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D-VHS: Is it just a bad format?

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
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.
post #2 of 21
If you don't get any response here you might want to send this guy a PM. Sounds like he has basically every DVHS machine made for the US market, including the one you have.
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showp...7&postcount=53
post #3 of 21
I am not the poster referenced above but I also have extensive experience with DVHS. I have about 550 movies recorded on the format from 2000 to 2007.

Short answer: Yes, the format is imperfect. Moreover, the HD30000 is the worst deck of the whole DVHS product line.

Around 2005 I replaced my HD30000 for a HM5U ?. This provided greatly improved playback although a dropout or two in a two hour period is rather normal with JVC decks. I also have Panasonic and Mitsubishi decks that are pretty much flawless.

JVC and Panasonic recordings are not compatible. They will drop out frequently on each others decks. Panasonic and Mitsubishi are compatible.

The most reliable recordings were made with the Dish 5000 HD modulator through a Panasonic STB to a Panasonic DVHS. When Dish dropped support of the HD modulator I went with a 169time modified Dish 6000 system. These recordings are flakey. Many are flawless but some have dropouts. A few had such bad dropouts that I just junked the tape. Most of the problems here were the 169time modification. the 1394 stream it produces was barely compliant as verified by an MPEG hardware engineer who was also an AVS member. The nextcom Wireless R5000 system which is still available was near perfect. However all satellite HD today is MPEG4. DVHS should be able to record MPEG4 in theory but the internal decoders are only MPEG2 so you would need to playback through a PC anyway. AT that point, just use a hard disk which are cheap today.

I recently migrated all my DVHS recordings to hard drive. I am officially off the format and recommend other do this as well. The only reason to still have DVHS is playback of archived recordings. With the power of cable and satellite built in PVRs as well as the now many gray market disk recording solutions there is no reason to stay with DVHS.

BTW, you can no longer get the blank tape in quanity. Just what ever scraps dealers may have left and EBAY. And prices are unreasonably high.
post #4 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by DirectorSG View Post

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.

Director,

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.
post #5 of 21
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the responses. Here's what I've taken away from this:

If I want to keep using my D-VHS tapes, I have to ditch my 30K and get a better deck...if I can find one. Or, I could get rid of the JVC and get a Panasonic or Mitsubishi, but my current tapes won't be compatible. I'd probably erase and re-use all of them due to the lack of fresh tapes available. I would like to archive to Blu-ray, which is possible because I have a BD-R burner, but any time I've burned a disc it takes a ridiculous amount of time to transcode (12-14 hours).

I need to try capturing to my laptop on an external drive. I do use my internal drive. I figured it wouldn't be a problem since it's 7200RPM, but it could just be that it's too fragmented.

For the record, I don't use my Samsung receiver for recording anymore since I received the LG. I just use it for viewing with my old DTV tunerless Samsung LCD.
post #6 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by DirectorSG View Post

Thanks for the responses. Here's what I've taken away from this:

If I want to keep using my D-VHS tapes, I have to ditch my 30K and get a better deck...if I can find one. Or, I could get rid of the JVC and get a Panasonic or Mitsubishi, but my current tapes won't be compatible. I'd probably erase and re-use all of them due to the lack of fresh tapes available. I would like to archive to Blu-ray, which is possible because I have a BD-R burner, but any time I've burned a disc it takes a ridiculous amount of time to transcode (12-14 hours).

I need to try capturing to my laptop on an external drive. I do use my internal drive. I figured it wouldn't be a problem since it's 7200RPM, but it could just be that it's too fragmented.

For the record, I don't use my Samsung receiver for recording anymore since I received the LG. I just use it for viewing with my old DTV tunerless Samsung LCD.

Honestly with the price of hard drives these days there is just no reason to bother with DVHS anymore. I too was resistant to getting off the format but once I started using hard disks I never looked back.

DVHS machines were never made and sold in large quantities. There aren't that many around in the first place. Tape machines are highly mechanical devices and do wear out rather quickly. Parts are going to be next to impossible to get if they aren't already. People skilled in component level VCR repair are going to all be retired soon.

Just not a good investment.
post #7 of 21
Yes-DVHS has its failings, but the firewire AV/C standards it uses provides so much functionality that does not exist anymore in CE equipment is amazing including:
1. Single cable standardized device bi-directional control predating HDMI CEC 10 years-check.
2. Every type of device you can reasonably think think of-Tuner/Tape/Monitor/Audio/Conditional Access/Recording Reservation Database/Blu-ray/Hard Drive Recorder/SACD/DVDA/CDDA/Minidisc/Changer...... all represented in standard specifications for interoperability.

Oh and I forgot editing capabilities for recording devices.

Pretty neat stuff.
post #8 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by qz3fwd View Post

Yes-DVHS has its failings, but the firewire AV/C standards it uses provides so much functionality that does not exist anymore in CE equipment is amazing including:
1. Single cable standardized device bi-directional control predating HDMI CEC 10 years-check.
2. Every type of device you can reasonably think think of-Tuner/Tape/Monitor/Audio/Conditional Access/Recording Reservation Database/Blu-ray/Hard Drive Recorder/SACD/DVDA/CDDA/Minidisc/Changer...... all represented in standard specifications for interoperability.

Oh and I forgot editing capabilities for recording devices.

Pretty neat stuff.

Yeah, I remember at one time in the early 2000s the industry was considering 1394/Firewire as the standard consumer interface standard versus HDMI. Some Mitsubishi TVs actually took in 1394.

In the end I think distributing uncompressed video is the better option but HDMI was a terrible implementation of that idea.
post #9 of 21
[quote=Glimmie;21873264]Yeah, I remember at one time in the early 2000s the industry was considering 1394/Firewire as the standard consumer interface standard versus HDMI. Some Mitsubishi TVs actually took in 1394.[quote]

I have a Pioneer plasma and a Mitsu LCD both with firewire that I use almost daily for DVHS recording. Its a great setup and very reliable for OTA HD recordings. The Mitsu also has a cablecard slot that allowed DVHS recordings of all the cable channels I subscribed to but I dropped that and only record free QAM channels and OTA with that TV.

It was a sad day when the last firewire TV was produced
post #10 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by eric102 View Post

it was a sad day when the last firewire tv was produced

+1

BTW-Eric, I have been working on a AVHDD implementation for the last 2 years since I got all of the 1394TA specifications. I have an implementation for a controller which will talk to and control an hard drive recorder like the Toshiba Symbio unit, and am currently working on a virtual target which will make your mac look like a disc subunit on the firewire network, similar to VirtualDVHS. Neat stuff, but a lot of programming necessary to talk with these types of devices.

What model# are your TV's with firewire? I will look up their capabilities beyond DVHS.

As I recall, you have a Mits HD-6000? (which can control AVHDD's)
post #11 of 21
I have 7 different DVHS machines up and running in the home. The 3000 has always had funky audio buffering issues on playback (not recording). I run 3000 recorded tapes through my Mits2000 without problems. Have the Mits firewired to the 3000. Bypasses the 3000 heads and significantly reduces playback problems.

Love DVHS. Still the foolproof way to archive any and all 1080i/720p HD channels. HBOHD and all my HD channels firewire out my Moto boxes to DVHS. PC is limited to broadcast channels.

DT100 is my favorite DVHS machine. I have enough DVHS machines to last my lifetime
post #12 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Star56 View Post

I have 7 different DVHS machines up and running in the home. The 3000 has always had funky audio buffering issues on playback (not recording). I run 3000 recorded tapes through my Mits2000 without problems. Have the Mits firewired to the 3000. Bypasses the 3000 heads and significantly reduces playback problems.

Love DVHS. Still the foolproof way to archive any and all 1080i/720p HD channels. HBOHD and all my HD channels firewire out my Moto boxes to DVHS. PC is limited to broadcast channels.

DT100 is my favorite DVHS machine. I have enough DVHS machines to last my lifetime

Childs play. Try:
4 30k's
4 40k's
4 Mits 2000's
1 JVC Pro 400
1 Mits 1100
6 Tosh Symbio AVHDD's
1 IOData Japanese 1TB AVHDD
1 Panny PV-HD1000
2 Sharp HDTV's w/1394
1 Panny Tuner w/1394
1 Mits HD-6000
1 Sony STR-LSA1
1 Sony CDP-LSA1
1 Sony MDS-LSA1
2 JVC 100's
3 RCA AVHDD's
5 EyeTV 500's (ATSC/QAM)
3 FireDVT S2's (DVB-S2)
1 EyeTV 310 (DBV)
what am I missing????
post #13 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by qz3fwd View Post

+1

What model# are your TV's with firewire? I will look up their capabilities beyond DVHS.

As I recall, you have a Mits HD-6000? (which can control AVHDD's)

I'm still looking for a Mits HD-6000, if I remember right you outbid me for the last one that was on ebay

My Pioneer is a PDP-5040HD circa 2003 and the Mits is a LT-46131 circa 2006.

So do you think you will come up with a DVHS controller that will work with a common firewire HD enclosure? If so that would be great!
post #14 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by qz3fwd View Post

Childs play. Try:
4 30k's
4 40k's
4 Mits 2000's
1 JVC Pro 400
1 Mits 1100
6 Tosh Symbio AVHDD's
1 IOData Japanese 1TB AVHDD
1 Panny PV-HD1000
2 Sharp HDTV's w/1394
1 Panny Tuner w/1394
1 Mits HD-6000
1 Sony STR-LSA1
1 Sony CDP-LSA1
1 Sony MDS-LSA1
2 JVC 100's
3 RCA AVHDD's
5 EyeTV 500's (ATSC/QAM)
3 FireDVT S2's (DVB-S2)
1 EyeTV 310 (DBV)
what am I missing????

Samsung T165 and an LG something?
post #15 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by qz3fwd View Post

what am I missing????

Your sanity
You've got as many(if not more) DVHS products that I do DVDRs I use to have as many VHS/Beta machines but I'm down to but a few(probably a dozen) working units. Never got into DVHS, by that time I was fully intrenched in DVDRs and didn't want to go back to a tape based format
Still have boxes and boxes of high quality S-T120 tapes though, most have only been recorded to once(in regular VHS) and many have not been played back
post #16 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by qz3fwd View Post

Childs play. Try:
4 30k's
4 40k's
4 Mits 2000's
1 JVC Pro 400
1 Mits 1100
6 Tosh Symbio AVHDD's
1 IOData Japanese 1TB AVHDD
1 Panny PV-HD1000
2 Sharp HDTV's w/1394
1 Panny Tuner w/1394
1 Mits HD-6000
1 Sony STR-LSA1
1 Sony CDP-LSA1
1 Sony MDS-LSA1
2 JVC 100's
3 RCA AVHDD's
5 EyeTV 500's (ATSC/QAM)
3 FireDVT S2's (DVB-S2)
1 EyeTV 310 (DBV)
what am I missing????

You are the man!!
post #17 of 21
I live in a PAL country and can't use DVHS to record shows, but I've bought the 2 machine most common machines purely as collector's items (JVC 30K, Mitsu 1100).
When using the JVC 30K to capture some analog NTSC signals I didn't notice any block noise or break ups at all when fooling the machine into using an SVHS tape for digital. In fact I'd say it's a good cheap alternative to a DV deck, very useful for CCTV archives. However on some dtheather tapes I did notice a few breaks and also on some TV recordings the previous owner had taped, my suspicion is that the tapes are old. I also don't really think the DVHS/SVHS tape can handle HD with VHS's track record with degradation.

I wouldn't really consider this a format for serious TV recording as it's linear and being VHS still needs a head cleaner and repairs.
If was series about my TV archiving I'd go with the Panasonic Blu-ray recorder or for NTSC users just get a Japanese one.
post #18 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by qz3fwd View Post

what am I missing????

A life?
post #19 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Glimmie View Post

Yeah, I remember at one time in the early 2000s the industry was considering 1394/Firewire as the standard consumer interface standard versus HDMI. Some Mitsubishi TVs actually took in 1394.

In the end I think distributing uncompressed video is the better option but HDMI was a terrible implementation of that idea.

Imagine the input lag on an Xbox or playstation with firewire .
post #20 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by eric102 View Post

Samsung T165 and an LG something?

Good point. Add the LG LST-3410A.
I also have a Japanese HDTV tuner.
I dont have the sammy T165 though.
post #21 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by eric102 View Post

So do you think you will come up with a DVHS controller that will work with a common firewire HD enclosure? If so that would be great!

What do you mean by working with a common firewire enclosure?
The controller still needs a computer to execute the software and communicate/control the firewire device like a DVHS. Not sure I follow.
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