Quantcast Brightness mess when capturing *some* VHS through Sony DCR-TRV33E - digitalFAQ Forum
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11-18-2020, 04:19 PM
trotskito trotskito is offline
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Hello everybody,

I've been lately playing around with VHS capture, nothing in professional terms but just an amateur distraction. As I recently learned VHS does degrade over time, I wanted to keep some tapes from my childhood like old Terrytoons cartoons and my beloved Star Wars trilogy.

My equipment is pretty basic, but it works fine for my intentions, as I don't really want to restore or improve quality, just keep it as near to the source as it can:

- Sony DCR-TRV33E paired with a PCI FireWire card as capturing device
- Daewoo ST847S VCR (6 heads)

I've succesfully transfered a couple of tapes. I 've used sclive, Adobe Premiere and now VDub2.

But I'm having some trouble with the Return of the Jedi VHS: While it seems to capture properly, I've noticed that, in some specific parts of the movie, brightness goes up and down, concretely after scene changes.

At first, I thought it was an anty-copy problem, but using a Macrovision box I have didn't change anything. Then I tried with another VCR, an LG C20P, with no change at all except for lower image quality overall. Not to say that the problem does not occur when displaying the VCR through a TV (brightness keeps stable, with any of the VCRs).

The problem is already visible in the Handycam (I can see the brightness fluctuating in its LCD screen), so I guess it has nothing to do with the FireWire cable or card. As others have suggested, it seems to be some kind of brightness 'auto-adjust' that is causing the ups and downs, but it's confusing that it only happens in some movies.

I've read threads of users with similar problems (like this and this) to no conclusion. Even read that people using superior devices such as SVHS with TBC can't get rid of the problem.

I attach a portion of the capture that clearly shows the problem. It was captured with VDub2 and then encoded for uploading with the same program.

Thank you in advance!

Attached Files
File Type: mp4 capture_jedi.mp4 (14.18 MB, 5 downloads)
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11-18-2020, 11:00 PM
traal traal is offline
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Maybe it's a newer type of Macrovision that your Macrovision box couldn't defeat.

I had a similar problem and a good external TBC fixed it.
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The following users thank traal for this useful post: trotskito (11-19-2020)
11-19-2020, 03:12 AM
trotskito trotskito is offline
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Hi traal,

It's weird because the tape is from 1995 and I'm almost sure I made some VHS copy of it back in the 2000s without this problem.

Sadly, I can't afford a TBC right now, given their prices in the second hand market (ebay, etc).

Could it be that I'm using the Macrovision box not with its original scart cable, but with different RCA ones instead (in order to use the camcorder's RCA-to-minijack cable)?. I attach pictures of both.

I have the original cable, but as it ends in another scart, I cannot use it in the camcorder, unless there's some kind of female scart-to-rca adapter. But, would that make any sense?. Also, maybe the box is broken.


Attached Images
File Type: jpg original cable.jpg (37.4 KB, 2 downloads)
File Type: jpg my cable setup.jpg (72.1 KB, 2 downloads)
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11-19-2020, 06:30 AM
Hushpower Hushpower is offline
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If all else fails, buy the DVD and rip it. For not many dollars, you'll end up with a far better copy than a VHS transfer.
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11-19-2020, 06:33 AM
trotskito trotskito is offline
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Hahah, I already own the DVDs, this is just an unproductive time-consumig-childhood-nostalgia-driven preservation attempt.

But thanks for the advice!
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brightness, handycam, vhs capture

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