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04-23-2018, 01:41 AM
WestRGB WestRGB is offline
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Hello DigitalFaq! Long time listener, first time caller.

For a long while I've been reading through these forums and quietly planning to do some video archivism of my own. My first projects will be VHS. And there is an abundance of information available on that subject (thank you lordsmurf).

However, I am trying to future-proof myself, because I know that down the road I will want to capture video from Laserdisc, CED, and VHD -- maybe other formats, too. But these formats all have certain things in common: they are all encoded composite video, therefore each of them will need (or benefit from) a TBC and a comb filter. (Please correct me if I'm wrong).

Where a TBC is concerned, I think I will wait patiently for a DataVideo model to make itself available on Ebay at the right price.

However, an ideal comb filter eludes me. In a perfect world, I'd like to have a dedicated external comb filter box that I can plug multiple composite video sources into.

I've read that several folks on these forums use their JVC S-VHS VCR for this purpose. But I've also read that comb filter technology has evolved and improved since then.

I've read that some folks plug composite video directly into their capture card, and use either its onboard comb filter or a software equivalent once brought into post.

What do the folks on this forum recommend for my purposes? Is there a solution with broad consensus?

And am I worrying too much about something that doesn't really matter that much?
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07-08-2020, 07:51 AM
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lordsmurf lordsmurf is offline
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I've read several times where certain JVC S-VHS VCRs are used as comb filter for Laserdisc.

Composite isn't terrible, contrary to popular misconception. Quality of composite is highly dependent on the device itself, providing the in/out composite. Some can be blurry, have excess rainbow, chroma delays, etc. But it's the device that does it, not the carrier wires. Composite is lesser than s-video, but it's not a night-and-day sort of difference.

I've seen some interesting results with early production BVTBC10 units, but those will be some of the rarer TBCs to locate. However, mostly rainbow, nothing that isn't easily fixed post-capture with CCD in VirtualDub.

Comb filters haven't really evolved, no.

No capture card ever embedded this feature, though it surely could have. How sad.

Sometimes the best LD output is due to the LD player itself. Several models are known to look better than average.

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07-08-2020, 10:41 PM
lingyi lingyi is offline
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For analog disc players, moreso than VCRs, getting a good high quality machine is priority #1. I highly recommend spending the money on a good machine rather a TBC.

For Laserdiscs, any of the Elite series players are highly regarded, as well as the stratospherically priced and HLD-X9 and HLD-X0 which are reportedly able to play troublesome chroma speckled discs far better than anything else.

Don't have any recommendations for VHD and CED, but do know that the players aren't all the same. Especially CED where RCA brought out some low end models to try and keep the format alive.

digitalfaq and videohelp.com are great for the majority of video topics, but there's few on either forum that know or talk about analog discs at all. Visit lddb.com for LD and think some VHD and CED talk and avsforum.com which used to have a LD forum.

Finally, unless there's something ultra rate that's absolutely not available in any form other than VHD or CED, forget about preserving them. To a much greater extent than VHS, like any analog disc (e.g. vinyl records) each play degrades the quality of the pressing. Also, since the caddies of VHD and CEDs aren't airtight, dust, air and humidity has been slowly degrading them over the decades. I remember an image of a dust particle that would drop to the bottom of a vinyl record, spanning across several grooves on a CED!

Edit: Here's a great FAQ about CED. I'm one of the couple of handfuls of members here and at videohelp that talk about Laserdisc, and probably one a handful that owned a couple of CED players. They were truly awful, even at their best. The only reason I got the players and the discs was because they were super cheap at a store I frequented after CED officially died. I know I got the players for ~$50 and I think the discs were $2-5, which was an amazing buy since LDs never went below $20.

I always wanted a VHD player, but never came across one.
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07-08-2020, 10:58 PM
lingyi lingyi is offline
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A key thing about analog disc players is that each frame is an individual image on the disc. AFAIK, there's no field blending at least on Laserdisc. So TBC errors should be rare or non-existent. Again, a high quality player or players will give a higher quality image.

If you really want to bypass the composite output of Laserdisc, check out the Domesday86 project which captures the raw RF signal from LD. I thought the project was dead, but it was last updated late 2019. There's even a hardware kit for the decoder. But I don't know which players and discs it works with.

Oh...forgot, it's the comb filter on the better players that's credited for in large part of the higher quality picture. Also, as I recall, the HLD-X9 and HLD-X0 used a different type of laser also.
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07-08-2020, 11:48 PM
latreche34 latreche34 is offline
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You may want to consider the BrightEye family from Ensemble Designs, BE25, BE26 or BE75, They are analog capture devices built in professional TBC/Frame sync and comb filter for the composite input, The BE75 is the only one with S-Video (aka Y/C). Those are SDI capture devices you would need a SDI/PCIe interface on your computer.

It depends how you want to capture digital sound on some of the laser titles, so an additional AC3 box and AC-3 audio capture card may be required. If analog audio only those BE boxes have easy made breakouts for analog audio input, USB is just for changing settings and firmware update.

Last edited by latreche34; 07-09-2020 at 12:47 AM.
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ced, comb filter, tbc, time base corrector, vhd

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