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03-28-2023, 01:48 AM
canadaboy25 canadaboy25 is offline
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Hi all,

This is my first post here as I have spent the last couple years trying to consume the wealth of knowledge on this site.

I, as many have, originally tried digitizing some tapes using one of those terrible, cheap USB adapters. Obviously, the result was terrible. So fast forward to today and I have spent days reading though the posts here and acquiring the correct equipment. I read countless warnings from LordSmurf on several threads to not buy "for parts or not working" TBC-1000's on eBay. So I went ahead and bought an untested "for parts or not working" TBC-1000 on eBay . What's life without a bit of risk? It showed up with a 5V power adapter . I plugged in a correct 12V adapter and it works perfect. My guess is the seller tested it with the 5V adapter and it didn't work so they listed it as for parts or not working. I found a few bad caps on the board so I recapped the entire thing. I also mounted the board on standoffs so that I could connect directly to the TBC-100 card and bypass the distribution amp (see picture). Since I have the (older?) version with linear voltage regulators, noisy power should not be an issue.

I then purchased a JVC SR-VS30 on eBay that apparently would not accept a tape. It showed up and loads tapes just fine . Cleaned the heads and the picture looks very good.

So my current setup is JVC SR-VS30 -> TBC-1000 -> PCIe ATI TV Wonder 650 -> Virtual dub lossless AVI. All connections are S-video with high quality, double coax cables.
I also have a Samsung SyncMaster 910MP connected to the other video output on the JVC to monitor the output.

I am having a couple problems. The first issue being that the colors in the capture are very muted. I can see a strong difference between the captured file, and the signal on the Samsung monitor. I have also swapped the Samsung for a CRT TV and the result is the same. The signal on the display is much more vibrant than the captured footage. I have also connected the TBC-1000 inline with the monitor to ensure that it was not causing the color issues. It did not seem to have any poor effects. This leaves (I believe) the only suspect to be the capture card. Is this a common problem and is there an easy fix?

The other issue is that I am getting "smearing" in the output file. I have attached two images of the same scene in a movie I am using for testing. I found a reference copy online to compare my capture quality to. One image is a screenshot from the reference copy online, and the other image is a screenshot from my captured file. Obviously the aspect ratio in my captured video is wrong, but I believe this is easily fixed in post processing, right? You can see the smearing quite clearly to the right of everyone's red "ears". The red color also provides a good example of the color muting I am experiencing.

I have also attached a small uncompressed clip of my captured file, since I have seen that as a common request in other threads.

If the problem is in fact the capture card, I have two other options on hand:
- ATI All-in-Wonder Radeon 7200 32M AGP. I do not have a computer with an AGP slot with enough processing power to prevent dropped frames. If this is a good card, I can try and find a better computer with an AGP slot to try it.
- Hauppauge WinTV PVR-500 PCI. This card does not seem to have any way to output uncompressed video other than some strange YUV format which I could not view or import into any other software after capture.

Another note, even when viewing the captured video in VLC player with de-interlacing enabled, the interlacing is still extremely visible. This can be seen very easily in blinking eyes in the video clip. I am not sure how to go about solving this.

If anyone has any insight into any or all of these problems, it would be greatly appreciated.


Attached Images
File Type: jpg TBC-1000.jpg (74.2 KB, 12 downloads)
File Type: jpg Capture.jpg (70.9 KB, 18 downloads)
File Type: jpg Reference.jpg (63.5 KB, 18 downloads)
Attached Files
File Type: avi Clip.avi (88.27 MB, 8 downloads)
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  #2  
03-28-2023, 07:13 AM
timtape timtape is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by canadaboy25 View Post

...The other issue is that I am getting "smearing" in the output file. I have attached two images of the same scene in a movie I am using for testing. I found a reference copy online to compare my capture quality to. One image is a screenshot from the reference copy online, and the other image is a screenshot from my captured file. Obviously the aspect ratio in my captured video is wrong, but I believe this is easily fixed in post processing, right? You can see the smearing quite clearly to the right of everyone's red "ears". The red color also provides a good example of the color muting I am experiencing...
Welcome. It depends on what your reference file is. VHS picture quality was below broadcast quality not least in color fidelity. Your "reference" may be a professional transfer from a professional videotape source which by definition had better picture in various departments than VHS even at its best. You may be able to make a better transfer than you've managed, but it will never match the broadcast quality of the day.
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  #3  
03-28-2023, 09:20 AM
traal traal is offline
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There's a lot of noise about 1/4 from the top of the frame and also at the very bottom of the frame.

Also it looks like there's some checkerboarding/dot crawl. Since you used all S-Video cables, maybe the tape itself was recorded/duplicated through composite.
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  #4  
03-28-2023, 10:23 AM
canadaboy25 canadaboy25 is offline
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Originally Posted by timtape View Post
Welcome. It depends on what your reference file is. VHS picture quality was below broadcast quality not least in color fidelity. Your "reference" may be a professional transfer from a professional videotape source which by definition had better picture in various departments than VHS even at its best. You may be able to make a better transfer than you've managed, but it will never match the broadcast quality of the day.
Quote:
Originally Posted by traal View Post
Also it looks like there's some checkerboarding/dot crawl. Since you used all S-Video cables, maybe the tape itself was recorded/duplicated through composite.

Thanks for the responses. I forgot to mention in my original post, the recording is an EP tape made through composite from a broadcast TV channel. If the EP tape through composite is the cause of the smearing then I can understand that. I am not expecting perfection, just want the best quality I can manage.

The part that is bothering me is that the video output from the VCR viewed on the Samsung monitor or CRT TV is so much more vibrant than the capture. The Samsung monitor is a digital LCD so I would expect it to look similar, if not worse than the output from the capture card. However, the captured file is much more dull than the picture I see on the monitor. This can't be an issue with the original recording since the source signal is the same for both the monitor and capture card.

Hope this makes sense.

Quote:
Originally Posted by traal View Post
There's a lot of noise about 1/4 from the top of the frame and also at the very bottom of the frame.
For some reason the automatic tracking on the JVC will not work for this tape. The automatic tracking works well on every other tape I have tried. In order to get a usable picture, I had to manually track the tape. Any higher and the noise at the top gets worse, any lower and the noise at the bottom gets worse.
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  #5  
03-28-2023, 12:52 PM
traal traal is offline
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I believe the video is telecined to 24fps, so doing an "inverse telecine" will remove the interlacing. VirtualDub has a filter called "IVTC" that does this.

There's some "chroma shift" in the video, you can see it on the father's green suspenders. The FlaXen's fxvhs plugin in this post can help fix it a little.

I think the bleeding between the red of the son's ear and the blue on the father's pants is normal for VHS. You can see the same thing in this test pattern.

The file "Reference.jpg" doesn't look more vibrant to me than "Capture.jpg".

The black bars on the sides of the video are very wide, like 35-40 pixels wide each. That seems odd, as if you captured at 640x480 and then padded the sides to make it 720x480.

Capturing uncompressed is going to use up a lot of disk space. I recommend using a lossless compression codec such as HuffYUV.
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  #6  
03-28-2023, 01:32 PM
canadaboy25 canadaboy25 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by traal View Post
I believe the video is telecined to 24fps, so doing an "inverse telecine" will remove the interlacing. VirtualDub has a filter called "IVTC" that does this.
Thanks for mentioning this. I remember reading up on telecine and will look into it in more detail.

Quote:
Originally Posted by traal View Post
There's some "chroma shift" in the video, you can see it on the father's green suspenders. The FlaXen's fxvhs plugin in this post can help fix it a little.
Wow, I didn't even realize that. The father's suspenders should be the same blue as his pants, as shown in the reference.jpg file. In my capture they are completely green. Thanks for the reference.

Is this kind of thing normally dealt with purely in post-processing? At this stage I would like to ensure that my capture setup is working as well as possible, then I can deal with post-processing later.

Quote:
Originally Posted by traal View Post
I think the bleeding between the red of the son's ear and the blue on the father's pants is normal for VHS. You can see the same thing in this test pattern.
Okay, if that is just the way VHS is, then I am fine with it. I just want to ensure that my capture setup is not introducing any errors that would not exist otherwise.

Quote:
Originally Posted by traal View Post
The file "Reference.jpg" doesn't look more vibrant to me than "Capture.jpg".
If I open the two images in separate tabs and cycle between them, I can see a significant difference in the shades of the red color of everyone's ears. The red color in the reference image is very bright. In my capture it is a quite dull red.

Is this another symptom of the chroma shift you mentioned?

Quote:
Originally Posted by traal View Post
The black bars on the sides of the video are very wide, like 35-40 pixels wide each. That seems odd, as if you captured at 640x480 and then padded the sides to make it 720x480.
I am capturing at 720x480 since that is the only resolution that VirtualDub will accept. If I try any other resolution, I get an error saying that my capture device does not support it. The black borders are probably just an error I made in trimming the video with Premiere Pro. I have not looked into the settings very far since I just wanted to trim out a small clip to post here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by traal View Post
Capturing uncompressed is going to use up a lot of disk space. I recommend using a lossless compression codec such as HuffYUV.
Yes, HuffYUV is on my to-do list. I haven't gotten around to it yet as I am first trying to validate my capture hardware.


I have been reading in the "ATI All In Wonder Hacks, Drivers, Codecs and MMC" sticky in this fourm and it seems that the PCIe ATI cards are on the bottom of the totem pole with the AGP cards being at the top. "The HD PCIe cards are based off the inferior Theatre 650 chipsets, which had known issues with AGC. Because of the AGC flaws, the cards are unusable for video." I did notice at some points during the capture, that a bright scene would just become completely washed out, almost no detail visible. I assume this is the AGC flaw manifesting itself. Could my card also be introducing more "chroma shift" than, for example, the AGP ATI card introduces?

Thanks

Last edited by canadaboy25; 03-28-2023 at 01:46 PM.
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  #7  
03-28-2023, 01:58 PM
traal traal is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by canadaboy25 View Post
The father's suspenders should be the same blue as his pants, as shown in the reference.jpg file. In my capture they are completely green.
I didn't notice that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by canadaboy25 View Post
Is [chroma shift] normally dealt with purely in post-processing?
I will let someone with more experience answer that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by canadaboy25 View Post
If I open the two images in separate tabs and cycle between them, I can see a significant difference in the shades of the red color of everyone's ears. The red color in the reference image is very bright. In my capture it is a quite dull red. Is this another symptom of the chroma shift you mentioned?
It might be part of the chroma shift or just the lower chroma resolution of VHS causing the yellows to bleed into the reds and create orange/brown colors. But I know that VHS reds can be much more vivid than the reds in your clip.

Quote:
Originally Posted by canadaboy25 View Post
I have been reading in the "ATI All In Wonder Hacks, Drivers, Codecs and MMC" sticky in this fourm and it seems that the PCIe ATI cards are on the bottom of the totem pole with the AGP cards being at the top. "The HD PCIe cards are based off the inferior Theatre 650 chipsets, which had known issues with AGC. Because of the AGC flaws, the cards are unusable for video." How would AGC flaws manifest in captured video? Could my card be introducing more "chroma shift" than, for example, the AGP ATI card introduces?
I don't think so, but again I will let a more knowledgeable person answer.
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