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Problem with Digitizing VHS

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family tree videoProblem with Digitizing VHS
by on Nov 29, 2006 at 8:29:25 pm

I'm using Media 100 LE 8.2. I do a little editing for a small production company but I am not tech savy. The guys at Media 100 suggested I try this forum.
I am having a problem digitizing video from VHS. I'm having no other problems with any of my equipment other than this. Whenever I try to digitize a VHS copy of previously transferred 8mm film, the video comes out way too hot. So hot that anything white in the picture is glowing and often beyond recognition.
After hours and hours of troubleshooting, we've determined it's not a problem with any particular happens with any tape that falls into the above description (3 different jobs so far). The tapes play fine in other VCRs and even plays fine in the VHS deck (Panasonic AG-1980P) I use to import into Media 100 when I have it hooked up to something else. The monitors in our system seem to give a true representation of the video in the Media 100. I believe they are calibrated fine. When I receord the video from the Media 100 and play it back in another VCR or DVD player, it's still too hot. Whenever I digitize any other video (usually from a mini-DV), the imported video is fine. Panasonic told me there is no setting on this deck to change the brightness. The guys at Media 100 told me there is no way for me to adjust the brightness on incoming video with the version I'm running. Does anyone know what may be happening. Any help would be GREATLY appreciated. Thanks.

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Kieran MatthewRe: Problem with Digitizing VHS
by on Nov 30, 2006 at 10:15:52 am


OK, there are a number of things that might be causing this effect that you are seeing. Two things spring to mind, first is video termination. If your deck is a pro machine then maybe it requires a 75-ohm terminator in the system. The other is NTSC "set-up".

So a couple of questions.

Where in the world are you? Are you using PAL or NTSC ? Can you give us a rundown of exactly how the deck is connected to the media 100 including any switchers, monitors, genlock signals etc in the system. Have you tried any other analogue sources (for instance the composite out of your mini-dv deck) in through the same connections? Have you tried routing the VHS signal through the mini-dv deck and using the firewire input instead?

Give us as much info as you can!


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family tree videoRe: Problem with Digitizing VHS
by on Nov 30, 2006 at 7:57:40 pm

To Kieran and Everyone Else --
Thank you very much for taking the time to offer some thoughts. It's very much appreciated here.

K, I'm in Florida using NTSC. A "real" tech person set the system up for me. It's basically configured so that a signal will run this way.......Panasonic AG-1980P Industrial VCR -- Pioneer 633-H DVD Recorder -- DFS-300 Switcher -- Sony DSR-30 DV Cam -- Media 100.

The "too hot" video is a problem whether I go through the whole system or simply import directly to Media 100 through S-Video or Composite Video. Like a couple posters mentioned, I'v never had a problem digitizing video from the DV Cam.

I guess I can transfer the video directly to mini-DV and then import from the DV cam. But even doing that, the video quality seems to get worse (however, not as bad as when I import directly).

If you had any suggestions, I'd certainly welcome them. Thanks again to everyone who replied. Your thoughts were all helpful!


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Michael SloweRe: Problem with Digitizing VHS
by on Nov 30, 2006 at 11:38:06 am

I am sure that you should follow Keiron's suggestion and get your VHS material on to DV tape and then digitize through firewire. I do this often and the DV pictures are much cleaner and better than the awful VHS (nearly dead thank goodness!) You should then find that your pictures coming back out from Media 100 are as good.

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Daniel ERe: Problem with Digitizing VHS
by on Nov 30, 2006 at 2:44:50 pm

I had a problem with my Media 100 system and the S Video input which sounds similar. It was giving me bad video on the SVHS input. The levels were hot.Now that I think of it It may be incorrect termination in the breakout box. If that is the case then there is nothing you can do externally to correct it. I never did fix it as the Component and DV inputs worked perfectly.

Daniel Epstein
Gold Teleproductions, Inc
New York, NY

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topher944Re: Problem with Digitizing VHS
by on Nov 30, 2006 at 5:47:05 pm

I have M1008.2.2 and have noticed that having both the Component and S video cables attached to the Source and to the Junction box gives you a hotter signal whether you've set the m100 to component or S video but have never had "too hot" issues on the way out of M100. Kind Regards, Chris K

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David IsskoRe: Problem with Digitizing VHS
by on Nov 30, 2006 at 11:04:30 pm

I have M100 8.2.2 and almost everyday digitize VHS into it. My setup is:
JVC S-VHS/VHS recorder, Time Base Corrector, Canopus ADVC 100 and finally to DV input of M100.

Even without DV input, TBC is pretty much essential for any untime base corrected video into the composite or S-Video inputs such as VHS V8 or Betamax etc.

I do not have any problems with VHS digitising.

Hope this helps you.

David Issko

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family tree videoRe: Problem with Digitizing VHS
by on Dec 1, 2006 at 4:10:03 am

Thanks David!

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CleverMonikerRe: Problem with Digitizing VHS
by on Dec 1, 2006 at 5:25:35 pm

One test I can think of to narrow down exactly where the problem is happening is to try importing some sort of test image.
Importing will let you by-pass your deck(s) and cabling along with the Junction Box and some of the circuitry on the board, eliminating them as variables.

A search for "ntsc test" at yields all sorts of fun stuff to play with.

If these images come out okay, then at least you know you don't have some base-level problem with system output.


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jimmy macRe: Problem with Digitizing VHS
by on Dec 1, 2006 at 6:45:07 pm

Great little product that I've used for years to digitize VHS into M100 is Elite Video's BVP4-Plus (broadcast video processor). If you find yourself still doing VHS from time to time, consider getting one from Ebay or whereever. There was one posted on Ebay with full description of what it can do. Eilite Video no longer sells them. I still have mine, although I haven't had to use it for more than a year now, I am willing to give it up.

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