Would anyone happen to know of a good VHS mastering deck? I need to record on to S-VHS with great quality. Right now I've tried a few expensiver VCRs with all the toys and I'm not getting what anyone would call good, not to mention master quality. I'm using Maxell mastering quality tapes also and am looking for a better or more appropriate tape for mastering. Thanks in advance
I too have ran into this kind of trouble when making VHS copies of my video's. I have tried playing my video in about 15 VCR's and each time it is a little different, even sometimes the audio being out of sync, almost 10 sec off the video. I would also like to find a good VCR deck that will record great quality and play well on other VCR's. If you get any recommended to you, could you please let me know?
This may sound disturbing but your original video may be the main cause of your problems. COnsumer camcorders do not always record a LEGAL video signal they are very often over saturated to give a wonderful image on your TV when you play back from the camcorder. IF you try to record this to a VHS VCR it can't do it without colour bleed and possibly other artifacts. The TV has much more latitude in managing the overloaded signal levels but the VCR cannot manage these overloads. YOu will need to legalize the signal before recording by using a NLE filter on your finished project or at the very least passing the signal through a TBC to reduce the saturation and /or the signal level(contrast). You can verify what I have just noted if you camcorder has analogue input. Record the output from your VCR of a local TV station ie a TV channel or even a quality movie that you have. Play this back on the TV and record to the VHS VCR. YOu might be suprised to find that it is not a bad copy. OR you can rent a Pro camcorder like a Panasonic DVC200 or JVC DV500 and try recording their tape output. The quality difference is startly.
As far as good vhs VCR's the Panasonic with Dynamorphus heads seem to be the best ( I have 3 of them in my copy stand). I think the only model in the present line up is the top model in the VHS line up. As far as using S VHS machines to make copies I have found that the source video has much more effect on quality than using S-video or composite to make the copies. Single chip consumer camcorders create a lot of colour bleed and Pro camcorders create very little or no bleed. Unfortunate fact of life!!!
IF you have access to a waveform monitor you can check your signal levels. Ulead Media Studio Pro has waveform monitor available under the clip menu/colour balance I think its called. You may well find that the composite level is over 115IRE ( often occurs with my Sony TRV50 ) yet this looks like a beautiful picture on my Sony TV but will not record to any of my VHS VCR's without considerable colour bleed. By reducing saturation by 50% I can get the VCR's to record but of course the picture has now lost that SOny punch!!! I concede the some of this is due to the difficulty in setting proper levels but the outcome is the same.