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  1. Originally Posted by victoriabears
    I was surprised at how well the 9911 could extract video from our NTSC tapes. It would be a great choice if you can find one in PAL.
    If i had to guess i'd say it's the benefit that provide pal60 hertz for ntsc tapes but this would need some more thorough examination
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    Originally Posted by orsetto
    Note however the JVC DVHS usa models do not include a TBC, they only have the digital noise reduction and color enhancement circuits.
    According to this JVC page, the HM-DH5U does include a TBC.

    http://support.jvc.com/consumer/product.jsp?modelId=MODL027314&pathId=50&page=3&archive=true
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  3. The Old One SatStorm's Avatar
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    A friend of mine gave me a JVC HR-S6611EU.
    It says: Made in Germany, so it must be around 1996-1998 as a model

    It has a power problem, easily fixable.
    Does someone know about this VCR? I don't see it on the list.

    If it's a nice one, I'll fix it. If not, I'll pass.
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  4. Originally Posted by Shinri
    This was the subject of some confusion awhile back and is covered in several threads here. The JVC spec page is apparently in error: no TBC function is mentioned in the user manuals, the service manuals, or any menus or displays on any of the common JVC DVHS machines (there are one or two rare European models said to include it). Only the analog SVHS and WVHS decks have the TBC. The DVHS units do have all the other DigiPure features such as R3 edge enhancement, noise reduction, stabilizer and calibration. When compared in tests to the SVHS models with TBC, the DVHS vcrs without TBC performed at about the same level: the TBC is not as significant as the DigiPure filtering.
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    My understanding is the D-VHS may have an always-on embedded TBC. I've never had access to one long enough, or time to tinker, to come to any test-based conclusions.

    Not willing to buy one, don't need it for personal or business use.
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  7. Member Knightmessenger's Avatar
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    Well, I had a really good consumer vcr purchased in about 2002. (Panasonic PV-9662.) Unfortunately the heads got dirty so it plays back with white scratches in the picture. I've used two different cleaning tapes and taken it into a shop but none of those have fixed the problem. I used this vcr for capturing video so having a clear picture is very important.
    So I'm looking to buy a vcr on eBay. The only problem is how do I look for one that will have equal or better playback than what my current one did? I tested it against the other vcr's in my house and it came out much clearer. On a large rear projection tv, a professionally prerecorded vhs looked perfectly clear, that is none of the fuzzyness that is typical of a vcr was visible. Basically it's hard for me to imagine the picture looking any better than what it did with the PV-9662.
    It's not so much the money aspect as I'm just worried about buying a vcr and finding out that it plays back with more noise than my Panasonic. Also, for a vcr with all those advanced options, I would want one that doesn't require a remote control to use them since remotes can die.
    If anyone has any tips or tricks it would be much appreciated.
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  8. By the time Panasonic got to the 9662 era, most of their consumer VCRs had really, REALLY poor playback quality compared to their earlier models. I cannot believe how much noise spews from consumer Panasonics after about the 1996 model year- just horrible. To be fair, all the other mfrs dropped to the same performace level at about the same time: unless you blew big bucks on the top-line JVCs with DNR or the semi-pro Panasonics, most were stinko. That doesn't rule out the possibility you were very lucky, and managed to get a fluke 9662 that performs quite nicely. If you find its performance much more appealing than your other VCRs, chances are you won't be satisfied by anything you try to replace it with. I'd recommend bringing it to a good service shop for a professional head cleaning: it probably just has a large oxide flake or bit of adhesive backing jammed into its heads. This requires careful swabbing with a solvent to remove completely- don't try it yourself on a VCR you consider irreplaceable.

    Once you have your 9662 back in working order, it can be your basis for comparison for any other VCRs you supplement it with. As far as upgraded models, there's really only the JVC SVHS models recommended above, the JVC or Mitsubishi DVHS models, or the Panasonic AG1970 and AG1980. Of these, only the Panasonics are completely operational from the front panel: they don't need the remote for anything (except resetting the tape counter to zero). The AG1970 would probably perform most similarly to your 9662, but with ajustments for picture softening/sharpening, a little bit of noise reduction, and a mild TBC which could improve some tapes. The AG1980 has noticeably better color and almost a complete lack of image noise, but its noiseless output can tend to look a little fake with some material and its processors cannot be switched completely off. The JVC and Mitsubishi models fall somewhere between the Panasonic AG1970 and AG1980: significantly better noise and color cleaning than the 1970, but not quite as aggressive as the 1980 and a bit less prone to look fake.
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  9. Member Seeker47's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by orsetto
    By the time Panasonic got to the 9662 era, most of their consumer VCRs had really, REALLY poor playback quality compared to their earlier models. I cannot believe how much noise spews from consumer Panasonics after about the 1996 model year- just horrible. To be fair, all the other mfrs dropped to the same performace level at about the same time: unless you blew big bucks on the top-line JVCs with DNR or the semi-pro Panasonics, most were stinko. That doesn't rule out the possibility you were very lucky, and managed to get a fluke 9662 that performs quite nicely. If you find its performance much more appealing than your other VCRs, chances are you won't be satisfied by anything you try to replace it with. I'd recommend bringing it to a good service shop for a professional head cleaning: it probably just has a large oxide flake or bit of adhesive backing jammed into its heads. This requires careful swabbing with a solvent to remove completely- don't try it yourself on a VCR you consider irreplaceable.

    Once you have your 9662 back in working order, it can be your basis for comparison for any other VCRs you supplement it with. As far as upgraded models, there's really only the JVC SVHS models recommended above, the JVC or Mitsubishi DVHS models, or the Panasonic AG1970 and AG1980. Of these, only the Panasonics are completely operational from the front panel: they don't need the remote for anything (except resetting the tape counter to zero). The AG1970 would probably perform most similarly to your 9662, but with ajustments for picture softening/sharpening, a little bit of noise reduction, and a mild TBC which could improve some tapes. The AG1980 has noticeably better color and almost a complete lack of image noise, but its noiseless output can tend to look a little fake with some material and its processors cannot be switched completely off. The JVC and Mitsubishi models fall somewhere between the Panasonic AG1970 and AG1980: significantly better noise and color cleaning than the 1970, but not quite as aggressive as the 1980 and a bit less prone to look fake.
    This seems as good a place as any for my post.

    At various times in the past, I was leaning towards getting one of the better "Pro" or "Prosumer" models discussed in this thread, but I never quite followed through on it. This was due to a combination of factors: I could not justify the cost at the time (though maybe the prices are more reasonable now ?); a lot of the material I wanted to transfer was kind of marginal, in recording quality or the condition of the tapes, and I did not know if it would make that much of a difference re the quality of the end results.

    Today, I have finally gotten around to backup transfers of several VHS tapes that had some extra priority, and I found some time to deal with them. I happen to be using my Pan VS-4820, which is likely the best VHS VCR I have. Going over S-Video outs, through a Zorilla filter (my first chance to try one of these), into the Pio 640. The other VCRs I could have used, or could still use where I run into problems, include a rather worn Pan 4664, a Tosh M-781 (6 heads, has DNR), and that JVC 8000 I mentioned a while ago, which I may be getting rid of. I don't know if that offers much to choose between, or whether I could do much better if using a Pan AG-1980, a high-end Mitsu, or whatever.

    On one tape, the image kept disconcertingly shifting the aspect ratio. Could have something to do with an issue of switch #2 on the Zorilla, which chooses between 4:3 and 16:9. I've now left it on 4:3, which seems to minimize this behavior. Then again, I half-recall something about the Pioneer DVDRs not recording any 16:9 ? On another tape, I had a lot of rolling picture, which must be a tape problem my best tracking efforts on the 4820 cannot cope with, and going from image to black screen to image often, which I assume to be tape dropouts. (I'm wandering in and out of the room where this is recording, and these problems seem to be far less on the 2nd. hour of that tape.)

    As an alternative to the Zorilla, I could have used the TBC-1000, either of a couple Sima models, or a Facet Clarifier clone that I have somewhere in storage -- if and when I can ever find it again -- but something of that nature was definitely required in the chain, because of the MV.

    Tracking. From a number of these threads, I know that is one of the key issues. As often noted here, different VCRs are going to do a better or worse job of handling this with certain tapes -- irrespective of how good on the overall make / model scale the VCR happens to be. Which is why I mentioned the other VCRs I could have used. One just might track a given tape better, even if other demerits come into play. I doubt that you or LS are going to tell us that there is ONE vcr that is going to be able to handle whatever we might run into, and yield the best results.
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    Something I've been wondering about recently:

    Does the "AUTO" picture control setting on the JVC VCRs (I have a 9800 in the form of the GoVideo SDV-650) ever choose "SOFT"? I've noticed that on a lot of tapes where "SOFT" would be the best setting, "AUTO" never seems to choose it.
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  11. Video Restorer lordsmurf's Avatar
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    AUTO is the same as "NORM" which more or less takes a mix of softening and sharpening. It's not SOFT. If you want SOFT, pick SOFT.
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    I figured AUTO was, well, automatic.
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  13. Member Seeker47's Avatar
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    It's been a couple weeks, so I'm gonna bump my post of 8/2, above.

    I was hoping that Orsetto or LordSmurf might have some useful comments on my xfer questions / observations. There is a whole lot of transferring that I've long just kicked down the road for later, but want to get done before the tapes disintegrate; I'm still not that well-versed in the subject.
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  14. Sorry I haven't replied sooner, seeker47, but I wanted to wait until I could absorb the specifics in your post more clearly. I think I "get it" now.

    The aspect ratio mess is probably a conflict between those tapes, the Zorilla, and/or your Pioneer 640 recorder. Pioneers have always had a bizarre sensitivity to imaginary aspect ratio changes, its rarely a problem but once in awhile it fouls things up. I'm not sure what triggers the Pio aspect ratio bug, but its usually confined to dubs from external sources like VHS that might have random signal irregularities that the recorder incorrectly perceives as an aspect ratio flag. You could try using your TBC-1000 instead, to rule out the Zorilla as a problem, and also try switching to the Toshiba 781 as playback VCR. See if turning its DNR on helps with this.

    The tapes that roll probably do not like the Panasonic 4820 for whatever reason. Going to another brand like your Toshiba may help, or going to another generation of Panasonic like your 4664. The 4820 was not one of Panasonics stellar efforts, it doesn't track all that well. You might try your JVC 8000 while you still have it handy, but if a tape rolls at all it will usually roll worse on a JVC. Worth a try, though. And again, using the TBC-1000 instead of the Zorilla could help.

    Of your VCRs the nicest ones are probably the Toshiba 781 and the Panasonic 4664, which you say is unfortunately on its last legs. The 4664 was among the last of the truly good Panasonic consumer models, with exceptional DynaMorphous Metal Heads, good tracking ability and good color noise reduction. Its only drawback is a somewhat touchy interaction between tracking settings and the color noise reduction circuit: if tracking is not set just right the CNR system can make the image look worse instead of better. The Toshiba 781 can be great or so-so depending on the specific unit: for each person who says it has the best video performance of any VCR they've tested, there's another who says its noisy as all hell and the DNR is weak. Only you can evaluate your sample, compared to your other VCRs. Your JVC "8000" could be good, could be lousy: depends if its in good alignment and has the TBC/DNR features. If its out of whack, or lacks the TBC/DNR, its nothing special. The Panasonic 4820 is just average, introduced long after the company stopped caring about its consumer VCR business. Its mechanically sound and has SVHS jacks, not much else goin on.

    Its debatable whether you'd see dramatic improvements in your problem tapes if you switched to a higher-end JVC, Panasonic or Mitsubishi. If the problem is with tracking oddities and rolling blackouts, a Panasonic AG1980 could offer significant improvement, the JVC or Mitsu probably not. Then again, you might not even need an AG1980, you may just need another VCR comparable to what you already have but with better tracking. Before sinking big money into a 1980, look around for a clean Sharp 4-head hifi VCR (any model), a Quasar VHQ-860 or 960, or its twin the Panasonic PV-4520 or 4521. Note Panasonic began recycling model numbers awhile back, so you have to visually check which Panasonic a person is selling to be sure you aren't getting one of the recent garbage models. The "old" PV-4520 and 4521 date from 1998 or 99, and have a swoopy front panel which curves noticeably down like a smiley face. (The recent (bad) PV-4520 and 4522 are tiny with squared off front panels and triangular control recesses on each side of the tape flap.) If one of these cheap but good $20-30 vcrs don't help you, then you might consider one of the high-end monsters. But they're costly, and you can't tell which one will best solve your specific problems until you try them all. Their primary value is in their TBC/DNR circuits, which can either "clean up the image" or make it look like a cartoon. These circuits are more critical when dubbing to a PC encoder card, your Pioneer 640 has very stable line inputs that don't require pre-processing in the VCR. Experimenting yourself with your own tapes is the only way to get the "right" answer for you.
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    Two AG-1980P questions from my observations:

    - The TBC in my AG-1980P often makes the picture darker when switched on. Is this is a known issue or is it just something wrong in the unit that I have?

    - From my experience, the AG-1980P has cleaned up tapes that looked worse in the JVC 9800, but in cases where it wasn't a result of the different tracking or the type of noise that the DNR circuits remove. I can take screencaps if needed, but the best example is from a tape I had that was unwatchably bad. Several generation dub *at best* but it had footage I'd never seen elsewhere with a bizarre bit of interference/lines/whatever in the middle of the picture that I can't describe. The 9800 was no help but the AG-1980P cleared it up to the point of watchability. Any idea what happened and/or how? Just let me know if you need screenshots.
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  16. The TBC in many high-end VCRs does make the picture a bit darker, a few go lighter, this is not unusual unless it looks seriously off. My 1980s and 1970s go darker, my JVC goes lighter and my Mitsubishi varies depending on the tape. The reason a 1980 can sometimes do much better than a JVC or Mitsubishi is its different TBC/DNR circuit. I forget the exact technical description, but the 1980 is apparently the only VCR that processes the entire frame with its TBC, the JVC and Mitsubishi process fields or lines (again, I forget the precise details but its something like that.) The gist is the AG1980 has the most powerful TBC ever built into a VCR, so it can cure some problems that overwhelm the JVC or Mitsubishi systems. The Panasonic also tracks better, especially old slower LP and EP tapes. It is not perfect, however: the JVC and Mitsubishi DNR performs more cleanly with less artifacts and is superior if the tapes involved fall within normal tracking range and don't have severe multi-generation degradation issues. This is why those with extensive tape libraries need both a Panasonic 1980 and a JVC or Mitsubishi.
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  17. Member Seeker47's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by orsetto
    Sorry I haven't replied sooner, seeker47, but I wanted to wait until I could absorb the specifics in your post more clearly. I think I "get it" now.
    Thanks very much for your detailed reply, Orsetto -- I'm sure it will be quite helpful.

    Originally Posted by orsetto
    The aspect ratio mess is probably a conflict between those tapes, the Zorilla, and/or your Pioneer 640 recorder. Pioneers have always had a bizarre sensitivity to imaginary aspect ratio changes, its rarely a problem but once in awhile it fouls things up. I'm not sure what triggers the Pio aspect ratio bug, but its usually confined to dubs from external sources like VHS that might have random signal irregularities that the recorder incorrectly perceives as an aspect ratio flag. You could try using your TBC-1000 instead, to rule out the Zorilla as a problem, and also try switching to the Toshiba 781 as playback VCR. See if turning its DNR on helps with this.

    The tapes that roll probably do not like the Panasonic 4820 for whatever reason. Going to another brand like your Toshiba may help, or going to another generation of Panasonic like your 4664.
    That batch of xfers was done as a favor for a relative. She will let me know whether or not they were acceptable, and for the couple that probably were not, I may wind up doing a gear mix 'n match on a second try, as you suggested. These were craft-oriented instructional videos, from a company that ceased to exist at least 15 years ago, and their stuff never made it to DVD versions. To me, this incidentally points up a certain absurdity about copyrights: you could easily spend hundreds trying to track down whoever may have inherited the rights to material like this, and still hit a complete dead end. Happens all the time. It's moot, though, because she bought the original tapes way back when, at significant cost, and is legally entitled to back them up for her own use, on some contemporary medium, before they become totally unplayable. Even the accursed DMCA does not prohibit that. /mini-rant

    Originally Posted by orsetto
    The 4820 was not one of Panasonics stellar efforts, it doesn't track all that well. You might try your JVC 8000 while you still have it handy, but if a tape rolls at all it will usually roll worse on a JVC. Worth a try, though. And again, using the TBC-1000 instead of the Zorilla could help.

    Of your VCRs the nicest ones are probably the Toshiba 781 and the Panasonic 4664, which you say is unfortunately on its last legs. The 4664 was among the last of the truly good Panasonic consumer models, with exceptional DynaMorphous Metal Heads, good tracking ability and good color noise reduction. Its only drawback is a somewhat touchy interaction between tracking settings and the color noise reduction circuit: if tracking is not set just right the CNR system can make the image look worse instead of better. The Toshiba 781 can be great or so-so depending on the specific unit: for each person who says it has the best video performance of any VCR they've tested, there's another who says its noisy as all hell and the DNR is weak. Only you can evaluate your sample, compared to your other VCRs.
    I had no idea . . . which is why I'm very glad you know this stuff so well, and that we are able to draw upon that knowledge. I always thought the Toshiba had some virtues -- including its transport, with the high-speed wind in both directions, without harming the tape -- though I never really knew if the 6 heads and DNR amounted to real advantages. (I briefly also had a reputedly high-end Toshiba that was 2 1/2 x as tall, deeper, and seemed to weigh like 50 lb.s, but I got rid of it without ever really having used it. Can't recall that model # now, but it came with a light pen as an optional extra interface, and there can't have been too many like that.) Both of the Pannys have jog-shuttles on their remotes, a feature I always found to be a great convenience, and was sorry to see disappear from the market. Never would have guessed that the 4664 was rated so highly. It proved to be a tremendous workhorse though, and after what you told me, I would be inclined to spring for new heads and an overhaul, but I suspect the parts are no longer available ?

    Originally Posted by orsetto
    Your JVC "8000" could be good, could be lousy: depends if its in good alignment and has the TBC/DNR features. If its out of whack, or lacks the TBC/DNR, its nothing special. The Panasonic 4820 is just average, introduced long after the company stopped caring about its consumer VCR business. Its mechanically sound and has SVHS jacks, not much else goin on.
    The JVC manual does not mention those features. I will double-check to make sure there is no such switch anywhere on the deck. The 4820 was one of the last Pannys still to be made in Japan, I think, but I guess by then that was no longer such an indicator of quality.

    [Oh, wait, I forgot about one that is in another room: a 4-head Canon VR-HF720 . . . which I think was actually made by some other mfr. Is that one worth keeping ?]

    Originally Posted by orsetto
    Its debatable whether you'd see dramatic improvements in your problem tapes if you switched to a higher-end JVC, Panasonic or Mitsubishi. If the problem is with tracking oddities and rolling blackouts, a Panasonic AG1980 could offer significant improvement, the JVC or Mitsu probably not. Then again, you might not even need an AG1980, you may just need another VCR comparable to what you already have but with better tracking.
    That's pretty much what I suspected might be the case. It probably depends on what tapes we happen to be talking about. In the case of this last batch, the most important thing was salvaging as much of the informational content as possible; improving the PQ would have been much less of a consideration. A lot of the VHS stuff you go to transfer is probably never going to look all that much better anyway, even if you threw a top-notch Proc Amp into the mix. I do have at least a few rare movies and concert tapes that might justify pulling out all the stops. These would be ones that have a starting PQ, sound, and condition far superior to those old instructional tapes. But that remains to be seen.

    Originally Posted by orsetto
    Before sinking big money into a 1980, look around for a clean Sharp 4-head hifi VCR (any model), a Quasar VHQ-860 or 960, or its twin the Panasonic PV-4520 or 4521. Note Panasonic began recycling model numbers awhile back, so you have to visually check which Panasonic a person is selling to be sure you aren't getting one of the recent garbage models. The "old" PV-4520 and 4521 date from 1998 or 99, and have a swoopy front panel which curves noticeably down like a smiley face. (The recent (bad) PV-4520 and 4522 are tiny with squared off front panels and triangular control recesses on each side of the tape flap.) If one of these cheap but good $20-30 vcrs don't help you, then you might consider one of the high-end monsters. But they're costly, and you can't tell which one will best solve your specific problems until you try them all. Their primary value is in their TBC/DNR circuits, which can either "clean up the image" or make it look like a cartoon. These circuits are more critical when dubbing to a PC encoder card, your Pioneer 640 has very stable line inputs that don't require pre-processing in the VCR. Experimenting yourself with your own tapes is the only way to get the "right" answer for you.
    Sounds like a very good plan of action. Thanks again.
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  18. Originally Posted by Seeker47
    [Oh, wait, I forgot about one that is in another room: a 4-head Canon VR-HF720 . . . which I think was actually made by some other mfr. Is that one worth keeping ?]
    Oh, man- I totally forgot there used to be Canon vcrs! It was so long ago! Yes, the VR-HF720 is a very nice unit. I had one years ago when it was a current model. All the photo and audio giants tried to jump on the VHS hifi bandwagon in the mid-eighties, usually by having a video company rebrand common VCRs of the time. The Canon VR-HF720 was unusual for being the only vcr rebranded from the Panasonic industrial AG line. I don't remember what model number Panasonic used, but the Canon 720 was identical except for the name badge. Very well built, very good picture: one of the nicest "Panasonics" ever made, with slimline chassis, multiple motors to avoid belts and gears wearing out- damn thing is built better than the later AG1980! Only problem was it couldn't track non-Panasonic tapes very well, and I had a lot of Hitachi and JVC made tapes in those days (still do). The Canon would track the video beautifully but couldn't lock onto the hifi stereo tracks if its life depended on it, so I had to get rid of it. It could work very well for you, though: definitely pull it out of mothballs and give it a spin.

    I've picked up a lot of experience within one small corner of the VH universe, which I'm happy to share, as many others here have helped me. But 'm not remotely as technically expert on all things video as LordSmurf and others here on VH, who are immense resources. I just happen to "know about a lot of VCRs" because I seem to have bought every damn one that was ever sold (I was very very picky in the VHS days and tried another one every couple months, selling off or returning the "losers"). By default, I've learned a lot about the interactions between many types of tapes recorded on many different brand VCRs, how they will play on VCRs available today, and how they will or won't transfer well using the simpler DVD/HDD recorder method. Its useful info, and I try to share what I've learned in a basic way, but everyones tape collection is different so they have to test my info using their own tapes. Almost any question you throw at VH can be solved by sampling the experience reports of assorted members, throwing them in a blender, and asking LS to make sense of it all.
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    How was the DNR on those 6-Head Toshibas, anyway? I had without DNR that had the best picture quality for recording of the VCRs that I've owned.
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    Originally Posted by orsetto
    Oh, man- I totally forgot there used to be Canon vcrs! It was so long ago! Yes, the VR-HF720 is a very nice unit. I had one years ago when it was a current model. All the photo and audio giants tried to jump on the VHS hifi bandwagon in the mid-eighties, usually by having a video company rebrand common VCRs of the time. The Canon VR-HF720 was unusual for being the only vcr rebranded from the Panasonic industrial AG line. I don't remember what model number Panasonic used, but the Canon 720 was identical except for the name badge.
    Again, I had no idea that was the lineage of it. I think someone once told me that if you took off the cover and looked around inside, a lot of the parts were either Hitachi or Mitsubishi, and it was in fact made by one of those two. Either that was wrong, or (more likely) my memory on this was wrong, &/or these companies may have been very incestuous as to how they sourced their parts.

    Originally Posted by orsetto
    Very well built, very good picture: one of the nicest "Panasonics" ever made, with slimline chassis, multiple motors to avoid belts and gears wearing out- damn thing is built better than the later AG1980! Only problem was it couldn't track non-Panasonic tapes very well, and I had a lot of Hitachi and JVC made tapes in those days (still do).
    That part does not surprise: this was another real workhorse for me.

    Originally Posted by orsetto
    The Canon would track the video beautifully but couldn't lock onto the hifi stereo tracks if its life depended on it, so I had to get rid of it. It could work very well for you, though: definitely pull it out of mothballs and give it a spin.
    Then I think that one may be a keeper for awhile also. The main issue with this -- and a couple of the others -- could be that they have sat idle or nearly idle for 4 or 5 years at this point. That's not so good, is it ? There are still a few VCR repair places you can find in your larger cities, so at least a good cleaning of the heads and transport should be possible. But, if one needed parts (up to and including new heads), the chances they could be acquired would be slim ?

    A plurality of my VHS-HiFi tapes were probably recorded on that very deck, and a whole lot of my other VHS tapes were made on the older Panny, so I might not be looking at the problems that led you to give up on the Canon. I don't know if I would describe it as slimline though, since it is around twice the height of the Toshiba, and much heavier.

    Originally Posted by orsetto
    I seem to have bought every damn one that was ever sold (I was very very picky in the VHS days and tried another one every couple months, selling off or returning the "losers").
    Then I'm sure you well recall the days when stores like Good Guys were selling JVC, Pan, and other VHS decks for $600., $900., or possibly even pricier than that. (I'm talking more about the prosumer type models.)

    My sampling of these VHS decks was far more modest. (I don't think I ever got more than one from any single store. Lots of different sources. And, in truth, I was always much more into Beta Hi-Fi, especially the B1s capable decks. I think I knew a whole lot more about those.) But it seems like I lucked out in the VHS ones I did get, absent much expertise in selecting them. The only real disappointments were the two or three I picked up on eBay, and there it was more the case of choosing the wrong make and model than getting a sample of same that was not in at least a decent condition. If in due course I can get much more caught up on that big backlog of transfers, this may all return to just academic interest. Still, you never know when some friend or relative is going to turn up with a tape, saying "PLEASE ! Help Me !!" As in the example I gave a few posts above, the commercial transfer services may not be willing or able to do this, or some special gear may be required.
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    Originally Posted by Bix
    How was the DNR on those 6-Head Toshibas, anyway? I had without DNR that had the best picture quality for recording of the VCRs that I've owned.
    I just don't have enough experience with any kind of DNR to give you a really good answer on that. The best I could say is that sometimes it helped, sometimes not. (But isn't any advantage lost, unless you play that tape back on the same deck -- the one that recorded it and has that particular DNR ?) My default choice was leaving the DNR ON.
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  22. Originally Posted by Seeker47
    I don't know if I would describe it as slimline though, since it is around twice the height of the Toshiba, and much heavier.
    I may have mis-remembered my Canon model number. There were two, now that you mention it one was bigger than the other. The one I had was the slimline in a light-gray cabinet, based on the Panasonic AG series, about the exact size of your Pioneer 640 DVD deck. Perhaps instead of VR-HF720 mine was VR-HF840 or something. The bigger one you have might have been sourced from another supplier, then, as you were told by others. It was so long ago I can't remember the specific differences, but if your Canon has buttons for digital effects like still and strobe it was either based on a larger similar Panasonic AG, or supplied by Hitachi or JVC. My Minolta vcrs were made by Hitachi, so I'd be very surprised if Canon also used Hitachi as an OEM, and I'm pretty sure they didn't use JVC. So your 720 still stands a good chance of being Panasonic: open the cover to blow the cobwebs out of it, and check if any motors or transformers are marked Matsushita.

    Sitting for a few years doesn't usually damage a vhs VCR as long it isn't allowed to get filthy, so you might be OK. BetaMaxes fare a bit worse: when they sit too long, they tend to develop tape loading problems. I've had to dump a couple of Sonys because of this, its cheaper to buy another used BetaMax than to find good service. I had another scare earlier this summer when I plugged in my trusty SL-HF500 for the first time in a year, and its loading mechanism refused to accept any tapes. It took a good dozen tries before the tape wrap system wheezed asthmatically back to life. Now I turn it on and load a tape once a week to keep it limber. Yikes- I need to get my remaining Betas transferred ASAP.
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  23. Member Seeker47's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by orsetto
    I may have mis-remembered my Canon model number. There were two, now that you mention it one was bigger than the other. The one I had was the slimline in a light-gray cabinet, based on the Panasonic AG series, about the exact size of your Pioneer 640 DVD deck. Perhaps instead of VR-HF720 mine was VR-HF840 or something. The bigger one you have might have been sourced from another supplier, then, as you were told by others.
    This one is decidedly larger (and heavier) than the Pio 640, and the cabinet is all black, with a lot more metal than plastic. At the time I got it, I was aware of at least one model in their line below it, not sure about whatever model was above it.

    Originally Posted by orsetto
    It was so long ago I can't remember the specific differences, but if your Canon has buttons for digital effects like still and strobe it was either based on a larger similar Panasonic AG, or supplied by Hitachi or JVC. My Minolta vcrs were made by Hitachi, so I'd be very surprised if Canon also used Hitachi as an OEM, and I'm pretty sure they didn't use JVC.
    And it was so long ago that the calendar only went up to '98 or '99. We had a brief power failure here a couple weeks back, and I had to re-discover that 1987 apparently matches the 2009 calendar, so I set it for that. Hardly any of the mfr.s then were forward-thinking enough to imagine owners might have some use for a calendar that went beyond 2000 !
    This one has lots of front panel controls that make the remote unnecessary, but no digital effects. That stuff -- along with multiple PIP -- is present only on the JVC-8000.

    Originally Posted by orsetto
    Sitting for a few years doesn't usually damage a vhs VCR as long it isn't allowed to get filthy, so you might be OK. BetaMaxes fare a bit worse: when they sit too long, they tend to develop tape loading problems. I've had to dump a couple of Sonys because of this, its cheaper to buy another used BetaMax than to find good service. I had another scare earlier this summer when I plugged in my trusty SL-HF500 for the first time in a year, and its loading mechanism refused to accept any tapes. It took a good dozen tries before the tape wrap system wheezed asthmatically back to life. Now I turn it on and load a tape once a week to keep it limber. Yikes- I need to get my remaining Betas transferred ASAP.
    I'm finding a couple issues with my Beta decks. One is an illuminated "EE" error warning, which is rather obscure: I never really understood exactly what that was, even after tracking it down in the manual. The other is that various playing tapes will auto-shutoff arbitrarily, at different points. It remains unclear to me how much of this may be due to the tape, and how much due to the deck, but quite possibly both are involved. Obviously, that is a big problem if you are trying to do a recording-transfer into a DVDR. It has forced me to abandon direct-to-DVD recording. At least with the HDD, I stand a chance of being able to stitch the whole thing back together. I do try at least one full wind - rewind with a standalone auto-winder first, to make sure the tape is not sticking to itself on the cassette reel. (The tapes were stored well, so it's not like they were sitting for years in a hot attic, or something. But their age becomes a factor.) It must be a transport issue, and I may need to get it corrected.
    When in Las Vegas, don't miss the Pinball Hall of Fame Museum http://www.pinballmuseum.org/ -- with over 150 tables from 6+ decades of this quintessentially American art form.
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  24. Now that you got my curiosity going I did some research, and actually there were at least three Canons, all of them rebranded Panasonic AG models, and all considered among the most reliable and recommended VHS vcrs by repair techs. Canons are especially liked by service techs for their durable linear power supplies, the Panasonic AG models of the period had these as well but apparently the Canons went thru more stringent QC than the Panasonics! Anyway your Canon VR-HF720 turns out to be a rebranded Panasonic AG-1950, possibly the most unkillable tank of a VCR Panasonic ever made and pre-SVHS (circa 1986/87) ancestor of the AG-1960, 1970 and finally 1980. Damn thing sold for about $1200 back in 1987 when that was major $$$, it should last you the rest of your life. Definitely wipe it off and try it out, I'm sure after sitting five years it will start right back up as if it were new. These monsters are worth fixing just out of respect for their construction quality, what kills their value on eBay is they aren't SVHS and they're so heavy shipping charges can easily hit $70 cross country. If you find a Panasonic AG1950 or its twin the Canon VR-HF720 locally, they often go for as little as $50. While image quality cannot match later units with TBC/DNR, they beat the pants off those later models in terms of reliability and consistency.

    The "slimline" Canon I once owned turns out to have been the "little brother" model VR-HF710 (I couldn't track down the equivalent Panasonic AG version). There was also a VR-HF800 which was nearly as big as the VR-HF720, but not quite as solid mechanically or electronically, that was based on the AG1820. The Canons to look for are the 710 and 720, with the 710 being more compact and lacking the flying erase head insert/assemble features.
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  25. Member Seeker47's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by orsetto
    Now that you got my curiosity going I did some research, and actually there were at least three Canons, all of them rebranded Panasonic AG models, and all considered among the most reliable and recommended VHS vcrs by repair techs. Canons are especially liked by service techs for their durable linear power supplies, the Panasonic AG models of the period had these as well but apparently the Canons went thru more stringent QC than the Panasonics! Anyway your Canon VR-HF720 turns out to be a rebranded Panasonic AG-1950, possibly the most unkillable tank of a VCR Panasonic ever made and pre-SVHS (circa 1986/87) ancestor of the AG-1960, 1970 and finally 1980. Damn thing sold for about $1200 back in 1987 when that was major $$$, it should last you the rest of your life. Definitely wipe it off and try it out, I'm sure after sitting five years it will start right back up as if it were new. These monsters are worth fixing just out of respect for their construction quality, what kills their value on eBay is they aren't SVHS and they're so heavy shipping charges can easily hit $70 cross country. If you find a Panasonic AG1950 or its twin the Canon VR-HF720 locally, they often go for as little as $50. While image quality cannot match later units with TBC/DNR, they beat the pants off those later models in terms of reliability and consistency.
    WOW ! -- Who Knew ? Total, accidental luck of the draw here, I'd say. In the mid-late '80s, I
    did not often have that kind of bread to drop on a purchase of this type. My recollection is that I bought it from a long-defunct HiFi shop that did not give much attention to video gear (more of an afterthought, for them), and that I paid something like 6 bills for it. I may even have an old receipt in my files somewhere. Could it have been some sort of a special deal they had access to, briefly ? Neither Canon nor the other re-badger you mentioned had that sustained or successful a presence in this field.

    It does power up and work, as it always did. May need a good cleaning inside and out -- I wouldn't be the least bit surprised.

    Originally Posted by orsetto
    The "slimline" Canon I once owned turns out to have been the "little brother" model VR-HF710 (I couldn't track down the equivalent Panasonic AG version). There was also a VR-HF800 which was nearly as big as the VR-HF720, but not quite as solid mechanically or electronically, that was based on the AG1820. The Canons to look for are the 710 and 720, with the 710 being more compact and lacking the flying erase head insert/assemble features.
    Ah yes, the flying erase head. Brings back memories of being able to make smooth and precise edits, with no appreciable image jump. That was also a hallmark of the better SuperBeta decks.
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    I've bought 3 FS200s (one was almost a gift from a german guy for a favor and is now sold) and I've found all 3 tracked tapes differently. (Some image noise/color differences too...).

    Is there a sensible explanation for this other than heads being worn out, because they don't seem to be. Some tapes simply have better tracking on a given machine, an old AC/DC concert (original) I have was the most evident. One of the machines couldn't almost track it without doing manually, while another was just perfect but this machine was bad at tracking some other tapes without doing it manually.
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  27. Being largely dependent on mechanical performance, even three brand new identical VCRs will track tapes slightly differently from each other. The FS200 was an expensive, "boring" semi-pro VCR primarily sold to university video labs, wedding and event videographers, and post production studios: very few of these were bought by "wealthy casual users who let them sit in mint condition until you decided you needed one fifteen years later". As such, the majority of FS200s have seen heavy, sometimes abusive usage over the years. Externally they may look good, and the heads are made of indestructible material, but the loading and transport mechanics have often been to hell and back before the machine came into your possession. Most worn-out FS200s remain fully functional for normal casual tape playback, but if you need them for precision DVD transfer work they should be brought in for servicing. The heavy-duty design is fairly easy to clean and adjust for any competent VCR repair person, the FS200 has been around forever so most decent repair shops know it well. Bring in the worst-tracking sample you own, and have it restored to specs.
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    Originally Posted by JoseD
    Add the Pana NV-FS200, the PAL version of the AG1980, [].
    Two questions.

    1. Is this also the same model as the Blaupunkt RTV-950 as listed in [1]? And if yes, could you add a note to the list please, lordsmurf.
    2. In [1] a Panasonic NV-FS 200 EG is listed. Are there any differences? I could not find it on the Web.


    Thanks a lot,

    PaulePanter


    [1] http://www.dangl.at/ausruest/ausrt10e.htm
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  29. Video Restorer lordsmurf's Avatar
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    1. Blaupunkt RTV-950 is (as far as I know) the same as the NV-FS200 / AG-1980P
    2. Are you asking about the "EG" letters?

    Your link is 404.

    Also, Blaupunkt RTV920 = NV-FS100, which I think is also the AG-1970P. Or maybe the AG-1960P. Where's orsetto?

    Need to add Panasonic AG-4700E, too.
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  30. Member
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    Originally Posted by lordsmurf
    1. Blaupunkt RTV-950 is (as far as I know) the same as the NV-FS200 / AG-1980P
    Great. So I can get one in Europe.

    Originally Posted by lordsmurf
    2. Are you asking about the "EG" letters?
    Yes.

    Originally Posted by lordsmurf
    Your link is 404.
    Sorry. Fixed.

    []
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