Sony HXD890. Aspect Ratio, Connections and beginners issues

Discussion in 'Blu-ray & DVD Players & Recorders' started by Kelly Harris, Feb 1, 2009.

  1. Kelly Harris

    Kelly Harris
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    Hello all. Just wondered does anyone own this or one of the others in the range? I have 2 questions that I would really appreciate answers to. Firstly I have a problem with ratio. Not all channels but some like Dave, E4+1 and Film4, ITV 2, not the standard BBC1, ITV etc, they are in 'wide' on my telly, but not on the HDD recorder when I record them. I've messed about with all the ratios, and the telly ones wont allow you to when you are using the recorder. They are on wide on the Sony Bravia, but not when it goes through the DVD. Some channels not all, but the ones you want!
    Secondly, the HDMI cables I was told were ALL I needed to connect to the telly. Were they lying? It didn't find any channels until I put the aerial through the box and then into the telly. Is that right? Did I need the HDMI or would it have just worked with the aerial leads. It certainly didn't work with just the HDMI as I was told that would be all I needed. Could it ever be all you need, just the hdmi from the box to the telly? It couldn't find any channels on the scan till I put the aerial from telly to box and out of box back to telly.
    Any help gratefuly needed. Confused as hell...

    The widescreen issue is just recording to HDD, not used discs yet. Setting can't be changed and on the HDMI 'full' it just loses the pictures off the screen, it's too much and lousy to watch.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Gavtech

    Gavtech
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    Welcome to the forum.

    The aspect issues you mention above appear to be due to a peculiarity of the way the material is broadcast

    It is a well exercised issue on the forum. You can read about it here.


    However , there is a special option for how 4:3 material is handled which solely applies to being connected by HDMI
    See page 140 Column 1 of your manual for your options and where to change the setting.

    Any DVDR device needs inputs as well as outputs. HDMI is a one way output connection system only.
    The channels are delivered by aerial and fed into the unit.
    The channels do not come from the TV.

    Evidently the vendors meant that HDMI is the only output type of connection you required [ as there are many options ]... but an aerial is required to provide an input
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2009
  3. Kelly Harris

    Kelly Harris
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    Thanks for that Gav, just seen the above thread.... So this is relatively new then, they didn't do it up until I bought one yesterday? Typical.

    So HDMI on it's own wont produce anything then, What If I remove HDMI and just have aerial?, Do you still need aerial if you scart it too instead of hdmi?

    I don't think pic is that great, and hdmi is supposed to upscale yep?
     
  4. Gavtech

    Gavtech
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    If you removed HDMI then you would see nothing from the machine at all because then you would have removed the only output route.

    You need an aerial no matter what kind of output connection you use.

    To try to give you a conceptual grip of this - The channels are delivered to your aerial and fed into the machine, which passes them through, or records them as required.
    When you play recordings, or discs, or watch the tuner output of the unit, the machine outputs these into the HDMI link to feed to the television. [ ... or through whatever output connection type you happen to use ]

    HDMI is one way. The TV sends nothing back to the machine ... [ except some information parameters about its display capabilities ]
    Upscaling is also a well exercised issue on the forum.

    It is largely a piece of over-hyped nonsense and is not really required in SD equipment such as this.
    All flat TV panels scale everything that is fed into them anyway.

    Picture quality generally is mostly limited by the generally poor universal quality of flat panels.

    The alternative is to try a scart connection.
     
  5. ramjet

    ramjet
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    in simple terms , you need the aerial for the internal tuner or tuners to work

    the alternatives are to use an external cable box or sky box into line 1

    some people use a combination of the above inputs in order to watch and record tv programmes

    so thats the input side dealt with

    the outputs are many and varied , and you choose which output you wish to use , scart being one recommended output , and use it with RGB and 16:9

    the various outputs are:-

    COMPOSITE ( YELLOW/RED/WHITE )

    SCART ( use a 21 pin fully wired scart )

    COMPONENT ( RGB for pictures and RED/WHITE for sound

    HDMI

    as mentioned earlier , your flat panel tv upscales its inputs anyway

    so you choose input method or methods , and output method or methods

    you can have one or more inputs , and one or more outputs , depending on what you are doing

    the point here is that its about choices , like going in a supermarket , one way in , one way out , and many choices to make in between that go in your basket
     
  6. Kelly Harris

    Kelly Harris
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    Thank you both so much for your replys... Interesting that 2 stores never mentioned aerial to me, just that it only needs hdmi.

    Talking of watching one channel and recording another, presumably because I have freeview on the telly and the HDD I can do that anyway.... I think in-store they were under the impression I didn't need another lead, ie aerial because of that, but as you both know, I had nothing without an aerial in the back.

    On another issue, I put some DVDs in today, not blanks but some films I have and some make a really loud noise. I initially thought someone was drilling outside till I realised it was the player. Does that come up at all on here with anyone?
     
  7. Gavtech

    Gavtech
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    No - This is not a known problem.

    Is it possible that you had two discs in by any chance?... or a disc off centre?

    Is the DVD drive OK subsequently and working?
     
  8. Kelly Harris

    Kelly Harris
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    I took it out and put it in again, Out of about 6 discs I tried, 2 of them made that noise.... The rest were fine. Would a disc make that noise if it were faulty, but still play OK?
     
  9. Gavtech

    Gavtech
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    What kind of discs are they? Commercial ? Self-recorded?

    I would not expect any noise form a commercial disc.
    There may be some noises from a disc that is proving difficult to read due to inadequate burning perhaps.

    Do the discs have applied labels?

    Is the noise permanent whilst the disc is playing?


    If the drive was making a noise because it was struggling to play then NO, I would not expect it to play normally.
    If it is repeatable with the same two discs then that suggests there is something anomalous about those discs. Are they physically normal?
     
  10. Kelly Harris

    Kelly Harris
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    Hi Gav, no they are commercial bought DVDs, not burned. One was Austin Powers and the other was a Bond film, the other Bonds in the series played OK, the Austin disc made the noise when playing and didn't stop, the Bond one it went away after a few minutes. I tried repositioning, but there's not much to move when they lie flat in the tray.... I bought a MR version of the player, purely because it was the only version model they had at the time. Do you think that hack they do can affect anything on the player?

    I had a AR DVD player before, which was OK, it's a good few years old now, and when it had a disc that made a noise, it never played it, but it was more of a rattle noise, this SONY is a really loud. I honestly thought it was coming from outside,
     
  11. Kelly Harris

    Kelly Harris
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    What do you guys usually record on when you use the HD, the top quality one? I used this at first and obviously expect it to be as seen because it's top quality. Not that it was bad but it wasn't as good as I thought it may be, noticing the blurry or slightly jagged logos, ie ITV2 E4 at the top, which is usually the benchmark when looking at the quality. But what is the one most people use, Is there a great deal of difference, I must admit I've not tried the lower ones?
     
  12. ramjet

    ramjet
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    SP mode , or anything between MN15 and MN21 should be fine

    try it on sp mode using rgb scart connection from recorder to tv , set to rgb 16:9

    and no you should not get noise from playing commercial dvd`s
     
  13. Kelly Harris

    Kelly Harris
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    Hmmmm, not even on some DVDs? Could they be faulty DVDs, Mind you the Austin Powers which is the 3 disc set actually has 'extras' on the cover and there aren't any on the disc, The other 2 have them.

    I just have aerial to telly and an hdmi, would scart help quality too, or do you use scart instead of the hdmi, does it cancel it out?
     
  14. Gavtech

    Gavtech
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    It is very important to note that you cannot judge the quality of machines capability by using 'secondary' channel sources such as ITV2 E4 ... which are broadcast at a very much reduced quality compared to the benchmark standard such as BBC1.

    The best general compromise for quality versus storage space [ *for any quality source*] is SP.

    Generally the advice is: use SP for absolutely everything ... and only deviate from it if you have very good reason to ... and if at all possible avoid going to lower qualities ... unless it is purely for purposes of squeezing certain programme lengths onto a DVD.

    In this case you have been misled by the source - Not the machine.
     
  15. Kelly Harris

    Kelly Harris
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    Gee, you guys are good!

    So nothing in it between HQ and SP then... On the player I can go through the HQ/HSP/etc but what are the MN numbers, 15-21 etc
     
  16. ramjet

    ramjet
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    I think you need to read the manual a bit more

    you can select MN which are manual settings as well as the standard ones

    MN15 is ESP

    MN18 is LSP

    MN21 is SP

    details are on page 141 in my 870 manual

    HDMI is also no benchmark for judging the machine

    ues RGB scart in 16:9 to judge content or quality ( or maybe component )
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2009
  17. Kelly Harris

    Kelly Harris
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    Sorry to be really dim on this one, but hdmi I thought was supposed to give the best quality, do you use the scart with or instead of, and is scart going to give better quality or do you use both?
     
  18. ramjet

    ramjet
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    you can use scart or hdmi , but not both

    hdmi is over hyped , and the benchmark for objectivity should be scart in RGB widescreen , you may find this or component gives better resolution on itv2 or similar

    if you want HD pictures over hdmi , use a HD source like blu ray or a HD receiver like sky HD or virgin HD

    HDMI gives better pictures from a HD source , not an SD source , your 890 is SD not HD
     
  19. Kelly Harris

    Kelly Harris
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    God, I wish you guys were in the shop when I buy these things.... They always tell you to buy the hdmi for best quality, upscaling etc... just because I have an hdready telly..! But maybe because the hdmi leads are dearer huh
     
  20. Gavtech

    Gavtech
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    ' Can of worms this one. :)

    The HDMI issue has a long history here. The industry likes to persuade you that it is the best, but it is not necessarily so.

    The same source [ RGB ] is used when delivering by scart or HDMI.

    The only difference is that the HDMI route processes the material digitally and can artificially increase it's resolution.
    It does not actually increase its resolution at all. it is a piece of fakery... and was never really needed in a source device because a flat panel does this processing anyway - to make the image fit on the screen.

    Upscaling in SD DVDR's was seen as a route to get the HDMI system into the home when there was really no need for it... until HD.

    It has been the driving force for selling shedloads of gear.. and the industry ought to be ashamed of itself.
     
  21. Kelly Harris

    Kelly Harris
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    Like I say... can I borrow you the next time I buy something! The guys in the shop obviously have no idea about the ratio problem, and like 99% of shops will always say, it's our fault and we need to change the settings... It will become a bit more widespread soon though, I'm sure. They did mention Panasonic, but don't know which model.

    Regards the SP setting, do you ever use HQ if it's something you want to transfer to a disc?
     
  22. ramjet

    ramjet
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    I have just tested 3 x70 sony machines here using itv2 and its logo

    the best picture was component into a toshiba lcd tv

    the next best was a scart lead RGB into the same tv

    and the worst picture was hdmi into a goodmans lcd tv where the itv2 logo wasnt crisp or sharp

    so my opinion is use scart and RGB as a benchmark but I think component gives the best pictures from these SD recorders into a flat panel tv

    hdmi should be used for connecting a HD box into a HD tv
     
  23. Kelly Harris

    Kelly Harris
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    So HD, then not HD ready huh!

    Ramjet, how many tellys you got?? :)

    Sorry, 'component'? just imagine you are talking to a child?
     
  24. ramjet

    ramjet
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    the point here is that this machine you have bought is not HD , they dont sell HD recorders in the uk yet

    its an SD machine so use SD connections to the tv , and forget the hype

    your manuals for the 890 and the tv give various connection methods from the recorder to a suitably equipped tv

    so if your tv has component connections , use 2 leads to connect from the sony 890 outputs to the tv inputs

    thats RED/GREEN/BLUE phono connectors for the pictures , and RED/WHITE for the stereo sound

    its on page 22 of your manual , use B and D

    now set the 890 to component output and select the correct component input on your tv

    now select itv2 and it should be crystal clear with a sharp logo

    doesnt matter how many recorders or tv,s I have got , the fact is that what you are being told is correct , and you should read the manuals supplied with your equipment , its all in there if you look

    and I told you these outputs in post 5 !!

    and there is nothing wrong with your recorder , just your preconceived perceptions of what you believe is true , which the facts dont bear out

    but I still dont like the fact that you had noisy disks , that should not happen and doesnt in any of my recorders ( I have more than one of everything :) )
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2009
  25. Gavtech

    Gavtech
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    You could do....but that reduces the amount you can get on a disc from nominally 2 hours to about 1 hour.

    It's all about compromise, and given the huge number of variables in the quality of TV production, transmission, reception and display it does not do to worry too much about these matters.

    Experience combined with the wisdom of many shows that in practical terms you can use SP for everything [ it's what it was designed for] and you will find that at that setting you will get results that are quite satisfactory .. allowing for all the other variables... which will sometimes produce results between very good and not so good.

    What we need to seek to do is get the broadcasters to keep the quality up instead of endlessly watering it down.
     
  26. Kelly Harris

    Kelly Harris
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    Thanks Ramjet/Gav, much appreciated. I'll read more......:cool:

    With regards to the noisy discs, I'll see if it rights itself, it's been MR hacked but doubt that the fact they've played around with it should make a difference. I have 28 days I think for a replacement, so if it does it on more discs I will change it for another.

    Thanks again guys
     
  27. Kelly Harris

    Kelly Harris
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    P.S. Gav, I didn't realise if you use HQ you can't get a film on a disc, 1 hour huh!?
     
  28. ramjet

    ramjet
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    I have 4 of these machines and all have been MR hacked either by the shop who sold them or by me , and none of them give me any disk problems

    2 of my machines are cheap 770,s and have had bigger hard disk drives fitted , by me , and also MR hacked by me as well

    and I have sorted out family and friends with x70 or x90 machines too , with various connection methods

    my brother has an 890 connected to a sony 26 inch flat panel tv by hdmi and he prefers it to other connections

    in the main I prefer component connection to a suitably equipped tv , with scart as next best

    a lot of shop assistants wont know the differences so sell you an expensive hdmi lead on the grounds its plug in and use , we would say the same with a scart lead as its been that way for over 15 years , probably a lot longer , and rgb scart is reliable , although locking scarts are less prone to coming out of the sockets :)

    use SP mode if you want a film on a disk , or anything between MN21 and MN25 , page 155 of your manual
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2009
  29. Kelly Harris

    Kelly Harris
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    Cool, thank you...

    I best ask about the 'how to upgrade the hd to give it more storage' when i can use the machine then? Actually I'd probably break it if I tried!!
     
  30. ramjet

    ramjet
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