Quantcast TBC for the desperate? - digitalFAQ Forum
  #1  
01-23-2022, 05:58 PM
BarryTheCrab BarryTheCrab is offline
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At the risk of being verbally pummeled, ostracized, and cancelled...
I see this linked site which has numerous video standards converters, many which mention TBC.
With true TBCs now at $2000 and up, is there anything at this linked site that might be helpful, or a magic bullet to members who need to step up the quality of their captures...?
I particularly target the SD devices, not HD.
https://www.worldwidevoltage.com/video-converters.html
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  #2  
01-23-2022, 06:12 PM
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No.
Avoid.

I saw that years ago, and had curt semi-rude conversations with that company.

What exists there now is
(1) bad HD converters
(2) bad SD converters
(3) at best, flawed Cypress chipsets in late model items (and even the early models had quirks, such as PAL good, NTSC sucks)

The good devices have been gone for more than a decade.

For whatever dumb reason ("SEO" most likely), they have ghost listings. Most are hidden from the index you linked, found only with Google, but not all. Some of those products haven't been available in years.

That company also has multiple aliases, several store fronts. The main name is SamStores. It's one of those very shady photo/video stores, like the NYC operations of yesteryear. Reviews have always been bad, and the reviewers had very legit complaints. Also beware of reviews from sites that are gamed, like SiteJabber or TrustPilot, all of which have reviews that are only 1-2 years old. But this company has been around since at least the late 90s.

Nothing actually available there is a TBC, or even TBC-like.

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  #3  
01-23-2022, 06:17 PM
BarryTheCrab BarryTheCrab is offline
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Fair enough.
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  #4  
01-24-2022, 03:59 PM
mbassiouny mbassiouny is offline
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In addition to what LS said, most devices in this age are not even available. You see the prices + buy now button, but if you buy they will cancel your order/won't ship. If you contact them, they will tell you these are not available.

Just like svideo.com that has an AVT tbc, but are too lazy to remove it and they only tell you after you pay even though it's been out of stock for years. (maybe it brings them a lot of views?)

I have checked all desperate ways in several countries (and in different languages). If there is a TBC for the desperate you would be seeing something in the marketplace.
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  #5  
01-24-2022, 06:49 PM
dpalomaki dpalomaki is offline
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IMO a standards converter is just that. It likely will provide a very stable time base in its output video stream, but in the process may well bake in time base errors in its input. And it may give you an output in a signal format you do not want not to mention any standards conversion artifacts.

That is not to say you would not find some devices give some benefit with some video inputs, but it they should not be counted on to be useful over a wide range of sources. Further high quality video converters such as used in broadcast and video production studios may expect a solid input signal with no time base errors.
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  #6  
01-25-2022, 05:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dpalomaki View Post
IMO a standards converter is just that. It likely will provide a very stable time base in its output video stream, but in the process may well bake in time base errors in its input. And it may give you an output in a signal format you do not want not to mention any standards conversion artifacts.

That is not to say you would not find some devices give some benefit with some video inputs, but it they should not be counted on to be useful over a wide range of sources. Further high quality video converters such as used in broadcast and video production studios may expect a solid input signal with no time base errors.
Yes, all correct, that and more.

For example, most converters that actually do have TBCs disengage on "passthrough" (PAL>PAL, NTSC>NTSC). The TBC is after the formats conversion chip. So worthless. The conversion is horrible crap quality, what we did in the early/mid 90s before digital anything existed.

The few exceptions that did exist, hidden TBCs in converters, are pretty rare. But a reason I don't give out those brand/models is because the units vary highly. You're more likely to get an expensive horse (with a baton glued to its head) than a unicorn.

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  #7  
01-25-2022, 08:37 AM
dpalomaki dpalomaki is offline
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Quote:
You're more likely to get an expensive horse (with a baton glued to its head) than a unicorn.

Read more: http://www.digitalfaq.com/forum/video-capture/12454-tbc-desperate.html#ixzz7IzdutGTU
Might works if the video was a kids birthday party

-- merged --

For the Desperate: On a more serious note, video mixers such as the Videonics MX-1 and MX-Pro contain a frame synchronizer that is used to sync two independent video streams. It can provide infinite window TBC-like functions and can help with some video if timing issues are not too bad.

It is not the same as a dedicated competent TBC, but they do help some video issues and can strip Macrovision, and they sell on the used market for a lot less than a dedicated TBC. It can be set to duplicate/drop fields if needed to maintain a precise frame rate, which may help keep audio in sync. Your friendly neighborhood wedding videographer (if he dates to the analog video days) might even have one on a shelf they no longer use.

Panasonic and others offered similar products.
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  #8  
01-25-2022, 01:12 PM
latreche34 latreche34 is offline
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Yes some they do work well like the Videonics MX-1:

https://youtu.be/HEXLlqJQ7Oc

https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_fro...acat=0&_sop=15

https://www.youtube.com/user/latoak34/videos
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  #9  
01-25-2022, 04:43 PM
dpalomaki dpalomaki is offline
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Working MX-1 appear to be going for around US$150 plus shipping. A bit over a year ago they were perhaps 35% lower.

FWIW internally the MX-1 is 8-bit, 4:2:2, with luma sampled at 13.5 mHz and RS-170A compliant. It has 4 input channels, s-video or composite, and stereo audio. Bandwidth is 5 MHz, (nominally 400 lines).

The follow-on MX-Pro was designed toward DV signal standards and used 10-bit for s-video input quantization. It also included some basic proc amp functions.

As with all used gear the trick is to find one that is in good working order. A fair number on ebay are listed as parts only.
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  #10  
01-25-2022, 10:49 PM
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MX-1, etc, are a class of "also has TBC" devices. But remember, TBC is a wide term that can mean almost anything, and sadly often does. It's why a Canopus ADVC "has a TBC" (BS!). The MX-1 has something, but there are caveats to its use, and it's weaker. So while it can work, the tapes must be pristine 1st gen from a camcorder. Not -C, copies, retails, etc. Some larger % of those will fail, whereas actual TBCs will not.

It's a TBC(ish). Those are budget options.

Ironically, the more "desperate" a person gets, the more I find it's simply another case of being too overly cheap about conversion.

And as stated, the horrendous condition of most of these non-consumer pro/studio items. While your average chain-smoking trailer dweller took zero care with gear (Walmarts VCRs, etc), the same was true of employees in studios (ie, not their stuff, who cares?), or students (either "not my stuff" or "duh"). It was always the somewhat more sophisticated tech-savvy or art-savvy hobbyists, DIYers, videographers, or small time studios that took care of this gear. Many are still holding. Some thankfully so (current costs), others have cashed in (ie, the main reason we still get a trickle of non-crap devices).

That's just the blunt reality of the situation.

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  #11  
01-26-2022, 02:16 AM
mbassiouny mbassiouny is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lordsmurf View Post
students (either "not my stuff" or "duh").
Students aren't really that bad/careless
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  #12  
01-26-2022, 04:02 AM
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Originally Posted by mbassiouny View Post
Students aren't really that bad/careless
Students in the 80s/90s/00s are what I refer to here. Whether or not modern 10s/20s students are that haphazard with tech toys may be different, or not. My gut feeling would suggest more techno care from the current young adult generation. Modern 16-22 probably understands tech costs far better these days, with their expensive cell/mobile phones and tablets. We didn't carry that sort of stuff when I was younger. At most, we had a fancy watch. Different world.

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  #13  
01-26-2022, 04:28 AM
latreche34 latreche34 is offline
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The MX-1 from the 12voltvids did a great job, The guy literally stalls the video head by hand and banged on the VCR and in both instances it produced rock solid picture, This test proved the MX-1 is among the best TBC's out there, I want to see an expensive TBC achieve that.

https://www.youtube.com/user/latoak34/videos
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  #14  
01-26-2022, 06:18 AM
mbassiouny mbassiouny is offline
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Originally Posted by latreche34 View Post
I want to see an expensive TBC achieve that.
Probably not your average defective black AVT, but maybe other good models can.
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  #15  
01-26-2022, 06:26 AM
RobustReviews RobustReviews is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by latreche34 View Post
The MX-1 from the 12voltvids did a great job, The guy literally stalls the video head by hand and banged on the VCR and in both instances it produced rock solid picture, This test proved the MX-1 is among the best TBC's out there, I want to see an expensive TBC achieve that.
Just tried with one of my For.A units, it does a good job. Of course, it's hardly a calibrated test method, but it does show that a lot of these units do more than many credit them for.

Of course my For.A is designed for 'clean' professional sources
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01-26-2022, 07:00 AM
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Of course my For.A is designed for 'clean' professional sources
We've been over this before.
- PAL sources tend to do a wee bit better than NTSC
- your (client's) sources are probably cleaner than average, being mostly camcorder home movie masters, BBC sources, etc.

Add those together, and you have a slight advantage here.
But it's also a % dumb luck.
Not to mention the condition of those old boxes is so ungodly variable, more bad than not.

I know that some people can get by with certain TBCs and TBC'ish type setup, due to several factors. That's why I often ask so many questions about a project, from sources to destination.

But the fact is this is not a 100% consistent repeatable process when you get "in the weeds" of TBCs and sorta-kinda TBCs ("TBCs", TBCish). So you're an exception to the rule. Awesome! But an exception to the rule doesn't overrule the rule.

The For.A models are designed for clean sources. I can make For.A units crash on sources, and it's one of the easier brands to do that to. (Kramer is super easy.) I have a harder time getting such consistency from flawed back AVT-8710 chipsets.

I guess I've just been doing this longer than you, with a much larger source experience (and test/dev library).

If I come across an MX-1, I'll test it again. Sometimes per-unit variables do skew tests, especially with less tests performed. But the fact that there are variables is a vector for performance. It's one of the main ways how I've been able to identify so many production changes in products.

So
- Suggesting MX-1, For.A, etc is a "good TBC"? No.
- Suggesting those could be an option, but there are variables and unknowns? Sure.

Now we're getting back to the thread topic: truly desperate for a TBC. Looking outside of the list of known-safe models (with widest compatibility for sources), crossing fingers, gambling bucks, that a unit might work. But those won't necessarily be any cheaper, and then "buy it, use it, resell it" advice may not work on those. Penny wise, pound foolish.

Anybody reading this just needs to heed all this advice, proceed with caution. I don't want you to blow money on crap, and then be worse off than you started.

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  #17  
01-26-2022, 10:00 AM
latreche34 latreche34 is offline
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Originally Posted by mbassiouny View Post
Probably not your average defective black AVT, but maybe other good models can.
Would you care to post some stress tests for the community? It will be much appreciated.
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01-26-2022, 10:23 AM
mbassiouny mbassiouny is offline
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Would you care to post some stress tests for the community? It will be much appreciated.
Care? yes.
Have time? hardly. at least not this weekend, maybe next week...
What kind of "stress test"? intentionally messing up the tape? hammering the VCR head like the guy in the video (something I don't trust myself to do lol)?
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  #19  
01-26-2022, 11:46 AM
latreche34 latreche34 is offline
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I don't think he hammered the head, and he used a crappy VCR anyway, he is a qualified Sony technician for VCR's and camcorders, he did this for a living for decades, I don't think you or I have the right to criticize his work. But if you can do any test that can mess up the VBI signal just to see how your preferred TBC copes with it than we can have some data to go by, Price of the TBC is not an indication of it's effectiveness, tests like this are.

https://www.youtube.com/user/latoak34/videos
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01-26-2022, 12:05 PM
mbassiouny mbassiouny is offline
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he did this for a living for decades, I don't think you or I have the right to criticize his work. .
Okay, maybe not "hammering" but more like "hitting", my choice of words was not perfect.
I did not criticize his work, nor claimed being more knowledgeable, I clearly stated my limits when I said "which I don't trust myself to do". I do have a crappy VCR that might work for that, it is stored somewhere in a box in my closet, I need to unpack it...

Also doing something for a living for decades does not make you an expert. I have seen a lot of businesses doing things for years, yet they do it badly. It is just that people did not notice, they don't know it is bad, accept because it is cheap, or do not know better alternatives. (not saying this is the case for this guy here, just saying doing for decades =/= not necessarily good at it)

Quote:
Price of the TBC is not an indication of it's effectiveness, tests like this are.
+1 for the part about price. Tests like this might reveal interesting things about the performance, but I don't think they are enough to give a conclusion. Some other tests might be needed imho (really my opinion, not based on knowledge).
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