Originally Posted by Joey R
I am very grateful for your reply and definitely appreciate your technical expertise. It sounds as though this is a catch 22. It may be wise for me to halt my pursuit of this topic.
After doing my homework prior to recently purchasing a used unit, I was somewhat aware of this issue with this Toshiba model. I opted for it anyway because I had read other articles
regarding DVD recorders and there was a consensus that DVD recorders and specifically Toshiba models manufactured between 2005-2006 had reached their pinnacle and were considered
among the most desirable to own. The main reason I wanted usability of the HDMI output was for convenience sake. I also didn't want to have to run additional cabling for audio.
My Samsung LCD does not have S-video inputs and only has 1 composite video input. If I use component video cabling I'll be losing that connection.
I should back up and say that I am attempting to rip rare (or unavailable on DVD) laserdisc's via the Toshiba. This will only be a temporary hookup and not part of my permanent A/V
system. I had planned to use the composite video connection of the TV to connect my laserdisc player. I want to be able to toggle between Toshiba menu(s) access and laserdisc video
for proper setup and sync. before I start the recording. I guess I'll have to figure out a work-around or purchase another display device with appropriate inputs.
I've done this many times in the past by running VHS, Beta or laserdisc through my camcorder via the A/D conversion and then through firewire to the computer. By the time I edit the
video through Sony Vegas and author a DVD, the video quality takes a big hit. After seeing the results of someone who simply ripped the laserdisc signal through an inexpensive Sharp
VHS/DVD combo unit (without a hard drive) directly to DVD, I was astounded at the results. In that instance the DVD video quality was as pretty as high-def and looked better than my
laserdisc displayed video - though that could be the result of something else. I am anxious to see what sort of results I'll get with the Toshiba.
There is a lot to unpack in that statement.
1. Laserdisc usually has three component video output, that would be preferred.. if your Laserdisc has component output. If it has s-video output that would be the second best, and composite the third best.
2. I am not sure of which Laserdisc type your speaking of, I would have to know the model of the playback unit to be sure.
3. DV video capture is "Easy" and well supported under Windows and Mac, OHCI was pretty much designed for it. But its really not a great choice for Laserdisc capture and conversion. Your going from MPEG to AVI and back to MPEG, in your brief description thats at least three generation loss trips.. its not surprising it looks bad.
4. Toshiba DVR recorders are very good capture units, but their DVD burners are very unreliable and do not work well (if at all) with modern (still obtainable) blank DVD media.. and DVD and Blu-ray media is basically on its way out. I'm a big believer even Blu-ray drives will be gone within 5 years.. so if you depend on DVD or Blu-ray drives to read your discs you should buy a few extra PC drives while you can.. you may be ripping those DVDs back to computer hard drive files in only a few years because DVD playback may not be a thing anymore.. even on a PC. Those DVD discs may last a lifetime, but the equipment to read them may be as gone as 8-Track tape in a few years.
5. Due to some encouragement from some very esteemed and knowledgeable forum members.. i stumbled blindly into learning that the Toshiba hard drives can be connected to a PC and their mpeg capture files copied from the hard drive to a PC (using a Licensed version of IsoBuster), and the original DVD hard drive returned to the recorder. That way you can capture the video input and read it off the drive without any generation loss, and without having to burn any DVD media, or rip that DVD media back to a PC. A Toshiba DVD recorder with a hard drive is dedicated to its task, was designed to work with SD video and while it does not have a TBC or other external filters.. you can put external TBC and proc-amps in the signal path between a good VHS player and the DVD recorder and get the best of all worlds.
I think your looking for a very simple and convenient work flow, and the DV method with your camcorder will have spoiled you.. except for the poorer quality capture due to all the generation losses.
The Toshiba will produce a superior capture.. but you have to take more things into account that I think you have not thought about yet.
In this day and age, its simply going to be inconvenient and not neat and clean to setup a quality capture setup. If that's very important to you.. outsourcing the project to some person or firm would be the best use of your time.
I am not saying you cannot take the KX50 that you have and "not" capture those Laserdiscs.
In fact I think you can.
But first you have to think about it a little differently.
1. If your Laserdisc has an RGB/YUV Component video output.. you might want to use a complicated, but super high quality capture device like an old Avid or Pinnacle MovieBox on Windows XP to capture very Very large video files on a PC hard drive.. and then use Vegas and DVD Architect to render and reduce those large files to the highest quality DVDs.. or simply save those DVD MPEG2 files on a hard drive you regularly duplicate to maintain a good backup. - Reducing the "highest quality possible" video file to something smaller.. that is more likely to be shared and backed up.. because its not huge is better than risking one large copy of a capture that never gets backed up.
2. RGB/YUV to S-Video converters do still exist, and may be worth your time to get the signal from the Laserdisc player into the Toshiba RD-KX50.. for a number of reasons.. not the least of which is the mandatory use of a comb filter on the "composite" signal to strip the color back out from the luma.. there are some fundamental (unfixable) problems with using comb filters to turn a composite signal back into a separate chroma and luma after its been mashed all together into the single "composite" signal. Some people even use a different DVR recorder as a pass thru to turn Component into S-Video for this purpose.. but a standalone box is more common these days.
3. Toshiba DVD recorders, do not handle DVD media well.. their DVD burners fail and cannot be repaired or replaced. The recorder will work in all other ways to and from its internal hard drive.. but the only way of getting that captured video off the hard drive.. will be to disassemble the recorder and attach that recorder hard drive to a PC running IsoBuster to copy the video files from the recorder hard drive to the PC hard drive. This is not hard to do.. but some people simply do not want to have to do it.. even if they can record literally 1000s of hours of video onto the hard drive and only need to perform this "copy" task once every year. Some people just do not want to do it.. or don't feel comfortable working with a PC.. that is when its better to seek help and don't try to do it yourself. - There are so many advantages to using a DVD recorder, that by-passing the Component to Large file and using Vegas "step".. may definitely seem worth it. The workflow is much much simpler.. what goes in is s-video, what comes out.. is a high quality compressed video file.. avoiding the DVD media step is also a big bonus. There is probably not an easier high quality way to do this today.. but taking apart that DVD recorder to harvest the video files is the last step.. its almost worth the idea of finding someone to do that last step for you if you don't feel like its something you could do yourself.
Toshiba recorders are very rare these days, and there were even "more" Amazing Toshiba recorder models.. but they haven't been made for a long long time and are never coming back. So consider carefully before doing rash things like attempting a firmware upgrade.. or assuming you can use it like it was used way back in 2005. They are still very useful.. and you can find a few on eBay.. whose DVD burners (might) work.. but probably not with modern DVD media you can still get.. and that's only near term.