As for the consumer Panasonics, have you scoured your local thrift stores? Those models are readily available at the thrifts around here in Northern NJ and usually for no more then $10 or so. Also, have you tried Mack Camera in Springfield, NJ? They still list VCR repair services on their site, and I had luck with them repairing my Sanyo Betamax deck in the past.
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NJRoadfan, no I haven't noticed the shop you mention. I did check some NJ and upstate NY shops. From Long Island, they're a trek. I guess it's worth if for something that really needs fixing beyond a simple dab with a head solvent. Why the local shops around me are so awful is a mystery to me, and it's not just VCR's but anything in a/v that these guys don't get. Compared to these shops, BestBuy would be a better bet (no, I wouldn't dare). Servicing expensive pro gear is different, you find good shops in Manhattan and Queens but they don't want to twiddle with under-$1000 VCR's. The last good shop I found was a 65-mile drive to eastern long island, but he retired 4 years ago.
But I'll keep looking and take you up on the suggestion. I'm not opposed to taking a day trip (or shipping UPS) for decent work.Our inventions are wont to be pretty toys, which distract our attention from serious things. They are but improved means to an unimproved end. -- Henry David Thoreau
Thanks, NJRoadfan! I'll give them a call (It's a 2000-mile drive, though ). I don't know why I search the 'net on and off for months but never find these sites. I started to PM lordsmurf on this matter a while back, but I know he's a busy guy. Thanks to ls and to you for that tip.Our inventions are wont to be pretty toys, which distract our attention from serious things. They are but improved means to an unimproved end. -- Henry David Thoreau
If you turn off the AG-1980's TBC, do you also disable all or most of its DNR and color cleanup? I have external means of getting video thru a line or frame TBC. I just don't like the phony effects you often get from built-in TBC's on these vintage high-end VCR's.Our inventions are wont to be pretty toys, which distract our attention from serious things. They are but improved means to an unimproved end. -- Henry David Thoreau
You can't disable the DNR circuit in the Panasonic AG-1980, its always active. This is a significant drawback to an otherwise fairly useful VCR. The DNR is very very strong, and as you say can have undesirable side effects (as with any other DNR machine). OTOH, the AG-1980 is the only TBC/DNR vcr that does allow disabling the TBC while the DNR remains active: this can be very helpful when you need the DNR but also need a more powerful external TBC like the DataVideo or AVT. Disabling the internal TBC of the 1980 avoids all potential for TBC conflicts. All these TBC/DNR equipped vcrs are a compromise in some way, you pick your poison based on your tapes.
The problem with the AG1980 today is that it was so ugly, consumer-unfriendly, and so incredibly expensive in its day that very very few wealthy dilettantes bought them as toys and then never used them, compared to a JVC 9000 series or the pricey recent DVHS models. The vast majority of AG1980s were bought by working pro event videographers who beat the crap out of them 24/7. While its not unusual to snag one now that is technically still "fully functional," most are not performing to their true potential and at minimum need some new caps in the PSU as well as tweaks to the transport. Many have loading slot issues. While they were designed to be easily serviced, VCR techs are all but extinct now, so restoring an AG1980 may be more difficult and expensive than anticipated. As someone else mentioned, there are a few AG1980 specialists like Southern Advantage who will sell you a new-old-stock or mint reconditioned AG1980, but their asking price is utterly ridiculous ($599-1199). If your budget range is $300-500, forget the AG1980 and any JVC SVHS: get yourself a much more recent DVHS like the Mitsubishi HS-HD2000U or one of the many JVC DVHS. The DVHS TBC/DNR is a better match for LCD and Plasma television displays.
I see pricey, allegedly fixed-up 1980's around, but some little voice kept saying it's inappropriate for what I'm doing. Keeping my eyes open for a decent DVHS. But practically speaking I think I'm in the consumer-grade class and should aim for some of the better Pannies from '96 or so. At least, there are more of those around!
Last edited by sanlyn; 4th Feb 2012 at 17:11.
I don't know if they have the same amount of DNR/tbc memory, but some like the JVC 7600 have 2-MB. I've seen tests in the past showing that 2MB is more than enough on most machines. Much would depend, though, on how much processing and how many process phases some of those VCR's perform.
^^ Yeah, I believe the 7000 series was all 2MB and I think the 9000 series was all 4MB, maybe with one or two exceptions. The SR-V101US is a 2MB machine (a continuance of the professional 7000 series and the last new model in the JVC SVHS DNR/TBC series as I recall). The JVC SR-W5U / SR-W7U are both 4MB machines. Not sure about the Mitsubishi or the DVHS decks.
Last edited by robjv1; 5th Feb 2012 at 21:25.
The more you have memory the more images you can process = heavy temporal filtering
The images may be stored in rgb (.bmp) or similar, noise is averaged over 1 or 2 frames
This is just a guess
The 1 million dollars question is what kind of algorithm they used
Last edited by NJRoadfan; 5th Feb 2012 at 20:30.
It wonder the 40000 it is built with some of the same components as the W5U/7U line, as those have full-frame TBCs instead of line TBCs (although it can be turned on and off) as well as the DNR circuitry and also correct/prevent the top screen tearing issue.
>If you plan on shipping, lordsmurf recommended these guys: http://www.jotselectronics.com/
I was just going to ask this question because my JVC SR-W5U seems to need repair and I've always had the worst luck with finding anyone who wouldn't just do the heads and the tape path and give it back to you, seemingly w/o even checking if it actually helped. I'm leery enough about shipping the thing once, much less getting involved in it going back and forth a few times, so I'd definitely feel better if there was a place that some others have had luck with. What's frustrating me is I feel like cleaning the heads should actually be all that's needed this time as it's giving me a couple lines of gunk/distortion/dropout, but I keep opening it up and nothing really comes off on the chamois stick and playback isn't improved.
The Panasonic DMR-ES15 will do it for sure, and the DMR-ES20 as well, but only on one set of inputs as I recall. That's it as far as I know for Panasonic models that are verified.
what "set of inputs" mean? (I need S-Video In -> S-Video Out, nothing more. What is "set"?)
Do you know how this function called? Or it is just the model of digital processor, doing this?
There are two sets (red/white/yellow/S-Video) of 'In'. Only the first one works for the pass through TBC. For me it's on the back and is labeled as IN1. The other set is on the front and is labeled IN2.
I have an ES15 and it has S-Video.
I'm in NTSC land, though, and have no idea which models are available for PAL.
In NTSC format, the lineup was much simpler and clearer: there were only four models in a 30 year period, easy to differentiate. AG1950 was huge, rugged, very old, no TBC or DNR. AG1960 was slim, fragile, no TBC, weak DNR. AG1970 was immediate predecessor to AG1980, looks just like it, but weak DNR and weak TBC (although the AG1970 TBC is uniquely helpful with certain image defects, and TBC/DNR are both independently switchable). AG1980 was the final model, with strongest TBC/DNR (often too strong, but only the TBC can be turned off). AG5710 is ultra-pro version of AG1980 (no tuner or IR remote, includes pro edit suite computer connections and time code system).
I have a PAL Panasonic NV-HS860 with separate TBC and DNR buttons. I use only the TBC and denoise using AviSynth flters.
One thing I found interesting thanks to a tip from victoriabears here on this site, if you live in an NTSC country (like me in the US), but have a bunch of PAL tapes to cap and convert, a PAL VCR will work quite well if you just change the plug to a US one. I've done it for 2 PAL S-VHS VCRs now with no problems at all. No need for a voltage converter.
I have a Panasonic AG-7350 which has been doing me well for the last few years. However, it is starting to develop slight colour issues most noticeably in red where I can see lines of orange and magenta, and possibly other colours affected as well. I have given it a very deep cleaning and still the same. I would like to purchase another deck either the same or another model something like a JVC with the noise reduction features everyone seems to be talking about, or a professional Sony/Panasonic deck with a TBC.
I am also looking at purchasing a Datavideo or BVT TBC to go with it as well.
Could anyone recommend a place to purchase good known working equipment? I do not mind paying a few hundred dollars, but i have purchased on Ebay a few times and haven't been so lucky even though the prices seemed reasonable for the equipment. They worked for a little while, but then developed characteristics that could not be repaired.
Could anyone recommend a place to purchase good known working equipment?
I've been looking into the JVC machines to do DVD back-ups and I was wondering if there was a particular machine that's good for both SP and EP? Some of my stuff is in various speeds and I want to find one machine that will be good for everything.
digitalfreaknyc, it should be clear from any number of posts on this (and other related VH threads) that the answer to your question is a resounding "no." There is unfortunately no "holy grail, do-it-all" VCR that will handle all the tapes in a large collection equally well, and that's at SP: for EP/SLP, you're really dreaming, then throw JVC into the mix and you may as well give up altogether. Not happening.
All of these machines are second hand, and all of them begin to drift from the moment their first owner loads their first tape. With JVC you're lucky if SP stays aligned for more than a couple years, the hifi audio interchange is very restricted, and EP/SLP interchange with JVC ranges from bad to worse. The lower-end 5900 series is notably better than the high-end TBC/DNR/DigiPure JVCs when it comes to overall tracking compatibility and durable alignment: if you want to keep a strictly JVC system, at minimum you'd need a DigiPure model and also one of the lower-end models like 5912.
The trouble with the TBC/DNR vcrs is they were always rare and not particularly popular when new, so other than a plethora of JVCs no one really made them aside from a couple one-offs from Panasonic (AG1980) and Mitsubishi (HS-HD2000U). The Mitsu is the newest of the bunch, is probably the most reliable overall, but is pricey and its output is not appreciably different from a JVC DigiPure (the circuits and controls are near identical). The AG1980 is different enough from the JVC and MGA units to make it a very worthwhile companion VCR that complements them. It has a very powerful full-field TBC which is sometimes uniquely helpful, and it tracks EP/SLP better than any other TBC/DNR model you can find. BUT, the AG1980 is old, most are really worn out, and they all need expensive servicing and electronic parts replacement to perform their best.
My personal, very subjective opinion is that very little can be done to "improve" the typical EP/SLP tape. My own SLP tapes are made much worse by the TBC/DNR circuit of my MGA 2000 and JVC 9911, and are only sporadically improved by the AG1980. The most important factor to maximize EP/SLP encoding quality is not TBC/DNR but to play them on a VCR that tracks them as accurately as possible. This often means foregoing the DigiPure VCRs in favor of ordinary, garden-variety VCRs that track SLP/EP more easily. Many older Panasonic, Sharp, Mitsubishi and even Sony budget VCRs track slow-speed tapes better than our preferred TBC/DNR models. Since ordinary consumer VHS vcrs are now virtually worthless, people are practically giving them away for the asking. It is fairly easy to collect a dozen "free" VCRs of various makes just by asking around- if you have a lot of EP/SLP tapes, you should lay hands on as many cheap or free VCRs as you can store in your home. Each tape may play best in only one in five VCRs- if you own five, your odds of good tracking improve dramatically.
Last edited by orsetto; 20th Mar 2013 at 10:58.
Wow this thread has SO much information!! I've checked out most of the VCRs listed by lordsmurf on both post #1 of this thread as well as his thread on DigitalFAQ and they're mostly from $150-$400 on eBay
I purchased my first used VCR before I knew what was good, and it turned out to be a Panasonic PV-V4820, but I learned from sanlyn that these PV-V models tend to juice up the contrast and oversharpen the footage. Unfortunately, there is no option to adjust these features and so some of my footage tends to be clipped if the scene is too bright, or I get crushed blacks.
So I read up on lordsmurf's suggestions before deciding to get my second VCR, and I was able to find a Panasonic AG-1970 on eBay for $75. I wanted a TBC since some of my tapes appeared damaged and had those horizontal jitters when played with my Panasonic PV-V4820. However, this VCR came with its own set of problems, the HiFi conversion would sometimes drop, causing the audio to switch between HiFi to mono at random moments, and also the HiFi didn't sound as good as with my other VCR. On top of that, some of the tapes look worse on this machine than it did on the Panasonic PV-V4820 and actually causing horizontal jitters. On SOME of the tapes that I had, the TBC made the video perfectly stable, but just SOME.
I'm deciding to trade both of these for another VCR that allows SVHS playback. This time around, I'm looking for one that's $100 or less used, and doesn't need to have the TBC feature since I'm planning on using the Panasonic ES15 DVD recorder as a passthrough for its TBC. And I don't need the DNR feature either since I will filter it with AVISynth anyway. I just need a VCR that's transparent.
Does the VCR that I'm looking for exist? Or is anything cheaper than the ones listed in post #1 just crap?
EDIT: I've been reading pages 2-5 of this thread and lordsmurf keeps mentioning this thread is for high-end VCRs so I guess I won't find an answer here, but at least I gave my 2 cents on how the AG-1970 worked for me
Last edited by ChibiBoi; 24th Apr 2013 at 02:22.
ChibiBoi, you might look for a JVC HR-S5910 or 5912. These often sell for under $40, offer true SVHS playback, and were among the better-made consumer JVCs. No TBC/DNR, but reasonably clean playback, not as juiced as some of the Panasonics.
chibiboi, are you able to upload some vhs captures from your HR-S3500U ?
i have the HR-S3910U puchased new in sept/2001. for best picture setup and capture results:
go to menu\function set\
1. set video calibration to OFF
2. set picture control to EDIT
3. set video stabilizer to OFF
good luck finding those older es10/15 units. i'm not willing to spend the amount (when you can find them) for what they are asking. i'm settle with the above and toshiba dr430 line/sync tbc performance, is just as good as the es10/15 or better, imho. i am using the dr430 for its passthrough feature:
vcr -> grex -> dr430 -> capture card(s)
Anyone here using the PAL NV-HS960 S-VHS? I picked one up this week:
3D noise reduction (switchable)
Z Deck mechanism
Jog and shuttle
Seems very nice and was only £20 from the charity shop. Like new inside and makes for nice transfers. I note that one internal cog has lost a tooth but it still works and I have the cog on order from IMPEL. Slightly better picture than the HS930 (newer model) as the power supply is seperate on the 960 and has better caps.
Only negative is the linear audio is not as good as my 1986 Ferguson but that is to be expected.