12-17-2013, 10:03 PM
wsmith wsmith is offline
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Hail, VHS improvement Pros!

I'm new here; this is my first post.

I'm a corporate producer of some 15 years but new to the mysterious world of VHS improvement. I increasingly need to get crapped out VHS into shape for inclusion into HD timelines in Premiere (CS6 currently).

Question 1:

I just downloaded, un-RAR'd and installed Virtual Dub but can't see the filters. Am I supposed to do something further to incorporate them? I've done a cursory scan of the help docs.

Question 2, with description of my stability problem: Really wondering whether you concur with what I've been told over the phone by a few people.

I've been wrestling with just getting the material into my workstation in the form of a stable signal. By the way, I have spent a fair amount of time educating myself with this excellent site and have also read LS's responses on some other sites too before posting this.

I now have a JVC-refurbed 4000u deck that's utterly pristine. I had JVC run the serial no. and learned that some dodo returned it when it only had dirty heads. Probably played a couple of really crapped out tapes and didn't know enough to clean the heads... That's all JVC needed to do.

Anyway, here is my puzzlement: A tape has flagging at top. Play the same tape in a Panasonic SuperVHS PV-S7680 and it holds that stable. I can see a slight warp at the upper left corner but it's held stable. The output is of course noisier than the 4000u. For now, I'll take stable over clean.

Passing an S-VHS signal through other devices I have does nothing: From stable Panasonic thru 4000u; from 4000u thru stable Panasonic, thru Panasonic DV2000 DV edit deck: thru Panasonic DMR-E60 set top DVD burner, all in effort to utilize possible internal TBC on those. No luck.

I've been told by JVC, Grass Valley, and a seasoned pro at a respected outlet that sells to local broadcasters, that in their opinion, the JVC chokes because it "doesn't like being fed slop" internal timecode or not. The lesser, Panasonic was born to eat slop and forgives the hand that feeds it. None were confident enough to say if they thought industrial strength TBC would help more than playing in a deck that doesn't mind eating slop.

A number of other tapes show minor flagging in the JVC but practically no sign of it in any of them when played in the Panasonic SuperVHS player.

None of the tapes are commercial Hollywood tapes; just old home movies shot on a VHS camera. The really bad one was produced by the community college and looks better than having been shot on a VHS camera. And it's the worst flagger.

Does any of the above sound right?

Question 3:

I am investigating TBC devices but am wary due to seeing the warnings re bad chips, etc. For A makes the FA-128, with 14bit internal processing, which seems like a winner. If I'm gonna spend that kind of coin, should I consider anything else as a possible contender?


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12-18-2013, 08:09 AM
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lordsmurf lordsmurf is offline
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VirtualDub is not working? Did you unRAR the full files as a "VirtualDub19" folder, complete with all subfolders? And then to access the filters, did you load a test video? That's odd and I've never heard of this issue in 10 years that I can remember.


The JVC 4000U is too old, and not a suggested model. Refer to http://www.digitalfaq.com/forum/vide...ing-guide.html

"Flagging" = non-tech term. "Tearing" is the tech jargon. This is often repaired by either a JVC or Pansonic S-VHS VCR TBC. If not, that's when the Panasonic DMR-ES10 is good for passthrough. Most DVD recorders don't really have a true TBC, and only 1-2 rare units from Panasonic can correct the tearing with a sync filter unique to that model.

Home movies are the worst tapes to convert. VHS-C is easily the most horrible.

That all sounds typical. Do you REALLY need to buy lots of equipment for this, as well as learn the learning curve? Or can you just outsource the PITA videos? That's why studios have always come to us. We get the problem videos that they don't want to mess with. That's an option to consider. You can spend your time editing, and let somebody else deal with this mess. I'll be honest -- unless you're passionate and dedicated to restoring old tapes, either serious hobby or as a pure profession, you'll pull your hair out. Even having work with tapes for 20+ years now, I constantly run into crap that needs special attention. New filters, etc.


For VHS work, honestly, get the TBC-1000 used from eBay. These TBCs were made specifically for stabilizing old tapes.

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