be that these Canopus devices do not capture 100% colour gamut, but are a good way there for most people, with no other issues as far as I remember.
Did I remember that right? I'm sure I forgot something.
Like I said, I got a hauupauge card too, I'm resistant to use it at this stage.
This site does seem to be missing examples of these various claims and associated advantages. Obviously it's nearly impossible to capture these given every person would need a copy of the same tape to import. I do plan to consolidate everything somewhere at some point, to compare along each step, but not yet. I'm feeling particularly overwhelmed with everything on my plate at the moment.
High contrast test pictures with lines single pixel wide will show degradation, but in real life you won't notice it. At worst, the image will be a bit duller, but you can slightly increase the saturation. VHS and other consumer-grade analog formats have pitiful color resolution, about 30 LWPH. With luminance resolution about 240 LWPH this is 8:1 ratio, it is even worse for SVHS. Color resolution would be way down of my worries, after the stable image, good A/V sync, correct aspect ratio, scanning type, not discounting ease of use.
Thanks, that's sort of my thought to i.e. down on my list. I did however get to the point yesterday where I thought I should get some test charts of various types running through. I was contemplating recording some onto VHS or perhaps using a downloaded ISO of some, putting it into a DVD and setting that through the chain of the VHS.
It's interesting, I didn't see the problems of the standard VHS player without TBC until I got one, so I'm open and listening, but taking all good advice and angles and looking at biggest gains first. We are on the same page I think. Thankyou.
You've got it. As long as you know what's what.
To add: Those ADVC boxes do not have TBCs (300 has weak line, pathetic compared to your JVC VCR), "audio lock" is nonsense, those can and do drop frames like any other cards (just no reporting). It's just old tech that kludges along.
You've made some progress towards a quality workflow. Still lack of frame TBC (dropped frames likely, audio sync potential), capture card is a quality hit (but tolerable for PAL). Don't get overwhelmed, you're doing fine.
Thanks for the positive reinforcement, that's definitely needed! I'm noticing a few surprises, like some of the tapes play better on the old machine than this new JVC one - in particular two of the tapes I've tried have a very cyclic loss of all picture quality about every 5-10 seconds or so, that starts with a sort of static drop out of the image, but the audio stays. I don't have the remote for the unit yet - they forgot to include it in the box, so potentially there's a setting to fix it, no idea. I've tried the same tapes in the original player and they play with no drop outs.
The surprise for me was that this time these tapes recorded much better than the first time, in the old player. I've changed exactly two things that would have caused that - one I cleaned the heads and there was quite a lot of dirt, two I'm using the Canopus rather than the horrible Elgato USB. In this new capture all the shimmering video with wavy lines etc has gone. And it leads me to wonder if the Canopus does a better job than I might have been lead to believe. But this is great - I have all the equipment to do some testing and comparisons - except for that final TBC which I'm working on.
I did find a very cheap Datavideo TBC here that is supposedly working (in use) and is worth trying for the price. I have a friend that's an electronics engineer - so wouldn't be too much hassle to replace components if necessary. I don't care if it's burnt money, it was super cheap. So that will be fun to play around with too.
Something else I tried was the Panasonic DMR-ES15. I got a 'used twice' one for $50. It Brought one tape to life that was almost unplayable previously, entirely in black and white and rubbish black and white at that - and now in full colour (but also has those cyclic dropouts. I suspect it's NTSC and since I don't have the remote I have no idea what might be set wrong yet.
Thanks for all the help.
I don't have the remote
[Attachment 73709 - Click to enlarge]
That said, it looks to me like there are only a few settings that you need to make for a PAL unit:
Display> Noise Reduction Off
In the menus: Comb Filter On, TV Aspect 4:3, Progressive Off, TV System PAL, AV1 Output > S-Video (for use with a Scart adapter).
The advantage of the elgato is that it is able to output lossless while the canopus boxes only give you dv-compressed video (assuming it's the small usb2 one with composite/s-video not the elgato game capture thingies) but on the flip side they don't handle the unstable video signal coming out of a vcr with no TBC nearly as well as the canopus boxes do despite being marketed as a video tape archiving thing. The ES15 should help with that though.
Its the JVC I dont have the remote for thanks but I have got a similar one inbound and vcrship is sending me the one it was meant to come with - generic ish too though I think. Yes Im a bit worried about the JVC being out of alignment I mean it was shipped a long way so possibly some bump or something but I think theyre fairly robust. Other tapes are good but I havent tried many yet.
Yes about the sync issue. I forgot to mention the time code on the JVC player completely stops too while playing.
I hope it works out I really do after spending that kind of crazy money.
If the time code stops that means the sync pulse head is either dirty, has a loose connection or miss aligned, You should check it, It's on the right side of the drum close to the pinch roller, There is stationary head that has audio on top and synch pulse head at the bottom.
Thankyou, I'll see if I can have a look at that. I think I've seen the audio head - looks much like a cassette player head only bigger. So shouldn't be hard to find.
So on my deck - I don't think it has what you're describing, not under the audio head anyway.
Here are a few pictures.
I was a bit disappointed to see that split in the rubber capstan is it called? Hopefully I can just buy another one if it becomes a problem. I thought this VCRShop was meant to be the premium place that gave a full inspection and service beforehand, I also notice there's a bit of dust inside, which makes me wonder if they even bothered to open it or if it's just an ebay model forwarded on. Perhaps I'm being unfair.
I checked the cable going into what I assume is the audio head, and it was well connected. I am somewhat pondering your comment because this age of video will all be using the separate audio method I assume, rather than the helical scan embeded audio, which I read about recently. Possibly a coincidence and all the audio works anyway.
[Attachment 73722 - Click to enlarge]
[Attachment 73723 - Click to enlarge]
[Attachment 73724 - Click to enlarge]
[Attachment 73725 - Click to enlarge]
[Attachment 73726 - Click to enlarge]
[Attachment 73727 - Click to enlarge]
That is called the pinch roller, Looking at its condition it could well be the culprit, It needs to be replaced a.s.a.p, it could be lifting up or pushing down the tape while playing which causes the tape to skew off the tape path and miss the sync pulse head and could also lead to tape edge damage (curly edge tape syndrome), While in there try to clean the head anyway with alcohol and cotton swab.
As a troubleshooting step try to remove and reinstall the pinch roller upside down, You first need to remove the plastic black retaining ring from the pinch roller shaft, flip over the pinch roller and put the ring back by pushing down slightly until it seats, and play some tapes and see what changes and report back.
[Attachment 73730 - Click to enlarge]
Ok thanks very much for the info! Do you think it is just coincidence then that some tapes work fine?
Since it's from vcrshop I would rather contact them about the split pinch roller and possibly misaligned audio head before messing with it on your own.
I'm not aware that VCRshop restore the stuff they sell, so it is no surprise to find it non functioning at all. Fully restored units are only sold by individuals who are committed to their hobby and that often costs a lot of money.
I don't think it's a coincidence that some tapes work and some don't. If the alignment is a little off it might not be off enough to miss the signal on all tapes due to signal strength on tape or due to how the alignment is on the recording compared to the vcr.
You are not the only person to have noted some off alignement on JVCs here either, so it might be a common thing on jvcs of this era rather than something specific that happen to your unit (linear audio and control track head is on the same post hence alignment of both are linked). It is something that can be tweaked if that's the main problem. The split pinch roller is not normal though and not something that can be fixed without replacing it and I would consider complaining about to the seller before touching anything inside the vcr.