Quantcast Can this VHS video be saved? - digitalFAQ Forum
  #1  
01-17-2022, 02:52 PM
Denicio Denicio is offline
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Hey Video Gurus,

I have a video that is priceless to our family. It was shot on a VHS camcorder in 1995. Its my sons first day on earth!

For reasons i cant explain, it looks like this hot mess. Is there ANYTHING that can be done to salvage this into a halfway decent viewing?

What you see is transferred by way of a Lord Smurf rig. VHS (component out) into a TBC-1000 into a Pinnacle 510-USB into Virtualdub.

The video has ALWAYS looked this way. Clearly its something to do with the tape or the capture on the tape.
I am hoping that someone here has a trick up their sleeve that can advise me on IF it can be salvaged and how. I am not beyond sending this VHS to a professional video place if they think it can be salvaged.

Thanks for looking and commenting. Here is the video https://youtu.be/gGHxAUD4GBM
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  #2  
01-17-2022, 03:42 PM
traal traal is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Denicio View Post
The video has ALWAYS looked this way.
Even the day it was recorded?

Is the tape NTSC or PAL, and what was the setting in VirtualDub?
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  #3  
01-17-2022, 03:46 PM
Denicio Denicio is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by traal View Post
Even the day it was recorded?

Is the tape NTSC or PAL, and what was the setting in VirtualDub?
Its NTSC. I was not viewed till a year or so later. Oddly moments before this scene there is a super clear shot of my daughter. Something is just odd on this.

It plays this way on a regular TV as well as via Transfer.

Not sure what VD settings you are seeking. What you see was transferred WITHOUT compression of any kind in VD. Clearly Youtube did their thing but it looks exactly the same as the video you see.
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  #4  
01-17-2022, 03:54 PM
hodgey hodgey is online now
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What VCR are you using?

I'm not certain but I've seen something a bit similar on video8. I think the cause may be that the cassette didn't load properly in some manner when recording. I.e the tape didn't get properly wrapped around the video head drum that records the video signal, so what you ended up with was a recording with the signal not going to the right spots on the tape and parts of it missing entirely. (I have a 8mm camcorder that gives a similar effect on playback as the metal pins holding the tape up are missing.) I'm not sure how much more you can salvage exactly, maybe a panasonic dvd-recorder or similar can manage to stabilize the output you can get a bit better, and maybe one could improve a tiny bit by messing with tape alignment though not sure if that would help all that much for this type of issue.

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  #5  
01-17-2022, 11:06 PM
timtape timtape is offline
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If it's on only this segment but fine before and after it, it doesn't sound hopeful. Newborn baby. Hospital? Interference from medical equipment in the room? Interesting that the audio sounds OK.

Last edited by timtape; 01-17-2022 at 11:20 PM.
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  #6  
01-18-2022, 12:26 AM
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lordsmurf lordsmurf is offline
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I'd need to see the physical tape condition here, before looking at something like a misalign transfer.

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  #7  
01-18-2022, 12:45 AM
traal traal is offline
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This problem might make a good edge case for VHS-decode.
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  #8  
01-18-2022, 07:00 AM
timtape timtape is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Denicio View Post
Its NTSC. I was not viewed till a year or so later. Oddly moments before this scene there is a super clear shot of my daughter. Something is just odd on this.
It might help to upload a longer clip starting from before this when the picture was fine, then transitioning into this clip, and then to any footage directly after. More information can often help with diagnosis.
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  #9  
01-18-2022, 09:04 AM
dpalomaki dpalomaki is offline
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VHS or VHS-C?

Was the tape removed from the camcorder and then reinserted between the good and bad shots?

Was there a change from SP to EP/SLP between the shots?

Was it recorded over previously recorded tape?

Is all the audio OK?

fF you can post the longer clip that overlaps the transitions from good to bad and then a sample of the transition from bad to good in a lossless format (not a site like youtube that recodes video) it may halp analysis.
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  #10  
01-18-2022, 09:22 AM
Denicio Denicio is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hodgey View Post
What VCR are you using?
A sony RDR-VX535. This tape does the same thing on any machine i play it on.
Also, i have transferred 10 tapes over the weekend on this Sony machine with zero issues. Then transferred 2 more afterwards.
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  #11  
01-18-2022, 09:23 AM
Denicio Denicio is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lordsmurf View Post
I'd need to see the physical tape condition here, before looking at something like a misalign transfer.
LS,
What exactly do you want to see? A picture of the actual tape during this part of the tape? Or just an overall picture of the VHS tape?
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  #12  
01-18-2022, 09:26 AM
Denicio Denicio is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timtape View Post
It might help to upload a longer clip starting from before this when the picture was fine, then transitioning into this clip, and then to any footage directly after. More information can often help with diagnosis.
TT,
I can do that. The clip may run a little long. I transferred the entire tape (with Grass Valley DV compression) and then came back and took this short snippet uncompressed. Truth be told the Compressed and Uncompressed look identical.

The file size will be rather large. I could render it down in vegas but that might add to the problem.

I could do the short scene before it and a few minutes of the bad footage. Will that suffice. I dont mind doing what ever is needed. To our family this video is a gem and i'll do what i need to do in order to salvage it...if it can be salvaged.

D
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  #13  
01-18-2022, 09:28 AM
Denicio Denicio is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dpalomaki View Post
VHS or VHS-C?

Was the tape removed from the camcorder and then reinserted between the good and bad shots?

Was there a change from SP to EP/SLP between the shots?

Was it recorded over previously recorded tape?

Is all the audio OK?

fF you can post the longer clip that overlaps the transitions from good to bad and then a sample of the transition from bad to good in a lossless format (not a site like youtube that recodes video) it may halp analysis.
VHS (not C)
I was not there during the capture of this video. My wife's Ex did it. So i cant comment on if it was previously recorded or the SP settings.

What site do you suggest i upload a longer clip to? I will do what ever i can in hopes of making this video watchable.
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  #14  
01-18-2022, 09:30 AM
Denicio Denicio is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by traal View Post
This problem might make a good edge case for VHS-decode.
Never heard of this program. When i go to the link it looks like a tree of information. If you are willing, i could transfer 2-3 minutes uncompressed and send it to you via WeTransfer to see if you can make sense of it. I'll pay you for your time. PM me if this is something you would consider doing for me.
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  #15  
01-18-2022, 10:34 AM
timtape timtape is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Denicio View Post
TT,
I can do that. The clip may run a little long. I transferred the entire tape (with Grass Valley DV compression) and then came back and took this short snippet uncompressed. Truth be told the Compressed and Uncompressed look identical...
. That would be fine. The effect on the poor footage is not subtle so a little more or less compression shouldn't be an issue. Just the transition from good to bad and if there, from bad back to good again , to give some context and maybe hints as to what went wrong.
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  #16  
01-18-2022, 10:35 AM
traal traal is offline
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For VHS-Decode, you need more than a regular capture, you need a VCR with special capture hardware and software, and all of that is beyond my abilities. I only mention it as a possible option if a misalign transfer doesn't work.

I just remembered that sometimes I get results similar to your video when I capture with cropping turned on.
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  #17  
01-18-2022, 10:57 AM
Denicio Denicio is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timtape View Post
If it's on only this segment but fine before and after it, it doesn't sound hopeful. Newborn baby. Hospital? Interference from medical equipment in the room? Interesting that the audio sounds OK.
Just spoke to the wife about the day of this recording (this video predates our wedding).

It was shot by her Bro in Law (at the time) in the recovery room of a hospital. Now, a year before this i was in the exact same hospital in probably the same rooms with my camcorder recording the birth of my first daughter. I have clear footage of the OR as well as recovery room. So i'd like to think we can eliminate medical equipment interference.

Tonight i will capture more of this and post it on Youtube. Stay tuned.

I really do appreciate everyone commenting and contributing to this thread. I really hope there is a way to salvage this....somehow.
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  #18  
01-18-2022, 11:00 AM
Denicio Denicio is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timtape View Post
. That would be fine. The effect on the poor footage is not subtle so a little more or less compression shouldn't be an issue. Just the transition from good to bad and if there, from bad back to good again , to give some context and maybe hints as to what went wrong.
Well, if memory serves. This tape contains two clips. A very short GOOD clip of my middle child and then it cuts to this footage you see. There is 20 or so minutes of that then thats it. Nothing else on the tape.

I will try and upload the Grassvalley compressed capture on to youtube so you can see the whole thing. Will have to put it into vegas to cut out 30 minutes of static after this video. I let my captures run long to make sure there is nothing else on the tape.
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  #19  
01-18-2022, 11:43 AM
dpalomaki dpalomaki is offline
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Does the sound play OK through the bad video segment, or is it garbled?

The following is pure speculation:

The youtube upload reminds me a bit of fast forward scanning a tape where in the video is not blanked. A lossless capture upload of a few seconds only on either side of the transitions from good to bad and bad to good may allow us to see if there are remnants of sync pulses hidden in it.

The video has a somewhat steady repeat of about 18 bands every frame. Allowing for vertical retrace and over scan this implies an issue with a frequency of perhaps 540 to 600 per second. That is about 10x the frame rate, and might correlate with the REW/FF speed of a typical full size VHS camcorder, as if the capstan did not grip the tape during this shoot and it went over the heads at fast forward speed. However, if that is the case I would expect linear track audio to be garbled. (As a reference, the Panasonic AG-455 S-VHS camcorder has a rated FF/REW speed spec of 12 minutes for a T120 cassette, or about 10x.)
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  #20  
01-18-2022, 11:46 AM
timtape timtape is offline
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Great, will await the upload.
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