Panasonic Nv-fs200 / Panasonic Ag-1980 / Panasonic Ag-4700 / Panasonic Nv-hs1000 - Which one is the best?
Before spending my money, I decided to enter this forum to consult on the following models vcr mentioned in the title of this post. As we know all know such models, but they are more of the same brand and the same line, there will be differences that highlights one over the other and that is what I come to consult on this occasion.
According to his criterion: Of the models mentioned which is the best and why? It is known that all bring tbc built-definition picture and others. But they consider that stands out above the others? I want to buy some model that allows me to play my vhs tapes with good quality and image definition, the image is stable to tapes with some deterioration by time, in VCR standard fail to be seen clearly.
You judge and decide which is best of the four.
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In that list are three PAL machines and one NTSC one. You don't care if the VCR you buy is PAL or NTSC? Based on your writing style my guess is you want a PAL machine. If so, scratch the AG-1980 off your list. The FS200 is the PAL equivalent.
Seriously, these machines are OLD and the "best" have usually been traded the most and beaten to death. If you don't spend serious money on a reconditioned machine, you are at the mercy of the mechanical state of any given deck. Even if you're lucky to buy an unused "attic queen," you will still need to find a tech to clean and lubricate it and possibly replace aged electronic components.
The most well-regarded PAL Panasonic is the NV-HS860EG-K, if you can find one. It delivers a slightly better image than the other, more common models. Try German eBay.
The NV-HS1000 is a newer version of the very popular NV-FS200. Performance of both is similar to or somewhat better than their NTSC counterpart, the AG1980. Opinions vary as to which is the safer bet long term. The 200, like the 1980, has a lot of small capacitors in its video boards which can fail over the years and be difficult/expensive to have repaired. The 1000 seems to have replaced all those caps with more integrated chips, but oddly this does not increase reliability as much as expected, and if a 200 video board fails there are no repairs possible (unlike the 200). Pick your poison.
The AG-4700 was the "Professional-Industrial" version of the "consumer-prosumer" NV-HS1000. Other than the white cabinet and a ridiculously inflated original list price, there should be no appreciable difference between them. Purely a marketing scheme.
Last edited by orsetto; 6th Jul 2016 at 08:30.
I planned to go first by Nv-FS200, since I have seen several videos digitized with that model and i amazing vcr quality that digital video, almost, that does not seem a rescued video tape looks.
4700 saw was used by filmmakers to digitize vhs with journalistic files. The white cover is not much to my liking, but the end result was good showing.
The Nv-HS1000 I can not say, that do not know in detail about image quality. Simply be a matter of having the three models in front of me and personally see each of them to see which delivers better quality Magen, better definition, better image detail, etc.
So I decided to see here, for those with more knowledge about these vcr help me to draw a conclusion to know what to buy.
I have FS200, HS860, HS900, HS930, HS950, HS960, HS1000.
All are different to one another and I 100% agree that at this stage condition is more important than model. This is especially true of all models with non-defeatable CVC as CVC monitors head wear and this changes the sharpening range of the user setting. So when new (HS860, HS930, HS950, HS960), SOFT will be less soft than SOFT when the heads have some hours, same for AUTO and SHARP.
FS200 and HS1000 are almost the same. FS200 hides drop-outs better, HS1000 is better on cleaner tapes with better colour, less noise.
Don't forget the HS900 - no TBC but as good or better PQ than HS1000.
Just my opinions. Hope they helped.
None of the Panasonic consumer VHS decks have a TBC for color signal, only for the luminance or Y signal. To get a 'full' Y/C TBC action, from Panasonic you'll have to go for pro decks like the AG-7750.
Back in a day, the video A/D/A converter and memory chips were expensive stuff. So, Panasonic decided to cut corners by using them for Y signal but not the C signal. You can see this by playing a tape with saturated colors. Switch the TBC on and off, and you can see that the chroma signal doesn't really stabilise with the TBC on.
JVC's high-end consumer S-VHS decks, with internal TBCs, on the other hand, do process both (Y and C) signals.
The AG-7750, with its killer TBC and useful proc amp controls, can offer phenomenal playback performance IF it is still in prime condition and IF its mechanism is compatible with your specific tapes. There are no guarantees: the 7750, like all similar behemoth old "pro" decks, wasn't optimized or intended for playback of tapes recorded on consumer VCRs. Big "pro" decks have a mismatch in head gaps at SP vs consumer VCRs, and they often lack LP and SLP/EP playback modes. This limits their advantages over "lesser" decks with "lesser" TBC circuits. So one can't make a blanket recommendation of a "pro" 7750 over the "prosumer/industrial" NV-HS1000: it depends on the exact nature of the tapes to be transferred. In some cases the heavy-duty TBC of the 7750 will overcome the unit's other disadvantages to give overall better output than something like the NV-HS1000 or NV-HS860EG-K. In many other cases, the optimization of the "lesser" decks combined with their unique noise filters will do a better job on consumer tapes. PAL vs NTSC versions of these VCRs is another complicating factor.
Remember the AG-7750 is huge and heavy: shipping costs will often be more than the selling price of the VCR, and very few sellers pack them properly, leading to damage in transit. If you can find a 7750 locally and drive it home in your car, it may be worth a tryout But if buying sight unseen from a distant eBay vendor, the more common "pro-sumer" Panasonics are a safer choice. As are the various JVCs.
JVC's high-end consumer S-VHS decks, with internal TBCs, on the other hand, do process both (Y and C) signals.
All very true what you say. I've got two AG-7750s, one AG-7650 (player) and several of those JVC behemoths BR-S822s, 622s and 522s, none of which do the LP or ELP speeds.
Besides its fine and easily adjustable TBC/DNR, the AG-7750/7650 has a unique color enhancer circuit called the CAC (color aperture corrector). It does a very nice job of playing back tapes recorded with old consumer VHS cameras/camcorders.
Though, the AG-7750/7650's dropout compensator isn't guite as outstanding as the one in JVC BR-S822. With dropout-infested tapes, no consumer VHS deck can match the big JVCs or Panasonics.
But the saddest thing with just about any old VCR/VTRs is that replacement video heads are pretty scarce, or even pure 'unobtanium' these days.
BTW, has anyone tried a Sharp VC-S2000 to digitize their VHS tapes? In terms of PB image quality, it is about the best all-round consumer Hi-Fi-S-VHS deck (JVC's digital TBC/DNR module). It has a super low-noise and stable PB image, and handles all teh European speeds tape speeds, too. The VC-S2000 is a PAL model, and I'm not sure if Sharp made it for the NTSC market at all.
The Panasonic consumer and semi-pro models did let you selectively activate the TBC independently from the DNR. This was a boon, because more often than not a tape needs noise reduction but NOT vcr-based TBC. There was only one NTSC Panasonic model comparable to the JVC DigiPures- the semi-pro AG1980 (or its tunerless twin the AG5710). That model does not offer the option of TBC without DNR: the noise reduction is always active, but it is nice that it can switch the TBC in or out. Unlike JVC, Panasonic did not offer TBC/DNR in any of its consumer-market NTSC VCRs. For whatever reasons, Panasonic marketed more PAL models with TBC/DNR. I believe one or two of the PAL models did permit both TBC and DNR to be switched in and out.
The large professional-studio VCRs in the Panasonic AG and JVC BR series are a different animal altogether. Aside from the caveats I mentioned in an earlier post, most of them had no DNR/chroma cleaning comparable to consumer-optimized DigiPure, and their TBC was an optional accessory circuit board. When studios sold off these VCRs back in the day to upgrade, they usually sold the expensive TBC card separately. So a great many "pro" VCRs you now see listed cheap on eBay are missing the TBC card. Most sellers have no idea if the card is installed or not, and theres no way to tell just looking at the front panel. With no DNR and an AWOL TBC card, most pro VCRs are boat anchors- no better than a consumer VCR (oftentimes in worse condition, too). If you want to play with one of these big units, shop carefully and ask about the TBC card. Note a few later JVC and Panasonic studio models like the AG7750 did have the TBC and Proc Amp/DNR built in as standard (not optional) features: if you're going to bother at all with a giant pro VCR, pursue one of those.
Orsetto, it is nice to talk with someone who obviously knows what he is talking about.
I admit to what you're saying about the headaches and caveats with trying to use the big JVC pro decks, and I'm not insisting they're the only ones to make you happy. Still, in my books, the BR-S822 reigns supreme on top of the food chain, as far as VHS decks go, particularly the BR-S822DXU. Sadly, that version never came out in PAL format.
I cannot name any other VHS deck that has a rotating on-board preamp. Being less than an inch from the video heads the amp can squeeze out every last bit of video carrier signal from old low-level tapes which is only a few hundred microvolts. Of course, you can put any kind of preamp on the chassis, but you'd loose the optimum signal-to-noise condition right there. That's because the several inches of wiring between the video heads and the preamp eat away part of the head output signal. That you can only compensate with more gain and additional noise at the preamp, any preamp unless you can sink it in liquid nitrogen.
Just take a look at BR-S622/822's precision impedance rollers on both sides of the cylinder. What other VHS deck has similar anti-resonance tape transport? That deck is also able to play flawed Hi-Fi-audio tapes without clicks and hums and buzzes as none other can.
The BR-S822 needs to have 3 TBC boards to work, plus a smaller DNR board piggybacking on TBC board1. That little guy, in working condition, is pretty much a rarity nowadays. The TBC board set is called SA-T22 and it has a dedicated service manual.
After receiving couple BR-S822s without TBCs, I asked an eBay seller to open the hood of his BR-S822 and take a photo for me to see that it had all the TBC boards in it. So, I've got two working TBC/DNR board sets for the BR-S622/822s and one non-working set, probably due to those dried-up surface-mount caps, blast them!
Thank you all for responding.
Among my Vcr, I have a JVC BR-S811, proressional video editor. But the trouble is that does not have TBC built, so when playing with a poor quality VHS recording impossible for me to convey the image with a constant stability and clean.
Not so with professionals vhs study, because I have a lot of them, and the playback quality is perfect, because of course, those tapes have been recorded with vcr professionals and if you hide the player and show only the display, no could believe that the image emitted coming off a vhs, as common users when using poor quality players always had the bad idea that vhs had a poor image quality.
I am a fan of vhs, and to this day among so many digital formats, I'm recording my favorite programs on vhs, so much so that I get more than 800 units of vhs in my collection.
The Br-S811 is very good player / recorder, using the appropriate cables Connection delivers impressive image quality, the downside is that you need an external tbc. Jvc had made a module external tbc for use with this vcr, but where I live, buenos aires Argentina, it is impossible to get, and purchases abroad are very complicated here.
So he consulted by the panasonic, who have built tbc. After much searching, I decided to go first by Nv-f200. That despite being a semi-professional vcr, delivers good image quality.
Tbc of nv-FS200 does not convince me, not quite able to stabilize the precarious recordings of some vhs, without reducing the brightness of the image and when the definition is activated. Would have to check whether this model tbc acquired was not touched or changed.
The moment is what I can tell, then more will detail best time to capture images and photos.
Thank you very much.
They got all manner of goodies than never made it to North America. All Canada and USA ever received from Panasonic with useful TBC and DNR were the AG1980/AG5710 twins. Prior to that there were a couple half-baked efforts like the self-destruct-within-90-days, color-flashing PV-S4580 (deservedly forgotten by everyone but the poor fools who bought one), and the AG1970 (rock solid transport and tracking, but pitiful TBC from the 4580 with no DNR at all).
A few people here have recommended the JVC BR-S822DXU over the years. It seems an intriguing deck indeed, but not many floating around the second-hand market in affordable, good condition. If I ever find one, I'll definitely give it a try. The fear with these exotics is always parts and repair: the heads, piezoelectric drums, preamps and other doodads are unobtanium today (almost as scarce as good service techs). The unique HiFi audio optimizations against tracking noise were carried over into the Japanese home-market WVHS models, one of the reasons they are so prized by the few here who acquired one. Sadly the WVHS units are fragile and don't take kindly to shipping: many imported by DiSH satellite service were damaged in transit, the few left changing hands on North American eBay are almost certain to suffer shipping issues. Perhaps we should look for the BR-S822DXU instead.
Last edited by orsetto; 16th Jul 2016 at 15:39.
I just re-measured Panasonic NV-V8000 (top-end PAL VHS deck) and NV-FS200 for their playback video stability with a vectorscope, and can restate that neither does anything to improve the color signal with the TBC switch at on position. What's more, I managed to find a 16-page Panasonic Technical Press release enumerating the NV-V8000 technical features. It says:
'A digital TBC has been incorporated to help reduce jitter. It especially shows its power (the digital parameters are 14 Mhz and 8 bits) in the editing mode. The sole function of the TBC in the V8000 is to straighten the curvature of the screen picture. It has yet to be used for controlling the color phasing.'
In plain words, the TBC wasnot used for color signal then, or later.
BTW: I have a JVC HR-DSV1, (DV+S-VHS deck) where TBC and 3RDigital NR can be swiched on/off independently. The PB image looks quite nice.
I'll be posting here some of my vectorscope results later.
Ps. A small quiz here if you'll permit:
Suppose you have a video tape recorded in an S-VHS mode. You conceal the S-VHS recognition hole on the bottom of the cassette, or load the S-VHS tape to a regular VHS cassette. Then play it on an S-VHS deck which is forced to VHS mode, but the deck still 'knows' it's an S-VHS recording. By what strange osmosis does this happen?
So the hole was needed when recording.
However, for playback, I think the deck merely senses the signal components and switches according to what it senses. As far as I can tell, it pretty much has to work this way because you could use an S-VHS cassette in a regular VHS deck and record regular VHS onto that S-VHS cassette. If the S-VHS deck relied on the hole during playback, it would do the wrong thing when trying to play back VHS recorded on an S-VHS cassette.
Let me know if I'm on the right track.
BTW, I loved your post and am looking forward to other information you may have about decks.
Last edited by johnmeyer; 17th Jul 2016 at 22:41. Reason: grammar
629 TBC" fits into all this chroma TBC talk? It was first introduced with the Victor HR-20000 in 1993, then incorporated into their W-VHS and some later high-end S-VHS models. The attached ads include a little graph demonstrating... something about it. It seems that Mitsubishi was the only other brand that used this term.
Thanks, that is interesting. I'll try to find some more detailed tech info about the big VHS decks sold on the Japanese markets only.
My deck came with a missing DV transport, but the VHS transport is ok. The deck has a fan on the rear panel to cool things down. But I think it was the cannibalized DV board that was running hotter than July
BTW: I found a little more data on JVC's '629 TBC', used in those big W/S-VHS decks for the Japanese market. Not any actula circuit details, though. I'd like to concieve some such circuit of my own, later on. It does make sense that the only way of further improving the PB image stability esp. chroma, is to use such a 'front-end' TBC process with the tape signal, before any conversion/demodulation.
As a video tape restorationist, I am always keen to tackle a video footage of the worst condition, to see if they can be restored to viewable condition.
A company called Tech-Cube, once made a prototype of digital video PB signal demodulator/NR/DOC for the Betacam format. It makes an interesting reading (can find it for you). But in terms of PB video signal quality, Betacam is already about the best analog VCR there ever was.
It would be much more interesting to apply an all-digital video signal demodulator for formats like Betamax, VHS, Video8 or U-matic. Digital demodulation, by itself, offers more options for dropout/error correction or stabilization than any post-processor, be it analog or digital.
You might also want to peruse a datasheet and patent document of an IC called TEA5750, made by SGS/Thomson. It describes a process called ASOplus. AFAIK, it was only ever inserted in VHS decks branded Nokia, Salora and Finlux. ASOplus claims to improve the PB Y signal demodulation recorded on poor or low-grade tapes or by misaligned decks. I'm going to try hook up an ASOplus board in some of my VCRs to see how it fares with my worst tapes.
here. That post is mostly about decoding a composite capture, but there is a YouTube video demonstrating VHS demod in post #17. LaserDisc software decoding is nicely implemented already, but for VHS I think the only public solution out there is in "alpha" status.
A lot of sharp knowledge on this thread...this is why
I take a chance to ressucited it.
I have to created digital masters from a L-secam (France specific) tapes collection. The collection is in LP quality and I am not satisfied by JVC hr-s7600MS tracking...and JVC TBC don't work with L-Secam.
I don't know how panasonic managed their deck playback capacity for secam but I also have a JVC HM-DR10000EU and he will play the L-secam tapes in black and white and it's fine since the manual have a notice about it. I guess I would be ok with the HM-DR10000MS (french version). On the others hand the"EU" can play B-secam (europe) without loosing chroma.
In wich way should I look to get the best from thoses tapes.
I concur : I've read quite a few threads on the subject over the years, never have I found one with so much precise and clearly put information. It would be a good basis for a “sticker” kind of writing.
And I have a similar issue : a collection of mostly LP recorded tapes which I'd like to digitize. From what I could gather, LP mode was a non-standard feature, the exact specifications would vary from one model to another, and the higher-end S-VHS VCRs are not necessarily better suited to get the best possible quality out of them than the original device which recorded them, however low-end it may have been. Is that correct ?
In my case, the original VCR is a Portland VH 6197S – a 4 heads Nicam model but from a presumably lousy brand, purchased on sale at half its retail price in 1999. I still have it but haven't tried using it in the past 5 years or so, so I don't know if it's still good to go. I also purchased – at least 5 years ago, probably closer to 10 – a Panasonic FS100H, 80€ on eBay, without the remote. (I don't know the difference between this and the NV-FS200 mentioned repeatedly in this thread.) I did some tests, but not thorough enough to be able to say anything conclusive – and after all those years, those tapes may have further degraded, to the point where I'm wondering if it's even worth the trouble. Most of those tapes contain TV footage recorded between 1999 and 2002 (generally on 4 hours tapes, which means that in LP mode each of them contains a whopping 8 hours of footage), most of which can not be found anywhere (for public access at least). But nowadays, I record each year such an insane amount of stuff that I couldn't possibly catch up and watch even the best 10% of it, unless someone designs a kind of Dragon Ball Time Room, or unless it's the end of the world and I have Time Enough At Last... There always seems to be something more interesting to do – like reading forum threads on the best possible methods to digitize those old and mostly obsolete recordings, which, if I ever get it done finally, I may not even have the time and desire to actually watch anyway !