Recommend this product?
The first person that saves that the VHS-C format is a dinosaur is going to get slapped with a wet noodle. I've had my JVC camcorder for a while and really like using it. The downside is that viewing things on the tiny screen is a real hassle. The kit came with one tape adapter but I purchased another one shortly after because of the slow loading and unloading time. That made it hard to edit tapes or look through them if I wanted to find something in a hurry. This isn't something that you need to have but it makes viewing tapes a lot nicer; they are also a great buy if you have tapes that you want to share with friends but don't want to make a copy to a VHS tape. Sure you can run wires from the camcorder to the VCR but you do lose a little bit of the quality doing that and it can get time consuming. The only major problem that I have had with this is forgetting to check the battery or leaving a VHS-C tape in it. Even with the ProCell batteries in it, it drains them fast.
JVC VHS-C Video Tape Adapter
If you haven't already figured it out, the "C" in VHS-C stands for compact. Sure, most people have moved on to using a digital format but for me, I like being able to have something solid, in my hands. That might sound weird but I never trusted memory cards and memory sticks; there are way too many ways to ruin them or have them get erased so I like the VHS-C format. The camcorder that I have [a JVC of course] isn't one of those large bulky ones but it certainly isn't as streamlined and small as the digital ones. You can play any type of VHS-C tape inside of this, meaning you aren't limited to just playing the JVC brand. To me this doesn't really clutter or interfere with the playback of the tape nor does it change the color or imagery. All it does is provide a skeleton of sorts for the tape to wrap around and allow it to be played inside a VCR. Why is that a big deal? You are saving your camera battery, excessive wear on the camcorder and you can rewind, fast forward and play quicker than you could on your camcorder. To me one of the biggest advantages is that you can see everything; the viewfinder on the camcorder is small and if you have three or four people looking over your shoulder, it gets a bit bothersome.
To view a tape just press the small slider button and the door up pop up, there is only one way to insert the cassette into the adapter so don't get worried and thing that you are putting it in the wrong way. There are several guides that the cassette [the tape] has to fit into and if you don't have it in the right or correct position, you won't be able to put it into the adapter. Once you have it inside the carrier just press the door shut and the small red arm on the side will start to retract, at the same time you will hear the tape being loaded into position so you can slide the adapter into your VHS player. You can not record on to one of these so don't worry about accidentally hitting the record button while this is in the VCR. The red guide arm that sticks out on the side prevents you from sliding the adapter into the VCR the wrong way as well as keeping you from loading a tape that could have damage to it or isn't completely ready to be played. Again, this is where batteries are important. If that arm can't completely retract there could be a problem with the tape or the batteries and you won't be able to slide it into the VCR.
Slow Loading And Unloading
As I mentioned in the introduction, this thing is slow to load and unload tapes; even more so once the battery starts to drain. There is no power meter or light on the adapter so you have to use your own judgment as to when to replace the battery. It is extremely important to never leave tapes inside this; you never know when the battery is going to completely die and you don't want the tape itself getting damaged. This is one of the main reasons why I purchased a second adapter. When I would be editing films or things that I've taped and needed to switch between two separate cassettes, it added a lot of time to the process. I'm not sure if the slow loading and unloading time is something that plagues all VHS-C adapters or not but this one takes about thirty to forty five seconds to load and unload; if you are working with a ton of tapes, that can amount to a lot of time.
Comparable To The Panasonic?
There aren't a lot of differences between the JVC and Panasonic adapters; in fact, I will go so far as to say that almost all of the VHS-C adapters are made the same, have the same pros and cons and are in the same price range. I went with the JVC one shortly after I purchased the camcorder and found that it was taking forever to edit tapes. The original adapter that came with the camcorder died for what ever reason but I did have back ups so it wasn't a big deal. I have no idea what the life expectancy is on these so I have to assume that two years is the amount of time to give them before you should start shopping for a replacement. There isn't a big difference between both adapters and you can play back any brand of VHS-C tape in either of them. I guess the bottom line for me is cost, ironically, the next subject in my review.
You can find these in some Wal-Mart stores in the electronics department but they aren't the easiest of things to come across these days. The average selling price is in the $15.00 dollar range but be prepared to pay more if you are ordering one online. I got mine for about $16.00 and to me it was worth every penny. I tend to shy away from getting these from online stores; I want to make sure that I am getting something that is new and has a warranty from the manufacturer. On a side note, this does come with a one year warranty for the adapter but it doesn't cover the tapes that you play in it so if you have some precious memory or scandalous footage, make a copy directly from the camcorder to a VHS tape. If you are going to own a VHS-C camcorder then this is something that you are going to have to invest in if you want to save the life of your cam as well as being able to share the images with everyone. As I said, you can hook your camcorder up to a television using cables but that can be a little confusing if you are at someone else's house or the jacks are in an strange place.
The Bottom Line
I really like using this adapter and outside of the battery issues, it's give me no problems. The after market one that I purchased was identical to the one that came with the camcorder so I was at ease using it right out of the box. The same thing goes for the Panasonic one, it has the same set up and design. If JVC were going to redesign this the only thing I would suggest is that there be some type of battery meter on it. Having to scout around for a AA sized battery that is brand new can be a laborious task in this house; since I have to hide the 'really good' batteries, that means I have to climb over boxes to get to them. If you are looking for a replacement VHS-C adapter I'd suggest this one but hey, if you see the Panasonic one for less, that one is also a good pick. I wouldn't go with no-name brands or ones that you aren't familiar with. You never know what quality product you are going to get or if it is going to decide to taste test your tape when you are playing it back.
As always, thanks for the visit
~^V^~ Freak ~^V^~
© 2007 Freak369
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