Quantcast BVP-4 vs BVP-4 Plus. Any major differences? - digitalFAQ Forum
  #1  
04-30-2011, 05:39 AM
Tuco Tuco is offline
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Are there any major differences between the Elite Video BVP-4 and BVP-4+ procAmps? I've been offered a working BVP-4 ( not + ) on Craigslist for only $50 in working condition because the seller isn't into video hardware and wants to dump it. He lives about 10 miles outside D.C., so he's close and said I can stop by and look at it if need-be. I'm ready to jump on it, but I wanted an expert opinion first. From the pictures he sent me, it has the same inputs as the + version and appears to have the same controls ( hard to read them from the photos ). All I can see is a color difference between the two. I plan on going over and taking a look at it first maybe today or tomorrow, so I was wondering if anyone here can give me some tips on what to look for, aside from the obvious. Any help or info is much appreciated!

Thanks!

-- Tuco

Last edited by Tuco; 04-30-2011 at 05:52 AM.
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  #2  
05-03-2011, 06:00 AM
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No, I do not believe so.
But I would have to check some documentation -- and I have no idea where it is right now.

I'd have replied sooner, but it was the weekend AND weather has knocked out internet over and over and over again lately.

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  #3  
05-03-2011, 08:12 AM
Tuco Tuco is offline
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No problem.

I think I'm going to ahead and grab it. I mean for $50 its still a steal and HAS to be better than the procAmp in my CTB-100

Still interested in whether there are any differences. If I find out, I'll post them here.
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  #4  
05-03-2011, 07:51 PM
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Quote:
HAS to be better than the procAmp in my CTB-100
It most certainly is!

Good price, grab it. You could easily pay double or more for a BVP4 in good condition.
(Prices used to be much higher, but fell to around $100-150 this year.)

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  #5  
05-04-2011, 04:04 AM
Tuco Tuco is offline
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Picked up the unit today and there were a few things different from this guy's listing. First of all he said it was working, but there is no power supply and therefore he said "Oh sorry, this is UNTESTED". How can you test it and say its working when you never had the power supply. He said he forgot to edit the post. I was ready to deck him right there in the parking lot . I already sent him money via PayPal beforehand, so I wasn't just going to walk away without it. FYI - this is my first dealing with CraigsList.

Anyway, now that I've vented the good news is I can easily grab a power supply from Radio Shack. Also the unit looks brand new; just a little dust from where it was in the storage unit. I ordered the power supply today online because my local Radio Shack didn't have it.

I will post pictures and a review once the power supply arrives.
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  #6  
05-04-2011, 04:21 AM
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I don't much like Craigslist. It's like an even shadier version of eBay. "Forgot" to edit the post --- yeah.

I recently bought an Elite Video BVP-4 Plus from a member on this site, and it's in use this very minute. (Taking advantage of the cooler weather to run gear at night, save on electric costs.) It came with a non-original AC adapter with Panasonic brand markings. No idea what it came from. The unit is almost perfect. It outperforms the others.

Another unit was bought used, like yours, with no power supply. It was closer to $500 many years ago! It uses a Radio Shack replacement adapter, but there is power line noise on the gear sometimes. I think the Radio Shack adapter is causing it. It wasn't always like this, but it's developed over time.

So watch for that. Just a warning.

You'll probably feel stupid, but you could have picked up a cheap adapter locally, from Walmart. I have one that was purchased recently, to test against the Radio Shack cord. All of $15 + tax, from the local 24-hour store. It's over by the cameras and computers. It has multiple settings, from 3V to 12V.

Radio Shack isn't the store it used to be. Nothing is ever in stock, and quite a few things that they used to carry are no longer available. It's like a glorified cell phone store now, that also sells some knock-off brand DVD players and radio-remote cars at too-high prices. The electronics section of Walmart -- even Target! -- is larger than what's available at Radio Shack now. They don't even carry their own brand of wires anymore, it's overpriced crap from Monster ($40 s-video cables, etc).

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  #7  
05-04-2011, 06:57 AM
Tuco Tuco is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kpmedia View Post
I don't much like Craigslist. It's like an even shadier version of eBay. "Forgot" to edit the post --- yeah.
Yeah, I see that now. My girlfriend bought a coffee table for our apartment off CL that was really nice and thats about the only thing good that came out of CL She has used CL more than me, but she deals with furniture, not electronics....and she doesn't pay before seeing the item. DOH! on my part.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kpmedia View Post
Another unit was bought used, like yours, with no power supply. It was closer to $500 many years ago! It uses a Radio Shack replacement adapter, but there is power line noise on the gear sometimes. I think the Radio Shack adapter is causing it. It wasn't always like this, but it's developed over time.
I only went to Radio Shack because its literally 2 miles from my house. I know what you mean with regards to Radio Shack...especially here in the D.C. metro area. I haven't shopped there since I bought my first soldering iron YEARS ago. But your right - Everything is geared towards iPhones, cell phones, accessories and selling phones. Even the guy in the store was on his phone while helping me find the right item. I've worked retail in my early years so I don't expect the people to actually know what they are doing, but at least hang up the phone when your dealing with a customer.

I ordered online for store delivery which was free. It hasn't gone through yet, so maybe I should cancel and go to Wal-Mart ( not too much farther away, but if its worth it, then I don't care ).

Quote:
Originally Posted by kpmedia View Post
You'll probably feel stupid, but you could have picked up a cheap adapter locally, from Walmart. I have one that was purchased recently, to test against the Radio Shack cord. All of $15 + tax, from the local 24-hour store. It's over by the cameras and computers. It has multiple settings, from 3V to 12V.
Do you have a specific model or picture? Also, this will be plugged into an AVR-capable UPS. Do you think that will help or will I need a ground loop isolator? Radio Shack also sells one of those: http://www.radioshack.com/product/in...ductId=2062214

Thanks for the info! MUCH appreciated!

Regards,
Tuco
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  #8  
05-06-2011, 07:24 AM
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It's this one: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...SIN=B000QFLWAG
Not on Walmart site, but sold in my local store.

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  #9  
05-06-2011, 09:20 PM
robjv1 robjv1 is offline
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I can't remember for sure, but off the top of my head, doesn't the difference between the BVP and BVP-4 plus only concern the "resolution boost" knob? I think the plus used a different method of sharpening than the BVP.
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  #10  
05-09-2011, 09:50 PM
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Well, I finally got my Elite BVP-4 powered up and it works. Looks like my gamble paid off. I couldn't find the alternative power adapter mentioned above so I had to go with a Radio Shack model ( part numbers listed below ).

Here are a few pictures:

Front:
EV_BVP4_Front.jpg

Back:
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Power adapter: Enercell 12v DC 500mA Power adapter. Part# 23-357
EV_BVP4_Back.jpg

Plug: Enercell Adaptaplug Tip #273-344:
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I still haven't figured out the difference between the two, but I'm loving this thing. I can finally see what a difference a good procAmp can make. Now I just need to find a manual and I'm set.


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  #11  
05-16-2011, 10:06 PM
Wagonmaster91 Wagonmaster91 is offline
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The main differences between the BVP4 and the BVP4+:

The following improvements are incorporated into the BVP-4 PLUS:
- The BVP-4 PLUS has 1200 lines of resolution. The BVP4 has up to 800.
- The BVP-4 PLUS has self-adaptive resolution - which means that once you dial in the amount of resolution boost you need, you simply let the BVP-4 do the rest. If figures out how much resolution enhancement you need based on the values of the video passing through the processor.
- The BVP-4 PLUS has a digital gamma compensator circuit - This circuit is controllable by a switch on the back of the BVP-4 PLUS. Turn the switch on when you have an input from a digital camcorder such as the Sony DV1000. This feature will give you a greater degree of highlights and detail in the shadow and dark areas of the picture. This detail can be lost due to the compression ratio systems of the digital format. The circuit in the BVP-4 PLUS helps get that detail that was lost.

They are both good units and either is worth having if you do much duplicating or transfers.

The power supply for both are 12v 500ma with a negative tip plug. I picked up a new variable (1.5 - 12v @500ma) power supply with reversible polarity on Ebay for $9 shipped.
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  #12  
05-16-2011, 10:12 PM
robjv1 robjv1 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wagonmaster91 View Post
The main differences between the BVP4 and the BVP4+:

The following improvements are incorporated into the BVP-4 PLUS:
- The BVP-4 PLUS has 1200 lines of resolution. The BVP4 has up to 800.
- The BVP-4 PLUS has self-adaptive resolution - which means that once you dial in the amount of resolution boost you need, you simply let the BVP-4 do the rest. If figures out how much resolution enhancement you need based on the values of the video passing through the processor.
- The BVP-4 PLUS has a digital gamma compensator circuit - This circuit is controllable by a switch on the back of the BVP-4 PLUS. Turn the switch on when you have an input from a digital camcorder such as the Sony DV1000. This feature will give you a greater degree of highlights and detail in the shadow and dark areas of the picture. This detail can be lost due to the compression ratio systems of the digital format. The circuit in the BVP-4 PLUS helps get that detail that was lost.

They are both good units and either is worth having if you do much duplicating or transfers.

The power supply for both are 12v 500ma with a negative tip plug. I picked up a new variable (1.5 - 12v @500ma) power supply with reversible polarity on Ebay for $9 shipped.
I'd be curious to hear opinions of people that have used both the SignVideo DR-1000 and the BVP-4, but how is the sharpening on the BVP-4? I used to have one LONG ago, but I don't recall what it looks like, though I remember my initial impressions of the SignVideo being that I preferred the look. I'll have to see if I can dig up some old transfers I made when I had the BVP-4.
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  #13  
05-18-2011, 01:17 PM
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Do you do a lot of photography?
- Studio 1 / SignVideo DR-1000 = "unsharp mask" method.
- Elite BVP4+ = "RAW sharpen" method.

The DR-1000 easily sharpens more, due to it being an edge correction (add contrasting pixels), while the BVP4 increases pixel density (passive sharpening method) with the goal of creating a sharper image. I own both of these, and use each as needed. To be completely honest, sharpening is best done ONLY on very clean SP or LP mode VHS TV recordings or 8mm/Hi8 home recordings. Home-shot VHS is generally fuzzy-looking quality, and adding "detail" only makes noise jump out more. Same for any SLP (aka EP) mode VHS recordings. S-VHS can go either way, as it's generally as sharp as it's going to get before you simply amplify S-VHS grain inherent to the format.

The Panasonic AG-1980 sharpening slider is similar to the DR-1000, though nowhere near as precise or as refined. It's more of a rough-draft quality sharpening. (Like using a free/cheap Photoshop clone instead of actual Photoshop -- close, maybe even "good enough", but far from best or ideal.)

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  #14  
05-18-2011, 03:24 PM
robjv1 robjv1 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lordsmurf View Post
Do you do a lot of photography?
- Studio 1 / SignVideo DR-1000 = "unsharp mask" method.
- Elite BVP4+ = "RAW sharpen" method.

The DR-1000 easily sharpens more, due to it being an edge correction (add contrasting pixels), while the BVP4 increases pixel density (passive sharpening method) with the goal of creating a sharper image. I own both of these, and use each as needed. To be completely honest, sharpening is best done ONLY on very clean SP or LP mode VHS TV recordings or 8mm/Hi8 home recordings. Home-shot VHS is generally fuzzy-looking quality, and adding "detail" only makes noise jump out more. Same for any SLP (aka EP) mode VHS recordings. S-VHS can go either way, as it's generally as sharp as it's going to get before you simply amplify S-VHS grain inherent to the format.

The Panasonic AG-1980 sharpening slider is similar to the DR-1000, though nowhere near as precise or as refined. It's more of a rough-draft quality sharpening. (Like using a free/cheap Photoshop clone instead of actual Photoshop -- close, maybe even "good enough", but far from best or ideal.)
Lots of great stuff here! I like your analogy of unsharp masking vs RAW. That's a great distinction and one I can sort of follow!

So would you say, when specifically applied to a format like VHS (because I'm not sure if all the same concepts apply universally to other video formats/photography) that any form of sharpening is more or less an artificial enhancement -- i.e. it's not really adding "detail" in a true sense, but is magnifying the smaller, finer grain details of an image to make them easier to see? This of course, can be at the expense of introducing noise that is perceivable throughout the whole image.

I know exactly what you mean about being able to apply sharpening to a narrow range of sources, this is something I've gone back and forth on for years now in terms of my VHS to DVD captures.

When I go back now and look at my early captures when I first got my SignVideo DR-1000, they are disgustingly oversharpened. At the time I guess I thought it was the only acceptable way for the image to look. Perhaps there is an adjustment period for people, as they wean themselves off of the expectations that VHS should look like what many consumer decks output -- namely an over sharpened, over contrasted video where the brightness exceeds the suggested IRE range.

Nowadays, I haven't come across an EP source I would put my DR-1000 anywhere near, and my knobs rarely ever go above about a +3 or +4 for even the SP VHS best sources. When used sparingly though (at least to my eyes) it is a pleasing look to the video, though artificial as it may be. I'd like to play around with a BVP-4 again should I get the opportunity, I should have never sold my other one off, but it had some small issues with ghosting.
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  #15  
05-23-2011, 08:27 PM
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Quote:
So would you say, when specifically applied to a format like VHS (because I'm not sure if all the same concepts apply universally to other video formats/photography) that any form of sharpening is more or less an artificial enhancement -- i.e. it's not really adding "detail" in a true sense, but is magnifying the smaller, finer grain details of an image to make them easier to see? This of course, can be at the expense of introducing noise that is perceivable throughout the whole image.
Yes.

It's creating an illusion of being sharper. Humans are easy to fool. Our optics (eyes) and processors (brains) are not perfect. Some people are easier to fool than others, too, of course.

It's not physically creating more detail in the image. That would take some sort of AI rendering system, powered by an incredible number of CPUs, and that simply doesn't exist yet. It probably could, someday, given the advances that now exist in CG used in movies -- all of it created within the past 25 years from the likes of Pixar and their competitors. But now? No. Ask me again in 25 years, and the answer may be different.

A lot of people confuse videotape with film -- film actually did have more detail that could be pulled out, when re-scanned with better optics and methods. But film isn't tape.

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