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  #1  
07-04-2019, 09:33 PM
heavymod heavymod is offline
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I been looking at the buying guide - is there not a single Sony deck worth using? Even the ones with TBC?
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  #2  
07-07-2019, 06:49 AM
hodgey hodgey is online now
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I believe VHS vcrs with a TBC feature were mostly limited to JVC and Panasonic-made decks.

The only sony ones I'm aware of having it I've found is the SVO5600 and SVO5800 broadcast decks, and possibly the EV-T2 Hi8/VHS combo deck.

The Sony one is a broadcast deck, i.e SP only, broadcast decks have not been included in the buying guide due to their limitations, and the EV-T2 seems to be very rare.

How the Sony S-VHS decks in general perform image-quality- and tracking-wise I can't speak for, as I haven't used any of them.
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07-07-2019, 07:03 AM
VideoTechMan VideoTechMan is offline
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There are some good high end Sony decks if you can find them in good running condition. The SLV-R1000 is one of those. You will just have to pair it with a good TBC to make it worthwhile.
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  #4  
07-07-2019, 12:03 PM
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I believe Sony decks had a good reputation for first owner use and good performance for the first couple of years of ownership. But they did not survive long in the resale market.

Their power supplies were noted as being unique and practically impossible to repair. Their mechanics very high tolerance and prone to wearing out sooner than other manufacturers.

They also didn't share many components between designs or with other manufacturers so parts were very hard to come by in the after sale market.

People who owned them have fond memories of them, people who took a chance on buying one used rarely had good things to say about them. For the most part.. only someone who hasn't been burned.. raises the question any more.
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07-07-2019, 07:27 PM
heavymod heavymod is offline
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Originally Posted by hodgey View Post
I believe VHS vcrs with a TBC feature were mostly limited to JVC and Panasonic-made decks.

The only sony ones I'm aware of having it I've found is the SVO5600 and SVO5800 broadcast decks, and possibly the EV-T2 Hi8/VHS combo deck.

The Sony one is a broadcast deck, i.e SP only, broadcast decks have not been included in the buying guide due to their limitations, and the EV-T2 seems to be very rare.

How the Sony S-VHS decks in general perform image-quality- and tracking-wise I can't speak for, as I haven't used any of them.
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Originally Posted by VideoTechMan View Post
There are some good high end Sony decks if you can find them in good running condition. The SLV-R1000 is one of those. You will just have to pair it with a good TBC to make it worthwhile.
ok, thanks. I 'm pretty active buying from smaller auctions, and I see SONY come up every now and then and they certainly look like broadcast/professional decks. So I was surprised to see minimal mention on the FAQs.

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Originally Posted by jwillis84 View Post
For the most part.. only someone who hasn't been burned.. raises the question any more.
Ouch. Well, good to know. I've let a bunch of high end Sony decks go by over the past two years, so it's good to know I wasn't missing out.

I have a Panasonic AG-1960 for a few years - sitting gathering dust till I get back to my digitizing project. I didn't realize the Panasonic AG-1960 didn't have TBC - so I sold off the two AG-1980s I picked up at auction. Now I feel like I can't start back up until I've got something with internal TBC. I'm probably overthinking it and should just move on, but it's something to scrounge for
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  #6  
07-07-2019, 07:32 PM
heavymod heavymod is offline
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Originally Posted by hodgey View Post

The Sony one is a broadcast deck, i.e SP only, broadcast decks have not been included in the buying guide due to their limitations, and the EV-T2 seems to be very rare.
I would have assumed broadcast decks were better - didn't occur to me there would be limitations. What about the JVC BR-S822 or similar - are those going to be inferior to a Panasonic AG1980 for playback/digitizing?
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  #7  
07-07-2019, 07:52 PM
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Originally Posted by heavymod View Post
Ouch. Well, good to know. I've let a bunch of high end Sony decks go by over the past two years, so it's good to know I wasn't missing out.

I have a Panasonic AG-1960 for a few years - sitting gathering dust till I get back to my digitizing project. I didn't realize the Panasonic AG-1960 didn't have TBC - so I sold off the two AG-1980s I picked up at auction. Now I feel like I can't start back up until I've got something with internal TBC. I'm probably overthinking it and should just move on, but it's something to scrounge for
The only way (the Only way) to avoid the "browsers remorse" is don't go looking for something you don't have a good reason to go looking for.. It is fun to browse and "window shop" but it will always make you feel poorer.. and obsess over things.. until you are poorer.

You simply don't know what you don't know.. and that will not change unless you get first person experience, or find solid information that convinces you that its a bargain, or something that you need. The former is easy to "Trick yourself into" the latter takes time.

Its almost certain you didn't miss out on any bargains, they were mostly had many years ago. The prices have stuttered back upwards and people don't even bother listing anymore unless its for enough to cover the auction fees and shipping on their side. Many people don't even know what this equipment is for.. it was sold back before they were born.

If you do buy, be sure to ship by FedEx, UPS at the worst.. and don't buy if its listed as shipping by USPS only. Your mileage may vary, but if they list by USPS only they aren't experienced or don't care and its probably junk. If they won't switch to any other shipping method.. you "definitely" don't want that device.

The AG-1960 looks nice, but is a bit primitive compared to what came after it in the 1990's. The AG-1970 was better but not as good as an AG-1980 in its prime (in.. its.. PRIME). The only place to buy a good AG-1980 is from Tgrant Photo these days.. and he prices them fairly for the current market. He also fixes them on a limited scheduled.. you have to get a slot on his schedule before shipping a unit to him for repair. He does a good business with pros who still use the AG-1980 and is a pleasure to do business with.. he takes all kinds of precautions to make sure you don't ship to him too early, and that you pack and ship it so its not damaged and then does the same to make sure it gets back to you. He will tell you if he is too busy, or the conditions under which he won't touch your unit.. self repair attempts are "off limits" he won't waste your time or his on machines people have already tried to repair themselves or that are in pieces.

Its usually best.. if your serious, to look up the ones he has for sale and buy one.. quickly, if you have to wait because of the cost, then don't expect that unit to be up for sale when you return and come back several months later.

TBC's are sometimes available in the market place on this forum, keep an eye out for them. LordSmurf will try to provide guidance and sometimes sells them.. but be careful.. and just forget it when it comes to auction sites.. they go for ridiculous astronomical prices and are probably broken.

Some people have taken to buying DVRs and using them as pass-thru devices to provide the TBC function. Even when they are not being used to record, they take signal in through their Input Jacks clean it up and provide TBC to it, then continuously send it to their Output Jacks. That's because people tended to want to watch while they were recording to make sure they were on the right channel ect.. the happy coincidence is this turned them into standalone signal processors optimized for VHS signals. So even if their DVD burners were "busted" or could not burn a disc anymore.. they were perfectly passable pseudo TBCs. I say pseudo because they were never advertised as this.. and some were much much better than others at the signal clean up.. so you are still better off picking and choosing a DVR to use as a TBC rather than picking up the first one you find.

ps. I should clarify.. not (all) DVRs clean up the signal from Input to Output jacks. Some simply split the signal before taking the copy in that it cleans up and records from. Also not (all) DVRs even pass-thru the Input signal to the Output.. its on a case by case basis. Look around in these forums or others and you will find lots of specific examples of what works.. only bet on a scenario that has already been tested by several other people.. trying it yourself can get costly.

Last edited by jwillis84; 07-07-2019 at 08:12 PM.
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  #8  
07-07-2019, 08:04 PM
heavymod heavymod is offline
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Originally Posted by jwillis84 View Post
The only way (the Only way) to avoid the "browsers remorse" is don't go looking for something you don't have a good reason to go looking for..

The AG-1960 looks nice, but is a bit primitive compared to what came after it in the 1990's. The AG-1970 was better but not as good as an AG-1980 in its prime (in.. its.. PRIME). The only place to buy a good AG-1980 is from Tgrant Photo these days..

Some people have taken to buying DVRs and using them as pass-thru devices to provide the TBC function. Even when they are not being used to record, they take signal in through their Input Jacks clean it up and provide TBC to it, then continuously send it to their Output Jacks. That's because people tended to want to watch while they were recording to make sure they were on the right channel ect.. the happy coincidence is this turned them into standalone signal processors optimized for VHS signals. So even if their DVD burners were "busted" or could not burn a disc anymore.. they were perfectly passable pseudo TBCs. I say pseudo because they were never advertised as this.. and some were much much better than others at the signal clean up.. so you are still better off picking and choosing a DVR to use as a TBC rather than picking up the first one you find.
I buy and resell - when I'm talking about auction sites, I'm not talking about ebay. More like "Here is a pallet of electronics from a highschool audio department." or "here are 5 VCRs from this out of business company". So it really is a crap shoot - price usually isn't the limiting factor, it's shipping logistics or just time spent. So I do try and keep my eye out for nice stuff ( like AG-1980s ).

I sort of assume I'll need to recap anything I get serious about - but looking at what Tgrant photo is doing - ug. That's a lot of damn work, and the mechanical part is definitely not part of my skillset. Would be cool to know more about the waveform analyzer and sourece tapes they are using. Thanks for pointing them out.

WRT the external TBC, what I've read seems to indicate it isn't as good as internal. Is this less of a big deal than I'm making it out to be?

Thanks!
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  #9  
07-07-2019, 08:22 PM
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Internal versus External are worlds apart.

Internal TBC refers to a circuit inside the VCR that is built specifically to sense and adjust for the push and pull of the tape through the machine that stretches and relaxes the tape. This slinky effect stretches and shortens the line width of a video trace across the field. Having "insiders" information it can adjust for mechanical defects introduced into the analog video signals and shorten or lengthen each "line" as needed.. that gives you "sharp" vertical edges in the video frame for capture.

External TBC can roughly approximate line corrections.. but its already traveled a long ways through cables of varying lengths which can't be predicted.. so there is some "smear" to the edge that can't be corrected for.. because it varies for every situation. So edge correction with an External TBC is marginal at best.. if even tried. But The Vertical Blanking Interval and the horizontal and vertical "sync" signals that start and end a line trace and a field or frame can be corrected.. these have to be sychronized for "genlock" when blending two signals or switch from A to B roll for special effects.. ect.. those were "premium features" that broadcast engineers needed.. today they are perfect for correcting sync loss or "up and down" or "side to side" jitter and "tearing or flagging".. you see it as a curved pull to the side at the top of a frame of video.. when its corrected.. that goes away and everything locks on solid and square and the frame doesn't move.

So you need "both".

An External TBC does the lions share of help.. but for a good signal you won't see much of a difference.. for a poor signal you will see a lot of difference.. which most of us need today.

An Internal TBC polishes the signal even more, but you can only get it with a few specific VCRs and they tend to cost a lot of money.

So in order of importance.. an external is more important, then an internal, if you can get both its best.

Beyond "appearance" an external TBC also makes "frame drops" less likely. When a capture device is scooping up video information for a frame.. if some is missing or "not right".. it can't produce digital data for that frame.. and has to throw it away. That becomes a "frame drop".

The problem with frame drops, other than sudden motion jerks in the video.. is that sound is captured by a different path, and that may get captured with no problem. Now you've got too much sound to go with video.. a decision has to be made or you loose "lip sync" or audio and video sync. There are about six possibilities.. you could throw away sound samples.. and introduce pops and clicks in the audio track.. repeat video frames downstream in the video capture software.. try to blend sound samples on the fly to hide pops and clicks.. throw away sound samples to keep audio and video in sync.. capture everything and let it get out of sync and merely report the problem.. gradually push and pull the sync artificially so that over the entire recording lip sync comes and goes. The cheaper the capture device and software the fewer the options.. and all are compromises.

Its far easier to keep capture sessions "short" so maximum sync loss between audio and video are minimized per transfer..and to use TBCs.. not only for visual clarity.. but also to minimize frame drops and audio and video sync loss.

Last edited by jwillis84; 07-07-2019 at 08:36 PM.
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  #10  
07-07-2019, 10:28 PM
heavymod heavymod is offline
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Thanks. lots of good info for me in there! Thanks for clarifying what TBC is doing to correct the mechanical issues. I'll go read up more on setting up a pipeline/workflow. Looks like I've been overly focused on one element to the exclusion of the others.
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  #11  
07-07-2019, 11:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by heavymod View Post
I been looking at the buying guide - is there not a single Sony deck worth using? Even the ones with TBC?
I'm not aware of any non-broadcast Sony decks with line TBC. That's why. Sony offers nothing that we needed to convert VHS to digital with any quality.

Orsetto, the resident VH curmudgeon, and I sound more and more similar these days. He was a pessimist a decade ago, but reality has caught up to him.
So, if you want a 2nd opinion: https://forum.videohelp.com/threads/...ys#post2239649

Quote:
Originally Posted by hodgey View Post
The Sony one is a broadcast deck, i.e SP only, broadcast decks have not been included in the buying guide due to their limitations, and the EV-T2 seems to be very rare.
How the Sony S-VHS decks in general perform image-quality- and tracking-wise I can't speak for, as I haven't used any of them.
Sony's decks were unremarkable, and almost all were early 90s decks. (Note that nothing from JVC/Panasonic, from the early 90s, is ever suggested either. The best gear is from the late 90s and early 00s.) The Video8/Hi8 decks are nothing special, and you'll generally have a better experience just using a good Video8/Hi8 camera.

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Originally Posted by VideoTechMan View Post
There are some good high end Sony decks if you can find them in good running condition. The SLV-R1000 is one of those. You will just have to pair it with a good TBC to make it worthwhile.
You can't "add a TBC". I wish. The closest we can come is to add the Panasonic ES10/15 for passthrough, but it's not transparent, not just TBC(ish). You get the negatives with the positive, such as posterization. The reason S-VHS VCRs are recommended, and only certain models therein, is because of line TBC.

Yes, the list has some non-TBC models, but those are not really "suggested", more like honorable mentions. Each has some interesting uses, nice cooperation with some tapes.

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Originally Posted by jwillis84 View Post
I believe Sony decks .... did not survive long in the resale market.
They also didn't share many components between designs or with other manufacturers so parts were very hard to come by in the after sale market.
This was especially true of the consumer end decks. In the 90s, Sony's VHS decks (not S-VHS!) were generally better than JVC, Panasonic, Magnavox, and most others. Toshiba and Sharp were probably the only better decks, and in a class of their own. But the Sony didn't last. The power supply getting "zapped" (even on UPS) was the exact problem I experienced as well, twice.

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Originally Posted by heavymod View Post
ok, thanks. I 'm pretty active buying from smaller auctions,
Realize this is gambling. Nothing more, nothing less. Most sellers know nothing about video, and it "works" if the front panel lights up. Some actually stick a retail tape into the deck, and if they see any quality picture it is deemed as "working". However, rarely is it the case. eBay is a VCR dumping ground, and probably 85% of all decks are outright bad, including many "working" and "tested" units. Of that final 15%, most get B-/C/F grades, meaning only good for SP at best. Heads are often shot. You have about a 1-2% chance of getting A- graded.

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Originally Posted by heavymod View Post
I would have assumed broadcast decks were better
Nope. Broadcast gear was generally abused. It was run 24/7, never enough maintenance, and not all employees were knowledgeable about video (interns, letting HS students use it, etc). Hobbyists generally take better care of their gear, as do small indy studios. General consumers are worse than broadcasters, between huffing cigarette smoke into the machines, no maintenance, and letting junior stick LEGO and grilled cheese sandwiches into the deck. When you buy broadcast gear, 99% odds it's trashed inside and out. Most is outright faulty now, flaky at best, and in serious need of a cleaning and maintenance. These days, most "broadcast gear" comes from college facilities, where it was doubly abused by coed novices.

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Originally Posted by jwillis84 View Post
You simply don't know what you don't know..
That's one of the reason I now provide gear on the marketplace. I use my contacts to acquire nice lots, refurb as needed. I do all the work, take the mystery and gambling aspect out of the equation. My work, my vetting, known quality items.

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If you do buy, be sure to ship by FedEx, UPS at the worst.. and don't buy if its listed as shipping by USPS only. Your mileage may vary, but if they list by USPS only they aren't experienced or don't care and its probably junk.
None of that is true.

The main problem is packaging properly. I use specific boxes and packing materials, and then pack the item in a specific way. For example, with JVC VCRs, you must protect the faceplate with 3x layers of bubble wrap. If you don't, odds are it'll arrive cracked, if not entirely smashed, as it's just plastic. Not just plastic, but resin-like, so it shatters easily. Then I use large labels. You've bought some of my gear, you've seen my packing work.

The shipper used makes no difference if packed poorly.

I exclusively use USPS because Fedex is infamous in my location, and they're not to be trusted. UPS drivers are notoriously rough with their items, and in too much of a hurry. UPS and Fedex also try to fight insurance claims, rather than fess up to their negligence, and try to weasel out of responsibility with legalese gibberish "fine print".

Quote:
TBC's are sometimes available in the market place on this forum, keep an eye out for them. LordSmurf will try to provide guidance and sometimes sells them.. but be careful.. and just forget it when it comes to auction sites.. they go for ridiculous astronomical prices and are probably broken.
I have several at the moment.

The other aspect about TBCs is that model may not matter, chips do. So, for example, an AVT-8710 isn't necessarily an AVT-8710 you want. The green ones had the good chips, and the black the bad chips. But then you get into the clones, where you have to break seals, dismantle the units to verify chipsets. Which is what I do. And test extensively (a "burn in" test) to verify normal scenario usage. You can't just flip it on, see any image, and deem it to work.

Quote:
Some people have taken to buying DVRs an... they were perfectly passable pseudo TBCs. I say pseudo because they were never advertised as this.
That's not what makes these pseudo, what I refer to as TBC(ish), but rather than the TBC functionality is compromised. Macrovision is allowed to pass. While some may say "I don't have retail tapes", this still does not matter. Macrovisino is an anti-copy, and anti-copy is simple an artificial video error. But real naturally-occurring errors can look like Macrovision, aka false Macrovision (false positive). So it's not a TBC, period. It can be, often acts close to one, but it cannot be trusted. You cannot walk away, and assume the conversion went fine. A more true TBC(ish) setup involves the modded DataVideo DVK or 5000 units, because that specific combo then does 99% of what a real TBC does. Though still with the downsides of the ES10/15 (posterization). Great budget option, shaves a few hundred bucks from a workflow.

Quote:
ps. I should clarify.. not (all) DVRs clean up the signal from Input to Output jacks.
Most do not. Not just "not all".

And DVR = DVD recorders, an important distinction. I don't want somebody trying to hook up a TiVo or something, assuming it can be a TBC.

TBC is such a wide term, and manufacturers often played fast and loose with the term. As I like to joke, I sometimes wonder if my toaster has a TBC. Because it literally was that overused and abused. The ADVC is a perfect example of this, as the "TBC" inside really does almost nothing. The correction is so faint as to be worthless.

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Originally Posted by heavymod View Post
I buy and resell - when I'm talking about auction sites, I'm not talking about ebay. More like "Here is a pallet of electronics from a highschool audio department." or "here are 5 VCRs from this out of business company". So it really is a crap shoot - price usually isn't the limiting factor, it's shipping logistics or just time spent. So I do try and keep my eye out for nice stuff ( like AG-1980s ).
Yes, offline auctions are where the good gear sometimes is. Years ago, I scored a stack of AG-1980, but all had to be recapped. I kept a pair of units for myself, sold the rest. Not much profit in it, since others did the recap work (and I had to pay for it), and it mostly just helped some members here get a guaranteed-good deck.

Quote:
I sort of assume I'll need to recap anything I get serious about - but looking at what Tgrant photo is doing - ug. That's a lot of damn work, and the mechanical part is definitely not part of my skillset. Would be cool to know more about the waveform analyzer and sourece tapes they are using. Thanks for pointing them out.
Tom's attention to detail on the 1980 decks is really quite phenomenal. He re-did some of our decks in years past, and each was quality. Deter is pretty good as well, though TGrant's attention to detail is better. Tom is really careful about the video levels coming out to spec, which is the area where Deter needs improvement. I don't know what all he does, but it's more than just a caps job.

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Originally Posted by jwillis84 View Post
Internal versus External are worlds apart.
The KISS (keep it simple, stupid) definition is this:

- internal line TBC cleans the image
- external frame sync TBC cleans the signal
- you need both

In actuality, line has some signal correction, and frame has some image correction, but the bulk of the corrections are as stated. But this little extra tidbit of knowledge reinforces the idea that both are required.

Anyway, thread is meandering now... no Sony S-VHS deck is worthwhile. That's the take away.

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  #12  
07-08-2019, 01:19 AM
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Originally Posted by lordsmurf View Post
I'm not aware of any non-broadcast Sony decks with line TBC. That's why. Sony offers nothing that we needed to convert VHS to digital with any quality.
...
The other aspect about TBCs is that model may not matter, chips do. So, for example, an AVT-8710 isn't necessarily an AVT-8710 you want. The green ones had the good chips, and the black the bad chips. But then you get into the clones, where you have to break seals, dismantle the units to verify chipsets. Which is what I do. And test extensively (a "burn in" test) to verify normal scenario usage. You can't just flip it on, see any image, and deem it to work.
...
Anyway, thread is meandering now... no Sony S-VHS deck is worthwhile. That's the take away.
Thanks. It hadn't occurred to me to be checking specific chips. What a PITA. It's like the whole trying to remember which vintage gear has that one Phillips IC everyone goes crazy over.

well, I have some other questions I'm sure, but I'll post those in a more appropriate thread. Thanks for the wonderful input and support everyone!
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