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03-31-2015, 08:02 PM
AJAX1 AJAX1 is offline
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I recently decided it was time to digitize my stock of old video tapes and began with 60 video8 tapes ,all of them 20 to 25 years old. I have initially succeeded and got good results capturing several tapes but found that some of the tapes about 1/4 have playback problems all similar , resulting in large horizontal bands filling about half a frame that give very terrible capture results. I have tried to identify the origin of the problem in a effort to solve or minimize the situation in order to get a capture with a minimum quality. I have not been able searching the internet and several forums to find a similar pattern or anything that appears identical and so far without identifying the problem I was unable to find a solution, in case there is one.
The original camera a Sony CCD-F500E is no longer in good condition , eventually it will still be able to play the tapes but the cassette compartment, is blocked ,I have tried several possible solutions to open it but gave up as I think the camera need service .
As I had a Sony deck SLV-T2000 HI8 / VHS dual in good condition that reads video8 tapes I tried to use it to make the captures and tried 2 hardware approaches :
SLV-T2000 (Svideo) – canopus advc55 – pc (firewire)
SLV-T2000 (Svideo) – pinnacle moviebox usb710 – pc (usb )
The results were of similar quality and with very few or none drop frames
As a capture software I have tried windv, scenanalyser Live, virtualdub and pinnacle studio 15 the results where all very similar but in the end I have retained as more practical the svideo-advc55-firewire and windv as capture software.
However I have not been completely satisfied with the capture results and after reading that eventually better results were possible with a dgital8 camera, bought a used sony DCR- TRV238E with TBC/DNR backward compatible with video8.
The captures with the Sony digital8 with TBC on and DNR off seemed to me to give the best results so far.
Is with that final configuration Sony digital8 (TBC-on/DNR-off) directly through firewire and with WinDV as capture software that I got about 40 very reasonable quality captured files and about 15- 20 crappy ones all with the same problem 3-4 large horizontal bands/stripes occupying almost half or even more of each frame.

I tried almost all the possibilities I could figure out to try to solve or minimize the situation:
I tried the SLV-T2000 deck and DCR- TRV238E camera using all the possible outputs, S-Video composite for the deck , firewire, s-video e composite for the camera . I tried also an external tbc the AVT-8710 in both systems and both outputs (s-video ,composite ) without any results
I cleaned the video heads from camera and deck , no results whatever
I tried switching camera TBC and DNR but again no results
Tried to record from camera to a HDD/DVD recorder LG RH199HS directly through firewire or through s-video or composite with or without the external TBC AVT-8710 without any results.
I tried to make some post processing with videocleaner / virtualdub with different type of filters namely desinterlace, denoising ( including neat video) and several other with no better results
The tapes were ok 10-15 years ago the last time that I saw them and they don’t appear to have any physical damages. Bad and good ones are of the same brands Sony and TDK , from 60 or 90 min all of them recorded in SP . The tapes have been stored all together in a file box for the last 15 years or so and I don’t believe they have been submitted to magnetic fields during the storage..
In this moment I am out of options and I hope expert help and identify the problem and propose any action on the capture or post processing (restoration) side that can at least minimize the situation
Thanks in advance

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File Type: avi Bad tape.avi (31.17 MB, 81 downloads)
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04-01-2015, 07:37 AM
dpalomaki dpalomaki is offline
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Is there any common thread to the bad tapes such as all coming from the same time period, or from the same recorder but different from camcorder used for the good tapes, or perhaps they were all loaned to a third party for viewing or played in a machine that was not used for the good tapes.

In the sample it is a bit like the vertical scratches you often see on old movie film.

Speculation: If the issue is the same on all the bad tapes no matter what machine you now use to play them, then it likely is some type of damage to the tape itself, perhaps length-wise "scratches" or tiny "creases" caused by a running the tape in a damaged tape transport mechanism (such as a VCR or camcorder, probably on a subsequent playback since you said the tape was originally OK). This could have been caused by something like a damaged (e.g., a burr) tape guide. If the damage source was on the take-up reel side of the heads the damage would not have been apparent during the playback session that caused it.

A physical examination of a section of bad tape with a good magnifying glass might show if it is physical damage.

I have no good ideas at to how to repair this other than mask/blur the bad portions to make them less distracting.
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04-01-2015, 04:04 PM
AJAX1 AJAX1 is offline
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Thank you for your contribution

I Have not really identified a common thread for the bad tapes as all of them good and bad have been recorded by the same camcorder, and played back always by this camcorder or the the deck that actually shows no problem with the good ones. Additionally the bad ones are not from a specific period is a sort of random problem, with tapes with different ages showing the same problem. When the problem shows up is for the full length of the tape. At first I thought when I detect the first ones, that the problem was related with the intrinsic quality of the tape and some sort of decay of the magnetic particles as I found 3 TDK HS (high standard) with the problem and all the sony metal HG (Excelent High Resolution ) and TDK EHG(Metal particle Tape ) showed no problem but after that I found that some Sony HG and TDK EHG also showed the problem. Even so it apparently shows up more frequently in the lower quality tapes.
I agree with you as the issue is the same for all the bad tapes no matter what machine I use to play them ( I only tried 2 machines a digital8 camcorder and a analogic video8 deck) that eventually the original machine used to view the cassettes a long time ago as some sort of damaged tape guide on the take up reel side of the heads that may have caused the problem but as not affected the playback. I have disposed the camcorder at that time not only because I bought a MiniDV camcorder but also because the camcorder showed some problems during recording ( also a sort of bands but a different pattern that moved vertically )at least on viwer/screen I can’t remember if they appears also on tape , but the playback was apparently fine at the time.
Still searching for some type of solution
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04-01-2015, 07:10 PM
NJRoadfan NJRoadfan is offline
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Have you tried respooling the tapes by fast forwarding them to the end and then rewinding back to the beginning? Its worth a shot to solve some playback issues. The playback looks like a damaged tape from creasing. That or the camera mis-loaded the tape during recording sessions and recorded tracks slightly off from normal. Video 8 uses an automatic tracking system with no linear control track and no manual control, so problems with playback aren't as straightforward to fix.
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04-03-2015, 11:57 AM
AJAX1 AJAX1 is offline
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I tried respooling the tapes by fast forwarding and then rewinding them back twice but unfortunately nothing happened. I inspected the tapes and saw no signal of creasing or physical defects.
However I find one tape that is a little different from the others ones and can eventually give some additional clues. First the tape as been recorded in 2 different periods and the first one is Ok and the 2 one is bad. I have always visualized the tapes after they have been recorded and never saw the problem they now present. Or the tapes have somewhat corrupted along the time but don’t seem very plausible or the camcorder as you say recorded tracks slightly off from normal but the playback with the same camera doesn´t present problems.
If this is some sort of mistracking problem is anything that can be done? I don’t know if it will be possible to repair the original camera but if I do, is it possible that it can playback this tapes normally?
I have tried to playback a portion of the tape in several speeds , standard, 0,5 std., 2x std. and with fast forward. In the larger speeds the image is similar of the one I get from a good tape . I include some photos at several speeds

Attached Images
File Type: jpg std. speed pic 1.jpg (103.2 KB, 34 downloads)
File Type: jpg Std. speed pic 2.jpg (107.3 KB, 24 downloads)
File Type: jpg 0,5 std. speed.jpg (136.6 KB, 22 downloads)
File Type: jpg 2x std. speed.jpg (119.6 KB, 22 downloads)
File Type: jpg ff viewing.jpg (128.4 KB, 20 downloads)
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04-04-2015, 07:49 AM
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lordsmurf lordsmurf is online now
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Video8 has a control track for alignment, unlike VHS (aka "tracking"). Sometimes Video8 tapes are recorded misaligned, and can only be played successfully in the original deck, if at all. I would wager on this being your issue.

Video8 VTRs, especially combo decks of any kind, may not be ideal either.

The ideal workflow here is a Video8 camera (or VTR), and lossless capturing with a good card, via VirtualDub. But given your equipment, the Canopus ADVC-55 DV box is the better of the two. That Pinnacle box is terrible.

- Did my advice help you? Then become a Premium Member and support this site.
- For sale in the marketplace: TBCs, workflows, capture cards, VCRs
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04-04-2015, 10:56 PM
AJAX1 AJAX1 is offline
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I have actually captured about 40 video8 tapes, the ones in good condition, with reasonable /good results with the next workflow:

Sony Digital8 (DCR- TRV238E)- firewire – pc ( WinDv) avi –dv format

You refer that I can eventually get better results with lossless capturing with a good card. Can you recommend a good one and what lossless are you referring HuffYuv , Jpeg2000, other codec.

I’m just finishing my specifications to buy a new pc because I have a lot of video work ahead ( 40 year of super8, video8, VHS and minidv ) and I need a more actual and powerful pc for the coming tasks and can include a good capture card, I don’t know if we are speaking of a internal or external card.

I will need to recapture if i reformulate for a better workflow but I have not yet stabilized my processes
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