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DVD recorder with RGB passthrough?

Discussion in 'Blu-ray & DVD Players & Recorders' started by hutchingsp, Dec 26, 2004.

  1. hutchingsp

    hutchingsp
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    Still mulling over getting a DVD recorder.

    Main use would be with Sky+ which outputs RGB through one of its scarts, AFAIK it does not do RGB through the VCR Out scart, so I'd have to run the RGB from the TV scart to the DVD recorder, then into the TV.

    So far I'm considering the E55 and the Pioneer 220 - any opinions on whether they would be suitable, I thought I read something about the Pioneer switching off passthrough when it's recording?

    TIA,
    Paul
     
  2. johnjackthom

    johnjackthom
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    The E55 definitely will passthrough the Sky RGB signal when in standby.

    To be honest I'd be surprised if any of the big brand name ones don't.
     
  3. eddyad

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    I think the Panasonics always show the record source (whether internal or external) when power is on, but pass through when power is off.

    The Pioneer 220 allows passthrough from AV2 to AV1 in standby.
    When power is on the default is that AV2 (the record source) is sent to AV1 but if you are recording from the internal tuner, you can activate passthrough of the external source from AV1 to AV2 by pressing + button on the machine front panel.
    Details are on Page 45 of manual - download from http://www.pioneer.co.uk/uk/support_manuals.jsp?category=support/manuals
    and search for 220. The European (scart) version is the 3209 KB line.

    One other point - in standby, you get out whatever you put in regardless of the machines video in and out settings. So RGB in = RGB out, s-video in = s-video out.
    But as soon as you turn the power on the machine's internal processing starts, so if it is set to RGB in and s-video out, that is what happens.

    For successful operation of passthrough in standby and power on you have to match the in and out modes. If you get it wrong it will normally be immediately obvious as hardly any TVs will accept s-video and RGB through the same scart, and if you set one to composite and the other to RGB you will see a noticeable change in picture quality as soon as you switch on.
     
  4. hutchingsp

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    Well, having Sky+ I opted to just do away with the analog RF tuner on the Telly, picture's crap so why bother etc..

    So from what you've both said, either machine will offer the passthrough in RGB regardless of if the machine is in standby, or switched on and recording from the Sky+.

    That just leaves the task of deciding what to get and where to get it from. I see Richers did have the 220 listed at £169 but it's no longer listed on their site :(
     
  5. eddyad

    eddyad
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    Correct, but you won't be able to view one channel and watch another if you abandon analog altogether, unless you have a dual tuner sky box.

    But with the Pioneer you would be able to record analog from its tuner and watch sky on passthrough.

    (By the way, I added a chunk to my last post)
     
  6. hutchingsp

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    Yeh that's fair enough, it's what I basically do now.

    The more I look the more I'm tempted to go for something like the Pioneer 420, seems it can be had for £350ish and appears to offer just about everything I think I'd need.

    The thing I like the idea of (I'm about to download the manual incase I've misunderstood) the being able to edit out adverts and start/end overrun before dubbing to DVD, that way, AIUI I can use normal cheapo DVD-Rs and not have to spend the extra on DVD-RW to make VR discs if I want to edit out ads (have I got that bit right?).

    Still seems the Panasonic HDD recorders are a bit too pricey. The Pioneer 420 can be had for £350 from Richers multi-region.

    It's all the little things, like is the DVR420 on Richers site the same as the "new" 420-S on the Pioneer site?

    Jeez this is confusing.. am I just being anal, is it one of those things where for 99% of the time I could just toss a coin and I'd be fine whatever I got?

    Paul
     
  7. eddyad

    eddyad
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    I've had a 420 for a few months and I'm happy with it. The editing is a breeze and it has 32 recording modes spread over 1 - 6 hours on a DVD. It's not confusing - the usual ones to use are LP and SP.

    LP knocks spots off VHS for timeshifting. SP is better for archiving.
    There are some probs (I think with all makes) related to sky and automatic ws aspect ratio switching because sky doesn't put in the signal the recorders recognise. This is a sky problem - not the recorders.

    To get the best out of all the HDD/DVD machines, be prepared to sit down with the manual.
    Regarding noise, which some people have mentioned, all the HDD/DVD machines have a computer hard disk and they whirr! My 420 is comparable to a VCR.

    However....
    If you are interested in digital terrestrial TV (Freeview) there may be DTTV equipped machines along in 2005. Then of course, the others will drop in price.
     
  8. hutchingsp

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    Not quite with you on the aspect ratio switching, the Sky+ box seems to send the signal to the TV as it switches immediately when changing to a w/s program or channel, so are you saying that each time I play something recorded from Sky onto the Pioneer I'd need to manually set the aspect ratio - that's a big worry!

    I've just had a really quick look at the manual for the 420 (wish I had a printer, manuals just ain't easy to digest onscreen) and it does look the mutts nuts.

    Anything it doesn't do or does badly enough to make you regret buying it?

    At the moment I can't help but think make a decision and get out tomorrow or tuesday and buy it :)

    Regards the price drop, seems the chance you take, if I get a 420 now are things really going to change that much in the next couple of years, OK prices come down and capacities increase but I mean in terms of quality/usability.

    Paul
     
  9. eddyad

    eddyad
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    Sorry - forgot you Qs about editing ads out. Yes you can do that to within a frame or two. There are two modes Frame Accurate On and Off. I can't recall the exact difference off hand, but in view of what I said about WS switching, I don't think it would affect you because it's connected with that in some way.

    The WS switching problem means that you have to set your TV manually to the correct aspect ratio when playing a recording.

    The S in 420S means Silver. I think black is available in some places, but not here. Mine came from Richer Sounds; the box is labelled DVR 420H-s and has a Multi-Region sticker on it. Total cost was about 415 including delivery and 3 year warranty (but I think that's dearer now).

    I generally won't buy expensive kit like this unless I can download the manual first.
     
  10. eddyad

    eddyad
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    I don't regret buying it at all.
    My comments about the WS problem are secondhand as I don't have Sky. This is the situation as i understand it:
    The WS trigger is transmitted in line 23 of the TV pic (the bit you don't see and where Teletext is).
    The scart spec also puts it on Pin 8 on the scart, which is a Europe-only interface.
    TVs tend to work with either, but the recorders with line 23 only - I suspect because scart is a pain to add to machines designed around Japanese and US standards which are s-Video and Component oriented.
    Sky uses Pin 8 but not line 23. Hence problem.
    You need to ask the question of Panasonic and Toshiba owners, but I think they are the same.
     
  11. pinatubo

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    Thanks for that info eddy - I had the Pioneer 420 for Christmas and was wondering if that procedure was possible.
     
  12. eddyad

    eddyad
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    See page 48 Tip at bottom of LH column.
     
  13. eddyad

    eddyad
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    Hutchingsp - it's possible that Sky Digital is different from normal Sky. I gather they changed at some point but I don't know anything about the Sky system.
     
  14. hutchingsp

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    Thanks Eddy, I've started another thread to confirm the aspect switching issue - I've copied your explanation, assuming you won't mind but let me know if so..

    Nothing's ever simple these days even to a "techie" :)
     
  15. pinatubo

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    Found it -- thanks again
     
  16. eddyad

    eddyad
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    One thing - if you have 4:3 TV the aspect ratio situation does give a problem because without the WS flag the recorders can't tell which recordings to adjust for 4:3 TVs either by converting to letterbox or by removing right and left hand edges of pic to fill 4:3 height.
    I assume you have WS TV.......?
     
  17. hutchingsp

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    Yep 16:9 Panny thanks.
     

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