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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, I just bought the JVC DT100U VCR. I understand that the VCR will only record at one speed in HD but does that mean I am limited to only recording for two hours at a time? I'm using 300-minute D-VHS tapes.


If I'm limited to only two hours at a time in HD, that would not be good, as I mainly bought this VCR to record football games. Is there a way to record in HD for more than 2 hours at a time?
 

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HD recording is only at the high speed. SVHS tapes can be used and are available in up to a three hour length. The longer ones do seem to be more prone to drop outs though.

John
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by yesodtiferet /forum/post/18226876


Hi, I just bought the JVC DT100U VCR. I understand that the VCR will only record at one speed in HD but does that mean I am limited to only recording for two hours at a time? I'm using 300-minute D-VHS tapes.


If I'm limited to only two hours at a time in HD, that would not be good, as I mainly bought this VCR to record football games. Is there a way to record in HD for more than 2 hours at a time?

HD digital TV recording is at the "HS" speed. Period. Recommended is to use DVHS tapes (DF300 and DF420) for digital recording, but you can force the use of [high-quality] SVHS tapes to record in DVHS mode and many people report no problems.


At HS speed, DF300 tapes record 2 1/2 hours of digital TV content.


At HS speed, DF420 tapes record 3 1/2 hours of digital TV content.


Buy a supply of both tape types, and use either to cover whatever you want to record... up to a max of 3 1/2 hours per tape.



NOTE: if you have an analog source for content (e.g. the S-video and L/R-stereo output of a cable/satellite receiver) you can connect those analog inputs to the DT100 and record on the same DF300 and DF420 tapes using the "LS3" speed. This is a built-in MPEG compressed recording method for converting analog input to MPEG digital recordings.


At LS3 speeds (quality equal to or superior to true analog S-video recordings, but digital MPEG in format) you can get 15 hours of recordings on a DF300 tape and 21 hours of recordings on a DF420 tape.


Of course standard analog recording of analog input (from cable/satellite receiver S-video output) is still available as well, in SP-mode (2 hours on ST120 tapes) and EP-mode (6 hours on ST120 tapes), supporting both VHS and SVHS recording tape quality.


Tapes recorded using ANY of these methods can be played back on the DT100, with the unit automatically detecting tape type and recording method.



Incidentally, the designation of "DF300" actually refers to the 300 minutes (i.e. 5 hours, not 2 1/2 hours) and "DF420" (i.e. 7 hours) that is truly the available digital recording time using these tapes when used with an "SD DVHS" firewire source (such as the one-of-a-kind Hughes E45 Platinum receiver for DirectTV, circa 1997 and of course no longer available... but I have four of them still working today for my SD televisions). The satellite-provided digital bitstream is sent out over a firewire connection to an attached digital SD DVHS VCR.


Of course you need a SD DVHS VCR that can record 5-hours or 7-hours at this "SD DVHS" digital speed, which again was done by "slave firewire connection" to the Hughes E45 receiver. There were at one time three different brand/models of such an "SD DVHS" VCR available, from Hitachi, Hughes, and RCA (I of course have all three... and four of them in total, to match with my E45 SD receivers and all still working).


The E45 receiver controls the outboard SD DVHS VCR using standard firewire device control protocol and data streaming. The E45 also has 32 timer event memory cells, as compared to the typical 8 timer event memory cells present on most high-end analog VCRs including the DT100. This makes using the E45/SD-DVHS combo very very convenient for use as a "1st-generation DVR" with "set it and forget it, just changing tapes every day" for all of your regularly watched/recorded programs.


Just for historical completeness, Dish Network also had their own version of this SD DVHS recording solution again circa 1997, the DSR100 which was built by JVC and had a built-in licensed E* receiver (equivalent to their 5000 standalone receiver). So it was one box instead of the two-box solution available with D*. But the concept was identical regarding maximum recording times on a DF300 and DF420 tape, though limited to the 8-cell timer event memory of the DSR100's receiver. Incidentally, I had one of these as well (and it was annoyingly noisy, due to its internal fan which would come on when the unit was in use... when I had E* some years back).


HS recording speed (for HD digital TV and JVC's D-Theater, which I think is 28Mbps) is double the "SD DVHS" recording speed used for D*-provided SD digital bitstreams (which I think is 14Mbps). Hence the HS time limit of 2 1/2 hours on a DF300 tape, rather than the 5 hours available in SD DVHS mode on the same tape. Same with 3 1/2 hours on a DF420 tape in HS mode, rather than the 7 hours available with SD DVHS mode on the same tape.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
What brand of SVHS tapes would be considered high quality. I found someone selling some Maxell ST-126BQ tapes--do you have any knowledge of this tape?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by yesodtiferet /forum/post/18231728


What brand of SVHS tapes would be considered high quality. I found someone selling some Maxell ST-126BQ tapes--do you have any knowledge of this tape?

I'm honestly not an expert in SVHS tapes, since I've been using Fuji Pro-S 120 tapes for 20 years. I've always felt Fuji had the best tape and produced the truest colors in recordings (certainly better than the TDK tapes and Sony tapes I'd also tried).


But this is a digital use of tape, not analog, and the resulting color is not at all the result of tape quality or formulation since digital playback will produce an exact duplicate of the original digital program that got recorded.


The "high quality" nature of tape used to record in DVHS mode is more the result of not having dropouts.


Anyway, I'm not an SVHS user on my DVHS machines. I only use JVC DVHS tapes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by DSperber /forum/post/18232999


I'm honestly not an expert in SVHS tapes, since I've been using Fuji Pro-S 120 tapes for 20 years. I've always felt Fuji had the best tape and produced the truest colors in recordings (certainly better than the TDK tapes and Sony tapes I'd also tried).


But this is a digital use of tape, not analog, and the resulting color is not at all the result of tape quality or formulation since digital playback will produce an exact duplicate of the original digital program that got recorded.


The "high quality" nature of tape used to record in DVHS mode is more the result of not having dropouts.


Anyway, I'm not an SVHS user on my DVHS machines. I only use JVC DVHS tapes.

It seems to me that D-VHS is the way to go, but the cheapest 7-hour tape (3 1/2-hour in HD) I found on the web is about $18 plus shipping. That's a lot of money for a video tape. Can you suggest another source that is less expensive?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by yesodtiferet /forum/post/18237491


It seems to me that D-VHS is the way to go, but the cheapest 7-hour tape (3 1/2-hour in HD) I found on the web is about $18 plus shipping. That's a lot of money for a video tape. Can you suggest another source that is less expensive?

Sorry... blank DVHS tape media is a shrinking commodity. There just are not many places which sell it any longer, though it is still available at the moment. If you search and get hits, once you check you'll probably find "out of stock" or maybe "special order".


Nevertheless, you probably found TotalMedia which sells a package of 10 DF300 tapes for $65 (excellent price) and a package of 5 DF420 for $90 (certainly pricey, but at least you can still buy them... and this is actually an excellent price for these tapes). Tape Warehouse also sells both tapes, but they're a bit more expensive. Beyond these two extremely reliable and dependable vendors with known integrity... good luck to you.


That's why many people have decided to re-purpose their old stock of SVHS tapes for "permanent archiving", rather than pay spot prices today for new blank DVHS tapes that they're then only going to get to use for one recording. Again, you must force DVHS mode when you use a SVHS tape, but it will work fine... and many claim the results (i.e. lack of dropouts) are exactly the same as with DVHS tapes, which some claim is just a marketing gimmick (like Monster Cable versions of HDMI cable).


My own feeling... I go with DVHS tapes only on my DVHS machines, both for HD recording as well as for LS3 recording from analog sources.


Anyway, I don't think you're going to find DF420 tapes for less than you've already discovered.


A few months back I decided to protect myself against out-of-stock and "they don't make it anymore", and bought 20 each of both DF300 and DF420. Same reason I took advantage of the B&H special on DT100 units, which they are finally now all sold out of.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for the info. If I buy an 8-hour SVHS tape and force it to work with my VCR, will it record for 4 hours? And will it record HD?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by yesodtiferet /forum/post/18238134


Thanks for the info. If I buy an 8-hour SVHS tape and force it to work with my VCR, will it record for 4 hours? And will it record HD?

Theoretically, yes... and yes.


Just remember... the thinner the tape the more "fragile" it is, and possibly that much more susceptible to dropouts.


Using SVHS tape to record HD, you just need to push the "DVHS" button on the front of the unit to set HS speed/mode. Normally this occurs automatically when you insert a DVHS cassette, because of holes in the shell. With SVHS cassettes (without those holes) you need to force things by pushing the button yourself.


But once set into DVHS mode the recording onto metallic SVHS tape will be digitally identical to what would have been recorded onto a genuine DVHS tape.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by yesodtiferet /forum/post/18241146


So, where do I go for info on forcing the VCR to use SVHS tapes?

Somewhere on the deck there should be a button that says 'DVHS'. Push it before starting recording. On playback, the deck will auto recognizance the digital recording.
 
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