Grudnig STB -> VCR Hookup problem

Discussion in 'Satellite TV, Sky TV & FreeSat' started by lampshuk, Feb 7, 2003.

  1. lampshuk

    lampshuk
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    I have just purchased a Grundig Freeview box and was surprised with the ease of the setup.

    I _had_ been intending to get a Tivo box for recording but it looks like my timing was a little off.:rolleyes:

    So I decided to hook up my Sony VCR through the VCR SCART output of the Grundig.

    The problem is that the picture via the VCR seems to distort badly, often losing it altogether. The VCR is connected to the TV via the RF cable because there are only 2 SCART inputs on my Sony TV (one for the Grundig, one for the Yelo DVD player). Watching pre-recorded videos through the RF link is fine, so it's a problem between the STB and the VCR.

    Any ideas why the hookup to the VCR is not working? The manual for the VCR indicates that it can be used with a set-top box via the SCART connection. When I connect the boxes the picture is good for about 10 seconds then it loses sync and dies altogether.
    Audio is usually OK. The SCART cables are the chunky JVC ones from Currys.

    Any help much appreciated.

    (also - any Tivo alternatives out there?)
     
  2. Kevo

    Kevo
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    First of all you don't want to be using the RF for vcr playback.

    You should be able to playback through the same scart in the stb.

    Also you will NOT get stereo sound through the RF, only the scart. Providing your vcr is a stereo model of course.
     
  3. lampshuk

    lampshuk
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    Interesting. I tried adding a SCART-extender to the back of the TV and had the VCR and DVD player connected through that, but that caused the picture to distort (even with only one device switched on) and the sound was badly attenuated. The only way I could avoid these was to actually disconnect the power to the DVD, which rather defeated the object.

    I'm beginning to think that I don't actually understand how SCART works - are you saying that it's a bi-directional cable (assuming all 21 pins are connected) and the same cable that links the STB to the VCR also provides a link from the VCR to the TV via the STB?

    Sorry to be dense.:confused:

    Martin.
     
  4. Kevo

    Kevo
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    Yes it's bi-directional.

    You should use a fully pinned scart lead from the stb to the TV and set both to RGB.

    The scart from the vcr to stb can be a standard one.

    To record from stb, simply set the vcr to the AV input that the scart is connected to.

    Playback is done back down the same scart via the stb.

    Ideally you should also set your DVD to RGB but is likeley that your TV has only one RGB scart (has it?).

    If your vcr has a second scart then you can connect your DVD to this.

    So everything is 'daisy chained' together all going to one scart socket on the TV....

    DVD > VCR > STB > TV

    NOTE: ALL scart leads will need to be the 21 pin FULLY connected
    type.

    Sorry, if it's getting a bit confusing, but you'll get the hang of it.

    btw, you don't need a scart extender.
     
  5. lampshuk

    lampshuk
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    It's starting to make some sort of sense.

    So - to play back from the VCR I select the same SCART input on the TV that I use for the STB, switch off the STB and press play?

    Even though the TV SCART on the VCR is different from the one that comes from the STB? I think I'm going to have to pour some water on my head. My brain's beginning to smoke....:suicide:

    I guess I need to check the documentation of all the boxes to see which ones support RGB. All the SCART cables are 21-pin, but none have anything allowing selection of RGB or Composite.
     
  6. Kevo

    Kevo
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    Yes

    Your DVD and STB Should allow you to set them to RGB via on screen menus.

    Some TVs do and some are automatic.
     
  7. Stuart Brooks

    Stuart Brooks
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    You don't even need to switch off the STB, pressing Play on the VCR will override the STB output.

    I wonder if your picture distortion is due to the Macrovision style scrambling unintentionally added to the current software on Thomson/Grundig boxes. Can you record from the STB? If this is the case, then software version 1.9 due to be broadcast next week will solve this problem.
    Stuart
     
  8. lampshuk

    lampshuk
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    Umm.. I _can_ record from the STB onto the VCR at the moment, and by re-arranging the SCARTs as suggested I can now record from the STB without interference, but I'm damned if I can get the VCR to play back down the STB SCART. I can only view the VCR via RF so far.

    Incidentally, just out of curiosity I tried taping a DVD via the DVD SCART out into the second VCR SCART socket and it worked - at least for the minute that I tried it. I thought that you weren't supposed to be able to do that.

    I'll watch out for the SW update next week. Thanks for the tip.

    Martin.
     
  9. Stuart Brooks

    Stuart Brooks
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    the VCR needs to send a switching voltage to the STB to tell it to pass through the VCR signal to the STB's TV SCART. Did your VCR ever switch your TV automatically to SCART channel when pressing play? On some VCRs there is even an option to toggle whether the switching voltage will be applied to the SCART, it's worth checking this.

    You should in any case be able to view the VCR through the STB SCART if the STB is off at the wall. A case for a cheap lightswitch on the STB power cable?

    Stuart
     

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