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PDC recording off Sky

Discussion in 'Sky Digital TV Forum' started by wellsi, Jan 13, 2003.

  1. wellsi

    wellsi
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    My Panasonic DMR-E20 has PDC control as an option for timer recordings; does anyone know if this signal is broadcast on Sky digital, and is it accurate enough to use?

    (I'd rather have 5 minutes over either side than miss the first minute...)

    Cheers,
     
  2. jont

    jont
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    I didn't think that PDC was enabled on digital transmissions ?

    I think the PDC code printed in the papers, etc is just from an algorithm for day-date-time on-time off ... to save manual recording setups ...

    AFAIK it was only enabled on analogue terrestrial broadcasts as a 'trigger' PDC ...

    but happy to be proved wrong ;-)

    rgds

    Jon
     
  3. wellsi

    wellsi
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    The numbers in magazine listings are Video + codes; something totally different I believe. Guess I'll just do some testing...
     
  4. jont

    jont
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    Oops !! my mistake :-(

    Guess you're on your own then !!

    rgds

    Jon
     
  5. NicolasB

    NicolasB
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    Video+ is a sequence of numbers that can be entered into a VCR to set the timer - time, date, and channel. They're arranged in such a way that if you get the number only approximately right then the setting will be completely wrong in every respect, which is easier to spot than in if you just get (say) the channel number wrong.

    PDC (Program Delivery Control) is a signal transmitted on the terrestrial analogue channels that tells a VCR when to switch on and off, thus (in theory) meaning that if a program starts and ends late it still gets recorded properly. VCRs can also use PDC signals to keep their clocks accurate.

    AFAIK PDC is a purely terrestrial analogue phenomenon, and no digital TV service transmits PDC signals.
     
  6. Timh

    Timh
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    If your recorder has Q'link (it should) be able to record Sky automatically, sellect a programme to auto view it, then press the Q'link button on the front panel of your recorder.
    When the programme starts it should switch your recorder on and start recording. When the programme finishe's sky will switch both off. You are limited to only several hours time shift with sky guide.
    This is what i do with my Panasonic vcr connected to Sky.

    I think this will only work with the VCR scart (composite) on the Sky box connected to AV2 on the back of your DVd recorder, thus composite recordings only.
     
  7. wellsi

    wellsi
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    Cheers guys;
    I'll have a play and let you know.
     
  8. mentsugi

    mentsugi
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    I tried using PDC on my VCR that first had it and half the time it didnt work (the VCR was brand new at the time so knew this was not at fault) because the signal was not transmitted by all channels!

    So now, even with my DVD recorder I switch it off and allow a few mins. Even is this does not cover it there are usually repeats .
     
  9. fraggle

    fraggle
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    [Moved to appropriate forum. Fraggle]
     
  10. gringottsdirect

    gringottsdirect
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    Same as mentsugi, PDC is totally unreliable, I never use it.
    It is only carried by analogue terrestrial as already mentioned.
     
  11. Ridcully

    Ridcully
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    I really do not understand this, the number of people who say PDC doesn't work.

    For analogue transmissions PDC is excellent expect for ITV who don't support it.

    PDC shows how it can be done and demonstrates very clearly what a pile of rubbish Sky+ running off the EPG is.

    Unfortuneately PDC is not transmitted on digital channels so if you are watching digital TV then its back to padding the VCR timer.
     
  12. kenfowler3966

    kenfowler3966
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    I found pdc to be disastrous, and missed many recordings where the start signal was not sent, or the signal was repeated a few minutes later ending the recording. It was a real pain as the video at the time assumed pdc unless you selected off when programming the timer. Be one minute out on the start time or finish time compared to the program published time and again it didn't record.

    I have avoided it since, just allow adequate time for program over-run if it is running late.
     
  13. Timh

    Timh
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    Forget about pdc just use auto view in the sky menu and put your recorder into external link mode, Sky will then switch on at programme start and tell your recorder to begin recording, and tells them both to turn off at programme end.
     
  14. wellsi

    wellsi
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    Thank guys;
    I think it's clear that pdc is more trouble than it's worth...

    Cheers for the warnings,
     
  15. Mark Spanner

    Mark Spanner
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    Unfortunately I think both PDC & sky autoview are greatly flawed! :mad:

    I find PDC the best but a few times (mainly on BBC) had the program cut off 30 seconds before the end.
    This are usually late night programs so I'm sure it's due to billy-no-mates not setting the machine! :D

    Sky autoview is sh**e.
    I only use it by setting it to change to the program before the one I need to change (no good if the progs follow each other!)

    The worse example of it was when I was taping a program - 20 minutes after the start sky turned over the channel! :mad:

    It is a great shame that such a great simple idea is obviously let down by either infrastructure, bureaucracy or communication (maybe all of them!)
     
  16. Timh

    Timh
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    Surely all you needed to do was cancel the Auto view for that programme :confused:
    I have used Auto View approx 10 times with no error's.
     
  17. holdo

    holdo
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    I have found that PDC is reliable on Ch4 and BBC2 but have had occasion were it fails.
    If you want to tape back to back on the same channel always seems to muck up.
    rule of thumb - use if you only have enough room on your tape for what you're taping and have nothing else to tape it on. If you are taping something to keep or desperately want to see, avoid it.
    Great idea but flawed
     
  18. kenfowler3966

    kenfowler3966
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    Even that is to be avoided if you really want a complete recording.
    Quite often the autoview switching will miss the first few minutes of a program or switch over to the next program a few minutes before it ends if it starts early or over-runs. In fact I often think it is done deliberately to encourage us to watch programs when they are transmitted rather than later when we can ignore the ads by skipping through them.

    If you must use autoview, whenever possible leave the digibox on, and select the program before, and set the recorder up with some spare before and after the program. If you use autoview from a switched off box, it turns off again at the end of the program, if the box is left on it stays on, on the channel selected.


    The other problem with using the external link is that the recorder takes time to start up and this alone can miss the start of the program.
     
  19. Neil_F

    Neil_F
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    Well. I didn't even realise this facility existed!!
    What other functions of the sky box (not sky+) might I be missing? Is there an on-line manual?
    I tried the Auto View function last night on two BBC programs ( only have FTA) with 50 % success. ie one recording missed the start of the prog.
    Does Auto View only work via the timer as opposed to the analog PDC which, I believe, recognises a signal for the prog?
    I have never had a problem (yet) with PDC.

    It's also a shame that BBC radio progs are not "itemised" on the sky prog guide. That would have been handy.

    Neil
     
  20. kenfowler3966

    kenfowler3966
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    In theory autoview should be up to date with timings, but works from the timings given by the channel providers, not what the program itself is doing ie pdc.

    In practise it is not updated when programs are running late and often the broadcasters do not stick exactly to the times and minutes are often lost at the start and finish. Sometimes on channels like nickelodeon, the personal planner bears no relation to the programs actually transmitted!

    A known issue is consecutive recordings on the same channel, where often the second is lost, hence my recomendation above to work from a digibox that is on, use autoview to change to the correct channel earlier, and only use it again if you need to select a different channel later.

    The other issue of course is regular crashing of the digibox, you obviously can't record succesfully if it has gone wrong again and needs a reboot. Indeed I am wondering whether to connect it through a timeswitch and get it to automatically cycle on and off at the mains every night at about 4am, as autoview settings usually survive a reboot.
     

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