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  #1  
06-07-2021, 11:31 AM
meatbag meatbag is offline
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Alright guys sorry for the long post but I need to digitize our old home movies from 2 families (wife's and mine) to mp4 or avi. don't care about dvds. I see a lot of options. Please help me find the right choice without going broke.

Tape Quantity Guestimate:
30-35 VHS
20 VHS-C
5 Hi-8

what i already have:
Elgato usb video capture
Poloroid DVD VHS Combo Player w/ stereo out
Sony CCD-TRV98

my first test was watchable but I didn't like all the color issues it had; picture jumped here and there. i'm willing to spend a little extra but not thousands for good quality. i think i would enjoy doing all the captures and virtualdub filters. would be a good way to look through all the footage anyways.

Option 1: use what I have and live with the bad quality but still preserve the memories (free + time)

Option 2: try to find a deal on a jvc w/ tbc from the list on ebay ($300-$450 - resale + time, risk of issues that i have to fix or return under buyer protection, could fail before reselling)

Option 3: Only buy a jvc w/ TBC from digitalfaq market ($600-$800 - resale value + time, might have a warranty, could possibly have vertical jitter or dropped frames from lack of external tbc) - *Leaning this way

Option 4: buy full rig w/ vhs, tbc, etc ($3000 - resale value + time, not sure if full frame tbc is necessary, seems risky, worried I could lose $1000-$2000 doing this)

Option 5: Pay a local service ($3000 gone)

Option 6: Pay a cheap online service like legacybox ($750 gone, slightly less quality than pro rig, but better quality than I can get now. risk of losing/damaging priceless memories in the mail)

Advice would be appreciated. My preference is to only lose a few hundred plus my time if that's possible. Thanks in advance
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  #2  
06-07-2021, 03:51 PM
latreche34 latreche34 is offline
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What you are doing now is better than what you get out of legacy box, See VWestlife youtube channel about legacy box if you don't believe me. $3000? Hell I can do it for half of that if you allow me some time as I'm back logged now.

The option of buying a VCR from ebay can be considered if you know how to service and/or fix the VCR yourself, otherwise don't even think about it.

Now the other option is to buy a certified VCR, but chances are high with the capture gear you have now that you will need a $1600 TBC, Also keep in mind that it may take you a while to resell it unless you are willing to loose a lot.

Buying the whole shebang is costly, but it should work out of the box, however reselling is even harder than just an expensive VCR/TBC, You could loose a lot of money trying to get it sold.

I know someone may disagree with me but I bought and sold and repaired a lot of video gear over the years and I'm speaking from my personal experience.
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  #3  
06-07-2021, 08:44 PM
Hushpower Hushpower is offline
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Quote:
my first test was watchable but I didn't like all the color issues it had; picture jumped here and there.
Were you using the VCR or the TRV98 for this? Because if you're having issues with the quality for both, it is most likely to be that Elgato stick (I suspect you're going to incur the wrath of Lordsmurf merely mentioning the word!).

How does the video look if you play it on your TV? That might isolate a dodgy tape.

In any case, it sounds like you need to put a DVD Recorder ("minimalist" TBC) into the chain to stabilise the video going into the Elgato. Here are some suggestions:

Panasonic ES-10/15
https://forum.videohelp.com/threads/...d)#post2607662

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DsgmuQT4udE

How to fix green-purple flashes when digitising?

https://forum.videohelp.com/threads/...e2#post2620451

Panasonic EH50, EH65, Sony HXD-870
https://forum.videohelp.com/threads/...er-passthrough

These are used in Passthrough mode only; you don't use the DVD/hard drive. You plug your camera or VCR into the Input and then plug the Elgato into the Output.

They're all pretty cheap, relatively speaking.

If that fails, I'd replace that Elgato stick. They don't have a very good reputation around here (I don't own one). Windows 10 can be an issue with older capture sticks; I'm using an IOData GV-USB2 and it performs flawlessly with Win 10 and Virtual Dub. Shop around; the prices vary (the are brand new). It is better than the VGB-100 and as good as the Startech USB3HDCAP I also have.

The biggest ticket item would be replacing VCR; dodgy-brothers on the Internet make this a daunting proposition; certainly a Lordsmurf VCR would be the best, and you could use that as a selling point after you've finished; if you ever do! You'll get hooked and start doing conversions for others. I'd also be looking around the local area; you may well stumble across a VCR in decent condition at an auction or garage sale, and local Farcebook marketplace can be a good source (try before you buy); I got a brand new still-in-the-box Panasonic EZ-48 recently for cheap.

I certainly would not be forking out $1600 for a proper TBC before I changed the Elgato and the Polaroid VCR.

Last edited by Hushpower; 06-07-2021 at 09:15 PM.
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  #4  
06-08-2021, 01:22 AM
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Color issues are from not using quality S-VHS VCR with line TBC.

LegacyBox quality is worse than what you're already doing. They do super-shitty work, and that includes losing/eating customer tapes at a high volume (something I have never understood, it's just unreal, they must hire unqualified careless hacks with no care given).

A "local service" can be just as bad as LegacyBox. Any local service needs heavy vetting, don't fall sucker/victim to a "shop local" campaign. These are highly variable, with most being craptastic. Some members of this forum are local to certain regions, and seem to do well -- mostly because they're committed to quality, both with hardware and software (and kudos to them!!!). But there's a "company" called "Home Movie Transfer" that lures people into a franchise arrangement. They tout bottom-barrel "turn-key" methods, and it reminds me of pyramid schemes. A few of these "franchisees" have broken ranks with the suggested crap methods, and bought some of my better gear (sometimes returning for more), to give their customers quality. But most are sticking to the bad methods, as seen from reviews.

There's nothing risky about buying a TBC if you acquire it from a known entity. I usually have frame TBCs available (and do now, in the marketplace), often refurb'd, but a few others have in the past (TGrant, VCRshop, but they mostly specialize in VCRs, and they've sometimes offered up TBCs that are not good for consumer analog videotape work). You have to know what you're getting, before you get it, don't buy on price.

If resale is a primary concern, then certain items must be chosen. Note that these "popular" items may have reduced quality, as some of the best items are "unknown" to newbie buyers that have thin knowledge. For example, the TBC-1000 is a great TBC, but it's not the end-all/be-all of TBCs. There are better units, usually rarer, so get those when available. Save the TBC-1000 when the market has slim pickings. Unfortunately, it has the best resell value, even if undeserved. The TBC-1000 has problems, and those have been accelerating since 2019. Most of what you see on eBay is now fatally flawed crap (and, of course, all are "tested" and "working", but really are not). These bad TBCs actually cause timing errors, ghosting, etc, not too different from flawed Cypress/AVT-8710 chips. I have a TBC-1000 right now, but mostly for our PAL users, as PAL TBCs are suddenly hard to find. Or PAL+NTSC users. I have better NTSC TBCs, for now.

I don't know of anybody that has ever "lost a lot" from reselling a good TBC or VCR, especially not gear that comes from me. Quite a few folks have successfully resold gear here in the marketplace, especially my full workflows. Sometimes I ever buy back gear, depending on factors at the time. Losing money from resale is mostly a statement about patience. If you have a fire sale mentality, "must go now!", then you'll take whatever you're offered. But that's on you, not the gear or gear value.

Elgato is infamously known as "Elcrapo" for a reason. (Referring to the video capture USB sticks, not other devices. Elgato does make some impressive non-video devices.)

You can try to go a budget route, such as minimalist ES10/15 for the TBC, but I have a feeling you won't be pleased by it. There are defects of this method, fail rates with the transfers.

At very minimum, you need a better VCR, preferably a JVC S-VHS deck with line TBC. What you're using is junk (Polaroid is a shell brand name, and that's probably a lousy Funai VCR combo, as most are in the 2000s). Also realize that eBay is gambling, not buying. Shipping matters most with VCRs, and too many eBay sellers are idiots (aka writing "fragile" on the box doesn't cut it).

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  #5  
06-08-2021, 03:31 PM
meatbag meatbag is offline
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Thanks to everyone for sharing your knowledge/experience!

@latreche34- The $3000 local estimate was just based off seeing a few places charging $25/hr of tape.
Thanks for the warning on resale time; i had gotten the feeling it would be that way from seeing sales posts span months.
legacybox: I had seen part of the vwestlife video and while I agree his captures were better, it still appeared to my untrained eye they might be using a vcr with line tbc.

@Hushpower- Yes i just did a quick test with the VCR. I expect better results from the hi-8 camcorder. I assumed my issues were due to tape errors that a line tbc would correct but i guess I need to do some more tests. could be elgato or maybe even another cheap VHS would have better color. can't believe elgato is no good. i only bought it because amateurs in other forums rave about it. i'll take your word for it though. Thanks for the links. I had seen about the ES10. would you pair it with a vhs w/ line tbc or just with cheaper vcrs? i'll watch more videos to see if the quailty is "good enough".

@lordsmurf- I had been leaning toward a vcr w/ line tbc. i think my worry about resale was due to risk of equipment breaking on me then losing most of it's value due to it not working, or not reselling as high since i'm an untrusted source. If equipment goes bad so I can't trust eBay then it's possible working units could go bad while I'm using it right?

Does anyone know of any example videos to show capture of a good vcr w/ line tbc with and without external tbc? I wish i knew if the difference was big or small. i read on another thread the worry is having sync errors? and could those be fixed without tons of effort in software?
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06-08-2021, 03:56 PM
latreche34 latreche34 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meatbag View Post
Does anyone know of any example videos to show capture of a good vcr w/ line tbc with and without external tbc? I wish i knew if the difference was big or small. i read on another thread the worry is having sync errors? and could those be fixed without tons of effort in software?
This part is not going to be visual, It is timing, Meaning no dropped or inserted frames, no out of sync audio, no frame roll or black drop outs ... just to name few, Frame TBC should not have effect on the visual video quality, if it does it is not doing its job properly.
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  #7  
06-08-2021, 04:09 PM
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lordsmurf lordsmurf is offline
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Aside from the AG-1980, risk for a VCR that has already been refurb'd/serviced is far lower. It mostly comes down to how you care for it. No puffing smoke into it (or use it in a smoking home, period), don't let the kiddies play with it, don't let the dog/cat on it, etc. Proper usage, proper environment.

TBC-1000 caps long-term will probably be an issue. So resale depends on timeline.

Even of you're an untrusted buyer, when you get gear from some of us, we have out stickers on it. Both obvious/outside and hidden/inside. So there's also some proof of lineage.

Frame TBC is not about the image, but signal stability. Very often, there's nothing that we can "see", but the ingest hardware (capture cards, etc) sees the problem, and it causes issues. The main difference will simply be the observation of missing data/frames (and thus audio sync issues) from dropped frames. There are some mild corrections of non-jargon/layman vertical "jitter", as well as other instabilities, but those are obvious more towards nth gen. A layman doing A/B on early gen material would naively state it's "not much different", but without having context or understanding what they're seeing. It somewhat reminds me of me, and my MS. I "look fine", as my disabilities are largely hidden. They become visible only when things really turn south -- and even then, others may think I'm drunk, unaware of the actual underlying issue. In essence, your eyes deceive you, if you're blissfully unaware of the facts of the situation.

Timing errors cannot be fixed in software. Perhaps, someday, maybe (big if). But do not rely on this, nor have the ridiculous idea that time is the only factor to science hurdles. This is a phantom I've been chasing for 2 decades now. The only thing currently reliably functional is to beat a clip to death with temporal NR, but that has nasty side effects on most content.

Again, nobody likes buying TBCs, everybody fights it at first (mostly due to tech xenophobia, fear/avoidance of something new and different, and consider it "expense" without understanding typical video/photo gear costs). These are boring little tech boxes. But these are these tools required for the task of quality video capture (or video capture, period). It's not much different from washers, driers, lawnmowers, etc. Or NAS boxes full of HDDs, etc. I dislike dropping $$$ on SSDs, a tiny boring black box that I don't even get the benefit of seeing (because inside computer), but I cannot do what's needed without them.

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  #8  
06-09-2021, 09:41 AM
Hushpower Hushpower is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Meatbag
would you pair it (ES10) with a vhs w/ line tbc or just with cheaper vcrs?
Good question, I've never had a VCR with inbuilt TBC so I can't say. I'll defer to the experts on that one.
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  #9  
06-09-2021, 10:30 AM
ffmpeguserss ffmpeguserss is offline
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I'd start with the Hi-8 as you already have the player, this is what I did with my mom's Video8 and have gone really far with it, putting videos on DVD as interlaced video w/ great results. I think this route would give you the best bang for the buck and helps you build experience.

I used Windows XP and an AIW card for capture using VirtualDub. Edit, then DVD encode with HCenc. I'm not sure if you want to go this route but based on what I learned here and because I already had a Windows XP box with an AGP slot this was my preferred route.

Store the tapes vertically in a cool dry place away from heat & high humidity. It really depends on what's on the tapes, not sure if you want to spend 3k to discover it's content nobody cares about. Give yourself time. One day you'll see a nice Panasonic or JVC unit on cl, who knows. Got me a nice unit from my university so I got lucky, but I waited; was busy with Video8 anyway.
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