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  #1  
08-13-2018, 06:59 AM
RockCassette RockCassette is offline
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Hi,
I live in Italy (PAL).
I've bought some vintage videotapes. Some are NTSC (from US), some PAL. I own a Dazzle DVc100 and I own a lowend VHS+DVD combo device (Seitech) which plays VHS with an average quality...
To capture NTSC cassette, I've to use AM Cap software otherwise I capture only B/N videos. But the quality isn't rather good.
I would like to buy a VCR to get better quality and digitalize some tapes, both NTSC and PAL.
Any suggestion?


Regards,
R.
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  #2  
08-20-2018, 01:07 PM
jnielsen jnielsen is offline
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Some European PAL VCR┤s are also "NTSC" but mostly it is just "NTSC Playback" and this does not work with the capture devices I have testet (Hauppauge USB2 Live, Pinnacle Dazzle, Pinnacle USB 710). It looks fine on the TV screen but not on the capture device (b/w). You need a real PAL/NTSC VCR which is hard to get. The best option is probably to buy a real NTSC VCR from the US on Ebay. Be careful when buying high end models, they are often worn out. Go for a medium range or standard model of Panasonic or JVC.

If you want a new PAL VCR you can go for a cheap and stable medium Range Panasonic like the NV-HV55 (about 50-100 EUR on Ebay). It has a better picture than the "no-name" models, and more stable tape transport. Or the SVHS models like NV-HS960 and similar. Some High end models like NV-HS1000 are better but older and often defect.

By the way I would recommend you not to use the Dazzle, the picture quality is visibly lower than Hauppauge USB2Live and Pinnacle USB 710. You can still use the Pinnacle software with the Hauppauge USB2Live.

Last edited by jnielsen; 08-20-2018 at 01:34 PM.
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  #3  
08-20-2018, 04:34 PM
hodgey hodgey is offline
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I've used a Pioneer DVD-440H DVD recorder as a pass-through device to capture NTSC material from PAL devices. It can be a nice option if you don't feel like investing a lot of money in importing a high-end NTSC VCR.

This DVD-recorder understands the PAL-60 signal that PAL VCRs send out when playing NTSC tapes, and converts it to a normal NTSC signal that you can capture from the output of the recorder to the capture card. As a bonus it also helps correct some jitter on PAL tapes if you use it with them. Any recorder from the Pioneer x40 range should work, older/newer generations may work as well but I haven't personally tested them. I think some of the Sony DVD-recorders can do this as well judging by the manuals: https://www.manualslib.com/manual/10...tsc&selected=4. (Though make sure that it's not set to output NTSC on PAL TV.)

The Pioneer unit also accepted NTSC-4.43 that some PAL devices (notably Sony Hi8 cameras and some late 90s Sony VHS machines) can output, even though it wasn't specified in the manual.

This method isn't going to give quite as good quality as using a high-end NTSC VCR + a TBC which is what the americans here use, but it can give an ok result if you don't want to spend a lot of money.

Also be aware that commercial tapes can have copy protection (macrovision), which can cause issues for some capture devices.

As for good PAL VHS players, see the stickied buying guide for tips.

Finally, I would really suggest using VirtualDub for capturing, there is a nice guide here on the forums.
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  #4  
08-22-2018, 07:24 AM
RockCassette RockCassette is offline
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Thank you for your replies.
@hodgey Is the DVD writer, you told me, the Pioneer DVR-440H model?
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  #5  
08-22-2018, 04:23 PM
hodgey hodgey is offline
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Yeah that should be Pioneer DVR of course.
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  #6  
08-22-2018, 05:01 PM
jnielsen jnielsen is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hodgey View Post
I've used a Pioneer DVD-440H DVD recorder as a pass-through device to capture NTSC material from PAL devices. It can be a nice option if you don't feel like investing a lot of money in importing a high-end NTSC VCR.
I have tried something similar. I used a Samsung DVD-Combo as pass-through to capture NTSC from a PAL VCR.

Some PAL videorecorders can play NTSC tapes ("NTSC Playback"), but it cannot be captured by a capture card in this case it was Pinnacle Dazzle. In composite you get a black and white picture, and in SVHS there is no picture at all. I managed to get around this by using my DVD-VHS Combo as a pass through.
1. From the VCR (Philips VR1000) use scart out, the small switch much be on "composite"
2. In the DVD-Combo (Samsung DVD-VR355) use scart input. You can also use composite out and input instead.
3. Connect the DVD-Combo to the capture device with SVHS and audio cables.
4. Choose NTSC in capture settings.

This setup of course only works with "NTSC Playback" VCR┤s like Philips VR1000 and Panasonic NV-HS960, not "plain" PAL VCR, which cannot play NTSC at all. When playing NTSC tapes directly on tv the composite "TV" out is usually best, scart can give a distorted picture.
For some reason, I do not remember why, I was not satisfied with the quality and ended up buying a real NTSC player from the US on Ebay.
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  #7  
08-22-2018, 05:16 PM
hodgey hodgey is offline
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NTSC playback on pal machines does usually disable most of the VCRs processing, including the line TBC, so if the passthrough device doesn't do much jitter correction that's one point where a NTSC machine will look better. The Pioneer does a decent job at correcting jitter, but it's not quite as strong as the line tbc on most SVHS decks (though it did fix flagging on a tape which the TBC in my Philips VR1100 could not and avoids the "vertical jumps/jitter" of the JVC type decks). I don't know how much jitter correction the Samsung combo deck does.

I used S-Video from the VCRs to the DVD-Recorder though, using composite is sub-optimal and may introduce artifacts.

I did not see any difference between PAL-60 and NTSC-4.43 with Hi8 Cameras (which are switchable), haven't tested with our multi-system VHS to see if there is any difference with standard NTSC yet.
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  #8  
08-22-2018, 10:37 PM
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lordsmurf lordsmurf is offline
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This never works.

PAL is PAL, NTSC is NTSC.
When you play NTSC on a PAL deck, it outputs a quasi signal that is non-standard. And capture cards usually don't understand non-standard.

You really need PAL for PAL, and NTSC for NTSC, to do a quality capture job (or any job at all).

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  #9  
09-02-2018, 09:11 AM
Eric-Jan Eric-Jan is offline
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Yes, the PAL60, or NTSC50 "standards" where only meant to be used for TV playback, which have this simple feature.
The Sony multi-system recorder SLV-ED85 can handle and output the "true" standards, PAL and NTSC even the 4.43 and 3.58 color sceme, The Panasonic DMR ES35V which i use to capture, i can use as passthrough, this recorder has as also a DV input for camcorders, which is also known as iLink or Firewire, i can also record a color test patern, from my Canopus ADVC-100 this way,
The Panasonic gives an absolute clean video signal (Component YUV progressive) to my BlackMagic Design Intensity Shuttle (Thundebolt2) what ever the image quality. (even FastForward or FreezeFrame)
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  #10  
09-07-2018, 07:34 AM
Maris 55 Maris 55 is offline
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There are some cheap, but rather good Multi system VCR Players. I have a LG BL-162W which plays back PAL/NTSC 3.58 and MeSECAM. NTSC 3.58 is the right format for capture. The capture card shall be capable for NTSC as well.

Blaupunkt RTV-950, LG LV-880 HiFi, Sony miniDV ..., Canopus ADVC 55, WinDV,
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  #11  
09-09-2018, 02:10 PM
RockCassette RockCassette is offline
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@hodgey, I've got Pioneer DVR-440H. How do you connect everything? I own a VCR, a TV and the capture device (s-video or yellow video).
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  #12  
09-09-2018, 03:52 PM
hodgey hodgey is offline
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Simplest is to connect a scart cable to the VCR and AV2 scart input of the dvd-recorder. Change the input channel to L1. Connect to the capture device using the s-video output on the back. Alternatively you can connect composite (yellow video) + audio from the vcr to the front inputs (in this case use L2). If the VCR has an S-Video output, use that instead of the composite cable.

If the VCR you use is capable of NTSC playback (I don't know what model of machine you are using), and you want to capture a NTSC cassette, go into the menu and change the input system to 525-line system, and set the capture card to NTSC.

You may also want to have a look at the picture settings once you have it set up. Check that the brightness levels are okay for the capture card, and turn off/on noise reduction depending on preference.
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  #13  
09-10-2018, 02:02 AM
RockCassette RockCassette is offline
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How to improve the quality for a VHS?
Which setting should I set?

Thank you
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  #14  
09-10-2018, 10:38 AM
Eric-Jan Eric-Jan is offline
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Did you make a succesful video cature already ? any details ?
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  #15  
09-10-2018, 02:28 PM
RockCassette RockCassette is offline
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I've a lot of VHSes, at this moment I've captured only PAL. Not every cassette has ntsc or pal label, so maybe I'll find someone I do not expect.
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  #16  
09-10-2018, 03:27 PM
Eric-Jan Eric-Jan is offline
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finding a good external TBC is (allmost) impossible according what i have read in these forums, faq's and guides, the ones that allmost work need modification, have not the right color of housing, have the wrong chipset(s) need a UPS, and are discontinued by the company, and eBay isn't a good source for them either, so you need to be a real pro, or it's your job, to make a fair chance to do the right choice.
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  #17  
09-10-2018, 08:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maris 55 View Post
There are some cheap, but rather good Multi system VCR Players.
Not really.

I believe that every multi-system VCR is based on, or a rebadge of, the Panasonic AG-W1/2/3 series of VCRs from the early 90s. Everything from JVC to Aiwa, and very likely that LG (because they did not manufacture VCRs whatsoever, only rebadged). It's just a plain old VHS VCR, nothing special, and the quality shows. It's very lackluster. It's not even what I'd consider "Panasonic quality" in terms of the picture quality (PQ).

The deck is also one of the few I've ever seen that's prone to getting the heads magnetized, and results in magnetic dropout comets/blips until demagnetized.

I have the Aiwa rebadge, and rarely use it. The most it's good for is the Panasonic tracking, which has always been a wee bit better than JVC tracking (even comparing plain Panasonic VHS to JVC S-VHS). Generally speaking. It mostly good for really stubborn cheaply-made LP retail VHS tapes from Europe, what few I have (all cartoons, all tapes I bought in the 90s).

I had the Aiwa before my JVC S-VHS+TBC PAL gear, and had to recapture a few early PAL captures from 2001/2002.

That all said, the Panasonic ES10/15 may be able to correct much of it, with it's TBC(ish), and give comparable results to the better JVC S-VHS+TBC gear. Just remember that all ES10/15 have side effects, and due to pass transparent image quality. Just be aware of that. Cutting corners, MS VHS instead of S-VHS, has drawbacks. But potentially acceptable for your own captures.

ES10/15 NTSC on works with NTSC, and PAL with PAL. So you may need to buy both, and importing the PAL version is not an easy task.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RockCassette View Post
How to improve the quality for a VHS?
It won't happen with a multi-system. Improvements won't happen in hardware, and you're left with software only. And, of course, some errors (like timing) cannot be fixed in software.

But, again, adding ES10/15 can alleviate MS VCR shortcomings.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RockCassette View Post
I've a lot of VHSes, at this moment I've captured only PAL.
Labels don't matter as much as the markings. Most PAL tapes have telltale markers. The only way you get a PAL marker in an NTSC tape (or NTSC on PAL) is if somebody home-recorded the tape on foreign-bought stock. I've never seen NTSC stock used for PAL, or PAL stock used for NTSC, except when homemade on a VCR.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric-Jan View Post
finding a good external TBC is (allmost) impossible according what i have read in these forums, faq's and guides, the ones that allmost work need modification, have not the right color of housing, have the wrong chipset(s) need a UPS, and are discontinued by the company, and eBay isn't a good source for them either, so you need to be a real pro, or it's your job, to make a fair chance to do the right choice.
While all true, the external framesync TBCs really are not for cleaning the image, but rather cleaning the signal (and preventing dropped frames). The internal line TBC is for the picture, as well as ES10/15.

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  #18  
09-11-2018, 04:21 AM
RockCassette RockCassette is offline
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Thank you for your suggestions.

I've got aware that the Dazzle DVC 100 is not so good (bad), I will replace it with a ATI/AMD AIW (with T 200 chip) in a few days: that should be enough as my vhs are not so bad. I converted an 3 year old low end PC to Windows XP.

Yes, DVD quality is far better but with vhs the quality is acceptable. I do not pretend to be near DVD quality but "watchable" and "listenable".
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  #19  
09-11-2018, 06:18 AM
Eric-Jan Eric-Jan is offline
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A VHS/DVD combo recorder like the Panasonic DMR-ES35V i have, is such a solution in one, put a cassette in, put a DVD-/+R in, go through the menus of this combo, and it will do it's job.
Only if you want to edit/enhance your material, you need a pc and capture option.
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  #20  
09-11-2018, 06:51 AM
RockCassette RockCassette is offline
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I bought the Pioneer DVD-440H DVD recorder and until now I use a crappy VCR. So, as I have 20 cassettes to restore, I decide first to record them on the Pioneer HDD. If it is good, ok. Otherwise I will improve my "capturing chain".
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