Quantcast VCR to DVD recorder for digital transfer? - digitalFAQ Forum
  #1  
06-18-2022, 10:12 AM
Jamm21 Jamm21 is offline
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Could I potentially use a Sony VRD-Mc5/Mc10 with a JVC HR-XVC38? The quality will most likely be bad but im not too bothered by it. just hoping to find a simple way to digitize vhs tapes onto a dvd
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  #2  
06-19-2022, 03:29 PM
Eric-Jan Eric-Jan is offline
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[snip]

The Sony you mention is very rare, the JVC you mention is just a VCR with a dvd-player, nothing special, going the path of a pc transfer is difficult because there's hardly good hardware that will do the job, and composite makes that even worse, s-video is somewhat better, but few vcr's will have s-video.

The JVC you mention has also HDMI out for VHS, with a cheap convert/scaler which has HDMI in and output, and a cheap HDMI > USB dongle you could do a pc transfer, the HDMI > USB dongle will be seen as USB webcam and needs no driver,
the capture/editor software needs to correct the aspect ratio.

Last edited by lordsmurf; 06-19-2022 at 05:38 PM. Reason: Some content removed. I refuse to let such awful "advice" be given on this site. -LS
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  #3  
06-19-2022, 05:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamm21 View Post
Could I potentially use a Sony VRD-Mc5/Mc10 with a JVC HR-XVC38? The quality will most likely be bad but im not too bothered by it. just hoping to find a simple way to digitize vhs tapes onto a dvd
This sort of comment is like saying you "just need a set of wheels, to get from A to B". But when you have a bicycle budget, all you get is a bicycle.

To continue the analogy, the problem is that video is 50 miles (or km) away, in the rain. A bicycle isn't going to work, it's not the proper tool for that travel task. No more so than just a random low-end VCR is the proper tool for this complex task of transferring video. Complex because of how the signal exists on the videotape.

There is a basic set of needs:
- VCR is obvious
- some form of time base correction (TBC)
- capture card, or recorder

You cannot completely avoid TBC, as you will have quality issues, or worse. Audio skew (lipsync), choppy video, massive quality issues, or even outright refusal to transfer.

At minimum, the TBC(ish), such as ES10/15 type Panasonic recorders for passthrough. That has many drawbacks, quality hits, but if you refuse to spend more than the bicycle budget it's all you can get.

A decent VCR, preferably S-VHS decks. With line TBC best, but even non-TBC better than crummy old consumer VCRs.

A good capture card -- not Easycaps, Elgato, ClearClick, or Chinese junk of that ilk.

That Sony recorder is infamous crap, waste of money. Don't do that. Spend those funds more wisely.

That JVC HR-XVC38 is a Funai-type lower end recorder, essentially composite output only (regardless of whatever connections it has, internals are composited). Condition matters more than model. If in top condition, no head problems, proper alignment, I've seen worse. That's not a recommendation, just not a warning that it's bad.

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06-20-2022, 09:01 AM
Jamm21 Jamm21 is offline
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Thank you for the advice, it's the simplest breakdown I've ever been able to get here, but honestly I still don't really understand what tbc is, I get what it does since that's all anyone talks about but is it a single device or multiple??? and no one really explains how it all connects either that's why I was trying the set up I asked about earlier really
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06-20-2022, 09:46 AM
Hushpower Hushpower is offline
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Quote:
Could I potentially use a Sony VRD-Mc5/Mc10 with a JVC HR-XVC38?
If you have already bought both these bits of gear, absolutely. Connect the Yellow/Red/White OUT sockets on the VCR Combo to your Sony. I'm not familiar with it, but it may have a recoding quality mode: set it to highest. You may only get 60 minutes of VHS video onto a DVD at max quality. Make sure you "finalise" your DVD.

See how it looks. If you don't like it, you can go down the path alluded-to above.

If you haven't bought them, then read the advice above.
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06-20-2022, 11:38 AM
Jamm21 Jamm21 is offline
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Thank you so much for your answer! I have the combo but I definitely can't shell out the money for whole new set up right now, I definitely would like to make it better quality later in rhe future just not right now
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06-20-2022, 11:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamm21 View Post
Thank you for the advice, it's the simplest breakdown I've ever been able to get here, but honestly I still don't really understand what tbc is, I get what it does since that's all anyone talks about but is it a single device or multiple??? and no one really explains how it all connects either that's why I was trying the set up I asked about earlier really
If you try too hard to understand a TBC, you'll just confuse yourself more. It's gets extremely technical, to the point of being esoteric. Which is why I try to dumb it down.

All video is math.
Analog video signals are also chaos (wibbly-wobbly) within that math equation.

Old CRT TVs understood the chaos, somewhat un-wibbled the wobbles.
HDTVs ... not such much. Why? Not analog, but digital.
Capture cards (and digital recorders, DVD or otherwise) are pure digital, don't even attempt to understand the chaotic analog mess. Those require clean signals, no wibble-wobble, good math.

FYI, an example of bad math is analog signals may forget to carry the 1, or round 0.9 down instead of up. Not exactly this, of course, but to illustrate what "math" means.

TBCs purify the signal, remove wibbles/wobbles and chaos, clean up the math.

There are two basic kinds of TBC: line, and frame. (Actually, there are more, but all are variations of line or frame.)

The line TBC fixes the image, and sorta-kinda (not really) fixes the signal.
The frame TBC fixes the signal, and sorta-kinda (not really) fixes the image.
You need both.

The ES10/15 has a strong+crippled line TBC, and a non-TBC frame sync. That can make the signal acceptable enough to transfer, decent quality, mild problems. Not an ideal setup, but cheap, better than nothing at all.

Actual TBCs, such as the line in a JVC/Panasonic S-VHS VCR, or frame in DataVideo TBC-1000, correct fully, strongly, and properly. There are very limited issues, and it "just works" almost all the time. Of course, that carries some costs. But some people value time and hassle-free over costs (especially those at/past middle age). So there is a trade-off.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hushpower View Post
If you have already bought both these bits of gear, absolutely. Connect the Yellow/Red/White OUT sockets on the VCR Combo to your Sony. I'm not familiar with it, but it may have a recoding quality mode: set it to highest. You may only get 60 minutes of VHS video onto a DVD at max quality. Make sure you "finalise" your DVD.
See how it looks. If you don't like it, you can go down the path alluded-to above.
If you haven't bought them, then read the advice above.
Even if both items were already bought, I'd still heavily suggest the ES10/15, at minimum, between the two. Quality of this setup will heavily suck, but the ES10/15 will make it suck far less.

Yes, always finalize!

I'm not sure about the exact unit, but the irony is that some recorders actually do better at 2-hour SP mode, even compared to XP. Why? Attuned for it. More bitrate at XP, yet badly allocated, can look worse than SP compression with good allocation. You saw a lot of those back in the "MPEG shootout" days, with various encoder tests.

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06-20-2022, 12:39 PM
Jamm21 Jamm21 is offline
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ah OK, the math bit made it easier to understand I'll look into the tbcs you recommended then, thank you so much for taking the time to explain!
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06-21-2022, 02:37 AM
RobustReviews RobustReviews is offline
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If you really don't want to invest a lot, my suggestion would be to just buy a cheapo 'EasyCap' or similar, they're cheap enough as to be a commodity cost and just give it a go and see if you're satisfied. Buy from Amazon and send it back if you're unhappy.

I suspect this will be conflated with 'the right way' to do things, which it almost certainly isn't but it's pretty much risk-free and they do just about what they promise if you're happy to put up with some issues.

If you just want a very cheap and cheerful way of doing it for the price of a few pints of beer, give it a go and see if it meets your requirements. $12ish Stateside according to Amazon US (from the UK) so if you're really working on a budget just give one a go, who knows, it might work for you.

I don't know what you're transferring, it might be something that isn't especially important to you or not quality critical, in which case spending thousands might not be the way to go. Lots of this premium equipment is also starting to fail, it's all well and good if you can sell it on, but if you're playing 'hot potato' for something you're not fussed about it might not be the best fit.

Some of the biggest YouTube channels for retro media are just using cheapo USB dongles, they seem to get by well enough. The videos are riddled with 'faults' I wholly agree, but sometimes 'good enough, is good enough, is good enough' as Gertrude Stein probably said.

I liken this a bit of Amateur Radio, you can spend (and I have spent) a small fortune on equipment, but some just want a quick over on 2 Metres once or twice a month, in which case a 15 Baofeng UV5R will do the job just fine.
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Yesterday, 04:43 PM
Eric-Jan Eric-Jan is offline
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For now, if you want to go cheap, a scaler/converter to HDMI and a HDMI to USB dongle will give better results then the easycap dongles, but you need to experiment, because you're on thin ice…. or look for a transfer service in your neighborhood, like a photoshop, (but they just have also a VHS/DVD combo recorder, from the thriftstore) you save money that way, by not stocking useless devices later.
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  #11  
Yesterday, 05:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric-Jan View Post
a scaler/converter to HDMI and a HDMI to USB dongle will give better results then the easycap dongles,
Not really. It just outputs a different kind of low terrible quality. None of those bottom-feeder methods should ever be recommended at this site.

Quote:
or look for a transfer service
That's an option.

Quote:
(but they just have also a VHS/DVD combo recorder, from the thriftstore)
... but no professional transfer service would ever use that kind of junk. If you find a service using garbage like this, do not use. That's not a quality service, and those are not video professionals. You can do the same at home. Or hopefully better at home.

Quote:
you save money that way, by not stocking useless devices later.
That's negative economics. Smart spending is to buy good gear, use it, and resell it, because it holds value. When you buy junk, it's yours forever, nobody wants that stuff. At best, it's the "greater fool theory", where you hope somebody else is as dumb as you are, and will buy it (either for more than you paid, or at all).

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