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TheDrifter363 03-28-2014 05:43 PM

Capturing 8mm tapes (Video8, Hi8)
Hello everyone,

So I have some hi8/video8 tapes that I want to digitize and I was wondering how I should go about doing this. The camera I have is a Sony CCD-TRV138, which only has composite and mono audio out. I'd prefer one with s video and stereo audio even if it's not true stereo and just dual mono. I've been looking at these forums and I went against the decision to use the ati all in wonder series as I couldn't see the benefit besides a 3d comb filter and hardware encoding. I wish to record in software encoding, with lossless capture like utvideo or ffvhuff, so mpeg 2 is irrelevent for capturing. Also since I want s video that comb filter is not relevent either. So I went with a hauppauge usb live 2 which contains a conexant cx23112 chip I believe.

Using it though, I'm not getting any dropped frames but virtualdub inserts frames every now and then. Here's an example:

I record 90 minutes worth of video; right in the beginning virtualdub inserts around 86 or 87 frames, then towards the end I have a total of 116 or 107 frames. That massive frame insert causes the audio to be delayed throughout the whole video. I checked out the file via mediainfo and I saw a 10ms in audio interleave information. I'm thinking that could be delay information, so it may be fixed post processing. Regardless, I recently tried out amarectv capturing software and it appeared to do better.

I'd prefer a usb capture card as I want it to be portable. I was thinking of returning the hauppauge and getting a usb 3.0 card like the black magic intensity shuttle. Not that specific one, but the avermedia extremecap u3. Reason being, is eventually I wish to record 1080p gameplay footage and I'm hoping I can kill 2 birds with 1 stone by being able to record the 8mm and hd gameplay with one capture device.

These two are usb 3.0 capture cards that can record uncompressed 4:2:2 1080p video at 60 fps. They can also do traditional 480 content, though I don't know if its 480i or 480p or both. They do have composite and s video so should do 480i. I'll probably come back to this though, the main thing is the equipment.

So I need a s video equipped sony camcorder, anyone have a list? I've seen a forum post here with a big list but I was wondering if it could be sorted by date. This way I can get the latest used camcorder and that should have the least probability of defects. I believe there were also digital8 camcorders that had analog passthrough so they wouldn't convert the analog into dv which is good.

The camcorder I currently have has a built in tbc and the s video one I hope to get will also have one, so do I need to get that external tbc? They're really pricey with the av toolbox avt-8710.

Would it benefit me in anyway? Eventually I plan to digitize some vhs tapes, so I can see where it would become useful for that also. Huh, what does everyone think? Also I've heard that some of these can be defective but I think it mainly has to do with heat, so recording in 2 hour sessions and blowing a fan on top of the equipment should keep everything cool. If overheating is the only problem, and if it manifests only in long sessions, like 6 hours, then this tbc should be fine.

Any help would be much appreciated.

TheDrifter363 03-29-2014 03:21 AM

Thought I should update this by noticing that the usb 3.0 capture cards that I posted don't support s video. Well the xcapture-1 does, but at roughly 350 US dollars, it's really expensive, especially considering I already got a xrgb mini from that company to upscale my old video game consoles. To me, it seems redundant but I'll see what others have to say on the shmups on the forums. Regardless back to usb 2.0 capture cards.

So right now I have a hauppauge usb live 2, and as I mentioned I have that weird inserted frames issue in virtualdub. I'm looking for alternative capture software for windows. I can edit later in avidemux so I don't care if the software doesn't come with a build in editor like virtualdub. I'm still on the lookout for s video sony camcorder, by the way, is the stereo output true stereo on some units or is it dual mono. I've heard dual mono can cause audio issues in terms of hearing the same thing on both ears, anyone encountered anything negative with dual mono. Is it really dual mono or stereo? If I just get a sony camcorder with mono, can I duplicate that to the other channel. Basically I want to avoid the issue where audio is only coming out of one speaker, it's especially apparent with headphones.

Here is another capture card I was looking at:

Looking at these links, you'll notice that the easycap devices have the same analog digitizer but different usb video bridges (well except that last one). What's the benefit of the different usb video bridges anyway? Does that allow communication between the analog digitizer chip with the usb port? If so, then I can see why it's important. Regardless the main component is a phillips saa7113 video digitizer which is pretty old, and I haven't heard anything bad with its quality. The hauppauge uses a conexant cx23102 which is an all in one chip. Any quality difference between the saa7113 and the cx23102, if they're identical then I see no reason to keep the hauppauge if I receive no benefit from it, well besides manufacturer support. I guess the drivers could be better, since they allow the OS to access the device, good drivers are important. I've seen the empia based easycaps appear to have good drivers, especially in linux, but also in windows. As long as the cabling is not shoddy or lacking in adequate shielding then the easycap should suffice. By the way what's the benefit of the ati 600 usb series? Does it have a better analog digitizer compared to the saa7113 and the cx21302? If not, then it's mpeg 2 encoder and its comb filtering are all that's going for it? Useless for my needs since I want to record in s video and I plan to capture losslessly or uncompressed. I noticed many people on videohelp did not recommend the easycap because of some quality issues. Where did the fault lie? Was it the usb video bridge, or the analog digitizer, or was it just bad driver? That last one I can understand but the empia usb video bridge seems to have widespread support especially because it's the same bridge used in the easycap. I've heard many things about fakes and whatnot, but they all seem to be clones of each other, with each using varying usb video bridges, but the same analog digitizer. Though the somagic based ones apparently have questionable audio support and that linuxtv website says they require a firmware, maybe the somagic based ones are the ones that people are having issues with. That and that 4th one all the way down the page, if that's the case I can see why the easycap would be a questionable device. With 4 different devices all under the same name, it's hard to tell which device contains which chipset. The website I linked above states which chipset comes with which easycap which is neat. You can weed out the somagic and the other based easycap.

There's also some of these that I saw on amazon but they use the same cx21302 as the hauppauge so there's no difference in that regard besides driver, manufacturer, and audio support.

My apologies for all these questions and statements, digitizing video is not as simple as digitizing audio or pictures. :) For the latter two you can use audacity and a scanner, respectively.

volksjager 03-29-2014 09:35 AM

these are all good cams with s-video

Hi8 stereo with TBC:

Hi8 mono with TBC:

Digtial 8 with video8/Hi8 playback:

the newest cams are the Digital8 ones, but date does not really matter
i bought a ccd-trv93 that was brand new in box on ebay , i would rather have that than a well used dcr series

TheDrifter363 03-29-2014 03:33 PM

Hmm I'm having trouble finding new so I"ll have to buy used. Any advice on how to make sure I get one that's not broken in any way? By the way is there any different between the model versions? I noticed you used to have a ccd-trv101 but now you have ccd-trv93. Why?

I'm trying to find one under 100 dollars and I found three so far. What do you think?

I'm leaning towards the last one mainly since the seller has a return policy.

volksjager 03-29-2014 04:36 PM

keep in mind the last one does not have a power cord so that will be an extra expensive.
avoid the 1st one completely as it has been messed with for police use
dont worry about return policy, ebay buyer protection covered you even if they dont
the 65 is a great cam - ive had a couple in the past
but shop around you should be able to score one at a better price than that

the numbers mean very little - most of the extra features of the better models you wont use anyway.(crap like bigger lcd screens, better zooms etc)
the important features are TBC and S-video which all those models have.
i sold my 101 simply because i scored the brand new sealed 93
the XR models are slightly better only IF you tapes where made on a XR cam

TheDrifter363 03-29-2014 05:30 PM

Power supply should be a non issue as I already have some sony camcorders they just have composite video out. I have the ccd-trv36 and the ccd-trv118. Both have composite video and mono audio out. I don't think there are any tapes that used xr but it'd be good nontheless to have. Any idea on where I can find a cheaper ccd-trv65. That was the cheapest I could find.

Sorry about this but I'm about to bombard you with links, lol. These are all the camcorders that you listed with xr and some that you did not list but are from the series as camcorders that you listed. Check them out:

volksjager 03-29-2014 06:05 PM

1 Attachment(s)
are you sure you have a CCD-TRV118???
if so that model does have S-video and TBC - i just double checked the manual on Sonys website and it shows an S-video port- the port should be under a cover on the lower left of the cam

TheDrifter363 03-29-2014 06:36 PM

I'm sorry it's a 138. Only an av port from what I see. How about those links? Any of those would you recommend?

volksjager 03-29-2014 06:56 PM

i have the 138 on my list too , i though it had s-video, but if not i will remove it

most of those links are for searches not individual items
you should be able to find a good cam for well under $100
look for underpriced buy-it-nows or bid auctions ending at weird times and try to snipe

another great place to find cams cheap is at yard-sales and thrift shops
i have bought DCR series cams for $5 at yard sales

NJRoadfan 03-29-2014 09:27 PM

The CCD-TRV138 removed the S-Video port and is the last Hi-8 camcorder Sony ever sold. The CCD-TRV128 still has the S-Video port.

TheDrifter363 03-30-2014 04:14 AM

Damn it seems like the 128 only supports mono audio out. I believe it was mentioned that anything ending in "8" meant mono audio out. Also the 138 was the last ever hi8 camcorder? Wow, that's pretty cool. The manual is from 2005, it's my mom's camcorder, only wished she would've bought a s video camcorder so digitizing would be easier.

By the way, is an external TBC necessary? What's the point of something av toolbox anyway? To stabilize the signal so no drops occur? Does it help with inserted frames in any way? I don't know I'm having a hard time purchasing an external TBC if I don't know if I'll really need it. Most of what I want to convert are 8mm sony tapes anyway and most of those camcorders come with build in TBCs and they seem to function fine. No dropped frames or anything, just inserted frames. But then again, could've been virtualdub.

Man digitizing video is a pain and expensive but once I get it over with, that's it no more. I know recording through a dvd recorder is a lot simpler though it does destroy any chance of post processing, does it keep the audio and video in sync and do you still require an external TBC? Damn that external TBC.

By the way what does anyone think of these:

Some of the only ones I found that were not listed as for parts and under a $100.

So I was able to obtain a tbc-1000 new open box for 220 so not a bad deal. Has anyone had issues with this unit? I chose this over the av toolbox as I heard the avt-8710 was having QC issues. Can the same be said for the tbc-1000? I don't want to have that weird ghosting issue that I saw with the av toolbox. I'm also going to be changing the power supply for mean well 12v 1.5 amp switching power supply. It's really good and it has a 85 percent efficiency. I've used their power supplies before for my xrgb mini and my NES and PSONE and it worked out great, High quality, low noise, and doesn't get hot. Should be more efficient than the default linear unregulated power supply with the tbc-1000.

Also I've been on the videohelp forums and I've seen some people spreading "doom and gloom" stories about how all the VCRs that this website recommends are all dead and non functioning. Though most of my restoration will be with the sony 8mm format I will eventually come over to VHS, is any of this true? Here is the link:!

I understand that VCRs have a lot of moving parts so they're more prone to failure versus a video game system like the NES but I have one and it functions great. I believe the 72 pin connector was replaced and pushing the video game in mechanism is a little finnicky but otherwise it functions. Then again it has a lot less moving parts than a VCR. Hopefully a lot of this is just a defeatist, pessimistic attitude though I won't deny that there may be some truth to this. Regardless the VHSes will get converted, one way or another.

volksjager 04-03-2014 06:08 PM

the TBC-1000 is simply a TBC-100 card and a 299 Distribution amp combo
any trouble is usually caused by the the distro amp -
ive read threads where people removed or bypassed the amp

that thread on videohelp is complete horseshit
i have bought good decks still new in box - how the hell are those ones used and abused

Videohelp has alot of bad info - take what you read there with a grain of salt

TheDrifter363 04-04-2014 03:16 AM

Hey thanks volksjager, so I took another look at that vcr list and I noticed something astonishing. Most of those jvc vcrs were built in the late 90s, specifically 1998. In fact the 9000 series go all the way to 2001! Now that's amazing! Mainly because since these vcrs are not that old, they shouldn't have much in the way of defects. In fact it's this knowledge that I've gained that leaves me baffled as to that response on vidoehelp. A quick google search and copying and pasting those jvc model numbers will lead you to jvc's website where you can download the instruction manual. Looking upon this you can see the date the document was copyrighted which most likely will tell you the date of manufature. Not only this, but the later vcrs with the digital interfaces were built later. I didn't look in depth, but I'm assuming mid 2000s, if that's the case they should be in great condition and easy for anyone to pick up. Yeah you'll pay a few 100 dollars for these but it's worth it to convert those old vhses especially with a very recent vcr. Hell, the camcorder I'm looking at for the sony 8mm tapes are older than these vcrs being built in 1998, and that doesn't change with the model number. In fact it's either 1998 or the early to mid 2000s if talking about those dv based camcorders. Only reason I'm not opting for those is because of that xr feature that the old 1998 camcorders tout. I don't know if any of the 8mm tapes that I have used the feature, probably not, but it's nice to have in case I decide to convert for friends and/or relatives who may have used such a feature with their tapes.

By the way does anyone know if the dv based sony camcorders contained that xr feature. I couldn't find it in their manual. I'll try looking again though.

volksjager 04-04-2014 06:56 AM

some of the VCRs on Lordsmurfs' list are as late as 2004
alot of these went unsold as DVD was taking over - it is still possible to find new old stock decks
the JVC's where marketed to home/hobby users and didnt get as much use as say a Panasonic AG-1980 those where marketed to Pros/Businesses/school - most of those saw heavy use

the XR feature is a Sony Video8/Hi8 thing - not DV/D8
and again the ONLY time that will matter is if your source tapes where originally recorded on a XR cam

all these decks are good:
Panasonic AG-5710
Panasonic AG-1980
Mitsubishi HS-HD2000U
Marantz MV-8300
GoVideo SDV-650

TheDrifter363 04-11-2014 03:04 PM

So I thought I'd come back to this thread since I finally got a ccd-trv93. It was pretty expensive and cosmetically it's in rough shape but it works well. All the buttons work fine. I decided to try out a recording, I'm capturing with amarectv as virtualdub loves making audio out of sync, and it went well. Audio seems to be in sync, mediainfo doesn't report audio drifting, but I have some settings I can tweak for my capture device, an easycap 116. It uses a phillips saa7113 video decoder with an empia 2860 usb bridge and a ac97 audio decoder. I'm guessing the last one's generic. So what should I set the picture settings to, brightness, hue, color, tint, sharpness. Sharpness is at 2 out of 15 right now, should I leave it at 0, this way I don't get any artifacts. The camcorder already has its line tbc and dnr on. I noticed the color is not as vibrant as what is playing on the camcorder could I edit this in post production or should I change some settings before capture. Right now I've left everything at their defaults.

Also I have a tbc-1000 that I thought would work great but I noticed visible grain/noise when using it. It was most noticeable on black screens, and it looked like the snow artifacts you see on old tvs. When I hooked up the camcorder directly to the easycap, the artifacts were gone. So what gives? I specifically bought this device in order to maintain constant sync but it's introducing artifacts in my video. Constant sync is useless if my video is ruined. I tried switching out the power supply, no go, same artifacts. Is it just defective? If so this is disappointing. I tried capturing without one, and I didn't get any dropped frames or audio drift so if I don't need one, I won't use it. Especially if it introduces noise into the picture.

Any help would be appreciated.

-- merged --

So apparently in my recording I had 20 inserted frames and no dropped frames. This is not ideal. I wasn't using a full frame TBC as mentioned before it introduced noise. Would a full frame TBC correct this issue though? I know it helps with sync and dropped frames, but can it also help with inserted frames?

kpmedia 04-11-2014 08:56 PM


Originally Posted by TheDrifter363 (Post 31423)
So apparently in my recording I had 20 inserted frames and no dropped frames.... Would a full frame TBC correct this issue though?

Yes, it should. :)

TheDrifter363 04-12-2014 09:10 PM

So I ran some tests with and without the tbc-1000 and I had 5 inserted frames instead of 20. I then decided to capture again without the tbc and I had 25 inserted frames. So it seems as if the tbc is helping out with inserted frames. Is there any way to get that inserted frame number to 0. Though this was using amarectv, I'll switch to virtualdub and conduct tests on there. This way I can determine if in fact the tbc helps. I also ordered the avt-8710 to see if it has that interference, with the datavideo I have a snow like pattern that's most observant on black screens. Though I'd rather take inserted frames over interference, so either way if these tbcs don't work I will have to return them. It's unfortunate that the datavideo didn't work out.

volksjager 04-12-2014 09:27 PM

a better capture card with help alot - easycaps are very poor

TheDrifter363 04-13-2014 03:29 AM

Any particular reason why? The easycap contains a phillips saa7113 which is a pretty common ADC from 1999. In fact that easycap has the same hardware as the dazzle. I guess the build quality may be suspect as the soldering may not be up to par but I was looking for something that didn't require firmware. I didn't see any benefit in the ati usb solution as the only thing it had going for it was a hardware mpeg2 solution which is useless to me. Unless it has a better ADC then I can see some use for it.

volksjager 04-13-2014 08:31 AM

dazzle are not very good either
the ATi's are lightyears better especially the all-in-wonders or the 600usb
some Hauppage cards are decent too

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