Any awesome VCR's on the market?

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Al H., Mar 20, 2004.

  1. Al H.

    Al H. Agent

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    I understand that VHS recorders are just about obsolete, but I still have about a million VHS tapes that I would like to play at some times. I also understand that I cannot achieve any of my desired sound formats with a VCR but still, I would like to have an awesome VCR asides from a normal VCR in my arsenal of entertainment components. Is there anything better than a Hi-Fi VCR? D-VHS, S-VHS? Im sorry I haven't done much research on VCR's in like the past 5 years.
     
  2. Don_Berg

    Don_Berg Supporting Actor

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    S-VHS is superior but only for recording new tapes with SVHS tape. It will playback a regular VHS tape with regular VHS quality.
     
  3. Al H.

    Al H. Agent

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    O.K. so S-VHS is superior in this realm of Home Theater up to date. I do not suggest to play movies on VHS because of my past experience with the DVD format and the DD 5.1 surround. Unfortunately (or maybe not) I had have the experience of fully utilizing the VCR. My latest "good" experience, like I said, was about 5 years ago. So obviously I have a ton of VHS tapes like I said, and my DVD collection is gradually catching up. The reason why I want this VCR is because (1) I want to play my old Vintage VHS tapes without the nuances of older technology. (2) I want to have a "full" Home Theater system regardless of what type of format the media is. Thank you so much for the reply.
     
  4. Jay Blair

    Jay Blair Second Unit

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    I have to disagree that VHS tapes don't look better played on S-VHS decks. The better JVC S-VHS decks and D-VHS decks have 3D noise reduction, time base correction with 4MB frame memory, and edge enhancement/sharpness controls that greatly improve the pic quality of regular VHS tapes. It doesn't turn them into DVD quality, but it is still amazing how good VHS can look playing in these decks, especially prerecorded VHS tapes that have been digitally mastered like Nic Roeg's Castaway.

    I have both an older JCV S-VHS 9500 deck (current model I think is at 9911) and a JVC D-Theater D-VHS 30000 deck (current model is the 40000) that have these features and love them, even when using my handful of regular VHS tapes. New JCV D-VHS 30k decks are going for under $500, and refurbs under $300 online.
     
  5. Don_Berg

    Don_Berg Supporting Actor

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    Of course the high-end SVHS decks can "clean up" the picture from old VHS tapes, but they can't increase the low resolution of the source material - thats what I meant. An old VHS tape can never be played to look as good as a real SVHS recording.
     
  6. Derek B

    Derek B Stunt Coordinator

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  7. Jerome Grate

    Jerome Grate Cinematographer

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    I was going to say JVC 9000 series until I just saw Derek B's post with the link. Very interesting, very interesting indeed.
     
  8. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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    D-VHS is a high definition 1080i format that has been around for a few years, and has the capability of recording HDTV signals in their full resolution. Also, pre-recorded movies in D-VHS format will look better than DVD. There are not many movies out in this format, though, and most are encoded using JVC's proprietary D-Theater encrypted copy-protection system.

    D-VHS, however, will not make your existing VHS recordings look "better than DVD". The D-VHS decks simply have the ability to play back VHS tapes as well as D-VHS ones. VHS tapes will be played back in their native resolution, and not be magically transformed into D-VHS quality material.

    With the HD-DVD and Blu-Ray high definition disc-based formats on the horizon, D-VHS is nothing more than a transitional format, IMO.
     
  9. ChuckSolo

    ChuckSolo Screenwriter

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    I too disagree that a VHS tape played on a S-VHS deck does not look any better than regular VHS. My JVC S-VHS machine plays back old VHS tapes noticeably better than a standard VHS machine. This is probably due to the reasons stated above in a previous post but also because the deck has an S-Video out port. I have a copy of "Khartoum" that I bought at a used book store and the PQ was fantastic when played back on my JVC; not quite DVD quality, but far superior to a plain old VHS machine. I compared playback picture quality with my Zenith DVD/VCR and my JVC on this tape and the JVC was heads and above better. After recording, the playback with SVHS tapes is practically indistinguishable from the original broadcast.
     
  10. Phil Nichols

    Phil Nichols Second Unit

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    Al H.,

    You'll get the most awesome VHS playback if you care to pick up a used SVHS VCR that's either:

    A) Sony SLV-R1000

    B) Panasonic AG-1980

    Some of the modern Super VHS JVC VCR's are indeed OK, but the above two were (no longer available new) in a league of their own. Look on eBay and pick up either in good used condition.
     
  11. Jerome Grate

    Jerome Grate Cinematographer

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    This is not just a D-VHS machine, to me this is a whold different machine:
    D-VHS (HS, STD, LS3) S-VHS (SP, EP) S-VHS ET (SP, EP) HiFi VHS (SP, EP) VHS (SP, EP)
    Full Spec HDTV Compatible (with all 18 ATSC broadcasting formats)
    DigiPure Technology for high resolution analog recording and playback
    5.1 Dolby Digital Output (optical)
    2 channel Linear PCM Audio Output capability
    1080i, 720P, 480P and 480i
    2 Sets of AV inputs
    S-Video inputs
    2 Sets of AV outputs
    2 S-Video Outputs
    1 Component Video Output (Y, Pb, Pr)
    1 x Optical Digital Output
    2 x I.Link Terminal (IEEE 1394), DV input only for camcorders
    Front Inputs ( AV, S-Video, i.Link)
    Video Navigation- Tape Number, Record date and Category sorting
    Frame Synchronizer for pristine analog-to-digital dubs
    MTS Decoder for SAP programs
    VCR Plus+ with provided cable box controller
    Express Programming
    Plug and Play for automatic tuner and clock set-up
    1-year / 24-event programmable timer
    Av Compu Link
    Multi-Brand TV Compatible Jog/Shuttle Remote Control
    90 days labor and 1 year parts
    Weight: 12.2 lbs.(5.5kg)
    Width: 17-3/16(435mm)
    Height: 3-3/4(94mm)
    Depth: 15-1/8(383mm)
    If I recall, this machine was highly anticipated since it was compatible with S-VHS and VHS. If you are willing to spend the money, I'd go with this one. I think this would be a great companion to a DVD-Recorder as well. I would definetly consider this.
     
  12. Rachael B

    Rachael B Producer

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    D-VHS smokes S-VHS even when only making 480i tapes like I have been lately.... Definitely consider it. Otherwise, the Panasonic AG-1980 and Sony 1000 that Phil suggested are winners.
     
  13. ChuckSolo

    ChuckSolo Screenwriter

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    Rachel, you are right in saying D-VHS completely smokes S-VHS. The demos I have seen are absolutely awesome. However, the price of D-VHS machines is still way up there. In the meantime, for as little as $100.00 - $150.00 (I got my JVC for under $90.00), and sometimes less, an S-VHS machine does nicely until those digital machines come down in price.
     
  14. Nathan_R

    Nathan_R Supporting Actor

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    About that D-VHS price range-- if you look around, you can probably get a D-VHS deck for under $250, if you don't mind an open box. [​IMG]
     
  15. Ken Chan

    Ken Chan Producer

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    That's what it is, mostly. I dunno if you could find a D-VHS player that can't play VHS, or has VCR Plus, a FireWire/1394 connection, A/V inputs, a remote control, and 90 days warranty on labor [​IMG] Other D-VHS machines also have Time Base Correctors and other picture enhancements. The only remarkable things about it are that it has a built-in MPEG-2 decoder, and the resulting component and digital audio outputs.
     
  16. Jay Blair

    Jay Blair Second Unit

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    The better S-VHS decks (and I assume the D-VHS decks) actually can increase resolution. Measured resolution goes from 240 lines to 270 for standard VHS with the JVC units with DigiPure technology. Not a huge amount, but still a better than 12% improvement. S-VHS is a little improved as well, taking resolution to nearly 420 lines, very close to laserdisc.
     
  17. Rachael B

    Rachael B Producer

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    The colour on 480i D-VHS tapes I've made so far is so-oooo superior to S-VHS. I think JVC's next D-VHS machine will include an ATRAC tuner...? I'll be wanting one of them thingies so I can try the 1080i recording.
     
  18. Phil Nichols

    Phil Nichols Second Unit

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    Rachael,

    "The colour on 480i D-VHS tapes I've made so far is so-oooo superior to S-VHS."

    Ummmmm ..... you are I guess talking about recording digitally via a D-VHS deck and then playing it back as D-VHS as compared to playing back pre-recorded analog S-VHS tapes on a D-VHS deck??

    Regarding just plain great color using a well layed down S-VHS recording and then played back on an analog-optimized-playback deck (which D-VHS decks probably aren't) ..... I'd have to do some careful A/B comparisons myself. My studio recorded OAR Super-VHS recording of IJ and The Last Crusade is stunning on the R1000 and I can't tell it from DVD. Also my S-VHS recording (on a high end S-VHS blank) off a cystal clear SAT channel of Picnic At Hanging Rock is quite mind-blowing.

    I'd have to look at a D-VHS deck's specs very carefully to see how well they optimized analog playback even though they are advertised to indeed "play them back". Probably things like Faroudja Dynamic Sine Filtering (R1000) and Adaptive Picture Control (R1000) and a well-engineered 3D comb filter for direct S-Video output, in combination, may be missing during a D-VHS deck's playback of analog VHS/SVHS.

    I believe the orginal poster on this thread has a large collective of already recorded VHS tapes and merely wants the absolute best optimized analog playback of them.

    I agree on well-engineered D-VHS for recording superiority over well-engineered S-VHS recording, however. [​IMG]
     
  19. Ken Chan

    Ken Chan Producer

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    You mean ATSC tuner? ATRAC is the audio compression scheme used for MiniDisc (and SDDS). If you're talking about the 40000, from the listed specs, it doesn't seem like it. Part of the problem is that over-the-air ATSC is different than cable/satellite, insofar as extracting the actual bits, which are the same no matter which transmission method is used. It's easier just to be compatible with any kind of set-top-box. But that's just from the listed specs; I could be wrong.
     
  20. Rachael B

    Rachael B Producer

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    Ken, I did get the letters wrong!:b The 4000 has no ATSC tuner. The alleged 5000 model will, supposedly. I have alot of initals bouncing 'round my brain!

    Phil, I've only played back one S-VHS tape in the 4000 and it played it well but it was a grubby tape from when I had Crumcast Cable. I have no substantive opinion about how well my deck plays back my legacy tapes yet. However, the new ones I've made are so-ooo good and "only" 480i. VHS and VHS's weakpoint was always the colour and S-VHS has no advantage in that regard. D-VHS even at "half speed" is stille better. So far, I'm real impressed and my little collection of D-Theater tapes is a big bonus.

    I suppose I'm suggesting that folks should take a long, hard look at D-VHS when their older VHS machines falter. They may want to wait on the before mentioned 5000 though?[​IMG]
     

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