Quantcast JVC S-VHS VCR: HR-S9500U vs. 9911U vs. DVS3U? - digitalFAQ Forum
  #1  
04-01-2018, 06:07 PM
leeoverstreet leeoverstreet is offline
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Loving this site again after putting my video archiving project aside for quite some time (again)!

I'm fortunate to have THREE nice JVC S-VHS VCRs at my disposal:
1. HR-S9500U - Bought by me in late 1998, used regularly but babied up through the mid 00's
2. HR-S9911U - Bought by me in 2004, used very little
3. HR-DVS3U - Bought in 2005 by a school, barely used

I know none of these are the super-respected models in bold type on the recommended list, but so far, the 9500 and 9911 look pretty darn good. I'm preferring the 9911 due to a slightly sharper picture. Q1: Is that an expected difference between those two, or is that the additional use and wear on the 9500? Also, the 9500 has slightly less saturated colors than the 9911, but the 9911 pushes red just a tiny bit, at least to my eye. The 9911 is more finicky about playing tapes, and wouldn't even play VHS-C tapes in a manual adapter. I think you could put a grilled cheese sandwich in the 9500 and it'd play it. ;-)

I've had some tapes where the TBC/NR caused more trouble than it solved by creating some tearing at the top. In a few cases this was cheap tape at EP speed (I see where Panasonics handle this better), and in a couple of cases it was a tape wrinkled along its length just a bit.

I'm almost always using the EDIT mode with the TBC/NR ON. I'm one of those folks who don't mind a bit more noise if it gets me a more detail. And yes, I'm aware sometimes it might be APPARENT detail. But it makes me happy.

I have yet to try the DVS3U.

Q2: Which of these three, all else being equal, would you expect to produce the best image? I suppose the 9500 isn't "equal" since it saw more use. Not brutal, daily use, mind you, but use.

Q3: What in the world does the "video calibration" actually do? I'll be damned if I can see a difference, except maybe it seems to create a touch more stable playback. For nearly TWENTY YEARS I was a doofus, and actually thought video calibration was JVCs term for auto-tracking, since I didn't RTFM, and every time I saw those words on the screen it was, in fact, simultaneously auto-tracking. It was only recently, while actually reading the effing manual to the DVS3U I just got, that I saw my assumption was way off. Q4: Is there any compelling reason to redo tapes I did with video calibration ON?

My other complaints so far in this process, which may not be any fault of JVC, is just dark murky family videos recorded in dark murky living rooms. I come from a long line of dungeon dwellers, apparently, who never understood that cameras use LIGHT. Not sure if one VCR or another is better at finding more detail in dark videos on cheap tape. Also, whites get a bit blown out here and there, although my uncle's 1989 Panasonic camcorder seems worse about that than my grandmother's 1988 RCA camcorder.

Sorry some of that is asking questions, and some of that is rambling. Any insights are GREATLY appreciated!
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  #2  
04-11-2018, 12:30 AM
leeoverstreet leeoverstreet is offline
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Should I ask these questions under a different heading?
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  #3  
04-11-2018, 12:44 AM
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lordsmurf lordsmurf is online now
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We're spread thin lately, answering Premium Members first.

- The 9500 lacks the filters.
- The 9911 is better than most VCRs, but is one of the worst high-end JVC models. (Don't misunderstand that as 9911=bad, because it's not.) And one reason it's worse = softer image, so your observations are odd. But the transport is crappy, which causes some of what you observe.
- The DVS3U DV is terrible, and the fan create problems (unplug it), but the VHS side is quite lovely. Try it. Odds are it'll be better than the other pair.

JVC creates tearing easier, but I find that Panasonic AG-1980 usually gets it as well. Enter the DMR-ES10 for tearing removal.

Calibration does nothing in most cases. However. you'll find that it usually improves playback on a DVS3U.

If you see "calibration" on screen, you need to turn off the overlay. The exact terms differs on different models, but it can always be turned off. And should be. No need to have that on your digital recordings!

Dark video = you need a proc amp. (I'll part with my extra BVP4+ if you're interested.)

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04-11-2018, 01:18 AM
leeoverstreet leeoverstreet is offline
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Hi lordsmurf! Thank you so much for the info. I'm sorry if I came across as impatient. I understand FULLY that the paying customers go first. I may try to become one very soon, since I'm finally really digging in to this project. :-)

I did turn off the overlay. Figured that out, at least!

The 9500 seems to have the same filters as the 9911 except for soft and sharp. Otherwise, it's all there including the TBC/NR. My observation of the 9911 being sharper than the 9500 is honestly just from one camcorder tape. I realize I should compare more.

But now I'm excited to try the DVS3U, since you say it's quite lovely!

My dark video complaint has, in the intervening days, been an ordeal that I have found a fix for, in Premiere and VLC anyway. It should probably be a separate forum question. It boils down to my Matrox MXO2 capturing with levels that aren't "broadcast safe" (0-255). When I remap that to broadcast levels 16-235, everything looks right. Not that my grandmother's living room in 1988 suddenly becomes well lit, but that ocean of black becomes nice gradations of black to gray, and colors appear correctly. I figured this out after changing the Matrox's output settings to allow superblacks and superwhites to my LCD TV, after which the videos on the TV looked like I expected and remembered. In VLC, I changed a setting under video to use hardware YUV>RGB conversions, and that seems to do the trick there. I wish my captured files didn't need converting to 16-235, but there we go. But once properly processed, my captures are looking pretty nice. Like I said, probably should be a whole other topic!
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