Quantcast Troublesome tape goes B&W (PAL->NTSC->PAL) - digitalFAQ Forum
  #1  
01-11-2017, 10:50 AM
hysteriah hysteriah is offline
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I have this very troublesome tape(s) that I don't know how to digitize properly.

It's recorded from european TV broadcasts (PAL) but my VCR's detects the tape(s) as NTSC. When setting my capture device to NTSC, I get a perfectly stable picture, but NO COLORS :-( If I switch my capture device to PAL, I do get colors (but very unstable picture) for just a few seconds before my capture device drops out and just returns a BLACK picture.

It seems to me that the tape was recorded with NTSC framerate (30fps) but with PAL color system. How's that possible?

What's wrong with this tape???
...and how can I digitize this tape properly?
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01-11-2017, 10:52 AM
sanlyn sanlyn is online now
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We need more information. Tape player? Capture device? Capture software?
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  #3  
01-11-2017, 11:00 AM
hysteriah hysteriah is offline
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Hi and thanks for quick reply :-)

VCR: I've tried both "JVC HR-S7700EU", "JVC HR-S9500EH", "Panasonic NV-HS960EC" and a "Medion VHS/DVD Combo recorder unit".
Capture Device: "Canopus ADVC-300" with and without the "Datavideo TBC-1000".
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  #4  
01-11-2017, 11:13 AM
hysteriah hysteriah is offline
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I know that you guys ain't very fond of the Canopus devices. I can of cource try to rig up my old computer with my ATI AIW 7500 capture card and VirtualDub... but will it act any differently than my Canopus Device regarding this "PAL/NTSC and colors/B&W" issue?
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  #5  
01-11-2017, 11:53 AM
sanlyn sanlyn is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hysteriah View Post
I know that you guys ain't very fond of the Canopus devices.
Their your videos. If compression artifacts, "cooked" colors and more cleanup work are what you prefer, so be it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hysteriah View Post
I can of cource try to rig up my old computer with my ATI AIW 7500 capture card and VirtualDub... but will it act any differently than my Canopus Device regarding this "PAL/NTSC and colors/B&W" issue?
Both devices have to be specifically configured manually for PAL input. The ATI can give you lossless captures with cleaner and more accurate color without added DV artifacts. Your choice.
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  #6  
01-11-2017, 12:22 PM
hysteriah hysteriah is offline
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I'm aware of all those DV artifacts. But on these tapes, I can live with them. Right now, those DV artifacts isn't a part of my problem...

My only problem is that the picture goes totally B&W. Do you have any suggestions on how to solve that?
And how can a PAL TV broadcast be recorded onto VHS tapes as NTSC signal in the first place?
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  #7  
01-11-2017, 12:34 PM
sanlyn sanlyn is online now
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If you plug that player into a TV, how does that tape look?

How is your VHS player set up? It might be a PAL machine but with NTSC-4.43 playback functionality for European TV's, but that means that the color carrier signal is converted, and therefore, the proper signal isn't coming out. Or it might have been set up for NTSC during a PAL broadcast.
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  #8  
01-11-2017, 08:16 PM
hysteriah hysteriah is offline
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Right now I don't have access to a regular TV to test with. All my VCR's is PAL units. I have access to many of the JVC (HR-S6600, HR-S7600, HR-S7700 and HR-S9500) and Panasonic (NV-FS200, NV-HS1000 and NV-HS960) VCR's suggested on this site. I've now tried all of them, the picture remains B&W :-( Does this means that none of these hi quality VCR's can output a true NTSC signal? Isn't it more likely that there is something terribly wrong with these tapes, don't you think?

I've never had access to any NTSC tapes before so this is my 1st time to work with the NTSC format.
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  #9  
01-11-2017, 08:38 PM
sanlyn sanlyn is online now
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I'm not familiar with all players mentioned, but do any of them have PAL_60 playback or some other featurte that's compatible with NTSC? If they don't, you can't play NTSC properly with those players.
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  #10  
01-11-2017, 08:45 PM
hysteriah hysteriah is offline
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It seems to me that all of these VCR's can playback both PAL and NTSC recorded tapes. I don't know about this PAL_60 feature... but here's from the manual of my JVC HR-S7700:

You can play back PAL, NTSC and MESECAM tapes, or
record PAL and SECAM* signals on this recorder. Select the
appropriate colour system.
* SECAM signals will be recorded as MESECAM on this recorder;
MESECAM is the designation for tapes with SECAM signals that
have been recorded on a MESECAM-compatible PAL video
cassette recorder.

NOTES:
About NTSC Playback
● Some TVs shrink the picture vertically and place black bars at
the top and bottom of the TV screen. This is not a malfunction
on the part of either the video recorder or the TV.
● The picture may roll up and down. This can be corrected using
the V-HOLD control found on some TVs. (This cannot be
corrected if the TV does not have a V-HOLD control.)
● The counter and tape remaining time readings will be incorrect.
● During search, still, or frame-by-frame playback, the picture will
be distorted, and there may be a loss of colour.
● Depending on the type of TV, the top and bottom portions of
superimposed displays may be cut off during NTSC playback.
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  #11  
01-11-2017, 08:55 PM
sanlyn sanlyn is online now
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Virtualdub capture can be set up for several input sources, including PAL, PAL_M, NTSC, SECAM, and many others. The setting isn't automatic. I don't know about your Canopus card, but you likely have to configure its software for NTSC.
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  #12  
01-11-2017, 09:11 PM
hysteriah hysteriah is offline
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My canopus device has these switches for changing all it's settings.
My VCR autodetects the tape as NTSC (I don't think this can be set manually), and when setting switch 6 on my Canopus device to NTSC, that gives me B&W picture. Setting it to PAL gives me colors (even though my VCR is in NTSC mode), but the picture is very unstable and I only see picture for a few seconds before it freezes and goes BLACK (canopus device receivs wrong signal and drops out).

Don't know what the switch 5 (NTSC setup levels) means, but it has no effect on this tape that I'm trying to digitize now

Anyway, how can there be colors from a NTSC tape when selecting PAL on my capture device?



Attached Images
File Type: jpg Canopus Switches.jpg (97.7 KB, 8 downloads)
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  #13  
01-12-2017, 07:05 AM
sanlyn sanlyn is online now
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If it's an NTSC tape, why are you selecting PAL for input? This is getting confusing. Let's start again. The physical cassette itself would make no difference -- you can record either PAL or NTSC to either type of cassette. You have an NTSC VHS cassette and it was used to record a PAL broadcast as PAL format, is that correct? Or was it a PAL broadcast recorded to NTSC format (which won't play properly, by the way).

Last edited by sanlyn; 01-12-2017 at 07:15 AM.
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  #14  
01-12-2017, 09:13 AM
hysteriah hysteriah is offline
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I'm not really selecting PAL for input. I've tried both PAL and NTSC on the Canopus device. NTSC gives me a perfectly stable picture in B&W, while PAL gives me colors but totally rubish picture. I'm gonna upload sample clips soon so you can see for yourself ;-)

I'm not quite sure about this. It's not my own tapes, so I don't really know how they wes recorded in the 1st place. All I know is that my VCR detects the tapes as NTSC, even though the recordings on the tapes comes from european/German TV broadcasts. So my guess would be that those european TV signals was received via satellite in the USA and recorded with a NTSC VCR (if that's possible at all)?
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01-12-2017, 10:11 AM
sanlyn sanlyn is online now
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If it was a PAL broadcast recorded as NTSC, that's the problem. You would have the same problem if the recording were reversed (NTSC broadcast recorded as PAL on a PAL VCR).
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01-12-2017, 01:54 PM
hysteriah hysteriah is offline
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That's what I thought. But Isn't it a way in this whole world to play/digitize them properly? Isn't there any piece of equipment that is able to bring back the colors to these recordings?

As you can see from the attatched sample clips ("CanopusPAL" versions), there IS colors present on the tape, actually. Isn't there a VCR ever made that is able to "force them" into some kind of mode of playback to get both colors and stable video? How about playing them in "slow motion" or such? Would it be possible to bring back the colors during slow motion/still picture playback or such? Any ideas?


Attached Files
File Type: avi Test_1 - CanopusNTSC.avi (18.10 MB, 2 downloads)
File Type: avi Test_1 - CanopusPAL.avi (9.13 MB, 1 downloads)
File Type: avi Test_2 - CanopusNTSC.avi (18.70 MB, 1 downloads)
File Type: avi Test_2 - CanopusPAL.avi (12.31 MB, 1 downloads)
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  #17  
01-12-2017, 03:19 PM
sanlyn sanlyn is online now
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The PAL color subcarrier carrier frequency of 4.43 was converted to NTSC 3.58. So no proper NTSC signal is coming out, or mif it is the Canopus isn';t seeing it that way. In NTSC the colour frequency is wrong and in PAL the framerate is wrong.

Unless you can get the player to output a true NTSC signal you maybe out of luck. A lot of these machines had a circuit built in that would change the color subcarrier from NTSC to PAL, a system sometimes called PAL60. But the refresh rate is still 59.95Hz (NTSC).

In VirtualDub capture and VirtualVCR with the ATI you can set the chroma pin (input signal type) to PAL60 and several other PAL types, which might be what one of those players can output. I note that your Canopus setup image shows only plain NTSC or PAL, not any other system.
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01-12-2017, 03:47 PM
hysteriah hysteriah is offline
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Yes, I'm gonna dig up my old computer from the basement with my ATI AIW 7500 capture card and do some testing. I just made a new discovery; when hooking my VCR up to a old regular CRT TV, I do see perfect video with colors (see attachment)... so there may be hope to get something out of it with my old ATI AIW card!


Attached Files
File Type: mp4 TV playback.mp4 (21.35 MB, 0 downloads)
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  #19  
01-12-2017, 04:38 PM
sanlyn sanlyn is online now
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If TV play works, the player is putting out a modified PAL/NTSC signal that the Canopus device and software can't interpret with enough flexibility or accuracy.
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  #20  
01-12-2017, 06:57 PM
hysteriah hysteriah is offline
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I couldn't get my old computer with the ATI card to work properly... but I found the "PAL-60" settings on one of my DVD recorders... and THIS IS IT! Now I have perfectly clear colors and a quite nice and stable picture!

THANK YOU VERY MUCH, SANLYN! I would never been able to do this without your help. You're an angel

...and one more thing: I cannot use my "Datavideo TBC-1000". It also returnes a B&W NTSC picture, so I'll have to connect my VCR straight to a capture device with support for the "PAL-60" signal
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