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PanamaYellow 09-26-2004 11:42 AM

I'm looking to transfer my commercial VHS tapes to DVD. At least some of the tapes have Macrovision on them. As some of these are both out of print and not available on DVD, I'm trying to save them.

In addition, I have some SVHS tapes and laser discs that I'd like to transfer to DVD.

In order to remove the Macrovision, I need some box in-line between the JVC and the PC. Having looked extensively at this site and at, I'm doubtful of the value/utility of simple "Macrovision removing" boxes. Also, I'm quite sensitive to the quality of the video.
This leads me to Time Based Correctors and specifically to the DataVideo TBC-1000 and the AVTool AVT-8710. I've seen you mention in different posts that each of these was your favorite TBC.

My equipment is:
PC: MSI K8N Neo, A64 3000+, 512Mb, 160Gb Maxtor Ultra 9
JVC HR-S9500U SVHS with TBC/DNR (probably 2Mb)

My question is this:
For what reasons would you recommend the AVT-8710 and for what reasons the TBC-1000?

Thanks for offering this kind of information to those of us just starting out in video capture/authoring.


admin 09-28-2004 01:30 PM

After a bit of thought and discussion with others,
this is what you want to look at:

1) The DataVideo TBC-1000.

PRO: Full frame TBC. The unit is well-known for removing mild jitter from source, a side-effect of a really good correction. The s-video and composite passthrough is clean, and the signal comes out with no added noise. It splits to four outputs so you can monitor the signal to a separate tv if needed. The unit sits in a really nice enclosure.

CON: It's about $300, a hundred more than the other one. A few people have complained about uneven faint "bars" in the background of an image, but this is quite honestly more likely the side effect of a tv set that is not set properly (too much contrast and oversaturation of the image). The only way I can see this "error" is by altering my equipment to an imperfect set of video settings (I am calibrated by AVIA most of the time!). Some people have complained about the TBC-1000 "adding" jitter, but every time I press these people about it, I get jibberish in response (therefore, I've dismissed those complaints as user error!).

2) The AVToolbox AVT-8710

PRO: Just $200 on average. Also a full frame TBC. As a bonus, it comes with a VERY limited set of proc-amp-like video processing controls, to alter color, contrast, etc.

CON: Much like the TBC-1000 problems, the 8710 is known to not always remove Macrovision and/or other strong copy protection schemes. Know that the TBC-1000 is not perfect either, as some anti-copy ruins the signal too much. This one is supposedly a bit more touchy in this area. The color corrections are also just very mild. You'd be better off getting a proc amp if you need really good video controls. The signal on the AVT-8710 is not as clean as the TBC-1000, not all the time. And finally, it does not have multiple outputs like the TBC-1000. The enclosure of this unit is pretty small and flimsy.


I mainly purchases the TBC-1000 because I bought it used off a friend, and because the AVT-8710 was not out at that time. If I had to do it all over again, I'd probably still get the TBC-1000 because of the multi outputs and because of the prospect of it having the cleanest signal. I also like equipment that is large and durable (because they often have plenty of space inside the case to disperse heat!), solid metal bodies, not plastic and small. I had considered permanently adding an AVT-8710 some months back, mainly for the color correction abilities, but opted instead for a full proc amp.

Oh... and BOTH units can handle PAL and NTSC just fine. AVToolbox tries to pretend PAL is something special.

This sounds very nice:
PC: MSI K8N Neo, A64 3000+, 512Mb, 160Gb Maxtor Ultra 9
JVC HR-S9500U SVHS with TBC/DNR (probably 2Mb)

admin 09-28-2004 01:55 PM

I take it back. I have seen with my own eyes, on one tape, where the TBC-1000 introduced jitter. But that tape was so far destroyed, it's not even funny. It had so many compounded error, that the TBC was doing more harm than good. This can happen to ANY kind of TBC, do I doubt it would have been any better on anything else. This is a generic TBC for compound errors.

PanamaYellow 09-29-2004 04:50 AM

First, thanks for taking the time to pull together your responses.

I originally thought that the ability to adjust the video before the signal reaches the capture card would sometimes be important. So, the AVT-8710 would have an advantage, assuming that the two products do their basic TBC functions similarly.

There doesnít seem to be a slap-the-table winner between them so Iíve ordered one of each and will do an A/B comparison with the equipment and source material I have. We'll see.

admin 09-29-2004 09:46 AM

The ability to adjust the signal is very important, something I've long known about (several years now), but until about two months ago was unable to afford. Plus I got some help from somebody (finally!) on what models to pick out and why. You'll find information on this topic is rather sparse, both online, and even in video magazines. Even people that work in video seem to be somewhat clueless on this.

I opted for the Elite Video BVP-4 Plus ( a proc amp, and then a Sign Video DR-1000 ( for an image detailer. This combo blew away anything that a couple mild controls in a TBC would do. Just be warned, these items can be expensive. THe BVP-4 Plus is about $700 new, or about $300 on eBay. The DR-1000 is about $300 new and $100 used on eBay.

Video equipment, especially for those of us who are not rich, can be a long acquisition process. Until earlier this year, video had just been a hobby of mine. I literally had a project sit around for 3 years because I did not have the equipment to complete it. Now I do, and now it's done.

You are going in the correct order, however. You have a good card, next you seem to have a good VCR. A good TBC will be the next item in the list.

PanamaYellow 09-29-2004 10:10 AM

In addition to archiving the laserdiscs, VHS and SVHS tapes I have, I hope to continuously learn more about this "hobby" as I go along. A fun side effect is that I get to flog the walnuts off this new PC I just put together. Great fun.

A good TBC will be the next thing for me, once I learn enough about what I'm trying to do.

Thanks again.

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