What do I need to start making a HD Video library...NOW?? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 21 Old 12-05-2001, 12:24 PM - Thread Starter
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I have NOTHING and want to be able to create D-vhs copies of
HDTV for personal use. I don't even have a dish/receiver yet. I will be hooking it up to a Runco 980 Ultra and a 92inch wide screen. I really love DVD but think this will is what will make me
much happier with pq. I pretty much hear the ONLY thing I can
use to make digital copies is the Panasonic 50u, pv1000-DVCR and Dishnetwork5000 with modulator. Is this the ONLY setup that
will enable me to copy HDTV???? THanks!!!
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post #2 of 21 Old 12-05-2001, 12:29 PM
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You may want to consider using a modified DCT100 from 169time
rather than the dst50/51.

dave
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post #3 of 21 Old 12-05-2001, 01:47 PM
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Unfortunatly you are two years too late. Yes, all the required components can be purchased used but owners typically know their worth and will gouge you severely.

There is much speculation as to how long the E* 5000 system will be supported, mainly on premium channels. They may be ignored and work for their full life or be replacd with new DVI/1394 receivers.

However if there is a crack down on loose hardware, then one could expect release of pre-recorded DVHS. In which case one could buy or rent the only titles they want.

There has been much controversey here as to whct will ultimatly happen with home recording of HDTV and nobody has the answer.

IMO, I would not invest literally thousands in obsolete hardware to grab the limited HDTV offerings available now.

DVD is not really that bad compared to HDTV. With a progressive set-up you can easily rival HDTV. Some members even think DVD is better than some HDTV transfers. I agree. The potential is there for HDTV but some prints used by HBO are rather poor where as the DVD masters were made from much higher quality prints.

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post #4 of 21 Old 12-05-2001, 07:55 PM
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It's the law of diminishing returns. That last 10% always costs more than most people are willing to pay. Personally, I think it's worth it.

If you want to "catch up", you'll have to move quickly and lay out even more money. I would suggest the following:

Two Dish 5000/modulators
Two STB's (either DST50/51's or DTC100/169time)
Four HD1000's
Several DF-480 (4 hour) tapes

Arrange one combo with one recorder and the other combo with three recorders on a hub. In the hub setup put a tapeless cassette in one of the three so that it provides a recording time-window for the other two.

With this kind of a setup you can capture every HD event/movie being broadcast, even those with conflicting times. Initially you would probably average 20 or more new movies a week, at least until your collection started to get close to SHO and HBO libraries.

You would, of course, be a busy beaver -- scheduling and planning daily recording sessions and setting the timers; transferring movies from tape to tape; and buying tapes (and spare parts) in case lots. There's also the task of building shelves for all the tapes and equipment. All in all it's great fun.

The cost? The setup above would be about 7 or 8 thousand, but after you've got a decent collection you'll only need one combo and an extra recorder. If you sell the remaining equipment before it's obsolete you might get more than you paid for it. In the end you'll have a collection of 500 or more recordings that would cost more than $10000 if purchased as DVD's. Seems like a pretty good deal to me.

-Roger
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post #5 of 21 Old 12-05-2001, 10:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by gridleak
Arrange one combo with one recorder and the other combo with three recorders on a hub. In the hub setup put a tapeless cassette in one of the three so that it provides a recording time-window for the other two.
Please elaborate about the tapeless cassette. I'm a little lost here.

Is the idea that the recorder with the tapeless cassette is a "master" with infinite tape capacity so that the STB will never think the tape has run out, and will continue to provide a stream that the other recorders can snoop on? Or something like that?

Ron Gomes
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post #6 of 21 Old 12-06-2001, 12:36 AM
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Quote:
With a progressive set-up you can easily rival HDTV
Some lousy HD transfers like "U.S. Marshals" made me think that initially, but that was just that, a very very bad transfer. Initially in 1997, many DVDs were worse than LDs, so, like with any new technology, that's not surprising to see bad results from time to time.

But an average HD transfer will blow away the best DVD, providing you have a setup able to at least fully resolve 720p. There is no comparison, it's another world.

I do think however that the film transfers are far from being state of the art, with multiple compress/decompress cycles before they are aired. The day pre-recorded DVHS 28 Mb/s movies are available, the ATSC movies will likely start to look quite bad. That's not a reason not to enjoy them now if you can.

Robert
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post #7 of 21 Old 12-06-2001, 01:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by rrg
Is the idea that the recorder with the tapeless cassette is a "master" with infinite tape capacity so that the STB will never think the tape has run out, and will continue to provide a stream that the other recorders can snoop on?
Ron,

That's it exactly. It's sort of a waste of a recorder, but you can use a lame one with bad heads or other problems, as long as it looks ok to the STB. You can also use a good machine, and you don't have to worry about wearing the heads etc.

You have to cover the light-holes in the center cavity of the cassette so that the machine thinks it has tape in it. Otherwise the machine will eject the cassette immediately.

I haven't figured out what to do with the loose spool of tape that came out of the cassette.

-Roger
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post #8 of 21 Old 12-06-2001, 04:06 AM
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And, at some point in time you will reach critical mass. I estimate this at about 350 movies, where your library will be about complete, covering most of the upconverts and HDTV movies on HBO and Showtime and PPV that you probably will only record 1-2 new ones per week. I'm there. I see something that is not on my list and now I decide to record it after I watch it once and if really good, I look for when it airs again and post a not to record it then. My shelves are about full and if I record too may more I have to think about new location to store the tapes.

Reality check- Life is too busy to watch all these. Went through it with VHS back in early 80's. about 80% of my recordings have never been watched after recording. However, some have been watched 10 times. Today, it is rare that I can't find anything to watch that I look to my collection to see something new. I do, usually have a couple of time shifted tapes from HD recordings done when I wasn't around.
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post #9 of 21 Old 12-06-2001, 08:22 AM
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Don, I totally agree with you. I have maybe 200 tapes and generally havent seen much on that I already have that I wanted.
But what I have found is I have watched maybe 4 to 5 of them.
For me the fun is getting the technology to work and then go to the next challenge. I generally find I have so many hobbies going on that sitting down for 2 hours to watch a tape just isnt a hobby at the moment. Now my wife isnt happy with this but what the heck.

Thats why the next fun is working with Richard on some of the new timeshift stuff that no one else can do. (Or is willing to do) Now that he has OTA input going, trying to get the 199 to record is fun. Also trying to see if he can get a US deck going. Things that people say cant be done make it fun.

Now if I can somehow find a HD cam to try out, then that would be a very cool next step.

Sure a great time to be alive!!!
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post #10 of 21 Old 12-06-2001, 12:58 PM
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Actually, once you have a movie on tape, then you don't have to watch it! "To Die For" was on a few days ago and it only shows up once in a while. I didn't have to watch it because I have the tape. Maybe I'll watch it someday when I have the time.

-Roger
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post #11 of 21 Old 12-06-2001, 01:08 PM
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If you don't watch the tapes you record, how do you know that they are in good shape and don't have breakups? I'm afraid to have friends over to watch a tape unless I've already watched it and know that it's ok. I've had too many problems in the past (and occasionally now) to assume that any tape I have is good unless I've watched it all the way through.

Mark
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post #12 of 21 Old 12-06-2001, 01:32 PM
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I guess I take my chances. I generally watch the last 30 seconds after making a tape to make sure I got something. I have blown it a few times.

dave
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post #13 of 21 Old 12-06-2001, 02:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by mdv
If you don't watch the tapes you record, how do you know that they are in good shape and don't have breakups?
That's always a problem. It's the reason why I'm so obsessive about keeping the equipment in perfect working order. I record a lot of PBS stuff at my business (where I can pick up KCET-HD) and then watch it at home. I do the same thing with Dish stuff on occasion. If I ever see any pixels, I start thrashing the equipment until the problem is fixed. See this for an example.

I started chronicling my repair adventures here when I realized how susceptible the Panny combo is to random, intermittent pixel problems. There are just too darn many ohmic contacts between satellite and tape, and any one of them can cause problems. It's not practical to return a DST51 to Panasonic Service every time you see a few pixels, but it is possible yank the lid off and work the connections.

Of course, there's always the possibility a seagull taking a brief rest on my dish, right in the middle of a recording. Not much that can be done about that ... maybe fire a cannon every few seconds like they do in vineyards!

Ultimately, when we get the HD1000 connected to a computer, somebody will write an error checking program that will allow us to scan our tapes and do a pixel count. Then we'll never have to watch these things.;)

-Roger
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post #14 of 21 Old 12-06-2001, 07:45 PM
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mdv- You make a valid point. So listen up and I'll explain a concept for you that once you grasp it you probably will agree that it is a good one.

I have learned through my cave diving training that systems fail in a pattern. Also, that with experience of that pattern one can easily predict the failure rates and prevent them through procedures. Then, especially with something like cave diving you institute fail safe redundancy to reduce the failure rate that would abort a mission and save your life. Same reason why skydivers carry a backup shute, cave divers carry reserve air, backup regulators and backup lights, etc., all redundant based on the history of failure.

OK back to DVHS recording with the panny system. I learned that the most common failure I had with this was that the DST50 would fail to communicate a 1394 signal to the PVHD1000 for a timed recording resulting in a blackened tape with no sound. I learned that if I simply reset the DST50 by powering off for a few seconds and powering back up before leaving it to do its thing it would result in a 100% (to date) success rate for the recording. Failure to do this procedure resulted in about 4 in 10 blank recordings. So I simply power cycle the DST50 before leaving it to do it's thing and have yet to experience a failure.

Since I have fixed the Dolby digital dropout problems with the techniques decoder I have not had a failure on audio dropout.

DBS failure. While this is rare it has happened twice. Once the schedule was incorrect and another time they just went off the air, maybe it was rain storm related but the signal simply disappeared for a while.

OK, finally I admit that I have wat ched all my tapes at least once for those that were time shifts. Currently I believe there is one on the shelf I recorded a week ago that I have not watched yet. But I will soon before it goes on the archive shelves and catalogued. The ones I haven't watched at all are those I recorded while watching. These were simply spot checked before rewinding so I know they are good too.

And that's my story and I'm sticking to it! :)
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post #15 of 21 Old 12-06-2001, 07:52 PM
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I know this isn't in the HTPC forum but....

Since failures are correlated as Don pointed out, isn't it a good idea to have backups that are different? ie your redundant parachute shouldn't be the same brand as your primary.

Maybe you should consider a hipix in a HTPC as a 2nd recording device. I have only a single hipix and it was giving me trouble when scheduling 8 things, but once I figured that out, I've had no trouble recording and I don't get random "pixels". But certainly my computer can crash (my hard drive when I was on vacation) so it has issues of it's own.
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post #16 of 21 Old 12-07-2001, 12:52 AM
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I guess everybody's experiences are different. I've timer recorded about 600 movies/programs in the past 9 months. Using all Panny equipment I have never gotten a blank tape that wasn't caused by my own screw up. My typical errors are: forgetting to put in a tape, using a tape that's too short, setting time AM instead of PM, forgetting to rewind the tape, and even forgetting to plug a recorder into the hub. Percentage wise I've probably messed up less than 5% of my timer recordings, and none have been unaccountable blanks. I've had some pixel problems, and I've discussed the solutions in this forum.

When I attempted to use the JVC DH30000, I definitely had a problem recording blanks, and I had to resort to some of the techniques that Don mentioned

-Roger
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post #17 of 21 Old 12-07-2001, 08:12 AM
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An intermittent problem I have with recording is that sometimes the STB and VCR both power on at the programmed time, but the VCR doesn't actually start recording. This has caused a distressing number of unexpected blanks.

I've seen this mostly with one particular PV-HD1000--the one that now records but won't play--which makes me suspect that this problem, too, may be caused by a faulty FireWire connection.

Ron Gomes
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post #18 of 21 Old 12-07-2001, 10:40 AM
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When I first tested the recorders I now use, more than half acted flakey in some manner, including intermittent failure to record or playback. Altogether I've replaced four jacks in the process of preparing them for duty. I also replaced the heads on three, so based on that the spare parts list for HD1000's should be heads and jacks in about equal proportions.

I also only use short (3 foot) cables. The 1394 spec is supposed to support cables out to about 14 feet, but I find that only works in the DV world. IMHO, Panasonic was battling RFI problems when trying to get this stuff approved by the FCC or EC, and they had to compromise the firewire performance by running signal levels down.

Another problem is the way the firewire signal is routed inside the case. It travels through a 6" hank of loose wires and a ferrite core before it gets to the digital board. They should be shielded/twisted pairs, so that's another place where the signal is compromised.

The iLink repair thread is now posted.

-Roger
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post #19 of 21 Old 12-08-2001, 08:58 PM
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Don, I'd love to hear more about the 'pattern of failure'. Got any links you could point me to?
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post #20 of 21 Old 12-09-2001, 09:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by gridleak
Actually, once you have a movie on tape, then you don't have to watch it! "To Die For" was on a few days ago and it only shows up once in a while. I didn't have to watch it because I have the tape. Maybe I'll watch it someday when I have the time.
I would recommend you watch it. It was really good, and the PQ was excellent.

Bernhard
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post #21 of 21 Old 12-09-2001, 09:59 AM
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Mrwilson-

What specific questions do you have? Let's keep it related to the thread topic or take it to private e-mail because the source of my understanding of this hypothesis is "Safe Cave Diving" by Sheck Exley and this forum isn't about cave diving. E-mail me if you want to discuss the general concept.
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