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  #1  
Old 2010-03-04, 04:57 PM
BoneRoller's Avatar
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Question PLEASE HELP!!! oop VHS tapes > iMAC transfer

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)
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  #2  
Old 2010-03-04, 05:05 PM
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Re: PLEASE HELP!!! oop VHS tapes > iMAC transfer

Sounds like macrovision copy protection. Google "macrovision" and you can
find lots of information on how to defeat it for copying.......
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  #3  
Old 2010-03-04, 06:38 PM
sabkisscrue sabkisscrue is offline
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Re: PLEASE HELP!!! oop VHS tapes > iMAC transfer

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.
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  #4  
Old 2010-03-04, 06:39 PM
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Re: PLEASE HELP!!! oop VHS tapes > iMAC transfer

Quote:
Originally Posted by showtaper View Post
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
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  #5  
Old 2010-03-04, 06:45 PM
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Re: PLEASE HELP!!! oop VHS tapes > iMAC transfer

yep...macrovision. I had issues with that back when I did a few transfers.
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  #6  
Old 2010-03-04, 06:49 PM
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Re: PLEASE HELP!!! oop VHS tapes > iMAC transfer

Quote:
Originally Posted by sabkisscrue View Post
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
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  #7  
Old 2010-03-04, 07:52 PM
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Re: PLEASE HELP!!! oop VHS tapes > iMAC transfer

Quote:
Originally Posted by BoneRoller View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by sabkisscrue View Post
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 post i believe, specifically the link to a thread about TBCs:
http://www.digitalfaq.com/forum/show...=9889#post9889

a full-frame TBC will fix the issue yer havin due to copy protection
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  #8  
Old 2010-03-04, 10:49 PM
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Re: PLEASE HELP!!! oop VHS tapes > iMAC transfer

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....
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  #9  
Old 2010-03-05, 04:53 AM
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Re: PLEASE HELP!!! oop VHS tapes > iMAC transfer

Quote:
Originally Posted by showtaper View Post
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.
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  #10  
Old 2010-03-05, 08:21 AM
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Re: PLEASE HELP!!! oop VHS tapes > iMAC transfer

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!
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  #11  
Old 2010-03-05, 02:20 PM
sabkisscrue sabkisscrue is offline
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Re: PLEASE HELP!!! oop VHS tapes > iMAC transfer

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.
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  #12  
Old 2010-03-05, 07:15 PM
BoneRoller's Avatar
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Re: PLEASE HELP!!! oop VHS tapes > iMAC transfer

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?
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  #13  
Old 2010-03-05, 07:26 PM
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Re: PLEASE HELP!!! oop VHS tapes > iMAC transfer

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.
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  #14  
Old 2010-03-05, 07:46 PM
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Re: PLEASE HELP!!! oop VHS tapes > iMAC transfer

and yet there are boxes of em in my basement.
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  #15  
Old 2010-03-05, 09:03 PM
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Re: PLEASE HELP!!! oop VHS tapes > iMAC transfer

Quote:
Originally Posted by Silver Stallion DVDs View Post
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
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