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ninjastriker 08-05-2006 08:46 PM

Best Hardware & Software for restoring
This is more directed towards markatsu & LS, but if anyone else has any opinions then its more then welcomed.

Basically I am after info on what type of software and poss hardware I may need for restoring. I know it depends on the type of errors and LS has his digitalfaq site to cover that.

But as their is different type of errors, i would like to know which software is best to fix the problem. Basically I need a run down for each one and poss answers/suggestions on how to fix them or which is the best software/hardware to use.

Including the best settings to use, LS did mention to use soundforge to de hiss a few of my sets. which i did try, but may have done the wrong setting as it sounded worse.

So some advice on which is the best setting to use with soundforge would help also and anythig else i may have miss.

I am more looking at fixing the shows i recorded on VHS a while back, some was done on SP mode, the others on LP. As some of the members here has a few of those sets I did, perhaps i could get a opinion on how i could improve them on what you have seen so far.

I also have a couple of shows on vhs which needs alot of work, so i am not looking for just how to improve on what i recorded. But more advance methods as well for other problems.

Some of the shows i recorded will most probably not air again, so the chance of doing direct to dvd of them is highly unlikly.

So basically I would like to know the best software/hardware to use, including cost and different options i could get. Best method to improve my own vhs sets (as i have the orignal vhs)

Improving vcd files, best way to burn NTSC files with Pal files without loosing quality or how to convert ntsc files to pal?

Fixing video files which has very slow frames when played? how to make smaller files but keeping the high quality?

I think thats about everything I would like to know, but if you have anything else then it would be a great help.

I do have programs like soundforge, dvd workshop 2, procoder 2, ffmpeggui03, headac3he, mpeg-vcr, and dvd decrypter.

Appreciate any help/suggestions anyone may have.

lordsmurf 08-05-2006 10:07 PM

Every situation is different. You have to slowly and carefully consider all your options, test, and be prepared to waste time because you throw away work (because you find a better method and redo it).

In the past week alone, I've done a lot of various restore jobs. Here's a sample of what I've done in recent times, and what I used to achieve a good end product:

#1 - personal Smurfs recordings
I recorded about 100 episodes of Smurfs onto JVC VHS tapes, in S-VHS-ET EP mode. The recordings are very clean, outright beautiful. But to get that gorgeous picture, I have to use the same VCR to play, as I used to record. It's a JVC 3800. So no TBC, but I don't really need one. Now, the signals are flawed, confuses the DVD recorder into thinking is has Macrovision, so my AVT 8710 TBC is a must. Any slighty chroma noise and grain is removed by the LSI filters on the JVC DVD recorder.

#2 - Johnny episode with satellite error
I had 1 episode of Johnny Bravo that was on a faulty satellite feed. It had this weird fuzzy noise in the audio, and the video feed was too dark. Commercials looked great, just the episode was fubar. It was also a bit blurry for no reason. I fixed it as good as the others. I used the JVC 9800 to play the tape, the DR-1000 detailer to sharpen it slightly, and the BVP-4 proc amp to correct the color. I upped the IRE about +0.5 and the luminance about +2 and then boosted the color two notches. That fixed the video. For the audio, I opened it in both Goldwave and SoundForge and compared. I ended up going with the Goldwave NR filter called "light hiss reduction". It basically eliminated the hiss, but with zero side effects to the remaining audio. It was noise cancellation technique and some frequency removal. The episode is indistinguishable from the others, easily A+ quality. Any slighty chroma noise and grain is removed by the LSI filters on the JVC DVD recorder.

#3 - The Fat Man
I tackled a really terrible VHS tape of a movie that is both unreleased and not shown on tv. This is a VHS copy of a copy (you get the idea) from a 16mm reel transfer. The video never left SP mode, so most of the detail was fine, not much grain. The problem is my copy suffered timebase flaws, severe ones. A standalone TBC did almost nothing with it. The TBC on the JVC made it worse. The image was all wavy and wiggly, and the audio was full of whining and hissing. The video also had a bit too much contrast. I played the tape in the JVC 9800, with no TBC, HiFi audio, and no stabilizer or other correction. Picture mode was normal (slight cleaning). The VCR fed into the Panasonic ES10 DVD recorder, which has an amazing sync filter (so do JVC D-VHS machines), and at least 99% of the wavy and wiggly problem went away. The video was locked into a picture free of that horrid noise. I used the BVP-4 to up the resolution slightly, as well as remove all color (the movie is B&W, but tapes add chroma noise tints), and adjusted the B&W a bit. The tape actually had a wide range of grays stored, but was heavy on the B&W, so I simply brought out more grays. I recorded the tape to the JVC DVD recorder. The DR-1000 also upped the detail a bit, not much. I demuxed the audio/video and dumped the audio into Goldwave, and ran a cancellation against the generated noise pattern from the beginning of the file. The hiss was gone, but this shrill high-pitch whine was left. I looked in SoundForge, but I found nothing to my satisfaction (nor could I make anything new). I tried Goldwave again, and the "light hiss reduction" filter actually killed all of it. Apparently the whine resides in a very high frequency and was cut by the filter.

#4 - Macross specials collection
These tapes had the "flagging" error at the top of the screen, where video would move all around. Again, the Panasonic ES10 fixed it. Slight noise in the audio, and again, I used Goldwave on it. I think I did SoundForge on one too, to change the pitch quality and enlarge the normalization curve. Any slighty chroma noise and grain is removed by the LSI filters on the JVC DVD recorder.

cp32 08-06-2006 02:03 AM

If you are unfamiliar with Adobe premier. You want jump into editing right away. Sony vegas is more user friendly for novice. It also runs well on older machines too :D
Just some drag n drop, adjusting effectings where you want them on the timeline. It is touchy . you have dead on . Or its all off.

Here's an example what you can do with Vegas
Its a intro clip I created for my husband band dvd. I m working on.

Import it to Workshop Auto fade in & out. I love that feature. No audio editing [88] It fits perfectly with the video [:p]

It's only 5mb . A sample what you can do with it :D
The finished clip fades out... The Main menu Starts [8D]

Used a combo of LS & GR menu ideas. X men layout combined with Gr1's use of intros & buttons . Makes a Great DVD :D

You can use quicktime files as clips. It will convert the files. However, The catch is you have clean them up & resize . Otherwise you get an overly bright pixelated clip :P

I followed LS guide on Digital Faq to resize the resolution for download files etc.

Since Tmpeg plus wouldnt import the .mov file. I encoded through procoder first

- added some filters : color correction, circular blur ( jst a little ) , Tv safe reduce luminance. Your clip will be brighter on the Tv screen. Which you know :P . Encoded to Mpeg2 > encoded yet again through Tmpeg plus.

Then took the mpeg file

Followed LS guide for resizing resolution for downloaded avi files etc. It works for quicktime too . Resized because although procoder encoded it. You have a stretched out clip with loads of pixelation.

Resized it yet again. Added noise reduction filter, de interlaced ( none) , Ghost ( removed any ghosting, blurred the edges a litte, color correction - made the mov. a little darker,

encoded to Mpeg2.

Sounds like a lot of time encodig. Not really. Those clips are only 10 -20 seconds per.
A whole 2- 5 minutes per clip :P

added a audio clip I like. "bad Horsie -Steve Vai" Until I get their cd later this week [:p]. You get the idea

I think vegas is a good program for those who lack patience to spend hours on Premier learning ;). Premier would be Step 2 for me [88]

ninjastriker 08-06-2006 08:14 PM

I do have my Pioneer dvr-230 dvd recorder, for other Hardware, which ones would i would actually need to get for my tapes?

would i just need the SignVideo (Studio1) DR-1000 image enhancer (detailer)and DataVideo TBC-1000 and AVT-8710 timebase correctors?

How much do these actually cost and where could i get them?

For software i have the first two lots covered, but i will get TMPGEnc, Goldwave, VirtualDub and AviSynth as well. Also which is better to get tmpgEnc plus or xpress?

LS as you have seen my 22 disc set of M.A.S.K. (before i upgraded it to the complete 17 disc set) and you seen my marvel 90s sets.

What type of improving could i do to those sets? I know i would need to de hiss them with soundforge, but i am more looking at improving them picture quality wise.

Lets say i re did my Iron man 90s set (i got a new menu ready for it), would recording it on M1 mode instead of M2 mode and then resizing it back to the M2 mode size. Would that make a difference at all quality wise?

How would i go about to resizing the file itself, if i got my aspects right. lets say normally from 720x600 to half that size.

I have seen that some traders can get 8 episodes onto a dvd and keep the quality. i normally do 5 episodes a dvd, sometimes i can get 6 onto a dvd.

But i am more in rezing them for the 45 min shows, as half the times i can only get 2 episodes a dvd. Its rare i can get 3 episodes onto a dvd, relic hunter is the only one i was able to do that with.

Back to the example: After that what software improvements to the quality could i actually make? I want to improve my past VHS sets, but i don't know which is the best way to improve them picture wise.

I have played about with the filters before, but i don't fully know which is the best to use or what to use them for.

I have kept the orignal VHS (I will never throw those away) so re doing them again from VHS is no problem. You did mention on a pass e-mail for Iron man and i quote

"Having come from a recent tv airing, the set come have been closer to
perfect, given the right equipment."

That iron man set i did was with my old philips dvd recorder, but since i got the new Pioneer dvd recorder it wouldn't have the inherent amoeba macroblocking as you mentioned on the e-mail.

So it would improve it slighty in one aspect, but what equipment would i need to make it near perfect in your standards of quality?

If you could give me some basis i could work on, as once i paid of quite a bit of my credit card this month i plan on getting the new hardware and a few of the software.

I have pretty much delayed doing my VHS sets partly because it may re air, the other part is because i wanted to learn how to actually restore them so i can improve the VHS sets i recorded a few years back.

lordsmurf 08-06-2006 10:31 PM

The Marvel and M.A.S.K. sets need a good VCR. I'm talking about a JVC high-end unit with built-in line TBC and filters. I have a JVC HR-S7965EK, which is sold in the UK and built in Germany at the JVC plant. The SR-V10E and HR-S8965EK are others for PAL for Australia and Europe. Older 7500 and 9500 should also be fine, 7860 is another. I'm not aware of every model number like I am with the USA ones, so there may be a few more. It would be in the 7000-9000 number range, no lower, or an SR Pro series.

To work with digital transfers equipment, you'll need a TBC. The European version of the AVT-8710 is the CTB-100.

You can use the Pioneer, but it will not be as good as JVC DR-M100 would be. The Pioneer records nicely, but it does better from perfect sources (direct recordings). For tape work, a machine with filters would be preferable. The JVC is the best option, as it has both LSI chipset filters, and it's own JVC filters too.

If you skip the JVC and use the Pioneer, there are some software corrections that can be done to re-captured video footage, using VirtualDub filters. By the way, VirtualDub filters are not included with the base vdub package (well, some are, but not many). I can give you my filter pack when the time comes.

Your video needs to be 352x480 with a good bitrate, in the 3000-4000k VBR range. That is optimal, and it will put about 3 hours on a disc. Depending on the length of the episode, that could be anywhere from 6 to 10 episodes on a disc. I don't know what your Pioneer does for the 3-hour mode. You should capture some footage, then open the VOB file in GSPOT and see what the max bitrate flag and resolution are set to.

You do not need a detailer or proc amp for the Marvel 60s or M.A.S.K. You merely need noise reduction, and a good VCR and a good DVD recorder will do it.

If needed, I would just assume you re-capture the video at 1-hour mode on the DVD recorder, and then filter and encode to a more reasonable size in Procoder, just beore authoring. Depending on the filtering, you may have to encode 2-3 times, but it should not be damaged, if everything is handled properly.

The VCR is what you've got to find. They are getting more difficult to locate.

Your biggest killer to date has been the cheap blank VHS tapes and the cheap blank DVDs. The Philips recorder did not help any either, but the blank media was the source of the errors.

This is pretty nice: JVC DR-MH200S (DVD recorder with hard drive):

This is the JVC DR-M100S
This is the EXACT UNIT I own in my bedroom. I cannot suggest it enough.

lordsmurf 08-06-2006 10:46 PM

Go buy this right now:

It is a JVC HR-S7986EK. Currently 0 bids with a start of 30
I paid about 300 for mine. It's worth at least 200-250

This is a one of those deals you may never see again. If you're not going to buy it, let me know, I might buy it and re-sell it for a tidy profit. The guy listed it with a crappy title, so it will fall rather low on the radar because of it. People searching for "s-vhs" or model numbers won't find it.

I'd be really happy if you won it. That is the 1 piece of equipment that stands between what you have made, and what you want to make, in terms of quality.

ninjastriker 08-08-2006 12:34 AM

I was too late LS, some idiot called powerdrago12 did a buy it now and got it instead. :(

Oh wait that's me.:D:D:D[8D]

Thanks for the info LS, i was actually just looking for one a minute ago. Good thing i check the board or i wouldn't of seen it.

Lucky I have some money in paypal to cover half the cost and the rest i can pay via credit card. So once i get that in my pocession what would be the next step, i am going to stick with my pioneer for the time being.

I may look at getting the JVC dvd recorder when my current one wears out, i only had it since Februaury and i am happy with it for the time being. vast improvement then my past dvd recorder.

markatisu 08-08-2006 03:54 AM

Once you get the SVHS Curtis play with the features (Soft/Sharp/Normal/Edit as well as any other features you might not have seen)

Sometimes they can really help a tape transfer nicely (using Soft or Normal) and somtimes they can hurt one (in which case using the EDIT setting might be best) but they are much more powerful in the restoration dept then a regular VCR so learn the functions to use to your advantage

ninjastriker 08-08-2006 08:10 PM

Well i just paid for it this morning, so i should get in a few days time.

But i will be playing around with the features anyway when i get it, well once i have read the instructions first. When i get it i will most probably do a few tests, and ask here if i need any more help with it.

I will most probably do a test disc with one of the iron man first and then ask here on what else i might have to do with it. Once done i will most probably send it to you or LS to check over to see if it is good to continue or needs more work.

If i can successfully do a decent enough disc with LS seal of approval, then i can go back and get my vhs sets re done.

So out of those 3 settimgs which is the best to use, or does it all depend on the tape itself and whats needed.

I am basically going to use my iron man set as the test set. So you could compare what you got and what i will send an can give me some feedback about it.

I expect full honesty and to be brutal about it. I am only just starting to do this, so no beating about the bush or i won't learn.

I will let you guys know once i got it and done the first disc, so we can go from their.

lordsmurf 08-08-2006 09:15 PM

It all depends on the tape. My suggestion is to first try with the TBC on (it's in the menu on PAL 7965 units, not a button anywhere), B.E.S.T. on Normal, and calibration and stabilizers turned OFF. That works fine for probably 75% of videos.

If your tapes were recorded on a HiFi stereo VCR, I doubt you'll need to mess with audio. It all depends.

Ideally, you could capture all the tapes and merely remove commercials and then author.

What is the exact model number of your Pioneer? Hopefully, you can just record directly to an MPEG file, and then no further video work is needed. Again, ideally. It may not turn out that way, we'll have to wait and see.

And I've got some really nice Iron Man 1996 artwork. I could help make a menu for a set. Same for Hulk 1996. BTW, F4 1996 is released on DVD, no need to fix it.

ninjastriker 08-09-2006 12:21 AM

All my tape work was done with my tv-vcr combi, which i do hear a slight hiss when i play them.

my dvd recorder is the Pioneer DVR-230. As for menus, well i already have one ready for iron man. The hulk i have a few ideas, but haven't sat down to sort one out.

Fantastic four i scrapped doing that when i heard of the release. Pity the UK didn't get a full release of it.

I actually put together a list last night on what vhs projects i plan to do, which i will most probably list later or once i have tested the first disc to see if it works.

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