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TORM3NTO 08-10-2021 01:38 AM

VHS, S-VHS, Hi8 hardware capture chains?
Hi everyone,

I currently own a Sony SLV ED5 VCR (4 heads) and bought a VHS adapter for S-VHS tapes. The playback of some selected S-VHS tapes is weird, as in the VCR software seems to lose count of the minutes/second or freezes while we can hear the tape moving. Other S-VHS tapes work "flawlessly". (I have the feeling it is the S-VHS adapter as in many circumstances, I was able to play the parts that were previously black by simply ejecting and re-inserting the the adapter in the VCR).

I tried capturing this footage with a USB capture dongle (it has the same plastic case of the EasyCap USB stick) but the drivers aren't stable and while I could preview the video on Virtual Dub on a few occasions, it then stopped. When it did work, it would give me weird artifacts on the sides of the frame.

The VCR is connected to the USB Capture Stick via RCA cable.

I found out that many people use a DVD recorder with built-in TBC as a pass-through to correct the image in an affordable and effective way. I found a Panasonic DMR ES10 for 100 euro. Now I need to find a good capture card (keep in mind that I'm on a laptop - Dell XPS 15 9570 16GB Ram Nvidia 1050ti)

What good capture card do you suggest to use for a laptop? (please not EasyCap and other variations that's impossible to find drivers for)

Would the VCR that I already own, paired with a Panasonic DMR ES10 for TBC and a good capture card work?

Thank you all in advance for any suggestion.

hodgey 08-10-2021 08:44 AM

Are you sure it's SVHS recordings and not just tapes? I don't think this model supports SVHS playback, or do you mean VHSC (i.e small camcorder VHS tapes).

Also since it's a multi-system vcr, are you doing both NTSC and PAL/SECAM tapes, or just one variant? (Also, the VCR does not have hi-fi audio from what I can see, though camcorder tapes usually won't have hi-fi audio anyway so that may not be an issue.)

I quite like the PAL variants of these late Sonys as they provide some picture adjustment but one annoying bit is that they output a blue screen when there is no or very little tape signal and there is no way to turn off the Play symbol when pressing play other than going from pause to play. (The PAL ones do also seem to be fraught with power supply capacitors going bad which can make them not turn on, not sure if that's an issue on the multi-system variants.)

What do you mean by "VCR software"? does the counter on the VCR itself stop, or do you mean the capture program on the computer?

I think that VCR + ES10 and some capture card can probably be an ok budget option provided both work correctly. Others here are more versed in what capture cards do okay with win10.

TORM3NTO 08-10-2021 08:53 AM

Ops! I meant VHS-C indeed. Yes, on some tapes the counter either stops working or it chooses not to rewind giving numbers instead, which I think are something similar to error codes but I'm not entirely sure and if I turn off and on again, the tape will play parts that were previously black. I don't understand how that can be as there is no chip on the VHS which could cause it to not read one time and read the next. It's just.. well.. tape! LOL I can say that a part from these small problems, I can play the tapes on my tv. The main problem is converting them onto digital format as the capture dongle I have has outdated drivers that sometime work and sometimes don't. Problems that I can't afford to have because I don't want to keep playing the tapes risking having them break (they are as old as I am, 27!). I'm looking for the best hardware chain to capture these tapes.

latreche34 08-10-2021 12:51 PM

Yes there is a sync pulse counter at the bottom edge of each tape, If you set the VCR to PAL while capturing a NTSC tape the capstan motor goes nuts, or if the pulse head is dirty or the tape edge is damaged it doesn't know what to do with the tape.

If you want help post samples and state precisly what tape standard you are capturing and what are the settings you are using in the VCR, Troublshooting over a forum is a pain and if you don't want to be part of that pain you don't get results.

TORM3NTO 08-10-2021 02:07 PM

Thank you for replying. The problem is that the usb capture dongle doesnt' work how it is supposed to so I can't post any samples. The VCR plays, for the most part, flawlessly. I'm ok with troubleshooting via forums. I actually miss the times when forums were the place to go.

latreche34 08-10-2021 03:23 PM

At least post samples from the TV using your phone camera, If the VCR works fine on TV that means it is the USB/Software capture, you are looking in the wrong area.

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