Cool, Looking forward to the samples.
I just wanted to point out the differences between the two devices, The Ensemble Design BE75 captures in lossless AVI SD and output via SDI, from there a SDI/USB3.0 adapter is used to connect and communicate with the capture software for data transfer, While the Aja IOLA is a single box designed for Mac platforms and uses a firewire port to capture in lossless AVI SD, Technically both devices should produce similar captures when the internal procamp is bypassed, If not w'll find out. We are using the same source tape and identical VCR's.
Just a reminder to Jwillis, I captured with TBC button ON and the following OSD setting on the VCR:
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Combo TBC/DNR button was turned off. (In the US they are combined and can't be independently controlled).
Settings pages are approximately the same as the ones you displayed, though terminology varies, the meaning is the same positionally.. approximately.
I had to use .mov files instead of .avi because that was what Aja defaulted to. But I think they are essentially the same in this case.
The video on the HR-S7600U has an odd set of lines at the bottom that does not appear on any other tapes I capture. I did not attempt to correct or filter them out, choosing to instead stay on task and capture whatever the VCR detects on tape. - If I select Crop while viewing in VLC to 16:9 or 16:10 it effectively masks the lines.. if they prove distracting. I found by choosing Deinterlace [On] and Deinterlace Mode with [Yadif(2x)] the picture looks very good... but the point was not to do that to the Samples.. so they are as captured, or as requested in the Sample2.
The ffmpeg reduction of Sample2 had an extra space in a line break, changed it to the following:
Per LordSmurfs request the samples are attached to this forum posting, and in split RAR file format. You will need WinRAR or some other dearchiver to restore the files to playable condition. 7Zip can dearchive them with a right click.
I did my captures with TBC on, I think you should have it ON on your VCR, don't you think so? Although samples look almost identical to mine, there is a vertical noise bar on the left side of the screen in the lossless 15 sec video, I wonder if TBC will take care of it.
Never mind that noise bar of the left edge of the picture is in my lossless sample too, MPEG4 compression seem to get rid of it.
I wonder why your audio level in your samples is higher than mine?
Last edited by latreche34; 07-03-2019 at 05:48 AM.
I did the best I could to interpret whether you thought we should turn TBC off or leave it on.
I believe you were concerned with whether Image Stabilization were built into the Aja IoLA. The answer is it was always built-in from the beginning, but not fully enabled until later firmware versions. This is using the last firmware version available and had it fully enabled.
I see where curiosity about the VCR TBC and whether it would do any good, or interfere with the Aja IoLA's Image Stabilization, might be useful. But I don't think a second round of captures is necessary. I have seen it both ways; and the Tape is so good, and the VCR playback without TBC is almost identical to the VCR playback with TBC. I cannot tell one from the other. The DNR also does not appear to make any difference.
There are some baked in artifacts on the tape, I'm not saying it is "perfect", but it is very good. I do not know what the scanning bars or switching noise at the bottom of the image are all about, but I don't think they invalidate the test. I assume it has something to do with the difference between a PAL/NTSC and NTSC model of the JVC 7600.
My audio levels are higher because I am using the Rolls MB15b consumer to pro levels converter. It has a single level control knob which tends to raise or amplify the signal level. I set it manually without any meters and made something of a hamfisted hack of the task. Its nothing to be concerned about.. I did a poor job of it. The cables are RCA from the VCR to the Rolls MB15b promatch converter and balanced XLR from there to the Aja IoLA. I am quite pleased that it didn't appear to pickup any ground loops or hum. The hiss I think is from boosting the levels so much and it was there on the tape just far harder to detect in a normal levels setting.
I am quite impressed with the "XP era" equivalent of the "Snow Leopard 10.6.8" and the Core2Duo 1.83 Ghz processor ability to pull off the 10 bit and 8 bit captures without dropping any frames. I think the firewire connection had a lot to do with that. The unsung hero of this new age of capture however is how far hard disk technology has come in such a short time.. its far more efficient and stable, and cooler running than hard disks available in 2003-2006. We tend to take it for granted.
I presume the flashing at the bottom may be the "line-TBC" function in the IoLA struggling with trying to stabilize the lines around the head switching point?
It looks either the head switching point is a bit higher than usual for the JVC decks, or the device is capturing a few more lines at the bottom?
Also seeing a slight bit of image jumping on the IoLA capture. I know the JVC TBC can do that some times if the vsync area of the image is bad, but that's turned off here. Maybe it's related to the stuff at the bottom.
Does this occur in other VCRs on the tape?
Also it's possible that there would be some difference in howl set the BEST/Video calibration, and auto picture settings, which could cause some difference in the very fine details and noise.
When I turn on TBC on my VCR it made a difference on that tape, It improved line wiggle and the DNR got rid of some chroma noise.
The bottom frame noise on that tape looked worse on your VCR, one thing I can think of is maybe your DD system started to fail and advances the head switching, I disabled the DD system on my VCR due to cracked gears according to the procedure that I posted at Videohelp some time ago. What is the condition of your DD system? Offcourse you wouldn't worry about it if it plays other tapes fine but just wondering.
Overall, captures are almost identical especially the lossless ones.
I tried the tape with a different capture device USB2.0 Pinnacle 700 with VirtualDub which I keep around for monitoring. The switching noise still appears so that eliminates the Aja IoLA as the source.
Then I used a panasonic PV-4670 vcr to play the tape and captured on the USB2.0 Pinnacle 700 with VirtualDub. The switching noise still appears so that eliminates the HR-S7600U as the source.
Your VCR normally works with 720x576 for PAL so the overscan could be hiding a lot of switching noise that is normally there.. but which becomes visible on my equipment. My overscan only reaches 720x512, display normally 720x480.
That's 64 additional lines that might show up in the 512 raster or 12% of the height tagged on to the bottom of the image area.. which "seems" to be about what we are seeing.
If the capture "puts 576 lines into a 512 bucket" then some overflow is to be expected and things we normally wouldn't see suddenly become visible.. that's my guess.
I don't know how the JVC format converter works if the tape was originally PAL.. or even if the tape was originally NTSC how it would react when the vcr is put into NTSC record mode. As Bill Murry might say, we are kind of crossing the streams here...
I'm not really worried about it.
The real subject was how the BE75 compares to the Aja IoLA, and I would say it compares fairly well.. even if the vcr TBC was not turned on. The subject tape for the experiment was so good any DNR was probably not necessary.
If I get time I'll capture the samples again with the TBC/DNR turned on, simply for completeness.
The head switching noise did kind of drag the conversation off topic.
From your pictures the BE75 setup is very slim and svelt compared to the commercial equipment size and cable network I had to setup for the Aja IoLA.. so advantage points go to the BE75 for compactness.
Yes but don't forget that the BE75 requires an extra USB/SDI adapter while the Aja box is all in one that's a big thumb to the Aja box, This wouldn't be a problem for a desktop when you can just add a SDI PCI-e card, I wish my Aja box worked on a PC platform but I'm not going to get a Mac just to use it.
The VCR I have is a native 525/625 scan so in NTSC mode works just like yours, I wish I had tried that tape on my Sony NTSC VCR oh well life goes on, It is just one tape.
It was a nice experiment for some other alternative unique/weird lossless capture workflows, This gives hopes for folks who want to try old stuff with newer PC operating systems, and folks who are in the Mac world that their only option was DV for a long time, so this shows that they can do lossless via firewire without breaking the bank.
I was just having a conversation with a friend about "loosing touch" with current people.
Playing with all this old gear is limited by being able to find the gear in working order and then a machine that runs an operating system that can use it.
But most of the new people coming here I think are limited by the most recent Windows 10 and MacOS 10.14 or later that they can get on a laptop.
I've a solution for that..
My friend Peter who writes IsoBuster just spent a couple months with me developing hard drive reading support for many popular DVR recorders. These aren't made any more.. but they are still sold on amazon or ebay used.
They are pretty outstanding all in one VHS encoders that deliver high bit rate 4:2:0 color MPEG2 files to their hard disk. But their television tuners are mostly useless and many DVD burners are worn out. You don't need those parts to make great video captures, even DV camcorder video captures, to their hard drives.
But you can easily pull a hard drive from many of these DVRs and hook it up with a USB 2.0 or USB 3.0 adapter direct to the USB port on a desktop or laptop, Windows or Mac (or Linux) and run IsoBuster to copy the files from the unique file systems the recorders use to the file system of the PC or Mac.
Since Windows 10 and MacOS 10.15 are locking down (and out) many hardware dongle vendors and leveraging huge manufacturing costs to sign their device drivers. I think maybe the DVR hard drive to USB adapter may be the future.
I know even those Chinese PVR makers are starting to export game captures as files only via USB stick.
The firewire days are gone, capture card days seem mostly gone, the USB capture dongle days may be numbered.
The disturbing trend in game capture is its not getting cheaper, 4k and 8k support isn't helping either, and there are fewer and fewer good quality companies. If you took out Hauppauge, AverMedia.. what does that leave?.. Magewell and BlackMagic? The latter sell devices for $500 or more.
I was specifically talking about retro gaming capture, For newer games you're right it is getting nuts, But I guess that kind of business has a profit behind it, Most of those gamers have youtube channels with ad revenue so I guess it pays to have a state of the art capture hardware for better excitement of the followers, This is a whole new business to me that I have none to do with it, For me old is worth capturing, new? don't capture it, just enjoy it.