DVD Burner Displays Black Screen During Tape Damage For VHS Transfer-HELP - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 01-22-2013, 03:03 PM - Thread Starter
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I have a Magnavox ZC320MW8B DVD burner. If I transfer a VHS tape that is in good condition, the DVD copy comes out fine. When I transfer a VHS tape with damage, the snowy or tape eaten section will not display; for these damaged sections the copy will only show a black screen for the duration of the damage. If there's a split second of snow, you'll get a split second of black screen. A two second section of eaten tape will give you a 2 seconds of black screen. When watching these parts on a VCR you see the tape damage without black screen. When you hook the VCR into the DVD burner, whether watching the tape or transferring it to DVD, you get the black screen, but only during the damage sections of tape. The DVD copy has the black screen problems too. Google searches have turned up nothing. Has anyone with a Magnavox or any other DVD burner experienced this? Is there anything that can be done about this?
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post #2 of 14 Old 01-22-2013, 03:10 PM
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The DVD burner is prob. sensing "copy protection" in the disrupted sections,simulating what CP does to a signal. Some recorders (incl. Philps/Mags) will just record black rather than shut down recording if the "disruption" occurs mid-stream (rather than at the start where they can place a CP code/bit).)

 

Just a SWAG..

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post #3 of 14 Old 01-22-2013, 03:16 PM - Thread Starter
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Thank you for the quick reply, wajo. smile.gif Would a video stabilizer fix this?
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post #4 of 14 Old 01-22-2013, 03:23 PM
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It might be worth a try I suppose but, since my thought was a SWAG, it might turn into a DRAG on your pocketbook, so don't spend too much! smile.gif.

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post #5 of 14 Old 01-22-2013, 06:14 PM
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This was the first taks that I did with my Maggy 2160A, but the transfer included all the damage sectors, in all its glory.

Have you tried to change between Line 1 and 2 in your ZC320MW8B?
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post #6 of 14 Old 01-22-2013, 07:01 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by profhat View Post

Have you tried to change between Line 1 and 2 in your ZC320MW8B?

Still gets the same black screen regardless of line 1 or 2. frown.gif
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post #7 of 14 Old 01-22-2013, 09:16 PM
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This is quirk of some recorders, particularly budget models like the ZC320MW8B. They automatically black out incoming signals from very poor or damaged sections of tape, to mollify less-sophisticated consumers who get annoyed if they see bad parts of their tapes on the DVD copy (a small but vocal minority of users are so clueless they think the bad sections of their tapes should in fact "magically" disappear like that). Some recorders have a setting to turn this blacking feature on and off, unfortunately your ZC320MW8B does not. Wajo's suggestion that defective tapes sometimes cause erroneous copy protection blackouts is another possibility, although usually when this happens the recorder would flash an onscreen alert that "some material could not be recorded."

A typical "stabilizer" will not (usually) help: if you already own or can borrow one, its worth a try, but don't spend serious money if you don't. If you have a lot of tapes with defects that cause these blackouts, you may need to consider buying a TBC (time base corrector) or another recorder. A TBC is a very advanced kind of "stabilizer" that rebuilds the signal interrupted by damaged sections of tape, in such a way that the the recorder doesn't recognize the damage so doesn't black it out. The most popular is the AVT8710, which runs $228 new or approx $100-$170 used on eBay.

Before going for the TBC, you might want to consider a different recorder (just to rule out your ZC320MW8B being an oddball problem machine). Try the more advanced Magnavox MDR533 DVD/HDD recorder available from WalMart web store. Many of us own versions of this model, and it handles damaged tape input fairly well without blacking out. WalMart has a very generous refund policy: if you encounter the same blackout problem, just return the MDR533 and get the TBC instead. Blackouts on the MDR533 would indicate your tapes are so severely damaged that nothing short of a TBC will help, and even that may not cure them entirely. You may be forced to accept these blackouts unless you're willing to deal with the hassle of testing various PC-based recording options until you find one that won't black out your particular defects. You might get better results from a grey-market import Panasonic EH59 DVD/HDD unit, but these are even more money and not the easiest recorders in the world to operate for someone who wasn't expecting to get so deeply involved with recording issues and is already used to the Magnavox interface.

Back when there were many brands of DVD recorder available, a few were totally impervious to this sort of tape damage blackout. Today, we have only Magnavox and Toshiba (same factory, same basic recorders), there are no other brands you can try unless you're willing to gamble on second hand older recorders from Craigs List. Owners of the ZC320MW8B are not usually people willing to deal with that level of craziness, experimentation and expense. Try the MDR533, if that doesn't fix things return it and buy the TBC, and if THAT doesn't help return it and just accept the blackouts. Damaged VHS tapes are the most difficult signals to digitize: avoiding blackouts can require a level of gear, skills and expense that may or may not be worth it to you.
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post #8 of 14 Old 01-23-2013, 03:18 AM
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I am by no means an expert on this but like Karl in "Sling Blade" I try to look at the simple things first.lol.Could you possibly make a copy of the damaged tapes onto an undamaged blank VHS cassette then tranfer to DVD?
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post #9 of 14 Old 01-23-2013, 08:00 AM
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Just a data point for you. When I was converting my VHS tapes to DVD I found a few VHS tapes that must have had CP on the original tape it was copied from. The tape played fine but when I tried to copy them to DVD I was given the error that the source had CP and recording would PAUSE. I used my Sima filter on these tapes and they copied just fine but I found that any time the tape would go to lots of snow or even when searching backwards(which produced lots of snow lines on the screen) the playback to the DVDR would blank out and I couldn't see where in the tape I was mad.gif Without the Sima(and with a tape that had no CP) I could scan backwards and the signal to the DVDR would not blank out.
This kind of tells me that a filter would not and could possibly even make matters worse for you. Not sure how a full fledged TBC would react though since I don't own one.
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post #10 of 14 Old 01-23-2013, 08:08 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by jjeff View Post

Just a data point for you. When I was converting my VHS tapes to DVD I found a few VHS tapes that must have had CP on the original tape it was copied from. The tape played fine but when I tried to copy them to DVD I was given the error that the source had CP and recording would PAUSE. I used my Sima filter on these tapes and they copied just fine but I found that any time the tape would go to lots of snow or even when searching backwards(which produced lots of snow lines on the screen) the playback to the DVDR would blank out and I couldn't see where in the tape I was mad.gif Without the Sima(and with a tape that had no CP) I could scan backwards and the signal to the DVDR would not blank out.
This kind of tells me that a filter would not and could possibly even make matters worse for you. Not sure how a full fledged TBC would react though since I don't own one.

I forgot to mention I also get the black screen while searching forward or backward through the tape.
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Originally Posted by MACINTN View Post

I am by no means an expert on this but like Karl in "Sling Blade" I try to look at the simple things first.lol.Could you possibly make a copy of the damaged tapes onto an undamaged blank VHS cassette then tranfer to DVD?

I'd probably be better off watching the VHS tape than a second generation DVD copy.
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Originally Posted by CitiBear View Post

This is quirk of some recorders, particularly budget models like the ZC320MW8B. They automatically black out incoming signals from very poor or damaged sections of tape, to mollify less-sophisticated consumers who get annoyed if they see bad parts of their tapes on the DVD copy (a small but vocal minority of users are so clueless they think the bad sections of their tapes should in fact "magically" disappear like that).

Are there really humans out there that are like that?
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Originally Posted by CitiBear View Post

Wajo's suggestion that defective tapes sometimes cause erroneous copy protection blackouts is another possibility, although usually when this happens the recorder would flash an onscreen alert that "some material could not be recorded."

Come to think of it a red dot flashes on the screen along with the black screen for CP material.
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Originally Posted by CitiBear View Post

Tthe more advanced Magnavox MDR533 DVD/HDD recorder available from WalMart web store. Many of us own versions of this model, and it handles damaged tape input fairly well without blacking out.

This sounds good, unfortunately (along with the TBC) it's not in the budget right now. Regardless, it's in my bookmarks for less lean times. Thanks for the recommendations. And thanks to all who responded. smile.gif

Looks like I'm just going to have to watch the tapes through prior to recording until I can afford a new burner.
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post #11 of 14 Old 01-24-2013, 10:26 AM
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I have had several VCRs who would themselvess black-out the video output when they saw "too much" snow or other artificats in the picture. It was a sort of video automatic gain control with muting. I have never seen it in a DVD recorder though. My VCRs all had a setup function to inhibit this function. If you cannot find such a control, then you will likely need a TBC.

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post #12 of 14 Old 01-24-2013, 10:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Church AV Guy View Post

I have had several VCRs who would themselvess black-out the video output when they saw "too much" snow or other artificats in the picture. It was a sort of video automatic gain control with muting. I have never seen it in a DVD recorder though. My VCRs all had a setup function to inhibit this function. If you cannot find such a control, then you will likely need a TBC.
You may be right but if it's the VCR blanking the picture I can't see how a TBC(being after the VCR) would be of any help.
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post #13 of 14 Old 01-24-2013, 11:07 AM
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He said:
Quote:
When watching these parts on a VCR you see the tape damage without black screen. When you hook the VCR into the DVD burner, whether watching the tape or transferring it to DVD, you get the black screen, but only during the damage sections of tape.
so I assume it cannot be his VCR. I was just commenting on my only experience with that kind of thing.

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 #14 of 14 Old 01-24-2013, 04:53 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Church AV Guy View Post

He said:
so I assume it cannot be his VCR. I was just commenting on my only experience with that kind of thing.

Yes, my VCRs play correctly w/o black screen.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Church AV Guy View Post

I have had several VCRs who would themselvess black-out the video output when they saw "too much" snow or other artificats in the picture. My VCRs all had a setup function to inhibit this function. If you cannot find such a control, then you will likely need a TBC.

I've tried tweaking all the set up functionality on the burner one functionality by one, and it hasn't changed the black screen. Maybe I should call customer service, but the last time I tried that they read the instruction manual to me over the phone (without answering my question). rolleyes.gif
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