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  #1  
08-22-2011, 04:51 PM
jrodefeld jrodefeld is offline
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Hello everyone,

I am preparing for a project to capture about 50 home movies on VHS to make DVDs. I have been buying the equipment I will need to do a good job. I have a Cypress CTB-100 Time Base Corrector and a Vidicraft Vidimate VDM300S Detailer/Proc Amp and an ATI TV Wonder 650 capture card. All connections are monster s video.

I was originally using a Panasonic AG1970p as the source, but it was not working very well (malfunctioning), so I bought a JVC SR-V10U player on ebay. From what I have read, it should provide superior image quality to the Panasonic under most conditions.

My question is pretty simple: What are the best settings to use on the JVC SR-V10U to capture at the highest quality given the hardware I am using?

Which filters should I enable and which should I disable? I don't have much experience with JVC S-VHS players, but I want to capture at the highest quality I can and remove as many problems in the hardware domain before I worry about software filtering.

Can anyone offer some advise for me? I would greatly appreciate it.
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  #2  
08-22-2011, 05:00 PM
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Welcome to the site.

Quote:
I have a Cypress CTB-100 Time Base Corrector and a Vidicraft Vidimate VDM300S Detailer/Proc Amp and an ATI TV Wonder 650 capture card. All connections are monster s video.
That all sounds like a good start.

Quote:
I was originally using a Panasonic AG1970p as the source, but it was not working very well (malfunctioning), so I bought a JVC SR-V10U
The SR-V10U was honestly an upgrade anyway.

Quote:
What are the best settings to use on the JVC SR-V10U to capture at the highest quality given the hardware I am using?
It really depends on the content of the tape. In most situations:
  • Calibration OFF (always off -- this filter is worthless)
  • Picture Mode NORM --- sometimes EDIT, sometimes SOFT -- never SHARP
  • R3 OFF, maybe once in a great while turn it on
  • TBC/DNR ON -- always on, as much as possible
A lot of this is covered in more detail here: Video Guides > Basic Playback Hardware (to Convert Tape to Digital)

Your workflow should be as follows:
  • JVC SR-V10U ->
    • CTB-100 TBC ->
      • Vidicraft Vidimate (ONLY AS NEEDED, UNPLUGGED WHEN NOT) ->
        • ATI 650 capture card (capture MPEG-2 in ATI CMC, capture AVI in VirtualDub)
And that's really about it. Pretty basic stuff here.

A few others may have advice/suggestions for you, as we have several active members here, many of which use the same gear.

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  #3  
08-22-2011, 06:22 PM
jrodefeld jrodefeld is offline
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Thanks for replying so quickly. Yeah, I really figured that the JVC would be a better source anyway, so I really just needed an excuse to buy it. So when the Panasonic was functioning poorly, I jumped at the opportunity to get the JVC unit.

I did have a question about the Vidicraft unit. I was under the impression that it would benefit all tapes that I had to some degree, but your comments seemed to indicate that some times I would not need to use it. Is that the case? How do you suggest I use such a device?

Thanks for the help.
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  #4  
08-22-2011, 06:45 PM
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Not all tapes require color correction. Some of this really just depends on your source. Based on my experiences, I'd say maybe 80% of home movies need corrections, while 20% do not. More for VHS, less for 8mm formats. For TV recordings, most of them are fine as-is, depending on the videotape quality (quality of the physical tape when it was blank), signal quality, and recording quality of the VCR. Most of my tapes made in the 1990s and 2000s need no correction, while my older tapes from the 70s and 80s benefit greatly from color correction.

The detailer (sharpening functions) of the Vidimate are best used ONLY on SP mode VHS tapes in near-perfect quality already (i.e., non-grainy, not LP/EP/SLP modes). Most commercial video releases fit in this category, as do many home movie recordings on full-sized VHS, full-sized S-VHS, 8mm and Hi8.

There's no one answer, outside of saying it's unlikely to be plugged in and used 100% of the time.

Is this a good item to own? Yes.
Will it be used for everything tape in the project? Probably not.

These are tools, use only as needed.

Side note: When replying to posts, don't quote the entire previous post. Only use the quote function when replying to specific phrases, sentences, etc. Otherwise is makes the conversation hard to read in our mail queue. Thanks.

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  #5  
08-23-2011, 04:21 PM
jrodefeld jrodefeld is offline
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That was very helpful. Could you tell me your opinion on software filtering? To what degree should I expect to use virtualdub or avisynth filters in software after I capture with the hardware I own, including using the Proc Amp/Detailer as needed?

Many people say that NeatVideo is essential for vhs restoration. What is the role for a "denoiser" in a project like this?

And what other filters do you generally use for VHS sources?

Thanks for your input.
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  #6  
08-23-2011, 05:42 PM
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Quote:
Could you tell me your opinion on software filtering? To what degree should I expect to use virtualdub or avisynth filters in software after I capture with the hardware I own, including using the Proc Amp/Detailer as needed?
It always comes back to the specific problem you're running into. All tapes and recordings tend to vary quite a bit, so you'll rarely find yourself running the same workflow for more than a couple of tapes (made at the same time, on the same hardware, for the same event/show, etc). It really comes back to the source.

Something we'll do for our Premium Members is quickly analyze sample clips, and make suggestions on filters. (As well as reply to posts quicker and longer, plus give out more advanced content starting soon.)

Quote:
Many people say that NeatVideo is essential for vhs restoration. What is the role for a "denoiser" in a project like this?
It's nice to have, and it can help in certain scenarios, but it's far from "essential" in my mind. I find VirtualDub and Avisynth to be essential software, and Adobe Premiere Pro is also nice to have for more advanced color correction work (that you'd get in VirtualDub's ColorMill, for example, or from Avisynth).

The amount of noise reduction (NR) you do is fully dependent on the noise present in the source, coupled with the desired output format (and settings therein). For example, a grainy SLP mode video tape will benefit from NR, before being compressed to MPEG-2 or H.264, especially if you're compressing the bitrates below optimal maximums. Sometimes the VCR's NR will suffice, sometimes software work is required beyond what the VCR could do.

An SP mode VHS recording of a cartoon (retail or simply clean home recording), on the other hand, may require far less NR, and the VCR would supply plenty of necessary NR work. Software not required.

Quote:
And what other filters do you generally use for VHS sources?
It seems like I'm avoiding the question, by not responding with specific examples, but the quality of the source truly does matter. As does the desired output format. I won't filter my DVDs the same way I filter videos for Youtube. I won't filter an old VHS SP tape the way I'd filter a new VHS SLP tape.

Generally speaking, masking is almost always done for DVD. For other uses (streaming), cropping is done. Beyond those two presentation basics, everything else is content corrections -- which is fully dependent on the input quality. Some degree of temporal NR, some in-frame NR, some color tweaks. In more advanced cases, it would be reconstructive surgery with Avisynth.

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  #7  
08-31-2011, 05:32 AM
jrodefeld jrodefeld is offline
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I just wanted to follow up here about one point. For tapes that I don't use the Vidicraft Unit I have been simply not adjusting any knobs but not physically unplugging and removing it from the capture process. Is there any reason to remove the unit entirely from the connections to the capture card and S-VHS player? It appears to pass video through unaffected if I don't turn any knobs so I don't know what the benefit would be.

I just wanted clarification on this issue. Thanks.
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  #8  
09-06-2011, 03:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jrodefeld View Post
I just wanted to follow up here about one point. For tapes that I don't use the Vidicraft Unit I have been simply not adjusting any knobs but not physically unplugging and removing it from the capture process. Is there any reason to remove the unit entirely from the connections to the capture card and S-VHS player?
Noise.

All electrical devices emit some degree of interference, though it can be minimized and mitigated with diligent planning by manufacturers, as well as diligent use by end users. I often view test patterns and blue screens from the VCR, in order to monitor any changes in power related noise. Sometimes I have to replace wires that have gone bad, other times it's power supplies or fuses. In some worst-case scenarios, the device had to be dismantled, and capacitors replaced.

Unplugging a device, and removing it from the workflow chain, remove all direct damage potential. (Indirect damage potential still exists if it draws power, sometimes even due to FM/magnetic field emission of being in the same room.)

Quote:
It appears to pass video through unaffected if I don't turn any knobs so I don't know what the benefit would be.
If you feel it causes 0% degradation of the image, and you test it with blue screens and your own eyeballs, then you can certainly leave it in place. I've done that before, many times in the past. However, having all of that gear powered on, and signals live in the wires, did little more than degrade and age the gear.

It's a bad habit, in my opinion.
If not in use, turn it off.
If not in use long-term (more than a week), unplug the power.

Let's keep the gear in tip-top shape, and extend the life as much as possible.

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