Quantcast Recommended (available) TBC? - digitalFAQ Forum
  #1  
07-06-2018, 02:47 AM
Sac John Sac John is offline
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I wrote a post in March of last year asking about TBC's to fix the constant glitches I was getting by connecting a Hi-8 to a DV camera (with analog in's and digital out) and on to my editing appliance. It just flat out didn't work. Every second or third cut in the source footage caused the capturing appliance to glitch.

Lordsmurf was so persuasive about the DataVideo TBC-1000 that I'm still convinced to this day that that's the best unit for my purposes for under $500, just based on his recommendation. But I hesitated a few extra days back then to do more research and by that time his units for sale were gone. I just checked and a recent few he had are also now gone. I don't know how often pristine units come along.

I've put off this encoding project for years and I can't procrastinate it anymore. Mom is getting very old and needs to see these videos. (It's also a BIG project as I've got upwards of 200 tapes.)

I'm now going from a Hi-8 camcorder to [whatever TBC I purchase] to my iMac.

Can anyone strongly recommend a TBC that absolutely will not disappoint me? On the Mac forum, the ADVC300 came highly recommended, but that got shot down when I mentioned it here a year ago.

I've been watching eBay for a DataVideo TBC-1000 and there's not one to be had.

Where else to turn? With 200 tapes, though, whatever TBC I purchase has got to work. I can't fuss with a half-strength TBC. I've had my fill of fussing with glitches ... lots of lost hours ... and this has got to work properly so I can get these tapes finished forever.
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  #2  
07-06-2018, 05:37 AM
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lordsmurf lordsmurf is offline
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I have some good news for you. PM'd.

In terms of "available" TBCs, the outlook is not good. What I see is most ancient broadcast rackmount stuff, the defective black AVT-8710 units, and then the "no really TBC but better than nothing" ES10.

The market for gear is getting somewhat depressing.
- At least 95% of all VCRs I see are either junky consumer stuff, abused pro decks, or damaged/"for parts only" JVC/Panasonic gear that is a suggested model. That narrow 5% that's left usually needs some maintenance or alignment tweaking (at minimum) be to good again.
- Where did all the TBCs go?
- ATI AIW models are disappearing. I've not seen a 7000 series PCI AIW in 2 years.

My advice = when you see what you want, and the price is doable (though maybe not ideal), snap it up before somebody else does.

I collect Marvel Legends figures ($10-20 each, a few per year), and it reminds me of video gear. You sometimes hear about deals (example: somebody on Facebook found Hit Monkey BAF Archangel for $35 some months back, instead of $125+ going rate), but I never see such deals. When you finally do see the figure you want, it's generally for more than you'd hoped to spend. But if you don't get it, the next time you see it, the price is actually higher. I made the mistake of passing on Stryfe in 2013, clearance priced no less, and now regret it. I again passed on it a year ago, for $45, and now it's $100 range. I recently just sucked it up, and bought Beast for under $45. By next year, odds are it will be $75-125 range for sure, as more X-MEN are released, and people hunt it down to complete their set.

But unlike toys, which is a fickle market, video gear is pretty stable. So buy it, use it, resell it when the times comes. That time me be months or years, but value will still be there. Maybe not 100% value, but at least 50-75%, as is the case with quality photo lenses. Some lenses from the 70s-90s still fetch 100%+ value.

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  #3  
07-06-2018, 03:22 PM
dpalomaki dpalomaki is offline
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Quote:
My advice = when you see what you want, and the price is doable (though maybe not ideal), snap it up before somebody else does.
AMEN!

Quote:
Mom is getting very old and needs to see these videos.
I feel your dilemma. Moms and dads (and grandparents) get older buy the day (mine are 95 now) and some times viewing the old memories just cannot wait for serious restoration. And 200 tapes is a major effort, especially if you have a day job.

Just a thought for your consideration: The content can be more important than the image quality as memory fills in the faded data. If time is short perfect can be the enemy of good enough, especially if hearing and/or eye sight is failing. If the glitches are transient at scene changes they can be forgiven in the interest of seeing the material. It may make sense to make a quick capture to DVD for viewing to get the story behind the video, and later on when time permits do the necessary cleanup/restoration for your family archive, adding the back story.

And mom may be happy to relive the memory, even if though a clouded window, I know mine was.
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  #4  
07-18-2018, 06:43 PM
Sac John Sac John is offline
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Thanks for the kind sentiments, dpalomaki.

But no, the glitches were not transient at scene changes. They were full destruct. The video editing appliance I used, a Casablanca Kron, supposedly the best there was for the era, would do a variety of things at hard cuts on the tape ... the two most common being 1) stopping the transcoding entirely and 2) splitting the screen ... the old "vertical hold" from analog TV days when the top half of the image would be on the bottom and the bottom would be on top. It would never recover when it glitched like that. The whole rest of the tape was ruined ... and I'd rarely get more than a few minutes into the tape - whenever the first few cuts in the footage appeared.

But I no longer have any intention of using that appliance to transcode and edit. If my memory is right, it had no way to access the data on the internal hard drive other than to burn a DVD. I even found a thread right here on digitalfaq where LS did some looking around and found the my editor has no reliable TBC on board.

If I'm able to find a quality TBC, I plan to move entirely over to my Mac. The goal right now is to just get all those tapes over onto a hard drive, with no cuts and edits. Just load one tape into the drive in its entirety and then move onto the next tape. I just want it all digital - all 200+ tapes. Then, as time permits, I'll start making edited home movies out of them.

That'll also bring me into the 21st century, with learning video editing on a Mac in general ... and eventually loading 4K video from my newest camera.

-- merged --

LS, (or any super-knowledgeable person following my thread),

Your advice about not running the audio of an analog tape through a TBC got me wondering. If I'm going to let a two-hour analog tape (with dozens and dozens of scenes) play uninterrupted to capture on my Mac ... is there much possibility that I'm going to be seeing any audio sync problems?

I've pretty much given up compressing movie DVDs because the only software I have for that (Handbrake for Mac) fails every time to sync the audio to the video for the entire duration of the movie. There are whole tutorials online for how to adjust for that, but I haven't bothered.

I understand that what I'm doing here - converting analog tapes to digital files via a camcorder to TBC1000 to Sony PD150 (as the digitizer) to Mac - is a completely unrelated process to compressing DVDs, but I'm still wondering if audio sync is going to become an issue at any point in these 200+ videos I'll be converting.

And if so, any thoughts about how to ensure against such a thing so I don't have to fuss with correcting it afterwards.

-John
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  #5  
07-18-2018, 07:28 PM
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lordsmurf lordsmurf is offline
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With capturing, audio is usually de-sync'd due to frame drops.

Unrelated, the TBC-1000 also has a distribution amp. The TBC-1000 is a TBC-100 card married to a VP-299 distro amp. The TBC processing adds a 1 frame delay, and it's unclear if the VP-299 delays the audio with it. However, 1 frame is 1/30th of a second, or 1/30th of 1000ms. Most people don't notice any lag until 200ms, or about 1/5th of 1000s (6 frames worth). If you're really discerning, good eye at video, you can notice 100ms, or 3 frames worth. You'll never notice 1 frame. Remember that lag is also introduced further up the chain, to the original sources, and can be +/-.

The reason you bypass distro amp is because it's not needed. You should always remove as much as possible in a workflow. You never want non-essential devices in the chain when not in use. TBC-1000 is essential for video, but not audio. Everything in a workflow adds to potential vectors of problems, usually somewhere to introduce noise.

Sync loss can also be incurred at the capture software, still usually dropped frames. By using a Mac, you're doing a not-suggested method of capture.

Audio sync is just something you need to test for.

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  #6  
08-01-2018, 05:57 PM
Sac John Sac John is offline
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Good. Thanks for the insight, LS.

It doesn't sound (From your post) like I'm going to be running into any serious problems with audio sync ... but I get that I still need to keep an eye on it.

-- merged --

Okay ... time to buckle down and do this thing. I now have a DataVideo TBC-1000 time base corrector ... and a corner of the house dedicated to this project of encoding well over 200 Hi8 tapes, closer to 300.

I plan to go from Hi8 analog camcorder (for playback) to the time base corrector to Sony PD150 camcorder (to convert analog inputs to miniDV output) to a Firewire/Thunderbolt adapter to the (late 2013) iMac's Thunderbolt inputs. Only video runs through the TBC. Audio goes directly from Hi8 to Sony PD150.

Without buying a new computer, is there any reason to set up this workflow any differently than what I have planned?

Any changes I can make that will create a noticeable difference in outcome?
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  #7  
08-04-2018, 07:28 AM
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lordsmurf lordsmurf is offline
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These Hi8 setups tend to be easier than VHS, at least once you have all the hardware in place. The tapes are generally more cooperative. At least in theory.

camera >
TBC >
capture card

- Lossless preferred
- MPEG can be satisfactory, PAL 4:2:0 DV as well
- NTSC 4:1:1 loses 50%+ color data, so not that great, but it will work

I've read about issues with Firewire/Thunderbolt adapters for DV work, but never dealt with it personally.

I'm not a huge fan of the VC500 cards, but many here use it with good results. I know that a VC500 for Mac exists, but never tried one. I'm not really sure what you'd capture with, as VirtualDub doesn't work natively on Mac. I don't think Wine or a VM will allow it to connect to the hardware. But something to investigate (and share your findings here).

Video was always a Windows world. You can do some things with Linux, but almost nothing on Mac.

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  #8  
08-04-2018, 05:28 PM
hodgey hodgey is offline
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I will make a more detailed thread about it tomorrow, but you can in fact capture lossless (with ut video) using the bundled (videoglide) software with the mac version of the VC500. Be aware though that they use different hardware than the regular VC500 (which has a conexant chip). We got two here, both are empia based but one uses a Trident SAA7113H chip for video decoding (which may be decent-ish). The other one has a single empia EM2980 chip, which I can barely find anything about. This may be a better option than using DV if you are stuck with macOS.
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  #9  
08-06-2018, 01:14 PM
Sac John Sac John is offline
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Thanks for the reply, LordSmurf and Hodgey.

I guess this is where I reveal my naivete on these matters.

I had, until this point, not even been aware that I need a capture card. I was under the impression that I would be going from my Hi8 to the TBC to the Sony PD150 camcorder (for analog to digital conversion) ... and then from the Sony PD150 straight to the Mac through a firewire/thunderbolt cable.

Ya'll are now saying there's another piece of hardware? An external video capture card?

Please help me understand what happens if I were to go straight from the Sony PD150 to the iMac without using an external capture card. I've never encountered one of these things nor ever had use for one, so I don't really understand why I need one when the Mac (from what I've read) seems to input digital video.

Or is the Sony PD150 the video capture device we're talking about? Is a video capture card simply an analog to digital converter - just like the PD150? (Note that the PD150 has RCA inputs and miniDV out, hence me using it for A/D conversion.)
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  #10  
08-06-2018, 01:45 PM
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lordsmurf lordsmurf is offline
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That Sony is a DVCAM camcorder. Some DV cameras can also act as the capture device, some not. I'm not sure what the exact model camera can or cannot do, but the manual probably specifies it.

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  #11  
08-06-2018, 01:57 PM
Sac John Sac John is offline
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It sounds from what you wrote that my PD150, then, is the video capture device you were referring to. I've already used it in the past as an A to D converter, so I know it does that. I just wasn't clear on whether that function is what we refer to as a "video capture card".

Can I ask you one more question, LS? I haven't yet decided what software I'll use to import the video ... QuickTime, iMovie, something else. I'll do the research and pick something.

But when we import video using something like, say, iMovie (or anything else) ... are there usually a bunch of import settings that have to be learned and selected?

Or is importing video just a matter of capturing whatever I send into the computer ... with no actual "settings" on the computer involved? Is it basically "Just hit record on the computer and play on the camcorder"?
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  #12  
08-06-2018, 02:29 PM
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Whatever you use software-wise must have a dropped frames counter. You don't want to capture blindly, and not know what's going on.

The main settings for capture are
- framerate (29.97/25)
- interlace (LEAVE INTERLACED SOURCE AS INTERLACED!)
- resolution (720x480/576 SD) video codec
- audio codec/settings (ie 48kHz stereo PCM)

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  #13  
08-06-2018, 02:42 PM
Sac John Sac John is offline
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Thank you, LS!

That little post just saved me a lot of learning curve time.

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  #14  
08-06-2018, 04:11 PM
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lordsmurf lordsmurf is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sac John View Post
Thank you, LS!
That little post just saved me a lot of learning curve time.
That's my goal.

When I started in digital video, there were no guides, nobody to ask. I was a pioneer. And it was rough going for that first years there, almost 20 years ago. Just me and the software/hardware manual, which was of little use.

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