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Re: Hi-Fi VHS: It really does sound good

Posted: Wed May 31, 2017 5:43 pm
by setaG_lliB
Aranarth wrote:
On a similar note:
Did you know you can record binary data on VHS tapes?!
Yes there is a standard for it...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/D-VHS

Looks like you could store 50GB on a tape.

That's too cool. I'd better be careful here. Wouldn't want to fall down the rabbit hole that is obscure ways to use VHS.

Re: Hi-Fi VHS: It really does sound good

Posted: Sat Dec 23, 2017 3:39 am
by caldirun
I think I must have been quite unusual in the late eighties/ninties as I recorded all my vinyl to VHS Hi-Fi and used "Backer" to back up all my PC hard drive data, I thought it was normal practice for techie people!

Re: Hi-Fi VHS: It really does sound good

Posted: Sat Dec 23, 2017 5:29 am
by Chrispy_
The only reason tapes were good is that they were rewriteable, leading to easy-peasy recording/piracy.

Don't forget to rewind the DVD before you take it back to Blockbuster!

Re: Hi-Fi VHS: It really does sound good

Posted: Sat Dec 23, 2017 9:02 am
by The Swamp
Back in the early 90s, I had a friend who bought a high-end Mitsubishi Hi-Fi VHS player with a flying erase head. It had a full florescent display with power meters(!), which I had never seen on a VHS deck before. He recorded several Guns & Roses tracks on a VHS tape and played them for me. I remember being quite blown away. It sounded fantastic on his Radio Shack Mach-IIs. He played that deck until he wore the heads out. By then, of course, it was impossible to find parts for it.

A few years later, I bought a Sony Hi-Fi VHS deck for myself, but it didn't have the fancy pants power meters, to my disappointment. But, it still sounded amazing, though. Braveheart in Dolby Pro-Logic was the bomb back then. I still have that deck and it still works fine.

Re: Hi-Fi VHS: It really does sound good

Posted: Wed Jun 03, 2020 9:40 am
by Bekke
A properly kept Hi-Fi VHS tape can sound really great - I'm digitising a Hi-Fi VHS recording I made of Roy Harper at the Glastonbury festival in 1990, at the time taken directly from the desk and recorded on a consumer grade VHS deck with the then relatively new Hi-Fi audio. It sounds just as good now as it did 30 years ago because since then, the tape has always been kept cool, dry and dark.

Regarding tape degredation, there are no differences in that respect between VHS, Beta, cassette and open reel tapes, as all are prone to water absorbtion issues, depending on the condition of the binder that holds the oxide on the polyester/polyurethane backing.

One important flaw in VHS design means you need to clean your VCR mechanism just as often as you would any other tape machine, otherwise uneven dirt and oxide can build up on the bottom of the capstan. This can create a tiny crinkle along the edge of the tape where the timing information track (helpfully put there by JVC) runs along the edge. This can cause all sorts of timing issues in playback and can actually sound like major tape degredation when it is really due to the machine speeding and slowing the tape as it hunts for the synch signal on the tape edge that has been damaged by a small and avoidable bit of muck.

I recently digitised an open reel tape recorded in 1963 that sounded bright and immediate and had been well kept by its owners. The end is coming for tape but its probably coming faster for the machines that play them!

Re: Hi-Fi VHS: It really does sound good

Posted: Thu Aug 27, 2020 12:20 am
by whm1974
BIF wrote:
Yeah, I think I'll pass.

I got rid of a dreadful tape-eating VHS machine many years ago and then decided just not to buy another one. I never missed it.

Long before that, I used to record radio programs with high capacity VHS tapes. Now I stream better content in podcast format.

I will NEVER miss tape devices. Ever. Good riddance.

Amen to that... Tape has even disappeared from consumer backup drives. Everyone just uses HDDs for that purpose these days.

Re: Hi-Fi VHS: It really does sound good

Posted: Thu Aug 27, 2020 12:28 am
by whm1974
just brew it! wrote:
Tapes still have a niche as an archival data storage medium where cost/GB and/or archival stability are important. LTO tape is pretty impressive tech.

I'm highly suprised that no one has yet came up with a form of Solid State Storage that has archival stability. Something way better then NAND Flash as far as long term Data Preservation. Like at least a Century?

Re: Hi-Fi VHS: It really does sound good

Posted: Thu Aug 27, 2020 8:42 am
by just brew it!
whm1974 wrote:
just brew it! wrote:
Tapes still have a niche as an archival data storage medium where cost/GB and/or archival stability are important. LTO tape is pretty impressive tech.

I'm highly suprised that no one has yet came up with a form of Solid State Storage that has archival stability. Something way better then NAND Flash as far as long term Data Preservation. Like at least a Century?

It would need to be competitive on a cost per byte stored basis. Fast random access times are pretty far down the list of priorities when you're dealing with archival storage. Cost trumps everything else (within reason). Given that solid state still hasn't quite caught up with HDDs in terms of cost, it's gonna be a really long time (if ever) before it overtakes tape.

Furthermore, even if you could invent a solid state device with 100 year archival lifetime, what are you going to read it on? Whatever interface it uses will be decades out of date by then.

Re: Hi-Fi VHS: It really does sound good

Posted: Thu Aug 27, 2020 10:14 am
by whm1974
just brew it! wrote:
whm1974 wrote:
just brew it! wrote:
Furthermore, even if you could invent a solid state device with 100 year archival lifetime, what are you going to read it on? Whatever interface it uses will be decades out of date by then.

Kind of reminds me of the five different types of 5 1/4" Floppies and FDDs /i] during the late 70's and early 80's.[i]None of them were compatible with each other. Then there also the factor of every Microcomputer had it's own File System as well. If memory serves Didn't CP\M Personal Computers used all five types of 5 1/4" FDDs?. Then there also the 8" one as well that some early PCs used, especially CP/M machines.

Re: Hi-Fi VHS: It really does sound good

Posted: Thu Aug 27, 2020 4:56 pm
by Wirko
just brew it! wrote:
Furthermore, even if you could invent a solid state device with 100 year archival lifetime, what are you going to read it on? Whatever interface it uses will be decades out of date by then.


If I had a working USB 2.0 hard drive from the year 2000, I'd just connect it to any PC. It would most probably work. USB has stood the test of time better than most computer interfaces.
On the other hand, if I had a LTO-1 tape from the same year and needed to read data from it ... I wouldn't even know where to begin. Go scavenging for parts on eBay? Tape drives? If backwards compatibility is as bad as Wikipedia tells me then the most recent drives that could read it are LTO-3. They come with a SCSI interface. What variant and generation of SCSI is it? All I know is there are many. Interface cards? SCSI-to-PCI? Also, these drives were not plug-and-play, and the same goes for interface cards. What about drivers and application software? Where do I get them and can they run on Windows newer than Server 2003?
And it's been just a small fraction of a century.

I do see another issue with (imaginary) archival SSDs, though. Even if a tape or an optical disc begins to deteriorate after decades, most of the data can still be recovered as there's no single point of failure. A rotten SSD (or HDD) controller would make this task very much harder.

Re: Hi-Fi VHS: It really does sound good

Posted: Thu Aug 27, 2020 5:59 pm
by Waco
Archival methods, in general, separate the read/write mechanism from the physical media.

I've seen a few archival-type systems that were solid state and none of the logic or control paths were internal to the actual storage.