Quantcast How to test a S-VHS VCR player? - digitalFAQ Forum
  #1  
12-20-2021, 06:11 AM
Ninja99 Ninja99 is offline
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Hello,

After a hiatus, I am finally looking to start my project. I am UK based and will begin by sourcing a suitable Panasonic or JVC S-VHS player. I have come across a fair amount of second hand machines over the past year. What is the best way for these to be tested before purchase so that I do not purchase a dud?

Many thanks
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  #2  
12-20-2021, 08:33 AM
lojelo5 lojelo5 is offline
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The best way of doing this is either try and find one locally so you can visit if possible and test the machine before purchase this won't say it's a worthy machine you can only trust the seller. It also depends on how much you want to spend on the VCR and then you need extra money to one side because no matter how good the VCR looks you need to get it serviced and this is an hard thing to do in the UK there isn't many engineers around anymore who fix VCRS, it's mainly people who have taught themselves.

I have a Panasonic AG4700 spare that I purchased from eBay in November 2020 this was serviced 6 months before I purchased it but I have only used it once, I paid 118 + postage for it I would let it go for 100 plus postage nothing less or I might as well keep it. I have only used it once because many of the videos I have been recording are NTSC so I have been using a FS200 instead.
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  #3  
12-20-2021, 09:12 AM
Ninja99 Ninja99 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lojelo5 View Post
The best way of doing this is either try and find one locally so you can visit if possible and test the machine before purchase this won't say it's a worthy machine you can only trust the seller. It also depends on how much you want to spend on the VCR and then you need extra money to one side because no matter how good the VCR looks you need to get it serviced and this is an hard thing to do in the UK there isn't many engineers around anymore who fix VCRS, it's mainly people who have taught themselves.

I have a Panasonic AG4700 spare that I purchased from eBay in November 2020 this was serviced 6 months before I purchased it but I have only used it once, I paid 118 + postage for it I would let it go for 100 plus postage nothing less or I might as well keep it. I have only used it once because many of the videos I have been recording are NTSC so I have been using a FS200 instead.
Thank you, I haven't come across that model before. I am quite new to this, so I have been using Lordsmurf's VCR buying guide. Is that a PAL model? And do you know how much postage would be to be delivered in mainland UK?
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  #4  
12-20-2021, 09:25 AM
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lordsmurf lordsmurf is offline
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I would strongly suggest getting a deck from VCRshop.nl, not randomly buying from gambling on eBay, nor local thrift junk shops.

VCRs have become a technical art, at this late date, the 2020s. If you're not sure what to look for now, you really won't be sure what to look for later. While I could say "yeah, sure, look for X, Y, Z", you could still run into A,B,C,Q,etc. There are lots of variables at play.

Sure, it needs to do the basics: play, REW, stop, eject. Not really FF. But you need to see and hear exactly what's going on. For example, are the motors wearing? Are the gear grinding? When you have experience at this, you can actually tell what, where, and how long it may last.

Most sellers, online or offline, are complete know-nothings about VCRs, and don't know a properly working VCR from a properly working toaster. You know about as much as they do -- more actually, since you're a member at this site.

Just something to think about.

These days, getting a working VCR from a random sellers is luck more than anything.

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  #5  
12-20-2021, 01:26 PM
lojelo5 lojelo5 is offline
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1st off listen to what lordsmurf said, the only problem I have come across looking at the site he mentions is the price but you get what you pay for and any machine from that site will be worth the purchase.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ninja99 View Post
Thank you, I haven't come across that model before. I am quite new to this, so I have been using Lordsmurf's VCR buying guide. Is that a PAL model? And do you know how much postage would be to be delivered in mainland UK?
The AG-4700 was the Professional model similar to the NV-HS1000 but in a white body, I can't say what the differences are inside maybe someone else can help with that. I would keep the one I have just that I use my FS200 for mainly everything I do. I did have 2 working FS200 machines 1 which I accepted NTSC tapes better so I used 1 for PAL and 1 for NTSC recordings, but one will be going back to one of the guys on here once I get the time. I did use the AG-4700 and I won't lie to you in my eyes sometimes it actually played PAL tapes better than both of my FS200 machines but I don't think it's capable of playing back NTSC I tried a few and they all played in black & white.

I have a YouTube channel if you want to check the quality of the AG-4700 have a look at this, for some reason this tape would not play properly in both of my FS200 machines slight problem with the sound on the FS200 machines but the 4700 had no problems at all. (edited) I did go back to this tape and tested it on another machine JVC machine and it's the actual tape that was causing the sound issues not the VCR's.

https://youtu.be/chgApLh_fPk

I use several Lite-on HDD+DVD recorders HD-A740GX/HD-A760GX machines to do all my recordings the original recording of that YouTube video is much better I have always disliked YouTubes conversions they ruin everything regarding VHS recordings.

Ps I am in the UK myself, Doncaster if I use myhermes it would cost me about 9.50 I think I can insure it up to 100 but with a small cost of 1.70 but some items maybe in their non-compensation list, I can't find VHS recorders in the list but I wouldn't trust the list.

Last edited by lojelo5; 12-20-2021 at 01:39 PM.
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  #6  
12-20-2021, 02:53 PM
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PAL decks are still really cheap, often selling less than original MSRP.

Compare that to NTSC, where you'll pay over MSRP to get a fixer-upper deck (aka, piece of crap). Pricing for junked-out decks is now in the $200 range, and imperfect decks are in the $300-500 taxed/shipped range. That last group includes all the "tested" and "working" (BS!) decks from eBay, if actually passably functioning.

Refurbing a deck takes many hours, and it's gotten worse in recent years. This year, I was having to spend 2-3x+ the time doing refurbs (as compared to just a few years ago), due to all the issues and piss-poor maintenance (or rather, NO maintenance!) done to the decks over their lifetime. Best of all, acquisition costs of (what I refer to as) "refurb candidate" decks was rising by multiples. Parts decks more costly, actual parts scarce and costly.

You have two choices:
- pay somebody knowledgeable to get you a good refurb'd deck
- learn to DIY, and realize you may make an "oops" along the way, blew out a costly deck from botched repair attempt

What you cannot do is just buy a random deck online or offline, slap in a tape, and away you go. This is the 2020s, not the 90s/00s or even 10s. This stuff is all used, all aged, and must be given proper attention. It's gotten to the point where gear frustrates me regularly now. And it gets my anxiety up at times, because one mistake could literally mean a $500 to $2000 loss.

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  #7  
12-20-2021, 05:03 PM
hodgey hodgey is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lojelo5 View Post
I use several Lite-on HDD+DVD recorders HD-A740GX/HD-A760GX machines to do all my recordings the original recording of that YouTube video is much better I have always disliked YouTubes conversions they ruin everything regarding VHS recordings.
Yeah for youtube you want to scale up to at least 1080p before uploading to keep some quality and full frame rate. Anything at SD resolution gets squashed into low bitrate 480p at 25 or 29.97 fps.
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12-20-2021, 06:12 PM
lojelo5 lojelo5 is offline
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I am not up-scaling a VHS that is recorded in 720x576 it doesn't look right at all I can't stand people who do this there is no point at all, I upload it how it supposed to be if YouTube's conversion tools want to make it even smaller then more fool them.

Will tell you something I did the other day, I recorded an NTSC tape the actual recording of the file was 2.46gb in size only a 33 minute video. I had to cut it down to 720x466 to remove the noise at the bottom, this is what happens when recording a NTSC tape on a PAL machine. I then converted it in virtualdub2 from 25fps to 50fps, x264 8 bit, had to mess about with the colours because it was saturated with red the file size when finished was 7.6gb. I uploaded this 7.6gb file to YouTube and that file was converted to a 98mb file on YouTube, this is why I find YouTube's conversion tools useless and I will not ruin a VHS tape recording just so YouTube can mess it up.
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  #9  
12-20-2021, 06:18 PM
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Youtube isn't the end-all/be-all of streaming anyway. I do what I need, Youtube admins can do whatever dumb thing they want to do.

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  #10  
12-20-2021, 06:25 PM
Ninja99 Ninja99 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lojelo5 View Post
I have a Panasonic AG4700 spare that I purchased from eBay in November 2020 this was serviced 6 months before I purchased it but I have only used it once, I paid 118 + postage for it I would let it go for 100 plus postage nothing less or I might as well keep it. I have only used it once because many of the videos I have been recording are NTSC so I have been using a FS200 instead.
Do you have any details regarding what was done during the service?

Thank you
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  #11  
12-20-2021, 06:49 PM
lojelo5 lojelo5 is offline
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Youtube isn't the end-all/be-all of streaming anyway. I do what I need, Youtube admins can do whatever dumb thing they want to do.
It's the only place lordsmurf where I can upload my DMC video's to, I have permission from DMC themselves to only share their videos on YouTube and no where else, I don't make any money from it either I do it so others can watch the full shows. I have done this for years most of the DMC videos you see on YouTube with the DMC logos are my actual recordings for DMC theres another similar channel who has shared all my recordings for years he probably makes money from it but I never will.

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Do you have any details regarding what was done during the service?

Thank you
I will have a look for the message in my inbox but I doubt it's still there, he actually told me what was done but from what I can remember he didn't get much done to it main thing was a few caps replaced on the PSU not much worth mentioning.

It was purchased from this seller, if you want to message him and just ask him if he can remember what was done in the service
https://www.ebay.co.uk/usr/zomerzet

I will test it again myself before selling it and if something is up with it I wouldn't even consider selling it on.
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  #12  
12-20-2021, 07:31 PM
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DMC? DeLorean Motor Company?

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  #13  
12-21-2021, 03:30 AM
Ninja99 Ninja99 is offline
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So I assume the minimum that would be needed with this deck is to start off by cleaning the heads?
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  #14  
12-21-2021, 04:41 AM
lojelo5 lojelo5 is offline
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Originally Posted by lordsmurf View Post
DMC? DeLorean Motor Company?
Knew you were going to say that lol

DMC = Disco Mix Club


I clean the heads on my machines every time I have recorded 5 tapes, this machine has only had about 7 tapes in it max since me having it, I haven't used it for a while so I will test it 1st when I can lift the thing up currently suffering from a frozen shoulder so lifting this up at the moment is a no go but I will test it and clean the heads aswell before I put any tape in it.
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