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  #1  
02-03-2020, 09:43 PM
galacticboy2009 galacticboy2009 is offline
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--Background--

Let me say upfront that my intentional use for this VCR is capturing rare, home-made, local tapes into lossless format, then editing them as I like and preserving/restoring them for others to enjoy.

I recently purchased a used JVC SR-MV55 which seems to be in nearly perfect condition.
It was rackmounted, and likely used in some sort of a professional setting by the previous owner.

It was intended to be an upgrade from my previous VCR, a Sony SLV-N71 that I probably found at a GoodWill somewhere and said "this is better than nothing"

--The Issue--

The only problem is, the new VCR seems to have terrible compatibility. It's very picky.
While the few tapes it does play flawlessly seem to look slightly better than the cheap Sony VCR,
most tapes result in strange artifacts like flickering, frame jitter(?) where it flashes a seemingly random frame from the last few seconds of video.

Turning off the TBC option seems to improve playback slightly, but the flashing still remains.

The worst offender was when I tested the playback with a commercial copy of the "Cats" musical I found at a thrift store. Turning the TBC on while playing that, causes a strange warped top-8th of the screen where it appears bent towards the right and discolored.

Some tapes seem to play fine in it, but it's disappointing that at it's best, it looks basically the same as the consumer VCRs I have, the SLV-N71 and the Sony RDR-VX525
(except both those VCRs can play those same tapes with no flashing or serious issues)

It doesn't seem to have any other issues, no error codes are reported.

Video signal is fed out through S-Video into a Black Magic Intensity 4K (PCI capture card) and I've tried using the composite out as well. Same results.

--The solution?--

Is there any service a novice could perform on it, by opening it up? I know since it's a DVD/VHS combo unit that complicates any repairs, but I didn't really have the money to be picky and get one of the popularly suggested units.

If not, who would be best to take a look at it, repair it?
TGrant doesn't have an option for this specific VCR model. And I'm hoping not much would have to be done to it anyway, since it's such a simple yet annoying issue.

Any help or advice is appreciated.

Last edited by galacticboy2009; 02-03-2020 at 09:45 PM. Reason: Added clarity that the original VCRs play the tapes fine.
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  #2  
02-03-2020, 11:34 PM
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lordsmurf lordsmurf is offline
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Several issues here...

1. This model VCR was in heavy-use environments. Sellers of these units are almost always unknowledgable about video, and their claims of "tested" and "working" are laughable at best. The seller is a complete fraud and liar at first (and that does happen, and quite frequently, especially with these JVC models). The biggest issue with these is head wear, and no amount of repair/refurb can fix shot heads. Out of spec heads must be replaced. A rackmount chassis is a tell-tale sign that the unit has high hours, meaning much wear.

2. I can refurb these decks, but I'm not sure if I want to refurb VCRs anymore. It's time consuming, literally many hours, at least 2 full days of non-stop work. If I do it, it'll be a comparable rate that TGrant changes for AG-1980P work. You can PM me about it. Yes, being a combo does present some added issues. Note that I have lots of spare JVC parts, including for these model units, if needed.

3. Your main issue is lack of external frame TBC. That's why you're seeing what you're seeing.

4. The Sony VCR is quite terrible. Noise, smeary playback. The JVC will be better.

5. The Blackmagic cards are infamous, and do not wok well at all with SD consumer analog sources like VHS. If using Windows, do yourself a favor, get a better card for the transfer. BM has SD as an afterthought. BM itself has stated that these cards are not meant for VHS tapes, but rather higher-end sources (like BetacamSP).

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  #3  
02-03-2020, 11:40 PM
latreche34 latreche34 is offline
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There is nothing wrong with the VCR, It's your capture card that is not made for VHS like sources, You need an external TBC between the VCR and the capture card, If in doubt hookup the VCR directly to TV if the problems appear on TV then it might be defective.

Looks like lordsmurf beat me to it while reading the post.
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  #4  
02-03-2020, 11:57 PM
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lordsmurf lordsmurf is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by latreche34 View Post
There is nothing wrong with the VCR, .
No, from the description, that VCR does have issues, I already know what's wrong here (99% certainty). It has wear, likely no maintenance (given the environments for use of these models), and needs a refurb job to be a useful deck. It will never be satisfactory to use otherwise.

The external TBC is also needed, however. Several issues all at once here.

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  #5  
02-04-2020, 12:15 AM
galacticboy2009 galacticboy2009 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lordsmurf View Post
1. This model VCR was in heavy-use environments..
Yeah, it was fairly cheap, and I was okay with throwing the money away on a "maybe"
Sadly it didn't turn out positively.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lordsmurf View Post
2. I can refurb these decks, but I'm not sure if I want to refurb VCRs anymore..
Yeah, I don't really have the money to pay for that right now, but thanks for the offer. I'd probably just sell the JVC as 'needs repair' and buy a really nice AG-1980P if I had some good money to throw at this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lordsmurf View Post
3. Your main issue is lack of external frame TBC. That's why you're seeing what you're seeing.
Very true, that would help prevent a lot of things, not least of which would be audio sync from dropped frames. The Sony DVD/VHS combo VCR has an HDMI output. In theory.. Besides the inherently inferior quality of the Sony transport/head/processing.. Would capturing the HDMI out be a positive choice in any way? It could at least negate the purpose of an in-line TBC since the video is digitized within the unit before sending it over the cable, and the capture device is none-the-wiser when frames are dropped.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lordsmurf View Post
4. The Sony VCR is quite terrible. Noise, smeary playback. The JVC will be better.
Agreed. The chroma noise is incredibly noticeable.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lordsmurf View Post
5. The Blackmagic cards are infamous, and do not wok well at all with SD consumer analog sources like VHS. If using Windows, do yourself a favor, get a better card for the transfer. BM has SD as an afterthought. BM itself has stated that these cards are not meant for VHS tapes, but rather higher-end sources (like BetacamSP).
I'm running Windows 10. I googled the popular "ATI 600" TV tuner card and it seems pretty hard to find since it was discontinued.

Quote:
Originally Posted by latreche34 View Post
There is nothing wrong with the VCR, It's your capture card that is not made for VHS like sources, You need an external TBC between the VCR and the capture card, If in doubt hookup the VCR directly to TV if the problems appear on TV then it might be defective.
Capturing with the other VCRs through composite and S-video, and the same capture card, doesn't present the issues. I'll hook it up to a TV and report back anyway though, just to be sure.

--------

Thanks for your responses, I really appreciate it. Lordsmurf you are a legend, and this site is such an important resource.
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  #6  
02-04-2020, 12:24 AM
galacticboy2009 galacticboy2009 is offline
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Also, far be it from me to say "I know you said that, but what about this?" but..

Blackmagic seems to specifically advertise the card I'm using, as being perfect for VHS archival. They make some bold claims about it too.



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  #7  
02-04-2020, 12:38 AM
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lordsmurf lordsmurf is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by galacticboy2009 View Post
Yeah, I don't really have the money to pay for that right now,
I'd probably just sell the JVC as 'needs repair' and buy a really nice AG-1980P if I had some good money to throw at this.
I guess. Seems like negative economics to me.T he AG-1980 has a lot of annoyances as deck, including even refurbs, including even TGrant's repair/refurb work. It's not him, or us as users, it's the deck. It's too touchy. The decks can fail without warning, and forces another costly or time-consuming repair. When it's the best tool for your needs (lots of VHS-C, lots of EP), then get it, baby it, pray it functions properly every time you power it on. But otherwise JVC is a better bet, will last longer.

Quote:
Would capturing the HDMI out be a positive choice in any way?
No. Never.

Quote:
It could at least negate the purpose of an in-line TBC since the video is digitized within the unit before sending it over the cable, and the capture device is none-the-wiser when frames are dropped.
No. It can drop at the HDMI conversion, same issues exist there.

Quote:
Agreed. The chroma noise is incredibly noticeable.
Just as trivia, RCA and GE decks have probably the worst chroma noise I've ever seen.

Quote:
I'm running Windows 10. I googled the popular "ATI 600" TV tuner card and it seems pretty hard to find since it was discontinued.
Win10 doesn't like the ATI anyway (but ironically fine with the clones, since those use generic eMPIA drivers rather than the ATI proprietary drivers). Remember to check the marketplace forum, I sometimes have a few spare capture cards available.

Quote:
Thanks for your responses, I really appreciate it. Lordsmurf you are a legend, and this site is such an important resource.


Quote:
Originally Posted by galacticboy2009 View Post
Also, far be it from me to say "I know you said that, but what about this?" but.. Blackmagic seems to specifically advertise the card I'm using, as being perfect for VHS archival. They make some bold claims about it too
Marketing vs. people that actually worth there as engineers/techs. The bean counters and advertising copy writers wouldn't know a VHS tapes from an S-VHS tape. (Some would know a VHS tape from a DV tape. And worst of all, some may not know a VHS tape from an audio cassette. Seriously. Seen it. Sad.)

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  #8  
02-04-2020, 06:04 AM
sanlyn sanlyn is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by galacticboy2009 View Post
Also, far be it from me to say "I know you said that, but what about this?" but..

Blackmagic seems to specifically advertise the card I'm using, as being perfect for VHS archival. They make some bold claims about it too.
Wow, that's mighty slick hype for purely deceptive b.s. No wonder newbs keep getting sucked into it. They think their family videos will look like the ads. They end up looking like mistakes. What a shame. But skillful lying is the norm these days.
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  #9  
02-04-2020, 06:20 AM
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lordsmurf lordsmurf is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sanlyn View Post
Wow, that's mighty slick hype for purely deceptive b.s. No wonder newbs keep getting sucked into it. They think their family videos will look like the ads. They end up looking like mistakes. What a shame. But skillful lying is the norm these days.
I don't recall old ads where VHS mentioned by format. It probably played out like this:

BM: "Best capture card ever!"
Users: "It has massive problems with VHS."
BM: "Oh." Hmmm...
<time passes>
BM: "Best capture card for VHS ever!"

But nothing changed.

Trumpism isn't new, he's just the most obvious person doing it these days. The corporate world is full of BS stunts like this. It's disgusting, and anti-consumer. If caught with your pants down, just lie to cover it up, and either hope nobody notices or that they believe the BS. Sadly, many rubes will not notice, or are hopelessly gullible. Lesson = don't be a rube.

Understand that I truly wish this was not the case, and the Blackmagic was this awesome card for VHS projects. But it is not. It is what it is.

BM's main sin is not "dropping" frames as much as it is to silently duplicate frames. And yesm ever with a TBC! It's a defect of SD capturing. While audio may not skew, motion and image continuity is screwed. Most people assume that after getting a TBC, their capture is all perfect. But most people don't verify captures as they should, and miss the duping. (It's not unlike folks that used the black flawed AVT-8710, and didn't notice frame sticking or other weird field issues.)

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  #10  
02-04-2020, 01:12 PM
hodgey hodgey is offline
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Something you can try is to pass the signal from the JVC through the Sony DVD Recorder, input S-Video on one of the inputs , set it to the correct input, and hook up component (with progressive mode set to off) or S-Video from the Sony to the blackmagic card. That ought to make it go through the internal digitizer in the Sony and hopefully avoid the flashing issues from the blackmagic as the signal then ought to be stable sans possibly macrovision if there is on the input side. HDMI would probably not be ideal, as it looks like you can't get 480i from it, and you would need a HDMI splitter to avoid HDCP copy protection.

The Sony combo unit looks like one of Sony's later models which were samsungs internally, the other one looks like an actual Sony inside.

Quote:
Originally Posted by galacticboy2009 View Post
--Background--
The worst offender was when I tested the playback with a commercial copy of the "Cats" musical I found at a thrift store. Turning the TBC on while playing that, causes a strange warped top-8th of the screen where it appears bent towards the right and discolored.
.
This warping can be a result of macrovision/copy protection messing with the TBC.
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  #11  
02-04-2020, 10:26 PM
msgohan msgohan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by galacticboy2009 View Post
Blackmagic seems to specifically advertise the card I'm using, as being perfect for VHS archival. They make some bold claims about it too.
Quote:
Originally Posted by lordsmurf View Post
I don't recall old ads where VHS mentioned by format.
Since sometime 2019, their website has actually toned down claims about the Intensity Pro 4K compared to their pre-release hype.

Besides the different formatting, the only difference between my two screencaps below is that they removed the sentence
"Intensity Pro 4K captures better looking video than other solutions because it includes a professional, broadcast grade time base corrector to help stabilize video from poor quality tapes, like VHS and older DVDs."

IP4K claims TBC.jpg
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Oldest version on Archive.org; 2015-03-18
Still claimed TBC as of early last year; 2019-01-25
First archived version with no TBC claim; 2019-06-19 (they have nothing between Jan & June)

galacticboy2009: I wish you would have seen my thread before buying:
https://forum.videohelp.com/threads/...-%28Nope%21%29

I still can't get over how many times that page mentions capturing the output of a DVD player, as if anybody would ever want to do that instead of ripping the actual disc.



Last edited by msgohan; 02-04-2020 at 10:39 PM.
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  #12  
02-04-2020, 11:02 PM
msgohan msgohan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by galacticboy2009 View Post
The Sony DVD/VHS combo VCR [Sony RDR-VX525] has an HDMI output. In theory.. Besides the inherently inferior quality of the Sony transport/head/processing.. Would capturing the HDMI out be a positive choice in any way? It could at least negate the purpose of an in-line TBC since the video is digitized within the unit before sending it over the cable, and the capture device is none-the-wiser when frames are dropped.
Please capture a sample. I'm curious to see what level of horizontal stabilization (or lack of) it offers. But most DVD recorders have HDCP always-on. Unless you have an HDMI splitter that can strip HDCP, you'll probably have to capture from S-Video (or component).

If you can capture from HDMI: set YCbCr and 480p, since 480i is not an option. (As I mentioned in that Intensity Pro 4K thread linked above, it reinterlaces 480p input to 480i. Hopefully you capture the real fields instead of the interpolated ones.)

Manual pg 96:
RDR-VX525 HDMI settings.PNG


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