Hello everyone, I am about to archive around 200 VHS tapes and am hoping someone here can advise me of a PAL VHS (preferably SVHS) VCR which does not filter the image. Let me explain this requirement ...
I started off with my JVC S8700 deck, chosen for it's TBC. Due to some vertical jitter/jumping, I dug out my old Sony SE800 which exhibited a very grainy image but tracked well and had a very stable image. The graininess is not a problem thanks to PC noise reduction software, and adding an old Panasonic ES10 DVD recorder to the path (pass-through) eliminated horizontal time bass jitter.
I would love my SE800 if not for the fact that for some reason it blows out (crushes) bright parts of the image, which looks awful on some recordings. SO - I would like a VCR that, like the Sony, does not attempt any filtering of the image (or has filtering that can be switched off), but which also does not crush whites/blacks.
Let me demonstrate my objection to the JVC output. Here are two images from the same tape, one slightly brightened image from JVC 8700 (TBC/DNR OFF), and one from Sony SE800 :
Both have been through a modest noise reduction pass in Neat Video. While I suspect the Sony may be doing some sharpening (even with "Reality Regenerator" sharpening switched OFF), there are image features which are simply absent from the JVC output - I believe, even in EDIT mode, the JVC is applying a filter which reduces grain at the expense of "flattening" the image. The following thread demonstrates this :
I know the panasonics are well regarded here, so I basically want to know which non-TBC models (apart from the rare HS900) have image filtering (e.g. CVC) that can be FULLY deactivated, and are otherwise decent models ? I have perused a few online Panasonic VCR instruction manuals, and the majority indicate that CVC cannot be switched off. Also, are there other non-Panasonic models I should be considering ?
Many thanks in advance !
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Last edited by Sainsbo_McManus; 27th Nov 2011 at 13:05. Reason: Tidied layout
It looks more like composite, given the degraded chroma shift.
Assuming SCART not in use.
Models listed here: VCR Buying Guide (S-VHS, D-VHS, Professional) for restoring video
Aside from those, not many would come recommended.
Thanks for your reply, lordsmurf.
Yes, for the JVC 8700 I used the s-video output into the ES10, then s-video from the ES10 to my capture card. For the SE800, which has a single SCART output (RGB and composite only), I use a SCART/composite adaptor to send to the ES10. The ES10 seems to have a reasonable comb filter built in.
As for the chroma shift, it's present in both captures, and must be on the tape - captures from other recordings do not exhibit the problem. Chroma shift doesn't offend me anyway.
I already have an able line TBC in my ES10, and can deal with noise in software very effectively. I have been reading user manuals for models that appear on ebay to find those without TBC/DNR (and which appear to offer filter bypass), as these usually go for modest prices.
On a calibrated monitor, the values look near-identical.
That JVC unit has a smeary chroma (your exact unit, not the model), worse than your other VCR.
It might just be damaged. There's a ton of screwed-up VCRs out there.
If anything, the Sony is coring the blacks and has excessive grain.
I think it has one of those silly "detail enhancement" and "contrast adjustment" filters in it -- lousy consumer filters.
Why not leave the JVC in "Edit" mode?
(I generally advise against that, but once in a while it's a better setting for some tapes.)
You can easily shift the chroma back. It's better if you post unprocessed video samples.
Thanks for all the responses.
Sorry, I should have mentioned in my original post that the JVC was indeed set to EDIT mode. While I am also suspicious that the Sony is using a sharpener or detail enhancer, how could such a filter pick out the roof tiles if they are all but absent in the JVC cap ? Vertical lines on the front door of that building are similarly absent on the JVC.
Sanlyn - in fact I don't use the sharpener in Neat Video. I also have a JVC 6700 which produces output very similar to the 8700, perhaps marginally better. I also have a second SE800 which has identical grainy output to its twin. All of them came off ebay.
Jagabo - until LS mentioned the chroma shift it hadn't even registered with me ! While I am anxious to produce a detailed cap (real or perceived), I am pretty insensitive to chroma issues. The chroma shift appears to me to be in both caps.
I am eyeing up several Panasonics on ebay, including one which is collection only (local to me) and apparently allows for the image filter to be bypassed.
Here are the unprocessed caps - I should mention that this tape is 20-22 years old.
I think it's 20% greater resolution, and 80% high frequency boost. I've done a 2 pixel unsharp mask on the JVC image, and it's close to the Sony, but not quite there. Some roof tiles do appear, amazingly. The halos on the Sony indicate the equivalent of a 2.5 pixel unsharp mask horizontally.
There are a lot of JVC fans on here. These threads usually include a "your JVC must be faulty" statement, and a "it's just edge enhancement" statement.
In this case, I think it's mostly edge enhancement, but there may also be a little more detail on tape.
FWIW I prefer some Panasonic machines (the DNR on Panasonic and JVC does sometimes visibly remove details - and with JVC you can't turn it off without turning off the TBC), but beware HF boost that can't be switched off - some seem to add it even in "soft" modes - I swear some even soften the picture after sharpening it!
More to the point, you kept Neighbours?! And want to watch it in 2011?! OK, I have an admission: I bought the Neighbours Wedding Video on VHS from a car boot sale the other year (it was 10p!), and laughed most of the way through it with my in-laws. It's amazing to think that most teenagers in the late 80s / early 90s were hooked on this!
Well, well ... so I dug out my JVC 6700 to see if the difference would be noticeable. Judge for yourselves :
8700 EDIT mode
6700 EDIT mode
6700 EDIT mode with NeatVideo
lordsmurf was right - the 8700 has problems. I cleaned the heads a few weeks back, are they just worn out ? Can anything be done to improve the deck ? Apart from lack of detail, the image is very clean with no sparklies etc. I thought worn heads lead to drop outs etc. Anyway, this 6700 has better definition for sure. Although I like the edge enhancement on the Sony, I'm now tempted to settle for the 6700 since it doesn't blow out whites - the Sony can look terrible on certain images, with half the image a solid featureless white.
I may yet grab one of the Panasonics I'm watching on ebay just out of curiosity - especially if I can get the one I'm watching (local pick up only) for 10 quid. I will surely post results if I do.
2Bdecided - we can all tell that Neighbours is one of your "guilty pleasures", I'm sure we can all be open and honest on this forum I once owned Neighbours - How It All Began, a tape for the Erinsborough connoisseur. I have all sorts on my tapes, I just picked this as a prime example of the image problems I was seeing.