Dvdr Versus Svhs

I've noted an ongoing argument on another forum with someone claiming that SVHS is as good quality as DVD at SP level.

It's widely spoken that SVHS quality is only possible 100% if you source from an SVHS camcorder , and my DVD recordings at SP are as good as the PVR source ,give or take a smidgen of quality.

Does anyone care to comment ,hopefully with some links to definitive info regarding this.
 

Gavtech

Administrator
I've noted an ongoing argument on another forum with someone claiming that SVHS is as good quality as DVD at SP level.

It's widely spoken that SVHS quality is only possible 100% if you source from an SVHS camcorder , and my DVD recordings at SP are as good as the PVR source ,give or take a smidgen of quality.

Does anyone care to comment ,hopefully with some links to definitive info regarding this.

If they are speaking subjectively , they may be right... but technically they are wrong ... but there is a BUT...

Three factors are involved.

1 -The quality of the original source.

2 - How that source is delivered for final recording.

3 - Quality arguments become difficult when dealing with analogue pictures compared to digital. Both have shortcomings but the distortion are entirely different in type, and each degrade in a different way as signal quality diminishes.

To deal with point one, let's assume the same source is used in both cases of a comparative test.... One available in S-VHS form or RGB [ which rules out camcorders ]

Point 2 is the critical factor.
RGB is the conventional way of inputting to a DVDR where it is possible to do so... and this is where the battle is won. RGB quite specifically has advantages over S-Video which can demonstrably be seen [ if you know what to look for ].

Point 3 is where things fall apart.... because irrespective of what the delivery method was, any source will then become corrupted by the process of MPEG compression. How noticeable that is will depend on the source programme material... and how noticeable those effects are to a viewer depend on many variables which include the display used and the viewers eyes and brain.

S-video can deliver a slightly softened version of some aspects of the picture which give the MPEG encoder less to do which may , subjectively, lead to a more pleasing end effect.

However - in the above I have made an assumption that you were referring to an S video source being recorded onto a DVDR - And you may simply have meant that the comparison was a pure S-Video source delivered direct to a display, compared to a an SP DVDR recording being delivered to a display.
In that case , basically one is comparing analogue to digital shortcomings.
On that basis I would tend to side with the S-Video as being 'better' ... but it is subjective as I happen to dislike the effect of digital distortion.

The issue here is that like is not being compared with like. The issue of signal 'quality' here is separate from end effect.

Arguably, the subjective effect is the most important, given that all TV is an illusion.
This is why upscaling is not universally applauded. Some think it fabulous. Some find upscaled pictures unwatchable.

So I would conclude by saying that if a viewer thinks a particular source or connection route LOOKS better... then it is.
 
The comparison was between recordings made off air from DTT or DSAT.

The comments from one poster reckoned if archiving from a PVR then transferring it to SVHS would result in better quality than archiving it to DVDR ar SP level.

I am assuming that the SVHS recording is made with an S-Video connection and the DVDR recording is made via RGB.

I have SVHS recordings made from Sky Digital in 2000 and the quality is not even close to DVDR at SP
 

JH4

Well-known Member
The only flavour of VHS that can rival DVD is the digital D-VHS version which at 14.1 Mbps beats DVD. S-VHS is junk by comparison. But the D-VHS VCRs had analogue tuners -fab machines tho ! (The 28Mbps version of D-VHS has been used for HD recording, of course.)
 
The only flavour of VHS that can rival DVD is the digital D-VHS version which at 14.1 Mbps beats DVD. S-VHS is junk by comparison. But the D-VHS VCRs had analogue tuners -fab machines tho ! (The 28Mbps version of D-VHS has been used for HD recording, of course.)

I agree but was hoping for something definitive that was written by an "expert" on an "expert" site.

The disagreement on the other forum is comparing dvdr at SP level which is obviously not as good as XP level.

Personally I cant see SVHS even coming close to DVDR even as SP but it would be nice to find a thorough comparison
 

Hal_loe

Active Member
I agree but was hoping for something definitive that was written by an "expert" on an "expert" site.

The disagreement on the other forum is comparing dvdr at SP level which is obviously not as good as XP level.

Personally I cant see SVHS even coming close to DVDR even as SP but it would be nice to find a thorough comparison

Without details of the DVD-R recorder it cannot be discussed as no 2 different manufacturers seem to use the same bitrates.

As someone who has used both SVHS and DVD Recorders, here is my view.

I recorded from OnDigital in the early days before DVD Recorders were widely available, on to SVHS tapes. I only did this because occasionally my analogue signal had interferance.

My SVHS Recorder will accept RGB in. So this was my connection method.

Later when I bought a DVD Recorder, without a Freeview tuner, I recorded some programmes to DVD using DVB. I recorded using XP mode, however even using this mode the poor bitrate used on many DVB channels are visable and even made worse.

The horizontal resolution used is as follows for PAL

SVHS - 425 lines (approximate equivalent of 566 horizontal pixels)
DVD Recorders - 576 pixels

In both cases the lack of bitrate is evident a DVD Recorder will produce a better signal due to the lower bandwidth for the colour signal used in SVHS.

However in many cases this is less noticable to the eye than mpeg artefacts. So using SP recording will cause more mpeg artefacts than recording to SVHS.

Personally, I have only switched to recording to Freeview via a PVR so kept entirely digital, recordings are then transfered to pc in the digital domain, in the last year. Because recording DVB to DVD via a DVD Recorder was worse than recording analogue to DVD and probably worse than recording DVB to SVHS. In many cases the lack of bitrate is far too evident.

I have been recording digital video using various capture cards for nearly 10 years and I can as a result pick out the mpeg artefacts very easily and anything that makes them worse can be very annoying.

Hope that helps.
 

Gavtech

Administrator
I agree but was hoping for something definitive that was written by an "expert" on an "expert" site.

The disagreement on the other forum is comparing dvdr at SP level which is obviously not as good as XP level.

Personally I cant see SVHS even coming close to DVDR even as SP but it would be nice to find a thorough comparison

My general point above is that they cannot be compared definitively because they are not the same.
They are such radically different approaches to the presentation of an image.

What one can say for certain is that that the digital version has a better specification in terms of the line resolution and the colour resolution but that does not necessarily make it the winner because there are motion artefacts introduced by the encoding process... and reading between the lines, that is specifically what the arguer is objecting to.

Also, as Hal_Loe points out, it would depend on the actual recorder... Some are much better at this than others. Maybe the arguer has only tried machines that are poor performers at SP qualities.

From my own perspective THE most obvious factor which separates an S-Video presentation from an SP Digital presentation is the jitter which is present on a VCR analogue derived image. The stability of the digital presentation is very noticeable in comparison.

However, I feel I must add that I regard arguments about image qualities to be largely fatuous, and to do so, misses the point of television.
The message is more important than the medium.

If the arguer thinks S-Video is better, then maybe he should just sit back and enjoy it.
 

Tuddy

Member
whatvideo, I was looking at that on-going saga as well. It seems everyone was going OTT (two posters anyway) and I was starting to get a headache:suicide:. In the grand scheme (kids, mortgages & taxes etc) of life does it matter?:)
 

Hal_loe

Active Member
Hi whatvideo and Tuddy

Just had a quick read of the thread on the other forum.

I wouldn't worry too much about it personally.

Yes DVD-R has it's limitations with only 1 hour at XP quality.

Does it really matter in this day and age, I don't record films at all anymore apart from to watch, not keep. I'd much rather buy the DVD when it reaches the cheap price, they all seem to end up at discount prices.

Also personally I wouldn't waste the tape to transfer SKY+ recordings to SVHS.

Like I said it's taken me until now to switch almost entirely to digital as I couldn't get a DTT recorder which allowed access to the digital files.

The lack of bitrate used in DTT and DSAT broadcasts is very evident on many programmes. It's a case of quantity over quality.

Let the posters argue away and just ignore them.
 

LV426

Administrator
Staff member
The horizontal resolution used is as follows for PAL

SVHS - 425 lines (approximate equivalent of 566 horizontal pixels)
DVD Recorders - 576 pixels
Errr......
Horizontal Resolution for SVHS is somewhere around 400+ vertical lines as you say.
Horizontal Resolution for DVD is actually 720 pixels.
The above is true for BOTH PAL and NTSC.

Vertical resolution for both DVD and SVHS is
in PAL:576
in NTSC:480
horizontal lines.
 

Hal_loe

Active Member
Errr......
Horizontal Resolution for SVHS is somewhere around 400+ vertical lines as you say.
Horizontal Resolution for DVD is actually 720 pixels.
The above is true for BOTH PAL and NTSC.

Vertical resolution for both DVD and SVHS is
in PAL:576
in NTSC:480
horizontal lines.

Sorry my mistake it had been a long day when I was writing it.
 

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