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11-24-2019, 10:04 AM
Caputnoodle Caputnoodle is offline
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Video quality from VCR has been degrading as time goes on and I backup more tapes. Is there a fix for the mosaic patter/artifacts seen in the screenshots?

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11-24-2019, 02:27 PM
sanlyn sanlyn is offline
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Electrical noise ("herringbone") caused by RF interference in the AM band and ground loop problems. If it happens with all tapes it's a hardware/wiring defect and could be coming from anywhere, possibly the VCR. Extremely difficult to clean up using filters without removing tons of detail. Try another player, or another location in your setup. No other information to work with here, no details given on the vcr, capture device, capture method, etc.

Herringbone isn't the only problem. Add illegal signal levels, bright clipping, crushed darks darks, over-saturation... a lot going wrong in the pictures.
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11-25-2019, 03:34 AM
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lordsmurf lordsmurf is online now
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This isn't a defective deck, so we can rule that out. This was one of my decks, he got it about 15 months ago. At the time, it was a really, really nice deck. And it still should be. It's one of the siblings of the decks I have here for myself, rely on frequently. And those are all still performing like champs.

The main issue is as sanlyn states: power line noise.

For now, let's ignore the tape quality (levels, contrast, etc -- it is VHS, after all). Focus on the deck problem.

Was this plugged into a UPS? Hopefully so. Not a weak power/"surge" strip, or directly into the wall. A UPS would/should prevent any permanent damage to this deck. If not UPS, it may be power damage to the boards of the unit.

I see this a lot on s-video cables, regardless of quality. After a year or so, cables can wear out, need to be tossed out. The wire is thin, can break easily from handling. Perhaps even from minor current on the cable? (Too electrical for my expertise, but a question I've always wanted an answer for.)

Surrounding noise from your home, neighbors, or even the grid can come into play.

Troubleshooting power noise is not fun, but the first step is learning about the current setup and wiring (both power and non-power).

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12-26-2019, 09:25 PM
Caputnoodle Caputnoodle is offline
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UPDATE - after adding a UPS (no quality change), replacing/upgrading S-Video cables (some quality improvement), it turned out to be the VCR head needing cleaned. When the mosaic pattern/artifacts started to appear, I had captured about 10+ tapes, all of them 20+ years old with over 2 hours of footage on most of them. I also rewind all of the tapes after capture adding to the debris left behind on the VCR head. After carefully wiping the VCR head and a couple other parts with a microfiber cloth, following steps from a YouTube video, I'm pleased to report that the artifacts seem to have disappeared completely!

It looks as though I will need to clean the VCR head every 3-4 tapes for best results due to the age of the tapes.

Thank you for everyone's input. The new, better quality S-Video cables definitely helped and I'm glad I now have a UPS to protect the equipment and prevent my PC from getting fried after the hours of capture work.
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The following users thank Caputnoodle for this useful post: lordsmurf (01-22-2020)

artifacts, grain, issue, noise, vcr

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