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  1. Preservationist davideck's Avatar
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    My first VCR was an RCA VHS top loading 2-head machine that I purchased on sale for $799 around 1981. It did not provide picture in search on SP speed, had a wired remote and a 24 hour 1-event timer.

    Even at that time, it seemed to me that the format war was already over. There were noticeably more manufacturers offering more VHS models at lower prices than the slim offerings in Beta. IMO, the licensing issue had a major impact on the store shelves, and therefore on customer perception.

    Nevertheless, Sony continued to push the state of the art in VCR technology while refusing year after year to manufacture and market any machines for the major (VHS) market share. IIRC, Sony was the first to provide a real time counter. Sony was the first to provide HiFi. Sony was the first to provide flying erase heads for serious editing. Their HF1000 was an incredible machine with a Super High Band BIs picture quality that was unmatched at the time. Then S-VHS came along and put an end to PQ comparisons, while Beta ED never became financially practical.

    What was Sony thinking?
    Life is better when you focus on the signals instead of the noise.
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  2. Member oldandinthe way's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by davideck
    My first VCR was an RCA VHS top loading 2-head machine that I purchased on sale for $799 around 1981. It did not provide picture in search on SP speed, had a wired remote and a 24 hour 1-event timer.
    Your RCA machine was probably made by JVC and was sold with many different badges. It was extremely successful due to its reliability and the price of essentially the same model dropped quickly. JVC was extremely accommodating to its oem's and this attitude excouraged them to continue to resell the product.

    SONY's oems did not find as responsive a supplier.

    Just another aspect of the demise of a format.
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  3. Originally Posted by davideck
    It did not provide picture in search on SP speed, had a wired remote and a 24 hour 1-event timer.
    This reminded me of the top thing I was looking for in my first VCR (VHS) -- a decent timer. At the time, almost everything in my budget had a 1 day/1 event timer, and because I was travelling a lot at the time (school, mostly), I needed at the very least a 3-day timer (3 whole days!) I finally found an RCA front-load wire-remote deck from this gray-market place (no names please!) in Cupertino, CA, and it had a 7 day/3 event timer. Heaven!
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  4. Preservationist davideck's Avatar
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    My second VCR was a top of the line RCA (JVC?) around 1983. It did provide SP picture search, a wireless remote and a 7-day 8-event timer. On screen programming was not yet available, so programming up 8 events was a real button pusher.

    AFAIK, no VCR ever provided more than 8 events, even after on screen programming became standard practice. A 365 day timer with only 8 events? What's up with that?
    Life is better when you focus on the signals instead of the noise.
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    Originally Posted by lordsmurf

    Originally Posted by hanugro
    I don't quite agree. While it's true that watching standard DVD is enough for CRT-based 27-30" TV, it will be lacking picture quality in 40"+ LCD. With 40"+ LCD price falling down fast then within 2-3 years it will be common and demand for High Def media will follows.
    I won't bother mincing words: you're living in a video zealot's pipe dream fantasy world. LCD costs are still 5x-10x higher than tubes, and prices won't fall too much more for a while. DVD quality looks perfectly fine on 60" LCD screens, like it or lump it. You may botch your homemade videos or be unimpressed with homemade DVDs and older tape-based formats (a whole 'nother argument, as the "upgrade" to HD is anything but), but pressed DVDs are generally quite clean and look great on the super-duper resolution displays.
    Well obviously you and I have different eyes. I don't mind you are saying DVD quality for 40"+ TV is enough but I also have right to say it isn't.
    This thing is drive by value (dollar and benefit). When the price of player down then the demand will go up. DVD will be forgotten just like LD, VHS, etc.
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  6. [quote="hanugro"]
    Originally Posted by lordsmurf
    I don't mind you are saying DVD quality for 40"+ TV is enough but I also have right to say it isn't.
    Doesn't it also depend on how close you are to the TV?

    Has anyone determined the distance beyond which the human eye's angular resolution won't distinguish a DVD on an SD display from that on an equal-sized HD display.

    (Personally, when sitting 10 feet away from my 27-inch standard CRT, DVDs look great. I have no need to get the minor improvement in detail. It's the content that makes the viewing enjoyable. I can watch old B/W movies without feeling deprived of the color info and even tolerate the technically weak mono Western Electric soundtracks.)
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  7. Member yoda313's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by davideck
    FAIK, no VCR ever provided more than 8 events, even after on screen programming became standard practice. A 365 day timer with only 8 events? What's up with that?
    Probably there thinking was most people wouldn't go more than a 4 hour mode for quaility so why have 10 or more events when you couldn't fit that much on a single tape? Now of course 8 hour and 10 hour slp tapes did come out eventually and you could have 16 half hour shows or 20 half hour shows you could conceivable want to record but my thinking is they figured these people were in the minority and wouldn't merit ading more time slots for recording.
    Donatello - The Shredder? Michelangelo - Maybe all that hardware is for making coleslaw?
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  8. Originally Posted by davideck
    Sony was the first to provide HiFi.
    Sony was first with HiFi partly becase it was a lot easier with Beta than VHS. Beta had unused bandwith, so adding HiFi audio was fairly easy and didn't require extra heads. The VHS bandwith was already fully used, so extra heads had to be added and the audio and video had to share the same space on the tape with audio going underneath the video.
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  9. Originally Posted by oldandinthe way
    Originally Posted by davideck
    My first VCR was an RCA VHS top loading 2-head machine that I purchased on sale for $799 around 1981. It did not provide picture in search on SP speed, had a wired remote and a 24 hour 1-event timer.
    Your RCA machine was probably made by JVC and was sold with many different badges.
    The RCAs were actually Panasonics, same parent company as JVC, but far different machines.
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  10. Originally Posted by samijubal
    Originally Posted by davideck
    Sony was the first to provide HiFi.
    Sony was first with HiFi partly becase it was a lot easier with Beta than VHS. Beta had unused bandwith, so adding HiFi audio was fairly easy and didn't require extra heads. The VHS bandwith was already fully used, so extra heads had to be added and the audio and video had to share the same space on the tape with audio going underneath the video.
    That's true for NTSC, but for PAL, Sony had to use the same depth multiplexing as for VHS HiFi. Sony achieved this a year ahead of JVC.

    Originally Posted by http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Betamax
    For PAL, however, the bandwidth between the Chroma and Luminance carriers was not sufficient enough to allow additional FM carriers, so depth multiplexing was employed, where the audio track would be recorded in the same way that the video track was. The lower frequency audio track was written first by a dedicated head, and the video track recorded on top by the video head. The head disk had an extra pair of audio only heads with a different azimuth, positioned slightly ahead of the regular video heads, for this purpose.
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  11. Preservationist davideck's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by yoda313
    Originally Posted by davideck
    FAIK, no VCR ever provided more than 8 events, even after on screen programming became standard practice. A 365 day timer with only 8 events? What's up with that?
    Probably there thinking was most people wouldn't go more than a 4 hour mode for quaility so why have 10 or more events when you couldn't fit that much on a single tape? Now of course 8 hour and 10 hour slp tapes did come out eventually and you could have 16 half hour shows or 20 half hour shows you could conceivable want to record but my thinking is they figured these people were in the minority and wouldn't merit ading more time slots for recording.
    Well, each of those 8 events can usually be set to repeat daily or weekly, so it's easy to fill up a tape. I think it is also reasonable to expect that some events would be watched within the 365 day period, or that another tape might be substituted.

    Not that it's a big deal or anything. It's just always seemed artificially restrictive to me. I doubt that adding more events would have added any cost, and it suprises me that not one manufacturer ever added this "feature" to at least one of their models.

    I don't know how many events my DVD Recorder has, but it is at least 16.
    Life is better when you focus on the signals instead of the noise.
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  12. Preservationist davideck's Avatar
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    Interesting info;
    http://www.betainfoguide.com/RiseandFall.htm

    At the dawn of the consumer video age, dating back to the earliest meetings between representatives of the Beta and VHS camps, Sony made a major tactical error in assuming that their marketing expertise alone was strong enough to make Beta the dominant format. We feel that this was the single biggest blunder that directly led to the Beta’s downfall. By refusing to acquiesce to RCA’s demands for longer-playing time, Sony lost the support of the number-one TV manufacturer in the U.S. By refusing to license Hitachi to make Beta, for fear of alienating Matsushita, Sony ultimately wound up losing support from both firms. Without the support of Matsushita and RCA, Sony could never recover from the lost momentum. Keep in mind that all of these events occurred before a single Beta or VHS deck was ever sold to consumers. Once these seeds were sewn, the end of the battle was essentially over before it began.
    Life is better when you focus on the signals instead of the noise.
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  13. Originally Posted by JohnnyMalaria
    Originally Posted by robertazimmerman

    ..and you forgot one thing - their products inevitably fail prematurely.

    Roberta
    I've owned many pieces of Sony consumer electronics since the early 1980s - I haven't had a single premature failure...
    I am listing all of the Sony products that I've owned that failed prematurely. That proves that I was a fool for continuing to buy their products! The list includes: two TVs, one very expensive portable CD player, one tape recorder, one cordless phone (that lasted exactly one month!!), two portable tape players.........

    An acquaintance of mine owns an A/V store in Ottawa, Ontario that sells Hitachi, Sony, JVC and Panasonic TVs. He told me that although Sony is his #1 selling TV brand, he has more returns for repair of Sony TVs than all of the others combined! He actually told another friend of mine not to buy a Sony despite the fact that the dealer makes more $ on Sonys than on the other brands.

    Roberta
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  14. Member
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    Bah! I have Sony stuff that is over 18 years old..works flawlessly!
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  15. Member rhegedus's Avatar
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    EDIT
    Regards,

    Rob
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  16. AGAINST IDLE SIT nwo's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Scooter_NJ
    Bah! I have Sony stuff that is over 18 years old..works flawlessly!
    You can count closed to 50m PS2 as sold replacements.
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  17. Member Seeker47's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by davideck
    Sony was the first to provide HiFi. Sony was the first to provide flying erase heads for serious editing. Their HF1000 was an incredible machine with a Super High Band BIs picture quality that was unmatched at the time. Then S-VHS came along and put an end to PQ comparisons, while Beta ED never became financially practical.
    (emphasis mine) And pretty damn hard to match even today. You know what might be the acid test ? Take some really well-shot porn and copy it with an HF1K that is in good working order, onto premium Beta tape at B1s speed. Then check out the lifelike quality of the fleshtones on your tape copy, even in closeup. Seriously. The detectable generational loss is close to zero. It compares favorably with the image quality on LD or DVD. S-VHS isn't even close !
    Originally Posted by davideck
    What was Sony thinking?
    Marketing-wise, they probably weren't. Sony takes a lot of bashing here on various accounts, much of it deserved. And I question whether the Sony of that era has much in common with the Sony of today, quality-wise. But we should not forget that once upon a time, they practically invented the "Prosumer" category, with their higher-end gear.
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  18. Member edDV's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Seeker47
    ...
    Take some really well-shot porn and copy it with an HF1K that is in good working order, onto premium Beta tape at B1s speed. Then check out the lifelike quality of the fleshtones on your tape copy, even in closeup. Seriously. The detectable generational loss is close to zero. It compares favorably with the image quality on LD or DVD.
    Total BS. Are you trying to imply color under, Betamax in any way compared to TypeC direct record 1" composite or Laserdisc that was close to that? Or D2 D3 composite?

    As for DVD, what are you smoking?
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  19. Originally Posted by rhegedus
    EDIT
    I have NOTHING from Sony that still works properly. I'll never buy their garbage again.

    Roberta

    Articles on Sony quality isuues:

    http://www.asahi.com/english/Herald-asahi/TKY200612020175.html

    http://www.computerworld.com/action/article.do?command=viewArticleBasic&articleId=9005...intsrc=hm_list

    http://www.iht.com/articles/2006/09/14/business/quality.php

    Just Google "Sony quality problems" or similar.
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  20. On a flight back from Asia, I read China was stopping Sony exporting camera from their factory.

    A few months later, I was asked to download a friend's Sony W5's picture to a CDR. I was dismay that the skin tone of the picture taken by Sony look like platics. Thus everyone in the pictures look like mannequin.
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  21. Member rhegedus's Avatar
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    I have a DRU500 that is still burning just as well as when I bougt it about 5 years ago.
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  22. I was a bit of a Sony fan once upon a time but reading some of the above has struck a bit of a chord with me:

    I have had to have both of my previous Sony Trinitrons repaired at some stage: A 14" portable still works after one repair, bought in 1986, but a 25" Trinitron bought in 1993 had to be repaired in 1995 and finally died on Christmas Day (of all days!) 2003 ( I suppose ten years is pretty good these days though).
    A Sony VCR I had needed repairing just after a year of purchase but totally died the following year.
    I have just had to replace my Sony Car Stereo head unit as it was shorting out my car's electrics.

    Now, I thought that I was just being unlucky but, after seeing other peoples' issues, there must be some definite problem with Sonys and I may just have to shy away from them in future - however, I have found their DVD-Rs to be the most reliable I have come accross so far.

    ...and I was just about to buy a Vaio too
    Cole
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  23. Member edDV's Avatar
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    While in college + working I saved and saved for a 12" trinitron (second generation) and finally got one for $299 on sale at Capwells in ~1972. If performed perfectly until the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake where it was tossed about 20 feet after severing the attached cables (case split open). Can't blame Sony for that.

    I bought Sony XBR displays late '80's to mid 90's and actually wore those out. This includes the main 27" TV that fell on its face in the earthquake while the "entertainment center" spintered into parts. This 160 lb TV actually moved 6 feet (2 meters).

    I have had good results with Sony Hi8 and Digital8 camcorders. That division has its act together.

    The turn came late 90's where most things Sony had premature failures and Sony service became a total rip off. About half of the Sony products I recommended or bought for others failed prematurely.

    This continued with my Sony Vaio laptop which went into backlight flicker prematurely but out of warranty. Looking around the house at recent purchases, ... ... lots of stuff ... OK since 2003 there is nothing Sony here other than Vegas (acquired from Sonic Factory) and a Lite-On manufactured DRU-710A DVD writer and my trusty PD-150 (bought used) camcorder.

    I've rented or borrowed many Sony Pro camcorders in the last 5 years and have to say they are good unless dropped.

    Now I'm considing an HDV personal cam. Big decision. It will be my first big ticket new Sony purchase since my flickery 2003 Vaio notebook. My only contact with Sony since then has been with their useless (for pay) support line. Hmm... what to do ...
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  24. Member buttzilla's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by hanugro
    Well, beats me . But one thing for sure (in case of blue-ray and HD-DVD) is because there are two different format just like beta and vhs. Customers want unified format (or at least unified players to play both format). We saw this is possible with DVD +&-. Fortunately, unlike beta and vhs that is physically incompatible, then it is wise that movie industry choose the same physical format to enable unified players to play both. It seems that even hollographic disc also physically compatible.
    Yes they are two different formats just like dvd-r and dvd+r where at one time. At one time they both needed different hardware. The different burners where not cross compatable the same as blue ray and hd-dvd. I dont think one of them will fade away like betamax. I see new multi players that can play both.
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  25. Member Cornucopia's Avatar
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    edDV,
    At work we have had a "trusty PD-150" also (used for 2nd or 3rd cam perspective of multicam shoots), but this last year it started to ??veer out of alignment??, at first very subtley where you couldn't tell why a tape that was recorded OK one day would have trouble playing back on other decks the next week, but then it became clear when it got to the point where it wouldn't even play back correctly on the same machine a couple of days later. Started with audio skips/chirps, then DCT decoding errors.
    A check with the repair place told us that it would cost almost 1/2 as much to repair as to get a new camcorder! So much for trusty...
    (Luckily, was only forced to reshoot for 1 client, all the rest was salvageable).

    Sony sure has changed over the years.

    Scott
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