Quantcast Electronic Design TBC-Enhancer vs "regular" TBC vs ES10 - digitalFAQ Forum
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  #1  
06-12-2020, 10:24 AM
puleddu puleddu is offline
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After reading some discussions on the topic TBC, I got the chance to grab a working TBC-Enhancer (Electronic Design).

What I know is that this device provides some TBC-like benefits, but I'm not sure about which benefits exactly. I also ignore what's the actual difference with a regular TBC (e.g. Datavideo TBC-1000) and an ES10 in passthrough configuration.

I'd be curious to know if the benefits are more comparable to one (TBC) or the other (ES10) solution, and I'd really appreciate to know why is that.
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  #2  
06-12-2020, 12:47 PM
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This unit is apparently popular in certain German-language forums. However, so are some other not-suggested items.

Our member Bogelein likes it, but I need more facts. All that does is make me want to test it.

When it comes to TBCs, based on my decades of experience, I'm extremely dubious of any item that claims to be a magic cure-all to whatever ails image quality -- which is exactly what this item does on the original OEM box. That tiger image is fake as can be. For one thing, that'd be the effects of line TBC, not frame TBC. Many Europeans TBCs had this false-image marketing. Honestly, pure lies as images.

I'm extra dubious of items from the early/mid 90s, the Amiga and VideoToaster days. Lots of those items have not stood up to late 90s and early 2000s items. Archer, Vidimate, etc -- replaced by SignVideo/Studio1 (literally, same company for the Vidimates, upgraded products). This may fall into that class, an early box replaced by latter era TBCs. And as unwanted as a rackmount.

I'm also extremely dubious of items that try to multitask. I don't believe in multitasking. You can do one thing very well, or several things concurrently very shoddily. The items apparently has both line and frame TBC? And proc amps, effects, etc? I call BS.

When it comes to TBCs I've not yet used, I will either (1) not expect much, or (2) be very eager to try it, expecting a gem. And I'm rarely surprised. With this unit, I'm not expecting much. The claims are wild and likely bogus, the box has too many features to do anything well from my experience.

Again, I do want to try it.

My gut feeling is that it will closely mimic mixers with TBC (weak, fiddly, caveats that make usage unwanted in certain workflows). Maybe DataVideo DVKs (weak, fiddly). Maybe even a few rackmounts that are passable, like IDen-7s?

Remember: "TBC" is a loose term, and can mean anything. And as I like to joke, I sometimes think my toaster has a TBC! At least using the loose usage of the word as many companies/manufacturers do.


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File Type: jpg edtbc fake tiger.jpg (57.2 KB, 8 downloads)

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  #3  
06-12-2020, 01:40 PM
puleddu puleddu is offline
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Thanks for chiming in and sharing you opinion I do understand you have your favourites and I appreciate how your preference could very well be influenced by decades of experience.

However, as you appropriately suggest, we want facts. Unfortunately, your feelings related to this specific item doesn't seem to be based on facts either, since you never tested it

If Bogelein has experience with it, I'd be interested in knowing his opinion and I hope he contributes to this discussion.

On the other hand, my question aims at a "ternary comparison" so I think there is still room for a clarification, while waiting for hands-on experience on the TBC-Enhancer (Electronic Design).

I believe you had experience with regular TBCs you'd consider valid, and you certainly have experience with the ES10 used as a TBC-like tool.

I'm a silent visitor, but an avid reader, and despite having read numerous posts on this topic, I'm yet to find one that clearly states the technical differences regarding the effects that a normal TBC vs an ES10 passthrough produces: is it just a matter of one being more robust? Is there a difference in how the correction is made? What is this difference? Etc.

I'm fine even just receiving a link or hints on how to continue my quest to know more.

It's not sufficient for me to just know that one is better than the other, I'd like to know more about that, and I'm hoping you could point me in the right direction. I trust your take, and I'm willing to benefit from it information out there seems to be often contradictory.

-- merged --

Also, if I may add a detail, I own both the TBC-Enhancer and the ES10, my ultimate goal is to know if any of the two might be preferable for any reason, and what would be such reasons.

Maybe the TBC-Enhancer might work better in certain scenarios, but it might cause issues that a more tested ES10 workflow would never introduce.

If I'd only be more knowledgeable I'd do the test myself, but to be honest I don't even know what to check if I were to make a comparison.

Hence, any suggestion is welcome!
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  #4  
06-12-2020, 04:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by puleddu View Post
Unfortunately, your feelings related to this specific item doesn't seem to be based on facts either, since you never tested it
To be blunt, that comment somewhat pisses me off. My comments aren't from "feelings", but rather observation of many devices over the past 20+ years. Descriptions, marketing, era, target audience users, similar devices. It's an educated guess. I'd suggest it's a VERY educated guess. Yes, a guess -- and I'd enjoy being wrong about it (as we need more TBC candidates).

What I don't want to see is newbies knee-jerk hunting and buying potentially unwanted devices. That happens far too often. So I feel obligated to add warning commentary to some types of posts.

Understand?

Quote:
If Bogelein has experience with it, I'd be interested in knowing his opinion and I hope he contributes to this discussion.
Me too! And with many samples.

Quote:
I'm a silent visitor, but an avid reader, and despite having read numerous posts on this topic, I'm yet to find one that clearly states the technical differences regarding the effects that a normal TBC vs an ES10 passthrough produces: is it just a matter of one being more robust? Is there a difference in how the correction is made? What is this difference? Etc.
You must realize that "TBC" is a loose term. Therefore many things can be considered "a TBC". But for the specific purposes of this forum, where we've all here for converting consumer analog formats to digital (Hi8/V8, VHS, Betamax, etc, even potentially Umatic and others), certain properties must exist. More specifically, certain strengths must exist.

The DMR-ES10/15 is a DVD recorder with a few extra chips. Those provide frame sync (not frame sync TBC), as well as TBC-like (mostly line) functions. It's "-like" or "(ish)" because there are exceptions to it functioning correctly -- namely anti-copy. Now understand that anti-copy is an artificial video error, and natural errors can appear the same. So a bad tape (signal-wise, not necessarily visually) can make the ES10/15 choke. The DVK units have frame sync TBC, the ES10/15 frame sync + line TBC(ish). Technically, that combo is far more powerful than a normal TBC, though still not 100% as effective. However, ES10/15 NR/posterization artifacting makes it unsuitable for all but essential needs (tearing), or as a budget option (better than no TBC, less costly than full external TBC and with-TBC VCR) where artifacts will/can be tolerated. Noting that artifacts are not overly visible in small preview screens while capturing, but obvious on modern 55"+ size HDTV screen (with the exception of the HDTV sucks, and itself has/adds noise to video, which happens). BTW, non-TBC VCRs still need quality innards (transports, etc), and so that still usually means getting a recommended with-TBC S-VHS deck.

By contrast, actual TBCs have multiple chips for multiple functions. It's somewhat like comparing a high-end sports car to a go-kart. Sure, both are fun, go fast (or feel that way), etc. But not whatsoever the same. It's naive to think it. A TBC is more than a couple chips in a box. It's about chip cooperation (tandem operations), function, buffers, on-chip software/firmware, etc.

Quote:
Also, if I may add a detail, I own both the TBC-Enhancer and the ES10
Maybe the TBC-Enhancer might work better in certain scenarios, but it might cause issues that a more tested ES10 workflow would never introduce.
Well, you're in a position to test that.

Quote:
If I'd only be more knowledgeable I'd do the test myself, but to be honest I don't even know what to check if I were to make a comparison.
Unfortunately, it requires a test bed of bad tape with various known errors. After time, and tapes, you may come across certain tapes that have certain issues viewed on multiple decks/workflows. I have many tapes, with several dozen specifically for TBC testing. I've yet to find a TBC that passes all tests perfectly, though a few have come close (3rd-gen TBC-3000, CDM-1200, maybe an early production Cypress-like BVTBC).

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  #5  
06-12-2020, 05:05 PM
puleddu puleddu is offline
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First and foremost, thanks for adding a few more details to your answer. I guess my research for evidence – as in samples to compare, or to do myself as long as I gain the necessary skill to make them under a controlled environment – will continue.

You mention things like "multiple chips for multiple functions" or "TBC is more than a couple chips in a box" but I'm looking for something more concrete, like I said, examples or maybe schematics that would tell me things like: chip XYZ in the Datavideo TBC-1000 does ABC and it's not something you can find in the ES10, this leads to bla bla bla or chip XY and chip YZ contained in the AVT-8710 do A but don't do B because they were not mean to, so you get this result instead of that one, etc.

But I understand this might be out of the scope of this forum and/or it might require access to material we don't have.

The metaphors along the lines of high-end sports car vs go-karts might be ok to give a rough idea, but I guess you agree it's not adding much to the knowledge I was asking you to share and I find more interesting to get into the details if we want to be specific and objective.

Quote:
To be blunt, that comment somewhat pisses me off.
Well I'm not sure I can do much about that. I always say my opinion. I do it with respect, but I do and I don't take responsibility for the reaction that my interlocutor might have when hearing such opinion.

Chances are that you might get pissed off again in the future unless you ask me to leave, in which case – this forum being your "home" and me being your guest – rest assured that your desire would be fulfilled with no hesitation and no hard feelings.

If I'm allowed to stay, though, I will always state my opinion within the boundaries of the board rules and respecting the person I'm talking to.

In this very specific instance, I'm not sure what causes you so much annoyance, you basically said it yourself using expressions like: I'm extremely dubious..., I'm not expecting much..., My gut feeling is...

These all clearly represent an opinion based on a feeling. An informed feeling, of course like I stated (before you did) at the beginning of my post.

So, no reason to be pissed off from my point of view. But please let me know if you'd like to get into more details privately.

Ultimately, we are talking gear and we all have the same goal I think, which is sharing and learning together (the latter is more for me, as I'm just getting started
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  #6  
06-12-2020, 07:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by puleddu View Post
Ultimately, we are talking gear and we all have the same goal
Yep!

Quote:
Originally Posted by puleddu View Post
chip XYZ in the Datavideo TBC-1000 does ABC and it's not something you can find in the ES10, this leads to bla bla bla or chip XY and chip YZ contained in the AVT-8710 do A but don't do B because they were not mean to, so you get this result instead of that one, etc.
I have a lot of material along these lines -- but what I don't have lots of is time.

However, I share knowledge as I can. Sometimes you have to settle for outcomes, summaries, and analogies. This site started as my personal notebook, where I began sharing outcomes of experiments, creating how-to guides, etc. It was never meant to be a technical manual on how to build/deconstruct equipment, merely understanding how to use it, and knowing what to buy to reach quality goals. Solve problems, restoration. Equipment teardowns can get interesting, and I've had to do it as a means to reach goals. But it was never about the equipment itself, in terms of why it worked. I never cared as much for why -- I need to know what to use, how, and how much (costs). My end goal has always been the video, and hardware is just a tool to those ends.

Quote:
or it might require access to material we don't have.
This is partially true as well, when it goes into chip interactions and on-chip firmwares. Though I do have some documentation on some things..

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Originally Posted by puleddu View Post
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Stay.

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