Short answer to Sinister_Penguin: if the majority of your tapes are SLP/EP (6-hour), and your parents original VCRs that made them are still in good working order, don't research any further. Try the the original VCRs first, they are the best choice for playing their own SLP/EP tapes. The biggest issue people complain of is being unable to track SLP/EP tapes because they no longer own the VCR that made them. You do still own them, and they still work: that's a huge advantage. Exploit it.
Originally Posted by Super Eye
I just went to ebay and found that in the last little while well over 60 S-VHS JVC decks were sold. If most of these decks really didn’t play any tapes which were recorded on other decks then don’t you think that the majority of those buyers would be demanding their money back??? Or at the very least giving negative feedback to the sellers?
No, they wouldn't, because almost every
buyer of an old used JVC SVHS vcr in 2011
is a head-up-their-ass, stoned out of their mind on the Kool-Aid JVC cultist who is absolutely convinced
no other machine whatsoever is suitable for their precious tapes.
I'm sorry, SuperEye, I don't mean you specifically, but the JVC vcr boosterism on forums worldwide needs to stop: everyone really needs to put a sock in it already. "Classic" svhs JVCs are the most shoddily-built, inconsistent-performing VCRs ever dropped on an unsuspecting public (the fancy heavy cabinetry conceals a marginal mechanism). IF you happened to buy it back in the day and have been the sole owner, and IF you got extremely lucky and yours never broke, and/or IF you have access to a truly gifted local repair tech who can actually maintain a JVC properly
, THEN you can enjoy their arguable benefits.
But such fortunate souls are few, the majority of the classic JVCs drifted way out of alignment some time in the 1990s and are near-impossible to realign today. Every cultist and his mother has bought, sold, shipped, returned and resold every JVC found on eBay or Craigs List: there are NO "barely used mint" JVC svhs available- don't even dream about it. The fact that people snap them up on eBay and give good feedback just indicates the persistence of the cult, and supply/demand by people who are stuck with a ton of old JVC-recorded hifi tapes which don't track worth a damn on any other brand of vcr. If it arrives in one piece the buyer is happy and proceeds to spend $100 or more sending it out to be refurbished (a fool's quest if there ever was one).
Going back several years to 2002 or so, when people first seriously began digitizing their VHS, the cult formed because there was a glut of "high-end" used JVCs floating around pretty cheap, and they were the easiest models to find with the w-a-y
overhyped TBC/DNR feature. (The TBC/DNR helps clear up color smear and noise on some tapes, but can cause as many problems as it solves.) Once the TBC/DNR bandwagon started rolling on various forums, "classic" JVCs became a hot commodity and the myth persists today. The chatter tends to obscure the fact that other, better alternatives became available as the years passed. In 2002 the semi-pro Panasonic AG1980 was still in widespread use by event photographers, and prices stayed up near $900 even second hand. Today, you can pick one up for under $100 and it is designed to be serviced easily: any local shop can realign it.
Better yet, both JVC itself and MGA/Mitsubishi introduced much-improved new DVHS models that retain the SVHS and TBC/DNR of the old worn-out "classic" JVCs wedded to updated mechanics that are more standardized and reliable. These too were out of reach eight years ago, but can now be had for $200 or less. Sometimes you can even find the most recent JVC SVHS "pro" models SR-V10 or SR-V101 as well. Any of these would make FAR better choices than one of the ancient JVC 7000, 8000 or 9000 series everyone creams over. Those who primarily have regular-VHS tapes recorded in SLP/EP, like Sinister_Penguin, should not even bother with "high-end" decks at all: its a waste of time and money. The only reason anyone wants the fancier decks is for the TBC/DNR feature, but this feature tends to be optimized for SP-speed tapes and it often backfires with SLP/EP (causing artifacts like snow, fake dropout lines, periodic picture rolling). Compounding this is JVC's "rogue" SLP/EP implementation which varies slightly on every VCR they ever made: each one is really only capable of tracking its own SLP tapes and is hopeless with SLP recorded on Matsushita or other brands.
Even the excellent Panasonic AG1980 is not all that fond of SLP/EP: it handles them better than JVC, but not by much. For what it would cost to buy (and perhaps service) a high-end SVHS, a person with a large SLP/EP collection would get better results by buying a large number of ordinary consumer models by Sharp, Panasonic (aka Quasar Magnavox GE), even LG and Samsung. You can find barely-used 4-head hifi VCRs for $15 on eBay, Craigs List or thrift shops: buy ten for the cost of a single fancy SVHS. Out of those ten, you're much more likely to find one that tracks your SLP/EP tapes smoothly.
|Both my decks play my tapes, which were recorded on Philips, Mitsubishi, Sony, and other JVC decks just fine thank you.
Then you are indeed exceptionally fortunate, may you continue to be long into the future. Most people coming onto the scene now
looking for a VCR should consider newer, better models. My apologies for the rant, SuperEye, I know you've heard it from me many times before and I'm sure its annoying because your
classic JVC SVHS experience has been positive. But it can be an unnecessary gamble for someone just starting today, they should look at newer alternatives for the same money.