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Old 25th January 2010, 09:11   #21  |  Link
Ghitulescu
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Originally Posted by zilog jones View Post
Do you mean unique? I don't think "unicate" is a word (it's not in any dictionary I can see anyway).
Yes, but unique is an adjective not a noun. But now I think you got the idea.
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Originally Posted by pvh1987 View Post
I understand it like a hardware analog video to DV converter will not ensure synced audio and video. To get that, I will need a special (expensive) VCR?Or should I get a USB video grabber? Looks like an USB stick with 3-4 cables running out of it. I'm afraid to do this because I don't know what software will be able to use it.
No, this is why I recommended it. The DV device captures the video and the sound completely in synch. Yes, with consumer DV will end with unlocked audio, but it's again something for perfectionists, you'll never notice this. Maybe I shouldn't tell you this, don't worry, for waht you need "it's in synch".
USB things that looks like a matchbox are not good. Buy a pre-2003 one (used) if you need.

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Originally Posted by zilog jones View Post
It depends, but a typical camcorder with analogue inputs may not be able to handle the instability of VHS video very well (i.e. you will get a lot of dropped frames), which is why Ghitulescu recommends a TBC (Time-base corrector) which will cost a lot. You can get a top-end consumer S-VHS VCR for a lot less.


If it's just the one tape it may be cheaper bringing it to some video transfer specialists.
There is I think on lorsmurfs' page a discussion on TBCs. Typically a S-VHS deck has a limited TBC, that is used to correct only a few lines at a time. External TBCs should be able to do more, but those for amateurs/consumers lack a feed-back to the deck (which nevertheless the deck cannot use unless it's a profi one) - this feedback ensures that the tape runs exactly as it is supposed to do; this is why most people insist on a deck with TBC hoping it would work as they think it would (unfortunatelly, very few act in reality this way - their main function is to provide a clean signal at output, not to correct tape timings).

As many people suggested it, for one time job let the profi do it.
----
Bottom line:
One time job - go to a lab (it would cost you say 40-80€ I have no precise idea)
Many tapes** - go hunt an used JVC (SR series), Sony (SV series) or Panasonic (Ag series) on eBay, some of them do have TBC (those for medicinal purposes, they have usually MD, such as Sony SVO9500MD or Panasonic AG-MD835). Then a TBC. Then either an old* Panny/Pioneer that are able to write rewritables or a DV-converter (Dazzle, Terratec, Pinnacle, Canopus etc.). And live happily.
*Why old? Because they have the best analogue part (Panny HS2, E100, Pio DVR7000, DVR5100 etc.)
**How much it would cost? No idea how lucky you can be...
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Old 25th January 2010, 13:13   #22  |  Link
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On the consumer side, "locked audio" has turned into nothing more than a buzz word to sell products (I hate to seem anti-Canopus, but this is one of the many things they spamify on the box). The kind of audio drift that locked audio would prevent disappeared years ago. It died with the Pentium III and early-gen P4 Celerons. We're left with audio drift from other reasons.
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Old 25th January 2010, 18:26   #23  |  Link
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Hi, I found this thread late and most of the things I would have wanted to say are already covered by other posters (and I agree with almost all of the responses), so I would like just to emphasize some points which I feel might be lost in the discussion, and (in my opinion and experience) are important:

1. As said, I would give up on USB capturing devices, since they mostly have poor quality and even worse A/V sync problems (usually).

2. The source of audio async is most likely the frequency drift of the audio cards' crystal oscilator, which varies slightly with time (48008 Hz, which I think it's just an average at the end, but it varies all the time). At the time I (and maybe others) were hunting for cards that didn't have this drift, but never could find one below the highest-end (most expensive) cards. But there's no need to, resampling audio is the way to go. No matter how much of a perfectionist one is (I am one too - up to a reasonable limit ), these few Hertz (or tens of, even hundreds of them) will never be noticeable. I am not sure how this drift is translated into the resulting audio when resampling, but I think it's not the frequency of the tone that's varied, but the sampling rate - you end up with few milliseconds of (very slightly) decreased "resolution" of your audio - so what? VHS is up to 10 KHz anyway (as far as I remember; just like SVHS's Hi-Fi audio track was 16 KHz).

3. Also, I suspect another capture card might not be needed at all. What I would do, first, is to determine the chip of the Pinnacle card and maybe hunt for a better driver (if it's BT8xx, it's no contest - BtWinCap is the way to go, maybe with Bt Tweaker).

4. If all else fails, I concur that the most pain-free solution would be to (buy)/(buy used)/(borrow from a friend)/(rent) a DV camera with pass-through (some of them don't have it). DV is way more than enough for VHS. I've heard both good and bad thing about Canopus cards and the like, and I suspect such a solution would be overkill. A DVD recorder might do the job too, but I personally would not use it because of limited re-editing and/or filtering possibilities. But again, it might be good enough for some uses, even with recompression.

5. If VirtualDub crashed on you, next time when you enter capture mode, hold SHIFT and it will not select a capture driver.

I had more thoughts, but I have to go now...

GL
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Old 26th January 2010, 03:26   #24  |  Link
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghitulescu View Post
There is I think on lorsmurfs' page a discussion on TBCs. Typically a S-VHS deck has a limited TBC, that is used to correct only a few lines at a time. External TBCs should be able to do more, but those for amateurs/consumers lack a feed-back to the deck (which nevertheless the deck cannot use unless it's a profi one) - this feedback ensures that the tape runs exactly as it is supposed to do; this is why most people insist on a deck with TBC hoping it would work as they think it would (unfortunatelly, very few act in reality this way - their main function is to provide a clean signal at output, not to correct tape timings).
I understand the TBCs in consumer VCRs aren't great, but they are more easily obtainable than a separate TBC in my experience. My NV-HS960 cost about €80 (+postage) - I've never seen a TBC on eBay go that cheap, and the ones I do see are often for use with specific hardware. The TBC in this VCR does help with reducing dropped frames when there is a noisy/damaged section of video, I'm sure the pro TBCs could do a better job but this is better than nothing and it improves the picture in other ways too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GrofLuigi
VHS is up to 10 KHz anyway (as far as I remember; just like SVHS's Hi-Fi audio track was 16 KHz).
VHS linear audio track goes up to about 11-12 kHz (if you're lucky ), Hi-Fi (VHS and S-VHS are the same for audio) can allegedly go up to 20 kHz but I see around 16-17 kHz at best (sampling at 24-bit/96 kHz). If you're using 44.1 kHz for Hi-Fi audio there may may measurable loss from resampling, but whether it will be noticable is another thing. You can probably sample normal linear audio at 22 kHz and not lose anything
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Old 26th January 2010, 06:18   #25  |  Link
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I'm not aware of any TBCs found in consumer VCRs. The higher-end decks from JVC, Panasonic and Mitsubishi may not be rack-mounted gear, but they are definitely professional and/or broadcast field equipment. The TBCs provide some functions, but not others. I wrote about this in a forum post here recently, and the more expanded information is at http://www.digitalfaq.com/forum/show...8710-1853.html (3rd post down). It can reduce dropped frames, but it won't remove/prevent them like a full external unit will. The 8710, for example, is $200 range, and uses standard composite/s-video connections. More on that TBC in the above linked thread (in fact, that thread initially started out as an AVT-8710 topic).

Good audio info.
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Old 26th January 2010, 09:48   #26  |  Link
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Originally Posted by zilog jones View Post
The TBC in this VCR does help with reducing dropped frames when there is a noisy/damaged section of video, I'm sure the pro TBCs could do a better job but this is better than nothing and it improves the picture in other ways too.
It does because it's connected to the video mechanics. What a full frame TBC can do if mounted in a VCR is to keep the last frame/field until a good one arrives (like a pause/still), but this requires a lot of memory (expensive as it has to have 2 ports, like VRAM).
A damaged tape can only be salvaged if the mechanics can cope with the track (dynamic tracking is a must, external synch is desirable, and so on). Most profi VCRs have external synch, but only the JVC BR-S525 has dynamic tracking, if I'm not wrong (not dynamic drum, which is another bier).
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Old 26th January 2010, 18:50   #27  |  Link
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I'm not aware of any VCR with a full-frame TBC. The closest it comes is field TBCs (example: Panasonic AG-1980P), or line TBCs (example: JVC SR-V10U). Again, we're also running into the difference between a TBC and a frame synchronizer. (It's actually the frame sync that holds/buffers frames like that. Many external TBCs are actually TBC+frame sync)
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Old 27th January 2010, 00:07   #28  |  Link
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I'm not aware of any TBCs found in consumer VCRs. The higher-end decks from JVC, Panasonic and Mitsubishi may not be rack-mounted gear, but they are definitely professional and/or broadcast field equipment.
This NV-HS960 has a lot of consumery functions though - tuner, VideoPlus, PDC, S-VHS ET, Tape Library, satellite receiver control, CC/teletext subtitles display, etc. (most of these are completely useless now ) JVC HR-S7000-9000 series VCRs seem similarly consumer-oriented. Maybe "prosumer" would be more appropriate as they have loads of edit functions too. I've seen JVC models that look like HR-S7600's etc. but have no consumer features (no tuner etc.), but forget the model numbers (BR something?).

I read your TBC discussion before, some very useful information there. You're pretty much on the mark with regards to S-VHS VCR line TBCs from my experience - it can increase jitter in some cases, but will improve chroma noise and straighten out a skewed picture. I've also noticed that somehow when the TBC and DNR are turned on it will produce a stable picture when cue/reviewing (no dropped frames when capturing) - an interesting, if not very useful feature...
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Old 27th January 2010, 01:51   #29  |  Link
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The inclusion of tuners in professional equipment is more due to assembly lines and "kits" than anything else. Low-end VCRs from the same maker often included identical parts. Indeed, "prosumer" is often used, although buyers tend to only be pros or serious hobbyists. And the items were never really sold in consumer outlets, only pro shops.
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Old 27th January 2010, 08:50   #30  |  Link
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The inclusion of tuners in professional equipment is more due to assembly lines and "kits" than anything else. Low-end VCRs from the same maker often included identical parts. Indeed, "prosumer" is often used, although buyers tend to only be pros or serious hobbyists. And the items were never really sold in consumer outlets, only pro shops.
While I agree with you lordsmurf on many issues, here you made a completely inaccurate statement. A professional gear doesn't need a tuner part, there are the profi that produce the shows. I know there are also professional tuners, but this to another end. many countries lever a tax on "reception capable devices" ie any gear with tuner. This tax is at the level of luxury tax, so imagine having this tax on top of an already high priced gear. And this tax has to be paid for each gear, plus another annual taxes (we have GEZ here in Germany) on each and every gear.

While is this true, that there are countless similarities between profi and consumer gear, and yes, similar models are assembled on the same line, there are however differences.

Speaking of HS960 (the last good model, already on the descending slope, 950 and 1000 being on the top for consumers). It has the same mechanics as my profi AG-7600, but it will never be frame-accurate, it needs 2-3 seconds (I don't remember it right now) to PLAY from FF or REW, and viceversa, while the AG7600 is almost instant (less than 0.5s). And the biggest difference (nobody seems to know it) is the power supply. The consumer models suffer from a badly designed power supply (it works perfectly as long as you don't take the gear completely off and keep it that way for a while), while the profi models don't have this issue.

Going back to the top model (the HS8000 which indeed was the top was not really a top hit due to its price, lucky owners), HS1000, its profi version is AG4700. It's almost identic (different colour, no tuner, no tuner related functions and a different firmware - plus the power supply issue). And it costs twice.

Most people confound high-end with professional, they are not the same. Professional means in the first line a workhorse - something that you can use non-stop forever, you can't do this with a high-end gear (of course you can do, but it would fail soon).

I have to mention that the marketing caught the story with "Professional", so you can see the most incredible things, of the purest bloody quality, marketed as Professional tools.
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Old 27th January 2010, 20:05   #31  |  Link
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Pro gear doesn't need remote controls either, but it's a consumer feature that is easy to duplicate. Pros are consumers too, in their off hours, and many of them come to expect the same things in their work gear. Right or wrong, that's how it is. Just look at all the server admins who now insist their server OS have a GUI. That's another area where I just have to shake my head head and say "okay, whatever".

When the majority asks for something stupid, stupid is what we get.
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Old 28th January 2010, 09:54   #32  |  Link
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When the majority asks for something stupid, stupid is what we get.
Now we agree 100%


PS:
-=-=-=-
Coming back to the problem:
Quote:
Originally Posted by lordsmurf
I'm not aware of any VCR with a full-frame TBC. The closest it comes is field TBCs (example: Panasonic AG-1980P), or line TBCs (example: JVC SR-V10U).
My JVC HR-DVS1(EG because I'm in Germany, it also doesn't have S-VHS ET which I don't miss, and it's identical to the profi SR-VS10 except for the colour and price) is advertised with 4MB memory, that's more than enough to hold 8 FullD1 frames.
I think that all DigiPure decks from JVC have at least 2MB frame memory, which is more than enough. JVC SR-V10U (which I assume it's the HR-S7900U in another colour and price range) has 2MB. Are you sure that they feature just a line-TBC?


PS2: The power supply issue applies to my knowledge only to Panasonic (Grundig, Metz), but I have little experience with JVCs (only 2-3 decks) and not at all with Sony (never owned a Sony nor used one). It might be the same thing too.
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Old 28th January 2010, 10:11   #33  |  Link
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Yes, just a line. Remember that it's not just TBC, but TNC+DNR, and the DNR eats up a lot of the RAM. It does store at least a couple of whole frames in the RAM buffer, but only for the DNR. The TBC is not full frame or even full field. The 2MB buffers are just as good as some of the older 4MB buffers, depending on model -- remember RAM performance/speed increases over time.

The SR-V10U is more or less the 7800/7900, although the transport seems a bit different.

ET was a convenient feature -- but before it had a name, we'd just drill or melt holes in the VHS tape anyway. Same difference.
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