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Sony VTX D800 experience

Discussion in 'Satellite TV, Sky TV & FreeSat' started by clivelong, Dec 15, 2003.

  1. clivelong

    clivelong
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    Appearance

    I like the compact, understated styling on the VTX800. I might respray it to match the cluster of black boxes I own that were all the fashion 5 years ago.

    Connectivity

    Luckily my TV has One Scart, two "phono sets" and one S-Video input. The Scart cabling recommended by Sony allows the VCR to record the "live" Freeview channel. I think my video does not support "Smart" link - hence I cannot use the facility to select the EPG channel to record at some time in the future - so I have to rely on videoplus using analog / RF feed and the video's tuner or set the DTX800 channel and select "AV input = scart" on the video and "manually" set the start and finish time on record. This is a pain - but I don't watch TV enough to warrant throwing away a working video just to make setting recording easier. When the video packs up I will try one with smart link to make setting recording easier. I think Smartlink just uses one of the Scart pins ( 8? ) to signal to the VCR to start recording.
    I cannot seem to find a Scart configuration that will allow me to daisy-chain the DVD to the VCR - hence I am going to buy some phono leads or use a spare S-Video cable I have to feed the DVD into "AV2" input on the TV.


    Image and sound quality

    I live in a flat serviced by a slightly dodgy aerial feed. For example, one piece of coax feeds a plate with an FM and UHF TV socket. Anyway, the analogue TV signal produces slight to medium ghosting on the TV image and quite often a "graininess”. I was concerned the aerial feed would scupper Freeview. The Sony tunes into about 20-ish stations and indicates signal quality is good but signal strength is "medium". The image quality on my 5-year-old Sanyo TV is as good as DVD. The colour tones are very natural. I am very pleased with the image and sound quality of digital TV broadcasts. From now, I will watch all "terrestrial" channels through the Sony for the improved image.


    Other techie stuff

    I can fiddle around with picture ratio and support a reasonable wide-screen format.
    The channel change is (just) quick enough.


    Draw-backs

    I cannot use the TV guide (EPG?) to set record with my VCR (probably a feature missing on my VCR)
    Content: most of the programs are woeful, but I enjoy the news channels, BBC Parliament and BBC4.
    Have you seen bid-up TV?? As funny as a Sadam holiday camp - if TV is going that way then all the lovely technology is getting tipped out of the window.
    I would like to see a TV Guide that can search by program type - but I guess that is a restriction on what is broadcast rather than the device capability.

    Would I recommend?

    Yes. The image improvement has been worth it for me - but I may have got similar improvement with a cheaper Freeview box or a £20 indoor aerial - I have no point of comparison.
     
  2. whitcat

    whitcat
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    I have one of the Sony boxes although I'm giving it away as a present for Christmas. I think it's one of the better boxes around.

    How many scarts do your DVD player and VCR have?

    The Smartlink is also backed up by synchro record. Smartlink works by sending data down one of the scart pins (possibly 10) to set the VCR. Each manufacturer has different names for it (e.g. TV-Link, Easylink). Synchro record is the one where the VCR scart pin 8 comes on for the time set by the EPG. It's also known as Prepare-Record, which your VCR may have. Mine does but was buried in the manual.

    A problem with most Smartlink (or equivalent) set ups is that the second VCR scart only is compatible but only the first one can output pictures so you need a scart triangle (TV-Digibox-VCR-TV).

    Programming from the EPG is pretty limited until the 7-day version arrives soon, but the Sony does have the useful feature of adding an extra five minutes to EPG recordings to catch late running.

    James
     
  3. jaymac

    jaymac
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    I don,t use a triangle just onescart from 800 to tv and one from 800 to vcr. I use smartlink 800 does the timing also allows vcr to playback through it
     
  4. videonasty

    videonasty
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