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jakezen72 07-18-2016 04:21 PM

Panasonic AG-1980 > Canopus ADVC-300 - noisy capture w/artifacts
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Hey there,

Long time lurker & viewer, but brand new user. Gotten lots of help from this site over the years, so I'm really appreciative of all of the staff and users for providing their knowledge on all things video.

So, I have a NTSC tape with footage on it that looks like it's Hi-8 sourced. Shot in 1999, tape was acquired a few years later by a buddy with no information other than it being a 1st gen tape dubbed from the Hi-8 master.

I have a friend up in the Bay Area with some pretty good capturing equipment and while visiting, I dropped the tape off with him to have transferred onto raw AVI. He used a Panasonic AG-1980 (TBC enabled) which fed into a Canopus ADVC-300 via S-Video, and then the footage was captured as raw AVI in Premiere. The raw AVI was then encoded to MPEG-2 with CCE. All of the equipment used was in fine, working & tested condition.

The result of the main feature on the tape's transfer left me not-so-impressed. I've had some tapes transferred with this same equipment before and have had them come out looking great.

So, there are (what appears to be) artifacts & grain that pop up in some areas, as well as some "fuzzy", thick, horizontal lines (can't think of how else to describe them). But it's strange because some areas of the tape are more clean than others. I've included samples of a cleaner looking portion of the tape, a noisier, not-so-great looking portion of the tape (complete with that horizontal "fuzz" I mentioned), and a sample of another show on the tape which came out looking much, much better.

So yeah, not too sure if this was a result of the equipment used & the capture itself or if the tape's contents were sourced from faulty footage or from a screwed up dub onto VHS back in the day. Might also be an overkill of TBC that ruined the picture, but I'm not too sure.

If anyone can help and/or provide some ideas/suggestions on what I could do to make this transfer come out looking better, I'd highly appreciate it.

Thanks! :)

msgohan 07-18-2016 11:59 PM

"Same Tape, Different Show (No Noise)" looks like heavy noise reduction was applied during the previous generation(s).

"Pretty Noisy" - the horizontal bands were likely recorded to the Hi8 tape during the original performance. They correspond to high sound levels. I don't know if it was intentional, but you picked the perfect segment to show this since when they stop playing, the bands disappear. It's most evident after the drummer has his little solo. The horizontal bands reappear right when they all kick back into the song. The appearance of the artifact is similar to 60Hz Video Hum, but in this case is caused by the audio amplifiers, I suppose. I saw some other clip where loud audio caused a video distortion, but now I can't find it. Not much you can do about it.

"Not So Noisy" just confirms this theory since they're barely making any sound, compared to the other clip.

jakezen72 07-20-2016 07:11 PM

Thanks for the reply, man! Yeah, your explanation and theory on what caused some of the artifacts makes total sense to me. I had a feeling that the problem wasn't the tape and rather the Hi8 source.

Do you think adding an external TBC like the TBC-1000 to the workflow would help clean up some of these artifacts?

msgohan 07-20-2016 10:46 PM

I don't see how it could.

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