What is the difference between a 4 head vcr and a 6 head vcr?

Brian Price

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I am looking into buying a new VCR and have seen ones with 4 heads (2 video, 2 audio) and ones with 6 heads (4 video, 2 audio). Which one is better? If I am just doing normal recording off of tv, etc will the 6 head one be substantially better? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
Brian
 

DeborahK

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I would love to know the answer to this question too, so here is hoping someone replies.

Deborah
 

Patrick Sun

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4 video heads are supposed to give better slow-motion playback and freeze frames, over a VCR with only 2 video heads.

VCRS are relatively cheap, I see no reason not to buy a 4-video head model. And you may as well get a Hi-Fi 4-head model to narrow down your search if you care for decent stereo or Dolby Surround/Pro-logic playback for OTA recordings.

As a heavy user of VCRs, they seems to last me around 5 years before I have to replace them due to worn video heads.

You could splurge for SVHS but I would only do so if you are getting really good clean OTA feeds (or cable feeds) to justify the extra expense of a SVHS VCR.
 

Ken Chan

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Not just better slow and pause, but better looking fast forward and rewind.

//Ken
 

DeborahK

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While I understand the attraction of having better quality on Pause and Slow, I am finding it hard to imagine why anyone would need enhanced image quality on Fast Forward and Rewind.

All in all it sounds to me as if a 4 head VCR is probably good enough for most users.
Thanks for the replies,
Deborah
 

KeithH

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Deborah, I have never felt compelled to try a 6-head VCR. The 4-head models I have always had have worked fine for me. I do have an S-VHS model and appreciate the increased resolution of recordings off of cable.
 

Kwang Suh

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All 4 head VCRS, in fact, have 6 heads if they also have stereo processing. The 2 heads are used for the audio. Some manufacturers have decided that those count as extra heads.
 

Jerry_S

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That's not really true. 4 head and 6 head VCR's are not the same as stated. If they are the same why would Toshiba market a 4 head and a 6 head? Some VCR's have 8 heads for video editiing and such.
I found a website that describes this,
Question:
What does it mean when a VCR has 4 heads versus 6 heads?
Answer:
VCR heads record to and read from magnetic tapes. The most basic VCR uses only two heads. Four heads provide better picture quality. A six-head VCR utilizes two separate heads for recording only. In this way four heads can be dedicated to playback for maximum playback quality while the two additional heads provide extended recording capability. In most cases a four-head VCR will suit your needs just fine. If you do a lot of recording, a six-head model may come in handy. Also, consider a flying erase head for better editing if you do much editing of tapes and/or home videos.
http://www.audiovideo101.com/learn/a...onid=74&List=5
 

Lew Crippen

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You could splurge for SVHS but I would only do so if you are getting really good clean OTA feeds (or cable feeds) to justify the extra expense of a SVHS VCR.
Even S-Video is not that expensive. I’ve gone with S-Video since getting a satellite feed. Very good picture quality indeed (I’m comparing to VHS, not anything else).
 

Ken Chan

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I am finding it hard to imagine why anyone would need enhanced image quality on Fast Forward and Rewind.
One reason I didn't embellish is because it was difficult to describe. With just two heads, there's more shearing and big black bands, so it's tougher to make out what's actually there. For four heads, you see most of the picture. This is important if you're actually searching for something specific.

Also, the number of heads can be very confusing, because it's not clear exactly what they're counting: all heads, only the heads on the drum, only the video heads, or some other criteria. Obviously, it's used for marketing.

//Ken
 

DeborahK

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Ken,

Thanks for the explanation about the fast forwarding and pause. This has turned into a very informative thread!

Deborah
 

Carl Johnson

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I can answer this question with a single word.

porn

Don't ask me how I know, let's just say I know people who are into that stuff......
 

Kwang Suh

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VCR heads record to and read from magnetic tapes. The most basic VCR uses only two heads. Four heads provide better picture quality. A six-head VCR utilizes two separate heads for recording only. In this way four heads can be dedicated to playback for maximum playback quality while the two additional heads provide extended recording capability. In most cases a four-head VCR will suit your needs just fine. If you do a lot of recording, a six-head model may come in handy. Also, consider a flying erase head for better editing if you do much editing of tapes and/or home videos.
Yeah, but I don't think the Toshiba "6-head" VCRs are anything like this.
 

Bill Will

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If your going to buy a new vcr I would buy a HI-FI Stereo model with 4 heads (4 video heads)& if I'm not mistaken don't all new HI-FI Stereo vcr's have 4 heads? I would not waste my money on any Super VHS vcr's unless it was the top of the line JVC model. JVC used to have a couple of step down Super VHS models (the 7xxx series) but they don't anymore & the pictures on the ones out there now are not that good. I hate to say it but I would probably buy a Symphonic which is made by Funi the world's largest maker of VHS vcr's & if you look at all the lower priced vcr's they are being made by Funi anyway (Panasonic, JVC & etc) I think the pictures on the Symphonic are as good as most VHS vcr's out there. If you want a good VHS vcr, like the ones that were built in the old days take a look at the Panasonic semi-pro "AG" line. They come with remotes, timers vcr plus & etc just like regular consumer vcr's. You can check out the prices for them at www.jandr.com I think? the lowest priced HI-FI stereo VHS model runs around $199 I've seen the Symphonic HI-FI Stereo model as low as $55 & at that price I think you should check it out & if you don't like it take it back. What your paying for in step up models is features not picture quality. So you should really know what features you want & which ones you you can do with out. Just my 2 cents.
 

Thomas Newton

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If you want the best picture quality for recording, and don't mind the cost of the tapes, get a SVHS VCR and use SVHS tapes. SVHS VCRs are really cheap these days (as in $270 or less) and let you record and play either VHS or SVHS tapes.

Some modern SVHS VCRs have a mode called SVHS ET where they will record a SVHS-style signal onto a regular VHS tape. If it works, you get better-than-VHS quality at no extra media cost.
 

Ken Chan

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Many people poo-poo SVHS-ET because the resulting tapes are not necessarily compatible between players.
As for the area of interest Carl mentioned, with super-fast (20x, 40x) scanning, chapter stops, and A-B repeat, it's another area where DVD has VHS beat

//Ken
 

Alessandro Machi

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Many people poo-poo SVHS-ET because the resulting tapes are not necessarily compatible between players.
As for the area of interest Carl mentioned, with super-fast (20x, 40x) scanning, chapter stops, and A-B repeat, it's another area where DVD has VHS beat

//Ken
I just thought I would do an almost 18 year update. Mitsubishi came out with some VCR's that had really high visual search speeds. They were anywhere from 16 times to I think 35 times normal speed.
 

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