Quantcast Capturing NTSC videos in Europe? - digitalFAQ Forum
  #1  
11-18-2020, 11:45 AM
Laurence02 Laurence02 is offline
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Hello,

I'm in Europe (Sweden) and want to digitize NTSC tapes. I have a JVC HR-7600MS (which apparently is a multi-system unit, although the output appears to be coaxial only - I guess it's a bit ancient), and a JVC HR-S7700 (which, while S-VHS, doesn't seem to support NTSC).

What are my choices? Should I even attempt to digitalise through the HR-7600MS' coaxial jack? Or would a new purchase of machine be my best bet - in that case, which one? I would like to try to sidestep the need for a step-up transformer/expensive shipping from the US.

Thank you in advance!
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  #2  
11-18-2020, 12:31 PM
latreche34 latreche34 is online now
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No it is not worth capturing via RF out, You would need a NTSC VCR or the JVC HR-S7600AM PAL/NTSC if TBC and S-Video are required, This is the only S-VHS VCR in the history that is capable of doing 525/625 native scan and built in line TBC but finding the unicorn is probably a lot easier. So just get a US VCR.
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  #3  
11-18-2020, 12:49 PM
Laurence02 Laurence02 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by latreche34 View Post
No it is not worth capturing via RF out, You would need a NTSC VCR or the JVC HR-S7600AM PAL/NTSC if TBC and S-Video are required, This is the only S-VHS VCR in the history that is capable of doing 525/625 native scan and built in line TBC but finding the unicorn is probably a lot easier. So just get a US VCR.
Thank you for the answer.
Bummer.
I guess it's import time then.

Edit: A follow-up question. If I'm only meaning to digitize standard VHS tapes, would a S-VHS deck mean a significant improvement?
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  #4  
11-18-2020, 02:33 PM
hodgey hodgey is offline
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Most newer PAL VCRs can play NTSC tapes and output a not quite NTSC signal (NTSC 4.43, PAL60 or both depending on the VCR).

So, what I've used to capture NTSC tapes in PAL land is a VCR that can do that and passed the signal through a newer Sony or Pioneer DVD/HDD-recorder as those can handle these formats and do a decent job at correcting jitter as well (as the TBC on SVHS VCRs is not active when playing NTSC other than the mentioned multi-system one). They will output the signal as normal NTSC over the S-Video output if set to it in the menus.

The other method I've used is to pass the video through Panasonic DVD/HDD recorder like the DMR-ES10 using a multi-system deck (or a native NTSC one) with proper NTSC output, as the PAL panasonic DVRs do support NTSC as well (other than possibly the very old ones). The are very good at handling dodgy video signals and great at correcting jitter. They do only support standard NTSC though, so they can't be used with PAL60 or NTSC 4.43 output like the Sony/Pioneer models (which are not quite as resilient with very bad tapes). Multi-system decks that have standard ntsc (3.58) do seem to pop up now and then for sale used, at least here in Scandinavia. There are a bunch of models that don't have conversion functionality (and french SECAM support) that aren't overly expensive as they don't feature the extra standards conversion stuff and french SECAM playback that the ones mentioned in the guide have. (Some may lack hi-fi and not support all speeds though.)

I find this to work pretty well. A native NTSC SVHS VCR with TBC may give a tad nicer result, but I as olny get like a handful of NTSC tapes each year, I haven't seen enough need or quality issues to justify the cost of importing one.
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  #5  
11-18-2020, 02:58 PM
latreche34 latreche34 is online now
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S-VHS with built in TBC can be expensive here in the US as there is a surge in demand for them, What you could probably do is hunt down a NTSC combo VHS/DVD that can output component (480i), Such combo's are usually built in image stabilizer and output the signal via component (Red, green, blue) for the VHS section, Then just capture from component, Be careful, not all combo's output VCR via component, check the manual before you buy.

I have heard that some VHS/DVD combo's have S-Video out for the VCR and are built in image stabilizer I have yet to come across a model, The only units I've seen that have S-Video out and image stabilizer/line TBC are the S-VHS decks.
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  #6  
11-18-2020, 03:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Laurence02 View Post
I'm in Europe (Sweden) and want to digitize NTSC tapes.
How many?

Quote:
Should I even attempt to digitalise through the HR-7600MS' coaxial jack?
No.

Quote:
What are my choices?
Or would a new purchase of machine be my best bet - in that case, which one?
An actual NTSC JVC S-VHS VCR with line TBC.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Laurence02 View Post
If I'm only meaning to digitize standard VHS tapes, would a S-VHS deck mean a significant improvement?
Yes, significant. The main reason is the line TBC in the VCR.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hodgey View Post
Most newer PAL VCRs can play NTSC tapes and output a not quite NTSC signal
And that signal is not to any actual format, so cannot be captured.

Quote:
So, what I've used to capture NTSC tapes in PAL land is a VCR that can do that and passed the signal through a newer Sony or Pioneer DVD/HDD-recorder as those can handle these formats and do a decent job at correcting jitter as well (as the TBC on SVHS VCRs is not active when playing NTSC other than the mentioned multi-system one). They will output the signal as normal NTSC over the S-Video output if set to it in the menus.
But the conversion of NTSC>PAL is not very good. This is an old cheat, and the side effect is linear/jaggy noise, off colors, and ghosting.

Quote:
A native NTSC SVHS VCR with TBC may give a tad nicer result,
Not may, will.

Quote:
but I as olny get like a handful of NTSC tapes each year, I haven't seen enough need or quality issues to justify the cost of importing one.
This is a consideration. This is why I don't hunt down a better SECAM player, as I only get about 1 tapes per year on average.

Quote:
Originally Posted by latreche34 View Post
S-VHS with built in TBC can be expensive here in the US as there is a surge in demand for them,
Eh, not too much of a surge. Unlike frame TBCs, and certain capture cards, VCRs are still in the ~$500 ranges (+/- based on model, condition), with the AG-1980 being the main exception due to the refurb work needed.

Quote:
What you could probably do is hunt down a NTSC combo VHS/DVD that can output component (480i), Such combo's are usually built in image stabilizer and output the signal via component
But again, with degraded images quality.

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  #7  
11-18-2020, 03:39 PM
Laurence02 Laurence02 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hodgey View Post
Most newer PAL VCRs can play NTSC tapes and output a not quite NTSC signal (NTSC 4.43, PAL60 or both depending on the VCR).

So, what I've used to capture NTSC tapes in PAL land is a VCR that can do that and passed the signal through a newer Sony or Pioneer DVD/HDD-recorder as those can handle these formats and do a decent job at correcting jitter as well (as the TBC on SVHS VCRs is not active when playing NTSC other than the mentioned multi-system one). They will output the signal as normal NTSC over the S-Video output if set to it in the menus.

The other method I've used is to pass the video through Panasonic DVD/HDD recorder like the DMR-ES10 using a multi-system deck (or a native NTSC one) with proper NTSC output, as the PAL panasonic DVRs do support NTSC as well (other than possibly the very old ones). The are very good at handling dodgy video signals and great at correcting jitter. They do only support standard NTSC though, so they can't be used with PAL60 or NTSC 4.43 output like the Sony/Pioneer models (which are not quite as resilient with very bad tapes). Multi-system decks that have standard ntsc (3.58) do seem to pop up now and then for sale used, at least here in Scandinavia. There are a bunch of models that don't have conversion functionality (and french SECAM support) that aren't overly expensive as they don't feature the extra standards conversion stuff and french SECAM playback that the ones mentioned in the guide have. (Some may lack hi-fi and not support all speeds though.)
Interesting. The first option is definitely an option, and I'll see if I can't get hold of a proper (non-coaxial) NTSC deck sometime.

Quote:
Originally Posted by latreche34 View Post
S-VHS with built in TBC can be expensive here in the US as there is a surge in demand for them, What you could probably do is hunt down a NTSC combo VHS/DVD that can output component (480i), Such combo's are usually built in image stabilizer and output the signal via component (Red, green, blue) for the VHS section, Then just capture from component, Be careful, not all combo's output VCR via component, check the manual before you buy.
Yeah... but if I'm getting a NTSC unit, why not just buy a VCR?

Quote:
Originally Posted by lordsmurf View Post
How many?
Very few, but I plan on slowly accumulating a bunch of NTSC tapes in the future. Not many enough to justify the importation of a NTSC deck from the US in my eyes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lordsmurf View Post
No.
Good to know.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lordsmurf View Post
An actual NTSC JVC S-VHS VCR with line TBC.
Right. Makes sense.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lordsmurf View Post
Yes, significant. The main reason is the line TBC in the VCR.
I did surmise that, but seeing as I never have used a deck with a TBC, I couldn't really imagine the improvement. I'll take your words for it - and please do excuse the stupid question.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lordsmurf View Post
And that signal is not to any actual format, so cannot be captured.
Interesting. I realise that this isn't meant for me to answer, but I have actually succeeded in getting a signal from a PAL ("pseudo-NTSC") deck (forgive me, I've forgotten the model number and I don't have it at hand) via an ezcap159 and VirtualDub. Not much colour, however, so no cigar. The sound was good though.
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  #8  
11-18-2020, 04:30 PM
hodgey hodgey is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lordsmurf View Post
But the conversion of NTSC>PAL is not very good. This is an old cheat, and the side effect is linear/jaggy noise, off colors, and ghosting.
There isn't any NTSC>PAL conversion happening with NTSC 4.43 (PAL60 involved some phase alteration I think), the color signal is just upconverted to the PAL color frequency instead of the NTSC one, nothing else is altered. The luma signal is the same in all cases, the signal output doesn't have changed framerate or anything. I've never seen it cause any ghosting or jaggy noise when playing back NTSC on PAL equipment. The limitations are that some noise reduction and any TBC will be disabled, and that the video heads may be a bit less optimized for the NTSC track widths. I don't know how big of an impact the latter would have but if there is a notable difference it would probably be most noticeable with slower tape speeds and/or weak tape signals.

There is supposedly also some difference in the angle between video and hi-fi heads in NTSC and PAL/SECAM drums, but what effect that has in practice on a modern deck I'm not sure. (I think some older decks wouldn't do hi-fi in NTSC mode)

Many capture cards support the two pseudo-NTSC signals, but as people know they are usually crap at handling raw vcr output hence the suggestion of using a DVR that supports these formats. The AVT/Cypress TBCs handle NTSC 4.43 as well. The color will be converted to digital Cb/Cr component form internally in the DVR or TBC, so the color format on the output side shouldn't matter.

NTSC 3.58 to standard PAL conversion on the other hand, as can be done in e.g the format converting multi-system decks like the Samsung SV-x000W VCRs involve changing frame rate and number of fields, so that is likely to cause jaggyness and ghosting so it's not something that should be used for capturing.

If I have some time one day I could make some samples comparing the NTSC variants on a multi-system VCR if you are curious. I don't have a native non-NTSC VHS VCR on hand (though the SV-7000W we got is an US one I think as it has a US power plug), though I have the samsung and two other multi-system VCRs that can output in all the NTSC variants and record NTSC.

I do have a native Sony NTSC Hi8 camcorder and portable Sony Video8 player, but I don't have the equivalent PAL models. For the Video8 player (EVO-250) the video quality was worse than with that than with NTSC 4.43 playback on my PAL Sony CCD-TRV66, so if there was any quality degradation due to it being NTSC 4.43 it was less than the quality loss from using an older player.
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  #9  
12-22-2020, 05:42 PM
Laurence02 Laurence02 is offline
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Is the JVC HR-S7600AM a good player? Not having to purchase a stepdown transformer is appealing, so are the multi-system capabilities.

I've found one on a Chinese page for what seems to be about 250 US dollars + shipping, which is pretty much at the higher end of what I can pay. While I don't know/expect much about the condition/testing (especially after the international shipping), I do know at least one local professional repairman who could take a look at it.
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  #10  
12-23-2020, 07:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hodgey View Post
There is supposedly also some difference in the angle between video and hi-fi heads in NTSC and PAL/SECAM drums, but what effect that has in practice on a modern deck I'm not sure. (I think some older decks wouldn't do hi-fi in NTSC mode)
I can confirm: Philips S-VHS VR 948 not read Hi-Fi track from NTSC tape (I tried only japanese NTSC tape) but the newer model VR 969 ("the clock") from the same NTSC tape, read correctly Hi-Fi track.

In my experience NTSC tape in PAL deck, with NTSC playback function, need more Hi-Fi tracking and/or tape path alignment precision, otherwise is easier hear audio heads switch noise (as we say here in Italy "the audio is farting").
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  #11  
12-23-2020, 01:49 PM
latreche34 latreche34 is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Laurence02 View Post
Is the JVC HR-S7600AM a good player? Not having to purchase a stepdown transformer is appealing, so are the multi-system capabilities.

I've found one on a Chinese page for what seems to be about 250 US dollars + shipping, which is pretty much at the higher end of what I can pay. While I don't know/expect much about the condition/testing (especially after the international shipping), I do know at least one local professional repairman who could take a look at it.
You don't need a step down or step up converter with the HR-S7600AM, It's a multi-standard but not a standard converter like those international Samsung units, It reads PAL as PAL and NTSC as NTSC, it does have PAL60 like any other European VCR though.

Be careful when buying from Chinese auction sites, It's a hit and miss, I own two of these units, I bought one from ToaBoa website in China and one from a Russian website site, 2 years apart, I was aware that both purchases were risky, Most of the money I paid was for shipping, VCR's themselves were like $20. When I received each one I did a thorough cleaning, full service including removing and putting new grease/oil, After about 2 years of light use both units needed spindle brakes.
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  #12  
12-23-2020, 01:58 PM
Laurence02 Laurence02 is offline
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Originally Posted by latreche34 View Post
You don't need a step down or step up converter with the HR-S7600AM, It's a multi-standard but not a standard converter like those international Samsung units, It reads PAL as PAL and NTSC as NTSC, it does have PAL60 like any other European VCR though.

Be careful when buying from Chinese auction sites, It's a hit and miss, I own two of these units, I bought one from ToaBoa website in China and one from a Russian website site, 2 years apart, I was aware that both purchases were risky, Most of the money I paid was for shipping, VCR's themselves were like $20. When I received each one I did a thorough cleaning, full service including removing and putting new grease/oil, After about 2 years of light use both units needed spindle brakes.
Yeah, I've understood that. I was mostly thinking that the HR-S7600AM is superior in those aspects compared to importing a 120Hz unit.

Yes, I will. I think I'll try to find a cheaper unit. An untested unit without casing screws/power cord/remote just popped up for what seems to be a bargain (sub-10 USD) and I'm thinking about it. It does seem to have lived a hard life, though (it's even serial (?) stamped on the front).
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  #13  
12-24-2020, 02:14 AM
latreche34 latreche34 is online now
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The S7600AM is the same as any S7600XX, It just have extra cards inside for two standards and a multi voltage power board, And it's better than the standard converter units sold around the world like the Samsung 5000 or whatever model is.
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  #14  
12-24-2020, 04:04 AM
Laurence02 Laurence02 is offline
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Originally Posted by latreche34 View Post
The S7600AM is the same as any S7600XX, It just have extra cards inside for two standards and a multi voltage power board, And it's better than the standard converter units sold around the world like the Samsung 5000 or whatever model is.
Good to know - I assume that I can cannibalise parts from the EU model if I go through with it.
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  #15  
01-06-2021, 10:36 AM
Laurence02 Laurence02 is offline
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There we go. I bought a HR-S7600AM from a Japanese second-hand page for an amount of money (around USD 270 + 130 i shipping). Alea iacta est.
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  #16  
01-06-2021, 01:28 PM
latreche34 latreche34 is online now
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Let us know how it works when you get it.
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  #17  
01-06-2021, 01:29 PM
Laurence02 Laurence02 is offline
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Let us know how it works when you get it.
I will. It hopefully won't be too long.
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  #18  
01-09-2021, 10:25 AM
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On a similar note - excuse me for digressing - is there a single PAL/NTSC TBC unit that could be said to be affordable (or at least consumer-priced) for a consumer like me? I know that it may sound rich from someone who just purchased a HR-S7600AM, but dropping 1000+ US dollars on a TBC just isn't within my current capabilities..

I have seen lordsmurf's sales post and I trust their judgment completely, but as much as I wish that I could spend that kind of money, I just don't have that kind of money.
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01-09-2021, 10:31 AM
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As noted earlier, the PAL Panasonic DVD-recorders (at least from the DMR-ES10 and on for a while) support both PAL and NTSC. (The United states/NTSC models do not). So an option is to make use of one of those (or the Sony/Pioneer ones but they are a bit more prone to dropped/inserted frames), provided you use a volume control or similar to lower the video level before entering the DVR to avoid clipping.

For the full-on TBCs the Datavideo TBC-3000 has a NTSC/PAL switch inside, the Cypress/AVT TBCs support multiple PAL and NTSC variants. Not sure whether the TBC-1000 can be switched like the 3000 or not.
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  #20  
01-09-2021, 10:37 AM
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Originally Posted by hodgey View Post
As noted earlier, the PAL Panasonic DVD-recorders (at least from the DMR-ES10 and on for a while) support both PAL and NTSC. (The United states/NTSC models do not). So an option is to make use of one of those (or the Sony/Pioneer ones but they are a bit more prone to dropped/inserted frames), provided you use a volume control or similar to lower the video level before entering the DVR to avoid clipping.

For the full-on TBCs the Datavideo TBC-3000 has a NTSC/PAL switch inside, the Cypress/AVT TBCs support multiple PAL and NTSC variants. Not sure whether the TBC-1000 can be switched like the 3000 or not.
It's looking more and more like a DMR-ES15 or something similar would be a good choice. Thank you! I would most likely have purchased a Datavideo TBC if the price tag wasn't what it is.
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