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6 Head VCR vs. S-Video VCR (1 Viewer)

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Hello all. Long-time lurker, first time poster. I have a large VHS collection that I cherish and watch frequently. Lately my old Magnavox VCR seems to be on its last legs. I have been shopping around for new VCR with a 120$ max budget and seem to be stuck between two options: a 6 head VCR or an S-Video VCR. Witch one would display a better quality picture? I realize a 6 head should by definition create a higher resolution image, but is it limited by a composite output? Likewise, would an S-Video output make a noticeable difference on a 4 head player?


These are the two models I am looking at.

6 Head:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00WBYSMHG/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s01?ie=UTF8&psc=1

S-Video:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/JVC-HR-S590...065453?hash=item3f84bf3e2d:g:WF4AAOSwGdJZll~s


Let me know what y'all think. I know that VHS is inherently a low quality format but I'm hoping to get the most out of it that I can.


Thanks!
 

Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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The extra heads only make the picture look better during slow motion and FF/RW. SVHS has picture quality approaching DVD, but only if the recording is SVHS. Standard VHS recordings will look the same as any standard VHS.

Appears to be above your price range, but if you’re interested in VHS for the long haul, I’d recommend getting a used JVC HR-S7100. We had four or five JVC SVHS machines back in the day, and they all saw an average of 3-4 hours use per day. The oldest one, the 7100, is the only one still working flawlessly. It was build like a tank. If you can find one in good working condition, it should last for years.

Regards,
Wayne A. Pflughaupt
 

DaveF

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If you want to watch these VHS tapes for years to come, I recommend having them digitized so you no longer have to worry about tape degradation and finding VCRs.
 

AndyMcKinney

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As someone who has transferred my own stuff to DVD (and has watched VHS on a big-screen TV), I strongly recommend buying a model with a Time Base Corrector. A TBC will make a very noticeable improvement on most tapes.

The most common models with a TBC are the higher-end JVC S-VHS decks. You can sometimes find a working model in your price range on eBay.

I also have a stand-alone TBC (which I pair with my Sony normal VHS that is like a tank) and use it for tapes that exhibit 'flagging' on the JVC.
 

AndyMcKinney

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There are several models with built-in Digital TBC. I know I'd never be able to name them all. On the JVC ones I've seen, they all have a little button on the front panel that says "Digital TBC". Next to the button is a small light, that shows whether you have the TBC switched on or not.

One such model (which I happen to own) is the HR-S7800U. In the years when this one was out, JVC's S-VHS models were usually 3000 series, 4000 series and so on. The ones with model numbers beginning in a 7, 8 or 9 (7800, 8800, 9800) usually had the TBC, the lower-numbered ones didn't.

There may be exceptions to the above, and this numbering convention doesn't take in JVC's professional line, but this might be a good guide to go from.

In general, the higher the first number, the more features you got (and the more expensive they were).
 

JohnRice

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Just to explain some of the "Head" details. First, the number of heads won't affect the resolution of the output.

I'm digging back into the memory archives, but here's the basic breakdown. Rotating video heads are always in pairs. The first pair is for recording/playback. Additional pairs can be either/both of additional playback heads for better image during slo-mo and fast play, which was already explained. The second pair of extra heads would be flying erase heads, which eliminated the gradual transition from static to image at the beginning of cuts. So, a 6 head VCR had all three kinds of heads.
 

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