How to modify vhs cassette to svhs?

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Russ Brooks, Jan 15, 2004.

  1. Russ Brooks

    Russ Brooks Extra

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    Anyone know where I can find info on how to modify a high quality VHS cassette to SVHS??

    There was an article on Tom's Hardware Guide on how to do it, but I can't seem to find it.

    Anyone ever do this? How well did it work?

    Thanks
    Russ
     
  2. Will_B

    Will_B Producer

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    Look for the hole on the bottom of an SVHS tape, and then just drill a hole in the same place on a VHS. I've never done that.
     
  3. Jeff Jacobson

    Jeff Jacobson Cinematographer

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    I thought that SVHS was higher quality than regular VHS. How would just drilling a hole in a VHS tape make it SVHS?
     
  4. Neil S. Bulk

    Neil S. Bulk Screenwriter

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    A hole in the bottom of the shell tells the VCR that the tape inside the machine is an S-VHS tape and not a standard VHS tape. In concept, it's similar to the tab on the cassette that tells the VCR not to record over a program, if you've knocked that out.

    There used to be a manufacturer that sold a template and a spike to punch holes into VHS tapes to make them S-VHS. I have one, but there is no information on it. Sorry. It does work though, and I haven't bought an "S" tape in years.

    Neil
     
  5. ElAhrai

    ElAhrai Stunt Coordinator

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    Of course there's also that the actual tape inside the shell is usually a bit thicker and more durable. The drilling of the hole only does half the job.
     
  6. Russ Brooks

    Russ Brooks Extra

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    As I understand it a modified high quality VHS tape is vitualy indistinguishable from a true s-vhs tape as far as picture quality. You must use high quality cassettes.

    I would like to try this on some TDK Revue cassettes I got the other day. Guess I'll have to buy a s-vhs cassette (if I can find one) and try it out for myself.

    I also read in the article on Toms Hardware Guide that s-vhs cassettes could be modified to d-vhs in a similar way. Interesting for those with d-vhs VCR's (not me[​IMG] )
     
  7. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    This is the same as using the SVHS-ET function common to many S-VHS VCRs. In my experience even high quality VHS tapes don't work very well in this mode. Not worth bothering IMO. Just buy S-VHS.
     
  8. Russ Brooks

    Russ Brooks Extra

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    According to the article I read it is NOT the same as SVHS-ET. The recording was significantly better on the modified quality VHS cassette than simply using SVHS-ET. I would like to see the results for myself.

    $5.00 a pop for svhs tapes is crazy (if you can even find them), I want a more cost effective interim solution until DVD-RW (mature and affordable that is)

    If not really any better then fine, I can live with that. It's worth a try and doesn't cost anything.
     
  9. RoyGBiv

    RoyGBiv Stunt Coordinator

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    I have heard that you can get very good quality s-vhs recordings from a good quality non-s-vhs tape.

    I have also heard that you SHOULD NEVER DRILL INTO THE CASSETTE!

    Drilling into the cassette will leave little shavings of plastic which can not only ruin the cassette mechanism, but can also spill out into your VCR and destroy its mechanism. The technique I have heard is that you should use some type of iron that heats up and burns a hole into the bottom of the cassette. This will not leave any shavings to cause damage. I have never done this, though.

    SMK
     
  10. Don_Berg

    Don_Berg Supporting Actor

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    The quality will suffer only use SVHS tapes if you want SVHS quality. The tape material is totally different for true SVHS tapes.
     
  11. V JACKSON

    V JACKSON Agent

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    I can confirm for you that I tried this years ago, when I
    started using S-VHS vcr's and it will work......Meaning, it will record in S-VHS on a standard vhs tape, but it does NOT look better than just using a S-VHS tape in the first place. The magnetic particles on an S-VHS tape are packed much more densly than a standard vhs tape, high quality or not. So the S-VHS tape is designed to hold more information. Drilling a hole on standard tape and then recording S-VHS to it basically results in the video version of distortion, comparitive to over driving an amplifier into audible distortion....
     
  12. Rachael B

    Rachael B Producer

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    Wise words Steven![​IMG]

    NEVER DRILL THE TAPES!

    Heat an ice pick or a used sparkler or somethin' and melt the hole.

    The danger is well stated by Steven. Guyz, never forget how fast a head drum spins. Even small obstructions are a big deal! You're more likely to ultimately ruin tapes than your VCR if that's sufficent consolation?[​IMG]

    All that being said, there isn't much point having an S-VHS deck if you handicap it with poor tape. I dare say I'm one of the more S-VHS experienced cats creepin' about the gaff. I've been using S-VHS for over 10 years. I've used it for home and to produce Community TV. I've melted the hole because I was desperate for a tape and that's the only reason, period.

    I've tried all sorts of VHS tape for both ET (extra turdy?[​IMG] ) and regular S on VHS. The results are always the same, poor. There is no substitute for good tape. Many people have never even seen their deck on the drug that it needs. That drug would be Fugi H471 tape. For rich saturated colour it can't be beat.

    As you go down the spectrum of lesser and lesser desirable tapes, you see worse and worse colour and more noise. It's that pure and simple.

    I say again why have S-VHS if you're gonna handicap it. Use real S-VHS tapes. I sooner drop down to e.p. on real good tape than do s.p. on patentedly lousy tape. I'd define virtually all commonly available VHS tape as patentedly lousy. It's tape stock that in many cases is so poor it's only barely good enough for lowly, garden-variety VHS!

    Don't skrimp on tape. Budjet your # of recordings, go to e.p. if you must, but use good tape. That's my best advice.[​IMG]
     
  13. ChipH

    ChipH Auditioning

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    I have drilled dozens of tapes without problem. Hold it upside down so the bits of plastic fall out. Quality results vary depending on the quality of the tape. Doing this is no longer required since JVC (the inventors of VHS) introduced S-VHS ET a few years ago which allows you to do this without drilling the hole.
     

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