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Best U-Matic Player

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Stefan Scheidegger
Best U-Matic Player
on Aug 23, 2010 at 8:43:52 am

Hi everybody

Who is experienced with old U-Matic devices? I'm trying to find out which would be the best U-Matic machine to digitalize old recordings. I found out so far that the BVU-900 series are the latest and best Sony devices.

Does anyone know about those machines? What are the differences between the BVU-900, 920 and 950? I read for example that only the 920 has Dynamic Tracking. But will that be of any use to me for digitalizing my tapes?

Thanks a lot for any information.


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Bob Zelin
Re: Best U-Matic Player
on Aug 24, 2010 at 12:18:46 am

Is this a trick question ? U-Matic's suck by todays standards. There were no best machines.

The 900 was player only, the 920 was slomo (dynamic tracking) and the 950 was the recorder. But the Time Code boards, and TBC cards were OPTIONS on these VTR's ! So buyer beware.

With that said, the VO9800, and the VO9850 are the "newest" of the old dogs, so you are probably better off with a used one of these, as they will be 10 years younger than the old BVU-950's.

People look at old Ferraris for $25,000 and think they are buying a classis. What they soon realize is that they have purchased an old used car that needs a ton of maintenance. Young people think that the old stuff "just kept working forever" . Nothing could be further from the truth. The BVU series was also the days of staff maintenance engineers at facilities.

Bob Zelin



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Stefan Scheidegger
Re: Best U-Matic Player
on Aug 24, 2010 at 6:45:33 am

Thanks a lot, Bob.

Maybe I should rephrase: I'm looking for the least bad U-Matic machine.

So far I use an old VO5850 with an external TBC to play back. But I hope to get maybe a few less drop-outs or tracking problems when using a later model. (Unfortunately I didn't find any NLE filters that automatically treat those problems of old analog material.)

Now I'm undecided whether to go for a BVU-900 with TBC and noise reduction or for a VO9800. Well maintained is a prerequisite anyway.


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Bob Zelin
Re: Best U-Matic Player
on Aug 25, 2010 at 4:41:35 am

you don't get to choose which one you will select- these are all old machines, most are not "well maintained" - you will get what you can find, and you will find that most are beat up, in bad shape, and barely playback the tapes( and hopefully won't eat your tapes).

You are not going to be picky in finding old gear like this in great shape. You have to be lucky.

Bob Zelin



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Remy Gauthier
Re: Best U-Matic Player
on Mar 22, 2013 at 12:52:01 am

Hello Mr.Bob,

Googling about U-matic,your name came often. Please teach me ;o)
Just wanna know if I am beating a dead horse lol.

Here my thought so far...on new world (for me) of U-matic..

I know the importance of TBC (even) if there is no universal definition of tbc right now I am capturing vhs tape via S-Video path with Virtuldub.

It seem that the old old BVU-950 and the old VO-9850 are the deck of choice for playback/editing. How to know if the BVU-950 have a TBC? Is there any way of knowing it just by looking at the deck or we have to open it? On the broadcast store site, they says that the deck have Internal BKU-901 TBC. With JVC S-VHS deck it's easy there is a TBC button on the front panel.

I ask because here you seem to said that some model have build-in TBC. But it's still a option? right?

VO-9850 seem a bit complicated in term of parts because it look that there is no internal TBC, just external.

Sure I would like to capture Y/C 3.48Mzh (s-video). If I can use a
transcoder/TBC combo (like Leitch DSP-295) do I still need the sony TBC?

Thanks


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Juha Jauhiainen
Re: Best U-Matic Player
on Feb 15, 2014 at 5:25:00 pm

Hi there,

please read,if issue is still relevant.
http://www.digiommel.fi/Optimizing%20Digital%20Transfer%20of%20U-matic%20Vi...

Thanks
Juha J


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