S-VHS VCR recommendations?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Ken Woodrow, Nov 14, 2002.

  1. Ken Woodrow

    Ken Woodrow Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2001
    Messages:
    113
    Likes Received:
    0
    Don't laugh! My standard hi-fi VCR recently croaked, and I thought about taking the opportunity to upgrade to a S-VHS player. Not only will I get better PQ from my video tapes, but I'll get to run the S-Video output through my Holo3D-equipped HTPC. That way I can use my pre/pro for video switching b/n the VCR and DirecTiVo.

    Any recommendations? I'd like to spend less than $200. Because I have some other Sony equipment, the S-Link option would be nice, but I'm not sure about Sony's rep for making solid S-VHS equipment.

    I'd also consider pro equipment, if the price was right.

    Thanks,
    Ken
     
  2. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

    Joined:
    May 19, 2002
    Messages:
    12,060
    Likes Received:
    0
    Mitsubishi makes a pretty good model. I purchased mine for ~$225. You might find it for less.
     
  3. Larry Schneider

    Larry Schneider Second Unit

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 1999
    Messages:
    356
    Likes Received:
    0
    I, too have been very happy with Mitsubishi.
     
  4. Aric Friesen

    Aric Friesen Extra

    Joined:
    May 14, 2002
    Messages:
    23
    Likes Received:
    0
    Mitsubishi is the only brand I recommend making S-VHS decks these days.
     
  5. Ken Woodrow

    Ken Woodrow Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2001
    Messages:
    113
    Likes Received:
    0
    Folks -- thanks for the responses. Why Mitsubishi, and which models in particular?

    Thanks . . .
     
  6. Larry Schneider

    Larry Schneider Second Unit

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 1999
    Messages:
    356
    Likes Received:
    0
    My first two SVHS recorders were JVC; the first was high quality but eventually broke down, the second a piece of junk that failed fairly quickly. My last two were Mits, and both still work perfectly after several years - one is an HSU-781, the other an older model - HSU-760?
     
  7. Joe Schwartz

    Joe Schwartz Second Unit

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2001
    Messages:
    449
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'm also a Mitsubishi fan -- my HS-U71 lasted for 13 years before dying recently. But sadly, they don't make 'em like that anymore. That thing was built like a tank.

    To replace it, I bought an open-box HS-U747, but I'm not very satisfied with it. I'm seeing a lot of color bleeding and color fringes when watching cable channels, even with the S-video output. Is this a problem with the tuner or the comb filter? Has anyone else seen this problem with recent Mitsubishi models? I'll probably return this unit and try a new HS-U748 instead.
     
  8. Larry Schneider

    Larry Schneider Second Unit

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 1999
    Messages:
    356
    Likes Received:
    0
    Orginally SVHS was a high-end item, so manufacturers charged a bunch and used robust and heavy components - now they're a lot cheaper in each and every way.
     
  9. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 1999
    Messages:
    6,100
    Likes Received:
    33
    Location:
    Katy, TX
    Real Name:
    Wayne
    Ken,

     
  10. GregK

    GregK Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2000
    Messages:
    1,016
    Likes Received:
    227
    I'm in somewhat of the same boat. My JVC HR-S4900U S-VHS deck took a crap after nine years of service. I'd like to get another S-deck, but would like to avoid JVC if possible. I wouldn't mind going with Mitsubishi ..with flying erase heads, that is if Mit's provides this on any of their decks.

    Does anyone know of a website that lists the current Mitsubishi S-VHS line up? ..And / or a major chain store that may carry Mitsubishi S-VHS decks(Sears, Circuit City, HH Gregg?? etc). ..Any help welcomed!
     
  11. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2000
    Messages:
    9,413
    Likes Received:
    0
    I am not really up on current models, but I am very happy with my two-year-old JVC HR-S4600U S-VHS deck. I bought it at Circuit City and it has performed like a champ, but it seems to me that subsequent JVC mass-market S-VHS decks have not been built to the same standard. That does not mean that they do not perform, however.
     
  12. Ken Woodrow

    Ken Woodrow Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2001
    Messages:
    113
    Likes Received:
    0
    Greg:
    Aside from E-Bay, one place I found was Abt Electronics.
    I also found a good review of the Mits HS-U776 here.
    Of course, there is always E-Bay and the other usual suspects.
    - Ken
     
  13. Marvin

    Marvin Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 1999
    Messages:
    1,480
    Likes Received:
    41
    Real Name:
    Marvin
    I couldn't tell by a quick look if those Mitsubishi models had a flying erase head. I was in a similar situation a month or so ago except my VCR use is mostly for viewing pre-recorded tapes with a little bit of editing from a camcorder. I ended up getting the JVC 5901 (similar to the 5911) since I needed the flying erase head and didn't want to spend that much. S-VHS was an afterthought. In fact, I haven't even tried S-VHS recording since I got the VCR. The VCR goes for under $200.

    As others have noted about the JVC line, it's pretty light but I'm generally satsified with it so far. My main gripe about it is that it has no on-unit counter; you have to use the TV on screen display for that.
     
  14. Rachael B

    Rachael B Producer

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2000
    Messages:
    4,694
    Likes Received:
    27
    Location:
    Knocksville, TN
    Real Name:
    Rachael Bellomy
    If you want a S-VHS VCR with ANY build quality at all the only choices are a used Sony 1000 or better yet the industrial Panasonic AG-1980 which can stille be found new. It doesn't have VCR+ or a fancy remote but it has timer recording. The last few years of Mitsu's don't seem much better than the JVC's. I don't think any current Mitsu's have flying erase heads either. Unless you want to spend real money on an AG-1980 (new = $900, used = 4-$500), I suggest getting a JVC 5901, 9800, 9900, and crossing your fingers. I've had about 10 JVC's and only 1 was a total lemon.

    Marvin, if you want a flying erase head for editing, strongly consider an AG-1980 for that. What really wears on the JVC's dee-luxe, cheap plastic transport parts is frame advance/reverse for editing. If you edit extensively with the average JVC, you proably halve it's lifespan. Best wishes!
     
  15. Marvin

    Marvin Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 1999
    Messages:
    1,480
    Likes Received:
    41
    Real Name:
    Marvin
    Rachael, I already bought the JVC so I guess I'm stuck with it. I don't do a great deal of editing so I'm hoping it will be sufficient for my purposes. Though at less than half the price of that Panasonic model, I'll still come out ahead even if I do "half" the JVC's life-span. But maybe by then DVD recorders will be cheaper and the format incompatibilities will be resolved, so I won't have to do much VCR editing at all.
     
  16. DeanR

    DeanR Second Unit

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2002
    Messages:
    316
    Likes Received:
    2
    Real Name:
    Dean
    I have a 4 year old JVC HR-S9500 S-VHS VCR. I absolutely love it. I can't speak about the newer JVC offerings. The only negative about the deck is that even though it has a flying erase head it isn't a good editing deck. During editing there is an annoying 1-2 second jump when I go from pause to record. This means edits are not seamless. My $300 Sony VHS deck with a flying erase head has completely seamless edits. The JVC deck is great for old VHS tapes that skip endlessly on the Sony. The time base corrector in the JVC is a godsend. I have transfered over 100 VHS tapes from the JVC to my Panny DVD recorder. If I used the Sony instead the skipping on the older tapes would render the copies on DVD unwatchable.
     
  17. Rachael B

    Rachael B Producer

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2000
    Messages:
    4,694
    Likes Received:
    27
    Location:
    Knocksville, TN
    Real Name:
    Rachael Bellomy
    Marvin, you should buy a 10 pack of Fugi S-VHS tapes and give S-VHS a real whirl. I haven't used the 5901 but I really doubt it's as good as older 5xxx series decks. I have a 5200, pre ET deck, that stille functions beautifully. However, it was a $500 VCR back around 1995. I have, let's see, a 9500, 9800, 7500, 3600, Panny 7670, and Panny AG-1980. I've wore out and pitched JVC's 6900, 2 x 7100, 7200, and I gave my nephew my 7400. The 7400 was a lemon. It worked fine for VHS but it wouldn't play back S-VHS tapes properly. It and the 7300 are plagued by the "white streaks" problem. Little white lines randomly appearing during S-VHS playback. It records S-VHS tapes just fine.
    JVC build quality was never great but it's sunk along with the prices. My 3600 seems above the curve but it's a step down from any other S-VHS deck I've ever had. A friend has it presently to try out and if she likes it, I get 60 big ones, well dollars. It's a low miles player. I don't need it anymore. I'm not sure I ever did. She'll proably take it.
    I have so many VCR's because I've been involved with community TV for years. I've scrutinized them closely. I have two studio monitors and use them with mixers and titlers. I see what goes in and what comes out on the recording. The 9xxx units are clearly better, better edges, better colour. Both of my 9xxx decks perform really well as feeders to the AG-1980. I used to record and edit on the 9500 and I was suprised how well it did. I knew it would die prematurely if I kept cranking it's jog/shuttle so much, so got the AG-1980 two years ago.
    The 9500 & 9800's TBC works well enough to do fast speed effects for broadcast without too many artifacts. My 7500 didn't do quite as well when I used to use it for production. Granted, the video quality is on the low end down at Community TV but even when I started out with just a 7500 and 9500 and a Panasonic AG camcorder, my TV show was amongst the better looking ones.
    Dean, this should intrest you. The 9500 jumps ahead about 5 or 6 frames when you pick your edit spot and engage record. You just have to learn how to quesstimate this and adjust. My older 7100's seemed to do better, proably jumping only 3 or 4 frames. An AG-1980 is + or - 1 frame accurate. It's a pleasure to use.
    I've bought my last VCR. I'm gonna go to mostly computer editing next year. I'll stille need a VCR to atleast spit the video back out to. Community TV won't be going to a higher format anytime soon. I dump some stuff off my Tivo's to the 7500 and sometimes the 9800 from time to time. I actually watch tapes, of TV, maybe once or twice a month. That's about it.
    I strongly recommend that anybody buying a VCR get a 9xxx JVC, an AG-1980, or a Sony SL-R1000. The 7xxx decks were pretty good for noncritical use but they're no more. It's unrealistic to expect great performance out of sub-$200 decks. They are cutting many corners. There is no such thing as high quality VHS tape. It's only good enough for grungy VHS recording. ET is a total failure, quality-wise and ET encoded tapes have about a 50-50 chance of playing back on an ET VCR other than the one they're recorded on. That was my experience when I briefly experimented with it a few years ago. ET is marketing hype.
    Why buy a decent VCR and handicap it with mediocre tape? Why handicap any S-VHS deck with VHS tape?
    Everybody's expectations have risen with DVD. Mine were aready high because I'd been doing LD since 1987. I suggest that anybody who really needs a VCR aim high now before there is nothing left on the market but $69, 3 month (lifespan [​IMG] ), totally disposable VCR's. That day is near. I wouldn't skrimp on my last VCR, just to have it make tapes that I wouldn't really want to watch because they were so crappy or snowy. You're lucky if you even get what you pay for with VCR's, that's the sad truth...[​IMG]
    Anybody have the JVC 9911 yet? It looks to be the last vaguey credible deck left on the market...?
     
  18. GregK

    GregK Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2000
    Messages:
    1,016
    Likes Received:
    227
     

Share This Page