Consumer Reports looks at the baseline requirements for most
the majority of videotape users aren't videophiles, they're folks
reecord a show off the air for later viewing, record somebody's
sort of thing. Things like signal to noise ratio and video
don't mean much.
The degree of difference increases the higher you go into
equipment. A small 21" old color TV won't show much difference
A 32" fairly new Sony Trinitron will. Similarly, if you're piping
through the TV speaker, you won't notice much difference. If
it through a surround system, you will. For the majority of the
and the majority of available equipment, yes, there's not much
distinguishing between them.
If you want the real skinny on videotapes, go to such consumer
publications as Video Review or Video Magazine, which do very
tests on videotapes. You'll find out more than you could possibly
know. Generally, TDK comes out at or near the top every year.
Maxell in general. Which is why I use TDK almost exclusively, and
had a problem.