Best available VCR for converting my tapes to digital?

Stuart Wright

AVForums Founder
Staff member
Folks, which is the best VCR which is still available to buy on ebay or wherever which I can use to archive my old VHS tapes?
Should I aim for an S-VHS machine or stick with normal VHS?
The most important of my tapes are VHS-C.
Thanks
 

Gavtech

Administrator
Folks, which is the best VCR which is still available to buy on ebay or wherever which I can use to archive my old VHS tapes?
Should I aim for an S-VHS machine or stick with normal VHS?
The most important of my tapes are VHS-C.
Thanks
You may struggle to find ANY new VHS machine for sale. They are all but totally obsolete.

If you can find an S-VHS machine [ Second-hand - Classifieds / Freecycle / ebay ]... it is definitely worth it even if the original source material is not S-VHS.
The S-Video connection will give you significantly superior results in a transfer.
 

darucla

Novice Member
If I were buying from new, it would be the best Panasonic I could find. Having said that, in the days of full time use, I had vcrs from the original JVC model, through Hitachi, Panasonic and Philips, and with the exception of the Philips, they all lasted about 4 years before throwing wobblies. The Philips Matchline had the best spec, with RGB in and out, but was the weakest mechanically. If you could find an old Panasonic from when they were still built on a cast chassis, and if it was in good condition, I'd have most faith in that. But you probably cannot find such a thing now.

RGB out seemed to work well, and presumabaly would give the best transfer quality. Failing that S-Video does give better quality than normal VHS, but don't expect huge improvements on non-S-VHS tapes. They'll still only be 240 line resolution.

So, just the best Panasonic. I currently have a NV-HS830, S-Video, which works OK. But what it would be like with years of wear (I don't use it much at all), it's a different matter.
 

Captainkremmen

Novice Member
A good quality second hand S-VHS VCR would give you the best VHS picture quality. Although your tapes will be VHS a S-VHS VCR has extra circuitry that does a good job of cleaning up VHS tapes.
 

MarkE19

Moderator
Second hand is probably your only option these days - unless you can borrow one from a friend.
VHS replay from an S-VHS deck may give better results, but not always, so I wouldn't worry too much (or spend too much more on it) about getting an S-VHS VCR. If only converting a few tapes then borrowing a known working VCR from somebody you trust may be a better & cheaper option.
How are you digitising the tapes? The easiest and one of the best quality methods would be to go directly to a DVD recorder. If you need to edit them then the DVD can always be loaded onto the PC and then create another disc with the edits and a fancy new menu. I would advise against using the Dazzle/EZCap USB capture devices for getting the footage onto a PC as their results can be far from impressive.

Mark.
 

Stuart Wright

AVForums Founder
Staff member
Thanks everyone. There are some Panasonic S-VHS decks on ebay. I have a Canopus AVC-300 which converts analogue input to DV out.
 

Habanos

Active Member
Stuart, did you get a suitable VCR in the end?

I am considering a S-VHS deck, mainly so that I can use S-Video and avoid artefacts from the poor comb filters in a lot of capture cards (I'm looking at you, Conexant).
 

grahamlthompson

Distinguished Member
RGB out seemed to work well, and presumabaly would give the best transfer quality. Failing that S-Video does give better quality than normal VHS, but don't expect huge improvements on non-S-VHS tapes. They'll still only be 240 line resolution.

.
Never seen a vcr with RGB. It's totally alien to analogue recorders or analogue TV's which record luminance and chrominance (seperately in a S-vhs machine) RGB is associated with digital formats not analogue.
 

KBeee

Member
Wasn't RGB available in "full scart/peritel"? Which was mandated by European law to be available on all machines? Though most had the 1 "full scart" legally required connection, with any other scarts being the cut down, cut price composite and s-video versions?
 

grahamlthompson

Distinguished Member
Wasn't RGB available in "full scart/peritel"? Which was mandated by European law to be available on all machines? Though most had the 1 "full scart" legally required connection, with any other scarts being the cut down, cut price composite and s-video versions?
Scart supports RGB or S-Video but not both at the same time (they both use some of the same pins), a fully wired scart is required for S-video.

Not all scart sockets on TV's have RGB capability, commonly it's just one (usually AV1)

It's vcrs that don't have RGB it would be pointless converting composite or s-video to RGB. RGB out is normally only available from digital devices like the old Commodore Amiga computer or digital boxes like Freeview set top boxes or DVD recorders.

Pin allocations here

SCART - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

After a bit of research found this thread (one Phillips apparently did but as I said pretty much of a waste of time)

http://www.avforums.com/forums/pvrs-vcrs/689527-vcr-rgb-output.html
 
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Stuart Wright

AVForums Founder
Staff member
I ran out of spare time and put this on hold.
 

nvingo

Well-known Member
...(one Phillips apparently did but as I said pretty much of a waste of time)...
It wasn't a waste if the existing TV you wished to view it with had no S-video input (this was a new feature in those days), as the benefit of S-VHS recorded from camcorder needed either S-video or RGB connection to realise:)
 

grahamlthompson

Distinguished Member
It wasn't a waste if the existing TV you wished to view it with had no S-video input (this was a new feature in those days), as the benefit of S-VHS recorded from camcorder needed either S-video or RGB connection to realise:)
What I meant was a waste of time for the use the OP wanted to use the vcr for, namely digitising ordinary VHS recordings. Even assuming the OP could get one it wouldn't make much if any improvement. :)
 

django47

Standard Member
You may struggle to find ANY new VHS machine for sale. They are all but totally obsolete.

If you can find an S-VHS machine [ Second-hand - Classifieds / Freecycle / ebay ]... it is definitely worth it even if the original source material is not S-VHS.
The S-Video connection will give you significantly superior results in a transfer.
I have a vhs in perfect working order which I no longer use now, with user booklet which came with it. It's all dvd or hard drive now. I live in essex. If your not too far away I can give my mobile number. I've quite a few vhs tapes too which i would give away foc with vhs recorder, they use up too much space.
 

MarkE19

Moderator
django47
If you want to sell your VCR on the forum then you must post a for sale ad in the Classified section of the forum, and give an asking price for it. Sales of any sort are against forum rules in any other area of the forum.

Please read the classified forum rules before posting an ad to avoid upsetting the moderators ;)

Mark.
 

JH4

Well-known Member
For info Stuart, the Panasonic NV-V8000 can take VHS, S-VHS and the compact S-VHS-C tapes.
It's very heavy and built like a tank. I have one in my loft. Info on this machine is on the 'net, if you search.
Hope this helps.
 
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Flimber

Distinguished Member
Never seen a vcr with RGB. It's totally alien to analogue recorders or analogue TV's which record luminance and chrominance (seperately in a S-vhs machine) RGB is associated with digital formats not analogue.
IIRC, some later Philips ones had an RGB-transcoded output.
 

django47

Standard Member
django47
If you want to sell your VCR on the forum then you must post a for sale ad in the Classified section of the forum, and give an asking price for it. Sales of any sort are against forum rules in any other area of the forum.

Please read the classified forum rules before posting an ad to avoid upsetting the moderators ;)

Mark.
Very sorry I broke the rules by mentioning that I had a vcr which I no longer use and would consider selling.
 

SoundBox

Novice Member
If I were buying from new, it would be the best Panasonic I could find. Having said that, in the days of full time use, I had vcrs from the original JVC model, through Hitachi, Panasonic and Philips, and with the exception of the Philips, they all lasted about 4 years before throwing wobblies. The Philips Matchline had the best spec, with RGB in and out, but was the weakest mechanically. If you could find an old Panasonic from when they were still built on a cast chassis, and if it was in good condition, I'd have most faith in that. But you probably cannot find such a thing now.

RGB out seemed to work well, and presumabaly would give the best transfer quality. Failing that S-Video does give better quality than normal VHS, but don't expect huge improvements on non-S-VHS tapes. They'll still only be 240 line resolution.

So, just the best Panasonic. I currently have a NV-HS830, S-Video, which works OK. But what it would be like with years of wear (I don't use it much at all), it's a different matter.
I am currently repairing a top spec Phillips S-VHS VCR. The mechanism certainly is weak and several parts have just snapped due to weak structure. The pinch roller has gone hard and then exuded an oily stuff. The worm drive has cracked and cogs fell out when I turned the machine upside-down. Compared to the G, K and Z deck Panasonic machines it is not built so well. However I am not giving up and it will live again. The heads are like new, probably because it broke so soon. It has an analogue clock on the fascia.
 

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