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Need VCR advice (1 Viewer)

Bruce White

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Dec 5, 2001
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My VCR is going belly up and I need a new one. We don't watch a lot of tapes, mostly stuff from the local library (many of which have all sorts of intermittent picture problems).

All my equipment is pretty nice--Mits 55819, Panny RP91, Paradigm speakers, Integra 5.1 receiver. I don't have an HD decoder or a line doubler.

My dilemma is that I don't know if I should just go for a cheap VCR for under $100 or wait and get a nicer SVHS unit for a bit more--say $400, like the JVC HR-9900U.

Would there be much of a difference in picture quality between the JVC SVHS unit and a less expensive SVHS machine? How much difference in picture quality would there be between a low-priced SVHS unit and a cheap regular VCR? When I ask about picture quality, I mean playing old tapes that I own or get from the library or video store.

We try to get all our movies on DVD--rental and to own. I'm in the process of replacing some of my favorite videos with DVDs. However, I still have a number of video tapes that I won't be able to replace for a long time.

What are some of your recommendations, given the information I've provided?

Thanks in advance for your help!

This forum has been my primary source of information for all things Home Theater. The TV, DVD player, and speakers I purchased were all based on posts I read here at HTF!

Bruce
 

Bill Will

Screenwriter
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Dec 26, 2001
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If I was going to buy a vcr for my main system I would buy a refurbished S-VHS JVC 7800 which can be had for around $260 I recently picked up an Akai VHS HI-FI Stereo VCR for $39 though to throw in a guest bedroom & I was surprised at the picture quality, sound quality & the quality of the tuner because as far as I can tell it's as good as any of the major VHS brands that sell for up to $100 No telling how long it will last but for $40 I consider it a throw away :D So I would either go as cheap as you can on a VHS one or save up until you can get a JVC 7xxx or 9xxx S-VHS VCR. From what I've seen of the lower priced S-VHS models their not worth the price & the build quality is probably no better than my $40 Akai.
 

Chris Gerhard

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I like the JVC HR-S9800U or 9900U. Refurbdepot.com has the 9900 for 320. I have seen it before for a little less than 300. These VCRs have very good picture quality for a consumer analog VCR but do seem light and fragile but I have had no problems with mine. I have owned an HR-S9500U for about 4.5 years and an HR-S9800U for about 1.5 years without problems but they don't get much use.

Chris
 

Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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Bruce,

I have S-VHS too, and I love it. However, the only way to realize the full potential and benefits of S-VHS is to make your own recordings. It’s not going to make a “gee whiz” transformation on those old videos from the library. We do a lot of timeshifting, so we get to enjoy the high-resolution pictures.

In you situation, only watching old pre-recorded tapes, there is no reason to get S-VHS. The top-of-the-line JVC models (like the 9900 you mentioned) reportedly are able to do some “cleaning up” of standard tapes, but I imagine not enough to justify the $400 price tag.

Yes, there is reportedly a difference it picture quality between the good and cheap S-VHS machines, but again that is for S-VHS recordings, not standard VHS.

Regards,
Wayne A. Pflughaupt
 

Philip Hamm

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Jan 23, 1999
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A really nice SVHS machine with all kinds of digital processing like the JVC HR-S9800U or 9900U will make your VHS tapes look much better than they do on a standard VHS deck. Definitely splurge for the higher end S-VHS deck. I have an old JVC 7600 and I absolutely love it.
 

Jerome Grate

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May 23, 1999
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I'll jump in after Phil, definetly go with the higher end vcr. You have a nice set up, with a line doubler no doubt and if you have digital cable or even better satellite, your recordings will be absolutely great. I also have the old 7600 and just love it. I was watching Justice League's feature "Savage Nation" and it was playing through upstairs in to my son's bedroom. On a 20 inch flat screen t.v. (cheap Apex), it looked like I was really watching the actual satellite viewing. TBC/DNR (Time Base Corrector/Digital Noise Reduction) really does the trick.
 

Bruce White

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Dec 5, 2001
Messages
115
Jerome, et.al.,

First--no, I don't have a line doubler (or an HD decoder). I think the Mits 55819 has a line doubler in it, but I seem to recall most people don't think it's very good. My regular TV reception (via powered rabbit ears) isn't very good, but that doesn't matter that much to me. Most TV is garbage, so I don't mind that it looks like garbage. It's DVD's that matter to me.

I think I'll try to pick up a mid-range S-VHS--perhaps a reconditioned JVC 7600. I saw one for about $180 online. That might be my best bet.

Bruce
 

Philip Hamm

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I think I'll try to pick up a mid-range S-VHS--perhaps a reconditioned JVC 7600. I saw one for about $180 online. That might be my best bet.
I highly recommend the 7600. I remember reading a couple years ago when the 7800 came out that the build quality on the newer 7800 was a big step down from the relatively overbuilt 7600. I really like my 7600 though it gets very light usage.
 

Bruce White

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Dec 5, 2001
Messages
115
Philip and Bill,

I guess it wasn't a refurb'd 7600 I saw, but a refurb'd 7800 I saw for $180.

Do you think that is still a good deal? It comes with a 90-day manufacturer's warranty.

Otherwise, I'll look on Ebay for a 7600.

Bruce
 

Bill Will

Screenwriter
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Dec 26, 2001
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1,282
I would say $180 for a 7800 is a good deal. From what I've seen they are going for $250 to $260 & from what I remember the 7600 was just over-built (nothing wrong with that though) & the 7800 was a well made vcr. If you can find a 7600 go for it, if not though don't be afraid to go with a 7800. Myself, if I wanted a vcr fast I would grab the 7800 & if I had time to play around & fight over prices I would look for a 7600 or maybe even one of the 9xxx models. If you want the specs. they are probably at www.jvc.com listed under archived models. Hope this helps you out.
 

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