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View Full Version : PLEASE HELP!!! oop VHS tapes > iMAC transfer


BoneRoller
2010-03-04, 04:57 PM
I recently started a project of transferring my music/concert VHS tapes (that have not been officially released on DVD yet) to digital format on my computer.

Here is my problem: When I capture certain VHS tapes onto my iMac with iMovie, the image/colors get darkened/blurred/changed/whatever. Now, when I first hit the 'play' button on the vcr, after the capture/import process has begun, I will see the video/image in it's natural and correct coloration for a micro-second before it quickly darkens to the off coloration. As far as troubleshooting so far, I've rules out several causes:

- It isn't the VCR player because I've tried 3 different ones with the same results
- It isn't the iMovie application because I done the capture with Toast v.8 with the same results
- It isn't the condition of the tape heads because they've been cleaned thoroughly and I've gotten pristine captures with some VHS tapes, without the discoloration problem occurring.
- It isn't the state/age/whathaveyou of the tape itself because the image is fine when it's played directly through the tv.

At this point, without consulting any personal help (porefessional or amateur) on-line advice, I'm guessing that certain VHS tapes have some built-in protection device to prevent me from dubbing the tape

This is my set-up:

Commercially released out-of-print VHS tapes > Sharp VC-H956U VCR > Canopus ADVC-55 DV converter > Mac OSX 10.5.8 (Leopard) > iMovie (or Toast) > iDVD

I, of course, know that the sharp vcr is not top or professional grade equipment. However, it's not a bottom grade either and I've found it to be reliable and effective for what I'm doing. I'm not going to go out and buy a mitsubishi, panasonic or jvc, etc.. at this point. These tapes are being transferred for my enjoyment and the Sharp's performance has satisfied me thus far. Unless, of course people reply here and tell me that I can get around a problem of tapes with built-in copy protection by getting a different vcr....Which brings me to....

What might I do? Is my guess of the copy protection a good one or am I off with that? If that is the problem, how might I get around it? If it's not the problem, then what might the problem be?

FYI, transfers so far that had this problem:

- The Tragically Hip - Heksenketel (their documentary from the "Another Roadside Attraction" Tour in 1993)
- The Who Rocks America: 1982 American Tour (full gig filmed in Toronto)

transfers that were successful and didn't have the problem

- Pete Townshend's Deep End - The Brixton, England Concert (from 1986, features David Gilmour on lead guitar)
- Red Hot Chili Peppers: Psychedelic SexFunk Live From Heaven (filmed in '89 Long Beach)
- Roy Orbison: Live In Concert (Filmed in Houston...not sure of year, mid/late 70's or early 80's judging by band's attire and haircuts)


ANY help, suggestions, advice, tips, discussion, etc.. would be VERY MUCH appreciated by me!!! I'd really like to get those Hip and Who vids transferred since those have not come out on DVD yet (apparently there is some weird version of that Who show released in the UK under a different name but the reviews say they are of lesser quality than the Japanese-released laser disc and possibly not even as good as the VHS release!) Thanks in advance.

Gratefully,

Dennis (BoneRoller)

showtaper
2010-03-04, 05:05 PM
Sounds like macrovision copy protection. Google "macrovision" and you can
find lots of information on how to defeat it for copying.......

sabkisscrue
2010-03-04, 06:38 PM
You need to come into the other thread about VHS and read Lordsmurf's post and see the link on TBC's and read that. Thats what you need.

BoneRoller
2010-03-04, 06:39 PM
Sounds like macrovision copy protection. Google "macrovision" and you can
find lots of information on how to defeat it for copying.......
Thank you showtaper. After reading up on it I believe this is indeed the issue. Guess I have some more work to do.

Thanks very much

daddyray
2010-03-04, 06:45 PM
yep...macrovision. I had issues with that back when I did a few transfers.

BoneRoller
2010-03-04, 06:49 PM
You need to come into the other thread about VHS and read Lordsmurf's post and see the link on TBC's and read that. Thats what you need.
Thank you sab.

That thread seems real convoluted and hard for this amateur to follow. I'll try reading through it again but in the mean time I don't s'pose you could post that specific link for what I need here? Thanks again SKC

AAR.oner
2010-03-04, 07:52 PM
You need to come into the other thread about VHS and read Lordsmurf's post and see the link on TBC's and read that. Thats what you need.
Thank you sab.

That thread seems real convoluted and hard for this amateur to follow. I'll try reading through it again but in the mean time I don't s'pose you could post that specific link for what I need here? Thanks again SKC

he's referring to this (http://www.thetradersden.org/forums/showpost.php?p=1371808&postcount=47) post i believe, specifically the link to a thread about TBCs:
http://www.digitalfaq.com/forum/showthread.php/alternative-avt-8710-1853.html?p=9889#post9889

a full-frame TBC will fix the issue yer havin due to copy protection

showtaper
2010-03-04, 10:49 PM
If you don't want to pay the price of a TBC, there are inexpensive devices
("stabilizers") aimed specifically at what you want to do, which is rebuild the
sync signal.

A TBC is kinda overkill for this, but you will get other benefits from using one....

lordsmurf
2010-03-05, 04:53 AM
If you don't want to pay the price of a TBC, there are inexpensive devices ("stabilizers") aimed specifically at what you want to do, which is rebuild the sync signal.
..
Actually, those devices don't rebuild the signal. Those cheap devices merely cover over or carve out a few of the more common video lines where anti-copy signals reside. Most of those non-TBC devices work maybe half the time at best. To make issues worse, many of them alter the image quality negatively. The only way to truly fix this sort of error is by purifying the signal with an actual timebase corrector. Seeing how many of those devices cost $100 and work half the time, you may as well get a TBC for twice the price that works twice as often.

Food for thought. :wave:

tempusfugit
2010-03-05, 08:21 AM
I copied my V.H.S. of The Who rocks America to D.V.D. with no copy control code.
It was in P.A.L. Format.
Some Videos do have a copy control code on. Laurel and Hardy was the one of the few
i have encountered. Another Fine Mess!

sabkisscrue
2010-03-05, 02:20 PM
I bought one of those stabilizers to transfer the Moscow peace festival. Its like the saying goes, you get what you pay for. There was this odd white horizontal line that went through the picture every while or so through the tape, using that box. I did manage to transfer it to dvd but im not sure if was worth it.

BoneRoller
2010-03-05, 07:15 PM
I think I read through that link somewhere that certain older vcr's have the TBC built into them ? Does anyone have/know of the makes/models of the specific vcr's that have this? Pawn shops are full of vcr's these days and maybe I could get lucky...

Thanks for the input everyone


Tempusfugit, are you saying your vhs copy was in PAL format (in which case I didn't know that vhs tapes were pal/ntsc formats)? Or did you mean that when you captured it you had your capture device/software set-up to capture as PAL?

Silver Stallion DVDs
2010-03-05, 07:26 PM
On a related note...since you're transferring OOP VHS tapes of live shows - there's a very good chance that someone has already transferred these shows because early on in this hobby (all of five years ago or so), OOP VHS tapes were a very common source for DVD projects. It's not the case anymore because pretty much all of them have been transferred.

daddyray
2010-03-05, 07:46 PM
and yet there are boxes of em in my basement.

BoneRoller
2010-03-05, 09:03 PM
On a related note...since you're transferring OOP VHS tapes of live shows - there's a very good chance that someone has already transferred these shows because early on in this hobby (all of five years ago or so), OOP VHS tapes were a very common source for DVD projects. It's not the case anymore because pretty much all of them have been transferred.
That very well could be Stallion. However:

-Tragically Hip's Heksenketel can't be found by torrent anywhere (by me). It is available through RApidshare if I $hell out for membership. No doubt there are HipHeads who have done it

-I've never seen pete townshend's deep end on any torrent sites and that is a gig that is begging to be released by Atlantic (especially when you consider that the cd release was missing a good chunk of songs on the video) and one would think that it would make some money. My copy turned out most excellent

-I got Oingo Boingo's "Farewell" video (released on dvd but now oop...amazon wants 90 bucks) on a torrent but the idiot had horribly compressed it into mp4 and the quality was crap. What a waste. I don't have any version, vhs or otherwise, of this gig (aside from the aforementioned compressh!t)

-Never really looked for the '82 Who gig though there is an 81 Rockpalast dvd that is great (the Dead played the same show, same night)

-Never looked for that Peppers show either. The performance is not all that anyway imo (maybe I'm just not a big fan)

-Will probably transfer a Sting Soul Cages concert that is oop. Not sure if that is available by torrents or file shares but any vid with Vinnie Caliauta is worth a watch or two.


You could be right, they could have been done already but I must consider a couple of things:

a) Someone may have done a poor job, especially if it was done when the technology was new and people were just learning to use this stuff.
b) Some people may have compressed and shared it in, say, vcd format, which obviously compromises the quality (akin to mp3'ing an audio show)
c) It does me no good if someone did a fantastic transfer for themselves only. I mean, obviously the sharing of oop material on the www is a "grey" area; some sites don't allow it (like this one) and some individuals who may have transferred it aren't necessarily comfortable with torrenting it or file swapping it or whatever form of electronic sharing is available. Point being, I still need to transfer it for myself. (Btw, that is what I am doing. I'm not necessarily doing this to release to the public...maybe a few close friends/family.) though I'd much rather have someone else do the transfer and then sit back and download or trade for them


I suppose Direct Connect Hubs might be a possibility for these but I stopped using DC a few years ago after I got virused-out and switched to mac. I actually kinda miss DC though. I got some really fantastic hard-to-find live music vcd's from DC hubs back then

Silver Stallion DVDs
2010-03-05, 09:18 PM
Never really looked for the '82 Who gig though there is an 81 Rockpalast dvd that is great (the Dead played the same show, same night)

I authored a very comprehensive version of this:

The Who
December 17, 1982
Toronto, Canada

Disk 1 (108 minutes)
Press Conference at 20th Century Fox Studios
Los Angeles, CA

1. press conference intro
2. Alan Hirschfield comments
3. Andrew Wald comments
4. Mike Carruthers comments
5. opening statement by the band
6. questions (31 total)
7. Mike Carruthers closing comments

8. My Generation
9. Dangerous
10. Sister Disco
11. The Quiet One
12. It's Hard
13. Eminence Front
14. Behind Blue Eyes
15. Baba O'Riley
16. Doctor Jimmy

Disk 2 (94 minutes)
1. Boris The Spider
2. Drowned
3. Cry If You Want
4. Love Ain't For Keeping
5. Pinball Wizard
6. See Me, Feel Me
7. Who Are You
8. 5:15
9. Love Reign O'er Me
10. Long Live Rock
11. Won't Get Fooled Again
12. Naked Eye
13. Squeeze Box
14. Young Man Blues
15. Twist And Shout
16. outro
17. post-concert interviews

tempusfugit
2010-03-06, 07:39 AM
I think I read through that link somewhere that certain older vcr's have the TBC built into them ? Does anyone have/know of the makes/models of the specific vcr's that have this? Pawn shops are full of vcr's these days and maybe I could get lucky...

Thanks for the input everyone


Tempusfugit, are you saying your vhs copy was in PAL format (in which case I didn't know that vhs tapes were pal/ntsc formats)? Or did you mean that when you captured it you had your capture device/software set-up to capture as PAL?

I use a standard Philips V.H.S. stereo Video player and a recordable
stand alone Philips D.V.D. Recorder. All Videos and D.V.D.s are either
N.T.S.C. or P.A.L. Format its down to how many lines are in the picture.
Most U.K. and European D.V.D.s and even later model Videos, can play
both P.A.L. and N.T.S.C. formats (don't get confused with regions,thats something else!) but not many American (N.T.S.C.) players play P.A.L.
Crazy eh?

AAR.oner
2010-03-06, 08:12 AM
I think I read through that link somewhere that certain older vcr's have the TBC built into them ? Does anyone have/know of the makes/models of the specific vcr's that have this? Pawn shops are full of vcr's these days and maybe I could get lucky...



i use a Panasonic AG-1980P for home use [pretty sure all of the AG- line has built-in TBC, but not positive]

the key is getting a quality SVHS deck...most companies have models that use TBC & and some form of NR...

BoneRoller
2010-03-06, 01:49 PM
Nice. Thanks for the info. guys (and/or girls).

Tempus: I had no idea that the PAL/NTSC formats applied to video tapes. I thought it was just dvd's that had that formatting.

Stallion: Was that from Laser Disc? My Canadian vhs copy does not have those interviews/commentary/press conference

AAR: Those Panasonic ag1980's are pretty popular I've heard and fairly pricey on ebay, etc.. Same with the higher end jvc's. But maybe I could get lucky combing through some pawn shops/thrift stores. I'd shell out for one if I was gonna make a sizable project of it but I really don't have that many tapes in storage that I want to transfer, especially compared to some people that have boxes full.

I'm ripping that oop Sting tape right now and fortunately it's free of the copy-protection b.s.

lordsmurf
2010-03-07, 08:24 PM
I think I read through that link somewhere that certain older vcr's have the TBC built into them ? Does anyone have/know of the makes/models of the specific vcr's that have this?
You need to read this: What is a TBC? (http://www.digitalfaq.com/forum/showthread.php/alternative-avt-8710-1853.html?p=9889#post9889) TBC in a VCR does not bypass protection.

Pawn shops are full of vcr's these days and maybe I could get lucky...
Not really. Pawns shops only buy things they can resell, and demand for VCRs is near zero. That a pawn shop is "full of VCRs" is more of a myth than anything else. Don't believe me? Go to a pawn shop. At any rate, it's also highly unlikely you'd find a high-end VCR in a pawn shop.

pretty sure all of the AG- line has built-in TBC
No, not all of them.

All Videos and D.V.D.s are either N.T.S.C. or P.A.L. Format its down to how many lines are in the picture.
Close, but not quite.
VHS has NTSC, PAL and SECAM -- don't forget SECAM. VHS tapes varied in how color was stored, in addition to framerate and lines.
DVD is just PAL and NTSC. Color is all YUV data these days (hence the ability to play DVDs worldwide), and differ only in framerate and resolution (there are no lines in digital video).

Most U.K. and European D.V.D.s and even later model Videos, can play both P.A.L. and N.T.S.C. formats (don't get confused with regions,thats something else!) but not many American (N.T.S.C.) players play P.A.L.
Crazy eh?
Actually, that's not really true anymore. For close to 5 years now, most players are made for worldwide use, cheaply made from kits in China. It's harder to find a player that does not do PAL, than to find one that does. Most people assume a DVD player does not play PAL because they confuse it with regions, having attempted to insert a foreign-bought disc in a player and having received a rejection error message. A ripped copy (with DVD region removed (http://www.digitalfaq.com/forum/showthread.php/uk-dvds-regions-1948.html)) would have no such issue.

Later. :wave:

BoneRoller
2010-03-08, 05:31 PM
Not really. Pawns shops only buy things they can resell, and demand for VCRs is near zero. That a pawn shop is "full of VCRs" is more of a myth than anything else. Don't believe me? Go to a pawn shop. At any rate, it's also highly unlikely you'd find a high-end VCR in a pawn shop.
First off, thanks so much for taking the time to reply with the informative info. I do appreciate it.

But I need to disagree on the pawn shop point though we are probably not in the same neck of the woods so their stock may differ for that reason (I'm in Edmonton, AB). Unless they've cleaned them out in the last few months or so (and I guess that's possible) the pawn shops here have stacks and stacks of vcr's. I wasn't basing that statement on a "myth" but simply my own observations, though you are no doubt right about the slim likelihood of finding a high-end one, which is why I initially said "get lucky". And while you are obviously talented in the area of video knowledge, etc.. do not under-estimate my skillz at street-level bargain hunting. Mad skillz yo ;)

And yeah, since posting that a day or two ago I've since educated myself somewhat on tbc's, codes, regions and the various things needed in a vcr and/or tv to playback/watch a PAL DVD/video (talking about watching/dealing with PAL videos now as opposed to getting around the copy-protection thing). This whole regionalizing of video's and the related equipment is a real fuckaroo and I pray the industry makes no profit whatsoever from it

Thanks again for the replies :thumbsup