Quantcast New User, My Project & some questions - digitalFAQ Forum
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12-06-2011, 03:22 PM
Steve Steve is offline
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Hello to all.

My name is Steve & I am a new poster on this forum.

I have been lurking here for the past 18 months & have found a wealth of knowledge here regarding VHS converting. Thank you to all for that.

Because of this, I have chosen to go down the restoration path for my VHS conversions. I finally have all of the gear required & am about to get started.

Moving Along:

(I will split this into sub-headings so it's easier to break down)

Here is what I have:

The VCR's

Panasonic NV-HD600 (Composite only)
JVC S5700AM (SVHS - S-Video)

These are the original machines my tapes were recorded on.

The 'Other' Devices

Datavideo TBC-1000
Elite Video BVP-4 Plus
Signvideo DR-1000 (PAL) detailer (Lucky to track this one down on ebay after seeing it here - Thanks Northpole!)

The Capture Card/Machine

ATI AIW 2006 PCI Express
2GB of RAM
Windows XP

The capture method:

MPEG-2

Some light editing will be done with VideoReDo Plus. (Ad's etc)

The Videos

500 tapes (estimated)
PAL Format
Motorsport & some NBA are the content (plus a few bits & bobs here & there)
Some are LP (recorded on the Panasonic)
Many are SVHS (recorded on the JVC)
A small amount of tapes are home recordings purchased off other people (not recorded by me)

I converted some of the LP tapes over to SP SVHS about 9 years ago so they are 2nd generation recordings. I did tape over some of the originals. (VCR to VCR dub - Silly in hindsight)

The Storage

Hard Drives

Backing up as I go. I will have a copy at all times.

My Questions:

My line of thinking is the chain will go like this:

VCR --- TBC --- BVP-4 Plus --- DR-1000 --- Capture Card

Is this correct?

Do the units get connected via S-Video cables throughout the chain?

I know you advocate an S-Video output as much as possible.

Should I use the JVC VCR as a pass through device? IE Hooking the Panasonic up to the JVC & using that to obtain an S-Video output?

If so, does the TBC get hooked up to the Panasonic or JVC VCR?

I've seen threads here where users have said the Elite Video BVP-4 Plus processes PAL but I've then seen threads where this boils down to the specific unit itself.

Can you tell me how I will know my unit will process PAL or not?

And lastly;

With the Signvideo DR-1000 it's been mentioned it's not needed for all tapes, just certain ones. Can you gve me an example regarding what tapes this device is best with?

That's all I have for now. (Phew...)

Thanks again.
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  #2  
12-06-2011, 04:34 PM
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kpmedia kpmedia is offline
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Hi Steve, welcome.

Quote:
Panasonic NV-HD600 (Composite only)
JVC S5700AM (SVHS - S-Video)
These are the original machines my tapes were recorded on.
It's always good to have the same VCRs that originally recorded the tapes -- and that they're in good working order. (I still "have" some VCRs myself, from personal tapes I recorded over past decades, but several of them are past their expiration date. Unfortunately, they'll eat a tape more often than play one. Not a fun experience.)

Quote:
Datavideo TBC-1000
Elite Video BVP-4 Plus
Signvideo DR-1000 (PAL) detailer (Lucky to track this one down on ebay after seeing it here - Thanks Northpole!)
Good stuff.

Quote:
MPEG-2
Some light editing will be done with VideoReDo Plus. (Ad's etc)
Only use MPEG-2 if the majority of errors are solved by hardware alone. While high bitrate MPEG-2 (15Mbps to 25Mbps) can sustain some degree of instability without incurring further compression loss, you'll find lossless AVI files easier to work with in software restoration workflows.

MPEG-2 viability also heavily depends on the choice of capture card. I notice you didn't mention your capture card.

Quote:
500 tapes (estimated)
Tip: Fight off the urge of "getting it done" in favor of focusing on "getting it done well". This mean it may take a few years to convert 500 tapes, but it will ultimately look better than something ramrodded through a capture workflow that is not monitored carefully for errors. And there are MANY potential errors, ranging from machine wear-down to electrical interference.

Quote:
Motorsport & some NBA are the content (plus a few bits & bobs here & there)
Generally speaking, when it comes time for MPEG-2 compression, you'll want to be generous on the bitrates. If you need to squeeze more content on a disc, use DVD+R DL media. Buy quality Verbatim discs from Amazon.co.uk

Quote:
Some are LP (recorded on the Panasonic)
PAL LP (4-hour mode) is generally not too bad. It's not anywhere near as dreadful/problematic as NTSC SLP/EP mode tapes.

Quote:
Many are SVHS (recorded on the JVC)
That's good. Play these tapes back on the JVC. If the unit has an internal TBC, use it.

It's important to understand any repairs made to this VCR may make it harder to play back tapes it originally created, as VCRs wear over time and go out of spec. Therefore your tapes may be recorded slightly out of spec -- and that's why it's always good to have an original recording VCR available for playback.

Quote:
A small amount of tapes are home recordings purchased off other people (not recorded by me)
These will likely pose the biggest problems.

Quote:
I converted some of the LP tapes over to SP SVHS about 9 years ago so they are 2nd generation recordings. I did tape over some of the originals. (VCR to VCR dub - Silly in hindsight)
2nd generation recordings are generally not too terrible, unless there was a major flaw in the original recording/playback hardware used to make the tape-to-tape dubs.

Quote:
Hard Drives
Backing up as I go. I will have a copy at all times.
If you're not specifically limiting yourself to discs (DVD-5, DVD-9), then you can use whatever specs you'd like. High bitrate 15+ Mbps MPEG-2 may not be DVD-Video or BDMV/BDAV compliant, but most modern media centers are not so limiting, and straight-up computers certainly don't care much about specs.

Or you can take advantage of Blu-ray media, either as file storage or as BDMV/BDAV content. With Blu-ray BDAV/BDMV format, a 720x480 MPEG-2 can use up to 15Mbps video (DVD-Video was max of 9.8Mbps video, or 10.08Mbps total video+audio). That's a quite generous bitrate, and will often give you near-transparent quality, assuming the source is good.

Quote:
VCR --- TBC --- BVP-4 Plus --- DR-1000 --- Capture Card
Is this correct?
Yes.

Quote:
Do the units get connected via S-Video cables throughout the chain?
I know you advocate an S-Video output as much as possible.
Yes.

Quote:
Should I use the JVC VCR as a pass through device? IE Hooking the Panasonic up to the JVC & using that to obtain an S-Video output?
If so, does the TBC get hooked up to the Panasonic or JVC VCR?
This is generally unnecessary. And adding unneeded equipment to a workflow simply creates more problem variables. Always remove anything unnecessary and not in use. This is why it's helpful to keep gear in the open, not buried in some cabinet or shoved against the wall where access is a nuisance.

Quote:
I've seen threads here where users have said the Elite Video BVP-4 Plus processes PAL but I've then seen threads where this boils down to the specific unit itself.
This would be an atypical scenario where using a VCR as pass-through pre-BVP4 would help. The BVP-4 is lousy with composite input, so the pass-through is being used for the purpose in interjecting a better comb filter into the workflow. This was mentioned on a previous thread in the recent past.

VCR composite > TBC composite > VCR s-video > BVP4 s-video > capture card
The VCR here accepted composite and passed out s-video.
You rarely have to do something like this -- but again -- the BVP-4 proc amp poses one such scenario.

Quote:
Can you tell me how I will know my unit will process PAL or not?
You'll see video that is stable and in color.

Quote:
And lastly;
With the Signvideo DR-1000 it's been mentioned it's not needed for all tapes, just certain ones. Can you gve me an example regarding what tapes this device is best with?
Use it when it obviously helps. In almost all cases, that's going to be for already near-perfect recordings, especially commercial tape releases. A fuzzy home recording of grandma is likely not going to benefit from such a device, and is more likely to just amp up high frequency tape noise, thereby making the image worse (not better).

These sources generally benefit from detailers:
  • an official VHS or Betamax release of a movie
  • SP mode VHS recordings of television sources
  • 8mm video (Video8) or Hi8 home video recordings
  • Laserdiscs
  • S-VHS recordings (from VCR or cameras) in SP mode, maybe LP mode
VHS camera-shot home movies generally don't benefit at all. Longer play VHS (LP/SLP/EP) doesn't either, regardless of source.

Quote:
(Phew...)
After that long reply, I feel the same way.

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  #3  
12-06-2011, 05:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve View Post
Should I use the JVC VCR as a pass through device?
This scenario is discussed here: Help with Cables/Connections for this workflow... (refer to post #4 in that thread)
It's a very specific situation where you'd want or need to use a VCR as a comb filter pass-through device.

The Elite Video BVP-4 does not handle composite very well, so you'd want to put a VCR before it, or after it, so that the signal I/O is always s-video. The VCR acts as a composite/s-video converter, thus making all other hardware happy and cooperative in your hardware chain.

Only do this if you find yourself in this specific situation.

I've yet to come across other video hardware that is as picky as the BVP-4. It's a powerful proc amp, yet still worth both the money and frustration for the results you'll get out of it.

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  #4  
12-11-2011, 12:07 AM
Steve Steve is offline
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Kpmedia & Lordsmurf.

Thank you both for your replies. I have a good starting point to work from.

I think it will take me some time to get my 'chain' operational. Getting my capture card (ATI AIW 2006 PCI-E) to function at all is proving a challenge. Such is the way with technology when the learning curve is massive. I will place a post on that in the correct sub-forum.

I will turn my attention to the hardware after that.

The reason I asked about the VCR passthrough is my LP Panasonic tapes don't track in the JVC at all. And as you say the BVP-4 Plus doesn't like composite inputs so I was wondering if those tapes should be sent via the JVC S-Video output.

Regarding my VCR's, they are old but operational. I think the Panasonic will hold up it's end but my JVC's loading mechanism can be problematic. I am going to be really careful with them.

Yes, the urge to get it done 'right' will win the day. I think this project will take me longer than I originally antipated.

Because of the curve, I will likely need to ask a few very basic questions along the way. Please be gentle.

Next Stop: Getting the capture card to operate.....

Thanks.

Last edited by Steve; 12-11-2011 at 12:09 AM. Reason: A bit extra to add.
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