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Video Enhancer Kits - Any Good ?

Discussion in 'Hobby Electronics' started by Dean, Jan 7, 2005.

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  1. Dean

    Dean Guest

    In about 1990 I brought a video cleaner-upper kit from Altronics ( I think )
    which was supposed to allow you to make cleaner copies of video tapes wher
    transfering from one VCR to another. Well, I built it and tried it out. It
    made no difference to the picture at all - in fact you could turn it off and
    the picture just went straight through it and came out unaffected ! At least
    it didn't actually degrade the picture.

    Well, now that I want to transfer some of my old VHS tapes to DVD, I'd like
    to clear up the picture if possible. I notice that Jaycar are now selling
    kits which claim to do similar things. I realise you will only ever get a
    marginal improvment at best, but anythings better than nothing as some tapes
    are from shows which will never be repeated.

    So my question is :- has anyone here actually tried the Jaycar video
    enhancer kits and are they worth worrying about ? The best ones are about
    $200 so I'd hope they had some form of real processing inside for that

    Thanks for any advice or even abuse,

  2. Chances are the "cleaner-upper" kit you bought was not supposed to make the
    picture sharper. Rather it was supposed to clean up the sync pulses which
    are purposely degraded by copy protection - the cleaned up pulses allowing
    a second VCR could lock in the picture. It generally doesn't do much when
    playing a video through it to view on the TV - although it might help for a
    few TVs which have trouble with copy protected sync.

    The video enhancer you are looking at filters the video signal - at least
    allowing adjustable high frequency peaking, to makes the picture look
    sharper. The high frequencies contain the detailed part of the picture. So
    if the edges around objects look blurred, the enhancer might help. With too
    much peaking, the effect is a grotesque, "cutout effect" around objects.
    Home video recorders lose the high frequencies, so the enhancer can help you
    make the most of your video tapes. However, it can't fix those ancient
    tapes with smears of color.

  3. Dean

    Dean Guest

    "Roger Lascelles"
    OK thanks. It might still be worth a try. I suppose one day not too far away
    software might be available for the private user which might even clean up
    video using some sort of itelligent image recognition system that redraws
    everything - similar to the way cheap CD players ' fill in ' the missing
    bits when reading CDs. I wonder if thats what the big well heeled TV
    networks use to process those 50 year old TV shows ( I Love Lucy etc ) to
    make them clean as a whistle for modern day broadcast.

  4. Fred Ferd

    Fred Ferd Guest

    Maybe its the phenonenal CPU power required that is the hold up on that..

    (well its coming someday.. )

    In the mean time, if you capture to a computer ,you can adjust the
    brightness, saturation , hue and contrast levels. And may de speckle or
    smooth to get rid of specs and grain and scratchy appearance, if you have a
    day or two to let your 1500mhz CPU run flat out on it.

    Also de-pop and de-hiss and volume fix the audio to get a clear clean sound
    out of old mono tapes.

  5. Dean

    Dean Guest

    "Fred Ferd" >
    That's a good idea actually. I should look around to see what video editing
    sotfware comes with those options.

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