Originally Posted by DirectorSG
I have been a D-VHS owner for five years. I bought a used JVC HM-DH30000 from eBay in 2007. At first I was recording from my Time Warner Cable box through FireWire. Practically every recording I have made with this deck has occasional dropouts. The deck was purchased by the original owner with a Best Buy extended warranty. I had them look at it and told them about the dropout issue. They did a full cleaning, but couldn't find anything wrong with it. It still gave me occasional dropouts after the checkup and cleaning. Eventually I ditched cable in favor of OTA, and I bought a used Samsung SIR-T165 DTV receiver so I could record via FireWire out. Still had occasional dropouts. Just over a year ago, an AVSForum user was gracious enough to give me their LG LST-3410 receiver for the cost of shipping. The recordings on this unit seem to conform to the D-VHS MPEG-2 Transport Stream specs. The LG DVR plays back recordings smoothly, but when I try capturing to my MacBook Pro via VirtualDVHS, there are almost always dropouts. I have also tried capturing live video from my Sony HDV video camera via VirtualDVHS. This also produces dropouts. What is it about this format? Why can't I get any clean recordings except playing back on my DVR?
EDIT: I should also specify that this is less of a problem with recording SD content. It still happens, just not as often as with HD content.
There are several things you need to take care of.
1. Make sure you are using the shortest possible cable between the source device and recording device. If a 3 foot cable works, use it. If you need a 10+ foot cable, try to move components closer together. Once you get beyond 10 feet, the dropouts become more likely. Actually 12 feet is the maximum cable length between nodes without a repeater in between. So stay closer to 3 feet if possible.
2. When capping to your MacBook, hopefully your mac has a second hard drive and you are capping to the non-OS drive. Drive contention and/or fragmented drives can cause lost packets. If your drive is filled up and little free space is avaliable, you will lose packets. If you multitask, resource heavy apps can also cause drive contention and lost packets.
3. You need to first make sure your Samsung POS is getting a clean/solid/glitch free signal. Try capping directly from the Sammy to the MacBook and establish you have a good source signal. Not sure though the Sammy is a good source device though. I dont own one, but have not heard a lot of good things about that particular device.
4. Your dropouts while capping from the LG 3410 to your mac indicates you have a problem with your workflow on the mac side or too long a cable length or too many applications running on your laptop. Laptops are not ideal for capping because they usually only have 1 hard drive, and a 5400 rpm drive to make things worse. I always cap to a non OS hard drive.
5. Linear tape can have defects-no way around that fact of life. Heads can also get dirty.
6. What kind of box does TimeWarner provide? Motorola or SA? Certain Motorola decks have been show to have problematic firewire implementations, while the older decks perform flawlessly. SA hardware apparently has had broken firewire for years now? What model number is your STB?
7. Lastly which SDK version do you use and which version of OS-X? SDK 26 should be the latest. Snow Leopard works flawlesly for me.
Some people claim OS-X volumes do not suffer from fragmentation, but that is not true and if you fill up your hard drive you will end up with fragmented files. Unfortunately Apple does not provide a disc defragmentation utility, so I had to buy one DiskTools Pro as I recall.
Some JVC decks can be flaky. I actually like the 30K best out of them all and dont have problems. Go figure.
There is nothing wrong with the transport/format. The format you are actually referring to is iec61883 transport streams.
Put it this way, I cap daily using firewire between my TV (which has firewire) and my MacPro with flawless captures.
The times I do experience glitches are when the drive is almost full, or the dropout is in the comcast / ota signal.
I also have had problems with a POS Yamaha DVD-S2500 being on the network and not being able to see all nodes (including my TV).
The Yamaha is now on its own adapter and therefore cannot interfere with normal operation of the nodes.
Shame on Yamaha for such a horrible implementation.