I thought I would write a little on this VCR range as I think it merits the effort and it may help someone.
These VCR's were the 2000-2002 PAL range. Trying to list the whole range is like trying to untangle a web but as I recall.
NV-HD610 - Base model Hi-Fi deck.
NV-HD710 - Mid range Hi-Fi deck with adjustable picture, recording level set and audio dub. Adds front AV inputs.
NV-HD760 - Top range Hi-Fi deck with adjustable picture, recording level set and audio dub. Adds front AV inputs, edit control and front jog and shuttle.
NV-HS860 - S-VHS with 3-D noise reduction and TBC (independent).
NV-HS960 - S-VHS with 3-D noise reduction and TBC (independent). Adds front jog and shuttle, anamorphic heads and edit control.
I have all these VCR's and my findings are as follows.
HD-610 is decent, but no picture set - locked on auto. Skip this model.
HD-710 is a good home cinema VCR with all the features needed and makes for a good source deck if you have clean tapes. There were plenty sold and from eBay I got one for £20 that was as new - could have been new. Output signal is clean but some video ringing visible under close scrutiny. Also a tad dark.
HD-760 is almost exactly as the 710 but with a jog and shuttle. I have this VCR and this, along with the 710 play closed captioned tapes without an external decoder. Output as 710.
HS-860 is an S-VHS deck. Now, in my opinion this is a bypassed jem. I have scrutinised the output, compared and contrasted with other VCR's on the same monitor and I am left with the impression that something special is going on in there. With my known test tape I get NO sharpening halos. Now, this is easy to do by reducing sharpness, but the 860 manages without losing any sharpness. I don't know how, but the engineers have managed - no mean feat. Also it has (presumably line) TBC and a very effective 3-D noise reduction system. The output is bright and solid - detail is better on VHS than the other VHS decks in the range as there is almost no video ringing and shaped areas of solid colour are distinct, without bleed or smear. I have not seen a signal so clean come from any other VCR - even my studio JVC's.
Compare to the 760, the 860 is like night and day so there is a completely different video process going on. WELL worth seeking out. I have two. One has its heads scrubbed by a previous owners' dilligent and regular use of an abrasive tape and the other is almost as new. Both give good signals (almost identical) but the worn example does have slight patterning in areas or solid colour (possibly due to marginal heads).
HS-960 is as the 860 but adds jog and shuttle along with amorphous heads. Now, I have had one of these and even one that showed signs of low use gave symptoms of worn video heads (comet tails) so I wonder if the heads were hard enough. The amorphous heads in the HS800/HS1000 range are tough, but those machines were very expensive so something had to give with the reduced price of the 960. Something to be aware of at least.
Now, with any of these, I strongly suggest giving the heads a good manual clean and then removing the auto-head cleaning roller. This doobry wears the heads/drum as I can attest.
For me, the HS860 is the pick of the range. You have to see it compare to other makes, models and even other Panasonic VCR's to see it shine as the star it is. Models that came after (630, 730, 830 S-VHS and 930 S-VHS) are very similar but they have the PSU integrated onto the main board and also solid shaped colours (like a red rectangle on a grey background) have more bleed along with more video ringing on sharp but subtle contrast variations. The 830/930 will, in certain conditions, show ringing after echoes whereas the 860 shows almost none. The 610, 710 and 760 do however have echoes so it is not just that the whole range is better.
830 adds 3-D noise reduction and 930 also adds TBC to along with 3-D. Saying that, although the 860 is notably better on awkward scenes than the later range, when using my 930 it does give a nice signal.
Hope these ramblings may help when selecting a PAL VCR.
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Last edited by Quasipal; 29th Oct 2010 at 15:01.
Thank you for the correction, I got my terminology muddled!
Read here about the difference and the jobs they do:
And thanks for digging up that old thread. It confirms some of what I've noticed about my own NV-HS860. I use an ADVC-300 to capture DV-AVI. If by 'raw' he means 'lossless', then you'll need a capture card to do that and maybe someone else can suggest one for you.
Does anybody know which Avermedia card has this chipset from Analog Devices ADV7840 : http://www.analog.com/static/imported-files/data_sheets/ADV7840.pdf
I also wanna know if anyone has experience with it ...
Originally Posted by atanatizante
This is a debate in itself and only opinion based on personal experience and depends on tape source.
But my point is that you will still need an external full-frame TBC in the chain if, as was mentioned, you have a variety of tapes because it's more than likely that a few or more will throw your capture device off and it will drop frames. An internal TBC will not help much here, pretty much only this external TBC can correct alot of that, including other corrupt/harsh/abrupt VHS signals and MV and "false positives". This type of TBC is quite a different animal.
(I'm referring to, for example, an AVT-8710, but I hear there are DVR pass-throughs for this of which my info is limited.)
As for best capture cards, yes, the ATI AIW cards/or 600 card/USB devices mentioned are wonderful, and great for VHS caps, but check if they're an issue with PAL ahead. Not sure on this end.
If however, you seek a device still in production today, with support today, and works on modern systems, and can do NTSC/PAL without issue, you can look into the ezcap.tv. (And I mean the REAL one on that web site, NOT any fake.)
I may get in trouble for saying this, but the ezcap.tv (again, the REAL one) has very comparable quality to the ATI 600 USB. It has similar architecture under the hood AFAIK. It's surprisingly very good.I hate VHS. I always did.
Does anyone know if the Panasonic NV-HS860 was sold in the USA in an NTSC form. If so what was the model number?
If it wasn't sold in America does anyone know what the equivalent or comparable American Panasonic VHS player would be?