I just opened a box of 50 VHS tapes I'll be converting for a friend, and had a moment of panic when I realized they're VHS-C. In retrospect, I'm an idiot and the size of the box should have been a giveaway.
Right now the plan is to use a JVC C-P7U adapter in my AG-1980, but I've read that the VHS-C to VHS adapters are known for eating tapes. Is there a better option in 2019? Old threads have seen recommendations of getting a good JVC camcorder with a built-in TBC, and I've messaged the friend to ask if the original camcorder is still available. But while I wait to find out of it's available (and in good condition) I want to get an alternative in place. I see lots of JVC C-P7U adapters are still available new-in-box, but am not sure if a good VHS-C camcorder (that's clean, well-aligned, and functions properly) can realistically be found these days?
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Never the camcorder. VHS-C is a really craptastic format, and the cameras make for terrible players. The camera were barely good recorders!
Always get the Matsushita (JVC/Panasonic) based motorized adapter. There are a few rebadges/clones, but you need to be really careful. The JVC CP7U is what I use. What you don't want is a plastic POS from the likes or RCA, Memorex, etc.
And, of course, always use a quality VCR known to not eat VHS-C tapes.
C-P7U already on the way. Are there any other VHS-C playback devices I should consider having on hand to complement it? Thanks!
I second the JVC motorized one, I've had mine for years and never had a problem with it, Just don't leave the battery in it if not used for a while.
Funny you mention it, while deciding on the C-P7U I think it was right here at VH I read a post (for all I know, one you wrote) mentioning the battery! On that note, does anyone know whether or not it's okay to use rechargeables (like Eneloops) in that adapter? I don't know if rechargeable AAs were even available when the C-P7U was designed, and wonder if the voltage variance would impact it at all.
I use rechargeable on mine, Rechargeables are like 1.2V full charge while non rechargeables are about 1.5V new.
Lordsmurf, I read your forum but had to create a reply here. From you, albeit back a few years:
So which is it? And why did you 180 turn and change your opinion.
I already am digitizing my Hi8 tapes but have a few VHS-C PAL tapes from the 90s. If the camcorder route will work I rather just do this. Otherwise it will probably be cheaper to send the tapes in.
Am I reading this wrong? In both quotes he preferred using a camcorder over a VCR, Where is the contradiction?
Oh I see, you are referring to post #3.
Yet it's also a case of refining advice, be it due to changing factors/ecosystem, or just better information.
VHS-C is a fragile format. VHS had issues, but the "C" form-factor amplifies those. The tapes and cassettes are flimsy, unlike the Video8/Hi8 similar-sized tapes.
Cheap adapters eat tapes.
Even good adapters can eat tapes, if the VCR isn't cooperative.
And unfortunately, even most of the best JVC HR-S, and many SR-, are tape eaters. Consumer VHS VCRs are universally crap most times.
So back in 2008, date of the above referred post, I'd not yet extensively tested the AG-1980s yet for VHS-C playback. The cooperative JVC SR models were also still new or unavailable, and prohibitively expensive. The AG-1980 was also quite costly (still is, and getting worse), but I had those on loan for studio work. So the main choices were pro JVCs (eaters), VHS VCRs (yuck), and a couple of imperfect S-VHS-C cameras (also eaters, but less so at the time).
You must understand that back in 2008, I wasn't having a flawless experience, but a "least worst" experience. Reading my own reply, I can see the frustration (read between the lines) that I had with it. I did then, and still do, hate that format. Again, total PITA. It's often not easy to work with. I regret that our family chose VHS-C over the superior Video8/Hi8 formats. But in the 90s, I didn't know then what I know now. We just figured VHS-C with a VCR adapter was great. Thankfully, we didn't use it much, between late VHS use (semi-pro over-the-shoulder camera) well into the 90s, and early DV adoption.
It's now 2019. Stuff ages, advice changes with the times. VHS-C cameras are a PITA to repair, thus rarely happens. Remember, even unused, gravity takes a toll on tape equipment, which goes out of alignment with time. When VHS-C cameras lose alignment, bad things happen. When VCRs go out of alignment, the tapes mostly just have tracking issues until realigned. The pro AG-1980P decks have more requirements for alignment, and don't go out quite as easily (head wear and caps are the issue there, not often alignment).
Ideally a CP7U goes into the Panasonic AG-1980P, maybe 1970, or a few EOL JVC SRs.
For now, my advice stands. In 2029, perhaps I'll have to revise it again? A decade is a long time. Most of my advice is still as true today as it was 20 years ago, but some things have required adjustments. This was one of those. Not a huge refinement, but a refinement nonetheless.
Does that clarify for you?
I think,therefore i am a hamster.
Thanks. I asked because of my tapes and am still planning how to proceed.