Quantcast VCR buying and workflow advice - digitalFAQ Forum
  #1  
01-26-2019, 05:27 AM
rksw rksw is offline
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Hello I was tasked with digitizing of our family VHS tapes. Heres what I have available now and what Im thinking of doing:

VCR: Mitsubishi HS-761V(GY) or Panasonic NS-HV60EP-S
DVD Recorder: Panasonic DMR-E65
Capture card: Diamond VC500
PC: Windows 10, VirtualDub or AmaRecTV

As you may have noticed neither VCR is S-VHS, so I should look for one.
We actually have more VHS-C tapes than normal ones so that would mean i shouldnt look for JVC, correct?
With this assumption in mind I found Panasonic NV-FS200 ($290) and Panasonic NV-HS1000 ($200), same seller actually.
Im considering buying one of those but I have no idea how to judge the condition of a VCR.
I read that smoking ruins VCRs, what other questions should I ask the seller to ensure the best possible condition?
What fast test can I do? (Insert, eject, play, fast forward rewind...)
What should I look for if we open it?

In the end Im thinking of connecting it like this: VCR -> (SCART) -> DVD Recorder -> (S-VIDEO) -> Capture card -> PC (lossless)
Is anything wrong with this? Would the same connection apply for S-VHS VCR (for example use S-VIDEO instead of SCART)?

Lastly I read VirtualDub can have problems with sync so people recommended AmaRecTV, is there any downside in using it?
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  #2  
01-26-2019, 09:25 AM
JPMedia JPMedia is offline
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Any reason why you're choosing to go with the Panasonic DMR-E65? You should look for a DMR-ES10 or DMR-ES15. Those units have the TBC-ish functionality you need for your capture workflow.
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  #3  
01-26-2019, 04:35 PM
rksw rksw is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JPMedia View Post
Any reason why you're choosing to go with the Panasonic DMR-E65? You should look for a DMR-ES10 or DMR-ES15. Those units have the TBC-ish functionality you need for your capture workflow.
I made a typo, its Panasonic DMR-EH65, the list is what I have available right now. I read the EH65 should be decent as external TBC - am I wrong on this?

Last edited by rksw; 01-26-2019 at 05:19 PM.
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  #4  
01-26-2019, 05:32 PM
JPMedia JPMedia is offline
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After searching through the forums I found one user, Goldwingfahrer, has the EH65 in their capture workflow. Another user, sanlyn, suggests that the TBC-ish pass through on the EH65 isn't quite as good as the ES-10/15. You should wait to get an opinion from lordsmurf before making a final decision though.
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  #5  
01-26-2019, 06:14 PM
hodgey hodgey is online now
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You could test to see what effects it has with your current VCRs. The extreme line-correcting capabilities of the ES10/15 are only really required for very messed up tapes, so if you already have the EH65 it may be sufficient unless it happens to have some side-effects on the image or you have some really bad tapes. The VC500 doesn't mind macrovision signals, so it shouldn't be an issue if the DVDR decides to output that. You probably want to turn of any noise reduction if the device has any though.

Quote:
With this assumption in mind I found Panasonic NV-FS200 ($290) and Panasonic NV-HS1000 ($200), same seller actually.
Assuming you are in Europe since you're talking about scart and these models, there are some reputable ebay shops, like vcrshop and positron, some with warranty. If you're buying from a random seller that's going to be much more risky.

Quote:
In the end Im thinking of connecting it like this: VCR -> (SCART) -> DVD Recorder -> (S-VIDEO) -> Capture card -> PC (lossless)
Is anything wrong with this? Would the same connection apply for S-VHS VCR (for example use S-VIDEO instead of SCART)?
Yeah that's the normal setup. With an S-VHS VCR you either use a S-Video cable, or SCART if 105+ it's available. With Scart you will have to set the output on the VCR and input on the DVDR to S-Video. The NV-HS1000 has a switch next to it, on the DVDR it's somewhere in the menus.
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  #6  
01-26-2019, 08:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JPMedia View Post
After searching through the forums I found one user, Goldwingfahrer, has the EH65 in their capture workflow.
FYI, I was given the sad news last year that Goldwingfahrer passed away.

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  #7  
01-27-2019, 06:26 AM
sanlyn sanlyn is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lordsmurf View Post
FYI, I was given the sad news last year that Goldwingfahrer passed away.
Thanks for passing the word along.
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  #8  
01-27-2019, 07:50 AM
Bogilein Bogilein is offline
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The Panasonic EH-65 is the same as the ES15 but with harddisk,sd card slot and HDMI Output.

If you capture you should record to the harddisk, too or put a dvd media into the drive. Otherwise after about 30 min you get the message hdd sleep into your capture.
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  #9  
01-27-2019, 08:04 AM
dpalomaki dpalomaki is offline
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Quote:
What fast test can I do? (Insert, eject, play, fast forward rewind...)
What should I look for if we open it?
A good start. Assuming you have no real test gear: Use expendable tapes in case the unit has issues. Try tapes recorded at all speeds of interest. Connect to a TV set, if you have one hand. (Note that VHS usually looks bad on a HD TV set but the signal should be stable, especially if you play a commercial tape.) Look for excessive internal dust, crud, and corruption and signs of physical abuse. Make sure the s-video output and both linear and stereo audio outputs work. Ask if the unit has been services? If not the case screws should not show signs of being opened. Internal layout should look factory neat. Try assess the amount of use it has seen if you can. VCRs do wear out and heads wear. The notional upper cylinder life is on the order of 1000 hours of contact with tape (record, playback, and pause combined.)

And if you can give the machine some time to warm up (say 30 min) to ensure it has no immediate thermal issues.

These simple tests will not tell you if it is a good machine, just that it works at some level.
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  #10  
01-27-2019, 10:41 PM
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Replying as I read...

- Those are both generic low-end VCRs, will give low-end results.
- I don't believe the DMR-E65 has any useful features, does not act as passthrough TBC(ish).
- VC500 is fine.
- Capturing with Win10 is usually handicapping yourself.

You're going to have issues with this setup. Quality will take severe hit, if not fail to work at all.

Don't use SCART anywhere if you care about quality. Can of worms, usually just composite, though with RGB type connection. Those low-end VCRs are probably just composite.

E65, EH65, both lack strong TBC(ish) abilities of ES10/15 as far as I know. Weak at best. If the EH65 is anything like the ES20/25, then forget about it being overly useful. ES10/ES15 are currently cheap (under $100) and easy to get in UK and most European countries. EH65 is a PAL model, not overly familiar with it.

VC500 can have weird reactions, and I think much it hails from lesser gear in the workflow. Watch for that.

VCRshop.nl has a good reputation for S-VHS VCRs. He's friendly.

Again, Goldwing has passed.

If Bogelein is 100% sure EH65 is ES15+HDD, then I'd look into it. Inf act, VCRshop.nl has more, and I wonder if he could verify this claim with his own testing. I need to get him on this forum.

Testing gear is far more difficult that simple insert/eject/play/FF/REW ... but that's a basic start. Once that is established, it must be opened, all part inspected. Then playback need careful inspection, both audio and video heads. It takes me a good hour at least to fully inspect a deck.

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  #11  
01-31-2019, 11:58 PM
rksw rksw is offline
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Thanks everyone for the replies, Ive tried to make some test captures but the HDD in DMR-EH65 broke and it wont turn on without it. The VCRs dont have any output that would work with the capture card so thats it for now.

Repairing the DVD recorder isnt worth it so I will get the DMR-ES10 instead.
Im still looking for decent VCR, thanks for the VCRshop and positron recommendation.
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