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04-15-2020, 02:35 PM
fantasmal fantasmal is offline
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Hello! I'm attempting to archive a collection of U-Matic tapes and I'm having trouble pinpointing the exact issue with the one I've attached a clip for. Tapes were kept in museum conditions, only played once.

Tape Specs:

- Sony U-Matic KCA30 Tape
- Recorded on 7/30/1977
- Played on 7/31/1977
- No brown or white residue left on tape path or heads
- When the video does cut out the Servo light on my VTR will go off
- Video Meter reads around 1 or slightly less

My U-Matic VTR has been thoroughly cleaned and plays back other U-Matic tapes in the collection just fine.

I understand many of these U-Matic cassette tapes suffer from SSS so I'm curious to know if this tape requires more baking, if it requires cleaning, or if it is just degraded beyond capture? I don't have an external TBC (there is one in the VTR, but I know from reading other threads that they are not the same) so perhaps the video signal is too weak for this budget capture device? I know a TBC would reduce jitter, clean up the signal and make it more stable. Additionally, I have a few tapes that have white residue being shed onto the tape path, is that also SSS, or is it dried lubricant? If it is lubricant, is it possible to clean and re-lubricate the tape myself? What is the standard operating procedure with that? Oh and one last question, should I pre-bake all of the tapes in our collection, regardless of age? What is the protocol for that?

Capture Specs are as follows:

- Intel Core i5-7200U CPU @ 2.50GHz
- 24.0 GB (23.9 usable) RAM
- Intel HD Graphics 620 On-Board GPU
- Realtek On-Board Audio Controller
- 500GB Western Digital WD5000LPLX-75ZNTT0 HDD (For OS)
- 500GB Toshiba v73600A USB 3.0 External HDD (For Raw Video)
- Windows 10 Professional
- VIDBOX VCDE8 Analogue Capture Device
- Sony VO-5850 3/4 U-Matic VTR Editor

Any insight into this particular issue and my other questions would be so insanely helpful. Thank you so much in advance!

Attached Files
File Type: avi CCMoSH-Test-3.00.avi (93.19 MB, 14 downloads)
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04-19-2020, 04:45 AM
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lordsmurf lordsmurf is offline
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You have obvious dropped frames, due to no TBC.

This is a compounded error.
- cheap capture card, known to have many flaws
- no frame TBC
- VCR is having issues locking the signal better

The need to verify the capacitors on this unit are in spec. I've had similar issues from a failing AG-1980 S-VHS VCR, due to failing caps.

Your computer seems fine, aside from capture card.

That Corpus Christi clip interests me.

- Did my advice help you? Then become a Premium Member and support this site.
- For sale in the marketplace: TBCs, workflows, capture cards, VCRs
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04-20-2020, 02:43 PM
fantasmal fantasmal is offline
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Thanks so much for the reply, this has definitely narrowed down what can be done to help correct these capture and in some cases playback issues. I noticed there are three main PCBs on my VO-5850, you wouldn't happen to know which board I should check the caps on? Should I just recap the entire unit?

Additionally, I've read through a number of replies where you speak on TBC's and how a standalone unit is the best for consumer VHS digitization. However, you also said the older rackmount units are meant for U-Matic and other broadcast formats. Would that apply to my U-Matic digitization efforts as well?
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