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VHS via Pyro Brightness Problem

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VHS via Pyro Brightness Problem

Postby Bobby » Wed Jul 25, 2007 8:55 am

Hi All! Need some help again.

I am trying to do a quick VHS to DVD using Nero Vision direct to DVD. I have my VHS player hooked via composite video (it doesn't have S-Video out) to a Pyro, with Firewire to the PC.

I noticed that the video was distinctly dark, although it looked OK on the monitor TV hooked to the VHS player Channel 3 output. I checked by also trying it using WinDV and it was also similarly dark. So I assume I have a VHS deck or Pyro issue.

I can suck the video up using WinDV and then edit in PE - I tried this and everything looked real good if I bumped the Brightness to 20, the Contrast to 105 and the Saturation to 120.

But doing it that way requires a lot more work and time, esp. to render the output. So, does anybody have any ideas about how to get the VHS/Pyro to output similarly to the Channel 3 output? Also, from what I can see, Nero VIsion doesn't have built-in brightness adjustments - anybody have success with other software?

Thanks!
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Postby Chuck Engels » Wed Jul 25, 2007 9:47 am

Have you tried the RCA outputs from the VCR rather than the composite outs?
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Postby Bobby » Wed Jul 25, 2007 10:34 am

Sorry Chuck - I thought the correct terminology for the RCA outputs WAS composite video, as opposed to RF (coax) or component (RCA but split channels). Wrong?

Anyhow, yes I am using the RCA red-white-yellow VHS outputs.
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Postby Chuck Engels » Wed Jul 25, 2007 11:31 am

Component video is actually RGB (RED, Green, Blue separation) I believe.
Good article here http://www.projectorcentral.com/component.htm

Anyway RCA connections are lesser quality and not the same as component video. RCA would be the lowest quality, S-Video next and Component Video the best from what I understand.

Does the VCR doesn't have any image controls, maybe under the menu settings? It seems odd that the image would be that much darker after capturing. I do not believe this would be a Pyro Link issue but you can test it. Hook up another VCR or use another tape (maybe a commercial video) or connect a DVD player and try that to see what results you get after capture.
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Postby Bobby » Wed Jul 25, 2007 2:03 pm

Some slight inaccuracy here, Chuck. Let me see if I can list 'em in order.

1) old modulated video - uses TV type coaxial cable with Type F screw-in connector and you must view on a TV on channel 3 or 4 - worst quality - carries both video and audio

2) composite video - uses shielded coaxial signal type cable (like audio cable) - uses RCA type connectors (thick inner pin) - has one wire (yellow) which contains the complete composite video signal (all color channels of video + sync) - other two cables are red/white and hold stereo audio - better but still analog

3) S-Video - uses a single cable to carry the video - special multi-pin connector - better than composite

4) component video - also uses the same type of cable and connectors are composite, but the 3 wires are used to carry components of the video signal - R-G-B is used, but not popular in the US, which uses Y'PrPb - basically a different (and relative) color space - cables may be red/green/blue but sometimes not - getting much better now - audio must be carried on a separate cable

5) DVI - now we get to digital video - much, much better than component - connector square white same as used on PCs as VGA successor - does not carry audio

6) HDMI - finally signal nirvana - both digital video and digital audio in the same cable - this is what you should use if your units support it.
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Postby Chuck Engels » Wed Jul 25, 2007 2:39 pm

Sorry Bob, I read composite but was thinking component, my screw up.

Anyway, you can test the Pyro with other equipment to see if the brightness issue is consistent or not. You can connect just about anything to it, try a few and see what you get.

I just got Directv and connected to the Pyro, the picture is much better than cable ever was and it captures great quality.
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Postby Ken Jarstad » Wed Jul 25, 2007 8:29 pm

Sounds like it could be an output levels problem. Try a different VCR to check.

If the brightness and so on looks right on your monitor TV then try another known good tape to establish whether it is a bad tape or a bad VCR.
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Re:

Postby Bobby » Sat Mar 29, 2008 1:42 pm

Ken Jarstad wrote:Sounds like it could be an output levels problem. Try a different VCR to check.

If the brightness and so on looks right on your monitor TV then try another known good tape to establish whether it is a bad tape or a bad VCR.


Sorry for the delay, but I am just getting back to this, as I am working on another old VHS tape.

To sum thus far:

If I run the composite (no S-Video unfortunately) from my VHS deck to my Pyro input, the resulting video is distinctly dark. I can adjust in PE4, but I still seem to be losing some black end, so not good. The TV output from the VHS when played simultaneously looked good. I tried to both WinDV and PE4 directly.

Today I hooked up my Digital8 camcorder's composite output to the Pyro input with a different composite cable, and got the same result. So the problem is not the VHS deck, nor the cable.

Since the Pyro works fine with the Firewire output of the D8, I am assuming that at least from a digital interface perspective (Pyro Firewire output to Firewire PC input) that is OK also.

So the problem seems to be in the Pyro itself. Any ideas appreciated. Are there any Pyro settings (only dip switches that I see) that would affect this?

I could run the analog output of the VHS through the D8 but I have had trouble with A/V sync as there is no Sync Lock, so that is not an answer here either.

Thanks, Bob
(PS I need help - a bit of a deadline here!)
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Re: VHS via Pyro Brightness Problem

Postby Ken Jarstad » Sat Mar 29, 2008 9:24 pm

Hi Bob,

Can't find my Pyro Link manual - drat! The only switch that I know could affect video that way is the one that changes 'setup', black level. You can set it for 0 IRE or 7.5 IRE black level. Normal USA NTSC is 7.5 IRE. My switches are set down, up, down, down. Sometimes switches get flakey. Run each switch up and down several times to clear possible corrosion before setting it to the chosen position.

Finally, one last thing to try, use the D8 as your A/D converter to see if it works properly - if it has that option. Might be the Firewire card - long shot but maybe.

Edit: Looking at your post again I see that you tried the D8 but had audio synch problems. Was the picture OK?
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Re: VHS via Pyro Brightness Problem

Postby Bobby » Sun Mar 30, 2008 6:57 am

I have already tried the switch. No change. BTW, the User's Guide is available on the adstech website and my unit has the dipswitch settings printed on the bottom. Handy.

And, yes, if I use the D8 the video is OK. I may have to fall back on that, and keep the scenes short to get around the sync problem.

I also have a support email in to adstech.

Thanks, Bob
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Re: VHS via Pyro Brightness Problem

Postby Bobby » Mon Mar 31, 2008 4:49 pm

After going around a few passes with ADS, they ended up being no help at all. They offered no possible solutions to the problem, nor had any further diagnostic ideas. They finally said I could send the Pyro in and be checked and serviced for $65, but could not offer any idea as to whether in fact there was a problem or whether they could fix it. But since nobody else is having the problem, that would certainly point to my unit.

I am inclined not to send it in - might as well buy a new one, or something better. But, on the other hand, my days of converting my old VHS tapes are almost over now, so why bother. I think it all depends on whether I try to make more of a retirement business out of this - but my current PC business and Town Council activities seem to be keeping me pretty busy!

Anyhow, thanks for all the help.

Bob
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