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  #1  
12-20-2020, 01:30 PM
andrewprjnn1 andrewprjnn1 is offline
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Hello digitalfaq community!

I was directed to ask a question here by a reddit commentator and was told to ask for lordsmurf if possible.

I'm digitizing a few tapes for a family friend, but unfortunately I came across a few that were bad. I've attached a video link and file of what I'm viewing in this post for details. The sound is very distorted and the image is unrecognizable because of all the static, but is there any way of salvaging this? Could anything be done in post to resurrect this? I only ask because all 5 copies of our family friend's wedding tapes play like this as well as a few others including VHS-C, but the other 20 or so tapes of theirs from the same period play fine.

Should be noted all these tapes were kept together in an indoor storage locker with what I'm assuming to be temperature controlled systems. I inspected the tapes beforehand and everything seemed fine. No flaking or crumpled tape, I fast forward all the tapes to the end and back to ensure a tight wind, cleaned any surface dust from the tapes and heads of the players, and I have attempted to play these VHS tapes on three different VHS players (JVC SR-VS30U, and two different Mitsubishi players whose model numbers I am forgetting) viewing through both the capture device and various different televisions/monitors (Sony X800B television, Sony X850B television, Sony LMD-9050 LCD monitor). Device capture is through an Elgato Video Capture device on Mac.

Hoping something can be done about this, thank you!

https://youtu.be/JsEmU7cbuLA


Attached Files
File Type: mp4 TAPE#9_last_film_1(bad tape).mp4 (10.35 MB, 8 downloads)

Last edited by andrewprjnn1; 12-20-2020 at 01:35 PM. Reason: Forgot to include certain details to post
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  #2  
12-20-2020, 02:18 PM
latreche34 latreche34 is offline
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These are PAL tapes and you're trying to play them back with a NTSC VCR.

Last edited by lordsmurf; 12-20-2020 at 03:28 PM. Reason: Be gentle. -LS
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12-20-2020, 02:41 PM
andrewprjnn1 andrewprjnn1 is offline
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Is there a specific way you can tell these are PAL tapes over NTSC? And does the capture device effect it in any way? Just curious so I know what to look for ahead. If needed to be noted, the VHS and VHS-C tapes I digitized so far were a mixture of recordings from the US and middle east. The wedding tapes were all shot and duplicated in the USA. Apologies if some of these questions/mistakes are rookie. I come from a world of 35mm/16mm conservation so I'm fairly new to the realm of VHS digitization, following what forums like this and others have recommended, but I appreciate any feedback nonetheless. Thank you!
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  #4  
12-20-2020, 03:21 PM
latreche34 latreche34 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andrewprjnn1 View Post
Is there a specific way you can tell these are PAL tapes over NTSC?
Yes, Ask the family friend about the origin of the tapes.

As low quality as Elgato, no it should capture both PAL and NTSC sources, You may have stability problems with Chinese capture devices even with the right standard. You will find later that you will need more equipment than just a PAL VCR, Unless your friend is paying for all this expensive gear you can just tel him you don't have the right equipment and have him take the tapes somewhere else.
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  #5  
12-20-2020, 03:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andrewprjnn1 View Post
Hello digitalfaq community!
I was directed to ask a question here by a reddit commentator and was told to ask for lordsmurf if possible.
Welcome.

Quote:
I came across a few that were bad. I've attached a video link
Odd. PAL tape in NTSC VCR is possible, but odd. Normally you can see more image, though it's still really messed up. However, a bad capture card may make the bad worse.

Quote:
The sound is very distorted
I need to go play a PAL tape in NTSC VCR, I forgot what that sounds like.

Quote:
I fast forward all the tapes to the end and back to ensure a tight wind
That was a mistake. If the tapes did have any damage, you just made it worse. This is horrible myth being spread online, and it has ruined many tapes. Some tapes are "one and done", you only have one play left it in before it began to massively degrade. The FF/REW just spent that single play.

Quote:
cleaned any surface dust from the tapes and heads of the players,
How? If you used cotton swabs, or even most modern foam swabs, you made a mistake, and lkely damaged the VCR heads. My last good foam swabs have played out, and I cannot find anymore. My dSLR swabs are now rarer and more expensive. So I've adopted the TGrant copy paper method, and I want to make a guide on that sometime soon (as I do disagree with some of his instructions).

Quote:
JVC SR-VS30U,
Nice.

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Device capture is through an Elgato Video Capture device on Mac.
Elgato earned the nickname "Elcrapo". That's not a good card.

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The following users thank lordsmurf for this useful post: andrewprjnn1 (12-20-2020)
  #6  
12-20-2020, 03:41 PM
latreche34 latreche34 is offline
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Oh didn't know "dude" was an offensive word ..lol Though didn't mean to be rude.
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  #7  
12-20-2020, 03:51 PM
andrewprjnn1 andrewprjnn1 is offline
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Woah! That was a speedy reply haha. Thank you lordsmurf!

Regarding the cleaning of the tape/heads, I meant just surface dust on the casings by just quickly blowing them off and I ran a Clean DR. VCR dry head cleaner through the players.

Damn, I wish I knew about the REW/FF advice there prior. Will definitely remember that for next time. Thankfully the other tapes I did that to were able to record just fine and if I remember correctly, most were already fast forwarded to the end when I insert them in the players.

And in terms of the capture card, yes I've heard much about the famed nickname given haha. For now my family friend was just interested in receiving the content of the tapes over quality so it was the quickest thing I had pulled together, but upon looking through your forum, slowly but surely my digitization station build will come together

Quote:
Originally Posted by latreche34 View Post
Oh didn't know "dude" was an offensive word ..lol Though didn't mean to be rude.
Oh it's no worries friend! I wasn't offended by that haha. Just wanted to make sure I was asking the right questions with context. I appreciate the reply and help

Quote:
Originally Posted by latreche34 View Post
Yes, Ask the family friend about the origin of the tapes.

As low quality as Elgato, no it should capture both PAL and NTSC sources, You may have stability problems with Chinese capture devices even with the right standard. You will find later that you will need more equipment than just a PAL VCR, Unless your friend is paying for all this expensive gear you can just tel him you don't have the right equipment and have him take the tapes somewhere else.
Copy that, yeah the technical jargon behind PAL vs NTSC is very much a space I'm still researching to understand, but in terms of the gear I'd need to make it work, I can imagine it may cost an arm and a leg to get done in a timely and economic manner haha. I'm sure the answer is here within these forum posts someplace, but since we're here what type of extra equipment would be needed to accomplish this that you mention?
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12-20-2020, 04:19 PM
latreche34 latreche34 is offline
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You need to figure out the problem of the tapes first, once you get a picture then you can go from there, Time may not be on your side because acquiring the right gear may take some time, It is not something that you can go and pickup form your local store.
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12-20-2020, 04:40 PM
andrewprjnn1 andrewprjnn1 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by latreche34 View Post
You need to figure out the problem of the tapes first, once you get a picture then you can go from there, Time may not be on your side because acquiring the right gear may take some time, It is not something that you can go and pickup form your local store.
As expected, alas. Thankfully my family friends understand. Thanks for your input latreche34! Will look into it
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  #10  
12-20-2020, 10:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andrewprjnn1 View Post
and I ran a Clean DR. VCR dry head cleaner through the players.
"Cleaning" tapes generally due more harm tan good, simply moving around dirt, and not removing it. Proper cleaning requires opening the deck, using IPA, and non-damaging applicators (no cotton swabs, etc).

Quote:
Thankfully the other tapes I did that to were able to record just fine
You mean play.

Quote:
and if I remember correctly, most were already fast forwarded to the end when I insert them in the players.
And REW is required, of course. This is why unrewound tapes can be tricky.

Quote:
but upon looking through your forum, slowly but surely my digitization station build will come together
... and remember to check the marketplace, sometimes some of us have goodies for sale.

Quote:
Oh it's no worries friend! I wasn't offended by that haha.


Quote:
Copy that, yeah the technical jargon behind PAL vs NTSC is very much a space I'm still researching to understand, but in terms of the gear I'd need to make it work, I can imagine it may cost an arm and a leg to get done in a timely and economic manner haha.
Not arms and legs, but a quality transfer will cost some bucks. (And vastly inferior quality can also be equally as priced, so take extreme care with whom you trust with your tapes! Or who you buy gear from!)

Quote:
I'm sure the answer is here within these forum posts someplace, but since we're here what type of extra equipment would be needed to accomplish this that you mention?
VHS has a recipe: VCR > TBC > capture card

Not just any VCR/TBC/card, but known quality devices. In this case, you'd need a PAL VCR, TBC capable of PAL (which is most of them), and capture card that does PAL (which again, is most of them).

What you don't want is one of those crappy "conversion" VCRs, or some magic doodad that promises PAL>NTSC conversion, because it will look awful. Colors cooked, blurry, ghosting, on top of usual VHS issues to deal with.

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  #11  
12-21-2020, 01:23 AM
andrewprjnn1 andrewprjnn1 is offline
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Gotcha, wow this is way more advice than I expected to get. Thank you so much! Also thank you for the corrections haha. It be important to know the language associated with explaining digitizations and conversions

I'm not sure investing in PAL equipment would be the justified route for me to go as it'd only be for their tapes, so I'll likely pass on the reasoning to them and forward them to someone else who has those capabilities ready.

The TBC is where I'm having the most trouble locating (for NTSC specifically) because I'm not really sure what to look for. By that I mean what to look for in a quality one. I'll dig around this forum for answers, but off the top of your head, any you'd recommend off the bat that would be relatively simple to find or specific features/types I should be looking for?
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