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  #1  
11-22-2010, 03:11 AM
quarkz quarkz is offline
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Hello.

I have been avidly reading many of the wonderful posts for the past few months (especially by admin, lordsmurf, kpmedia), but my limited knowledge about all things video, means a lot of that wisdom just passes over my head, yet i'm in awe of the generous way that knowledge is shared and expended.

Now, i'm yet another-person-going-down-the-route-of-video-transfer-and-seeking advice.

I've been busy for the past 5 years and more, and now i've finally got a bit of free time, so i want to re-visit my plans of converting the old family VHS tapes from decades ago.

So, here's what i have:
- a few dozen VHS tapes, recorded in PAL (i.e from Malaysia, Singapore), from 1980s, using video cameras and PAL VCRs. so, everything is PAL (from source player, through the equipment and output into my current TV in Australia is PAL too)
- these tapes have been rewound sometimes in the last 15 years but many of the tapes have that 'white' fungusy build-up on the tapes

I want to transfer them into a digital format, for viewing on a TV, e.g. DVD, Blu-Ray, etc.

* I'm not sure what format should i capture them? AVI? DVD format? (DVD is on the way out too, being replaced by Blu-Ray or encoders such as x264, MKV, etc.) i'm not fussed about creating chapters or indexing but i suppose this could help

Now, I don't have a LCD tv yet nor know the benefits of going from PAL VHS to Blu-Ray, but i guess that's one of my queries too (e.g. VHS resolution, VHS colour, etc.)

I don't have any equipment just yet, e.g. VCR, TBC, capture cards, etc.
and from all my research here at DigitalFaq, i'm leaning towards at least the following 2 x purchases, since I do think these would start in getting a decent capture:
- Panasonic PAL S-VHS player (NV-FS 200 or equivalent)
- DataVideo TBC-1000 (i should be receiving this TBC soon in the mail)

I'll start with the questions (and I guess they can be quite subjective too), so I don't want to seem like I'm "nit-picking"!:

* Should I consider a JVC VCR over a Panasonic (NV-FS 200 should be fine right?)

* Is it necessary to get detailers, proc amps, sync filters, etc.? (alluding to lordsmurf's post here) would having all of them in the signal chain lead to over-processing the signal?

* I have read about the JVC DVD recorders (HDD-based units & combo), so are they good enough to get so that I don't have to go down the route of capturing for editing on a PC? i.e. are these DVD recorders good enough to be used as a substitute for getting a capture card & editing on a PC.
e.g. once I pass PAL signal from S-VHS VCR through detailers or not, TBC, etc., would the JVC DVD Recorder encode the file in a format that is good enough to view? (or burn to DVD? what about transferring it via the cable to a PC?)

I use to toy around with PCs (audio, hardware, etc.) for hours and hours when I was younger, so much so that these days, I'm usually just happy with something that doesn't involve too much effort but is "good enough". Computers at work and at home...mean, I sometimes get frustrated too easily...haha, but still, I can work with them.

So, I am wondering whether I should even bother getting capture cards, big hard-drives and a beefy PC (CPU, RAM, etc.), so that I go down that route of the PC and tinker with VirtualDub, AVISynth scripts, trying to get the 'right' colour, sharpening the video, waiting for the encode, not being satisfied...trying a different encoder, etc.etc.

* what are the advantages and benefits of using a capture device and transferring it through to a PC? (i'd probably use an ATi USB capture device for it)

Which is why I was wondering whether the JVC DVD Recorders clean up the image to the point, where it's good enough to go to DVD? even though i think DVDs are 'dead' now.

so, i have something like: VCR -> TBC -> DVD Recorder
(i could also get the Panasonic ES10 as i saw it go cheaply here recently)

If I start to worry about proc amps, detailers, etc. I have to contend with getting hardware that will work with 220 - 240 volts MAIN (here in Australia), since I see many of these are in North America and have specific power requimrents.

Basically, I'm trying to find the best balance between MONEY and TIME.

MONEY - don't want to spend too much money (e.g. VCR & TBC will end up costing US$550 and i don't want to spend a lot more than that. online purchases mean high shipping costs to Australia)

TIME - if i can spend a bit more money on hardware, so that i don't have to spend time (and effort!) on the PC tinkering around, then i'd probably do that!

I think I may have sounded like I'm making it difficult to get advice but I would like to know, how to find the compromise between quality & cost. Therefore, I am seeking the guidance and advice of the esteemed moderators of this excellent site.
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  #2  
11-22-2010, 09:13 AM
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Quote:
- these tapes have been rewound sometimes in the last 15 years but many of the tapes have that 'white' fungusy build-up on the tapes
This isn't good at all. Mold has infested the tapes. Playing such a tape will possibly ruin a VCR. At very least, the VCR would have to be cleaned between every play of the tape. playing the tapes also runs the risk of spreading the mold to other parts of the same tape, or even other tapes.

Quote:
* Is it necessary to get detailers, proc amps, sync filters, etc.? (alluding to lordsmurf's post here) would having all of them in the signal chain lead to over-processing the signal?
Proc amps and detailers are not necessary, bt can be nice to have.
Sync filters and TBCs may become necessary to get a quality signal off the tapes.

Quote:
* I have read about the JVC DVD recorders (HDD-based units & combo), so are they good enough to get so that I don't have to go down the route of capturing for editing on a PC? i.e. are these DVD recorders good enough to be used as a substitute for getting a capture card & editing on a PC.
Yes. The specific models of JVC recorders mentioned (and not just any JVC model) are excellent LSI Logic chipset based recorders, and will outperform most computer capture cards for creating DVDs

Quote:
e.g. once I pass PAL signal from S-VHS VCR through detailers or not, TBC, etc., would the JVC DVD Recorder encode the file in a format that is good enough to view? (or burn to DVD?
It writes directly to DVD.

Quote:
what about transferring it via the cable to a PC?)
This is not a possibility.
You can, however, put the DVD in a computer, and extract the data, in order to do editing and re-burning the project.
See the guide at http://www.digitalFAQ.com/guides/vid...d-recorder.htm

Quote:
I use to toy around with PCs (audio, hardware, etc.) for hours and hours when I was younger, so much so that these days, I'm usually just happy with something that doesn't involve too much effort but is "good enough". Computers at work and at home...mean, I sometimes get frustrated too easily...haha, but still, I can work with them.
Same here. My "good enough" tends to be pretty strict, however. I only want the best possible quality, yet within reasonable means. Spending hours and hours and hours at a computer with little to show for it, however, is not reasonable!

Quote:
So, I am wondering whether I should even bother getting capture cards, big hard-drives and a beefy PC (CPU, RAM, etc.), so that I go down that route of the PC and tinker with VirtualDub, AVISynth scripts, trying to get the 'right' colour, sharpening the video, waiting for the encode, not being satisfied...trying a different encoder, etc.etc.
You don't have to stop at the DVD recorder -- you can use the DVD recorder as the "digital converter" to a high bitrate DVD-Video MPEG-2, and then further extract and process in VirtualDub. I do this quite a bit, depending on project goals and quality. I don't want to lose quality, but at the same time I'm realistic about outcomes. The uncompressed AVI method is silly when the quality difference is negligible -- which it sometimes is.

Quote:
* what are the advantages and benefits of using a capture device and transferring it through to a PC? (i'd probably use an ATi USB capture device for it)
No compressed to introduce artifacts on noisy input video. Possible better handling of codecs/files in various video software, for restoration and encoding.

Quote:
Which is why I was wondering whether the JVC DVD Recorders clean up the image to the point, where it's good enough to go to DVD?
It's definitely good enough for most clean quality sources.

Quote:
even though i think DVDs are 'dead' now.
Not really. Blu-ray is hardly an archival medium. It's basically an upside-down CD-R in structure, which has a whole list of problems archive-wise. Solid-state isn't really ready yet. So DVD's here to stay for at least another decade or more.

Quote:
If I start to worry about proc amps, detailers, etc. I have to contend with getting hardware that will work with 220 - 240 volts MAIN (here in Australia), since I see many of these are in North America and have specific power requimrents.
Power converters are all you need. However, several devices come in PAL native versions, as sold in Europe and Australia.

Quote:
I think I may have sounded like I'm making it difficult to get advice but I would like to know, how to find the compromise between quality & cost. Therefore, I am seeking the guidance and advice of the esteemed moderators of this excellent site.
It's not an unreasonable request. We all want to budget properly.

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  #3  
11-22-2010, 09:39 AM
quarkz quarkz is offline
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Quote:
This isn't good at all. Mold has infested the tapes. Playing such a tape will possibly ruin a VCR. At very least, the VCR would have to be cleaned between every play of the tape. playing the tapes also runs the risk of spreading the mold to other parts of the same tape, or even other tapes.
i've begun rewinding/fowarding all these tapes in a dedicated "rewinder".
i notice that it 'shakes' the mould off but there's still some 'residue' of it, when looking down through the glass windows.

this "rewinder" also has some kind of set-up, where during the rewinding it passes the tape through some cotton rollers, which absorb the dirt/grime/mould from the actual tape. there's also a little hole where cleaning fluid can be squirted into, and which flows into the cotton rollers.

now, this rewinding unit is around 20 years old.
the fluid is still in its packaging and so are the spare cotton rollers.

i'm not even sure how to approach with such VHS tapes, that display mould, or dirt. anyway, i'll look into it later, i suppose or leave the tapes in a more sunny, well-lit and better ventilated room then.


Quote:
Proc amps and detailers are not necessary, bt can be nice to have.
Sync filters and TBCs may become necessary to get a quality signal off the tapes.
i should get my TBC-1000 in a couple of weeks' time.
i'll look at sync filters then and see how it fits into my budget.
(i will most probably get a cheap Panasonic DMR-ES10/ES15 DVD Recorder for cleaning up the VHS signal)

i read somewhere that i should try to capture/transfer using S-VIDEO outputs/cables through the whole signal chain.

what if some of the proc amps, detailers, sync filters don't have s-video sockets. wouldn't that be an issue?

in spite of all this about the quality of the signal, i'm still hunting for a good PAL JVC VCR and finding that challenging.

i've found a Blaupunkt (equivalent of a Panasonic NV-FS 200) but after all i've read, it seems like JVC S-VHS VCRs listed in "THE DIGITALFAQ GUIDE" is the way to go. the thing is, i can't remember whether my PAL VHS tapes are EP; i'm pretty sure most of the tapes are SP and there might be 1 or 2, that are in LP.

Quote:
You don't have to stop at the DVD recorder -- you can use the DVD recorder as the "digital converter" to a high bitrate DVD-Video MPEG-2, and then further extract and process in VirtualDub. I do this quite a bit, depending on project goals and quality. I don't want to lose quality, but at the same time I'm realistic about outcomes. The uncompressed AVI method is silly when the quality difference is negligible -- which it sometimes is.
after i posted my query, i did a lot of reading from many threads here at DigitalFAQ. (my,...what a repository of knowledge and wisdom!) i have really learnt a lot about going down the DVD Recorder path, and especially with the JVC DVD recorders. i'll probably look at getting a refurbished JVC DVD Recorder, HDD unit.

since the quality of this unit is good enough.
i suppose i could use enough DVD-RW discs to burn to and transfer to a PC.
admin, are you indicating from your previous post (quoted above), that even after using the JVC DVD Recorder to create those discs of the VHS transfers, that i can extract those .VOB files and process, edit, etc. in VirtualDub? that i can do titling, chapters, joining different scenes from different DVD discs, to get a final, desired compilation of scenes? without much loss in quality?

(i didn't understand your comment about the "uncompressed AVI method", i.e. what you mean by it and what is involved in that method)

Quote:
Not really. Blu-ray is hardly an archival medium. It's basically an upside-down CD-R in structure, which has a whole list of problems archive-wise. Solid-state isn't really ready yet. So DVD's here to stay for at least another decade or more.
a whole decade? wow. big call.
my other option is to store it on a HDD and keep copies of the HDDs, since the cost per TB is ridiculous now and working with media like DVD+Rs is finnicky.
with media players like WD-TV Live, i could easily view these VHS captures via a portable HDD....as i think disc-based media (with moving parts) is on the way out altogether.

still, your quick and to-the-point replies are appreciated.

more later...
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  #4  
11-22-2010, 10:05 AM
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Quote:
now, this rewinding unit is around 20 years old.
the fluid is still in its packaging and so are the spare cotton rollers. i'm not even sure how to approach with such VHS tapes, that display mould, or dirt. anyway, i'll look into it later, i suppose or leave the tapes in a more sunny, well-lit and better ventilated room then.
That rewinder is interesting. I would be careful with cleaning fluids that have aged -- chemicals change over time, and not for the better. I'd much rather see what the fluid actually has inside, and then replace it with something new. It's probably nothing more than cheap isopropyl alcoholo, if I had to guess.

I would not leave the tapes in the sun -- but maybe leave them in a less moist location. Don't go from one extreme (mold-growing environment) to the other (tape oven). However, I would mentioned that many times tapes will get "baked" to kill and remove moisture. That's not something you can do at home.

You can possibly clean these on your own, using that rewinder -- which I'd like to see photos of, as well as get the model/brand information on it.

Quote:
i read somewhere that i should try to capture/transfer using S-VIDEO outputs/cables through the whole signal chain.
what if some of the proc amps, detailers, sync filters don't have s-video sockets. wouldn't that be an issue?
Ideally, yes, s-video only -- but you can only do what's available. No s-video means no s-video. Look at composite-only connections in that case. Note that s-video/composite "crossovers" in the signal chain can lead to ugly issues with luma. I have some examples of this, but not readily available at the moment.

Quote:
in spite of all this about the quality of the signal, i'm still hunting for a good PAL JVC VCR and finding that challenging.
i've found a Blaupunkt (equivalent of a Panasonic NV-FS 200) but after all i've read, it seems like JVC S-VHS VCRs listed in "THE DIGITALFAQ GUIDE" is the way to go. the thing is, i can't remember whether my PAL VHS tapes are EP; i'm pretty sure most of the tapes are SP and there might be 1 or 2, that are in LP.
PAL VHS is all SP (2-hour) or LP (4-hour) -- no EP (6-hour) that I'm aware of off-hand. PAL tapes measurements differe from NTSC, so I always forget the details. I'd have to look at my own JVC manual to recall.

Anyway .... SP tapes are usually best played by the JVC decks, for the cleanest signal quality. The Panasonic S-VHS VCRs can be better at EP/SLP quality recordings, although it's not an absolute.

Quote:
admin, are you indicating from your previous post (quoted above), that even after using the JVC DVD Recorder to create those discs of the VHS transfers, that i can extract those .VOB files and process, edit, etc. in VirtualDub? that i can do titling, chapters, joining different scenes from different DVD discs, to get a final, desired compilation of scenes? without much loss in quality?
Yes, exactly. You understand correctly.
Most of the "editing" you described is what I'd call "scissors and tape" style editing, where footage is chopped up, moved removed, removed, etc -- and that can be done losslessly with Womble software. No re-encoding required for this style of editing. Or minimal/non-obvious encoding.
See http://www.digitalFAQ.com/forum/show...-vcr-1880.html

Quote:
(i didn't understand your comment about the "uncompressed AVI method", i.e. what you mean by it and what is involved in that method)
This is capturing uncompressed video (i.e., not MPEG-2 DVD-Video, which is compressed), followed by editing and/or restoring, then finally encoding to the output format (H.264 web streaming, H.264 for Blu-ray, MPEG-2 for DVD-Video, etc). A long process that needs a lot of hard drive space, knowledge, patience, good hardware and software.

Quote:
my other option is to store it on a HDD and keep copies of the HDDs, since the cost per TB is ridiculous now and working with media like DVD+Rs is finnicky.
with media players like WD-TV Live, i could easily view these VHS captures via a portable HDD....as i think disc-based media (with moving parts) is on the way out altogether.
Do both. Good DVD-R/DVD+R has a lifespan of about 25-75 years, while hard drives typically have a life of 5-10 years.
Buy quality DVD media: http://www.digitalFAQ.com/reviews/dvd-media.htm

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This helps us tremendously: http://www.digitalFAQ.com/forum/show...emium-321.html

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  #5  
08-15-2011, 01:52 PM
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it's been a long while since i have re-visited these Forums and that's also because i've been quite pre-occupied with 'life' in general, and didn't get much time/opportunity (and right hardware!) until about a few weeks ago.

so, i ended up getting the following hardware (TBC was new and everything else was 2nd-hand) through online auction sites, classifieds, etc...it took a while!

  • JVC HR-S8700 (source. PAL, S-VHS video player)
  • DataVideo TBC-1000 (time-base corrector)
  • Panasonic DMR-ES10 DVD Recorder (optional, for fixing up any "tearing")
  • JVC DR-MH300 DVD-Recorder (destination. 160GB hard-disk DVD-Recorder)

i have connected everything up in this way, using S-Video cables all the way through:
JVC HR-S8700 --> DataVideo TBC-1000 --> (optional Panasonic DMR-ES10) --> JVC DR-MH300

now, i can attest that the final recording on the JVC DR-MH300 looks as nice, if not more 'vibrant' than the source, which are SP VHS tapes recorded on a camcorder from the '80s.
(there's a degradation in image sharpness but overall it looks nicer than the source, funnily enough)

plus, I play the recordings from the hard-disk (HDD) of the JVC DVD-Recorder, onto a CRT TV as i have trouble burning to disc...which i will outline as follows.

now, to test it out (and not wear out the S-VHS player's heads), i just used a normal Samsung VCR i've got and passed everything through RCA cabling (through TBC) and finally to the DVD-Recorder, recording the 1-hour show in XP mode on the JVC DVD-Recorder.

When I play it back, it looks nice on TV.

So, I proceed to burn to DVD and think to myself that if this works out, then I can start to proceed with my VHS project and convert about 3 dozen family videos....which are obviously priceless.

The burning to DVD-Rs was the beginning of my frustrations. The JVC DVD-Recorder is really, really fussy.
I would also choose to burn in XP mode and the DVD-recorder would say that it would take 52 minutes!
fair enough.
there are also 3 "ways" of burning to disc:
- High Speed (it tries the fastest possible speed)
- Just (it writes, by appending to the existing session and tries to fit in whatever remaining space is on the disc)
- Manual (you choose the Mode, e.g. XP, SP, FR, etc...)

I tried all 3 methods of burning...and I would get mixed results.
These mixed results were always, failed burns...i.e. it would burn the disc while making lots of loud, clicking, whirring noises (noises reminiscent of the old 3.5" / 5.25" floppy disk-drives!) and then suddenly stop.
The burnt disc would not play anywhere nor read on a PC, because the session was open on the disc.

So, I figured maybe it was the disc as I had read on here that Verbatim discs were the best.
The DVD-recorder didn't like certain brands (Ritek, TDK, "Azul", etc.). It would burn on Princo 16x DVD-R & Verbatim 16x DVD-R, but when you look at the under-side of the DVD-R, you could see "rings" every few millimeters, which is indicative of improper disc-writing; basically, the discs weren't burnt "solidly".

I start hunting around for Verbatim discs and after several days find a reliable merchant, who sent me the wrong re-writables (i received Verbatim 4x DVD+RW and the JVC DVD recorder did not read these discs at all). It takes a few days for this to sort out and I finally receive the Verbatim 2x DVD-RW discs that ordered.

I put these into the JVC DR-MH300 and it still wouldn't burn properly, i.e. it stalls the burn and says 'completed' without completing the session whilst burning (i don't think it ever finalizes the burn).

Then, I figure out that I should 'erase the disc' in Nero, but not to do the 'quick erase' but a FULL erase...which takes about 30 minutes to do, at 2x speeds. If I do this, the JVC DVD recorder actually writes much better to the DVD-RW and actually completes the burn. I have used all 3 methods (HI-SPEED, JUST & MANUAL) to write in XP mode, a 1-hour VHS content. but each time, I have to manually 'finalize' (close the session) in the JVC DVD-Recorder (there's a section in the Set Up menu that is dedicated to this)

NOW....when I put this DVD-RW into a LG DVD-ROM drive to extract using IsoBuster or DVD Decrypter, the disc is unreadable or has 'errors' after about 10-seconds of reading it. Basically, I get the impression that the DVD drive in this JVC DVD-Recorder is really moody or it's faulty. I'm really disappointed and frustrated after days/weeks of tinkering around with it (i.e. opening up the DVD recorder, dismantling the HDD and running a defrag/scanner on the drive to correct any bad sectors, etc.). In fact, taking the HDD out of the JVC DVD-Recorder and attaching it to a PC (via the IDE cable), was hopeless too. The HDD appeared 'blank', i.e. the JVC ran some kind of custom firmware and formatting of the HDD. Besides that, you can't just swap out the DVD-drive from the JVC either. It has to be the GDA-4163B drive which you can't find anymore.
(i read a bit about it here too - http://www.cippico.com/bbs/viewforum.php?f=6)

Basically, I went through so much hassle to try to figure out why my burns weren't being read correctly on a WinXP machine. So, now I don't know what else to do...but throw the JVC DR-MH300 out (unless there's a way to grab the files off its internal HDD, via the firewire/digital connection or some other way!).
In fact, I really didn't want to go the WinXP route and buy an ATI TV Wonder 600 USB stick (or equivalent All-In-Wonder Radeon card), because I didn't want to use up a PC to do these VHS conversions as well as spend more time tinkering in VirtualDub....but I'm at the end of my tether and I feel like I might end up getting the TV Wonder 600 USB stick from the U.S.

If anyone has any ideas, suggestions, tips or advice, I'd like to hear them!

Will the ATi TV Wonder 600 USB give me similar results as the JVC DVD-Recorder?
I read that it captures PAL to uncompressed .AVI
(I don't have a good expectation of .AVI as I've always seen encodes that don't look good for .AVI as they would for MPEG2...but I'm not that knowledgeable with video formats anyway)

Quote:
Originally Posted by admin View Post
That rewinder is interesting.
Quote:
Originally Posted by admin View Post
You can possibly clean these on your own, using that rewinder -- which I'd like to see photos of, as well as get the model/brand information on it.
hello admin.
here are the photos (see attached) of the rewinder, which I think is from Malaysia bought in early 1990s.
it's basically a tape-cleaner but I just take out the 'foam plug' at the top, and use it to rewind tapes...to help the tapes "shake off" the mouldy growth and/or keep the tape from becoming too sticky.

there's a solution that you can use to drip onto the 'foam plug' and the rewinder runs the tape through the foam (with solution), and after a while you can see a rusty, brown residue start to collect on the foam-tips.
i don't really do this at all.



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  #6  
08-15-2011, 02:22 PM
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To give a quick answer (I'll reply to some other things later) ...

Quote:
LG DVD-ROM drive
This is your currently likely point of failure. LG makes some of the worst DVD-ROMs around. Some of the early LG burners were okay, such as the ones found inside JVC DVD recorders, but each successive generation got worse. I tested new drives in 2008 that were burning more coasters than good discs. I had several LG DVD-ROMs that were paperweights new out of a retail box.

Do you have a non-LG DVD burner in the computer? Preferably a Pioneer drive?

What happens when you play the DVD-RW discs in a standalone DVD player? (Not a Samsung player, however.)

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  #7  
08-15-2011, 09:36 PM
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I'll put in a little here, I have 2 identical JVC HDD/DVD recorders.
Like Admin stated, first make sure that your other stuff is not the problem.
It would be a shame if you can't get the JVC going.
You have to make sure you finalize the -R/-RW in order for it to play on any other player, whether a burner, DVD player
or other device that handles DVDs.(it is a separate process as you have noted that has to be done manually)
I haven't had any problems with playback either from computer(although both my dvd burners are Samsung) or from
DVD players.
Also I use the high speed copy from the JVC to the internal DVD recorder.
It does sound to me like you may have a problem with the DVD recorder/burner section.....I haven't recalled much
unusual sounds coming while it transfers.
I hope you were careful with the hard drive out of it.....not to damage it in your working on it so far.
There could be hope even if the burner is bad.....
I wouldn't give up on it easy as I really like mine.
As this unfolds, I may be able to tell if yours is bad by your descriptions.
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08-16-2011, 08:11 AM
quarkz quarkz is offline
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thanks for the quick reply admin and your input too Steve(MS).

i don't think it was my LG DVD-ROM because:
- i used to have a Pioneer A09 DVD-Burner and this LG DVD-ROM drive flies, when reading CD-Rs and DVD-Rs (i use IsoBuster & DVD Decrypter to make this judgement)
- apparently this model of the LG DVD-ROM drive that i have, is favoured by those that like to make back-up copies of Wii games (now, i don't have a Nintendo Wii, so i wouldn't know!)
- i get the same problems reading the 2x Verbatim DVD-RW (burnt with the JVC DR-MH300 DVD Recorder), on other DVD Drives, e.g. a HP Laptop and other DVD-ROM drives (error/retry count increments a lot in DVD Decrypter ISO read mode or ISO Buster too). interestingly, i played the DVD in a Pioneer DVD player and in those parts that would have trouble ripping to a computer HDD, the Pioneer would just freeze on those scenes...but the timer would keep continue to count (about 5 - 10 seconds later), before resuming playing the content on the Verbatim DVD-RW

yet, i do understand the stigma of LG DVD-ROM drives...and i've heard many stigmas over many brands (some people don't like Pioneer, some people hate Lite-On and Samsungs, ... and Plextors get all the love )

from my many years of experience with computer hardware and just visual-judgement of a layperson, i can tell the JVC DR-MH300 is a good DVD recorder. the video signal, although goes through TBC, actually looks vibrant, vivid and quite possibly as good, if not better, than the original VHS source. i can tell, there are subtle and some degradation to detail, graininess...but overall, i'm happy with the recording the JVC DR-MH300 makes.

the trouble for me is getting this recording onto a PC or even making a decent, error-free copy of it on a DVD-RW. (if only there was a way to just emulate the JVC firmware on a PC or connect via digital firewire cable and transfer the digital content across, that'd be super!)

everytime i burn, whether i use HI-SPEED or MANUAL methods of writing to the Verbatim DVD-RW (i use "XP" mode too), i hear all kinds of clunking, whirring, motor noises coming from the actual DVD drive. i can tell the DVD writing is 'burning', by looking at the display...but other than that, all the noises are really the same sounds you used to hear when a 3.5-in floppy disk drive used to access floppy disks. the sounds are quite loud, actually.

and the 1/2-dozen DVD-R discs that i have burnt with it (in various modes, "HI SPEED" / "JUST" / "MANUAL"), all have these concentric 'rings' around each other on the underside of the DVD-R disc. you know, when you get a coaster or when the burner starts to write to a disc, you can actually see a 'ring' around the centre-hole? you can see rings every few millimetres...meaning, the rest of the surface area on the disc is 'solid' or 'filled', but it looks like the DVD-recorder's laser switched itself off or just didn't burn at the same speed/throughput(?).

now, i read somewhere online, that a reason the JVC DVD-Recorder may not be burning at a constant/consistent 'speed', is because the video was not recorded onto the HDD at a constant/consistent speed (although i have only used "XP Mode"). the variation in the video's quality and recording speed, on the HDD, is what may confuse the JVC DVD Recorder.
i don't know if this true or not, because it's hard to find support-related information about the JVC DVD Recorders, let alone any firmware for the hardware.

i DID buy the DVD Recorder second hand and the manufacturing date on the actual DVD burner (inside the JVC DVD Recorder) says "Manufactured: September 2005", so i don't know how much the previous user used the burning capability or whether the drive got a real shaking when sent to me via the postal system.

i'll just try to make some short 15 or 20-minute records, via S-Video or RCA and see how the JVC DVD Recorder takes it.
otherwise, i may look at buying another JVC DVD Recorder and swapping out the DVD drives, or going down the ATi TV Wonder USB stick route (i use WinXP too), even though i'm reluctant to tinker with VirtualDub, edit video...and spend waaay more time and money than i have at present, trying to digitize old VHS memories (i think i'm just losing my patience and sort of breaching my threshold for it....so, the frustration is clouding my methodical approach!)

i just wonder whether the ATi USB stick would result in acceptable and comparable results as the JVC DVD recorder, considering that my VHS sources are about 20 - 25 years old, grainy footage with fading colours and even mouldy growth in the viewing glass of the SP VHS tapes!
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  #9  
08-16-2011, 11:25 PM
Steve(MS) Steve(MS) is offline
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Yes, at this point if I were you, I would try to record straight to the dvd recorder something...
And then check out that recording to see if it is good.
You can use dvdfab to copy it to computer hard drive...open up the green check mark after dvdfab scans it
and see if it claims errors removed.
If it is a good recording, dvdfab will report no errors.
DVDfab doesn't report any errors on any of my JVC recorders when I do this.
If you have errors, more than likely it is the optical drive.
You may can try cleaning the lens....Admin has a thread somewhere here outlining that...I forget where it is at this moment though.
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  #10  
08-18-2011, 07:03 AM
quarkz quarkz is offline
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appreciate your suggestions, Steve(MS).
i'll see if i can make some shorter captures with the JVC DR-MH300 DVD Recorder, i.e. a 10-minute recording, a 20-minute recording.

then, i'll try to burn the footage at "HIGH SPEED" (i don't like this), "JUST" and "MANUAL" (i prefer this), just to see if the results are consistent.

but initial tests are starting to point to the DVD drive in the DVD Recorder. the noises coming out of the drive is not comforting at all either! lots of loud 'whirring', buzzing and "clacking" noises. it really sounds like a 3.5" floppy disk drive... i wish i can make an audio recording of it.

anyway, i really need to convince myself, so i will persevere just a little bit more (i have learnt a lot, at the expense of time and patience). in the meantime, i am waiting for the arrival of a 2nd-hand ATI TV Wonder™ HD 600 USB device....as i have a niggling suspicion i'll (reluctantly!) end up going down the route of capturing on a PC, buying 2 TB hard-drives, using VirtualDub for the PAL captures...and then squinting my eyes out while i apply colour filters to improve the captures
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  #11  
08-20-2011, 10:43 PM
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Quote:
now, i read somewhere online, that a reason the JVC DVD-Recorder may not be burning at a constant/consistent 'speed', is because the video was not recorded onto the HDD at a constant/consistent speed (although i have only used "XP Mode"). the variation in the video's quality and recording speed, on the HDD, is what may confuse the JVC DVD Recorder. i don't know if this true or not,.
No, that's nonsense. That sounds like something somebody invented in their head, completely devoid of any science, to explain something they had observed. It's the fruits of flawed logic.

Try a burn directly to the disc -- avoid the hard drive.

The key with troubleshooting is to eliminate as many variables as possible. As it stands now, the burner, the hard drive, the blank discs, and the computers (and DVD burners/ROMs inside) are all still variables. You need to cull as many of those as you can, before arriving at a preliminary theory on what's causing the errors. Right now you hypothesize it's the drive. Great. Now prove it, or disprove it.

Quote:
suspicion i'll (reluctantly!) end up going down the route of capturing on a PC, buying 2 TB hard-drives, using VirtualDub for the PAL captures...and then squinting my eyes out while i apply colour filters to improve the captures
Well, we'll be happy to have you in our club.

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  #12  
08-21-2011, 12:59 PM
quarkz quarkz is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lordsmurf View Post
Try a burn directly to the disc -- avoid the hard drive.
I don't know how to do that.
I had a quick flick through the my DVD recorder's manual for the JVC DR-MH300SAA (13MB attached. please remove, if it's too big), and I can see that 'dubbing' directly to the DVD works, if I connect it via the firewire cable with a DV camcorder (but I wouldn't know how to do this with a VCR). This is on page 52, leading to page 56. You may have a look at the manual and/or know of a way, ... so tell me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lordsmurf View Post
The key with troubleshooting is to eliminate as many variables as possible. As it stands now, the burner, the hard drive, the blank discs, and the computers (and DVD burners/ROMs inside) are all still variables. You need to cull as many of those as you can, before arriving at a preliminary theory on what's causing the errors. Right now you hypothesize it's the drive. Great. Now prove it, or disprove it.
variables:
  • HDD - i took out the HDD and ran disk scanning software on it, to see if there were any bad sectors on it. there were NONE.
  • DVD discs - the _only_ ones that work are the 2x Verbatim DVD-RW and by 'work', i mean, it burns to the end of the session. even a 4x Verbatim DVD+RW did not work, nor did other DVD-R brands. the only DVD-R brands that the DVD recorder 'recognised' enough to burn were Verbatim and Princo, but it simply wouldn't burn through to completion...and i was really wasting discs,...hence i had to scour eBay to find slow 2x Verbatim discs. (should i look for 4x DVD-RW....i don't know at the moment!). also, i usually look at the under-side of a blank DVD, to see 'how' the burn 'looks'. if i see spots or rings around the disc, i know that's where the laser didn't 'burn' onto the disc/substrate....and it sort of looks like this on the DVD-RW disc.
  • computers - i've tried the Verbatim discs in several computers and they all fail at the same sectors on the DVD-RW. then, i have to 'full erase' (NOT quick-erase) the DVD-RW disc, to retry again on the JVC DVD-Recorder. the JVC DVD-recorder does not like 'quick-erased' DVD-RW discs....and full-erasing takes about 30-minutes per disc! i've spent hours, if not days, experimenting....and it's getting closer to September and still haven't started my project yet!
  • DVD Burner - i think it could be this. the mechanical whirring, clickity-clackity noises that come out of it, are really reminiscent of a floppy-drive trying to access those old, bygone 3.5"/5.25" floppy-disks. it's loud and sounds a bit 'scary', when it should be l4z0rs slicing through the air and reading the discs. i really need to try and get a DVD cleaning kit and see if that would help (this means, spending MORE Money)....otherwise, i'm going to hunt for a 'compatible' DVD burner to swap into the recorder.

in the meantime, i'm waiting for an ATI TV Wonder™ HD 600 USB to arrive.



Quote:
Originally Posted by lordsmurf View Post
Well, we'll be happy to have you in our club.
thanks. i'm almost certain i'll be joining.
i just need some success, or even at least 1 VHS->DVD rip, before i start to turn my frowns upside down, and joining great educators like you folk.


Attached Files
File Type: pdf JVC_MH-300SAA.pdf (13.35 MB, 1 downloads)
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  #13  
08-21-2011, 01:39 PM
Steve(MS) Steve(MS) is offline
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No, these JVC recorders don't work with +Rs or +RWs so don't even consider using them.
This seems to be common for folks to try them and then think there is something wrong with recorder.
There should be a provision for writing straight to disc(not using the hard drive at all).
On mine it is simply causing the DVD drive light to come on and then setting write to XP or whatever.
Then pressing the record button.
Make sure you have the correct imput selected along with whether you are using composite or s-video.
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  #14  
08-22-2011, 07:50 AM
quarkz quarkz is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve(MS) View Post
No, these JVC recorders don't work with +Rs or +RWs so don't even consider using them.
i figured that out quite quickly!
DVD-R and DVD-RW works the best (and even then, not just any brand. so, this led me on my quest to find slow, 2x speed, Verbatim discs).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve(MS) View Post
There should be a provision for writing straight to disc(not using the hard drive at all).
On mine it is simply causing the DVD drive light to come on and then setting write to XP or whatever.
Then pressing the record button.
Make sure you have the correct imput selected along with whether you are using composite or s-video.
you can check the manual that i have uploaded above (it's 13MB though).
the manual talks about direct to DVD 'dubbing', if connected via firewire using an external camcorder.
i have the correct input selected, when recording onto the hard-disk of the JVC DVD-recorder from my S-VHS player.
i'll see if i can do a 'live burn' (i.e. direct to DVD 'dubbing'), but before then, i need to track down a DVD cleaning kit.
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  #15  
08-27-2011, 09:25 PM
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You should be able to record directly to a disc without dubbing from a hard drive. I have several DVD recorders with hard drives, too, and each one has a "light" or remote menu option to select either "DVD" or "HDD" as the recording destination.

You also don't want a "DVD cleaning kit" -- this are usually nothing more than brushes on a disc that will scratch the lens of the DVD burner. If it's not damaged now, after one of those butcher devices gets hold of it, it certainly will be damaged afterwards. The proper way to dismantle and clean a DVD burner is documented on this site, in the media forum.

Read it here: How to Clean a DVD or CD Drive [GUIDE]

The manual, like most manuals these days, appears to have been written a moron. Important details are missing, while they did not spare us the cheesy clipart or rambling semi-coherent Engrish. Do notice, however, that page 75 mentions "relief recording", and that hard drive only recording may happen when the disc is un-recordable. If you're sure a blank disc in the drive is not allowing a direct recording, then perhaps the drive is damaged.

Another option is to contact JVC for spare parts, though I would imagine it carries a ridiculous cost. A secondary option is to start buying up spare drives from eBay, and to place "wanted" ads in the marketplace on this forum. You may even be able to buy another JVC recorder, and use it for parts. A non-HDD unit should still work.

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  #16  
08-28-2011, 03:38 AM
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thanks for the reply admin.

i was actually going to use a CD/DVD lens cleaner on the drive in the JVC DVD-Recorder real soon!
maybe now, i'll stop proceeding with it.



in the meantime, my ATI TV Wonder™ HD 600 USB arrived, in its boxed glory.
used, but in excellent condition.
installed the drivers and the ATi CMC software (i did NOT install the AVIVO files/encoders and later, i un-installed the CMC software as found it clunky, un-intuitive and simply un-used).
i still found that the WinXP PC did not like the ATi 600 USB stick, so i downloaded the latest drivers from AMD/ATi and then it worked.

i fired up VirtualDub, which had all of the DigitalFAQ filters (obtained from right here) and shortly after, "iinstalled over the top" with the latest version of VirtualDub - v1.9.11
then, i did a few short 1-min captures with a normal non S-VHS VCR (Samsung) -> TBC-1000 -> ATi TV 600 USB
all connections were in RCA and i used the ATi TV 600 for audio capture too, just to see what it would be like and i just followed the DigitalFAQ guide in selecting the HuffYUV compression, capture resolution (640 x 480).
i was happy with seeing a decent capture, with no dropped frames (over that very long 1-minute!) and this was after sitting 'un-productive' for a many days now.


my initial findings are:
- footage captured is totally not synchronized, i.e. audio doesn't match video & even sounds sort of 'sped up' (?). this was even after passing through a TBC
- footage has lots of red-dish tints (i believe it's called Chroma colouring) and even looks it has those rows (i believe this is called 'interlacing')

this makes me feel that the JVC DVD-Recorder is far superior recorder, cleaning up VHS signals, 'correcting' the colour (reducing the reddish tints), image seems sharp enough (unlike the ATi TV 600 USB).

perhaps i might need to use/install some filters with VirtualDub (clean up signal, non-interlaced, etc.)...but i haven't read into all that yet. i just found that 1-min of HuffYUV-encoded footage took up about 340MB of file-size. also, i'm looking to source a Creative SoundBlaster Audigy sound-card too, to assist with the audio side of the capturing....and wish i saw some pictures on how to set it up, with the cabling into/out of the ATi TV 600 USB...(i know i did see it, on this Forum, but i forget the thread/post).



anyway, i still will target my efforts at fixing the JVC DVD Recorder (with spare DVD drive, taking it to JVC and/or even cleaning the lens) but i thought i'd try my luck - and pull less less hairs out of my head - by seeing what results i got with an ATi TV 600 USB dongle. if it comes to a point if the JVC frustrates me and i figure out the ATi TV 600, then i may end up capturing with the ATi TV 600, as i don't want to spend more time on this and summer's coming up here (yes...i'm down under!), so sitting indoors doing this...will bring me right around into the dreary cold winter of 2012.
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  #17  
09-18-2011, 04:56 AM
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Quote:
i was happy with seeing a decent capture, with no dropped frames (over that very long 1-minute!) and this was after sitting 'un-productive' for a many days now.
This is good.

Quote:
my initial findings are:
- footage captured is totally not synchronized, i.e. audio doesn't match video & even sounds sort of 'sped up' (?). this was even after passing through a TBC
This isn't good.

Quote:
- footage has lots of red-dish tints (i believe it's called Chroma colouring)
Lots of red/blue "misty" type noise is chroma noise. It's worse with composite connections, as opposed to s-video wiring. A JVC DVD recorder with the LSI Logic chipset will filter out this noise, as will any LSI Logic chipset recorder. There are several favorite models available, with JVC branded units (specific models only, not just any JVC unit) being prized for both the LSI processing and the JVC processing.

Quote:
and even looks it has those rows (i believe this is called 'interlacing')
This is good. You want to keep interlace for VHS to DVD.

Quote:
this makes me feel that the JVC DVD-Recorder is far superior recorder, cleaning up VHS signals, 'correcting' the colour (reducing the reddish tints), image seems sharp enough (unlike the ATi TV 600 USB).
It is, in certain workflows.

Quote:
perhaps i might need to use/install some filters with VirtualDub (clean up signal, non-interlaced, etc.)...but i haven't read into all that yet. i just found that 1-min of HuffYUV-encoded footage took up about 340MB of file-size.
Using filters after capture can help.
Again, keep interlace.
And then lossless video files are large, yes.

Quote:
also, i'm looking to source a Creative SoundBlaster Audigy sound-card too, to assist with the audio side of the capturing....and wish i saw some pictures on how to set it up, with the cabling into/out of the ATi TV 600 USB...(i know i did see it, on this Forum, but i forget the thread/post).
The ATI 600 USB card should have audio captures by the stick itself. I would not bypass it unless something odd is happening. However, I don't know if the clocks sync properly. There may be a lag between processing of audio by the soundcard, vs video (and therefore audio) through the USB card.

Quote:
anyway, i still will target my efforts at fixing the JVC DVD Recorder (with spare DVD drive, taking it to JVC and/or even cleaning the lens) but i thought i'd try my luck - and pull less less hairs out of my head - by seeing what results i got with an ATi TV 600 USB dongle. if it comes to a point if the JVC frustrates me and i figure out the ATi TV 600, then i may end up capturing with the ATi TV 600, as i don't want to spend more time on this and summer's coming up here (yes...i'm down under!), so sitting indoors doing this...will bring me right around into the dreary cold winter of 2012.
Yes, fixing broken gear is annoying. But worth the effort in most cases. I have to fix stuff all the time. Not because it's cheap or anything like that, simply because that's what happens when you use gear heavily, and are not willing to sacrifice quality simply by buying what's new.

Good luck.

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  #18  
01-03-2013, 10:37 PM
quarkz quarkz is offline
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well, it's been more than year since i am able to re-visit this personal project of mine now.

i never got around to using the ATi Tv 600 dongle and even bought replacement DVD-RW drives from eBay.de for the faulty drive in my JVC DR-MH300 (costed a lot but the drives _never_ worked! and the seller is not very supportive in answering any questions i have had for him/her)


anyway, recently i was able to get my hands on the JVC DR-MH30 DVD-RW and i did a basic capture, just to see if everything works well, before i proceed with the 'project'.

i made a 1-hour long recording, XP mode in the JVC DR-MH30 and it looks quite nice on the CRT TV.


if i play the recording from the internal hard-disk of the DR-MH30, the footage looks fine on the CRT TV, without any borders and it actually looks nice. i had made the same recording on the previous JVC recorder, the DR-MH300, and that also did not have a black border around the footage (i just cannot burn it to disc to test it out, because the DVD-RW drive is faulty now)


however, there is a black border all around the final footage on disc but it wasn't on the footage, recorded to the hard-disk of the JVC DR-MH30 ?

anyone have any thoughts on this?

i have asked this question now here: Why is there a black border around my video? (JVC DR-MH30)
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  #19  
01-08-2013, 11:31 PM
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Lets continue this topic in the other thread Thanks!

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