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Old October 10th, 2001, 10:04 PM   #1
Quantum Productions
 
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VHS Dubs quality?

I master most of my DV footage to a Sony SLV-R1000 SVHS deck. The quality is very good considering it's analog tape. But when I make copies to another quality deck in normal VHS I am never happy with it! It's a good deck, Sony SLV-998HF but no S-video line. The footage is good light isn't bad but wide shots are a bit fuzzy and of course darker shots are not so good. Is there much difference from a 'pro' dubbing facility or does ordinary VHS just suck? My equipment is always cleaned and I use double coated highest quality Fuji tapes from a tape house.
Is there anything I can do that would make much of a difference?
Maybe a s-video line transfer and one of those color/booster correctors?

Any input would be appreciated
Thanks...
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Old October 15th, 2001, 01:17 AM   #2
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Hey Adam,

what i do is make my copy direct from the timeline of premiere, or if you have a DV deck go from there.

It works well and the quality is good.
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Old October 19th, 2001, 06:01 PM   #3
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>>or does ordinary VHS just suck? <<

Yes!

VHS is inherently low-resolution (240 lines) plus there is the inevitable generation loss when dubbing analogue-to-analogue tape.

Therefore, I never use my VHS or S-VHS decks to create a master (not even my Panasonic AG-7500, it's still an analog deck).

Instead, I make a DV master over the firewire, usually right back into the source camera, and sometimes at the tail end of the source tape, where there is frequently plenty of room for the finished production (then I write-protect the tape).

I then plug the RCAs from that right into my D/A which feeds my dubbing stack of mostly Panasonic AG-series VHS decks...works like a charm. This way it remains totally digital right up to the bitter end, and what you get is first-generation VHS tapes.
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Old October 19th, 2001, 06:15 PM   #4
Quantum Productions
 
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DV is the way to go!

Thanks for the replies and input!

For now I will have to stick to mastering to my SVHS deck and then making copies to VHS! :(

I would love to stay in digital up until the VHS copy but most of the weddings I do are usually 2hrs or more of total tape time. My computer could not handle that kind of space(I should say my hard drives!). Dumping back to 60min mini DV tapes is a bit inconvience for making dubs as well. I need to buy a full size DV deck so I can use 2hrs tapes! It's also easier to edit footage from a wedding 'live' while you play it instead of uploading, editing, ect. I save that for my montages and '2 camera' A/B roll parts.

Time to spend more money I guess!


Adam...
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Old October 22nd, 2001, 05:57 PM   #5
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Darn, i was afraid you would say you were in the wedding biz, or something like that which requires the final cut to be lengthy. Are your finished tapes in the 2-hour range? Yep, a full size DV deck is your solution.

I just taped a legal deposition today which fortunately required no editing (yippee! boy, how boring can any one piece of videotape be!!) but most of my work can be described as the shorter the better...I recently spent a few hours getting a 3-minute piece down to 2 minutes. May sound like a drag, but it's amazing how punchier the finished piece became. My clients would not sit thru a 2-hour tape in a miilion years. My ultra-long marathon epic piece was 30 minutes (which I later cut down to 15 for distribution).

As for disk space, you can add that cheaply nowadays, and I have found that my machine as it sits will hold over 4 hours of raw video--see above for how often that's gonna get full. One other thing is, if you have lots of raw footage you can mark the clips as you log them, then batch capture, and it's almost the same as "editing live," but then you can keep tweaking it if you want, unlike the old-school assemble editng (which I used to do on Panasonic NV-A500 and similar linear edit controllers)

Now if we could only talk your clients into having you do a fast-moving 1-hour documentary of their special day....
:-)
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Old October 22nd, 2001, 06:23 PM   #6
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I like your reply Graphics Guy!

Some of my clients do want both! A short & long version of their wedding! But when I ask them what they want in the short version (or if they can watch the long version and let me know what to keep) they forget the whole short version idea.

I love the DV deck idea but I have my Canon XL1 and need the second camera as I'm getting tired of renting it so it's a hard decision between a DV deck or a second camera (maybe the GL1).
I make more money with the 2 camera operation but A/B roll in the computer is a bit of work but looks great after it's done.

The wear and tear on my XL1 isn't good either and a DV deck would help. Thanks for the input, nice to hear from others.
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Old October 30th, 2001, 09:12 PM   #7
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Better late than never...

I have a page up about just this topic.

Unfortunately the simple truth is that VHS sucks and you'll never get the quality you really want out of it.

Here is the page:
http://www.zenera.com/reference/improvevhsdub.html
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