Hi JR, I think you said VC


Hi JR,
I think you said VCR. In the mid/late 90’s I was a big fan of a later generation of JVC’s VCRs than your model: I owned 3 BR-S378U’s, an “industrial” SVHS deck. I kept them busy doing a lot of tape to tape edits including A/B roll through a full featured video mixer. Those were the days when you would need to have the physical coordination to do 6 or 10 separate manual procedures within a 10 or 15 second time frame to achieve simple video effects (e.g., manually fade in from black, manually fade in soundtrack, fade in CG text, fade out text, etc.). With PC editing, you can take all the time you want to finesse these steps — although you need to be Mentally Coordinated even if not physically challenged. One of the wonderful things about this system was that it was frame perfect (had pre-roll) although my friends moving over to PC editing at the time had a hard time believing this. A very useful feature of these decks was (and still is) the fast erase function where I could erase an entire VHS tape in a few minutes and recycle for another job. Possibly your deck has this function.

All that being said about my love for these decks, I did find that about every 18 to 24 months or so, each of these decks would need to go into the shoppe for serious maintenance in order to perform at the level I required (e.g., for belt replacement, etc etc). Back then (8-10 years ago), the maintenance would cost me typically in the $75 to $125 range each time.

Regarding your deck, I wouldn’t start any serious project without having it checked in the shop first. This may cost you as much as buying a decent new deck! The price is worth it to not have the sinking experience of seeing your precious tapes being enjoyed as a meal by your deck. Also, if your deck doesn’t have an S-cable output (at the least), I would think twice about using this deck for serious dubbing work. Still, if you are not fussy and your work is not intended for the local big screen cinema multi-plex, you deck might do the job you want it to. Several years ago, 40 prominent film directors from around the world (David Lynch, Spike Lee, Zhang Yimou, etc.) each got to make a short film using a 100 year old Lumiere camera, with the results compiled in the film, Lumiere and Company. It Worked For Them.

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