long shot question -- video processor? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 21 Old 08-22-2012, 10:50 AM - Thread Starter
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I know, wrong forum, BUT, does anyone know of an inexpensive (relatively) video processor that will fit in-line with a composite or S-Video signal? I merely want to adjust the black level for my international Panasonic DVD recorders (hence the placmeent in this forum) and maybe a little color correction. Does anyone know if such a gadget exists, and where I can get it?

Hey, it can't hurt to ask...tongue.gif

Luke

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post #2 of 21 Old 08-22-2012, 12:25 PM
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The most popular "budget" used video proc amp is the JVC JX-C7, which is commonly found on eBay in the $50-$100 range. Here is one current listing.

Similar units were made by Sima, VidCraft and Showtime Video Ventures, but they don't hold up as well as the JVC and most I've seen are useless from aged caps and knobs. The most well-regarded semi-pro proc amps are made by SignVideo, but they are pricey new and not much cheaper used unless you catch an uneducated seller. Older pro gear from various unfamiliar brand names can be very good and very cheap, but again you run the risk of them being aged out. The durability on most of these isn't much better than a DVD recorder: beyond ten years old, you're better off looking at something new.
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post #3 of 21 Old 08-22-2012, 01:26 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks CitiBear.

I suppose there is nothing CURRENT? Yeah, I thought (feared) not. Sigh...

Luke

Evil is charming and beautiful. It makes you doubt yourself. It asks for one small compromise after another until it whittles you down, and it functions best when no one believes in it.-JOA
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post #4 of 21 Old 08-22-2012, 01:31 PM
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Citibear, I wouldn't mind that JVC but like many of the "VCR" type of devices it seems to lack S-video. Other than for VCR use(which is basically nil now that I've converted all my tapes to DVD) I refuse to use anything less than S-video smile.gif
Also, does that JVC adjust black level(brightness)? I see adjustments for color, tint, audio and enhancement. It also has an adjustment for video output but my guess is this adjustment is more for total video level which is more like contrast than brightness confused.gif
For both Luke and I an ideal device wouldn't be much larger than a pack of cigarettes and would just have a simple switch to convert from 7.5 to 0 IRE. I looked for Luke at several places but basically all were pro and wanted hundreds if not thousands of dollars for something that looked like it would work frown.gif
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post #5 of 21 Old 08-22-2012, 02:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjeff View Post

For both Luke and I an ideal device wouldn't be much larger than a pack of cigarettes and would just have a simple switch to convert from 7.5 to 0 IRE.

What's maddening is it should be very cheap to make such a thing, since its included as a simple feature in several DVD recorders. Probably the overall market would be tiny, but Chinese factories churn out tons of oddball A/V gadgets that hardly anyone needs and seem to be happy with the sales volume.

Oddly enough, while searching for Luke's elusive "Black Box" today I ran across an arcane gadget that I need myself, which never occurred to me was something anyone would sell so I never before bothered looking for it. If AVT can get sales off this thing, I don't see why they couldn't offer a simple IRE compensator. Maybe something will turn up?

BTW, the JVC consumer proc amps were well-regarded, even by SVHS fans, specifically because their composite connections had very little loss compared to similar boxes by other mfrs. Very few consumer-grade processors included S-video connections, there wasn't enough demand to upgrade the initial designs, so you aren't likely to find S-Video connections anywhere near "affordable" pricing. Years back, I remember reading test reports claiming the JVC could compensate down to 0 IRE using the "Video Output" knob. The "Main Output" and "Color" controls can be used in tandem with "Video Output" to fine-tune or extend various parameters. The JX-C7 is quite a nifty box.
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post #6 of 21 Old 08-22-2012, 04:56 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks CitiBear. I SHOULD post this question in the processors forum, but I don't want people to make fun of me.frown.gif

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Luke

Evil is charming and beautiful. It makes you doubt yourself. It asks for one small compromise after another until it whittles you down, and it functions best when no one believes in it.-JOA
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post #7 of 21 Old 08-22-2012, 08:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Church AV Guy View Post

I SHOULD post this question in the processors forum, but I don't want people to make fun of me.frown.gifbiggrin.gif

Nah, you should stay here with your friends who share your interests.smile.gif This thread is actually relevant to the DVD Recorder forum anyway, since you're looking for a solution to the IRE mismatch issue that affects several popular DVD recorders. If you and jjeff need it, surely others here would also be interested in such a device.
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post #8 of 21 Old 08-23-2012, 06:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CitiBear View Post

. . . you're looking for a solution to the IRE mismatch issue that affects several popular DVD recorders.
Where does the IRE problem occur in the recording chain? Is it a function of the analog --> digital encoding? Is it the encoder that introduces the black level problems?

- kelson h

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post #9 of 21 Old 08-23-2012, 10:08 AM - Thread Starter
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Compounding the problem is that I don't know exactly what terms to put into a search engine to make it find SOMETHING I am interesed in. It seems no matter what I enter, there are hundreds of hits, but none of them are what I want. mad.gif I think this is a problem with search engines in general though. frown.gif

Kelson, the "situation" is this. If I take the output of my DVR, for example, and plug it into my EH55, it looks correct, but If I plug it into my EH59, it looks overly bright and washed out. The blacks are gray and overall, the picture is just too bright. As jjeff has said many times, in the US we use an IRE of 7.5. Internationally, the IRE level is 0. That 7.5 IRE in the US washes out the image, because the DVD recorder is expecting a lower value.
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Originally Posted by jjeff 
For both Luke and I an ideal device wouldn't be much larger than a pack of cigarettes and would just have a simple switch to convert from 7.5 to 0 IRE.
I was hoping someone would know of something simple and inexpensive that would provide this capability. I do NOT need a $10,000 video processor substation.eek.gif Anyway, exactly where in the chain is a matter of persepctive. It's what the EH59/69 want that creates the problem. We COULD open the DVD recorder and look at the circuit card and see where it could be modified, but that's a trricky business at best.

Luke

Evil is charming and beautiful. It makes you doubt yourself. It asks for one small compromise after another until it whittles you down, and it functions best when no one believes in it.-JOA
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post #10 of 21 Old 08-23-2012, 01:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Church AV Guy View Post

It's what the EH59/69 want that creates the problem. We COULD open the DVD recorder and look at the circuit card and see where it could be modified, but that's a trricky business at best.

Maybe you can talk with rkg22 about this.
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post #11 of 21 Old 08-23-2012, 01:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelson View Post

Where does the IRE problem occur in the recording chain? Is it a function of the analog --> digital encoding? Is it the encoder that introduces the black level problems?
The problem is the EH-59 is looking for a line output black level of 0 IRE. N. American devices output a +7.5 IRE from their SD outputs(HDMI and Component are always 0, international or N. American).
If a person feeds a international Panasonic a +7.5 IRE signal the DVD will be recorded +7.5 IRE too bright(not a lot but noticeable with a good display and a dark scene). Material on a DVD is always stored as 0 IRE(the DVD standard) so N. American devices add +7.5 IRE to their SD(composite/S-video) outputs and N. American DVD recorders subtract 7.5 IRE from their SD inputs.
Coincidentally if you watch incorrect black level DVDs(or HDD recordings) on a international Panasonic from it's SD outputs(composite or S-video) the DVD will look just fine. The reason for this is because the international doesn't add +7.5 but the program was already recorded +7.5 to bright so in the end it looks fine. OTH if you watch them via HDMI or Component they will look too bright, again because HD inputs are expecting a 0 IRE not +7.5.

This may all seem very complicated but if you just darken the input to a international and watch through it's HDMI or Component outputs you'll be just fine. Of course watching a standard DVD through a EH-59s SD outputs will look too dark, again because the DVDR isn't adding +7.5 IRE to it's SD outputs which our displays are expecting.
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post #12 of 21 Old 08-23-2012, 02:49 PM
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Argh . . . . who's on first.

- kelson h

The bitterness of poor quality lasts long after the sweetness of the low price is forgotten . . . life is too short to drink bad wine

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post #13 of 21 Old 08-23-2012, 04:15 PM
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Basically the international Panasonics need a 0 IRE source.
N. American SD devices output +7.5 and our TVs look for black to be +7.5
Unless you lower the brightness to the EH-59 by 7.5 IRE your recordings will be too light.
The issue is N. America adopted a different black level than the rest of the free world mad.gif
When SD outputs disappear(as they have for the most part) this will be a moot point, since by the time HD inputs/outputs came along N. America got with the rest of the world and adopted 0 IRE for black biggrin.gif
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post #14 of 21 Old 08-25-2012, 06:24 PM
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Luke,
What kind of a price range are you looking at?

Did you check out the AVT-8710 Time Base Corrector?
http://www.avtoolbox.com/avt8710.shtml

$230 at B&H
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/276891-REG/AV_Toolbox_AVT_8710_AVT_8710_Multi_Standard_Time_Base.html

Might be overkill for what you need. I don’t know if it has an auto 0---7.5 set-up but it does have manual controls and at worse you can make some test patterns and record them on DVD for reference to the correct level.

It does have both S-Video and composite and it’s new and current.





EDIT:
Found it for $187 here
http://www.omegamultimedia.com/shop/item.asp?itemid=3031
Anyone ever ordered from them?
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post #15 of 21 Old 08-26-2012, 07:36 AM
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The maker of that TBC is AV Toolbox, which is the consumer products division of the well-known professional video manufacturer, TVOne:

http://www.tvone.com/index.php

My employer is a TVOne dealer and we frequently use products from the AV Toolbox line when the client's budget is an issue or we need a simple device like this TBC.

On that particular TBC, the 'bright' control is the setup adjustment, and 'contrast' is the overall video level control. So bright raises the entire signal up or down to add or subtract setup and sets the minimum video level, and contrast sets the maximum video level.

BTW, in my first job many years ago I used to work with someone who served on the NTSC (standards committee) that specified the ways video is encoded, like this setup issue. I once asked him about that, why the US used 7.5 IRE for setup while the rest of the world went with zero, and I remember him saying that the committee was strongly lobbied by the US TV manufacturers (GE, RCA mostly at that time). They wanted the extra step of voltage separation between the bottom of the positive-going video signal at 7.5 units, and the start of negative-going vertical and horizontal sync at 0 units, so that the sync separation circuitry in the TVs could be made more cheaply. If video and sync were both at 0 units, separating sync from active video would have been far more difficult. Obviously that wasn't an issue for other TV makers around the world since just about everyone else went with 0 as the setup (or 'pedestal') level.
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post #16 of 21 Old 08-26-2012, 02:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scoosdad View Post

They wanted the extra step of voltage separation between the bottom of the positive-going video signal at 7.5 units, and the start of negative-going vertical and horizontal sync at 0 units, so that the sync separation circuitry in the TVs could be made more cheaply. If video and sync were both at 0 units, separating sync from active video would have been far more difficult.

Thanks for the info, such lobbying has caused many damages tho the A/V consumer... and finally to the industry.

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post #17 of 21 Old 08-26-2012, 04:00 PM
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Hello scoosdad.

I started working in broadcast & production in 1980. Decades ago I along with many of my young colleagues asked our more experienced staffers why we use the 7.5 set-up. If I remember correctly Japan also used the 7.5 IRE until the mid 1980s.

I was given different answers by different techs. For instance I was told that it was way easier to match and calibrate everything especially multi-cam camera productions at 7.5 NTSC. That didn’t make any sense to me since using a waveform and vector scope you shouldn't have a problem matching everything to 0 IRE precisely. Perhaps for many hurried productions there was no time to use instruments and in that case matching to 7.5 is indeed easier to do by trained eyeballs. I was given different explanations as well. To this day I do not know the truth behind the 7.5 set-up.

In the early days of NTSC television, weren’t American TV sets GE and RCA considered superior to Japanese TV sets?

Please don’t take this as I’m disputing your explanation because I don’t know the real reason behind the 7.5 set-up – the technical explanation you were given may be correct but I do believe that Japan went with 7.5 IRE until the 80s as well and I do believe that American TV manufactures were regarded as higher quality than Japanese manufactures in the early days of NTSC television. Could it be that the US TV manufactures lobbied for 7.5 IRE for the reasons you wrote BUT - Japan went along, until Japanese technology got good enough to get rid of the 7.5 NTSC set-up?
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post #18 of 21 Old 08-27-2012, 09:36 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Super Eye 
Luke,
What kind of a price range are you looking at?

Did you check out the AVT-8710 Time Base Corrector?
http://www.avtoolbox.com/avt8710.shtml

$230 at B&H
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/276891-REG/AV_Toolbox_AVT_8710_AVT_8710_Multi_Standard_Time_Base.html

Might be overkill for what you need. I don’t know if it has an auto 0---7.5 set-up but it does have manual controls and at worse you can make some test patterns and record them on DVD for reference to the correct level.

It does have both S-Video and composite and it’s new and current.

That is a bit more pricy than I was hoping for. Like I said, it was a long-shot. It has many, MANY more functions than I need. I know the chances of a device that will just change the IRE setting and nothing more is asking a lot, but I can hope, can't I? It will be definitely worth looking at though.

Thanks!

Luke

Evil is charming and beautiful. It makes you doubt yourself. It asks for one small compromise after another until it whittles you down, and it functions best when no one believes in it.-JOA
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post #19 of 21 Old 08-27-2012, 07:14 PM
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Yeah I figured this is overkill for your needs. Really why can’t someone offer a simple IRE tweaker, maybe have 0 or 7.5 set-up along with individual brightness, contrast, colour, tint, and maybe a little YNR, CNR and MNR adjustment.

Something like this.





That's the built in tweaker in my RDR-HX780 tongue.gif
Sorry, coudn't resist.smile.gif
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post #20 of 21 Old 08-28-2012, 10:45 AM - Thread Starter
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Um, Yeah... right! rolleyes.gif

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Evil is charming and beautiful. It makes you doubt yourself. It asks for one small compromise after another until it whittles you down, and it functions best when no one believes in it.-JOA
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post #21 of 21 Old 09-02-2012, 01:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Super Eye View Post

EDIT:
Found it for $187 here
http://www.omegamultimedia.com/shop/item.asp?itemid=3031
Anyone ever ordered from them?
BBB has nothing on them or another name they go by Fast Forward Systems. I couldn't find any negative reports but not any positive either.......
Note the price has jumped to $196.75 FWIW. Still cheaper than B&H or even Amazon at $269 but I just don't know if it's worth ~$200 to me......
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