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S-VHS vs VHS for DVD copies


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Is it worthwhile trying to find a S-VHS machine to dupe standard VHS tapes to DVD versus a regular VHS machine? I read the S-VHS machines had special heads in them and claimed sharper payback.

If the S-VHS offer a better playback for standard VHS do you need to find S-VHS machines with S-Video outlet jacks? I've seen a lot of S-VHS machines that haver standard RCA jacks and no S-VHS jacks.

Thanks

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Its only worth it if the VHS originals were recorded in S-VHS, its a different format. S-VHS is much better then VHS in both colour and resolution.

But if the masters are VHS, then any well set up machine would be fine, your not really going to extract much extra quality by playing back VHS on a S-VHS deck (the damage is already done).  If i was going to puchase a VHS deck, I would buy and S-VHS, so I have the option of both formats. But if I already had a decent VHS deck, I wouldn't get another one unless I had a bunch of S-VHS tapes.

I did get one of the last of the Panasonic SVHS decks when they were selling them off cheap during the rise of DVDr. It was a nice machine, but it didn't magically improve my VHS collection and even my SVHS recordings looked pretty rough next to DV and DVD.

 

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Basically SVHS raised the carrier frequency, which allowed for higher resolution on the luminance channel, but the chrominance stayed the same. The SVHS machines are better because they have better electronics all the way around. The later Panasonic's are pretty darn good. I also liked the Sony's. 

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I recently had a chat with a friend of mine who's interested in recovering old movies from VHS that sometimes aren't available on other formats. It's a good idea to get a high quality VHS deck, of course, but I'd also pay attention to how you're turning the composite signal from the tape into something like SDI for capture.

Consider looking around for an old Snell and Wilcox standard-def standards converter or something like that, something which will take composite in and give you SDI out. It's likely to have considerably better composite colour decoders than the average home equipment, even an S-VHS deck. There are advanced tricks that can be done to minimise cross-colour and cross-luma artifacts and these tricks will hopefully be present in a decent piece of professional gear.

That should allow you to wring every last ounce out of it. Be careful, though, about capturing the SDI. Some modern SDI capture devices don't support standard def anymore.

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What equipment are you using to record onto DVD?

Standard VCRs only ever had composite output.  An SVHS VCR would have S-Video output.  That's a much cleaner signal to start with.

But most D-VHS VCRs have component outputs, as well as HDMI output. 

You could play a standard VHS tape out through HDMI to a HDMI Recorder PC card (or external device), bypassing any DVD recording equipment.  Then just burn the DVDs on the PC.

Note: I have never tried this. 

Note2: D-VHS VCRs only ever had HDMI 1.0 with HDCP.  I don't know if there would be compatibility problems with recording devices.

Note3: D-VHS isn't cheap.  They're not common.  Although as of writing this, there is a unit available on ebay which might be ideal for your needs :   The JVC HM-DH5U

Edited by Malcolm Ian Vu
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VHS is a composite format. Regardless the connectors on the device, it's always stored on tape in composite form. If there's an S-video output, it's being converted internally from the composite tape signal. There are probably better converters available than any found in a VHS deck itself, which is why I suggest something like an old but high-quality standards converter to be both a composite decoder and a video analogue to digital converter in one step.

P

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8 hours ago, Phil Rhodes said:

VHS is a composite format. Regardless the connectors on the device, it's always stored on tape in composite form. If there's an S-video output, it's being converted internally from the composite tape signal. There are probably better converters available than any found in a VHS deck itself, which is why I suggest something like an old but high-quality standards converter to be both a composite decoder and a video analogue to digital converter in one step.

P

Exactly, S-Video doesn't mean much. 

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The optional composite in board on the Sony A500 Digi-Beta deck was decent and (in many post houses) the goto way to convert composite to digital SDI.  Sometimes you can find a cheap one on ebay.

JVC did make a VHS/DV combi deck with firewire out - Although I always found them a bit flaky 

Cross luma and colour can be minimised by careful use of low and hi pass filters. Although you effectively trade resolution to cut down on chroma artefacts

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19 minutes ago, Phil Rhodes said:

I'm not sure I'd go with the FireWire option. Last thing you want is another layer of compression.

We are in agreement on that, I should have been more specific. They were operationally horrible as well and the DV playback was dropout-tastic. 

If your digitising a lot of tape, make sure you clean the heads regularity. Old tape is going to shed oxide and clog.

 

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as others have clearly stated, not it will not make a real visual difference. I'd focus more on the quality of the VHS, the player and the ingest method. I did this with my shogun with a 10$ adapter from walmart and felt no loss. Just get the best gold cables so you can rule frame drops out. otherwise, whats left is what's left.

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