14 Replies Latest reply on May 17, 2010 1:43 PM by the_wine_snob

    Repairing VHS footage- any ideas?

    Antoin151 Level 1

      I am archiving old VHS footage and thanks to help from members on the (Encore)forum have completed 3 tapes satisfactorily.

      The present tape is a mess.   Audio seems O.K.   Video varies greatly from horizontal lines to perfectly clean video.

      Sometimes the footage breaks down altogether and PPro interprets this as copyright protection and distorted footage

      is followed by blue screen.    Has anyone dealt with this before?

      Footage is VHS PAL and is 1hr 45m duration.    School play shot in 1989.

      Has PPro something like Soundbooth where the lines can be repaired?

      I just thought I would ask for ideas before attempting to fix it.  (I have an awful feeling that I will meet more of this.)

        • 1. Re: Repairing VHS footage- any ideas?
          FelixUnderwood Level 2

          What speed was this recorded at? SP, LP, or SLP? If your footage was recorded at SLP and is being played back on a machine that wasn't also used to record it, you're likely experiencing unrecoverable tracking errors. And to my knowledge, these aren't easily "fixed in post." Also, if the tape is physically damaged, i.e. creased or has edge damage, it will cause playback problems that aren't possible to correct. Sometimes the mechanics of the tape shell itself cause playback problems from irregular tape speed playback (from one or both tape hubs having too much friction with the tape plastic shell making it difficult for them to rotate smoothly). You can usually hear mechanical noises like squeaks on playback from the tape mechanism itself if this is the problem. I've taken the tape hubs from tapes like this and put them in another plastic shell (preferably a new one) and that's taken care of the problem.

          • 2. Re: Repairing VHS footage- any ideas?
            the_wine_snob Level 9

            One tip on doing VHS capture is to Play the tape in the camera/deck completely, and then Play in reverse to rewind. This is NOT FFW - REW, as they are too fast. The downside is that the tape is in contact with the head, but the retensioning of the tape will be nearly perfect, and things like hub bump will be improved. After you do this, clean the heads, and then capture.

             

            Unfortunately, there is only so much that can be done with old/bad tapes. Had 34 to do, that were stored in an Arizona garage for years, many not having been rewound. Most came out quite good, but some had places that nothing could be done.

             

            A-D bridges like the Canopus/Grass Valley 300 will be helpful with timebase corrections, but with old tapes, it is a crap-shoot.

             

            Good luck,

             

            Hunt

            • 3. Re: Repairing VHS footage- any ideas?
              Curt Wrigley Level 4

              If your video is playing back with horizontal lines; there is nothing in post to fix that.

               

              A VCR with a TBC (Time base corrector) built in can sometimes playback problem tapes like yours without the distortion.  If its too expensive for you to buy; look for a company that specialize in digitizing vhs; they will have TBC equipment that may help.

              • 4. Re: Repairing VHS footage- any ideas?
                the_wine_snob Level 9

                That was why I mentioned the Canopus/GV ADVC-300, as it does offer some TBC. It can save a lot of time in post, but is not perfect, and there are problems that nothing will fix. Let us always hope that the prime footage is not part of those problem segments!

                 

                Good luck,

                 

                Hunt

                • 5. Re: Repairing VHS footage- any ideas?
                  Antoin151 Level 1

                  Thanks for contacting me, I was hoping to hear from you.   The main

                  problem is storage.

                  The tapes were kept in the attic and everything seemed

                  all OK, but we had the worst winter in memory, I notice that tapes that I had removed earlier had no problems.   I think the

                  problem lies with the tapes themselves, so TBC might not be the answer.

                  Playing tapes forward/backward seems a bit too drastic at present.

                  If all comes to the worst, I will just have to make do with a still pasted over the worst

                  parts.   A bit rough, but the priority is to get as many "saved?" as I can.

                  I'm surprised that there is no drop out cleaner in PPro.   I think Final Cut Pro has one.

                  It would appear to be easier for the boffins to fix than fixing audio in Soundbooth,  after

                  all a thin white line moving down at 25fps (PAL) should be able to fix by making comparisons with other frames in the vicinity.

                  • 6. Re: Repairing VHS footage- any ideas?
                    Antoin151 Level 1

                    Thanks for the reply Felix.   The tapes were shot by someone else.   Standard play.   I've a feeling it's a storage problem.   I gave details to Bill so I wont repeat them here.   Thanks again

                    • 7. Re: Repairing VHS footage- any ideas?
                      Antoin151 Level 1

                      Thanks for reply.  My recorder has TBC built in so troubled times ahead.

                      • 8. Re: Repairing VHS footage- any ideas?
                        the_wine_snob Level 9

                        Being SP is good. I have had to work with some EP and LP stuff, that was stored in very high temps and very dry environments (Arizona, USA), and for some, there was just no saving the footage as something really nice looking. Color Correction did help, as did Levels and Highlight & Shadow (not Auto for either), then some Neat Video Effect and finally some Unsharp Mask, but still, the tapes were the problem, so one could never get anything truly usable. In my cases, the client just wanted images, as they were important. I did my best, but it fell far short, by my eyes. Such is life.

                         

                        Good luck, and hope that you can salvage enough to be useful.

                         

                        Hunt

                        • 9. Re: Repairing VHS footage- any ideas?
                          John T Smith Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                          I didn't really pay any attention to the company name 'cause my Dv500 works well enough for what I want to do, but one of those "how it's done" type programs on the Science channel recently had a short segment on a company that specializes in converting old types of media to digital

                           

                          These tapes may be beyond what anyone can do... but doing a Google to find a professional, with more expensive equipement, might be worth some time

                          • 10. Re: Repairing VHS footage- any ideas?
                            the_wine_snob Level 9

                            If one does find a professional supplier, be sure to choose one of two delivery schemes:

                             

                            1.) miniDV tape (you WILL need either a miniDV camera, or deck, to Capture from this)

                             

                            2.) DV-AVI Type II w/ 48KHz 16-bit PCM/WAV Audio (you WILL need to supply them with an external HDD, formatted to NTSF for this)

                             

                            Turn your back on any DVD-Video delivery, as you will get MPEG-2, highly-compressed captures, and will loose quality.

                             

                            Good luck,

                             

                            Hunt

                            1 person found this helpful
                            • 11. Re: Repairing VHS footage- any ideas?
                              Antoin151 Level 1

                              Thanks again Bill.  I am fortunate in that I am doing this for myself and the parents of

                              the students who were in the plays.   I only contact the parents when the job is done.   The DVDs are just gifts and sometimes they bring a mixture of happiness and sorrow as

                              some students have passed away.   The only pressure I have, is trying to do as good a job as I can.

                              I am surprised that there is no dropout filter.   The problem to be removed is easily identifiable ~ a white horizontal line.  The solution  to scan a few frames either side and paste a copy of the line over the dropout.

                              I may be wrong as it is a long time since I used basic on a Sinclair Spectrum to make a crude titling programme and then to become more hi-tech with a genlock and an Amiga

                              1200.

                               

                              Date: Sun, 16 May 2010 12:33:23 -0600

                              From: forums@adobe.com

                              To: donegalvideo@hotmail.com

                              Subject: Repairing VHS footage- any ideas?

                               

                              If one does find a professional supplier, be sure to choose one of two delivery schemes:

                               

                              1.) miniDV tape (you WILL need either a miniDV camera, or deck, to Capture from this)

                               

                              2.) DV-AVI Type II w/ 48KHz 16-bit PCM/WAV Audio (you WILL need to supply them with an external HDD, formatted to NTSF for this)

                               

                              Turn your back on any DVD-Video delivery, as you will get MPEG-2, highly-compressed captures, and will loose quality.

                               

                              Good luck,

                               

                              Hunt

                              >

                              • 12. Re: Repairing VHS footage- any ideas?
                                the_wine_snob Level 9

                                Other than the TBC on the A-D device, or the player, I am not aware of any add-ons, or plug-ins for PrPro. There could be such apps., but as VHS is fading (in more ways, that one), maybe it's just not considered to have that much sales potential.

                                 

                                Thinking of the main "players" in the 3rd party market, I just do not recall reading of such a utility. Maybe someone else will have just the ticket, however.

                                 

                                Good luck,

                                 

                                Hunt

                                • 13. Re: Repairing VHS footage- any ideas?
                                  Antoin151 Level 1

                                  I expect you're right.   But there must be a fair number of people out there

                                  who would like to upgrade before everything is lost.   Maybe the drop out on tapes will

                                  have some of the status that grainy films have now.

                                  • 14. Re: Repairing VHS footage- any ideas?
                                    the_wine_snob Level 9

                                    Maybe the drop out on tapes will have some of the status that grainy films have now.

                                     

                                    There were actually a couple of posts, in the last year, or so, where posters WANTED the "bad video" look, and were working to achieve that. Not sure how these were being used in their Projects, but that is what they wanted.

                                     

                                    Also, there are constant requests for plug-ins and settings to create an "old film look," and one is active now, requiring "flickering."

                                     

                                    Unfortunately, I never WANT the old film, or bad video, when I get it!

                                     

                                    Good luck, and I will keep my eye out for something that might improve things.

                                     

                                    Hunt

                                    1 person found this helpful