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#1
11-15-2017, 10:01 PM
 Padawan Premium Member Join Date: Jun 2017 Posts: 38 Thanks: 0 Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Hello,

I just purchased an Panasonic NV-HS1000 which was described as being in perfect working order.

However it has some issues. The picture quality is poor compared to my old Sanyo VHS DVD Combo.

You can see this by the capture I have attached below.

My other equipment includes one of Lord Smurfs TBC units (which works perfectly with the Sanyo) plus an All in Wonder PCI card with no issues.

Could someone please help with letting me know what you think is wrong with the unit and if a head clean will fix it?

That exact same VHS tape comes out markedly better when using the Sanyo.

-- merged --

Oh yeah and I forgot to mention. Before I push the play button on the Panasonic there are some vertical lines in the capture windows.

In order from left to right these are White, Yello, Cyan, Green, Pink, Red, Blue and Black.

These lines don't appear with the Sanyo and possibly have nothing at all to do with the problem but I thought it best to be thorough.

-- merged --

Please ignore the second post regarding the vertical lines. That is part of the ATI capture software I was trying to see if it worked better than virtualdub. It didn't. The quality from the Panasonic is just as bad.

If any admins are reading this I am going to become a Premium member. I just won't have the money until next Pension day which is Tuesday.

Regards,
Paul

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#2
11-18-2017, 09:18 PM
 sanlyn Premium Member Join Date: Aug 2009 Location: N. Carolina and NY, USA Posts: 2,437 Thanks: 76 Thanked 665 Times in 596 Posts
Welcome.

Head cleaning won't hurt, but it won't help either.

How was your mpg sample made from the original capture? It looks re-encoded.

Quote:
 Originally Posted by Padawan That exact same VHS tape comes out markedly better when using the Sanyo.
Thanks for the sample from the Panny, but in what way is the same tape from the Sanyo "markedly better"? Does the Sanyo show the same choppy encoding? The same dropouts? The same color problems and over saturation? A sample from the Sanyo with that tape would answer all of those questions. Do your other tapes have these same problems with the Panasonic?

Who was it that described the VCR as being in "perfect" working order? Many auction sellers consider that a unit is "perfect" if it powers up without exploding or smoking. Was it conditioned and tested by a professional who knows how to adjust the mechanics and electronics to Panasonic's operational specs?
#3
11-18-2017, 09:55 PM
 Padawan Premium Member Join Date: Jun 2017 Posts: 38 Thanks: 0 Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Quote:
 Originally Posted by sanlyn Welcome. Head cleaning won't hurt, but it won't help either.
I actually cleaned the heads in what you once recommended as a 'safe' way for those like myself who are too scared to open the case. I played a blank VHS for an hour. This improved the quality quite a lot. I won't be home for a couple of days but will do another capture then as well as one from the Sanyo for comparison.

Quote:
 How was your mpg sample made from the original capture? It looks re-encoded.
This is where Lord Smurf and Yourself will chastise me. I am not interested in lossless capture and doing any filtering etc. That might be ideal but I cannot tell if a video is over saturated or has 'hue' issues or is too sharp or not sharp enough or on-screen image jitter or dirty signal areas. I simply cannot recognize such things. I've found for my needs the ATI software is ideal. The results from the Sony for example I am happy with and so are my family. I know that doesn't fit in with what you guys do but it is good enough for me

Quote:
 Who was it that described the VCR as being in "perfect" working order? Many auction sellers consider that a unit is "perfect" if it powers up without exploding or smoking.
It was a private seller who said that the VCR produced a crystal clear image

Quote:
 Was it conditioned and tested by a professional who knows how to adjust the mechanics and electronics to Panasonic's operational specs?
I am in Australia. These machines are extremely rare here. I got this unit for a price that I could afford and I was willing to take the risk. I can on-sell it for parts and not loose much if necessary. Buying one from overseas would cost close to \$1000 once delivery to Australia is factored in. That I cannot afford on a disability pension. There is a very good older technician close by but I thought I would get your opinion on it first.

I will do a new capture with both machines. To help diagnose should I do so with the units attached to the TBC or would it be better to do so without any correction so you can see what it looks like 'uncorrected' ???
#4
11-18-2017, 10:26 PM
 sanlyn Premium Member Join Date: Aug 2009 Location: N. Carolina and NY, USA Posts: 2,437 Thanks: 76 Thanked 665 Times in 596 Posts
Quote:
 Originally Posted by Padawan This is where Lord Smurf and Yourself will chastise me. I am not interested in lossless capture and doing any filtering etc. That might be ideal but I cannot tell if a video is over saturated or has 'hue' issues or is too sharp or not sharp enough or on-screen image jitter or dirty signal areas. I simply cannot recognize such things. I've found for my needs the ATI software is ideal. The results from the Sony for example I am happy with and so are my family. I know that doesn't fit in with what you guys do but it is good enough for me
I'm sorry, but that's confusing. If the Sony is good enough and you don't plan on any sort of restoration, then what are you looking for in a forum designed for restoration work? If your Sony gives you what you want, use it.

Quote:
 Originally Posted by Padawan It was a private seller who said that the VCR produced a crystal clear image
Perhaps, as you say in your own case, it looked crystal clear to the seller and they were satisfied with it. Not everything in that sample, however, is the fault of the VCR.

Quote:
 Originally Posted by Padawan I will do a new capture with both machines. To help diagnose should I do so with the units attached to the TBC or would it be better to do so without any correction so you can see what it looks like 'uncorrected' ???
Should you decide on another sample, use the same equipment you normally use, except for the VCR.

Last edited by sanlyn; 11-18-2017 at 10:39 PM.
#5
11-18-2017, 10:43 PM
 Padawan Premium Member Join Date: Jun 2017 Posts: 38 Thanks: 0 Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Quote:
 Originally Posted by sanlyn Why is your font blue?
Hi Sanlyn,

My GrandDaughter and 9 year old Great GrandDaughter are visiting from Melbourne (the other side of the country).

She (Great GrandDaughter) showed me how to make the text blue so you can see my answers to your questions more easily.

Would you prefer I don't do that?

Ah youth. A pity it can't be bottled :-)

Quote:
 Originally Posted by sanlyn I'm sorry, but that's confusing. If the Sony is good enough and you don't plan on any sort of restoration, then what are you looking for in a forum designed for restoration work? If your Sony gives you what you want, use it. Perhaps, as you say in your own case, it looked crystal clear to the seller and they were satisfied with it. Not everything in that sample, however, is the fault of the VCR. Should you decide on another sample, use the same equipment you normally use, except for the VCR. Why is your font blue?

Thanks Sanlyn,

I didn't realise the forum was designed specifically for restoration work. That is probably where I am going wrong.

There is a how to guide in your forum for people using the ATI software to go straight to MPEG-2 like I am. I have been following those instructions to the letter.

Yes I am happy with the Sony attached to the TBC I purchased from Lord Smurf.

But in any case I thought a Super VHS player would provide an even 'better' picture quality by fixing Chroma and lessening Geometric distortions etc.

I figured it couldn't hurt and some of the Grand Kids might see the difference so if I could afford one then why not

Cheers,

Paul
#6
11-19-2017, 03:44 AM
 sanlyn Premium Member Join Date: Aug 2009 Location: N. Carolina and NY, USA Posts: 2,437 Thanks: 76 Thanked 665 Times in 596 Posts
Using large, all-caps, overly fancy, or colored fonts is considered disingenuous or naive in most public forums, and some people even say it's rude. Of course, no one says you can't do it. It does tend to look rather chaotic. Most forums are designed for readability and uniformity, allowing for an occasional emphasis by letting us change font size, apply bold or italics, etc. If users applied those accents all the time, you'd soon see some very unreadable posts appearing everywhere. But you are perfectly free to post however you wish. Many readers just skip oddly formatted posts.

The MPEG capture guide you refer to was written during the CRT era. The kinds of noise and other disturbances seen on analog tape were easy to live with in those days, as CRT's were very forgiving of defects in many ways -- not only did they affect a lot of cleanup in their circuitry, but they also generated a loss of detail that masked a lot of noise. Digital translation devices, digital encoders and today's LCD and projector technology expect a noiseless signal. Obviously they don't always get a noiseless signal (any digital broadcast will demonstrate this), but they don't expect or adequately manage the kind of frequent, spurious, and unpredictable analog noise that exists with older technology.

High end VCRs anticipated the digital age with their superior tracking mechanisms, dynamic noise reduction, line tbc's, and other innovations. Admittedly many of those corrections were early, primitive examples: the temporal noise reduction in many players destroyed detail and smeared motion. Line tbc and color rendering circuitry depends on quality electronics and components that had not developed leakage or other problems with time and hard use -- in other words, as with any machine, knowledgeable maintenance was required. The more complex a machine was, the more maintenance it needed. Your Honda Civic can survive skipping a few oil changes (for a while, manyway), but you wouldn't want to treat your Ferrari that way.

While you might be unfamiliar with the language to describe technical glitches in a moving or still image, you apparently do see differences between the way two different machines play the same tape. A player that supposedly has higher capabilities than a lesser player can indeed misbehave due to poor maintenance after much use. Cheaper machines can be more forgiving because they are built to lower tolerances -- while they produce lower quality results visually and audibly, they have less chance of malfunction because of their lower standards of precision and their owners' lowered expectations. Like the old CRT's, lesser players inflict damage by both commission and omission, over-correcting some errors by using low-precision sledge-hammer techniques, and eliminating many details by ignoring them -- thus, there is less circuitry that develops problems.

Your Panasonic is an excellent machine that is very well known to provide cleaner and smoother playback than your other VCR -- that is, when the Panasonic is working properly. It obviously needs maintenance, probably a new color PCB board or y/c components, and other adjustment. The idea behind submitting two captures made by two machines with the same tape is to ascertain how much is due to the tape and how much is due to poor player maintenance.

To answer your other concerns: many members here feel that there are several ancient capture and processing guides that need updating. This gets accomplished, slowly, when time permits. On the other hand, there is certain value in those older guides because many still use legacy hardware (and many still use CRTs, most of which are professionally calibrated for movie-like performance). The hardware might be outdated, but the quality principles remain pretty much the same.

As for technical quality: It takes no special skill and very little new learning to copy an analog image into a computer. Anyone can do it, as proven everywhere all the time in a great many ways using an endless variety of equipment and methods. As they say, however, the devil is in the details.

Last edited by sanlyn; 11-19-2017 at 04:04 AM.
#7
11-19-2017, 04:06 AM
 Padawan Premium Member Join Date: Jun 2017 Posts: 38 Thanks: 0 Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Quote:
Thanks Sanlyn,

I'm really sorry. I knew about the capitals because that is how I used to type until someone told me it meant I was yelling.

I thought the blue answers to the black questions actually improved the overall look and I was being nice

All good. Now I know I will go back to boring black.

Appreciate the other info as well. Once I get back home I'll do a couple more captures.

I'm happy to get the Panosonic serviced the next time I am up for a disability loan which is in about 3 months time.

Regards,

Paul
#8
11-19-2017, 04:11 AM
 sanlyn Premium Member Join Date: Aug 2009 Location: N. Carolina and NY, USA Posts: 2,437 Thanks: 76 Thanked 665 Times in 596 Posts
I'll be the first to admit that some aspects of this video work require good old-fashioned currency to overcome certain problems, and those resources aren't easy to come by for most of us.

[quote=Padawan;51515]This is where Lord Smurf and Yourself will chastise me. I am not interested in lossless capture and doing any filtering etc. That might be ideal but I cannot tell if a video is over saturated or has 'hue' issues or is too sharp or not sharp enough or on-screen image jitter or dirty signal areas. I simply cannot recognize such things. I've found for my needs the ATI software is ideal. The results from the Sony for example I am happy with and so are my family. I know that doesn't fit in with what you guys do but it is good enough for me [quote=Padawan;51515]
No chastisement, but a caution. The lossy sample you submitted has serious noise and compression problems. Is this because of the re-encoding during edit? Carelesss editing? Playback problems? Who knows? With no clues about how the lossy sample was processed, it's impossible to single out a cause and point to a solution.

Meanwhile it's possible with filters to clean up some of the fuzz, bad color, and most of the dropouts (static and rips). Unfortunately the lossy encode's tendency to smear motion and accentuate aliasing and other artifacts when filtered can't be helped. Lossless media wouldn't have those added lossy compression artifacts and detail loss. I think you'll be able to detect differences in the images below and in the attached mp4.

sample - original:

sample - filtered:

Attached Images
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#9
11-21-2017, 03:18 AM
 Padawan Premium Member Join Date: Jun 2017 Posts: 38 Thanks: 0 Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Hi Sanlyn,

That is amazing. I can see why people pay you guys to do it for them if they only have a few VHS tapes

Ok I am home and I have just captured 20 seconds of the same VHS tape from the Sony and the Panasonic. I still used the ATI software but this time as avi Huffyuv instead of directly to MPEG-2.

Should I now use Womble MPEG editor to encode this to MPEG-2 for you to have a look at? Or leave it as avi Huffyuv? Or something else?

By playing a blank tape through the Panasonic for an hour the picture quality is a lot better now.

Regards,

Paul

Actually I just realized that Womble doesn't recognize avi. I do have Vid Coder I can use instead. Otherwise I will need to install another program.
#10
11-21-2017, 05:36 AM
 sanlyn Premium Member Join Date: Aug 2009 Location: N. Carolina and NY, USA Posts: 2,437 Thanks: 76 Thanked 665 Times in 596 Posts
Quote:
 Originally Posted by Padawan I can see why people pay you guys to do it for them if they only have a few VHS tapes
LOL, I'm not one of the guys that gets paid. I'd crack up if I did that sort of cleanup all the time. Actually the basic service at digitalfaq, which I used a while back, is more affordable than complete restoration. It's lossless capture only, but with shop-grade equipment that avoids many problems during capture. That doesn't cost so much. I have no idea what it would cost to clean up a whole tape that looks like the sample but I'll bet I couldn't afford it.
.

We'd prefer the huffyuv versions. Lossy re-encoding would cloud the picture -- what we want to see is what the players are doing, not what your encoders are doing. About 8 seconds of huffyuv video in a scene with motion in the original YUY2 colorspace would be a file size well within the 99MB upload limit for video.

To keep the lossless state and original lossless compression, open your AVI directly in VirtualDub. Use the lower left navigation keys and the top menus to cut the start and end of the section you want to send. To save your edit, go to the top menu and click "Video" -> then in the drop-down menu select "direct stream copy". Then "File" -> "Save as avi...", and give the file a name and location. If you have any problems, let us know. Someone can look at the capture and advise.
#11
11-21-2017, 06:11 AM
 Padawan Premium Member Join Date: Jun 2017 Posts: 38 Thanks: 0 Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Hi again Sanlyn,

Here they are.

The VHS itself isn't in the best quality when viewed on a TV. I don't have a good quality one at the moment.

I always have the same 'failed to load' message when starting up Virtualdub (see attached word document)

There was also a sound warning when I used Virtualdub to open each of the AVI files (see attached screenshot).

I think the Sanyo still looks better than the Panasonic which is a pity as it means I will need to get it serviced I think.

Regards,
Paul

Attached Images
Attached Files
#12
11-21-2017, 10:46 AM
 sanlyn Premium Member Join Date: Aug 2009 Location: N. Carolina and NY, USA Posts: 2,437 Thanks: 76 Thanked 665 Times in 596 Posts
Thanks very much for your new samples. I'll try to prepare some notes and a short demo for posting a little later.

Meanwhile:
Is ffvdub.vdf installed in your Virtualdub plugins folder? It's an ffdshow filter for VirtualDub. Do you have ffdshow installed?
#13
11-21-2017, 06:16 PM
 Padawan Premium Member Join Date: Jun 2017 Posts: 38 Thanks: 0 Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanks Sanlyn,

I wasn't sure if you would have preferred me to send a capture of what plays great on a TV.

That way any errors caused by the faulty Panasonic would be more easily determined?

I am worried about the cost of fixing the Panasonic - Pal machines in good working order ideal for this type of work cost quite a lot don't they

And I just wanted to thank you once again for the amount of time you have put in.

It is a pity there isn't a "Crappy VHS" filter for Virtualdub that would work with most old tapes

Have a good day,

Paul

-- merged --

Meanwhile:
Is ffvdub.vdf installed in your Virtualdub plugins folder? It's an ffdshow filter for VirtualDub. Do you have ffdshow installed?

I am using Lord Smurfs Virtualdub. Does that mean I have ffdshow installed already? Or am I supposed to separately install ffdshow?

I just checked and that same error message happens on any computer I put it on.

Regards,
Paul
#14
11-21-2017, 11:48 PM
 sanlyn Premium Member Join Date: Aug 2009 Location: N. Carolina and NY, USA Posts: 2,437 Thanks: 76 Thanked 665 Times in 596 Posts
Quote:
 Originally Posted by Padawan I am using Lord Smurfs Virtualdub. Does that mean I have ffdshow installed already? Or am I supposed to separately install ffdshow? I just checked and that same error message happens on any computer I put it on.
I've always avoied loading filter collections from other users. When I do, I have to go through that collection to weed out plugins I'll never use.

If you had installed ffdshow you would certainly remember it and know about it. The ffdshow installer places ffvdub.vdf in the plugins folder if you tell ffdshow that you want it to associate some filters with VirtualDub. VirtualDub's startup actually reads through its filter collection so that your plugins can be displayed in the filters list when you look for them. Virtualdub is finding ffvdub.vdf but can't find the associated ffdshow filters that the vdf plugin wants.

To clear this error: rather than throw ffvdub.vdf away, go into your VirtualDub program folder and create a subfolder called "old". Then find the ffvdub.vdf filter in the plugins, and cut-and-paste it into the "old" folder. Whenever you find another vdub plugin you know you'll never or seldom use, copy it into the "old" folder and remove it from the active plugins. You can never tell if you might need it later.

Quote:
 Originally Posted by Padawan I wasn't sure if you would have preferred me to send a capture of what plays great on a TV. That way any errors caused by the faulty Panasonic would be more easily determined?
I think you mean a sample of a different tape raher than the original sample? It's good enough that you posted the same frames captured with two different players. Whether the sample looks good on TV is another story: neither of the samples would look very good on TV.

Quote:
 Originally Posted by Padawan Pal machines in good working order ideal for this type of work cost quite a lot don't they
Indeed they do, and so does rapair. I've been there. The same is true with NTSC. Be very careful about this: your typical, local VCR tech is not trained or equipped to revitalize this kind of player. Only a very few specialty shops can handle it.

Quote:
 Originally Posted by Padawan It is a pity there isn't a "Crappy VHS" filter for Virtualdub that would work with most old tapes
True. There isn't one of those filters anywhere, period. But the filters I'm using on your samples and my own tapes are in popular use. And free.

Meanwhile, concerning your players: Both have problems. It appears that your Sanyo has at least a nominal line-level tbc on tape playback, which is unusual. While it doesn't seem to be a particularly powerful tbc (I can see it mildly slipping now and then but not badly), it does appear to be in better playing order than the tbc in your Panasonic. The Sanyo has no noise reduction. It outputs oversaturated color, especially very noisy reds. I see very bad "dancing" horizontal chroma noise nut much less of it in the Panasonic.

The Panasonic doesn't over saturate as much -- it pumps red visibly, but not as much as the Sanyo. I'm wondering why the Panasonic seems to be oversharpening its own noise; I'm fairly certain that the Panasonic does have noise reduction -- it's working, but it's not working all that well and it's not tracking as well as the Sanyo (however, both players need to have their tracking mechanisms tweaked). The Panasonic's output is dim and quite grainy, colors look soiled and inaccurate. It should be tracking through dropouts better than it is. All of this points to a serious need for realignment and for wholesale replacement of many capacitors or PCB boards. That's not unusual for semi-pro machines that have seen hard use. While they're more capable than mainstream units when working properly, they're also more cranky and demanding of regular, precision maintenance. They're wonderful when they work well, but they aren't easy to live with.

I prepared a comparison video with the Sanyo's output on the left side of the composition and the Panasonic output on the right. The frames from each capture are not filtered or resized and are presented as side-by side comparisons of 704x576 matching frames from each sample.

The attached compare_demo.mp4 plays wide-screen as shown below, with Sanyo on the left, Panasonic on the right:

I also made a restore_compare.mp4 to show that while output from neither player is at all great, both can be restored for fairly natural, cleaner playback. Again, Sanyo on the left, Panasonic on the right:

BTW, your audio was captured at 44.1KHz, which is OK for the internet but is not valid audio for DVD or BluRay.

If you allow compare_demo.mp4 to play continuously, look at main differences between the two captures. The Sanyo horse on the left has very noisy, flickering, oversaturated reds, making for what looks like a seriously ill horse. The sky has a violently shimmering horizontal play of streaky chroma noise and obvious magenta-stained rainbows. Red and blue are over saturated and smeared. There are horizontal dropouts, but curiously they aren't as frequent or as serious as the Panasonic's dropout problems. With Sanyo I was able to use milder filtration to clear dropouts and to correct chroma noise and colors. But taken as-is without filters, it doesn't make for pleasant viewing on tv and the noise eats up an encoder's bitrate.

The Panasonic frames required heavier filtration, especially for the more frequent dropouts. Considering that the image loses sharpness because of broken/ragged edges and heavy grain, those problems and the strong filters combine to soften an image that doesn't retain as much detail as the Sanyo frames.

When comparing the originals side by side it's impossible to say which player is "better" or worse. The Sanyo might at first look "better", only because it's brighter and more saturated. That's impressive when you first see it, but it soon becomes wearing and the chaotic noise is bothersome. Both players seem to be outputting crushed shadow detail, which I suspect is the fault of either the camera or the capture device. The camera itself seems to have autocolor and/or autogain problems, because gamma and color balance change visibly during the zoom-back at the start of the sample. Color correction is a personal thing, but I left both images slightly warmish to retain the available sunlight, which was either early morning or late afternoon (notice the long shadows on the ground).

If you had to economize with the Sanyo, it's possible to learn to improve the images without too much trouble. The output of the Panasonic is far more troublesome. In both cases I notice a lack of detail and some posterizing, a side effect of filtering a soft image from the original camera that is over sharpened by both players.

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#15
11-22-2017, 12:19 AM
 Padawan Premium Member Join Date: Jun 2017 Posts: 38 Thanks: 0 Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thank you Sanlyn,

I can definitely see the difference now

For the moment, unless I can find a decent VCR I thin I will stick with the Sanyo.

I've also decided to give Virtualdub another go as those time sync errors don't occur when it is used to capture rather than ATI

Are you able to tell me which filters you used please? And whether the default settings of them are good enough?

That information you provided on the Panasonic is fantastic as I can now email the experts (100km or 60miles from my home) and see what they say in terms of estimated costs. Of course they will have to pull it apart. It may be better for me financially to sell it for parts.

Thanks again,

Paul
#16
11-22-2017, 08:25 AM
 sanlyn Premium Member Join Date: Aug 2009 Location: N. Carolina and NY, USA Posts: 2,437 Thanks: 76 Thanked 665 Times in 596 Posts
Quote:
 Originally Posted by Padawan For the moment, unless I can find a decent VCR I thin I will stick with the Sanyo.
I've been in that situation. My primary player is a rebuilt AG-1980, although over the years I've been through several JVC and Panasonic vcr's (I started with over 300 tapes!). But I've had some tapes that didn't make nice with the 1980. One old tape in particular tracked with flashing blue and purple bars across the top border. No explanation for that, but it worked OK in a rebuilt 1996 Panasonic PV-S4670 SVHS VCR and a Panasonic DMR-ES10 for tbc pass-thru. Very old, noisy 1980 tape, a bad cable TV connection, cheap cable amplifier, recorded at slow 6-hour speed on a cheap 2-head 1980 RCA VCR, and no noise reduction on the 4670 -- so it took a lot of cleanup. It isn't the good tape sources that one learns from, it's the nightmare tapes. that are challenging.

Quote:
 Originally Posted by Padawan Are you able to tell me which filters you used please? And whether the default settings of them are good enough?
Most of the work was with Avisynth and a couple of VirtualDub filters. Avisynth does seem daunting at first, especially when lordsmurf first dragged me into it kicking and screaming, but once you look into it everything begins to click. We're very busy getting ready for Thanksgiving here, but by Friday I should be able to get the details together for posting.

I have seen some references about PAL VCR maintenance here in the forum. I'll try to find those posts. Whatever you do, be wary about purchases from non-pro's on auction sites. While maintenance isn't cheap, getting a high-end VCR that has been properly refurbished is even more expensive. I realize that at this stage in the VHS game, good gear is difficult to come by for everyone here in NTSC land as well as in PAL country, so don't feel alone.
#17
11-22-2017, 08:01 PM
 Padawan Premium Member Join Date: Jun 2017 Posts: 38 Thanks: 0 Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanks yet again Sanlyn,

Just for the moment I think I will stick with Virtualdub until I get a lot more comfortable.

You wouldn't have to lead me dragging and kicking to Avisynth but rather give me a full brain transplant

I managed to use a couple of filters in Virtualdub and the output is noticeably but not significantly improved.

It is just knowing what filters to use. There are sooo many.

Regards,

Paul
#18
11-24-2017, 06:54 AM
 sanlyn Premium Member Join Date: Aug 2009 Location: N. Carolina and NY, USA Posts: 2,437 Thanks: 76 Thanked 665 Times in 596 Posts
Quote:
 Originally Posted by Padawan Just for the moment I think I will stick with Virtualdub until I get a lot more comfortable. You wouldn't have to lead me dragging and kicking to Avisynth but rather give me a full brain transplant I managed to use a couple of filters in Virtualdub and the output is noticeably but not significantly improved. It is just knowing what filters to use. There are sooo many.
Unfortunately VirtualDub is basically an editor while Avisynth is a different kind of image processor. Avisynth has more filters than Virtualdub, including hundreds of built-in functions as well as hundreds of external plugins. This isn't to demean Virtualdub: you can do things with VirtualDub that you can't do with Avisynth. and vice versa. Besides, Avisynth has no interface and doesn't even have an ".exe" executable file -- you need VirtualDub to run Avisynth's functions.

VirtualDub has no filters for techniques such as temporal frame median/averaging/merging or motion-adaptive matrices, which some Avisynth filters use to remove dropouts, spots, smooth out edge halos and other common glitches at the level you're dealing with. It would be handy if an all-in-one VirtualDub could do such things, but no one has addressed those issues to a great extent with Virtualdub. It is, after all, a simplified editor and frame server client-- although it's one with very valuable enhancements nevertheless. Avisynth was not designed as an editor.

Agreed, I think you need a brain transplant to navigate some of Avisynth's documentation, which often seems designed for video engineers. But there are other aids such as the Avisynth Wiki and plenty of samples to clarify matters for us mere mortals.

As you previously stated, you don't have a great interest in heavy post-capture processing. Like many people you might not have that much time to invest. If that's the case, and mindful of your video sources, you might reconsider your expectations for the time being. But I would save the most valued tapes for a later re-visit should you change your mind.

Better tracking in a player would make a tremendous improvement and relieve a ton of problems. Oddly, older rebuilt players are often better than later ones in this regard. I once posted the results of comparing a typical circa 2000 VCR with a rebuilt 1996 model. The rebuild actually cost as much as the newer unit. Here are the sample images I posted: Horizontal dropout/pulses in VHS capture?.

In any case, other readers might want to know how your samples were reworked. So I submit the following for you and others....

The AVI captures were opened, decoded, and filtered with Avisynth text scripts being read in VirtualDub's GUI. Because there are so many problems in these captures, the scripts are somewhat longer and more complex than usual. At the same time, I applied some Virtualdub filters to Avisynth's output. Then I saved the total results to another lossles AVi using VirtualDub. Later I encoded the results to final delivery formats (in this case, h.264 video in mp4 containers).

The Avisynth filters are in common use. I assembled them into an attached .zip package that contains the plugins and some documentation in .txt or html format. Avisynth plugins have file extensions of .dll, .avsi, or .avs. There is a subfolder in the .zip attachment for each Avisynth filter. The biggest subfolder is the "QTGMC" filter package, which also contains support filters used by the other plugins and brief instructions on which filters to copy into Avisynth's plugins folder. With all of the plugins in all of the folders, the only files you need in the Avisynth plugins folder are files whose names end with .dll, .avsi, or avs.

The version of Avisynth that I used is a 32-bit 2.6 version (2.6.0.6, May 2015) found here: https://www.videohelp.com/download/A...r=PNCWBFRSMdJB. It comes with an extensive library of built-in help files that are also posted on the internet at http://avisynth.nl/index.php/Main_Page.

The VirtualDub filters were Camcorder Color Denoise ("CCD"), ColorMill, and Donald Graft's HueSatIntensity. These are in a collection of 5 VirtualDub filters loaded in a previous thread. Download that VDub filter group here: http://www.digitalfaq.com/forum/atta...dub_filterszip. The .zip file was originally posted in a very detailed thread on an older project, with notes and pictures on how they are used, along with details on AVisynth code used in that older project, in these posts:
Encoding from Huffyuv? , post 16
Encoding from Huffyuv? , post 17
Encoding from Huffyuv? , post 19

I also attached two .vcf files that will load the VDub filters and settings used for the filtered Panasonic and Sanyo output files. To load a .vcf file, open Virtualdub and use "File" -> "load processing settings...", then locate the .vcf file and click "OK" or "Open". The filters used must be in your VDub plugins folder.

An Avisynth script is a plain text file typed in Windows Notepad and saved with an ".avs" file extension. I used different scripts for the Panasonic and Sanyo samples -- they differ only in a few coded lines but are otherwise similar. The Panasonic script was named "Panny1.avs", the Sanyo script was "Sanyo1.avs".

Here is Panny1.avs, with explanatory notes to follow:

Code:
Import("drive:\path\to\Avisynth\plugins\FixRipsP2.avs")
Import("drive:\path\to\Avisynth\plugins\FixChromaBleeding.avs")

AviSource("drive:\path\to\Panasonic1.avi")
ColorYUV(cont_u=-120,gain_u=-20,off_u=12)
AssumeTFF()
SeparateFields()
FixVHSOversharp(20,16,12)
FixVHSOversharpL(20,12,8)
weave()

ConvertToYV12(interlaced=true)
MergeLuma(SmoothTweak(contrast=1.35))
SmoothLevels(16,1.0,255,16,235,protect=6)
AssumeFPS("PAL_video")
SeparateFields()
FixRipsP2()
Weave()

QTGMC(preset="faster",ChromaNoise=true,sharpness=0.7,border=true)
VInverse()
FixChromaBleeding()
ChromaShift(C=-4)
SmoothUV()
MergeChroma(aWarpSharp2(depth=20).aWarpSharp2(Depth=10))
SeparateFields().SelectEvery(4,0,3).Weave()
return last
Detailed notes:

Import("drive:\path\to\Avisynth\plugins\FixRipsP2. avs")
Import("drive:\path\to\Avisynth\plugins\FixChromaB leeding.avs")

Some Avisynth plugins are .avs text scripts rather than compiled .dlls'. A .dll plugin or an .avsi file is imported automatically when the script runs. But a text .avs script must be imported explicitly with the Import() command. One advantage of a plain .avs script is that you can have many versions of the same thing but with slight coding differences and different .avs file names, to avoid conflict when importing similar internal coding. Just as with Windows, you can't have multiple files with the same name in the same folder.

Notice that the path statement to the file location is in double quotes. Change the path statement to match the file location in your system.

AviSource("drive:\path\to\Panasonic1.avi")
AviSource() is one of many file opening/decoding options available. When AVisynth opens this file it works with unencoded, uncompressed video. Again, change the path statement to match the file's location in your system.

These are two commands, separated by a period for readibility. Crop() removes pixels from the image in the stated order of left side, top, right side, bottom. Next, AddBorders() adds black pixels to the right, top, left, and bottom to restore the original 704x576 frame size and to leave the image more centered in the frame. Black is the default pixel color for AddBorders(). Several million colors are available, or there are dozens of pre-coded color codes in a builtin colors.avs file that is installed with the program..

ColorYUV(cont_u=-120,gain_u=-20,off_u=12)
ColorYUV() is a built-in filter with a dozen functions. Here, it's used to reduce oversarturated blue and to prevent bright blue clipping, which occurs in the original sample and causes a "hot" look to the blues (the "blue" channel is the "U:" channel in YUV). "cont_u" is U channel contrast, "gain_u" is bright blue gain. "off_u" is an overall offset value for everything in the U channel -- the negative off_u value used here reduces all U channel color pixel values by 10. Overall, these parameters are used to reduce the over-dominance of blue.

AssumeTFF()
This command tells Avisynth to recognize this interlaced video's field order as Top Field First (TFF). The default is BFF (Bottom Field First). Using the wrong field order has dire consequences.

SeparateFields()
FixVHSOversharp(20,16,12)
FixVHSOversharpL(20,12,8)
weave()

These four commands are executed in the order shown. Interlaced video frames each contain two image fields from two different instances in time. SeparateFields() breaks the fields into a series of progressive, non-interlaced images required by the FixVHSOversharp filter. The filter reduces bright and dark oversharpening edge halos and chroma overlap, first on the right-hand edges of objects, then on the left. The filter requires YUY2 color, and it so happens that your AVI capture is already YUY2. The Weave() command re-weaves the separated fields back to their original interlaced state.

ConvertToYV12(interlaced=true)
This converts the video's colorspace to YV12, which is required by the filters following the statement. In many apps this can be a very sloppy process with a lot of rounding errors, but Avisynth's method is about the cleanest around. You must specify whether or not the video is interlaced because the algorithm differs for each type, to avoid errors.

This filter uses Photoshop-style contrast masking to heighten shadow detail in very dark areas without over-brightening other elements of the image. It's "enhance" parameter was lowered from the default value of 10, since 10 brightened shadows too much and affected midtones.

MergeLuma(SmoothTweak(contrast=1.35))
This is really two commands. MergeLuma() is an Avisynth builtin that works only with the luminance element without affecting color. SmoothTweak() is an external filter that adjusts several elements, here used to increase contrast in a specific way -- pushes midtones and brights without affecting darks. This "double" statement causes SmoothTweak to work on brightness without oversaturating color.

SmoothLevels(16,1.0,255,16,235,protect=6)
SmoothLevels keeps the image content within the legal video limits of RGB 16-235 and prevents blowing out highlights. SmoohLevels and the earlier SmoothTweak are functions inside the Avisynth SmoothAdjust.dll plugin, included in the .zip package. I'm using version 2.80, which works with Avisynth 2.5 and 2.6. The "protect" parameter disables action on any darks lower than the equivalent of RGB=6 (such as black borders).

AssumeFPS("PAL_video")
Your sample is not exactly 25fps. It's a little lower than that. Some motion-compensated filters get confused with nontraditional frame rates, so AssumeFPS("PAL_video") makes this video run at exactly 25fps, video and audio, and prevented an error from other filters about frame rates.

SeparateFields()
We've changed the colorspace since the earlier SeparateFields(). After this line of code the script uses YV12 filters designed for non-interlaced fields.

FixRipsP2()
This scripted, motion-estimating and frame averaging .avs plugin wants non-interlaced frames or fields to work with. It's designed specifically for clearing bad dropout streaks and rips. Its use is not often recommended; on really ugly video it can smear and distort or even obscure objects in motion. You have to decide whether these compromises are worth it. There are several versions posted in several forums. The version used here usually has better results. It's a very complex and very slow filter, so sit back and endure. Work on small segments at a time. It requires support filters such as DePan, DePanEstimate and others, included in the .zip package.

Weave()
Re-weaves the separated fields into their original interlaced state.

QTGMC(preset="faster",ChromaNoise=true,sharpness=0 .7,border=true)
QTGMC is a deinterlacer but is also used to repair certain kinds of motion noise, grain, excessive combing, and line shimmer. It's used here also to help reduce luma and color noise (flicker). Also, the filters used below this statement require non-interlaced video. After this filter runs you will have cleaned-up, full-sized progressive frames at 50 fps. You can also use this filter to create progressive/square-pixel videos for the internet.

VInverse()
A gaussian blur/masking/resharpen filter used to reduce interlace combing effects. Requires non-interlaced video.

FixChromaBleeding()
Another filter with several versions, this version is more popular. It uses masking and reduced saturation to help curb chroma smearing, chroma "blooming", and bleeding effects. While its script looks short and simple, it requires ChromaShift.dll as a support filter (included in the .zip). Requires non-interlaced video.

ChromaShift(C=-4)
This plugin is used to shift smeared edge chroma toward the left. It can be used to affect that change toward the left or right and up or down. Used with FixChromaBleeding, above, it tightens edge colors a little more. Requires non-interlaced video.

SmoothUV()
Used to smooth chroma blotches and irregularities, especially in skin shadows and highlights. Helps clean up rainbows (chroma noise). Requires non-interlaced video.

MergeChroma(aWarpSharp2(depth=20).aWarpSharp2(Dept h=10))
MergeChroma tells the included filters in this command to work only on the color component, not on luminance. This is another attempt to clean up blurry color on edges. Requires non-interlaced video.

Adds very fine, barely visible film-type grain in order to mask some of the effects of over-filtering.

SeparateFields().SelectEvery(4,0,3).Weave()
This routine is three commands separated by periods. They re-interlace progressive, full-frame video. Each full frame is separated into two half-height fields. Then from each group of 4 fields, select every 2nd and 4th field, and re-weave them into interlaced top-field-first frames.

return last
This command returns the result of the last operation this script performed. You can also insert this statement anywhere in the script to interrupt operations at any desired point and return the result.

-------------------------------------

The Sanyo1.avs script is similar, with a few differences (explanatory notes to follow):

Code:
Import("drive:\path\to\Avisynth\plugins\RemoveDirtMC.avs")
Import("drive:\path\to\Avisynth\plugins\FixChromaBleeding.avs")

AviSource("drive:\path\to\Sanyo1.avi")
ColorYUV(cont_u=-120,gain_u=-20,off_u=12)
ColorYUV(cont_v=-80)
AssumeTFF()
SeparateFields()
FixVHSOversharpL(20,12,8)
weave()

ConvertToYV12(interlaced=true)
MergeLuma(SmoothTweak(contrast=1.3))
SmoothLevels(16,1.05,255,16,235,protect=6)
AssumeFPS("PAL_video")

SeparateFields()
a=last
e=a.SelectEven().TurnRight().RemoveDirtMC(80,false).TurnLeft()
o=a.SelectOdd().TurnRight().RemoveDirtMC(80,false).TurnLeft()
Interleave(e,o)
Weave()

QTGMC(preset="faster",ChromaNoise=true,sharpness=0.7,border=true)
VInverse()
FixChromaBleeding()
ChromaShift(C=-4)
SmoothUV()
MergeChroma(aWarpSharp2(depth=20).aWarpSharp2(Depth=10))
SeparateFields().SelectEvery(4,0,3).Weave()
return last
Here are the differences between the previous Panasonic script and the Sanyo script:

In the Sanyo script, the statement
Import("drive:\path\to\Avisynth\plugins\FixRipsP2. avs")
is replaced with:
Import("drive:\path\to\Avisynth\plugins\RemoveDirt MC.avs")
The Panny script imported FixRipsP2 but Sanyo will use RemoveDirtMC instead of FixRipsP2.

The section of Panny1.avs code that reads:
SeparateFields()
FixRipsP2()
Weave()

is replaced with:
SeparateFields()
a=last
e=a.SelectEven().TurnRight().RemoveDirtMC(80,false ).TurnLeft()
o=a.SelectOdd().TurnRight().RemoveDirtMC(80,false) .TurnLeft()
Interleave(e,o)
Weave()

The names "a", "e" and "o" are locations created in memory by assigning names with statements like "a=", etc. In this case "a" is another name for the results of the last thing the script did up to that point. "e" takes the separated fields contained in "a", selects only the even-numbered fields, turns them 90 degrees horizontally, applies the RemoveDirtMC filter, then turns the fields upright again. "o" does the same thing but uses only the odd-numbered fields in "a". Then the Interleave() function re-assembles the even and odd fields into their original even-odd sequence. Finally, Weave() re-weaves the fields back into interlaced video.

RemoveDirtMC is used at a high limit value of 80 to clean up dropout rips and streaks. This filter is less destructive than FixRipsP2, and is used here because dropouts in the Sanyo video are less severe. RemoveDirtMC also smooths most of the chroma flicker and streaking. The reason for turning fields sideways is to create a smaller target and repair area in the rips and streaks for RemoveDirtMc. Also, dropouts in this video are often repeated across multiple frames. When noise is thus repeated, temporal filters don't "see" the noise as noise. Treating even and odd fields separately creates a more random effect for the noise patterns.

These scripts use very popular old-standby filters as well as a relative exotic like FixRipsP2. Learning to use them gets easier with documented examples and with the (literally) thousands of other examples found in tech forums. I wish VirtualDub the equivalent of some of these filters, but it doesn't.

Attached Files

Last edited by sanlyn; 11-24-2017 at 07:11 AM.
 The following users thank sanlyn for this useful post: wimvs (11-24-2017)
#19
11-24-2017, 09:02 PM
 Padawan Premium Member Join Date: Jun 2017 Posts: 38 Thanks: 0 Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Hi Sanlyn,

Being on a pension one thing I have a lot of is time so I will make a copy of each avi one by one and just play.

If I screw something up it won't matter as I have a backup.

-- merged --

I have all 5 of those vdf filters in the Virtualdub Plugins Folder. I probably only needed the 3 you used.

However when I try to load processing settings by selecting the vcf file I get the atttached error message.

I'm guessing I am doing something wrong

-- merged --

Never mind.

I removed that line from the vcf file and got a slightly different error.

So I ended up removing 3 lines and Virtualdub imported the file. Not sure why.

Regards,
Paul

Attached Images
#20
11-25-2017, 01:52 AM
 sanlyn Premium Member Join Date: Aug 2009 Location: N. Carolina and NY, USA Posts: 2,437 Thanks: 76 Thanked 665 Times in 596 Posts

Quote:
 Originally Posted by Padawan I'm guessing I am doing something wrong
Probably not. That's an odd message, because "SetSmartRendering" isn't located in the .vcf file on line 1, it's on line 12. It has nothing to do with the filters being called.

When you originally downloaded the VirtualDub package, you must have downloaded a big .zip file that contained Virtualdub and a lot of other stuff (such as a big load of plugins) and some settings files. That package was likely created on another operating system , which often causes problems such as the ffdshow vdf error mentioned earlier. I also note somewhere that you seem to have VirtualDub's program folder installed on your Windows desktop (?).

Go into your VirtualDub folder and find the file "auxsetup.exe". It's the VirtualDub installer/uninstaller. Double-click auxsetup.exe to execute it. You'll get a menu with some command buttons on the left margin. The fourth command button from the top is labelled "Remove". Select "Remove" and let the uninstaller remove your old VDub registry entries. Your filters and other original VDub program files will remain in place. Nothing happens to them.

find a new copy of VirtualDub v1.9.11 here: https://www.videohelp.com/download/V...r=MmHbWtPmZbXf ,and download it into your VirtualDub program folder. The name of the download file will be "VirtualDub-1.9.11.zip". Unzip that file directly into your VirtualDub folder -- if the unzipper asks you to overwrite any existing files, say Yes. The .zip file contains only VDub runtime files, no filter package or other extras.

After the .zip has finished running, go into your Virtualub folder again and double-click "VirtualDub.exe" to run the program. This first run will reinstall Virtualdub's registry entries the same way it did when you installed the first time. Your old filters and other files will still be there.

Quote:
 Originally Posted by Padawan Never mind. I removed that line from the vcf file and got a slightly different error. So I ended up removing 3 lines and Virtualdub imported the file. Not sure why. The three filters loaded fine with your settings after that.
Excellent work

It would be interesting to see what was in the lines you deleted.

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