Is SVHS-ET overrated?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Ted Kim, Sep 5, 2002.

  1. Ted Kim

    Ted Kim Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi,

    I have a Philips 1010BPH Super VHS VCR. In SVHS ET mode, the recordings are fuzzier than with the regular VHS mode. I've done a recording from a high quality source and on the same TDK EHG tape recorded a segment in SVHS ET SP and then in regular VHS SP. Comparing the recordings made me a little bewildered as to why SVHS ET would look worse than regular VHS.

    The only problem I can think of is the tape quality not being good enough. However, I did do some research before buying the TDK EHG (extra high grade) tapes and found that people have used them successfully for SVHS ET copies.

    Or maybe my VCR has an inferior implementation of SVHS ET.


    Any insight would be appreciated.
     
  2. Ted Kim

    Ted Kim Stunt Coordinator

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    I did a search in the archives and found this thread, which follows most peoples experience with the ranking of SVHS quality.
    http://www.hometheaterforum.com/htfo...hlight=svhs+et
     
  3. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    SVHS-ET is practically useless as far as I'm concerned. REAL SVHS is much much better.
     
  4. Ted Kim

    Ted Kim Stunt Coordinator

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    I did some further testing. As has been well documented drilling a hole in the bottom of a VHS tape can fool a super VHS vcr to record in SVHS mode on the VHS tape. This trick was known before SVHS ET and is for all practical purposes gives very similar quality.

    Testing of tapes with a hole drilled to fool both of my Super VHS vcr's (Panasonic 7670 and the aforementioned Philips) to thinking the TDK EHG tapes were Super VHS tapes was done. On both vcrs, the results were identical, regular VHS looked sharper with much less grain. Based on the number of reports that Super VHS recordings on regular VHS tape are better, I am disappointed my experience is the opposite. As this conclusion was done with 2 different VCR's, it may be that tape quality played a factor. However, I have now also tried the comparisons on Maxell professional grade VHS tape with magnetite and Maxell gold tape and got the same results. I think I'm going to have to stick with Super VHS tape, SVHS ET is just a marketing gimmick in my experience. Drilling the hole into VHS tape does not help either.
     
  5. Rachael B

    Rachael B Producer

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    I agree with Phil.[​IMG] A local dealer told me that he found out, in retrospect, that when JVC first demo'ed ET at trade shows that they were using tapes made on an expensive pro machine, not on one of their consumer decks. He originally thought ET was going to be useful and now knows better.
    1. There is no such thing as high quality VHS tape!
    2. Why buy an S-VHS machine and handicap with poor tape?
    3. Tapes made on one S-VHS-ET machine may not playback on other S-VHS-ET decks? JVC has been honest enough to atleast admit this and put disclaimers as to such on many ads.
    4. My own expeience verifies points 1, 2, and 3.
    Shop around for a good price on S-VHS blanks and buy them in lots of ten or more to save. Best wishes!
     
  6. Dmitry

    Dmitry Supporting Actor

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    In my personal experience, SVHS ET SP looks way better than VHS SP. It's basically good for time shifting, but not for archiving of any sort. SVHS ET EP is, IMHO, unusable for anything but recording a "snow effect noise" where it improves immensely upon the source signal.
     
  7. Rachael B

    Rachael B Producer

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    Never, never, never, never drill holes into the S-VHS sensor plate! The plastic chards can jam the tape or worse damage your VCR. If you want to try this, take a piece of metal, heat it, and melt the hole.
     
  8. Geordon

    Geordon Extra

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    What is the main reason people are using SVHS ET? Is it to archive or time shift? If time shifting, I would think the extra $2 or $3 for a tape which lives in your VCR day in and day out is immaterial. On the other hand, if you are archiving, wouldn't you want to use a media with sufficient quality as to be watched enjoyably years from now? I guess I could see a possible reason to use SVHS ET at SP for archiving, if you have a high volume of shows to tape, don't want to spend a lot to do it, and hope to get a little better performance than VHS. Recording SVHS at EP vs VHS or SVHS ET at SP can be roughly the same cost/hr for the tape, and may be a better option.

    But in my opinion, why would I pay a premium for an SVHS deck to turn around and record slightly-better-than-VHS?

    Geordon
     
  9. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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  10. Ted Kim

    Ted Kim Stunt Coordinator

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    For those of you who utilize the same Super VHS tapes over again, do you degauss/erase them first? I've noticed that dubbing over the same Super VHS tape really degrades results, especially with the noise in the black areas. I've just bought a degausser and will tell you whether it is worth doing.
     
  11. Rachael B

    Rachael B Producer

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    Ted, yes, I have a bulk eraser. I even give brand new tapes a quick go. New tape can have a bit of a charge on it from the cutting machine. Best wishes!
     
  12. Jerome Grate

    Jerome Grate Cinematographer

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    I find that SVHS-ET, makes vhs quite watchable. But it does depend on the tape you get. Of course, using S-VHS tapes are the best way to go, and from my experience, here's the breakdown: Please note that the recordings were made from satellite (Dish Network) and using the JVC 7600 and 3500 recorders.
    1. BASF Broadcast S-VHS tape. The absolute Best. Recorded Five Heartbeats from satellite before DVD release. This was the next best thing, eventhough full screen but better than VHS and really pristine.

    2. JVC XG S-VHS tape. I have my son's video taping, really good keeping wonderful memories.

    3. TDK S-VHS tape. Really great but a little grainy with out DNR. With DNR Gamera Protector of the Universe on Showtime really holds well. DNR really does this movie justice. The colors are great, and the sound is just as good.

    4. Fuji/JVC/Maxell I found to give equal quality on S-VHS tapes.

    Now, as far as VHS tapes for S-VHS ET.
    1. TDK DSP (Digital Signal Processing) I recorded a Boomerang Marathon from Toon Network (Herculoids, Mightor etc.) and this couldn't look better. Granted DNR plays a big role but with out DNR, this is a damn good picture. That includes the commercials as well.

    2. BASF now I stumbled across this from an old recording and I decided to give it a whirl, and this picture was darn good. The movie Consiracy Theory looked great, surprisingly it was a little difficult to tell between original source and SVHS-ET and this was a second recording on this older VHS tape.

    3. All other brands give you pretty much the same quality except Maxell's standard VHS, this is pretty darn bad. I recorded Meet The Parents this weekend on this and I regret not getting a S-VHS tape like I planned to.

    As you can see, I still very much like VHS well in my case S-VHS. I recorded Casper just recently on S-VHS ET, figured my son would like it, well the sound is absolutely fabulous, and the picture quality, (Fuji) is not really bad. Some guest notice the difference between VHS and S-VHS-ET.
     
  13. StephenMSmith

    StephenMSmith Stunt Coordinator

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    I hadn't heard of bulk erasing s-vhs tapes before. I'm gonna try that.

    Rachael,

    What kind of charge gets on the tape? static charge? I think I recall from a previous thread that you know all about the white streak problem w/the old JVC's (one of which I still have -- HR-7300), Is this charge the source of the streaks?

    Thanks,
    Steve
     
  14. Rachael B

    Rachael B Producer

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    Stephen, it's a static charge from the machines blades that cut the tape. A quick degaussing assures that the tape lays down well on the head drum. The white streaking on the 7300 and 7400 is a design flaw. It appeared to me that it was a playback issue on S-VHS only. When I had a 7400 I finally got to the point where I only used it to record and used another deck for all playback. I got fed up with my 7400 and gave it to one of my nephews. The problem was apparently solved with the 7500 as mine has been flawless. Best wishes!


    P.S.- don't buy a radio shack bulk eraser (degausser). Their's suck! Mine is a Geneva brand and cost me $70. Nicer ones that don't have to cool after a few minutes use cost much more.
     
  15. StephenMSmith

    StephenMSmith Stunt Coordinator

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    Crap. That's the bulk eraser that I have, the Radio Shack one.

    But I wasn't really thinking straight before. For a minute, I got too excited that I might be able to get rid of those white streaks w/a bulk eraser, but later realized that I would get rid of my recordings as well... whoops.

    Steve
     
  16. Rachael B

    Rachael B Producer

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    Steve, maybe Radio Shack has a decent bulk eraser now but about 10 years ago I bought and returned theirs. It wouldn't erase an audio cassette much less a video tape or reel to reel tape. It was a totally useless device. I don't think the white streaks are in your recordings. It's a playback flaw. I proved that to myself when I had a 7400. I'd take a tape made in the 7400 and put it in my 7100 and it played fine. Get another deck to be your playback workhorse. The 7400 will make good tapes. It's petty sorry that it won't play them back correctly! Best wishes!
     
  17. StephenMSmith

    StephenMSmith Stunt Coordinator

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    OK, I just ordered a scratch & dent 7800 from Crutchfield for $169 so I'll find out if the white streaks are on the tape. I only use the VCR for time-shifting, so the worst possible scenario is some streaks in last week's Simpsons. It will be so nice not to see those damn streaks!

    Steve
     
  18. Rachael B

    Rachael B Producer

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    I hope you make out well on the 7800 Steve. I got my 9800 from their scatch and dent and it didn't have any scratches or dent and has served me well. Best wishes!
     
  19. Ted Kim

    Ted Kim Stunt Coordinator

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    Well, I got my degausser/bulk eraser yesterday for $32 shipped -- which is cheaper than getting a Radio shack one for $40. But more importantly, it works and has a longer duty cycle, meaning you don't have to wait as long for it to cool off after or between use. It was originally made to erase 1/4 tape reels but I only tried using it to erase VHS tapes, which seemed to work as neither VCR could pick up any signal. After recording on the erased tapes, I'll report on whether this makes a difference.
    For anyone interested in degaussers, when doing research I found this is a pretty good site
    http://www.degaussers.net
    http://www.degaussers.net/degausser_matrix.htm
    This link has the Oersted (Oe) that is required to erase different media and is a direct reflection of the strength of the magnetic field required from the degausser.
     
  20. Ted Kim

    Ted Kim Stunt Coordinator

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    Well, I tested recordings with degaussed/erased tapes and they are quite improved. Also, my unit also can erase Super VHS tapes -- which is more difficult to erase than regular VHS. So for anyone interested, go to for my supplier -- its easily worth the $$$ if you want to recycle tapes.
    http://members.tripod.com/~Moviecraft/index-6.html
     

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