S-vhs Et


Standard Member
I understand from my JVC 6965 manual that ET recordings are not recommended for more than a one off. The tape can wear out fast, on every rewind or pause.
Does anyone know the principal of the recording method?


Active Member
I hope not - I've had SVHS-ET turned on since I've had my VCR. :eek:


Standard Member
I turned off ET after giving it a trial. I decided it would be better to drill the S- VHS marker hole in every cassette.
I use good quality ordinary VHS tapes in S-VHS mode. The resolution appears to be as good as a geniune S-VHS tape.
Using a cheap tape it still works, but the LP mode suffers with white glitches.
I am sure purists will say there is a difference, but I find it perfectly acceptable.

I also have another S-VHS JVC, still working well after 9 years.
I have only ever used one S-VHS tape in all that time.
When my second recorder went belly up (a Sony) after 7 years, I thought I would try a new VCR with the ET method to save the trouble of drilling location holes in every new cassette.


SVHS tapes are high quality. The shell has a hole in it so that the machine can recognise that it is an SVHS tape.

All machines wear out if left in pause mode. Therefore they switch out of this mode after a few minutes. Pressing the ET button just lets it know that it is a normal tape and enables the SVHS electronics to come into play, hopefully, tweaked for ET or we've been ripped off for years.

I believe different heads can be made from different materials. Panasonic used to imply that their top of the range heads were made from superior materials than their lesser models, but did not imply they would wear out quicker. Therefore, it is just possible that ET heads, which have to record higher frequencies than ordinary heads, have to be made from a lesser wearing material, but I doubt it. More likely, an inexact translation from Japanese. I believe that there should be no difference in the wear of any machine if used in the same way.


Standard Member
Port, thank you for the info and understand your reckoning.
I am still puzzled why the manual also states that recordings for archiving should only be made on a S-VHS tape. This suggests to me that there is a mechanical difference when using ET or S-VHS.
e.g. a greater tape tension in ET mode, as well as the necessary electronic change. Unless this is just a ploy to get people to buy the much more expensive S-VHS tapes.


Magnetic recording onto tape has only existed since World War 2. Formulation of backing material and oxides have been in continual development since then. As these have been in continual change, no-one can know in the very long term how long they will last.

Simplified explanation and speculation -
Imagine iron filings near a magnet, they take up a pattern.
Imagine high grade tape has more/smaller/better iron filings than cheap tape. It is therefore able to hold a pattern stronger/longer.
The world is full of magnetic fields, including the earth's, and even the tape's. (Print-through is when a signal on tape affects tape wrapped round it.) Therefore, to keep a tape as long as possible, better quality may be an advantage.

The depth of the active coating on the tape can be different. HiFi soundtracks are recorded under the picture (depth multiplexing). It may therefore be that in ET mode the higher frequencies required for extra detail are nearer the surface of the tape and are therefore more prone to disturbance with the continual friction of passing over heads, especially if paused or ff etc. But tape tension is therefore the same in any mode.


Standard Member
Thanks for that. I have not kept up todate on the ET method. I can see now that it just forces the S-VHS mode on normal tapes.

I have studied the construction of magnetic tape, since owning my first tape recorder in 1953 and VCR since 1973.
S-VHS since 1989, when I needed to use it mainly for sound recordings in LP mode, ignoring what was tuned in to video.

My early recordings are just as good today, the sound being almost CD quality, on the good quality VHS tapes, with a hole drilled in the shell to force S-VHS mode if I needed to watch the video signal.

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