VHS capture via BlackMagic Intensity Shuttle (Mac OS)

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tibtiby

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VHS capture via BlackMagic Intensity Shuttle (Mac OS)

PostFri Aug 24, 2018 8:19 am

Hello everyone.
So, I recently purchased a BlackMagic Intensity Shuttle (usb version) for my MacBook Pro and I have a couple of old VHS tapes laying around and wanted to capture the footage from them. But, when I try to capture from the VHS Player, the footage glitches, jumping from black to video frames. From what I've read on these forums, I need a TBC vhs player. My questions are:

1. Could I capture the tapes by connecting the VHS Player output (Akai vs-p88kg) to a DVD Recorder and then connect the DVD recorder to the Intensity Shuttle?

2. I also have a Panasonic NV-J35HQ VHS Recorder. Well, actually it's in service for the moment so I can't check it out, but I was wondering if it would be better than the Akai. Also, couldn't find anything of the internet about it having TBC. Did anyone try to capture footage from it via Intensity Shuttle and confirm that it works properly or not?

3. Do I have no other alternative than to buy a TBC capable vhs player and capture all my tapes?
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Eric-Jan

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Re: VHS capture via BlackMagic Intensity Shuttle (Mac OS)

PostSat Aug 25, 2018 9:18 am

a TBC in some sort of form is really needed, i'm having the Panasonic DMR-ES35V and this one works great ! it has stabilisation, because it has also a DVD recorder, to transfer VHS tapes to DVD, It has component output,
which is also a great advantage, i can output 625 i/p from that.
An external TBC (dumped pro ones) you can find on eBay, but some things even an TBC can't correct, DataVideo also makes TBC devices, but a better bet, is still a VHS recorder with build in stabilization, like when it also has a dvd recorder in it, otherwise you come into the range of Prosumer vhs recorders, or the Pro ones, when they are secondhand and payable.
Also fast storage is needed when capturing, internal SSD 1TB, or external through an interface at least USB 3 or ThunderBolt2.
A capture device with USB will be a critical point.... you need a good chipset for it to work good, checkout here for that.
I 've got the Thunderbolt 2 version of the Intensity Shuttle, to avoid possible USB troubles, but have still some minor external USB storage "glitches" which i thought had overcome.

edit> I now capture in ProRes LT which works even better, makes smaller files, and has much slower data transfer rates to your storage device.
Last edited by Eric-Jan on Sun Sep 09, 2018 5:46 pm, edited 2 times in total.
equipment/software used:
UltraStudio Mini Recorder, Intensity Shuttle (Thunderbolt), ADVC-100 (DV/iLink/Firewire), Davinci Resolve 15 free version, Media Express, MacX Video Converter Pro
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Denny Smith

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Re: VHS capture via BlackMagic Intensity Shuttle (Mac OS)

PostMon Aug 27, 2018 4:45 pm

A TBC Eric mentioned is a Time Base Corrector, and yiu need a broadcast quality one, like a S ell and Wilcox Kudo or a Sony equivalent, also DataVideo makes one, but not as good.

I have the Kudos, it works very well. VHS tapes do not have a continuous time code, and when it breaks, you see a glitch. Also any gaps in the tape will stop the transfer. A TBC takes the incoming video from a VHS p,Ayer, for example and re clocks the signal with a continuous TC. Mine also has a video processor and Analog to Digital Converter to outout a SDI signal.
Cheers
Denny Smith
SHA Productions
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Eric-Jan

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Re: VHS capture via BlackMagic Intensity Shuttle (Mac OS)

PostMon Aug 27, 2018 8:32 pm

Yeah, i'm a bit cautious, calling what i have is a TBC in my VCR, it will surely not compare to a real broadcast TBC, but this (consumer) VCR i use does the job very well for as far i can judge,(no dropped pictures at all) it also stabelizes an external VHS player/recorder (that has no stabilization) i connect to it, So in case of tapes with Macrovision i could plug my Canopus ADVC100 between it,(only for private use) but this could also be done with a broadcast TBC i understand... there are still some consumer VCR's for sale on eBay, Amazon, and Marktplaats, that have this "stabilization" it's all about what you like to achieve, or your budget/no-budget.
equipment/software used:
UltraStudio Mini Recorder, Intensity Shuttle (Thunderbolt), ADVC-100 (DV/iLink/Firewire), Davinci Resolve 15 free version, Media Express, MacX Video Converter Pro
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Denny Smith

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Re: VHS capture via BlackMagic Intensity Shuttle (Mac OS)

PostTue Aug 28, 2018 4:23 pm

Yes Eric some of these units work well, others do not. I tested several, no luck. However some of the combo DVD/HD VCR recorders can do a nice direct transfer, I have used several upper end models that work well, especially if your end goal is a DVD. With the HD (hard drive) models, you can even do some simple editing and add titles.
Cheers
Denny Smith
SHA Productions
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Eric-Jan

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Re: VHS capture via BlackMagic Intensity Shuttle (Mac OS)

PostWed Aug 29, 2018 5:42 pm

Then i've a lucky shot with my Panasonic DMR-ES35V, also because of the component video output, I've looked online, and some sites like eBay, and Amazon, and local ones still have this Panasonic combo VCR/DVD,
this might be a good choice for the OP, otherwise a secondhand (working) professional Time Base Corrector should be used, and like Denny also cautioned, not all stabilized vcr's will give a good result, so trying for buying would also be a good advise.

edit> to find the right external TBS isn't easy, because you really should read some other user's tests and experiences, because there are different TBC's for different corrections, even ones that are just faulty, need modifications, or need a mains power filter because of their sensitivity, also, BMD hardware is quality equipment, but also needs quailty input signal.
equipment/software used:
UltraStudio Mini Recorder, Intensity Shuttle (Thunderbolt), ADVC-100 (DV/iLink/Firewire), Davinci Resolve 15 free version, Media Express, MacX Video Converter Pro
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Eric-Jan

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Re: VHS capture via BlackMagic Intensity Shuttle (Mac OS)

PostSun Sep 09, 2018 6:09 pm

Denny Smith wrote:A TBC Eric mentioned is a Time Base Corrector, and yiu need a broadcast quality one, like a S ell and Wilcox Kudo or a Sony equivalent, also DataVideo makes one, but not as good.

I have the Kudos, it works very well. VHS tapes do not have a continuous time code, and when it breaks, you see a glitch. Also any gaps in the tape will stop the transfer. A TBC takes the incoming video from a VHS p,Ayer, for example and re clocks the signal with a continuous TC. Mine also has a video processor and Analog to Digital Converter to outout a SDI signal.
Cheers


And having an SDI output, opens up a whole world of other equipment to connect i guess, monitors, switchers, or even digital video harware recorders, this would be "sync wise" also possible ?
equipment/software used:
UltraStudio Mini Recorder, Intensity Shuttle (Thunderbolt), ADVC-100 (DV/iLink/Firewire), Davinci Resolve 15 free version, Media Express, MacX Video Converter Pro
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Denny Smith

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Re: VHS capture via BlackMagic Intensity Shuttle (Mac OS)

PostSun Sep 09, 2018 8:44 pm

Not sure Eric, never tried that. I took the SDI out of the Kudo TBC and feed it into a AJA IO which had the sync, audio inputs/outputs and genlock inout. The IO interfaced with the computer, via FireWire. Today, I just use the IO for a video processor, and audio embedding into its SDI out, which I connect to a Video Devices Pix recorder, or another computer interface. The IO only worked with FinalCut Pro, not the new FCX.
Cheers
Denny Smith
SHA Productions
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Eric-Jan

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Re: VHS capture via BlackMagic Intensity Shuttle (Mac OS)

PostMon Sep 10, 2018 2:51 pm

Thanks, i first thought that because all is digital these days, genlocks or external syncs where not needed anymore, but i guess with hardware it is just too hard :) when it comes to live streams, but in post with files it's easier i now understand, i am still learning here,

Thanks !
equipment/software used:
UltraStudio Mini Recorder, Intensity Shuttle (Thunderbolt), ADVC-100 (DV/iLink/Firewire), Davinci Resolve 15 free version, Media Express, MacX Video Converter Pro
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Eric-Jan

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Re: VHS capture via BlackMagic Intensity Shuttle (Mac OS)

PostMon Sep 10, 2018 3:11 pm

Note: The JVC and Panasonic VCR's where new ones at the time i bought them, and not from a person or eBay, Amozon, or like that, i stored these recorders also for some years, and had not any rubber or components damage, products from before that time where not in such a good shape, rubber is the weakest link in such a case, you can find service manuals, to find partnumbers and there are certain webshops which have collections of different brands, official repairs will cost as much a VCR will cost, so repair is more of a gamble, or a Google worth :)
equipment/software used:
UltraStudio Mini Recorder, Intensity Shuttle (Thunderbolt), ADVC-100 (DV/iLink/Firewire), Davinci Resolve 15 free version, Media Express, MacX Video Converter Pro
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Denny Smith

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Re: VHS capture via BlackMagic Intensity Shuttle (Mac OS)

PostMon Sep 10, 2018 6:32 pm

There are a few independent repair outlets, one in the a Southeastern US, another on the West Coast, thst repsir vintage equipment like VCRs. I am lucky to have one here where I live,and he keeps my old gear running. VCRs, need TLC and some regular maintenance, like any other mechanical equipment. I have a tape player, from 3/4-inch UMatic (still an active UMatic group, amazingly), 1/2 Betacam (broadcast version), Hi-8, and several DVCam units. I have a few extra DVCam recorder/players (commercial not consumer) available if somebody needs one.

SDI can carry a TC sync Eric, the ATEM does this to sync multi camera switching, but it adds a 1-frame delay. Genlocking gives better (less delay) switching results, even in the digital age.
Cheers
Denny Smith
SHA Productions
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Eric-Jan

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Re: VHS capture via BlackMagic Intensity Shuttle (Mac OS)

PostMon Sep 10, 2018 7:26 pm

Yes, digital conversion in video gives delay, i knew that, thats's also an issue for FPV drone race pilots.
edit > Oops, i now see what you mean, it uses that 1 frame to keep all in sync, while the "old" genlock gives no delay <edit
You are lucky to have repairs/maintenance round "the corner", not all vcr tapes are from the same quality, the tape itself or the the mechanical part of it, i notice that a lot of the pre recorded tapes i have, are of bad quality,
the ones bought to record on, are better than was expected !
I also have tapes that where recorded on different recorders, through the years, which started for me with the Hitachi VT8000, a toploader, but with tip touch buttons allready, we bought new in the store, for over some 35 years ago, at least. so i still have "some" tapes, which where not re-used most of the time, a "car case" was a perfect shaped storage case for karton sleeved VHS tapes.
Last edited by Eric-Jan on Wed Sep 12, 2018 2:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
equipment/software used:
UltraStudio Mini Recorder, Intensity Shuttle (Thunderbolt), ADVC-100 (DV/iLink/Firewire), Davinci Resolve 15 free version, Media Express, MacX Video Converter Pro
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Denny Smith

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Re: VHS capture via BlackMagic Intensity Shuttle (Mac OS)

PostMon Sep 10, 2018 11:16 pm

Yes, but mmerical video tapes used lesser grade tape stock, and they suffer from drop out over time.
I ended up tossing all of mine, worthless after 10 years. That said, I have some Betamax tapes that play just fine, as do my UMatic masters.

Another reason I convert my analog tape decks to SDI (via the TBC), it allows me to use newer monitors, like the BM Smartview and I was able to unload the CRTs, I kept one small field monitor thst has analog and SDI to test signals, and one of my Sony Program monitors. The rest of the field monitors I have available for sale, if anyone is interested, all Sony Pro 8-inch units, with combo battery or mains power.
Cheers
Denny Smith
SHA Productions
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Eric-Jan

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Re: VHS capture via BlackMagic Intensity Shuttle (Mac OS)

PostTue Sep 11, 2018 9:43 am

Yes, by studying the BMD hardware, i learned the usefullness of the SDI interface, and i might expand my equipment to that to make things easier.
But to stick to the OP's subject, and to help, my advice would be to find a suitable VCR, that has it's own stabilisation to start with, i have 2 that work fine with the Itensity Shuttle, and without external TBC.
They both handle differently in what is recorded on different tapes, which should be smooted out in post.
A TBC is a difficult subject/thing i discovered, there are those that are meant for professional use and equipment, and may allready need a clean signal to start with, and are correcting different "parts" of the video signal, so no one time solution, others are made for the hobby people, and just are not doing what is told, and you really need someone else's experiences, to be sure.
And a good VCR is dying out :(
On my atic i found a DVD recorder i had, it has an analog tv tuner, this one i used in the very past to connect to a MPEG2 satellite set to record via composite or s-video or transfer analog camcorder recordings, some of these types of DVR's also had a DV iLink input, which also is a handy option, like the DV-box is also, if the quality of that is good for one's sense of quality, it suplies the need.
there is also a "rare" breed of D-VHS (Digital) VCR's but i don't know if they have an DV output, They have a DV input though, But i have never heard if somebody has captured analog VHS tapes this way, only DV or Digital8 camcorders were used this way, (or a Digital8 Sony Walkman) but these need a Firewire interface on a laptop or PC, and the Intensity is a better option, because of all the analog and HDMI connection options,
If speed or storage is a issue, you can allways choose a ProRes422 (variation) codec to capture,
Last edited by Eric-Jan on Wed Sep 12, 2018 2:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
equipment/software used:
UltraStudio Mini Recorder, Intensity Shuttle (Thunderbolt), ADVC-100 (DV/iLink/Firewire), Davinci Resolve 15 free version, Media Express, MacX Video Converter Pro
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Denny Smith

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Re: VHS capture via BlackMagic Intensity Shuttle (Mac OS)

PostTue Sep 11, 2018 4:42 pm

Yes,some DVD recorders like the Toshiba, work very well at capturing a analog tspe signal (Betamax, VHS, Hi8). Some units have a VHS tspe built in. The ones I have used were prosummer midels, that had composite and SVideo inputs, a built in HHD and a Optical Drive (laiser disk recorder). You plug in the tspe deck, I was using Pro models (with built in TBC of sorts) and it did a nice job of recording the tape to the HHD.

You could then do some minor editing, (cut out unwanted bits), add titles and burn a DVD.
It had Video outputs which might work with Shuttle (didn’t test this however) and yiu could play back the HHD to the outputs, some had a FireWire connection, and you could get a digital transfer to a FireWire equaled Mac or computer to capture on a NLE, like IMovie or Final Cut, and Premiere, etc.
Denny Smith
SHA Productions

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