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  #1  
07-10-2020, 04:30 PM
Aerith Aerith is offline
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Ok, so after a lot of adventure, including having the AJA Kona LHe card I bought disappear in shipping, four months later I finally have almost everything ready.

My setup looks like this:
  • Blaupunkt RTV 966 (Panasonic NV-HS 1000 clone) VCR (includes a internal TBC)
  • AVT-8710 external TBC
  • AJA Kona LSe capture card
  • Windows 10 v1903 64-bit running on a i7-3770 @ 3.4 GHZ (4 cores/8 threads) with 16 GB of RAM
Video is connected over S-Video cable. (I wonder if the VCR will output component through SCART?) I currently lack an audio cable, but intend to go to the store and buy a RCA-XLR cable tomorrow.

The capture software I have available is:
  • AJA Machina (came with the drivers)
  • Adobe Premiere Elements 8
  • Adobe Premiere Pro CS 5.5
My father might also have some more old software lying around somewhere.

I did a test capture today with Premiere Pro. It had three options:
  • AJA AVI Capture
  • AJA QuickTime Capture
  • AJA Sequence Capture
I selected "AJA AVI Capture" and recorded a number of two minute test clips. Worryingly, Premiere Pro seems to freeze for a long time when saving which makes me wonder what would happen if the recordings were more than an hour long?

Filename: Untitled Clip 01.avi
Contains: VT-8710 external TBC + VCR TBC
Link: https://easyupload.io/1g58fq

Because of the size of the uncompressed AVI, I used FFMPEG to compress the others with FFV1 compression. I'll leave the above original for reference.

Filename: capture.zip
Contains: AVT-8710 external TBC + VCR TBC, VCR TBC only, No TBC
Link: https://easyupload.io/x9l1pn

TBC test.jpg

Is it just me or does the picture look better without the TBCs? Is this a setting problem? I'll have to test some more.

Anyway, I was wondering what the best way to capture VHS with the AJA Kona LSe card is? What software should I use? What settings? Thank you for your help!


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  #2  
07-10-2020, 05:29 PM
hodgey hodgey is offline
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Going by the pictures, it looks like the Kona LSe has some TBC functionality, it seems to be correcting horizontal wiggle like the VCR TBC does, otherwise no-TBC one would look less straight. From images on google it has one of the chips from Analog Devices, many of which have that functionality. Whether it can fulfill the function of the AVT as well i don't know, hard to say without the video.

There is a bit more contrast on the no-tbc picture, so maybe you just need to adjust the contrast or brightness a bit on the AVT or capture device, taking care to avoid clipping. I haven't used these cards, so I don't know what tools there are for it. On the left example the no-tbc picture is not the same frame as the other one, either you picked out two different frames, or there is something causing the field order to be different.
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07-10-2020, 05:42 PM
Aerith Aerith is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hodgey View Post
Going by the pictures, it looks like the Kona LSe has some TBC functionality, it seems to be correcting horizontal wiggle like the VCR TBC does, otherwise no-TBC one would look less straight. From images on google it has one of the chips from Analog Devices, many of which have that functionality. Whether it can fulfill the function of the AVT as well i don't know, hard to say without the video.

There is a bit more contrast on the no-tbc picture, so maybe you just need to adjust the contrast or brightness a bit on the AVT or capture device, taking care to avoid clipping. I haven't used these cards, so I don't know what tools there are for it. On the left example the no-tbc picture is not the same frame as the other one, either you picked out two different frames, or there is something causing the field order to be different.
I'll do some more testing tomorrow including with different tapes.

Regarding frames, I'm not sure which picture you are thinking of, but I tried to eyeball it as best I could in MPC and then just took a snapshot. I figured it would at least give people a quick overview in case they didn't feel like downloading gigabytes of video.

Edit: If you are talking about the horizontal lines thing, then that is present throughout the AVT-8710 TBC video clip, but not in the others. I don't know why.
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07-10-2020, 06:30 PM
hodgey hodgey is offline
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Looked at the clips now, it does look like the causes the fields to be out of phase for some reason compared to the clips without the AVT, that's odd. The JVC camcorder does that sometimes, but wasn't aware of a one of the oft-used TBCs causing it. It's something that can be fixed in post with an avisynth script, or with a bit more fumbling with ffmpeg (it may sometimes be needed anyway on TV recordings of stuff from film sources as they're sometimes not in phase.)
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07-10-2020, 06:39 PM
latreche34 latreche34 is offline
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Looks like the AVT TBC is blurring the picture and dimming it. leave it out unless needed. Another member here used the AVT with the BE75 and results were exactly like here, but taking out the AVT produced a sharp and more contrasted picture. Stacking TBC's is not always good especially when mixing consumer and pro TBC's.
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  #6  
07-11-2020, 02:44 AM
Aerith Aerith is offline
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I noticed in the manual that the AJA Kona LSe has a 5 line adaptive comb filter. I understand that this is a good thing, though perhaps not as good as a 3D filter?

Anyway, I sent an e-mail to AJA support and asked them what capture software they would recommend and they said to use the Machina software that came with the drivers. As I was poking around in the settings I noticed a "Reference" setting with the options "Free Run", "External", and "Input".

AJA Machina - Reference signal setting.jpg

I wonder if adjusting this setting would help with the fields?


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  #7  
07-11-2020, 07:13 AM
latreche34 latreche34 is offline
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Comb filter works with composite input only, It is not needed for S-Video input. The reference I believe is the timing signal, Input defaults to the signal being captured, External is if you are connecting to an external reference signal to one of the connectors labeled external, Free run could be the TBC of the device. I'm not sure you'll have to read the manual.
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07-11-2020, 07:20 AM
Aerith Aerith is offline
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I was thinking about those horizontal lines and decided to try using VirtualDub to deinterlace.

The Net - AVT-8710 external TBC + VCR TBC (VirtualDub deinterlace).jpg

Looks like an improvement to me. Though I'm not sure why it is necessary to do this in this case but not in the others?


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  #9  
07-11-2020, 07:27 AM
Aerith Aerith is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by latreche34 View Post
Comb filter works with composite input only, It is not needed for S-Video input. The reference I believe is the timing signal, Input defaults to the signal being captured, External is if you are connecting to an external reference signal to one of the connectors labeled external, Free run could be the TBC of the device. I'm not sure you'll have to read the manual.
The manual is focused on the Mac version so there seem to be differences. In any case, the manual says:

Genlock (Freerun, Ref In, Video In)—Selects how KONA LS will synchronize
program video:

Freerun: in this mode, KONA LS generates sync without an external reference
source

Ref In: directs KONA LS to use the Ref Video source for sync (usually an analog
black burst video signal)

Video In: directs KONA LS to use whichever video input source has been
selected in the Inputs tab window for sync

When I'm recording in AJA Machina, if I press the red record button too early I get a message "Error - No Video Input is detected". If I press it later though, I miss the first couple of seconds of video.

Can anything be done about this?
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  #10  
07-11-2020, 10:31 AM
jjdd jjdd is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aerith View Post
When I'm recording in AJA Machina, if I press the red record button too early I get a message "Error - No Video Input is detected". If I press it later though, I miss the first couple of seconds of video.

Can anything be done about this?
Maybe you can trick it i mean example input a dvd signal to the VHS like if you are going to record the dvd signal to a vhs tape

if there was still analog signal channels then maybe the internal tuner in the VHS can work to

but im not sure if it will work to trick the capture card
i remember i have done something similar

About the Pal Film interlace thing here you can see how to fix it POST NR:35 then no need to deinterlace it looks like progresive but itīs interlaced video
VHS capture quality comparisons

Pal VHS Film if you do in avisynth SeparateFields() you can see that the 2 fields are the same or look the same in time and if you see then interlace lines then you have to trim the start field so it get align but you see better in the link i did post how to fix that

itīs good to always test SeparateFields() on PAL vhs tape and see if itīs real interlace or fake interlace hehe or how do i say it but if the 2 fields look difference in time then itīs real interlace video

Last edited by jjdd; 07-11-2020 at 11:23 AM.
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  #11  
07-11-2020, 12:17 PM
Aerith Aerith is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjdd View Post
Maybe you can trick it i mean example input a dvd signal to the VHS like if you are going to record the dvd signal to a vhs tape

if there was still analog signal channels then maybe the internal tuner in the VHS can work to

but im not sure if it will work to trick the capture card
i remember i have done something similar
This worked! I connected a DVD/VCR combo via SCART and used it as a signal generator.

Quote:
About the Pal Film interlace thing here you can see how to fix it POST NR:35 then no need to deinterlace it looks like progresive but itīs interlaced video
VHS capture quality comparisons

Pal VHS Film if you do in avisynth SeparateFields() you can see that the 2 fields are the same or look the same in time and if you see then interlace lines then you have to trim the start field so it get align but you see better in the link i did post how to fix that

itīs good to always test SeparateFields() on PAL vhs tape and see if itīs real interlace or fake interlace hehe or how do i say it but if the 2 fields look difference in time then itīs real interlace video
Unfortunately I've never used AviSynth before so my ability to follow is limited. I'll try having another look at it later.
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  #12  
07-11-2020, 12:26 PM
jjdd jjdd is offline
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Good

here is a example how to trim the start field to align it
you have to edit AVISource("D:\VHS.avi")
and maybe change to AssumeBFF() but im sure itīs AssumeTFF()

Code:
AVISource("D:\VHS.avi")
AssumeTFF().SeparateFields().Trim(1,0).Weave()
here is one more avisynth script that auto fix it if there is align problems in many places in the capture it did work for me

Code:
AVISource("D:\VHS.avi")
AssumeTFF().TFM(1,mode=0,pp=0,micmatching=0)
http://avisynth.nl/index.php/TIVTC/TFM

Last edited by jjdd; 07-11-2020 at 12:43 PM.
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  #13  
07-11-2020, 12:55 PM
Aerith Aerith is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjdd View Post
Good

here is a example how to trim the start field to align it
you have to edit AVISource("D:\VHS.avi")
and maybe change to AssumeBFF() but im sure itīs AssumeTFF()

Code:
AVISource("D:\VHS.avi")
AssumeTFF().SeparateFields().Trim(1,0).Weave()
here is one more avisynth script that auto fix it if there is align problems in many places in the capture it did work for me

Code:
AVISource("D:\VHS.avi")
AssumeTFF().TFM(1,mode=0,pp=0,micmatching=0)
http://avisynth.nl/index.php/TIVTC/TFM
Thanks! I'll have to try it as soon as I figure out how to install AviSynth.

In other news, I've been testing with an old home video VHS tape from 1993. This particular tape had disappointing performance even when new and the years since haven't helped.
  • Quality with the Blaupunkt VCR and AJA Kona capture card is noticably better compared to a previous digitization made in 2010 with the Canopus AVDC-300 device.
  • With everything turned off (VCR-TBC off, VCR-AI off, no external TBC), the picture is jumping around all over the place in the first minute of the tape. Things stabilize afterwards, but issues like horizontal lines appear and disappear throughout the tape.
  • The TBC built-in to the VCR helped slightly in a previous tape, but in this one it actually reduced quality so I turned it off.
  • The AVT-8710 external TBC helped with the "picture jumping around" problem, though there were parts where even it struggled. I still don't like the way it handles colors and from testing a different tape earlier I know that there is some quality loss when using it. Still trying to find the best settings for it.
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07-11-2020, 01:11 PM
jjdd jjdd is offline
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thinking if Canopus AVDC-300 can work as passthrough to stabilize the signal to your aja capture card if you still have it

i see that Canopus AVDC-300 have input and output s-video

i use my Matrox MXO2 as passthrough to stabilize the signal to my Aja IO HD i connect them with SDI to SDI cable it was best quality i did try component cable and hdmi cable but it was not as good quality as sdi to sdi cable

i do have a DataVideo TBC-5000 but it degrades the signal little the Matrox MXO2 as passthrough i like this method more

best quality is of course VHS > Aja IO HD but it does not always work very unstable

Last edited by jjdd; 07-11-2020 at 01:38 PM.
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07-11-2020, 02:13 PM
Aerith Aerith is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjdd View Post
thinking if Canopus AVDC-300 can work as passthrough to stabilize the signal to your aja capture card if you still have it
I still have it. Though I don't know if passthrough works on it.

Quote:
i see that Canopus AVDC-300 have input and output s-video


i use my Matrox MXO2 as passthrough to stabilize the signal to my Aja IO HD i connect them with SDI to SDI cable it was best quality i did try component cable and hdmi cable but it was not as good quality as sdi to sdi cable

i do have a DataVideo TBC-5000 but it degrades the signal little the Matrox MXO2 as passthrough i like this method more

best quality is of course VHS > Aja IO HD but it does not always work very unstable
I've tried connecting other units I have at home to act as a passthrough but it didn't work out. It seems when it comes to analog; the less things connected, the better.

I captured the tape once without the TBC and I'm currently capturing it a second time with the TBC so that I can compare. Another 30 minutes to go...
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  #16  
07-11-2020, 02:22 PM
jjdd jjdd is offline
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Aerith ok
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07-11-2020, 03:12 PM
latreche34 latreche34 is offline
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You are using the wrong settings, you shouldn't have any problem capturing lossless with this card even without the AVT, get with Jwillis he has a similar setup on a mac he might be able to help you, meanwhile post all the screen options available we should be able to tel you what to select and what not to select.
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07-12-2020, 12:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aerith View Post
  • Blaupunkt RTV 966 (Panasonic NV-HS 1000 clone) VCR (includes a internal TBC)
  • AVT-8710 external TBC
  • AJA Kona LSe capture card
  • Windows 10 v1903 64-bit running on a i7-3770 @ 3.4 GHZ (4 cores/8 threads) with 16 GB of RAM
The capture software I have available is:
  • AJA Machina (came with the drivers)
  • Adobe Premiere Elements 8
  • Adobe Premiere Pro CS 5.5
Is it just me or does the picture look better without the TBCs? Is this a setting problem? I'll have to test some more.
Workflow conflicts can exists. Certain hardware can hate other hardware, sometimes software.

Premiere is NOT a capturing software, but an NLE with some pretty crappy capturing functionality built in. Great NLE, use it myself. Miserable capturing tool. Don't use that.

Although it has proved itself pretty buggy (therefore lousy) with many carsd, have you tried VirtualDub2 for capturing? It may work, as the capturing abilities have been expanded (though at the cost of somewhat messing up cards that had worked flawlessly in 1.9.x official),

Also please attach small clips to forum posts. There's no need for us to download 1gb+ longer files, and in fact some folks cannot (thus not be able to help).

Quote:
Originally Posted by hodgey View Post
seems to be correcting horizontal wiggle
Whether it can fulfill the function of the AVT as well i don't know, hard to say
Unlikely. Line TBC corrects wiggle, frame TBC does something else entirely.

To test if a true line TBC is working, it also needs a harsher timing test, something very obvious. I've seen far too many instances where line TBC is claimed. Yet, whatever it was, was really weak and had very little effects. It would fail a harsher test.

BTW, if the Panasonic line TBC is on, any downstream correction would either be minute or non-existent. So the NV-HS1000 TBC would need to be off.

Quote:
There is a bit more contrast on the no-tbc picture, so maybe you just need to adjust the contrast or brightness a bit on the AVT or capture device, taking care to avoid clipping
To reiterate, workflow issues can exist. It's not unusual for a device to always work correctly, but another device causes image changes. So, for example, a contrast reduction with a TBC in the path may not actual be caused by the TBC, but rather the VCR or capture card. I've even seen an OS cause issues, as the OS-specific drivers interpreted something differently after signal augment by the hardware.

Never been too quick to place blame.

All we know is that the workflow as created is rejecting the TBC for whatever reason. Not that the TBC is bad. (Although a main difference here is that the TBC was already vetted to work well, in another workflow use case.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by hodgey View Post
Looked at the clips now, it does look like the causes the fields to be out of phase for some reason compared to the clips without the AVT, that's odd.
Odd, indeed.

Has this been recreated with multiple sources tapes of wildly different origin? (ie, not made in same camera, same VCR, etc)

Quote:
Originally Posted by latreche34 View Post
Stacking TBC's is not always good especially when mixing consumer and pro TBC's.
Workflow conflicts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aerith View Post
Genlock
Turn off genlocks. That will cause issues in converting video.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jjdd View Post
thinking if Canopus AVDC-300 can work as passthrough to stabilize the signal to your aja capture card if you still have it
Canopus DV boxes have nothing by which to stabilize anything. The ADVC300 does appear to have a laughably weak line TBC, but it's even worse than ES20/25 type line TBC(ish). And it'll also throw out color in doing so.

A better suggestion is the ES10/15 units, for this same purpose.

Quote:
Originally Posted by latreche34 View Post
You are using the wrong settings, you shouldn't have any problem capturing lossless with this card even without the AVT, get with Jwillis he has a similar setup on a mac he might be able to help you, meanwhile post all the screen options available we should be able to tel you what to select and what not to select.
Reading more, the tapes are at fault. Trying to appease these tapes has led to adding hardware, which has seemingly added a new layer: hardware conflicts. Add in the newness of using this gear (some user error), and it's clearly frustrating. I've been here, in years/decades past. It just takes patience and testing to isolate everything, and finally get the quality capture.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aerith View Post
AVT-8710 external TBC
BTW, what power supply are you using that that AVT-8710? The power boards aren't made that well, and there may be a chance that allowing it to pull too many amps per volt could result in weirdness happening.

Use 12V 1A or 15V 600mA, center-negative.

While "amps don't matter" is usually true, that because the device will just pull amps needed. But if the device isn't well made, therefore a dumb device, and pulls unneeded amps. "Amps don't matter" is a common statement, but always contains a * from knowledgable users. All rules have exceptions!

Too many volts blow a device.
Too many amps can make it misbehave and act erratic.

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  #19  
07-12-2020, 04:32 AM
Aerith Aerith is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by latreche34 View Post
you are using the wrong settings, you shouldn't have any problem capturing lossless with this card even without the avt, get with jwillis he has a similar setup on a mac he might be able to help you, meanwhile post all the screen options available we should be able to tel you what to select and what not to select.
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I am curious about the "YUV<->RGB Range" setting? Options are "CGR" and "SMPTE".


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07-12-2020, 04:56 AM
Aerith Aerith is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lordsmurf View Post
Workflow conflicts can exists. Certain hardware can hate other hardware, sometimes software.

Premiere is NOT a capturing software, but an NLE with some pretty crappy capturing functionality built in. Great NLE, use it myself. Miserable capturing tool. Don't use that.

Although it has proved itself pretty buggy (therefore lousy) with many carsd, have you tried VirtualDub2 for capturing? It may work, as the capturing abilities have been expanded (though at the cost of somewhat messing up cards that had worked flawlessly in 1.9.x official),

Also please attach small clips to forum posts. There's no need for us to download 1gb+ longer files, and in fact some folks cannot (thus not be able to help).
I'm using AJA Machina (came with the drivers) right now as this is what AJA support recommended.

When testing I record 2 minutes of video so that I can look at different scenes. However, as I'm recording uncompressed, this means a ~2.5 GB file size. I could try shorter clips (30 seconds?) and compressing them with FFV1 if that works?

I have VirtualDub and VirtualDub2 installed and unfortunately neither can detect the AJA Kona card.

Quote:
Unlikely. Line TBC corrects wiggle, frame TBC does something else entirely.

To test if a true line TBC is working, it also needs a harsher timing test, something very obvious. I've seen far too many instances where line TBC is claimed. Yet, whatever it was, was really weak and had very little effects. It would fail a harsher test.

BTW, if the Panasonic line TBC is on, any downstream correction would either be minute or non-existent. So the NV-HS1000 TBC would need to be off.
Testing different tapes revealed that the Blaupunkt/Panasonic VCR's built-in TBC improvement is either so slight as to be nearly insignificant, or in one case where it actually reduced video quality.

Therefore, I've decided to just leave it off from now on.

Quote:
To reiterate, workflow issues can exist. It's not unusual for a device to always work correctly, but another device causes image changes. So, for example, a contrast reduction with a TBC in the path may not actual be caused by the TBC, but rather the VCR or capture card. I've even seen an OS cause issues, as the OS-specific drivers interpreted something differently after signal augment by the hardware.

Never been too quick to place blame.

All we know is that the workflow as created is rejecting the TBC for whatever reason. Not that the TBC is bad. (Although a main difference here is that the TBC was already vetted to work well, in another workflow use case.)


Odd, indeed.

Has this been recreated with multiple sources tapes of wildly different origin? (ie, not made in same camera, same VCR, etc)
I start testing with commercial tapes just in case the VCR is faulty and decides to chew on them. Better something disposable than something irreplaceable. Once I have some familiarity with the new hardware I switch to the home video tapes I want to digitize.

The tape I was testing was a commercial tape of the movie "The Net" with Sandra Bullock. I haven't noticed this in the home movie tapes I've been looking at since. Could it be some form of copy protection?

Quote:
Workflow conflicts.


Turn off genlocks. That will cause issues in converting video.
Quote:

I've tested recording clips with all three settings and haven't noticed a difference. I don't know if it even does anything. I've set it to "Free Run" as this was the default setting.
Canopus DV boxes have nothing by which to stabilize anything. The ADVC300 does appear to have a laughably weak line TBC, but it's even worse than ES20/25 type line TBC(ish). And it'll also throw out color in doing so.

A better suggestion is the ES10/15 units, for this same purpose.


Reading more, the tapes are at fault. Trying to appease these tapes has led to adding hardware, which has seemingly added a new layer: hardware conflicts. Add in the newness of using this gear (some user error), and it's clearly frustrating. I've been here, in years/decades past. It just takes patience and testing to isolate everything, and finally get the quality capture.


BTW, what power supply are you using that that AVT-8710? The power boards aren't made that well, and there may be a chance that allowing it to pull too many amps per volt could result in weirdness happening.

Use 12V 1A or 15V 600mA, center-negative.

While "amps don't matter" is usually true, that because the device will just pull amps needed. But if the device isn't well made, therefore a dumb device, and pulls unneeded amps. "Amps don't matter" is a common statement, but always contains a * from knowledgable users. All rules have exceptions!

Too many volts blow a device.
Too many amps can make it misbehave and act erratic.


I'm using this universal power supply. It's the second more powerful one; 3–12 V @ 2250 mA.
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