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  #1  
03-22-2021, 07:39 AM
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My setup for capturing PAL Hi8 tapes was:

Sony CCD-TR825E (TBC On) --S-Video--> green AVT-8710 --S-Video--> Pinnacle 710-USB --USB--> Windows XP/VirtualDub
However, this leads to randomly occuring color distortion, likely due to the line TBC.

I got a PAL Panasonic DMR-ES15, and the problem disappears! Even with line TBC in the camcorder still on! So now I have:
Sony CCD-TR825E (TBC On) --S-Video--> ES15 --S-Video--> AVT-8710 --S-Video--> Pinnacle 710-USB --USB--> Windows XP/VirtualDub

Now I can do four things (that I can think of):

1) Use both the ES15 and the camera's line TBC. My untrained eyes doesn't notice anything off, but this a good idea in general? Will the two TBCs "stack", or conflict, or anything? Especially given that the ES15's TBC has side effects.
2) Use the ES15 without the camera's line TBC. I haven't tested this, but this seems to me like the less ideal option.
3) Use only the camera's line TBC, without the ES15. This causes the distortions, but since they don't happen deterministically, I figured I could just retry distorted scenes. This will be much more time consuming, since I'd have to monitor everything, start the recording again numerous times, and losslessly stitch everything together. I'm willing to put up with this if the end result will noticeably benefit from this, but this depends on how much the ES15 impacts the signal quality, I guess. I remember reading that the less components in the workflow, the better, but I don't know how much of this is true.
4) Disabling the ES15's TBC, if this is at all possible. I wouldn't know how to do this, but maybe I can only use the ES15 as a passthrough, and then I can exclusively use the camcorder's line TBC.

With line TBC on, captures with the ES15 seemed to have a higher dynamic range and more detail than captures without the ES15, but I only tested a specific scene from a specific tape, and I don't know how this would generalize.

Capture.jpg

Which option would be the best? Any suggestions are greatly appreciated!



Last edited by EmielBoss; 03-22-2021 at 07:41 AM. Reason: I actually asked the question
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  #2  
03-22-2021, 10:13 AM
hodgey hodgey is offline
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As this is Sony 8mm camcorder, I would keep the line-tbc in the camcorder on. Unlike standard VHS, video8 and Hi8 tapes contain some extra signals on the tape that the camcorder tbc can make use of to stabilize things, and it doesn't have the issues with tearing and vertical jitter that TBCs in VHS decks sometimes have with some tapes.

You may be fine with leaving out AVT TBC after the ES15 when using it. Main use for it after a dvd-recorder would be to prevent drops if the ES15 turns off it's output (which the panasonic dvrs can do if they thin there is no input signal), and remove any copy protection signal on the output (which the ES15 will put there if there is on the input), neither should be an issue with 8mm tapes and a Sony camcorder though. (When doing VHS tapes the story is different.)
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  #3  
03-25-2021, 02:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hodgey View Post
You may be fine with leaving out AVT TBC after the ES15 when using it. Main use for it after a dvd-recorder would be to prevent drops if the ES15 turns off it's output (which the panasonic dvrs can do if they thin there is no input signal), and remove any copy protection signal on the output (which the ES15 will put there if there is on the input), neither should be an issue with 8mm tapes and a Sony camcorder though.
Does this mean that the ES15 has some sort of frame TBC? Or is there no use for a frame TBC anyways, because the ES15 outputs a steady signal already?

Because the ES15 has side effects, wouldn't it be a better idea to replace it with some other component which (somehow) prevents the color distortion, but has minimal effect on the signal? That way, I can use both line TBC and the AVT-8710, which I get the impression is still the most optimal solution.
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03-25-2021, 03:56 AM
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The ES10 and ES15 contain strong+crippled line TBC, and non-TBC frame sync. The line TBC is strong because it corrects tearing, one of the harshest line timing issues that exists. But crippled because it's touchy to anti-copy (whether present or not, ie false positives). Frame sync TBCs correct frame issues, whereas non-TBC frame sync merely pass errors in a psuedo/semi-corrected manner.

The green AVT-8710 is a frame sync TBC. So the devices are not at all the same.

Sometimes ES10/15 is fine, but sometimes not. It's not a TBC. It's a DVD recorder. The model is unique because it has passthrough, meaning the TBC/filters work on the signal by merely being passed through the unit.

The ES10/15 is refer to as a TBC(ish) -- not really a TBC, but sometimes can act as one. The ES10/15 alone is very minimalist, because again no frame sync TBC. You add a DVK to add that.

The ES15 has side effects, sometimes nasty.
- The luma/exposure is messed with, because Panasonic apparently sucked at maintaining input levels (a flaw on every Panasonic recorder, ES10/15 or not).
- The NR is aggressive and always on, and the on/off is more like low/high.
- Posterization, a colorspace compression. VHS is somewhat like 6-bit dithered, and the ES10/15 is somewhat like 6-bit without a dither.

That's still odd with the AVT-8710.

The camera line TBC will negate the ES10/15 from doing much at all. So camera TBC disabled.

In theory, a DVK after a good line TBC would work, but in practice is often does not. The DVK frame sync is weak (as are many "also includes frame TBC" items, such as mixers, which are made for pro/non-consumer sources), and will choke on the camera output.

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  #5  
03-25-2021, 06:08 AM
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Thanks, lordsmurf! I'm still not sure what my optimal workflow would look like.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lordsmurf View Post
The NR is aggressive and always on, and the on/off is more like low/high.
So I would ideally turn this "off"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by lordsmurf View Post
The camera line TBC will negate the ES10/15 from doing much at all. So camera TBC disabled.
I inserted the ES15 in my pipeline purely to have the line TBC and the AVT-8710 not screw up my colors (and not for its function itself), right? So would it be a problem to have the ES15's effects be negated?

Quote:
Originally Posted by lordsmurf View Post
In theory, a DVK after a good line TBC would work, but in practice is often does not. The DVK frame sync is weak, and will choke on the camera output.
But I have an AVT-8710, but that doesn't work in conjunction with the ES15? Why would I need to replace the AVT-8710 with a DVK in my case?

Which of the four workflows I listed above would you advice me to take? And if I understand correctly, there is a fifth option, namely to replace the AVT-8710 with a DVK?
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03-25-2021, 07:35 AM
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Does this do anything?
VCR > ES15 > AVT-8710 < capture card
Are you saying that removes the issues you were seeing? (If so, then do it.)

You shouldn't need to replace AVT-8710 with DVK. The DVK is the budget version for frame TBC, only reason it was mentioned. Usually when somebody wants the ES10/15 a a TBC, they're looking for budget option, hence my mentioning it.

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  #7  
03-25-2021, 08:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lordsmurf View Post
Does this do anything?
VCR > ES15 > AVT-8710 > capture card
Are you saying that removes the issues you were seeing? (If so, then do it.)
Yes, that works! It works both with and without the camcorder's line TBC. Should I keep the line TBC on? You mentioned that the camera's line TBC will negate the ES15 from doing much at all, but I would say that would ultimately be optimal, since I'd rather have the ES15 not touching the signal at all, because of the side effects you mention.
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03-25-2021, 09:11 AM
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The deal with line TBCs is that whichever TBC is first in the chain "wins".

So if the camcorder's line TBC is switched on, then it will perform the time base correction, even if you connect an ES15 after it.
If you turn the camcorder's line TBC off and then connect the ES15, the ES15 will perform the time base correction.

With frame TBCs, it's not quite that clear cut. As LordSmurf said, the ES15 is not a full-fledged frame TBC, so there may be cases where dropped frames can still occur. So it may still be helpful to connect the AVT-8710 after the ES15 to guarantee a stable signal.

But you should aim to minimize the number of devices in the chain, because each one is performing an analog-->digital-->analog conversion. So only use the ES15 when Camcorder-->AVT-8710 doesn't provide good results.
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03-26-2021, 07:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bookemdano View Post
The deal with line TBCs is that whichever TBC is first in the chain "wins". So if the camcorder's line TBC is switched on, then it will perform the time base correction, even if you connect an ES15 after it.
But will the ES15 still cause the negative side effects its infamous for?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bookemdano View Post
But you should aim to minimize the number of devices in the chain, because each one is performing an analog-->digital-->analog conversion. So only use the ES15 when Camcorder-->AVT-8710 doesn't provide good results.
Unfortunately, I need to ES15 purely to not get the color distortions. I could omit it, but then I would have to redo numerous scenes, which would be rather time consuming.
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03-26-2021, 08:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EmielBoss View Post
But will the ES15 still cause the negative side effects its infamous for?
The main side effect of the PAL one is clipping bright spots (it doesn't have the posterization/always on noise reduction the NTSC variant does.) It's possible the TBC in the camcorder may help reduce that depending on how the automatic gain control in the panasonic is implemented but it's not something I've personally tried.
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03-26-2021, 08:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EmielBoss View Post
But will the ES15 still cause the negative side effects its infamous for?



Unfortunately, I need to ES15 purely to not get the color distortions. I could omit it, but then I would have to redo numerous scenes, which would be rather time consuming.
Yes, whenever the ES15 is in the chain you will get its processing effects, for better or for worse. It won't perform the time base correction if the playback device is doing it, but you're still passing your signal through its A-->D-->A converter.

Are you getting the color distortion on every tape? If it's only certain tapes (or just a few scenes on certain tapes) I personally would take the time to transfer everything without the ES15, then watch each one and notate which tapes/scenes are distorted & retransfer just those scenes/tapes with the ES15. But I understand that not everyone has the time and/or patience for that. It's just a "best practice" though to try to keep to a minimum how many ADA conversions you do.
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  #12  
03-26-2021, 02:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bookemdano View Post
If it's only certain tapes (or just a few scenes on certain tapes) I personally would take the time to transfer everything without the ES15, then watch each one and notate which tapes/scenes are distorted & retransfer just those scenes/tapes with the ES15. But I understand that not everyone has the time and/or patience for that.
Yes, I think I'll do that, thanks! Can I then stitch the different captures together without reencoding? Do you maybe have software you would recommend? I found this program called LosslessCut which seems great (and is open source).
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03-26-2021, 02:34 PM
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You're capturing to lossless AVI right? If so then there's no need for a program like losslesscut--that is meant for cutting lossy files without re-encoding (which would make their quality worse). But one of the benefits of a lossless capture is that you can cut and insert as much as you want without any reduction in quality.
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  #14  
03-26-2021, 02:46 PM
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Ah yes, of course Could I still use LosslessCut for it (I think it's just a GUI for FFmpeg), or are there better alternatives? I would like a GUI, because I will have a lot of stitching and framebrowsing to do.
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03-26-2021, 02:57 PM
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For simple stuff (for instance, saving just the needed clip(s) from the ES15 captures), I think you can just use Virtualdub, but for inserting and stitching you probably want to use a nonlinear editor like Adobe Premiere, Sony Vegas, or even Davinci Resolve (which has a pretty full-featured free version available).

I'm primarily a Mac user, so hopefully others here who edit on Windows can make some suggestions.
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03-26-2021, 03:01 PM
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I have Premiere, but I thought that that only does exporting by encoding? And does it support Huffyuv reading and writing?
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03-27-2021, 08:48 AM
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Premiere should be able to import Huffyuv if you have the proper codec installed (note that the "bitness" needs to match. Premiere is most likely x64, so you would need the x64 version of the Huffyuv codec installed).

I'm not sure if Premiere can export as Huffyuv or not--maybe someone else knows. But assuming you will eventually generate an h264 file or something for people to watch, you could always wait to do this splicing until that time.
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03-27-2021, 09:49 AM
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ffdshow for x64, not 64-bit Huffyuv.

Premiere exports to any available system codec. But I generally export Lagarith from Premiere. Huffyuv is mostly a capture codec. You can use different intermediaries later down the workflow.

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