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  #1  
12-31-2020, 09:38 PM
ThomasFan1945Pro ThomasFan1945Pro is offline
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I was looking into VCR/DVD combos and came across the Sony RDR-VX525, as it can dub VHS to DVD or DVD to VHS. The reason I brought this up was because I haven't seen anyone talk about this combo on the site and this video got me hooked. https://youtu.be/AaaSBiTq_fg

I've been seeing these over $100 in used markets like eBay and probably do have a sense of value for a reason. It even has HDMI and S-Video output, also capable of playing S-VHS. Now there's one issue with concern; is this recommended for digitizing tapes, via HDMI with a standard AV, S-Video, or Elgato capture card, or would it be better off transferred to DVD? Also, would it still require a TBC, while using a capture card? This will probably be the best for upgrading my RCA Accusearch VR546 VCR. Any help would be appreciated, thank you.

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  #2  
12-31-2020, 09:58 PM
latreche34 latreche34 is offline
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I've never seen that deck before but since it plays S-VHS tapes and outputs everything through HDMI and S-Video I assume it has the capability to access the Y/C signal from the RF processing board, Just make sure you set the HDMI out to 480i if you capture from HDMI or use any capture card to capture from the S-Video out and RCA stereo audio. But lack of line TBC may present a challenge from your tapes and may never fix the flagging you have.
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  #3  
12-31-2020, 10:18 PM
ThomasFan1945Pro ThomasFan1945Pro is offline
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It probably would be better off used for blank tapes getting digitized honestly. Mainly, blank tapes are somewhat essential now for archiving these days. My 2 blank tapes from eBay I got for Christmas don't have flagging, so that's a good sign.
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12-31-2020, 10:22 PM
latreche34 latreche34 is offline
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What do you mean by blank tapes? Are you recording to VHS first and capturing? That's a destructive way of getting video onto the computer.
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  #5  
12-31-2020, 10:25 PM
ThomasFan1945Pro ThomasFan1945Pro is offline
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To clear things up, blank tapes are known as prerecordable tapes if I am correct. (Many are named blank tapes on eBay with recordings of shows.) Also no, I'm not transfering VHS to Blank Tapes, I actually meant capturing VHS Video onto my capture card, to computer, or dub raw VHS footage to DVD.
These are mainly what I'm wanting to digitize in better possible quality. You can already tell that these is probably not the best in terms of transfer.
https://youtu.be/yRx5oLpvUoU
https://youtu.be/FurRninf9I0
Why you may ask? These features commercials that may have been lost; or probably has been digitized earlier, but are not in the best of quality. The Sailor Moon UPN Tape was digitized before, but it wasn't the best of quality when archived. This is why I got these tapes, to make better digitizations of those tapes that were once digitized before into a better format and codec. Official VHS releases could be somewhat the same but my main focus right now is getting them the best transfer they could get.
Also, I don't own this unit right now, which is why I asked the question earlier as I was unsure.
I'm also am not sure when to get this unit used on eBay, but I have plans to get one in the future at some point.

Last edited by ThomasFan1945Pro; 12-31-2020 at 10:46 PM.
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12-31-2020, 11:35 PM
latreche34 latreche34 is offline
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Blank tapes are tapes that don't have any recordings on them, Home recorded tapes are the ones recorded from TV channels or dubbed from another VCR, Home videos are the ones recorded from camcorders, And pre-recorded tapes are commercial tapes recorded at production and duplication houses. Use the right name for the right type of tape.
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  #7  
12-31-2020, 11:48 PM
ThomasFan1945Pro ThomasFan1945Pro is offline
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I have a picture of one of the tapes I mentioned from my previous thread. Here's the tape with its cover. This indeed is a home recorded tape. This isn't a duplication, the original tape that was created. It has the episodes with commercials on it.


Attached Images
File Type: jpg 20210101_004547.jpg (91.3 KB, 7 downloads)

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  #8  
01-01-2021, 05:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ThomasFan1945Pro View Post
I was looking into VCR/DVD combos and came across the Sony RDR-VX525, as it can dub VHS to DVD or DVD to VHS. The reason I brought this up was because I haven't seen anyone talk about this combo on the site
All Sony decks act the same, and all are mediocre. You'll get a duplicate of the tape, warts of all. Garbage in, garbage out. Good in, (hopefully) good out. All chroma noise is left, all timing wiggle is left, etc. Again, warts and all. Sony encoding is "crunchy", more MPEG noise, likes to make blocky video.

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I've been seeing these over $100 in used markets like eBay and probably do have a sense of value for a reason.
Not really. Most still-functioning DVD recorders are in the $100 neighborhood these days, +/-. The better sellers have HDD, HDMI, ES10/15 as TBC(ish), etc. It rarely has anything to do with the recording quality now. The quality recorders are more than $100, or even $200, like certain Toshibas and JVCs.

Quote:
Now there's one issue with concern; is this recommended for digitizing tapes, via HDMI with a standard AV, S-Video, or Elgato capture card,
No.

Quote:
or would it be better off transferred to DVD?
Meh. That's probably a decent consumer VHS VCR, but blah-quality DVD creation quality.
Better yet = an actual quality capture card.

Quote:
Also, would it still require a TBC, while using a capture card?
Yes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by latreche34 View Post
I've never seen that deck before but since it plays S-VHS tapes
It's SQPB (S-VHS quasi playback). That's not S-VHS.

Quote:
and outputs everything through HDMI and S-Video I assume it has the capability to access the Y/C signal from the RF processing board,
That's actually not a safe assumption. Internals can downconvert everything to composite processing before outputting. That's common on cheaply made consumer VHS combo decks.

Quote:
But lack of line TBC may present a challenge from your tapes and may never fix the flagging you have.
Yep.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ThomasFan1945Pro View Post
It probably would be better off used for blank tapes getting digitized honestly. Mainly, blank tapes are somewhat essential now for archiving these days. My 2 blank tapes from eBay I got for Christmas don't have flagging, so that's a good sign.
So saying "blank tapes". Not accurate.

Quote:
Originally Posted by latreche34 View Post
What do you mean by blank tapes?
I answered that here: Cheapest budget TBC for below $100?
Quoting part of that answer:
Quote:
Lots of people sell homemade VCR-recorded tapes of TV shows and movies on eBay, which is against the rules. So to skirt the rules, the tapes are "being sold as blank". But the tapes are not blank, these are not "blank tapes". The are homemade tapes, with al the problems of home recordings. It's not much different than 'backing up" Blockbuster Video, then selling the "blank tape" copy for $10-20 each (which is what "blank tapes" sometimes sell for, depending on the contents).
Make sense now?

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Originally Posted by ThomasFan1945Pro View Post
Why you may ask? These features commercials that may have been lost;
Sadly, this is quite true. Many commercials do not exist anymore. This is why so many documentaries use (often shitty quality) Youtube sources for commercials. I've archived some on Youtube myself. But I have A+ quality sources, run through my gear, and carefully post processed.

Quote:
Official VHS releases could be somewhat the same
Releases can be edited, censored, or episodes banned from release. I have many, many rare episodes. For example, I have MTV recording of B&B episodes that were censored after initial airings, and never shown again. And in excellent quality.

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Originally Posted by latreche34 View Post
Use the right name for the right type of tape.
Yep.

@ThomasFan1945Pro, you're starting to do what I've done for more than 20 years now. Those 20+ years ago, I wanted to be cheap, avoid TBCs, etc -- and it was all foolishness of younger days (and when money was tighter). I pissed away lots of time and money. So listen to me on this topic, I'm giving you a direct recipe for some degree of success: ES10/15, better VCR. (In my defense, when I started, ES10 didn't yet exist! Only recourse was JVC 9600 SVHS TBC decks for $$$. You have it easy!)

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  #9  
01-01-2021, 06:25 AM
ThomasFan1945Pro ThomasFan1945Pro is offline
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I highly thank you lordsmurf, I'll just be better off getting a normal VCR somewhere in the future according to this guide.
http://www.digitalfaq.com/guides/vid...k-hardware.htm
Considering those TBCs are now more expensive than they once were and are no longer made, it's a sacrafice to stick with just a Sharp VCR and a capture card alone. (Maybe) With a Panasonic DMR-ES15 or ES10 helping being somewhat TBC(ish), but there's just not many options available in terms of budget. You're right, maybe the local Goodwill where I live at now might have a decent Sharp VCR available there; but where I originally lived in my hometown from a different state, I rarely seen any VCRs or just none at all from the Goodwill there. What's the cheapest Sharp model below 100 you recommend for best capture results, both without a TBC and with needing a TBC? I understand that VHS is a dead format and the players vary or the tapes themselves, but I was born in 2003 and have known VHS tapes for quite a while at the time it became a dead format. I knew how to program a VCR, also have commercially released VHS tapes that I have kept for years. Some has been in the old shed; but don't have mold in them, despite not being ideal places. Some have been from flea markets and haven't stayed too long in the shed. The tapes from the fleamarket still play very well and is probably the best moments I preserved. Before we moved from my hometown, the ones with mold were thrown out and were not placed in a good spot either. Tapes that I know more must be in a cool, not too cold temperature places. I started getting into intrest watching VHS tapes again, since 2015 and I'm into retro too. Despite being at a young age and still learning life, I can only do the best I could afford. No matter the quality, reputation these days, the most important thing is that communities do what they can for archival.
I recommend checking out the ThomasTVPatrol.
https://youtube.com/c/TheThomasTVPatrol
Some members there use the sources they have, not even having Time Base Correctors. They do the best they can to digitize what they have with the hardware they got. Surprisingly, some used professional equipment, while others just use what they have. Basically the same way I've been digitizing tapes, use AmarecTV to capture with EZCap, Dazzle, Diamond, etc.
Check out this digitization of the long lost Storytime with Thomas show. This show is currently scarce right now, due to its limited run on Fox Family and is not known by many. The Mumfie episodes are removed due to copyright infringement.
https://youtu.be/isE6LwoCfeI

Last edited by ThomasFan1945Pro; 01-01-2021 at 06:55 AM.
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  #10  
01-01-2021, 07:04 AM
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The ES10/15 needs to be the #1 priority.
Then look for a VCR.

Again, I've found decent VCRs at Goodwill for $9 + tax. Most were used for mold experiments, fodder decks, etc. So I was destructive with those. The decks were low-end (compared to the gear I have for transfer), and never meant for capture. However some could have been, if paired with ES10/15 (and preferably DVK) and good capture card. Goodwill has more junk than not, but some are functional and in good shape.

Some members here have found real gems at pawn shops, Goodwill/Habitat/etc donation stores, and various junk shops. Every now and again (less than once per year) somebody finds a JVC S-VHS deck. Some years ago somebody even found a TBC-1000 for $100 in an e-waste shop!

VHS isn't a dead format. It's legacy. Still lots of usage, lots of need.

Sharps are great, Sony can be fine, Samsung fine ... lots of 'S' brands there.
Panasonic/JVC non-SVHS should be avoided.
Stuff like Orion, RCA, GE, etc ... meh, Funai crap.
Toshiba mostly Funai. Only the older "6-head" aka 4-head Toshiba is good, pre-Funai.

As as an example, Admiral (Montgomery Wards) rebadges Sharps.
This looks just like mine, $53 OBO on eBay: http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-53...m/164406454190
Missing the remote, but also not hard to locate.
I'm not saying to buy that one (or not buy it), just an example. OBO, so offer $30.
Lots of auctions for low-end VCRs for cheap -- you get what you pay for. But those are still better than what you have now, and is at very least a workable unit.

My last VHS VCRs (that I bought new), before I was 100% S-VHS, were 3x Sharps from Wards for $109 each around '98-99. Mostly as recording decks, but at least one was used for preview playback on a 13" CRT TV. Not sure if I still have the receipts for those, probably not. I only have one left, and it still works.

What is the budget?
How long to up the budget where it needs to be? Say $200 all-in (all devices, taxes, shipping costs)
Realize that is dirt cheap, bare ass minimum to get hopefully non-terrible results.

I cannot say it enough: get the ES10/15 first.

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  #11  
01-01-2021, 07:22 AM
ThomasFan1945Pro ThomasFan1945Pro is offline
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Thanks again lordsmurf, sometime this year I'll look into getting a Panasonic DMR-ES15 or ES10. Later, I find a Sharp VCR for a decent good price. As always, you're a true legend.

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01-01-2021, 01:10 PM
latreche34 latreche34 is offline
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I'm aware of the SQPB of S-VHS tape, But I already checked the manual and it says clearly it plays back S-VHS tapes but doesn't record them, no mention of SQPB anywhere in the manual or the front panel of the VCR, still sounds like SQPB? I kept reading and found out it actually outputs the signal out via S-Video connector. The term SQPB means playing back a Y/C signal over composite which it does do that just like any other SQPB VCR but having S-Video out makes it little different.

Now is Sony stupid enough to have the Y/C signal go from RF processing board to the Y/C processing board, onto the composite board, and then back to the Y/C board for S-Video output? I just don't think it makes sense technically or economically, In my opinion I think it's worth checking out by the poster.
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01-01-2021, 02:41 PM
hodgey hodgey is online now
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Nah, the Y and C signal is mixed inside the vcr video IC, sent to the digital video decoder (A SAA7138) via composite, and sent digitally to output to hdmi or back to analog from the main system chip. mixing the Y/C signal in the video ics for standard VHS seem to have been common before DVDs was a thing, so I guess there wasn't anything to save/not enough to gain to add Y/C output all the way, or maybe there is some other reason.

Many JVCs (and a few panasonics I think) had a setup where they used the same main Video IC for the SVHS and many of the related VHS decks, and had an extra board with the SVHS-specific stuff in the SVHS ones, so they presumably had the possibility of outputting Y and C separately depending on setup, but that may not be doable on other video ics. (PAL ones typically have some sort variant of it for external SECAM processing and some sony decks with the "Reality Regenerator" feature send the video separately to a separate chip for that function, but I don't know if those are usable as final outputs)

Judging by other combos with the NXP SAA71xx chips, it won't have a "line-tbc" as the chip lacks it, so it may still give tearing and won't fix much horizontal jitter, though the video ics are related to the ones used in the datavideo and avt TBCs, so they have been pretty good at avoiding dropouts and such in other DVRs/combos that have them I've tested.

It seems like it's done this way in pretty much all these DVD-Recorder combos (excluding the SVHS ones and possibly the other JVC models) Even the weird Sony Hi8/VHS dual decks like the SLV-T2000 seem to done things this way they have S-Video for the Hi8 part despite not having a digital A/D chip or anything, from the VHS part they mix the signal and then sent it through a Y/C filter again before outout

It's just SQPB, the VCR doesn't have the extra S-VHS filters to get the full SVHS quality, you can see both in the VCR SM and datasheet for the chip itself.
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01-01-2021, 03:35 PM
latreche34 latreche34 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hodgey View Post
Nah, the Y and C signal is mixed inside the vcr video IC, sent to the digital video decoder (A SAA7138) via composite, and sent digitally to output to hdmi or back to analog from the main system chip. mixing the Y/C signal in the video ics for standard VHS seem to have been common before DVDs was a thing, so I guess there wasn't anything to save/not enough to gain to add Y/C output all the way, or maybe there is some other reason.
As far as I know every VCR VHS/Combo/S-VHS process the signal from the RF head, amplify the chroma under (KHz) to a full chroma (MHz) in the Y/C stage and send that to the composite/comb filter stage, Y/C stage is not an extra step, composite is.

The reason S-Video didn't exist before S-VHS is because the idea of carrying Y/C video with 3 wires didn't make "economical" sense let alone broadcasting it, that's why there were no TV's with S-Video, everything was RF(Antenna) and composite. When JVC came up with the S-VHS system they had to make a separate connector for it to take advantage of the technology, the intention was to playback S-VHS tapes but that created an opportunity for VHS tapes to be played back in a better way that never done before.

Any old machine can be modified to tap into the Y/C board and extract the Y/C signal, There are popular mods that can be found online and applied to old machines such as uMatics, Betacams, r2r machines, retro video consoles. So the idea that Y/C stage is an addition to composite doesn't hold water, Composite cannot function without proper Y/C processing.

Now if that player taking a Y/C signal and combing it into CVBS signal (composite), sending to the MPEG-2 chip for encoding, then decoding it again convert it to analog and combine the YCbCr to a composite signal for output, That's beyond my comprehension to why Sony does that.

Last edited by latreche34; 01-01-2021 at 04:28 PM. Reason: Added details:
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01-01-2021, 03:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hodgey View Post
Nah, the Y and C signal is mixed inside the vcr video IC, sent to the digital video decoder (A SAA7138) via composite, and sent digitally to output to hdmi or back to analog from the main system chip. mixing the Y/C signal in the video ics for standard VHS seem to have been common before DVDs was a thing, so I guess there wasn't anything to save/not enough to gain to add Y/C output all the way, or maybe there is some other reason.

Many JVCs (and a few panasonics I think) had a setup where they used the same main Video IC for the SVHS and many of the related VHS decks, and had an extra board with the SVHS-specific stuff in the SVHS ones, so they presumably had the possibility of outputting Y and C separately depending on setup, but that may not be doable on other video ics. (PAL ones typically have some sort variant of it for external SECAM processing and some sony decks with the "Reality Regenerator" feature send the video separately to a separate chip for that function, but I don't know if those are usable as final outputs)

Judging by other combos with the NXP SAA71xx chips, it won't have a "line-tbc" as the chip lacks it, so it may still give tearing and won't fix much horizontal jitter, though the video ics are related to the ones used in the datavideo and avt TBCs, so they have been pretty good at avoiding dropouts and such in other DVRs/combos that have them I've tested.

It seems like it's done this way in pretty much all these DVD-Recorder combos (excluding the SVHS ones and possibly the other JVC models) Even the weird Sony Hi8/VHS dual decks like the SLV-T2000 seem to done things this way they have S-Video for the Hi8 part despite not having a digital A/D chip or anything, from the VHS part they mix the signal and then sent it through a Y/C filter again before outout

It's just SQPB, the VCR doesn't have the extra S-VHS filters to get the full SVHS quality, you can see both in the VCR SM and datasheet for the chip itself.
Thank you for sleuthing all the technicals on this model. I'd never taken time to investigate every chip inside some of these decks, but I knew what was happening just bu seeing the image profiles with test tapes. It was definitely being downconverted somewhere. I'd see partial specs for some models, enough to confirm some suspicions.

As you mentioned, most consumer VHS+DVD combo units are like this. All analog is squished down to composite for processing, regardless of output method.

No TBCs, not even anything resembling TBC chips. (Even same chip family means little. The same Analog Devices chipset families can highly vary from chip to chip, and "family" probably has to do with die type/size than anything else.)

Obliterate everything down to the least common denominator before output.

I believe the LSI Logic DVD recorder chipset recorders ingested Y/C but most others downconverted before the encoder chipset. Which is a reason why cNR is there, and so effective in LSI units. The LSI DiMeNsion was a jack-of-all-trades sort of DVD functino chipset, and LSI had mostly made broadcaster chipsets for video . The DMN8xxx chips were a weird thrust into consumerist spaces before the semiconductor maker quit making video chipsets (that I am aware of).
More: https://www.eetimes.com/lsi-logic-to...rder-chip-set/

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  #16  
01-01-2021, 04:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by latreche34 View Post
Do you have a schematic to back this up, As far as I know every VCR VHS/Combo/S-VHS process the signal from the RF head, amplify the chroma under (KHz) to a full chroma (MHz) in the Y/C stage and send that to the composite/comb filter stage, Y/C stage is not an extra step, composite is.
Yeah the schematics are in the service manual here, you can se there's just one video line going to the video decoder:
https://elektrotanya.com/sony_rdr-vx.../download.html

The normal video processing and upconversion in a VCR happens separately for Y and C in VCRs, and it's then mixed together as composite at the very end of the processing chain in the VCR video IC on most non-SVHS decks, before going out to video switchers and amps (in a normal VCR) or to the digitizing chip in these combos. Older vcrs had separate chips for Y and C, but during the mid 90s manufacturers started putting all of the head amp, standard vcr video stuff, both luma and chroma, and linear audio into the same chip which helped minimize them a lot. JVC even integrated hi-fi audio into the same chip as well for a while, but other IC makers seems to have left that to a separate chip. On older VCRs for other formats it was probably more viable to mod it into Y and C. There is a datasheet of the PAL version of the sanyo chip used in these late-model VCR floating around (LA71750_en.pdf), but it's not entirely clear to me if it could be configured to output Y and C separately (though there is some stuff for SECAM as SECAM chroma is processed in a separate chip on SECAM VCRs.)

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Originally Posted by lordsmurf View Post
No TBCs, not even anything resembling TBC chips. (Even same chip family means little. The same Analog Devices chipset families can highly vary from chip to chip, and "family" probably has to do with die type/size than anything else.)

Obliterate everything down to the least common denominator before output.

I believe the LSI Logic DVD recorder chipset recorders ingested Y/C but most others downconverted before the encoder chipset.
I think the various chipsets themselves supported Y/C input, it's not downconverted on standalone DVD-recorders or for external Y/C on the combos (if they have it), but for internal connection to a VCR that seems to be the norm. The LSI ICs don't have the video decoder integrated, so they seem to have been paired with various ones depending on the maker, like NXP/Philips, TI or a custom JVC chip in the JVC ones. I have a OEM brand one that has a LSI branded video decoder as well (which is not particularly resilient to unstable video.), idk if it's a LSI made chip or just a rebadge.

Panasonics combos shared the system ICs with the dvd-recorders, and judging by some posts here they do seem to do act a bit like the standalone DVRs on the vcr output at least, but idk if they have the same clipping and posterization issues as the standalone ones.

The late model funai ones also use panasonic chips and seem to have some stabilization juding by videos I've seen, though they have the crazy AGC and are well, funai VCRs which break down if you look at them.

I have one of the LG recorder combos which shares the video decoder with the mentioned sony, it (and my standalone LG) seems to have a bit of similarity to the standalone TBCs with Philips/NXP chips react to tapes (though with a better Y/C filter), able to handle a bit of punishment but no line-TBC. Haven't looked much at transparency, macrovision reaction and agc behaviour though.

I have a Daewoo I found as well with a mediatek chipset, seems that chipset is pretty crap as the video is unstable and wiggly as hell, and all outputs go through the digitizer. Idk how that ever could have passed trhough QA, at least the LG looks mostly fine on good tapes.

There are some combos that use NEC chipsets used in Sony/Pioneer DVRs, those chips do feature some line-tbc stuff on the DVRs at least, but I haven't seen any example of playback of the combos using those, and not from the zoran-based ones either (the promo sheet for some of the zoran chips claim to have a TBC; but idk if it's just marketing blurb).



Last edited by hodgey; 01-01-2021 at 05:03 PM.
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01-01-2021, 04:31 PM
latreche34 latreche34 is offline
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Now if that player taking a Y/C signal and combing it into CVBS signal (composite), sending to the MPEG-2 chip for encoding, then decoding it again convert it to analog and combine the YCbCr to a composite signal for output, That's beyond my comprehension to why Sony does that.
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01-01-2021, 04:38 PM
hodgey hodgey is online now
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I believe the D/A chip (or part of) converts directly from digital component (which is what the video decoder chips normally output) to composite, or maybe in some cases to Y/C which is optionally mixed down to composite if there's multiple outputs. Converting from analog component to Y/C requires a bit more complex processing so I doubt there would be much to save on that. I share your confusion in why they go via composite internally though.
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01-01-2021, 05:39 PM
ThomasFan1945Pro ThomasFan1945Pro is offline
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I'm sticking with the recommendations from lordsmurf. I be better off getting a Panasonic DMR-ES15 or ES10 sometime this year and later, a Hi-Fi Stereo Sharp VCR. It's better to get what is recommended, rather than a VCR/DVD combo. Many have it's faults, some good, decent, or worse than others. Thanks for the helpful tips about the Sony combo player, it's really appreciated.
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01-02-2021, 01:33 PM
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lordsmurf lordsmurf is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hodgey View Post
I share your confusion in why they go via composite internally though.
Easy, cheap.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ThomasFan1945Pro View Post
I'm sticking with the recommendations from lordsmurf. I be better off getting a Panasonic DMR-ES15 or ES10 sometime this year and later, a Hi-Fi Stereo Sharp VCR. It's better to get what is recommended, rather than a VCR/DVD combo. Many have it's faults, some good, decent, or worse than others. Thanks for the helpful tips about the Sony combo player, it's really appreciated.
Let us know how this all progresses for you.

... and I really do look forward to you sharing quality conversions of those commercials.

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