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  1. #1

    How to restore old VHS tapes?

    I got a bunch of old VHS and HI8 tapes with playback issues.

    Some are moldy and some seem ok but still have all kinds of tracking issues.

    What do you guys recommend to restore the footage or at least clean it up?

  2. #2
    Cartoon-based life form mgrusin's Avatar
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    Posted this in your other thread, but in case it's needed here:

    If you see a lot of tearing or bending at the top of the picture (in overscan or in extreme cases not), start up a Proc Amp for that input, go into advanced properties for the Proc Amp, find the setting for "Horizontal tracking loop frequency set", and change it to "Very fast". This has helped me a lot when capturing from bad tapes / decks.

    For physically dirty tapes (and if they're worth the $ to transfer), you might want to find a facility which can clean them and transfer them for you. Dirty tapes will quickly clog your VCR heads, and cleaning heads the wrong way will ruin them (ask here if you want to learn the right way to do it).

    If you're just doing this for fun, you could try rigging up a tape-cleaning device using your own ingenuity. The easiest way might be to take the lid off an OLD VCR, and while playing the tape, gently wipe it with a folded cloth etc. But note that if it's the brown oxide layer that's flaking off, that's what the signal is recorded into, so you could end up with nothing left...

    Good luck! -MG.

  3. #3
    Seems like some god info thanks.

    Care to share anymore tips

  4. #4
    found it
    Last edited by Seti Orion; 07-16-2006 at 01:54 PM.

  5. #5
    I took vcr apart and was pressing a little cloth agaisnt tape as it played.
    It did not seem to improve the issue any other idea?
    Is there some sort of cleaning solution?

    What company is affordable and will do a good job

  6. #6
    Registered User Cineman's Avatar
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    This is a very old solution, but used to work well for 3/4", less well with VHS and Hi-8. First, fast forward end to end, and rewind. Then, without trying to dub, play them end to end.

    Usual results included clogged heads. Yes there are cleaning cassettes, both wet and dry, but I used swabs with cleaning solution. Be careful as a video head is easy to break. Also always allow any wet cleaning a period to air dry.

    Nes Gurley

  7. #7

    restore

    Sometimes a tbc (time base corrector) will help alot.
    This will remove flaging and other stability issues.

    The vt contains frame syncronizers not tbc's
    Pete
    Pete Draves
    CV Productions
    Oak Creek, WI
    pdraves@cvpro.tv

  8. #8
    Cartoon-based life form mgrusin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seti Orion
    I took vcr apart and was pressing a little cloth agaisnt tape as it played.
    It did not seem to improve the issue any other idea?
    Is there some sort of cleaning solution?
    You could try putting a little alcohol on the cloth. Alcohol is safe because it will dry quickly without leaving residue. Anything that leaves residue (soap, etc.) will likely clog the tape heads if it isn't completely removed...

    If you do this in your homemade rig, I'd recommend wiping the tape at a point -after- it has passed the spinning drum which contains the video heads. The tape needs to be dry when it touches that drum; if it's wet it will stick to the drum and neither the tape or the VCR will be happy...

    I haven't personally dealt with any facility that does magnetic-media recovery, sorry. Googling "video tape recovery" lists some likely candidates. The page at http://www.videointerchange.com/tape.htm (this is not an endorsement) describes many of the issues involved. It sounds like they have the equipment to remove the reels from a videocassette and perform extensive cleaning including mold removal (apparently flood-damaged videotape is a common occurrence). Might be worth giving them or someone similar a call.

    If you're looking for a time-base corrector (TBC) to borrow, if you can find a nearby Video Toaster enthusiast from back in the Amiga days, they usually had a couple of TBCs sitting around and might be able to help you out.

    Good luck, Seti! -MG.

  9. #9
    VT[5] SpeedEdit Pilot Jim Capillo's Avatar
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    Cleaning issues aside, I'll second an external TBC. I had a problem where a VHS tape wouldn't digitize on VT and I had to run it thru an external TBC to make the VT happy.

    Try and use the VCR that the tape was recorded on, if possible. They'll usually play back better than another one that was not used.
    Jim Capillo

    CW Television Productions
    100 Cummings Center, Suite 309-G
    Beverly, MA 01915

    www.cwtvproductions.com

  10. #10
    thanks for the replies guys

    I got a few ideas I found this thing and it looks like it might be a good thing
    to have around.

    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...ist&sku=319462

    Ps my older VCR was contributing to the issue, once I tested a newer VCR
    the problem was not as bad. I just don't want to run these old tapes
    through the new VCR with out a good cleaning.

    I'm going to pick up a new VCR with component outputs

 

 

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