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Sync Issues Capturing VHS with AJA

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Jeremy Bird
Sync Issues Capturing VHS with AJA
on Nov 14, 2008 at 7:10:54 pm

I need to archive dozens of degrading VHS tapes at the highest quality possible. When capturing with the AJA, the audio and video end up out of sync in FCP. The beginning of the clip is in-sync but after roughly twenty minutes the audio is seconds behind - It appears the AJA is dropping frames.

We've talked to the nice folks at AJA and done lots of troubleshooting with a cheaper I/O (lower quality) and a different deck. It seems we need a good reference signal to stabilize the unwieldy VHS. We're currently using a JVC HR-DVS2 with the S-Video out. On my last capture attempt I used one of the composite video outs as a reference into the AJA (there is another S-Video out, but I don't have an S-Video to BNC adapter, do they exist?). The sync issue was not nearly as bad, but still not perfect as it needs to be.

We're considering purchasing a professional S-VHS deck, preferably one with component outs (3 hopefully) and RS422 reference. It being 2008, we're wondering what our best S-VHS deck option would be, given the availability of parts and service.

I'm hoping a new deck will solve the sync issue, but even more I hope it isn't necessary. Has anyone found a solution to this in the past? I saw a previous post with a similar problem but the solution was to use a camera for I/O. That's not an option here - We need the best possible image quality attainable.

Thanks in advance. Any help greatly appreciated.

Jeremy


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Mark Beazley
Re: Sync Issues Capturing VHS with AJA
on Nov 14, 2008 at 10:51:39 pm

JVC might still have a digital-svhs deck that can read regular VHS/SVHS tapes that has a TBC built in. JVC did make a professional SVHS deck with reference and component out. We own one but I guard with my life as it is the only VHS deck that interfaces clean to our component switching rack. (where is a MPF100 when you need one...)

Where are you located Jeremy?

-mark



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Jeremy Bird
Re: Sync Issues Capturing VHS with AJA
on Nov 14, 2008 at 11:11:23 pm

The JVC HR-DVS2 we are using claims to have a TBC built-in, but that doesn't seem to be the issue. It seems if we have a video reference signal that identically matches the video (say, both S-Video or both BNC) it will probably capture in sync. A hunch anyway. A PAL deck with two composite outs (one for video signal, one for reference) synced fine.

Mark, what is the model of JVC you covet? Do you have any opinions on its reliability or availability of parts? We need to get a deck, but these are so old we want to make sure we can still get it serviced (or don't need to, better yet).

Thanks!
Jeremy







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Mark Beazley
Re: Sync Issues Capturing VHS with AJA
on Nov 14, 2008 at 11:44:58 pm

I'll have to let you know Monday when I get back into the shop. As far as service... I don't think so; parts....nada would be my guess. That is why I suggested maybe a digital S deck that plays all -- a lot of money though just to sync some VHS tapes when capturing.

Another idea may be to use an external TBC that you can sync from your house and also sync the AJA with the same source. That may do it.

-mark



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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Sync Issues Capturing VHS with AJA
on Nov 16, 2008 at 7:59:00 am

[Mark Beazley] "Another idea may be to use an external TBC that you can sync from your house and also sync the AJA with the same source. That may do it. "

That was going to be my suggestion as well. Rent or buy a frame synchronizer.

or

you said you tried with a cheaper io. Does that mean you have two IOs? Or an ioHD and an io SD?

Jeremy


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Bob Zelin
Re: Sync Issues Capturing VHS with AJA
on Nov 17, 2008 at 6:19:25 pm

aah - the last 2 guys beat me to the punch. You need a frame sync.
The Datavideo one for $300 will soften and degrade your image, but it will work. Better boxes from Hotronics, For-A, and Prime Image will cost more money. I use the Hotronics - it genlocks, and works well, and is the cheapest of the bunch.

Another horrible suggestion I can give you (since you have so many tapes) is to transfer the VHS to Beta, and then digitize from Beta.
This however, will bring your horrible analog composite video signal down another generation - and even worse - take countless hours of manpower to transfer all these tapes.

Bob Zelin




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gary adcock
Re: Sync Issues Capturing VHS with AJA
on Nov 17, 2008 at 6:35:20 pm

[Bob Zelin] "You need a frame sync. "

bob

the FS1 does this wonderfully.






gary adcock
Studio37
HD & Film Consultation
Post and Production Workflows

Inside look at the IoHD
http://library.creativecow.net/articles/adcock_gary/AJAIOHD.php




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Jeremy Bird
Re: Sync Issues Capturing VHS with AJA
on Nov 17, 2008 at 6:38:23 pm

Might a deck with RS422 (and/or component for reference) help stabilize the video signal? I'd rather go that route if a frame sync will degrade the image.

JB





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Jeremy Bird
Re: Sync Issues Capturing VHS with AJA
on Nov 17, 2008 at 6:34:47 pm

I brought in my own Canopus ADVC-100 super cheapo SD IO to use as a control in the experiment. I'd use it to capture these tapes but the picture isn't nearly as cruddy with the AJA, predictably.

Thanks for the advice.

JB



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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Sync Issues Capturing VHS with AJA
on Nov 17, 2008 at 6:41:41 pm

Ah, I got ya. If you had two AJA io's you can use one as a TBC and one to capture.

Good SD frame syncs are super cheap to rent.




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