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ADVC110 or ADVC300?

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  • ADVC110 or ADVC300?

    My analog capture died and I am looking for a replacement. My short list includes the ADVC110 and ADVC300. Is the ADVC300 as compared to the ADVC110 worth the higher cost? I know this is a hard question to answer.

    I want to convert VHS tapes to DV. I have a good quality VHS deck with TBC but the tapes are 25-30 years old.

    I do not need TBC from the ADVC300 but the signal processing could improve the quality of the capture. What kind of improvement and how much?

    I use a little known editing program (EditStudio5) that allows me to reduce noise, do color balancing, color enhancement, etc of the converted digital data. I am sure analog processing can do a better job than digital filtering but how much better?

    Any guidance/suggestions you can give me would be greatly appreciated.

  • #2
    Since your VCR already has a TBC, I'd go for a standalone video processor that can make the adjustments you want.

    Thing with the ADVC300 is... you can't turn the ADVC300's TBC off.


    • #3
      Hi Brandon,

      Thanks for the reply.

      This may be an awkward question for you to answer -- what standalone processors do you recommend -- or where should I look for recommendations? The little research I have done tells me it will be difficult to find something better than the Canopus products unless I pay quite a bit more.

      What kind of adjustments should I look for? noise reduction? color enhancement? what else?

      I can turn off TBC when using my VHS deck. Does that change your recommendation?


      • #4
        Unfortunately I don't have a ton of experience with standalone processors, though I do understand where you're coming from - there's a large range!

        I'd look for something with 2D and 3D noise reduction, a full-frame TBC, and possibly some color control - it'll help especially for red bleed.

        Where does the majority of your footage come from - off-air recordings, or camera-shot footage?


        • #5
          All of the tapes I want to convert are from a camera. This is old stuff so it was shot with a vidicon tube I think (definitely not CCD) using a two-head recorder that was lugged about with an over-the-shoulder strap.

          My, how things have changed.

          One thing I miss from the old camera -- it had a great microphone.

          Do you have any comments about the digital editing I mentioned? EditStudio has some great capabilities but I have not tried them to know how well they work.

          I searched the net for processors that do 2D and 3D noise reduction. All I found was Canopus products, cheap boards with and without TV tuners, USB converters with MPEG encoders, and pro equipment that is way out of my price range. Bradon, what did you have in mind when you suggested a standalone video processor?
          Last edited by potawatamie; 02-23-2008, 06:41 AM. Reason: update to include results of online search


          • #6
            Since your VCR has a TBC (I presume it is a full-frame TBC) then I would still go for the ADVC300, which has only a line TBC, and use its noise processing features.

            It is far better to clean up the analog signal before converting to DV, rather than trying to clean up the DV (it's faster, too).

            You can find some samples produced by Curt Wrigley of the ADVC300 filtering here:
  [email protected]@.3c06061a/17

            or here:



            • #7
              Hi Ken,

              Thanks for the links. The increase in clarity is impressive.

              I checked the specifications for my deck and I had forgotten the deck has more going for it than I remembered. It is a Panasonic AG-1908P. Some of its features:
              * full-field TBC
              * digital noise reduction
              * 3-D Y/C separation

              The ADC300 might be able to improve some of my tapes even more with 3DNR.

              If the ADVC300 processing could be turned off (so it acted like the ADVC110) I would not hesitate to buy it. But I have been told its TBC and filtering cannot be turned off. Can its processing can be turned down enough when it is not wanted?

              I could turn off the processing on my deck but that seems to be a waste. Any thoughts?

              Thanks for your comments,


              • #8
                I'd play a sampling of your current tapes out to a TV with the VCR's filtering on and see how it does. If it's still pretty bad, then I'd definitely go with the ADVC300. If it's pretty good, then it's not so cut-and-dry...


                • #9
                  Sorry, I have no further thoughts in addition to doing the test that Brandon suggested. You have a difficult decision! I think the ADVC300 is very good and I have not experienced any issues that I am aware of due to not being able to turn the ADVC300's line TBC off. You have a good VCR (I think you meant AG-1980P) with a full TBC and that is essential for getting the best signal off the tape. Make sure you use the S-video connection from the VCR to the ADVC -- even though the original tapes are only VHS and not S-VHS, I have found that using the S-video connection reduces colour fringing on edges.

                  If you had the ADVC300, you could then experiment with using your VCR's noise processing features or those of the ADVC300. This important thing is to do the processing in the analog space, not after the capture is done.

                  Last edited by kbosward; 02-25-2008, 12:37 AM.


                  • #10
                    Dear Brandon and Ken,

                    Thank you for your suggestions. You are correct Ken, the model is AG-1980P.

                    I hope you will stay with me just a bit longer on this. There is not much more to try but I would appreciate your opinions.

                    I tried switching TBC in and out and I did not see any difference. I guess that means either the tapes are in good shape or TBC is not working. The picture is very stable. The operating instructions say TBC normally should be turned OFF but can be used if the picture shakes from side to side.

                    There are no switches to turn on/off noise reduction.

                    There is slider to adjust picture sharpness. The mid-way setting seems to be best for most situations.

                    I am using the S-Video output. The picture quality is good when it was shot in good light. In low light, of course, the picture is noisy and the color is bland. I guess I do not need much if any processing for shots in good lighting.

                    The two questions I have are:

                    (1) Do you think the ADVC300 would help much with the low-light shots? Otherwise, I could play back in black and white to reduce the noise.

                    (2) Can the ADVC300 processing be turned down enough not to degrade the pictures that already have good quality?

                    Thanks so much for your thoughts.



                    • #11
                      Hi Dave,

                      Yes and Yes are the answers for your questions.
                      It sounds like your tapes are in good condition which is a good thing.

                      Low-light noise is difficult to process either in analog or digital. Capturing once in color and once in black and white is a very good idea - you'll be able to do some nicely controlled filtering post-capture using the black and white version as a mask.


                      • #12
                        The only thing you can't turn off in the ADVC300 is the LTBC. The ADVC300 has the following video and audio adjustments, all of which can be turned off or set to neutral:

                        Video processing:
                        • Brightness
                        • Contrast
                        • Saturation
                        • Hue
                        • Sharpness
                        • 3D noise reduction (NTSC only)
                        • 2D noise reduction
                        • Black expansion
                        • White peak adjust
                        • White step
                        • Horizontal edge adjust
                        • Vertical edge adjust
                        • Video AGC

                        Audio processing:
                        • Volume
                        • High (treble)
                        • Low (bass)
                        • Audio AGC



                        • #13
                          Dear Brandon and Ken,

                          Thank you for the answers to my questions and for the list of processing functions. Both are very helpful.

                          I will order the ADVC300 and report back on my experience for whatever benefit it may be to others.

                          Thanks again,


                          • #14
                            This is my update for anyone who may be interested.

                            The ADVC300 arrived and I tested capturing two types of video material from VHS tape. One type was shot in daylight and has good colors and low noise. The other was shot indoors with ambient lighting, has poor color and higher noise.

                            I installed Picture Controller and tried various settings on both types of material.

                            For the good-quality video, I did not notice any degradation or change when I used the default settings. I was concerned about this because elsewhere in this forum someone had posted a message that they noticed degradation of a high-quality satellite signal. This does not seem to be a problem for my tapes (perhaps because the quality is not as good as the satellite signal).

                            For the poorer-quality video, I could not obtain any noticeable improvement with black expansion or white peak limiting (I think this is not surprising) and I was not able to see much change with different settings for 3D and 2D noise reduction (this is more surprising to me).

                            The greatest benefit I could obtain was by increasing the settings for brightness, contrast and saturation. Video AGC also helped a little.

                            I have much to learn about how to obtain the best processing results but my initial impression is that the extra cost for the ADVC300 over the ADVC110 is a good investment. I am glad I purchased the 300 rather than the 110.

                            Brandon and Ken, thank you for taking time to answer my questions.


                            • #15
                              You're quite welcome.