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  #1  
06-12-2011, 05:38 AM
willmington willmington is offline
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Hi guys & gals first time poster.

Have been extensively reading this forum and have a couple of hopefully simple questions.

I have about 60 home VHS tapes (about 10 VHS, the rest VHS-C) which I have been transferring to DVD.

I am currently using the not so highly regarded VHS/DVD recorder/combo method which I purchased in haste prior to delving deeper into the subject.

The transfers (recorded in XP mode) are generally yielding results that are fine although they could have benefited from TBC to eliminate some wavy lines (+ some of the VHS tapes are also giving false detection of anti-copy). The VHS-C tapes were all shot in SP mode with a now defunct JVC GR-AX680E camcorder.

For some of my older VHS tapes shot in 1990, I used a rented camcorder that was huge and whose model I do not remember.

My questions centre on capturing tapes that are a bit dark (both VHS & VHS-C) and which I believe I will have to capture via another method / format. To this end I think that I will need to purchase a standalone VHS VCR.

1. I understand from the link below that the JVC VCR transports are less forgiving on VHS-C tapes than Panasonic.

Best VCR for VHS-C tapes?

2. If I wanted to edit tapes by way of making them brighter, presumably I should be capturing then in some uncompressed format? Would that format be AVI? The video editor I am currently using is MEPG Video Wizard and I have tried using the brightness control on the VOB files.

3. Lastly, I understand that the VHS-C adapter plays a large part in not eating VHS-C tapes. The adapter I have is a JVC C-P6U, is that one any good?

Everytime, I put a VHS-C tape in the VCR I am sweating heavily and holding my finger squarely on the stop button.

Any info much appreciated.

Cheers
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  #2  
06-15-2011, 03:00 PM
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1. & 3.

Dumping the combo VCR was a wise move. Those VCRs tend to give lousy image quality, and are usually build with shoddy workmanship and plastic parts. Those decks quite often eat VCR tapes, because they're just thrown-together in quality, and have lousy transports.

Using XP mode is a smart move, too. You don't want to use SP mode (lots of compression) --- unless forced (due to poor recording compliance by the XP mode, which causes known-good media to pause/skip/etc on DVD players.) You never want to use anything longer than 4 hours, and even then most DVD recorders are lousy beyond 2 hours. Which DVD recorder are you using?

VHS-C tapes tend to be quite lousy. The tape format is not very well engineered, and transport problems were common. That would result in hard-to-play recordings, especially if not using SP mode. The tapes were also very easy to "eat" by a VCR, when put into an adapter. For that matter, I've seen tapes eaten by known-good VHS-C and S-VHS-C cameras!

The only adapter recommended by this site is the metal/battery JVC C-P7U, which was included with higher-end S-VHS-C video cameras in the late 1990s and early 2000s. It is very well made. Of course, that's only part of your problem. You also need a good VCR.

Actually, you need several VCRs. The JVC-SR-V10U is not really like the other JVC S-VHS VCRs, not identical, at lest. It can play SP mode VHS-C tapes quite well, and it won't eat the tapes. For any tape that gives you issues, you'll need a Panasonic AG-1980P. That is complicated, however. The 1980 often plays tapes with magnetic dropouts, or "comets", in the image. You'll have to later filter that with something like VirtualDub, using methods we've discussed on this site in the past.

And that doesn't even include the other software and hardware you really need (like a TBC), to get good results.

Sweating heavily with a finger on the trigger (stop/eject) is wise. Of course, just realize by the time you hear a problem, it's too late -- you've lost something. And eject won't help much. In fact, it will just make the problem worse, as the ejection of a tape will further damage an "eaten" tape. Have screwdrivers handy, and hopefully your VCR is easy to pull out and dismantle.

Heat is also a contributing factor to VCRs eating tapes, in general.

_____________

2.

You really should use a proc amp -- a piece of hardware. By the time video is converted to digital, a lot of the possible color corrections are now impossible. You'll be working with a very diminished signal. To restore video, you must do as much as possible pre-digital capture, while it's still in an analog chain.

Womble makes great "editing" software (cut/splice), but it's lousy at anything that would require re-encoding video, as color correction would do. I would never suggest Womble software for this task. Wrong tool for the project. Save MPEG Video Wizard for editing MPEG files (removing footage, removing commercials, etc)

If a proc amp is unavailable, then the best that can be done (working with the degraded available digital video) is to use a higher-quality editor like Adobe Premiere (preferably the Pro version, not the Elements version). VirtualDub, using the Color Mill plugin, also has some color correction abilities, though it can be harder to work with, and is not as robust as working inside a full NLE like Premiere.

_____________


Sometimes, for certain projects, it's a better idea to outsource videos to a pro that knows what he/she is doing, is using the right hardware and software, and can demonstrate decent working video knowledge. (Not just somebody that places an ad online or in print.)

For most people, projects like this are a one-time deal, and you don't want to destroy family videos in the process!

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  #3  
06-15-2011, 03:56 PM
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Quote:
The VHS-C tapes were all shot in SP mode
That's going to be easier for you to work with. Whoever recorded in SP did you a huge favor.
SP mode in the JVC SR-V10U would be my current suggestion.

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  #4  
06-16-2011, 12:48 PM
willmington willmington is offline
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Many thanks for your replies.
Quote:
admin paste:
Which DVD recorder are you using?
The VHS/DVD combo I have is the Toshiba DVR20KB. The DVD burner on that unit appears to give good quality results. This opinion is purely based on observation as regards programs that I have taped from the TV. Plus I have dubbed about 10 VHS-C tapes so far and I am satisfied with the results (with the exception so far of 2 tapes that are a bit dark).

Quote:
admin paste:
The only adapter recommended by this site is the metal/battery JVC C-P7U
The adapter I have (JVC C-P6U) is battery driven with a metal base. Was the C-P7U sold worldwide as that. Reason I ask is that manufacturer's seem to label identical models differently depending on global location.

Quote:
admin paste:
Sweating heavily with a finger on the trigger (stop/eject) is wise. Of course, just realize by the time you hear a problem, it's too late -- you've lost something. And eject won't help much. In fact, it will just make the problem worse, as the ejection of a tape will further damage an "eaten" tape. Have screwdrivers handy, and hopefully your VCR is easy to pull out and dismantle.
Noted. Thanks.

Quote:
lordsmurf said:
Whoever recorded in SP did you a huge favor.
I recorded all the tapes which I have (both VHS & VHS-C). I don't think I ever used LP mode on any tapes under any circumstances (be it home videos or taping from the TV). Could not see the point in reducing quality, but that's just me.

I will go back to the drawing board and re-think what I am going to do. Perhaps I can outsource the tapes that should be handled by a pro.

I am located in the U.K any recs as to people that you know of that I could investigate this matter further, or a link that would give me some leads.

Cheers
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  #5  
06-16-2011, 05:07 PM
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Well, I automatically suggest us: digitalFAQ.com Video Conversion Services
PAL or NTSC VHS-C SP mode tapes are no problem. Quick, easy, and inexpensive transfers.

In terms of local UK services, I honestly do not know of any good transfer services within UK. What I've found through the years is low-end shops using inferior gear, questionable methods, and lacking in output quality. Elsewhere in Europe, sure, I know of several smaller studio facilities. At least 2-3 are members of this forum, as many of them have learned (or honed) their skills from us.

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  #6  
06-18-2011, 05:38 AM
willmington willmington is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kpmedia View Post
Well, I automatically suggest us: digitalFAQ.com Video Conversion Services
PAL or NTSC VHS-C SP mode tapes are no problem. Quick, easy, and inexpensive transfers.

In terms of local UK services, I honestly do not know of any good transfer services within UK. What I've found through the years is low-end shops using inferior gear, questionable methods, and lacking in output quality. Elsewhere in Europe, sure, I know of several smaller studio facilities. At least 2-3 are members of this forum, as many of them have learned (or honed) their skills from us.
I would feel uncomfortable (at this stage) sending my precious VHS tapes across the pond (or indeed other international border) even if they were in the care of FedEx/DHL.

I think I will firstly dub all my tapes and make a note of the ones requiring professional attention. At that point (and with this safety net in place) my level of comfort would be sufficiently high to allow for courier dispatch to pros.

Many thanks for your help.

Cheers
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