Finally, can record a decent picture! - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 3 Old 10-04-2017, 12:58 PM - Thread Starter
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Finally, can record a decent picture!

First, my setup.
TV--Panasonic TC P50X1 plasma (2009). Not 4K.
Cable STB--Arris DCX 3600M.
DVDR--Panasonic DMR-ES20.
Blu-Ray player, but not part of the equation. No VCR, digital audio...

For regular tv viewing, I go straight from the STB to the TV using hdmi. I would rate the picture 8/10. Good enough for me. Those 4K pictures freak me out for some reason!

To record, up until today, I was using all composite connections--video (+ red/white audio) to go from STB to DVDR. Then composite video (+ red/white audio) from DVDR to TV. Just an ok picture on recordings. About 5/10, comparable to a dvd of an 80s movie.

I made just one change--from STB to DVDR, I'm now using an hdmi to composite (not component) converter. (This converter plugs into an outlet for power. It also has an S-Video output, which gave me no picture.) The connection from DVDR to TV remained composite. The picture is now a solid 7+/10 (and the recording is just as good.) A step down from going directly from STB to TV via hdmi, but not a huge step down. (I also have tried component instead of composite, from DVDR to TV, and there is no discernible difference.)

I would think the 'weakest link' concept applies--if anything uses composite along the way, at best you should get a 'composite quality' picture. But, that's not the case here.

So, why does an hdmi-to-componsite converter get such an improved picture over my connection using composite only? (Plus, why don't I have to use an hdmi splitter to be able to record?) No idea. I am very pleased with the picture, and I certainly would like to know why the picture improved so much, for future reference.

Last edited by mt532; 10-10-2017 at 10:08 AM.
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post #2 of 3 Old 10-05-2017, 05:54 PM - Thread Starter
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OK, updates...I actually have 2 dvd recorders, the previously mentioned Panasonic DMR-ES20 and a Toshiba DR400 (which I rarely use.) To sum up my previous post--using and 'hdmi-to-component' converter (from STB to DVDR) gave me a remarkable better picture, compared to just using composite. No idea why.

Now, hooking up the Toshiba DVDR, instead of the Panasonic...I tried the exact same hookup (STB to DVDR via hdmi-to-composite converter, DVDR to TV via composite). Picture is not so good--possibly even worse than when I used all 'composite' hook-ups. Recording is also bad. BUT--I can now record ANY channel. It used to only record only certain channels. I can't make sense of any of this. On another thread, someone said that Panasonic recorders have better encoders. That might explain why I can't get a good picture with the Toshiba. No idea why I can now record all channels.

I've toyed with the idea of getting a DVDR with component inputs to see if switching from all composite connections to all component connections would give me an even better picture. I probably should leave well enough alone though.

I know, now that it's 2017 there are probably better solutions, like using a computer instead of a DVDR. But, I've wasted enough time and money on the learning curve trying to figure out all the DVD recording quirks.

And since I'm a newbie, I don't feel right about mentioning the converter I'm using...people may think I'm an Ebayer trying to boost sales.

(If you've previously read this, I have edited this; in multiple places I mistakenly used 'component' instead of 'composite'.)

Last edited by mt532; 10-07-2017 at 04:48 PM.
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post #3 of 3 Old 10-05-2017, 06:00 PM - Thread Starter
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Illegal?

If my converter appears to be doing something illegal, someone please let me know. It's not worth the risk to me.
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