EX++: Superb! These games are nearly perfect! Generally only topnotch recordings made from the original broadcast or first generation recordings will make this grade. While old "Classic" games with this rating are not quite as perfect as the current games I recorded last weekend, they are VERY close. Given the technological advances and age of the tapes, these recordings are truly amazing! People who see EX++ classic games are generally stunned by the picture clarity. Tapes of this quality dating before the VCR explosion in the mid-80's are very rare, and games with this grade dating before '80 are EXTREMELY rare. |
EX+: Just a slight step down from EX++, generally only 1st to 3rd generation copies receive this rating. Clarity and color will be extremely good with very little image degradation from the original. Again, very rare before '85, and extremely rare before '80.
EX: While they're clearly not original recordings, tapes with this rating are still very nice. The range on what I consider excellent is fairly broad. Slightly fuzzy recordings make this grade if the overall color and images are good. Faces are fairly distinct (but aren't necessarily crystal clear) and there may be some (but not much) slight color bleeding. Excellent does not mean perfect when it comes to classic games, although games with EX rating are quite good. These tapes do not look like something I recorded yesterday... they would be comparatively fuzzy vs. the new stuff, but the degradation of the video quality is easily overlooked. Still pretty rare before '85 or so.
EX-: Still nice, but multiple recording generations are beginning to take their toll just a little. Video is a little fuzzy & color may be washed out slightly or a little intense, depending on the game.
VG+: Not quite up to EX snuff, a VG+ tape is still quite nice and very easy to watch without being too distracted by the video quality. Images are still pretty decent, although things are obviously beginning to blur a bit.
VG: Nice recordings that are definitely showing signs of multiple tapings. Faces are definitely becoming less distinct, things are getting noticeably fuzzy, and color may (or may not) be overly intense or washed out, depending on the game.
VG-: I probably don't really need a definition here...obviously, VG- is just a slight step down from VG... the lower the rating goes, the fuzzier the image quality becomes.
G+: What can I say? G+ is better than good but less than very good. We're not exactly splitting atoms here, are we? :-)
G: A bit clearer than fair, but still pretty fuzzy. Picture definition is faaaaaaar from perfect (Colors bleed, faces are pretty indistinct, often parts of the game are clearer than others) but watch-able.
F: Extreme multi-generation tape. Video tends to be very fuzzy, quite blurred, may suffer from interference, heavy bleeding of colors, etc. These games are still watch-able with some considerable adjustment to your set. Unfortunately, some of my absolute favorite games are rated "F" (e.g., the '79 Pittsburgh vs. Cleveland overtime game).
P: At this point, I have only one game that rates "Poor"... the '74 AFC Championship. In all honesty, the best way to describe the way a poor condition tape looks is to think of the worst quality recording you've ever seen...then double it. I'd almost be better off to try to watch the game through glass block windows! :-) Still, I couldn't pass up a game as pivotal in team history as that '74 Steelers/Raiders game, even if it is almost painful to look at the screen.