Originally Posted by Bogilein
Save your money and buy a panasonic dmr-es10/15....... dvd-recorder. You can read a lot about the device here in the forum.
It's really not an either/or situation.
You must remember than line TBC (or field TBC), and frame sync TBC ("frame TBC"), are separate items.
The ES10/15 mostly has an unusually strong line TBC, with a mere non-TBC frame sync. However, the unit (and thus the line TBC) is compromised, forced to pass anti-copy errors. Anti-copy is an artificial video error, but naturally occurring video errors can (and often do) look the same to the detections. So what you can have is a nice line-corrected image that still will not capture, or exhibits other odd anti-copy type visual errors.
The DataVideo DVK units, or the weaker TBC-5000 -- and potentially some other devices, maybe this MX-1 (?) -- integrate weak frame TBCs as part of the intended function. These units are broadcast or broadcast-like, expecting non-consumer sources, either live camera or S-VHS shot on a pro camera. Not something shot on low-end consumer camcorders, not VHS or Video8/Hi8, or VCR recordings. When fed consumer sources, choking is not uncommon, weirdness and problems happen on the transfer attempt. The errors can be visual, or balking at transfer, or both.
When you combine the strong (but still compromised) line TBC and frame sync, with the weaker frame TBC, you arrive at something that is purifying a signal more like an actual TBC.
The main drawback is incurred extra processing noise. The ES10/15 has some posterization (color palette compression, easily seen on gradients and shadows), aggressive NR that is always on even when "off" (off=less, not truly off), and in PAL apparently some luma issues (noting that Panasonic NTSC luma isn't perfect either, but the PAL is just a tad worse).
This is a TBC(ish). Not a true TBC, but in combo can act like one.
The ES10/15 alone is a minimalist uber-budget approach to TBC that will still have a fail rate. Either refusal to capture, poor capture, or other problems. Some folks may have zero errors, some may have nothing biu errors -- but more often it's both successes and failures that are observed and experienced by users.
The DVK+ES10/15, and 5000+ES10/15, are definitely approved methods, I've tested those extensively. The MX1 is not something I ever tested in a TBC(ish) combo, but there is a chance that the MX1+ES10/15 is a budget option. However, that said, the DVK is a better unit, especially having that proc amp. It's also what I refer to as a "99%" unit, as it can still have source problems (though, to be fair, some actual TBCs can as well).
An actual TBC is better. Far, far better. Both for quality, and functionality.
But it's not all negatives. Since the line TBC of the ES10 is active, the VCR doesn't need a TBC. (However, S-VHS decks are still suggested, due to build quality, affecting both playback and longevity.) In fact, there are times that a TBC(ish), for some projects, with some source tapes, can actually be superior to an actual TBC. I've run into those situations before.
As always, video is not binary, not either/or. It has nuance, variables.