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Old March 4th, 2012, 12:05 PM   #16
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Re: Industry VHS protection frustration

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Originally Posted by Chris Soucy View Post
So, it has occured to me, what if you feed that video signal to the video in on a digital SD camcorder?

Do you get colour or not? Might work, might not, worth a try. Got a Canon XL 1s or similar lying around?

Tried it: Doesn't work Chris - it's colour but all mesed up, can't handle the NTSC signal. Tried direct in and via the TV out - no difference.

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Originally Posted by R Geoff Baker View Post
Ya sure it's worth all this effort ..?

No Geoff, it isn't. I officially give up.
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Old March 15th, 2012, 09:57 AM   #17
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Re: Industry VHS protection frustration

I've just come across this thread, after you've "officially given up."

However, if I were in your shoes, here's what I'd try.

First, I would get a "real NTSC" playback deck, which can read the tape and put out a true NTSC signal. (Of course if the tape does have Macrovision, you would still need the NTSC TBC as well.)

I'd run the output of that into a [NTSC] video-to-USB converter. These are readily available on eBay; popular brand names are Pinnacle and Dazzle, for example. Of course be sure the converter is designed for NTSC input! The converter will turn the analog input into some common computer format, such as AVI. They are very inexpensive... although the results are more "consumer quality" than "pro quality."

(In other words, I would not try converting directly from NTSC video to PAL video. I'd go to an intermediate standard computer format.)

Hopefully once you have the AVI file, you can do with that what you want... certainly you could watch it on computer. But I've never tried converting an AVI file that originated in one video format (in your case NTSC) into another output format (in your case PAL). If you can ascertain that in advance, so much the better.
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Old March 15th, 2012, 03:40 PM   #18
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Re: Industry VHS protection frustration

Thanks for your thoughts Greg. The issue is getting a genuine NTSC player. If I had that then I think I've got everything else I need.

Funny thing is only a few minutes before your post appeared in my email I had a phone call from a work colleague saying he thinks he's just found a dual PAL / NTSC player gathering dust in a cupboard. I did not seek this having only mentioned the problem in passing last week.

So, despite my 'official' stance I can't resist finding out if this player is really capable of proper NTSC playback, unofficially at least ;-) Will report back.
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Old March 15th, 2012, 10:38 PM   #19
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Re: Industry VHS protection frustration

Geoffrey,

I must have misunderstood one of your earlier posts. I thought you had found a real NTSC player, but the problem was that when you had it convert to PAL (so you could watch it on a local TV) it was really producing a "bastard" version of PAL. Did I completely misunderstand that?

What I'm suggesting is that you do NOT have the player do any conversion at all. Have it play the NTSC tape and produce an NTSC output (so you won't be able to view it directly on a local TV). Then use a hardware converter with NTSC inputs and USB outputs.

Someone over there must have a real NTSC player... maybe someone at the US embassy, although that might not do you much good.

Anyway, I'll be interested to hear what happens next. Good luck!
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Old March 16th, 2012, 03:58 PM   #20
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Re: Industry VHS protection frustration

The thing is Greg is that PAL VCRs (and DVD players) have no problem playing NTSC media but put out some kind of bastardised signal, not a proper NTSC one. You can watch it on a PAL TV and it looks fine but as soon as you try and record it the problems start - straight to a DVD recorder is in colour but with a completely messed up picture; streamed into capture hardware / software set to NTSC looks fine expect it is only B&W. I've tried every combination under the sun with no luck.

Sadly the latest attempt also failed as the VCR was not after all, a proper NTSC player.

So, my official capitulatory position endures.
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Old March 16th, 2012, 05:22 PM   #21
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Re: Industry VHS protection frustration

When I said you would need a real NTSC player, I meant just that... one that plays NTSC media and puts out NTSC signal.

Years ago, I worked at a large conference facility (here in US) and we had dual-mode players. They would accept either PAL or NTSC media. There was a switch (or perhaps a menu option... I don't recall that detail) to select the output mode. If you set it to NTSC, the output was always NTSC, regardless of the media. Playing NTSC media in NTSC mode, there would be no conversion.

When I said "real NTSC player" I was thinking of a normal US machine, that can play only NTSC media, and has always NTSC output.

Or, of a machine like our conference center's; i.e. if you set the output switch to NTSC and played the tape in question, the output would be real NTSC (rather than bastardized PAL).

--

So anyway, I was thinking to myself, "There must be lots of standard US-type NTSC players for sale, I'll just look on ebay.co.uk " And I found someone who offers to transfer any NTSC tape to DVD media, for just 8.99! So if you're losing interest in the DIY approach, you might want to consider this service:

NTSC Pal Secam Betamax Vhs C to DVD | eBay
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Old March 16th, 2012, 07:23 PM   #22
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Re: Industry VHS protection frustration

Greg: brilliant link. I will go for it.
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Old March 17th, 2012, 01:43 PM   #23
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Re: Industry VHS protection frustration

2 solutions:

1.- I bought in the past a small box (The clarifier or something like that..) that works perfectly to remove macrovision... it goes between any VHS deck and your capture card.... do a google search for it ....

2.- Also, old 8mm cameras (not digital) removes macrovision when you feed the signal between them and your capture card ...... I also tried once and worked just fine....

good luck !!
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Old March 17th, 2012, 02:07 PM   #24
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Re: Industry VHS protection frustration

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Greg: brilliant link. I will go for it.
Good luck, Geoffrey. I hope that solves the immediate problem, in spite of the frustration of not being able easily to do it yourself.
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Old March 19th, 2012, 06:01 AM   #25
 
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Re: Industry VHS protection frustration

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Originally Posted by Jalan Salur View Post
Try using a Canopus ADVC 110 and connect a VCR to it then the firewire to the computer. Works for me.
Oh well my idea wasnt good enough....
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Old March 21st, 2012, 03:26 AM   #26
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If All Else Fails: Make a Kinescope-Type Recording

This is how they copied TV shows before they had tape recorders. While the program was being shot and shown live on TV, they played it on a high-quality monitor and used a movie camera to record it on film.

Alter this process by playing it onto a large TV monitor and record the screen and audio with a camcorder mounted on a tripod and framed exactly on the edges of the screen. The picture quality would suffer a bit, but with VHS you might not notice much difference in the copy. This is also how movie pirates make bootleg copies in theaters. They sit in a backrow and clamp a camera to the back of a seat.
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Old March 21st, 2012, 04:17 AM   #27
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Re: Industry VHS protection frustration

Yes, but with the kinescope process they used a special camera whose shutter and pulldown were synced exactly to the TV retrace interval. Without that detail, each frame of the film contains black "scan bars" which move up or down the screen. You would have similar problems aiming a conventional (scanning) video camera at a conventional (CRT) monitor.

Perhaps aiming a camera with a solid state image sensor at an LCD monitor would not have the same issue, since they don't scan in the true sense of the word.

I haven't tried it, but I suspect you might still get some moire effects between the pixels on the display and the pixels on the camera sensor.

And you may have some additional degradation due to gamma issues, color saturation issues, etc.

At any rate, the result won't be nearly as good as having it converted the correct way. If you care at all about the final quality, it seems silly to play around "in the basement" when you can have it done electronically for 8.99. That's probably less than the original tape cost in the first place.
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Old March 21st, 2012, 03:43 PM   #28
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Re: Industry VHS protection frustration

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Originally Posted by Jalan Salur View Post
Oh well my idea wasnt good enough....
But it costs about 250 in the UK. This is probably a one-off so compared to 8.99.... I did say I wasn't prepared to pay any serious money for this.

And J. Stephen I did consider filming the screen, in this thread, but as a last resort.

Will report back re the transfer - sending it tomorrow.
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Old March 28th, 2012, 05:46 PM   #29
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Re: Industry VHS protection frustration

DVD and tape returned; very swift service. The transfer is fine and for only 8.99. The saga ends happily.

Thanks to all who took the time to respond to my post - I learnt a lot.
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Old April 2nd, 2012, 02:11 PM   #30
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Re: Industry VHS protection frustration

Glad to hear the transfer came back OK. In your shoes, I would be annoyed that I couldn't do it myself, but that's my personal problem. ;-) I think you did the rational thing. And now, of course, you can easily back up the DVD yourself.

Cheers!
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