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  1. Member
    Join Date: Feb 2009
    Location: United Kingdom
    Search Comp PM
    Hiya guys,

    I'm a bit new to all of this, so I apologise if you've gone over all of this stuff a thousand times already... I've had a bit of a read in your forums already but I was wondering if you could tell me if this is a lost cause or not as I'm starting to lose hope!

    Basically, I've been recording things since I was about 10 years old, and started on a very old VCR (think circa 1989) that I don't think was even branded. It finally pegged out in 2001 but I have a whole heap of video tapes that I recorded in the last stages of its life.

    Some of the tapes are ok, but the majority of them have tracking issues. I have about 5 or so programmes on each tape and sometimes one or two of the programmes on the tape are ok and play fine, but the rest will be unwatchable. The audio on the programmes with issues is fine - it's just the picture which is disrupted by horizontal black bars which constantly scroll up the screen.

    I'm in the UK, so everything's on the PAL system. I have a low range Hitachi VCR, which I've had for 8 or so years and works perfectly - it plays everything except this batch of tapes, and I'm recording onto a Sony DVD recorder: RDR-HXD870.

    Is there anything I can do to try and reset the tracking? As far as I can see on my Hitachi VCR, there aren't any options to adjust the tracking - it tries to do it automatically (and clearly is having trouble reading where the 'broken' VCR made its original tracking), which I think is causing the tape to continuously loop over in the frame?

    Would a SVHS solve this problem, or do I need to upgrade to something else entirely? Or are the tapes broken beyond repair?

    (I hope I'm making sense, I'm not very technical. If I can clarify anything, please ask and I'll try my best to answer helpfully. )
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  2. Member
    Join Date: Mar 2002
    Location: CA,USA
    Search Comp PM
    Look for a TBC(Time Base Corrector),they are expensive though.
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  3. Member
    Join Date: Feb 2009
    Location: United Kingdom
    Search Comp PM
    Thanks for the reply.

    Would one of those work with a normal VCR? I've only got SCART and aerial inputs, as opposed to composite or an S-VHS connection, or would I need to buy a new VCR?
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  4. Member
    Join Date: Mar 2002
    Location: CA,USA
    Search Comp PM
    If it's only a few tapes I recommend having it done professionally,check online or the phone book for pricing.
    If the tapes are damaged beyond repair then they probably won't charge you.
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  5. Member victoriabears's Avatar
    Join Date: May 2004
    Location: Canada
    Search Comp PM
    Believe me if they are in PAL then the quality is better to start with !

    Getting a Panasonic ES10 DVD recorder and connecting the vcr to it and then onto your Sony, might help, the ES10 has filter capailities, I do not like Pansonic DVD recorder picture quality,so just use it as a pass thru

    TBC will not help with tracking issues, the VCR has to play them right to start with.

    What brand(s) were your tapes recorded on, my experience is that JVC UK VCr's with TBC/DNR are not always the answer.

    My recomendation:-

    http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Panasonic-FS200-svhs-video_W0QQitemZ220352849158QQcmdZViewItemQQ...1%7C240%3A1318

    I have the FS200 and it blows most stuff out of the water, only get a good one though, they have great tracking adjustments.

    http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Panasonic-NV-HS830BS-S-VHS-VCR-Video-Tape-Recorder_W0QQitemZ2603...1%7C240%3A1318

    is a good solid modernish VCR.

    Sharps with super picture or Toshibas are also good.
    PAL/NTSC problem solver.
    USED TO BE A UK Equipment owner., NOW FINISHED WITH VHS CONVERSIONS-THANKS
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  6. Member
    Join Date: Feb 2009
    Location: United Kingdom
    Search Comp PM
    Thanks for the advice; it's really appreciated.

    I've got a fair stack of tapes - probably around 60 or so - so I think it'd be a bit expensive to get them done professionally.

    There's a huge mix of tape brands in my collection - some were JVC, BBC, Sky, Sony and others were quite low budget (sort of Woolworths budget level) as I was only about 14 so they'd have been pocket money purchases, sadly enough...if only I knew then what I now know!

    So you definitely think a new VCR purchase is the way to go (and a manual tracking one, might fix it)?
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  7. Member victoriabears's Avatar
    Join Date: May 2004
    Location: Canada
    Search Comp PM
    woolworths tapes in the early days were good.

    What brand of vcr were they all recorded on, as I have found my UK JVC recordings poor compared to th other brand I used, mainly panasonic.

    If the vcr's you have are not giving you good images then yes a new vcr would be a good, any hardware enhancements cannot do better than giving the vhs a good vcr to start with.
    PAL/NTSC problem solver.
    USED TO BE A UK Equipment owner., NOW FINISHED WITH VHS CONVERSIONS-THANKS
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  8. Member
    Join Date: Feb 2009
    Location: United Kingdom
    Search Comp PM
    I can't honestly remember - it was my parents' VCR. I can ask them when they get up tomorrow, but I'm not sure that they'll remember it.

    It definitely wasn't a Panasonic or JVC or a Sony. It's possible that it might have been a Grundig or a Sharp, maybe - but it was definitely a very early model...e.g. no videoplus, only sp recording and not lp/ep etc.

    Sorry, last question - the horizontal black bars that scroll up the screen do so consistently throughout entire programmes and not just for a few scenes or frames. That's just a symptom of the tracking not being accurate, isn't it and not a sign that the VHS is totally knackered and irretrievable?
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  9. Member victoriabears's Avatar
    Join Date: May 2004
    Location: Canada
    Search Comp PM
    Prob the vcr is needing work, try them on a friends vcr and if its the same, its likely to be the tapes.

    IF you can get one a panasonic vcr model 880 or 930B has TBC/DNR and its more gentle than the jvc, better built as well.

    the sharp does a great job iof tracking bad tapes or I would go for that panasonic fs200 I suggested.

    Your local free ads website or newspaper might have a sharp vcr cheap, 20 pounds or so, do not buy a knackered one though.
    PAL/NTSC problem solver.
    USED TO BE A UK Equipment owner., NOW FINISHED WITH VHS CONVERSIONS-THANKS
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  10. Member
    Join Date: May 2007
    Location: Romania
    Search Comp PM
    Originally Posted by victoriabears
    IF you can get one a panasonic vcr model 880 or 930B has TBC/DNR and its more gentle than the jvc, better built as well.
    Panasonic NV-HS 880 come without TBC, has only DNR.

    Consumer Panasonic Pal models with TBC from older to the last model:
    Panasonic NV-FS 200
    Panasonic NV-HS 950
    Panasonic NV-HS 1000
    Panasonic NV-HS 860
    Panasonic NV-HS 930
    Panasonic NV-HS 960
    Panasonic NV-SV 121
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  11. Member victoriabears's Avatar
    Join Date: May 2004
    Location: Canada
    Search Comp PM
    Thanks-what an excellent explanation of these 1st class Panasonic VCR's, in good condition.
    PAL/NTSC problem solver.
    USED TO BE A UK Equipment owner., NOW FINISHED WITH VHS CONVERSIONS-THANKS
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  12. Member
    Join Date: Feb 2009
    Location: United Kingdom
    Search Comp PM
    Thanks guys.

    I had a crack at the FS200 but I was outbid so I guess I'll have to keep an eye out for some of the other Panasonic models that have been listed, and see if I can pick one up somewhere. Fingers crossed that one of them can do the trick.
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  13. Member
    Join Date: Feb 2009
    Location: United Kingdom
    Search Comp PM
    Hiya,

    Sorry to come back with more questions, but I've got two things to ask.

    1) A friend has said that they can lend me a Panasonic DMR-E85H. Would I be right in thinking that this hasn't got the necessary TBC and filters needed to stabilise the picture?

    2) If I got hold of a DMR-ES10 as a pass through, how does that work? I assume a SCART lead from the VCR to the ES10, then a SCART from the ES10 to my Sony HXD870 to record it to the hard disk? Would I need to do anything else?
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  14. Member victoriabears's Avatar
    Join Date: May 2004
    Location: Canada
    Search Comp PM
    Yes you have the Sony pass through aspect right, I would be concerned though that it might only work using RCA type leads (phono?) or S Video all the equipment you mention should have those.

    Remember beauty is in the eye of the beholder, I would try your friends E85 first, why spend money if that gives you what you want, if not then is it the VCR that needs improving (probably) or the dvd recorder (possibly)

    Try one fix at a time, if you want to pm me you can always send me one tape.
    PAL/NTSC problem solver.
    USED TO BE A UK Equipment owner., NOW FINISHED WITH VHS CONVERSIONS-THANKS
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  15. Member victoriabears's Avatar
    Join Date: May 2004
    Location: Canada
    Search Comp PM
    http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Panasonic-NV-HS930B-S-VHS-VCR-SVHS-LOW-P-P-LOOK_W0QQitemZ250372780752QQcmdZViewItemQQptZUK_Co nsumerElec_VCRs?hash=item250372780752&_trksid=p328 6.c0.m14&_trkparms=72%3A1690|66%3A2|65%3A12|39%3A1 |240%3A1318


    bit pricey though, I paid 80 pounds for mine and a sv 121 as well
    PAL/NTSC problem solver.
    USED TO BE A UK Equipment owner., NOW FINISHED WITH VHS CONVERSIONS-THANKS
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  16. Trying a VCR with manual tracking would be the first thing to try. I have found that VCRs with TBCs, NTSC anyway, won't fix that bad of an issue. They are usually best for slightly bad tapes or shear but not when the VSync is completely off. If manual tracking doesn't work then your other alternative is to actually move the VCR's internal tape guides up and down to find the proper position. This isn't very hard and usually only a very slight adjustment will fix many very bad play-back issues. I'd do this though with a VCR that you don't care about at first to get the hang of it. Also marking with a marker where the post's starting position is very helpful. I've found that as long as there is audio it's almost, 90%, fixable. This is all a useless endeavour though if the bad content was actually taped this way.
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  17. Member victoriabears's Avatar
    Join Date: May 2004
    Location: Canada
    Search Comp PM
    The way North American VCR's work seems to me to be quite different from Uk ones. The UK ones seem better built, or may be its just the inherent better quality of PAL ?

    The basic Panasonic VCR's in the UK from 1990's are still very good and may be try one of those first, specific model I have with no tbc or dnr is NV-HD685B.

    http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Panasonic-NV-HD640-VHS-VCR_W0QQitemZ150326245999QQcmdZViewItemQQptZUK_Con sumerElec_VCRs?hash=item150326245999&_trksid=p3286 .c0.m14&_trkparms=72%3A1690|66%3A2|65%3A12|39%3A1| 240%3A1318

    is an example of a cheap way of seeing if a basic newer vcr will help.
    PAL/NTSC problem solver.
    USED TO BE A UK Equipment owner., NOW FINISHED WITH VHS CONVERSIONS-THANKS
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