|Originally posted by Curtis
Thanks for the input gents. I'm still somewhat confused however. From the marketing coming out of Mitsubishi, this appears to be a brand new model, at least in the US market.
The good guys ad claims it is the ONLY consumer device available that will record OTA HD. My only ? is; can I interface this to any STB?
That advertisement is misleading. JVC has its HM-DH30000U on the market--in fact, it probably shipped first. It has all the capability of the Mitsubishi unit, plus considerably more: it has the capability to translate DV video from camcorders into D-VHS format, and the ability to convert NTSC from its internal tuner or analog inputs into digital form and store tens of hours of that onto tape. It also has analog HD component video outputs, and if you have a tape with HD content, it can play it back through them.
However, what both products lack is any internal HD tuner. The Mitsubishi can only accept an HD video stream through its 1394 connections and playback HD tapes through them--it cannot convert the MPEG to analog form for playback at all. Likewise, the JVC can only record HD that comes from a 1394 source; it can, however, as I mentioned before, play them back through HD component video outputs. Since its 1394 connections incorporate DTCP copy-protection, if any content has copy-protections applied, by agreement it must reduce the image-detail on analog output to one-quarter 1080i's (i.e., a maximum of 540x960 pixels)--this is called a "constrained image". Note that, also by agreement, only subscription movie channels, pay-per-view and prerecorded media may be copy-protected. (Pay-per-view and prerecorded stuff would be protected such that they could not be recorded). So, all OTA television and rebroadcasts thereof on cable and DBS could not be copy-protected at all, and basic cable/DBS programming with commercial interruptions could not be image-constrained.
But you'd still need a FireWire HD video source to use either of these recorders. These are in extremely short supply--a few cable STBs that haven't been very widely deployed and the ATSC tuners in the two-out-of-five Mitsubishi 2002 Integrated models to ship so far are pretty much it for the moment. Echostar has promised to include these on DISH Network boxes shipping sometime in mid-to-late 2002.
-- Mike Scott