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  1. Member
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    Hey there folks,

    First off, I apologize if I go a bit in-depth at any point here with descriptions - I'd just like to make sure everything is covered to start with; hopefully I won't have to ask too many more questions later.

    ----
    First of all: Most people's source tapes are VHS format and most of the talk here generally has covered good machines to use for that format - because as I was once told before, it's worth trying to make corrections & restoration at hardware level.

    However, my problem is that VHS format only accounts for around 30% of my tapes (probably the majority of those are Long Play, too!) - the two other main formats that make up my 'backlog' of archive to sort, are linear Mono Betamax and Video 2000 tapes (yes that's right, the ones where you recorded on both sides) -- so when it comes to VCR selection, what am I meant to go for, for the two respective formats? And if you don't recommend the JVC machines for LP VHS tapes, what's the alternative for those?

    Bear in mind that these tapes are in their hundreds (don't worry, I'll only be taking small bits from each, not entire copies!), but it's as much about machine reliability as playback quality. Users of Beta machines at least, please do offer your suggestions if you have any.

    Secondly, because (AFAIK) Beta and V2000 machines simply do not have the fancy technology of high-end S-VHS decks, I'm looking into what PAL-compatible equipment I can place into the chain to carry out the following when needed:
    • Sharpening and also Noise Reduction
    • Picture Stabilisation (perhaps beyond what a TBC would do(?), mainly just to iron out the slightest movement on already good tapes)
    • Easy correction of Luma / Black levels

    Practically all of my tapes (of all formats) have accurate colours and none are really desaturated; a fair majority seem to have kept well all-round - so in light of that, any kit that serves primarily to correct severely bad colour, I DON'T really need.


    I have done some browsing in the area, albeit briefly, and I would like to check:
    • Has anyone actually tested that the SignVideo Proc Amps are definitely PAL compatible? Last time I checked the website, only NTSC was listed in the specs - so if anyone feels the equipment itself could be useful to me, then I'd need confirmation that it takes PAL.
    • What is the difference (if any) between a Vidicraft Detailer IV and a SignVideo DR-1000? Pros and cons?

    These are but two models; I have zilch experience with any of them and so have no idea what they function like - hopefully someone here can help with this.

    ----
    And I think that's it for now - I'd be thankful if anyone could chip-in with advice - cheers.
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  2. Video Restorer lordsmurf's Avatar
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    I've posted about the best Betamax players here before, and there's a whole Betamax site out there, based in UK and is mostly PAL information.
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  3. Its nice to read someone has bigger challenges - ho ho

    My experience is START simple, may be if you connect a V2000 player to a modern DVD recorder, Philips or JVC even LG, you might be pleased with the results.

    Why go to all the bother of getting equipment you may not need.

    Also look at where you could get the material you have on these tapes, are they TV shows or personal recordings.
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    Originally Posted by lordsmurf
    I've posted about the best Betamax players here before
    I did a search and got nothing, so a link would be appreciated - thankyou.

    and there's a whole Betamax site out there, based in UK and is mostly PAL information.
    If you're talking about PALsite, I've been there, yes. AFAIK there's no specific sections on how to get the most out of regular tapes, but it is good way of finding out generally what models are half-decent.

    I'm still curious whether whether Superbeta machines would offer any benefit (or just be a waste) to regular tapes, in the same way certain S-VHS machines do for regular VHS vids.

    By the way LS, seeing as you've not responded to any of the Proc Amp / Detailer related questions, should I be worried!?

    Originally Posted by victoriabears
    My experience is START simple, may be if you connect a V2000 player to a modern DVD recorder, Philips or JVC even LG, you might be pleased with the results.
    I do have a Philips DVD recorder that takes a number of DVD types, but I doubt it's anything special as it was passed on to me and serves just as a basic playback (or emergency recording) machine at the moment.

    I don't actually plan on going straight to DVD - instead I'll be running it through my PC which will allow me to easily pull-up files and run software filters on them for any correctable problems not tackled at hardware level. I may keep 'untouched' copies for posterity, but I really reckon software filters are a necessity to improve the look of material AND actually correct errors too. I've discovered both VirtualDub and Avisynth filters that do things I never thought possible - removing white streaks for example, or reducing ghosting (a common issue on much of my footage).

    Sooner or later I'd want all footage on computer, so I'd rather not have the extra hassle of DVD ripping and converting to AVI, just as it's more spent time.

    Also look at where you could get the material you have on these tapes, are they TV shows or personal recordings.
    They are TV recordings, but NOT typical programmes - think programme trailers and news bulletins, for example. Not the sort of thing you can get readily on release at the shops - if that was the case, I wouldn't have any need for original tapes anymore! :P
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  5. I have met many people who have spent hours and days trying to transfer a vhs to dvd , only to find the DVD of the material on Ebay for $2.99 !

    Appreciate your collection is different.

    8)

    I would try going from the V2000/Beta to the Philips dvd recorder, in my extensive experience, only go on practical experience, not theory. If you want to try another dvd recorder the new Philips or a JVC.

    The work you describe, pc capture in avi and filters and such is very time consuming and very trial and error.

    Taking the dvd capture to your PC and editing in Mpeg using a TmpG product is very easy.
    PAL/NTSC problem solver.
    USED TO BE A UK Equipment owner., NOW FINISHED WITH VHS CONVERSIONS-THANKS
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    Originally Posted by victoriabears
    I would try going from the V200/Beta to the Philips dvd recorder, in my exteneive experience, only go on practical experience, not theory.

    The work you describe, pc capture in avi and filters and such is very time consuming and very trial and error.

    Taking the dvd capture to your PC and editing in Mpeg using a TmpG product is very easy.
    I can appreciate that point of view, and you're right that the filtering portion of PC work is time consuming.

    I so wish there was a quicker alternative to filtering - I'd love it if there was a DVD recorder that employed all manner of filters like stabilization, chroma shift, noise reduction, streak removal etc - but at the moment there is absolutely no other way to remove or reduce certain types of noise or picture errors except for using software, which can fix problems that would otherwise never be corrected.

    As such, it becomes an inevitable part of the restoration process if you're looking to clean up footage as best as possible - and since that's what I'm aiming for here, then it's something I'm going to have to do -- although from my time doing tests on straightforward captures from a couple of years ago, the results are often worth it, and at times, it is quite satisfying!

    Luckily, this isn't something I need to get done in a matter or weeks. With no impending deadline to contend with, I can see it as a longer-term hobby in many respects, so I do have time on my side to allow for all the computer stuff. It can take time.

    I'm very used to capturing with a PC to AVI - I have 2 PCI cards (one for composite, the other for S-Video and RGB), a good bit of hard-drive space and good processing power to boot. So mercifully, it's not going to be as much of a headache for me, compared to a PC capture newbie with a basic computer!

    If anything, I'm more used to PC capture than DVD recording, hence why I referred to my current recorder as the backup!
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  7. Video Restorer lordsmurf's Avatar
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    SignVideo better than Vidicraft, but I would not pay a lot more for the slight quality gain.

    I don't have a PA-100, I have an Elite Video BVP-4 Plus, much better, so no answer to your question, I can't test.

    I've tested BVP-4 and DR-1000, for PAL use, but I always forget the results. I posted those here once long ago too.
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  8. Member buckethead's Avatar
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    I just performed testing and :

    The Sign Video DR-1000 will process PAL. The Proc Amp, of which mine is the older "Studio One" before it became "Sign Video" will not. The ACE by GTE Electronics will do both PAL and NTSC, but alas, has no output metering.

    Hope this helps.
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  9. Member 2Bdecided's Avatar
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    PLC401,

    You do realise that a typical PC capture card will create problems with VCR footage that a typical modern DVD recorder will hide?

    At least try both.

    Cheers,
    David.
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    Re: Proc Amp compatibility, thanks for those test results, buckethead - I'm going to be cautious and if I can't officially confirm anything for the SignVideo model(s) then I may simply count it out!

    Originally Posted by 2Bdecided
    PLC401,

    You do realise that a typical PC capture card will create problems with VCR footage that a typical modern DVD recorder will hide?

    At least try both.

    Cheers,
    David.
    Well, if you reckon it's really worth it in terms of how it benefits image quality and stability, compared to external hardware & cap card alone, then I'll try just one item from one tape I guess it wouldn't hurt!

    I hear what you're saying; however, there are practical issues concerning the sort of footage I'm dealing with - it actually makes transferring to DVD a less attractive option than I would have originally thought...

    If this were several tapes each containing one film that I simply wanted to get transferred to another medium, it'd be a different story (case of hit 'Record' and sit back) - but in this instance I have hundreds of tapes with small clips 'scattered' throughout - sometimes 4 or 5 items (on average say, 5 minutes per item) on a single tape which I'd need to search to for each individual recording. The main issue however, is that due to these pieces being of historical interest, the tapes of worth have been typically labelled with dates of when certain items were broadcast.

    Now if making a transfer to computer, it's easy enough to record a tape's contents to file, and in 5 seconds give it a filename that corresponds to the broadcast date (this is something I'd have to do eventually anyway, due to use of the computer for the editing portions, and as but one high quality archive format on hard drive). On the other hand, recording to DVD does not allow the same ease of individual item labelling; and by the time I'd come to ripping the disc contents of however many tapes worth to computer, I'd still have to get my head around what item is what, chronologically-speaking - in the least, this would be time-consuming; at worst it'd be a real head-ache.

    Naturally, I'd like to know if there's any way to safeguard against the potential problems caused by a capture card, and what the telltale signs of card-related problems are; as the PC route really seems the more practical route for me to take in this case, given what I'm dealing with and how I need it sorted and available on-file.

    On this subject: some years ago I had a brief dabble in VHS tape transfer to both DVD and computer (respectively), without any additional hardware or even a 'good' VCR, and had success in getting a nice all-round picture from the capture card - yet when it came to recording the same scene to DVD, I noticed the whole picture vertically 'judder' and roll - essentially the reverse of what you'd expect. So in relation to the picture stability, overall I had a more positive experience with the transfer to PC - and the quality seemed just fine, too. Make of that what you will...
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  11. Member 2Bdecided's Avatar
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    If your VHS machine, the tapes, and the capture card play nicely together, then that's great.

    The things to look out for (I'm probably teaching my grandmother to suck eggs here) which sometimes can look OK directly viewed on a standard TV, worse via a capture card, but better via a DVD recorder, are:

    TBC errors (wobbly vertical lines, picture bending at the top, general unsteadiness)
    Hue chroma errors (horizontal streaks of the wrong colour)
    Frame sync errors (missing/duplicated frames, brief rolling)
    Falling over completely or losing audio sync at discontinuities/damage/drop outs in the recording (could be tape damage, but could have been present in the original broadcast, which often had non-sync-ed switching between regional continuity and national programmes in the old days!)
    Sensible AGC of video luma and chroma levels (maintaining picture brightness, or allowing it to vary wildly)
    Sensitivity to noise and interference (individual device dependent, not specifically a DVD vs capture card issue)

    It's relatively modern DVD recorders that may give an advantage here. Old ones are really flaky.


    Please report how you get on - either way - pooling everyone's experiences is useful - especially those few of us in PAL countries!

    Cheers,
    David.
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    I'd say that technically, a good number of my Beta tapes probably 'wobble' continuously by just a tiny amount, but I don't know if it's something that can / should be completely locked down, is an inherent feature of such tapes, or what...

    It's so slight that it's completely un-noticeable on moving footage (which looks fine 99% of the time), but then if I'm looking at a recording of a still caption, I can see things like text don't always stay completely still - I'm talking movement of a mere millimetre or fraction to the left & right, so it hardly qualifies as a 'problem'. Just I've always rather taken it for granted, but never seriously considered if something so comparatively small can actually be remedied - maybe it's just as well?! I could be striving for too much there.


    One thing I will be making sure of before commencing anything, is having the right native cables for the job. Not sure if I have all the relevant types and suitable lengths just now, but there's no way I'd ever put some ghastly adaptor onto the end of a jack plug for use with this.
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    Looks like I'll be 'bypassing' the purchase of any dedicated hardware processing gear...Apparently SignVideo DID make PAL versions of the PA- proc amps and the DR1000 too...But it is annoying that PAL compatible boxes are no longer being manufactured as new; it seems they were discontinued just over 2 years ago? This means the only guaranteed new-condition Signvideo models (and future models) will all be NTSC only...

    Of the various second-hand SignVideo stuff floating about online, it's probably anyone's guess which ones are compatible and which ones aren't. So rather than be hassled with that, I think I'll opt out of the search. It's saddening how difficult it is for a PAL footage user to get hold of equipment that fits what they're looking for - why do we seem to be at such a disadvantage?

    Looks like the PC will have to come to the rescue again for that, whether it be manual Levels adjustment, Auto Levels, whatever - there are more than competent free plugins out there.


    There's still 2 things I really need help with here - software can't fix everything!

    1) What VCR should I use to play back my LP VHS tapes? I asked this before yet I'm still awaiting some help - anyone!? It's been mentioned that the usual JVC SVHS lot aren't ideal, hence it stands to reason there's a better alternative.

    2) I still could do with some means of better stabilizing Beta tapes - even the ones that are already good but just need a tiny bit of 'ironing out'. Unless there's specific hardware for this, I'm wondering whether running it through a cam with digital pass-through is worth a look? I've heard good things about that. If so, I need some idea of the right (PAL!) models - doesn't seem to be as easy as I thought drawing shortlist of cams with this feature.

    ---

    As much as I'd like to be able to keep all my source tapes here permanently, I do need to make space, and that needs to be sorted sooner rather than later - thus, I would like to try and get optimal transfers before I trash these tapes soon - once it's copied, that's it, I won't be redoing it; a case of copy once and throw away.

    Cleaning the footage up for DVD is something I'll be doing at my own leisure, but getting this stuff archived to file is something that I (unfortunately) don't have all the time in the world for!
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  14. Some ideas which have surfaced previously:-

    The Panasonic ES10 DVD recorder can be had on ebay uk for around 30 pounds and can be useful as a pass-thu to cure some ills.

    The AV Toolbox avt 8710 TBC is also good.

    The UK Panasonic FS200 is a good VCR. If you can find a good one not knackered to death.

    The JVC/Panasonic love them/hate them battle:-

    It seems the only sensible outcome of this is two fold:-

    1: It depends on what machine your tapes were recorded on, most of mine were panasonic recorded and I can only conclude thats why both my UK VHS and my Canada VHS tapes play back better on the Panasonics than JVC.

    2: That it is folks perception of what is a good image.

    Certainly the Panasonics are better built than the JVC's.

    http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Panasonic-NV-HS960-SVHS-ET_W0QQitemZ270331810500QQcmdZViewItemQQ...1%7C240%3A1318

    http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Panasonic-NV-HS950-SVHS-HiFi-nicam-Super-VHS-Digital_W0QQitemZ17...1%7C240%3A1318

    There would appear to be no JVC TBC/DNR UK VCr's on Ebay Europe at this time. They are very rare.

    I can sell you one but shipping to UK is 40 pounds.
    I really urge you to keep it simple to start and not go off, as I did, buying all sorts of enhancing hardware only to find I didn;t need it, and that included the Sign video stuff.
    PAL/NTSC problem solver.
    USED TO BE A UK Equipment owner., NOW FINISHED WITH VHS CONVERSIONS-THANKS
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    Originally Posted by victoriabears
    The Panasonic ES10 DVD recorder can be had on ebay uk for around 30 pounds and can be useful as a pass-thu to cure some ills.
    It works as a genuine passthrough without needing to record? I never would have expected that from a DVD recorder; if that's the case, I can probably run all manner of tape formats through it to see how it fares (provided it has the right sockets), that in itself would make it worth a try.

    Similarly I can always have a look at the standalone TBC as well. Would you say the AVT 8710 is the best choice overall TBC-wise for all PAL tapes? These sort of options are (likely) the only routes for attempting to get a steadier picture out of the Betas etc so I'll certainly keep an eye out.

    Re: LP tapes, Sadly because I have so many of them, spanning decades (and even a couple of different countries) and offered by other people, I don't actually know what machines they were recorded on, so it may just have to be the JVC plus one other machine, which could also serve as a backup VCR. I do have one of the JVC SVHS models here, a 9600.
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  16. PAL/NTSC problem solver.
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  17. Many think the avt 8710 is better than the datavideo options, what do your vhs tapes look like from the jvc?

    https://www.videohelp.com/dvdplayers/panasonic-dmr-es10/5389

    search on this forum for es 10 pass thru or on the net.

    I have an es10 UK and it has both RCA/Scart and S Video in/out.
    PAL/NTSC problem solver.
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    Originally Posted by victoriabears
    Many think the avt 8710 is better than the datavideo options, what do your vhs tapes look like from the jvc?

    https://www.videohelp.com/dvdplayers/panasonic-dmr-es10/5389

    search on this forum for es 10 pass thru or on the net.

    I have an es10 UK and it has both RCA/Scart and S Video in/out.
    I'm not in a position to say much on how the JVC handles LP tapes, as I only tested one on default settings, but there were certainly no tracking problems, all very stable. In terms of detail, maybe it was a bit soft but the machine should serve as a good starting point for the VHS video at least, which I can later both clean-up and correct further using the comp.


    I could still do with some help finding PAL vidcam models that are known to stabilize video (arguably better than the usual TBCs), as some examples here appear to show they can be extremely effective indeed.
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    Update: Looks like there *are* particular PAL Sony Minidv cam models within a particular range that could, possibly, do the job well...If anyone has tried a particular PAL Sony cam with passthrough and had bad results, please step forward and state your model number!

    Guess this particular issue is going to be up to me in terms of decision making; it is a bit of a risk - yes, so a cam has passthrough, but you don't know if you're going to get any unwanted quirks in how it handles the picture (albeit I've heard of one positive result, which is reassuring). I might take a shot at getting hold of one of them when the opportunity arises. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
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  20. Concerning Beta machines it's very similar to VHS VCRs. There is no one VCR that will be great for everything. I have a SL-HF400, SL-HF900 and a SL-800ME which plays every format. The 900 is by far the best VCR but many many times I have to use the 400 because the 900 can't quite track the tape properly. I want to get an ED Beta machine but they are hard to find and can be very expensive. They had automatic tracking, S-Video output and the awesome ED Beta recording (the tapes are crazy expensive though). Check this site for an extensive list of Beta machines and which were the best of their day http://www.geocities.com/videoholic2000/BetaListpg1.htm.
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    Originally Posted by NightFire
    Concerning Beta machines it's very similar to VHS VCRs. There is no one VCR that will be great for everything. I have a SL-HF400, SL-HF900 and a SL-800ME which plays every format. . .Check this site for an extensive list of Beta machines and which were the best of their day http://www.geocities.com/videoholic2000/BetaListpg1.htm.
    I see you only refer to Sony machines - are you aware Sanyo was also a major manufacturer of Beta VCRs?

    Also, sadly that site is of no help to me because it was clearly written from a US standpoint. I can't see any mention of some of the PAL machines that would be relevant to me, with the exception of multi-standard machines (which I don't need).

    I have only one Sony VCR here - an SL-C9 from 1982 - the rest are Sanyo. And I'll tell you why this is - I'm not the sort of person who can afford to have machines that'll easily break down, because I have such a large quantity of tapes. Sanyos are thus more reliable because their mechanism (not having the tape always laced up) means they last longer and parts-wise are also still able to be refurbished / serviced because the components are readily available, making it possible to obtain both very sturdy & internally great condition VCRs, which you seldom (if ever) see in the case of Sony machines.

    Unfortunately, as much as my Sanyos may be robust, I don't have a machine that has high quality in terms of playback. If something like a VTC-M30 shows up, that might be worth a punt, but I may just have to make do with these very 'standard' machines for wanting to get things moving along.
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  22. At the bottom there are listings for every brand also including Sanyo, Toshiba, Zenith. Usually the Sonys are considered the best but as stated mileage will vary. I think somebody already pointed out the pal site http://www.palsite.com/gsonyvideos.html also. Between these 2 sites there are just about everything needed for research. Beta machines do seem to be getting scarcer and the good ones can be expensive these days.

    If you want to try a repair here is a very good Sony http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Sony-Betamax-Hi-Fi-SL-HF100UB-Spares-or-Repair_W0QQitemZ32033618...3A1|240%3A1318
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    Can anyone say from experience whether the first machine of choice for the LP tapes should be a Panny or a JVC (both S-VHS TBC types of course)?

    Or doesn't it matter? This is with respect to the overall clarity of picture and sound - even though standard LP sound is usually mush anyway - rather than stability, as I don't have that many unstable or noisy tapes.

    If anyone thinks that the only / best way is to try both machines and see which looks better, I guess I'll have to do that.
    But I could do with some views on whether one of them gives the better quality output for PAL LP tapes, as I would use it as the first go-to machine for transfers...
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  24. For LP tapes, a Sharp, believe it or not, in my PAL experience, I would not vote for a JVC unless the tapes had been recorded on a JVC, even then.

    Have you got any friends with either brands? S-VHS for non s-vhs tapes is a questionable benefit anyways.
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    I do have some actual S-VHS tapes in the mix as well -- they are in the minority by far, yes, but also contain some of the rarer material.

    As for the Sharp comment, I do recall hearing something about a Sharp VCR having certain technology to produce good pictures, or something like that - the details escape me - if you have no info to hand I might chase that up.

    But sadly, I don't know anyone who deals in this sort of thing - so if I do get one, it'll probably be just from taking a punt on an online listing. Not many other options, I would think.
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  26. http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/SHARP-VC-MH713HM-VIDEO-RECORDER_W0QQitemZ280317148825QQcmdZViewItemQQptZU K_ConsumerElec_VCRs?hash=item280317148825&_trksid= p3286.c0.m14&_trkparms=72%3A1683|66%3A2|65%3A12|39 %3A1|240%3A1318

    will go cheap, have alook on your local used listings and craigslist, save you the shipping.

    http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/SHARP-6-HEAD-NICAM-HI-FI-STEREO-VCR-VIDEO-RECORDER-4_W0QQitemZ220371782843QQcmdZViewItemQQptZUK_Consu merElec_VCRs?hash=item220371782843&_trksid=p3286.c 0.m14&_trkparms=72%3A1683|66%3A2|65%3A12|39%3A1|24 0%3A1318

    is a bit expensive,

    http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/SHARP-6-HEAD-NICAM-HI-FI-STEREO-MODEL-VC-MH715_W0QQitemZ380106112098QQcmdZViewItemQQptZUK_C onsumerElec_VCRs?hash=item380106112098&_trksid=p32 86.c0.m14&_trkparms=72%3A1683|66%3A2|65%3A12|39%3A 1|240%3A1318

    http://shop.ebay.co.uk/?_from=R40&_trksid=m38.l1313&_nkw=sharp+vcr&_sacat=See-All-Categories

    is the search page, you want one with sharp super picture system, as I am pretty sure the 7XX and 8XX models do
    PAL/NTSC problem solver.
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  27. https://forum.videohelp.com/topic315033.html

    interesting thread, there are 2 7500EK jvc vcr's on Ebay but I do not hink they have tbc/dnr
    PAL/NTSC problem solver.
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  28. PAL/NTSC problem solver.
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    Right you are. Cheers for the heads-up on the Sharp models; definitely worth me keeping tabs on, I think, even in the long-term.
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