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  #1  
04-06-2021, 10:55 PM
phantomaniac phantomaniac is offline
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I have been thrifting every week for a few months now. I started going to acquire parts for a retro gaming PC, but continued after finishing the build as I kept finding interesting vintage electronics at this one particular place. Today I found a Toshiba M-785, of which there is not much info online but according to this post is the latest and greatest VCR Toshiba ever made, and is extremely rare in the US due to poor sales: https://www.avsforum.com/threads/bes...#post-16261747

It works perfectly as far as I can tell. No TBC but it has extremely good DNR, and I can attest that it has a shockingly clean composite signal. It definitely renders my DMR-ES15 redundant.

If anyone wants capture samples let me know, and perhaps if LS himself is interested in testing it out I'd be willing to lend it for a technical analysis from a true pro.

Here's hoping in another 6 months of thrifting I'll find an external TBC
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  #2  
04-07-2021, 12:53 AM
latreche34 latreche34 is online now
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No, it is not the best VCR, It is as basic as the bottom of the barrel RCA's, Basic VHS with no TBC, no S-Video, It's a good tool for viewing and rewinding the tapes if one has a high end machine. The DNR option might look good for some but most prefer no DNR during capturing tapes.
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  #3  
04-07-2021, 02:09 AM
Hushpower Hushpower is offline
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I also made a rare find last week on Farcebook Marketplace: a Sanyo DX625 and a Panny EZ48, both brand new, still in their sealed boxes; $140 US for both! Good S-Video picture from the Sanyo; I can't bring myself to open the EZ48!

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  #4  
04-07-2021, 08:16 AM
phantomaniac phantomaniac is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by latreche34 View Post
No, it is not the best VCR, It is as basic as the bottom of the barrel RCA's, Basic VHS with no TBC, no S-Video, It's a good tool for viewing and rewinding the tapes if one has a high end machine. The DNR option might look good for some but most prefer no DNR during capturing tapes.
Well....that is unfortunate. Guess I'm still on the hunt for a JVC/Panasonic S-VHS then.

Mods, feel free to close/delete this thread lol.
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  #5  
04-07-2021, 08:21 AM
hodgey hodgey is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by latreche34 View Post
It is as basic as the bottom of the barrel RCA's.
I wouldn't call it "the best vcr" or something like that, but it's a bit more advanced than the most basic rca. The most interesting bit about these Toshiba models is that they had a flying head amplifier that's part of the drum assembly. Only other vcrs I know that had something similar are big bertha professional vcrs from e.g JVC, though JVCs version was probably more advanced. What impact it has in practice though i don't know.

The DNR is probably much nicer than the basic analog NR in most vcr, but it's still 90's technology so it's going to have some limits compared to post-capture noise reduction. Toshiba's DNR and TBC ICs were actually used in some of the later Panasonic SVHS decks though so I guess they have some merit. I don't see it negating the need for something with TBC like the ES15 though, unless they actually used a chip that had both TBC and DNR in there without mentioning it.
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  #6  
04-07-2021, 08:44 AM
hodgey hodgey is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hushpower View Post
I also made a rare find last week on Farcebook Marketplace: a Sanyo DX625 and a Panny EZ48, both brand new, still in their sealed boxes; $140 US for both! Good S-Video picture from the Sanyo; I can't bring myself to open the EZ48!

Humm, I have a Daewoo which is essentially the same as that Sanyo and the video output (which goes through the internal digitizer, no way to get raw output) is like as wiggly as a raw capture from a normal vcr with my VC500 capture card. Way worse than my LG recorder combo which is at least somewhat acceptable on stable commercial or off-air tapes.
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  #7  
04-07-2021, 12:58 PM
latreche34 latreche34 is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hodgey View Post
The most interesting bit about these Toshiba models is that they had a flying head amplifier that's part of the drum assembly. Only other vcrs I know that had something similar are big bertha professional vcrs from e.g JVC, though JVCs version was probably more advanced. What impact it has in practice though i don't know.
Well, flying erase head has no effect on capturing, While maybe a good VCR for recording from its internal tuner back in its time, capturing however requires a different set of VCR skills.
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  #8  
04-07-2021, 06:58 PM
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Is it common to see this deck? No.
But is it common to see any particular deck? Also no.

The M-785 was one of falsely-claimed "6-head" VCRs of the late 90s. Almost all VCRs of that time had 6 heads (4 video + 2 audio), but only Toshiba was "clever" (deceitful) enough to claim it. Even I was initially fooled by the BS.

To say "latest and greatest" in reference to Toshiba isn't impressive. They were all lower-end consumer decks. About 15-20 years ago, I also regarded it as one of the better consumer decks -- but not sure I still would. I was a bit easier to please (too forgiving), a bit more knee-jerk in assessments (less diligent).

At AVS, I like CitiBear, but he has said some outright wrong things. In the linked post alone, he says nonsense about image softening ("TBC soften") and line TBCs ("only for flag waving"). He also claims the decks weren't available, but these were sold new at Circuit City, Best Buy, and some others like Conn's. I remember seeing them on the shelf next to the 2nd pair JVC HR-S3800s that I bought at Circuit City (and I may even still have that 3800 receipt somewhere!). I was actually tempted to get a Toshiba as well, but only had $500 budgeted (2x JVCs). Again, late 90s.

If you want to send it, I'll look at it, PM me.

But I vaguely remember these decks having two issues:
(1) something catastrophic, which is why you see almost none of these used
(2) color bleeding, chroma offset, on either playback or recording (or both?)

I forget who, but somebody here found a DataVideo TBC-1000 at a junk shop for about $10, maybe 5 years ago. So it happens.

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  #9  
04-07-2021, 07:56 PM
hodgey hodgey is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by latreche34 View Post
Well, flying erase head has no effect on capturing, While maybe a good VCR for recording from its internal tuner back in its time, capturing however requires a different set of VCR skills.
It's a flying amplifier, i.e there is a head amplifier amplifying the signal from the heads on the drum itself, which would impact playback (though how much idk), not the same as a flying erase head.

Interesting that they did note it as the "latest and greatest" toshiba, given that they had the W804 and W808 SVHS models that came out after this one.

The Panasonic NV-HS870 I got uses a Toshiba 3D DNR chip which could the same or a successor of what was used in toshiba's own vcrs, it's okay, but it's not some miracle thing, more akin to a milder variant of the DNR in the JVCs with TBC/DNR on (but without the TBCing).
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04-10-2021, 01:18 AM
Hushpower Hushpower is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hudgey
Humm, I have a Daewoo which is essentially the same as that Sanyo and the video output (which goes through the internal digitizer, no way to get raw output) is like as wiggly as a raw capture from a normal vcr with my VC500 capture card. Way worse than my LG recorder combo which is at least somewhat acceptable on stable commercial or off-air tapes.

Read more: http://www.digitalfaq.com/forum/news...#ixzz6rbvrqskE
Solid as a rock here, Hodgey, with my GV-USB2. The picture is better than my (probably well-worn) LG RC 299 combo.
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  #11  
04-10-2021, 05:01 PM
phantomaniac phantomaniac is offline
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I've done some more extensive testing and its great at playing back good quality tapes, but worse than other VCRs at playing back bad quality tapes. In particular it tracks worse than an older Toshiba M-65 I have and goes to blue screen on really bad video errors. As the experienced folk here guessed, playback of disparate quality tapes is not its strength. Guess I learned my lesson about believing decade old internet fluff.
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  #12  
04-10-2021, 05:58 PM
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Ah, yes ... memories un-fuzzying. Blue screen. Panasonic VHS decks have this as well, and are infamous for it. Very crappy units. These expected ONLY perfect SP mode retail releases, not homemade recordings.

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03-19-2023, 08:14 PM
Xhumeka Xhumeka is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lordsmurf View Post
The M-785 was one of falsely-claimed "6-head" VCRs of the late 90s. Almost all VCRs of that time had 6 heads (4 video + 2 audio), but only Toshiba was "clever" (deceitful) enough to claim it. Even I was initially fooled by the BS.
A very similar model, the M781 popped up for sale locally and I found this thread while searching for info about the DNR on it.

I also found the attached advertisement from the 1996 Feb/March issue of VIDEO magazine... have a look, it specifically states: "To sharpen quality further, the M781 features 6 video heads and 2 audio heads".


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File Type: jpg Toshiba M781 VCR with DNR.jpg (262.2 KB, 9 downloads)
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  #14  
03-19-2023, 09:01 PM
hodgey hodgey is offline
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On this Youtube video of the 782 you can see the holes for an extra pair of heads (in addition to the normal 4 DA video heads and 2 hi-fi heads), same on another one of the 751 without noting anything about flying erase +dummy (which is what one would normally expect an extra set of holes would indicate). Maybe it does actually have an extra set of narrower 19 heads for SLP. As they can be turned off in the menu presumably it would have the normal set of SLP heads too. Can't find any SM to verify though, it's of course not impossible that the extra holes were just not used and were shared with variants that had flying erase.

Later NTSC VCRs used 19 for the SLP/trick play heads so that head width width on it's own is anything special, just the setup.

That said Toshiba was also on the using 6-head to mean 4 video + 2 hifi bandwagon (and 7 when including flying erase), e.g the PAL V-804 (not to be confused with W-804) says "6 head" on the front and is for sure 4 video + 2 hifi so yea.

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  #15  
03-19-2023, 10:07 PM
latreche34 latreche34 is online now
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Flying erase head don't need an amplifier, it needs a biased current from a bias oscilator to erase the tape, It has nothing to do whatsoever with the quality of playback of a previously recorded tape, Head count doesn't really mean anything, it will always be only two heads scaning the video at a given time (Head A and head B), whether SP, LP, SLP you name it, By the late 90's 19 micron double azimuth heads were common design even if it is not mentioned on the face plate.

https://www.youtube.com/@Capturing-Memories/videos
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  #16  
03-21-2023, 05:09 PM
themaster1 themaster1 is offline
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To contribute to this discussion, i did some experiment on another french forum testing 2 standard vhs decks (toshiba/jvc) and 2 high end s-vhs decks (JVC's). Turns out the Toshiba wins to me. This test was made with a retail secam tape.
https://imgsli.com/MTYyMjM5
It delivers a rather sharp image and no infamous pink vertical bar on the right side.
The model is a V442EF just 2 scarts, composite only, lowest of the barel at first glance
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  #17  
03-21-2023, 05:52 PM
hodgey hodgey is offline
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Does the non-SVHS JVC also give the pink bar? If so it might be related to the digital processing stuff only found in the SVHS decks or s-video vs composite but if not it's something else.

That Toshiba is a later model made with Samsung guts so it will be quite different to the slightly earlier Toshiba models talked about in this thread which I believe were designed and manufactured by a joint venture between Toshiba and Thomson.

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  #18  
03-21-2023, 06:01 PM
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The Toshiba has a white/highlight bar on the left, lesser pink on the right. So it's not really better, in terms of edge overscan noise. Such behavior is really expected across almost all decks.

The Toshiba is definitely softer. He got younger (less wrinkles), and her hair is now anime style.

The Toshiba is exposed hotter. As a result, color is lost and reduced.

Toshiba head switching noise is taller.

Is that JVC 7700 TBC on? Both images have chroma noise.

This all needs to be taken into context. You can see flaws on a still. You can really see flaws in motion. So this isn't nitpicking whatsoever. The real test is motion, not stills. The Toshiba is expected to do better than most consumer VHS decks, but not outperform S-VHS decks, even TBC-less models.

A cheap Toshiba is a fun and interesting find, better than most. Condition matters, of course, not just model number. And it may have some niche uses for you. But it's not going to replace better decks.

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03-21-2023, 06:14 PM
Xhumeka Xhumeka is offline
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The 781 for sale locally seems in decent shape (see pic, the protective cellophane for the display is still there even) and he says it works fine. He only wants $30 Canadian (like $22 USD) so I'll probably grab it just to see how it fairs against some snowy EP tapes I have. Purely out of curiosity, I'm not expecting much out of it.


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File Type: jpg Toshiba M781.jpg (44.4 KB, 6 downloads)
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  #20  
03-21-2023, 06:22 PM
hodgey hodgey is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lordsmurf View Post
The Toshiba is expected to do better than most consumer VHS decks, but not outperform S-VHS decks, even TBC-less models.
The vertical pink bar here is a SECAM-specific thing i believe (though there are some things that can give at least superficially similar effects on other formats), it's possible normal rules of thumb about vcrs may differ for that format compared to NTSC/PAL but I don't know. Also at least on some of these the TBC doesn't work on SECAM playback even on the french marked models (e.g the HR-S7700MS according to it's user manual which this may or may not be judging by the description), don't know if it applies to all of the SECAM JVCs or just some. Agree that this Toshiba is a tad on the soft side on that comparison (The JVC is in EDIT mode according to the name there, so minimal noise reduction active, which the Toshiba doesn't have an option for, though it might have adjustable sharpness levels instead).
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