Using a camcorder as a TBC/passthrough to convert tapes?

Getting started with a Blackmagic product? Ask questions here about setup and installation.
  • Author
  • Message
Offline

Brian Times

  • Posts: 2
  • Joined: Sat Jan 20, 2018 10:19 am
  • Location: Sydney, Australia

Using a camcorder as a TBC/passthrough to convert tapes?

PostMon Jan 22, 2018 3:52 am

Hello,

I'm excited to begin transferring my Digital8, MiniDV and VHS tapes. These are my specs below:

Computer: iMac 27-inch 2017, 4.2GHz Intel Core i7, Running High Sierra
Capture: BMD Intensity Shuttle USB3 - Blackmagic Media Express 3.5.4
Source: Digital8, MiniDV and PAL VHS tapes

I've managed to get my BMD Intensity Shuttle set up on my iMac (after disabling SIP), however, I did wrongly assume that the Shuttle would convert VHS tapes no matter the VCR. When I tried to convert some tapes I had a very disrupted signal. After doing proper research I realised that I'll need a TBC to stabilise this.

Image

So after reading a few different forums I've read that certain DVD players can act as a pass-though to provide an adequate video capture for a hobbyist like me. However, I think I also read that a MiniDV or Digital8 camcorder can act as a pass-though.

I couldn't find much conclusive information around this and was wondering if anyone had more experience with this kind of set up. I'd prefer camcorder set up (other than the DVD as TBC) as I'll need to transfer Digital8 & MiniDV tapes anyway (the VHS tape transfers are not as critical). My understanding is that it should be more straight-forward to connect a camcorder direct to the Shuttle rather than route it through TBC or DVD player?

My other question is which MiniDVs & Digital8 camcorders have the best internal TBCs and will most work with the BMD Intensity Shuttle USB3? Any other devices need for this workflow?

I'll be looking to purchase within Australia so hopefully there will be relevant models available.

I'm still in the process of research and learning so thanks to anyone that can help out!


Brian
Offline

Denny Smith

  • Posts: 8157
  • Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 4:19 pm
  • Location: USA, Northern Calif.

Re: Using a camcorder as a TBC/passthrough to convert tapes?

PostMon Jan 22, 2018 8:42 pm

While Digi8 and MiniDV have a good enough TBC when recorded (they are digital recordings on tape) to get them directly captured, VHS is an analog recorded signal, and has very poor TC support, and the TC recorded on the tape breaks up, gets interrupted if there is a break from one take to the next (Camera is stoped then stated again) all of which play havoc when trying to capture their signal.

VHS requires a TBC, and a Professional Broadcast level one at that. Go to Live Production Forum here and see mine and Collin’s previous posts on TBC and VHS type.
Cheers
Denny Smith
SHA Productions
Offline
User avatar

Xtreemtec

  • Posts: 2323
  • Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2013 11:48 am
  • Location: The Netherlands

Re: Using a camcorder as a TBC/passthrough to convert tapes?

PostTue Jan 23, 2018 3:51 pm

And old CRT tv's did not mind at all being VHS and not sync right.. Because they would just sync on the video signal, With the Blanking info given in the video signal.. :) When everything got digital some issues arise..

BTW dont use a DVD recorder as TBC.. Here is why....
Daniel Wittenaar .:: Xtreemtec Media Productions ::. -= www.xtreemtec.nl =-
4K OBV, ATEM TVS HD, 1M/E 4K, 2M/E Broadcast Studio 4K, Hyperdeck Studio Mini, SONY FS7 4K, Ursa Broadcast 4K
Offline

Brian Times

  • Posts: 2
  • Joined: Sat Jan 20, 2018 10:19 am
  • Location: Sydney, Australia

Re: Using a camcorder as a TBC/passthrough to convert tapes?

PostThu Jan 25, 2018 5:52 am

Thanks for your help guys. I thought I read somewhere that the Panasonic DMR-ES10 worked well as a pass-through for VCRs. I didn't realise that they had to be modified.
I won't be able to afford an external TBC so I'll probably try the Canopus ADVC-110 to convert the VHS tapes.
Also with converting the MiniDV and Digital8 tapes I need to purchase an old camcorder and run this thru the BMD Intensity Shuttle.
Does anyone have any experience with converting tapes thru these kinds of camcorders and are there compatibility issues or will all of them work? Thanks again
Offline

Denny Smith

  • Posts: 8157
  • Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 4:19 pm
  • Location: USA, Northern Calif.

Re: Using a camcorder as a TBC/passthrough to convert tapes?

PostFri Jan 26, 2018 6:32 pm

Brian, a camcorder, while it may work, is not the best way to go as head alignment of used camcorders could be off from yiur types. I think you would be better off with a DV type player (they are useually larger units and head alignment is usually better, especially for the MiniDV tapes, as a DVCam deck, which has TBC corrected signal for analog outputs, but also has digital outputs like FireWire or SDI, and the DVCam player will play MiniDV types, but not the Digi8 tapes.

For digital 8, a camcorder is going to your best bet, as this was a relatively short lived media, being a transition from Hi8 to Digital8, using the same type cassette.

Sent you a PM.
Cheers
Denny Smith
SHA Productions

Return to Getting Started

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests