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  1. Member
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    Out of curiosity, putting a vhs tape into a s-vhs housing would that change anything ?

    would it still be playable in a non-VHS player ?
    and how about a S-VHS player ? any compatibility issues ? would it harm the tape ?

    I would think that a S-VHS case may have better transport for the tape because of higher quality build .. is it really the same and just the tape's formula the only real difference ?

    maybe it's the tracking that's different .. i think it is for the audio

    If it did something usefull i guess everyboby would be doing it ..
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  2. Member Cornucopia's Avatar
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    No.
    A vhs tape, which has standard bandwidth, if put in a svhs shell, means that it could then only be played in a svhs player, which already has the capability to handle both standard vhs and higher bandwidth svhs. It will play fine & like normal. Maybe marginally better, if it is using better quality playback circuitry. Usually, an svhs shell would pop back out of a standard vhs deck, being not physically identical enough to be compatible for insertion. Ymmv.
    The recording format follows a similar path re video chrominance signal, control track, audio signal(s)-either linear or hifi/helical. The video luminance is certainly different in terms of bandwidth, but physically occupies the same space.

    The reverse is not true.
    Svhs tape is higher bandwidth, but this being analog, the only way a player knows this is via compatibility notches in the shell. With the shell switched, both decks will think a vhs tapes is being played. A vhs deck will not be able to properly handle the signal even if it still puts out something.
    An svhs deck may or may not, depending on if it has level/bandwidth sensing adaptive circuitry.
    Btw, I have actually done this experiment so can attest the results.

    Scott
    Last edited by Cornucopia; 27th Dec 2018 at 14:08.
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  3. Member
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    Thanx !!
    Last edited by smartel; 27th Dec 2018 at 14:23.
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  4. Member
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    An SVHS cassette shell has an extra hole in the bottom. A really old VHS deck will not know to look for the hole and treat it like regular VHS. A newer deck will see it as SVHS and a VHS deck may refuse to play it. If you cover the hole, then it will look like a VHS tape to all players. There is no other difference in the shell. With the hole uncovered, you will get unpredictable results in an SVHS deck if the tape inside is not actually SVHS formula.

    What are you going on about with audio cassettes? The only thing that changes with the formula is EQ and bias. The tension does not change.
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  5. Preservationist davideck's Avatar
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    I used to drill the SVHS hole in TDK EHG VHS tapes and use them for SVHS record/playback. This worked fine in SP mode, not so good in LP and EP modes. TDK EHG was good tape.
    Life is better when you focus on the signals instead of the noise.
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  6. One other thing to add: in the later days of VHS, there were many VHS players (I have two of them) that could also play S-VHS, even though they could not record to S-VHS. I realize this gets into semantics of how one defines a "VHS player" vs. a "S-VHS player."

    I just went upstairs to my bedroom to look at my $49 (Value America price in the late 1990s) Sharp VC-H992 VCR, and on the front it is labeled "VHS" but on the spring loaded cover for the loading mechanism it says "Quasi S-VHS playback." I am not sure what "quasi" means (it plays, but not with full S-VHS resolution??), but I can tell you that it did play S-VHS tapes just fine (it is currently broken and I haven't found time to try to fix it).

    As I remember (probably wrongly), a majority of the later-day VHS decks included this feature. I say this because this deck was the lowest-end deck available back then which I wanted for a one-season cottage where I spent about two weeks every year, so it wasn't worth spending much money.

    I think I also have a deck that claimed to be able to record S-VHS on a standard VHS tape, but I'm not sure about that. I think I am right however, because I remember thinking at the time it was a bad idea because a real S-VHS deck would not be able to play those tapes, for the reasons given above (the real decks used the shell structure to determine what format to use). Also, it reminded me of the rather dicey thing I used to do with 720 KB floppies where I bought a square punch to add the hole on the other side. That hole was used to differentiate the small-capacity 720 KB floppies from their larger-capacity 1.44 MB counterparts (the two were, of course, identical size and thickness). This hack worked, but those pseudo 1.44 MB disks often didn't read too well.
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  7. aBigMeanie aedipuss's Avatar
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    Also, it reminded me of the rather dicey thing I used to do with 720 KB floppies where I bought a square punch to add the hole on the other side. That hole was used to differentiate the small-capacity 720 KB floppies from their larger-capacity 1.44 MB counterparts (the two were, of course, identical size and thickness). This hack worked, but those pseudo 1.44 MB disks often didn't read too well.
    LOL even earlier the 5.25 inch 360kb floppy discs could have a hole punched on the opposite side, so they could be flipped over and used we did this with ataris and commodores all the time.
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    "a lot of people are better dead" - prisoner KSC2-303
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  8. Member
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    Originally Posted by JVRaines View Post
    An SVHS cassette shell has an extra hole in the bottom. A really old VHS deck will not know to look for the hole and treat it like regular VHS. A newer deck will see it as SVHS and a VHS deck may refuse to play it. If you cover the hole, then it will look like a VHS tape to all players. There is no other difference in the shell. With the hole uncovered, you will get unpredictable results in an SVHS deck if the tape inside is not actually SVHS formula.

    What are you going on about with audio cassettes? The only thing that changes with the formula is EQ and bias. The tension does not change.
    Nakamichi decks lifted the felt pressure pad out of the way and precisely controlled the tension on the takeup and feed reals, reducing wow and flutter. Versus regular cassette decks which merely pulled the tape through the takeup reel.

    This doesn't matter in VCRs, because the tape is pulled out of the cassette and the tension controlled that way. That said, I've seen some poor quality shells/reels on tapes, especially the 50 cartoons for a dollar ones that were made with beyond end of life molds where the covers wouldn't close (no spring) or the reels were so warped, they scraped the inside of the shell window.
    Last edited by lingyi; 28th Dec 2018 at 08:21.
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  9. Member
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    Originally Posted by johnmeyer View Post
    One other thing to add: in the later days of VHS, there were many VHS players (I have two of them) that could also play S-VHS, even though they could not record to S-VHS. I realize this gets into semantics of how one defines a "VHS player" vs. a "S-VHS player."

    I just went upstairs to my bedroom to look at my $49 (Value America price in the late 1990s) Sharp VC-H992 VCR, and on the front it is labeled "VHS" but on the spring loaded cover for the loading mechanism it says "Quasi S-VHS playback." I am not sure what "quasi" means (it plays, but not with full S-VHS resolution??), but I can tell you that it did play S-VHS tapes just fine (it is currently broken and I haven't found time to try to fix it).

    As I remember (probably wrongly), a majority of the later-day VHS decks included this feature. I say this because this deck was the lowest-end deck available back then which I wanted for a one-season cottage where I spent about two weeks every year, so it wasn't worth spending much money.

    I think I also have a deck that claimed to be able to record S-VHS on a standard VHS tape, but I'm not sure about that. I think I am right however, because I remember thinking at the time it was a bad idea because a real S-VHS deck would not be able to play those tapes, for the reasons given above (the real decks used the shell structure to determine what format to use). Also, it reminded me of the rather dicey thing I used to do with 720 KB floppies where I bought a square punch to add the hole on the other side. That hole was used to differentiate the small-capacity 720 KB floppies from their larger-capacity 1.44 MB counterparts (the two were, of course, identical size and thickness). This hack worked, but those pseudo 1.44 MB disks often didn't read too well.
    SQPB - S-VHS Quasi Play Back. The other bastard child of VHS (the first being LP), allowed "regular" VHS VCRs playback S-VHS tapes in regular VHS quality (though poorly).

    I'm not 100% sure either, but I swear my Panasonic S-VHS machine could record an S-VHS signal on a regular VHS tape. Of course the quality wasn't near S-VHS and could only be played back on the same machine or one that offered the feature.

    I never really played around much with S-VHS because I had two ED-Beta machines.
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