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RE: Panasonic 50" GT30 SVHS Question

Posted by DavidLD on January 6, 2012 at 04:21:25:

At some point you are going to want to transfer your S-VHS tapes to DVD. There are various ways of doing this and various kinds of equipment available, including DVD recorders that have a VHS recorder-player built in. The tricky part would be finding a DVD recorder with an S-video input. I do not know of any.

One of the problems is that conmsumer DVD recorders that record beyond a standard definition DVD do not exist (long story). Since that is true, it makes no sense to have an S-video input on a DVD recorder, since its an ordinary composite video signal that gets recorded to the DVD anyway Having said that, the quality of a standard def DVD can be quite good if the composite video signal being input is good.

I really like the suggestion of another responder below to get a Denon HT receiver with an S-video input on it, feed your S-VHS recorder through that and then feed the video output from that to a DVD recorder and also to your new TV set via HDMI. That allows you to transition into some of the new connectors and formats while in theory at least maximizing video quality along the way. The Denon should do a good job of converting S-Video to HDMI.

All this upscaling/downscaling stuff is tricky, and what looks really good versus not so good often involves an experiment. I do a lot of recording of premium cable channel movies to DVD using a Toshiba DVD recorder. To my eyes at least, the 6-hour setting gives video indistinguishable from the 2-hour setting, which means I can typically fit 3 movies in a single 25-cent DVD. Even better, these DVDs work great on a laptop computer, and I can even slide them to an internal or external hard disk since each 2-hour movie occupies only about a gig. In contrast, a commercial DVD movie typically is 5 gigs, and moving them to another storage device involves having to get rid of the copy protect in addition to dealing with the large file size.