VIDEO CAMERA 1994

 BootLog.co.uk

HomeSoftwareArchiveTop TipsGlossaryOther Stuff

SHOP WINDOW -- TELEVIDEOS

 

INTRO

Televideos are making a comeback, and thatís good news for video movie-makers, weíve been trying out some of the latest models

 

COPY

Combined TVs and VCRs, otherwise known -- reather inelegantly -- as Televideos have never been very popular in this country. In the US and other European countries thereís always been a healthy demand, so why not here? It could be thereís still fears that theyíre more unreliable than a separate TV and VCR, though that has proved largely groundless. It may be the cost which is, or was, marginally more than a small TV and video recorder. They also suffer from an image problem, and many still regard them merely as AV presenters, better suited to shops and exhibitions, rather than home entertainment products. But whatever the reason thereís no denying the convenience of having the two technologies together in one box, and these days the cost premium has been all but eroded.

 

Televideos are ideal for the bedroom, or the kids room, and how many times have wished youíd had a second VCR or TV, when two programmes clash? All Televideos have timers as well, (no Video Plus+ models yet...), so they can make unattended recordings, and before you ask, no, the TV doesnít have to be left switched on when making time-shifted recordings. In fact they can do most things a separate TV and VCR can do, apart from record one channel whilst watching another as all the models weíre aware of have a single tuner.

 

Theyíre especially useful for video movie-makers; a televideo combines everything you need to copy or edit recordings from a camcorder to another tape, and some of them even have extra convenience features, such as a front-mounted AV terminal, and in one case, an edit terminal. Weíve collected together half a dozen models, ranging from a bargain-basement combis costing less than £400, up to a classy pocket portable for £1100.

 

 

AIWA VX-S140 £599.99

The S140 is the only VHS stereo hi-fi machine in this roundup but sadly thereís no NICAM decoder, so it cannot make stereo recordings of off-air programmes, this seems like a bit of an oversight. The rest of the specification is fairly lightweight, though on the plus side thereís a front-mounted AV terminal and it can replay NTSC tapes. The cosmetics are fairly brutal, and with the front-panel flap lowered it looks a bit like a 14-inch TV plonked on top of a VCR.

 

Picture performance is very good, thanks in part to the S140ís Trinitron tube, and in case you were wondering how come Aiwa are using Trinitron tubes, Sony have a significant interest in Aiwa. The picture is very sharp and colours looks very natural, noise levels are well below average. The VCR portion gives a good account of itself too, with a clear sharp picture, and reasonably stable trick play facilities. The S140ís main selling point has to be stereo hi-fi sound, but without NICAM as well itís not as useful as it could be, and in the end it has to be said that itís rather expensive.

 

Screen size                  14-inches             

Format             VHS, PAL, NTSC replay, stereo hi-fi, single speed

Timer                           8-events/365-days

Resolution                   >230-lines

Features                      front AV terminals, on-screen display, repeat play, on and sleep timers, auto tracking

Weight             16.4     

Distributor                    AIWA UK Ltd, Unit 5, Heathrow Summit Centre, Skyport Drive, West Drayton, Middlesex UB7 OLY. Telephone 081-897 7000

           

 

VC RATINGS

Picture quality             9

Copy quality                            8

Sound quality              9         

Value for money             7

 

 

GOLDSTAR KI-14V20 ĎViewmaxí £400

Not especially pretty to look at -- the sit-up-and-beg shape is reminiscent of old bakelite tellies -- but itís functional and very easy to use, unthreatening too, with all but three of the controls hidden away behind a little front-panel flap. A fairly routine assortment of features, and the deck is only single speed, though it has NTSC replay, and, unusually for a budget televideo, competent trick-frame facilities.

 

On-screen performance is very good, off-air TV pictures are crisp with little noise, off-tape results are very encouraging too, with better than average resolution and sharp, well-defined colours. Copy quality is fine with clean edits. Reccommended.

                                   

Screen size                  14-inches

Format             VHS, PAL, NTSC replay, mono, single speed

Timer                           8-events/365-days

Resolution                   240-lines

Features                      menu-driven on-screen display, on & sleep timers, picture preference memory, index search, instant timer, continuous play, auto head cleaning

Weight             14kgs

Distributor                    GOLDSTAR, Goldstar House, 264 Bath Road, Slough, Berkshire SL1 4DT. Telephone (0753) 691888

 

VC RATINGS

Picture quality            9

Copy quality                8         

Sound quality            8

Value for money 9

 

 

 

ORION COMBI 1494 £400

The Orion name may not be immediately familar but theyíve been around for a long time, badge-engineering TVs, VCRs and televideos like this one for a number of well-known brands. The Combi 1494 is one of the first products to actually bear their name, and raise their profile in the UK. Itís a fairly straighforward design, the specification is fairly modest but thatís reflected in the price. Itís simple to operate, though a little old-fashioned in some respects, and the set-up routines and timer-programming take some getting used to.

 

Record quality is rather average, with a fair amount of noise in the picture, though some of this could be down to the tuner which is not especially sensitive, it needs a good aerial, Nevertheless, recordings made from an external source are also a bit noisy too, though itís adequate for copying, and edits are reasonably clean. Trick-frame performance is poor, with noise bars breaking up still frame replay.

 

A year or so ago the Combi 1494 might have looked like quite a good deal, but now itís up against some fairly stiff competition in the sub £400 sector and the mediocre picture quality and lack of any any significant additional features puts it at a disadvantage.

 

Screen size                  14-inches

Format             VHS, PAL, mono, twin-speed

Timer                           7-events/31-days

Resolution                   230-lines

Features                      on and sleep timers, on-screen displays, repeat play, index search

Weight             13.6kg             

Distributor                    DAL CONSUMER ELECTRONICS 155 Queens Road, Watford, Herts WDL 2QH. (0923) 223135

 

 

VC RATINGS

Picture quality            7

Copy quality                7

Sound quality            7

Value for money 8

 

 

PHILIPS TVC-R240 £400

Philips make no bones about the R240, features have been cut to the bone, but so then has the price, and at just under £400 it looks like a very good deal. All operations are centered on an efficient and easy to use on-screen display, which handles everything, including intial set-up. The VCR deck is quite basic, single speed mono sound; off-air and off-tape picture quality is good, trick frame was a bit iffy on our sample but it was a pre-production unit. The same applies to copy quality, so weíll have to reserve judgement until we see a production machine. 

 

A smooth, up to the minute design that combines performance and value for money, and the Philips name inspires a good deal of confidence.

           

Screen size                  14-inches

Format             VHS, PAL, NTSC replay, mono, single speed

Timer                           6-events/31 days

Resolution                   240-lines

Features                      multi-lingual on-screen display, one-touch timer, digital autotracking, auto head cleaning, index search, sleep off-timer, repeat play

Weight             10kg

Distributor                    PHILIPS CONSUMER ELECTRONICS, City House, 420-430 London Road, Croydon CR9 3QR. Telephone 081-689 4444

 

VC RATINGS

Picture quality            8         

Copy quality                n/a

Sound quality            6

Value for money 9

 

 

SHARP VT-3700  £450

A very well proportioned unit, hardly any bigger than a normal 14-inch portable. It has a clean, uncluttered front panel with secondary controls and a pair of AV sockets behind a hinged flap. Itís easy to set up and use, and thereís little in the way of superfluous gadgetry. The VCR deck is a single-speed design but it has passable trick-play facilities and edits are clean.

 

TV picture quality is good, colours are bright and natural-looking. Recordings made on the machine also look goo, with low levels of noise and average to good resolution. Copies, made from other decks can be variable, and we noticed a slight shadow at the top of most second generation recordings, however, definition and colour fidelity hold up quite well. Good looks, fair price and performance, worth considering.

           

Screen size                  14-inches

Format             VHS, PAL,

Timer                           5-events/31-days

Resolution                   240-lines

Features                      front AV sockets, child-lock, on and sleep timers, menu-driven on-screen display, auto head cleaning, continuous play, auto tracking, index search

Weight             12kgs  

Distributor                    SHARP UK LTD., Thorp Road, Newton Heath, Manchester M10 9BE.  Telephone 061-205 4255

 

VC RATINGS

Picture quality            8         

Copy quality                8

Sound quality            7

Value for money 8

 

 

SONY GV-S50 £1100

The only 8mm televideo in this roundup, and the only one with an LCD screen, but that also means itís the only truly portable unit. It has several other unique features, not  least the Control L (LANC) edit terminal, so this one is of special interest to 8mm enthusiasts as it can be used as a record deck in conjunction with an edit controller. Itís powered by a standard NP-style battery pack, or from the mains, via the charger. Picture quality on the LCD screen is okay for short-duration personal viewing but you wouldnít want to watch it for more than an hour or so. Record quality is excellent, though clearly you need to view the results on a proper TV to appreciate them. As a matter of interest the S50 will replay Hi8 and NTSC recordings, though the former will not have full high-band resolution. The sound from the on-board speaker is fairly awful, even with the megabass turned up, it sounds fine through headphones, though.

 

Even if you take into account the impressive Sony built quality, extreme miniaturisation and performance itís still very expensive, so unless the format and portability factors are paramount itís practical appeal is limited. On the other hand, as a cute covetable gadget it scores ten out of ten!

                       

Screen size                  4-inches (89k pixel LCD)

Format             8mm & Hi8 replay, PAL, NTSC replay, stereo, twin-speed

Timer                           6-events/31-days

Resolution                   230-lines

Features                      menu-driven on-screen display, Ďmegabassí sound, LANC terminal, stereo hi-fi sound

Weight             1.4kg

Distributor                    SONY UK LTD The Heights, Brooklands, Weybridge, Surrey KT13 0XW. Telephone (0932) 816000

 

VC RATINGS

Picture quality            7

Copy quality                9

Sound quality            8

Value for money 6

 

---end---

R. Maybury 1994 0908

 


 

[Home][Software][Archive][Top Tips][Glossary][Other Stuff]


Copyright (c) 2005 Rick Maybury Ltd.

admin@rickmaybury.com