An external time-base corrector (TBC) is the next piece of equipment that most pros use when transferring tapes to DVD. Even with a good VCR, issues can arise that affect how a digitizer interprets a tape's video signal (see our Video to Digital page). An external TBC corrects analog timing errors, which usually appear as horizontal or vertical picture jitter, color shifts, dropped frames, or ragged edges of lines. A TBC ensures that a clean signal that is free from these defects is passed through to the digitizing device. We use an external TBC for every tape to DVD transfer to ensure that this occurs.
To improve picture quality even more, Timeless DVD then employs a processing amplifier and detailer as well. These pieces of video processing hardware can improve an analog video picture tremendously, and generally offer better results than using software filters on flawed digitized video.
The first tool, the processing amplifier, or "proc amp," is also called a color corrector or video corrector. All proc amps are geared to making manual adjustments to a video's contrast, color, and hue. A proc amp can repair such issues as faded or oversaturated color, red or green tint, a picture that is too dim or bright. After you've transferred a tape via a proc amp and see the vibrant images that result, you'll never want to do without it!
The second piece of hardware is a detailer, often called an image enhancer. A detailer raises the high frequencies of the video signal, a process that creates better clarity and definition in the video prior to digitization. In other words, a detailer appears to sharpen the image.
Timeless DVD uses both a proc amp and detailer whenever we copy VCR tapes to DVD. Many video transfer services do not add proc amps and detailers because they do entail more effort. But this is another reason our work is higher quality than what most companies offer.