Quantcast Tearing on HR-S7800U vs. HM-DH40000U, TBC fixes? - digitalFAQ Forum
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02-22-2018, 09:13 PM
imgoinmad imgoinmad is offline
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Hi I have a few tapes which are experiencing tearing at the top of the image. I'm trying to digitize (via a Sony DVMC-DA2) but the tearing makes this pointless.

I have a JVC HR-S7800U which for many tapes the TBC can fix some issues but i've got tapes where it seems to make no difference.

I also have a JVC HM-DH40000U which I've read has decent capability to fix tearing, however believe it or not this device literally has about 10 hours on it. I bought it years ago thinking DVHS was the next best thing but never actually used it. Early on it had load mechanism issues which i intended to but never got fixed.

Questions:
1) I haven't tried using the HM-DH40000U as a pass through device, would this work?
2) Anyone have experience repairing load mechanisms? I'm guessing at this stage in the game, I might be looking at a potentially expensive repair and I'm not sure if that would be worth it, even if this DH40000U only has about 10-15 total hours on it?
3) If using the DH40000U would work as a passthrough would you use the HR-S7800 with its TBC on or off?
4) Am I better off getting an external TBC to try to fix my issue? ATV-8710, TBC-1000, TBC-3000 etc
5) Should I look into buying something like the Panasonic AG-1980?

I'm still reading the many posts on this forum but figured I'd post now in case someone has some quick and easy suggestions.

Thanks in advance!

Phil

-- merged --

A followup question, almost all playback tapes when i try to digitize have lines at the bottom of the screen which don' appear like the tearing but do look like they are portions of the image that is offset to the right. Is this caused by the same issue as the top screen tearing?
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02-23-2018, 12:20 AM
sanlyn sanlyn is offline
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Welcome to the forum.


Quote:
Originally Posted by imgoinmad View Post
Hi I have a few tapes which are experiencing tearing at the top of the image. I'm trying to digitize (via a Sony DVMC-DA2) but the tearing makes this pointless.
Not only is it pointless, but if you're talking about digitizing analog video tape using this lossy encoding method, you're getting a degraded copy of your original tape that's available only for PC playback and will be further degraded with more stages of lossy encoding for standard delivery formats like DVD or mp4. I'd advise against it. The DV codec was not designed as a capture format for analog source nor as a medium for restoring VHS to nominal digital standards by further lossy processing. Have you considered using capture devices and methods optimized for analog-to-digital processing that offers far better output quality?

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Originally Posted by imgoinmad View Post
I have a JVC HR-S7800U which for many tapes the TBC can fix some issues but i've got tapes where it seems to make no difference.
It's possible that the 7800's TBC needs maintenance, or more likely its line-level tbc isn't powerful enough to handle a damaged tape. It's also possible that if it's a home-made tape made on another VCR, the original recorder could have been badly misaligned. If so, it's not likely that you could simulate that same misalignment on another VCR.

These days, the top-border distortion issue is technically called "flagging".

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Originally Posted by imgoinmad View Post
I haven't tried using the HM-DH40000U as a pass through device, would this work?
I'm afraid not.

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Originally Posted by imgoinmad View Post
Am I better off getting an external TBC to try to fix my issue? ATV-8710, TBC-1000, TBC-3000 etc
An external frame-level tbc can be of minor help with that problem sometimes, but normally flagging begins at the line-sync stage, not at the frame-timing stage. But you should be using a frame tbc anyway, especially with old or damaged tape, since line-level tbc's and frame-level tbc's address different issues at different stages of the playback process.

AVT-8710 quality control today is a travesty. Essentially the product since 2007 or so is a disaster, ruined by its new owners. If you can find a legacy green and black edition that still works you'd be set, but they're hard to find and usually sell for almost twice their original cost. Sometimes they show up in the forum's marketplace area. I wouldn't dare trust auction sites in this regard. You can sometimes find a rebuilt TBC-1000 at TGrantPhoto's website, but they aren't cheap either. And neither of these TBC's is specifically recommended for flagging problems.

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Originally Posted by imgoinmad View Post
Should I look into buying something like the Panasonic AG-1980?
An AG-1980 in good working condition (good luck!) has a heftier tape mechanism than the 7800 and a more powerful line tbc. Also, if your original tape was recorded at slow 6-hour speed, JVC is a poor choice for playing those tapes. A properly rebuilt 1980 isn't cheap -- getting one from an auction site is out of the question. I'd recommend Tom Grant's website.

Since pass-thru's have been mentioned, the pass-thru devices usually recommended as having powerful anti-flagging properties are the Panasonic DMR-ES10 and DMR-ES15. I've used both. But I'd advise that you might still need an external frame-level tbc because playing bad old tapes often generates false copy-protection errors that pass-thru's don't clean up.

Is this a home-made tape? If it's retail, you could be dealing with intermittent copy protection distortion, which some users often mistake for flagging.

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Originally Posted by imgoinmad View Post
A followup question, almost all playback tapes when i try to digitize have lines at the bottom of the screen which don' appear like the tearing but do look like they are portions of the image that is offset to the right. Is this caused by the same issue as the top screen tearing?
That's head-switching noise, common to all VHS playback. The thickness of the bottom border varies with tapes and players, it could be anywhere from 2 pixels to 12 pixels high. It's cleaned up during post-processing after capture, which I'm sure you're familiar with, using methods that don't alter the core image content. On most TV's it's usually not seen because it's masked by overscan -- and, yes, today's HDTV's do employ overscan by default. See your TV's user manual for instructions on how to disable it.

Last edited by sanlyn; 02-23-2018 at 12:51 AM.
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02-23-2018, 07:05 PM
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Welcome to the forum.
Thank you, I'm quite pleased I found this site, TONS of great info although some quite old so it's been a bit of a challenge to absorb recommendations as a recommended solution today is likely different than a recommendation from even 3-4 years ago.

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Originally Posted by sanlyn View Post
...if you're talking about digitizing analog video tape using this lossy encoding method, you're getting a degraded copy of your original tape that's available only for PC playback and will be further degraded with more stages of lossy encoding for standard delivery formats like DVD or mp4. I'd advise against it. The DV codec was not designed as a capture format for analog source nor as a medium for restoring VHS to nominal digital standards by further lossy processing. Have you considered using capture devices and methods optimized for analog-to-digital processing that offers far better output quality?
I assume you're saying this due to the Sony DVMC-DA2. I've had that device a long time and it's been very convenient. I'm using a mac (capturing into FCPX) and the device is automatically identified. I’ve always thought these were strictly a “digital bridge” to the computer. I’ve never heard I’d be losing image quality using it. Are you able to elaborate on that? I don't have ability to get an internal device on my mac, is there an external device you might recommend for better quality? Getting good quality is definitely important to me as I have a good number of things that need digitizing…my analog sources are VHS, SVHS, video8 and hi8 (video8 and hi8 by way of Sony GV-D200)

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Originally Posted by sanlyn View Post
It's possible that the 7800's TBC needs maintenance, or more likely its line-level tbc isn't powerful enough to handle a damaged tape. It's also possible that if it's a home-made tape made on another VCR, the original recorder could have been badly misaligned. If so, it's not likely that you could simulate that same misalignment on another VCR.
You are correct that the tapes I’m having trouble with were created on a VCR other than one I currently own. I’ve never heard of the ability to do ‘maintenance’ on the VCR’s TBC. Are you saying there’s fine tuning that can be done (calibration of sorts) or that it might need some type of circuit repair?

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Originally Posted by sanlyn View Post
An external frame-level tbc can be of minor help with that problem sometimes, but normally flagging begins at the line-sync stage, not at the frame-timing stage. But you should be using a frame tbc anyway, especially with old or damaged tape, since line-level tbc's and frame-level tbc's address different issues at different stages of the playback process.

AVT-8710 quality control today is a travesty. Essentially the product since 2007 or so is a disaster, ruined by its new owners. If you can find a legacy green and black edition that still works you'd be set, but they're hard to find and usually sell for almost twice their original cost. Sometimes they show up in the forum's marketplace area. I wouldn't dare trust auction sites in this regard. You can sometimes find a rebuilt TBC-1000 at TGrantPhoto's website, but they aren't cheap either. And neither of these TBC's is specifically recommended for flagging problems.
This is very interesting, I guess I need to read up more on TBC. If these TBC’s do different things, is there an external device that can help with flagging (tearing)? Or do I need to find a machine that’s going to do it (or fix my HM-DH40000U)? Since I never got a chance to really use that device I’m not sure if it would solve my problem if I fixed it, I only read on a post somewhere that it’s a good model for flagging (tearing). Anyone out there who owns one that might be able to advise?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sanlyn View Post
An AG-1980 in good working condition (good luck!) has a heftier tape mechanism than the 7800 and a more powerful line tbc. Also, if your original tape was recorded at slow 6-hour speed, JVC is a poor choice for playing those tapes. A properly rebuilt 1980 isn't cheap -- getting one from an auction site is out of the question. I'd recommend Tom Grant's website.

Since pass-thru's have been mentioned, the pass-thru devices usually recommended as having powerful anti-flagging properties are the Panasonic DMR-ES10 and DMR-ES15. I've used both. But I'd advise that you might still need an external frame-level tbc because playing bad old tapes often generates false copy-protection errors that pass-thru's don't clean up.

Is this a home-made tape? If it's retail, you could be dealing with intermittent copy protection distortion, which some users often mistake for flagging.
Do you think an AG-1980 or other device would be better for the flagging issue than fixing my HM-DH40000U?
These are not retail tapes and I don’t think any of them were recorded in anything other than the 2 hour SP mode…they are things like sister’s wedding video, 8mm and hi-8 video shot by me of various rock bands, television content recorded from cable tv. etc

Quote:
Originally Posted by sanlyn View Post
That's head-switching noise, common to all VHS playback. The thickness of the bottom border varies with tapes and players, it could be anywhere from 2 pixels to 12 pixels high. It's cleaned up during post-processing after capture, which I'm sure you're familiar with, using methods that don't alter the core image content. On most TV's it's usually not seen because it's masked by overscan -- and, yes, today's HDTV's do employ overscan by default. See your TV's user manual for instructions on how to disable it.
Thanks for that explanation, I’ve generally cropped the bottom of the screen after capture. Seemed like an easy fix where as the ‘flagging’ isn’t something that can be fixed in post.

Thanks for your answers and helping me in my journey for answers.

Last edited by imgoinmad; 02-23-2018 at 07:26 PM.
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02-23-2018, 07:43 PM
sanlyn sanlyn is offline
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Sorry to find that you're limited to a Mac. All bets are off, as my previous remarks about restoration and repair are irrelevant since the software and methods I mentioned aren't possible with a Mac.

TBC and other discrete circuitry stages in many high-end VCR's are subject to aging and can be replaced or updated.

An AG-1980 in proper working order would be superior to a JVC 7800 in many respects, although the other JVC you mention is a good contender. Unfortunately lossless capture isn't available with your OS. I don't understand why people still choose Macs for complex analog video restoration work. But so be it. However, if your bad tape was recorded on a misaligned machine, and if that is indeed the cause of the distortion, not much can be done.

Last edited by sanlyn; 02-23-2018 at 08:03 PM.
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02-23-2018, 08:36 PM
imgoinmad imgoinmad is offline
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I'm not limited to a mac but have a great workspace that is mac based. If the right solution were proposed I could mayb repurpose a PC i have available. My Mac is dual 6 core xeon, the pc is only i7 quad core. I'd be interested in knowing about a lossless solution. Please elaborate.
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02-23-2018, 08:48 PM
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Mac software workflows simply require Wine, or Parallels or VMware Fusion, or both.

We actually use several Linux desktops for non-video. And they're perfectly capable of doing video work, either natively, or using Wine3 and Virtualbox5 (Windows XP), if/when needed. I have them setup for it. But it's not often needed. I'm vehemently against Macs for capturing, as it's not a good task. Possible via DV, just not ideal. But never take that to mean I dislike Macs.

AG-1980P vs. JVC 7800 will always depend on the tape. You just have to play it, see how it reacts. The exact copy of the VCR, not the model line, also has some determination. The field/multi-line TBC is stronger than JVC, but it's also different. Some tapes will love it, some hate it. Same for the JVC. That's why most of us have both.

AG-1980 TBC is the only one I've ever seen age. And they age poorly. A quick re-cap fixes it right up, usually.

Information on VHS/analog never really gets old. It's evergreen at this point in time, especially anything written in the 2010s.

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02-23-2018, 11:13 PM
sanlyn sanlyn is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imgoinmad View Post
I'm not limited to a mac but have a great workspace that is mac based. If the right solution were proposed I could mayb repurpose a PC i have available. My Mac is dual 6 core xeon, the pc is only i7 quad core. I'd be interested in knowing about a lossless solution. Please elaborate.
The Mac hardware isn't the limitation. It's the Mac OS.

We would recommend Windows XP or, in second place, Windows 7 for capture. Windows Vista, 8 and 10 are toys, not suitable for careful video work. You can get lossless captures with Virtualdub using as little as 1.5GB of RAM (or more if you like) and dual-core CPU's of 2-GHz (or faster if you like). About 3-GHz would be an improvement for standard definition and/or web post-processing but won't enhance capture much more over a slower 2-GHz). Obviously if you get a souped-up rig you can post-process faster but it isn't necessary unless you also want to expand your PC to work with HD. Many early AIW capture cards like the 7500's worked quite well with ancient Celeron CPU's.

Other than the VCRs and TBCs mentioned, the capture hardware would be something optimized specifically for capture from analog tape source to lossless media in a YUY2 colorspace using huffyuv lossless compression (easiest on the CPU) or the Lagarith lossless codec. YUY2 is a colorspace that resembles VHS color storage and gets you off to a better start with decent chroma resolution. Huffyuv is preferred for more efficient CPU performance during capture, although many people later use Lagarith for intermediate working files. The capture hardware being recommended and available these days would be the Hauppauge USB Live-2, the ATI 600 USB (hard to find), or Diamond Multimedia's VC500, all of which have been popular for years. Some people like to spend a fortune on exotic gear like BlackMagic. They often end up posting about their disapppointment with VHS capture using that pricey gear, while less well-heeled amateurs post amazing results using the USB devices mentioned, all of which can handle NTSC, PAL, SECAM, Japanese NTSC, Australian PAL, etc. The device drivers and lossless codecs are installed as 32-bit.

The capture software preferred is VirtualDub v.1.9.1x, 32-bit. There are 64-bit versions available that are rather buggy. 64-bit filters are limited to a short list but around 200 filters are available in 32-bit for VirualDub alone, with a few hundred more available for 32-bit Avisynth. Using Virtualdub or AmarecTV for lossless capture is a bit more complicated than with limited and inflexible DV devices and software. You should learn something basic about valid signal input levels, proper frame sizes for intended formats, etc., but it's not rocket science. The idea is, however, that you have to be somewhat more precise with Virtualdub or AmarecTV. One of our guides explains the innards of VirtualDub capture setup here Capturing with VirtualDub [Settings Guide], with notes on various capture card types, audio, signal levels, proc amps, and other matters.

If you want to climb to a higher analog->lossless echelon, there are two ways to do it. One way is to spend a king's ransom on something like the Aja Kona line, which requires that you also acquire and learn about complex ancillary gear that goes beyond a PC. The other way is to get an XP system that includes an AGP graphics card mount, and then get your hands on an ATI All In Wonder capture card, the most popular being the 7500 Radeon and the 9600XT, but there are several others of the same pedigree.

The reason for the AIW line's popularity and high ratings is that they capture spectacularly well (which means "accurately", without phony enhancement or sloppy damage) and in their day gave 4-figure devices a serious run for the money. Not the best choice for gaming, though. But gaming isn't why people continue to lust after them for all these years. The catch is that they are tough to locate, people sell them in pristine working condition at outrageous prices, and many people refuse to sell them under any circumstance at any price. They also require AGP-equipped motherboards and there are no drivers for any system beyond XP. ATI All In Wonder Hacks, Drivers, Codecs and MMC

Newcomers who are not enamored of rummaging through attics or junkyards for AGP machines always ask: how do the USB devices compare with ye olde AIW's? The answer is that they compare tolerably well, unless you end up with one of the cheapo Chinese EZcap/Easy-Crap spinoffs of the cards mentioned or other cheap copies under many other names. With a little post-processing, you have to work to see a difference in the final output (although, really, once you've used an AIW you can just tell, period, if you've seen enough results. But new users are seldom disappointed). And how, they ask, do these newer recommendations get good results at lower cost than an AIW? The AIW's cost more because they were full-service graphics accelerators with ancillary media players, good MPEG real-time capture encoders, precision analog FM and TV tuners, s-video output to VCRs and TV's, large built-in video RAM chips, screen capture, and a bunch of other features. Today's USB descendants just capture, period. They come with low-cost generic, so-so encoding and authoring software that you can safely ignore because much better stuff is available elsewhere for free.

The advantage of lossless codecs is that you can decompress and re-compress as much as you want. At any compression stage, what you put into it is what comes back. With lossy codecs, each compression stage including the initial capture involves data loss and is accummulatively more lossy until soon there's not much video left except a sea of digital sludge and artifacts. Lossles captures have no added lossy compression artifacts, and subsequent lossless working files are free from lossy compression and chroma problems. With lossy captures, artifacts and data loss get carried forward into subsequent processing stages or must continually be filtered and scrubbed to keep them from looking worse.

Lossless working files and codecs are compatible with most NLE's (Adobe, of course, being the occasional misfit, but there are fixes). Adding transitions, overlays, titles, color correction, etc., means no added compression artifacts with lossless media. Special effects made with lossless media have more clarity when they are finally encoded.

Two of the tools that have been recommended for years for frame and structure manipulation and repair/restoration are Virtualdub and Avisynth. Virtualdub comes with dozens of built-in filters, while one of several popular sources for several dozen more is at http://www.infognition.com/VirtualDubFilters/. And here is a partial list of filters available for Avisynth: http://avisynth.nl/index.php/External_filters. These don't include hundreds of built-in processing functions catalogued here http://avisynth.nl/index.php/Internal_filters. These allow you to work with video properties down to the sub-pixel level when necessary (and thank goodness it never is in my case).

On the other hand this sort of thing does take more time and some learning. It can be approached at a sophisticated perfectionist level, or it can be used on a more basic, simplified level.

There are hundreds of threads with examples of working with lossless media and what can be done to improve lossless captures without adding damage from lossy codecs, which were never intended for reprocessing in the first place. The capture, edit, and restoration sections of the forum have detailed threads from a few days ago to several years ago. Sad to say, most of these threads deal with really awful video and very bad captures with so-so VCRs -- a pristine capture from a pristine tape and a high-end VCR is just not very interesting, I guess, and really doesn't require a lot of work.
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02-24-2018, 01:05 PM
imgoinmad imgoinmad is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lordsmurf View Post
Mac software workflows simply require Wine, or Parallels or VMware Fusion, or both.

We actually use several Linux desktops for non-video. And they're perfectly capable of doing video work, either natively, or using Wine3 and Virtualbox5 (Windows XP), if/when needed. I have them setup for it. But it's not often needed. I'm vehemently against Macs for capturing, as it's not a good task. Possible via DV, just not ideal. But never take that to mean I dislike Macs.

AG-1980P vs. JVC 7800 will always depend on the tape. You just have to play it, see how it reacts. The exact copy of the VCR, not the model line, also has some determination. The field/multi-line TBC is stronger than JVC, but it's also different. Some tapes will love it, some hate it. Same for the JVC. That's why most of us have both.

AG-1980 TBC is the only one I've ever seen age. And they age poorly. A quick re-cap fixes it right up, usually.

Information on VHS/analog never really gets old. It's evergreen at this point in time, especially anything written in the 2010s.
Do you have any experience with the JVC HM-DH40000U the one i have probably has 15 hours on it. Would I be better off spending my money to fix the tape load mechanism or buy an AG-1980? Maybe both but one first?

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Originally Posted by sanlyn View Post
The Mac hardware isn't the limitation. It's the Mac OS.

We would recommend Windows XP or, in second place, Windows 7 for capture. [snip] You can get lossless captures with Virtualdub using as little as 1.5GB of RAM (or more if you like) and dual-core CPU's of 2-GHz (or faster if you like). About 3-GHz would be an improvement for standard definition and/or web post-processing but won't enhance capture much more over a slower 2-GHz). Obviously if you get a souped-up rig you can post-process faster but it isn't necessary unless you also want to expand your PC to work with HD. [snip]
First off thanks for the wealth of information. I have 2 PCs available I could repurpose...an i7 dual core w/16gb RAM running win7 (it has PCI and PCIe slots). The second is an older Pentium 4 2.8ghz single core, hyperthreaded. This machine has 2gb RAM (can be upgraded to 4gb), has PCI and AGP ports running winXP. Sounds like this might be an ideal machine to use? My reservations and correct me if i'm wrong is data transfer speeds (SATA 150).

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Originally Posted by sanlyn View Post
[snip] ...the capture hardware would be something optimized specifically for capture from analog tape source to lossless media in a YUY2 colorspace using huffyuv lossless compression (easiest on the CPU) or the Lagarith lossless codec. YUY2 is a colorspace that resembles VHS color storage and gets you off to a better start with decent chroma resolution. Huffyuv is preferred for more efficient CPU performance during capture, although many people later use Lagarith for intermediate working files. The capture hardware being recommended and available these days would be the Hauppauge USB Live-2, the ATI 600 USB (hard to find), or Diamond Multimedia's VC500, all of which have been popular for years. [snip]
Would using these codecs cause me any problem if i wanted to capture using a PC and then edit in FCPX on my mac? Do I need to worry about FCPX not supporting the codec?

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Originally Posted by sanlyn View Post
The capture software preferred is VirtualDub v.1.9.1x, 32-bit. [snip]...around 200 filters are available in 32-bit for VirualDub alone, with a few hundred more available for 32-bit Avisynth. Using Virtualdub or AmarecTV for lossless capture is a bit more complicated than with limited and inflexible DV devices and software. You should learn something basic about valid signal input levels, proper frame sizes for intended formats, etc., but it's not rocket science. The idea is, however, that you have to be somewhat more precise with Virtualdub or AmarecTV. One of our guides explains the innards of VirtualDub capture setup here Capturing with VirtualDub [Settings Guide], with notes on various capture card types, audio, signal levels, proc amps, and other matters.
When you mention frame sizes I'm guessing you mean pixel counts (dv, sd, hd etc) and I'm good there. When you mention signal input levels I'm not sure i know what you're referring to. Please elaborate, I'm here to educate myself on the best process to accomplish my goal. (I haven't yet read your link, I'm headed there next. If this is answered there no need to elaborate.)

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If you want to climb to a higher analog->lossless echelon, there are two ways to do it. One way... [snip] ...The other way is to get an XP system that includes an AGP graphics card mount, and then get your hands on an ATI All In Wonder capture card, the most popular being the 7500 Radeon and the 9600XT, but there are several others of the same pedigree.

The reason for the AIW line's popularity and high ratings is that they capture spectacularly well (which means "accurately", without phony enhancement or sloppy damage) and in their day gave 4-figure devices a serious run for the money. [snip] The catch is that they are tough to locate, people sell them in pristine working condition at outrageous prices, and many people refuse to sell them under any circumstance at any price. They also require AGP-equipped motherboards [snip]
This takes me back to my available XP system w/AGP ports. I'm not cheap by any means so if there's a better solution that costs more I'm not afraid to go there. It's sounding though, like resurecting this old machine is my best route. If so...and an AIW card is your recommended solution, are there preferred AIW card models to look for? I'm seeing some 7500 and 9600XT's available on ebay yet you're saying people aren't selling. Are there specifics to look for or 'gotchas' to worry about?

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Originally Posted by sanlyn View Post
Newcomers [snip] always ask: how do the USB devices compare with ye olde AIW's? The answer is that they compare tolerably well, [snip] With a little post-processing, you have to work to see a difference in the final output (although, really, once you've used an AIW you can just tell, period, if you've seen enough results. But new users are seldom disappointed). And how, they ask, do these newer recommendations get good results at lower cost than an AIW? The AIW's cost more because they were full-service graphics accelerators with ancillary media players, good MPEG real-time capture encoders, precision analog FM and TV tuners, s-video output to VCRs and TV's, large built-in video RAM chips, screen capture, and a bunch of other features. Today's USB descendants just capture, period. They come with low-cost generic, so-so encoding and authoring software that you can safely ignore because much better stuff is available elsewhere for free.
This makes complete sense to me, there's fewer people looking for this type of thing and hard for manufacturers to make a profit selling quality product that accomplishes better than 'acceptable' results.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sanlyn View Post
The advantage of lossless codecs is that you can decompress and re-compress as much as you want. At any compression stage, what you put into it is what comes back. With lossy codecs, each compression stage including the initial capture involves data loss and is accummulatively more lossy until soon there's not much video left except a sea of digital sludge and artifacts. Lossles captures have no added lossy compression artifacts, and subsequent lossless working files are free from lossy compression and chroma problems. With lossy captures, artifacts and data loss get carried forward into subsequent processing stages or must continually be filtered and scrubbed to keep them from looking worse.

Lossless working files and codecs are compatible with most NLE's (Adobe, of course, being the occasional misfit, but there are fixes). Adding transitions, overlays, titles, color correction, etc., means no added compression artifacts with lossless media. Special effects made with lossless media have more clarity when they are finally encoded.
There was a lot to absorb in your last post. Looks like this may answer my concern about codecs I commented about above.

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Originally Posted by sanlyn View Post
Two of the tools that have been recommended for years for frame and structure manipulation and repair/restoration are Virtualdub and Avisynth. Virtualdub comes with dozens of built-in filters, while one of several popular sources for several dozen more is at http://www.infognition.com/VirtualDubFilters/. And here is a partial list of filters available for Avisynth: http://avisynth.nl/index.php/External_filters. These don't include hundreds of built-in processing functions catalogued here http://avisynth.nl/index.php/Internal_filters. These allow you to work with video properties down to the sub-pixel level when necessary (and thank goodness it never is in my case).

On the other hand this sort of thing does take more time and some learning. It can be approached at a sophisticated perfectionist level, or it can be used on a more basic, simplified level.
With regards to Virtualdub and Avisynth is one preferred over the other or do they accomplish different things thus I should look into both?

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Originally Posted by sanlyn View Post
There are hundreds of threads with examples of working with lossless media and what can be done to improve lossless captures without adding damage from lossy codecs, which were never intended for reprocessing in the first place. The capture, edit, and restoration sections of the forum have detailed threads from a few days ago to several years ago. Sad to say, most of these threads deal with really awful video and very bad captures with so-so VCRs -- a pristine capture from a pristine tape and a high-end VCR is just not very interesting, I guess, and really doesn't require a lot of work.
There's a ton of great info I've read so far and am continuing to delve into...there's a huge volume here. I was concerned about some of the older threads as i was originally thinking newer technology may be better than older, but I understand now (thanks to the info you provided above) that newer with relation to analog video is not necessarily better. "Evergreen" as pointed out by Lordsmurf:

Quote:
Originally Posted by lordsmurf View Post
Information on VHS/analog never really gets old. It's evergreen at this point in time, especially anything written in the 2010s.
I'm pleased that the majority of my analog library was recorded on high quality equipment...BUT...I definitely have my share of items I want to digitize that were came from other unknown hardware and lack the higher quality that an SVHS or Hi8 were able to provide.

I've only recently run into the flagging issue, i'm not sure if it's because my tapes are aging (more incentive to digitize now). Or because my hardware needs service and/or I need different gear to get me there...all areas i need to address.

-- merged --

After reading more threads it sounds like an ES10 or ES15 would be good to add to my 'arsenal of equipment'. True statement? I'm seeing a number on ebay now and they aren't terribly overpriced.

i normally head straight to the forums to find answers. The guides section has a ton of great info. Thanks for pointing me in that direction.
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  #9  
02-25-2018, 11:10 PM
sanlyn sanlyn is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imgoinmad View Post
I have 2 PCs available I could repurpose...an i7 dual core w/16gb RAM running win7 (it has PCI and PCIe slots). The second is an older Pentium 4 2.8ghz single core, hyperthreaded. This machine has 2gb RAM (can be upgraded to 4gb), has PCI and AGP ports running winXP. Sounds like this might be an ideal machine to use? My reservations and correct me if i'm wrong is data transfer speeds (SATA 150).
You can upgrade your XP PC to 4Gb RAM, but XP can't use more than 3.5GB. 2GB is fine for capture. Higher speed SATA helps copying between drives (most people keep captures for storage and transfer on external portable USB drives), but SATA offers no appreciable advantage during capture. Just don't use the operating system partition for capture, use a different partition or drive.

XP is still preferred for lossless capture whether you use an AGP card or not. XP = greater flexibility = more consistent performance = greater variety of capture hardware and post-process options.

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Originally Posted by imgoinmad View Post
Would using these codecs cause me any problem if i wanted to capture using a PC and then edit in FCPX on my mac? Do I need to worry about FCPX not supporting the codec?
Huffyuv and Lagarith can't be used with a Mac. The lossless UT Video Codec Suite can be used by FCPX and Windows alike. But many media players won't read the UT codec. Note that FCPX, like Premiere Pro, Vegas, etc., is an editor, not a restoration platform. I know people spent a lot of money on Macs and that Mac was a big advance in 1984, but I still don't know why people choose Macs for video restoration work. Cut and join edits, yes, simple HD source edits with special hardware and ancillary lab gear, maybe, encoding maybe, but not the rest.

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Originally Posted by imgoinmad View Post
When you mention signal input levels I'm not sure i know what you're referring to. Please elaborate
Standard digital video data for broadcast, DVD, BluRay, and most consumer applications is stored using a YUV data system (Y=luminance, U=blue, V=red). If the darkest luminance value for standard display is zero (total black) and the hottest bright available is 255, The "Y' luminance range for standard YUV video is y=16-235. The YUV range 16-235 is expanded in RGB to 0-255. There is a discussion about how this is adjusted in Virtualdub capture using various controls and a histogram: Proper VirtualDub video levels for Tevion USB capture?

The subject is also covered in the VDub Settings Guide section 3 on the Virtualdub Video menu settings
and in the continuation of section 3 in post #4 on proc amp levels settings and cropping

Don't try to adjust by eye. Your eyes aren't that good. No one's are. Histograms of one kind or another are used to monitor settings. Being familiar with FCP you probably know all about histograms and use them regularly, but here is a demo video on how histogram readouts look in practise. This demo handles video, still photo, and other luminance-reading subjects: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=htqrTTSZp-M

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Originally Posted by imgoinmad View Post
I'm seeing some 7500 and 9600XT's available on ebay yet you're saying people aren't selling. Are there specifics to look for or 'gotchas' to worry about?
The gotcha's are that AIW cards require a connection input dongle that fits into the back of the card. Some cards like the 7500 and 9600 series required two dongles for various accessories, including VGA/Digital monitor adapters (use VGA, it's faster and cleaner). A lot of ripoff dealers sell the cards without the connectors, rendering them useless.


Quote:
Originally Posted by imgoinmad View Post
With regards to Virtualdub and Avisynth is one preferred over the other or do they accomplish different things thus I should look into both?
They are completely different and completely separate apps. You'll need both.

i was originally thinking newer technology may be better than older[/quote]
Tape formats haven't changed. Today's post-process filters are improved and more sophisticated. Except for a few high-end tape players, VCRs from the late 90's onward are total junk. Monitors have improved with affordable IPS panels and calibration hardware/software kits. NLE editors have added more features but never improved their initial shortcomings, such as sloppy colorspace conversion and outmoded resizers. Avisynth and VirtualDub have improved and expanded their capabilities.

Quote:
Originally Posted by imgoinmad View Post
it sounds like an ES10 or ES15 would be good to add to my 'arsenal of equipment'. True statement
What if you decided that your player's built-in line tbc made the tape look worse when it was turned on, but turning it off and using the line tbc in an ES10 improved the stability? What if your tape won't play in a fancy player but makes nice in a non-tbc player that's in good shape? I had several such tapes that would track properly only in my non-tbc Panasonic PV-S4670 SVHS player. My ES10 came to the rescue with a stable line-sync correction.
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  #10  
02-28-2018, 10:32 PM
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Long thread.

Long reply...

Tearing is a timing issue. The removal/correction of timing mostly depends on strengths and accuracy of the TBC in use. And, of course, the right kind of TBC (not just any old TBC). Tearing can also actually be made worse by a weak TBC or the wrong TBC. Transport can also play a role.

The JVC HR-S7800U is a nice VCR, but a weaker model than the HR-S9800U, or even the next generation of SR where the 7800/7900 continued. The TBC only had 2mb of SDR RAM, and errors would overrun that 2mb at times. The 9800U's 4mb (or SR 2mb DDR, which was essentially same as 4mb SDR) would plod through errors that the 7800U would choke on. And sometimes that was tearing. Visual jitter happens more, too.

- The JVC line, even the 4mb, is weak on harsh timing causing tearing.
- Panasonic S-VHS is better at the tearing aspect, as it actually uses a field TBC (multi-line, infinite window) instead of single line. But still, tearing is a frame issue, and the AG-1970/80 would still be overrun. And Panasonic has its own set of image oversharpening and caps issues, so potentially not an upgrade to the JVC.
- The Panasonic DMR-ES10 was an odd machine, and had an incredible ability to remove tearing, even though not true TBC (and failed at many tasks you'd expect a TBC to correct).

JVC D-VHS decks are not great at EP, mostly good on SP. And to some degree, that was also true of 7000/9000 lines, but not anywhere as bad.

JVC repair isn't that hard on some models, and I've worked on many decks myself over the years. But the D-VHS decks are really compelx due to all the HD junk inside. It's not a regular S-VHS VCR.

If you don't have external TBC in your arsenal, yes, get one, it matters. It will correct the signal, and the signal can cause visual issues like jitter. But you mostly want it for signal cleansing, to allow proper conversion of analog to digital. It's not optional.

Lines at the bottom of the screen are probably head-switching noise. It's data in the overscan that you never see on TV, but it exists in the full image signal. And when you convert, you see 480 of the 486 pixels of data. The TV is hiding about 30 of those. including all the head switching noise.

As I understand it, the HM-DH40000 does actually allow passthrough, but results will usually not be better than the ES10. If you have it, attempt it. If you have a broken one, I'd not bother fixing it and instead just get an ES10 for the tearing. The ES10 will probably be both cheaper and better in the long run.

Windows, Linux and Mac can all use the MagicYUV codec. But I've not tried it for capture, only intermediary work. The current v2 is payware, and the v1 is "freeware" (donationware, but you can donate $0 to download it).

Be careful buying ATI AIW cards, and don't trust liar eBay sellers that know nothing about the cards. You must know everything before buying one, as almost all auctions have missing essential parts that are rare. Some models are safe buys, like the AIW AGP 7000s are safe, while 9000s and PCIe are not.

ES10 is nice to have in the unlikely rare event that your S-VHS deck so hates a tape that a plain consumer VHS VCR plays it better. Yes, that does happen, but rarely. Note that the picture is still degraded in quality compared to a S-VHS deck have played it.

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