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Old 03-04-2017, 11:33 PM
mgross0 mgross0 is offline
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S-VHS vs D-VHS

I have been looking to pick up a new (used) VCR for a while now, and need a little guidance. I have picked out a Panasonic SR-V101US SVHS machine, but I keep trying to convince myself to pay extra for the DVHS or D-Theater machines. It just puts me off that the D-VHS units always seem to be broken. Are they really as unreliable as I have always heard? Is the picture quality really that superior to Super VHS? I like the JVC HM-DH30000U, but every single one I find is in need of service.
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Old 03-05-2017, 06:55 AM
Captainclock Captainclock is offline
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I've never even heard of D-VHS before, I've heard of S-VHS but not D-VHS, and what I know about S-VHS is that its a nice step up from regular VHS as far as picture quality goes and has lots of wonderful special effects that goes with them, most of them of which you may never need but they're there for you just in case. I used to own a nice JVC S-VHS machine a while back and while I wasn't able to fully utilize all of its features because of not having the original remote it did have really nice video playback even on regular VHS tapes (S-VHS tapes were required to fully utilize the potential of any S-VHS machine).
Anyways I would just go with an S-VHS machine since those are more reliable and more well known than the D-VHS machines (which I'm guessing that by the sounds of it D-VHS was a "Digital" version of VHS and was a last ditch effort to save the VHS format when DVD was coming out, so probably why its not as reliable as S-VHS which was only partially Digital).
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Old 03-05-2017, 07:37 AM
Titan1a Titan1a is offline
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D-VHS is remarkable! The picture is almost as good as Blu-ray. My brother has one and has had no problems.
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Old 03-05-2017, 10:36 AM
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Normal VHS limits monochrome and color resolution to sub-NTSC level. S-VHS only gets the monochrome resolution limit closer to NTSC (~doubles it) and seems to reduce chroma noise some.

D-VHS is another animal entirely....It records a digital data stream and can store a full HD signal (possibly higher rez video) exactly as the source puts it out....Infact you can even store data on D-VHS.

The question is what would you like to do with your VCR? If you only plan to play back/record NTSC with S-/VHS tapes then D-VHS will offer you little advantage...IIRC D-VHS decks can play/rec S-/VHS and have a built in TBC, but most DVD-recorders and DVRs have TBCs in them, and are MUCH cheaper than D-VHS decks so buying a D-VHS deck for the TBC is a waste of money IMO. If you're buying a VCR and want to record/play back HD with it (maybe even use it as a tape back up for your hard drive) then D-VHS is the way to go.

Disclaimer: while I'm highly familiar with S-VHS* (I own several decks and could recommend/compare some), all I know about D-VHS and (W-VHS which is analog HD) is what I've read and what I've seen in youtube videos...I've never been able to find a used deck dead or alive at an entry level price (under $50)....Now that I have more money I should probably start looking for D-VHS and W-VHS decks again.

BTW: If you plan to do NTSC recording with an S-VHS VCR, I highly recommend finding a S-VHS-ET deck the -ET means it can record S-VHS on normal (cheaper) VHS tape stock. *I've done an extensive amount of time shifting/archiving using S-VHS-ET decks.
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Old 03-05-2017, 11:40 AM
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I have several VHS and a few S-VHS decks, and using regular tape, there is
a difference in picture quality on the S-VHS decks. And by picture quality
I mean both in picture information, and in stability. Using S-VHS tapes then
improves on that even more. So in my opinion, the entire machine has
to be made to be better even before you add the S Tapes to it.

I have the lower end JVC S-VHS machines, they have the dial frame step
thing on the front. One of these machines I use to record NBR on PBS each
night for over 10 years using the same tape over and over again. Still it
delivers a fine picture, with very very little wiggle in the picture even though
I use the slower speed while recording. These are the longest life and best
performing machines I have ever owned, and I got shelves full of'em.
Mostly the ones with the 19 Micron heads, 4 head machines are pretty good.

I would rate them based on the ones I have for performance based on longevity
S-VHS JVC as #1.
4 Head, and 4 head 19 Micron head machines Sharp #2.
4 Head, and 4 head 19 Micron head machines Panasonic, Magnavox #3.

Again, based on what I own. I have a Panasonic VHS/DVD
Combo that is pretty good, but more jittery than the S-VHS.

And all of these machines were gotten from ebay & garage sales
so I don't know about their previous life, they all arrived looking as
described, little use, and very clean, working not needing repair.

I have read about D-VHS and it sounds very good, but if you plan to
use it to build a library, then you need a few machines, or one day
it will fail, and you will not have something to play your odd-ball
library on..... I have started to do new recording on DVD as I can get
4 hrs of VHS quality or better on a piddly-little disk. And like VHS there
are hundreds of those machines around - for cheap money.


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Old 03-05-2017, 12:39 PM
Chip Chester Chip Chester is offline
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The real benefit of D-VHS is the ability to directly record the MPEG2 transport stream from a station. The all-digital I/O is via 1394/"firewire" connection, which sadly few sources or destinations support anymore. We have digital rights management in its many forms to thank for that.

Elgato EyeTV tuners and software do this, too, and well. What Elgato does not do is turn it back into some sort of analog signal for playback on things other than computer monitors.

Chip
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Old 03-05-2017, 12:40 PM
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Squirrel Boy, You are right that at EP there can be a noticeable difference between S-VHS tape and VHS tape recorded in S-VHS....It is highly dependent on the VHS tape stock though. On high quality normal VHS tapes recorded in S-VHS it often is a match for a good S-VHS tape, lower quality tapes and or machines however will produce noticeably poorer results.
At SP speed (which most on my S-VHS signal on VHS tape recordings were) there was no noticeable difference between decent quality VHS and S-VHS tape stock when recording in S-VHS mode....Granted most of my use was archival so most tapes got recorded on 1-4 times.

I abandoned making new tape recordings about 4 years ago....I got a good cheap DVD recorder and a DVR, VHS tapes were getting harder to buy new local, and cable no longer was clean analog making digital artifacts from recording more palatable than the occasional tape noise.
Oddly enough I may go back to a bit of S-VHS recording work soon. Much of what I was recording back then was poorly organized so I may end up dubbing that stuff to new tapes to re-organize it and nix commercials.
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Old 03-05-2017, 12:43 PM
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Electronic M Electronic M is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chip Chester View Post
The real benefit of D-VHS is the ability to directly record the MPEG2 transport stream from a station. The all-digital I/O is via 1394/"firewire" connection, which sadly few sources or destinations support anymore. We have digital rights management in its many forms to thank for that.

Elgato EyeTV tuners and software do this, too, and well. What Elgato does not do is turn it back into some sort of analog signal for playback on things other than computer monitors.

Chip
If you can get the file onto your computer, then you can play it back on an analog TV. There is file conversion software out there and devices that let you use analog TV as a monitor....You just gotta do the research.
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Old 03-05-2017, 01:01 PM
Chip Chester Chip Chester is offline
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Yes, that conversion is easy and cheap, but I would bet that a conversion system built into a D-VHS machine (designed by video guys) will end up looking better than a $30 box from a computer store.

Chip
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Old 03-05-2017, 02:10 PM
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dishdude dishdude is offline
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One of the coolest applications of D-VHS was this Dish Network satellite receiver with built in VCR. It recorded the actual MPEG-2 satellite feed so there was zero degregation in picture quality.
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Old 03-05-2017, 03:58 PM
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Electronic M Electronic M is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dishdude View Post
One of the coolest applications of D-VHS was this Dish Network satellite receiver with built in VCR. It recorded the actual MPEG-2 satellite feed so there was zero degregation in picture quality.
Only problem with those is that they only seemed to have S-video and composite outputs so even if the stream was in HD there is no way I can see for it to play back in HD...
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Old 03-05-2017, 04:06 PM
Chip Chester Chip Chester is offline
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There was a particular Sharp Aquos (sp?) TV that had 1394/firewire input, before the DRM standards guys got involved. I have the model number somewhere. It would take firewire playback straight out of a Mac (yup, they used to do that) and display it directly. Same with a 1394 out from D-VHS, supposedly. Never saw either device in person, but I knew people who had the monitor.

I had a 55" Hitachi plasma with 1394 input/output, but by then it had a protocol that prevented it from accessing straight computer drives/displays. Only "TV" type drives were valid. But with one of those drives, the TV would act as a DVR controller and record shows as scheduled from the guide info. Had potential to be neat, but no drive availability that I found.

Chip
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Old 03-05-2017, 07:33 PM
mgross0 mgross0 is offline
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I appreciate everyone feedback on this one. So, for a guy who likes to watch a lot of pre-recorded VHS and do a bit of OTA recording, what are the best S-VHS machines? I tend to be a VCR hoarder, so I would like to get a couple of decks for later, and a really nice one for regular use. What would you get if it were your money?
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Old 03-05-2017, 08:37 PM
Chip Chester Chip Chester is offline
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Panasonic 1980. Like many older machines, they may require some maintenance, but they're worth fixing.

Edit controller available for condensing programs, etc.

Chip
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Old 03-05-2017, 09:05 PM
centralradio centralradio is offline
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I have a couple of SVHS decks here but they are broken and probably beyond repair. I never had a DVHS deck.I know Hollywood did not like the DVHS along with the DVD recorders that follow later.We would had a rehash of the Betamax case.I keep my eyes open at the Goodwill for them.
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