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05-06-2024, 01:00 PM
Motoman202 Motoman202 is offline
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Long time lurker first time poster. I have read a ton of information on here and I have learned a lot, but I feel my issue is quite specific. Here is a run down of a project I am working on and my work flow as of right now.

I am attempting to capture classic arcade cabinet game play specifically using a VHS & S-VHS camcorders of the same era. I am basically using a camcorder to record a CRT screen. The video below was captured and processed in the following order......

Recorded using S-VHS camcorder direct to S-VHS tape. Tape is then played back from the camcorder through a Panasonic es15 and into a Pinnacle 510-usb capture device. This specific clip was captured in virtualdub with no compression and the deinterlace filter of Blend and keep bottom field was used it was exported without compression as well I then used handbrake to convert to mp4.

I have also tried the pinnacle studio 12 software that was included with this capture device and I get similar results, but possibly slightly better (may be placebo) although it seems to do a lot of the deinterlacing in the background and I haven't found where to change or adjust any of that yet. I have played with all the different deinterlacing filters in virtualdub, as well as spent a lot of time adjusting the cont, bright, saturation, and sharpness levels before capturing. So far this is the best that I am able to create.

https://www.dropbox.com/scl/fi/nz1vn...=0pmhy5o9&dl=0

I realize that the biggest part of a finished product is what you start with, and I'm not against buying a better camera, but that seems to be pretty hard to nail down what's "better" from that era and staying within the VHS format. I really appreciate any and all advice you may have. I am still quite a novice and most of the terminology goes over may head so if you need to get super technical try to keep it in the simplest language possible, lol thanks again

I would also like to add that I would like to try and take my current gear as far as possible as I don't have $2k + to drop on a TBC and would prefer not to drop $900-$1500 on a VCR.
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  #2  
06-13-2024, 07:35 AM
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lordsmurf lordsmurf is online now
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That appears to be a TV screen recorded with a camera. Is that the contents of the VHS tape?

ES15 harms quality, adds artifacts. It's not a TBC, not a TBC replacement. It's a DVD recorder with a strong+crippled line TBC, with a non-TBC frame sync. I can see blurred motion from this aggressive NR (which is always on, and "off" is just low).

s-video needs to be used, played in S-VHS VCR.

Pinnacle Studio is junkware, never use it. Use VirtualDub.

Only deinterlace with QTGMC, which is not in VirtualDub. Use Avisynth or Hybrid for that.

Hi8 cameras are actually better quality than both VHS and S-VHS. And those are from that era. It serves both as recorder, and player, and quality models have line TBC.

You'll still require some sort of frame TBC, otherwise dropped fames (and thus audio sync) are likely. Since this would be a new recording, from that same camera, you can attempt the camera only to that specific Pinnacle card, and see what happens. It's a long shot, but not impossible.

TBCs are tools for video. Trying to avoid a TBC is like trying to avoid a lawnmower when you want to cut the grass. Sure, scissors also work, or buy goats (not cheaper!), or get down on your hand and knees and munch on it yourself. But that seems stupid, right? Same for TBCs.

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  #3  
06-13-2024, 09:10 PM
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Aya_Rei Aya_Rei is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lordsmurf View Post
Hi8 cameras are actually better quality than both VHS and S-VHS. And those are from that era. It serves both as recorder, and player, and quality models have line TBC.
On the topic of wanting to be era accurate. I myself go by the release date of the tape format I use, and not the release date of the camera I use to record footage onto said analog tape format.

So, as an example. Anything from 1980 to 1989 I'd film on a video8 tape (also including locations that to me feel like they fit in with the 80s or 90s, such as bowling allies and rolling skating rinks), regardless on the exact camcorder I use. I'd film on a Sony Hi8 camcorder from 1998 for all I care. While anything from 89 to 2001 I'd instead film on a hi8 tape, still using the same camera. I'm not really super specific on wanting to be as era accurate as possible and start recording on a video8 camera from 1996 or 1989 for example.

Pretty much, in my eyes, recording modern day footage with a 1998 camcorder makes it look straight out of the 90s to early 2000s imo. If I wanted to go for an 80s look. I'd choose video8, and maybe use a plan video8 camcorder from 1996 instead of a hi8 camera, and especially instead of a VHS/VHS-C camera.

Last edited by Aya_Rei; 06-13-2024 at 09:23 PM.
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  #4  
06-14-2024, 05:15 AM
aramkolt aramkolt is offline
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I get the period appropriate idea, but why not directly record the signal to whichever tape format you choose rather than filming a screen through a camera? Recording directly to tape is still period appropriate, is it not?
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  #5  
06-14-2024, 12:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aya_Rei View Post
Pretty much, in my eyes, recording modern day footage with a 1998 camcorder makes it look straight out of the 90s to early 2000s imo. If I wanted to go for an 80s look. I'd choose video8, and maybe use a plan video8 camcorder from 1996 instead of a hi8 camera, and especially instead of a VHS/VHS-C camera.
I agree here
80s = Video8, more blurry
90s = Hi8
00s = DV, Digital8

I just do not suggest recording to VHS, with a camera, for any reason.
VCR yes, camera no.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aramkolt View Post
I get the period appropriate idea, but why not directly record the signal to whichever tape format you choose rather than filming a screen through a camera? Recording directly to tape is still period appropriate, is it not?
Maybe.
console = VCR
arcade cabinet = video camera

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  #6  
06-14-2024, 01:04 PM
Gary34 Gary34 is offline
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Quality is such a subjective term here but so is art and if what you want is a game recorded onto VHS then captured like that then cool. If you can find a way to capture directly from the cabinet and not go to tape then that would be ideal. Personally if I wanted to record a CRT I would do it with a digital camera. You can add w/e
You want later (static color blur), but you probably want thing more authentic. You have a lot of control anyway you go about it.

Itís kind of interesting seeing the evolution of technology and how that stuff pushed video games to where they are. https://youtu.be/226Nwq2CN5c?si=WDSEiv5zJIpQMSwD
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  #7  
06-14-2024, 02:22 PM
Gary34 Gary34 is offline
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I like the capturing to a VCR idea. Recording screens always seems like the worst idea.
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  #8  
06-15-2024, 11:34 AM
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Aya_Rei Aya_Rei is offline
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You can also use a hi8 camera that has the ability to record the feed from an A/V source such as an old CRT or retro game console onto a hi8 or video8 tape, basically using the camcorder like a VCR. The only models I know of that have that feature would be the Sony CCD TRV66 and TRV87
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