SVHS VCR and 16x9 recording ????

Discussion in 'Digital TV & Video Players & Recorders' started by Matthew Attoe, Apr 13, 2003.

Tags:
  1. Matthew Attoe

    Matthew Attoe
    Member

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2001
    Messages:
    695
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Norwich
    Ratings:
    +11
    Hello,

    I have a query regarding recording true 16x9 signals via a sky box.

    TV: Tosh 36" Strata (DVB model - can't remember model no.)
    VCR: JVC SVHS S7500EK
    Cable: svhs + 2 phonos to scart (signal into scart)

    ok, here we go:

    At the mo', my set-up works fine - when I watch 16x9 channels the TV auto-switches to "wide", and when I switch to a non-16x9 channel, auto-switches to 4x3.

    When I record from sky, for example channel 305, Premier Widescreen, the VCR records the widescreen broadcast fine, but when I play it back, the TV doesn't auto-switch to 'wide' - I have to do this manually. No big sweat, obviously, BUT...

    A friend (who also has a widey telly) recorded CSI for me the other night in 16x9. When i popped the tape in and played it back, the TV auto-switched to 'wide' mode - I was really surprised when this happened, as their VCR is an el-cheapo make/model.

    So, is this because my VCR can't record a widescreen switching signal, or is it because my friends are recording from CABLE and I'm recording from Sky?

    I can't find any more settings on the VCR, TV or Sky... so don't know what to do know?

    Anyone got any ideas.

    Thanks,

    Matthew
     
  2. sweetmate

    sweetmate
    Member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2001
    Messages:
    695
    Products Owned:
    1
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    31
    Location:
    London
    Ratings:
    +46
    This is a weird one and heres my 2 cents. I can get my VCR to record the widescreen "switch" in the following way. If you put the program into your personal planner and make it switch to the program automatically (add it in the personal planner and then hit red for autoview i think) and then record it. Remember not to change channel in the ad break though.

    Give it a go (and obviously make sure the scart from the digibox to the vcr is fully wired).
     
  3. klnc

    klnc
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2002
    Messages:
    361
    Products Owned:
    1
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    21
    Location:
    London
    Ratings:
    +22
    On my sky digibox, only the tv out scart utilises the pin 8 which carries the auto switching signal. The other scart, which goes to the vcr doesn't carry the signal. Both my cables are fully wired, but i think it's the scart 2 output which is what's causing the "problem". You could confirm this by swapping them around, i guess.
     
  4. Steve1138

    Steve1138
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    I had similar prob as KLNC...
    until finding out I had the Sky+ output SCARTS the wrong way round (TV and VCR)
    After correcting it's been OK when viewing directly (live) from Sky or its recordings
     
  5. Benedict

    Benedict
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2003
    Messages:
    534
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    21
    Location:
    Welton, East Yorkshire
    Ratings:
    +20
    The VCR SCART uses pin 8 switching, but only when programmes are selected using AutoView in the personal planner, which is why it works for sweetmate above.

    The rest of the time pin 8 on the VCR SCART is used as an input from the VCR so the digibox knows to loopthrough the signal from the VCR to the TV.
     
  6. Stephen Neal

    Stephen Neal
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2003
    Messages:
    6,080
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    133
    Ratings:
    +681
    Yep - pin 8 switching is permanently enabled only on the TV Scart on Sky boxes, whereas it is not permanently there on the VCR scart.

    Some other digital receivers - like the Pace DTVA - also burn in line 23 widescreen signalling information into the video signal (this survives VHS recording) which means that if your TV supports line 23 WSS recordings made from the DTVA should trigger into the correct aspect ratio on playback (even if the VCR is connected via RF!)
     
  7. Matthew Attoe

    Matthew Attoe
    Member

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2001
    Messages:
    695
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Norwich
    Ratings:
    +11
    Thanks for all the info chaps.

    Autoview it is then ;-)

    Matthew
     
  8. dave1803

    dave1803
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    I think the problem here is that there are two separate mechanisms used for carrying the Widescreen Switching (WSS) signal, and not all equipment supports both modes (particularly set-top-boxes).

    For straight PAL TV signals (terrestrial analogue TV, composite video, S-Video) the signal is encoded on line 23 of the video signal by the broadcaster (BBC, C4, etc) in a similar manner to teletext signals. This is a standard part of the 625 lines making up a PAL signal that are not normally visible on screen. All modern TVs should be capable of decoding this signal as required and displayhing the picture in the correct aspect ratio. In addition, the line 23 WSS signal will be transparently recorded by almost all VCRs as a natural part of the recording process (the WSS signal is sufficiently robust that it should survive being recorded to tape).

    HOWEVER - for digital TV signals (sky, freeview, cable, DVD, etc), only the visible parts of the TV signal are actually transmitted (576 lines). The invisible off-screen bits are not transmitted. This is why the terrestrial teletext signal is not available on Sky. The lines carrying both teletext and the line 23 WSS signal are simply not transmitted. However the aspect ratio of the picture is still available but as part of the digital information used to encode the picture, not in the picture itself.

    Rather than re-create the WSS signal in line 23 of the PAL signal, an alternative mechanism is used by many set-top-boxes (including Sky/Sky+) to pass the WSS signal to the TV. This is via pin 8 of the SCART connector. The voltage on this PIN tells the TV the aspect ratio of the picture.

    This approach however has a number of really annoying disadvantages:

    1. If the DVD player / set-top-box is not connected to the TV via the SCART lead (i.e it is connected via the RF connector), then the WSS signal is lost, and the TV will not auto-switch to the correct aspect ratio.

    2. VCRs will have no understanding of the pin 8 signalling on the SCART, and will simply record the analogue TV signal sent to them. For signals carrying the line 23 WSS signal, this means that the WSS signal will also be recorded. But since line 23 WSS is not present in the picture generated by most set-top-boxes, WSS signalling will not be recorded, and hence the aspect ratio will not auto-switch when the recording is replayed.

    The only solution to this problem is to ensure that set-top-boxes include the line-23 signalling in their output in addition to pin 8 of the SCART port. In this way the WSS signal will be carried in all outputs in all formats, and will be included in all VCR recordings.

    The chips used in a lot of set top boxes for generating the PAL TV signal normally have the capability to include the WSS signal in line-23 of their outputs. However the software in the set-top-boxes / DVD players invariably fail to enable the feature. This is pure penny pinching on the part of set-top-box manufacturers.

    I would suggest that anybody with this or related problems complains to SKY/PACE/etc to ensure that future software updates wherever possible enable this facility for their customers.

    Thanks.
     

Share This Page

Loading...