First Impressions: SR-W5U Component HD VCR - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 09-22-2001, 09:35 PM - Thread Starter
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Here's a few quick impressions.

Start with the Conclusion: After testing with DirecTV & Dish HD sources, I notice only a very marginal decrease in
"apparent" resolution of multiple types of materials (Band of Brothers, upconverts, Sho OAR materials). This is the
best "VCR" I have ever owned.


Setup:

I am taking the Component outs from my Denon 5800 which includes highband component switching. The downside of
this is that the unit has to be on to pass picture info, necessitating an update of macros on the pronto. Power
on/off is discrete.

More observations:

1. Design: This is a "retro" unit. Reminds me of the old decks that used to be wheeled in on carts for high
school documentaries. The picture quality is what counts, but this looks like throwback (despite being plastered
with HDTV logos) of VCRs of yore. My only question of whether the intention was to look retro or that is the state of JVC professional industial design.

2. Build quality: My unit is used when bought but the side panels are loose and I hope the unit is more durable
than initial appearances.

3. Remote: Went to Remote Central to get a download and integrate it into my setup. Some trial and error, best
starting point for me was a JVC HR-4800U Device CCF that was done in the "Daniel" style which fit perfectly with my
schema. Moved of some useless buttons off transport amazing how few actually work).

4. Documentation: Help. Only have the 4 page marketing literature. Similar to the 4 page PDF for the Step up SR-W7U unit on the JVC site. Would appreciate any pointers to real documentation.

5. PQ on HD: FANTASTIC. Haven't tried OTA yet but assume it will be the same or better.

6. PQ on S-VHS: I saved a about 50 movies in S-VHS format. It is amazing how BAD the PQ is. Garbage in-Garbage out. HD has really risen expectations on PQ. By the way, you need to hook up an S-Video cable to the additional sets of line inputs. Could also pump out S-VHS but I don't think I'll bother doing S-Video into the unit as I'll only be archiving HD sources. (I know the Dish 6000 does output widescreen S-VHS, so I may play with, but doubt I'll record on S-VHS.

7. Cables. My current potenial "weak link" is the use of the Component cable bundled with the Dish 6000 I needed to insert between the Denon and the VCR.

8. Sound: What can I say. Stereo analog. Still sounds good through the Dennon. Only question is if the Denon is
putting out straight stereo (DPL encoded) or layering on THX Cinema when outbound. Still sounds very good, but not
DD 5.1 or Surround EX. There are tradeoffs in any device, but even though I cherish DTS Discrete 6.1 sound, this
one I can live with (hopefully even better with DPL II in the future....)

Bottom line is the same: Great HD PQ, would like to compare to Panny/5000/HD setup, but alas I think my next purchase in HD recording with be of the firewire variety and not anytime soon.

Tim

[This message has been edited by rudolpht (edited 09-23-2001).]

Tim
Selling Anthem PVA7.
STABILITY + Superior audio (SC09-TX) + Incredible picture (VPL-VW200) + good integration.
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post #2 of 5 Old 09-22-2001, 10:32 PM
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Quote:
Bottom line is the same: Great HD PQ, would like to compare to Panny/5000/HD setup, but alas I think my next purchase in HD recording with be of the firewire variety and not anytime soon.
Tim- Your report pretty much matches my own evaluation of the SRW7U. I think you will be quite happy in having the freedom to record and archive some of your favorite HDTV shows now.

As you pointed out, you don't get DD5.1 but the analog stereo with DPL is still pretty good.

The only issue I had with the analog HDTV recording option is that of price of media. I don't think you mentioned this. The tape stock is very costly compared to the $4.25 price I am currently paying for archiving each movie here on the Panny combo. While the VCR is expensive, about 25% street price more than the complete Panny system if you can find it, it was the media cost that really scared me at about 10 times the cost of that for the Panasonic DVHS, using SVHS tape. The major difference is that the W-VHS tape library decisions will probably be forcing one to be far more selective than what I do with DVHS.

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post #3 of 5 Old 09-23-2001, 05:31 PM - Thread Starter
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Don,

As always you are correct. Searching for better deals on media everywhere (other thread). This is like the old give away the razor, charge alot for the blades marketing, except the razor cost was pretty still too (and I'm buying "Fuji" razor blades).

I know this is a temporary arrangements (including selective recording), but what would this hobby be if not expensive....

Best regards,
Tim

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STABILITY + Superior audio (SC09-TX) + Incredible picture (VPL-VW200) + good integration.
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post #4 of 5 Old 09-23-2001, 09:09 PM
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Does it have timers or can it be used with a IR blaster?

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post #5 of 5 Old 09-23-2001, 09:17 PM
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Ken
No timer or tuner built in, but any standard IR will operate it.

Tim;
Thanks for the review; sounds like you've a good'un there, congrats! You've got I think the correct view that it's a very good stop-gap measure until D-VHS and 1394 STB's take off (and as Don says, building a library is expensive).
Since 1394-enabled STB's is likely a good while off, in the meantime you can timeshift all your viewing to suit you.

Be warned that the component inputs on the back of the SR-W5U are attached to a PCB, not the casing or chassis; so don't go crazy applying pressure when you attach a component cable (some cables have very tight push fits) otherwise it will do what mine did and detach, requiring a bit of soldering.

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