WHAT VCR's DO YOU OWN? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 104 Old 03-18-2011, 07:16 PM - Thread Starter
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I know this is a dvd recorder forum but I assume most of us here have dvd recorders mainly because of transferring old material from our videotape collections to dvd. I wanted to see what members on the board have in their vcr collections.

I received my 1st vcr way back in 1985 (a cheap mono Fisher vcr which went bad 24 hours after I took it out the box). I probably have been through 20+ vcrs since then but this is what I still have now:

JVC 5400 SVHS
JVC 5911 SVHS
JVC 7800 SVHS
JVC 9500 SVHS (just bought off Craigslist 2 months ago for $20). Great deck.
Sony SVO-2000 SVHS (2) (A lady on Craigslist who once had a video suite business was just giving them away & I was the lucky recipient of both).

3 different Sony Betamax (SL-5200 which is the 1st ever Beta VCR with HiFi stereo audio, SL-HF300 & SL-HF450).
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post #2 of 104 Old 03-18-2011, 07:33 PM
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I currently have 3 SLV-R5uc sonys, a panasonic pv-4962. with no macro. will record dvds.

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post #3 of 104 Old 03-18-2011, 08:01 PM
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My first of more than twenty VCRs was purchased in 1986 at Costco. This was an Emerson manufactured by Mitsubish.

Between 1986 to early 1990 I had more than twenty VCRs of various brands. Three were high end JVC models, two of which were SVHS models. The worst JVC was a $1,200 misty rose (colored) HRD630U with "digital" features. The HRD630U was sent to JVC's Compton California service facility more than once but they couldn't fix it. The last visit to Compton had the 630 sitting there for several months while I sent letters to JVC headquarters and played telephone tag with JVC's Western Region Representative. After about a year of this nonsense the JVC representative arranged for a swap for a high-end SVHS model. This SVHS model was a piece of junk. Within days I returned it for another SVHS model, a 6600, 6800 or was it a 6900 that had a jog-shuttle wheel behind a fold-down door as well as the remote? That SVHS model was no better and was also returned. That's when I got a Sony SLV555UC.

The Sony SLV555UC (purchased in 1990) was my favorite VCR but it needed several repairs to keep it functional. The power supply failed in 1996. That's why I purchased a Toshiba M781 in 1996. (I kept intending to repair the Sony 555 but never got around to it. The Sony was kept in it's original box until it was donated to Goodwill around 2007.)

Currently, I still have three Toshiba VCRs, a M781, a M745 (both purchased in 1996) and a W605 (purchased around 2001). The M781 had very heavy use from 1996 to 2005 when I purchased the first of my many Panasonic DVD recorders. The M745 has had infrequent use from 1996 to 2006 and the W605 has had frequent use by our daughter from 2001 to 2009. The M781 and M745 were last regularly used during my selective dubbing project (5,200 titles) in 2007. Today these Toshiba VCRs are still funtional but are semi-retired.

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post #4 of 104 Old 03-18-2011, 08:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mickinct View Post

I currently have 3 SLV-R5uc sonys,

Three? Seriously? And you haven't dropped them from a tall building in frustration yet? They're notorious as the best-performing VHS/SVHS Sony ever made but also the most hopelessly unreliable: there are entire blogs written by owners mourning the fact they couldn't keep their SLV-R5uc operational for more than a week at a time, and gave up after the sixth power supply failure. I always wanted to try one out.
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post #5 of 104 Old 03-18-2011, 08:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CitiBear View Post

Three? Seriously? And you haven't dropped them from a tall building in frustration yet? They're notorious as the best-performing VHS/SVHS Sony ever made but also the most hopelessly unreliable: there are entire blogs written by owners mourning the fact they couldn't keep their SLV-R5uc operational for more than a week at a time, and gave up after the sixth power supply failure. I always wanted to try one out.

I GOT mine on ebay 5 years ago, one was brand new for 125.00 still in the box now do not use any of them. any offers??

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post #6 of 104 Old 03-18-2011, 09:19 PM
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I have a Mitsubishi HS-U748 SVHS in my home theater rack. I still use it occasionally for the few movies I have that never made it to DVD. It's fun to use, and even has an acceptable (to my eyes) picture for my 720p TV.

It replaced a Panasonic PV4601 that is now in my bedroom. It's got a Sony SLV-679 stacked on top of it. They're set up for dubbing, but I've never used it as such. The Panny is also the bedroom TV's tuner. The Sony has also functioned in that capacity when the Panny was in the rack. I very rarely use them for playback.

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post #7 of 104 Old 03-18-2011, 11:15 PM
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I currently own four working VCRs.

-JVC SVHS HR-S3911U (2002)
Had this since new in 2002. Very heavy use from 2002 to Sept 2009 when I finally bought my Sony RDR-HX780 HDD/DVD-R.

BTW, I bought my first DVD-R at the time of buying my JVC SVHS HR-S3911U. A really nice Panasonic non HDD RAM recorder. I took it back because it cost more than twice as much as my HR-S3911U SVHS and the picture was far worse in LP for time shifting. For archiving in XP and SP it had a really nice picture but for time shifting in LP it was bad. Plus I needed a new VCR and couldn't afford both at the same time. I am really glad that at the time I decided to go with the JVC SVHS HR-S3911U instead - still woks like new.

-JVC SVHS HR-S5912U (2003)
Bought this a few months ago for $15 off craigslist. It came with the box and all the packaging. This VCR seems lightly used, even the remote control looks like new. So far I played 31 shows (recorded from various decks or commercial tapes) in this VCR - all tracked and play flawlessly.

-Sony SuperBeta SL-HFR70 (1985)
Bought this used a few years ago. I have the HF processor as well but at the moment I can't get any HF sound out of it, otherwise the VCR works well.

-Sony Beta SL-HF300 (1984)
Bought this used for very cheap off a local Ebay seller a few years ago. The VCR seems to have lots of wear n tear but works pretty good.

------------------------

Past VCRs.

Sony SuperBeta SL-HF400 (1985)
This was my first VCR. I was working at a TV station for about 5 years and I was used to working with ¾ inch, 2 inch and BetaCam VTRs - I knew that betamax was on its way out but I also knew that betamax was superior to VHS. Unfortunately around 1994 I had a lightning strike near my house and it damaged my amp, my cassette deck and this VCR. I still own this as a beta parts machine.

-Philips I think this was a 1986 model. I believe it was the first Philips HQ VCR with HF sound. Really, really nice VCR. I didn't really own this VCR but I used to borrow it a lot to do dubbing to my above beta. (in return I dubbed from my beta to this VCR for the real owner.) I did use this VCR to record some VHS HF tapes for myself as well. AFAIK this machine still works.

-Mitsubishi HS-U500 (1994)
Bought this new but I accidentally ruined it around five years later. Too bad, it had a nice built quality and nice PQ for VHS HQ. Good HF sound.

Sony SLV-798HF (1999)
Bought this to replace my above Mitsu. This Sony was the worst VCR I ever owned. Not great PQ for a VHS-HQ, good HF sound but the tuner started drifting as soon as the warrantee ran out - then the tracking started drifting - seemed to have a tension problem
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post #8 of 104 Old 03-18-2011, 11:30 PM
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I've been through every brand and most models since 1981. The most common thread through all was that the best performers with the best specs were often the most flaky, unreliable and problematic. Once everyone switched to DVD or PVRs, and the really good semi-pro VCRs came down in price second hand, I settled on the Panasonic AG1980 SVHS and Mistubishi HS-HD2000u DVHS. They're reliable, track well, and have the TBC/DNR filters. I've got two of each, plus a couple of older AG1970s and AG2560s I found at a surplus sale, and a simple Quasar. I still hold onto my JVC 9911, the last in a long, long line of horrible JVC vcrs I've owned. Don't know why I keep it, I bought the MGA specifically to replace it.

For Beta, I keep a Sony SL-HF300 and SL-HF500. Had a lot of Betas early on, nicest one was the SL-5800 (the most luxurious-feeling piece of consumer electronics ever and Sonys Betamax high water mark). When Beta HiFi debuted, I picked up the first SL-5200 at Macys (remember when Macys sold VCRs)? Most unreliable VCR I ever owned. Replaced it with an NEC (!) Beta HiFi and then a Toshiba (!), which was pretty slick for a non-Sony Betamax. Eventually tired of Beta issues and forced myself to tolerate VHS. Never loved it, but it was utilitarian and reliable (except for the hopeless JVC trainwrecks: the more you spent on a JVC, the more likely it was to rip your heart out within months). Only VHS I ever had that could beat Beta PQ was a Minolta VHS HiFi made by Hitachi- phenomenal color and detail, even better than later SVHS models. When it broke down for good I wore a black arm band.

By the time I get everything transferred to DVD, we'll have moved to holographic multi-terabyte archival storage systems, and I'll be able to reduce my entire library to the size of a MacBook. Assuming anyone's still using laptops, it'll probably be wrist computers beaming signals to 3D sunglasses with built-in HDTV displays.
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post #9 of 104 Old 03-19-2011, 07:33 AM
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1st VCR, a 1982 RCA VFT-650 4 video head(of course no Hi-Fi) purchased for ~$1200. I believe it was the first VCR with wireless IR remote
A little more than a year later I wanted to do some copying so I purchased a new Sanyo Betacord VCR(at Labelles for the great price of $399, VHS machines were still well over $500). I never really cared for Beta so purchased a floor model Magnavox VR8345(clone to my RCA) from Sound Of Music(later to become Best Buy) for $450(damaged front but worked just fine).

A couple years later I spotted my first dream machine(originally I was going to go Beta but a friend convinced me to go VHS, for one reason he had HBO and a nice collection of movies he'd recorded). It was a '81 Sony SL-5800 with the AG-300 beta stacker which allowed 4(I believe) tapes to be stacked giving me over 20 hrs of unattended recording. The Sony had many state of the art features but HiFi wasn't one of them, that came several years later. I think I paid ~$250 from the now defunct Sony Sound Center.

Next came my VHS dream machine, a '80 JVC HR-6700U second hand from Stereoland. The reason I wanted this machine was because it had the very rare feature of being able to speed up the picture(2x?) and also play the sound and it even corrected the pitch so it was mostly understandable, at least for news type programming.
In the following years I added a couple more JVC 6700u's(one for parts the other one usable) another SL-5800 because it was such a good deal and a similar Sony SL-5600 Beta and finally another RCA VFT-650.

By the 90s I wanted to get into this new fangled HiFi so in '92 I purchased a Mitsubishi HS-57U(from Abes in NY $449). This machine was a workhorse and it was my main machine until I got into DVDRs. In the mid to late 90s I got into cheaper Samsung VCRs which IMO were more than decent and a great price.
My first Sammy was a VR8705 in '95 followed by another in '96 both from Best Buy for ~$250, the Sammys were great players but I didn't record with them too much because of their narrower SP video heads. I only used SP and preferred machines with the full 80 micron heads, anything less just wasted tape space.

By the early to mid 00s some of my older VCRs had been repaired multiple times(by me, I never took them in) and were beginning to show their age, so time to stock up. I purchased a POS Sylvania combo for $89 at Sears and shortly after (3) more Sammys(they would prove to be my last as I would soon switch to DVDs). The Sammys were Model VR-5460 from Sears for $49.99 $1200 for my first VCR in 1982 dollars and $49.99 for my last purchased in 2004, amazing

What's left:
(3) RCA VFT-650's including my first VCR, 4 head, wireless IR.
(2) Sony SL-5800 Beta w/1 AG-300 stacker
(1) Sony SL-5600 Beta cheaper version of above, picked up some where
(1) Magnavox VR8345 clone of RCA VFT-650
(1) Mitsubishi HS-57u 4 head HiFi
(1) Samsung VR-8705 (sold other one at garage sale for $15 late 00s)
(3) Samsung VR-5460 (one NIB)
(1) Sylvania POS combo SRD3900 DVD side inop
(1) Sony VHS, SLV-R5UC Super VHS, HiFi, 1990 model. Forgot about this until now. I think it's a Top Of The Line model and looks gorgeous with it's wood sides, flip down front, jog shuttle remote w/flip down front. This VCR does things I never knew were possible with VHS including lots of digital special effects. I hardly used it as by the time I got it I was fully into DVDRs. I saved it from the recycle bin at my old place of employment in '06. As beautiful as this machine is, IMO my Panasonic DVDRs still make a nicer recording

Total VCRs(if I remember them all) 14
Most haven't been plugged in for the last 15?? years

I've got (4) Panasonic ES-30v VHS/DVDR combos if you want to count those
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post #10 of 104 Old 03-19-2011, 08:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjeff View Post

1st VCR, a 1982 RCA VFT-650 4 video head(of course no Hi-Fi) purchased for ~$1200. I believe it was the first VCR with wireless IR remote

This was my first as well, jjeff and I have discussed it at length in other similar threads. I couldn't afford to buy mine, so I rented it for $39.95/month from the now-defunct Granada TV/VCR Rental chain. The VFT-650 was the last of the top-line Panasonics rebranded as RCA, soon after RCA hired Hitachi as their OEM. A nice top loader that set the tone for many that followed- the 650 was considered THE vcr for a couple years there. PQ was OK off-air but like all early VHS it was none too hot at dubbing other tapes.

Quote:


A little more than a year later I wanted to do some copying so I purchased a new Sanyo Betacord VCR(at Labelles for the great price of $399, VHS machines were still well over $500).

The Sanyo BetaCord at $399 was a hot loss-leader vcr at many chain stores, the cheapest you could buy for a couple years. Unfortunately it was probably also the single worst BetaMax ever made: Sony quickly regretted giving Sanyo a license, because problems with the Sanyo gave Sony a big black eye (the only other Betas at that point were Zenith clones of the Sonys, so everyone thought Sony made the Sanyo as well.) Around the same time, Sanyo bought the Fisher name and began selling zillions of VHS under the Fisher brand: again as chain store loss leaders, and again the worst in that format-unbelievably bad. Fisher made more money for more repair shops than anything. But the name and logo still carried quality cache with the older demographic, the machines were prettier cosmetically than Matsushitas or JVCs, and the prices were 20% less. Very clever marketing by Sanyo.

Quote:


A couple years later I spotted my first dream machine. It was a '81 Sony SL-5800 with the AG-300 beta stacker which allowed 4(I believe) tapes to be stacked giving me over 20 hrs of unattended recording.

Me too, jjeff and I have discussed this as well. Someone really needs to put up a video on youTube showing the BetaStacker in action: the most amazing gizmo you could imagine and it really did work. They cost $350. Sony made one for each of its first few model series, but stopped after the slimline front-loader SL-2700 because the device worked much better as top-load. Watching it pop up the tray of my SL5800, eject the tape, roll it gently into a storage tray, drop down a fresh tape, roll it into the SL-5800, and push down the tape hatch was a trick that had to be seen to be believed. Sony introduced it to extend recording time, but in practice its best use was to keep ongoing recordings of different TV shows on their own separate tapes, and keep each movie on its own tape, at the better-quality fast recording speed. It was like having four separate VCRs, one for each timer recording, which is what justified the $350 outlay. I really missed this when I moved to VHS: the functionality of the BetaStacker remained unmatched until DVD recorders with HDD appeared.
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post #11 of 104 Old 03-20-2011, 09:37 AM
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Interesting thread, it seems we all have a similar history with these things.

My first VCR was a Portable 2 head Mitsubishi. It looked like a boom box stereo that kids would walk around with in the 80s with those long big handles. In 1980 or 1981, I paid $600 for it at Harvey Electronics in White Plains. I was in 10th or 11th grade High School. At the time this store had all the best electronics goods from around the world, superior to any other store.

A year later I picked up a Magnavox VCR at a family run electronics store for just over $300. The second recorder was to make copies of tapes and in 1981 I began a VHS collection from tapes I would rent at local video stores.

In 2005, I copied all my VHS tapes that were salvageable, and put everything onto DVDs which was not that much since most of my VHS tapes had rapidly deteriorated. I trashed all my VHS tapes at once. I have a single VCR (not sure of the brand) stashed away but never use it. I mainly save it for the TV tuner. The VHS tapes deteriorate rapidly after about 15 years, with lines appearing in the picture. I don't know why anyone would have any use for these things any longer unless they come across a rare title that only is available on VHS and not DVD.
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post #12 of 104 Old 03-20-2011, 02:20 PM - Thread Starter
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I still have my huge video library of well over 1000 tapes to transfer to dvd which is mostly sporting events, weekly music shows, documentaries etc that will never be released commercially on dvd. I will always need a few vcrs around for transferring purposes. Also, I guess it's amazing to own vcrs for next to nothing which at one time costs hundreds or thousands of dollars.
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post #13 of 104 Old 03-20-2011, 04:47 PM
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dvdrecorderjunkie,

You had better get going and transfer all the most wanted videos in your library over to DVD. Put the pedal to the metal. As I mentioned, the VHS tapes deteriorate over time, and the deterioration can literally take place overnight, where lines will show in the video.

Also, a lesson I learned, do not transfer anything to DVD onto rewritable discs that you would like to save long term. Make sure to burn it onto +R or -R discs for longevity, not +RW or -RW discs. Check the media links here for the best quality DVDs and how to read them. If you want, I can dig up the info on the brand and type sold at the Super Media Store that is top rated for you to save you time.

For best preserving the DVD titles, of course it is best to record it on High Quality level, but you use up a disk after only 60 minutes. I save most DVD titles on the SP level, but if the original video is very grainy or very special, I save it on HQ speed. Pass on any longer recording speeds than SP unless it is a speed that is 2-1/2 hours and you need it to fit it on the disc.
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post #14 of 104 Old 03-20-2011, 06:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjeff View Post

1st VCR, a 1982 RCA VFT-650 4 video head(of course no Hi-Fi) purchased for ~$1200. I believe it was the first VCR with wireless IR remote

Wow! That was my second VCR -- the first was an RCA VCT-201 that I'd bought as a close out. It was amazing technology at the time...
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post #15 of 104 Old 03-20-2011, 07:37 PM
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The VCT models would be 3 model years older than my VFT model. RCA had a unique model numbering system in the early days. Each model year would increase the middle letter by one letter. This would go on for many years and was quite handy on identifying what year the recorder was made. The VFT-650 was the top of the line in model year '82.
I'm going to guess your VCT was a 2-4 hr machine(lacked the 6hr SLP speed) and had mechanical piano keys along with a mechanical tuner? Very early model for sure.
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post #16 of 104 Old 03-20-2011, 08:40 PM
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Quote:
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...VHS tapes deteriorate over time, and the deterioration can literally take place overnight, where lines will show in the video.

What do you mean by lines will show in the video? Do you mean an occasional glitch that lasts a few frames to a few seconds or do you mean that the lines are continuous throughout the tape?

I have tapes that have been in circulation as far back as 1979 (bought used from rental stores) and none of my tapes exhibit any major problems other than the occasional glitch or drop out.

Do you store your tapes vertically with no weight on the tape or do you stack your tapes horizontally with weight on top of your tapes? Even short-term storage with weight on top of tapes can cause the tape to crease, which will show lines in the video. Weight on top of tapes can also cause tape tension problems, which may also appear as lines in the video. Even proper long term storage can cause tension problems and the tape may need to be re-packed meaning a full cycle of fast forward and rewind, preferably in the machine that you intend to play the tape in.

Storing tapes near magnetic sources such as electric motors, speakers and CRTs may also cause lines in the video due to partially re-arranging the magnetic particles coated in the tape.

Then there are of-course tracking relating problems especially with tapes recorded in LP, SLP/ EP speeds and played back on different machines. Also, if your original recorder had a slight tension miss-alignment (you may not have noticed this if playing back in the same machine) but once played in another machine with proper tension - the recorded material may exhibit lines in the video. Badly out of spec VCRs can also cause permanent tape glitches from physically damaging the tape.

If on the other hand you're storing your tapes properly and use VCRs that are within spec and you just see an occasional glitch or drop-out, that's normal and those tapes should last for many years.
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post #17 of 104 Old 03-20-2011, 11:51 PM
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Images of some of the vintage VCRs mentioned so far:
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post #18 of 104 Old 03-20-2011, 11:53 PM
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And a few more:
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post #19 of 104 Old 03-21-2011, 04:50 AM
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#1 in your last set is my RCA VFT-650, a really nice machine at the time(cone was the Panasonic PV-1770 I believe) and photo #2 in your last set is a machine I looked for long and hard but never found, an original JVC 3300 SP only recorder, the one that started it all for VHS. Since it was SP only(like many commercial machines) everything was optimized for the quality SP recording speed, not SLP(EP) of later machines.
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post #20 of 104 Old 03-21-2011, 09:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Super Eye View Post

What do you mean by lines will show in the video? Do you mean an occasional glitch that lasts a few frames to a few seconds or do you mean that the lines are continuous throughout the tape? .

The lines are thin, white and continuous. You touched on several points that could have accelerated the deterioration but I doubt many people can say as you do that they have tapes as far back as 1979 that exhibit no major problem.

I did store virtually all my tapes by stacking them, without boxes, flat, and with a lot of weight against them from other tapes. Virtually all my tapes were videos I recorded onto blank tapes, one time, but most on SP (2 hour) or LP (4 hour) speeds. The thing is these tapes produced crystal clear video for about 15 years and then rapidly deteriorated at almost the same time.

I also have a few, store purchased brand new VHS tapes of classic films, such as Jaws, that after 15 years also deteriorated, with a grainy, washed out picture and those thin white lines appearing.

You may get a rude surprise and find all those tapes as far back as 1979, end up dying when you go to play them.

This link touches upon the same points you raised and mentions that after 25 years they can become unwatchable.

http://reportermag.com/article/01-15...dia-shelf-life
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post #21 of 104 Old 03-21-2011, 09:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sisophous View Post

I did store virtually all my tapes by stacking them, without boxes, flat, and with a lot of weight against them from other tapes.

More than likely, this is what caused your problems with deterioration. Tapes stored in a horizontal position will develop an uneven tape pack, and gravity will cause friction all along the tape surfaces. Its a slow process, but as you say one day, "boom", you notice it. This gets accelerated if you live in a warm or humid climate.

I have hundreds of VHS tapes dating back to 1981-84, and very few show any deterioration at all. For most of that time they have been stored indifferently in a basement with no climate control, thru extremes of many NYC summers and winters. All are stored vertically, in groups of ten packed in the original shipping cartons (which usually held ten tapes each). The only tapes that have deteriorated on me were known-bad brands to begin with, and some very old Hollywood tapes that tended to be mfr'd with the cheapest tape stock housed in the crappiest shells. I find the Sony Beta tapes held up rather less well than Sony VHS, or Beta tapes made by TDK or Fuji: Sony L500 and L750 of the '80s are unpredictable in storage.
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post #22 of 104 Old 03-21-2011, 10:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CitiBear View Post

Tapes stored in a horizontal position will develop an uneven tape pack, and gravity will cause friction all along the tape surfaces. Its a slow process, but as you say one day, "boom", you notice it. This gets accelerated if you live in a warm or humid climate.

All are stored vertically, in groups of ten packed in the original shipping cartons (which usually held ten tapes each). The only tapes that have deteriorated on me were known-bad brands to begin with, and some very old Hollywood tapes that tended to be mfr'd with the cheapest tape stock housed in the crappiest shells.

I had no idea storing the tapes horizontally as opposed to vertically could affect shelf life. I also played my tapes continually, so I think the use I put mine through compared to your tapes that sat unused had a big effect on their longevity. I must have watched the Jaws title hundreds of times over and no wonder it deteriorated to the extent it was unwatchable. When I purchased this VHS tape new, it was as sharp as it could get, but some 15 years later it basically died. Just my take, despite your storing your tapes the proper way, I would bet you will find in the near future that the tapes will basically be unwatchable.

I do view a lot of new adult releases of classic films originally filmed in the 70s, then were put onto VHS in the early 80s and then got transferred recently onto DVD (studio: Alpha Blue Archives). Most of these DVD releases have terrible picture quality which is likely a case of the VHS tapes deteriorating and no effort made to restore the video.
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post #23 of 104 Old 03-21-2011, 10:45 AM
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Of course experiences vary, this forum is useful precisely because different people report different findings and we can then use our judgement based on that range. I didn't mean to contradict sisophous, just offer a possible reason why he may have experienced a greater percentage of deterioration. My tapes spend most of their time stored, I try to check all of them on an annual basis so I can prioritize which need to be digitized most urgently. But I don't watch them "hundreds of times", as sisophous has with "Jaws" and some other titles. Very frequent playback will certainly accelerate deterioration: each play grinds the oxide off a tiny bit more, and as VCRs age their transports get less and less gentle, causing the "lines" sisophous described. Commercial tapes like "Jaws" in particular will wear out faster than home-recorded tapes: Hollywood used mass duplication techniques and the shoddiest possible raw materials, so your start point is already compromised. I have a few Hollywood tapes from around 1992 that completely rotted away just sitting quietly on a shelf: totally unplayable now, and they clog the VCR heads to boot.

My point was that a consumer who used a nice TDK SA or Maxell HG T120 to record MTV in 1983 and stored it vertically has a reasonably good chance it will still play as well as it did 28 years ago. I agree with sisophous that we're probably nearing the outside limit of VHS archival abilities, however: while I've routinely experienced and heard of tapes being fine after 25 years, I don't believe they'll reach 35 or 45 with no storage damage. Those of us who haven't yet completed our tape digitizing projects should get moving and finish by 2015 at the latest. After that, assuming we live long enough and actually still care about preserving this stuff, hopefully a new truly archival media will come along to replace the still-dubious DVD-R and HDD. I do wonder what anyone else would make of my collection after I'm gone: probably think I was crazy for making thousands of personal recordings in an age when NetFlix 2020 will doubtless have everything ever broadcast or filmed available for instant web rental for pennies on the hour.
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post #24 of 104 Old 03-21-2011, 12:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CitiBear View Post

I do wonder what anyone else would make of my collection after I'm gone: probably think I was crazy for making thousands of personal recordings in an age when NetFlix 2020 will doubtless have everything ever broadcast or filmed available for instant web rental for pennies on the hour.

I have run down many titles I had on VHS that were put onto DVD and then could duplicate it. The problem is tens of thousands of little known titles that were put onto VHS in the 80s and 90s were never put onto DVD. You can always find virtually all of these titles listed on archival websites, such as the IMDB, but you will find it near impossible to find it for rental or even for purchase. A handful of companies slowly crank out titles onto DVD month to month, some restoring the picture quality, but many just slop out grainy crap quality video and put it onto DVD. If you have a collection on VHS titles from years ago that is still good, like you said, it is best to transfer it to DVD ASAP.

I subscribe to Netflix, but they are a disappointment in releasing new DVDs, they are focusing nearly entirely on Streaming Instantly but not much of the old stuff.

Every Sunday they put out all their New Weekly Releases on DVD and it shrinks week to week.

http://www.netflix.com/AllNewReleases
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post #25 of 104 Old 03-21-2011, 01:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CitiBear View Post

Those of us who haven't yet completed our tape digitizing projects should get moving and finish by 2015 at the latest. After that, assuming we live long enough and actually still care about preserving this stuff, hopefully a new truly archival media will come along to replace the still-dubious DVD-R and HDD.

A hard drive array can be set to back itself up, negating hard drive failure problems. Unless your house with all its servers burns down, total loss of an array is a pretty distant risk.

I think also most stuff will move into the cloud and we'll be streaming everything, or at least most stuff. The really obscure stuff will have to be carefully archived, but that should also be put into the cloud of the net at some point.


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Originally Posted by sisophous View Post

I subscribe to Netflix, but they are a disappointment in releasing new DVDs, they are focusing nearly entirely on Streaming Instantly but not much of the old stuff.

Every Sunday they put out all their New Weekly Releases on DVD and it shrinks week to week.

http://www.netflix.com/AllNewReleases

That's what Netflix wants. In fact, they were started with the idea of going all internet delivery (the "net" in Netflix" was chosen for that reason.) The DVD delivery was merely a placeholder to make money until the net became a viable option. Yes, the lack of older films is becoming frustrating.

Don't believe everything on the Interwebz! A duck's quack DOES echo!
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post #26 of 104 Old 03-21-2011, 01:15 PM
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well, a picture is worth 1000 words.
So, here's what I have now.
I had a list, and the site kicked me out, cause it took over 1/2
hours to compile my list of vcr's that I owned in the past.
LL
LL
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post #27 of 104 Old 03-21-2011, 02:36 PM
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My first VCR was a 1978 Panasonic that was a one-of-a-kind model that only had 2/4 hour modes. The 6 hour mode wasn't out until the next year. It had unique heads sized for the four hour mode. I later bought a bunch of VCRs, and eventually, a VAST bunch of them. Panasonnics, JVCs, Mitsubishis, and the odd Quasar--never a beta unit through. I think these days I have a pallet load of them in boxes somewhere that AI need to dump somehow, somewhere. I haven't turned any of them on in years.

I fondly remember the Mits U82s (three of them!). Now THAT was a VCR you could be proud of. The late model JVCs were VCRs you could be embarrassed by. The Mitsubishis were built like tanks, the JVCs were all plastic. Sigh...

Luke

Evil is charming and beautiful. It makes you doubt yourself. It asks for one small compromise after another until it whittles you down, and it functions best when no one believes in it.-JOA
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post #28 of 104 Old 03-21-2011, 03:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Church AV Guy View Post

My first VCR was a 1978 Panasonic that was a one-of-a-kind model that only had 2/4 hour modes. , somewhere. I haven't turned any of them on in years.

I fondly remember the Mits U82s (three of them!). Now THAT was a VCR you could be proud of. The late model JVCs were VCRs you could be embarrassed by. The Mitsubishis were built like tanks, the JVCs were all plastic. Sigh...

I first saw a VCR or Betamax in 1978 in a middle school classroom. It was the size of a small suitcase. The Mitsubishis were top of the line in the early 80s, and like you said were solid. My first VCR was the portable Mitsubishi. I used to go all the time to Crazy Eddie electronic store when I was in high school. They had tons of JVCs. I never purchased one, they looked like complete junk with buttons that if you pressed them hard they felt like they would fall off. Speaking of Crazy Eddie, the chain store was run by some Israeli who was busted for some illegal activity and he fled the USA. Crazy Eddie...... his prices are INSANE!!!! There's a blast from the past.
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post #29 of 104 Old 03-21-2011, 04:29 PM
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Okay, in winter 1984 we got our FIRST vcr
a Mitsubishi front loader in black with a wired remote in MONO, NON Hi-Fi.
It lasted until 1991, when it finally broke down. This vcr was
badly beaten up, so there was no use in replacing it.

In 1987, my dad won an Emerson silver front loader with a wireless
remote Also NON Hi-Fi with the goofy 13 channel manual tuner on the front.
I think I still have a DAK catalog from 1988 that shows this model.
I got the DAK catalog out of Stereo Review. They used to advertise
in there alot back in the day. That vcr lasted until mid. 1992.

In summer 1992, I got MY FIRST vcr,
it was a JVC S6700U SVHS model. It lasted to about 2001.
It was AWESOME! It had ALL THE BELLS AND WHISTLES ON IT.
INCLUDING RECORDING LEVEL METERS AND CONTROLS,
and the SOUND MENU which was the
Stereo and Theater Wide and Narrow selections, as well as the
BEST ONE, THE SIMULATED STEREO BUTTON.
I paid about $700 for this SVHS vcr, the same price as
Crutchfield was advertising it for.
However, AFTER the 3 year warrenty was over that model would break
down on me every 14-18 after getting it fixed. It got used ALOT.
In 2001, it needed Major repairs to it.
A lower drum Assembly, which was $250, at the time, so I trashed it!

Anyway, in 1997, I was taking the S6700U in for repairs, and that's when
I found my NEXT SVHS vcr.
A Panasonic S4880. It came with the
Original Box, Manual, 2 remotes, and box.
I paid $400 for that unit, and it lasted a long time, UNTIL IT
SUFFERED FROM color smear in 2004.
It was great at recording and dubbing.
It also had the
RECORDING LEVEL METERS AND CONTROLS,
IT RECORDED AT ALL 3 SPEEDS, Although the remote lacked the
Eject button, it was very good for what it did.


This is 1 of at least 3 INSTALLMENTS ON MY HISTORY OF VCR'S!
TUNE BACK NEXT TIME FOR MORE.
Here's a tease of the JVC S6700U and Panasonic S4880 SVHS vcr's
in their glory hay days.
LL
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post #30 of 104 Old 03-21-2011, 04:39 PM - Thread Starter
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I never owned a Mitsubishi SVHS vcr but I did own the Mitsubishi U55 HiFi vcr. I bought it brand new in 1991 from Macy's Electronics/Furniture (here in California they had the regular Macy's & Macy's Electronics/Furniture separate).

Even though I love my SVHS decks, that U55 is still my all time favorite vcr. It was build solid, had great editing capability & a great picture. It went bad in 1994 but believe me, I got my $600 worth out of it. If I ever find it dirt cheap on Ebay or a second hand store, I will buy it again.
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