Quantcast TBC or not to be?! - digitalFAQ Forum
  #1  
07-31-2019, 12:48 PM
kothaufen kothaufen is offline
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I am currently copying my old vhs tapes with a vhs/dvd recorder combo and tbh I have pretty much no noticable quality loss.
Only downside is that I got at least 500 if not more tapes to convert and it will cost me a fortune in dvds I am afraid if I keep using this method for all of them.
So I want to buy an old usb card and a good vcr and maybe a windows xp machine but I am kinda not into the I would need to spend on a tbc.
So my question is for what exactly do I need the tbc or do I even need one at all.

The tapes are many purchased movie tapes but also many old wrestling tapes that differ in qualiy from good to pretty bad.
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  #2  
07-31-2019, 03:16 PM
hodgey hodgey is offline
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What VCR is it you have?

Most of these newer DVD-Recorder/VHS combo decks send the video through the internal digitizer chip before outputting the video signal. As such the non-visible parts of the video signal is re-made so sending the video signal through a tbc before capturing with a USB dongle won't be of any help.

On the positive side, this means that a decent quality capture card will give you at least as good quality as what you get on the DVDs if you are satisfied with them. On the negative side, it means you are stuck with whatever the A/D chip in the deck is capable off. In particular, correcting horizontal jitter (typically termed line-TBC here) is something that most of these combos don't do. An video example of the effect of the line-TBC in a high-end SVHS player can be seen here. I don't remember if there are a good video of problems the external TBCs help fix, like copy protection on tapes dropped frames, and other things, but you can read more in detail in the big TBC thread.
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  #3  
07-31-2019, 06:49 PM
kothaufen kothaufen is offline
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In the long run I want to buy a svhs vcr with inbuilt tbc and connect via usb 600 to a windows xp machine and my question is can I do this without a tbc?
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  #4  
08-01-2019, 04:48 AM
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Clever title.

Trying to convert 500 tapes with a TBC is insanity. Trying to beat the odds, and convert even 50 tapes with no TBC is a challenge. But 500+ is just not happening. Save yourself the misery, get the TBC, reduce your set of potential problems from the start.

DVD/VCR combos do not somehow eliminate the need for external framesync TBC.

TBCs in S-VHS VCRs are line TBCs, and clean the image.
External framesync TBCs clean the signal.
You need both.

If budget is concern, you can shave off some dollars with a TBC(ish) combo, specific DVD recorders paired with another weak-TBC device, but then you have drawbacks of the recorder. Again, 500 tapes is a lot. You're going to hate yourself for not getting a quality TBC.

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08-01-2019, 01:28 PM
kothaufen kothaufen is offline
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I am kinda flabbergasted and have no real idea how the capture process actually works.
If I have a working workflow don't I just have to record everything over time?
Or do I need to doctor for each tape from start to get best quality?

Guess I will have to bite the bullet and get an expensive workflow with tbc and all.
I got a few questions regarding workflow.

1. If I get a windows xp machine what kind of machine is best regarding hardware?

2.If I have a tbc and store it in a safe box whenever I am not recording do I have to open and clean it often or at all? (Because I am no tech wizzard at all and scared I might break the thing instead of cleaning up)

3.How long can I run a tbc? Asking because I am a huge collector of vhs tapes and might want to digitize thousands of tapes over the years.

4. What is it with the thousands of tutorials you can find on google or youtube using either usb grabbers or vhs/dvd combos is it just bs?
I am kinda confused because on most of the youtube videos ppl will say stuff like thanks with that method I could finally digitize my old family videos etc so some ppl must have descent results with them.
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  #6  
08-05-2019, 04:14 AM
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VHS is chaos contained on tape. When played, chaos is unleashed. It must be tamed.

Signal is complex. You have visual and non-visual errors. Line TBC tackles (mostly) visual, frame TBC tackles (mostly) non-visual/signal. You need both.

TBC are essentially whips, and VHS is a pissed female lion mama. To put it back in that cage (digitize it), it must be tamed. Otherwise all hell break loose in the conversion process. The VHS tape wins, you lose.

Make more sense now?

WinXP or Win7 are best. Good capture cards exist for both, mostly ATI AIW/600, but there are also some others.
Both laptop and desktop are generally fine. Specs details matter. Card used based on this.
Right now, I have good cards for all situations. PM me about getting one.

Storing TBC in a safe seems extreme. I put mine in a drawer when not in use. Nothing to open, nothing to clean, at least if the TBC comes in good condition.
- If you get a TBC from me, I've already refurb'd it, and you should never have a need to open it or clean it.
- Member selling on marketplace forum here have historically been fine, usually reselling gear bought from me.
- If you buy from a place like eBay/Facebook/etc, unknown.

Certain TBCs need a break after 6 hours (hour is fine), unplugged. Then max 12 hours from it.
Some are built to be more robust, can run for a day or two before needing power off. However, it is still highly suggest to give a break after 6 hours, no more than 12 per day, to have it last a long time.

When it comes to places like Youtube, you need to realize the advice is often from people that know no more than yourself. So the advice is skewed from a place of extremely limited knowledge. It's truly a case of the blind leading the blind. Any moron can make a Youtube video (and get followers/likes/comments), but it doesn't mean the person is experienced and education in the topic. The advice is often bad, and is generally an extended variation of an "unboxing" video. Rather than just watch the person remove it, they futz around with it to demonstrate how it functions. But that still doesn't change the fact that the quality is bad. Never get reviews from Youtube, seek out expert knowledge from sites dedicated to those topics.

Do NOT assume that people "must" have good results. Again, blind leading the blind. Quite literally, in this case. Most consumer sadly do not realize how good VHS conversions can look, and assume quality must be bad. The root cause is user error and cheap hardware/software. With some knowledge, and the right hardware/software, you can do the quality job that truly archives the footage with quality. Also remember that Youtube skews young, and a lot of those folks weren't even born when VHS was the format. They truly have no idea how it's supposed to look!

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