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10-11-2009, 11:24 PM
ramrod ramrod is offline
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basically, im trying to recover my old vhs/8mm tapes onto dvd. Before they degrade badly. Im trying to figure out which setup yields the best quality results. What i have done, is i have a vhs player (only a 2 plug composite input/output, so mono..), a dvd recorder (pioneer dvr 530-h), and a grex digital video stabiliser http://www.xdimax.com/grex/grex.html

is that a good setup to do this task? Is it better to record it by firewire or somethign to the pc directly? I just want the best quality results.
Alot of the videos im backing up are old family tapes pal. As well as some japanese ntsc music vhs tapes which have copy protection. The grex digital video stabilizer removes the protection which is good, and the quality of the recording at 9000kbps is pretty decent, there is some pixelation during fast cutting scenes, but its not too bad. When i rip it or play it on the pc, it comes out all deinterlaced unfortunately, so i have to interlace it in the video players i have, however if i play it back on the dvd recorder via hdd, or the dvd i just burned with the video, there seems to be no deinterlacing video, there are no horizontal lines. Im thinking of buying a jvc hr-dvs1 mini dv, svhs player. It plays minidv and svhs/vhs tapes. It has s-video output and input. The grex, and dvd recorder has svideo too, so it would be s-vdieo for all the connections, will that improve video quality?

Would i get better quality results by buying the svhs player instead of using my older vhs player? Also i have some video8 tapes as well, what should i use to play those? The old camera does work, kinda. When i connect it to the dvd recorder or the grex, the video flickers on tv screen and has horizontal lines noise (but not on the camera screen) its weird. Should i buy an old 8mm video camcorder? Or can it be fixed by tracking or something?

Sorry for all the questions lol, im just trying to get this all right. What do you think about it all?

Thanks for any help! :d

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10-12-2009, 01:03 PM
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I'm replying to this somewhat long post as I read it. So I'll start by addressing the first issue/question I see.

No, a "2-plug" more VCR is far from an ideal setup. That cheap VCR wasn't even ideal the day it was made. Yes, this sounds harsh, but it's really badly made. Your audio is basically butchered into a muffled soundtrack about on par with AM radio.

The Grex stabilizer is probably the best non-TBC you can get -- which isn't saying much (get a TBC!) -- and it works to remove video signal errors, including the artificial ones (anti-copy systems like Macrovision, among others). A "signal cleaner" of some kind is a good device to have, prevents digital conversion problems, though you really need a TBC to be completely effectve. I won't explain that any further unless you need to know...

Using a good PAL VCR will be necessary for the PAL tapes, same for a good NTSC VCR on the Japanese tapes. Note that the Japanese videos will have "blacker than black" contrast quality, due to the difference in Japanese NTSC IRE from North American NTSC. I would not worry about it much, a lot of VHS tapes could use more black/contrast anyway.

9000kbps should give fairly noise-free encodes. If you get blocking, then it may be due to extreme VHS noise, for which pre-processing (noise removal, or "NR") in a good VCR would help.

Ripping does not deinterlace. However, computer monitors are progressive/non-interlace displays, so software MUST deinterlace it to play it without the comb lines. Most DVD player software does this well. The freeware VideoLAN VLC player does it even better, and you can select one of several advanced deinterlace playback methods to watch it.

Leave it interlaced!!!! Let computer software deinterlace for computer viewing, HDTV hardware will deinterlace as needed for HDTV viewing, CRT will play as-is. DVD recorder/player on TV will show video as it should look. The DVD-Video player plays it as interlace.

JVC HR-DVS1 miniDV / S-VHS player is really nice. Where is is being sold? If it's available at a store listed on http://www.digitalfaq.com/forum/news...qcom-site.html then consider using one of our links instead of your bookmark. It supports the site.

I wish I had one of these.

Your problem with the 8mm tapes into the Grex is a simple issue of the Grex failing to adequately filter the signal. It's not a timebase corrector (TBC), although it has some similar functionality. A true TBC should be able to filter this, although at a cost of $200+ in most cases. A standard 8mm camera also plays at lower quality (in most cases) than a Hi8 camera or 8mm/Hi8 VCR. How many tapes are there? It may be more economical to outsource those specific tapes to a service, such as ours. 8mm tape conversion is relatively inexpensive, $10-15 per tape in SP mode.

As far as tape capture in general, you're best using a DVD recorder that filters the quality, such as the legacy JVC machines (no longer sold new in stores, but available used online) or legacy Toshiba XS recorders. There is more information on these in other posts on this forum, as well as the DVD recorders review page on the site at http://www.digitalfaq.com/reviews/dvd-recorders.htm

Well, I think I answered everything, and then some. If you have more questions, ask away.

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10-12-2009, 11:45 PM
ramrod ramrod is offline
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Since you've been so much help, of course i upgraded to premium $10, just then ! hope its useful ! (i think i did it through the donation button, didnt know where to do it haha)

Ahhh k, yeah i thought my VCR would be crap. It looks it and the quality doesnt seem perfect on it. However it did play both PAL and NTSC tapes, so thats always a plus . But im not going to use it thats for sure, ill use the SVHS deck.

This SVHS system im buying, that would be PAL right? would it support NTSC tapes as well you think? Half the reason i bought it it for me to transfer japanese music video tapes onto DVD. I know my pioneer can record PAL60/NTSC and PAL signals. Would it be RAW NTSC or PAL60 its recording? Either way, the NTSC tapes look fine when they are played, its colour, proper speed etc. So hopefully the SVHS player will be able to run NTSC/PAL. http://www.rickmaybury.com/Altarcs/V...99/jvcdvs1.htm That site in the specs section says its PAL and NTSC compatible i think. so hopefully its true .

For my pioneer 530-H recorder, i use it at MN 32 mode (9500 bitrate), which is only 1 increment before XP mode (that huge 15000 bitrate) which is a waste i think. And the quality is virtually exact when reproduced. Although i can only record like 1h10m worth of footage per 4GB dvd. Thats ok though.

Would you be able to explain deinterlacing a bit more for me. I know mostly what it is, i just need to know if its normal for my player to have these comb lines, it does them with both PAL and NTSC tapes. Cos when i rip other videos using DVD decrypter etc, there are no comb lines or anything, why are there some on my recordings and not professional DVD's etc.
When i watch the original tapes, there are no signs of those comb lines anywhere, even in fast paced scenes. But when i record them they are everywhere. Is this preventable? Its not a huge issue, but some music videos cut back and forth very quickly, so i see it often.

Is it because its a PAL system for VHS and DVD recorder that im using for a NTSC tape. My dvd recorder has an interlace and progressive mode. but thats only for playback i think? The pioneer DVD recorder though has a setting for NTSC and PAL, its an option where you can choose 535 mode and 625. Hence why i think it can record NTSC and PAL tapes properly right?

Sorry for bombarding you with all these questions, just trying to understand my recorders and players properly.

So back to the 8mm tapes, When i transfer/record them, should i directly connect them to the DVD recorder, or should i put them through the SVHS first, then onto the dvd recorder to utilise the filters and TDC etc? Whats best? I also have the GREX, should i connect it through that as well?
We have about 50ish 8mm tapes, so quite alot lol, maybe even more. They are 8mm not hi8. But a hi8 player i read would be better, its just a matter of acquiring one, which is so hard !! Do you recommend any in particular? also, i should get a PAL hi8 recorder yes? they were filmed in Australia/New Zealand. or does it not really matter?

(i posted another topic recently http://www.digitalfaq.com/forum/show...-and-1610.html . ill just merge the questions into this one )

I'm not too sure if my pioneer can filter signals. The quality seems pretty good though.

Once again, thanks for the help ! This process is getting so much easier!
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10-13-2009, 12:06 AM
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The JVC HR-DVS1U would be for the United States market, hence the "U" in the model. This would mean NTSC for sure. Unlikely it does PAL.

Where are you? I sometimes assume North America without thinking to ask. Given how you spell "colour", I'm guessing Australia or Europe.

15Mbps isn't even DVD-Video compatible, only that recorder and computers would play the disc. Using MN32 is a wise move. I forgot about that. Good that you noticed it.

If the content is important, like weddings or family movies, 1 hour (give or take a few minutes) is very wise. Only use longer modes for those TV recordings and other non-essentials -- especially if you can replace it with a commercial DVD release when funds allow!

Reading the link to the page about the JVC, you're looking at the JVC HR-DVS1EK -- the "EK" models are made for Australia and Europe, PAL land. It does state PAL and NTSC, although I wonder if it's NTSC output or simply NTSC quasi playback, that PAL60 format. But if you can record PAL60 on your Pioneer DVD recorder, then nothing to worry about. If this unit is anything like the JVC HR-S7965EK PAL S-VHS deck, you'll love it. This PAL deck of mine is awesome. I think it works better than the NTSC versions, sometimes.

Comb lines are an issue of malformed interlace, or viewing interlace on a progressive/non-interlace device. I'd really have to see a sample clip to know more. Can you snip off a piece that is under 8MB ? If so, attach it to a forum post. If not, see if you can upload a larger clip to one of those free "file sharing" sites and then send me a link.

PAL Hi8 camera, one of the Sony models, would usually be best. My experience lies almost completely in NTSC models, so I'm not too much help in that detail of advice. keep the original 8mm camera around, just in case. Read a recent forum post about misaligned 8mm tape, and the problems they can have: http://www.digitalfaq.com/forum/show...lems-1602.html

I suggest
  • 8mm player >
  • TBC or less-but-similar filter (Grex, for example) >
  • optionally, a proc amp and/or detailer >
  • capture device or DVD recorder

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10-13-2009, 12:42 AM
ramrod ramrod is offline
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Ahh k, it would be the EK version then for sure! Cos I'm from Australia, you were right haha.

OK looking into the manual for the SVHS ( )
it states:
"NTSC→PAL" appears on the screen for about 5 seconds.
● Some TVs shrink the picture vertically and place black bars at the top and bottom of the screen. This is not a malfunction on the part of either the video recorder or the TV.
● The picture may roll up and down. This can be corrected using the V-HOLD control found on some TVs. (This cannot be corrected if the TV does not have a V-HOLD control.)
● The counter and tape remaining time readings will be incorrect.
● During search, still, or frame-by-frame playback, the picture will be distorted, and there may be a loss of colour.
● Depending on the type of TV, the top and bottom portions of superimposed displays may be cut off during NTSC playback

So does that means that its quasi playback / PAL60?

So luckily it does playback NTSC, maybe with glitches though, but i can handle that. most will be fine i assume.

I'll upload a clip for you now . Its a music video and in vob. so you can see it exactly as it is. ill split it up though to a smaller file. so you'll get a few seconds of it. if its easier.
Im just checking my Pioneer DVD-R, i can set the 'input line system' to 525 or 626. so pal / NTSC. so i do NTSC for my Japanese videos etc.
In the video In/ Out section. It has a "component video out" section, where i can choose Interlace or Progressive. Its set to progressive because if i set it to interlace its combing bad.
and finally there is also a section for 'NTSC on PAL TV" but i have a ntsc compatible tv so i set it to off. so i get proper NTSC. So does that mean its not quasi / pal60, but proper NTSC playback?

Im just checking the filters out, you are correct again lol. It does seem to have filters in Audio/Video adjust section. "set the tuner/external input picture quality"
"prog.motion" motion---|---still
"3-D Y/C" motion ---|---still
"YNR" off ---|---max
"CNR" off ---|--- max
"Detail" off ---|--- max
"White AGC"
"white level" min ---|--- max
"black level" min ---|--- max
"Black setup" 0 IRE
"Gamma correction" - ---|--- +
"Hue" green ---|--- red
"Chroma level" min ---|--- max'

Thats all the settings. Should i use those to enhance quality? Is that for recording, or just playback??

And cool, ill try to find a hi8 camcorder somewhere and connect it to the grex then DVD-R.

ill post up the video once its finished, thanks
ps/ the video will be vob format, but i wont waste your bandwidth by uploading a 500mb video, ill use a program called HJSPLIT to split it up to around a 50mb chunk or something, the extension will be .001 but that just means its part 1, but its still a .vob, so you can still view it
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10-13-2009, 01:25 AM
ramrod ramrod is offline
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ok here it is. it should play on any player, it did for vlc. . this is pretty much what everything i record comes out like at MN32. with this interlacing. its average here cos its not too hectic with the camera movement.
http://www.mediafire.com/file/wzrkyd...IP archive.zip

thanks heaps for all this
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10-13-2009, 07:19 AM
ramrod ramrod is offline
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sorry, just quickly adding this before i forget it.

When im using my SVHS player, should i still connect the GREX up and use it? Would it improve the signal or would the SVHS's TBC take care of all of that anyway?
cos for capturing, this is the format i was thinking.

also, how necessary and useful is a proc amp, for commercially made VHS tapes, or homemade 8mm tapes, would it be worth it?

haha, ill leave it at that for the moment, thanks heaps bud ;D
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10-16-2009, 10:27 PM
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The Grex will clean the signal (partially, as it's not a real TBC) but not the image quality.
The S-VHS VCR will clean the image quality but not the signal.
So use both.

Professionals control levels on tapes. Consumers, including TV broadcasts, have levels/colors that are all over the place. A proc amp tends to be really helpful in correcting hue, removing color from B&W, reducing or increasing saturation on color video, adjusting contrast and brightness, etc. If you have funds for it, yes, it's worth it.

Anything from an aged 1980s hobby Vidicraft proc amp to a professional 1990s-2000s SignVideo or Elite Video proc amp would probably help. The pro ones have s-video, better quality than hobby composite connectors.

Viewing on the computer, I did not see anything unusual on that VOB in the zip file. I'll burn a test DVD and watch on TV tomorrow.

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