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  #1  
01-22-2020, 09:34 AM
HBB360 HBB360 is offline
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Hello everyone,
I bought a JVC GR-SXM180A SVHS-C camcorder. The seller said that a "chip" had burned preventing playback on the camcorder itself but I got it anyway since they're pretty hard to find.
The playback on the camcorder itself is extremely noisy with dots and dashes everywhere (I can upload a sample if you want) but once I put the tape in my VCR with an adapter, it looks fine. The symptom is like that of a broken head but if that was the case, wouldn't the recording also be messed up?
Thanks for any opinions/info, I really hope this is fixable and not a damaged head,
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  #2  
01-22-2020, 10:00 AM
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lordsmurf lordsmurf is offline
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1. The seller is a moron.
2. S-VHS-C cameras are known to be extremely crappy players. Never use them for playing tapes.

Unless recording S-VHS or S-VHS-ET, these cameras are a complete waste of time.

We regret having used VHS-C and S-VHS-C (and -ET) for family home movies/memories. The tapes are fragile, the available camcorders subpar. Hi8 was a far superior format, but we didn't know back then what we know now. Video8 and VHS were comparable, so kept with VHS. Adopting S-VHS-C was my fault, because I falsely assumed S-VHS camera quality would be on par with JVC S-VHS VCRs. They were not. This is probably one of my few video black eyes, screwed the pooch on that decision. Thankfully we adopted DV early, so not too many S-VHS-C tapes.

The VHS-C format is crappy, thin weak tapes, loose tolerances that resulted in tapes that can be hard to track well. S-VHS-C is actually worse.

The S-VHS-C cameras were all fragile, none of ours lasted.

The only reason that a low-end S-VHS VCR isn't considered better is because some JVC S-VHS-C have line TBCs. But a quality S-VHS VCR can beat it without trying, even decks in C/B grades (on my scale).

BTW, S-VHS-C cameras, sadly, ironically, are just as apt to eat tapes as the full JVC HR-S decks.

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  #3  
01-22-2020, 11:00 AM
HBB360 HBB360 is offline
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Wow, a reply for the man himself! Hi Smurf, I never used VHS-C for home recordings and with my enthusiasm about analog video reborn recently, I wanted to get a SVHS-C cam to record a future trip because I thought it'd be fun. I assumed it would be a high quality piece of kit but as you said, the craftsmanship is really disappointing. I had a certain suspicion since most of the ones on eBay are for parts but it's awful. It's light (feels cheap), much noisier and clunkier than my Hi8 camcorder and overall the worst tape camcorder I've owned. I wanted to record the trip because I thought SVHS-C would be as good as Hi8 and I could just play it on my VCR but this machine makes it far worse, I'm gonna be using my Hi8 XR camcorder tor the trip (TRV-77E) and transferring it onto SVHS, hopefully the quality loss will be minimal.
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01-22-2020, 11:11 AM
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Honestly, the most fun I could have with an S-VHS-C camera is to throw it at a brick wall, to seem how many pieces it can break into. The item has no redeeming value whatsoever. It's not like S-VHS VCR, that should be sold for parts even when not working. But the camcorders? No, recycle that crap.

S-VHS-C cameras are only sold because buyers don't know any better.

Yes, Hi8 will be nice, even now, assuming camera is in good working order. And if you want to analog copy it (remember to use a frame TBC!!!) to S-VHS, it should look great. Hint: the better TDK and JVC VHS blanks will do nicely at S-VHS-ET.

Personally, I'd shoot DV if SD. DV for shooting is fine, only conversion is lousy.

I'm guessing your into some sort of analog nostalgia? Quality analog (SD) can be done.

The bigger problem will be good blank tapes, an unknown there days. Lots of people stored those in attics or garages or wherever, then claim them to be "new" on eBay. But no, that's not's new, that's used/abused in the original wrapper. You cannt just waltz into Best Buy and grab case full anymore. Even "stores" on Amazon and eBay can be sketchy.

And prices are high now: https://amzn.to/37jB6D2 -- $15 per blank!!!

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  #5  
01-22-2020, 11:59 AM
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Yeah, nostalgia sums it up pretty well but it's for analog rather than simply SD so I'm gonna go with Hi8 rather than DV. Kinda bummed about the cam though, the one time I don't ask about something on here before getting it it turns out to be crap. Paid 70$ for that thing which is steep compared to eBay prices but they're much less common here in Europe. Maybe it'll make a nice display piece, it's in perfect shape cosmetically (although it's crappy matte black plastic so it's kinda hard to damage it...)
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  #6  
01-22-2020, 12:05 PM
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lordsmurf lordsmurf is offline
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Quote:
Maybe it'll make a nice display piece,
Art project fodder.

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