D-VHS Question?

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Lin Park, Mar 23, 2004.

  1. Lin Park

    Lin Park Second Unit

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    I'm looking at the JVC HM-DH40000U unit. Here are my questions:

    Does this thing do any decoding like a STB or is it just for recording?
    If you need a STB for recording, do you also need to pass the playback signal through a STB or do you hook the VCR directly to the display device?
    How is the quality of the D-Theater tapes compared to a DVD?
    Is this a bad choice at this point given the up-coming HD Tivo boxes?

    Thanks
     
  2. John Lloyd

    John Lloyd Stunt Coordinator

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    The VCR will record via a firewire connection so that means a STB is pretty much required. You can playback the recordings via component output directly from the VCR or via the outputs on the STB. The quality of the recording should match the quality of the source. If you record an HDTV broadcast it will look better than DVD, assuming you can play it back on an HD monitor.

    I think a VCR is still useful if you want to archive some recordings and don't have a lot of disk space. It is also useful if you are interested in purchasing or renting the DTheater tapes.

    I own two of the JVC 30Ks and have not had any problems with them. Other people did report problems with the 30K, otherwise I would recommend looking for a clearance priced one of those. I find it useful to have two VCRs so I can offlod a show I have recorded on my PC and watch it on my main theater system.
     
  3. Lin Park

    Lin Park Second Unit

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    So are you saying that connecting the STB and the VCR with firewire yields a two way connection such that during playback the signal could be passed from the VCR to the STB and then out to the display device? I'm just trying to figure out how many sets of component cables I need to run into my display device (and obviously minimize that number).
     
  4. Rachael B

    Rachael B Producer

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    Lin, the rear firewire is two-way. I think the front panel firewire is one-way for camcorder input only. You can also record off composite and S-video too at 480i resolution, 2 rear inputs and 1 front. The next generation of D-VHS will, alegedly, have a digital tuner on board. You may want to wait for it? That would be handy for me. I could split my antenna line and give the deck it's own feed and do 1080i from the off-air channels atleast. I don't know of any plans to give DirecTV (my provider) boxes a firewire interface at this point. I wish!
     
  5. John Lloyd

    John Lloyd Stunt Coordinator

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    I have two systems configured with DVHS VCRS:
    1) An RCA DTC-100 that was modified by the folks at www.169time.com to include a firewire output. Although this STB is obsolete now it still works rather well. I don't think DirecTV will be releasing any STB with firewire outputs; there are compatibility issues for the DirecTV signals that don't exist for OTA HDTV. I have a JVC 30K here that I originally used strictly by connecting the rear firewire port to the DTC-100. I recently added a Key Digital transcoder so that I can playback tapes directly from the component output on the VCR. This is necessary for DTheater movies and also helps with the playback of timeshifted movies recorded from DirecTV.
    2) A Samsung T-165 OTA receiver that is connected via firewire to a Mitsubishi 1100 VCR. I can record HDTV there and play it back via the component outputs on the T165 which are connected to my TV. I have a separate DirecTV receiver here which is also connected via a separate component video connection to the same TV. Since the are a number of quirks in the T165 firmware, I rarely use it for recording anymore. However it is convenient for watching tapes I have recorded elsewhere.

    As I mentioned earlier, I am a big proponent of using a PC as a PVR. I purchased the MyHD HDTV receiever card and record many OTA shows for playback later. I can either watch them on my PC or transfer them to video tape while I am using the PC for other work. A Tivo would provide a few useful features but I expect the price to be high initially. It will also lack a firewire output for archiving, so I will probably wait for the price to drop.
     
  6. Lin Park

    Lin Park Second Unit

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    I have the same T165 which I recently purchased and would like to hear more about these firmware quirks before jumping into the JVC VCR purchase. Can you elaborate?

    Ideally, I want to get the JVC 40k and connect it via firewire to the STB. Then, I'd like to connect the STB to the display device via component video. I'd like to be able to record HDTV, watch recorded HDTV, and watch D-Theater tapes as well this way. Will that be a problem?

    Thanks
     
  7. John Lloyd

    John Lloyd Stunt Coordinator

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    You should be able to all those things with the Samsung STB. The quirk I was referring to is the well known "inaccurate PSIP clock" which affects the start time and duration of recordings. If the station you are recording resets their clock, the STB will use the new time and that can affect the recording. Likewise if you are recording two separate channels and their clocks are set to different times, you can end up with only a partial recording of a show.

    The STB really needs to allow the user to set the time and to ignore whatever time the broadcaster is using. Fortunately most stations eventually correct their clocks (after numerous complaints from viewers) so the problem's severity should decrease over time. I think all the stations in my area are correct now (or at least within 1-2 minutes of each other) but I have not used the Samsung for a recording in quite a while.
     
  8. Lin Park

    Lin Park Second Unit

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    Well, I pulled the trigger on the JVC 40k yesterday and I've searched endlessly to try to figure out which firewire I need to buy to connect it to the T165. Can someone tell me if it's a 4-pin to 4-pin or a 4-pin to 6-pin wire?
     
  9. Tony Kwong

    Tony Kwong Supporting Actor

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    You will need a 4-pin to 4-pin.
     

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