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DVD won't record if TV turned off

dlam

Established Member
Just had a call from my mother to tell me that her DVD recorder (Panasonic EH50) won't record Sky if the TV is off!?!?!??

It records it fine if the TV is on, and terrestrial will record fine whether the TV is on or off. Any one know what needs setting? I have looked through the manual online, and been Googling for the last hour but still found nowt.

Cheers!
 

Nelviticus

Established Member
Well it depends on the DVD recorder and how it's cabled up. I have a Panasonic and depending on which input I select it can record either from its own tuner, its front inputs (AV3), its 'normal' input (AV2) or - tricky to understand - whatever is playing on the thing that's attached to its output (AV1). If your mother's set-up is like mine she's probably switched it to AV1, but what she actually wants is AV2.

Regards
 

dlam

Established Member
Cheers for that, but you've lost me a bit.

I think she said that the Sky box is plugged into AV1, and the output to the TV is plugged into AV2 which - unless I misunderstood what you said, is correct.

If it's the other way round (TV in scart 1, Sky in 2) then it is taping what is on the TV not the input into the recorder?
 

Jim Pixel

Established Member
You know,,

For years and years I have been connecting peoples VHS recorders to their TV's and telling them how to record etc,, and the single biggest misconception of all, is that the recorder wont work if the TV is off... I have tried no end of times and wit, to convince people that the recorders work independent of their because they have their own tuners built-in etc etc.. This usually just goes in one ear and out the other... However, since I have been into the world of DvD recorders, Sky Digital and LCD TV's with HDMI etc, I am not so sure now, as the connections get more and more complex - Smart connections this and that - have got me lost mainly because a lot of the stuff which applies in one country, doesn't necessarily apply in the next, because of different levels of digital acceptance, so sometimes I see terms and names which make me simply scratch my head in wonder...

All I can say is, it depends on how she has the recorder connected.. If the recorder has a direct A/V feed from a Sky decoder etc, it will (at least - it "should") record regardless of whether the TV is on or off. If, however, the Sky feed goes straight into the TV then from the TV output to the recorder, voila,, it can't record if the TV is off, can it?

Given what I said, above about the complex connections available today amongst appliances, I stand to be corrected...

Hope you sort it out for her... Sometimes, little old ladies (not that your mum is necessarily "little old") can be the very worst to educate in things electronic...

Good luck...!!!
 

dlam

Established Member
I'll tell her that you called her old! :D

I set the thing up for her a month or so ago, and Sky was defintely going into the recorder. She has proven this by taping Sky - I actually got her to start recording Sky One, then turn off the TV, then turn it back on again. She watched the playback and lo and behold it recorded a few seconds of Sky, then went blak, then Sky came on again. Nelviticus seems to have the right idea, just got to go over there and have a fiddle now.
 

Jim Pixel

Established Member
I'll tell her that you called her old!
--------------------------------

You wouldn't - would you????

You want to see my mother trying to understand... Talk about mission impossible... Dad "tries" to understand and thinks he can but the news is all bad in truth...
Hahahaha...
 

kenfowler3966

Established Member
The picture went black?, but did it continue to record sound?
Turning the tv off with the sky remote control will cause this as it changes the output from the digibox from rgb to video at the same time, resulting in a black picture recording but with the sound still there.
Anyone using a dvd recorder must refrain from touching the tv button on the sky remote to change tv channel, or switch off the tv set to avoid this issue.
Once you have a dvd recorder just use the tv's original remote to control it, and only use the sound and mute functions for the tv on the sky remote.
 

JB38

Established Member
dlam If your mothers DVD recorder is set up with a three scart configuration then this cannot happen, as most people still insist on using daisy chain configurations which just invite problems. (should this apply to the installation spoken about.)

The connections should be / (if TV has two scarts)

Sky box AV1 - to - TV's AV1

Sky box AV2 - to - EH50's AV2

EH50's AV1 - to - TV's AV2

The TV's remote control AV selector button "may" have to be used to select between the normal TV - Sky - & DVD.

If the EH50 has RGB as default on AV2 it should be reverted back to composite video. (unless of course one is prone to the 80% imaginary benefits of RGB use. I am also a sympathiser re: Jim Pixels contribution!)
 

HHGTTG

Established Member
JB38 said:
If the EH50 has RGB as default on AV2 it should be reverted back to composite video. (unless of course one is prone to the 80% imaginary benefits of RGB use. I am also a sympathiser re: Jim Pixels contribution!)

Oh, how much do I agree with you on that subject i.e that RGB is allegedly so much better than composite.
In the majority of cases it certainly is not, in my experience - and yours obviously!

:rolleyes:
 

foneman

Established Member
you could also get a scart switcher - some TV scarts are sometimes lacking - mine has two, but only one supports RGB switching!

maplin does the blue delta smartscart that will even detect video for switching, and provide a 'record-loop' ..
 

maldonian

Established Member
Oh, how much do I agree with you on that subject i.e that RGB is allegedly so much better than composite.
In the majority of cases it certainly is not, in my experience - and yours obviously!
It depends on the source and the performance of your TV. If the original source is a VCR or an analogue tuner then composite will be just as good as RGB. If the source is an SVHS VCR then you might see a small improvement using s-video. But if the source is a digital tuner then RGB should be significantly better than composite. If it isn't then either there is something wrong with the connections or there is something wrong with the TV. Many older TVs perform poorly when set to RGB.

A good analogue TV signal can produce a very good picture, and analogue TV is broadcast in composite. But if you know what to look for (e.g. chrominance bandwidth and subcarrier effects) full bandwidth RGB is significantly better than composite. Even if you don't know what to look for the difference should be apparent on a good TV or monitor.

As far as the original problem is concerned, if the recorder's AV1 and AV2 are connected to the TV and Digibox, and the Digibox is also connected to the TV, you might be able to see Sky on both AV1 and AV2 when you use the Input Select button on the recorder's remote. This is because the AV1 output to the TV is also an input from the TV and the TV might be configured to output the signal its receiving on its other SCART (which is connected to the Digibox). But when the TV is switched off the input from the TV on AV1 disappears. You won't be aware of this because the TV is off. So, your mother selects AV1, sees the Sky picture, starts a recording (or sets a timer recording), then switches the TV off. And lo and behold the recording is blank. If this is what's happening, she needs to select AV2 to record directly from the Digibox.
 

Nelviticus

Established Member
With my set-up, the input to my DVD recorder is AV2 (from a Freeview box) and the output is AV1 (to my TV). Normally I have the recorder set to record AV2.

However - and that's a big 'however', hence the bold - my recorder has the capability to record whatever is playing on the TV. That's a tricky concept to get your head around, but just remember that Scart cables are bi-directional. So if I set my recorder to record from AV1 (the TV) - and if the TV was set to be 'watching' the secondary output from the Freeview box - it would record exactly the same picture that it would if it was set to record from AV2. However if I did this, it would record nothing but black silence when I turned off the TV.

Yep, just been downstairs and checked it. Set the recorder to AV1, hit record, changed AV sources on the TV a few times, then switched it back to the recorder and played it all back - it played what the TV had been displaying.

Note: Scarts are bi-directional but they can only send signals one way at a time. When I do it this way, the recorder records what's on the TV but it doesn't pass anything back, so .... jeepers this is complicated. You really have to see it to understand it. I can't explain :(

Does your mother's Sky box have two outputs, one to the TV and one to the recorder? I suspect it does. I suspect that the recorder is set to record whatever's on the AV cable that's connected to the TV, rather than on the AV cable that's connected to the Sky box. If so she just needs to select a different AV source on the recorder.

One day all this will be easy!

Regards
 

maldonian

Established Member
Hi Nelviticus

Scarts are bi-directional but they can only send signals one way at a time.
They can only carry RGB in one direction at a time, but they can carry composite in the other direction at the same time (and they can carry composite in both directions at the same time).

There is only one set of RGB pins in a SCART connector, but there are two sets of composite and audio pins. SCART cables are wired with crossovers in the composite and audio circuits so the outputs at each end are connected to the corresponding inputs at the other end. In equipment, the RGB pins in SCART sockets are usually dedicated inputs or outputs. In Panasonic recorders, for example, AV1 can provide an RGB output and AV2 can accept an RGB input, but not vice versa.

In my TV, the AV1 output carries the TV's tuner output at all times, regardless of which input has been selected on the TV. The AV2 output is selectable (in the setup) to be the tuner output or the AV1 or AV3 input signal.
 

dlam

Established Member
Hmmmmmm, cheers for all the help guys but we're still no further forward (or rather she isn't - my Pioneer recorder works like a dream! :D )

Have been trying with two different TVs (a Goodmans and a Panasonic). Using exactly the same cable configuration the problem only happens on the Goodmans TV. There is a setting in the Goodmans TV menu that sets up AV2 as Ext Link or TV (or something like that). Could that be anything to do with it?
 

maldonian

Established Member
Hi dlam

I suspect that your mother is selecting AV1 on the recorder to record Sky and all she needs to do is select AV2 instead.

But if not...

Using exactly the same cable configuration the problem only happens on the Goodmans TV.
That seems strange. When you switch off the Goodmans TV the Sky recording is blank, but when you switch off the Panasonic TV the Sky recording is ok. Is that right? Are you sure you are switching off the TVs? Could you be switching the Panasonic to standby?

I take it your mother's TV is the Goodmans?

Can you tell us how many SCART cables there are, and what each cable is connected to?

When your mother records Sky, does she select AV1 or AV2 on the recorder?

When you select AV1 on the recorder, what do you see? And when you select AV2, what do you see? Do you see Sky on both?

There is a setting in the Goodmans TV menu that sets up AV2 as Ext Link or TV (or something like that). Could that be anything to do with it?
Possibly. Have you tried changing the setting? You're not clear what the options are. If one is 'TV' it might mean the TV signal (i.e. the tuner output) or it might mean whatever the TV is displaying.

Since you've got a second TV there, you could monitor what's going on when your mother's TV is switched off by temporarily connecting the RF output from the recorder to the aerial input of the second TV, enabling the modulator in the recorder if it's disabled, and tuning the TV to the recorder output.
 

dlam

Established Member
That seems strange. When you switch off the Goodmans TV the Sky recording is blank, but when you switch off the Panasonic TV the Sky recording is ok. Is that right?


Yup, that's exactly it. They where both put into standby using their own remotes (not the Sky one), and both were set up as:

Sky->DVDRecorder (AV2)
DVDRecorder(AV1)->TV(AV2)
Sky->TV(AV1)

She selects AV1 on the recorder to record Sky, if she selects AV2 (or 3 or 4) she gets a blank screen.

The setting on the TV that I was muttering about that let you select either Ext Link or TV for AV2 - we did try to change that but to no effect. I was just wondering if it meant that there was something special about AV2 on the TV that might be causing this problem.

Good idea about monitoring the recording, but it'll be another week before I get back to her house, so I'll just have to ponder things for now (especially about why she ignored my advice about getting the Pioneer 530 like me - it is infinitely more user friendly than the Panasonic)

Cheers for the help.
 

maldonian

Established Member
They where both put into standby using their own remotes
That explains the difference in behaviour between using the two TVs (you previously said you were switching them off, which is different from switching to standby - very understandable because many units don't have real on/off switches these days, though TVs usually do).

both were set up as:

Sky->DVDRecorder (AV2)
DVDRecorder(AV1)->TV(AV2)
Sky->TV(AV1)

She selects AV1 on the recorder to record Sky, if she selects AV2 (or 3 or 4) she gets a blank screen.
She should be getting Sky when she selects AV2, and that's the input she should be selecting to record Sky. The input on AV1 is coming from the TV. The input on AV2 is coming from the Sky box. This is the connection to investigate (Sky -> DVD recorder AV2). Make sure you've got both ends configured the same (RGB or composite). If RGB, make sure the cable is fully wired. Some SCART cables are only wired for the composite and audio signals.
 

JB38

Established Member
dlam

As mentioned a few threads back (No8), make sure the DVD recorders AV2 input is "not" set on RGB, as if it is you wont get anything on the DVD, as a Sky box only gives composite video on its AV2 output.
 

maldonian

Established Member
a Sky box only gives composite video on its AV2 output
Thanks JB38, not having Sky I wasn't aware of this.

(Presumably AV2 is the VCR output? My recollection of other people's Sky boxes is that one output is labelled TV and the other VCR. I presume the VCR output is RGB in and the TV output is RGB out - for inserting in a SCART daisy chain.)

Anyway, in that case I think I'd be tempted to connect the Sky AV1 (TV?) output to the recorder's AV2, so recordings can be made using RGB instead of composite. This would mean the direct connection from the Sky box to the TV would be composite, but most of the time you could watch Sky in RGB via the recorder. Another possibility would be to put a SCART distribution amp on the Sky AV1 output to provide RGB to both the recorder and the TV.
 

JB38

Established Member
maldonian said:
Thanks JB38, not having Sky I wasn't aware of this.

(Presumably AV2 is the VCR output? My recollection of other people's Sky boxes is that one output is labelled TV and the other VCR. I presume the VCR output is RGB in and the TV output is RGB out - for inserting in a SCART daisy chain.)

Anyway, in that case I think I'd be tempted to connect the Sky AV1 (TV?) output to the recorder's AV2, so recordings can be made using RGB instead of composite. This would mean the direct connection from the Sky box to the TV would be composite, but most of the time you could watch Sky in RGB via the recorder. Another possibility would be to put a SCART distribution amp on the Sky AV1 output to provide RGB to both the recorder and the TV.
No problem maldonian! as many people are unaware that with Sky boxes its only the AV1 that has an RGB facility, AV2 only being composite. (applies to all boxes)

Of course this configuration was done right from the start, as the AV2 was indeed the VCR output, with RGB obviously not required for a VCR.

On the distribution idea, yes I would try one of these fully connected splitter / combiners, with of course the flying lead going into the Sky boxes AV1 output, which would then split the RGB two ways. A slight impedance mismatch takes place with this way of doing things, which slightly reduces the signal level, but in practice does not really have any great noticable effect on the quality, although I dare say an exception must lurk somewhere! (Its more academic, and easy to conduct a test anyway by removing the DVD recorders link whilst viewing the TV)

Regarding dlams problem, I think its a combination of what yourself and Nelviticus has mentioned, insomuch that the DVD recorder is possibly recording via its AV1 input and taking the signal from the TV, which of course will vanish when the TV is switched off, but if the DVD recorder's input is changed to an AV2 input with RGB selected (possibly default setting?) the result will be no picture from the Sky boxes AV2 composite video output.
 

JB38

Established Member
maldonian said:
Hi JB38

That's why I suggested a distribution amp - something like this.
Yes, I did realise that you were not just referring to a normal scart splitter, but an electronic one, and the item shown on the link would "appear" admirable for the job.

The only reason I put the inverted's on appear is, because speaking as an engineer I haven't any experience of that particular device, so unaware of any pitfalls that may exist with it, however its really a case of try it and see.

When I mentioned about using a normal splitter although it would cause a slight mismatch, which may, or may not be that noticeable, is because its down to the spec of your equipment. However in saying that, the video output / input on most equipment is 75ohms, which can quite easily be dragged down by two devices sharing an output, although easily rectified (by the TV anyway) by a slight increase in its B & C setting.
 

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