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04-18-2024, 05:19 PM
rabbitfeet318 rabbitfeet318 is offline
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Hi All -

Newbie here and getting a bit frustrated. I have some tapes I am working on converting and the seem to have bad "spots" that cause the whole tape to lose the video signal on my capture software.

If I fast forward well past the "bad spot" then rewind to slightly before, I can capture video without issue. But if I just try to play over that "bad spot" it knocks out my video signal until I take intervention to resolve.

I'm fairly sure it's an issue with the tapes as a few of them aren't in the best of shape.

Some I can guess that they were converted to VHS from a Camcorder. (unsure of those details). I know a lot can go wrong with bad VHS-C > VHS conversions. I don't have the original tapes nor the original camcorder.

Any advice on this one?

I am running on a newly repaired HR-S7900U, I've also had these tapes in other lesser players and had similar issues with capture where these "bad spots" occurred (but were masked by other bigger issues I had in my workflow at the time.

Any thoughts, advice or pointers for me here? Please remember I am a newbie to this and still learning so I'd ask if you could be a tad detailed or avoid using acronyms (but don't worry not afraid of doing my own research).

Thank you kindly in advance for any assistance you are able to give.

-Meg
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  #2  
04-18-2024, 09:21 PM
rabbitfeet318 rabbitfeet318 is offline
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Good news! I was able to get this to where I can move forward!

I added my frame TBC to the mix and it at least seems to be able to get the video signal to continue after the "bad spots" are passed. I'm dealing with some old tapes that were not stored in their original sleeves and they aren't in the best shape, so I think we are in business for now.

Any additional thoughts/feedback is welcome.
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  #3  
04-18-2024, 09:37 PM
timtape timtape is online now
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It may be the tapes are damaged at those points. On tapes which have been previously creased by a faulty player the video heads can actually scrape off the oxide layer at the crease high points, clogging the video heads with oxide particles and causing the picture to drop out. I'd thoroughly clean the machine's tape path and avoid playing those tape sections.

Creasing can often be seen as heavy horizontal lines, sometimes travelling down the screen accompanied by a buzzing sound from the VCR as the spinning heads hit the raised crease sections.

If you really need those sections captured, even with the picture and possibly sound problems, be prepared for possible head clogs on each pass over the damaged sections, and the necessity to clean the VCR tape path again. A machine's tape path can go from very clean to very dirty in as long as it takes to play a few seconds of damaged tape. If you're not confident about properly cleaning the tape path, I'd either learn how to do it or entrust it to an expert. Things are so much easier when we digitize with a good player with a clean tape path.

Another possibility is tapes soiled by dirt or food or whatever. The tape manufacturer's recommendation was to not even touch the actual tape surface. Experts in this work like Specs Bros recommend they professionally clean customers' tapes before digitizing them.

* Posted after your second post. A TBC on its own will not fix a head clog as there's no signal to work with. But playing a damaged tape section again after cleaning the heads can sometimes be better if much of the oxide or other foreign matter had already been removed on a previous pass.

As usual an uploaded video (plus audio!) of a representative problem section will probably help.

Last edited by timtape; 04-18-2024 at 10:04 PM.
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  #4  
04-18-2024, 10:06 PM
rabbitfeet318 rabbitfeet318 is offline
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Thanks - great advice! Yes I was able to avoid those parts by fast forwarding on one of my junky VCRs that I use for rewinding mostly (to save wear/tear on my good unit).
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  #5  
04-18-2024, 10:16 PM
timtape timtape is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rabbitfeet318 View Post
Thanks - great advice! Yes I was able to avoid those parts by fast forwarding on one of my junky VCRs that I use for rewinding mostly (to save wear/tear on my good unit).
Some VCR's bypass the spinning head drum completely, avoiding a head clog, but they seem mostly to be older VCR's. They wind the tape within the cassette itself, like an audio cassette, without withdrawing it into the machine. They also reduce wear on the VCR. My guess is apart from poor storage, floods etc, most tape damage is caused by playing in faulty VCR's.
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