Pioneer 420 and Sony VTX-D800U Freeview

Discussion in 'Blu-ray & DVD Players & Recorders' started by peterc, Jan 16, 2005.

  1. peterc

    peterc
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    Hi all
    I'm trying ot connect my Pioneer 420 and Sony VTX-D800U Freeview together, just got the Sony, as it has a 7 day epg and can suposidly talk over smartlink to the pioneer...

    But i'm having no luck in getting the two to talk, and on closer inspection of the Pioneer manual it talks about getting smartlink data from a TV, now the Pioneers tv scart socket is only video out, and it looks like the scart in on the pioneer does not support smartlink so i thought i would try and plug the sonys tv out to the pioneers tv out to get them to talk over smart link and take the video out of the pioneer from composite (not ideal but an olny chioce right now..), as no other combination would work ie:

    sony tv out to tv, sony vcr out to pioneer av2 input: no smart link comms
    sony tv out to pioneer av2 input, sony vcr out to tv: no smart link comms
    sony tv out to pinoeer tv out, sony vcr out to pioneer av2 input: no smart link comms

    what i'm thinking now is that my tv a bush 32inch widesceen cheepo (Bush ws7675), cannot route the smartlink signals, even when av1->av2 is selected...
    Can any one with a Pioneer 420 and Sony VTX-D800U Freeview comment on this...?

    Any help would be great, i've been banging my head on this for a whole day now and will return the Sony within my 14 day rights if i can;t sort it

    Cheers in advance
    Pete
     
  2. eddyad

    eddyad
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    I don't have the Sony Freeview box but I have a Sony TV with it. Also my Grundig Freeview box has it and it works with the 420.

    The 420 Smartlink to the TV is for program setup and shouldn't affect the Smartlink from the Freeview box to the 420. After all you can use the Freeview box and the 420 with the TV off. My 420 took all its program settings from the Sony TV when I set it up. One minor annoyance is that Smartlink does not operate over an RGB link (certainly on my TV) - I don't know why.

    How do you know you are not getting Smartlink to the 420? It won't set the 420 timer for you, but it will activate AutoStart recording on the 420. So if you use the Sony EPG to set its timer then the 420 should respond when in AutoStart mode. For this you don't need to set the 420 timer; a signal from the Freeview turns the 420 on and off to record from AV2(L1).

    The annoying thing is that if you have the 420 in Autostart and then manually turn on the Freeview box the 420 will start to record. This is because turning the Freeview box on to watch TV also turns on its VCR-out which activates AutoStart recording. It happens with all AutoStart type recorders ( Panasonic call it External Link).

    To use AutoStart you must plug the 420 AV2 to the Freeview VCR-out and not the TV-out because (as far as I know) when the Sony box turns on under timer control it does not give a signal from the TV-out. This is because some TVs will turn on or change channels when they receive an external signal - and it is presumed you don't want that to happen. Your first connection was correct.

    The Sony will only give an s-video signal from the VCR-out if the connected box has smartlink. I believe you should set the 420 video-in to s-video.
     
  3. peterc

    peterc
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    Thanks for the quick responce

    So what you are saying is that the Sony freeview box should be able to speak to the 420..? The reason i say i don't get comms to the 420 is that the sony freeview box has a record button that operated over smartlink, when pressed, the sony responds with a 'please check vcr'

    Also can i clarify what you said about the 420's smartlink, this is if i am correct only scart 1, which goes to the tv, meaning the sony freeview going to av2, will not work with smartlink, or did i missunderstand the manual..? as i would really like it to work as advertised, in that the freeview epg will switch the 420 on and off, its just looking like this isn't possible on av2, at least for me...

    Your quite correct, i could use the sony epg to set the 420, but as the sony does not switch itself off after each program selected in the epg (like my old setpal box), which means the 420 will simply continue recording when auto start rec is selected...

    thanks for your help
     
  4. eddyad

    eddyad
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    Both AVs work with smartlink providing the attached kit does also. So if you have a smartlink TV the 420 will download analog channel settings - but only if the connection is set to Composite (Video) or s-video - not with RGB.

    I don't know how your 7 day EPG works - I asumed you'd use it to set Sony timer events in some way then put the Sony in Standby, turn on the 420, set that to AutoStart, then to standby. Then as the Sony timer turns it on and off the 420 will do the same from the triggers it gets.

    My Grundig Freeview / 420 work like that, but as the Grundig doesn't have 7-day EPG I have to set its timer manually.

    But as I mentioned, if the freeview box is turned back on (to watch TV) then the 420 gets the trigger and starts recording. Because of this I gave up on AutoStart and now set both timers. The VideoPlus numbers work on the 420 and channels will set to L1 if you want.
     
  5. peterc

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    Both av's ont eh 420 are smartlink compatable....? Hmmmm this means either my 420 (a richer sounds multi region) or the sony freeview may have bad smartlinks... As I have set both the 420 and sony box to composite, but I will double check that later

    The 7 day epg on the sony aloows me to set either a record timer (which send info out via smart link, but I get a message saying 'please check vcr' when I use this one) or a wake up timer, which works in the way you describe, ie: switching its self on and then enabling an auto start on the 420 if set, which works fine, just the sony does not shut its self off after the program has finshed, so the 420 continues to record untill I turn off the sony or tell the 420 to stop

    Guess I will have to call tech support of either the sony or the 420 about this, just I thought I was reading the manual wrong or some thing...

    Thanks for you help mate! :)
     
  6. peterc

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    actually, eddyad, one other quick question, my pioneer dvr-420 is from richer sounds and is region free, i'm thinking it is possible that the region free firmware might have knackered the smartlink part of the firmware, as i read before about fimrwares being changed to region free and losing some functionality...
    so just wondering where you got your one from and is it multi-region..?
     
  7. eddyad

    eddyad
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    My 420 is also RicherSounds multi-region.

    I suspect the reason your Sony STB says 'check VCR' is to remind you to set the recorder timer or to AutoStart when you have set a timer event on your STB.

    I'm not sure but I think the Sony STB s-video VCR-out option works 'on demand' from the recorder - if the recorder is set to s-video the Sony will send s-video - this is the Smartlink part. Otherwise it sends Composite.

    I checked my Grundig STB instructions. They say that if an attached recorder is equipped to switch on from a scart trigger then it will work with the Grundig because that sends the scart trigger. The trigger uses the same pin in the scart (8) as aspect ratio switching. Different voltages mean different things. The 420 manual doesn't seem to 'connect' Smartlink to Auto Start. The only things dependent on Smartlink are on page 13. Also on this page the EPG download facility on the 420 seems to apply to TVs with EPG, not other things.

    My STB also has a 'reminder' which works like the Sony. Have you tried AutoStart on the 420 with the Sony timer set?

    I think that smartlink is a form of 2-way communication and shouldn't affect AutoStart.
     
  8. peterc

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    Thanks for confirming you 420 is a richer sounds model as well, incidentally, I rang them just a few mins ago, and the guy I spoke with said he had set up a 420 in the same config as mine, and all worked, spoke with the freeview box fine, if I am still having probs after another try he said I could take back the 420, but I really don’t want to do that..

    Looking in the sony manual, it says check vcr will pop up if no comms are present to the vcr via smart link,

    I have yet to try auto start on the 420 with a timer set on the sony, I'll try that tonight, but if it didn't go back to sleep on a wake up timer (needed to use the auto start correctly on the 420) I'm doubting it will on a timer, but you never know..

    Yeah, I saw that page on downloading from the tv also, I hope that’s not all it means, I was under the assumption I could connect a smartlink device to it and they would talk...

    I'm starting to suspect the sony box maybe at fault, especially after what the guy from richer sounds said, I guess I could try swapping it for another before my 14 days is up...

    Thanks again mate
     
  9. eddyad

    eddyad
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    'Remind' on my Grundig is different from Timer. Remind doesn't switch off at the end of the 'event' like Timer does.
    Also, Remind turns on the TV-out, Timer doesn't. I would guess Wake-up on the Sony is the same.
    Sony products are a bit quirky at times - they seem quite keen that you should be a 'Sony household'.
    If your 420 starts from the Sony STB timer event then all is OK.
    I suspect the 420 AV2 is not Smartlink because there was no perceived need for it. The EPG 'send' could have been useful, but Auto Start sort of deals with it by enabling an external device to switch it on.

    If you want s-video from your STB though, it seems the Sony STB will not do if it is Smartlink dependent. As mentioned earlier Panasonic TUCT30 (?) has it - I have the manual - as does Pioneer STB, both as user settings.
    I think Richer Sounds have the Panasonic. The TUCT20 doesn't have it.
     
  10. peterc

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    That’s the problem, the sony won't switch off after a wake up timer, and noticed last night, when using the rec timer on the sony, with the 420 in auto start mode, the 420 continually switches on and off, as if the sony has some sort of out put but not a constant out put, a real bummer

    I'll try changing the freeview box, as suggested by the guy from richer sounds, as he said he had set up a system for some one in the same config as mine with no problems, just wasn't overly clear on whether he was downloading from the tv or the freeview box...

    If that doesn’t work, richersounds said they would change the 420 for me, just didn't want to do that as I really quite like it, but it looks like the panasonic E85 (I think it is) has smartlink inputs on all its av scarts, so that maybe the route I have to take if I want to be able to download the sonys epg to a dvd hd recorder

    Thanks again for your input
     
  11. eddyad

    eddyad
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    I'm slightly baffled by the 'wake up timer' reference. I don't think I'm clear what the wake up timer is.
    My Grundig has 2 separate functions - a Remind which is just used to remind you that you want to watch a program, and the Record Timer with 10 possible settings (like a VCR timer) which turns the unit on and off from standby to activate a connected recorder in Standby/Autostart mode.
    The 420 in Autostart will turn on every time the Sony does - for whatever reason - as does my 420 from the Grundig.

    If you get a recorder which will download EPG settings, you need to be sure that the downloaded setting will set the recorder to AV input, and not try to set a Freeview channel number, which would be meaningless to the DVD recorder.
     
  12. redsox_mark

    redsox_mark
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    The Sony VTX-D800U Freeview box has 2 options when setting a timer. One is a record timer, which at the selected time outputs via the "VCR" scart (and not the TV SCART), and shuts off when the program ends. The other option is called "wake up", this outputs via the TV SCART, and does not turn off when the programme is finished.

    Mark
     
  13. peterc

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    thanks guys,
    i guess its still a toss up between whether the sony is not out putting the smartlink signal or whether the 420 is not getting it, or cannot get it on av2.. bummer! i'll try the sony first as its covered by the 14 day return at currys, then i guess i'll have to try richer sounds and see what they say about the smartlink connection on the 420... cos one of these units isn't working as advertised :-(
     
  14. peterc

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    well got it working with timer rec switching the 420 on and off via epg settings (which will do me for now), i needed to remove the tv cable from the sony box for some reason, or else it woudl switch the 420 on and off all teh time it was in standy by
    thanks again for you guy help!
     
  15. eddyad

    eddyad
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    It sounds as if the Sony STB has a scart passthrough when in standby. There are some things you could look at:
    1. Can you disable the STB passthrough?
    2. Can you turn off the TV's scart-out signal from the scart your STB was connected to? Your first post mentioned an AV1 > AV2 selection.
    3. Without knowing the TV specs, it is possible that one of its scarts has output and the other doesn't. Then you could swap them if it doesn't affect your use of RGB as you want it for example.
     
  16. peterc

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    1.Didn't see a stb scart pass through disable
    2.I tried switching the setting to av -> tv, the only other option, and still had the same results
    3.I thought of that, but if that was the case, the smart link info would have been passed through back to the 420, unless I guess the smartlink data is on a non-looped through pin on the tv scart loop through...
     
  17. eddyad

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    Smartlink really isn't going to do anything for you. As I mentioned earlier it is only relevant at set up in taking analog tuner settings from your TV.
    With the Sony STB it also gets s-video to a smartlink recorder, but I think we've established that the 420 isn't smartlink equipped on AV2. In any event that doesn't affect the TV connections.
    Finally it doesn't work along a scart being used for RGB.

    I have a Sony TV and the Pioneer 420. Smartlink did absolutely nothing except set the 420 analog tuner then when I retuned the TV on one occasion (to change the VCR RF input channel) the new tuner settings were sent to the 420. Then I switched to RGB so the Smartlink in effect is no more.

    Also, I am sure that it has nothing at all to do with AutoStart. That is controlled by the scart pin 8 signal which is not a smartlink-only feature. It is part of the scart specification.
     
  18. eddyad

    eddyad
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    I have done a search and this is the best definition I could find for Smartlink. The comments in [italics] are mine.

    SmartLink offers you the following features:

    Automatic pre-set exchange between your TV set and your VCR. During the first set-up of your VCR, the pre-set memory of the TV set is downloaded automatically into your VCR's memory. This spares you any sorting, labelling or adding the VideoPlus guide channel. After that your VCR's channels are programmed in the same order as your TV set's.
    [OK - used at set-up, before you set the recorder>TV link to RGB, then it stops working]

    What you see is what you record - simple recording of the programme you are actually watching just by pushing the record button.
    [uses the composite that goes from the TV to record from the TV's tuner - but as the TV has to be switched on for the recording to proceed, I can't really see the point. It's not as if you can start the recording and then turn off the TV.
    Also doesn't work if the recorder>TV connection is RGB]


    One touch play - every time you play back a tape, the TV is automatically switched on and the corresponding input of the TV set is selected.
    [Doesn't work if the recorder>TV connection is RGB]

    Auto standby - when you switch off your TV, your VCR is also switched into standby mode.
    [I had a Sony Smartlink VCR until recently and this never happened but all the rest did]

    One Touch VideoPlus/Menu - when you push the VideoPlus or the Menu button on your VCR's remote control, the TV is automatically switched on and the line input is selected to display the VideoPlus or Menu screen on your TV.
    [Doesn't work if the recorder>TV connection is RGB]

    Note: SmartLink only works with TV sets with SmartLink or AV Link function.
    *******************************************************
    One thing not in the list - if I turn on the TV to a terrestrial channel then turn on the STB or recorder the TV changes channels to the appropriate AV, but will not turn on from standby. I don't think is a Smartlink function, but is the same as the 420 AutoStart and is triggered by the presence of the signal from the scart (pin 8).

    With Smartlink an EPG will send timer settings from an external digital tuner to a recorder, but it seems this only works if the recorder has a digital tuner also .
     

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