There are many different formats of VHS. These include S-VHS, D-VHS, and Hi-Fi VHS. If you’re looking for the latest and greatest in video technology, you may want to check out these VHS formats to see what they can do for your home entertainment.
Video Home System
The Video Home System, or VHS, is an open standard for video recording on tape cassettes. It was developed by the Japan Victor Company in the early 1970s.
Initially, the format was considered a revolutionary invention. Among other things, the idea of watching one show while recording another was a major turning point.
One of the many benefits of the format was its ability to store more data than other analog recording systems. In the early 1990s, it claimed over half of the North American market. However, by the middle of the 2000s, VHS had already been eclipsed by DVDs and other digital formats.
Video Home System machines were relatively inexpensive. This made them popular for home use. They came in a variety of formats, including a compact model, and the original VHS-C.
It was also possible to record on magnetic tape. The 0.5-inch wide tape was a standard size for VHS.
The XP mode, or HQ mode, is a more advanced version of this technology. It is capable of recording at half the speed of the SP mode.
Another innovation in the VHS model was the clear trailing portion of the tape. This is now known as a “TBC”.
The TBC is used to correct errors in the original video. Depending on the quality of the TBC, the end result may not be as impressive as other options.
In addition to the TBC, other components are also required. These include a vectorscope to measure the saturation and hue of the signal. Also, a waveform monitor can be used as a signal correction element.
Victor Helical Scan
The VHS or Victor helical scan system is a recording standard that was on the market before the Betamax hit the scene. The rotary video heads were a big improvement over the old fashioned tape and lever methods.
It was also a technological marvel of the time. In short, a magnetic tape with video tracks was wrapped around a rotatable guide drum, guided around its circumference, and subsequently wound onto a take up reel. A synchronizing signal was then fed through a switch to an amplifier.
The rotary heads aren’t the only technology the Japanese company is known for. For example, it licensed out some of its key technologies to Sony. But, there is another company that came out with a better rounded system that was not only the oh so important helical scan system.
However, the Japanese company did not squander its time or its money on one cylinder. Rather, it came up with a scalable albeit unproven technological tidbit and licensed it to Sony. Thus, the helical scan system of today is a combination of the previous generations’ technologies rolled into one.
The most significant improvement of the helical scan system is the number of voxels (or voxeloids) being captured. While the technology is not a perfect match, it is a significant step forward in the pursuit of capturing the digital equivalent of a human voice. With the improved performance comes a more compelling consumer experience.
S-VHS is an improved videotape format. It is a consumer video standard that was introduced in the mid 1980s. The format is designed to improve picture quality and video bandwidth.
The original VHS standard provided a resolution that was comparable to analog television. In addition, it offered an AFM soundtrack and high-fidelity audio. However, the format’s popularity was limited due to the poor market acceptance. Eventually, the technology was renamed Video Home System (VHS).
SVHS tapes use different frequencies to record the luminance part of a video signal. These frequencies allow the tape to record higher bandwidth than VHS. As a result, SVHS tapes can be used in a wide variety of players.
Although it was developed to replace VHS, S-VHS did not take off in the home market. Consumers weren’t interested in paying more for better pictures.
As of late, most S-VHS machines have been replaced by DVD players and digital camcorders. However, SVHS tapes can still be purchased in some retail outlets. Unlike VHS, these tapes are physically and mechanically designed differently. They also have different playing times.
SVHS tapes contain a small 3mm hole on the underside. This hole enables them to be played back in a regular VCR using an adapter.
Professional VHS machines are also available. Many of these machines can also record high-fidelity stereo audio. Also, some models can record pulse-code modulation digital audio.
D-VHS, or Digital Video Home System, is a digital video format developed by JVC. It is designed for recording standard definition and high definition video.
It is a digital version of the VHS consumer tape format. Unlike DVD, which uses a proprietary codec, D-VHS records using a standard DV codec.
While D-VHS offers double the resolution of DVD, there are some limitations. Since D-VHS uses a linear tape format, the recordings are not as compact as DVD. Plus, due to the inherent imperfections of the tape, digital static can sometimes be visible.
In addition to its limitations, D-VHS is not as easy to play as a DVD. Many VCRs have long-play (LP) modes, which slow the tape speed. These modes are not a part of the official VHS standard.
D-VHS also does not have bonus material or interactive features. This is in contrast to DVD, which has many built-in functions.
The system was conceived as a high-definition alternative to DVD, but the competition from Blu-ray and HD-DVD put an end to D-VHS. Similarly, the introduction of HDTV set-top boxes and cable box connections made D-VHS obsolete.
There are three ways to record on a D-VHS VCR. These include standard definition, 720p, and 1080i. Compared to a DVD, a D-VHS unit can record up to four hours of standard definition video or 3.5 hours of HD video.
When D-VHS was first launched in 1998, a number of major studios were backing it. They included Fox, DreamWorks, and Universal.
The Hi-Fi VHS format offers better audio fidelity than the standard linear audio track. However, the signal to noise ratio is not as good as in analogue context, and there is some buzzing.
Hi-Fi VHS uses audio frequency modulation (AFM) to produce sound quality that is close to professional equipment. It requires a special HI-FI VCR.
Some tape machines have a separate audio “track” written on the tape to provide the highest possible quality. While this feature was included in many VHS tape machines, only a few high-end decks were able to handle it.
In fact, some televised concerts were able to offer a stereo simulcast on FM radio. This was a novelty at the time and used FM radio as an alternative to a real stereo signal.
Some professional VHS machines have manual level control. For more flexibility, there are modular systems that allow you to add components as you need them.
Some Hi-Fi VCRs are able to reduce the buzzing artifact that is inherent to this technology. However, some models within the same brand can have different results. Among the more affordable Mitsubishis, some are better than others at reducing the buzz.
Some VHS tape machines also have a “simulcast” switch. This allows you to record an external audio input, along with off-air pictures, on your tape.
The Betamax Hi-Fi format offered a flat full-range frequency response and an excellent 70 dB signal-to-noise ratio. It was also capable of producing an exceptional 90 dB dynamic range.
The Video8/Hi8 format was one of the most popular formats for home video. Its high quality image and superior audio were well-liked by amateur videographers and television production professionals. In fact, Hi8 camcorders were used by professional news organizations.
Sony introduced the Video8 tape format in the mid-1980s, while Digital8 appeared several years later. Both formats were designed to offer an upgrade path from analog 8 mm.
Video8 uses a small helical-scan head drum that rotates rapidly, allowing for the recording of a 240-line vertical picture. Initially, it was available with a 1.2 MHz bandwidth. Eventually, the bandwidth was increased to 2.0 MHz. This increased the horizontal resolution to 240 lines.
Hi8 had an improved signal-to-noise ratio and better color rendition than its predecessor, VHS. It also used improved recorder electronics. Some models could also store digital stereo PCM sound.
Hi8 tapes were made from metal particle (MP) and metal evaporated (ME) tapes. ME tapes have a coating that is three times thinner than MP tapes. This coating is more sensitive and therefore offers a higher image quality.
Hi8 tapes were not interchangeable with Digital8. Instead, Digital8 cassettes are run at twice the speed of the Hi8. This requires more data to be output from the Hi8 camcorder to the tape. However, most Digital8 units also offer LP mode, which increases the recording time to 90 minutes.
Hi8 tapes were popular with the home video enthusiast and small-budget independent film-makers. Their higher luminance and quality audio, and the ability to produce high-density video, gave them an advantage over VHS.