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  #1  
07-29-2022, 12:14 AM
captainvic captainvic is offline
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Hi all, attached are 2 sample captures from a Sony L-750 Betamax tape, recorded at the slowest speed from a cable broadcast in 1980.

The lineage is: Sony EDV-7500 s-video output > Datavideo TBC-1000 s-video output > ATI AIW 9600 XT

How does the sharpness setting look on these samples? To my eyes, tapes recorded at the slowest speed often show more sharpening halos. I reduced the sharpness knob on the Sony EDV-7500 for this tape to minimize halos; however, some halos are still there. Pulling back the sharpness more begins to wash out the picture.

This has been a delicate balancing act.

Would you reduce the sharpness on the EDV-7500 further or leave the setting as is?

Of course, sharpness can be adjusted after the transfer. I'd like the sharpness as neutral as possible during playback to minimize post processing.

Any other comments/feedback regarding these samples? The brightness and contrast levels were set in VirtualDub based on an earlier portion of the tape, then left alone (not adjusted for each segment). No adjustments were made to the hue, saturation and sharpness controls in VirtualDub (per sanlyn's excellent "Capturing with VirtualDub Settings Guide").

Thanks!


Attached Files
File Type: avi 1980BetaSample1.avi (93.49 MB, 22 downloads)
File Type: avi 1980BetaSample2.avi (38.05 MB, 12 downloads)
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  #2  
07-29-2022, 01:23 AM
latreche34 latreche34 is offline
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I have the EDV-7300 which is an identical Canadian model, I just put the sharpness knob in the center and back it off to the left by a degree or so to minimize some of the grain noise, You will never get what you want especially on BIII speeds, it is what it is.

https://www.youtube.com/user/latoak34/videos
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  #3  
07-30-2022, 11:45 AM
captainvic captainvic is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by latreche34 View Post
I have the EDV-7300 which is an identical Canadian model, I just put the sharpness knob in the center and back it off to the left by a degree or so to minimize some of the grain noise, You will never get what you want especially on BIII speeds, it is what it is.

Thanks, latreche34. What did you think of the sharpness in the attached samples? For this tape, I adjusted the EDV-7500 sharpness knob back to the left more than I normally would.

Incidentally, the tape was recorded from Canadian TV.
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  #4  
07-30-2022, 09:49 PM
latreche34 latreche34 is offline
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I can't tell from the samples because there is nothing to compare it to but I wouldn't go bellow 10 o'clock mark. I guess Canadiens like Beta.

https://www.youtube.com/user/latoak34/videos
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  #5  
08-13-2022, 03:19 PM
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lordsmurf lordsmurf is offline
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A problem with overly aged recordings (or nth gen) like these is that sharpening has minimal effect. You end up with "sharp" soft video. Nothing will make the video not be soft. It's splotchy, indistinct faces and objects.

Sometimes sharpening has the opposite effect, where edge sharpening start to detract from non-edge. I'm seeing some of that here.

What you have is passably fine. It could be better, less. Definitely NOT more.

I do think halo is excessive. You don't see it now in a tiny preview window, but it's obvious at standard non-phone larger sizes.

My question is always how much is tape, vs. how much is from processing? Both by choice, and forced deck processing (internals, cannot be altered, like many consumer VHS decks did in the late 90s into 00s).

Contrary to (wrong) common opinion, you cannot sharpen analog tape in software anywhere as accurate as in hardware playback. So you're wise to get it right before/during capture. Not after, when it's too late. The best sharpen is a mix, moderate at ingest, fine tune in software.

Aside from sharpness, you must tackle the chroma noise and dropouts with post-processing after capture. At minimum, the chroma noise, using VirtualDub CCD 1.7 filter.

I want that TDK commercial.

In fact, I want any commercials that involve AV/photo, computers, video games, finance, cereal, toys, cartoons. I have a nice collection from my own captures.

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  #6  
08-13-2022, 09:58 PM
latreche34 latreche34 is offline
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Sony Beta didn't offer a lot of features in their VCR's compared to VHS, The obvious reason is probably VHS lived longer to have the VCR technology advanced enough such as the JVC digital processing chips, not something that I excessively use during capturing but with some problematic tape I could use some of those features, Not much for Beta, the EDV-7500/7300 is a high end unit but all it has is one manual knob for sharpening, that's it.

https://www.youtube.com/user/latoak34/videos
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  #7  
08-13-2022, 10:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by latreche34 View Post
Sony Beta didn't offer a lot of features in their VCR's compared to VHS, The obvious reason is probably VHS lived longer to have the VCR technology advanced enough such as the JVC digital processing chips, not something that I excessively use during capturing but with some problematic tape I could use some of those features, Not much for Beta, the EDV-7500/7300 is a high end unit but all it has is one manual knob for sharpening, that's it.
While all true, all VCRs (Beta, VHS, etc) process. Often not user selectable, only on higher end units, and even then it can be minimal as you state.

Sometimes the key to understanding VCR quality is knowing the forced processing.

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  #8  
08-14-2022, 12:41 AM
latreche34 latreche34 is offline
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Yes they all process luma and chroma signal, but digital processing was something new to VCR's, that's how TBC, DNR, DOC, edge sharpening (JVC 3DNR) and many more were created, JVC even sold chips to other manufacturers.

Sony Betamax latest machines offer digital pause, But it is unknown if that frame store feature is used for TBC and other digital processing, Sony is known of their secrecy when it comes to product design.

https://www.youtube.com/user/latoak34/videos
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  #9  
08-14-2022, 12:29 PM
captainvic captainvic is offline
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Thanks so much for your detailed reply, lordsmurf! Your feedback is exactly what I was looking for.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lordsmurf View Post
Contrary to (wrong) common opinion, you cannot sharpen analog tape in software anywhere as accurate as in hardware playback. So you're wise to get it right before/during capture. Not after, when it's too late. The best sharpen is a mix, moderate at ingest, fine tune in software.
To clarify this point, lordsmurf, if you wanted to err of the side of caution, would you use too little sharpness on the hardware playback deck during capture?

In other words, what do you consider the lesser of the two evils? After a capture is done and you are fine-tuning sharpness using post-production software, is it better to increase the sharpness from a slightly too soft capture? Or, would you prefer to decrease a capture's sharpness in software?

latreche34 stated, "I wouldn't go bellow 10 o'clock mark" on a Sony EDV Beta deck. In most situations, I fully agree; however, the samples attached were captured with the sharpness knob pulled back to the left to approximately the 9 o'clock point. This does "feel" like the setting is too soft, but again, the edge sharpening and halos in these captures still seem excessive.

Thanks also lordsmurf for the post-processing tips. Much appreciated.

I wish I had more of the TDK commercial. The sample I attached is almost entirely what was recorded on the tape. (Someone on YouTube has posted the full commercial, albeit in lesser quality). I'll let you know if I find anything else of interest.
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  #10  
08-17-2022, 05:12 AM
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I would err on the side of too little. It's a soft format, it's expect. (Only Gen Z kiddies expect HD video to be squeezed out of VHS tapes -- and with a $10 Chinese device, too!)

You have to understand two facets:

(1) The analog detailer/sharpener can pull out sharpness and detail that software cannot. It alters signal in analog domain. You cannot wait until digital step, it's baked in as too soft or too sharp. Detailers are actually far superior to sharpen sliders on VCRs, such as the Studio1/SignVideo gear (but also in good working shape, not random eBay abused junk gear).

(2) The software can refine detail that it's actually necessarily present in the analog source. So it's not being "pulled out" like the analog step. Forget "AI" junkware (Topaz, etc), quality Avisynth sharpen/upsize algorithms have done this for at least a decade now. (For deinterlaced/progressive I'm good, but johnmeyer is better.)

With a round dial, single clock (not around and around), never more than 50%, sometimes not even 25% turn. The key is to find unity. Most knobs only sharpen, but some also desharpen. The AG-1980 slider is positive and negative, and anything more than 60% of the sharpen levels looks awful. In general, 10-25% is the most you can tolerate. It pulls out details quite nicely.

I don't like commercials for the sake of commercials. I like commercials in high quality. Otherwise I'm just punishing my eyes and ears with garbage.

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