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  #1  
06-19-2012, 09:31 AM
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Hi, this is my first post on the forums.

I am looking at converting my old PAL VHS tapes to digital, and have been reading up on what VCR to buy. So far it seems to be difficult finding many of the suggested VCR models on eBay or other sites. Even more so finding PAL models.

However, I did find one seller that is selling the JVC HR-S7600EK, which is one of the recommend prosumer models. So, I have a few questions:
  • The majority of my tapes are PAL SECAM. The HR-S7600EK is compatible, right?
  • Is there any major difference (in terms of quality) between the HR-S7600EK and the higher-numbered JVC models (e.g. JVC HR-S7955EK, HR-S9600EK, etc.) that I need to be aware of? Any reason to hold off buying this model?
  • Obviously I can't test the equipment in person... So, anyone else had experience buying VCRs over the net?

Thanks.
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06-19-2012, 10:28 AM
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Welcome to the site.

______

VHS tapes can either be PAL or SECAM (or NTSC), but not a combination. A tape cannot both be PAL and SECAM. Generally speaking, only tapes from France are SECAM. Wikipedia has a complete list of countries that had used SECAM in the past. These are the countries that have used SECAM in Europe in the past:

Still in "current" use (for dying analog broadcast and tape formats):
  • Andorra
  • Armenia
  • Belarus
  • France
  • Luxembourg
  • Moldova
  • Monaco
  • Russia
  • Ukraine
Discontinued SECAM, switched to PAL:
  • Azerbaijan (migrated in 2001)
  • Bulgaria (migrated 1994–1996)
  • Czech Republic (migrated 1992–1994)
  • Estonia (migrated 1992–1999)
  • East Germany (switchover on December 14, 1990 because of German reunification)
  • Georgia (migrated in 2000s)
  • Greece (migrated in c. 1992)
  • Hungary (migrated 1995–1996)
  • Latvia (migrated 1997–1999)
  • Lithuania (migrated 1997–1999)
  • Poland (migrated 1993–1995)
  • Slovakia (migrated 1992–1994)
______


I don't recall off-hand is the JVC HR-S7600EK has a line TBC or not. You'll want to double-check on that -- browser through the manual. And I believe the manual is available here: http://www.digitalfaq.com/forum/vide...s-service.html

The 7965EK certainly does (there's one in use here, and it's excellent). Assuming both the 7600 and 7965 have TBCs, then there's zero difference between those units. What separates the 7000 series from the 8000-9000 decks is an extra 2MB of RAM buffer, which often doesn't make any difference.

I've bought, sold and even traded dozens of S-VHS VCRs online through the years. No major issues. The worst thing that's happened is that some of the decks eventually needed servicing (repair work), because you never know how (ab)used the units may have been. But generally speaking, everything has been fine.

What you DO NOT WANT is a VCR that smells like cigarettes. The deck is ruined, as that tar junk builds up all over the drum and rollers, and will get into your tapes, contaminating them, and often accelerating the aging process of the videos. VCRs had better come from a non-smoking home, office or owner. Few things piss me off more than video/photo/computer hardware that smells like a rotting ash tray. Always verify with the seller that it comes from a clean non-smoking environment.

The "EK" models are PAL only, however -- not SECAM. Verify the format of your tapes.

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  #3  
06-19-2012, 11:40 AM
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Thanks for the reply.

The PAL/SECAM part has me confused. My tapes have the following logo on the cover:



Guessing it just means PAL?

The manual for the 7600EK says it has Digital TBC/NR, so I guess it is the same as the 7965EK then? There is, however, a Video Stabilizer menu option in the 7965EK (claims to correct "vertical vibrations") that doesn't seem to be present in the 7600EK. Is that a big deal?
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06-19-2012, 11:44 AM
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That image has me confused, too! It's nonsense. I've never seen anything like that. (Congratulations. That doesn't happen too often!)

Any objections to moving this thread to the public subforums? Maybe one of our other EU users has seen something like this before.

The 7600EK may be missing some of the more advanced filters. It's not too often that you need the Stabiliser, but it can be helpful when you have a jittery tape that hates the TBC. For me, it would be a big deal -- unless the 7600 was just so cheap that it would be silly to pass up the offer. Even then, long-term, I'd probably get another VCR if needed. (I just seem to collect stacks of VCRs.)

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  #5  
06-19-2012, 12:00 PM
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My VHS tapes are from Australia and possibly the UK (not sure), so I think I'll have to assume they are PAL...

If not the 7600EK, which of the JVC models would you go for? I'm not in massive rush to buy and could probably hold out until something better appears.

No objection to moving the thread.
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06-19-2012, 12:32 PM
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Australia was always PAL. Never SECAM.

I don't see anything decent on eBay Australia right now. I'd look for a JVC SR-V10E. I don't know how many of the EK/EU models made it to Australia. Not all PAL VCRs were available in Australia, as they're native to Europe, mostly made in Germany.

The only unit I see worthwhile on eBay.com.au is a HR-S7700EK: http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/JVC-HR-S7...item3f1384ef49
But it's being sold by one of those silly "UK shipping only" sellers.
eBay.co.uk and eBay.de are often good for finding PAL VCRs, but you have to find the right sellers, and price needs to make sense.

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  #7  
06-19-2012, 02:09 PM
NJRoadfan NJRoadfan is offline
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The PAL/SECAM on the tape box is to clarify that the tape run times listed are for PAL or SECAM recording and not NTSC. Also there are two types of SECAM VCR recordings. True SECAM, which was limited to France, and "Middle East" or MESECAM which was used everywhere else (its a weird hybrid that uses PAL modulation). The latter is actually more common and just about every multi-system VCR supports it.
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  #8  
06-19-2012, 09:52 PM
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Thanks for the replies.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kpmedia View Post
I don't see anything decent on eBay Australia right now. I'd look for a JVC SR-V10E. I don't know how many of the EK/EU models made it to Australia. Not all PAL VCRs were available in Australia, as they're native to Europe, mostly made in Germany.
What about the JVC HR-S9600? http://www.ebay.de/itm/JVC-HR-S9600-...-/251089356393

Seems to be selling on eBay Germany. Is it on par with the SR-V10E?

Also, anyone know what model this is? http://www.ebay.de/itm/JVC-Videoreko...-/261044578016
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06-19-2012, 11:02 PM
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Hi,
Good to see a fellow Aussie here. As you no doubt would've noticed by now, ebay.com.au has nothing worthwhile for us, ever, so buying internationally is the only option. In fact, AFAIK the classic JVC line-up with TBC/DNR was not even released in Australia, I believe I have one of the last units from the classic era which was the HR-S5700AM (suprisingly good playback). It skipped ahead from there to S-VHS/MiniDV combo models and one D-VHS model, I've seen only one auction ever for the former, and never the latter.

Anyway, both ebay.co.uk and ebay.de have many recommended PAL models available regularly, from where I have bought both the HR-S7600 and HR-S9600 you mention here, among others. My 7600 model is EU instead of EK, but both machines are PAL and therefore the correct standard for your tapes. The letter explanations have actually been posted in the VCR buying guide here:

Quote:
Originally Posted by gilou8 View Post
"EK" is for English Kingdom; standard is PAL I (for england) (also perhaps PAL B/G D/K but really not not sure); scart connection
"EU" is for a part of european country; standard is PAL B/G D/K and SECAM B (recorded in MESECAM for the secam); scart connection
Now, as for features, the 7600 does have TBC/DNR and is not missing any other filters - its PQ is identical to my 9600 which has all the bells and whistles. However, when it comes to performance, the 9600 absolutely slaughters it and every other VCR I own. It may simply be that my 7600 is not in the top condition that its bigger brother is, but being the only 7600 unit I own then it's my only reference. And I could be wrong, but I believe that the 9600's Dynamic Drum has a hand in its impressive playback, along with a TBC that doesn't exhibit any of the issues (namely jitter) that my 7600 does. If you can find a great condition 9600 for a reasonable price, do not hesitate to buy it, it is a tank and has played every tape I've thrown at it superbly.

If you have VHS-C tapes, you should also invest in a Panasonic NV-FS200; it has a transport that's apparently much safer than a JVC alternative which could potentially eat your tapes. Having said that, it's never happened to me personally but it's better being safe than sorry. From my experience, having to resort to an NV-FS200 is a little unfortunate, since they are particularly sensitive VCRs these days, after having been abused by pros for so many years. I own two units which both have their problems and behave differently to each other, though the latest one which I bought refurbished is probably as good as it gets - and it's still not that great. IMO, use it only if you must.

Hope this post has helped you out, best of luck and let us know how it goes.
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  #10  
06-20-2012, 02:11 AM
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Thanks Jarvis. Sounds like the JVC HR-S9600EU is a safe bet then. I may eventually add a Panasonic NV-FS200 to the arsenal as well since I heard it is better for "bad" tapes.

Anyone want to comment on the eBay link I posted before I pull the trigger on this sale?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Brule
What about the JVC HR-S9600?

http://www.ebay.de/itm/JVC-HR-S9600-...-/251089356393

Seems to be selling on eBay Germany. Is it on par with the SR-V10E?
$149 EUR seems like a good price; I thought these bad boys went for much more than that? From what Google Translate reveals, the item is used but fully functional. Shipping costs from Germany are probably going to suck, but as an Aussie I don't really have a choice.
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06-20-2012, 02:28 AM
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I own a lot of Australian VHS tapes, and they play perfectly in a JVC HR-S7965EK imported from UK (made in Germany). It plays multiple PAL formats, because they're not really too different from one another. I think some of this is discussed in the manual.

The SR-V10E was natively sold in Australia, when it was new (2004-2006). The "classic" non-Professional Series models were not, however, from what I had observed and been told by others. The old VideoGuys.com.au (related to VideoGuys.com) did the importing on the SR-V10E; the new VideoGuys.com.au is unrelated to the old one, from what I can see.

The 9600 would be perfect.

There's several Panasonic models, aside from the NV-FS200, that work well. NTSC only had the AG-1980P, but PAL had almost a dozen models that worked similarly to the 1980. Even the FS200 had a few clones from other brands.

Don't stick a VHS-C tape into a JVC deck unless you want to watch it get eaten!

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12-12-2012, 07:48 AM
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Quote:
Hi,
Good to see a fellow Aussie here. As you no doubt would've noticed by now, ebay.com.au has nothing worthwhile for us, ever, so buying internationally is the only option. In fact, AFAIK the classic JVC line-up with TBC/DNR was not even released in Australia, I believe I have one of the last units from the classic era which was the HR-S5700AM (suprisingly good playback). It skipped ahead from there to S-VHS/MiniDV combo models and one D-VHS model, I've seen only one auction ever for the former, and never the latter.


Read more: VCR buying advice for an Aussie: Best PAL S-VHS models?
Yes in Australia its hard to find good VCR's. So far i found a brand new JVC HRS5600AM from 1999 (made in Japan) and i got a a very low use good condition JVC HR-S5902U which is 120v and NTSC only which i got cheap from USA. There was a seller selling tonnes of them and there was speculation they came from a Hotel or Cruise liner which would explain the good condition/low use. I have another cheapy non svhs JVC from 2002 but i would not use that for transfers and i have a DMR-EZ48 panny combo. Thinking of getting a ag1980. Just really scared to take the plunge and get a TBC/DNR JVC from europe as usually they have been passed through many hands and probably worn out as they are so sought after, so thats why i am think of just getting basic s-vhs units.

Last edited by Cyclone82; 12-12-2012 at 08:01 AM.
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12-12-2012, 08:42 AM
NJRoadfan NJRoadfan is offline
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A seller called "VCR Shop" in the Netherlands tends to have a few high end PAL JVC decks up on ebay. They are pricey, but the description indicates that the decks are serviced and refurbished inside and out before sale. Anyone have experience with that seller?

For NTSC AG-1980s, the only seller on ebay that is known to refurbish decks before sale is Southern Advantage. Reviews here of their units tend to be mixed. Another option for NTSC decks that may be cheaper for shipping to AU is Japan. They had quite a few high end Panasonic (usually branded National) and JVC decks released over the years. There was even a Panasonic machine that could take VHS-C tapes without an adapter.
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