Best DVD recorder?
The issue with S-VHS (and VHS, and Betamax and 8mm) is chroma noise. The VHS formats are the worst of them. This color noise presents itself as flecks of red, blue and sometimes green splotches on screen. It's most easily seen in dark areas. There are some samples here: http://www.digitalfaq.com/forum/show...flaws-565.html
The best way to remove these errors are in hardware, specifically DVD recorders using the LSI Logic chipset. Of all the available recorders, you want one of the JVC lines produced in 2004-2006. Nothing newer!!! JVC machines start ing 2006-2007 were outsourced LG machines, using an inferior chipset that DID NOT remove the chroma noise.
The good JVC models include:
The ones with links can still be bought easily online.
The "DR" are the consumer/prosumer series models (made for serious hobbyists), and the "SR" are the professional series lines. Note that sometimes "S" and "US" may be omitted from model numbers. That's the store, in most cases. The "S" and "US" means it's a NTSC USA model, and some USA stores leave that off.
A lot of the newer models with 70s/80s/90s in the name are crap. Some models also use the 100/150 model designations in the latest models, which are also crap. These are cheapo machines, quality is dismal, no filtering at all.
The downside to these DVD recorders is sometimes the black level can be slightly altered. The fix for this is to pre-adjust the signal with a proc amp, or to post-process the recording in something like VirtualDub
, with a slight boost to it's value or back levels. Much of this depends on the source itself, as IRE values tend to be all over the place.
DVD recorder editing?
DVD recorders use a very basic editing method, so removing 10 or 30 seconds is generally not possible, at least not with any kind of frame-precise accuracy. You really need to think of a DVD recorder as making a advanced version of a VHS tape, and nothing more. For advanced editing, menus, etc -- you need to dump the video to a computer, and proceed from there. Some guides on editing from a DVD source are at http://www.digitalfaq.com/guides/vid...dit-encode.htm
A proc amp adjust the color quality of video. Sometimes this is wrongly referred to as saturation, brightness and contrast, but it's actually the ability to edit IRE (black level), luma and chroma.
S-VHS quality worse?
If you have trouble with a crappy tape in an S-VHS deck, then odd are some things are set wrong. You should give a look at http://www.digitalfaq.com/guides/vid...k-hardware.htm
80s/90s vs 200 signals...
In the 80s and 90s, everything was sent purely analog. In the 2000s, most broadcasting switched to all-digital production, carriage, and transmissions. So instead of analog noise, you ended up with digital noise in the signal. Because so many companies wanted to offer more channels without paying for better transmission equipment, they compressed signals more than suggested. The result was blocks and other noise. DirecTV was notoriously bad for this for years, but even cable companies do it now.
Technically, Betamax does NOT have a better image quality than VHS. Much of this is just old myth, and perceptions by the viewer. Under some circumstance, a lower-end VHS VCR will definitely look worse than the Betamax counterpart. However, a good VCR proves that one false really quickly.
WWII film restoration?
The trick with this is the WWII was film. You can restore film easier because their is a lot of clarity to be had. VHS does not. There's no way to make VHS high definition. There is more data on that WWII film strip than a consumer VHS tape.
A good audio board cannot be re-created with a computer card. The options in a computer cards are really very rudimentary and crude compared to a $50-100 board. The computer cards almost always lack EQ, too.
I was in Best Buy just a few days ago, and looked at some boards because of your question. Note that I'm near one fo the "premiere" stores that has a very large audio/instrument room. The local store has a Behringer XENYX for $60. The same board is available from Amazon for $60 with free shipping
. I would buy this one. It has 3 EQ's and gain control. Mackie Tapco boards are good too, I use one of those. It's helpful on the cheap, good pre-processing of the audio before more advanced work is done in SoundForge
and/or Audacity (and/or Goldwave, DiamondCut).
Big files and restoring...
For major restore work, there's no way to avoid big files and long encoding times on a computer. You're limited with what can be done purely in hardware. A lot can be done, but not all errors can be addresses, and not all fixes can be as advanced as the software work. (Inversely a few errors, like chroma noise in video, is best addressed in hardware!)
This answer took a bit of work. Consider upgrading to a Premium Member