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01-14-2012, 04:19 AM
Mejnour Mejnour is offline
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Hello guys,

In my quest for PAL proc ampl or image enhancer or TBC I found
that GTH Electronics was doing device called ACE.

I was wondering what do you think about it?

I mean should I add it in my search or it is just older technology, don't waste energy looking for it...

It look like a 3 in 1 to me (pros amp, image enhancer, TBC) but I could be wrong?

If it's a good device should I JUST look for the newer version or every generations have the capability
for my need (PAL VHS capture).

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01-16-2012, 01:02 AM
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These devices are just garbage.

PAL/NTSC Conversion

The quality of PAL/NTSC conversion is hideous. Your image will have not only drop-frame deinterlacing artifacts, but I've seen this genre of devices cause the image to vibrate vertically and/or horizontally. Excluding hardware that costs more than a car or house, there is no way to motion compensate between formats in real-time, aside from a sloppy method involving drop-frame deinterlacing and frame doubling/reduction. You'll end up with supremely crappy video this way. Ghosting is very typical.

Even some of the better VCRs (Panasonic AG-W1/2/3 and Samsung clones) have a number of artifacts that make for a lousy overall image. Those VCRs are best used as-is, to play PAL, NTSC, SECAM, etc, into a computer. These VCRs were great to have in the mid 1990s, but worthless (in terms of conversion) by the mid 2000s. Still decent VHS-only VCRs for playing tapes, due to the Panasonic transport in use.

Let's dissect this review, for example:
International Standards Conversion. It converts in and out of NTSC and PAL and, unusually especially considering the low price, inputs and outputs SECAM. It also handles pseudo PAL and every other permutation you can think of, including South American PAL. I was greatly impressed with the conversion quality and did a side-by-side comparison with our own broadcast Prime Image Penta II – which cost around 5000. It comes a surprisingly close second. The only quality differences are quite subtle, mainly noticeable in pans when converting PAL to NTSC. There was noticeable judder and horizontal shimmering but no converter is totally transparent, regardless of cost. For the vast majority of footage, especially if it does not contain an enormous amount of movement or detailed graphics, you would barely notice the conversion. One thing I did observe was that NTSC to PAL was subjectively better than the reverse. The SECAM conversion in all directions is also excellent. This unit blows converter-type VCRs such as the W1 right out of the water.
So, let's break down the two bolded items:
1. Comparing one low-end inferior device to another is rather silly. Even if one is better than the other, they're both still lousy.
2. Then basically state it's only good for video with no motion or detail. So .... it converts slideshows nicely? Really!?

Color Correction

The color correction abilities are a joke. To make an analogy, the color correction abilities of these devices are to a proc amp, as a family sedan is to a sports car (for the purpose of street racing). Yeah, it can correct color, as much as the family sedan can go fast when you push on the accelerator -- but it's far cry from a tool built for those specific purposes. It's not a proc amp replacement.

Timebase Correction

As has been pointed out on this site multiple times, there is no universally accepted definition of what a timebase corrector does in the video hardware manufacturing sector. Given the price point, there is a chance this was a basic TBC with a few added chips to tend to the color correction (similar to an AVT-8710/CTB-100) and format conversion (similar to the consumer-grade VHS converting VCRs). In fact, it may have been a modified CTB-100, given how Cypress outsourced to several private labels.

At the same time, however, I've often found that companies with most flowery marketing -- i.e., the ones who tried the most to blow smoke up your butt with their marketing -- had products that were very marginal in abilities. When it comes to TBCs, that often means it's not what most of us end users would consider to be a TBC. Specifically that it does not fully replace and re-sync the timing of the signal. The video still have jitter or signal noise, meaning there is no observable benefit to the so-called "TBC".

You really have to watch for this. Don't believe everything is a TBC just because it's been written on the box.


It may sound harsh, but the only people who would recommend this device would have to be amateurs with no idea of what quality looks like. This appears to be yet another device that's all marketing and limp on quality. I'd compare it to the also-discontinued Sima products.

I would not pay more than $50 for one of these.

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01-16-2012, 01:13 AM
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To address the statements you were given in an email by the seller...

The "original ACE" may be more useful for VHS transfer as you can block out the very edges of the picture to cover up video noise common with VHS, especially at the bottom of the screen where vertical blanking tends to creep in.
This is just masking the overscan. You can do that in software, too.

Also, the "newer ACE " is supposed to have a built in TBC.
Always read words carefully. As per my last post, there may not be anything recognizable as a "TBC" to definitions used by more advanced videographers. It may be some flimsy little circuit that does next to nothing, even if it finds a way to loosely meet the definition of a timebase corrector. This happens very often in DVD recorders and older consumer video cameras.

This used to be important when editing analog tapes
Used to be?

but old VHS tapes may be too unstable and fight the TBC, creating jitter and breakup.
This can happen, yes, but it's a rarity with quality hardware.

Importing footage into computers does not require this type of correction anymore.
This statement is truly ridiculous. (Stop listening to this person. He/she has proven himself/herself as clueless.)

In the realm of analog > digital conversion, nothing has changed in at least 6 years now.
In certain areas of the practice, nothing has ever changed -- not for 10+ years now. It's a fundamental constant (not a variable).
VHS tapes needing pre-ingest filtering/correction = constant.

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01-16-2012, 04:49 AM
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Same answer here.

Originally Posted by Mejnour
Hello O my digital Guru

I wrote you a private message because I need personal advice.
THanks in advance for you wise answer

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01-16-2012, 07:16 AM
Mejnour Mejnour is offline
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Thanks for "harsh" answer, I like it

I want to rassure you, I didn't want to use this "conversion feature".
I was looking more for the color correction possibility, white balance, video control (brightness, contrast), signal regeneration and full frame TBC capability.

AVT-8710 have been mention by admin, if I understand well, it's a good device but it's not universal panacea and I mean it's in "sedan" class

So concerning a older post talking about AVT-8710
Concerning my last post,
Reading again about TBC It is specified that full frame TBC like AVT-8710 act just to purify the signal quality. Do it mean that video Adjustments: Brightness, Contrast, Color, Tint (NTSC) and Sharpness are almost useless on this device as they were on the canopus ACDV-300?

I mean AVT-8710 is for purification point, for the rest you have to get pros amp and/or image enhancer like signvideo?
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01-16-2012, 07:38 AM
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From a color correction stance, it's probably no different than the AVT-8710/CTB-100 devices.

Generally speaking, devices are controlled by their components costs (including manufacturing labor, worldwide freight costs, etc):
  • TBC = $100+
  • True proc amp controls = $200+
  • Quality standards conversion = $1,000+
Then double the prices (minimum) for market MSRP.

When a device claims to do anything, and doesn't have at least $$$ worth of parts in addition to whatever else it may have (DVD recorder, VCR, TV, etc), then you really need look at it with a suspicious nature. In the past couple of decades, we've seen a lot of electronic thingamabobs, especially in the world of video, promising to do this or that task for very low costs. In the end, most items fail, and quite miserably.

So if a TBC claimed to also be a proc amp, it had better cost $600+ on the open market. And there are some broadcast grade TBCs from Leitch (and earlier brands, like DPS) that have true proc amps married to the TBC. But those generally cost well into the four-digit realm. Even used, these tend to fetch $300+ in passable condition -- generally more along the lines of $500-800.

For example: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Leitch-DPS-2...-/260835338937

The DPS-220 found at the eBay link is a huge TBC, half the height of an S-VHS VCR, and twice the overall base size (length/width). It's far from being a convenient size unless you operate traditional broadcast racks. With the amount of components/chips needed for quality proc amp and TBC processing, it's no wonder that marrying a few devices results in a behemoth brick of a unit. For the size-conscious, separate units work out better, even if priced higher.

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