Hello, I am looking for recommendations on optimizing everything before transferring the family VHS home movies, most of which were made with the Panasonic PV-420D camcorder from 1988, and in particular, regarding a banding effect on the JVC HR-DVS3U.
(1) Banding issue: With the Auto picture setting on my JVC HR-DVS3U I am seeing a banding effect that I do not see on the Sharp or Soft setting. It is present on all tapes recorded with that camcorder, prominent on some scenes more than others. Attached are some samples with the Auto and Sharp settings of the JVC as well as a transfer direct from the original camcorder. The effect is also present with the same tapes on my other VCRs, so it is not a defect of the JVC in my estimation, but more of a difference in Panasonic's 1980s VHS standards.
In summary, the effect persists on the Auto setting, but is not noticeable on the Sharp setting nor when the tape is played back on the original camcorder (though various artifacts are visible this way - I can definitely see the advantage of the JVC VCR with TBC on).
There is no problem transferring tapes not made with the family camcorder (they look great and have no banding), so it is most certainly something to do with the possibly out of spec designs of some 1980s Panasonic stuff as discussed elsewhere on the forums. Everything is SP. The tapes are not copies but are tapes that were in the camcorder while the movies were recorded. I have tried with various settings on and off and they did not address the issue (TBC ON / stabilizer off, stabilizer on and TBC necessarily off, both off, the various audio monitor settings hifi, hifi L, hifi R, norm, mix, etc.).
Is "Sharp" the best option or can something else be adjusted with the equipment I have?
(2) Recommendations: I will have to do some more reading on the forums but if anyone has any advice and recommendations specific to processing of old 1980s camcorder videos I would appreciate anyone sharing them here. I was planning on at least doing some color balance adjustments and cropping and have used Avisynth to process videos in the past.
JVC HR-DVS3U > Monster gold plated S-Video cable > ATI AIW X1900 PCIe > Dedicated XP SP3 PC with Core 2 Quad CPU
Also tested other VCRs and original camcorder through composite output and a high quality, heavy, gold plated composite cable connected to the same AIW breakout box.
0 dropped and 0 inserted frames outside of the start of capture and places where there are recording gaps-for example when a movie was videotaped, then we played it back, cued the tape to just after the end of that clip, and recorded again after that).
no frame tbc, no ES-15 or similar
Calibration ON (this model is noted as similar to the SR-VS30 which benefits from this setting - I tried it on and off and can confirm the result is worse without it), picture control (Auto and Edit have the issue, Sharp does not, Soft does not but the image is poor for what I am transferring), Digital R3 off, stabilizer off (tried with it on and TBC off), TBC on
Video cropping to determine histogram levels, then it is all set to 0 before recording
Video preview, preview acceleration-progressive both fields, histogram on, video source-s video, capture pin YUY2, output 720x480
graphstudionext open to change the video proc amp settings (156 brightness, 90 contrast, hue/sat both unchanged at 128) to adjust the histogram so there are no red values during test playback. As was mentioned a number of times on other forum threads, these old camcorders have high red values so the contrast has to be brought down and the image looks bad with even slightly lower brightness settings due to black crushing)
An odd bug - changing the audio to the ATI analog capture instead of the capture default causes the capture to crash soon after. I leave the audio selection to the default "0 capture device" and all is well.
set Compression lagarith, configure-YUY2, multithreading (cpu usage is about 20-30% while capturing)
Capture timing-drop / insert frames both checked, sync video to audio (because I am syncing with an external audio source, sync audio to video does not work as well in my testing to keep the a/v sync)
press F6 to capture, esc to stop
To add to the discussion of old Panasonic mono linear audio not playing well on 1990s+ decks, I can attest to this with the movies recorded with this camcorder. The audio plays with very good quality when the tape is played back on our original camcorder, but plays poorly on any of our other VCRs (this 2004 JVC, a ~2000 Mitsubishi, and a ~2000 Sony). This is why I am capturing audio both through the JVC and separately while the tape is played by the camcorder.
I can easily see the quality difference between my current setup and my previous setup involving a Canon HV-30 with analog-DV passthrough. The old image has comparably little detail and appears washed out compared to my initial transfer of a couple tapes on this new setup. I can definitely recommend the best practices described on this forum for those looking for high quality transfers.