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The Long Black Line
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Old June 17th, 2002, 07:43 PM   #16
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To my knowledge, all MiniDV source content is time base corrected by nature of the format. No need to send it through another TBC. However definitely use a TBC when outputting from S-VHS or VHS or any other analog format.
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Old June 17th, 2002, 08:02 PM   #17
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Good point. The TBC would also give him the ability to adjust Black level to 7.5 ire and fade in and fade out, adjust color etc with the proc amp. The cost of the S-VHS deck and the TBC might get him a cheap DV camera to use as a source deck. It's a tough call.

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Old June 18th, 2002, 03:12 PM   #18
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OK, I haven't decided on S-VHS vs. VHS for recording decks, anyone else have an opinion on this?

Getting a miniDV camera to use as a source deck is a pretty good idea. I will compare the prices.

Also, how much should I look to spend on a TBC and DA and what basic featuers should they have?

And finally, whether I use SVHS or VHS decks, does it matter if they are different brands/models, or should I make sure they are all the same?

Thanks!
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Old June 19th, 2002, 02:26 AM   #19
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Playing back from MiniDV without the TBC is still better than mastering to S-VHS with a TBC. If you go with more than a couple of recorders, you will want a DA no matter what format you play from and record to.

As an example...have you ever made a VHS dupe of a MiniDV tape, just interconnecting the audio/video cables directly? Well, considering S-VHS decks allow you to use S cables, you've already got an improvement over the straight dubs you have probably already made. Copying your MiniDV to S-VHS and then to VHS is just bringing about an unnecessary analog generational loss.

I would personally keep all recording decks the same model, but it's not necessary. It just helps because all of the hookups and setup options will be exactly the same, plus you can stand several feet back from your stack or recording VCRs and hit record on the remote. :)

By the way, I have found Mitsubishi currently makes the highest quality S-VHS decks, with Panasonic being second place and then things tend to fall hit and miss from there.
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Old June 19th, 2002, 03:01 AM   #20
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Problem with Panasonic is that they do not seem to believe in flying erase heads, and I cannot live without flying erase heads. Even on blank tapes I still find that they make some difference.

I'm not sure, but does the standard VHS format record chrominance and luminance separately on the tape? I know S-VHS does.
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Old June 19th, 2002, 03:41 PM   #21
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No, Y/C is not seperate in NTSC (VHS). How would a flying erase head have an effect on a blank tape? I'm under the impression they work only in insert edits.

Jeff
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Old June 20th, 2002, 01:03 AM   #22
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When you are recording and you pause and then resume recording, you will sometimes see a quick rainbow effect simply because the VCR backs itself up a bit when paused. Plus, a friend of mine has a VCR without a flying erase head (poor bastard) and he uses a blank tape to record stuff we do. Each time we'll add about 3 or 4 minutes to the tape until we do another production, then we'll add more. At the point of each and every new recording there is that stupid unprofessional looking rainbow effect that is slight, but it is still there. Of course if you have a tape with prerecorded material on it you get a massive rainbow effect.

Insert edits are evil because you lose the HiFi audio. Who'd want that? Linear audio is completely unacceptable. I've always worked around that because I #1) don't want to lose the HiFi audio and #2) don't want to lose a video generation by dubbing down to keep the HiFi audio. Analog editing sucks ass with consumer equipment! I will never even think of attempting it again!
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Old June 20th, 2002, 04:53 AM   #23
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That rainbow "candy cane" is actually called video moire and is what happens when helical scanning video heads lay down a signal OVER an existing signal. Since the stationary erase head in a VHS machine is an inch or two before the tape gets to the video heads, if you take a tape with video on it, pause it and then start recording, the moire will slowly dance down the screen until the part of the tape that starts at the stationary head gets to the video heads. This is why the moire moves down the screen faster in SP then EP/SLP speed, because the tape is moving faster in SP. Also, some machines place the stationary erase head closer to the video drum, making the effect quicker. This is also why when you record over a tape and then stop recording, the playback shows clean video until the point where you stopped, a pause of pure blank tape, then the blank tape rolls downward like the moire to reveal the old picture. Not even flying erase heads can fix that, except in "insert mode", which of course cannot record HiFi audio tracks. (I strongly agree with Joe of the importance in laying down the audio on the HiFi tracks! Linear VHS audio is incredibly bad, even the older twin track machines with Dolby B noise reduction were terrible.)

But getting back to the point, the only way to eliminate the moire is one of two ways. First there is the flying erase head. (It's actually only one erase head with a dummy head for balance.) Since they are mounted on the same drum with the video heads, it erases each frame one frame before it has new video laid down. (Don't ask me about fields, as I don't know *exactly* how that aspect works.)

The second option is just to use brand new blank tape, or tape that has been erased with a bulk eraser. Since everyone here edits their programs non-linear, VHS machines are really only needed for duping the edited productions to tape for distribution. With that being the case, a VCR with flying erase heads will only offer one advantage...you can use old tape and never worry about having the "candy cane" dance down the screen for the first several seconds of the recording. Past that, the quality is not affected. (By the way, a bulk eraser is available at Radio Shack for about $20. Just get your watch and any other important magnetic items away from the area you are going to erase tapes at!)
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Old June 20th, 2002, 12:31 PM   #24
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Yes a VCR without flying erase heads will work fine just as long as you record the ENTIRE tape in one shot without any pausing or stopping of the tape in any fashion. Beyond that you are screwed.
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