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  #1  
06-09-2022, 03:58 AM
pthebest19 pthebest19 is offline
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Hi. I got a Panasonic model NV SV120 last couple months. One first thing I noticed was a leaking capacitor inside but I replaced it myself shortly after.

Anyway, here's the issue. When I play tapes with this VCR I see a lot of grain/noise that doesn't show up on my old Panasonic combo that came out just one year after this model. Even if I turn on the 3D DNR the noise still shows up more than the combo, other than adding artifacts during scene changes and fade outs.

I'm aware there's a superior model that is the NV SV121 with TBC that came out at the same time as my combo, and shares the same remote design. But right now I can't find it for relatively cheap.

I attached a comparison below. The S VHS recording comes first.

I was thinking of trying a JVC player instead. I see some HR S9500 models on eBay here.


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File Type: mpg noise comparison.mpg (28.10 MB, 8 downloads)
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  #2  
06-09-2022, 12:32 PM
latreche34 latreche34 is online now
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The sample is heavily compressed, it's hard to make out what the noise actually looks like. You may want to upload two lossless samples 90MB each.

https://www.youtube.com/user/latoak34/videos
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  #3  
06-09-2022, 12:59 PM
Bogilein Bogilein is offline
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Here is a review of the Panasonic NV-SV120, NV-SV-121 devices from a German video forum in terms of picture quality:
The picture is too dark and has a minimal green cast, not visible on the TV, but slightly visible on the PC. If you switch on the TBC, it gets even darker. The picture is also quite blurry. In addition, there is sometimes extreme noise, which even digital noise reduction cannot eliminate. On some video cassettes, the noise carpet varies in intensity in different regions of the picture.
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  #4  
06-09-2022, 05:24 PM
pthebest19 pthebest19 is offline
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What sounds absurd to me is how a low end DVD/VHS combo from the same era outperforms what should be the high end models.

I'm aware of the mpeg2 compression in the sample I posted but I don't have time to capture everything again right now.

At this point I was thinking of trying out a JVC player instead. Right now I see some HR S9500 models on eBay. I was told the PAL model lacks the features but I see all of them in the manual.
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  #5  
06-10-2022, 09:34 AM
Bogilein Bogilein is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pthebest19 View Post
What sounds absurd to me is how a low end DVD/VHS combo from the same era outperforms what should be the high end models.

At this point I was thinking of trying out a JVC player instead. Right now I see some HR S9500 models on eBay. I was told the PAL model lacks the features but I see all of them in the manual.
Well, the Panasonic NV-SV120 was from the year 2003 and the NV-SV121 was from 2004. The SV121 should have been the last Panasonic with TBC. The retail price of the NV-120 was 200,- Euros and the price of the SV121 was 270,- Euros.

The time of the video recorders was over and there was produced as cheaply as possible.

There can be no more talk of high-end.

A rough rule for the purchase of PAL-Panasonic video recorders is, fingers away from devices where the drive is centered!

The best DVD recorders with VHS drive were 2004, the JVC DR-MV1 SE for 750,- Euro and the Panasonic DMR-E75 V for 800,- Euro.
It could be possible that these provide a better picture than the last generation of Panasonic S-VHS video recorders.
The combo recorders should work like, when you use a DVD recorder as a passthrough device. (But I have no experience with these devices.)

If you want to buy a JVC these days I would only buy one without the dynamic drum.

You can read more here:

VCR Buying Guide (S-VHS, D-VHS, Professional) for restoring video

VCR Buying Guide (S-VHS, D-VHS, Professional) for restoring video
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  #6  
06-10-2022, 12:01 PM
pthebest19 pthebest19 is offline
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The main problem with the NV VP line of combos is the very poor tracking. Even on good tapes sometimes the hi-fi audio drops and I get frame losses.

For an example I have the Australian model NV HV60 (which seems to be identical to the Japanese one with PAL support added), and the tracking is way better. That model in particular has the best linear audio quality I’ve heard as well, it’s what I use for NTSC tapes right now. The PAL quality on this model is bad, I assume it’s because the heads are calibrated for NTSC 3.58. The S VHS Panasonic I have also has way better tracking than the combos.

As for JVC players, those with the dynamic drum are the 9000 series right? I’m trying to win a 9600 one right now, but otherwise the only affordable units that start with a 9 right now are the 9500 models. I heard the PAL S9500 lacks features, but I see TBC and DNR in the manual.

I own many French SECAM tapes right now that I digitized with a Panasonic NV HD647 (yes the one that oversharpens PAL tapes), and I always get unsatisfactory results that vary a lot depending on the capture setup I use. For an example the DVD recorder passthrough seems to handle the signal way better. Also I have a Yuan OEM capture card with the same chip as the one I normally use that handles the SECAM signal completely differently, and it’s free of the snowing/grain noise I see on the other one. With this said, I could try going for a French JVC model, but I’m not sure if the PAL quality takes a hit like what I’ve seen with that Panasonic I bought 7 years ago.
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  #7  
06-10-2022, 03:36 PM
hodgey hodgey is offline
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The HV60 (and SV-120) is from the last lineup with the Z mechanism as far as I know. The HV61 and the most of the PAL panasonic combos (other than the NV-VHD1 at least) use the simplified R4 mechanism, so that might be the cause of worse tracking. Not sure if that's the case for the SV121 too.

As for JVC, for PAL/Europe, it was afaik S9xxx, and S8xxx models that featured it, plus some non-SVHS ones named HR-DDxxx, though not all of them. Dynamic drum is advertised on the front on the ones that have it.

At least: HR-S9400, S8500, S9500, S8600, S9600, S9700 + HR-DDxxx models, Philips VR1500 (+ the "broadcast/pro decks)

Not sure about the Philips VR1600

The S9400 and HR-DD848 have an earlier mechanism so the DD system is a bit different.

S8000, S9000, S9200, S8700, S885x, S985x S895x do not have DD.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bogilein View Post
A rough rule for the purchase of PAL-Panasonic video recorders is, fingers away from devices where the drive is centered!
Even when it comes to the HS950 and HS860/960? I have the HS870 which I'm not a fan of at all, but the earlier "digital process" ones seem to get some praise.

For the non-SVHS ones, the HD610 and 620 decks I have also seem to work nicely, and they have the same k mech as the SVHS decks, and it's possible to adjust the CVC thing to be sharper or softer with a pot on the inside inside. Later ones seem more hit and miss.

I've had issues with distortion linear audio on the two JVC DVD/VHS combo decks I have (DR-MX1 and HR-XVS20), and I've seen others report similar thing on late model JVCs so a bit iffy on those. Otherwise they seem ok, XVS20 especially since it's SVHS so it has S-Video. SOme of the later JVC combos are made by LG, so those are completely different.

Last edited by hodgey; 06-10-2022 at 03:54 PM.
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  #8  
06-10-2022, 09:18 PM
pthebest19 pthebest19 is offline
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I heard the dynamic drum actually makes the deck more unreliable due to more moving parts, and doesn’t really improve picture stability on normal play anymore. I mentioned it without looking into it before.

Maybe I should just look for a non DD JVC model that has TBC as well. Not sure if 2MB vs 4MB RAM makes a big difference. If some of you know which models give the cleanest picture let me know.

I have a NV HD650 model (the drive is not centered) and it has the worst linear audio quality I’ve ever heard. The picture looks way brighter too.
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  #9  
06-11-2022, 05:42 AM
hodgey hodgey is offline
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Yeah the dynamic drum system is just a nuisance when it comes to digitizing.

2 vs 4mb ram is only a thing on the NTSC JVCs, the PAL/SECAM ones with TBC/DNR all have 2mb as far as I know. Not sure if the extra memory was used during playback or just for doing more when doing trick play and similar.

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  #10  
06-11-2022, 01:04 PM
pthebest19 pthebest19 is offline
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I found a TBC non DD deck for a decent price, but I have a question. Do the MS variants which support SECAM have lower PAL quality? Otherwise I'll just wait for a French model considering how I have a lot of French tapes as well.
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  #11  
06-11-2022, 02:14 PM
RobustReviews RobustReviews is offline
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Just to go way back to the start regarding cheaper late VHS machines.

My experience is that is that a lot of these machines could deliver sparkling image quality. Component counts had been substantially reduced, heads had become commodity items and less variable (and often less prone to wear).

For viewing, a lot of even the modest end of line models were great playback machines.

A lot of them are built out of cheap mechanicals, use some questionable passive components and were not built to last, but when they're working the picture quality can be surprisingly good

Don't conflate this with whether they're suitable for digitising tapes, but for playback and viewing a lot of them can perform brilliantly.

I have a late Sony machine, it's made of biscuits but for general playback it outperforms some older, higher quality machines.

DD is a bit of a hack, my personal opinion is to not spend a great deal on a machine with it. Working; it's fantastic, but it's very problematic.

Shame, Philips cracked dynamic drum in the 1970s with near perfect reliability.
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  #12  
06-12-2022, 12:46 AM
latreche34 latreche34 is online now
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In my opinion high end S-VHS VCR's from late 90's are the go to VCR's, not the cheap Funai's or the brand name basic VHS machines. VCR manufacturers learned a lot about the format throughout the years to the point where almost all the kinks were ironed out, SoC have replaced many circuit boards, analog adjustments are dramatically reduced since all parameters are optimized by algorithms and put into the chips, Reduced the amount of wiring and connectors that used to connect circuit boards together, Machines that make mechanisms and the moving components used laser calibration to the Nanometer tolerances, not to mention that repairs are easier to make and parts can be salvaged from other machines even low end ones since they are shared across a lot of models. I would never bother acquiring a VCR from the 70's and 80's let alone trying to fix it.

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  #13  
06-12-2022, 05:59 AM
Bogilein Bogilein is offline
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I quote here the user "VS" who is not unknown in German-speaking video forums. Translated with an online translator.

Panasonic, why no center drive?
This is not a law of nature but a rough orientation. Panasonic has built several generations of very good, robust and strong (important for old, heavy cassettes), and these were the generations G, G2 and K. These were mostly installed on the left, exceptions were, for example, with S-VHS The devices NV-HS900 and 950, here the K deck sat in the middle. Still purchasable. After that came the Z-deck, punched plate with plastic, falls apart just by looking at it and without defined tape tension (with older cassettes the thing does not get along). All Z decks sit in the middle, except in the DVD-VHS combos of course. The SV120/121 got another aluminum chassis, but it's also a bit strangely constructed. Besides increased risk of tape jam due to inferior parts in the mechanism, certain cassettes may play back with a noise pattern that increases from top to bottom (even with multiple auto-tracking and/or manually corrected tracking) because the tape is too loose on the head drum. I have been able to observe this on several models of this type, but it depended on the tape. Pure lottery therefore.

In addition, the electronics have deteriorated. Newer Panasonics often suffer from a slight green cast and too dark brightness reproduction. Not all models, but apparently all of certain model series: It could be reproduced with all HS830, HS930, SV120 and SV121, which I got into the fingers. Take a satellite receiver with S-Video at the Scart output and connect it via Scart to a video recorder whose Scart input is set to composite. The result is a white-pure B/W recording, since the chrominance signal is completely missing. Whether the Panasonic or, for example, a JVC or Toshiba records the picture is irrelevant for this test, since the recording works perfectly, the problem lies in the playback. Then you play back the tape and record said image via capture card on the computer. Then you compare the histogram of e.g. an old Panasonic, a JVC or similar with the newer Panasonics like the HS930 or SV120 and lo and behold: While the colleagues still reproduce pure white, the image of the new Panasonic is slightly red- and strongly foundation dominant. Not enough that you notice it directly, but the color reproduction is unnaturally warm.

About the image reproduction: either the HS1000 we tested was broken, or you've fallen for the "visually beautiful" vs "metrologically beautiful" effect. The HS1000 has a metrologically beautiful image. Super sharp, all details are preserved, color reproduction is nice and linear - but it is noisy like sea breeze. Of course, this is not visually attractive at first, but with the appropriate filters, e.g. in Virtual Dub, the result is a very good picture. The HS930 or SV120, for example, follow more of a "paint by numbers" approach: edges sharp, little to no noise (as long as the tape plays along and the "noise wedge" doesn't form from top to bottom) but no more details. Wrinkles on the face? Rough wallpaper on the wall? Everything becomes smooth and glossy. Visually nice because there's no noise, but far from what you can get out.
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  #14  
06-12-2022, 11:19 AM
latreche34 latreche34 is online now
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Panasonic has always been shady to me that's why I never owned a VCR from them. Even in the camcorder business they always slacked behind, Back in 2013 when I bought my first HD camcorder for $1400 it was a Panasonic, That thing had all kind of problems, loud fan that recorded noise through the built in microphone, excessive heat, Auto focus function has several bugs, I later went back to Sony and that was the first and last Panasonic device I've ever owned.

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  #15  
06-12-2022, 12:14 PM
Bogilein Bogilein is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by latreche34 View Post
Panasonic has always been shady to me that's why I never owned a VCR from them. Even in the camcorder business they always slacked behind, Back in 2013 when I bought my first HD camcorder for $1400 it was a Panasonic, That thing had all kind of problems, loud fan that recorded noise through the built in microphone, excessive heat, Auto focus function has several bugs, I later went back to Sony and that was the first and last Panasonic device I've ever owned.
What is that supposed to tell us now?
Just because your first Panasonic HD camcorder from 2014 didn't live up to your expectations, Panasonic VCRs made 20 years earlier suck?
Thumbs down for the Panasonic VCRs without ever having owned or worked with one. It's all about badmouthing brands and products you don't like without even having experience with them. Sometimes it's better to say nothing.
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  #16  
06-12-2022, 12:53 PM
latreche34 latreche34 is online now
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It's not "live up to my expectation", It's a multi page thread over at AVSforum that lasted for several months about the problem, Besides we have the same right to express our opinions publicly about products we use, I expressed mine if you don't like it oh well, Not all VCR's are perfect but I don't like certain models of Panasonic's VCR's and so do many members for their design flaws. You like it? Good for you.

Stop the attack behavior, it is not good for the image of the forum.

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  #17  
06-12-2022, 01:10 PM
Bogilein Bogilein is offline
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You may have a lot of theoretical knowledge, but practically you have no experience with the devices. If I were you, I would test it myself, but as an expert, you don't need to. The discussion about whether JVC or Panasonic is better has been going on forever. One prefers JVC the other Panasonic. Only if you have nothing to compare you can not make a judgment.
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  #18  
06-12-2022, 01:29 PM
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lordsmurf lordsmurf is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by latreche34 View Post
Panasonic has always been shady to me
Panasonic = Matsushita

And for a while (about 1990-2005), Matsushita essentially fully owned both JVC (Victor) and Panasonic, hence why lots of overlap at times. Rebadges, those VHS-C adapters, S-VHS tapes, etc. At least for video. (It had already been the majority shareholder, 50%+, since 1953, and it was already considered a subsidiary of Matsushita. But it was somewhat independent until the 90s.)

Fun fact, Toshiba was at one time a minority shareholder of JVC.

Those Japanese companies were very incestuous. I don't know that Panasonic/Matsushita was any more shady than others, if at all. Those Japanese businesses tend to keep themselves honorable. It's their custom.

Though whether Panasonic new about bad caps, or was duped, is up for debate.

I want to read that AVS thread. Link?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bogilein View Post
The discussion about whether JVC or Panasonic is better has been going on forever. One prefers JVC the other Panasonic.
I own both, in multiples.

While JVC is often the best first choice, each unit has pros and cons. Though for NTSC, I must say that Panasonic has more cons. Hard to keep those running, money pits to try.

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  #19  
06-12-2022, 03:12 PM
pthebest19 pthebest19 is offline
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Once I get the JVC deck I bought I’ll post some quality tests.
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  #20  
06-12-2022, 03:29 PM
latreche34 latreche34 is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bogilein View Post
You may have a lot of theoretical knowledge, but practically you have no experience with the devices. If I were you, I would test it myself, but as an expert, you don't need to. The discussion about whether JVC or Panasonic is better has been going on forever. One prefers JVC the other Panasonic. Only if you have nothing to compare you can not make a judgment.
How do you know? <snip> My family and friends owned Panasonic VCR's and camcorders since the 80's, I was repairing VCR's, camcorders, component HiFi, Car radios as a hobby since 1994, I've worked on JVC, Philips, Panasonic, Sony, Aiwa, Thomson VCR's, at least that's what was available in North Africa back then, I was reading over sized paper schematics before PDF and internet was mainstream, Stop complaining we've heard enough of it already.

Last edited by lordsmurf; 06-12-2022 at 03:41 PM. Reason: Calm down. -LS
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