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Sony VTX-D800U and S-Video (Y/C) on VCR out

Discussion in 'TVs' started by david.partridge, Aug 9, 2005.

  1. david.partridge

    david.partridge
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    I just bought an 800U STB because it is supposed to support S-Video out (Y/C) on the CVR output when used with a Smartlink VCR (e.g. Panasonic NV-SV121EB)

    Problem is I have configured the Panasonic to accept S-Video in on AV2 scart, and the SOny to "Auto" mode for Video Out which is *supposed" to work, but it doesn't (mono recording which means it was sending PAL).

    I can record in colour with diminished quality by setting the Sony to output PAL and the VCR to accept composite video, but of course the quality isn't so good.

    Sony UK customer support is a joke :-(. They said they were a wrranty support line not a tech. support line, and then went on to say it wouldn't do that. When I pressed them (quoting the specification) they said that OK it would when set to Auto. Which it patently doesn't do - anyway I'm not using one of their VCRs as they don't make S-VHS VCRs, so (without actually saying it) they implied they really weren't prepared to put themselves out.

    I'm now meeting a brick wall as they won't give me a proper technical product support contact - "That's only for dealers".

    Anyone out there who can help me or put me in touch with a useful person in Sony UK????

    Dave
     
  2. David Mackenzie

    David Mackenzie
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    David, I had the same problem. I was counting on hooking up the VCR output using a SCART to S-Video adapter and into my computer's TV card. Of course, it doesn't support the smartassed Smartlink system, so I only get Composite video.

    If anyone else can get a useful person at Sony, I'd appreciate it also. They really should just make Y/C a selectable option on the next firmware upgrade (hoping there is one).
     
  3. per-Sony-fied

    per-Sony-fied
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    I reckon your best bet here as it would look like the Sony does not do S-video via video out as it is not selectable like the TV output.

    So I would connect it all up differently if the VCR has 2 scart connectors.
    Connect thus:

    1) Sony TV o/p set to Y/C
    2) Plug scart into Sony TV out and plug that lead into i/p of VCR
    3) Scart 2 on VCR (auxilliary or whatever it's called), Plug a scart lead into here and plug the other end into the required TV scart socket.

    This way you'll be able to record from the Freeview box and watch digital TV via the loop through of the VCR (needs to be in standby to do this). You'll of course still be able to record any analogue channels via it's internal tuner.

    Alternatively one could *force* the condition form the Sony video out (if it's a possible function) buy buying a S-video wired ONLY scart and using auto setting but I fear if it was possible the selection would be there.

    You could of course e-mail Sony your query/problem where they will either give you a correct informative answer or issue a phone number to call with an ID to answer and explain the situation fully.
     
  4. Geoff_D

    Geoff_D
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    I've spoken to a Sony engineer (trade line ;)) and although he checked the service manual he couldn't give me a definitive answer. Apparently the circuit diagram for the VCR scart shows wiring for S-video, but it looks as though this has been left out on the production model. Once I'm done recording Lost I'll do what David has done and try to get an S output that way.
     
  5. david.partridge

    david.partridge
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    Interesting ...

    Sony UK did eventually come back to me after I pressed them by email and suggested that I try connecting the VCR to the TV Out Scart set to Y/C mode, and report back to them. My hunch is that this will work.

    IF the VCR scart *is* wired for S-Video, it should be trivial for them to add a firmware update to force Y/C on the VCR output. If it isn't wired for S-Video, this could get interesting ...

    Dave
     
  6. david.partridge

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    As expected recording from the TV output in S-Video mode worked perfectly :mad:
     
  7. david.partridge

    david.partridge
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    Just to follow through on this:

    Here is an extract from an email exchange with Sony UK with names removed to protect the guilty. Overall my experience with them was that they really didn't want to help in any way at all, and I needed to push very hard to get any sort of response which really annoyed me. If (as Geoff suggested) the actual cicuitry to support S-Video out on the VCR port is absent, then that is very interesting (in theory), as the specification says it supports Y/C on the VCR out.

    Here's the email exchange:

    From SUK, General CIC

    Thank you for your comments and update. In answer to your final point, we
    do accept all positive and negative feedback, and although this will not
    generate a further response, I will forward your comments to the relevant
    department.

    With regards
    xxxxxxxxxx
    For and on behalf of
    Sony United Kingdom Limited
    -----Original Message-----
    From: David C. Partridge
    Sent: 15 August 2005 12:58
    To: SUK, General CIC
    Subject: Re: VTX-D800U Set Top Box


    Thank you for getting back to me.

    As a test, I connected the VCR to the TV out SCART (which was already set to
    Y/C), and configured the VCR to for S-Video input as you suggested.

    I can confirm that attempting to record in S-Video mode from the TV out
    SCART to the VCR worked perfectly as expected.

    I believe that it is likely that the logic used for auto-determination of
    the output mode (Composite or S-Video) in the STB may not be 100% compatible
    with the SmartLink implementation in the VCR.

    Assuming that this problem is caused by a slightly incompatible SmartLink
    implementation, it should be possible to make a trivial change to the
    firmware to allow the Video out setting to have three options: Auto, PAL,
    Y/C (That is add the third option of Y/C). This would allow auto
    determination for 100% compatible SmartLink implementations (Auto setting),
    or allow the user to force either Composite (PAL) or S-Video (Y/C).

    Is this something that you can request the firmware team to consider as a
    small enhancement?

    It is of course possible (but unlikely) that the STB itself is faulty ...

    Many thanks again
    David Partridge

    Dear Mr Partridge

    I can confirm that you have set your VTXD800U receiver is set correctly, and
    you should be able to make colour recordings if your video recorder has been
    set to receive an S-Video picture. With this in mind, a problem may lie
    with either the video recorder or set top box receiver.

    To test this, try connecting from the Line 1 SCART output of the VTXD800U to
    the video recorder, and change this 'TV' output of the set top box to 'Y/C'.
    The video recorder will need to support the SmartLink facility on the set
    top box, along with your television.

    You may have problems if these other products do not have SmartLink
    compatibility.

    With regards

    xxxxxxxxx
    For and on behalf of
    Sony United Kingdom Limited

    -----Original Message-----
    From: David C. Partridge
    Sent: 09 August 2005 16:33
    To: SUK, General CIC
    Subject: Re: VTX-D800U Set Top Box


    I am afraid that the telephone number you gave me 0870 241 3624 put me
    through to the same warranty support team that I spoke to yesterday, and
    that they could not help me and that I should go back to the shop I
    purchased the unit from for technical support.

    Please can you give me a proper technical contact who can speak sensibly to
    an electronics engineer (possibly the dealer support line).

    Many thanks
    David Partridge
    ----- Original Message -----
    From: "SUK, General CIC" <SUK.GeneralCIC@eu.sony.com>
    To: "'David C. Partridge'"
    Sent: Tuesday, August 09, 2005 4:19 PM
    Subject: RE: VTX-D800U Set Top Box


    >
    >
    > Dear Mr Partridge
    >
    > Thank you for your recent e-mail.
    >
    > Due to the issues you have raised in your enquiry regarding the VTXD800
    > digital receiver, I recommend that you contact the dedicated help line
    > directly on 0870 241 3624. Although you will be greeted by a message
    > relating to Sony Monitors, this is the correct number to call.
    Regrettably,
    > they do not have an e-mail contact address but I trust this will not cause
    > you any further inconvenience.
    >
    > Please note that Sony United Kingdom Limited does not manufacture VCR that
    > support S-VHS, and you may find it beneficial to contact your VCR
    > manufacturer to confirm that it is able to support Smartlink while using
    and
    > S Video connection.
    >
    > I apologise that we cannot assist you directly on this occasion.
    >
    > With regards
    >
    > xxxxxxxxxx
    > For and behalf of
    > Sony United Kingdom Limited
    > Customer Information Centre
    >
    >
    >
    > -----Original Message-----
    > From: David C. Partridge
    > Sent: 08 August 2005 17:04
    > To: suk.generalcic@eu.sony.com
    > Subject: VTX-D800U Set Top Box
    >
    >
    > Dear Sirs.
    >
    > I have just purchased a VTX-D800U Set Top box (DTR) because all reports I
    > had read indicated it was the best STB around, and that it also supported
    > S-Video (Y/C) output on the Video out port.
    >
    > If I try to record onto my SmartLink capable S-VHS VCR which has S-Video
    IN,
    > when Video Out is set to Auto, and Smartlink to ON, and the VCR configured
    > to S-Video IN, the recording is B/W (i.e the STB is outputting PAL).
    >
    > Naturally I CAN record if I configure the VCR for composite video in, and
    > set the STB Video out to PAL (composite). BUT the quality when recording
    > from composite video (PAL setting) is poor.
    >
    > I want to be able to FORCE the output on the Video SCART to Y/C (S-Video)
    as
    > the Smartlink compatible VCR attached IS capable of taping from S-Video
    > input (it is an S-VHS recorder).
    >
    > I tried contacting your support telephone line 0870 511 1999 but the
    people
    > there didn't understand what I was talking about saying that I should set
    > Video Out to PAL. They said they were a warranty support line, not a
    > technical support line, and said that the technical support line was only
    > available to dealers. If I had technical problems I should contact the
    > shop I purchased it from (as if a supermarket would understand).
    >
    > Please could get someone technical who understands this STB (and is able
    to
    > provide a solution or if necessary get the appropriate firmware changes
    > made) to contact me.
    >
    > My office 'phone number is xxxxx
    >
    > Thank you
    > Dave Partridge
    >
     

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