Quantcast Tapes have completely black & bright areas - digitalFAQ Forum
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10-18-2009, 03:14 PM
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I have some approx.15-20 year old hi-8,vhs and beta tapes and they all exhibit a similar type of deterioration.The shadows where you used to have detail are now completely black and the bright areas of
the scenes have greatly reduced detail.Otherwise they are in relatively good physical condition.What type of deterioration is this and could it be addressed.Thanks in advance for your response.
These errors may simply be the result of how the videos are being viewed or connected for transfer. Modern digital equipment tends to dislike analog imperfections and signal errors, especially during the transfer/conversion process.

To make matters more complicated, anti-copy (like Macrovision) is an artificial error, and most equipment is instructed to make these fake analog errors look worse when viewed. Or to prevent copying to digital form. The problem with this over-zealous Hollywood-sponsored scheme is that so many natural errors cause issues too. Some DVD recorders don't know the difference between that video of your kid's first birthday, or a Macrovision-protected tape of Snow White.

Beyond that, the original videos themselves are often less-than-perfect in terms of video levels. On old TV sets, it was harder to detect, but the newer digital HDTV displays are very exact, and flaws are much easier seen.

Yes, there are ways to correct for this. A mix of fairly expensive equipment is usually needed, included high-end VCRs, timebase correctors (TBCs), and proc amps to adjust colors. In some cases, further software work is needed. For software, hobby-level software usually suffices (professional level software is honestly not created with restoring video in mind!), tools like VirtualDub and its various filters, among others. Audio usually needs attention too, both through a hardware board, and final clean-up in pro audio software.

If you'd like some one-on-one help to do this yourself, consider signing up to this forum, and then upgrading yourself to premium membership.

Or if you're looking to have us convert these tapes for you, and restore the video and audio back to better quality, then just reply to the e-mail or use the Contact Us form.

Thanks.

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