Are there different grades of cables (firewire,usb,etc) or VHS tapes? at DVinfo.net

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Old March 6th, 2004, 04:09 PM   #1
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Are there different grades of cables (firewire,usb,etc) or VHS tapes?

I noticed that there are some 4 pins and 6 pins FireWire cables which led me to believe that maybe there are different grades of quality for each? Are there any brand/model of USB/FireWire/S-video/audio/etc cables that are supposedly better than the others?

What about VHS tapes quality?
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Old March 6th, 2004, 04:14 PM   #2
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What about VHS tapes quality?
I've found that Fuji Pro and Fuji Master to be the best. I had only one Fuji Master break on me, but it was because the VCR needed repair.

The cheaper grade Fujis, Sonys etc, are all cr**, in my opinion. They break as easily as one's heart when they are a teen. :-))

Radio Shack sells these gold-plated AV and S-video cables, which I find have worked hitch-free for me for several years now.
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Old March 6th, 2004, 04:19 PM   #3
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Hmm... I just searched for some VHS tapes on google.com and found there to be several types like S-VHS or D-VHS and I think there are others... can anyone give me the general scoop on this?
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Old March 6th, 2004, 04:21 PM   #4
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For SVHS, I use Fujis. Never had a problem.
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Old March 6th, 2004, 04:21 PM   #5
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I mean...what are they exactly? Do you need a special VCR to view/record over them?
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Old March 6th, 2004, 04:25 PM   #6
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Everyone has a photographic memory. Some just don't have film.
A friend of mine has a photographic memory. It's scary. I don't. I recall by first having to pound it into my head, but when my heart is in it, it becomes much easier to absorb. Film? Yeah, I got film. Illord Delta 400, Konica VX200 and some Agfa. :-))
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Old March 6th, 2004, 04:47 PM   #7
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David,

Yep, you need different gear to record on SVHS or DVHS. SVHS (Super VHS) is still an analog foramt but with improved performance over standard VHS. Most comsumer machines sold do not play SVHS tapes.

DVHS (DigitalVHS) is a purely digital format with decks costing many times more than the standard VHS out there.
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Old March 6th, 2004, 04:54 PM   #8
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JVC makes some good inexpensive SVHS decks.
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Old March 6th, 2004, 05:38 PM   #9
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I guess I'll stick to VHS then...

Now I need someone to my cable inquiry. :)
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Old March 6th, 2004, 05:46 PM   #10
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4 pin firewire cables have the little connectors, like those on a camcorder. The larger connector is typically found on computers. Other than size I believe the difference is that the 6 pin variety provides power as well as data.

Other than the mechanical/build quality I don't think there is much difference between brands. It's all just 1's and 0's. Belkin is the brand I seem to see in most stores.
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Old March 6th, 2004, 07:49 PM   #11
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The extra 2 pins in firewire cable carry power.

Some people report their firewire ports getting fried when the power conducted through the firewire cable goes somewhere it shouldn't. You can help this out by getting higher quality firewire cable.

I heard that with cheap firewire cable, you can insert it backwards into the connector and thus fry your parts.

With 6pin-6pin FW cable, I would definitely go for higher quality cable. At newegg.com, Belkin cable is $12 shipped I believe (cheapest is $9 there I think). cablewholesale.com may also have good prices. If you go to a big box retail store, the markups on firewire cable are humorous.

At the longer lengths, firewire cable quality may be important. Better cable will be less capacitative and not cause errors. maximum length according to the firewire specification is 15m.

You may also want to consider the physical build quality of the cable. Better built ones won't braid up as much when you coil them improperly.
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Old March 13th, 2004, 01:49 PM   #12
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If I want the highest quality of FireWire... .Belkin 6pin/6pin is the way to go, you say? & 6pin/6pin works on all camcorders/computers, correct?
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Old March 13th, 2004, 04:24 PM   #13
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6pin 6pin is usually for hooking up firewire drives.

6pin-4pin/4pin-pin are for hooking up camcorders, since camcorders have a 4 pin port and your computer will have either a 6 pin or 4pin port (i.e. on Sony notebooks).

So... 6pin-4pin is probably the way to go, but look at your computer's FW port before buying.

Is Belkin best?
I'm not sure if Belkin is the best, but it looks like it has better construction and is more expensive (price usually correlates with quality, so it's more likely that it's better than cheaper cable). So I'm guessing Belkin is good cable.

2- I made a typo earlier on, I think the maximum length of firewire cable (according to specifications for the standard) is 15 feet, not meters.
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