I have a JVC HR-S7965EK that came from .... a place that seems to be out of stock and lists the model as ... "discontinued" ?? I just got this in October! It cost about £145 ($280) and was about £65 ($125) to ship here.
At any rate, I originally found the JVC 7965 and 8965 on http://pricerunner.co.uk
, the UK version of pricegrabber.com. I had a friend overseas import it for me. I paid him, he bought it, mailed it to me.
A google.co.uk search turned this up:
In JVC, the PAL 7000s are like NTSC 7000s, and the PAL 8000s are like NTSC 9000s.
Regardless of country, the 3000s-6000s are all pretty much lower grade machines. No TBC, fewer filters. These are mostly different because the "editing" features vary from unit to unit. The 5000s and 6000s are the better lower end ones, but still low end. I do not suggest them as primary VCRs.
Experience has shown me the best way to buy PAL is to get it from a PAL company and import it yourself. Just be accepting of the crazy shipping rates, and understand that IN TOTAL, it's not much different than a NTSC unit bought in the USA, add taxes, shipping here, etc. Plus NTSC prices (on good equipment!) are higher for some reason, probably because it's all imported from Japan to begin with. Most PAL equipment (that I have seen!) seems to be made somewhere in Europe (Germany for the JVCs), therefore lower export/import costs to the company.
Again, this is going off the assumption you are seeking highest possible quality. There are easier-to-find, lesser-expensive, less-quality machines. Not too many, but they exist.
Mitsubishi and Sony have had nice units in the past, but you'd end up with used equipment. I tend to stick with JVC, because I know they work and continue to work for many years. (This is partially why used equipment is harder to find for JVC.)
I would check ebay
.co.uk and see what kind of options are available for JVC PAL S-VHS VCRs. Even if the seller says "UK only", you can usually sweet-talk them into overseas sales, especially if you have an excellent feedback rating. Some may be used, some new.
Another unit I've noticed is the Panasonic NV-SV121EBS. It has TBC and most things found on the JVC. Do not take this as my recommendation, as I have no experience on this exact machine. It is worth investigating should the JVC's proove too elusive. That one can be bought here: http://www.digitalempireonline.co.uk/defaul t.asp?Detail=Yes&ModelID=246
. Here's your chance if you want to experiment with things.
Find a friend in UK:
This one is worth at least £150 .. at least.
You know where to meet some UK friends.
You also need one of these:
... ONLY turn these on when the unit needs power.