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Best Freeview box to activate Panny recorder?

Discussion in 'Blu-ray & DVD Players & Recorders' started by steveparry, Feb 28, 2005.

  1. steveparry

    steveparry
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    Can anyone recommend an inexpensive (UK) Freeview box that I can use with a Panasonic DVD recorder? I'll be buying the new DRMES10 next month. I would like to only have to set the Freeview box to record and not have to manually duplicate the record settings to the DVD recorder. Thanks,

    Steve
     
  2. Tellyfiend

    Tellyfiend
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    If the new Panny works like the existing machines (55, 65, 85 & 95), most boxes will probably work using the ext link function.

    However, the signalling is only output through the VCR socket, which on most digiboxes is composite only.

    Some boxes will output s-video through their VCR scart, but I've yet to find anyone that can confirm whether they'll activate my E85 for recording purposes or not.
     
  3. eddyad

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    As you are waiting 'till next month why not wait a bit longer for a recorder with a Freeview tuner. And if you don't want HDD then the Sony RDR-GXD500 already has a Freeview tuner.

    Personally I found External Link (called Auto Start on my Pioneer) more nuisance than it is worth. When activated (i.e. waiting to record from box signal), if the box is turned on manually for any reason (to watch TV or set the timer). the recorder starts. So don't expect to watch TV from the box with the recorder waiting for the timer signal. The box has to be off during External Link 'waiting'.

    However...
    The Panasonic TUCT30 has s-video out from its VCR scart acording to the manual (I don't have the box), so presumably it would work with a Panasonic External Link DVD recorder. This may be out of production but Richer Sounds website says they have a few in stores http://ws4.richersounds.com/product...=price&search=&feature=FREEVIEW&manufacturer=

    The Pioneer STB also has s-video on its VCR out so that should work too.

    Both the above have output types selected by the user.

    The Sony also has s-video from its VCR out but it will ONLY supply s-video to a compatible Smartlink recorder. Otherwise you get composite; it cannot be user selected, so is probably best avoided.

    Pioneer have a very helpful tech. support dept. You could call them. Not sure about Panasonic, but worth a try. The phone numbers should be on the web sites.
     
  4. JethroUK

    JethroUK
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    i think Steve is wisely looking for dedicated 'record only' tuner - hence cheap & with timer
     
  5. Tellyfiend

    Tellyfiend
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    I agree a separate record only tuner is ideal.

    Do the panny and pioneer have a full 7 or more day epg?
     
  6. steveparry

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    I guess what I want is a Freeview box that is guaranteed to output RGB from the 'vcr' scart. Or one that is guaranteed to output RGB and the 'ext link' signal to the dvd recorder. Surely, with dvd recorders so common now, someone makes a Freeview tuner that outputs an RGB signal and the recording signal from the _same_ scart output. Otherwise what's the point in digital recording in the first place? I remember someone posting a hack soldering a wire from the relevant scart pin to the other scart plug to carry the 'start recording' signal. Seems a shame that with this technology we still have to do this though.
     
  7. eddyad

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    So far as I know there isn't such a box.

    The solder hack seems doubtful. As I understand it, there is no specific Start Recording signal. The Auto Start / Ext Link machines start on detecting a signal on pin 8 of the scart. But that pin constantly signals aspect ratio information - different voltages mean different A/Rs.
    The fact that they occur all the time is apparent by the way way a widescreen TV will change A/R if necessary as soon as a TV channel switch occurs or an A/R change occurs on a channel (e,g, channel 4 W/S ads during a 4:3 film), and also that a recorder in Auto Start mode connected to either scart socket will start recording as soon as the F'view tuner turns on.

    Taking pin 8 from the recoder out to the TV out wouldn't work because the recorder-out is always on with the TV-out.
    Taking the RGB from the TV-out to the recorder-out would only work if the RGB was there during timer recording - but then an attached TV might detect that and turn of from standby (some do). So I guess the TV-out is completely dead during timer-controlled events.

    Why the makers don't provide RGB from the recorder-out remains a mystery.

    But the whole thing will soon be history when all the DVD recorders have digital tuners - later this year I would guess. They might arrive before universal availability of digital tuners on TVs.

    I just wish my VCR had lasted another year.
     
  8. JethroUK

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    Isn't it a shared pin - so you get either (RGB) or (some special functionality), but not both
     
  9. joegib

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    Just for the the record my Pace 210F STB does output an RGB signal via the TV output when using the Panny E55's Ext function. But when I substitute an old Nokia 9850T for the Pace in the same configuration, only sound is recorded. Presumably, the Nokia switches to composite which the Panny doesn't pick up being set to RGB input. Not much help to steveparry as the Pace is a bit of a back number. Trouble is, this capability is so obscure that it's not something mentioned in specs.
     
  10. Tellyfiend

    Tellyfiend
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    Joe,
    I'll try my boxes, which Ext have you set your box to? Ext Link 1 or 2.
     
  11. eddyad

    eddyad
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    Pin 8 is exclusively a switching signal, see attached scart pin assignment diagram - I had to add the s-video information from another image.
     

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  12. eddyad

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    Certainly the RGB capability is not shown on the Pace website.
    Are you sure it's not sending composite which can co-exist along a scart with RGB? Although your E55 is set to RGB it's possible that it uses composite if RGB is not there.
    My Pioneer 420 does this, and a way to check that it happens is to switch the STB between RGB and Composite (the TV-out is connected to the 420 input scart) and see the picture quality change.
     
  13. joegib

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    My Panny is switched to Ext 1. That said, I'm now having second thoughts in the light of eddyad's comments. My conclusion was based on the perhaps simplistic propositions that (a) both machines were positively in RGB mode before and after the recording and (b) the recording itself seemed to be of RGB quality. It's possible, though, that some kind of hidden switching went on and I fooled myself re PQ.

    I'll have to do some more testing. In the meantime the jury's still out so I'm sorry if I mislead anyone.
     
  14. eddyad

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    You don't say what TV you have. Most makes have some sort of indication when they are showing RGB. If it's a Sony it will be in the Menu system under Manual Setup somewhere. If you are not getting RGB the 'RGB Picture adjustment' option will be greyed out.
     

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