Quantcast Restoring 8mm/Hi8/VHS VirtualDub captures? - digitalFAQ Forum
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02-11-2019, 01:43 PM
willow5 willow5 is offline
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Hi all,

Well it has been quite a few years since I posted in this forum but in all this time, I have made some excellent progress and transferred lots of tapes onto my hard drive but, given that Vdub captures 30Gb an hour on average, I am now running out of space and need to do something with the files to make space for more captures.

I have so far captured in this configuration:

1) 8mm/Hi8 Sony EV-C400E (no line TBC) -> TBC1000 -> AIW 9600
2) VHS Panasonic NV-FS200 (with TBC on) -> TBC1000 -> AIW9600

I must stress that even with this setup, there were many inserted frames but rarely any dropped frames. How do I find where these inserted frames are given that most tapes are between 90 minutes - 120 minutes and what were the reasons for the inserted frames, was I doing something wrong ?

Also, in terms of VDub settings, I used the very handy guide on this forum to make adjustments and only really changed the contrast to 112 (from 128) whilst leaving all other levels at 128 to make the histogram ok at the top end. After that it was very much a case of batch capture and checking the histogram levels. Does this sound about right of should I have done anything differently before capturing en-masse?

So, now I need to make some restorations / filterations / general improving quality. I must stress that as we moved between 8mm and hi8 home cameras, the quality varies. Please can someone (Sanlyn / Lordsmurf ?) advise on the first steps I need to take before I can enter this stage ?

I can post a few clips if it helps to understand the quality....

Thanks

Last edited by willow5; 02-11-2019 at 01:57 PM. Reason: added more information
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  #2  
02-11-2019, 05:13 PM
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Post some clips.

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  #3  
02-11-2019, 06:47 PM
sanlyn sanlyn is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by willow5 View Post
So, now I need to make some restorations / filterations / general improving quality. I must stress that as we moved between 8mm and hi8 home cameras, the quality varies. Please can someone (Sanlyn / Lordsmurf ?) advise on the first steps I need to take before I can enter this stage ?

I can post a few clips if it helps to understand the quality....
Yes, one can evaluate only from sample clips that are unfiltered. Samples of 8 to 10 seconds should suffice, and they should include motion or a segment showing a particular problem you want addressed. To prevent altering colorspace or other factors in your sample, open an avi in Virtualdub and edit down to a short segment. Then click "Video..." -> "direct stream copy" before saving the file.
How to Properly Upload Images and Attach Files to This Site

There is only one way to find dropped/inserted frames: by looking for them. Avisynth does have a filter or two that could help.
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  #4  
02-12-2019, 03:53 PM
willow5 willow5 is offline
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Thanks all - good to be back...my last thread generated a lot of Q&A entitled "Please Review My Capture Setup" so hoping that this one will too....

Anyways back to this query - I have 6 different scenarios that I need to address initially focussing only on 8mm tape transfers (VHS restoration will be addressed later). The scenarios are as follows:

1) 8mm camera recording onto 8mm tape in good lighting conditions (i.e. daylight) with movement
2) 8mm camera recording onto 8mm tape in poor lighting conditions (i.e. night time) with movement
3) Hi8 camera recording onto 8mm tape in good lighting conditions (i.e. daylight) with movement
4) Hi8 camera recording onto 8mm tape in poor lighting conditions (i.e. night time) with movement
5) Hi8 camera recording onto Hi8 tape in good lighting conditions (i.e. daylight) with movement
6) Hi8 camera recording onto Hi8 tape in poor lighting conditions (i.e. night time) with movement

In this post I will address scenario 1 and in future posts I will address scenarios 2-6. Hoping you can help with this scenario initially. Is this clip adequate or should I post another in a different setting ? Could someone kindly clean this video up for me and show me what the possibilities are ?

@Sanlyn and @Lordsmurf good to be back, how do I search for inserted frames ? What am I looking for over say a 90 to 120 minute period ?

Also is there any concept of upscaling a poor 8mm or VHS tape to 720p or 1080i or is this beyond the realms of possibility ? Finally, should I be using a Hi8 player with a line TBC function to dub my tapes ?


Attached Files
File Type: avi test clip.avi (84.21 MB, 4 downloads)
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  #5  
Yesterday, 01:36 AM
sanlyn sanlyn is offline
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Thanks for the sample.

Quote:
Originally Posted by willow5 View Post
how do I search for inserted frames ? What am I looking for over say a 90 to 120 minute period ?
How many inserted frames? With interlaced video often works out to inserted fields rather than frames. In any case, an inserted image is a duplicate. How many? In my own experience over the years, I've had zero inserted frames in the main body of my captures. Rarely I've had one or two dupes in leader framers as the capture first started, but I don't start captures on important frames. You get an idea of where to look for dupes by observing the statistics update in the right-hand column of the VirtualDub capture screen. Unless you have some serious problems, you will likely seldom if ever see a duplicate during play. If you do spot them, it's during post-processing.

[EDIT] If you're feeling adventurous you can try an Avisynth plugin solution, which was just updated today. The filter itself can be found in the Mediafire links discussed in this thread: .https://forum.doom9.org/showthread.php?t=176111

Quote:
Originally Posted by willow5 View Post
Also is there any concept of upscaling a poor 8mm or VHS tape to 720p or 1080i or is this beyond the realms of possibility ?
Throughout the video processing world, once you remove all of the clueless newbies from the discussion, the overwhelming concensus about upscaling low-resolution standard definition sources is that it is an utter, complete, and absolute waste of time. Leave upscaling to your players, which can do it a lot better than you ever could with software. High definition is based on high resolution sources, not on low-rez fuzzies blown up into big blurry frame sizes.
Quote:
Originally Posted by willow5 View Post
Finally, should I be using a Hi8 player with a line TBC function to dub my tapes ?
Only with Hi8 tapes.

The first sample script is a standard way of taking an initial look at a scene. Original borders are cropped away to avoid affecting the histogram.
Code:
Crop(16,2,0,-10)
ConvertToYV12(interlaced=true)
Histogram("Levels")
The YUV histogram in the image below shows good control of YUV input levels. It also shows that overall brightness is changed by the camera's AGC -- brightness dims as the shot begins and is reduced to final levels with a quick "snap" into final level at frame 129. The color bands show a slight deficit in the U channel and a slight bias toward the V channel (the result is a yellow color cast).



I would forget about the left-border cyan damage. It will never repair satisfactorily. This and other discolorations result from tape aging and improper storage. Best to discard some of the bad pixels and re-center the image with a clean border. There are also about 4 pixels of yellow noise on the right border. Other scenes without the same damage won't have borders that exactly match those in this segment. Most scenes in other segments will have dirty borders of one kind or other and SMPTE 4:3 frames usually have most image content in only 704 of 720 pixels. The changeover of almost-similar borders during playback will be so fast and subtle that no one will notice. This sort of compromise is done all the time, especially with archival newsfilm.

Another variation: In the beginning of the shot, the large central octagonal hub has fairly bright shadow detail. As the camera zooms back, by the end of the shot the hub is darkened, with far less visible detail, and the color balance of the sky area changes several times. These are reminders of the way consumer auto "features" act less like conveniences and more like defects. Because the lens zooms back and includes more of the dark interior than in the beginning, AGC causes the brightness of the sky and its details to change several times. There is no such thing as an "anti-AGC" filter to correct this, so you simply have to live with the results.

Consumers appear to be unaware of how jittery camera motion impairs and limits the action of denoisers and other filters. Frantic motion creates interlace and motion artifacts, as well as showing how much extra bitrate is required (and wasted) by such motion in final encodes.

The script below uses an optional left-border cleanup routine with the chubbyrain2.avs and smoothUV.dll anti-rainbow filters. It's optional because another shot with different background colors under the cyan stain might be adversely affected. The GradFun2DBmod gradient smoother prevents hard edges and block noise in smooth areas in the final encode, necessary because of the fairly strong denoising required.

Color, saturation and levels tweaking were applied in VirtualDub using ColorCamcorderDenoise, ColorMill, gradation curves, and VDub's graphical Levels filter. In particular, the sliding Levels control was used to restore some brilliance to the overhead sky, while the curves filter was used as to limit super-brights to luminance-safe specular highlights in that area. Filter settings used were saved in a VirtualDub .vcf file as TestClip1_settings.vcf (attached).

Aliasing and line twitter along diagonals during motion are common problems with shutter operation in consumer cameras. This can be calmed to some extent with QTGMC and the vInverse filter. If it continues to be annoying, QTGMC can be modified to discard the alternate frame that is interpolated during deinterlace; effectively this removes 50% of the noise, as well as cutting temporal resolution in half. The result is 25fps progressive video. However, such segments can be encoded as interlaced (the encoder will imbed interlace flags), so those progressive segments can then be merged with interlaced sections in the same final video.

Using QTGMC to produce progressive video can be done using the FPSDivisor parameter. In the script posted later below, the "normal" QTGMC statement is:

[code]
QTGMC(preset="medium",EZDenoise=6,denoiser="dfttes t",ChromaMotion=true,\
ChromaNoise=true,DenoiseMC=true,GrainRestore=0.3,b order=true)[/quote]

The same statement can be modified with the FPSDivisor parameter to make 25fps progressive video:

Code:
QTGMC(preset="medium",EZDenoise=6,denoiser="dfttest",ChromaMotion=true,\
   ChromaNoise=true,DenoiseMC=true,GrainRestore=0.3,border=true,/
   FPSDivisor=2)
Below is the script I used to get the filtered 25fps interlaced result (attached as encoded "TestClip1_25i.mp4") Please note: jittery motion is seen by many temporal filters as seriously noisy. More noise = stronger settings = more cleanup work = slower filtering. Therefore this is a very slow running script, processing at about 3 fps.
Code:
Import("D:\Avisynth 2.5\plugins\chubbyrain2.avs")
Import("D:\Avisynth 2.5\plugins\RemoveDirtMC.avs")

AviSource("D:\forum\faq\willow5\D\test clip1.avi")
ColorYUV(off_u=8,off_v=-3)
ConvertToYV12(interlaced=true)
AssumeTFF()

### --- optional cubbyrain2 left-border routine --- ###
separatefields
a=last
 
a
chubbyrain2()
smoothuv(radius=7)
crop(0,0,-688,0,true)
ColorYuv(off_v=4)  #<- add some red to the new patch
b=last
 
overlay(a,b)
weave()
### --- end of optional cubbyrain2 left-border roytine --- ###

QTGMC(preset="medium",EZDenoise=6,denoiser="dfttest",ChromaMotion=true,\
   ChromaNoise=true,DenoiseMC=true,GrainRestore=0.3,border=true)
vinverse2()
BiFrost(interlaced=false)
DeHalo_Alpha(rx=2.5)
RemoveDirtMC(40,false)
GradFun2DBmod(thr=1.8)
LSFmod()
AddGrainC(1.5,1.5)
Crop(16,2,-4,-12).AddBorders(10,6,10,8)
SeparateFields().SelectEvery(4,0,3).Weave()
### --- To RGB32 for VirtualDub filters --- ###
ConvertToRGB32(interlaced=true,matrix="Rec601")
return last
Other than the chubbyrain2 routine and VirtualDub filters mentioned below, other denoisers snd chroma cleaners used were dfttest, RemoveDirtMC, and Bifrost. GradFDun2DBmod is a gradient smoother, DeHalo_Alpha cleans edge halos. LSFmod is a sharpener.

The progressive version is attached as "TestClip1_25p.mp4". Although it is physically progressive, it's encoded with interlace flags. Some external players would play it as interlaced anyway. It doesn't have as much diagonal line twitter as the 25i version, but motion isn't as smooth.

I don't know where the loud hiss and noise are coming from in your sample, but it's badly over modulated. The audio was captured at 96KHz, which is a very low sampling rate. Usually it would be 48KHz for capture.

-- merged --

Sorry, let me correct myself:

Quote:
Originally Posted by sanlyn View Post
I don't know where the loud hiss and noise are coming from in your sample, but it's badly over modulated. The audio was captured at 96KHz, which is a very low sampling rate. Usually it would be 48KHz for capture.
I should have posted:

I don't know where the loud hiss and noise are coming from in your sample, but it's badly over modulated. The audio was captured at 96KHz. Usually it would be 48KHz for capture.


Attached Images
File Type: jpg frame 129 initial lookover cropped.jpg (77.5 KB, 13 downloads)
Attached Files
File Type: vcf TestClip1_settings.vcf (3.8 KB, 0 downloads)
File Type: mp4 testclip1_25i.mp4 (6.18 MB, 3 downloads)
File Type: mp4 testclip1_25p.mp4 (6.09 MB, 4 downloads)
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  #6  
Yesterday, 08:15 AM
dpalomaki dpalomaki is offline
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Quote:
...
Originally Posted by willow5 View Post
Finally, should I be using a Hi8 player with a line TBC function to dub my tapes ?...

Response Posted by sanlyn
Only with Hi8 tapes.

Read more: Restoring 8mm/Hi8/VHS VirtualDub captures?
Would standard 8mm players have s-video output like the Hi8 players have? The Sony EV-A50 for example only has composite output.
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Yesterday, 02:27 PM
willow5 willow5 is offline
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@Sanlyn,

Wow thank you so much for the comprehensive answer. I don't know where to start replying to this so excuse my reply if it seems rambled as I have so many follow up questions.

Quote:
How many inserted frames? With interlaced video often works out to inserted fields rather than frames. In any case, an inserted image is a duplicate. How many? In my own experience over the years, I've had zero inserted frames in the main body of my captures. Rarely I've had one or two dupes in leader framers as the capture first started, but I don't start captures on important frames. You get an idea of where to look for dupes by observing the statistics update in the right-hand column of the VirtualDub capture screen. Unless you have some serious problems, you will likely seldom if ever see a duplicate during play. If you do spot them, it's during post-processing.
I am not sure, I think around 30 frames over a 90 minute period which seems a lot to me. Question I have is how can duplicated frames be inserted without dropping any frames ? Presumably something needs to drop to make space for a duplicated frame otherwise you end up with more frames than you started with ?

Quote:
Throughout the video processing world, once you remove all of the clueless newbies from the discussion, the overwhelming concensus about upscaling low-resolution standard definition sources is that it is an utter, complete, and absolute waste of time. Leave upscaling to your players, which can do it a lot better than you ever could with software. High definition is based on high resolution sources, not on low-rez fuzzies blown up into big blurry frame sizes.
thanks for the answer on this, I suspected as much but wanted to get it confirmed by an expert

Quote:
Finally, should I be using a Hi8 player with a line TBC function to dub my tapes ?
Only with Hi8 tapes.
Can I ask why you say only with Hi8 tapes ? What happens if you use a Hi8 player with in built TBC with a non Hi8 tape ?

Now we come onto the actual edit and your marvelous work on my clip....I have so many questions here that I honestly do not know where to start. Please assume that I am a total novice when it comes to scripts and so on so I do not really know what to do with the scripts you have provided. Is there a comprehensive list of all available scripts and uses/outputs so I can determine which ones to use in future or is it a case of asking on a case by case basis ?

Looking at this still from frame 129, what are you looking for in these colour histograms ? Also how do you produce such colour histograms ? Is it on a frame by frame basis or could you have this constantly running while the video is playing ? What does "Good" look like ?

Quote:
I would forget about the left-border cyan damage. It will never repair satisfactorily. This and other discolorations result from tape aging and improper storage. Best to discard some of the bad pixels and re-center the image with a clean border.
When you say left-border cyan damage, do you mean the "green" line that runs from the top to bottom ? If so, this line appears on all recordings from this particular (non-Hi8) camera. I believe it was a budget camera so assumed it was a camera specific artefact. Is this not the case ?

Quote:
There are also about 4 pixels of yellow noise on the right border. Other scenes without the same damage won't have borders that exactly match those in this segment. Most scenes in other segments will have dirty borders of one kind or other and SMPTE 4:3 frames usually have most image content in only 704 of 720 pixels. The changeover of almost-similar borders during playback will be so fast and subtle that no one will notice. This sort of compromise is done all the time, especially with archival newsfilm.
To the untrained eye, I am not sure what you are referring to here. Is there a still you can post to show these 4 pixels ? What is meant by "Other scenes without the same damage won't have borders that exactly match those in this segment" ? Does it mean that the tape is damaged or that the border varies according to scene/frame ? Is this a variable parameter ? What is the optimum setting therefore from a cropping point of view ? Presumably the crop cannot change on a frame by frame basis, I guess you need to choose a setting and stick with it throughout the capture ? In my case, is this the optimum crop setting that you posted earlier:

Quote:
Crop(16,2,0,-10)
Quote:
Another variation: In the beginning of the shot, the large central octagonal hub has fairly bright shadow detail. As the camera zooms back, by the end of the shot the hub is darkened, with far less visible detail, and the color balance of the sky area changes several times. These are reminders of the way consumer auto "features" act less like conveniences and more like defects. Because the lens zooms back and includes more of the dark interior than in the beginning, AGC causes the brightness of the sky and its details to change several times. There is no such thing as an "anti-AGC" filter to correct this, so you simply have to live with the results.

Consumers appear to be unaware of how jittery camera motion impairs and limits the action of denoisers and other filters. Frantic motion creates interlace and motion artifacts, as well as showing how much extra bitrate is required (and wasted) by such motion in final encodes.
Thanks for pointing this out, I noticed this too but assumed it was a camera specific feature which you have now confirmed. What can one do about the interlacing and motion artifacts you mention ? Can they be smoothed over ?

Now this is where I start getting a bit lost.....

Quote:
The script below uses an optional left-border cleanup routine with the chubbyrain2.avs and smoothUV.dll anti-rainbow filters. It's optional because another shot with different background colors under the cyan stain might be adversely affected. The GradFun2DBmod gradient smoother prevents hard edges and block noise in smooth areas in the final encode, necessary because of the fairly strong denoising required.

Color, saturation and levels tweaking were applied in VirtualDub using ColorCamcorderDenoise, ColorMill, gradation curves, and VDub's graphical Levels filter. In particular, the sliding Levels control was used to restore some brilliance to the overhead sky, while the curves filter was used as to limit super-brights to luminance-safe specular highlights in that area. Filter settings used were saved in a VirtualDub .vcf file as TestClip1_settings.vcf (attached).

Aliasing and line twitter along diagonals during motion are common problems with shutter operation in consumer cameras. This can be calmed to some extent with QTGMC and the vInverse filter. If it continues to be annoying, QTGMC can be modified to discard the alternate frame that is interpolated during deinterlace; effectively this removes 50% of the noise, as well as cutting temporal resolution in half. The result is 25fps progressive video. However, such segments can be encoded as interlaced (the encoder will imbed interlace flags), so those progressive segments can then be merged with interlaced sections in the same final video.

Using QTGMC to produce progressive video can be done using the FPSDivisor parameter. In the script posted later below, the "normal" QTGMC statement is:

[code]
QTGMC(preset="medium",EZDenoise=6,denoiser="dfttes t",ChromaMotion=true,\
ChromaNoise=true,DenoiseMC=true,GrainRestore=0.3,b order=true)

The same statement can be modified with the FPSDivisor parameter to make 25fps progressive video:

Code:

QTGMC(preset="medium",EZDenoise=6,denoiser="dfttes t",ChromaMotion=true,\
ChromaNoise=true,DenoiseMC=true,GrainRestore=0.3,b order=true,/
FPSDivisor=2)

Below is the script I used to get the filtered 25fps interlaced result (attached as encoded "TestClip1_25i.mp4") Please note: jittery motion is seen by many temporal filters as seriously noisy. More noise = stronger settings = more cleanup work = slower filtering. Therefore this is a very slow running script, processing at about 3 fps.
Code:

Import("D:\Avisynth 2.5\plugins\chubbyrain2.avs")
Import("D:\Avisynth 2.5\plugins\RemoveDirtMC.avs")

AviSource("D:\forum\faq\willow5\D\test clip1.avi")
ColorYUV(off_u=8,off_v=-3)
ConvertToYV12(interlaced=true)
AssumeTFF()

### --- optional cubbyrain2 left-border routine --- ###
separatefields
a=last

a
chubbyrain2()
smoothuv(radius=7)
crop(0,0,-688,0,true)
ColorYuv(off_v=4) #<- add some red to the new patch
b=last

overlay(a,b)
weave()
### --- end of optional cubbyrain2 left-border roytine --- ###

QTGMC(preset="medium",EZDenoise=6,denoiser="dfttes t",ChromaMotion=true,\
ChromaNoise=true,DenoiseMC=true,GrainRestore=0.3,b order=true)
vinverse2()
BiFrost(interlaced=false)
DeHalo_Alpha(rx=2.5)
RemoveDirtMC(40,false)
GradFun2DBmod(thr=1.8)
LSFmod()
AddGrainC(1.5,1.5)
Crop(16,2,-4,-12).AddBorders(10,6,10,8)
SeparateFields().SelectEvery(4,0,3).Weave()
### --- To RGB32 for VirtualDub filters --- ###
ConvertToRGB32(interlaced=true,matrix="Rec601")
return last

Other than the chubbyrain2 routine and VirtualDub filters mentioned below, other denoisers snd chroma cleaners used were dfttest, RemoveDirtMC, and Bifrost. GradFDun2DBmod is a gradient smoother, DeHalo_Alpha cleans edge halos. LSFmod is a sharpener.
There is a lot of good information here but I am at a loss on how to capitalise on it. Where do I start with filters, scripts and so on ? Also, how did you get the file size down from c.90Mb to c.8Mb ? Did running these scripts alone reduce the file size ? Please assume I am a total novice (barely mastered capturing) and need a bit of hand holding through this phase.....

Quote:
The progressive version is attached as "TestClip1_25p.mp4". Although it is physically progressive, it's encoded with interlace flags. Some external players would play it as interlaced anyway. It doesn't have as much diagonal line twitter as the 25i version, but motion isn't as smooth.
Does it mean that progressive is better than interlaced or is this down to user preference ? I assume progressive removes the interlacing artifacts ? Is this a specific filter that can be applied to change between interlacing and progressive ? Which one is more popular with PAL captures ?

Quote:
I don't know where the loud hiss and noise are coming from in your sample, but it's badly over modulated. The audio was captured at 96KHz. Usually it would be 48KHz for capture.
Yes you are right, I did not change the default Vdub settings when capturing...does it mean I need to recapture ?

Now, I have a few additional questions:

1) Should I be using a separate sound card for audio capture ? I read somewhere on this forum that I must not use the in built sound card "line in" which I have been doing so far. My motherboard is Asus P4C-800e so not sure if this has adequate chipsets for audio capture. If the answer is that I need to use a separate sound card then please can you recommend one ?
2) If I wish to splice in other footage from other camera angles to make one edited video, how best could I do this ? Is VDub the best tool or do I need dedicated video editing software ? For example, I wish to retain the audio soundtrack from Camera 1 while using footage from Camera 2 at the same timecode
2a) Following on from 2), what comes first in terms of filtering then splicing in video ? Does one filter all video from camera 1 first then filter all video from camera 2 followed by splicing in the footage together to make 1 continuous video ? The reason I ask is because there are a few wedding tapes that I wish to merge together by taking the best of both cameras and making 1 good video which can be shared with the happy couple. I must point out that 1 is "professional VHS" while my video is at best Hi8
2b) How do I add titles and text to videos both as a black or white background and on top of the video ?
3) When batch capturing, do I need to look over the video to make a note of where the inserted frames are occuring or could I do this retrospectively ? Looking at your reply here, it would appear that I need to narrow down the time window that these inserts happened. The only was I can do this going forwards is to watch over the captures as they are happening which seems time consuming. I can, however, get a list of statistics post capture from Vdub showing the number of dropped / inserted frames if this is helpful ?

That is all I can think of for now, I am sure there will be many, many more questions though - thank you Sir !

-- merged --

Sorry one more question, the 8mm tapes I have were recorded on a mono camera. Is 48KHz suitable for mono audio or both mono and stereo?


Attached Images
File Type: jpg frame 129 initial lookover cropped.jpg (77.5 KB, 0 downloads)
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  #8  
Yesterday, 02:42 PM
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lordsmurf lordsmurf is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dpalomaki View Post
Would standard 8mm players
I often think confusion comes from using the term 8mm whatsoever, in reference to tape formats. It's Video8, Hi8, or Digital8. There actually is no "8mm" analog tape format. 8mm is film.

And yes, I made that mistake many times in past years, and sometimes still do.
But I saw the confusion it was causing.

Much like VHS, S-VHS, W-VHS, and D-VHS, users need to specify the exact format. Each is very different.

(I'm tired of guessing, because I seem to often guess wrong. )

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