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Old January 2nd, 2003, 07:41 PM   #1
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VHS dub

Hello All - I've looked through the forums and I was not able to find a specific answer to making good VHS dubs w/o a separate video processor. For example, I have transferred finished projects out to DV tape and when I play them from my camera on a regular TV, color looks great. When I try a straight dub to VHS, the colors are over-saturated, lots of color bleed, etc.

a) I imagine one could re-render a project with color correction targetted for VHS dub - does anyone have specific color correction recommendations for this?

b) Are there simple, inexpensive devices one could use for the dub?


Thank you,

Ron Johnson
Portland, OR
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Old January 3rd, 2003, 10:07 AM   #2
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Hi Ron,

Poor quality VHS dubs are very common and unfortunately there really is no easy or inexpensive fix. Perhaps the most common approach, one that I took myself, is to record your VHS tapes on a Super VHS (S-VHS) deck. I use a JVC HRS-9800, which cost about $400 a year ago. Generally speaking, any S-VHS deck will produce better looking VHS tapes than a standard VHS deck. Do a forum search on thew term "S-VHS" and you should see several threads discussing the quality of VHS dubs with these decks. Hope this helps,
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Old January 4th, 2003, 08:41 PM   #3
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VHS Dubs

I agree with Chris. I too make my VHS dubs on a JVC Super VHS deck. I have a top of the line Monster SVHS cable which I plug into the SVHS jack on the front of the deck (running from my XL1) connected to the computer via Firewire. I then record on a quality VHS cassette. I've gotten some surprisingly good dubs using this method. They look good played back on the same machine. I can't vouch for what they will look like when played on other VHS machines. I did a test with one dub and it looked pretty good on some other VHS decks. Of course, Super VHS is much better, but hardly anyone has a S-VHS deck. I have a client who had some school bus safety videos he made dubbed (from Betacam) onto VHS. A couple of them look as good as S-VHS. I was very impressed. It goes to show that care in making the dub can produce superior results.
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Old January 5th, 2003, 01:32 PM   #4
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The better the (S)VHS deck the better your tape. A S-VHS will
be A LOT better. The more heads the better. Always feed the
system through the best and shortest cable as well (S-Video
cable preferred!)
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Old January 5th, 2003, 04:51 PM   #5
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I'm not trying to contradict anyone or disagree on the best way to do small scale VHS duplication. However, if you think about the very best VHS dupe you've ever seen, it is probably a commercially duplicated VHS tape. Commercial VHS tapes are duplicated using one of several methods. The most common is real time duplication involving thousands of professional VHS duplication VCRs. High speed duplicators are also used, but are very expensive and better suited to shorter length duplications as opposed to features.

Professional VHS duplicators are optimized for VHS recording and thus produce superior results over consumer or prosumer VHS or S-VHS VCR's. The diameter of the drum assembly, width of the record heads, track width etc are all optimized for VHS recording. It also doesn't hurt that they master and source from Digi Beta, Betacam SP or 1" video. The use of additional support equipment, TBC's, frame synchronizers, transcoders, DA's etc. all contribute to getting and keeping the signal at it's optimum.

From time to time we all may run across the client that has a large scale job or one that demands the absolute, best quality. In such instances I recommend sending those jobs out to have them professionally done. It may cut a little off our profits, but it may better serve the client. The large scale duplicators also offer services that we just can't offer, like anti-copying provisions.

Jeff
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Old January 5th, 2003, 08:02 PM   #6
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Thanks for the comments. I tested a number of input/recording combinations using my S-VHS deck (JVC TR-S7800U) and VHS deck, but could not see notable differences between any of the methods when VHS tape is used (Sony T-120VHGL).

For the particular program I was taping for the tests, the colors, etc were okay - nothing was really way out of balance, but it was far from commercial dub quality.

As noted above by Jeff Donald, pro dubs require pro equipment.


Ron Johnson
Protland, OR
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Old January 22nd, 2003, 01:01 AM   #7
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I thought I would bring this thread back to life for a day rather than start a whole new one. I need a VCR for making dubs up at my editing station (Camera, Computer, Monitor, DVD Writer, etc.) and need the best quality for price. I assume that the JVC S-VHS you referred to is compatable across all VHS devices (except for digital of course)? That is, will a dub from that VCR will work on VHS and S-VHS players? Thanks!
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Old January 22nd, 2003, 04:40 AM   #8
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It should if you record on a VHS tapen instead of S-VHS tape (which
can't be read by a "normal" VHS VCR if I'm not mistaken).
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Old January 22nd, 2003, 06:44 AM   #9
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Many VHS decks have Quasi S-VHS playback. They playback S-VHS tapes but at VHS resolution (220 lines vs. 400 lines). S-VHS can playback VHS.

Jeff
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Old January 22nd, 2003, 05:25 PM   #10
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So then if I need cross compatibility across all VCRs I may as well just buy a regular high quality VCR with just normal VHS recording? Does anyone know of a VCR with a S-Video in port? They all have out, but I have never seen one with S-Video in. Do they make such a thing? Thanks.
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Old January 23rd, 2003, 10:24 AM   #11
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We also use S-VHS decks to make DV to VHS tapes; a good deck helps, but I've found the use of a TBC (time base corrector) is even more benificial. Some deck have built-in TBC's. In any case, the ability to turn down the chroma a little really helps keep the color bleed down.

If you have a switcher like the Panasonic MX-50, it has simple chroma control, too.

If your pocketbook will allow it, a Vectorscope and a waveform monitor will allow you to use the TBC to its fullest potential. Dub houses not only have better decks, they control the composite signal using these scopes with TBC's to get the best dubs they can.
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Old January 23rd, 2003, 10:46 AM   #12
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FWIW, I used 3 JVC VHS decks to make copies. In SP mode they produce a very good result. For about $70us each, I'm very happy with my "bang for the buck". They are 4 head, 19 micron, hi-fi stereo decks. very common. Just hook them up in series and feed the miniDV camera's analogue inputs into the first one and hit play. Maybe I got lucky with my choice of VCR?
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Old January 23rd, 2003, 08:10 PM   #13
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I also use the cheapo JVC VHS decks -- I did get the ones with stereo audio input and front panel connectors, though.

I run 9 of them off a 1X12 Dist. Amp connected to my AG-DV2000, although most of the time the D-VCR just acts as a firewire to analog converter when playing directly from the Timeline in FCP.

Quality suffers the same color bleeding that others have mentioned. I haven't sprung for a TBC yet, since I've seen too many conflicting opinions as to whether they will help when recording from DV.

Still searching for the "perfect" setup!
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Old January 23rd, 2003, 08:17 PM   #14
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Most current TBC's also employ a Proc Amp. The Proc Amp usually allows the chroma, luminance, black level, and phase (hue) to be adjusted. These are separate functions from the TBC.

Jeff
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Old January 23rd, 2003, 09:27 PM   #15
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VHS Dub

Many times, particularly in the dvinfo forums, I've had cause to wonder if my standards are too low. This thread is one of those times. JVC HRS3910U is the model number of my deck, purchased for under $CDN 250. I export from Premiere 6.02 to either of two Sony camcorders and through the camcorder to the VCR. I use S-video and RCA audio cables from the camera. I have seen (some of) my exports on three other VCRs.
They don't look as good as the DVD-Rs from the same DV master but I've never been disappointed with the conversion, barring old/flawed VHS tape. If you hang around PCs (and MACs?) for too long you begin to believe in cyberghosts. Maybe my Guardian Cyberghost is responsible for these happy results. It certainly isn't my mastery of component analysis and acquisition, but if it ain't broke...
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