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  #1  
01-11-2024, 07:50 AM
iseevisions iseevisions is offline
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I have 2 camcorders which can play my Hi8 tapes for capturing and both have issues:

- Sony DCR-TRV620E D8 cam with Hi8 play: has TBC with stable picture/sound, good/a bit reddish colors/ok brightness, but is less sharp and has green bar on right of screen(according to other threads the green bar is a design error in all D8 PAL camcorders, and can be "fixed")

- Sony CCD-TR805E V8/Hi8 cam: sharper picture, wider on the left, less bottom noise, but often unstable playback picture/sound wise, colors too yellow/green/brightness highlights too much in some scenes.
This is the one where the tape was recorded on years ago (better head alignment?)

A bit of a dilemma...

Is the unsharpness problem of the D8 cam widely known, or an issue with my unit only? Is there something I can do to make it better?
I have cleaned the heads of both camcorders already by the way.
See comparison pics in attachment. You can see it clearly where there are sharp edges.


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File Type: jpg d8.jpg (97.3 KB, 30 downloads)
File Type: jpg hi8.jpg (98.2 KB, 28 downloads)
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  #2  
01-11-2024, 10:17 AM
latreche34 latreche34 is online now
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Hi8 looks the way to go for me, use the other camcorder for unstable tapes.

https://www.youtube.com/@Capturing-Memories/videos
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  #3  
01-11-2024, 10:48 AM
iseevisions iseevisions is offline
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You mean I'll have to start stitching together pieces from both recordings of the same 90min tape, which has bad colors/brightness/sound fallout/distortion on the Hi8 cam in some scenes only, while the D8 cam does not, but is noisier/unsharp

Also the "TBC" in my capture card is crap so from the Hi8 cam every stop-start recording has like 10-25 frames lost due to static, while the D8 (with its own TBC) has only 2-4 or so, not to mention every x seconds playback instability with "TBC" showing weird frames.

What I'm curious about is, is the unsharpness/noise of the D8 cam a problem with my unit, like heads worn out or something, or is this an issue of all (PAL) D8 cams with Hi8 playback? The green discoloration bar on the right seems to be one such issue with all of them in any case...
In other words, if I would buy another D8 cam, will I get the same problem or not...
But I would rather try to fix my D8 cam, I already cleaned the heads & tape guides/rollers. I'm not sure why it is unsharp. I also tried to disable TBC/DNR without any luck.

Last edited by iseevisions; 01-11-2024 at 11:00 AM.
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  #4  
01-11-2024, 02:10 PM
Idocinthebox Idocinthebox is offline
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The CCD-TRV850 has TBC and DNR, do you have it turned off?? You can use the Proc Amp settings in Virtualdub to improve the brightness and contrast for the Svideo capture, the DV capture you could try firewire (ilink) and use Scenalyzer live available in the DL section. Digital capture will probably be a little darker and have a little less quality compared to direct Svideo due to the analog to digital conversion.
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  #5  
01-11-2024, 03:24 PM
iseevisions iseevisions is offline
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It's a TR805E (not TRV850) and I did not find anything in the manual or the buttons regarding a TBC.

I also tried a capture with TR805E -> s-video -> TRV620E -> firewire DV; the stability is a little bit better but still worse than playing the tape directly in TRV620E. Also the sharpness is worse than TR805E -> capture card. And there is a (smaller) green band on the right.

See attached screenshot.


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File Type: jpg hi8intod8todv.jpg (97.3 KB, 11 downloads)

Last edited by iseevisions; 01-11-2024 at 04:22 PM. Reason: attachment
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  #6  
01-11-2024, 04:23 PM
timtape timtape is offline
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As you may already know, if it's photographs, negatives, slides, movie films, the digitising gear can be bought brand new off the shelf, with new spares and full service backup. But finding good working condition used camcorders for these complex small tape formats is increasingly difficult. Parts are basically second hand. You might get lucky buying a good used camcorder or finding a camera tech prepared to look at your existing camera(s).

Last edited by timtape; 01-11-2024 at 04:33 PM.
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  #7  
01-11-2024, 04:35 PM
iseevisions iseevisions is offline
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I was hoping someone here might know what is causing the noisy unsharpness. No techs on the forum?

Already thinking of trying the vhs-decode method, but if it's the heads itself causing the issue it probably won't help...
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  #8  
01-11-2024, 05:13 PM
timtape timtape is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iseevisions View Post
I was hoping someone here might know what is causing the noisy unsharpness. No techs on the forum?
Maybe it's partly inbuilt DNR. Contrary to what we might see on certain crime forensic TV shows, reducing random noise in video or audio signals, let alone removing it, is not easy and often impossible - unless we simply crop out that part of the picture. The price we pay can be a softening of image as per the stills you highlight here.

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Already thinking of trying the vhs-decode method, but if it's the heads itself causing the issue it probably won't help...
Digital decode still requires a fully working mechanical transport, including the heads and tape signal tracking electronics. Mechanical and electronic complexities and precision are still required. If just servicing these tiny camcorders was so easy, home handymen would be successful at it. In our city the only fulltime camera tech that I know of told me service/repair of such small tape based camcorders was his most difficult and least favourite work. If restarting manufacture of new 8mm playback units was so easy and profitable, I guess manufacturers would be pumping them out.

Last edited by timtape; 01-11-2024 at 05:30 PM.
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  #9  
01-11-2024, 05:35 PM
iseevisions iseevisions is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timtape View Post
Maybe it's partly inbuilt DNR
I already thought of that, but no, still unsharp & noisy on the edges.
See screenshot of a TRV620E capture via s-video: TBC & DNR disabled.


Also, since the TR805E -> s-video -> TRV620E -> firewire DV is also noisy/unsharp, it must be something else than the heads of the TRV620E, right?


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File Type: jpg d8-tbcdnroff.jpg (98.9 KB, 8 downloads)
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  #10  
01-11-2024, 06:18 PM
timtape timtape is offline
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What is your reference? The stills appear shot in low light. Is it possible the noise is camera sensor noise? Can you upload a well lit, well exposed shot?

As someone already said, perhaps the AD conversion in the camera already softens the picture some, with the optional DNR softening it more.
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  #11  
01-11-2024, 06:47 PM
iseevisions iseevisions is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timtape View Post
What is your reference?
Playing the tape in TR805E -> capture card ofcourse, I'm fine with that quality like you see on the still. But the other problems with that cam still persist.

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perhaps the AD conversion
Yes, only if playing an analog tape in TRV620E with s-video out passes some A/D/A conversion...

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Originally Posted by timtape View Post
optional DNR softening
Turning off the DNR (TRV620E) gives no sharper picture.

Last edited by iseevisions; 01-11-2024 at 07:01 PM.
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  #12  
01-11-2024, 07:08 PM
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lordsmurf lordsmurf is offline
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The D8 cam adds DV compression, lost color, lost sharpness, artifacts.

The Hi8 cam without TBC is low end, everything internally is lesser quality. And it may just not be working correctly.

Better camera needed for better quality.

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  #13  
01-12-2024, 08:33 AM
iseevisions iseevisions is offline
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DV compression, also on the s-video out? Could explain the downgrade in sharpness yes, but not the noisy smearing on all edges, or is that a DV thing too?

So the best is a true Hi8 (pre-D8) cam with TBC?
Or an external TBC, but from what I've read they also seem to be blurring the picture a bit?
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  #14  
01-12-2024, 08:44 AM
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Almost all of these consumer D8 cameras route through DV encoding for all output, even the analog outputs.

Correct, For Hi8 tapes, best is a true Hi8 (pre-D8) cam with TBC.

Quote:
So the best is a true Hi8 (pre-D8) cam with TBC?
Or an external TBC, but from what I've read they also seem to be blurring the picture a bit?
Those do have have the same function. Line fixes the image, frame fixes the signal, you need both. It's not either/or, no more than humans can have either food or water (you need both!)

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  #15  
01-15-2024, 12:38 PM
iseevisions iseevisions is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lordsmurf View Post
Almost all of these consumer D8 cameras route through DV encoding for all output, even the analog outputs.
So you are saying that capturing the s-video out to a good capturecard isn't going to be better than DV through firewire with such camcorders?
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  #16  
01-16-2024, 01:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lordsmurf View Post
Almost all of these consumer D8 cameras route through DV encoding for all output, even the analog outputs.

Correct, For Hi8 tapes, best is a true Hi8 (pre-D8) cam with TBC.


Those do have have the same function. Line fixes the image, frame fixes the signal, you need both. It's not either/or, no more than humans can have either food or water (you need both!)
I agree that an actual Hi8 Camcorder w/TBC has advantages over a similar D8 camcorder for analog capture, but my understanding was that it isn't because the D8 converts/compresses the signal to DV before reconverting to analog. If this was true, why would there be any D8 camcorders on the recommended list here.

This issue was actually discussed in that same thread starting around post #53. The consensus seemed to be that all Sony camcorders with TBC, both Hi8 and D8 processed the signal digitally before reconverting it to analog but that the conversion route bypassed the DV compression process on the D8 camcorders.

My
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  #17  
01-18-2024, 07:50 AM
iseevisions iseevisions is offline
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Well my TRV620 doesn't appear to be on that list for some reason...
I still don't know why it is less sharp than the Hi8 cam, is it the heads, analog or digital circuit that's responsible for it?
Are there any similar comparisons from others with the same results or it is just my equipment?
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  #18  
01-18-2024, 01:10 PM
BW37 BW37 is offline
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That list is missing quite a few models both NTSC and PAL, but far more so for PAL. I have no personal knowledge of the DCR-TRV620 but the manual is available direct from SONY. There appears to be a ď620EĒ model only, so PAL only. After a quick scan of that manual, it appears to have the ability to play analog tapes, has the desired TBC & NR and also can output NTSC 4.43. Iím grasping at straws here, but I wonder if the NTSC 4.43 function could be causing some kind of issue? Iím assuming your tapes are PAL?

Sorry I canít help more.
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  #19  
01-18-2024, 02:04 PM
iseevisions iseevisions is offline
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Yes, the tapes are all PAL.

So my only options to make the picture sharp AND stable would be to buy a perfect working Hi8 cam/player with TBC (which is going to be difficult...) or try the vhs-decode method, I'll go for that one first...
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  #20  
01-18-2024, 07:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iseevisions View Post
) or try the vhs-decode method, I'll go for that one first...
That's not going to help here.

I'm actually not aware of it working with 8mm-based video formats, beyond beta-level playing/testing.

Even if it did work for 8mm-based tapes now, your limiting factor is still the camera. vhs-decode is essentially software-only processing from the head, but the limiter is still the head. It will never negate the need for quality playback. It also only works (well, or at all) with certain VCRs/cameras. Contrary to some claims online, you can't use just any random playback unit. Random gear, random quality (ie, not quality).

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