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Recording Sky Digital on S-VHS

Discussion in 'Sky Digital TV Forum' started by Lester, Dec 22, 2001.

  1. Lester

    Lester
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    I'm about to buy a JVC S-VHS machine and want to get the most out of it. Can anybody help me out with a couple of querys.

    I've got an Amstrad DX100 Sky Digibox that's outputting an RGB signal to my TV. Does the VCR scart on the digibox output RGB as well ? I know it may sound like a daft question, but with Amstrad I wouldn't be suprised if it was composite....or even black and white and mono !!

    If it is RGB, is it worth spending £80 on an RGB to S-Video converter to put between the digibox and video ? Is the increase in quality over composite really worth it ?

    If you record from your digibox in this way then could you let me know what you think ? Also, where's the best place to get the converter ? Is the one at rgbtosvideo.com the best ?

    Cheers

    Lester
     
  2. Garrett

    Garrett
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    Hi Lester
    Do not know either machine, but the sat should have a SCART out put which should be RGB, also the JVC will have a SCART input this will be RGB, so you have no need for a converter save the £80 or get a good SCART lead. Also the video should have two SCART sockets on the back so you get a loop through from the sat to the TV.
    By the way the Panasonic is better at editing ads out(I was told JVC does do not do the following) as you can play something, pause it at the right point then press record, and still be held on pause, then after the ads just press pause again and apart from a very short delay starts recording immediately(is that an oxymoron). Not all machines can do this.
    Hope this helps.

    :cool: Ruby quartz shades.

    Just a thought though I believe JVC do WS switching for the TV if you record a anamorphic program. The JVC make good machines I just like the edit facility of the Panny’s I would have got one myself if not for the Panny.
     
  3. Kevo

    Kevo
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    Garret

    Oh dear, oh dear want extremely bad advice!

    Lester

    You CANNOT record in RGB on a S-VHS VCR.
    The RGB SCART input is for loop-thru only, i.e Games console or digi box. (You were correct there Garrett).

    YES, you will need to purchase a RGB to S-Video converter. And you can get them for £60, not £80.

    I am considering one for the same reasons as you, as soon as this money sapping festive season is out of the way!

    Try...

    http://www.rgbtosvideo.com/

    The best you can record in is composite mode, which is still quite good and better than composite VHS, but is a poor substitute to a converted RGB to S-video signal.
     
  4. Nic Rhodes

    Nic Rhodes
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    Lester

    Kevo is right and Garret is wrong, basically toy need an RGB to SVideo box of tricks, it will bring big benefits with a SVHS video.
     
  5. Garrett

    Garrett
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    OOPS, Well you learn something every day!
    As far as I knew the S-VHS recorder, recorded what went in via the SCART lead so long as it was fully wired, just like sending a signal through a SCART from a DVD to a TV is better than a S-VHS lead.

    :cool:Ruby quartz shades.

    Just found this quote "The Red, Green, and Blue (RGB) video signals are looped through only from an external source unit, they are not from tape playback"
    So what do you get off air broadcast?
     
  6. Nic Rhodes

    Nic Rhodes
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    Garrett

    That is actually a very good question which I won't answer at this stage. S VHS is better as it separates two signals which reduces interference normally seen in composite signals (off air terrestrial broadcasts). Component signals just take SVideo a little further. However if the feed to a SVHS video doesn't have separate signals (ie composite) there should be little or no benefit using SVHS over VHS! However many claim huge increases in definition from the exta lines per inch of SVHS over VHS. I have never been able to work out where from! In practice there is a mild increase in quality due to the higher quality SVHS tapes and heads. To use SVHS to it's advantage it needs a SVHS signal, say from a HQ video camera not off the air terreastrial broadcasts.

    Sat digital TV is somewhat different. It can output a HQ RGB / SVHS signal and the SVHS recorder can take advantage of the SVideo signal (though it may need to be obtained from a RGB to SVideo box conveerter).

    Clear as mud?
     
  7. Lester

    Lester
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    Thanks for the input, guys.

    You seem to be suggesting it's worth the extra money for this little box of tricks. Fair enough - I think I'll get one.

    I was gonna get the J.S. Technology (rgbtosvideo.com) unit coz it seems to get excellent reviews from everyone that uses it...

    But then I noticed that the Lektropacks converter is £15 cheaper and it has a composite video/audio output too. I don't know if I'd actually use it, but at least it's there.

    Anyone got an opinion on JS vs Lektropacks ??

    Merry Christmas

    Lester
     
  8. Nic Rhodes

    Nic Rhodes
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    JS, by reputation he is very helpful and a good guy.
     
  9. Kevo

    Kevo
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    Nic

    There is a huge difference between S-VHS and VHS when recorded in composite.
    A good SVHS VCR will normally resolve 350 lines (approx) of video resolution compared to about 250 of VHS in this mode.
     
  10. vgmf

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    I have used an RGBtoSHS convertor on my ITV Digibox when feeding a Denon AMP. Excellent picture quality, SO far no problems and it has been running for a year non stop.

    Go for it , live dangerously
     
  11. Nic Rhodes

    Nic Rhodes
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    Kevo

    I use a SVHS recorder as standard and have for 7/8 years and I agree they are better but it is the difference that is questionable. When you seen the output of some of these modern video recorders which output a native SVideo signal then that is when you see a real difference.

    Yes SVHS is better than VHS but not by much, now DVHS that is something really interesting......
     
  12. Kevo

    Kevo
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    Nic

    Agree that the quality of modern S-VHS VCRs is not as good as they used to be. I suppose that is why they are so cheap to buy.

    I have an 8 year old Panasonic FS88 that produces superb S-VHS quality.

    I have also had a Panasonic HS1000 and FS90 more recently and the picture quality is 'average' to say the least. No where near the quality of the FS88.

    My FS88 is on it's last legs and am not sure whether to replace it with a JVC model or wait for D-VHS or recordable DVD to become more affordable, but I think i'll be in for a long wait.

    Anybody recommend a current SVHS VCR (pref. JVC) that gives SVHS quality like in 'the good old days' ?
     
  13. MLAM

    MLAM
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    That is intresting about old S-VHS recorders having much better S-VHS quality than modern machines.

    But I have just got a JVC HR-6855EK as a replacement for my Hitachi FX950 which broke just before warrenty so I was fortuanate as I only had to pay a Extra £20. (Price for the JVC is £179 from currys or Comet)

    I have to say the quality difference is tremendos, pretty close to DVD standards but slightly more blurred and with grain in the picture but then again I have never seen what quality is like on old S-VHS machines.

    I would would recommend the model I have but thats Entry level so I would recommend the JVC HR-8850 which is £300 from online stores I think and it also has DigiPure technology which is supposed to improve the picture greatly, but I'm a novice as far as S-VHS is concerned so someone will give you more detailed advice.

    Also modern machines have S-VHS ET (Expansion Technology)
    which means you can record S-VHS like quality on a standard VHS cassette. High Quality tapes are recommended.
     
  14. Garrett

    Garrett
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    Hi Milam
    I have a S-VHS with ET and use TDK Hi-Fi tapes (mentioned in the other post to you), and the results are dire. Last time the ET topic came up, no one mentioned getting good results from it. The best results, and they was bad, was with cheap nasty tapes that I had been given. If you have to get a better tape than the TDK Hi-Fi to get better results, you might as we go the whole hog and get a S-VHS tape.

    :cool: Ruby quartz shades.
     
  15. Nic Rhodes

    Nic Rhodes
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    If buying a new machine make sure it has time base correction. I got one that didn't and I think it was a big mistake. Role on that DVHS.....:D
     
  16. MLAM

    MLAM
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    I tried a S-VHS ET recording on a New TDK HS tape and the results weren't too bad but there was a little more noise than a proper S-VHS recording but I was pretty impressed with it.

    Garrett, those TDK tapes you use, are they the ones in the blue wrapping in comes in with. the EHG Hi-Fi I think there called. if they are then the tapes I used are a slightly lower quality.
     
  17. Garrett

    Garrett
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    Hi Mlam
    Yes they are the ones in a blue wrapper.
    I have TBC, and 3D DNR, does your machine, if so what settings do you use.

    :cool: Ruby quartz shades.
     
  18. MLAM

    MLAM
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    Hi Garrett

    Sorry but I don't know what TBC and 3D DNR is, but I don't think my machine has that but if you could tell me then I will find out.

    Could someone also tell me what the link to the KVJ Fairdeal website is please.

    Thanks
    MLAM
     
  19. Garrett

    Garrett
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    Hi Mlam

    KVJ Fairdeal is mail order only(or was), cheque with order. There telephone number is 020 7247 6029, address 76 Whitechapel High Street, London, E1 &QX.
    I have had mail order from KVJ and called in Pricebuster.

    TBC is Time Base Corector, and 3D DNR is 3-Dimension Digital Noise Reduction.

    :cool: Ruby quartz shades.
     
  20. vs

    vs
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    I'm not sure I understand all the details of the discussion here. I have a Tosh 32ZP18 , a Pace Sky digibox, and I am considering to buy a JVC 8850. Can you advice on how to best interconnect them?

    A few relevant details: the digibox is connect to AV1 -- that is the only RGB on the Tosh. AV2 and AV3 on the Tosh can function in S-Video mode. I guess this settle the problem on how to link the VCR to the TV. (By the way, will a fully connected SCART cable be alright here? Do I have to get a special cable?)

    However, how do I link the box to the VCR? Is the AV2 on the Pace box RGB? Is the AV2 on the 8850 S-Video compatible?

    Cheers,
    \vs
     
  21. Orac

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    I'm not so sure about the 'benefit' of using S-video input, converted from RGB. There is an improvement over composite video doing this, but S-VHS isn't up to taking advantage of it in my opinion. The money spent on (dubious quality) RGB to S-video converters would be far better spent on a better SVHS deck. Go for the £340 Panasonic NV-HS860 or better still the £450 NV-HS960. These feature TBC, 3D DNR and most importantly (but not widely publicised) a digital comb filter on the composite input. In a recent review, one of the AV magazines (I forget which one) stated that the NV-HS860 recordings were completely devoid of all the usual PAL composite interference problems.

    This deck is now regarded as one of the best SVHS machines that money can buy - all for the price of a budget SVHS deck + the cost of an RGB to S-video converter.

    I use the NV-HS860 and I can honestly say that I cannot tell the difference between composite recordings and S-video recordings.
     
  22. Garrett

    Garrett
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    Hi Orac
    Welcome to the forum.
    Did Avon make it?
    I have a Pan 960 and I must say the results are excellent, I even get good results in EP mode so long as I use a good quality tape. And I must agree with you, get a good machine to start with then all recording should turn out all right. If you want absolute perfect picture get a DVD.
    By the way vs I did a small comparison (somewhere) on JVC and the Panasonic videos, in a nut shell I think the Panny is better for editing and the JVC records the WS switching signal (correct me if this is wrong, as I slipped up earlier in this forum).
    For some Panny prices try, not necessarily the best!
    http://uk.kelkoo.com/shopbot/result...rElectronics&catId=120501&from=shopbot&page=2

    :cool: Ruby quartz shades.
     
  23. Nic Rhodes

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    Don’t forget:

    Terrestrial tv broadcasts are via composite. That means that Chroma and Luma are not separate (the two signals used in either SVIDEO outputs or SVHS recorders. If a composite signal is fed to these machines, the interference / damage has ALREADY been done and a quality signal can’t be covered. You are therefore just relying on the better tapes / heads of the ‘premium’ SVHS machine, not a better picture over the VHS standard. If on the other hand you Sat / Digital box has a Svideo / RGB outputs then it is likely that no damage has been done and the recorder can make a more accurate copy of the original signal. RGB is similar in that these RGB to Svideo conversion boxes preserves the high quality nature of the signal that the SVHS recorder can record. SVHS can’t deal with RGB without conversion.

    Put another way do you prerecorded VHS tapes look substantially better on a SVHS deck?

    I disagree with ORLAC. The separate box will give miles better performance. These boxes are virtually lossless and the difference between decks isn’t night and day. Facilities more than absolute quality once you are past the TBC / BEST type additions.

    NR waste of space IMHO.
     
  24. vs

    vs
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    But does anybody know if the second SCART (the VCR one) on the Pace Sky Digibox is RGB? I've tried to look for this info, but it doesn't say anywhere. (I ask because if i t is not, I will have little use for a RGB to S-Video converter!)

    Also, the JVC is a bit funny about S-Video SCARTs: in particular, if you set one SCART to output S-Video, you cannot also have it to receive S-Video. And other limitations of the kind. Isn't this stupid?

    I couldn't find any info regarding the working of SCART on the Panny. Are they RGB? S-Video? Does anybody know? By the way, Orac, Panny and JVS seem to be available at about the same price on the net: around 280 for the NV-HS860 and the S8850, and around 360 for the NV-HS960 and the S9850.

    Anyway, I'm still puzzled about how to connect my S-VHS-to-be to the rest. I guess my best option could be to do it via my TV set, that can feed the digibox RGB input to Scart2, that is SVideo. (And here I hit the problem that the SCART on the JVC cannot both output and input S-Video signal.

    Regards,
    \vs
     
  25. Orac

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    I can only comment on my experiences. As a test, I recorded a picture from Ideal World on Sky Digital. I chose this channel as it's live and the picture quality is simply incredible.

    Firstly, I recorded the S-video signal, from my Pace Sky+ box into the AV3 (front) S-video sockets on my Panasonic NV-HS860. Then I recorded the composite signal from the Pace's TV SCART into the Panasonic's AV1. I then played back the recording using the AV1 SCART output (set to S-video) into my Panasonic TX W36D3DP TV's AV2S SCART.

    Although I could see the difference in the picture quality between composite and S-video when being recorded, apon playback I could not tell the difference. Both recordings dropped in quality down to the same common level.

    I did the test using TDK XP (SVHS) tapes as well as TDK EHG (SVHS-ET). In both cases, there was no difference that I could see on playback between the S-video source and the composite source.

    Given that I'd have to have unsightly cables permanently stuck into the front of my VCR to use S-video recording, I concluded it was simply a waste of time. And I'm lucky - Ive got an S-video output socket. Most Sky Digital boxes don't and since the VCR socket is composite only, an RGB to S-video converter would have to be inserted between the TV SCART and the TV. For me, 'virtually lossless isn't 100% lossless, and I'm not willing to have any boxes inserted into the primary feed from the Digibox to the TV - a loss of quality is bound to result on all signals - those being watched as well as those being recorded.

    S-video is a good system, but there's not point in my opinion going out of your way, spending extra money, adding extra hardware to use it for SVHS video recorders.
     
  26. Chippy99

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    Nic, what you say about the limitations of analogue PAL broadcasts may be true, but that is *way* less than half the story.

    You forget to mention that a normal video will only resolve around 230 lines, whereas an S-VHS video will do more like 400 lines. Irrespective of the source used, this is clearly visible and S-VHS is a marked improvement.

    I am on my 3rd S-VHS deck now (actually its a D-VHS deck), but the S-VHS performance is quite excellent; easily the best of the three - the previous best being my original £950 JVC jobbie.

    OT: I recently got a Sky+ box and that eclipses the lot! Even with D-VHS I can tell the difference between the original and the recording, but with Sky+ I cannot :) And being able to watch a recording *whilst its still recording* is for me the greatest perk. Its so convenient effectively being able to delay TV by a few minutes (or hours or whatever).

    You haven't finished your dinner for example? No problem - just delay TV for 10 mins and start watching when you're ready. Simply marvellous!

    Chip.
     
  27. Nic Rhodes

    Nic Rhodes
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    Chip

    What you say re resolutions is correct given the correct signal. However a SVHS deck can't resolve 400 lines with a terrestrial broadcasts, it can with SVideo signals (from a digital box). It resolves the extra lines by separating the chroma and luma, in a terrestrial signal this is NOT done. Chroma and Luma are recorded separately to prevent intereference (damage / resolution loss). This is what SVHS is. Feed a SVideo signal from a video camera and bingo it is all there. Now digital has a serious advantage here but sky seem keen to pushing more channels than higher quality. So we are the bizare state that the best ever picture I have seen broadcast is using a 10 year box using composite connection. The downside is that it is difficult to record because of this! Now that is progress.

    :(

    I hold by what I say re RGB to SVHS converters and SVHS machines.:D
     
  28. Orac

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    > However a SVHS deck can't resolve 400 lines with a terrestrial broadcasts, it can with SVideo signals (from a digital box). It resolves the extra lines by separating the chroma and luma, in a terrestrial signal this is NOT done.

    Yes it can and mine clearly does. You need to study the technical design of the PAL system to understand how. The composite video signal occupies a 6MHz bandwidth. The Luma portion of the signal occupies all of this, whilst the chroma portion is 'interleaved' on to it, offset by +4.43 MHz (If memory serves me correctly). Think about the picture on the screen. Since the screen has a static refresh rate of 25Hz and there are 625 lines, the vast majority (99.9%) of the signal appears clumped together around multiples of 15,625KHz. The Luma spectrum is therefore full off peaks and troughs. So is the chroma spectrum. But by offsetting it this way, the peaks of the chroma sit in the troughs of the luma. The luma is therefore still given the full 6MHz bandwidth, whilst the chroma is afforded 1.57MHz (more than enough since your eyes are ten times more sensitive to luma than chroma).

    Modern digital comb filters are excellent at extracting the two signals from each other. The full 6MHz luma signal equates to (6,000,000 / 15,625) 384 lines - as close as dammit to SVHS's claimed 400 line limit.

    Where PAL falls down is on the 0.1% of the time where a bit of luma occupies a trough and is intepreted as chroma. Fine striped shirts are the best case of seeing this effect. Close black and white lines which are not vertical stray into the chroma area and cause havok on the TV screen.
     
  29. Orac

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    .......and another obvious case of PAL's problems can be seen on the Sky Digital EPG display. Non vertical joins of two colours (look at the blue and yellow borders) cause the chroma signal to leak into the high frequency luma signal, resulting in 'fizzing' or 'dot crawl'.

    The PAL system really is one of the best cases of 'getting a quart out of a pint jug' we're likely to see. And don't credit the BBC engineers for it - they just stole the idea from NTSC which uses the same principal.

    Actually in NTSC, there's two chroma offset options. NTSC 357 uses +3.57MHz and the newer NTSC 443 uses +4.43MHz
     

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