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The Long Black Line
Tape, tape and more tape; and decks; HDV, DV, VHS and more.


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Old October 13th, 2003, 09:05 PM   #16
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These are $70 Pansonic PV-V4603S models.

I think their quality is quite reasonable and the tapes made on them cannot be differentiated with tapes made at the same time on Sony industrial Decks and my SLV-R1000 S-VHS deck.

I don't expect them to last as long as the Sony's but then I purchased all six for slightly more than I paid for one of the Sony industrial decks and the Sony's were B-stock (used in a show).

I cannot advise you on a transcoder. The only ones I use are built into my Sony cameras (PC110 & PD150), the Sony converter, and the (Sony) boards built into my Canopus cards. I can see no difference between any of them except the Canopus Composite output is junk. Low amplitude signal problem. I don't use those outputs. Their S-Video is OK and I use that.

I suggest you find some folks living around you that will work with you to discover the level of your VHS duplicating problems.
You may find out that your recordings are as good as it gets.

On test you could make if you have satellite or digital cable is to record a program from one of those sources with your VCR. If the recording looks better than the recording you can make from your computer, then that will remove the VCR from the equation.

Another way around this is to just buy a DVD burner and player. The burners are now down under $200 U.S. and DVD players that will play DVD Rs of one kind or another go for as little as $60 U.S. in the discount stores.
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Old October 13th, 2003, 10:10 PM   #17
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Thanks Mike.

Even if I got a dvd burner and player (Which I have) it's still composite into the video, but yeah that would be the way to go if my transcoder is dodgy.

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Old October 13th, 2003, 10:23 PM   #18
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The entire path from DV to DVD remains inside the computer and purely digital. The only analog signal is that created by the DVD player when it drives your television set.

I have a Sony external DVD burner that connects to the computer either via USB or Firewire. Everything is digital.

That's the beauty of DVD.

I understand the newer stand-alone DVD recorders now have a firewire input too.
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Old October 14th, 2003, 02:05 AM   #19
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Oh, I think we got our wires crossed ;) I know DVD is digital and that the process of playing (Except for the TV) is all digital, I thought you were suggesting, if my transcoder wasn't that good, to burn a DVD and then just dub to VHS from there ;)

Tried recording SKY (Digital TV) to two of the videos in my house - They both look awful (to me). Maybe they just need a service/head clean.

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Old October 14th, 2003, 02:04 PM   #20
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You could certainly try dubing from a DVD but if your recordings from digital cable are not good, then either the VCRs need attention, are not too good, or your standards are too high for VHS media.

Can you have a friend record a program from digital cable on his/her VCR any you do it with your setup and see if they are comparable? If they are, then VHS is probably not going to please you regardless of the reasonably priced tools you might try.
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Old October 15th, 2003, 06:33 AM   #21
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I tried a few video recorders and found that the one I was using is crap. It's worse than my oldest recorder so I've switched. Got a head cleaner and will try some more tests with that one. If it's still not good, I'll get another, newer video.

Thanks for all the help.
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Old October 15th, 2003, 07:17 PM   #22
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Gidday Aaron,

I've got a couple of Philips SVHS decks that I got from Farmers a year or 2 ago. I think they were retailing for around the 5-600 mark. They are not as good performance wise as the higher end SVHS Panasonics but do have S-Video inputs and outputs. The model no is VR-999 but I think these were replaced with the VR-1010.

Unfortunately most of the newer decks seem to be 'dumbing' down by doing things like removing informative displays(with audio bargraphs etc) and replacing them with 4 digit LED displays - but hey they are cheaper :(.

I see JVC have one for around $500AU - might be possible to get it here?
http://www.jvc-australia.com/products/_products_sub_group_details.asp?ID=1254

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Old October 16th, 2003, 12:37 AM   #23
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Hey Jon. Good to see a fellow Kiwi here. Don't see many of us. Thanks for the pointer on that model. I see there is one on trademe for auction at the moment, currently at $450. Can't find through the 'net any shops that do them. Might ring Farmers tomorrow.

Also, I've had real trouble finding a dealer in Aussie that I can trust and that will ship to here.

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Old February 9th, 2004, 02:52 PM   #24
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Coming late to this thread, but I have a JVS HR-3911U S-VHS that has s-video in and composite input and output.

It was worth it. In test, the S-video input looks way better than the composite input for VHS recording. I use it in the method you describe. I almost never make S-VHS video tapes as most people don't have a S-VHS capable playback deck.

It even does a nice S-VHS passthru. Only S-VHS decks have S-video inputs and outputs and JVC has the cheapest S-VHS w/ S-video IO. I believe there is one D-VHS deck that has component in/out, but that deck is expensive, easily over $1000. THe JVC model i spoke of is maybe $120 at best, $200 at worst.

I understand the confusion about S-VHS and S-video, while it is true that they dont have anything to do with each other, a S-Video signal is always going to look better than a composite no matter how many heads the deck has.
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