Quantcast AVT-8710 troubleshooting help - digitalFAQ Forum
  #1  
02-19-2011, 03:43 PM
Caesar30 Caesar30 is offline
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I am at my wits end trying to get an AVT-8710 to work, and I'm hoping someone out there has some good advice for me.

I have my cheap, standard Panasonic 4-head VCR hooked into an old AGP All-In-Wonder 9000 card. This setup has worked well for me and I'm very happy with the simple, but effective, tuning and capture controls on the AIW software.

The problem is that the AIW is very sensitive to tape problems, and I get a lot of 'false macrovision' blurs on many of the tapes that I try to convert. After testing out a cheap 'digital stabilizer', and discovering that it does nothing for false macrovision, I decided to bite the bullet and purchase a full-on TBC. The AVT-8710 comes highly recommended on this forum for it's cost effectiveness and I had high hopes for it.

I purchased one through an auction site and I was happy with it for about 70 minutes. After 70 minutes the bottom row of lights started blinking as if it was looking for a signal, and the screen went to color bars. After some methodical trial and error I realized that the box was overheating. If I run the box sitting on top of an ice pack (wrapped in a towel to keep out moisture) it can run fine indefinitely. Without the coolant it runs for about 70-80 minutes before giving me the color bars (45 minutes if I try to use any of the tint/color/contrast controls). From other threads on this forum and others I know that the unit is known to overheat, but overheating in less than an hour just isn't normal from what I've read.

So I went an bought a brand new AVT-8710 from B&H yesterday. This new one will run for only 6-10 minutes before giving me color bars. The color bars do not automatically come with the blinking lights, but the lights do start to blink eventually if I keep it plugged in. I haven't tried running the new one on a cooling pad, because it does not feel overly warm when it fails. To my thinking failing in 6 minutes is just too quick to be overheating, and the unit itself must be defective. It was the last one in stock at B&H, which raises flags with me. As a side note I noticed that the color coming out of this new box is much more rich than the box I received from the auction.

So, thinking that it is too much of a coincidence that I could have 2 of these things fail on me, I switched out my cables from the super-cheap component cables I was using to moderately priced ones. This has had no effect on either of the boxes.

And so here I am. The way I see it my options are to:
1) return both boxes to their respective sellers and buy another AVT-8710 (or comparable TBC) to see if it will work for me.

2) keep the auction TBC and just run it on a cooling pad. I'm worried, however, that I would be keeping an item which is on its last legs and is just going to fail completely within a month or two. Also this box will have limited resale value if it has this overheating problem.

3) keep the new AVT (return the auction AVT) and rely on AVT customer support to replace the unit or help me figure out what is wrong.

I feel like I must be missing something obvious. Switching out my VCR or AIW card really isn't an option. Any advice from AVT-8710 users, or any TBC users out there? It would be greatly appreciated.

Last edited by Caesar30; 02-19-2011 at 04:29 PM.
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  #2  
02-21-2011, 04:06 AM
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lordsmurf lordsmurf is offline
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Quote:
into an old AGP All-In-Wonder 9000 card. This setup has worked well for me and I'm very happy with the simple, but effective, tuning and capture controls on the AIW software.
These setups serve owners quite well, myself included. Those ATI AIW Radeon AGP cards are hard to beat for quality and performance, even with higher end pro cards from Matrox, etc.

Quote:
The problem is that the AIW is very sensitive to tape problems, and I get a lot of 'false macrovision' blurs on many of the tapes that I try to convert. After testing out a cheap 'digital stabilizer', and discovering that it does nothing for false macrovision, I decided to bite the bullet and purchase a full-on TBC. The AVT-8710 comes highly recommended on this forum for it's cost effectiveness and I had high hopes for it.
This is actually a problem for almost any capture card, DVR, DVD recorder, etc -- the Hollywood PACs have pressured the video recording industry for almost 35 years now, to do all they could to prevent home users from recording anything. Ironic how many recording devices, and blank media, are made by the same corporations that own the studios. It's like punching yourself in the face.

Anyway, on to the AVT-8710 issues...

Quote:
standard Panasonic 4-head VCR
Honestly, I'd blame the VCR first. If it won't put out a constant signal, the next device in line will eventually give up. Not all AVT-8710s are from the same design specs. I'd guess that one gives up earlier than the other.

Remember that these are "full frame" TBCs. A video error is usually just a line, or several lines. But eventually, it can get into multi-frame problems. When that happens, a device that defaults to a "blue screen" or "test pattern" will likely jump to that pattern. The AVT-8710 is such a device. The DataVideo TBC-1000 has no such blue/test screen, so it can deal with this unusual scenario a bit better.

For the AVT-8710 to be considered "overheating" you'd have to almost wonder if the case was going to melt. If it's not so hot that you can't stand to hold it in your hands for 5 solid seconds, then overheating isn't the issue.

Unit A = auction buy
Unit B = B&H buy

Then again, if Unit A is fine for only 70-80 minutes, but works forever with cooling, that would seem like heat related problems. I have similar issues with my laptops and Mac minis. Each of those is run with aluminum notebook pads underneath. You could consider a small 12" notebook cooling pad. Not a cheap one, but one of the Zalman pads ($30-50 range): http://www.amazon.com/gp/redirect.ht...reative=390957

Honestly, the VCR should be first to go. This is a known problem on consumer-grade Panasonic VCRs -- especially anything from late 90s or early 2000s.

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  #3  
02-23-2011, 01:21 AM
Caesar30 Caesar30 is offline
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Thanks for the advice, LS. I had been thinking about upgrading the VCR. Your post has given me more to consider.

I ended up returning both AVTs and picking up yet another one. The new one works well, recording for about 5 hours straight without a hitch or the need for a coolant. If it hadn't of worked I would have probably given up on using the AVT.

When I realized it finally worked I nearly danced a jig. For the last X number of years I had my computer set up so that I would record what I could with the AIW card, and then those tapes with too much false Macro would get recorded with a Hauppauge WinTV Go using the AIW Multimedia Centre software. The WinTV Go picture is pretty bad, especially compared to the AIW, but the Hauppauge cards don't do any kind of Macro detection. I thought about getting a better Hauppauge card (the 250 and 350 cards get good reviews), but I don't like the capture software options available for those cards. I've become too accustomed to the AIW software. Now, thanks to the TBC, I can record everything through the AIW, which is going to be so much easier.

Now that I have the TBC issue settled I can look more closely at getting a better VCR. The TBC works well, but when the picture jumps/freezes/ghosts due to tape errors I can't help but think that a better VCR would reduce the number of times that a bad signal gets pushed out to the TBC.

Thanks again.
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  #4  
02-27-2011, 09:19 PM
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deter deter is offline
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Caesar30,

Here is the deal with the AVT8710, if the signal is not strong enough you will get the color bars. For me when using this for my betamax tapes, I run it thru a JVC 7900U than to the AVT8710 (w/ S-video). I never had another problem with the color bars.

(Unless the tape gets messed up like a bad cut commercial or something)

- a damaged signal you may get those bars

These units can last a few hours before you need to unplug them and let them cool down. If you leave it running for 24 hours, it may not work as well.

I found the buttons on the device to be very cheap & easy to break.

Overall it works pretty nice, but not good for all videos.
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  #5  
02-27-2011, 10:09 PM
NJRoadfan NJRoadfan is offline
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Keep in mind that most stuff made by Cypress Technology (the AVT-8710 is a re-branded Cypress CTB-100) tends to be "quirky" or suffer from quality issues. This is based on past experience with other video products they have put out like transcoders and upscalers.

(knocks on wood) Mine has been working fine for the most part. Once I got some vertical lines on the output, but a power cycle fixed it.
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02-28-2011, 12:16 PM
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I get nifty honeycomb patterns from time to time. All it takes is a reset. I've isolated the cause to wonky computer-generated incoming signals (VCR blue screens, laptop input, etc). Panasonic/Samsung VCRs are the worst offenders.

As an added tip, I use a cheap $5 power strip from Walmart (sometimes mistakenly referred to as a "surge protector"), as the AVT-8710 power button. It's easier than unplugging the unit when not in use. Just flip the switch. I have several items in the office, and around the house, that lack proper switches, and these always work nicely.

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