I have changed my mind about S-VHS "ET" mode...any suggestions?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Bill Adlhoch, Dec 16, 2001.

  1. Bill Adlhoch

    Bill Adlhoch Stunt Coordinator

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    When I originally bought my S-VHS decks I was pleased to learn about S-VHS ET and how it would allow me to use regular grade tapes and and get about 300 lines of resolution instead of the normal VHS 200-240 (Toshiba W808 and Panasonic V4821)

    However, I have noticed that it is more prone to having the recording look like it has "drop-outs" and white flakes/sparklies in the picture than even normal VHS.

    I have tried/experiemented with various brands of tape and recording speeds and swapping my decks around as well as a thorough cleaning of the heads. When recorded on the W808, the only acceptable playback occurs on the Panasonic, and when recorded on the Panny, it looks bad no matter which deck I use.

    I do a LOT of archieving of sporting events on and I really cannot afford premium S-VHS tapes for everything I record. I thought the ET option would be a good way of saving some money for those events that arent truly essential to my collection.

    Of course I am salavating at the prospect of recordable DVD, but in the mean time, I was wondering if any of you out there have any suggestions as to this "ET" option.

    Buying new decks is not an option
     
  2. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    Bill,

    Most people don’t know this, but you can easily “make” a super VHS tape out of any regular VHS tape.

    If you get both tapes side by side and turn them over, with the tape side away from you, you will see the S- tape has a hole in the channel that runs across the underside of the cassette housing. It is at the far left side of the channel.

    Get a drill bit that will fit in the hole, and use it do drill the regular VHS tape. You don’t have to drill all the way through, an indentation is all you need. The indentation should be drilled with its center 3/16ths of an inch from the left edge of the cassette.

    I’ve heard that tests conducted show regular tapes to give recordings that are very close to the overall quality obtained with actual S-VHS tapes. Resolution is as good as S-VHS tapes, although there was more noise (seen as "snow"). However, it’s possible even this might be minimized by using higher-quality regular VHS tapes.

    Hope this helps.

    Happy Holidays,

    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     
  3. Jeff Leeds

    Jeff Leeds Stunt Coordinator

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    I have two three decks that can do the ET, all JVC decks, a 7500, a 3600, and a 7600. What've I have found is that even amount the JVC decks you cannot switch them around, it seems that they are not good at moving from deck to deck. The other thing is you need to user a higher quality and newer VHS tape when you use this mode, older ones that are of medium to low quality are not worth the time.

    The price of S-VHS has been coming down alot, but you cannot buy those 10 packs at Costco for really cheap, so my suggestion is ship this feature unless you use a decent tape and you're only going to play the tape on the system it was recorded on. If not bite the bullet and buy the better tapes.

    As for that trick, it sounds interesting, but I don't think I'm willing to try it, the dust from the drill may get into the tape and then get into the player and that would be the end of the player.
     
  4. Rachael B

    Rachael B Producer

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    NEVER, NEVER, NEVER, NEVER, NEVER MAKE S-VHS TAPES BY DRILLING!!!!!!!!![​IMG] !
    Jeff you're right on the money about plastic chards screwing up equipment and/or tapes. But, there's always a but in these threads, you can make S-VHS tapes safely. Just heat an appropriately shaped metal object and melt the hole. The quality of most VHS tapes is so patentedly low that you may stille not be happy with your results, but, here's another but, the results should generally be better than ET with any truly good tape formulation. The discription on a tape's package, words like Pro, Hi-Quality, High Grade, XXXXXXL....whatever(!), is no guide as to real quality most of the time.
    I get real S-VHS tapes for less than $5 each at adoramacamera.com . Last time I got a 10 pack of Fuji T-120's they were $4.89 each. With my shipping they may cost me, say, $5.12 ...? Bill, what your thread spells out, in other, other words is: it's hard to make good tapes with lame tapes, and IMO VHS tapes are categorically lame. My suggestion is buy good tapes and be more selective about what you archive. Personally, I'd rather have a few good archives than volumes of mediocre. This is the approach I take anyway.
    Vhat ze wurld neets nowe is'ah a goote $3.99 S-VHS tape! Anybody reading this know where to get them? Happy holidaze cats![​IMG]
     
  5. Bill Adlhoch

    Bill Adlhoch Stunt Coordinator

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    so how many lines of resolution would I achieve by using the drilling or melting of a s-vhs hole on a regular VHS tape???

    the S-VHS ET thing just didnt work out as the picture is worse than regular VHS even when i play the tape back on the exact same machine i record it on.

    where would be the cheapest place to find SVHS t-160's?
     
  6. Stacy Huff

    Stacy Huff Second Unit

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    Very interesting.

    Can anybody post a picture of this hole that will turn a regular VHS tape into an S-VHS tape? I'd like to see exactly what I'm supposed to do before I start melting things. And Rachael, what do you use to do your melting?
     
  7. Guy Kuo

    Guy Kuo Supporting Actor

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    S-VHS ET basically gives you the ability to do with regular VHS tape the same thing as drilling the hole (or cutting off the sense pin inside the deck) without the hassle. Unfortunately, there aren't a lot of VHS tapes which will actually work as well as real S-VHS tape. In my past I used to modify my old S-VHS decks by cutting off the sense pin inside the deck so they always thought I had a S-VHS tape even if it was a regular old VHS tape. It worked well with maybe one out of ten brands (a high end Fuji VHS tape which isn't even manufactured any more). The rest simply had a huge amount of noise in the recordings. Ultimately, the price of S-VHS tape dropped enough to allow me to switch to using just the real thing. That was great, then TiVo came along and I've basically quit using tape except for some rare archiving.
     
  8. Rachael B

    Rachael B Producer

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    Stacy, a hot ice-pick or other skinny tool would suffice. Check your workshop. Get a S-VHS tpe and a regular tape and you'll see the hole. The VHS shell will have a "blank" spot, you'll see it. Don't expect miracles on tape performance. Most VHS tapes are sooooooooooo low in quality! Happy Holidaze!
     
  9. Bill Adlhoch

    Bill Adlhoch Stunt Coordinator

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    why ywas ET mode release out into the public when its so "fragile" and no one here seems to see any benefits?
     
  10. Art Miller

    Art Miller Stunt Coordinator

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    ET is handy when someone makes an SVHS tape for themselves (me) and loans the tape to someone who has only an ET capable VCR (like the inlaws).
    I use "real" SVHS tapes and find them to be much better than ET-VHS or drilled VHS.
    Try this link:
    http://www.tapetape.com/list.htm#1/2 Inch SVHS
    This guy (Bill) sells "one pass" used pro quality tapes. An example is Fugi pro 120 SVHS without tabs (use a piece of tape) and no cases for $2.50 each. Library cases are an additional dime.
    Works for me.
     
  11. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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  12. Alex F.

    Alex F. Second Unit

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    I find that the ET feature is essentially useless on the vast majority of standard VHS tapes. Most such tapes manufactured today offer really poor performance.

    But there are exceptions, such as Fuji Pro and Master. ET recordings made on Fuji Master ($2.55 each at Tapewarehouse.com), especially, can be very difficult to discern from S-VHS tapes.

    Also, recordings in ET (and of course in straight S-VHS) made on our JVC 7500 and 3600 are fully compatible with each other and are often swapped between decks.
     
  13. Art Miller

    Art Miller Stunt Coordinator

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    But I'll still take used (one pass) pro-grade REAL SVHS tapes at $2.45 over regular VHS at the same price, recorded at ETVHS.
     
  14. Michael St. Clair

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    If you have a good deck, the second best (and I stress second best) thing to SVHS SP is SVHS EP with a good tape. SVHS EP with a good tape (stick to Fuji or TDK, Sony is good but has more dropouts) is better than SVHS-ET or hole-burning, and is a third of the cost and shelf space than SVHS SP.
     
  15. Bill Adlhoch

    Bill Adlhoch Stunt Coordinator

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    because I tape football games, I HAVE to use EP speed (as I am also in attendence and using timer recording)

    football games last longer than 2:40

    why is there no LP speed in S-VHS mode?
     
  16. Art Miller

    Art Miller Stunt Coordinator

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    Bill,

    Don't know what brand SVHS VCR that you have, but my JVC (7600?) does SP and EP just like standard VHS. And 6 hour SVHS is still better than 2 hr VHS.
     
  17. Bill Adlhoch

    Bill Adlhoch Stunt Coordinator

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    Panasonic VCR's still can record in LP speed in regular VHS mode (4 hour speed)

    but even my panasonic s-vhs machine cant record in LP speed in S-VHS mode
     
  18. Todd Hochard

    Todd Hochard Cinematographer

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    Ecost sells JVC SVHS tapes for $3.89 each. I have no idea of the quality- they just keep sending me emails about them![​IMG]
    http://www.ecost.com/ecost/ecsplash/...asp?dpno=37649
    I use the SVHS-ET feature, precisely because I DO want the cheap way out. With my JVC 7800 unit, the quality isn't too bad in SP mode- I see about 350 lines or so on TDK tapes from Costco (I checked this by recording the AVIA resolution chart).
    The stuff that's really important to archive goes on SVHS tape.
    Then again, I'm only a couple of steps away from losing the tape deck altogether. Once DVD-R drops a bit more- buh bye.
    Todd
     
  19. Bill Adlhoch

    Bill Adlhoch Stunt Coordinator

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    todd, what about t-160 s-VHS tapes?
     
  20. Alex F.

    Alex F. Second Unit

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    I tried two S-VHS T-160s awhile ago (Fuji and TDK, if I recall correctly) and was extremely disappointed in the overall video quality at SP speed--far too "fuzzy" a picture. I literally tossed them in the garbage.

    If necessary, on rare occasions, I will live with the EP picture on S-VHS (or Fuji Master in ET mode). For instance, I tape those long World Series games at EP on Fuji S-VHS tape seemingly every year (it's great being a diehard fan of the N.Y. Yankees!). The EP picture quality on S-VHS (or Fuji Master in the ET mode) is much better than S-VHS T-160s at SP. The super-thin tape used in T-160s loses too much in video quality.
     

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