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Sony VTX-D800U and AV switching

Discussion in 'Satellite TV, Sky TV & FreeSat' started by HelenS, Nov 9, 2004.

  1. HelenS

    HelenS
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    I finally bit the bullet and got a Freeview box (my first foray outside analogue terrestrial) and plumped for the Sony VTX-D800U yesterday, having first tried out reception using a borrowed Portland box (or was it 1000?! - a £39 Sainsbury's special using Setpal chippery, apparently). That was interesting because the Freeview website says my postcode does not have Freeview coverage (at all) yet the Portland picked everything up fine, and the Sony picks up even more (and produces perfect picture quality - noticeably better than the Portland). Is it usual for Freeview's website to be so conservative about reception?

    Anyway, the only thing that's bothering me is the lack of ease with which I can get at the Sony's output - I have to juggle a myriad of remotes. Since I'm a beginner at this, I'd also appreciate any advice if I've made any connection blunders. The setup is as follows (actually some of it is guesswork because the TV's too heavy for me to move and look behind!).

    TV: Sony KV28LS35
    VCR: Panasonic NVFJ710
    DVD recorder: Panasonic DMRE55
    Sony Freeview box

    I have the aerial RF lead going into the Sony Freeview box. From its 'VCR' scart connector goes the supplied cable, to the AV2 "decoder/ext" scart connector of the Panasonic DVD. The RF out from the Freeview box also goes to the aerial in socket of the Panasonic DVD.

    The Panasonic DVD's RF out lead goes into the aerial socket of the Panny VCR.

    The Panasonic DVD's AV1 "TV" scart goes to the TV's AV2 scart, which has Smartlink facilities.

    The VCR's scart (unsure which one, the other's not connected to anything anyway) goes to the AV1 scart of the TV, which does not have Smartlink capability.

    The VCR's RF out lead goes to a signal amplifier, which then feeds one RF lead to the Sony TV and one to another TV in another room, which has no other equipment connected to it.

    In summary: both scarts of the TV are connected (one from the DVD, one from the VCR), the VCR has one scart free, the DVD has both scarts connected (one to the TV, one from the Freeview box) and the Freeview box has one scart connected - the "video" one to the DVD.

    The upshot of all this is that the TV in the other room receives live terrestrial and playback etc. from the VCR if required, which is fine.

    The main Sony TV receives terrestrial broadcasts, and everything from the DVD, VCR and Freeview. Though the VCR has Q-link, Panasonic's Smartlink equivalent, it is not used as the scart connector on the TV which this one is connected to does not support Smartlink.

    The DVD also has Q-link, and this is connected by scart to the TV's other socket, which does support Smartlink, and I get all the Smartlink features (even though it's Q-link) - apparently they understand each other's language.

    However, the DVD does NOT appear to understand the Freeview box's Smartlink commands. Is this to be expected? I have to manually switch everything to get the Freeview picture: if the DVD is off, I need to manually switch the TV to the DVD input, and when the Freeview box is on, there is the Freeview pic. However, when I turn the DVD on, this is replaced by output from the DVD's tuner and I then need to additionally select the appropriate input on the DVD itself to get back to Freeview. The Freeview box's behaviour regarding timer/recording events also indicates that it does not see any Smartlink compatibility from the DVD.

    I wouldn't be surprised by this if I hadn't been so impressed by how well the DVD works with the TV, smartlink-wise. It can do direct TV record, auto shutdown with the TV, and of course switches the TV's input to itself when playing back etc. (whilst leaving it alone when the DVD is simply turned on or is recording). So I'd thought that the Sony Freeview box might be able to "talk" successfully to it too. The Freeview box is on the just-superceded firmware (ending 11.01, loader 1.08) if that's of any relevance.

    So far, the TV/STB button of the remote for the Freeview box doesn't have an effect. There are of course additional combinations of settings on the DVD recorder for its AV2 connector that I could try but none of the obvious ones work so far, to give me more automatic switching behaviour.

    Thanks, and sorry this is so long!
     
  2. adrianl

    adrianl
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    Try using the AV1 (TV) scart of the freeview box for connection to the DVD recorder, instead of the 'vcr' scart.

    Also smartlink doesn't always work when the connection is 'passed through' as you have for freeview to tv via dvd recorder.

    I have similar set-up but using sony dvd player in place of your dvd recorder. Things work OK. The 'DTT/TV' button on remote works but you have to press it once to place the sony box to standby then again to wake it up and activate the various 'smartlink' operations. The manual says something about this I believe.

    Good luck!

    Adrian
     
  3. HelenS

    HelenS
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    Thanks Adrian. Funnily enough, I tried connecting the "TV" scart from the Freeview box to the DVD recorder instead of using the "VCR" one, but the only change was that the Freeview picture had a bit more priority, in that when I turned on the Freeview box, the pic from it arrived on the TV screen (via the turned-off DVD recorder) automatically. On the original setup, I had to switch the TV to the scart used by the DVD recorder to see it. If I turned on the DVD, as with the other setup, the TV tuner's picture then pre-empted it.

    What I'd really love is for the DVD recorder to understand the timer of the Freeview box and record automatically, which would be possible with Smartlink. It's probably asking a bit much, though, for Sony's Smartlink to work that well with Panasonic's Q-link - it's just ironic that they work perfectly together in the opposite direction (between the Panasonic DVD recorder and the Sony TV).

    Helen
     

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