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Old May 21st, 2004, 06:20 AM   #1
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 2
JVC Dual Deck

Hello once again...

I'd like to know your opinion about JVC SR-VS30U dual deck.

It seems to have all features i need, but i wonder if there are experince about it, or due you sugest another one with similar price, in order to preserve the head mechanism of my XL1s.

Thanks for your patience!

Jagodes Portugal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 21st, 2004, 07:54 AM   #2
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Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Albany NY
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I've been using one for about 2 years and like it quite a lot. It's a bit quirky in terms of setup. There is a consumer version of the the same deck (I don't see any differences) the JVC HR-DVS3U. See the very well written review by Steve McDonald just a few posts below yours!
Mike Cavanaugh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 5th, 2004, 07:16 PM   #3
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Posts: 92
Be wary of the JVC VS30U

I have one, and I use it, but I am less than happy.

- Problem #1, It is very finicky about the tapes it will accept. It will not accept the Fuji 80 minute tapes. It is also marginal with any tape recorded on LP. (Yeah, Yeah, Yeah, but I do theatricals with one act as much as 90 minutes so what should I do?)

- Problem #2, The audio can be marginal depending on camera and recording mode (e.g. LP). I get all kinds of whistling interference up high, its very noticeable if you are wearing headphones.

- Problem #3, Stars and Bars. That is one or two pixel thick horizontal lines (Bars) or a three by three patterns of little squares (Stars). This is apparently an electrical mismatch in the IEEE 1394 connection. So it varies from computer to computer and Firewire card to Firewire. It was quite common on my other machine, infrequent but still there in my new machine.

- Problem #4, Which may not be a problem, but just the nature of the beast, there is no device control over the SVHS side of the deck, and you cannot print from the timeline (I use Vegas) to VHS. I usually go MPEG to DVD to VHS but you could also go out to Mini-DV and then to VHS. Is there an easier way to do this?
(Which is another way of saying the manual is worthless - great if you want to use the deck to record a TV program, but no help if you plan to use it as part of a non-linear editing system.

I absolutely do not experience problems #1-#3 when I use my GL-2 as a capture deck, even for tapes recorded on my Opturas.

So buy it, check it out, and be ready to send it back. The one review of the VS3 (cheaper consumer? grade deck) did not mention these problems so you may want to try it too.

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Old June 6th, 2004, 06:26 PM   #4
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Interesting - I also do theater performance and have no problems with the Fuji 80 min tapes or LP mode. I use the deck as my master for 4 camera live to tape performances.

Re Audio - I have noticed that audio seems very hot - My dealer seems to think the Audio inputs (RCA) are geared to consumer level audio - when you take a feed from a sound board it comes in too hot. We are going to try a 10dB pad to see if that helps.
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Old June 7th, 2004, 07:01 AM   #5
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Location: Eugene, Oregon
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With the HR-DVS3U, the consumer version of this deck, I have had nothing but good performance. But, I wouldn't even consider using LP on the DV side, although I use nothing but EP with S-VHS for daily TV programs. I did do a test DV recording of the LP speed and it checked out fine, but I'm thinking of long-term durability of recordings, so SP
on 60-min. tapes will be just fine for me. I've also FireWired a playback to a Digital8 VCR and went back and forth between the two for several recording generations, without glitches.

I have played tapes recorded in my VX2100 in this VCR. I also played tapes recorded in it, in the VX2100 and the compatibility was total, except for part of the time and data codes. I'm sticking strictly to the higher-grade Sony Excellence tapes.

To my displeasure, I find that the timecode display from the HR-DVS3U shows whole seconds on its analog output, but not frame numbers. Since the SR-VS30U is a pro model, surely it shows frames on its analog-output timecode display?? Neither does the HR-DVS3U display the frame numbers of the timecode from its playback of a Sony-recorded tape.

However, guess what? The HR-DVS3U is actually recording timecode frames, but it just won't display them on it's own analog output. When I put a tape recorded in the HR-DVS3U, into a Sony recorder and play it back, the frames rattle off on the timecode display.

Just how much of a handicap this lack of the timecode frame display would be, if you played this VCR into an NLE system or through a digital edit-controler, I'm not sure. The timecode frames would be there, embedded in the FireWire signal for these timecode-based systems to use, but if you needed to see the frame numbers on a monitor fed by the playback
unit, you'd have to settle for whole seconds only. In a VCR to VCR manual editing set-up, this would probably lead you to designate the HR-DVS3U to be the recorder and a unit that displayed the frames, to be the player.

Since this VCR records timecode frames, why do you suppose JVC left them off its display? Just to encourage you to buy a more expensive model for editing purposes?

Also, the HR-DVS3U does not display the Data Code generated by it or the Sony units. When a Sony camcorder-recorded tape is played in a Sony unit and the signal is sent by FireWire into the JVC, re-recorded by it, then played and wired back into the Sony, the date and time part of the Data Code is preserved. But, the camera settings part from the original recording is gone. Apparently, the data that's recorded about camera settings is not standardized for the different brands.

But, the HR-DVS3U is recording the Data Code for the date and time. When its recorded tapes are played in a Sony unit, the date and time of day of the JVC's recording is displayed and it's exactly the same as it would be on a Sony recording. Is it possible there's some secret code to which I am not privy, that would prompt the JVC to display the timecode frames and Data Code?

The HR-DVS3U has a good freeze-frame and I'll use it for capturing video still-pictures onto disks. If I want to make distribution copies on VHS or S-VHS from edited DV master tapes, it will be perfect. The playback signal can be sent
internally to the VHS/S-VHS side for recording. It should be fine for sending a FireWire playback into a DVD recorder.
As I've said in my earlier reviews, the HR-DVS3U is a very quiet and smooth-running VCR and its controls are easy to learn and use. I'll tell you though, I did have to read the manual on this one, to figure out the complexities of the dual-deck interactions.
Steve McDonald
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