I did extensive tests of different tape stock here about a year ago to compare VHS, SVHS, and DVHS tape. The purpose of the tests were to produce consistent results without loss of quality and reduce media costs for home HDTV recording.
The results for (my) PVHD1000 are that:
SVHS Fuji T-160 and T-120 stock produced the lowest cost for perfect recordings all the time.
There was no improvement by using true DVHS stock over the above lowest cost SVHS stock I tried.
There was no need to drill holes in the SVHS shell to replicate the holes in the DVHS stock fo use as DVHS media.
VHS stock, whether they were high cost commercial "broadcast" series or dirt cheap bulk load duplicator series produced over 90% dropouts and none were satisfactory for use as Digital media. In all cases I also had to drill holes to get the PVHD1000 to sense the standard VHS tape as digital media for the HS mode.
My PVHD1000 can be forced into standard speed (half that of HS speed) with DVHS media for the longer play/record times. This works for most NTSC a la low bit rate recordings but results in major dropouts for HDTV recordings (high bit rate) It did not work at all with SVHS tape even with proper holes drilled. Conclusion that the STD speed is not worth the trouble and cost. Most likely why this feature was disabled in future versions of the PVHD1000.
Based on my findings I simply use the PVHD1000 for HDTV recordings in HS mode using un-modified SVHS tape ST-120 and ST-160 for all my recordings except for those few movies that run longer. I have a left over stock of DFS-420 I have been tapping for these recordings. I will probably reorder ST210 when these run out.
The only other issue I should mention is that life of oxide SVHS tape should be no different than the Digital oxide tape as long as storage conditions are the same. Some better and more expensive SVHS tape, such as SVHS edit master series may be better life due to durability as these are designed with special backings that make them more durable in editng environment. If you want to record a tape that you plan to play often or use as a time shift temporary storage, I'd recommend using one of the edit master grade SVHS tapes. ST120 Master grade may cost about $16, however.
Only metal tape such as the DVCAM or similar will have longer life on the shelf due to its higher coercivity (ie less likely to lose content due to stray magentic fields) Time169 recording adapters are allowing this tape format to be used for HDTV. This is the good news but IMHO, miniDV and DVCAM is not as good a home video format for long movies as is the DVHS recorders. It is a good design for camcorder recording, not table top.
Home Theater Pics at:www.scubatech.com
Last updated 3/25/01