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Mini-DV and Digital 8 are poor quality?

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Old 07-11-2007, 06:18 AM   #1  
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Default Mini-DV and Digital 8 are poor quality?

Do the other digital tapes, Mini-DV and Digital8, have the same dropout problems that D-VHS has?

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Old 07-11-2007, 08:26 AM   #2  
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minidv is best ou there, HDD and DVD recording are compressed and difficult to edit as compared to Minidv AVI format files.
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Old 07-12-2007, 05:57 AM   #3  
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Originally Posted by iserum View Post
minidv is best out there, HDD and DVD recording are compressed and difficult to edit as compared to Minidv AVI format files.
That may be true, but it's false to say MiniDV is not compressed. The "DV" codec is basically a series of JPEG-type pictures one after the other..... and those pictures are lossy-compressed with much of the original picture thrown-away. (And the high-definition variant of MiniDV is MPEG2... same flaws as DVD has and difficult to edit.)

So yes MiniDV is compressed and also lossy.

Now:

How's the dropout rate? Is it necessary to clean a MiniDV vcr every 100 hours (like with D-VHS) to avoid getting drop-out on your images?

Last edited by electrictroy; 07-12-2007 at 06:01 AM..
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Old 07-12-2007, 06:57 AM   #4  
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Originally Posted by Chris Gerhard (in another thread) View Post
I have never owned Digital8, but I do own MiniDV and would consider it about the same as D-VHS in terms of dropouts, both formats have them.

I am going to continue to use D-VHS, we actually watch it far more than Blu-ray and HD DVD combined and we are happy with it.
Thanks for the info.

I wonder why we don't hear more complaints from MiniDV users about drop-out problems? Maybe they don't care. (shrug)
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Old 07-12-2007, 07:40 AM   #5  
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P.S. I wish JVC had followed the example of Sony:

- Sony's Digital8 can record on "ordinary" Hi8 video. So people can use their current libraries without an expensive upgrade.

- JVC's Digital VHS can not. It requires special tape.



I think that was a mistake. JVC should have designed D-VHS so people could continue using any Super VHS tapes that were laying around the house (rather than force them to go out & buy new ~$20 blanks).
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Old 07-12-2007, 10:25 AM   #6  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by electrictroy View Post
P.S. I wish JVC had followed the example of Sony:

- Sony's Digital8 can record on "ordinary" Hi8 video. So people can use their current libraries without an expensive upgrade.

- JVC's Digital VHS can not. It requires special tape.



I think that was a mistake. JVC should have designed D-VHS so people could continue using any Super VHS tapes that were laying around the house (rather than force them to go out & buy new ~$20 blanks).
The format requires higher quality tape, there was no way to just make it work with poor quality tape, that isn't complicated, otherwise JVC would have done so. Even with high quality tape, the dropouts (glitches) occur and with lesser quality tape are absolutely unbearable in my experience. I have purchased about 1,000 tapes for D-VHS use, mostly used Fuji H471S and the average price is well below $1 per hour. I don't know if finding the tape is as easy as it once was since I don't look for it anymore. Professional videographers changing from SVHS to one of the digital formats was one source for used tape as well as state highway departments and other industrial or commercial users. Several brands of high grade SVHS tape and all brands of D-VHS (really high grade SVHS tape in shell with an extra hole) have worked fine for me. Standard grade SVHS tape has been hit or miss so I don't mess with it.

A Hitachi D-VHS VCR I own has a tape quality meter reading and it rates Fuji H471S as the best tape, surpassing all D-VHS tape and all other SVHS tape. My experience is that is true, it is the best although several other brands such as TDK XP Pro, JVC D-VHS, Maxell D-VHS and a few others work very well. If perfection is wanted, D-VHS isn't it. If acceptable results can include a couple minor glitches each tape on average, then using the tapes I recommend, a good firewire source and properly maintained and clean D-VHS VCR and you are good to go.

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Old 07-12-2007, 12:35 PM   #7  
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The format requires higher quality tape, there was no way to just make it work with poor quality tape, that isn't complicated, otherwise JVC would have done so.
Well, I'm going to have to disagree. If Sony could find a way to store DV video onto Hi8 tape (which is equivalent to S-VHS in qualty)..... surely JVC could have found a way to store data onto Super VHS tapes.



Looking at wikipedia I see Sony increased the speed. A T-120 Hi8 tape holds 90 minutes of DV.

If JVC had used a similar approach, a super vhs T-180 tape would hold 135 minutes of HDTV (or 270 SDTV). Not an ideal solution, but at least people could use $5 tapes instead of $20 tapes.


Quote:
A Hitachi D-VHS VCR I own has a tape quality meter reading and it rates Fuji H471S as the best tape, surpassing all D-VHS tape and all other SVHS tape. My experience is that is true, it is the best although several other brands such as TDK XP Pro, JVC D-VHS, Maxell D-VHS and a few others work very well.
Thanks! More useful info.
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Old 07-12-2007, 01:15 PM   #8  
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Originally Posted by electrictroy View Post
Well, I'm going to have to disagree. If Sony could find a way to store DV video onto Hi8 tape (which is equivalent to S-VHS in qualty)..... surely JVC could have found a way to store data onto Super VHS tapes..
Well go ahead and build a VCR that can use lesser tape, nobody is stopping you. I am not sure how you can disagree, I have D-VHS VCRs with Mitsubishi, Panasonic, JVC, Hitachi, RCA, and Hughes brand names and none of them can avoid glitches with tape that doesn't rate highly on the Hitachi VCR. Try a standard grade VHS tape sometime if you want to see something funny. Writing the data to videotape and retrieving it is not as easy as you seem to think. The tape must be very smooth and densely packed for the feat to be consistently accomplished. SVHS and VHS didn't have difficult requirements, thus lesser tape made for those formats doesn't work for D-VHS and never will. JVC knew this and offered D-VHS tape and recommended it be used since it was held to a much higher standard than SVHS tape. In other words, D-VHS exceeds the minimum acceptable SVHS standards with flying colors but only the best SVHS tape meets the D-VHS requirements.

What Sony was able to do with Digital8 is hardly relevant, although I expect Digital8 does no better than D-VHS when using lesser tape. Hi8 tape is metal, either evaporated or metal particle and much more expensive than SVHS tape, thus it may be better suited for the needs of digital.

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Old 07-13-2007, 03:53 AM   #9  
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I'm familiar with how data storage works. I used to use plain, ordinary, nonspecial music cassettes to store my programs (back in the 80s).

Not all Hi8 tapes are metal. Some are simply high-grade oxide (like Super or Digital VHS tapes). And Video8, which is most-definitely oxide, works with Digital 8 as well (you need to use High Grade, but it works).
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Gerhard View Post
Well go ahead and build a VCR that can use lesser tape, nobody is stopping you. I am not sure how you can disagree.....
I already answered this.
But here it is again:

Because Sony already designed a Digital recorder that can record on "plain jane" analog tape. (Hi8, or even Video8). I'm sure if Sony got their hands on VHS, they'd use similar techniques to record DV direct to Super VHS..... without needing special tapes.





You see: In my view, the reason Super VHS "flopped" as a format was because JVC required consumers to go out & buy expensive tapes. (To which consumers responded: "Forget that.") Later-on JVC introduced SVHS-ET to record on standard VHS (which works quite well). Why didn't JVC provide that functionality right from the start??? Perhaps if they had, enabling poor consumers to reuse old tapes, Super VHS would have eclipsed the original standard.

BTW:

Which Super VHS tapes have you found to be the best-quality (for D-VHS recording)?

Last edited by electrictroy; 07-13-2007 at 04:22 AM..
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Old 07-13-2007, 09:31 AM   #10  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by electrictroy View Post
I'm familiar with how data storage works. I used to use plain, ordinary, nonspecial music cassettes to store my programs (back in the 80s).

Not all Hi8 tapes are metal. Some are simply high-grade oxide (like Super or Digital VHS tapes). And Video8, which is most-definitely oxide, works with Digital 8 as well (you need to use High Grade, but it works).
I already answered this.
But here it is again:

Because Sony already designed a Digital recorder that can record on "plain jane" analog tape. (Hi8, or even Video8). I'm sure if Sony got their hands on VHS, they'd use similar techniques to record DV direct to Super VHS..... without needing special tapes.





You see: In my view, the reason Super VHS "flopped" as a format was because JVC required consumers to go out & buy expensive tapes. (To which consumers responded: "Forget that.") Later-on JVC introduced SVHS-ET to record on standard VHS (which works quite well). Why didn't JVC provide that functionality right from the start??? Perhaps if they had, enabling poor consumers to reuse old tapes, Super VHS would have eclipsed the original standard.

BTW:

Which Super VHS tapes have you found to be the best-quality (for D-VHS recording)?
Please show me a link to a Hi-8 tape that is not either metal particle or evaporated metal. I have already stated the best tape period for D-VHS in my opinion is Fuji H471S SVHS tape and I consider TDK Pro SVHS tape the second best I have used. I like the way you claim that Digital8 requires high grade 8 MM, but it works and you seem to think Sony solved the problem with writing and retrieving digital data using inexpensive tape.

My first non-Beta VCR was an SVHS VCR. I was aware I could drill a hole in standard VHS tape and make quasi SVHS recordings, they weren't as good as recordings using true SVHS tape. When JVC started making SVHS-ET VCR's, I purchased those as well, an HR-S9800U was one and it did do a better job with VHS tape, but it still didn't do as well as true SVHS recording.

Let me just conclude by stating from experience after making well over 1,000 D-VHS recordings that standard grade SVHS tape and even some high grade SVHS tape can't cut it for D-VHS. The reason is simple, the requirements for SVHS aren't nearly as critical and tapes that meet minimum standards for SVHS certification will work fine for SVHS, but won't cut it for D-VHS consistently and that is the end of the discussion. No D-VHS manufacturer ever succeeded in making D-VHS VCR's that I found could make standard grade SVHS tape work consistently enough for me to use it. Some tapes worked, others didn't so I just made the easy choice and used tapes I knew worked acceptably.

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Old 07-13-2007, 09:39 AM   #11  
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I can't find any Video 8MM tape that isn't metal, much less Hi-8, I just tried that for myself online. I don't think Sony, Fuji, Maxell or TDK made any and I would be surprised if Sony licensed oxide tape from some lesser manufacturer that attempted to make tape that simulated metal performance.

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Old 07-14-2007, 04:37 AM   #12  
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Please show me a link to a Hi-8 tape that is not either metal particle or evaporated metal.
Well I failed. I couldn't find any. I retract my previous statement.

Quote:
I have already stated the best tape period for D-VHS in my opinion is Fuji H471S SVHS tape and I consider TDK Pro SVHS tape the second best I have used.
Oh sorry. I thought you were referring to D-VHS tapes.
I have about 100 TDK XPpro tapes in my library. Most are currently holding copies of Babylon 5, but I have a few blanks I could test in my new D-VHS machine.

Quote:
I like the way you claim that Digital8 requires high grade 8 MM, but it works and you seem to think Sony solved the problem with writing and retrieving digital data using inexpensive tape.
"Digital8 (SP) recordings can be made on standard-grade Video8 cassettes, but this practice is discouraged..... To store the digitally-encoded audio/video on a standard Video8 cassette, the tape must be run through the recorder faster." - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Video8#Digital8 and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital8



Quote:
....When JVC started making SVHS-ET VCR's, I purchased those as well, an HR-S9800U was one and it did do a better job with VHS tape, but it still didn't do as well as true SVHS recording.
No it does look less clear, but that's an engineering or technician point-of-view (quality). I'm looking from a marketing view (cost) which is:

- If in 1987, consumers had been able to upgrade to SVHS while still using their existing blank VHS tapes, the format would have succeeded. Consumers could have upgraded painlessly to higher-quality video w/o needing to buy $10 s-vhs blanks (unless they wanted to).

- But since consumers could not do that, the format flopped. It was positioned too high in price.

That's the marketing viewpoint.
Trying to keep the cost low,
so the format gets adopted.

One final question:

What happens when you try to record HDTV using the STD speed? I've heard it can be done as long as the bitstream stays below 14.7 Mbps. Is that true?
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Old 07-14-2007, 04:57 AM   #13  
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Originally Posted by electrictroy View Post
Well I failed. I couldn't find any. I retract my previous statement.



Oh sorry. I thought you were referring to D-VHS tapes.
I have about 100 TDK XPpro tapes in my library. Most are currently holding copies of Babylon 5, but I have a few blanks I could test in my new D-VHS machine.



"Digital8 (SP) recordings can be made on standard-grade Video8 cassettes, but this practice is discouraged..... To store the digitally-encoded audio/video on a standard Video8 cassette, the tape must be run through the recorder faster." - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Video8#Digital8 and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital8



No it does look less clear, but that's an engineering or technician point-of-view (quality). I'm looking from a marketing view (cost) which is:

- If in 1987, consumers had been able to upgrade to SVHS while still using their existing blank VHS tapes, the format would have succeeded. Consumers could have upgraded painlessly to higher-quality video w/o needing to buy $10 s-vhs blanks (unless they wanted to).

- But since consumers could not do that, the format flopped. It was positioned too high in price.

That's the marketing viewpoint.
Trying to keep the cost low,
so the format gets adopted.

One final question:

What happens when you try to record HDTV using the STD speed? I've heard it can be done as long as the bitstream stays below 14.7 Mbps. Is that true?
I have never been able to record HDTV using STD speed, regardless of the bitrate which is often below 14.1 Mbps for an entire movie. I am not certain why it can't be done. It may be the VCR's won't allow STD to be locked in when the bitrate is above the normal SD bitrates. If STD could be started for an HDTV source then the bitrate exceed the maximum of 14.1, tape speed changing and a glitch would certainly be the outcome and that would be a mess obviously. Either my 169time equipment, Comcast Motorolla DCT6412III or D-VHS VCR's are preventing this occurrence. It is probably recording from a PC to D-VHS over firewire that permits this but I have never used a PC in that manner so I don't have any experience. Obviously a 50% savings in tape would make that worthwhile if it can be done.

TDK XP Pro is excellent and I am certain would pass the D-VHS certification requirements. You should find the tape works very well for D-VHS.

Chris
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Old 07-14-2007, 05:20 AM   #14  
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I can't find any Video 8MM tape that isn't metal, much less Hi-8, I just tried that for myself online.

Is D-VHS a metal tape?
If yes, I probably shouldn't be using it in my Super VHS vcr.
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Old 07-14-2007, 06:04 AM   #15  
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Originally Posted by electrictroy View Post
Is D-VHS a metal tape?
If yes, I probably shouldn't be using it in my Super VHS vcr.
No, D-VHS tape is not metal. D-VHS tape is high grade SVHS tape in a shell with an extra hole.

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