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  #1  
04-26-2010, 05:11 AM
lucgallant lucgallant is offline
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Hi lordsmurf,

I've read your post regarding VCR Buying Guide: http://forum.videohelp.com/threads/286055-VCR-buying-guide-%28S-VHS-D-VHS-Professional%29

I'm looking a various VCR units. I've found an HR-S9600U for ~200$ as well as a brand new HM-DH40000U for 450$

I'm wondering whether the 9600U will help with my flagging problems since in the guide it says that the DH40000U ... "which has a lot of the same features as the prosumer S-VHS line, but also has an added ability to cure VHS flagging", which makes me think that the 9600U won't help since the added feature of the DH40000U is that it fixes flagging.

I want to make sure that whatever I get fixes this flagging problem. What is your opinion on this?


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  #2  
04-27-2010, 04:56 PM
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lordsmurf lordsmurf is offline
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Hi, thanks for writing.

Remember that the "master version" of the guide is kept at http://www.digitalfaq.com/forum/show...uide-1567.html
The videohelp version is just a mirror.

Tearing is the correct technical term for describing video that wiggles, rips or tears at the top of your TV screen or capturing window. It's an instability of the signal on the VHS tape, where the horizontal pulse between fields is not as evenly timed as the rest of the picture information. This short jump creates the tearing effect in relation to the rest of the image.

NOTE: I realize it was my own writing that initiated the term "flagging", but that's more for search engines than anything else, for people who are using the wrong term. If I had to guess, I'd say the layman term was created because the error resembles a flag waving in the wind.

This has to be fixed with timebase correction -- but not just any timebase correction. As you may have read in my thread regarding differences between TBCs, not all TBCs have the same functions.

The two items I suggest the most for correcting tearing are the
  • JVC HM-DH40000U D-VHS VCR, and the
  • Panasonic DMR-ES10 DVD recorder, maybe also try the Panasonic ES15, ES20 and ES25 (and in that order of preference)
I suggest looking first at what B&H Photo & Video and Amazon have in stock, before running to eBay or craigslist. You definitely need a unit in new, like-new or excellent condition -- not just some goober on eBay calling it "good condition" because he/she wants to sell it fast.

The JVC S-VHS series of machines, as well as the Panasonic AG S-VHS series of machines, will not correct tearing in most instances.

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  #3  
04-27-2010, 08:50 PM
lucgallant lucgallant is offline
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Hi,

thanks for your reply. Couple questions:

1) I read your post about different types of TBC. (http://www.digitalfaq.com/forum/show...=9889#post9889)

In this post I don't see the D-VHS type in there. Does the D-VHS just have the additional flagging curing capability?

2) I know you mentioned to get a unit which is in good shape, and I can understand that for a VCR (a lot of moving parts). Do you still think that that's a requirement for ES10? Does the TBC device degrade over time?

3) At this point I'm looking at ~200$ for an ES10 used, or a brand new DH40000U for ~450$. Do you have a recommendation?

I want these videos to turn out. Still boggles my mind why the TV displays the videos almost perfectly but my capture card doesn't.

Anyway, let me know. Thanks.
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  #4  
04-28-2010, 06:11 AM
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lordsmurf lordsmurf is offline
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1. D-VHS TBC

The D-VHS unit has all the TBC+filtering functionality of the S-VHS units, plus the added TBC+frame sync abilities found in the ES10 (which remove the tearing/flagging). The TBC in the S-VHS deck doesn't address the same range of errors as the D-VHS deck does.

I know that seems a bit vague. But manufacturers are not very forthcoming with information on the nature of their TBCs, including technical specs and abilities. I'm even convinced a few of them more or less lie, given how "TBC" is such a loose term.

For that reason, I've made it a major point of research for 2010, and am forcing myself to delve further into the rabbit hole that is video/broadcast engineering. Not the most fun reading, but interesting nonetheless. When I finished reading these books and industry articles, sometime mid-summer, I hope to be able to write up the materials that manufacturers have failed at providing.

2. ES10 degrading?

It's not so much the TBC degrading as it is the rest of the unit. The Panasonic ES10 was a device manufactured in 2005. As such, it has the infamous inferior Chinese capacitors on its board, as so many products from that era do. This includes JVC DVD recorders, AMD motherboards, and tons of other devices. The site http://www.badcaps.net was created for this kind of issue, to help folks repair items by replacing bad caps.

It almost reads like fiction!
Quote:
Badcaps.net was established in late 2002 to counter the bad electrolytic capacitor issue that has been plaguing computer hardware since around the turn of the century.
...
The bad capacitor issue really began to blossom into the mainstream as a 'real world' problem around 1999, and continues on to the present day.
...
The tale behind why the capacitor problem exists in the first place is because of a large-scale industrial espionage foul-up. Some component manufacturers decided to steal an electrolyte formula from another competitor. Little be known to them, the stolen formula was incomplete and flawed. They didn't discover this until it was too late and they had manufactured and distributed literally MILLIONS of these flawed capacitors.
Beyond that, the decks can have faulty drives or other components that prevent it from working correctly. While many would think "but I'm not recording with it", it doesn't matter. The unit reminds me of many combo scanner+printer+fax units. If the printer part is out of ink, the scanner won't work -- even though you don't need ink to scan. The DVD recorder has to function as a whole, to be able to function in its parts.

I don't want to scare you away from buying used gear -- quite the contrary! I support used gear! But be careful buying one, be sure it's tested for use, not just "it powers on", and watch out for those shady "as is" dealers that bulk sell junk they bought at offline auctions (colleges, estate sales, etc).

The TBC should not degrade, although a power surge has been known to kill TBC units in VCRs and DVD recorders alike.

3. ES10 or D-VHS?

If you already have a high end working S-VHS VCR, consider the ES10. If you have the budget available, then consider a backup VCR + "tearing TBC" in the form of the D-VHS deck. It really comes down to existing gear and budget. I think both options are fine.

... and let's unboggle that mind for you!

The reason the video displays "okay" on the TV set is because a television expects analog signals to be crap.

... pulling out analog theory book....

The TV has an HAFC (horizontal automatic frequency control) circuit inside of it, which compensates for timing errors, as well as to avoid more timebase errors caused by random outside noise. "Random noise" is caused by nearby electric motors, radio signals, etc. (Not important for this conversion, no point in making the full list.)

This addition was largely made due to Betamax and VHS analog video signals.

... putting book back on shelf ...

Older TV sets (pre-1980) would look just as bad as the capture card, as they have no tolerance for imperfect signals.

Digital devices must lock down a clean signal in order to digitize it.

Most people do not realize how chaotic and crappy VHS really is, even compared to over-the-air antenna broadcast signals or analog cable.

Satellite TV, digital cable and DVD has been around for 10-15 years now, and people have quickly forgotten the problems of yesteryear. There's a whole generation out there that has never even seen analog video, or only vaguely remembers it from when they were small children.

Understand it all better now?

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  #5  
04-28-2010, 09:01 AM
lucgallant lucgallant is offline
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Thanks you for your detailed reply.

I see what you're saying about why the picture is clear on my TV and not the VCR. If only the TV had a video out. And speaking of bad capacitors I was a victim of these in my HP XW4100 Workstation. Thanksfully the computer still works even with 3 blown caps next to the processor (voltage regulation won't be as good). I found a recall on these PCs but apparently mine "isn't in the serial number range".

It's hard to say what price I would put on these old videos. In 30 years when I want to show my kids videos of my family and they are of extremely poor quality I know I will regret not spending the "few" extra dollars. When I started this project I did read about TBCs and these types of VCRs and thought it was crazy to spend this type of money but - as I already said, the footage is almost priceless.

Currently I only have plain VCR units. What I will do is purchase the brand new JVC HM-DH40000U D-VHS VCR and either sell it after this project, or, start up a conversion service for friends and family to pay off the unit.

Thanks and I will let you know how the new VCR plays my tapes.
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  #6  
04-28-2010, 09:20 AM
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kpmedia kpmedia is offline
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I generally dissuade people from starting a conversion service, as the videos you have will almost always completely differ from the videos of your friends or family. To provide truly professional service, it takes a lot more gear and experience.

The advice you get on this site should generally be for your own projects, as it's tailored to your exact issues. A stack of videos from a neighbor, brother or cousin may require a whole different set of video hardware. Each VCR has a unique flaw, so tapes your recorded won't be the same as tapes they recorded. If only it were that easy!

I've seen a lot of people get into ugly situations, taking on projects without realizing the challenges in this field. Even a lot of services tend to fail within a couple of years -- we've been providing media services since 1977, which is saying something. We've had to take over projects that were "too hard" for others, or outright redo badly-done work, especially in the last 2-3 years.

The easy access and pricing of computers, cameras and video hardware leads a lot of people into thinking that's all you need to do web/print design, video or photo work, but it's hardly the case. As awesome as that JVC D-VHS deck is, it won't play 100% of the tapes out there -- maybe just 75% or so, from my experience (same for JVC S-VHS decks). No VCR can play all tapes -- it's just not that cooperative, unfortunately. Analog video is a mess.

Keep that in mind before committing yourself to take in work -- especially if it endangers relationships with friends, family and neighbors. You don't want your fancy VCR to eat their tape, for example, or create a DVD with tracking errors because the tape is uncooperative.

That unit should have resale value, and then you're always welcome to sell it on the digitalFAQ.com Marketplace here in this very forum. Save yourself the fees and headaches of eBay.

Good luck on those projects!

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  #7  
04-28-2010, 10:08 AM
lucgallant lucgallant is offline
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kpmedia,

thank you for your advice. I 100% know what you mean. I have gotten in sticky situations in the past and I had the exact same thoughts you mention with respect to starting such a service.

I would be more inclined to selling the unit at a later time than to perform such a service. But also, the thing with this type of VCR is that they seem to be rare and once it is purchased it may be best to just keep it in a good, sealed box in case the need to use it every arises again.

I know this is a little off topic, but is capturing 8mm tapes as messy? My family has a bunch of those and I would like to capture it but I'm not sure if it's easier or more difficult than the VHS tapes. I will search this site at a later time. I hope the hardware costs less.
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  #8  
04-28-2010, 10:33 AM
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Is 8mm messy? Yes and no.

Yes, it's a mess, if the 8mm tape was recorded on a problem camera. Most people don't know that they had a problem camera, however, until it's too late. Unlike VHS tapes that "track", an 8mm tape holds the tracking data on the tape itself. It doesn't rely on the physical camera's/VTR's guides like VHS format does. If the camera recorded the tracking data badly, you're basically screwed. You'll have to break a camera to the same bad tracking, assuming you can use an oscilloscope to find it.

Yes, it's a mess, if your're using a cheap camera to play the tape. The quality of most 8mm cams was terrible.

No, it's easy, if you have a really good Hi8 camera or VTR to play the tape, in addition to the tape being well-recorded, and tapes in good shape. 8mm tape is protected in a closing clamshell, unlike the VHS/VHS-C/S-VHS/S-VHS-C tapes that have a big gap that leave the polyester film exposed to the elements.

The Sony TRV-138 (or CCD-TRV138) works well, but it's going to cost you several bucks to buy one -- I've seen them as high as $400 on eBay. There's a camera there right now, $40 current bid, claims to be "working", with less than 1 day left on it (about 12-13 hours as of this moment). Who knows where it might end up at closing. It may be -$50, or it may be $200+

Also...

The 8mm signal is still full of analog instabilities, so you'll need a TBC to correct the signal before it hits the DVD recorder or capture card. The AVT-8710 is highly suggested for a full-frame external TBC.

The external TBC may be needed even on your VHS>DVD workflow, as the built-in TBCs don't handle all errors, as it relates to "copyright confusion" by many digital recording devices. The full-frame external TBCs fully strip and rebuild the area where anti-copy signals reside. Remember that copyguard is an artificial video error.

Another option for tape work, especially anything that needs a quality transfer when you're having trouble, is to just outsource the project. Somebody else may charge you the same (or even less) than buying the hardware yourself. No time from your day is spent, no learning required, and no risk of making a valuable tape a guinea pig. Remember that this site offers video transfer services.

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  #9  
04-28-2010, 10:41 PM
lucgallant lucgallant is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by admin View Post
...

The Sony TRV-138 (or CCD-TRV138) works well, but it's going to cost you several bucks to buy one -- I've seen them as high as $400 on eBay. There's a camera there right now, $40 current bid, claims to be "working", with less than 1 day left on it (about 12-13 hours as of this moment). Who knows where it might end up at closing. It may be -$50, or it may be $200+
....
Thanks for the advice. I checked out that auction and picked up the camera for 97$. We'll see how it works out. I'll post back once it arrives here from the U.S.
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  #10  
05-09-2010, 05:44 PM
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I'm looking to transfer VHS tapes to dvd by using ATI AX800 that has ATI Rage Theater 213RT1ZUA43 chip that is suppose to be 10bit?

I can get Panasonic DMR-ES35VECK for 280$
This unit should have internal TBC and if the copy protection circuitry makes it impossible to direct transfer to dvd I should be able to get clean signal to record with my ATI card via s-video right?

What about TOSHIBA RD-XV50KF
Toshiba DVR80KF
FUNAI W4D-D4180DB
No info on tbc in these machnines perhaps somebody would share some info.

Samsung DVD-V6700 for 125$
This is more basic unit without TBC, so I need external one, and by the looks of it the price would be the same if not more but I have to use 2 devices instead of one.

Last edited by smile; 05-09-2010 at 06:39 PM.
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05-09-2010, 07:15 PM
lucgallant lucgallant is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lucgallant View Post
.... What I will do is purchase the brand new JVC HM-DH40000U D-VHS VCR and either sell it after this project, or, start up a conversion service for friends and family to pay off the unit.

Thanks and I will let you know how the new VCR plays my tapes.
So I purchased a unit on Ebay (brand new HM-DH40000U). It was hard spending the money for a VCR (I never thought I would buy a VCR brand new or of that pricetag) but I just popped in the tape which exhibited the worst tearing previously and the tearing has dissapeared! Also the quality is greatly superior than what I had already seen playing it with other VCR units.

I'm not sure how it will handle the rest of my tapes (approximately 30), but it's starting out great! Thanks for your help everyone.

Still waiting the 8mm camera, I will post back at that time.

-- merged --

So I've received the 8mm camera. One main question really.

At this point I only have one 8mm tape to play. It currently plays with jitters and jumps, and sometimes the screen just goes blue.

Is it worth trying to pass it through the HM-DH40000U? Will it do pass through TBC?

The camera itself seems to have a built-in TBC but turning it on doesn't seem to solve these issues.

This cassette is really old so I'm not even sure if anything can get it to play properly.

Thanks and let me know about the VCR.
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