Which VCR would be the best source for VHS capture?

Discussion in 'Amateur Video Production' started by Miles, Aug 19, 2004.

  1. Miles

    Miles Guest

    Looking to buy a new VCR which I would like to use as the source to
    archive some old VHS tapes to DVD.

    I'm torn between two choices:
    1. A brand new JVC or Panasonic S-VHS "home" VCR with built in TBC.
    2. A second hand "pro" type S-VHS deck off eBay, e.g. Panasonic AG

    Any advice please?
    Miles, Aug 19, 2004
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  2. Miles

    Cliff Guest

    Just a suggestion but have you tried alt.video.vcr group?

    Cliff, Aug 19, 2004
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  3. Miles

    SimMike- Guest

    I like VCRs that have variable picture settings, such as: Sharp, Edit, Soft,
    etc. This helps to get the best output. So I would pick one that has this. TBC
    is also a nice feature, but it probably can't help old tapes that have
    stretched. In my opinion, I would not spend a lot on a VCR because all of them
    right up to the most expensive is going to have trouble with some old tapes.
    SimMike-, Aug 19, 2004
  4. Good consumer SVHS VCRs will have that. Most don't have a full
    frame TBC, but any TBC is better than none.

    I'll second that nothing will help with scrambly playing old tapes.
    A TBC may help them capture better, but it won't miraculously clear up
    skewed pictures or noisy, blurry playback.

    Panasonic's AG series has two major lines -- the AG1980, which could
    be classed as a higher end consumer VCR, and the AG7500 and later
    lines. The latter, with a full frame TBC and proc amp, gives you much
    more control over playback quality, but the price tag, even used,
    isn't justified for VHS capture.

    Most of the improvements in editing VCRs are in deck control for
    editing. Since you aren't going to use the thing to actual edit VHS,
    you don't need that.
    Jeffery S. Jones, Aug 19, 2004
  5. Miles

    Keith Clark Guest

    Sorry if this is a dumb question, but what would you use a TBC for?
    Keith Clark, Aug 19, 2004
  6. Miles

    Miles Guest

    Thanks for the suggestion: good idea, I shall make a new post there now.
    Miles, Aug 19, 2004
  7. Miles

    Miles Guest

    The tapes are old, yes, but they are original retail not nth-gen copies
    or anything like that. Some have been played more than others, but I
    don't think any could be described as "scrambly"! :)
    The two models that crop up regularly on eBay (in the UK, anyway) are
    the AG-7330 and the AG-MD830. I don't think either has a TBC, but the
    going prices are usually less than a consumer SVHS deck.
    True, but I though the better build quality in the tape transport might
    give a more stable picture?
    Miles, Aug 19, 2004
  8. Miles

    David Chien Guest

    1. A brand new JVC or Panasonic S-VHS "home" VCR with built in TBC.
    #1. TBC stabilizes tapes, better for older tapes.
    David Chien, Aug 20, 2004
  9. That is a good sign. I've worked with 20+ year old camcorder
    originals, and tapes copied to VHS EP speed, and it can be difficult
    to get much of anything useful beyond a certain point of
    deterioration. But at least with a TBC, you have a fair shot at
    getting something out of them.

    Always check around, though -- the 7500 series does have a TBC on
    it. A risk with any used VCR is that it might be wore out; the hours
    of use is a hint. The higher end models are a *lot* more durable than
    consumer machines. 10+ years of use might not hurt them at all, as
    long as they've been well maintained.

    It can't hurt. Also, good manual tracking control can help with
    playing tapes which aren't in perfect condition, and consumer machines
    no longer have manual tracking.

    The basic playback section is also better -- meaning that you
    shouldn't need as much processing in order to get a good picture.

    One thing to check -- some of the higher end VCRs won't support any
    playback speed other than SP. Won't matter if all your tapes were
    recorded at SP of course.
    Jeffery S. Jones, Aug 20, 2004
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