Stereo VCR plays some stereo tapes as mono

Discussion in 'Amateur Video Production' started by Doc, Feb 9, 2006.

  1. Doc

    Doc Guest

    I have two stereo VCR'S connected. VCR 1 is an older Sears 2 head unit,
    VCR 2 is a newer, 4-head unit. VCR 1 has the antenna going into its
    coax connection, and is connected to the composite (i.e.
    yellow/white/red) audio/video connections of VCR 2. VCR 2's composite
    audio/video is output to the tv and stereo speakers. I have them set up
    this way to take advantage of VCR 1's apparent greater sensitivity to
    local broadcast channels, using one of those WalMart adjustable
    antennas going into a 12db amplifier box.

    Here's the odd thing - I get a great stereo image off the antenna -
    i.e. antenna>amplifier>VCR1>VCR 2>receiver/speakers. I get a great
    stereo image playing a tape in VCR 1 (again, going through VCR 2 before
    hitting the speakers). However, playing a broadcast quality country
    music video video (made for tv station broadcast) that sounds big as a
    house when played in VCR 1, obviously is coming out mono from VCR 2.
    VCR 2 *does* play other tapes in stereo, no problem.

    Why would this be? When played in VCR 1, the signal has to go through
    VCR 2 to get to the speakers, so why would VCR 2 not play this
    particular video in stereo? Is there more than one kind of stereo
    signal on VHS tapes? I would have thought they'd all be standardized.

    Thanks.
     
    Doc, Feb 9, 2006
    #1
    1. Advertisements

  2. Doc

    b Guest

    if its a 2 head unit then it'll be linear stereo, not fm helical scan
    hifi stereo like the newer unit. for hi fi stereo you need minimum 4
    heads.
    -B.
     
    b, Feb 9, 2006
    #2
    1. Advertisements

  3. They are. But if there is any interchange problem between
    the two VCRs, it might not be bad enough to see on the screen,
    but it may be bad enough for the VCR to abandon trying to read
    the FM stereo tracks, and fail-over to the mono linear track.
     
    Richard Crowley, Feb 9, 2006
    #3
  4. Doc

    UCLAN Guest

    There is Hi-Fi stereo, and there is linear stereo. The Hi-Fi stereo is
    embedded with the video, while the linear stereo has it's own "lo-fi"
    recording head (like a cassette deck) and is recorded in its own track.
    Are these Hi-Fi or linear stereo recorded tapes? How are your AUDIO
    SELECT switches set?
     
    UCLAN, Feb 9, 2006
    #4
  5. Doc

    Doc Guest

    Ah so. So, there *is* more than one variety of stereo.
     
    Doc, Feb 9, 2006
    #5
  6. Only a few professional VHS machines had linear stereo.
    I've never seen a consumer VHS VCR with linear stereo.
     
    Richard Crowley, Feb 9, 2006
    #6
  7. You didn't reveal the make/model of your VCRs, but if they
    are typical consumer machines, the likelihood of them having
    linear stereo heads ranges from slim to none. Only a few pro
    VHS VCRs had linear stereo that I have ever seen.
     
    Richard Crowley, Feb 9, 2006
    #7
  8. Oh, there were lots around in the budget market in the late eighties.
    I had a Hinari one which had linear stereo. I suspect they were trying
    to cash in on people not knowing the difference between 'stereo' and
    'hi-fi' tracks...

    Steve

    The Doctor Who Restoration Team Website
    http://www.restoration-team.co.uk
     
    Steve Roberts, Feb 9, 2006
    #8
  9. They exist(ed). There were a lot of commercial tapes with linear stereo
    tracks before the engineers figured out how to kluge HiFi sound into VHS.
     
    Kimba W. Lion, Feb 9, 2006
    #9
  10. Doc

    Greg Melton Guest

    I had a consumer VHS in the 80s with linear stereo. I remember
    watching Purple Rain with it hooked through the stereo. Woo Hoo!
     
    Greg Melton, Feb 9, 2006
    #10
  11. Doc

    UCLAN Guest

    Early model Mitsubishi SVHS (consumer models) VCRs had linear stereo.
    But all late model standard VHS VCRs are linear mono.

    Many Beta VCRs had linear stereo.
     
    UCLAN, Feb 9, 2006
    #11
  12. Doc

    UCLAN Guest

    The fact that his old 2-head (non Hi-Fi) VCR was stereo is in
    opposition to this statement.

    Looks like VCR #1 was playing back a stereo linear track, while
    his newer 4-head VCR #2 played this track in mono. Only way I
    can see this happening.
     
    UCLAN, Feb 9, 2006
    #12
  13. I've seen marginal interchange problems cause the embedded FM
    "Hi-Fi" recovery to fail when it would still reproduce the picture.
    The fail-over is to use the mono linear track. (Or the stereo linear
    track played with a single-gap head, rendering it monaural.)
     
    Richard Crowley, Feb 9, 2006
    #13
  14. Doc

    Doc Guest

    Since some have inquired about brands/models, VCR 1 is a Panasonc labled
    "4-Head Hi-Fi Stereo OmniVision" model # on the back is PV-V4520.

    VCR 2 just says Sears Roebuck with some lengthy model number on the back
    that I'm guessing isn't significant. I'm guessing it was one that was
    rebadged under various brands. It's a front loader, probably from the
    mid-late 80's, but that's just a guess. Among other switches, has a selector
    switch for Dolby. Pretty hefty machine, probably weighs 25 lbs.
     
    Doc, Feb 9, 2006
    #14
  15. Doc

    UCLAN Guest

    Hmmm...you originally said that VCR #1 was an old, 2-head model, and
    that VCR #2 was the newer 4-head VCR.

    Which one is it?
     
    UCLAN, Feb 10, 2006
    #15
  16. "Doc"s original post said that the older #1 VCR would play his
    particular stereo tape in stereo, while the newer #2 VCR would
    play it in mono (while playing other tapes in stereo).
     
    Richard Crowley, Feb 10, 2006
    #16
  17. Doc

    blackburst Guest

    Well, that settles it. If it has a Dolby switch, it is almost certainly
    linear stereo, not HiFi stereo. Your VCR 1 is recording stereo HiFi in
    the video, and a longitudinal mono track. Your VCR 2 can't play the
    HiFi tracks, and plays only the longitudinal mono track.

    Yet, in the E-E mode (listening to air or VCR 1 THROUGH VCR 2), it will
    pass a stereo signal just fine.
     
    blackburst, Feb 10, 2006
    #17
  18. Doc

    UCLAN Guest

    That wasn't my question (and you are not Doc.)

    In his first post, he wrote: "I have two stereo VCR'S connected. VCR 1
    is an older Sears 2 head unit, VCR 2 is a newer, 4-head unit."

    Then in his latest post he said: "Since some have inquired about
    brands/models, VCR 1 is a Panasonc labled "4-Head Hi-Fi Stereo
    OmniVision" model # on the back is PV-V4520. VCR 2 just says Sears
    Roebuck with some lengthy model number on the back that I'm guessing
    isn't significant. I'm guessing it was one that was rebadged under
    various brands. It's a front loader, probably from the mid-late 80's,
    but that's just a guess. Among other switches, has a selector switch for
    Dolby. Pretty hefty machine, probably weighs 25 lbs."

    It seems that the latter is a reversal of the former.

    My "guess" as to what is happening is based on the wiring description
    he gave in his first post.
     
    UCLAN, Feb 10, 2006
    #18
  19. Doc

    UCLAN Guest

    If his VCR #1 is an older 2-head VCR (as his original post suggests)
    how is it operating in Hi-Fi mode? More likely, his VCR #1 is playing
    the linear stereo track, and the Hi-Fi model VCR #2 only has a mono
    linear track.
     
    UCLAN, Feb 10, 2006
    #19
  20. Why would you think it was incapable of HiFi mode?
     
    Richard Crowley, Feb 10, 2006
    #20
    1. Advertisements

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments (here). After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.