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Old 11-10-2013, 04:37 PM   #1
bloodfart
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Default Recommendations for a good (but cheap) Time Base Corrector?

I've been in the process, over the last few years, of converting all of my VHS home movies into digital files with the idea of throwing out the bulky videocassettes in favor of the infinitely more compact digital file. Problem is, the home movies were shot in 'extended play' mode, forcing my decision to capture in uncompressed avi for the least amount of generational loss and get the best capture possible. Therefore, it is important for me to be satisfied with the quality of the captures, knowing they cannot ever look any better than they do in uncompressed avi, before throwing out my bulky tapes for good. No skipped frames, no pixelation, no choppy video. It was for this reason, after much research, I chose the Grass Valley ADVC line of video capture solutions. I own the ADVC-55 bare bones edition.

I still occasionally have major issues with some captures where the video image flickers, skips several frames, or momentarily bends and shifts to one side of the screen, in any case ruining the enjoyment of the video.

It is nonetheless very annoying. I try using different VCR's to capture these problem tapes and it doesn't seem to help. The image jumps and flickers when the digital capture is played back on the computer. HOWEVER, it looks fine when playing the original tape on a VCR hooked up to a television set. Something is triggering the jumps and flickering during the capture. Some error on the tape.

Will a TBC work for this? And if so, can anyone who is familiar with TBC's recommend one that is not like 100's of dollars and one that is around only $100? One that uses firewire. Has to be firewire. Any brands.

Any help would be greatly appreciated! Thanks is advance.

Last edited by bloodfart; 11-10-2013 at 06:29 PM.
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Old 11-10-2013, 05:10 PM   #2
THoff
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Don't save the output from your ADVC as uncompressed AVI, save as DV AVI, which is what the device outputs.

Saving uncompressed doesn't improve the quality, it merely stores the image in a less compressed format.
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Old 11-10-2013, 06:30 PM   #3
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Why does it have to be firewire?

Firewire is a data transfer protocol not an analogue signal interface.

Why not just google "Cheap Timebase Corrector"?

Try here ----> TBC
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Old 11-10-2013, 07:54 PM   #4
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Because USB2 will not handle avi. Only a very high capacity data line like firewire will work. That is why the ADVC line does not have USB ports but firewire instead. The cheaper capture devices use USB2, but their software does not support avi. Only compressed formats such as MPEG2, Thanks for the link. I will check it out.
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Old 11-10-2013, 10:52 PM   #5
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USB 2.0 has more bandwidth than IEEE 1394b / Firewire 400. DV video only requires 25Mbps of bandwidth, and USB 2.0 can handle a peak of 480Mbps. Neither has enough bandwidth for uncompressed SD video.

AVI is a container format, not a codec.
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Old 11-11-2013, 02:45 AM   #6
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IEEE1394 is isochronous needed for realtime video transfer from tape or camcorder that is incapable of varying its transfer rate or resending data. USB interfaces are not. They are intended for file transfer where transfer rate can vary and there is the possibility for re transfer. From a tape deck you will need IEEE1394 for a guaranteed transfer. The lost cost USB units convert and buffer the constant stream from the deck.

TBC will likely have a range of interfaces in and out. Conversion interface to PC with IEEE1394 will still be the ADVC unit.

For good transfers a used Pro VHS/SVHS deck with internal timebase corrector would be the best choice if you can find one. Or a direct to DVD recorder that always has internal TBC's to improve transfer. You may find this the easiest solution and may also give really good results.

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Old 11-11-2013, 02:51 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bloodfart View Post
I've been in the process, over the last few years, of converting all of my VHS home movies into digital files with the idea of throwing out the bulky videocassettes in favor of the infinitely more compact digital file. Problem is, the home movies were shot in 'extended play' mode, forcing my decision to capture in uncompressed avi for the least amount of generational loss and get the best capture possible. Therefore, it is important for me to be satisfied with the quality of the captures, knowing they cannot ever look any better than they do in uncompressed avi, before throwing out my bulky tapes for good. No skipped frames, no pixelation, no choppy video. It was for this reason, after much research, I chose the Grass Valley ADVC line of video capture solutions. I own the ADVC-55 bare bones edition.

I still occasionally have major issues with some captures where the video image flickers, skips several frames, or momentarily bends and shifts to one side of the screen, in any case ruining the enjoyment of the video.

It is nonetheless very annoying. I try using different VCR's to capture these problem tapes and it doesn't seem to help. The image jumps and flickers when the digital capture is played back on the computer. HOWEVER, it looks fine when playing the original tape on a VCR hooked up to a television set. Something is triggering the jumps and flickering during the capture. Some error on the tape.

Will a TBC work for this? And if so, can anyone who is familiar with TBC's recommend one that is not like 100's of dollars and one that is around only $100? One that uses firewire. Has to be firewire. Any brands.

Any help would be greatly appreciated! Thanks is advance.
there is no TBC that actually works for $100

you can get the cheapest full frame TBC for $1000
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Old 11-11-2013, 10:55 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by antonsvideo View Post
there is no TBC that actually works for $100

you can get the cheapest full frame TBC for $1000
Take care of it Anton, they don't make them anymore. I have one too and treat it like a VHS deck.
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Old 11-11-2013, 01:44 PM   #9
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FWIW, I often use a Videonics MXPro video mixer in the analog capture path for its full-frame TBC capability. (Left over form my analog linear editing days.) The earlier MX1 also had a TBC capability. The MXPro DV even had IEEE1394 I/O as well as S-VIDEO and composite.

You can find them on EBay - several listings, but not many recent sales. At one time you could pick one up for around $100, not sure what the going price is these days.

Keep in mind that a TBC usually can help, but will not solve all problems resulting from bad tape.

An analog TV has internal horizontal, vertical and color oscillators that will run free. The sync pulses and color burst in the analog video signal keep them on frequency. The benefit is that the TV can ride through an occasional band sync pulse and still display the video image. Tapes that include recorded over spots will likely have areas that nothing can help if the original recorder did not have a flying erase head and insert mode.
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Old 11-12-2013, 05:18 PM   #10
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Passing the signal through an older VCR (best luck with those that don't automatically go to blue/green/red screen on signal loss) can sometimes smooth out the signal enough, but nowhere near as robust as a TBC.
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