Quantcast Please help with Vidicraft Proc Amp/Detailer - digitalFAQ Forum
  #1  
08-23-2011, 06:15 PM
jrodefeld jrodefeld is offline
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I am using a Vidicraft Vidimate VDM-300S in a project to capture VHS tapes. I already mentioned this in another thread.

However, I really have no idea how to use this device so I was hoping someone could help me out. I have a JVC SR-V10U connected to a Cypress CTB-100 then connected to the Vidimate, then to a ATI TV Wonder 650 card.

What I assumed would happen is that I would look at the preview window in Virtualdub and simply adjust the knobs on the Vidimate until the picture looked right. However, when I turn the knobs and dials nothing happens. The picture looks exactly the same. Why is this?

Could someone please help with this? Thanks.
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  #2  
08-23-2011, 06:24 PM
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Quote:
What I assumed would happen is that I would look at the preview window in Virtualdub and simply adjust the knobs on the Vidimate until the picture looked right
You weren't wrong -- that's how it is supposed to happen.

I've not used a Vidimate before, but I've used all of the other Vidicraft gear at some point in the past. I don't believe there's an on/off type switch, or a bypass of some kind, but you might want to look anyway. Assuming no such switch exists, or if it does exist and is already set properly, then it very much sounds like the unit is defective. I would mention, however, that I've never seen a defective proc amp simply pass unaltered video. Most broken proc amps pass no signal at all.

For added assistance in specific controls, read through (or at very least, glance through) the SignVideo manuals, for the PA-100 proc amp and the DR-1000 detailer. Those are the evolved versions of the single-function Vidicraft boxes. Your Vidimate is a married version of a proc amp and detailer in a single box. While nothing in those manuals will be 1:1 for learning with a monkey-see/monkey-do method, it will at least cover the concepts and name some of the controls found on a Vidimate.

Those manuals are here: http://www.digitalfaq.com/forum/vide...s-service.html

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  #3  
08-24-2011, 08:44 PM
jrodefeld jrodefeld is offline
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I figured it out. Everything is working now.

I was hoping you could elaborate on your comments on my other thread here about how I should use this device to improve the quality of my captures. I have found that the "Outline" and "Detail" knobs tend to add halos and make the image look artificial, so I am leaving them off or on very slightly. Nearly all of my videos are home movies from the 80s and 90s and they are not in great shape (not horrible either).

Having said that, with the Proc Amp functions, I am finding that I am usually just turning down the color a tad, or adjusting the brightness to improve black levels a little. Very minor stuff, really.

How can I know what the colors should look like? Is there any way to tell? Or is it just a matter of adjusting the knobs until the picture "looks" right?

Thanks.
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08-25-2011, 12:00 AM
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Quote:
have found that the "Outline" and "Detail" knobs tend to add halos and make the image look artificial, so I am leaving them off or on very slightly.
You really can't crank up the detailer knobs without making it look bad. If you're familiar with Adobe Photoshop, it's the same as using the unsharp mask filter, and then cranking it up to 100% at a 4-pixel depth. It will look not just artificial, but somewhat hideous. The best use of unsharp mask is 1-2 pixels max, less than 30% -- as low as possible. Improve, but don't butcher. This is simply an imaging concept, and applies equally to video and photography.

Quote:
are not in great shape (not horrible either).
As per other posts by users and Site Staff here, the worse the tape gets, the more worthless detailers become. The idea behind a detailer is to slightly boost the quality of sharpness on an already-good quality video. If the video is rough, grainy, SLP mode, etc, then the filter is of no use.

Quote:
Having said that, with the Proc Amp functions, I am finding that I am usually just turning down the color a tad, or adjusting the brightness to improve black levels a little. Very minor stuff, really.
This is about right, too. Just minor tweaks to color (up or down -- usually increases), and some black level or contrast corrections. Be VERY CAREFUL when making changes! If you're using a crummy cheap consumer LCD, or an old out-of-spec CRT, then you may actually be damaging your video. Be sure the monitor is as calibrated as possible -- use a calibration disc (example: Avia) for the TV, and a calibration device (example: a DataColor Spyder) for computers. You don't want to "correct" video so that it looks good on a bad monitor.

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