Quantcast Checking and Testing AG-1980P & TBC Suggestions in 2019 - digitalFAQ Forum
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  #1  
01-16-2019, 12:42 PM
17netters 17netters is offline
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Thanks lordsmurf, sanlyn, kpmedia, jwillis, admin and others for your effort and valuable advice!

My VHS conversions would be a LOT worse quality if I wouldn't have found DigitalFAQ!
I've been reading a multitude of threads covering VHS conversion on DigitalFAQ, and they sure have helped.
What I thought was "Decent", was actually not very good at all-

Before DigitalFAQ:
JVC S-VHS Camcorder >>>> Honestech USB/ Dazzle DVC100 >>>> Windows 10 PC

After DigitalFAQ:
AG-1980P >>>> [NEED TBC] >>>> ATI TV Wonder 550 PCI >>>> XP Capture PC

AG-1980P:
-- Got used off Ebay, seems to be working properly - came out of a museum
-- Came with a S-VHS tape that was looped and re-winded probably for one of the museum exhibits (my assumption)
-- No noticeable dimming when In-Line TBC is turned on/off
-- Power supply buzzes when loading/unloading tape (Common issue I believe)
-- Other ways to know if the Caps are going & check?

TBC:
-- Looking for a Full-Frame TBC (One from your recommended list)... Seem a bit scarce at the moment
-- DataVideo DVK100 + DMR-ES15, TBC(ish) combo perhaps?
-- Good places to look for one (besides DigitalFAQ)?

ATI TV Wonder 550 PCI:
-- Works like a champ! VirtualDub works well with it. Radio Tuner is pretty cool too!
-- Preview works fine, Overlay looks distorted (Don't think it's a big issue, capturing video works properly)

XP Capture PC:
-- Old HP Desktop - Works well with the 550 PCI
-- AMD Athlon 64 X2 4400+
-- 2 GB RAM
-- 2 HDD's + ESATA external drive
-- XP 32 bit SP3, couldn't find SP2. Anyone know how disable security stuff? (gpedit.msc maybe?)

-- Will be converting ~130 VHS-C tapes + 20 regular VHS... Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
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  #2  
01-16-2019, 03:02 PM
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jwillis84 jwillis84 is offline
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The AG-1980 is not something you want to consider servicing yourself, its a beast, not only do some hard to replace caps go bad, but after replacing them the circuits need to be recalibrated to function correctly with the new caps. And the VHS deck mechanics need to be cleaned, greased and track drive belts need to be assessed and replaced if necessary. TGrantPhoto is where I got my 5710 serviced, not cheap, but well worth it.. save up (and I do mean save up) its not cheap, but you need to get it serviced and checked out (before) they no longer handle the AG-1980. Tom is a great person to communicate with but he has a lot of business from what I understand.. you have to get on their waiting list, and pack it for shipping to them by their recommended standards.. all great ideas.. take their advice. Its a long arduous trip and it needs to be handled properly.

The ATI AIW 550 PCI isn't exactly recommended, but you could do worse. It has a problem with Automatic Gain Control "over correction" when scenes go rapidly from dark to light or light to dark. And the PCI bus was not the snappiest bus to use for graphics back when AGP was available. (But) I believe it had integrated Audio capture within the card, so no external sound card connection required. I think LordSmurf recommends a 9000 or 7000 series AIW card, with preference given to the 9000 versions for stability and 7000 versions for clarity of signal. (But) they are getting rare and harder to find. -- If I remember correctly the 550 is a "total MPEG2 hardware" based card, it was designed specifically for Windows MCE 2005 to support the PVR timeshifting crowd. It wasn't well received on the market because by then everyone was clammoring for MPEG4, not MPEG2. But for NTSC to DVD [its absolutely "perfect".. in theory]. MPEG2 supports NTSC interlace, MPEG4 not so much.. I'm not sure if it supported interlaced fields at all.. its more for progressive video, YouTube, Mobile Phone video.. stuff without "fields".. it makes a mess of NTSC dual interlaced fields.

Within the 9000 series "beware" of the 9600 deals that do not include an "output" dongle adapter/breakout cable. The 9600 has [no] monitor output connector on its backplane, only a 24 pin DIN connector that requires that cable.. and it can't be sourced from anywhere any longer. The company that made them for ATI no longer makes them. If you get a 9600 without that monitor breakout cable, its worthless. The monitor breakout cable by itself is worth more than the card these days on 'Bay. -- you'd have to check me on this, but the 9000, 9200, 9700, 9800 I don't believe needed a monitor breakout cable, they all have monitor connectors on the backplane. Its the 9600 cards with the 24 pin Din "stick" as they called it. The 9500 I have no experience with because I think it was a Eurozone only release.

XP SP3 will probably work, but you might see if [SP3] is available to be [uninstalled] in the control panel apps. If it was installed [after] the OS the uninstaller should still be available. If it was "slipstreamed" into the original installation.. you can't uninstall it. It takes a [very] long time to uninstall.. so if you go that route.. let it run over night and don't touch it until its done.. interrupting it midway could be disasterous.

Be sure to "image" your XP SP3 system to a large enough USB drive or other storage device. Do this "first" before all else.. it is so easy to "loose" a good system, you need to be able to get back to a known good condition.

And "Turn on" System Recovery in the [My Computer] Properties/Advanced to make sure every time you install a new driver or tweak something critical, it backs up the registry and saves cruicial operating systems files in case that "new" install goes bad. Know what it is, Do it, Use it.

Finally. minor points, but be sure the case had adequate cooling, big 120 mm fans and big vents. The 550 encoder will put out a lot of heat and cook itself if couped up and not allowed to "breath". It will die in short order. -- and "never, ever" plug it directly into the wall.. always use a known good Surge protector.. and probably a UPS, use both, don't trust one to do the job of the other. This hardware is rare, not made anymore, so you probably can't replace any of it. -- Keep it "unplugged" when not in use.. a random Lightning storm, or Electric Company "training accident" will [end] your project quickly.

LordSmurf seems to be championing "finding" TBC alternatives.. where most others have capitulated and given up.. he may be your only hope Obi Wan at this point.

Last edited by jwillis84; 01-16-2019 at 03:33 PM.
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  #3  
01-16-2019, 03:41 PM
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As a quick reply, I have some TBC options, but I can't reply more today, too cold, hurt too much.

- Did my advice help you? Then become a Premium Member and support this site.
- Find television shows, cartoons, DVDs and Blu-ray releases at the TVPast forums.
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  #4  
01-17-2019, 11:03 AM
17netters 17netters is offline
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Quote:
TGrantPhoto is where I got my 5710 serviced, not cheap, but well worth it.. save up (and I do mean save up) its not cheap, but you need to get it serviced and checked out (before) they no longer handle the AG-1980.
Planning on doing that soon.

Quote:
If I remember correctly the 550 is a "total MPEG2 hardware" based card, it was designed specifically for Windows MCE 2005 to support the PVR timeshifting crowd. It wasn't well received on the market because by then everyone was clammoring for MPEG4, not MPEG2. But for NTSC to DVD [its absolutely "perfect".. in theory]. MPEG2 supports NTSC interlace, MPEG4 not so much.. I'm not sure if it supported interlaced fields at all.. its more for progressive video, YouTube, Mobile Phone video.. stuff without "fields".. it makes a mess of NTSC dual interlaced fields.
I'm planning on capturing video as AVI in VirtualDub, with the HuffYUV codec. Do you think the 550 will do fine with that? (Other than the auto-gain issues?)

Quote:
Be sure to "image" your XP SP3 system to a large enough USB drive or other storage device. Do this "first" before all else.. it is so easy to "loose" a good system, you need to be able to get back to a known good condition.

And "Turn on" System Recovery in the [My Computer] Properties/Advanced to make sure every time you install a new driver or tweak something critical, it backs up the registry and saves cruicial operating systems files in case that "new" install goes bad. Know what it is, Do it, Use it.
Currently using the Windows "Backup and Restore" feature to backup everything. I'll see if I can save the image of the pc. Also will turn on System Recovery.

Quote:
Finally. minor points, but be sure the case had adequate cooling, big 120 mm fans and big vents. The 550 encoder will put out a lot of heat and cook itself if couped up and not allowed to "breath". It will die in short order. -- and "never, ever" plug it directly into the wall.. always use a known good Surge protector.. and probably a UPS, use both, don't trust one to do the job of the other.
Good to know... I currently have it in the stock HP tower which is DEFINITELY bound to cook it (ONE 80mm fan). I'll put it in a better case. For the UPS and surge suppressor, currently I have an Eaton 3105 and Tripp-Lite Isobar IB-4. Will use those.
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