December 17, 2012 at 3:06 pm
I’m noticing several errors with the VHS video that I’ve been converting to DVD. I’m not sure what the technical terms are and wondering what filters you may use to correct these errors:
1) Pincushion effect: That’s the best I can describe it. The bottom of the video is fine. But as you move upwards, the picture towards the top curves towards the left. On the right side this translates towards the center of the video and it leaves a black area on the outside.
That’s a good idea of what’s happening although it doesn’t bend back out on top, just in. Right now I remove as much as possible by cropping since I need to crop the bottom of the video off anyways so I basically get the upper left most part of the video. This still leaves me with a little black space in the upper right.
2) Jitter: The video plays but suffers from jittery type video on occasion. It’s like little jumps in the video. I guess this is similar to trying to hold your hand perfectly still. You’ll get close but here and there your hand will make these very small, slight jerks as a result of your nervous system. I don’t think my VHS has the same affliction but it does seem to suffer from the same effect. 🙂 I have no idea how to fix this when it occurs. I assume it’s from being analog and mechanical.
3) Tape Head Tracking Distortion: This occurs on the bottom of every video, about 10-14 pixels or so. I’ve accepted that this is part of what VHS produces and I need to crop it out..
4) Interlacing / Combing: During playback in the preview window in Vegas this is atrocious. I’ve converted the video into the PC using a Hauppaugue Win HVR-1600 card, which does a reasonable enough job. Project mode is set on upper field first (I believe this is correct due to the digital transfer). When viewing it on the monitor directly the combing isn’t as bad. Removing “resampling” in the properties of each clip I import seems to help a little in preview. Right now the best I can see to remedy this is to choose “best” for interlacing in the project settings and choosing gaussian as well as blend to deinterlace for a 30p result for video on the Internet and to a 1080p TV.
December 17, 2012 at 6:26 pm
I’ll add to my list of VHS playback problems, some remedies I have, some still looking:
(5) Tape playback rolling: Not sure if this is the right term, but it seems that the tape has tracking problems and the image will show a black “frame bar” that appears in the picture. It’s usually worse than this and most of the image is distorted or not properly visible at all.
This is an example of what I see. It’s usually a line that somewhat diagonal and “rolls” until the picture stabilizes. This used to happen when you had “horizontal hold” lines on very old TVs getting broadcasts over the air. Don’t know of any fix, only minimize. What I do is (1) fast forward tape until end and then rewind it once or twice, hopefully the rolling is caused by loose tape. (2) Manual painful edit. Copy a frame from the previous frame and paste it into the frame you will delete. This way you see two of the same frame together. It’s not perfect but a better viewing experience than a big bar that ruins the fluidity of what you’re seeing.
These are ugly. Some video is worse than others. For me, the playback preview in Vegas does not show what is rendered after Vegas can be used to deinterlace (File – properties. Choose “best” for rendering quality instead of the default. Sometimes I still find that my video appears to have horizontal lines in it, like the screen door effect but only horizontal and not vertical. Sometimes I will try to see if changing the field order works in “properties” but that is usually not the problem. Using an external filter like YADIF doesn’t usually make any tremendous improvement over the internal deinterlacing in Vegas although some seem to get good results. Here’s a great tutorial:
December 18, 2012 at 6:09 am
My first reaction to your “deinterlace” problem is that it looks like the VHS tape has begun to deteriorate. That’s one of the things that VHS does when the tape gets old. If that is what I’m seeing, the only remedy I know of is to convert ASAP to preserve what is left of the video from additional deterioration.
December 18, 2012 at 7:09 am
Bob – thanks for your response. Aging could be the case for sure (these tapes range from 20-27 years old) and it appears I’m doing this not a moment too soon. Here are some examples of the actual tape:
As you can see, the videos are curving a bit, the top right curving in towards the left and the lower left also pushed inwards. That’s one problem in addition to the interlacing effect. The ones above are after Sony Vegas deinterlacing. Below is the original video with a few other issues:
The second picture is a problem I have with some tapes of this “rolling” effect of the horizontal border, which I think used to be called horizontal hold on many televisions. On occasion I’ll find these rolling into the picture as if something is fumbling with the tape, trying to get itself back on track reading smoothly.
December 19, 2012 at 9:41 pm
FYI to others who may have been reading my posts on converting VHS to DVD/bluray.
I’ve just discovered a remedy to why my tapes are slanted with a pincushion-like effect. I was capturing video from the VHS to a DVR that recorded in a high quality bitrate MPEG (8,000 or 9,000). While it would have been preferable to go to AVI, it wasn’t an option and quality wise it didn’t matter too much. The sides were jittering a little but that is much a quality of VHS video.
I moved to the PC and was rendering using an internal video card at an even higher capture rate with minimum compression. For a reason I can’t explain, the reasonable good 3 foot AV cable I had was the problem. I purchased a heavy duty shielded AV cable for composite video (converter to s-video) and audio that was only 1.5 feet long and the problem seems to have been minimized significantly. There are still signs that the tapes are on their way out but the difference in the borders of the video being closer to the 4:3 square that it should be are quite noticeable. Hope this saves someone’s transfers.
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