S-VHS players a waste of money?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Mark Bates, Nov 10, 2001.

  1. Mark Bates

    Mark Bates Agent

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2001
    Messages:
    39
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I am in the market for a new VCR and in particular one that will do my LD collection justice. I am looking to archive many of the non AC3 discs.
    At first I thought that S-VHS must be the way to go, but the more I read the more it seems that people seem to think that S-VHS is a waste of money. That the video quality is not that much better then a good quality VHS deck. The higher costs of the players and the extra cost of the tapes seem to confirm this. Spec wise thr higher resolution should do better, but many of the tests seem to feel that the quality isn't that big a difference.
    Does anyone feel otherwise and if so what models should I look at?
    Thanks,
    Mark
     
  2. Reginald Trent

    Reginald Trent Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2000
    Messages:
    1,313
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I have a ReplayTV hard disk recorder, a JVC 7600 S-VHS and 6 other VHS units. The replay unit produces the best recordings followed by the JVC 7600 using S-VHS tapes. After that the JVC using the ET mode. Then the JVC in the regular VHS recording modes. Followed by the other various brands of VHS VCRs that I own. However, I would go with a hard disk recorder like Replay or Tivo if you don't necessarily need tape.
     
  3. Jerome Grate

    Jerome Grate Cinematographer

    Joined:
    May 23, 1999
    Messages:
    2,984
    Likes Received:
    6
    Trophy Points:
    110
    Ditto on the 7600, I have one and recording from satellite is the best. I've always felt, if you have good HT gear then I think you short change yourself by getting a regular VHS vcr or even the lower model S-VHS machines. 7800 or 9800 from JVC is the best way to go.
    ------------------
    ONCE, I CONSIDERED SPARING YOUR RETCHED LITTLE PLANET CYBERTRON, NOW.., YOU SHALL WITNESS IT'S
    DISMEMBERMENT...
    MY HT PIXS
     
  4. Sean Conklin

    Sean Conklin Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2000
    Messages:
    1,720
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    A S-VHS player will make your VHS tapes look a little better too, thanks to an S-Video connection.
    ------------------
    Sean
    "I was thinking of the immortal words of Socrates who said.......I drank what?"
     
  5. Inspector Hammer!

    Inspector Hammer! Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 1999
    Messages:
    11,061
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Houston, Texas
    Real Name:
    John Williamson
    I say go for the s-vhs deck! I have one and it's great, it will give you the best recording possible from tape.
    ------------------
    To the men and women of the N.Y. police and fire department
    God bless you.
    To the victims and their families
    God keep you.
    To the dirtbags who caused all this
    God help you!!!
     
  6. Rachael B

    Rachael B Producer

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2000
    Messages:
    4,708
    Likes Received:
    32
    Trophy Points:
    1,610
    Location:
    Knocksville, TN
    Real Name:
    Rachael Bellomy
    Mark, you need a VCR that has a flying erase head to get clean edit points when connecting sides. To do justice to the discs you need a better VCR with Time Base Correction. The JVC Conclusion: JVC 7800/7900 or even better 9800/9900. Mitsu had a model last year that was very similar to the 7800. Sorry, I can't recall it's model #. Best wishes!
    ------------------
    Rachael, the big disc cat! "...in a democracy it don't matter how stupid you are you stille get an equal share..."
    I survived the AFI top 100 Film Challenge! I've seen them all.
     
  7. Kimmo Jaskari

    Kimmo Jaskari Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2000
    Messages:
    1,528
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    The cost difference for SVHS is not that great and the quality difference is very easy to spot.
    If you really want to keep your costs down for tapes, you can always use a soldering iron or something similar to burn a hole in a plain VHS tape in the proper place and the SVHS VCR will record on it in SVHS mode. Not quite as good as using proper SVHS tapes, but definitely beats the ET mode.
    I have a JVC with the TBC and noise reduction circuitry and it is a massive improvement over my old VHS machine for not too much more money.
    ------------------
    /Kimmo
     
  8. Guy Kuo

    Guy Kuo Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 1999
    Messages:
    581
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Definitely NOT a waste of money here! You want to archive your LD's to tape I take it. There is a very definite leap in luma resolution when you go up to S-VHS. It is not a small change to go from about 250 TVL to nearly 400 TVL on the tape recording. Chroma resolution isn't that great with either VHS or S-VHS, but there is no doubt at all that the S-VHS format will represent the LD better. On a screen larger than 40 inches, the resolution difference between S-VHS and VHS gets more and more critical.
    S-VHS decks have become cheaper over the last few years. However, this also means that some really low end S-VHS decks are available which don't do as good a job in preserving detail as the better decks such as the JVC 7000 and 9000 series machines. Within that same make the 3000 series is much lower cost but produces recordings and playback of appreciably lesser fidelity. I would strongly recommend getting one of the higher models. The inclusion of digital TBC (time base correction) in the upper models really stabilizes the timing of each scan line. Without TBC, the scan lines are not tightly timed with each other and you see vertical lines showing horizontal wavering. With a TBC, that problem is gone. The upper end decks also have digital frame processing which improves noise and allows cleaner playback during fast forward, reverse, and still modes.
    You'll also see some decks advertised as being able to record in S-VHS mode on standard VHS tape. This does work, but if you pay critical attention you notice that the signal to noise ratio isn't as good on VHS tape. Real S-VHS tape is now about half the price it was five years ago and yields the best in terms of noise free images. In a similar vein one can fake a VHS cassette to look like a S-VHS tape to decks which lack the S-VHS mode on VHS feature. If you do that, you should be remain aware of the signal to noise issue. The brand of tape used for faking S-VHS makes a tremendous difference and you'll have to experiment to find a suitable result. I really think that if you are backing up LD's you should use real S-VHS tapes.
    How long do you expect to keep the tapes? That's a whole issue unto itself as video tapes autoerase and deteriorate even with good storage and without playback. Fifteen to twenty years is possible with some expectable loss in fine details. Permanent archiving on tape isn't quite permanent. If longevity is needed, perhaps archiving to DVD would be an option. Price of admission for that is probably a little prohibitive if whether or not S-VHS is a waste of money is an issue.
    My question here is how small the displays were or why they degraded the signal so much that S-VHS looked like VHS during testing. It's a pretty huge and obvious difference that shows up on decent resolution displays.
    ------------------
    Guy Kuo
    Ovation Software, The Calibration Tool Source
    [Edited last by Guy Kuo on November 11, 2001 at 06:09 AM]
     
  9. Henry Colonna

    Henry Colonna Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2000
    Messages:
    120
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I have been making a collection of a very important show in the past two years. I had a really crappy TV knowing that I was going to upgrade "soon." This is using a JVC SVHS model 4500 - last cleaned on 02/01. There has NEVER been a rental VHS tape in this machine. I have used it tape approximately 60 -80 hours on brand new tapes.
    I finally did upgrade the TV several days ago.
    I was VERY disappointed with the quality of that and the quality of some other tapes made from a much more professional setup.
    I dashed out and bought a new JVC 3800 just to see.
    Video quality was much better...but not quite what I had hoped.
    So I have an issue with the 4500. I either get it cleaned again (or repaired) or I buy a new unit. What truly annoys me is that I don't think that it should be exhibiting such poor playback quality after so few hours and given what I've put in it (fresh, clean, new tapes.)
    Advice?
    Also - my new Toshiba 61H71 seems to have difficulty with the S-VHS going into Video 1 or Video 2. Although the visual clarity was far better with the "new" JVC, the picture on the TV jumps around a bit, and I see flashes of the bottom corner in the upper left quadrant. It's like the TV is strugging to adjust the image on the screen and just cannot. This is true on the old and new JVCs. I have not yet calibrated with Avia or VE. I plan to.
    Also, my TiVO is grabbing what I want in Surround Sound. I am NOT getting surround sound on playback. I have a set of older tapes that I know are in Dolby because on my old setup dialogue would drop out because I did not have surround. But I don't hear surround on those either.
     
  10. Thomas_A

    Thomas_A Second Unit

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2001
    Messages:
    398
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
  11. Chris PC

    Chris PC Producer

    Joined:
    May 12, 2001
    Messages:
    3,975
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I bought a JVC 7800 and the picture quality on regular VHS alone was amazing. I highly recommend this player. I bought mine for $359.00 CAD plus tax. You should be able to find one for less than $250.00 USD.
    The 7800 has TBC digital video noise reduction and it works great.
     
  12. Mark Bates

    Mark Bates Agent

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2001
    Messages:
    39
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Thank you all for your replies. I will look into a JVC 7800/7900 deck.
    My biggest problem is cost. I have over 100 LD that I want to archive and I will need 1 tape per disc. At the VHS going price of about $1-$2 each for quality tapes in bulk I am ok, but if I have to spend $4-$6 per tape for SVHS in bulk that is well beyond my means.
    If I fake out a VHS tape to record in SVHS mode even with the greater noise will it still be better then a good VHS player?
    Just as a note the SVHS decks I saw tested were the JVC 3800 units and they said that it records about the same as their best VHS VCR. It was a little sharper, but introduced more noise.
    Thanks,
    Mark
     
  13. Craig Robertson

    Craig Robertson Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    May 12, 1999
    Messages:
    982
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    if you are serious about the quality, stay away from the entry level svhs units. they lack several features of the more expensive units that make the big difference. i'd skip the JVC 3800/4800's and go up to the 7800 or 9800. the GO-VIDEO 650 is a rebadged JVC 9800 and can be had for less money.
     
  14. Mark Bates

    Mark Bates Agent

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2001
    Messages:
    39
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I have done some searching and found the following:
    JVC-7800U $199.00
    JVC-7900U $235.00
    Go-Video 650 $300.00
    I have read the JVC page and the only thing I can find different on the 7800 and 7900 is auto tracking unless they forgot to list it on the 7800. Is the 7900 worth the extra $36?
    Is the 650 that far superior to the others?
    Does anyone know if I can get any of these cheaper and where?
    Thanks again for all your help.
    Mark
     
  15. Selden Ball

    Selden Ball Second Unit

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2001
    Messages:
    412
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Real Name:
    Selden
    The 7x00 does have autotracking. What it's missing is echo cancellation, which can be important for OTA and some CATV systems. The 9x00 also has twice as much TBC memory, but I've never seen any mention of what the additional memory is used for (maybe the echo cancellation?).
    The primary difference between the 7800 and the 7900 is that the 7800 is last year's model -- there's no real functional difference.
    You've found some amazingly low prices. I'd be concerned that they might be "grey market". Make sure JVC's warrantee is included.
    ------------------
    Selden
     
  16. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

    Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 1999
    Messages:
    6,174
    Likes Received:
    48
    Trophy Points:
    6,610
    Location:
    Katy, TX
    Real Name:
    Wayne
    S-VHS is great, but laser disc is noticeably better, so don't expect the tapes to look as good as the discs did. Be aware of that going in.
    Another situation, the best S-VHS picture is with the fast speed (SP), but that only gives you two hours of recording time. Most movies are a little more than two hours, so you will have to use the T-160 tapes, which will record 2 hours and 40 minutes at SP. However, these tapes are hard to find, not to mention they cost even more than regular S-VHS tapes. I have always had to mail-order the T-160s.
    Have to ask, Mark, what’s the point in achiving laser discs? Like CDs and DVDs, they theoretically should last forever.
    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
    ------------------
    My Equipment List
     
  17. Mark Bates

    Mark Bates Agent

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2001
    Messages:
    39
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    It's not the disks themselves I am worried about, except if they get scratched, but more my player. My player is going on 8 years old and starting to show it's age.
    Good players are getting harder to find, more expensive and finding places that fix them is getting even harder.
    The best place I knew that fixed laserdisk players stopped working on them about 6 months ago, because they said parts where getting harder to get and more expensive.
    All the disks I can I am replacing with the DVD, but many are just not around on DVD.
    So if I can make copies of my most watched shows then I will use the tape instead of the disk, putting less stress on the player and if it does happen to die then I still have the tapes. I am not really worried about what will happen in 10 years to the tapes. I suspect that by that time most of the shows I watch will be out on DVD or whatever where watching by then.
    To boot I need a new VCR anyway and why not get a SVHS one.
    One other question. If I was to make a tape for a friend can I record in standard VHS mode for him?
    Thanks,
    Mark
    [Edited last by Mark Bates on November 11, 2001 at 01:28 PM]
     
  18. Guy Kuo

    Guy Kuo Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 1999
    Messages:
    581
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Yes, you can tell a S-VHS deck to record in plain old VHS format for those occasion that you need to make a tape for someoone without a S-VHS deck. Again, go for at least the 7000 series JVC. I don't understand how anyone managed to "test" the 3800 and decide it was close to the upper end machines.
    ------------------
    Guy Kuo
    Ovation Software, The Calibration Tool Source
     
  19. Mark Bates

    Mark Bates Agent

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2001
    Messages:
    39
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Guy Kuo the comparison was against high end standard VHS not high end SVHS machines.
    Sorry for any confusion.
    Mark
     
  20. Chris PC

    Chris PC Producer

    Joined:
    May 12, 2001
    Messages:
    3,975
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    The 7900 is just the next latest version of the 7800. I don't know much about it. Anybody else? I guess the website explains the feature differences. If you can get a 9800 for not much more than the 7800 or 7900 I'd go for that instead. My 7800 is excellent. I watched a VHS tape bought from a store, and it does look almost as good as my Laserdisc player CLD-79. Not quite the resolution, but very close and great colour. S-VHS recordings should be great from your LD player.
    [Edited last by Chris PC on November 11, 2001 at 05:30 PM]
     

Share This Page