JVC HM-DH30000: Plain English, please - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 10-09-2001, 06:02 PM - Thread Starter
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This is an exciting new product. However, unless you happen to dig cable specifications and interface minutia, the thread discussing it is pretty obscure. What we the mainstream forum members need is a summary of the unit's capabilities and restrictions. Can it be used as your VCR for non-HDTV as well as HDTV recordings? Can it record all HDTV sources - satellite (both DirecTV and Dish) and OTA? What satellite receivers can it be used with? Will it play HDTV back on any HDTV-capable set or projector? Is additional equipment needed? Does this mean that the legalities have been worked out so that HDTV TiVo can be implemented? Anyone talking about releasing HDTV tapes anytime soon? Stuff like that. Thanks.

Craig

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post #2 of 7 Old 10-09-2001, 06:52 PM
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Ok, here goes.

Q. Can it be used as your VCR for non-HDTV as well as HDTV recordings?
A. Yes, it could be used as a standard VHS or SVHS VCR, but this would not be recommended. It would be better to buy a less expensive standard unit and reserve the 30000 for HDTV recording & playback.

Q. Can it record all HDTV sources - satellite (both DirecTV and Dish) and OTA?
A. No. For HDTV, it can only record from a DTV IEEE1394 (also known as Firewire) source. At this time, there are no current satellite HDTV sources with this interface, and no OTA DTV tuners with this interface, either.

Possible sources available in the near future include:
- The new Sony STB used by Cablevision (you would have to live in a Cablevision service area to take advantage of this).

- The new Mitsubishi HDTV's and the older Mitsubishi HDTV's that can accept the Promise module.

- Possibly the new 1394 equipped Sony HDTV's. Note: Not all new Sony HDTV's have 1394.

- Dish Network has also stated they will support the JVC unit with 1394 equipment. This may mean a new 1394 module for the existing Dish 6000 HDTV unit or a brand new HDTV STB. In either case, it will probably be sometime Q2 next year before we see the Dish equipment.

All of these have or will have 1394 interfaces.

The discontinued Panasonic TU-DST50/51 DTV tuners are also possible sources, but this has only worked intermittently, in a preliminary test. Until some one has the chance to do a more through test it not a sure thing. The problem here is that Panasonic used a proprietary communication protocol for their early 1394 products. The same can be said for the discontinued Panasonic PV-HD1000 DVHS VCR. Some AVS members have used the Japanese version of the 30000 to make tapes from the PV-HD1000, but compatibility with the US version is yet to be verified.

Q. What satellite receivers can it be used with?
A. Right now, none.

Q. Will it play HDTV back on any HDTV-capable set or projector? Is additional equipment needed?
A. The 30000 has two types of HDTV output. One is analog component video output. This is not compatible with all HDTV's, only those with component video input, which is the most common HDTV input type.
The other 30000 output is digital 1394, and the HDTV's mentioned above should work for playback.

Q. Does this mean that the legalities have been worked out so that HDTV TiVo can be implemented?
A. No, it just means JVC is taking letting caution fly to the wind. There are a number of companies working on an HDTV hard drive recorder as we speak, but there are technical issues to be dealt with, in addition to the legal concerns.

Q. Anyone talking about releasing HDTV tapes anytime soon?
A. Yes. HDNet, the new DirecTV channel recently said they will be offering for sale HDTV movies and other programming in the DVHS format.

Whew.

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[This message has been edited by Ken H (edited 10-10-2001).]

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post #3 of 7 Old 10-09-2001, 08:45 PM - Thread Starter
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Ken:

Many thanks. Good job.

Craig
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post #4 of 7 Old 10-09-2001, 08:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Ken H:
The problem here is that Panasonic used a proprietary communication protocol for their early 1394 products.
Huh? Not to cast dispersions upon your excellent wrap-up, but according to this ancient (2 y-o) press-release at Panasonic's site, the PV-HD1000 speaks DTCP over its Firewire connections. (This PR was posted several times on the Web and I found this interesting blurb here :
Quote:
It has an IEEE-1394 connection with digital transmission content protection (DTCP, better known as the five-company, or 5C, copy-protection system). It works only with Panasonic's TU-DST50 DTV receiver. Because the copy-protection issue isn't settled yet, Panasonic checked with every Hollywood studio before making its announcement on July 8.
They were even listed on the DTLA's DTCP Tutorial (bottom of the slide on page 9).

Now, it's possible that it speaks some proprietary language over 1394 to the TU-DST50 & 51, but if so, in what way does it use DTCP?

-- Mike Scott

[This message has been edited by michaeltscott (edited 10-10-2001).]

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post #5 of 7 Old 10-10-2001, 05:38 AM
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Mike,

I don't know how the Panasonic decided to implement DTCP in the three units in question. There was no other equipment to be concerned about being compatible with at that time, so who knows?

As to my comment, my guess is that they added their own control or command protocol (in addition to DTCP), designed not to be compatible with any other 1394 equipment.

Ken

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post #6 of 7 Old 10-10-2001, 08:54 AM - Thread Starter
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What is the Firewire/1394 interface? I assume that its purpose is to allow copy protection protocols, but what does it do that other interfaces don't?

Sounds like for 99% of us, this new JVC unit cannot record any HDTV source at this time. Disappointing and irritating.

Craig
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post #7 of 7 Old 10-10-2001, 01:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by cwilson:
What is the Firewire/1394 interface? I assume that its purpose is to allow copy protection protocols, but what does it do that other interfaces don't?

Sounds like for 99% of us, this new JVC unit cannot record any HDTV source at this time. Disappointing and irritating.

Craig
"Firewire" or IEEE1394, is a high-speed isochronous digital serial interface. There are a few different flavors of this running at different speeds. The flavor that's been put into service for copy-protected digital video is 200 Mbps (a 1080i raw MPEG-2 stream requires a little over 19 Mbps). [BTW, in the parlance of telecom/datacom, "isochronous" means "in both directions without delay". A telephone conversation is a perfect example of an isochronous link--both parties can talk at the same time while hearing what the other is saying; difficult for humans to do usefully, but not machines http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif. Even without people trying to talk to each other simultaneously, the isochronous nature of traditional POTS is valuable--it helps us to hear the background noise and breathing at the other end of the line; improving this is a problem for what I currently work on, mobile phones].

Firewire has been in use in computers and other digital video applications (such as digital camcorders) for several years. In its expanded home A/V network use, each of the connected devices would have two Firewire connectors, one for each of two adjacent devices. Information could flow between any two devices--if information received is not intended for a device, it repeats it through its other connection.

In addition to copy-protection, other non-security-oriented control schemes have been defined for home A/V networks. The first was EIA-775-A , which defines a protocol called AV/C (for Audio Video Control) which can be used to discover the capabilities of devices connected to the network and to put up on-screen-displays (OSDs) and overlays on compliant display equipment. The second, newer and much more ambitious standard is called HAVi or Home Audio Video Interoperability (don't ask me why "interoperability" gets a little "i" in the acronym--cuteness, I guess http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif). All of the 1394/DTCP equipment implements at least EIA-775-A; all the Mitsubishi stuff implements HAVi (they very proudly hype it--not sure about Sony).

The main thing that 1394 does for video that the other interfaces don't beyond copy protection is keep the video digital for as long as possible. With the announced and shipping sets, Sony's KD-34XBR2, KDP-57XBR2 and KDP-65XBR2 and Mitsubishi's WT-55659 Integrated (I'll just say "I" hereout), WT-65869 I, WS-55909 I, WS-65909 I and WS-73909 I, the video is received as a compressed, encoded MPEG-2 stream, then decoded and converted into an analog form inside the set. If the precise nature of that analog signal isn't tweaked as well as possible to that particular set's display elements, the manufacturer has only himself to blame--the conversion can be customized for each television design. It will travel as an analog signal for the shortest possible distance and can be as securely shielded as possible. If the display element of a set like this is essentially digital, like a DLP, LCOS, D-ILA, plasma or LCD display, the video need never be converted into an analog signal at all. And when you play back a recording of this digital stream, every successive viewing will be precisely the same experience as watching the original broadcast, unless something has happened to your display in the meantime--the recording itself will not degrade in the fashion of an analog recording (though if it's tape, it will physically wear out, eventually). It's this feature of digital video that bothers the studios most and has precipitated demands for copy-protection.

DTCP (Digital Transmission Content Protection) is an elaborate protocol for protecting digital video from unauthorized copying. It provides a means of allowing (a) some content to be freely recorded and the recordings to be freely reproduced, (b) some content to be recorded with the recording not being reproducible and (c) some content not to be recordable at all. DTCP is not tied to Firewire--there are specs at the DTLA's homepage for implementing it over USB and something called MOST (which seems to be some kind of inside-your-car LAN standard)--the only implementations in the home A/V world, however, use Firewire. The use of DTCP is controlled by the DTCP Adopters Agreement, which essentially states that the "not recordable at all" protection can only be used on pay-per-view and prerecorded media, and that the "recordable but not reproducible" protection can only be used on pay television. Devices with HD analog outputs which receive copy-protected content must reduce the resolution to no greater than one-quarter 1080i, or 960x540, a little better than progressive scan DVD. All current DBS STBs which have only HD analog outputs (whether component video, VGA or RGB) are supposedly rigged to do this (though I suspect that the DISH 5000+Modulator may be a loophole).

There are a number of little details that I've omitted, but that's it in a nutshell.

You're right, BTW--there's not much content available for the JVC VCR to record, for anyone, as of yet. Cablevision is going online in the NYC area with Sony cable STBs with DTCP enabled Firewire ports that these decks should be able to record. However, if its a copy-protected program, you'll have to have a monitor with 1394/DTCP connections to view it in full HD resolution (the JVC deck could show it in "image constrained" resolution through its HD component video outputs--Mitsubishi's introducing a much less expensive deck that only has 1394/DTCP connectors for HD video). The cable/DBS providers (and they're the only broadcasters who will ever be concerned with copy-protection--it cannot be applied to OTA material, whether viewed OTA or from a cable or DBS rebroadcast) don't have to apply copy-protections to anything, and will presumably hold off until a sufficient number of people have equipment with which it can be viewed.

It's possible that someone with one of the new 1394/DTCP equiped televisions, all of which have integrated ATSC tuners, could use the tuner in the set to record stuff onto tape with the HM-DH30000U. This has not been confirmed--it's also possible that some or all of these sets are not prepared to act as a video source.

-- Mike Scott

[This message has been edited by michaeltscott (edited 10-11-2001).]

[This message has been edited by michaeltscott (edited 10-11-2001).]

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