All Hail Lord Smurf!!
Back in late September I asked my first question on this forum
and it ultimately led to my purchasing a @Lordsmurf-refurbished "Big Voodoo Time Base Corrector 10" by Key West Technology.
I was mighty nervous about making such a purchase (of a device I'm not all that familiar with from a person I do not know, in -- if not a black market then a purple one
but I'm happy to say that @Lordsmurf DID NOT STEER ME WRONG.
Even though I've been working with the new unit for just over a week now, I've waited to post about my experience because I first wanted to get a few diverse Hi8 tape captures under my belt. Each tape on the order of 27 to 30 years old.
It is absolutely clear that the guidance you will receive on this forum about the black model AVT-8710s is absolutely true. If you are trying to put together a solid analog video capture system you should absolutely avoid these.
Lordsmurf happened to have a BVTBC10 that he had refurbished and he offered it up to me as a better option for my use case. AND SO IT IS. The difference is better than night and day; it's more like Earth and Mars!
I am getting extraordinary captures with the BVTBC10. In addition to far fewer glitches (and shorter duration glitches) the captures are more contrasty with dramatically better definition, colors, and skin tones.
That's not to say there aren't "issues." As mentioned, these old tapes will still cause glitches. But on the vast majority of my captures the BVTBC10 makes them few and far between... and they last, typically, under a second. Gone is the routine tearing, jitter, and ghosting problems of the 8710. The ghosting alone was the worst aspect of trying to use the black 8710.
I have observed, however, that my BVTBC10 does cause a desaturation of color (toward black-and-white) on the extreme left side of the capture (vertical). But as it's only on the order of 10 or so pixels wide it's almost imperceptible. It may be more pronounced in the BlackMagic Media Express preview window than in the saved file.
Also, on captures where the BVTBC10 is wrestling sync you can see that the picture gets shifted by a few pixels to the right. This leaves a very thin vertical black bar on the extreme left of the image. (See attachment. Capture with the 8710 on the Left; Capture with the new BVTBC10 on the Right.) In the scheme of things this will have no impact on my final result after I post-process these... including straight up through using software by Topaz Labs to sharpen up and turn select footage into high-definition (HD) via interpolation.
So, this is not to say that there are not further improvements I could make to my capture setup (see linked post above for discussion regarding), but I am very happy with the guidance I have gotten here on DigitalFAQ in a very short space of time.
One other thing: I did not quibble on price. I knew the BVTBC10 would have cost an arm and a leg "new"; and I respected Lordsmurf's premium he put on sourcing, inspecting, and refurbishing the unit.