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07-15-2017, 01:13 AM
octodigitus octodigitus is offline
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Hi all, I'm in the middle of a huge project to digitize my family's many VHS tapes that are all 20+ years old. One of them is a tape I recorded as a kid with some cheap Tyco black-and-white camera. It was recorded over some TV shows that had been recorded previously, so naturally quality is going to be low, but this tape alternates between about two seconds of video, then two seconds of a blue screen. It does this over and over during the entire Tyco camera portion of the tape; then when the previously recorded TV shows come on it plays just fine. It does the same thing on two separate VCRs, each VCR being a cheap used one picked up at a thrift store. Is there anything I can do about this or is the tape just old and irreversibly degraded? Thanks.
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  #2  
07-15-2017, 01:57 AM
sanlyn sanlyn is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by octodigitus View Post
Hi all, I'm in the middle of a huge project to digitize my family's many VHS tapes
Using what software and what capture device?

Noise patterns produced by cheap recording cameras (coupled with playback noise from cheap VCRs) can create false macrovision detection in capture devices. Try playing it directly to a TV.
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  #3  
07-17-2017, 04:53 AM
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lordsmurf lordsmurf is offline
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I need to see a sample capture of this blue screen.

- It may be embedded (VCR screen, etc).
- It may be codec capture issue.
- Something else.

False Macrovision is possible, though unlikely. I've never seen one give a blue screen, though the chaotic nature of MV doesn't rule it out.

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  #4  
07-17-2017, 11:56 AM
sanlyn sanlyn is offline
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I had a macrovision tape that produced blue screens in one VCR and alternately fading/glowing colors in another VCR. But you're right, that was unusual (I finally had to stop being lazy and hook up by AVT-8710 to clear it. Usually MV is flashing, flagging, jitter, etc.

It could also be a tracking issue that occurred during the original recording with that other camera. If it plays normally without a capture device it could go either way, false MV detection or tracking issues.
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  #5  
11-20-2017, 10:09 AM
octodigitus octodigitus is offline
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Hi, sorry to resurrect this thread but I've hit a wall in my video digitizing project. All the tapes I have left are basically unwatchable because of blue screen, jitters, etc. Just want to confirm that a time base corrector like the AVT-8710 will be my salvation before I drop that much money on it. Any recommendations would be appreciated. Thanks!
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  #6  
11-20-2017, 10:26 AM
sanlyn sanlyn is offline
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Other than false macrovisoin issues, which are possible but not that likely in this case, a blue screen usually indicates that a player has lost the signal. Or the signal can be so damaged or poorly aligned during recording that correct tracking isn't possible. Other than the false macrovision event I mentioned earlier, I've had blue screens from vcr's when huge tape dropouts passed over the video heads. If your player allows you to cancel the "no signal-blue screen" overlay feature, try turning it off. If that works, you might see a screen full of static with little or no image data. In the case of occasional blue screens I had with old players, other players with better tracking eliminated them. Specifically, the players that misbehaved were a Panasonic PV-8661 and PV-9668. The players that tracked properly were an AG-1980 and a PV-S4670, both of which have hefty tracking mechanisms and both of which had been reconditioned and properly aligned. Cheap vcr's don't track well, period.
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  #7  
11-20-2017, 03:36 PM
octodigitus octodigitus is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sanlyn View Post
Other than false macrovisoin issues, which are possible but not that likely in this case, a blue screen usually indicates that a player has lost the signal. Or the signal can be so damaged or poorly aligned during recording that correct tracking isn't possible. Other than the false macrovision event I mentioned earlier, I've had blue screens from vcr's when huge tape dropouts passed over the video heads. If your player allows you to cancel the "no signal-blue screen" overlay feature, try turning it off. If that works, you might see a screen full of static with little or no image data. In the case of occasional blue screens I had with old players, other players with better tracking eliminated them. Specifically, the players that misbehaved were a Panasonic PV-8661 and PV-9668. The players that tracked properly were an AG-1980 and a PV-S4670, both of which have hefty tracking mechanisms and both of which had been reconditioned and properly aligned. Cheap vcr's don't track well, period.
So would a TBC solve that problem? I'm tempted to get one for an overall improvement of quality.
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  #8  
11-20-2017, 04:57 PM
sanlyn sanlyn is offline
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If it's the badly tracking tape players that lose the signal, a TBC won't help because the TBC isn't the problem. But note that you still need a similar tbc anyway. In fact you need a better VCR with a line-level tbc as well as the frame-level external tbc, as mentioned thousands of times in posts in this forum and elsewhere.
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  #9  
12-04-2017, 07:04 AM
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Find a better VCR is easy enough -- I even have several high-quality S-VHS decls available in the marketplace. PM me if interested.

Fix that, and your trouble should be gone.

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  #10  
08-29-2020, 01:59 PM
leorbachar leorbachar is offline
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hi,

were you able to find the answer to this issue? I am facing the exact same thing with 4 of 10 tapes....

thank you
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  #11  
08-29-2020, 03:03 PM
Formica Formica is offline
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Years ago, an ill-fated endeavour with a Canopus 55 capture device caused any weakening in VHS quality to blue-screen the capture signal.
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  #12  
08-29-2020, 04:17 PM
hodgey hodgey is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leorbachar View Post
hi,

were you able to find the answer to this issue?
What VCR and capture setup are you using? As noted in the thread, Some VCRs (newer panasonics, and many sony-made ones for instance) will show a output a blue screen if the signal is bad, though a blue screen is also how some capture devices indicate that the signal is missing or bad. The solution depends on where the issue is.
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  #13  
06-16-2021, 02:25 AM
pk_vhs pk_vhs is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lordsmurf View Post
I need to see a sample capture of this blue screen.
I'm uploading a video of blue screen capture as that was never added to this thread. Sorry for the bump but hopefully this can help the discussion of this type of blue screen.

This is the only tape where I have seen this problem.

Captured using:
  • World Cup 1994 broadcast recording
  • Grocery Store-brand VHS tape
  • Mitsubishi HS-U748 S-VHS VCR
  • Elgato Video Capture hardware device (white) using S-VHS. Composite shows same blue signal.
  • M1 Mac Mini w/ macOS Big Sur
  • Elgato Video Capture application


Attached Files
File Type: mp4 world_cup_blue_screen.mp4 (9.09 MB, 19 downloads)
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  #14  
06-16-2021, 08:13 AM
Formica Formica is offline
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This looks like the poorly designed Elgato is incapable of processing the unstable video image and is simply blanking out. I had this happen with all unstable video in early efforts with my Canopus card, which was a terrible performer. As I understood the case with the Canopus, it was mistaking the weak signal for copy protection.
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  #15  
06-16-2021, 08:41 AM
Hushpower Hushpower is offline
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You need a Panasonic DMR ES-10 or ES-15 to stabilise the video. Check out these threads to show what a DVD recorder will do to wonky video:

http://www.digitalfaq.com/forum/vide...html#post78052

http://www.digitalfaq.com/forum/vide...html#post71994

https://forum.videohelp.com/threads/...d)#post2607662

And another DVD Recorder (Pioneer 440H)
https://forum.videohelp.com/threads/...re#post2620456
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  #16  
06-16-2021, 08:51 AM
Formica Formica is offline
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Improved stabilization will help, but the Elgato needs to go.
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  #17  
06-16-2021, 09:06 AM
Hushpower Hushpower is offline
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Quote:
Improved stabilization will help, but the Elgato needs to go.

Read more: http://www.digitalfaq.com/forum/vide...#ixzz6xxaXzRNT
Any suggestions?
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  #18  
06-17-2021, 01:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hushpower View Post
Any suggestions?
The usual suspects:
- ATI 600 USB, or clones.
- Certain Pinnacles, but not cheap units, too old (early 2000s), incomplete, Dazzles.

This is precisely why I started to make capture cards, VCRs, and TBCs available in the marketplace subforum. Trying to find good cards was getting hard to do, so I became the easy buttons. When you shop on Amazon/etc, mostly what you see is cheap Easycaps (Easycraps) and Elgato (Elcrapo). It got irritating to try and discuss video capture because the person couldn't even get a decent capture going. Good card, move the conversation along, successful captures eventually to be had!

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