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  #1  
08-12-2020, 05:18 PM
theugster theugster is offline
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Howdy all. Apologies in advance for the wall of text.

My current project is to digitize roughly 30 8mm (some Video8, some Hi8). Ultimately I'll be storing the uncompressed video for archival, but I'll also be looking to de-interlace and clean up the captured video for sharing with family online.

For the analog side, I have a Sony EV-C100 that I'd like to use for this project, though I do have a couple other 8mm camcorders lying around if those prove to be better options.

On the digital end I have a Blackmagic Intensity Shuttle USB 3.0 capture device that I'll be chucking out the window by EOD today due to issues widely documented on this and other forums. For that part I'll likely be picking up an ATI 600 USB and trying my luck with Windows 10, or swapping in a dedicated offline WinXP/7 box for capture.

The tapes range from late-80s to early 2000s, recorded across two camcorders. I know for a fact that there are several chewed up portions of tape in the set that I'll need to contend with, but having spent the past few days tearing down the EV-C100 for cleaning, fighting with my current capture card (and Windows!) and generally feeling very frustrated at the whole project, I'd like some idea of what I'm in for.

My question is this:
If I'm capturing 8mm/Hi8 to one of the recommended capture devices into Virtualdub/HuffyAV, can I get away with a Panasonic DMR-ES10/15 to clean up the signal before capture, or will a dedicated TBC be strictly necessary here?

Thanks in advance!

P.S. - Bonus question: What is Linux support like for any of the recommended cards? I see a lot of recommendation for WinXP but not all that much on the Linux side.
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  #2  
08-13-2020, 01:52 AM
cbehr91 cbehr91 is offline
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There already is a thread about a buying list of 8mm/Hi8/Digital8 camcorders for transfer. I also have an ATI USB 600 - good choice. I'm not familiar with that model VCR, but based a quick Google search it doesn't look like it has a TBC. An ES10/15 wouldn't be ideal in most circumstances.

A TBC equipped camcorder from that list plus a frame TBC would be ideal, dare I say necessary. I personally have a TVOne 1T-TBC-GL. I have done a ton of Hi8 conversions and have both an EV-S7000 editor and a CCD-TRV85 camcorder. Both are TBC equipped. Even though the tape tranports better in the EV-S7000 the image is cleaner and has more "snap" from the camcorder. I'm not sure why, but others seem to have similar experiences.

As far as OSs Windows XP/Vista/7 are ideal with XP being the preference. However, I use Vista for capturing (oh, the humanity!). The ATI 600 USB works with Win7 and also supposedly Win10, but Windows 10 isn't recommended for capturing. I don't think there are many Linux users here.
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  #3  
08-13-2020, 02:31 AM
latreche34 latreche34 is online now
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Blackmagic Intensity Shuttle is not the ideal device for capturing consumer analog video sources, with it you will need an external TBC, With a better capture device and a camcorder or a player built in line TBC you can give it a try before you spend few hundred dollars on a TBC. 1st look to see if the frame is stable, 2nd make sure there is no deformation or unusual artifacts in the video such as tearing, unstable chroma, blue screen ... etc. 3rd after capturing an hour or so of video with no signal interruption such as scene change, damaged tape, erased tape, check the audio sync to see if there is any. If any of the above tested positive it is a sign that you will need an external TBC.

Last edited by latreche34; 08-13-2020 at 02:50 AM.
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  #4  
08-13-2020, 03:08 AM
Knight15 Knight15 is offline
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If your tapes are in good shape, DMR-ES10/15 would suffice.
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  #5  
08-13-2020, 07:51 PM
theugster theugster is offline
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Thanks for the replies so far, everyone! This was definitely more of an undertaking than I'd previously thought. At least, monetarily speaking. I still want to do this project on my own, I just don't think I was ready for the $1k+ sticker shock that came with digitizing these tapes!

The camcorder I have at my disposal (aside from the EV-C100 deck that does NOT have any form of onboard TBC) is a CCD-TRV318. From the stickied guide, this unit is marked as having mono audio out with S-video, and I've tested capture from these ouputs to my Blackmagic card with decent success.

Of the two cameras originally used to make these tapes, I know the newer one was a CCD-TRV12, which only had mono recording, so the mono audio capabilities of the CCD-TR318 shouldn't be an issue.

In all honesty, my primary draw to sticking with the EV-C100 is the relative ease at which I can 'emergency stop' a tape if something goes awry. I've had this happen on a couple of MiniDV decks in the past and it's a whole helluva lot easier to safely untangle magnetic tape from a deck-style transport than it is from the tight confines of a camcorder.

I have no doubt that the quality would be the same or better if I stuck with the camcorder. Having said that, if I'm striking out on this project on my own, that peace of mind and holds a lot of practical value to me for tapes that I couldn't possibly put a price on.

So I suppose all of that is to ask yet another question (and I thank you for sticking with me if you've read this far): Taking into account the EV-C100s lack of built-in TBC, would a standalone TBC be sufficient between the deck and my capture device? And if so, are any of the recommended devices 'better' for 8mm over VHS, or is it all the same as far as what a TBC does?
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08-14-2020, 02:25 AM
latreche34 latreche34 is online now
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There are two types of TBC's, Line TBC stores and rearrange scan lines usually resides inside the player, Full frame TBC stores the whole frame or field and output them in a timed manner usually an external box. One cannot replace the other and like I mentioned above none of the two has any impact on the video quality (with the exception of DNR which usually coupled with the line TBC), They don't care what's inside the scan lines, they are just looking for the H and V timing pulses recorded by the video head and correct them by replacing them with new ones. So before you dive into this TBC business do some captures with what you got now first and post samples here.
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  #7  
08-14-2020, 06:14 AM
hodgey hodgey is online now
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The ES10/ES15 should work okay whichever device you use. They will correct horizontal jitter and ensure a stable output to the capture card. Main drawbacks of those some slight posterization effect in the NTSC versions, and for the PAL ones sight clipping of whites unless the video level is lowered in some way before entering it.

The TRV-318 comes with TBC/DNR, which corrects horizontal jittering, though it doesn't fully ensure a stable signal out, so you can get hickups when a recording on the tape starts.
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  #8  
08-14-2020, 10:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theugster View Post
On the digital end I have a Blackmagic Intensity Shuttle USB 3.0 capture device that I'll be chucking out the window by EOD today due to issues widely documented on this and other forums. For that part I'll likely be picking up an ATI 600 USB and trying my luck with Windows 10, or swapping in a dedicated offline WinXP/7 box for capture.
BM not good.
ATI 600 SUB fine, but Win10 often gives it issue at OS updates. (Win10 is lousy for capturing.)
WinXP or Win7 box ideal, especially XP for AIW (USB, AGP).

Quote:
fighting with my current capture card
feeling very frustrated at the whole project, I'd like some idea of what I'm in for.
The follies of wrong/cheap hardware. Better workflow resolves this.

recommended camera/VCR with line TBC >
> recommended frames TBC >
> recommended capture card

Quote:
My question is this:
If I'm capturing 8mm/Hi8 to one of the recommended capture devices into Virtualdub/HuffyAV, can I get away with a Panasonic DMR-ES10/15 to clean up the signal before capture, or will a dedicated TBC be strictly necessary here?
Maybe. It depends.

Hi8/Video8 tends to be a drop-happy format, more even than VHS. I've observed that the frame sync TBC tends to correct each frame, while the ES10/15 can insert dupes (better than loss).

The ES10/15 is not a frame TBC, but a frame sync with strong+weak line TBC with ability to be confused by (or pass) anti-copy. Unfortunately, the offset that allows artificial errors to ruin the signal also allows natural errors to do the same. Strong line, because it removes tearing. Weak line because it passes anti-copy like Macrovision.

Quote:
P.S. - Bonus question: What is Linux support like for any of the recommended cards? I see a lot of recommendation for WinXP but not all that much on the Linux side.
Lousy. Some cards are supported, or can be with firmware hacks, but the main issue is that no decent capture software exists. It's all "PVR" type software (record TV), or wanna-be NLEs like Premiere or FCP (and are way worse than either) that halfass captures.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Knight15 View Post
If your tapes are in good shape, DMR-ES10/15 would suffice.
For VHS, SP masters, sometimes, maybe. For Hi8/Video8, far less likely. Again, drop-happy format. I don't know why, or remember why, but I'm sure it's in one of my technical manuals on analog video theory. VHS/S-VHS, Betamax, and Video8/Hi8 all have very different profiles in how video is recorded, output, etc. In practice, even VHS-C is different (and worse!) than VHS.

Quote:
Originally Posted by theugster View Post
I just don't think I was ready for the $1k+ sticker shock that came with digitizing these tapes!
Buy it, use it, resell it. If you buy the good stuff, the recommended gear here, then it holds some/most/all value. It's not like a car, where it depreciates so far than you may have to eventually pay somebody to haul it off. Just don't mistreat it (not plug into UPS), don't puff it full of cigarette smoke (nukes the value), don't let kids/pets play with it, etc,

Quote:
CCD-TRV318. From the stickied guide, this unit is marked as having mono audio out with S-video
so the mono audio capabilities of the CCD-TR318 shouldn't be an issue.
Mono is fine.

Quote:
In all honesty, my primary draw to sticking with the EV-C100 is the relative ease at which I can 'emergency stop' a tape if something goes awry. I've had this happen on a couple of MiniDV decks in the past and it's a whole helluva lot easier to safely untangle magnetic tape from a deck-style transport than it is from the tight confines of a camcorder.
I have no doubt that the quality would be the same or better if I stuck with the camcorder. Having said that, if I'm striking out on this project on my own, that peace of mind and holds a lot of practical value to me for tapes that I couldn't possibly put a price on.
You could always be anal thorough with the project. Capture it first with how you feel safe. Once done, capture it again with the better method that feels less safe. In general, it's not suggested, because there can be one-and-done type tapes. But you're often allowed to capture tapes multiple times.

Quote:
Taking into account the EV-C100s lack of built-in TBC, would a standalone TBC be sufficient between the deck and my capture device?
EV-C100 > ES10/15 as line TBC(ish) > frame TBC > capture card

Quote:
Originally Posted by hodgey View Post
The ES10/ES15 should work okay whichever device you use. They will correct horizontal jitter and ensure a stable output to the capture card. Main drawbacks of those some slight posterization effect in the NTSC versions, and for the PAL ones sight clipping of whites unless the video level is lowered in some way before entering it.
As I just wrote in another post, shortcuts always ping (or tank) quality. The ES10/15 is a shortcut, and has drawbacks to the image quality. Sometimes the net effect is better video, so use it in those conditions (ideally as an anti-tearing appliance). But it can function, sometimes, as a TBC(ish) replacement.

With you (the OP) having mentioned crinkled tapes, realize that even the best decks and TBCs have issues on those ruined sources. The shortcut items tend to fall over themselves, drastic quality reductions on said bad areas of tape.

Quote:
The TRV-318 comes with TBC/DNR, which corrects horizontal jittering, though it doesn't fully ensure a stable signal out, so you can get hickups when a recording on the tape starts.
And stop. And in the middle during capture. Drop-happy format.

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  #9  
08-15-2020, 10:47 AM
theugster theugster is offline
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Thanks for the clarity and responses, lordsmurf and all, much appreciated! Multiple playback/capture attempts sound reasonable, and with an external (frame sync?) TBC in the chain regardless, I think I'll be in good shape. Now I'm in the market for the following:
  • PCI/PCIe capture card
  • Sound card if capture card audio capture isn't sufficient
  • Frame sync TBC with S-Video
  • Panasonic ES10

That should do it for this thread so I won't derail with more questions about specific equipment - I'll create a new post on the Marketplace.

Thanks again, everyone!
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