Availability of Panasonic DMR-EH59/69 in USA? - Page 7 - AVS Forum
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post #181 of 274 Old 04-04-2011, 06:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CitiBear View Post

Or are you talking about the recorder sensing turn-on turn-off signals via the line outputs of the decoder box? If you mean that system, it isn't exclusive to TVGOS-equipped Panasonics. All Pioneer models made between 2002-2005 (but not 2006-2008) could be controlled this way, by activating their line input sensors in the setup menu. The Pioneer will then detect a "live" video signal coming from the decoder box, start recording, then stop when the decoder box turns off (or transmits a stop signal). Compatibility depended on the decoder box, and it wasn't always accurate (sometimes the recorder would not stop when the decoder told it to).

CitiBear, are you talking about the Synchro Rec function? Sony decided to keep this feature as my RDR-HX780 has it for the L1 input. However I don't trust the feature as I usually leave the cable box on all the time. I always manually set the timer recording on my DVDr and I only have to set the record program via the EPG on the Motorola cable box.
LL
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post #182 of 274 Old 04-04-2011, 11:04 PM
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Originally Posted by CitiBear View Post

Rammitinski, now you have me completely baffled.

Are you saying DiSH worked out some kind of exclusive arrangement with Panasonic, allowing their decoder boxes to control ONLY Panasonic TVGOS recorders?

Somebody around here once said that one of their EZ47 did that with Dish Network, too, and that model did come after the EH75/55, so I can't be sure that it was an exclusive, Dish/TVGOS thing.

But, at least with the EH75/55, you do have to go through the whole, standard, TVGOS setup, along with entering your zip and choosing the provider (then setting the time).

I can't say if it was basically the same feature those old recorders had, because I remember those had problems with screen savers being on all the time. Mine is 100% dependable and accurate. In fact, I was seriously considering one of those older types you mention (a Pio) at first, before they came out with the "Panny/TVGOS" version. If it's the same thing, they would've had to have fixed that "false start", screen saver issue (because mine is on all the time).

The way it works is the Dish tuner sends out a signal exactly 5 minutes before it starts - then the recorder goes on "pause" two minutes before - then starts right at the exact moment (and ends on the exact moment it's set for, too). I think the tuner turns on (if it's off) right at the "start" point (it doesn't shut off, though). I don't think the tuner had any such ability when I first got it - it was eventually added by a software update.

No - the Sony didn't work with TVGOS, or have the auto-on/off feature at all. But it was the first model I know of that actually controlled satellite tuners with the IR blaster (which was one of the features that interested me when it first came out, even though I really never ended up using it by the time I eventually got one). Still, you had to set the timers manually, and it couldn't get any TVGOS info from satellite (you could still plug in an antenna for channel info, though - you just couldn't set it up so that you could use both antenna and satellite at the same time. There was a workaround where you could turn it to "antenna" overnight, and it would download the info then, and then you could change it back to "satellite" in the AM, and actually use the guide to record through - but it was waaay too much of a hassle and wasn't worth it - I think the tuner had to be run in through RF on channel 3 and re-scanned everytime you changed over).
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post #183 of 274 Old 04-05-2011, 07:44 AM
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Then if I’m half getting this, the idea is a tuner device can have an Ir output (maybe call it “blaster”) that can “spoof” a recording device. Almost every recording device, from cheap VCR to exotic DVR can be turned on or off from the remote, so it is easy to see where this tuner device can transmit those signals. So then the question is does the recording device that I’m interested in have a simple start record and stop record command? If I can’t control the tuner device from the recording device, then control the recording device from the tuner device. Then the two possibilities are:

1. Simple start recording and stop recording commands with what ever input was last selected, Line in 1, line in 2, RF channel…..

2. More complete set of recording commands, start recording line in 1, start recording line in 2, etc.

Bottom line, what ever you can do from the remote, you could have a tuner device do as long as you had a line of sight from the tuner’s Ir to the recording device’s Ir.

These days, you can buy a $5 “universal” remote that has a full library of many makes and models of TVs, VCRs, etc, that is, can “spoof” the right Ir commands for at least simple functions for that device. So this technology isn’t expensive.

Then, if I can find some off the shelf “box” that is an NTSC tuner and TVGOS decoder, all of the timer record set up is done in this box and this box starts and stops the DVR device. The only electrical connection is audio and video out from the box to in on the recording device.

Has anybody ever heard of a “box” like this?
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post #184 of 274 Old 04-05-2011, 08:38 AM
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Am I understanding you correctly, in 2 years, by FCC mandate, no cable company can legally transmit analog NTSC over their cable?
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post #185 of 274 Old 04-05-2011, 09:39 AM
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AFAIK, that is the case. Just take a look at the frenzy of activity on various forums regarding various converters and workarounds to get a recordable analog signal out of an HDMI connection: they aren't doing it for fun, they're in a panic. Especially because many of the workaround pieces are being legislated out of existence as we speak.
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post #186 of 274 Old 04-05-2011, 10:10 AM
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O.K., I reread your post #188 again and realized that I misunderstood. You were not saying that basic cable can no longer carry analog NTSC, you are saying a cable company PIV is not allowed to have analog outputs. So Hollywood doesn't want to make it easy to make a VHS tape or DVD of anything. Just use the PIV for time shifting, and when the HDD is full, delete something for good.

Maybe the guys who gave up making moonshine to make CB linears today will go into the HDMI to analog business tomorrow :.)

But as long as cable can carry analog NTSC, VCRs and old DVRs will record.
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post #187 of 274 Old 04-05-2011, 10:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CitiBear View Post

AFAIK, that is the case. Just take a look at the frenzy of activity on various forums regarding various converters and workarounds to get a recordable analog signal out of an HDMI connection: they aren't doing it for fun, they're in a panic. Especially because many of the workaround pieces are being legislated out of existence as we speak.

Any suggestions on where to get one of these converters and which ones to buy? Are they expensive?
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post #188 of 274 Old 04-05-2011, 11:00 AM
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Originally Posted by mrisso256 View Post

But as long as cable can carry analog NTSC, VCRs and old DVRs will record.

No, that gets cut off as well- its already happening all over the country. Hundreds of thousands of "boxless" basic subscribers had their no-box service cut off and were forced to accept cruddy "free" decoder boxes, crippling their VCRs or DVD recorders. That trend doesn't even have anything to do with "analog sunset", it was in response to a loophole in current regulations that some cable systems are taking advantage of. I don't know the specifics, but the gist of the regulation is they can't force you to pay for a decoder box if you subscribe to the lowest "boxless" basic service. The loophole they found is if they give you a "free" decoder box, they can cut off your "boxless" unencrypted service. The motivation to kill "boxless" basic is the elimination of alternative devices beyond what they offer you at a monthly charge: if everything's encrypted, you can't do anything without their hardware. The wise-ass "frugal" consumers who've been beating the system by using "boxless" basic with a DVD recorder have long been a thorn in the cable industry's side, and now they've found a way to remove it.

When "analog sunset" hits, it takes down RCA composite video, S-video, component video, and RF/coax video. All signals pass thru HDMI only, for playback only (except that subscription cable PVRs and TiVO can decrypt the coax signal internally for an additional fee). It is unclear if cable will still be required to offer the local broadcast channels unencrypted over coax: it seems likely, and if so, you would be able to record those but nothing else. If you and your wife are content to live within the confines of ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX and the WB then none of this will matter to you.
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post #189 of 274 Old 04-05-2011, 11:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rammitinski View Post

Any suggestions on where to get one of these converters and which ones to buy? Are they expensive?

Right now they're VERY expensive. The guys on the converter threads are all snatching up something called the HD Fury, a $200 HDMI>Component converter sold out of Hong Kong, and matching it to a Component>Composite/S-video downconverter, which is another $200 if you want a good one. The drawback I'm hearing is that these HD Fury devices have spotty production quality: some say they're very rugged and well-made, while others lament they melt down (literally) in a matter of weeks. Supply of "unencumbered" HD Furys is rapidly diminishing: US importers have all bowed out, and the mfr is in the midst of making them more compliant with HDMI protection schemes to get them past US import barriers (which would essentially render them useless for most video recording). Added to all that is the difficulty of finding a supplemental Component>Composite downconverter that doesn't make the signal look like an old EP vhs tape. Its much harder than you'd think, with most good ones priced in the $200+ range.

As it is the HDMI>Component converters are dubious products that the feds see as merely a transparent gimmick to get around HDMI protection: their stated purpose of providing xBox and PlayStation HDMI signals to older TVs that have component connections but not HDMI is beyond bogus. Lets face it, if you can afford an xBox and $50 games you can damn well afford a new $400 large flatscreen with HDMI, in fact most teenagers would not be caught dead playing on an old CRT or early plasma: who are we kidding, really? Why would you spend $200-300 on a converter when you can get a whole new excellent TV with HDMI for $400? We know it, even the clueless feds know it, and if they didn't Hollywood is only too happy to step in and educate them.

Amazingly enough, there is a very inexpensive doohickey on Amazon that purports to convert HDMI to composite/S-video directly in one little box. jjeff has tried it, and returned it, reporting its PQ is barely acceptable at small screen sizes and would not fly at all on 32" and larger displays. Caveat emptor, at $50-60 bucks I may just buy one as insurance anyway.
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post #190 of 274 Old 04-05-2011, 11:32 AM
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No, we are not. That's why we pay basic cable. We could get ABC, NBC, CBS, and FOX with rabbit ears (before the OTA digital transition). So now we run "boxless" basic cable, have about 60 or 70 channels, the usual suspects, USA, TNT, TBS etc. During the OTA digital transition, our cable company heavily advertised that they will still provide basic cable users with analog NTSC, "don't worry about having to buy a converter box, we translate to analog for you". And we can record with anything, VCR, EH75, etc. I haven't paid much attention, so I didn't know the cable services are slowly going back on that promise. So we can expect to loose analog NTSC and the cable company will then provide a cheap STB. But everything we own is old. The EH75 is our highest tech piece. After that, TVs and VCRs that don't have HDMI inputs. So I can expect the cable company to stop analog NTSC on basic cable and give us a box that only outputs HDMI?
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post #191 of 274 Old 04-05-2011, 12:21 PM
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Current cable company converter boxes, DTAs and DVRs have at least one analog video output: S-Video, composite, (plus white/red audio outputs) or RF. These analog outputs are suitable for recording with stand-alone HDD/DVD recorders, DVD recorders and VCRs.

Converting is what "converter boxes" do. Providers will still need to support analog outputs/inputs even if analog transmissions are curtailed in the near future.

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post #192 of 274 Old 04-05-2011, 12:26 PM
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Originally Posted by CitiBear View Post

Caveat emptor, at $50-60 bucks I may just buy one as insurance anyway.

Actually, I did pretty much know about most of that - I really was trying to get you to post in in your own, descriptive, detailed way so that the newbies would get the info.

If this will be mainly a cable issue, (the analog output kill-off), would satellite not be affected?

And if not, for yourself, would satellite never be an option?
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post #193 of 274 Old 04-05-2011, 12:32 PM
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Lots of people live in apartments. Most apartment buildings won't let you put up an antenna or dish so it's either rabbit ears or cable
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post #194 of 274 Old 04-05-2011, 12:34 PM
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Originally Posted by mrisso256 View Post

Lots of people live in apartments. Most apartment buildings won't let you put up an antenna or dish so it's either rabbit ears or cable

Yeah, I'm aware - but some here never mention where they live, and there are also some regulars that have made it pretty clear that they do live in their own houses (I can say that I actually don't know about Citibear).

I don't automatically assume that they all would have good line-of-sight, anyway - it's just that I rarely, if ever hear any explanations, and very few of the "regulars" ever ask anybody else posing issues here about it, either.
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post #195 of 274 Old 04-05-2011, 01:56 PM
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O.K., then my question is, will it be legal to buy and own a QAM tuner with analog outputs or will this be considered illegal in the US like the HDMI to analog converters described above? BTW, does QAM stand for Quadrature Amplitude Modulation?
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post #196 of 274 Old 04-05-2011, 02:08 PM
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BTW, I priced my local cable co PVR, $9 per month to upgrade to "digital" cable and $11 per month for the PVR (only works on their "digital" cable). So we are talking $20 per month additional to the $35 for basic cable, more than $3 per month. And yes, I'm still watching a 19" CRT. And NO, I'm not telling kids under 40 how far I walked to school every day :.)
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post #197 of 274 Old 04-05-2011, 04:25 PM
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And what does any of this have to do with The Availability of Panasonic DMR-EH59/69 in USA?

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post #198 of 274 Old 04-05-2011, 05:03 PM
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Because I'm still considering getting a Panasonic import. At this point, it sounds like I'll need an NTSC tuner and someday a QAM tuner that CitiBear says probably won't be made. And if it is made, will go ga-ga and I guess need to re channel scan every now and then. grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. Or go to digital cable just to get the analog out of a PVR for my import that then will be turned off.

I would like to see a tuner with timer and an Ir output that can be programmed to turn various recording devices on and off but I guess no such thing exists.
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post #199 of 274 Old 04-05-2011, 05:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rammitinski View Post

Any suggestions on where to get one of these converters and which ones to buy? Are they expensive?

Rammitinski,it's called the HDFury. Two versions are available,the F-2 and the F-3,but only from Taiwan.AFAIK,no US.reseller is allowed to sell these two versions anymore.Sometime later this year,the manufacturer will be coming out with the F-4,it will undoubtedly be a good HDMI>Component video converter but,it will shut down its analog output whenever HDCP is detected.Also,if you bought one,you would also have to buy a Component>s video converter to feed a usable signal to your DVDR. The F-2 sells for $179.00,F-3 sells for $269.00.Shipping is free. You can check them out at www.hdfury.com G.
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post #200 of 274 Old 04-05-2011, 09:38 PM
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Originally Posted by mrisso256 View Post

I would like to see a tuner with timer and an Ir output that can be programmed to turn various recording devices on and off but I guess no such thing exists.

Actually, IR-blastered recording is a lot less dependable than setting manual timers - which is why I've never used it much, even though I've had the ability with all my HDD/DVD recorders and the compatibility with most of my tuners. I just viewed it as a possible fallback option, after TVGOS first, and then manual timers. It was by far the most unreliable and hassle-fraught option of the three.
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post #201 of 274 Old 04-06-2011, 08:25 AM
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Well, I'm not going to get a Panasonic import if to set a timer record, I have to set it in the Panasonic and in the tuner. And if the clock in the Panasonic is off by a minute with the clock in the tuner, increase the possibility that I either loose the last minute of my 9:00 show on one channel or the first minute of my 10:00 show on another channel. If the tuner could turn the Import on and off, then I might do it only needing to program timer records in the tuner.

But one general question remains so I can get the big picture. It has been said in this thread that people are paying lots of money to convert HDMI to composite or S Video. First a questonably legal HDMI to component, then an expensive component to composite or S. And it has been said that a stand alone QAM tuner probably wouldn't be popular. So if a stand alone QAM tuner with component, composite and S and audio outputs were available, why wouldn't you just take the "cable of the future", run it through a splitter to both your cable company box for HDMI and to this stand alone QAM tuner to get all the various analog signals, even if you have to re set up the tuner each time the cable company makes a configuration change? Or if the tuner had a buffered RF output, not even need the splitter.
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post #202 of 274 Old 04-06-2011, 10:00 AM
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CitiBear,

Doesn’t your geo-economic argument equally apply to boxes that convert HDMI to component followed by another box to convert component to composite or S?

I’m simply asking why it wouldn’t be more cost effective technically to simply go from QAM to composite or S.

True, the QAM to composite or S will suffer from the need to be reconfigured from time to time. But as either system will be a small market, neither will benefit from the economy of large scale production.

Would the QAM to analog tuner really cost more than the HDMI 2 component 2 composite solution to be able to record VHS and / or DVD?

True, a Mag 515 is a mass market item. It basically can “read” QAM and “write” composite or S. Now, take away the analog tuner, ATSC tuner, HDD, DVD drive, still $250 for a stand alone QAM tuner?
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post #203 of 274 Old 04-06-2011, 10:02 AM
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Since I use satellite, I had a Tivo, now a DirecTV Tivo-like device, and when it records something I want to save to DVD, I play it back and record it with my EH59/69. Of course, I did that with ALL of my DVD recorders going all the way back to my E85. The change in capabilities of the EH models has not had the slightest effect on me in that respect. The EH55, and EH59 are working exactly as I want them, and they really DO work properly for my needs.

No question, they are, as you say, "dumb" recorders with no program guide, no IR interface or other interface with decoder boxes and no tuner of any kind (in the US). But, they do what they calim to do, and they do it reasonably well. *I* have no complaints. I have more than one of them, so I must have been satisfied.

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post #204 of 274 Old 04-06-2011, 10:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrisso256 View Post

Well, I'm not going to get a Panasonic import if to set a timer record, I have to set it in the Panasonic and in the tuner. And if the clock in the Panasonic is off by a minute with the clock in the tuner, increase the possibility that I either loose the last minute of my 9:00 show on one channel or the first minute of my 10:00 show on another channel. If the tuner could turn the Import on and off, then I might do it only needing to program timer records in the tuner.

The Pioneer HDD models will turn on and start recording if they sense a signal coming to a particular line input. I thought from the discussion above in this thread that the current Pannies now had that, too. Handy feature for a cable box user; I've never used it.

As for switching channels, etc., I had a panic when the OTA DTV switchover came on the horizon, and thought I surely needed one of the few channel-changer CECBs like the DTVPal to keep my DMR-E85H viable. (In a rare moment of being an "early adopter," I was one of the first consumers in the country to get my hands on the spectacularly unexceptional Pal.) In the event, I found this was almost never a problem. By that time, I had two recorders, and if there were two things I wanted to record at the same time, I just used both recorders.

Now, I admit I'm unusual because most of my recording is from one channel, with maybe 4 or 5 forays a week to other channels. Not so easy if you're following, say, two series that run at the same time.
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post #205 of 274 Old 04-06-2011, 11:16 AM
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"The Pioneer HDD models will turn on and start recording if they sense a signal coming to a particular line input. I thought from the discussion above in this thread that the current Pannies now had that, too."

But the DVR usually takes some time to wake up before it can record. I guess if I found a stand alone tuner and from what I have read here, will probably need to be both NTSC and QAM in case my cable company decides to kill NTSC some day. If this tuner has timer record options, I guess I could figure out how long the Panny takes to wake up from standby and be ready to record and then set the timer that much in advance????? The tuner would have to put out no video like a screen saver if it wasn't "real" video. But everybody tells me I'm insane to think such a stand alone tuner exists :.(
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post #206 of 274 Old 04-06-2011, 11:33 AM
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O.K., lets say I could find this "magic" tuner for $250. And the Import costs $420, $670 total and I'll assume as Panasonic DVR repair is non existant, I use it for 4 years and throw it in the dumpster. And I have my favorite Panasonic DVR operating system.

VS I upgrade to "digital" cable and lease a cable company PVR that can't even record DVDs, 4 years x $20 per month = $960!

Well I kept my money in the bank and didn't pay the $670 all at once YIPPIE!!! With the interest I make on the $670 over four years at today's rates, maybe I'll buy one VHS tape!
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post #207 of 274 Old 04-06-2011, 11:51 AM
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And I'll bet the Panasonic import doesn't look for some embedded code at the video line inputs, that would be too easy after I found the magic stand alone tuner from the land of unobtainiaum
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post #208 of 274 Old 04-08-2011, 10:48 AM
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Question, In different electronic product industries, manufactures have found that sometimes it works when “Macys talks to Gimbals”. The electronic music people came up with MIDI so you can control any manufactures sound generators with any manufactures keyboard. The electronic test industry came up with IEEE488 / HPIB / GPIB so you can easily kludge different measurement instruments to a host computer and rig up automatic test systems. And marine electronics has their NMEA to connect compasses, GPS, computer etc together.

Has the consumer AV business ever come up with some kind of control interface standard so it is relatively easy for this tuner to control that DVR, etc? Or a host computer control lots of different devices?
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post #209 of 274 Old 04-09-2011, 11:08 AM
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I agree it would be impossible to mess with the firmware inside an existing tuner box. Without source code, it just isn’t possible And no tuner box manufacturer is going to let me have their source code. It would probably be easier to get top secret documents out of the CIA ;.)

But I have designed audio gate circuits. Basically monitor audio and set a threshold so that if audio is over a pre set level, a logic output changes. So I could easily detect if audio is present or not out the audio outputs of a tuner box. And if the tuner box had any front panel LEDs , it is easy to use that signal.

As far as controlling the Import DVR, I would get a “universal” remote. It isn’t that hard to electrically “push a button”. Simple low cost opto isolators across the buttons.

That much electronics isn’t very hard to cobble up.

So did anybody ever make a stand alone NTSC tuner box that also did TVGOS decoding? I could imagine a product that has an NTSC tuner and TVGOS. Run cable or antenna into the box, composite video and audio out of the box. You can add interactive program guide to your TV. If such a box ever existed, from reading this forum, it is probably out of production by now but there is always Ebay. And some kind of dry contacts output so you can set a timer in this box????? Did any VCRs ever have the TVGOS feature? All the electronics I need is right there, I don’t care the VHS drive died long ago. Actually, probably easier because I have all the control signals to the VHS drive.

But I still wouldn’t have the full functionality of a TVGOS DVR because it wouldn’t put the name of the show in the thumb nail. And there still is the problem of waking up the DVR a minute or two in advance of a timer record.

But if I could get this far, I would certainly consider it. Electromechanical stuff like HDD and DVD drives wear out but straight electronics like tuner boxes or the electronics in an old VCR last a long time as long as they didn’t experience transient damage like a lightening strike to the cable or something like that.

As my cable provider still transmits TVGOS over analog NTSC, I’ll wager they will be one of the last to stop all analog NTSC over cable.

So, did anybody ever make an NTSC tuner box anything like I described above? Did VCRs have TVGOS?

If I did find this box and cobble this up, I’ll post my schematics to this forum as the “Import companion”.
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post #210 of 274 Old 04-09-2011, 12:43 PM
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I was under the impression (I guess mistaken) that there was a generation of TVs that had TVGOS just so you could look at the guide on screen and have some control over it? When I go to my cable channel that just scrolls a guide, it seems slow as molasses waiting for a channel to scroll up to see what’s on that channel and way too fast when trying to read everything that goes by. Just to have a guide on screen that you can start and stop or open up additional information on one show I think is useful even if not to set anything to record. I definitely remember when I went to my cable company (that has a TV in the lobby) to complain my TVGOS doesn’t work anymore, their engineer grabbed the remote. I asked if that TV had some super cool cable diagnostic function and the engineer said, No, it has TVGOS. So he tried to bring up the TVGOS screen and nothing was there and he was like, “Wow, I didn’t know we lost that”. Thus started the 6 month process of back and forth e-mails until they got so sick of me, they bought a box to inject it themselves after they got sick of trying to deal with their providers. So at least I know one TV had it as a feature.

So I just assumed it was also a VCR feature for a while?
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