SIMA CT-2 or the SIMA CT-200: Which is better? - Page 4 - AVS Forum
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post #91 of 189 Old 12-20-2005, 12:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by martin1 View Post

I just don't know. I have just use the ct=200 to copy dvd to dvd so far don't know about vcr tapes. I would think that vcr tapes would be more critical. I have use a video stabilize that I order out of a magazine about 10 or more years ago to copy vcr tapes to vcr tapes. The one I have is just like the one in this link except it just has battery not an ac adapter. I am not reccomending it just showing you what I
have.
http://www.checkhere22.com/stabilizer.html

The gray instead of black letterbox problem on the CT-200 I am talking about has to do with DVDs, not Video Tapes. Sima claims that it is normal and I should adjust my brightness. I just do not buy that.
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post #92 of 189 Old 12-20-2005, 01:12 PM - Thread Starter
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No. That is not not right.

I have backup'd, at least, 10 WIDESCREEN DVD movies, and NONE of them show the black bars on the top and bottom as GREY. They are BLACK. And this is on a 27" Zenith C27V36 HDTV, a 32" Toshiba analog, and a 27" Panasonic analog tv.

No such thing has shown up with my backup's of WIDESCREEN material(DVD or VHS). Whether it is a movie, or a TV show.

I am a little stumped as too why you are seeing grey bars. The unit may be defective. No doubt.

Have you ever calibrated your tv to make sure your tv is showing correct black levels? What type of DVD recorder are we talking about? I thought I read somewhere once that one type of DVD recorders/players(not sure of brand) SHOW GREY BARS/Record in GREY BARS(or you can switch from black to grey in the menu somewhere) instead of black. Not sure about that though.
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post #93 of 189 Old 12-20-2005, 05:21 PM
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Steelersrule:

My TV is adjusted correctly. All my video sources look ideal at my settings. Believe me, the black level of my TV is set perfectly.

I own the Panasonic DMR EH50 and have recorded several movies from my Digital Cable in letterbox and the bars on the top and bottom are perfectly black.

When I connect the video cable directly from my Panasonic A320 DVD Player to the IN1 input of the Panasonic DRM EH50 DVD Recorder the PQ is excellent just as I expected it to be.

It is only when the Sima CT-200 is the go-between that the PQ is not as clear and the bars on the bottom and top of letterbox material are not really black but dark gray. This is true even using the "darker" enhancement setting on the CT-200. This seems to be the price I am paying to disable copy-protection.

I have already tried two CT-200s, the one originally purchased from CompUSA (shipped back to Sima) and the replacement that Sima sent me. Sima claimed that the original one was defective. Would it be too coincidental that the replacement is defective too?

Sima told me to adjust my brightness but that does not make sense, especially in light of what I have seen posted here.

I am just completely stumped.
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post #94 of 189 Old 12-20-2005, 05:34 PM
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I have seen stranger things happen. Not likely but possible you could have a second defective one.

BJM
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post #95 of 189 Old 12-23-2005, 06:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by martin1 View Post

I have seen stranger things happen. Not likely but possible you could have a second defective one.

Doubting that the second CT-200 was defective too, I decided to try the Digital Video Stabilizer because the offer was risk-free.

It is a simple device: just a composite video in and a composite video out. No buttons or switches. It turns on automatically when a video signal is sensed (comes with a 9V battery installed).

So I connected the Video Stabilizer between my VCR and DVD Recorder and inserted the same copy-protected VHS tape which flickered and was unstable using the CT-200.

What I saw was a clean stable flicker-free picture! The I pressed the record button on the EH50 and it recorded!!!

Thanks to a device which cost less than half of the CT-200 I am finally able to salvage this VHS movie onto DVD.

Tomorrow I'll record the other movie by the same VHS manufacturer.

I did not have a chance to check out how it works on DVDs. I'll try that also tomorrow and report it here.
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post #96 of 189 Old 12-24-2005, 04:14 PM
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I tried the Digital Video Stabilizer today with three DVDs: "Air Force One", "Scream", and "Die Another Day".

Both "Air Force One" and "Die Another Day" recorded to my EH50 with excellent PQ and black level.

But the Video Stabilizer could not eliminate the copy-protection on "Scream".

So I connected the CT-200 and it did disable copy-protection on "Scream" and enabled it to be recorded to the EH50 BUT again the black bars on the top and bottom were gray and the PQ appeared a bit washed out EVEN USING THE "DARKER" ENHANCEMENT SETTING.

So I am puzzled by two things:

1. Why does the Sima CT-200 consistently send a lighter DVD video signal to my DVD recorder even when I set its enhancement mode to "darker"?

2. Why did the Digital Video Stabilizer not work for "Scream" but did work for the other two DVDs?

Any ideas?
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post #97 of 189 Old 12-24-2005, 04:36 PM
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As stated in the advertisement the video stabilizer is mainly use to defeat the
macrovision on vcr tapes. The video stabilizer has been around before they even thought about dvds. I am sure that when dvds came out on some they inserted more smarter macrovision than are on vcr tapes.

BJM
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post #98 of 189 Old 12-24-2005, 07:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by martin1 View Post

As stated in the advertisement the video stabilizer is mainly use to defeat the
macrovision on vcr tapes. The video stabilizer has been around before they even thought about dvds. I am sure that when dvds came out on some they inserted more smarter macrovision than are on vcr tapes.

The information sheet which was included with my Digital Video Stabilizer mentioned that it works for copying DVDs and the website even states which two DVD recorders are not compatible.

The bottom line is that the Digital Video Stabilizer worked for my copy-protected VHS tapes where the CT-200 didn't.

The Digital Video Stabilizer worked perfectly for two out of the three DVDs which I tested today. The CT-200 handled the third one ("Scream") but with blacks that were "gray" even at the "darker" enhancement mode.

I found that I can get around this CT-200 bug by temporarily changing the black level output on my DVD player to "darker" for any recording made using the CT-200. Trying my "Scream" test at this setting yielded the same excellent PQ which I get from all my other commercial and dubbed DVDs at the "lighter" output setting.
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post #99 of 189 Old 12-24-2005, 07:39 PM
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Sound good. I guess you are good to go. This end results is what counts.

BJM
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post #100 of 189 Old 12-24-2005, 07:41 PM
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STEELERSRULE... I've warned Logic Design in another thread to clearly inform people that he makes the devices he touts. That would satisfy me. Funny thing is I may need to try one of his units. The Sima 200 won't work with my Sharp 300. A couple of weeks ago I purchased the Sony 715. With the holidays and all haven't even taken out of the box yet.
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post #101 of 189 Old 12-26-2005, 01:47 PM
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I have decided to keep the Sima CT-200 just in case I want to make a "fair copy" of a DVD for my own personal use and the Digital Video Stabilizer cannot handle it (like "Scream").

One solution I found with recordings made from the CT-200 was to change the output black level of my DVD player from "lighter" to "darker". Another is simply to lower the black level on my TV (from 32 to 27).

No such adjustment will be necessary if the Digital Video Stabilizer is able to defeat the copy-protection successfully.
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post #102 of 189 Old 01-15-2006, 08:17 AM
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The CT-200 is on sale again at CompUSA with $30 instant savings and $20 mail-in rebate.
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post #103 of 189 Old 01-21-2006, 05:31 PM
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Do you have to use special cables with this device and or must you use the S Video inputs/outputs? I only have S Video on one of my machines.


Thanks,

E
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post #104 of 189 Old 01-21-2006, 05:50 PM
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cie3, No you do not have to use "Special" cables it accepts regular Composite (Yellow Plug) or S-Video cables.
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post #105 of 189 Old 01-22-2006, 10:29 AM
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Thanks. One last question. Are the S Video connections vs. the component ones meant to be superior in terms of providing better picture quality? Can you point me in the direction of a good place to buy a reasonably priced S Video cable? What is a reasonable price (range) to pay for this?

I ended up taking advantage of the CompUSA sale before it ended last night and I am pleased with the CT 200. I had already purchased DVDs of many of the movies I had previously bought on VHS but there are a few movies that have yet to make it to DVD that I own. Now I won't have to repurchase them on DVD if I don't want to down the road. I do like buying the DVDs for the extras etc.

Thanks for your advice/help.
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post #106 of 189 Old 01-22-2006, 10:44 AM
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Walmart, circuitcity,compusa,BB, They all have reasonable price s-video cables.
$10 dollars or less. Depends on how long you need it. Don't worry about getting
monster cables, they are good but way over priced.

BJM
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post #107 of 189 Old 01-22-2006, 10:53 AM
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Perfect. Will look for some in that price range. Had thought they were $60 or so and that is not in my budget at present. Sounds like spending that amount anyway is not necessary.
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post #108 of 189 Old 02-05-2006, 12:23 AM
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I've made over 50 dvd to dvd "fair use" copies with the ct-200 and have not had one problem. I use monster S-vids and the dvd recorder is a pioneer 531. The player is a relatively new panasonic I forget the model#. I also have the el-cheapo cyberhome dvd recorder and the sima worked with that as well. However the pioneer makes much sharper copies then the cyberhome. (no big suprise) The ct-200 looks and feels kind of cheap but its been a work horse for me. Also converted dozens of vhs to dvds. I'd recommend the ct-200 without hesitation.
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post #109 of 189 Old 02-05-2006, 04:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by autoMP5 View Post

I've made over 50 dvd to dvd "fair use" copies with the ct-200 and have not had one problem. I use monster S-vids and the dvd recorder is a pioneer 531. The player is a relatively new panasonic I forget the model#. I also have the el-cheapo cyberhome dvd recorder and the sima worked with that as well. However the pioneer makes much sharper copies then the cyberhome. (no big suprise) The ct-200 looks and feels kind of cheap but its been a work horse for me. Also converted dozens of vhs to dvds. I'd recommend the ct-200 without hesitation.

I am really glad that everyone but me is satisfied with the CT-200.

The "black level" on the DVD copy using the CT-200 is a somewhat washed-out compared to the original. And this is true of the replacment unit Sima sent me as well as the original unit. I have to compensate by lowering the Brightness on my TV five units.

But with the Digitial Video Stabilizer, the copy is perfect.
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post #110 of 189 Old 02-05-2006, 11:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by captnvideo View Post

But with the Digitial Video Stabilizer, the copy is perfect.

Can you provide a link to this product?

The term "digital video stabilizer" is quite generic as far as Google is concerned. Many hits, both hardware and software.
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post #111 of 189 Old 02-05-2006, 11:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phantom Gremlin View Post

Can you provide a link to this product?

The term "digital video stabilizer" is quite generic as far as Google is concerned. Many hits, both hardware and software.

I have had one for 10+ years now and it has never failed me as far as copying vcr tapes to dvd(or vcr tape to vcr tape). It will not alway bypass copy protect when you copy dvd to dvd.
http://www.checkhere22.com/stabilizer.html

BJM
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post #112 of 189 Old 02-06-2006, 04:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by martin1 View Post

I have had one for 10+ years now and it has never failed me as far as copying vcr tapes to dvd(or vcr tape to vcr tape). It will not alway bypass copy protect when you copy dvd to dvd.
http://www.checkhere22.com/stabilizer.html

I have not used the Digital Video Stabilizer that frequently yet. But of the 4 commercial DVDs I tried in on, three of them recorded successfully from my Panasonic A320 to my Panasonic EH50, including Air Force One and Die Another Day.

The Sima CT-200 will only be used if all else fails. But then I will have to remember to lower the brightness on my TV.
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post #113 of 189 Old 02-06-2006, 04:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phantom Gremlin View Post

Can you provide a link to this product?

The term "digital video stabilizer" is quite generic as far as Google is concerned. Many hits, both hardware and software.

Try Googling "time base corrector"

Here's one link to For-A's TBCs/video "stabilizers."

http://www.for-a.com/sub_html/p_cat_frame_syn.html


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post #114 of 189 Old 02-06-2006, 06:00 PM
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wabjxo...The link you cited lists equipment to handle camera/camcorder shake. DVD recorders already have time base correctors built in. So does S-VHS. The stabilizers as shown in the link to 'checkhere22' defeat the macrovision copy protection signal. I've had one for over 15 years. Current DVD copy protection is much more sophisticated. I'm surprised it worked for captnvideo.
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post #115 of 189 Old 02-06-2006, 06:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay Davis View Post

wabjxo...The link you cited lists equipment to handle camera/camcorder shake.

I'm not sure what you read...the camera shake correctors are at the very bottom of the list.

Here's just the text from one of the TBCs:

Frame Synchronizer & Time Base Corrector
FA-370/P
The FA-370/P provides high quality time base correction / frame synchronization performance. It corrects by up to one full frame the timebase error / phase shift problems.

???


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post #116 of 189 Old 02-07-2006, 10:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay Davis View Post

wabjxo...The link you cited lists equipment to handle camera/camcorder shake. DVD recorders already have time base correctors built in. So does S-VHS. The stabilizers as shown in the link to 'checkhere22' defeat the macrovision copy protection signal. I've had one for over 15 years. Current DVD copy protection is much more sophisticated. I'm surprised it worked for captnvideo.

Possibly some changes have been made to the Digital Video Stabilizer in the past few years because the documentation states that it will allow copying DVDs and even mentions which DVD recorders are not compatible.

True it would not bypass copy-protection on one of the four DVDs I tried. But after copying "Die Another Day" to my EH50 at SP, I viewed it entirely and was hardly able to tell that I was watching a "copy". That is how good it looked.
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post #117 of 189 Old 02-07-2006, 08:28 PM
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wabjxo..... Sorry if I sounded critical of your posts. It wasn't meant to be.

I went back to the web site. I didn't read anywhere that it cleans up copyprotected signals. It's not even implied. Even if they can these units sell for $300.00 to over $2600.00. It would be cheaper to buy the Didital Video Stabilizer, a Sima or similar device.

captnvideo.... I believe you that you copied DVD to DVD. But the web site does not refer to copying DVD to DVD only VHS to VHS and to vertain DVD units. On the outside the model looks exactly like the one I bought 15 years ago. What the heck, I'll give it a try. But, it's only a composite signal.
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post #118 of 189 Old 02-08-2006, 06:56 AM
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Ditto. I have had the video stabilizer for 10+ years(probably nearer 15). I have had great luck with it as far as copying vcr to vcr and vcr to dvd which is what I mostly copy. I was surprised when I seen it still for sale. The only different is that it has a tranformer where my doesn't. I haven't had must luck with copying dvd to dvd,I have had to switch over to the CT-200 when copying dvd to dvd. As you stated maybe they have upgraded it. If you order a new one let us know if it is any better than the 15 yr. old one. For 29 dollars I guess you can,t go too wrong.

BJM
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post #119 of 189 Old 02-08-2006, 08:49 AM
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Is anyone familiar with or using this new coying device. If so any comments on its performance.

http://www.qualitekindustries.com/qu...vidstabfo.html
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post #120 of 189 Old 02-09-2006, 09:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay Davis View Post

wabjxo..... Sorry if I sounded critical of your posts. It wasn't meant to be.

I went back to the web site. I didn't read anywhere that it cleans up copyprotected signals. It's not even implied. Even if they can these units sell for $300.00 to over $2600.00. It would be cheaper to buy the Didital Video Stabilizer, a Sima or similar device.

captnvideo.... I believe you that you copied DVD to DVD. But the web site does not refer to copying DVD to DVD only VHS to VHS and to vertain DVD units. On the outside the model looks exactly like the one I bought 15 years ago. What the heck, I'll give it a try. But, it's only a composite signal.

Jay:

I found out yesterday that the Digital Video Stabilizer did not work on another DVD where the Sima CT-200 did.

So the Digital Video Stabilizer is not consistent. It will work on some DVDs and not work on others. When it does work, the PQ with composite is excellent.

Although the Sima CT-200 appears to work on all DVDs (but not all VHS), it does not pass through as good a video signal as the Stabilizer. It is less sharp and a bit washed-out.
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