SVHS quality and economics best option?

Discussion in 'Professional Video Production' started by Chris, Aug 1, 2003.

  1. Chris

    Chris Guest

    I was hoping some kind folk here might be able to answer a question
    for me:

    I was deciding between different formats to use for a video production
    and the best deal seems to be svhs. The only thing I need is a player
    to input clips from movies in any of the following formats (not sure
    how price for different formats differ):

    NTSC, PAL, BetaSp, Digibeta, DVCAM, DVCPRO, 3/4" Umatic, SVHS, and

    I thought I would use svhs and buy an svhs player as they are fairly
    inexpensive, best deal so far (not very cheapest, but seems decent)
    JVC HR-S2902U SVHS HIFI VCR for $92.50.

    Can anyone give me further gudance on this?

    Chris, Aug 1, 2003
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  2. Chris

    Andys cam Guest

    I was deciding between different formats to use for a video production
    If you are doing this for more than just fun, the only current format to
    consider is DV. It has too many advantages over S-VHS to consider starting in
    S-VHS. NTSC or PAL is determined by what counrty you are in
    Andys cam, Aug 1, 2003
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  3. Chris

    lr Guest

    I have to butt in and ask, if your answer is go DV, how does one make copies
    of DV so that the average person can see the end result on VCR. This is
    not a rebuttal, just curious as I am about to venture in the same situation.
    lr, Aug 1, 2003
  4. Chris

    Billy Zoom Guest

    Not really sure what you're asking for here,

    The guys who have already answered you are right, if you're BUYING
    a camera and or a feeder / edit deck, DV is the only way to go, but if you
    own an svhs camera and you just need to digitize the footage via analog
    then $92.50 for a deck is a good price

    Svhs is a dying giant. It's not a good choice for professional work anymore
    unless you're doing video depositions or trying to edit with old svhs

    --- Jack Perry
    Billy Zoom, Aug 1, 2003
  5. Chris

    BUD Guest

    I would suggest DV for production on a NLE system and get the SVHS deck
    for delivery to the viewer on either VHS or SVHS - also the SVHS deck will
    be ideal for input of any old analogue footage into your computer - use
    the Datavideo DAC-100 it is superb for converting analogue to DV. You can
    produce DVD on your computer if you want to supply that format as well.

    BUD, Aug 2, 2003
  6. Chris

    Andys cam Guest

    I have to butt in and ask, if your answer is go DV, how does one make copies
    Very simple - just hook up the analog output of the DV cam to your VCR inputs
    and record on the VCR while playing from the DV cam.
    Andys cam, Aug 2, 2003
  7. Chris

    lr Guest

    I am doing that already. I output my edited Mini DV tape out of my camera
    to a VCR using my S-VHS cable and my RCS audios cable to the inputs of my
    VCR, but does that give me DV results, or just good quality from using my
    S-VHS cable. My results is great because that is what use for my public
    access TV show. What threw me was the mention of DV on an analog tape.
    lr, Aug 2, 2003
  8. Chris

    Pandora Guest


    You'll want to get a VCR that also has s-video *in*. I believe the

    model you're considering only has s-video *out*. The next model up,

    the JVC HR-S3901, has both. The 2901's composit *in* will degrade the

    image quality too much if you do get into computer video editing (for

    when you want to make VHS tapes for distribution to friends, family,

    etc). B&H Photo sells the 3901 for $119. Wherever you buy, choose a

    place with a good return policy and buy the extended warranty. I know of a

    guy who used to manage a Circuit City-type store in the mid-80s. He said

    that the percentage of JVC products that were "dead out of the box" was

    unreal and to this day he advises everyone to avoid JVC products. He

    says it stands for Junk Video Corporation. I know of another guy who

    tried JVC's higher end 9800 model -- about $350 -- who was seriously

    disappointed with the reliability and operation even though the picture

    quality was okay -- *when it worked*! Others have had good luck with them.

    Point is: you may get lucky ... or not.

    Chris, I was in your position recently. The problem seems to be that

    all VCRs made these days are composed mostly of plastic -- even on the

    highest-stressed parts. Mitsubishi has a higher build quality, though.

    Someone opined that the best consumer VCR ever made was some 1984 RCA

    model. Don't know if that's true or not. When it came down to my final

    decision, I weighed (pun intended) a new JVC9911 (around $350, around 7

    pounds) against an early 90s model with the reputation as being the best

    consumer svhs VCR Sony has ever made (around $400, 17 pounds) and went the

    pre-owned ebay route. Hope this helps.

    Pandora, Aug 3, 2003
  9. Chris

    WEBPA Guest

    Are you sure you aren't jumping to conclusions because the machine in question
    has only RCA sockets on the front panel? Did you look at the back panel?

    It seems VERY unlikely that JVC has EVER built a SVHS machine without S-video

    It is possible that a standard VHS machine with "quasi-SVHS playback" might
    have S-video out only. But again, JVC machines I've seen (and own two varieties
    thereof) with "quasi-SVHS" do not have S-video sockets of any kind.

    WEBPA, Aug 3, 2003
  10. I've always bought JVC S-VHS VCRs and still have a couple over 6
    years old that work fine. I have always recommended this brand, but no
    I got a new HR-S9800U two years ago and it was very undependable. At
    least once a week, I had to unplug the power, to re-boot the digital
    processer, to make anything on it work. It sounded like a miniature
    train wreck inside, whenever it was fast-forwarded. Finally, after just
    16 months, the power transformer went kaput and I won't bother to have
    it replaced. The sad thing is, that its picture and audio quality was
    excellent, even though its tuner was not as effective on weak stations
    as those of the older models. That's just one person's experience, so
    pay heed or not. I wouldn't expect their lowest priced S-VHS VCR to be
    any more dependable than their most expensive consumer model. Oddly, I
    have their cheapest standard VHS VCR, the HR-A591U ($59. on sale) and
    I've been beating the crap out of it for six months for my daily TV
    programs. I frequenty fast-forward through commercials, then jerk the
    tape back when I overrun them, which is hard on the tape-transport and
    it just keeps going.

    For about $1,000. or so, you can still buy a Panasonic semipro
    AG-1980 S-VHS VCR. This is arguably the most solid and dependable
    S-VHS model that has consumer-type features as well as a TBC and is good
    for editing purposes.

    Steve McDonald
    Steve McDonald, Aug 4, 2003
  11. Chris

    Pandora Guest

    Hi Steve,
    When I was making my VCR selection, I came "this close" to
    a Panasonic AG-1980, which are still available new for around $1200.
    Have seen a floor model go for around $500. Most good used are in the
    area of
    $800, I think. The reason I didn't is because I was interested in the
    best *VHS* playback I could get (without the price of a real "pro"
    and I had heard a few (not many) reports that the 1980 *VHS* playback
    picture quality could be bested by some other models. So I ended up
    going with
    the Sony I mentioned above and a standalone full-frame TBC for a total
    cost of less than a new AG-1980. Of course, all this is used
    with the associated risks. (Incidentally, if you *really need* a TBC,
    the standalone models are supposed to be much more effective than
    those built into the VCRs.)
    By the way, the Sony model I went with is the SLV-R5UC. I know a
    guy who puts about 4 hours work into refurbishing the R5s and sells
    for ~ $400. I think this is mostly a hobby for him, and therefore I
    wouldn't feel comfortable putting out contact info here. You could
    probably find him through a search if you were really interested in
    obtaining one.
    I few things I really like about the R5:
    1. Having a jog dial/shuttle ring *on the remote*. This
    way when digitizing VHS, I don't have to have the VCR
    right in my work space and can just keep the remote next
    to my monitor and operate the VCR from there. (For
    those of you who've never used jog/shuttle: it's nice!)
    2. Also convenient when digitizing is having not only *line
    out* s-video but also a seperate *monitor out* s-video.
    (I don't believe the top consumer JVC SVHS has monitor
    out.) How this comes in handy is the monitor out has
    on-screen display of timecode so you know where you are
    in the tape (when viewing your studio monitor) and the
    line out (sent to your analog/digital converter) does
    not contain timecode.
    3. For outputting your edited DV to VHS tapes (for family,
    friends, etc. without a DVD player), the R5 has
    *manual* audio record level control with a 50-segment
    LED display of recording levels of left and right
    channels, independantly adjustible. The adjustment
    knobs are on the front of the VCR; this means of
    adjustment I prefer to the method used in the top JVC:
    buried in an on-screen menu.
    One thing I miss with the R5 -- and which I don't believe is on
    any non-pro (you know, the ones without a TV tuner) VCRs -- is
    *playback* audio control. I get around this by putting an amplifier
    between the VCR and the A/D converter when I'm digitizing.
    Regarding JVC, that refurb guy I mentioned (he's been on the
    boards for years), in a corresondence with me, he mentioned that he
    would advise against a JVC purchase (audio playback not up to R5, for
    one) and to instead take a look at Mitsubishi. He said most SVHS
    machines' *VHS* playback picture quality is "soft" next to the R5.
    For anyone who gets an R5 I would give two hints. First, they
    run hot, so can't be in an enclosed cabinet; give 'em room to breath.
    Second, they have a "normal" mode and an "edit" mode. Normal mode
    offers some type
    of digital picture enhancement, which is good for TV watching but not
    for dub work. For that, put it in edit mode. (It must be re-set to
    edit mode after each power down.)
    Hope this helps someone.
    Pandora, Aug 4, 2003
  12. Chris

    Mike Rehmus Guest

    Sony replaced the SLV-R1000 with the SLV-R1100 and SLV-R2100 IIRC. The 1100
    is kind of a prettied up 1000 but the 2100 was (Is?) a machine with a
    serious transport. Both were under $1500.

    I've had two SLV-R1000's for the past 6 years. The transport is
    bulletproof. Even the capstain has a bearing on the top to keep it in line
    and steadier than the standard transport would do.

    However, the cheap sub-$300 JVC S-VHS decks certainly work well for everyday
    playback and recording.
    Mike Rehmus, Aug 5, 2003
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