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  1. Formerly 'vaporeon800' Brad's Avatar
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    This is a comparison of many VCRs playing the same retail EP/SLP mode tape. Your opinions are welcomed.

    The three ZIP files include 20 lossless AVIs encoded with Ut Video, comprising 17 different VCRs. The extra 3 files are because I'm showing different settings for the AG-1970 and AG-1980.

    Each file is 200 frames (6.6 sec) long. Even so, the large number of files adds up to an obnoxious 1GB, so I don't expect many responses.

    A few screenshots with some of my criticisms scribbled atop:
    Click image for larger version

Name:	137 - Mitsubishi HS-HD2000U (-DNR&TBC, PPT Normal).png
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Size:	687.5 KB
ID:	36943 Click image for larger version

Name:	137 - Panasonic AG-1980 (-TBC, DETAIL, Sharpness Mid).png
Views:	1710
Size:	615.0 KB
ID:	36944 Click image for larger version

Name:	137 - Panasonic AG-1970 #2 (-TBC, EDIT).png
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Size:	634.0 KB
ID:	36949
    Click image for larger version

Name:	194 - Mitsubishi HS-HD2000U (-DNR&TBC, PPT Normal).png
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Size:	795.8 KB
ID:	36951 Click image for larger version

Name:	194 - Panasonic AG-1980 (-TBC, DETAIL, Sharpness Mid).png
Views:	1638
Size:	684.7 KB
ID:	36950 Click image for larger version

Name:	194 - Panasonic AG-1970 #2 (-TBC, EDIT).png
Views:	1536
Size:	759.4 KB
ID:	36942 Click image for larger version

Name:	194 - Panasonic AG-1970 #2 (-TBC, -Filter, Sharpness Mid).png
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Size:	740.7 KB
ID:	36941

    Notes:
    • Some of the units were clearly in poor repair judging from the output, like the Citizen CVCR401H, but I included them anyway.
    • The content itself has some sort of frame blending especially visible at shot changes, so it's difficult to evaluate the temporal effects of any DNR filters present in the VCRs using this material.
    • I removed a portion from the clips, so that they include both a regular scene and the non-moving end credit frame without making the files needlessly larger.
    • I wasn't able to use any line TBC for most of the captures, so you'll have to try to look past the wiggles.
    • All of the ATI 600 USB captures were done with the proc amp set to 110-32-64-32-0 (defaults, except sharpness lowered to 0).
    Image Attached Files
    Last edited by Brad; 10th May 2016 at 01:36.
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  2. Formerly 'vaporeon800' Brad's Avatar
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    This is the list currently included. I've bolded the S-VHS/D-VHS models.
    1. Citizen CVCR401H
    2. Hitachi FX632
    3. JVC HR-S5900U (2001)
    4. Magnavox VR9960AT01 (1990)
    5. Mitsubishi HS-HD2000U
    6. Panasonic AG-1970
    7. Panasonic AG-1980
    8. Panasonic PV-S4670 (1996)
    9. Panasonic PV-V4521-K (2001)
    10. Panasonic PV-V4524S-K (2004)
    11. Quasar VHQ560 (1995)
    12. Sharp VC-H992U
    13. Sony SLV-478 (mono)
    14. Sony SLV-675HF
    15. Sony SLV-779HF
    16. Sony SLV-M20HF
    17. Toshiba M774
    I have a couple JVCs I should add, among others.
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  3. Just wondering what is your favorite...
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  4. Dinosaur Supervisor KarMa's Avatar
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    Do we know what kind of machine recorded the tape?

    Do we know what kind of settings the VCRs are set to. (Sharp/Edit/Soft/etc)

    Also Go Go Power Rangers!
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  5. Formerly 'vaporeon800' Brad's Avatar
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    Recording machine: Whatever sort of deck they use to do commercial duplication.

    Settings: When known, they are listed in the filenames. Some don't have any such settings. Others I was never able to check.

    As for my favourite, I think that sort of defeats the purpose of posting all the files. We all have our own subjective preferences and priorities. For example, I don't mind luma noise at all, but I've become increasingly sensitive to oversharpening haloes. You might hate the same image I enjoy.
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  6. I see but I guess there are newbies like me who wants to learn. Therefore it would be nice reading some posts about favorites and reasons or maybe pros and cons.
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  7. Dinosaur Supervisor KarMa's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by vaporeon800 View Post
    Recording machine: Whatever sort of deck they use to do commercial duplication.
    Oh wow, did not expect them to use EP mode on Power Rangers. Only assumed this was a home recording. Usually the only commercial EP VHS tapes I find are very low buget movies/documentaries and Public Domain videos that were resold on VHS.

    Wonder if there is any difference between the HiFi audio in SP mode vs EP mode. Could only assume it would.
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    They often used LP/EP on cheap tapes since you could use 1/2 or 1/3 the tape for the same amount of content. I have an SNL "Best Of" tape and a Captain N tape from the early '90s, and they're in EP and LP respectively (although the Captain N one is actually in SP, for some reason). Compatibility and/or quality definitely weren't the priority, obviously.

    As for HiFi audio, I did a test a while back when I was capping my tapes, and recorded a tone sweep and some test content onto a mostly unused tape in SP and SLP modes. There actually isn't any difference in terms of frequency response, as both were dead flat from 20-20,000 (linear, on the other hand...). However, there was a lot of crackling as the frequency increased, especially in SP mode. I think the signal was too hot for the tape, which was pretty old, or the lowly Toshiba combo I was using (say what you want, it could track stuff from the '70s that bamboozled my JVC).

    Also, just nitpicking, but it seems unscientific to use several different capture cards and 2 different cables (RCA and S-Video) when you're just comparing the outputs of a dozen or so VCR's. It'd also be a good idea to get ahold of a nice DVD/digital copy of the video, so we can get a good "baseline" to measure the VCR's against. That said, here are my top 5:

    1-Sony SLV-675HF
    2-Hitachi FX632
    3-JVC HR-S5900
    4-Sharp VC-H992
    5-Panasonic AG1970 -TBC, -Filter Sharp Mid
    If the Citizen were in good shape, I'd actually award it #6.

    The rest were either way too sharp (the Mitsubishi and the Quasar), soft to the point of becoming a moving oil painting (the AG-1970 with low sharpness), or just blah (the Magnavox and the Toshiba).
    Last edited by Jag12; 7th Jun 2016 at 19:43.
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  9. Formerly 'vaporeon800' Brad's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Jag12 View Post
    Also, just nitpicking, but it seems unscientific to use several different capture cards...
    There were two main workflows: the portable ATI 600 setup, and the DVDR3575H-to-HDMI setup. There's that one HDMI capture where I happened to use a different card, but the small chroma scaling difference should be completely invisible with VHS source.

    The ATI 600 was the only option in most cases, so leveling the playing field would mean using it for the rest, even though the added waviness makes comparison more difficult. To me, it isn't worth making everything worse.

    There is one VCR that I was able to re-capture using the better setup. I've attached the clip to this post, so you can compare it to the ATI 600 one that was previously posted and see what sort of variables the workflows impart.

    Click image for larger version

Name:	137 - Panasonic PV-V4524S-K (2004, small head switch) =CVBS= ATI 600.png
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ID:	37606 Click image for larger version

Name:	137 - Panasonic PV-V4524S-K (2004, small head switch) =CVBS= Philips DVDR3575H =HDMI= AVerMedia .png
Views:	996
Size:	994.9 KB
ID:	37607

    I see: uncorrected waviness of ATI 600, different comb filter artifacts, levels difference (easy to adjust if desired).

    What is troublesome is that the ATI 600 capture also appears to have an added halo. I can't explain this.

    ...and 2 different cables (RCA and S-Video)
    With the exception of the HR-S5900U, I used the best output available from each machine. I don't see any reason to intentionally handicap the S-models by using composite. The only reason I didn't test the 5900 using S-Video was that I didn't have a cable with me at the time.

    It'd also be a good idea to get ahold of a nice DVD/digital copy of the video, so we can get a good "baseline" to measure the VCR's against.
    Unfortunately, the DVD release was botched, so I don't think it would actually make a good reference.
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