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VCR's and Commercial Skip ..Do they work

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#1 of 23 OFFLINE   Richard_s


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Posted February 15 2002 - 03:50 AM

I am planning to buy an S-VHS recorder with an IR cable interface. Does the commercial skip feature really work on any of these S-VHS Boxes. Also what is jog and shuttle? The three models based on many recommendations here that I am looking into are (crutchfield.com prices):

JVC HR-S3900 $170 (has jog and shuttle; no commercial skip)

JVC HR-S4800 $170 (has shuttle but no jog; no commercial skip)

JVC Hr-S7800 $200 (has shuttle but no jog; no commercial skip)

Also which of these models do you favor it seems the S3900 is the best unit as long as I do not need commercial skip and audio dubbing. For just recording sports events, movies and TV shows I would not think I need the audio dubbing (I assme this feature is so I can dub in my own sound track Correct?)

Seems like the JVC's don't have a commercial skip unit in the low end price.

Found this unit at tweeter for $229 has commercial skip and 7 step shuttle (states this is also like jog). Any opinions on this unit?

#2 of 23 OFFLINE   Ted Lee

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Posted February 15 2002 - 06:28 AM

i have a panasonic vcr that does the commercial skip. it works perfectly! i didn't even realize it had that feature and it totally surprised me the first time i used it.

however i don't often use it because i actually enjoy watching commercials (at least the first couple of times) because i like to observe the different tactics used by the advertiser. call me sick...

anyway, the feature works perfectly.

afaik, the jog and shuttle feature are used to help accurately manover the tape. usually it consists of a round dial, that you can spin in either direction. the spinning can be done in various increments that allow for greater control on where to start/stop the tape...much more accurate than a simple rewind/fast-forward type transport.

#3 of 23 OFFLINE   Bill Will

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Posted February 15 2002 - 08:50 AM

Be careful of the terms "COMMERCIAL SKIP" & "COMMERCIAL ADVANCE" All "COMMERCIAL SKIP" does is when you push a button on the remote it scans the tape fast forward 30 seconds everytime you push the button. With "COMMERCIAL ADVANCE" the vcr AUTOMATICALLY fast forwards through the commercials without having to push anything. I have a VHS vcr with "COMMERCIAL ADVANCE" that I use for casual viewing & I would not be without it, that's how much I like it & the feature can be turned ON/OFF. As for the JVC vcr's you listed the 7800 has a far better picture because of the 2MB frame memory. As for S-VHS with "COMMERCIAL ADVANCE" the only S-VHS vcr that has it is Panasonic. The model number is PV-VS4821 & Crutchfield has it listed at $ 229.95 I would do a price search for vcr's at www.pricescan.com because Crutchfield is high on their prices. As for JOG/SHUTTLE controls you really don't need them, just like FLYING ERASE HEADS unless you edit your tapes.


You might also want to read reviews of any vcr's that your interested in at www.audioreview.com

Again the JVC 7800 has the superior picture quality compared to most S-VHS vcr's out there, except for the top of the line JVC S9900, S9800 & etc.

#4 of 23 OFFLINE   Bill Will

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Posted February 15 2002 - 09:03 AM

Just to follow up. Yes "COMMERCIAL ADVANCE" works. I find it works 100% of the time on network programs but sometimes it doesn't skip all of the commercials on local programs. Hope this helps you out Posted Image If you have any other questions on "COMMERCIAL ADVANCE" you can email me directly & I will try & answer your questions Posted Image

#5 of 23 OFFLINE   Bill Will

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Posted February 15 2002 - 10:15 AM

Just checked around & found the Panasonic for $ 173 at www.inetshopping.com but I would call J&R at 1-800-221-8180 & make them match the price. If you want the JVC 7800 I would jump on it now from Crutchfield for $199 because the new JVC 7900 is out which is selling for around $260.

#6 of 23 OFFLINE   Richard_s


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Posted February 15 2002 - 05:43 PM


Thanks for the great advice and links to useful information. Posted Image You saved me at least one wasted trip to a store since I would have bought a unit and got Commercial skip and I want commercial advance.

What model VHS do you have. I beginning to wonder if I really need a S-VHS since all I do is record a sports event, movie or TV show for later viewing. Also you talked about a 2mb frame giving the JVC7800 the best picture. Is there a similar spec to look for in a VHS recorcer so that I at least get a VHS with the best possible VHS picture.

One feature I do want is Cable Box IR control.

Appreciate the offer to help with technical info via e-mail.

#7 of 23 OFFLINE   Bill Will

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Posted February 16 2002 - 03:33 AM

Richard, as far as I know only Panasonic & RCA have the "Commercial Advance" feature. Mine is a VHS HI-FI RCA model that was RCA's cheapest HI-FI model at the time but the only reason I got it was because a store was going out of business & it was a floor model that was never even plugged in & I only paid $49 for it & the average retail price for it then was $129 As for picture quality I would rate it just like Consumer Reports did.
SP = Very Good
EP = Fair
The big thing I find for the "FAIR" EP rating is that the tuner in it is not very good but it plays tapes made on other vcr's ok & once in a while I use it as a player when dubbing tapes.

As for "MB Frame" only JVC S-VHS vcr's have it.

I think the big thing you have to ask yourself is what do you want this vcr for & what kind of tv do you have. If it's a RPTV than I would go with the Panasonic S-VHS model if you want "Commercial Advance" if you can live without "Commercial Advance" than I would grab the JVC 7800 from Crutchfield.

The best place to check out the RCA's would be Radio Shack
the RCA model that has cable box control is VR708HF & they have it for $129.99 (I'm sure it can be found cheaper than that) & remember Radio Shack will take back anything within 30 days without any questions asked so you could even take one home & try it out & see if you would be happy with an RCA.

If I'm not mistaken, The wide body RCA's are made by Panasonic & the small body RCA's are made by Samsung, but don't hold me to this. Oh you might also want to look for discontinued VHS Proscan models that are made by RCA they also have "Commercial Advance" & were made by Panasonic I've seen the top model VHS Proscan for as low as $79 Hope all of this has been helpful to you Posted Image

#8 of 23 OFFLINE   Bill Will

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Posted February 16 2002 - 04:15 AM


March 2002 Consumer Reports Ratings of VCR's:

Mitsubishi HS-U577 or HSU447 SP = VERY GOOD EP = FAIR
Hitachi VT-FX665A or VT-685A SP = VERY GOOD EP = GOOD
Philips VR621CAT, 620 or 623 SP = VERY GOOD EP = GOOD
Toshiba W712 or W714 SP = GOOD EP = FAIR
Symphonic SL260B SP = VERY GOOD EP = FAIR

Panasonic PV-VS4821 SP = VERY GOOD EP = FAIR



All the other VHS models rated GOOD



Panasonic PV-VS4821

#9 of 23 OFFLINE   Bill Will

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Posted February 16 2002 - 04:52 AM

This also might help you especially explaining all about how "Commercial Advance" works. Go to RCA's website www.rca.com & download the owner's manual for the VR708HF vcr. Also I have noticed with Consumer Reports ever sense DVD players came out the picture ratings on vcr's seem to have gone down. So maybe a vcr that's rated as having a VERY GOOD picture now would be a vcr that would have been rated as having an EXCELLENT picture before DVD players came out?

I do all of my "Commercial Advance" recordings at the EP speed because it takes a lot less time to zip through the commercials than using the SP speed so make sure you check out the EP recording speed if you buy a "Commercial Advance" vcr.

Maybe Radio Shack will even let you take home a floor model if you tell them you just want to check it out before buying it. I know my local RS manager & he is always letting me take stuff home overnight just to try it out, but yes he still has to ring it up as a sale & then as a return just to cover his own butt! I guess incase I died or decided to run off with it Posted Image

#10 of 23 OFFLINE   Richard_s


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Posted February 16 2002 - 05:23 AM

Thanks and yes I have a 53hs10 so your point on getting s-vhs is a good one. I think I am suffering from "analysis paralysis" time to fish and stop cutting bait.

Might get the JVC 7800 and just do the commercial advance manually. This unit has the cable box/DBS timmer control that I want. They also have the 4800 $30 less. Is the 2 meg frame memory worth the extra $30 seems like other than that the 7800 and 4800 are identical.

Thanks again

#11 of 23 OFFLINE   KevinW


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Posted February 18 2002 - 01:11 AM

I had problems with the RCA 708 model. The commercial advance never worked right for me, so I took it back. However, I did experience other problems with the VCR, so maybe the problem wasn't just with the commercial advance. Years ago, '95 I think, I purchased RCA's newest VCR because of the commercial advance. It worked perfectly every time! That was back when VHS hi-fi models were around the $400-$500 mark.
Anyway, as someone else said, buy it somewhere that offers a good return policy, just in-case!

I now have the Sony SLV-N71 and love it! Best picture quality I've ever seen on a VCR. The coolest thing about it is the quick-set timer dial on the front of the vcr. You can quickly program it to record WITHOUT using the OSD. 1 push sets the day, another the time, another the channel, and you're done.

There's 2 cents for ya'......

#12 of 23 OFFLINE   Allan Jayne

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Posted February 18 2002 - 01:20 AM

Have you noticed that much of the time the picture fades to black just before the commercial break? This is one of the methods used by the commercial advance VCR to identify commercial breaks. Also there are tones in the audio and/or material in scan lines 484-525 whose purpose is to tell the sponsors' automatic monitoring and auditing devices that the commercials were aired at the proper times and that VCR's can also use for commercial advance.

Commercial advance shortens the life of the VCR. After taping a program, the VCR automatically rewinds and plays the program back to itself, recordings flags on the tape for where to begin fast advance and where to resume playback. This consumes the finite life of the recording heads and other mechanical parts. You can turn off the feature completely if you wish.

Once in awhile the commercial advance guesses wrong, advancing when there is no commercial or failing to resume playback until a minute after the show resumed.

Video hints:

#13 of 23 OFFLINE   Bill Will

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Posted February 18 2002 - 04:12 AM

Richard, simply put YES! The 2MB makes a big difference & for only $30 more GO FOR IT especially on a big screen RPTV. Refurbished 7800's are going for around $195 so if I was you I would jump on the 7800 at Crutchfield for $199 plus Crutchfield is a top of the line company. Again, GO FOR IT Posted Image Just my 2 cents.

#14 of 23 OFFLINE   Dmitry


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Posted February 18 2002 - 06:09 AM

I have an older JVC S-VHS VCR, model 7500. It has Commercial Advance feature. At first I was quite happy with it but as the time progressed it became more and more erratic. I can attribute this behavior to any of the following factors: signal quality, wear of the tape, VCR heads collecting magnetic dust. Since I have switched to DirecTiVo about a year ago I no longer suffer from this Posted Image One more thing about Commercial Advance in JVC VCRs -- after the recording is done, it goes through the tape and tries to detect and mark all commercials. When I taped 6 hours of tennis, it took VCR about 20 minutes to complete this process. Also, you see no picture during CA, so you don't know for sure whether it'sd one a great job or not. I had some problems when it would gou into advancing in the middle of the point, so eventuall I've turned it off.

Once again, this is an older model and the feature may've been perfected since so your mileage may vary.


#15 of 23 OFFLINE   Bill Will

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Posted February 18 2002 - 07:51 AM

On my 2 year old RCA you have the choice of slecting a blue screen or watching the commercials fast forward when Commercial Advance is selected. I usually set mine to watch the commercials fast forward that way I don't miss any of the program & it gives me a chance to see the commercials just incase I want to watch them. I'm not sure about the JVC or Panasonic models so don't hold me to this but I think the choice of the blue screen on/off during Commercial Advance is only on RCA vcr's.

#16 of 23 OFFLINE   Richard_s


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Posted February 18 2002 - 09:02 AM

What I have found is that Panasonic, Quasar and RCA are the only units that have commercial advance. Panasonic has the IR cable/DBS timer (IR mouse) built into the top of the unit. The JVC has an optional IR mouse But crutchfield tells me the 7800 has the IR mouse in the box.

Panasonic PV-VS4821 (rated only good based on a post above) but it seems to be the only one that has both the commercial advance and the IR mouse. I found a local dealer that has the panasonic for $199 with a 7 day return policy and they have plenty in stock.

Bill given that I do have an RPTV 53" then I guess I have to decide on a better picture or commercial advance ie JVC 7800 vs Panasonic PV-VS4821 both are the same price. Crutchfield also has quite a few 7800's still in stock. Boy do I wish the JVC had commercial advance.

Thanks all

#17 of 23 OFFLINE   Bill Will

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Posted February 18 2002 - 12:55 PM

Richard, this is what I would do but 1st make sure you can return the Panasonic to your local dealer if your unhappy with it. Order the 7800 from Crutchfield & pickup the Panasonic from your local dealer & then compare them in your home & keep the one that your happy with. Crutchfield will take the JVC back if your unhappy with it & they will even pay the return shipping charges. As for the IR (mouse) I think the Panasonic has a built in window on the top left corner of the vcr & your box is suposed to placed on top of the vcr. With the JVC the vcr can be placed anywhere because the IR "mouse" has a wire on it so you can run the "mouse" to the box. Just thought I'd point that out if that might be a factor in which vcr to get. Or you could go HOG WILD and buy both of them Posted Image This will give you a S-VHS player (Panasonic) and an S-VHS editing recorder (JVC) for dubbing tapes. :b Maybe you can find the JVC 7800 or 7900 locally that will also let you return it if you decide to go the "home test" route? Whatever you get let us know what you think of the vcr or vcr's that you end up with. You could also get the cheap VHS RCA VR651HF for $89 and use it for casual tapings with the Commercial Advance & use the JVC for programs that the RCA can't record or programs you want to save.

#18 of 23 OFFLINE   WillF



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Posted February 19 2002 - 03:08 PM

I have just gone through this purchase decision in the last 2 weeks myself. It was between the Panasonic 4821 and the JVC 7800 (I would have preferred the Mits 776 but I can't get it in Canada). I was leaning to the 4821 because of the commercial advance. But I was reading alot of messages that didn't give the 4821 very good reviews when it came to picture quality (and this is what should really count...right?).

What I noticed about the 4821 (that made me uneasy) was the lack of either their DynAmorphous Heads or at least a mention of 19 micron heads (yet a regular vhs model below this svhs has them...??). The JVC has a TBC, tape calibration and digital YNR/CNR (as well as flying erase heads and S-video front inputs). Basically for two machines that are roughly the same price where you are (*not* in Canada though...#@*%*@), you get a lot more "picture quality" features with the 7800.

oh yeah...and though they don't mention it at their site, the 7800 does have commericial skip....

#19 of 23 OFFLINE   Bill Will

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Posted February 19 2002 - 03:27 PM

The 7800 has commercial skip but it does not have "Commercial Advance"

#20 of 23 OFFLINE   tony randall

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Posted February 19 2002 - 03:36 PM

I am to lazy to check the model number on my Panasonic vcr (a '96 model), but it is 30 sec. advance. I do not use that feature, but learned that there are usually 4 commercials, except at the show's midpoint, so i just FF and count how many commercial changes.

I had purchased a unit with commercial advance and it was the NOSIEST vcr i ever encountered, especially during a commercial advance operation, and it always seemed to overshoot, then rewind back to the program. The only thing positive was that it drowned out the moaner in the next apartment.

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