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  1. Member vhelp's Avatar
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    Hi all.

    So I was searching around google and this forum board for some sample images of various vcrs when i came across the images found in the following discussion, found in the link below. I would post my thoughts and questions there but the discussion is a bit old and the forum member robjv1 is no longer available or retired. He and Orsetto were in a discussion on the quality aspect of these recorders and I must have been absent from it since I missed it all together.

    https://forum.videohelp.com/threads/343156-How-do-I-ajust-the-sharp-softness-on-my-Pana...=1#post2140492

    Note: original images from that discussion are posted below.

    Anyway. What caught my eye was the images from the Panasonic PV-9451 versus the touted JVC SR-W5U vcrs. After some review, and getting over my bias of the W5U (because I really like that unit) I came to the honest conclusion that the PV-9451 showed a better quality detail then the SR-W5U.

    Then I began asking myself about the W5U. How can a cheap $25 unit produce as good or date I say, better quality?
    (i purchased one, the PV-9451 from ebay since it was pretty cheap)

    I don't know, I sat by the images and looked them over many times and I keep drawing to the same conclusions. I don't care about the W5U's hdtv features. No one is using the unit for that and I am certain I have no use for it myself. People are using the W5U for the touted image detail for their vhs collection.

    Feel free to share your thoughts.

    But I thought I would ask, does anyone know where or what the original source is, that I might get my hands on it to test on my recorders ?

    SUBJECT: How do I adjust the sharp/softness on my Panasonic VCR? Picture seems grainy

    Originally Posted by robjv1 View Post
    I redid a few images from earlier, trying to line each of them up in a way that you can open each in an individual tab and flip through them using CTRL + TAB (in Firefox at least) and see the changes. From left to right is the Panasonic PV-9451, JVC SR-V101US in edit mode, same VCR in NORM, and the JVC SR-W5U.










    Edit: if that doesn't work, downloading them to the same folder and using the Windows Photo Viewer and the left and right arrows works well too.
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  2. Originally Posted by vhelp View Post
    What caught my eye was the images from the Panasonic PV-9451 versus the touted JVC SR-W5U vcrs. After some review, and getting over my bias of the W5U (because I really like that unit) I came to the honest conclusion that the PV-9451 showed a better quality detail then the SR-W5U.T

    Then I began asking myself about the W5U. How can a cheap $25 unit produce as good or date I say, better quality?
    (i purchased one, the PV-9451 from ebay since it was pretty cheap)
    As LordSmurf frequently reminds us, you really can't make a useful comparison between VCRs using still frames. So much is involved in analog VHS reproduction, that the only worthwhile comparison is normal video playback of a running tape. The stills CAN give a very rough idea of how assorted decks skew various playback factors, but this is often deceptive. Despite the well-meaning efforts of robjv1, his stills that you reference are a perfect example of this: they tell only a partial tale. When compared via actual video playback, the differences are much more pronounced and obvious. The SR-W5 image is notably more stable and realistic-looking than the SR-V101, which looks pretty good unless you have the SR-W5 sitting next to it. Directly compared to the SR-W5, the SR-V101 has more jitter and much more of the signature "plastic people" and temporal distortion effects inherent in the SVHS DigiPure system. These issues were finally addressed by a complete DigiPure overhaul in the WVHS decks.

    As to your preferring the Panasonic 9451 in this still image comparison, that is a subjective thing, and if looking ONLY at these still images I happen to agree with you: the 9451 still looks more lifelike, with the SR-W5 being a very close second. But if evaluated during actual video playback, the 9451 would almost always lose to the SR-W5, and very often against the SR-V101 as well. The telltale godawful 1997-era grainy grunge overlay just kills the 9451 output unless the tape it is playing is absolutely crystal-clear to begin with. The the non-adjustable grain, combined with zero ability to control color bleed, would put the 9451 in third place in almost any comparison of three vcrs. Which is a darn shame, because it is very reliable with a wonderfully smooth transport mechanism and good tracking of both video and hifi audio.

    While most of the members here who have been involved in VHS transfers from the early days hold the JVC DigiPure in highest esteem, and wouldn't be caught dead using a lowly standard-issue consumer Panasonic, there is a small subgroup of us who are a bit more receptive to alternative vcrs. While the DigiPure system does indeed smooth away noise and grain, and tame oversaturated colors, the result often looks extremely artificial (to the point where some of us find it unwatchable). Results with JVC DigiPure (or Mitsubishi 2000 or Panasonic 1980 derivatives) vary widely depending on the source tapes and connected digital encoder. When everything in the chain is perfectly compatible, results can be marvelous, but when something is "off" results can be subjectively worse than using a plain-jane vcr.

    That is why I'm always on here debunking the myth that "all you need is a JVC DigiPure or similar Panasonic" to make perfect VHS tranfers. This might be true if you're under thirty and addicted to how "smooth" all video looks today: you will prize smoothness above all else and recoil at the slightest hint of "noise". But if you're old enough to have been a hobbyist during VHS' heyday, you may have a more nuanced sensitivity to various visual factors, and sometimes feel the "noisy, crappy, unprocessed" transfer from an ordinary VCR is preferable. I alternate between Panasonic AG1980, Panasonic AG1970, Panasonic AG2560, asst'd consumer Panasonics, several JVC DigiPures, and a Mitsubishi HS-HD2000U DVHS. Of these, I'm surprised how often I prefer the digitized output of the venerable AG1970, which has no color processing to speak of and a vestigial excuse for a TBC. I hedge my bets by making a second transfer from a DigiPure in those cases, because who knows how things will look on future displays. If you're the obsessive type, it all gets very confusing and time consuming.

    I don't know, I sat by the images and looked them over many times and I keep drawing to the same conclusions. I don't care about the W5U's hdtv features. No one is using the unit for that and I am certain I have no use for it myself. People are using the W5U for the touted image detail for their vhs collection.
    Yes, of course: other than a half dozen cultists, no one is using WVHS to record or play high definition analog VHS, just as no one in their right mind is still actually recording in SVHS. The only reason anyone wants one of these overpriced boxes of heartache is to get the best possible compromise of playback qualities into their digital encoder device. I don't know if you've been fortunate enough to ever actually put a SR-W5 thru its paces playing a lowly ordinary tape, but it is a revelation. The video output combines the best qualities of the Panasonic AG1980 and JVC DigiPure systems, with none of the drawbacks: NONE, which is nothing short of miraculous. Ditto the HiFi audio playback: with the WVHS units, JVC finally figured out how to completely eliminate the extremely annoying defects common to VHS HiFi. Audio is clean and clear with no trace of buzzing, static, dropouts or flanging. Sadly, the WVHS decks are vanishingly rare, extremely expensive, and utterly impossible to get repaired (and they all need repairs). They are far more fragile than they look, and most do not survive shipping well. The audio board in particular can be destroyed if you simply sneeze in the same room with it. So, not a realistic or practical choice as source deck unless you live in Japan (even then, very risky).

    In a more recent VCR discussion, VH member Leo E. Backman claimed the JVC BR-S822DXU pro studio model incorporates several improvements from the WVHS series, esp color processing and the dynamic HiFi audio filters. Since these were actually marketed as a North American product, and used an iteration of the standard JVC "pro" chassis, they might be a more practical option to pursue in USA/Canada if one covets the SR-W5 features.

    >>>EDIT: just discovered the "Pro DigiPure + TBC" feature is NOT standard in the BR-S822DXU, it is an optional daughterboard (as typical with most "pro" vcrs). So one would either need to check the rear panel to confirm the TBC is installed, or opt for the BR-S622DXU model which did come with it as standard (of course, no guarantees there, either, as people often harvest these TBC/DNR modules to sell separately). Caveat emptor. The 622 and 822 (with module installed) are the only other JVCs that share some of the updated chroma processing technology of the WVHS units.<<<

    But I thought I would ask, does anyone know where or what the original source is, that I might get my hands on it to test on my recorders ?
    robjv1 used those samples for several related threads at the time. I believe he identified the one with the marine as "A Few Good Men" or some such: try looking over all his old postings re SR-W5 and it may turn up.
    Last edited by orsetto; 15th Sep 2016 at 17:27.
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  3. Mountains of gear vaporeon800's Avatar
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    Someone on DigitalFAQ posted a few video samples from the W5U. "The Iron Giant" cartoon showed a lot of temporal chroma blending.
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  4. That doesn't surprise me. Animation has always been a pain to transfer: I hate dealing with it. VCRs that handle "real" video beautifully sometimes trip over animation, and vice versa. Throw in the rarity and wide unit variation of the SR-W5 and anything is possible. I've 'auditioned' two: one had the best standard VHS playback I'd seen in nearly thirty years, absolutely breathtaking, with none of the usual telltale DNR artifacts. The other was closer to a standard JVC SVHS DigiPure with typical DNR distortions, still nicer than average but well short of the other SR-W5.

    To some extent, they follow the same gestalt as the Panasonic AG1980: a few perform 100% up to spec and are absolutely astonishing, establishing the legend, while most are in various stages of disrepair and poor alignment. While the electronics in the JVC SR-W5 don't suffer from the ridiculous caps decay seen in the AG1980, there are critical mechanical and electronic tweaks that need to be "just so" before WVHS units can offer optimum performance. Several forms of subtle internal failure occur with many SR-W5 decks that can pass unnoticed, because it will often still perform reasonably close to something like a 9911 (which is all most people expect anyway). If pronounced, the deck will operate with gross defects, but there is often an in-between period where degraded-but-normal performance occurs. The JVC WVHS were fairly high-strung and needed to be aligned perfectly to meet their specs, but JVC only factory-trained two USA technicians to service them properly. Last I heard, one had died and the other vanished into retirement. Spare parts are unobtanium.

    robjv1 was quite adventurous: at one point I think he told me had three on hand in different stages of functionality.
    Last edited by orsetto; 14th Sep 2016 at 17:54.
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  5. Member
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    Okay, I'll point out the elephant in the room. Why are all those still frames geometrically distorted? He's a jarhead, not a squashhead.
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  6. Member vhelp's Avatar
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    Hey orsetto, and others.

    Please note, that this is a hobby as well as a project for my vhs collections. And i've been into the vhs transfers as well as the art and science of it all, since way back in 2001. I have written a few avisynth filters for this vhs content via Pascal programming: Convolution, Median, and various NR algorithms. So I have some familiarity in that area as well, not to mention to the capture equipment since 2001. My favorite capture cards are Pinnacle Studio AV/DV, Winfast TV2000XP, and Happauge HVR-2250, great for vhs captures.

    I've been keeping my unopened (still shrink-wrapped) Titanic tapes for a SR-W5U to test against the same photos as gshelley61 from his posts. Yes, i've read all of them since 2004, many times.

    Anyway, but those W5U / W7U are expansive and very few to come by. I'd grab a broken one as long as it was fixable. I'm pretty mechanically savy, fixed a few things including vcr's in my time. My first vcr was a 1981 GE, front load. Its remote control was a 50' wire if i recall. I still have the user manual. I just don't remember the model. Anyway. My eyes are hurting and I gotta get some sleep.

    PS: oh, and I am expecting an AG-5710 tomorrow and hope to post some images / vidoes from the captures.
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  7. Member vhelp's Avatar
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    .. "plastic people" and temporal distortion effects inherent in the SVHS DigiPure system.
    orsetto, i'm familiar with the knowledge about these and other digipure artifacts, and also with DNR artifacts from these types of units, different brands, etc.. My preference has mostly been to not filter if at all possible unless the vcr has its own that you can't control or that the taped content (home recordings from home-video and cable tv) have too much noise. Even so, sometimes i prefer the noise left, for astetic reason. The key (or secret) to the completion of such problem content is to increase the bitrate. However, this mainly applies to content captured losslessly.

    My vhs collection consists mainly of commercial content, you know, hollywood movies. So things like noise is not as great if any in these. What does matter in these, is the vcr and its capabilities. gshelley61 had the right idea, kind'ov, but he did not have a collection for archival intention. So his purpose was different. His was mainly to test various vcr units. I've never seen/read anything from him saying anything about searching for a long time for best archival. Anyway. I've been on a quest for best archival since the beginning. That's a very long time. I've collected so much vhs that it too became a hobby in its own right. I even found my first commercial EP tape of Friends. Its a collection of best episodes or something. I saw at A&P (remember them?) about 6 years ago. I never opened it. It too, is waiting to be played and captured by a decent vcr.

    My current vcr is the JVC HR-S3910U. It plays detail so-so (has lots of analog noise) but is no contender to the higher grade units. Its great at EP recordings. I've recorded much content in that mode on the best tapes (for this brand/grade vcr) fuji pro ep. All the other brand and grade tapes i've tried were not good. They exhibited the usual bullets or torpedo noise. Fuji Pro EP (and Polaroid Pro EP) are a perfect match for this machine. I think that those two must have murged at some point because the tapes exhibit no issues when recorded in SP and EP modes on the recorded-to polaroid tapes in the HR-S3910U. I also want to mention, that I suffer from lots of ground noise or line noise. When I capture from vhs, it is very noisey. I've been not able to resolve that hardware'ly. If you or others have any ideas, i'd love to hear and try them, thank you.

    Ok, so there are two things that I hate most about NR (noise reduction) during post editing: the "plastic people look" and the "temporal distortion look". This comes from too strong a setting used. They are great in stationary scenes, but in motion, the stronger or faster the motion the worse it gets. This happens because the A-to-B pixel coordinates are took great and different. At least in my programming of these NR filters, its been my understanding, through studying why they occur. I have a ok looking NR processed vhs clip from the widescreen movie "Contact" that I did back in 2008 i think, from the scene where Jody is in the capsule where the background of the capsule is spinning while she is floating in it. Another great way to test NR algorithms imo. I'll have to post that clip up. That commercial vhs wide screen version was quiet noisy, though the fullscreen wasn't. Anyway, i learned a lot about how this happens temporal distortion happens, during that NR development.

    I've been away from this hobby for a few years but i'm somewhat back in it now.

    Well, I got to get to work.
    Last edited by vhelp; 15th Sep 2016 at 09:04. Reason: fixed some typos
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  8. Originally Posted by vhelp View Post
    My vhs collection consists mainly of commercial content, you know, hollywood movies.
    Actually, these are my least favorite tapes to capture (after animation tapes-ugh). If they play perfectly, they're fairly easy to get a good transfer from: as you say, not so much noise or color bleed as home recorded tapes. OTOH, if they are infested with copy protection, all bets are off: the protection itself is a disgusting visual defect, and filtering it isn't transparent: there's still noticeable problems, enough so the quality of the VCR used hardly matters. Plus, they were very often made on garbage tape stock housed in crappy cassette shells. Of my 3000+ VHS library, dating back 35 years, I only had 4 or 5 of my own tapes shed oxide and clog a VCR (and those were bad blanks from the day I bought them). But I've had roughly 50% oxide failure on my subset of '80s-'90s pre-recorded Hollywood studio tapes: dozens of them gummed up my VCRs. It got so annoying that I finally heeded the advice of other veteran digitizers: just buy the commercial DVD releases of that material. When my old flicks hit the bargain bin for $5 or less, thats what I do (or I re-record them digital-direct if there is an opportunity to get them via cable channels).

    I also want to mention, that I suffer from lots of ground noise or line noise. When I capture from vhs, it is very noisey. I've been not able to resolve that hardware'ly. If you or others have any ideas, i'd love to hear and try them, thank you.
    Line noise can be difficult to work around. My home has horrendous electrical wiring and power service quality: over the years that has given me unpredictable problems with various audio and video gear. I had many weird video issues with VCRs until I stumbled on the suggestion to use a "line conditioner" (which is rather uncommon and not your usual surge suppressor outlet strip: I connect one of those TO the line conditioner). A Tripp-lite box (like this) stabilizes my voltage and filters line noise. Helped enormously and lasted over 20 years before I had to replace it. Even thru the Tripp-lite, certain Panasonic VCRs seem especially sensitive to grounding, the worst being the AG1980 and its twin the AG5710. It helps if I use one of those 3-prong grounded to 2-prong ungrounded plug adapters on the AC plug of those units: breaking the ground connection clears away most (but not all) of the issues. There are other steps one take that I can't seem to find in my browser bookmarks: try looking thru a few audio gear forums for ideas (electrical ground loop noise gets far more discussion there than on video forums).

    Originally Posted by vhelp View Post
    Anyway, but those W5U / W7U are expansive and very few to come by. I'd grab a broken one as long as it was fixable. I'm pretty mechanically savy, fixed a few things including vcr's in my time.
    Given your distaste for NR artifacts, you may not want to bother with a WVHS unless you get very lucky and find one under $100 at a garage sale or something (could happen: the few sold in USA initially went to DiSH satellite subscribers). As I mentioned, they are temperamental devices with wide unit variation in terms of NR performance: some are so incredible that they show no temporal distortion at all, others hew closer to what you would normally see from a JVC DigiPure (still excellent, but not worth the price premium over an SVHS equivalent). Repair-wise, they are something you may or may not be able to tackle. robjv1 (and many others) have reported damaged audio boards that could not be repaired under any circumstances (fragile printed circuit traces). Other issues are common, and aligning a WVHS mechanically to get optimum interaction with its DNR is an art lost with the only two factory-trained North American JVC techs who knew how to do it.

    I am expecting an AG-5710 tomorrow and hope to post some images / vidoes from the captures.
    Yikes. I have five 5710s, all of which died on me soon after eBay purchase. Be sure to check it over thoroughly for video issues, esp heavy dropouts and pastel colors. The video board electronics are not durable at all. The many bad caps can be replaced, but its a big job. I wish you good luck with your impending AG-5710, and look forward to your posts on it. A fully operational AG1980 or AG5710 can be quite nice, I enjoyed mine while they worked.

    If you come across the older AG-1970 in good working condition at a good price, I strongly recommend adding it to your VCR collection. It is the closest you can get to the PV-9451 elements you like, but in a much more flexible VCR. The AG1970 doesn't have the disgusting 1997-series grain overlay: its noise is much more organic, and it has a detail slider with good adjustment range along with a norm/edit switch. The DNR is minimal to ineffective, so it does have some noise in large color blocks. The line TBC is very subtle: sometimes great, sometimes useless, and can be turned off if not needed. The mechanical transport, power supply, and electronics are MUCH more rugged than the later 1980/5710 twins. This is the vcr I keep returning to as my reference standard: to me, digital transfers from it look the most "real", the most like actual VHS (warts and all). It doesn't smooth away noise and its colors are a bit warm, but it seems the most "real". I'll often make a second backup copy using a Mitsubishi HS-HD2000U or AG1980 with all the DNR activated, just in case, but I usually watch the dubs made from the AG1970.
    Last edited by orsetto; 15th Sep 2016 at 17:25.
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  9. Video Restorer lordsmurf's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by orsetto View Post
    That doesn't surprise me. Animation has always been a pain to transfer:
    Cartoons are why I got into restoration, some 20+ years ago.
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  10. Member vhelp's Avatar
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    OTOH, if they are infested with copy protection, all bets are off: the protection itself is a disgusting visual defect, and filtering it isn't transparent: there's still noticeable problems, enough so the quality of the VCR used hardly matters.
    .
    just buy the commercial DVD releases of that material.
    .
    just buy the commercial DVD releases of that material. When my old flicks hit the bargain bin for $5 or less, thats what I do (or I re-record them digital-direct if there is an opportunity to get them via cable channels).
    I definately agree about the macrovision. Its the evil of vhs, and the reason we have all these archival problems and inability to make near-perfect quality reproductions, and the reason we need multiple equipment in order to process. Each vcr (and external device(s)) handles different content differently. I know you and a few others' know this. Just saying, i've been through this myself and know and the reason i have so many capture cards and vcr's.
    .
    For a short period, i was buying dvd releases also. It became a hobby like vhs, but I soon stopped that. I have a couple of bluray movies but don't plan on creating a collection. Most everything you can get on cable or satalite tv or the internet. I have directv but don't really watch the content I used to because these broadcasters stopped airing them: tnt; tbs; usa; syfi; and a few others. Today, its bone-dry, i'm speaking on the usual movies that used to come on all the time. Now all there is is reality shows or variation thereof, which I don't care for.

    Each medium have their aesthetics and I prefer to maintain it that way.. vhs, laserdisc, dvd, cabletv, etc.. For vhs, i prefer to maintain its aesthetics and not kill it by noise reduction technique as much as possible. Some NR is ok and I will use judgement based on the content and so on but I will attempt to maintain the noise it entails as much as possible but that will vary from vcr to vcr. So, getting the best vcr is critical in getting the best aesthetics as possible. That has been one of my goals for a long time.

    Line noise can be difficult to work around.
    .
    As I mentioned, they are temperamental devices with wide unit variation in terms of NR performance: some are so incredible that they show no temporal distortion at all, others hew closer to what you would normally see from a JVC DigiPure (still excellent, but not worth the price premium over an SVHS equivalent).
    .
    Yikes. I have five 5710s, all of which died on me soon after eBay purchase.
    .
    I'll often make a second backup copy using a Mitsubishi HS-HD2000U or AG1980 with all the DNR activated, just in case, but I usually watch the dubs made from the AG1970
    I am not particular about the audio. Whatever comes out is fine to me. Its only the video that I am most concerned with.
    .
    Speaking about the NR issues. I have found that the amount of their destruction varies from scene to scene and content to content and vcr to vcr, etc.. And as you mentioned, it also can vary across the same make and model. Mileage always vary. Case in point. I recall owning two Winfast TV2000XP cards. One had less noise than the other. Each card had a revision stamp, Rev A and on my second one, Rev C. The Rev A was the one that had no noise, though Rev C had minimal noise, but I could tell a slight difference. FWIW, I purchased the second one because I had misplaced the first. It wasn't until some time later, that I found the first one.
    .
    Thanks for the heads-up on the AG-5710. I hope I fair well, and will post the results when i get the chance.
    .
    I do the same thing, make various backups on different mediums or capture cards and encoding formats (mpeg2, avc4 and now hevc) because each have pros and cons, and sometimes, what I see today, i don't see tomorrow (futurewise) and vise-versa. Its funny how we view things like this. I recall recently finding a few encoding I made in XviD many years ago while working on a matrice software utility i wrote in pascal. I have a couple of test samples that turned out to be really good, today. But for whatever reason, I didn't see it that way yesterday (the past). I'm a junky keeper. I keep almost everything I do. I found those test clips while trying to make room on an external drive.

    regarding the Mitsubishi HS-HD2000U, I was looking at a few. The scares sample images I saw look pretty good. I thought it had something to do of the fact that it features a DVHS, but as it turns out it is not some magical term but is rather the NR feature these unit incorporate.

    Has anyone put together a list of the noise reductions in all the brand vcrs? I know there is the JVC Digipure. And also, are there any sample clips that demonstrate all of them?
    Last edited by vhelp; 15th Sep 2016 at 12:04. Reason: spelling and typos
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  11. Originally Posted by vhelp View Post
    regarding the Mitsubishi HS-HD2000U, I was looking at a few. The scares sample images I saw look pretty good. I thought it had something to do of the fact that it features a DVHS, but as it turns out it is not some magical term but is rather the NR feature these unit incorporate.
    My own personal experience is that the Mitsu 2000 circuit is very VERY similar to JVC DigiPure, right down to the menu interface and green front panel button: if Mitsu didn't license it, they ripped it off remarkably well. I find the real-world performance of the Mitsu and various JVC DigiPures I've used to be identical. The advantages of the Mitsu are 1. it is MUCH newer (more likely to be found in good condition) than a vintage JVC SVHS and 2. the mechanicals (again, in my experience) are much gentler on tapes, much less likely to mis-load and much less likely to fail. That said, they do run VERY hot even in standby mode, and they don't track HiFi or EP video any better than a JVC.

    Generally, someone seeking a JVC DigiPure would be better off with one of the lesser known, more recent DVHS models than the infamous, older SVHS decks. The DVHS are newer, and quality control of their mechanics is much improved. The DVHS are much less likely to have been sold and resold a dozen times on eBay, with all the hidden shipping damage that entails. Most of the JVC DVHS included a variation of DigiPure, although in some units it is not obvious because there is no dedicated front panel button and it may be buried in a menu setting (also in some models it is non-defeatable). I chose the Mitsubishi myself partially from brand preference, and partially because it is easy to comprehend: there's just the one Mitsu model, and its TBC/DNR works exactly like in a JVC SVHS. With JVC DVHS, there is a staggering array of models to weed thru (which is bizarre considering DVHS had to be the slowest-selling VCR format in history). The other catch with JVC DVHS is their used prices are propped up by an exclusive playback compatibility with pre-recorded Hollywood DVHS tapes (the Mitsubishi cannot decode those).

    Has anyone put together a list of the noise reductions in all the brand vcrs? I know there is the JVC Digipure.
    No mfr aside from JVC ever bothered to come up with a cute name for their TBC/DNR feature: the few other brands that offered it simply listed it along with other features on the back of a spec sheet (with no attempt to make a big deal out of it). Back when these VCRs were originally sold new, most consumers could not give a crap about SVHS, much less something as arcane as TBC/DNR. The feature was not easily explained or demonstrated in a manner that would justify a 100% jump in purchase price over an otherwise-identical lower-end model. In North America, JVC was the only brand that offered TBC/DNR consistently year after year in a variety of models.

    Panasonic only ever sold three variations: the 4270/4380 (which were arguably the worst chassis they ever made), the AG1970, and AG1980/5710. The DNR in the 4270/4380 was analog and tied to tracking, which made it dismally backfire, the TBC was barely effective, and the entire transport was made of brittle plastic (1992-93 consumer Panasonics were utterly disposable). The AG1970 dispensed with the flaky DNR but kept the same weak TBC, housed in the most rugged, durable semi-pro chassis they ever offered. The AG1980-AG5710 finally caught up with, and in some respects surpassed, JVC's DigiPure system. But the circuit topology was prone to quick failure, along with the power supply and cost-cut transport. The Panasonic PAL lineup for Europe and NTSC home-market-Japan did have several more TBC/DNR equipped models that were updated with the years, but USA /Canada ended after the AG1980.

    Mistsubishi never offered TBC/DNR in any other model but the DVHS HS-HD2000U. Their version is all but indistinguishable from DigiPure in operation or performance.

    Toshiba offered interesting DNR in a couple of blink-and-you-missed-them USA models, and the very top Toshiba did briefly include a weak TBC similar to Panasonic's AG1970. Top-line Toshibas had very little distribution, so are very hard to find today. In regards to artifacts, Toshiba's DNR roughly split the difference between a Panasonic AG1980 and later JVC DigiPure: colors were vibrant like JVC but temporal smearing was less, more akin to the 1980.

    No other consumer or pro-sumer VCR brands sold in North America offered TBC/DNR or anything similar. It just wasn't a marketable feature. Even the ridiculously expensive "halo VHS model" Sony SL-VR1000 and SVO-2000 lacked TBC/DNR.

    And also, are there any sample clips that demonstrate all of them?
    I haven't seen any that directly compare the Mitsubishi 2000 DVHS to JVC and/or Panasonic. A few extremely picky geeks here on VH posted test bench results to "prove" the Mitsubishi DNR is inferior to "authentic" DigiPure, but those oscilloscope readings don't sway me one iota. If I can't see a difference with my eyes and my tapes, then for ME there is no difference. Of course, others may indeed see things differently, and I respect their preference.
    Last edited by orsetto; 15th Sep 2016 at 16:25.
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  12. Member vhelp's Avatar
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    orsetto and others, what is your take on the Sony SLV-R1000 unit ?

    The unit is a bit too pricy for me, but I saw a good demo pic (posted below) made from this unit. But i'm tempted to go broke for this one because the quality seems to look pretty good and will most likely do well for the rest of my vhs commercial movie collection. Like I said earlier, i'm a junky. Anyway.

    Check out the image below. I know, I know, you can't go by a single image, it is better to judge by motion. But still, it is considerable.

    Not considering that someone took a photo of this setup, the camera is obviously a professional one since it captured it (the video) very cleanly, which does help to show the level of quality, though I don't know what monitor is in that photo. I didn't look. Anyway. I reviewed the image and don't see much artifacts if at all from the vcr aspects of things. Does anyone notice that there is no chroma issues? Anyway, share your thoughts.

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  13. The Sony SLV-R1000 (and its "prosumer twin SVO-2000), like all Sony SVHS, are love 'em or hate 'em cult objects. The biggest problem is finding one that works perfectly. Same old gremlins that afflict every other damn "high end" VCR: the things were simply never intended to last decades, so by and large they don't. Bad power supply designs, godawful mechanics, drifting electronics: the usual suspects. SLV-R1000 doesn't have quite the notorious reputation of the SLV-R5UC, but it runs a close second. When working perfectly, it is considered to have the best playback of any deck NOT equipped with TBC/DNR, but thats kind of damning with faint praise, and nobody ever mentions its plain VHS playback: all the plaudits are for its SVHS performance.

    There is no chance I would ever spend another dime on a high-end Sony, I've been burned enough, but if I wanted an SLV-R1000, I would not pay more than a couple hundred at the outside. Too many things can go wrong with it. If you can find one from a seller known to be good at restoring them, who provides a legit warranty, then maybe its worth a spin. Its certainly the most luxurious look-and-feel SVHS deck anyone ever marketed. But be aware eBay resale on these is not as easy as a JVC or Panasonic: the Sony doesn't have the highly-coveted TBC/DNR everyone is obsessed with. If you buy the R1000, you're pretty much stuck with it.

    Just as an aside, I'm forever astonished by the utter failure of any VCR mfr to produce a "high-end" VCR remotely as durable and rugged as their presumed low-end crap. I've never, not once, not even when bought new back in the day, had a "high-end" VCR that did not give me ongoing headaches. Meanwhile, I've lost count of the many "ordinary" 4-head-hifi Panasonic, Mitsubishi, Sharp, Quasar, GE, LG and GoldStar VCRs I've used, some dating back to the late 1980s, that still function absolutely flawlessly. Its as if adding SVHS capability (or heaven help them) TBC/DNR puts an instant jinx on any otherwise-decent VCR. Amazing- and annoying as hell.
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  14. Member vhelp's Avatar
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    >>>EDIT: just discovered the "Pro DigiPure + TBC" feature is NOT standard in the BR-S822DXU, it is an optional daughterboard (as typical with most "pro" vcrs). So one would either need to check the rear panel to confirm the TBC is installed, or opt for the BR-S622DXU model which did come with it as standard (of course, no guarantees there, either, as people often harvest these TBC/DNR modules to sell separately). Caveat emptor. The 622 and 822 (with module installed) are the only other JVCs that share some of the updated chroma processing technology of the WVHS units.<<<
    I recall searching for any info on the BR-S822DXU a few days ago. I'm glad I kept the TAB open for that google search results. Anyway.

    This guy said that that limitation is in the BR-S822U, but the BR-S822DXU has a built-in one.

    https://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20130213235009AAKxfZv
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  15. The guy in that Yahoo thread was inaccurate, as was the VH member whose reports on the JVC BR-S822DXU I quoted initially.

    Based on my own prior dealings with JVC in post production houses, it occurred to me I should double check JVC's own actual specs for feature verification. Historically, few to no pro-grade SVHS studio VCRs had "built-in" TBC/DNR in quite the same manner we are familiar with in consumer models (non-removable, always included with the VCR, directly connected to the normal outputs). In every "pro" SVHS I've handled from Panasonic and JVC, the TBC was a separate daughtercard that fit into an internal slot (like a computer PCI card) and often poked thru a back panel hatch in the VCR with its own remote connector and video/sync sockets.

    According to JVC's own press releases and spec sheets, this tradition was in fact carried over with the BR-S822DXU master editing deck: the discrete TBC and DNR boards were optional (not to be expected as standard equipment). They fudge this in the text: you need to read their techno-babble and disclaimers and tiny asterisked footnotes three times before it becomes clear. JVC promotes the hell out of the TBC/DNR feature for the BR-S822DXU, because the DNR element (borrowed from the WVHS uniits) was not previously offered in "pro" VCRs (just a standard TBC). But they downplay the fact it was an extra-cost option (likely because the base price of the BR-S822DXU was well over $6000 without it, and the 822's role as a master editor didn't fully exploit it). The lesser-known, $5000 BR-S622DXU feeder deck *did* bundle and pre-install the TBC and DNR daughtercards (at the sacrifice of more basic editing capabilities) so would be the model more likely to be found today with onboard TBC/DNR.

    Nonetheless, either second-hand model should be shopped with equal caution: they are nearly identical lookalike decks with TBC indicators on the front panel regardless of TBC actually being present in the vcr. The TBC and DNR modules are removable and swappable between them. You need to look at the rear panel to verify if the TBC is installed: if it is, you'll see three component-video BNC connectors and a multipin "TBC REMOTE" port, located within a small rectangular sub-plate on the upper rear (near the right hand fan grill). If the TBC is NOT installed, you will see either a gaping rectangular hole where it was removed, or a plain unmarked metal plate (covering the unused slot).

    The upgraded WVHS-inspired DNR system is not directly built into the 822DXU/622DXU motherboard and is not necessarily installed along with the TBC even if you can see the exterior TBC connections (the DNR card is not visible externally, you would have to look for it inside the chassis). Based on this uncertainty, and the much higher likelihood the 622DXU will already have both the TBC *and* DNR modules installed, I would probably look for the BR-S622DXU instead of the BR-S822DXU. The only significant difference between the two is the more elaborate recording/editing capabilities of the 822, which are of no use in making digital transfers. The transports, playback heads, video electronics and chassis are identical.
    Last edited by orsetto; 19th Sep 2016 at 19:08.
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  16. Member vhelp's Avatar
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    Yep, i saw pics, thanks. Sucks, but Anyway.

    I know I made mention of a pending arrival of a Panasonic AG-5710 in a previous post above, but i've also purchased other vcrs and have received some of them and did some minor test captures and encodes to hevc. That is my chosen format medium when showcasing picture detail from vcrs. I have found that this new format does not show any macroblocks and is therefore a better medium for things like this. MPEG is always full of macroblocks or pixelation when used with vhs. And I also have an AG-1980 comming and if that has a good picture and no color issues, the plan is to finally use my unwrapped box set of Titanic (that I was saving for a wishful SR-W5U) as the main showcase. So I will post images and clips for anyone to review, later, possibly in another topic.
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  17. Mountains of gear vaporeon800's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by orsetto View Post
    Most of the JVC DVHS included a variation of DigiPure, although in some units it is not obvious because there is no dedicated front panel button and it may be buried in a menu setting (also in some models it is non-defeatable)....
    With JVC DVHS, there is a staggering array of models to weed thru (which is bizarre considering DVHS had to be the slowest-selling VCR format in history).
    There are really only 6 US models, and just 4 that are of interest (5 if the VDA can be located for a normal price). The multiple names are a bit confusing. The Japanese lineup is where things actually get insane.

    Complete(?) list of JVC D-VHS models (worldwide) created from personal forum, eBay & web research. Maybe I'll turn this into a spreadsheet with feature Y/N columns if I get bored one day.

    D-Theater units are in bold.

    US D-VHS model list:
    JVC HM-DSR100U = JVC HM-DSR100DU = HM-DSR100RU (1997; rare DISH Network tie-in -- NO S-VHS!; no YPbPr)
    JVC HM-DH30000U = JVC HM-DH30000UP (2001, has "3DNR" button)
    JVC SR-VDA300U = JVC SR-VDA300US (2003; rare $6k unit for studios, never available via "normal dealer channels")
    JVC HM-DH40000U = JVC SR-VD400U = JVC SR-VD400US = Marantz MV-8300 (2003)
    JVC HM-DH5U (2004, HDMI)
    JVC HM-DT100U (2004; flagship; HDMI)

    Japan* D-VHS model list:

    Victor HM-DR1 (1999, no TBC/DNR?, no YPbPr)
    Victor HM-DR10000 = Sharp VC-DS1 (1999, has "TBC&3D" button, D1 terminal for YPbPr @ 480i only apparently)
    Victor HM-DH20000 (2001, has "TBC" button for "TBC&NR")
    Victor HM-DH30000 (2001, has "3DNR" button) ---> HM-DH30000U (D-Theater added for US only)
    Victor HM-DH35000 (2001, has "3DNR" button)
    Victor HM-DHX1 (2003; 1st D-Theater Region 2 player) ---> HM-DH40000U
    Victor HM-DHS1 (2003; poor man's DHX1)
    Victor HM-DH5500 (2003; another lower-tier offering?)
    Victor HM-DHX2 (2004; final Victor D-VHS; HDMI) ---> HM-DH5U


    EU D-VHS model list:
    JVC HM-DR10000EU = Philips VR20D [info] (1999, has "Digital TBC/NR" button, no YPbPr; PAL/NTSC/MESECAM playback; recording supports SECAM-B but not SECAM-L)
    JVC HM-DR10000EK (K = United Kingdom. I would have assumed this is 100% identical to the EU, but the manual doesn't contain the word "SECAM" anywhere and the relevant menu option is removed.** It does play NTSC: "NTSC→PAL" appears on the screen for about 5 seconds." Manual doesn't specify whether TBC/NR is available in this mode.)
    Thomson SCENIUM DVH8090 (France model of HM-DR10000: PAL, NTSC 3.58, SECAM, MESECAM.)


    * I found several of these via their wonderful manual index page.

    The manuals for the DHX1, DHS1, and DH5500 all show the same mockup front panel with a "TBC & 3D" button but none describe the feature, and the actual panels in auction photos don't appear to include such a toggle. I assume that the DHX1, at least, has always-on DNR&TBC, like the US model.

    ** Name:  10kEU Colour System.PNG
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Size:  33.6 KBName:  10kEK no Colour System.PNG
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    Last edited by vaporeon800; 14th May 2017 at 06:09. Reason: Added rare SR-VDA300U back to list. 2017-04 added keywords, 3 EU variants. 2017-05 forgot to note that the list is only JVC.
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  18. That may just be THE definitive list of JVC DVHS vcrs, vaporeaon800!

    Thanks for compiling that, I've never seen the various similar models coordinated in one place before. I will definitely link back to your post whenever DVHS comes up in future discussions, it could be a great resource for anyone considering these units.

    Personally, I'm happy with the Mitsubishi HS-HD2000U DVHS, which employs a faithful knockoff of (or directly licenses) the "classic" TBC/DNR typical of popular JVC SVHS vcrs (right down to the lighted external green button on the front panel). The JVC DVHS can be slightly better or worse depending on model (some with "always on" TBC are less versatile), and of course the tapes involved.
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  19. Mountains of gear vaporeon800's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by orsetto View Post
    Thanks for compiling that, I've never seen the various similar models coordinated in one place before.
    You're most welcome, but to be fair I stole most of the US info from Lordsmurf's guide. I just realized I accidentally removed the crazy "Pro-HD Mastering Recorder" from the list, so I've added that back. The manual indicates it includes 3DNR that is defeatable by front-panel button, though I can't find an actual photo with the front cover open to confirm.

    My question is: does this button (also found on the US 30K, JP 30K, and JP 35K) also disable TBC? It's bizarre how they kept changing the name of the button on the earlier JP models.

    Originally Posted by orsetto View Post
    Personally, I'm happy with the Mitsubishi HS-HD2000U DVHS, which employs a faithful knockoff of (or directly licenses) the "classic" TBC/DNR typical of popular JVC SVHS vcrs (right down to the lighted external green button on the front panel).
    Based on Mitsubishi's Japanese lineup, it seems increasingly likely to me that they licensed it. I previously mentioned "629TBC". I paid a stupid amount of money and imported one of those Mitsu models I referred to, because they have the unique feature of offering independently defeatable 629 TBC and DNR unlike Victor's offerings. (They also made a few models with separate "regular" TBC and DNR controls, and a bunch with one combined button like JVC.)

    It seems unreasonable to believe that Mitsu came up with their own 629TBC to be used in approximately 2 models ever, so they must have had a relationship with JVC licensing their processing tech dating back to at least 1999.

    The actual auction price was only 2200 yen = <$22 US, and the middleman fees are fair, but overseas shipping just keeps getting so much worse, my god. As you can see in the auction link, it uses the same exterior as the HS-HD2000U but in gold (brass?) rather than silver. It uses the lighted button on the right for some other function. Instead, 629TBC and 3DYC/3DNR are toggled by two unlighted rectangular buttons hidden behind the front input door.

    The remote actually controls the HS-HD2000U as well, which I discovered by accident since I have the two VCRs sitting near each other. Unfortunately, the picture quality of this unit seriously sucks, IMO, but that's a story for another thread.
    Last edited by vaporeon800; 5th Oct 2016 at 06:21. Reason: More on JVC added to start of post
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  20. Originally Posted by vaporeon800 View Post
    The actual auction price was only 2200 yen = <$22 US, and the middleman fees are fair, but overseas shipping just keeps getting so much worse, my god. As you can see in the auction link, it uses the same exterior as the HS-HD2000U but in gold (brass?) rather than silver. It uses the lighted button on the right for some other function. Instead, 629TBC and 3DYC/3DNR are toggled by two unlighted rectangular buttons hidden behind the front input door.[...]Unfortunately, the picture quality of this unit seriously sucks, IMO, but that's a story for another thread.
    Oh, c,'mon now, you can't just tease us with that little tidbit: tell us more about this unique-to-Japan DVHS!

    Perhaps we could continue this in your VCR Comparison thread?
    Last edited by orsetto; 5th Oct 2016 at 12:15.
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    Haven't checked in here forever, glad to see a thread like this get updated.

    The whole SR-W5U/SR-W7U are such great decks, but clearly not built to stand the test of time. The run-of-the-mill Panasonic PV-9451 is definitely a workhorse by comparison but they are so simple internally. I wish JVC had released a SVHS deck with the video quality of the SR-W5U, minus the HDTV feature because that certainly is responsible for hurting the build quality, cramming the chassis. The daughter-boards are almost always the culprit, plus the terrible soldering of the audio/video composite cable ports where a pull of snug cable can break it.

    Raw quality-wise though, while the screenshots are nice (and I will admit to liking the overall look of the Panasonic's picture) it definitely does not play tapes as well as the SR-W5U, particularly in SP/EP mode. It just plain plays better than any other deck I've tried, including the Panasonic AG-1980.

    LP mode is a whole other story -- the SR-W5U tracking range gets pretty narrow when you start throwing LP tapes at it. The SR-W5U decks I've owned (I've owned three of them) choke on some tapes, but the tapes they do play well are pretty much rock solid. I'm not sure if it has dropout compensation circuitry, but the big thing I notice with them is that it seems to minimize how noticeable tracking errors are. Along with that, they really minimize the problems with hifi dramatically, which was very useful for a large collection of off-the-air recordings I had on less than ideal blanks. Just plain plays better than any other deck I've tried, including the Panasonic AG-1980.

    They are great while they last.
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