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Old March 1st, 2003, 12:36 AM   #1
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How to improve the analog signal quality?

Hi all,

In advance I kindly beg your pardon if my question does not make much sense.

Maybe I got spoiled with the quality of digital signal; however, it seems to me that I have a problem with the quality of (analog) videotapes produced using my Mac Dual 1 Ghz, FCP, and JVC SR-VS30 dual deck. I sent the signal from the FCP to the VCR using fire wire and the "print-to-video" command.

The produced digital signal is excellent, however the analog signal is fairly blurish. The VCR is new and clean, just never able to produce a crystal clear signal close to the digital one.

1. I know that the digital signal must be better than the analog one, but does the difference really must be that obvious and immediately on the first analog copy?

2. Am I doing something wrong (setting or similar) so that I get such a weak analog signal?

NOTE: Industrial videos look great when played on the same VCR and on the same TV?

I also know that these TV programs have surely been filmed with much better cameras than my Canon XL-1s.

Any ideas, comments, hints, and tips?

Thanks

Denis
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Old March 1st, 2003, 01:08 AM   #2
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I think that your experience is pretty common. I, too, was disappointed with the quality of the VHS recordings-- I expected them to look like the rental tapes from Blockbuster. They won't. I'm sure that the commerically recorded ones have a lot of signal conditioning, video processing & time base correcting to make sure everything is just right, using equipment with capabilities (and $) far in excess of my measly VCRs. I doubt it's a function of the camera.

Maybe soon the prices of the new stand-alone DVD-R recorders by Panasonic & Phillips will get reasonable enough to buy several to run from a Dist. Amp. I think that those puppies are overpriced right now, and I'm guessing that the quality a 2 hourDVD leaves a *lot* to be desired with all that compression.
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Old March 1st, 2003, 01:18 AM   #3
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Vic's right, they do a lot of stuff to it to make sure the signal is as good as it can get. But a lot of it also depends on the media itself; there is a visible difference between a $3 Radio Shack tape and a $15 Fuji master tape. So, getting the best analog media you can is a good first step that only costs a few bucks more.

I've been thinking about getting a small duplication place to make dubs of my short films for next fall's round of film festival submissions. If you need really good quality that would probably be the best way to go, they usually have very high-end VCRs and media.
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Old March 1st, 2003, 02:23 AM   #4
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$15 Fuji master tape?

Geez, here in Vancouver they go for about $5.50 or cheaper per tape. That's a 2 hour (SP) tape. London Drugs is a good place; for Fuji Pro, Superstore's the best (for prices).
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Old March 1st, 2003, 12:01 PM   #5
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Hi guys,

Thanks a lot for your answers and for the tip about the FUJI MASTER TAPE.

Let me make sure something. Are we talking about:

Fuji H471S-ST60 SVHS ?

What about these "professional" tapes, which I found on the net:

TDK ST-120XP - SVHS

Maxell SVHS ST-31BQ video tape

or is Fuji really the best one.

I used the best available JVC media to please my very sensitive and selective JVC VCR.

Frank,

I see, you are from Vancouver, BC. I am from Seattle. Next time when I come over there I will do some serious business. Please, send me an e-mail and let me know about the addresses of the mentioned stores in Vancouver. (I guess, advertising stores is prohibited here.) Thanks a lot in advance.

Thanks to all of you guys.

More hints? Anybody?

Denis
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Old March 1st, 2003, 12:11 PM   #6
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If you're looking for S-VHS copies, Fuji H471 is the absolute best S tape. If you need VHS tape stock, Fuji's Master grade is excellent, as is TDK's and Maxell's. But, unless price is the real deciding factor I'd still use the Fuji's.
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Old March 1st, 2003, 01:16 PM   #7
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<<<-- Originally posted by Frank Granovski : $15 Fuji master tape?

Geez, here in Vancouver they go for about $5.50 or cheaper per tape. That's a 2 hour (SP) tape. London Drugs is a good place; for Fuji Pro, Superstore's the best (for prices). -->>>

That's what I get for living on the island! I bought one awhile ago and it was actually about 12 bucks, and that was at Lens and Shutter so they probably upped the price a bit.
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Old March 1st, 2003, 01:44 PM   #8
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So, guys, since it was a $15 tape, I guessed you had been talking about the Fuji H471S-ST60 SVHS master tape, which can be found on the net for about $9.

Are you, Alex, talking about the Fuji T120-AVMPS 120 Minutes VHS master video cassette, which costs on the net around $6, or about the previously mentioned Fuji H471S-ST60 SVHS master tape.

The SVHS one should be of extreme quality and I will get that one, but am wondering about with what Alex was satisfied.

Thanks for your answers,

Denis
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Old March 1st, 2003, 01:52 PM   #9
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I've also been disappointed. I use a mitsubishi HS-U747 VHS recorder with s-video input. However I find that I can get significantly better VHS results when I connect the deck to my Radeon 7000 PCI video card with s-video. You can choose this as your external video in FCP instead of firewire. The Radeon control panel lets you tweak all the settings and gives more control than I have via firewire through my VX-2000.
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Old March 1st, 2003, 03:24 PM   #10
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Fuji Master is VHS.

I go to the London Drugs on Braoday at Heather for the Fuji Master, and Fuji miniDV tapes. For Fuji Pro, plastic VHS cases and also Fuji miniDV, I go to Superstore on Marine Drive (between Main and Fraser). My e-mail is: granit@imag.net

London Drugs has the Fuji SVHS - I can't recall how much it costs - I think around $7 to $8 Canadian.

For best prices, I wait for sales---that's like every few weeks between these 2 stores.
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