Quantcast BetaMax workflow with TBC? - digitalFAQ Forum
  #1  
03-21-2022, 08:45 PM
Closecall Closecall is offline
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I have a Sony SL-HF750 Betamax machine and want to incorporate it through my current VHS workflow but had a few questions. *I have a BVDTBC10 and an ATI AIW USB.

I was curious if people use composite for these since most beta machines didn't have S-video connections or if there was another method?
Second, if there are any compatibility issues with beta through these machines.

Thank you
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  #2  
03-22-2022, 12:10 AM
latreche34 latreche34 is online now
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Besides composite you would capture it the same way as VHS.

https://www.youtube.com/user/latoak34/videos
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  #3  
03-22-2022, 06:28 AM
RobustReviews RobustReviews is offline
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Yes, just a few points to note.

Firstly a decent TBC with equisite filtering (probably not a promsumer model) can create a rather pleasing quazi-S Video YC to work with, it's not as good as full S-video natraully but it can be nearly indistinguishable if this is a genuine issue.

Betamax transfers also need monitoring due to tracking issues, there ads to my knowledge no auto-tracking Betamax decks, even out ED machines don't have that facility.

I'm not a fan of Betamax nor its alleged benefits over VHS, I'm yet to actually see any great difference between it and VHS/V2000 in quality, Sony made much of quite minor differences, that's the PAL experience anyway.

SuperBetaED looks rather nice how ever.
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  #4  
03-22-2022, 09:54 AM
latreche34 latreche34 is online now
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Beta didn't get a chance to improve like VHS did even their latest decks the ED Beta's look too ancient compared to say JVC VHS's from late 90's, Their VCR's always have quirks and you have to babysit them to play correctly.

https://www.youtube.com/user/latoak34/videos
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  #5  
03-22-2022, 10:39 AM
RobustReviews RobustReviews is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by latreche34 View Post
Beta didn't get a chance to improve like VHS did even their latest decks the ED Beta's look too ancient compared to say JVC VHS's from late 90's, Their VCR's always have quirks and you have to babysit them to play correctly.
That's a fair assessment as I see it.

We have SL-HF950s which were the top of the line, agonal gasp (1988) PAL machines with ED recording and playback. They're nice enough, but I can't see what all the fuss with about with Betamax personally. I find Betamax interchangeability is a bit more of a crapshoot than VHS with some tapes simply refusing to play on some machines and perfectly on others, I've not done thousands of them like other formats though so take that as mere conjecture.

They were both inferior to V2000 in many ways, but V2000 came out 2-3 years later and used a far more costly technique, coupled with notoriously over-engineered and troublesome machines. The battle was for all intents and purposes over by the time V2000 entered the conflict. Philips had the benefit of learning from the Sony/JVC et. al. mistakes. Philips could have taken the whole world in 1976 if it wasn't for a fundamentally flawed judicial ruling that worked in the favour of precisely nobody.

It's quite tricky to draw a line as to where the format war ended, it could be argued it was as early as 1978 or as late as 1988 depending on perspective.

VHS was the rightful winner really, it's the simplest system that delivered more than acceptable results.
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  #6  
03-22-2022, 12:53 PM
Closecall Closecall is offline
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Thank you for everyones input, is there a major difference in quality for using composite vs s-video for betamax like for VHS?
And can you safely and effectively change from a composite output to S-video?? Didn't know if the swap would actually work. Seems like the signals being different would cause issues.
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  #7  
03-22-2022, 01:16 PM
RobustReviews RobustReviews is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Closecall View Post
Thank you for everyones input, is there a major difference in quality for using composite vs s-video for betamax like for VHS?
And can you safely and effectively change from a composite output to S-video?? Didn't know if the swap would actually work. Seems like the signals being different would cause issues.
Yeah don't try and mix them, you'll end up with composite.

(Very) basically, with S-Video the luminance (Y) signal and the colour (C) signals are kept separate. Due to the cruel quicks of the universe when you mix them (composite) it can all get a bit smudged as they can interfere with one another.

The video signal on the tape is separated, then it was combined for composite output. This was deemed good enough for decades in some cases. The machine lays down separate colour and luminance signals for reasons not worth going into here, but basically, S-Video is more akin to what is on the tape.

YC signals are definitely the way to go, they're a good deal 'cleaner' and less prone to issues such as dot crawl. NTSC especially can suffer from this, but it's hardly unknown with PAL in extreme cases.

The composite (mixed) signal has to be unmixed to capture and it's not unlike unmixing a tin of paint. It's doable, many devices handle it very poorly, but mathematically it's doable. Some quite hardcore mathematics and filtering is required to do it really effectively which is lacking in most capture devices/TBCs, you need to be looking at seriously hardcore gear to really be able to do it effectively in hardware to the full extent. We're required to do a lot of composite captures and they require full-blooded TBCs, not prosumer units for best quality.

That's not to say it's unwatchable, or that it's really inferior but it's noticeable to the untrained eye the differences.

But, with Betamax, without extending this into the theoretical, you're stuck.
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  #8  
03-22-2022, 01:35 PM
Closecall Closecall is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobustReviews View Post
Yeah don't try and mix them, you'll end up with composite.

(Very) basically, with S-Video the luminance (Y) signal and the colour (C) signals are kept separate. Due to the cruel quicks of the universe when you mix them (composite) it can all get a bit smudged as they can interfere with one another.

The video signal on the tape is separated, then it was combined for composite output. This was deemed good enough for decades in some cases. The machine lays down separate colour and luminance signals for reasons not worth going into here, but basically, S-Video is more akin to what is on the tape.

YC signals are definitely the way to go, they're a good deal 'cleaner' and less prone to issues such as dot crawl. NTSC especially can suffer from this, but it's hardly unknown with PAL in extreme cases.

The composite (mixed) signal has to be unmixed to capture and it's not unlike unmixing a tin of paint. It's doable, many devices handle it very poorly, but mathematically it's doable. Some quite hardcore mathematics and filtering is required to do it really effectively which is lacking in most capture devices/TBCs, you need to be looking at seriously hardcore gear to really be able to do it effectively in hardware to the full extent. We're required to do a lot of composite captures and they require full-blooded TBCs, not prosumer units for best quality.

That's not to say it's unwatchable, or that it's really inferior but it's noticeable to the untrained eye the differences.

But, with Betamax, without extending this into the theoretical, you're stuck.
Makes perfect sense. So would be tracking down an S-video Beta machine be the best way to achieve the best possible quality digitizing then? Utilizing my pre-existing workflow and maybe adding a es10/es15 passthrough.
Or just running composite from my current machine all the way through the workflow?
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  #9  
03-22-2022, 01:39 PM
RobustReviews RobustReviews is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Closecall View Post
Makes perfect sense. So would be tracking down an S-video Beta machine be the best way to achieve the best possible quality digitizing then? Utilizing my pre-existing workflow and maybe adding a es10/es15 passthrough.
Or just running composite from my current machine all the way through the workflow?
This is the crux, S-Video Betamax machines don't exist, they were never made, Betamax's failure predates S-Video as standard output.

SCART only just made it to Betamax, but that's only a PAL market doohickey.
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  #10  
03-22-2022, 01:45 PM
Closecall Closecall is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobustReviews View Post
This is the crux, S-Video Betamax machines don't exist, they were never made, Betamax's failure predates S-Video as standard output.

SCART only just made it to Betamax, but that's only a PAL market doohickey.
The Sony Super Betamax SL-HF1000 and i believe the 900 both had S-video outputs.
http://www.betamaxcollectors.com/son...sl-hf1000.html
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  #11  
03-22-2022, 01:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Closecall View Post
The Sony Super Betamax SL-HF1000 and i believe the 900 both had S-video outputs.
http://www.betamaxcollectors.com/sonysuperbetamaxmodelsl-hf1000.html
If you're going by the pictures, that's an old Sony editing connector, it's not S-Video.
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  #12  
03-22-2022, 01:53 PM
Closecall Closecall is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobustReviews View Post
If you're going by the pictures, that's an old Sony editing connector, it's not S-Video.
whoops. My mistake. In my research, someone had led me to those. I know for a fact the SL-HF2100 does have S-video.

Also
EDV-7500/7300 (canada version)
EDV-9500/9300 (canada version)
EDV5000/6000 are Japanese only.
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  #13  
03-22-2022, 02:44 PM
latreche34 latreche34 is online now
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If you are in the US, Canada or Japan there is one or two SuperBeta decks and two ED Beta machines with S-Video (several in Japan), Finding them and in good condition is going to take sometime assuming money is not an object, The ED's usually go for $1200 with unknown condition.

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  #14  
03-22-2022, 02:50 PM
Closecall Closecall is offline
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We have gotten a little off track inthis thread and I want to reiterate that I am wondering more about process vs units. Is it worth chasing S-video for Beta or is it better to just run composite all the way through.
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  #15  
03-22-2022, 03:00 PM
BW37 BW37 is offline
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@Closecall,

Getting an s-video out Beta deck (ED beta most likely) is probably the best option if you have a large number of Beta tapes to convert and are willing to spend the money and take the risk of finding a good one. This avoids the need to separate the composite back into Y/C before capture. I believe a number of the "Big Buck" guys or "gurus" on this forum have ED decks for this purpose*.

I believe the comb filter in the AIW's is not very good so you want to convert from composite to Y/C ahead of it. If you want to try getting the best from a composite output from your SL-HF750 (working I assume) you'll be looking to put the best comb filter in the workflow in front of your AIW.

Your BVTBC10 should be able to perform this function for you: composite in, Y/C out. It's worth a try at least. The BVTBC10 has 2 forms of luma/chroma separation: true comb filter and a simple notch filter which you can chose between. The fact that the manual specifically discusses and provides these options makes me hopeful that it can do the conversion from composite IN to s-video OUT (why else provide them?). The documentation says the notch filter might be better for lesser quality signals as from "consumer VCR's". Hopefully the actual comb filter would provide the best output, but at least you have options to try.

I also recall Sanlyn (where are you friend?) discussing using a DVD recorder as a composite to s-video (Y/C) converter ahead of his AIW capture cards just to employ it's superior comb filter. I believe he did this when using composite output VCR's that he used for their better SLP tracking.

Hope this is useful,

BW

* In racing circles we had "Big Buck Racers" and the "Big Dogs", categories to which most of us aspired. I'm not sure what we should call the seasoned pros that post here
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  #16  
03-22-2022, 03:53 PM
latreche34 latreche34 is online now
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Another way to get around this Y/C problem is using a DVD recorder in passthrough, input composite and output Y/Pb/Pr and capture as such, this way you don't have to deal with ancient color formats schemes and their separation problems, You will need a capture card that can capture component.

https://www.youtube.com/user/latoak34/videos
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  #17  
03-22-2022, 11:09 PM
lingyi lingyi is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Closecall View Post
Also
EDV-7500/7300 (canada version)
EDV-9500/9300 (canada version)
EDV5000/6000 are Japanese only.
There's also the Japan only EDV-8000. The EDV-7000 and EDV-9000 were the Japanese versions of the EDV-7500 and EDV-9500.

Edit: I thought the EDV-7XXX and EDV-9XXX where the only ED-Beta machines. It was only within the last 10 years or so, that I discovered on eBay the existence of the other, consumer oriented machines. Makes sense, since Japan was always interested in the highest quality video for the home market.

The only other Betamax with S-Video is the SL-HF2100 as stated in another post. The 15th Anniversary Beta that costs a couple of thousand dollars and IMO, having owned the EDV-7500 as well, the EDV-7500 had a better picture.

All the above are NTSC only. There were no PAL machines with S-Video as Beta died out quicker in Europe than North America and Japan.

Visit mrbetamax.com for NTSC machines and palsite.com for PAL. I don't know if MrBetamax is still in business. Last I read, he hasn't been responding to emails.
9
Quote:
We have SL-HF950s which were the top of the line, agonal gasp (1988) PAL machines with ED recording and playback.
The SL-HF950 wasn't ED-Beta and probably didn't have S-Video unless it was through the Euroconnector (unlikely).

http://www.palsite.com/950spec.html

ED-Beta didn't make it to Europe. All ED-Beta machines were EDV-XXXX. ED-Beta was introduced in 1988. Long after the SL-HF950 which was introduced in 1985.

Edit 2: I also owned the SL-HF900, which was just below the SL-HF2100 in picture quality. I sadly never owned the SL-HF1000 or EDV-9500. However, I recall reviews stating the the second in line, 900 and 7500 had better picture quality than their big brothers/sisters because they were intended to [be] the source to the higher end editing machines.

Last edited by lingyi; 03-22-2022 at 11:35 PM.
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  #18  
03-22-2022, 11:38 PM
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This TBC has composite.
SHIFT to level 1, the first single dot level.
SRC = source
up/down to change
C = composite
S = s-video

It's a RTFM situation (in a nice way).

Note this is a very specific version of this model of TBC. If you buy any random unit, you're going to buy waste money on a flawed paperweight. Beware!

Some TBCs let you crossver C>S or S>C, but it varies. I don't recall offhand how this model acts. It is often part of my TBC testing (per model, not unit), but most fail. I think green AVT-8710 is the only that does it decent, or at all. Be sure the comb filtering is enabled.


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  #19  
03-22-2022, 11:52 PM
lingyi lingyi is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BW37 View Post
@Closecall,
* In racing circles we had "Big Buck Racers" and the "Big Dogs", categories to which most of us aspired. I'm not sure what we should call the seasoned pros that post here
Smurfions?

Minimurfs?
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  #20  
03-23-2022, 12:48 AM
latreche34 latreche34 is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lingyi View Post
The only other Betamax with S-Video is the SL-HF2100 as stated in another post. The 15th Anniversary Beta that costs a couple of thousand dollars and IMO, having owned the EDV-7500 as well, the EDV-7500 had a better picture.
Yes the EDV-7500 (EDV-7300 Canadian clone) is the best ED Beta machine, Having owned few, The EDV-9500 is an editing model, if you leave it in processing mode it softens the picture, Ray Glasser the Betaholic owned one and mentioned that he didn't like the picture my guess is he tried it in processing mode. The 7500 doesn't have those extra useless (now) circuit boards so that's why it has a slim design, It does have digital processing for freeze frame and possible signal stabilization since it's built in digital memory though Sony never mentioned the word TBC in their manual.
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