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Old May 3rd, 2004, 10:03 AM   #1
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Making VHS copies

Hello,
I am trying to make VHS copies of a film for film festival submissions, and I am having problems making decent quality VHS tapes.

Here is my set up.

Film in FCP3 time line >> firewire >> DSR-11 deck >> composite (RCA) >> Samsung SV5000W.

The film looks great on my Sony 13' video monitor, but when I play the VHS there are a lot of video noise, crawling lines, the red colors are bleeding badly and the picture is a lot darker.

How can I improve my VHS copies?

I was thinking about the following:
- Getting a VHS deck with S-Video input
- Desaturate the colors somewhat in FCP3

But are there other things that may improve the quality?

I guess I will make the copies at a post house for now, but I would like to eventually be able to produce acceptable VHS copies myself.

Thanks!
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Old May 3rd, 2004, 10:48 AM   #2
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Domestic VHS or S-VHS recorders cannot add the 7.5 IRE setup required in North-American NTSC to the black level of a DV clip. That's why your home VHS copy looks dark.

What I personally do is burn a clean MPEG2 copy on a DVD, and play it on a DVD player to a VHS recorder. All DVD players automatically add the required setup to the black level of the analog outputs (A/V or S-Video). Many DVD players also offer 4 or 5 picture options for a better copy.

Your best bet would be a post prod house.
They can properly adjust the black and color levels of your clip.
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Old May 3rd, 2004, 11:27 AM   #3
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Re: Making VHS copies

<<<-- Originally posted by Thomas Berg Petersen : Hello,
I am trying to make VHS copies of a film for film festival submissions, and I am having problems making decent quality VHS tapes.

Here is my set up.

Film in FCP3 time line >> firewire >> DSR-11 deck >> composite (RCA) >> Samsung SV5000W.

The film looks great on my Sony 13' video monitor, but when I play the VHS there are a lot of video noise, crawling lines, the red colors are bleeding badly and the picture is a lot darker.

--------------------------
Desat the colors just a bit. Have you looked at the video with a waveform monitor and vectorscope? Is it reasonably legal video?

Doesn't the DSR-11 have a setup option for analog out? If not, you need to somehow get the setup back to US video standards of 7.5 IRE units. A proc amp would do this for you.

S-Video will help somewhat but not as much as you might expect.

Experiment with different brands and quality of video tape. Clean your existing VCR manually. Take the covers off, clean the transport and heads.

I drive a Studio One Proc Amp from the S-Video output (setup at 7.5 IRE units) from a Canopus DVRexRT into a Sign Video Distribution Amp (composite out) and then to 10 VCRs that range from a Sony SLV-R1000 (very good S-Video deck) to a pair of Sony Industrial VCRs and a gagle of $70 Panasonic Hi-Fi VCRs from Costco. Frankly there is very little difference between the copies from any of the decks and they are all quite acceptable.

I do use the Proc Amp to dial down the saturation and to insure that setup is OK and the max IRE signal is no more than 100 units.
-------------------------

How can I improve my VHS copies?

I was thinking about the following:
- Getting a VHS deck with S-Video input
-------------------
Don't exist. You have to buy a S-VHS deck and then record VHS in it.
--------------------
- Desaturate the colors somewhat in FCP3
--------------------
Good idea. Also avoid reds as much as possible in the future.

---------------------

But are there other things that may improve the quality?

I guess I will make the copies at a post house for now, but I would like to eventually be able to produce acceptable VHS copies myself.

Thanks! -->>>
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Old May 4th, 2004, 07:20 AM   #4
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A good distribution amp will help. I have one that allows me to boost the signal and adjust the colors a little. Not the best dubs but they are better than without.
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Old May 6th, 2004, 04:00 PM   #5
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It could be that your VHS deck has lousy playback, or lousy recording, or both. I'd suggest playing a tape on another VHS deck to see what happens. If it looks the same, then maybe try another deck in the system. Some VHS decks will record fine but playback too dark or too light. Ours have adjustable video output and all, but most don't have much but tracking adjustment. One thing you should not do is change your color saturation or anything till you find out whether the deck you're using is recording and playing at some semblance of a standard.
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Old May 14th, 2004, 09:18 PM   #6
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Your NLE master may look great on your computer monitor but is your monitor properly calibrated?

Also, if you were to make a dv copy via the analog outputs you could then hook that up to the same TV that you are viewing your VHS copy to verify that the DV looks just as good as it did on your computer.
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