WHAT VCR's DO YOU OWN? - Page 4 - AVS Forum
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post #91 of 104 Old 03-26-2011, 08:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Ken.F View Post

I understand. I hoped my info could help in some way. I guess it didn't.

It does help: that was a very good point us old hands take for granted.

We often forget about the DVR-RT500 and DVR-RT501 because they were not widely available in USA retail stores (they were popular in Canada for a time, but seemed to go directly to online closeout dealers in USA). Thanks for adding the DVR-RT500 note, it completes the Pioneer part of this thread for any future scholars!
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post #92 of 104 Old 03-26-2011, 10:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CitiBear View Post

It does help: that was a very good point us old hands take for granted.

We often forget about the DVR-RT500 and DVR-RT501 because they were not widely available in USA retail stores (they were popular in Canada for a time, but seemed to go directly to online closeout dealers in USA). Thanks for adding the DVR-RT500 note, it completes the Pioneer part of this thread for any future scholars!

It was available here in the US for at least a little while. I bought it at Sam's Club in Fort Worth, TX.

It has been a rock-solid recorder that is still occasionally used. For the first 5 years I had it, I recorded and then played back ten hours worth of shows per week. My best guess is that I have over 6,000 hours on it and it's still going strong.
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post #93 of 104 Old 03-26-2011, 02:58 PM
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It's weird that Pioneer only ventured into VHS as part of the combos.

Were there any other makers that didn't make a VHS standalone but made combos? I can't think of one.

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post #94 of 104 Old 03-26-2011, 03:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulpa View Post

It's weird that Pioneer only ventured into VHS as part of the combos.

Were there any other makers that didn't make a VHS standalone but made combos? I can't think of one.

Probably just a short-term marketing decision to snag customers who were transitioning from VHS to recordable DVDs.

I have a Canadian DVR-RT502 sitting somewhere. For some reason, it seemed cool at the time.
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post #95 of 104 Old 03-26-2011, 03:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CitiBear View Post

BINGO!

A round of applause for Super Eye for being the one who FINALLY tracked down what exactly a "Pioneer VCR" was. Many threads here over the last couple years had questions that really needed an answer to that mystery, because the elusive "Pioneer VCR Remote Code" lingers on as one of the few "generic" device controllers in various cable/satellite and IR dongle accessories. We've been chasing ourselves trying to figure out which VHS mfr made the Pioneers, only to discover now they were Sony BetaMaxes! Not only that, but clones of the most beloved high-end BetaMax model ever!

Talk about an odd format choice late in the game, but Pioneer was clever in a way: they watched Sansui, TEAC, Akai, Aiwa, HK, and dbx promptly tank with their VHS HiFi models. By going with Beta, and having Sony give them the two highest-end models, Pioneer could at least have a credible shot at the Japanese home market where Beta remained strong (and Beta was a good match with their LaserDisc business). No wonder sightings of these machines became rarer than BigFoot in USA: not a chance they would sell here, they were probably distributed for just a few months.

Kudos again to Super Eye: I've been scouring the web (even BetaInfoGuide ) for pics of the Pioneer VCRs for two years now, and kept coming up empty. Thanks!

The Japanese were always more quality wise and I also read that the beta and the LaserDisc formats were both more popular in Japan. Pioneer laserDisc players were big sellers. According to http://www.betainfoguide.net/Pix3.htm the Japanese version of “SuperBeta” was called “HiBand Beta” If you scroll midway to the above link they have pictures of a North American SL-HF900 and a Japanese SL-HF900 and by looking at the tape slot door you can see “SuperBeta Hi Fi" on the North American model and "HiBand Beta Hi Fi" on the Japanese model. Another difference is the Bls recording speed. The North American model had to be modified in order to record on the highest quality speed but the Japanese model had a factory setting for the Bls speed. If you look at the pictures in that link you will see this in the rec speed setting control. Again it comes down to the Japanese demanding higher quality I guess.

Here is the link, the 900s are about midway.
http://www.betainfoguide.net/Pix3.htm

Getting back to the Pioneer VX90, In the earlier pictures I linked, I don’t think that the remote control is the original. I say this because the Sony remote had a jog dial on it. I do see a rare North American VX90 on eBay once in a while but the common Sony version 900 is almost always available on eBay - for big bucks.
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post #96 of 104 Old 03-26-2011, 08:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CitiBear View Post

SVHS was another kludge: SuperBeta used ordinary Beta tapes and heads, adding little to the base price. SVHS was a whole secondary format with expensive hardware and expensive blanks that wouldn't play on older VCRs. It worked, but most consumers outside the home Asian market greeted it with indifference. It got cheaper later by adding yet a third kludge, SVHS-ET-on-ordinary-tape, but c'mon- give it a rest. I know a lot of folks here on AVS just loved SVHS-ET, but most of us thought it was a joke, and today those ET tapes are among the bigger pains to digitize.

You can't really compare SuperBeta and S-VHS -- despite the similar names, they were really very different creatures. SuperBeta provided a much smaller jump in luminance resolution (from 250 lines for standard Beta up to 300 lines for SuperBeta) than did S-VHS (240 line for standard VHS versus 400 lines for S-VHS). So while SuperBeta retained some compatability with standard Beta VCRs, it did so at the expense of providing a much smaller boost in quality than did S-VHS. S-VHS at it's best did look quite impressive -- in the nineties, I was making S-VHS recordings from a C-Band satellite receiver, and the resulting picture quality was quite impressive for the time...friends were amazed at how good the picture could look.

Regarding S-VHS-ET eliminating the need for using expensive S-VHS cassettes -- long prior to that, some of us video nuts were experimenting at recording S-VHS on regular cassettes through the simple expedient of drilling the S-VHS recognition hole in regular cassettes. As a lark, I tried doing so with an RCA VK-250 cassette that I'd bought for my first VCR back in 1980 -- S-VHS did indeed record on that cassette, with full S-VHS resolution and a somewhat degraded signal to noise ratio. In the SP mode, it actually looked pretty good, but S-VHS in the EP mode on that old RCA tape was definitely on the noisy side.

Somewhere, I still have an old S-VHS recording of "Antz" in anamorphic widescreen, recorded onto such a cassette (albeit, not quite as old of a standard VHS cassette), and it actually looks surprisingly good.
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post #97 of 104 Old 03-26-2011, 08:49 PM
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I really enjoyed your VCR history post doswonk1.

Quote:
Originally Posted by doswonk1 View Post

It [Mitsubishi 748] had a feature that, when you first popped the tape in, tested it and supposedly optimized the record settings for that particular tape. I never really believed it

My 1994 Mitsubishi HS-U500 had the same feature. It biases the tape heads to the tape stock. It does help. Remember the old high-end 3-head cassette and reel-to-reel audio decks? Some of them would do the same thing but you would manually have to bias the deck. They would record certain Hz tone signals and while the rec head was recording, the play head was in play back mode and one of the VU meters would indicate which way you should turn the bias switch to compensate. In fact every VHS deck I owned after my Mitsubishi had the auto bias feature - your JVC HR-S3911U and HR-S5911U have the auto bias feature it's part of the Auto Calibration feature. In fact I'm pretty sure that in order to record a SVHS signal to a VHS tape (ET) you need to have this set to on so the deck can properly calibrate the heads for a best possible SVHS signal. Although like Tom mentioned above, SVHS signal will record on a VHS tape by just drilling a SVHS recognition hole in the shell.

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Originally Posted by doswonk1 View Post

One thing that bothered me about that machine, however, was it's insanely fast rewind and fast-forward speeds.

That's the one thing I never liked on my 1994 U500 Mitsubishi. Although the feature worked good on my deck I was always afraid that the auto sensor will break down ruin my tapes while rewinding them.

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Originally Posted by doswonk1 View Post

Lately, I have been picking up VHS tapes from Amazon and eBay with stuff that has either never made it to DVD or is extremely expensive on DVD but can be had on VHS for a few bucks. I make a dub to the DVDR in XP or FR mode, dump it to a DVD, chapterize it, title it, thumbnail it, and I'm good. For non-PQ-critical stuff, it works.

Exactly what I do, once in a while I also check thrift stores for out of print concerts that I can buy for $2. One thing about me though, is I don't always make a DVDr copy of something I may want to play right away, lately I just been using my newest HR-S5912U just for playback - I guess I will eventually have to dub everything.

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Originally Posted by doswonk1 View Post

Dontcha hate it when that ultra-rare program you painstakingly dubbed on your DVD recorder (after making 8 attempts on eBay to get a VCR that matched the head misalignment of your original machine) becomes available to any doofus with an Amazon account and 15 bucks to burn?

Actually my two JVCs pretty well track everything I throw at them. Granted, I only have a few hundred tapes but still. Virtually all my tapes are SP but still.

I do hate the feeling that I collected some of these rarities thirty years ago and virtually no one else had a working copy left but once they release the title any doofus can pick up a pristine copy for a few backs and my rare gem becomes valueless.
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post #98 of 104 Old 03-26-2011, 09:28 PM
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doswonk1, enclosed is an explanation for using the tape calibration feature for your HR-S3911U and HR-S5911U decks. I hi-lighted the relevant stuff in blue ink.
LL
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post #99 of 104 Old 03-27-2011, 01:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Super Eye View Post

doswonk1, enclosed is an explanation for using the tape calibration feature for your HR-S3911U and HR-S5911U decks. I hi-lighted the relevant stuff in blue ink.

OK, I remember my JVCs doing that now. Haven't used 'em in several years. Guess I didn't pay a lot of attention to it because I was used to the Mitsubishis doing it. The JVCs do have a habit of periodically flashing "VIDEO CALIBRATION" on the screen when they're having trouble tracking a tape made on another recorder, usually a problem tape. I like the way it tries to fix the tracking on the fly; the on-screen message is kind of annoying when you're dubbing to the DVDR.

Overall, though, I like the 3911/5911. They're smooth, quiet machines with a nice feature set. I'll probably never put so much mileage on them that they start suffering from tracking problems of their own.

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Originally Posted by Super Eye View Post

I do hate the feeling that I collected some of these rarities thirty years ago and virtually no one else had a working copy left but once they release the title any doofus can pick up a pristine copy for a few backs and my rare gem becomes valueless.

Ay-Men, Brother!
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post #100 of 104 Old 03-27-2011, 05:44 AM
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Originally Posted by doswonk1 View Post

The JVCs do have a habit of periodically flashing "VIDEO CALIBRATION" on the screen when they're having trouble tracking a tape made on another recorder, usually a problem tape. I like the way it tries to fix the tracking on the fly; the on-screen message is kind of annoying when you're dubbing to the DVDR.


That on-screen calibration message is really stupid and it's the most annoying thing about these machines. Why couldn't they have the little green VCR light on the front panel flash when the deck starts re-calibrating itself? However, you can do a few things to prevent the calibration message from flashing on the screen.

If I'm going to dub a tape to the DVDr, I flip my JVC deck into the edit mode. (Recommended) The deck will still recalibrate itself if it has to but the calibration message won't flash. Plus the edit mode shuts down the HQ circuitry which is only meant for playback while still running the HQ circuitry meant for dubbing. Some people find the picture too soft in this mode however its supposed to look that way (not adding artificial sharpness) and if the picture needs to be sharpened you're supposed to use the noise reduction/ sharpness enhancement on the DVDr recorder instead. I recommend this for most tapes, not all tapes.

Another thing to keep in mind. If you run a tape that won't stay locked in auto-tracking mode for half n hour or more at a time, you really should try manual tracking. I have a few, maybe three or four tapes like that and I find that once I adjust the tracking manually, those tapes stay locked really good for the entire program in manual-tracking mode. I have no way of knowing how bad YOUR tapes are and your mileage may vary.

If you don't want to kick your deck into edit-mode and/or you don't want to track manually, you can always turn off super-impose and the calibration flashing won't appear on screen. I don't recommend doing this. I do recommend the edit-mode for most tapes and manual tracking for the bad ones.
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post #101 of 104 Old 04-01-2011, 11:48 PM
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i used to own a Samsung VR8360 VHS / S-VHS playback VCR. it includes jitter-free special effects playback capabilities as well as automatically adjusting video heads to assure best picture and quality sound. A T-120 tape can be rewound in approximately 60 seconds.

but once i had a dvd recorder, i gave this to my grandparents

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post #102 of 104 Old 08-21-2011, 12:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisSwanson72 View Post

In March 2004, I bought a Panasonic S4990, the seller said it was in
"PERFECT WORKING ORDER", IT WAS NOT!!
THE VCR came to me with Original box, manual, and remote, but it
only played tapes in
Black and White/NO COLOR! And with MAJOR GHOSTING!
Therefore, shortly after this, I bought the SAME model number, that
still has GHOSTING, but plays tapes in color, with NO HI-FI sound!

I have this same VCR, and no color playback is caused by dried up surface-mount capacitors at the video board area. However, if you play a tape for more than 45 minutes after the VCR is warmed up, the color shows up suddenly.
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post #103 of 104 Old 09-17-2011, 06:28 PM
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I'm loving this thread - I will never give up my vcr's. In fact I just replaced my Sony which I bought a couple of years ago that bit the dust with one of the ones that was pictured here.

I may be doing a dvd conversion project now, but I'll never feel about dvd what I do for vhs.
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post #104 of 104 Old 09-18-2011, 11:56 AM
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My first VCR bought in 1986 was a Matsushita made Philco. It wasn't cable ready and 13 thumbwheel channel settings and a wired remote. I paid $300 for it. I believe it had 2 timer programs and since the OTR had a stand-by feature you could "trick" it into 3 programs.

Since then I've owned a Matsushita made Magnavox, several Panasonics and Samsungs.

I still have a Samsung VR3604 from 1995 that works like it's new. The main problem with it is: any power glitch and I mean like half a second will clear the clock, the programs and the channel set.

I like Matsushita and Samsung machines mostly because they have what I think is the clearest and easiest on screen programming. I have a JVC SVHS HR-S5900U that bought on ebay for $70. It appeared to be new and un-used. I think it's one of the last stand alone VCRs made. But, I have to admit I'm sort of disappointed with it. The remote is bad, the video is not as good as the Panasonic and Samsung VCRs I've owned.

I worked at TV station and we used a lot of Sanyo VWM-370s to make dubs of commericals for clients. These machines made beautiful tapes and just didn't break. When they did fail it wasn't mechanical, the electronics would go crazy. However, they make a lot of noise when loading a tape. It sounds like a hoard of angry bees.

I still have one and it still makes great tapes. The on screen programming on these machines is badly thought out and annoying, however.

My least favorite machines were the Daewoo made RCAs we had at work. Nice on screen programming, but the machines were just junk. Let me take back Funai made the worst machines.
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