VHS-C tape recovery - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 3 Old 03-09-2007, 06:17 AM - Thread Starter
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A few years ago, my JVC VHS-C camcorder started creating tapes with a couple of noise bars on them. Over the next few months, the number of bars continued to grow until the resulting playback through the viewfinder was quite unwatchable.

At about this point, I attempted to use manual tracking to correct the bars using various VCR's (and the camcorder itself) to no avail and realized I had a serious problem. I stopped using the camcorder.

Manual tracking will move the bars a little to reveal viewable content underneath, but the tracking controls will not move the bars out of view. While I cycle the tracking through its entire range, additional noise will appear from top to bottom and then disappear, but the original bars will remain.

These tapes contain some family memories I would really like to recover to a digital format and would be willing to commit some resources to get the job done. Are any of the following options I could reasonably pursue?

1. Find and purchase a VCR with greater tracking range
2. Tracking is not the issue, try this instead.
3. Digitize the bad video and clean it up in post-production (dubious)
4. Hire a professional to recover the video with advanced equipment/techniques.

Any recommendations or explanations will be greatly appreciated!

DRL
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post #2 of 3 Old 03-09-2007, 06:40 PM
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Are you sure you are not declaring a problem where there is none? It is perfectly normal for all VHS, VHS-C, S-VHS, S-VHS-C, Video8 and Hi8 camcorders to create a noise bar at the bottom of the frame. It has always been there but you haven't seen it until you viewed the video on a computer monitor. Computer monitors don't have over-scan which will normally hide the noise bar from view on your TV set. But since computer monitors don't have over-scan, you can now see the noise bar.

Most people just live with the problem. Since most people will still view the video on a TV set, the noise bar still will not be seen. You can use filters in video editing programs such as Premiere to mask out the noise bar after the video has been captured but that is a lot of work to cover up something that normally is not seen.

It's up to you how much effort you want to put into it. But you won't find any of those format analog VCR's and camcorders that don't produce that noise bar. Digital camcorders such as MiniDV don't produce the noise bar. I think you are just waking up to an artifact that has always been there but you never saw it as long as you viewed the video on a TV set.

But you should have only 1 noise bar at the bottom of the frame. If you have more than 1 noise bar at other places other than the bottom of the frame then the camcorder is defective. The tape is not being wrapped around the head drum far enough. Stop using the camcorder and play your tapes on a different machine.

Dave
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post #3 of 3 Old 03-11-2007, 05:28 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveC E100 View Post

Are you sure you are not declaring a problem where there is none? It is perfectly normal for all VHS, VHS-C, S-VHS, S-VHS-C, Video8 and Hi8 camcorders to create a noise bar at the bottom of the frame. It has always been there but you haven't seen it until you viewed the video on a computer monitor.
Dave

Thanks for clarifying Dave. Yes there is a problem. I'm not viewing the material on a computer yet. My VCR and camcorder are hooked directly to a SDTV. The bars are also through the middle of the frame. It started with two bars about halfway and three-quarters down the frame in eventually increased to about six bars starting one-third the way down the frame to the bottom.

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