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RE: [AV Media Matters] SVHS Correction & Preservation

Dear All,
    This response applies in Britain, and I must ask readers to apply
lesson to the situation in other countries.
    Here in Britain, our television programmes carry "Ceefax", a system
which carries digitised news-bulletins and other material, and which
the point of view of an archive) also carries the exact time of day
a second) and the date (day and month and weekday, which at least helps
nail down the year). All this is carried in "the vertical interval", the
lines between the picture-image lines. S-VHS is the only format I know
records the Ceefax data so it may be recovered. In addition, you will
sometimes see "VITcode" (Vertical Interval Timecode) made to the SMPTE
standard, so it will often remain possible to synchronise audio material
detect when two versions have been compiled differently. It also
includes a
"Subtitle" facility, so viewers with hearing-loss can follow what is
spoken on the video.
    So if *your* S-VHS tapes have something in the Vertical Interval, I
recommend you preserve the vertical interval intact. And I do not know
off-the-peg digital system which can do this! The British Library Sound
Archive has a "cloning pair" of editing VHS machines (which also work
S-VHS) for such purposes.
Peter Copeland

Moderators Comment
I believe that some TBC's allow you to keep the vertical interval in
some lines - I am almost certain that with some of the DPS TBC's (now
Leitch) you can choose not to replace some of the lines that contain
this information. It is a dip switch selectable thing that is not done
from the front panel - but it can be done (then again you are talking
about an expensive TBC - not your 300 dollar variety). There used to be
a difference between frame syncronizers and TBC's - one of them was that
Sync's would entirely replace the vertical interval, and TBC's wouldn't.
I would bet very good money that you can find an older TBC that will do
the job. It may not be a component TBC - but it will pass vertical
interval information. You will probably have to test them one at a time.
For instance I bet some old microtime TBC's will have no problem at all
(not sure if they made PAL ones though).


-----Original Message-----
From: Eli Shmotkin [mailto:eli@jemedia.org]
Sent: 22 January 2003 19:59
To: AV Media Matters
Subject: [AV Media Matters] SVHS Correction & Preservation

Hello All,

I have a historically valuable 1,000 hour videotape archive on SVHS. I'd

like to duplicate the entire archive to a different format for 
preservation and work tapes.

What format should I be going to for least quality loss, without 
spending more than I need to? For reasons of economics, I'd prefer to 
use the same format for both my editing and preservation copies. If, 
however, there's a compelling reason to do otherwise, I could be 

In addition, would it be best to process and color correct the videos as

I duplicate them, or should that be left for the editing process? I'm 
afraid that if I leave it for editing, I'll lose vital information in 
the dubbing stage, and I will not have as much flexibility in correction

as I'll have if I correct when I copy from the original masters.

So, two questions:
1. What format?
2. Color/sound correction during dubbing, or no?

Eli Shmotkin
Jewish Educational Media
784 Eastern Parkway
Suite 403
Brooklyn, NY 11213
718-774-6000 x241
fax: 718-774-3402


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