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  #1  
11-11-2020, 06:44 AM
dowath dowath is offline
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Hi all,

Short story:
BrightEye 25 with TBC on doesn't seem to stabilize the signal from a Panasonic NV-HD670 going into an Atomos Samurai SDI recorder. Using a VideoNics MX Pro video mixer with TBC, signal was stable, but quality wasn't great. Does the BrightEye 25 need a sync generator to work as expected?

Long story:
I've had a family VHS tape that's been giving me some grief:

- Captured the VHS tape playing on a Panasonic NV-HD670 into a Elgato GameCapture HD. (I know, I can feel the scorn coming already) The quality to my untrained eye was acceptable for the family archive, however, the recording would regularly cut out despite being able to see the tape playing on an analog monitor.

- After reading forum posts here, it was evident that I needed a TBC of some kind - and luckily the college that I work at had an old VideoNics MXPro vision mixer with built-in TBC lying around.

- I repeated my original setup, this time with the mixer between the Panasonic and the Elgato - and voila, no cut outs. But when I compared the image quality to that of my first recording it was noticeably degraded. Even though the first time around I was missing most of the tape, the bits that I did get looked far better. Recording settings ( PAL 576i ) matched, and the specs of the video file was the same - but the recording looked worse.

- I tried the capture again using a Blackmagic Analog to SDI converter and an Atomos Samauri (ProRes) and the result was the same. The MXPro seemed to be stabilizing the signal but reducing the quality in the process.

- Climbing down the rabbit-hole, I made the assumption that perhaps a standalone TBC would produce better results than the built-in one on the MXPro, and I found a second-hand BrightEye 25 hoping I could "get the best of both worlds" as it were. But the BrightEye 25 doesn't seem to be having any effect on the signal. Frame sync is enabled, and it 'stabilizes' the signal in the sense that the Atomos recorder doesn't stop recording when the signal cuts out - but it's missing the footage that the MX Pro was able to recover.

Looking at the BrightEye 25 manual, I can see that the REF IN port is used for the TBC/Frame syncronizer - so now I'm wondering if the issue is that I need a sync generator for the TBC to work the way it does in the MXPro, which presumably has one built-in since it does analog video mixing and effects?

I'm sure I could have saved some coin on the BrightEye and just bought a VHS with TBC... but hey - where's the fun in that? Ultimately, I can deal with the image the MX Pro spits out - but if anyone has any ideas on the BrightEye I'd appreciate it!

Thanks,
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  #2  
11-11-2020, 01:04 PM
latreche34 latreche34 is offline
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You have too many components in the chain and two frame TBC's, Capturing should be a simple task with the least amount of cables and devices at least in the analog section.

First, without samples no one knows what your problem is, a frame TBC will not improve picture quality, it only fixes the timing errors, Line TBC/DNR in the VCR what makes the difference which you lack, second try capture with one TBC turned on at a time and take the video mixer out of the equation, I don't see any need to it. And no the BE25 doesn't need a reference signal, that's for studio work when you have multiple sources connected to the main console and you need to sync them together.

Lastly, a S-VHS VCR with S-Video out and LTBC/DNR and a device like the BE75 is a better combination for the maximum quality, Composite is ok for playing back tapes but not ideal for archiving.
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  #3  
11-12-2020, 04:10 AM
AndrewW AndrewW is offline
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Yep I agree, dump the video mixer, and thereís no need to use the reference in.

Iíve had good success with the BE25 and a JVC SVHS deck with no TBC built in. Capturing using the blackmagic mini recorder.
But I did have a few poor quality tape that causes it to drop out. I run those on my other capture system using a Panasonic es10.

I have been curious about trying a brighteye 75 with the s video, but considering the tapes I work with are only a composite i didnít know if the VCR or the brighteye would do a better job separating to Y/C.

Have you managed to update the firmware on your be25? I canít seem to get mine updated, they donít show up on any windows PC. Seems I canít get the right driver.
I can use it on an old Mac to adjust the settings though.
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  #4  
11-12-2020, 05:58 AM
dowath dowath is offline
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Hey, thanks for the insights!

Quote:
Have you managed to update the firmware on your be25?
I haven't tried, I'll have a look!

Quote:
...try capture with one TBC turned on at a time and take the video mixer out of the equation
Just for clarity - I'm not using the Video Mixer AND the BrightEye 25 at the same time, I was using the Mixer as a TBC, since I didn't have anything else at the time.

My setups have consisted of:

SETUP 1:
Panasonic NV-HD670 > Elgato GameCapture HD
- Doesn't look great, but looks better than setup 2.
- I lose a lot of the audio and the video regularly cuts out.

SETUP 2:
Panasonic NV-HD670 > VideoNics MXPro (TBC) > Elgato GameCapture HD
- I think the colors look better, but the image is choppy and less detailed.
- HOWEVER, stable signal, I recover all of the missing audio and the video doesn't cut out.

(I also tried this setup with a Avermedia DarkCrystal HD Capture Pro as well as a Blackmagic Analog to SDI and the Atomos Samauri to isolate if the Elgato was the issue - but the choppy result was the same)

SETUP 3:
Panasonic NV-HD670 > BrightEye 25 (TBC) > Atomos Samauri
- Looks way better than Setup 1 and 2, but it doesn't manage to recover any of the audio or video that setup 2 was able to recover.

SETUP 4:
Panasonic NV-HD670 > BrightEye 25 (TBC) with Signal Mute Disabled > Atomos Samauri
- Manages to recover some of the audio that setup 3 lost, but it's filled with static and the vision cuts out and mixes with past footage.

(Disabling signal mute on the BrightEye prevents the signal from cutting out if static is detected)

Example footage:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/14GJCHyVmW0eTwpzRz0fuwm6QePBgt4RM/view?usp=sharing


What I was hoping is that the BrightEye would basically act like the vision mixer did in setup 2, but without making the footage choppy. Instead I get a better image, but recover even less than when I wasn't using a TBC at all.
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  #5  
11-12-2020, 07:12 AM
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lordsmurf lordsmurf is online now
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I repeat this so often: consumer analog (ie VHS,etc) has a recipe for digital conversion -- follow it!

That recipe is VCR (or camera for Hi8/V8) > TBC > capture card
Not just any devices, but specific ones known for quality, for cooperation with consumer sources.
The workflow also has both line/field and frame TBC.

Any deviation incurs either quality hits, or conversion problems, or both.

I'm not a fan of BrightEyes SDI converters. Why? Because it's a closed-loop system. The capture card is married to the TBC, and the TBC is not bullet-proof to consumer sources. When you run into issues with the capture card, or the TBC, the entire unit is just dead weight. It was also designed for pro sources, not consumer sources like VHS.

There are some shortcuts that can be taken, but again it incurs quality hits. The ES10/15 is common, but again it's not a TBC (with strong-yet-crippled line TBC functionality), though it can function as TBC(ish) in conjunction with a weak frame sync TBC like the DVK.

The NV-HD670 is just a low-end consumer VHS deck.
That BE-25 is just composite.
Elgato earned the nickname "Elcrapo" -- obviously not a good capture card.

This is literally stacking issues upon issues, and the outcome you're seeing is not unexpected.

- 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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  #6  
11-12-2020, 12:59 PM
latreche34 latreche34 is offline
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I second that, Every component you have has its own problems starting from the VCR all the way to the capture device, Unlike the BE75 the BE25 is designed for a stable composite signal like U-matic or Betacam it will not work perfectly with a low end consumer VCR without line TBC/DNR. Keep in mind the quality of the VCR is going to make or break a successful capture job.
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  #7  
11-12-2020, 01:42 PM
AndrewW AndrewW is offline
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The audio issue you're having might be because the brighteye want's a balanced audio signal (also hotter than a normal unbalanced RCA) I ran my RCA into a RCA to XLR balancing box like the ART cleanBox pro. I don't have any issues, and the levels are correct.

But I think you can wire it as unbalanced straight from VCR to brighteye, then in the BE settings once you've connected it successfully to the computer, you can change the audio input level. Otherwise you could always use the buttons on the front to boost it up.
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  #8  
11-12-2020, 03:31 PM
latreche34 latreche34 is offline
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Yes, You can make an audio cable from any RCA cable by cutting it and wire the cold and ground together and the hot to signal, BE75 uses a Phoenix quick wire connector, The BE25 uses a DB25 connector which can be made easily using an old serial cable connector and a dual RCA cable after cutting one end off and solder the wires to the corresponding DB25 pins.
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