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The Official 169time AVX-1 Technical Status Discussion - Page 5

post #121 of 3266
Thanks Steve, I sure do try!!

post #122 of 3266
Okay, just tried a few things on the JVC with the new f/w with the 169time DTC100. It still works with it which is good. There still is no I link timer.
My first quick recording worked but am not totally surprised. I didnt look at the new f/w numbers yet.

post #123 of 3266
Just tried to play "Live From Bagdad" and got good audio sync but pixelization. Stopped tape.Turned JVC off by remote, on again.Waited 10 seconds and started tape again, pixelization was gone but audio was out of sync by one second. Stopped tape. Turned JVC off, waited a few seconds, and on by remote again. Waited 10 seconds , played tape and audio was back in sync and picture was fine and continued ok from there. Is this the type of behavior the new JVC f/w is supposed to fix?
On the other hand,starting and stopping the tape may have only allowed the tape to track properly again and demonstrate how inconsistent the tape drive mechanism is.
Wouldn't it be possible to analyze the data stream from the tapehead on playback to see if there are bitstream errors or irregularities that are most likely caused by the pinchroller problems noted(and impressively documented) by Gridleak? I would imagine that the f/w fix JVC is trying is to enable the deck to better handle the errors induced by the poor mechanical design and performance of the pinch roller assembly.If this is correct, I would rather they fixed the real problem.I am just guessing at all this but it appears to make sense.
post #124 of 3266
What I am about to post may or may not be relative to the JVC issues so take it for what it is worth-

Considering the many reports people are posting about the JVC mechanical problems after only a 100-200 hours of use, pinch roller issues etc. I decoded to examine my maintenance records on my VHS duplicator rack over the past 18 years. There was an interesting observation here. I have used a number of Panasonic VHS VCR's and a few JVC VCR's but in recent years, I have used Mitsubishi VCR's. These decks all get about 6 hours of record time per day and then rewind on each tape recorded about 6 days a week.
The maintenance records on the JVC machines I used about 8 years ago all had tape transport failures, requiring replacement within 9 months to a year of use.
Maintenance records on the Panasonic decks I had in use back in the mid 80's and then again in '95-'96 all indicate failures with the eject mechanisms.
I began to use Mitsubishi VCR's in my duplicator rack about '94 and these all failed after about 4 years use with problems in the power supply breakdown, the mechanics never failing except I did replace the pinch rollers on an annual or as needed basis, ie 9 months to 1 year. I now have 2 MItsubishi HD59 machines that are over 4 years old that have both had 5 pinch rollers and the power supply is still working and just this past month the rewind system is beginning to make rather loud noise during rewind but the VCR still produces very good recordings as scoped evaluated.

Based on the above, I would conclude that different manufacturers have unique weaknesses in their VCR design. I don't have recent data on the JVC, nor Panasonic in this business but I will tell you that based on my maintenance records the duplicator bay gets Mitsubishi VCR's as replacements now when a Mits goes bad and these usually go bad in the breakdown of the electronics, particularly the power supply and voltage regulation circuits while the mechanical side lasts much better than the competitors I had used.

I have a MItsubishi SVHS VCR that I installed new in my HT about 4 years ago and it has had several frequent needs to have it's head cleaned, far more often than those same machines in my duplicator rack. I believe this to be caused by the fact that most of the tapes played in this HT Mitsubishi VCR were rental tapes or tapes belonging to someone else. I never really used that VCR for recording much here. IT's main on time was spent with it as a cable tuner. The need for head cleaning, therefore, I have concluded is more related to the quality of tape passing the heads than the type machine. My duplicator VCR's need head cleaning after nearly 60 times as much record time as play time on the home theater same model VCR.

My Panny and Mits DVHS machines have never had the heads cleaned. They also have never had a tape in them that has had more than about 7 passes. And these HDTV tapes with that many passes has been rare. I believe mu most played HDTV tape has been the Startrek tapes ( I'm not a trekkie fanatic, I just like those movies and can watch them over and over) and my last demo tape I made up (which I get out when I have guests over who want to see a variety of HDTV programming available). Most of the time my DVHS VCRs have only had tapes with mostly 2 passes. Thus, the main reason why I probably rarely have the need, actually never had the need to clean the heads on the DVHS machines.
Considering the above observations, do any of you use the same tape over and over for time shifting? Then, need to clean the heads? Maybe you should consider using a more robust tape for time shifting, like Broadcast Master grade SVHS tape that is made especially for the rigors of lots of jogging and shuttling back and forth. It may last longer for time shifting and produce less head clogging. Do you play rental tapes or tapes made by others of unknown origin in your DVHS VCR? Maybe you need to consider a second machine for this purpose and leave the one machine for critical recordings only for your own tape exposure.

Finally, I do know that any VCR in a smoking environment or one where you may have a popcorn machine will have atmosphere pollution that will deposit a film of contaminates on the VCR mechanics and in this environment, will suffer more frequent mechanical failure.

I know this is not really an avx issue but decided to post it here since the JVC problems have been discussed here and these have been a part of the problem from many in using the AVX.
post #125 of 3266
I had been recording @ about 90-95% success rate recording HBO HD after installing the "pad", than all of a sudden all of my last 5 recordings had Jitter and went out of sync at about the 45 minute to 60 minute mark and did not recover. There has been no apparent change in the AVX1 enviorment does anyone have any clues?

Could the "pad" have gone bad?

post #126 of 3266

Anything is possible, however the pad is just a couple of resistors. I would say it is very unlikely that a pad would fail unless hit by lightning.
post #127 of 3266
Lon and others-

I'm going to do something I rarely do in a post- I'm going to speculate a, for lack of a better word, conspiracy theory on what is happening:

Known Facts-
1. DirecTV has been anti firewire access to all manufactured IRD's since the beginning. They just do not permit a manufacturer to add that feature to their boxes. We can only guess as to why.
2. HDNet is a free service from DirecTV and Mark Cuban has always been encouraging HDTV enthusiasts to freely record his content as well as made public statements that he will never espouse the use of 5C or any recording copy protection on his network.
3. We know that DirecTV has been "playing games" with the HBO signal, moving it from one TP to another, moving it from one sat to another and the signal has been often varying in strength as I have been able to measure it until I lost its access in late August.
4. HDNet in that same time frame has remained constant with very little tampering by DirecTV.
5. Showtime has remained constant on the 110 bird and has not been as problematic to record as HBO.

Is it possible that DirecTV's constant manipulating the signal of HBO HD is what is causing the often reported several days of good results followed by more bad results in AVX recording? There was a time when adding the in-line amp was the thing to do to get results on HBO and then people began to have bad results with that. Next adding a 6 db pad was the answer. This produces the exact opposite signal level direction as the in-line amp. People have theorized about the signal quality as opposed to the signal strength. All these explanations seem now, to me, to be an attempt at explaining immediate results but then we don't have an explanation when the device fails. We just know that now something has changed and a previous procedure no-longer works.

I would guess that this is precisely why Richard is not able to nail down a change in the AVX system to make it more stable over the long haul. He, too, may be getting good HBO recordings for a few days only to be followed with unexplained failures. The tests and changes he makes probably take days to weeks to be properly evaluated and thus the long delay in finding the answer. He is dealing with an intermittant issue here and as he gets close, DirecTV is changing the signal enough to throw his system software off and he is back to the drawing board. The issue with HBO and possibly Showtime HD may be one of a dynamic signal encoding that is static enough for the tolerance of the receiver but not static enough to fit into the window of translation by the AVX.

If one travels on the web to some of the open hacker sites you can find where some hackers have gone to the trouble of installing data stream analizers that record the data from the bird. These guys then sit and decipher this code and try to understand it. Actually they seem to do a pretty good job by my lay interpretation of their open posts. I don't think Richard is equipped with this sort of hardware or knowledge to decipher the data stream to determine what is going on that kills the AVX one time and doesn't the next, and even if he did, would he be able to build a fix to the system to predict these changes and deal with them in a non-destructive way?

I would also guess that DirecTV knows the difficulty of making a 1394 connection work on their IRD systems and recognize that it would be quite difficult to support and is the reason they refuse to allow manufacturers to add it. MY theories have nothing to do with the older more popular conspiracy theory that DirecTV is trying to protect recording of their signal but rather they are simply using a DBS system that 1394 cannot use that is stable enough to work over the long haul and they know this and simply do not wish to be bothered with support, therefore refuse to allow manufacturers to add 1394. In the case of 169Time's AVX, they have not licensed this retrofit but have no legal basis to deny it. They also don't need to support it. This is 169Time's problem, not DirecTV's.
post #128 of 3266
Don, interesting analysis.

As I have said, I dont know what Richard is doing with the new s/w, but I can say working with him for so long now, it doesnt make sure that doesnt work! This is whats been so difficult for him. All his testing was fine in his lab, but we know others, not everyone, have seen issues, mainly with HBO.
As you have posted, its a fact that they have been messing around with this channel for real reasons that no one knows why, but I agree, if its not stable, no one with a s/w solution will be able to make it work correctly.
This is all a cat and mouse game, which does make it fun.
With all the tape issues we are having, one shouldnt even consider doing HD time shifting if they think is will be perfect.

post #129 of 3266
Hi, I just got the 169time upgrade to my dtc100 and the 30k. Recorded the KQED HD loop last night and I want to view it through the DTC100, as my projector doesn't have component in. How do I get the dtc100 to output from the firewire link instead of from its ota tuner? I think this was on the old 169time thread, but haven't been able to find it on the new. No answer at the moment on Richard's phone.

Thanks, David
post #130 of 3266
Tune to a good OTA channel and press play on the JVC. Thats it.
post #131 of 3266
I tried that - it doesn't seem to work. Stays with the OTA channel. JVC receives just fine from the firewire link - so I don't think that's it. Is there a difference in how playback through the DTC works between HD content and standard DTV?
post #132 of 3266

The OTA channel MUST be ATSC broadcast in 1080i.

It is also important that you do NOT have the channel remapping selected in the DTC menu because if you do and you are tuned to a "mapped" channel it will not work. Remapping for those who don't know is where the station sends a signal that causes your receiver to display a fake channel number that is for matching the digital to the old analog number. You can't have this enabled and use the DTC for DVHS playback.
If you enabled this, just disable it and shut off the DTC and reboot, then rescan the new numbers (actual ATSC channel numbers)
post #133 of 3266
The OTA channel doesn't have to be 1080i. Any ATSC channel will work, but it must be a strong signal or else there will be playback problems.
post #134 of 3266
I sure thought it had to be a DTV signal

post #135 of 3266

Originally posted by h2ofun
I sure thought it had to be a DTV signal


Yeah, it does , but not a high def 1080I DTV signal. Any OTA DTV signal will work.
post #136 of 3266

post #137 of 3266
Only ATSC OTA signal will work.

In addition- If you tune to a 480P from FOX local or from our CBS when they are testing the single sub in 480P it will freeze the OTA signal but will not play the DVHS recording when you hit play on the VCR. As soon as you hit stop on the VCR the OTA freeze returns to normal.

If you tune to a 1080i station, whether it was true HDTV or upconverted signal it will play just fine.

All local stations we have that transmit ONLY a single sub channel in 480P will not work here for the HDVR playback. All local stations that transmit a 1080i plus a 480P in the -1 and -2 subchannels will work fine for playback.

Dish5000/HDTV mod on channel 3-1 is 1080i so it works fine also.

We once had a 480i station here in town and that also worked like a single 480P station, it would freeze the OTA picture but would not play the DVHS tape when you pushed play on the VCR.

We now have several stations on the air with ATSC in 1080i and 480P only and the above is consistent with all of them. Therefore, until this is not so, locally, I stand by what I said earlier in that to play the HDTV tape through the DTC-100 / HDVR you must tune to an ATSC channel with 1080i on one of the subchannels. It can be upconverted 1080i but 1080i it must be and it can be adjacent to a second subchannel in 480P.

Additionally, last summer before we had any locals doing anything other than 480i or 480P I could only use the HDVR on the channel supplied by my Dish5000/modulator. When both the ABC and NBC stations added an upconverter and began 1080i upconvert on one of their subchannels along with a 480P sub, I could use their signal as well.

When I read the other reports here I went down and verified what I have reported above. It has not changed, although tonight the only station that is transmitting only a 480P signal is FOX channel. All the others are either single 1080i or 1080i in combination with 480P on two subs. These work, the FOX does not. I have no 720P signal to test here as our ABC local is converting all 720P from the network to 1080i. I would suspect that 720P would work just fine as the issue here is that the DTC-100 is what decides whether you can play back or not and it is a split system in that 720P and 1080i are on one side of the coin and 480P and 480i are on the other side. Your ATSC MUST be in HDTV mode 1080i and I'd guess 720P on the OTA to be compatible with the DVHS playback you recorded in 1080i.
post #138 of 3266
ddell: I think you might need to have the AVX-1 turned off and disconnected from the 1394 while you try to play your tape back through the DTC100. The playback goes straight from the tape to the DTC100... The AVX1 is only used during recording Sat channels.

Moving wires around and resetting things often seems to be the price you pay to play here.
post #139 of 3266
Hi, I just got the 169time upgrade to my dtc100 and the 30k. Recorded the KQED HD loop last night and I want to view it through the DTC100, as my projector doesn't have component in. How do I get the dtc100 to output from the firewire link instead of from its ota tuner? I think this was on the old 169time thread, but haven't been able to find it on the new. No answer at the moment on Richard's phone.

Thanks, David
post #140 of 3266
Somehow my earlier post got on here twice. Thanks all for the feedback. Seems to work okay now tuned to SF Channel 30-1 - the KQED HD loop. Will experiment some more. /David
post #141 of 3266
ddell: For your DTC100+HDVR to be ready for playback from tape I think the power light is supposed to be flashing. If tuned to a sat chan it doesn't flash regularly so you cannot playback then. If you are on an OTA channel and it isn't flashing, then try a power cycle on the DTC100.
post #142 of 3266
PVR- Good reminder!

There are actually three ways to trigger the power light to flashing- meaning that the DTC-100 is ready.

After tuning to the ATSC signal on a non-mapped channel you can disconnect the FE cable and reconnect it. (This works for me 95% of the time.
Power button cycly the DTC-100
And as a last resort, power unplug and replug in the DTC-100.
post #143 of 3266
OK, I'll be the bad guy again-

Did Dave take Richard to the airport?

Maybe he took the family to the airport but had a cab pick up Richard! Now that is what I would do.
post #144 of 3266
Just received the HDVR mod as well as the AVX-1. I was able to locate the AVX-1 a considerable distance from the DTC-100 as well as the JVC deck. Initial tests have gone well.

One thing I haven't figured out how to do concerns timer recordings from the AVX-1. I know, from what has been posted, that I can't or should not be using the timer function of the DTC-100. What I was hoping to do was to set the DTC-100 to the station I want to record (HBO) and set a timed recording on the JVC. I have found no way on the JVC to specifify an I-Link connection to start and stop recording at a specified time. I was hoping to tape a movie that was being shown in the middle of the night.

Have I missed something? How are others able to make recordings utilizing the AVX-1 and the JVC in unattended mode?

I'll read through this thread again, but any quick advice would be appreciated.

Happy Holidays,
post #145 of 3266
The i-link is not a source option from the timer of the 30K or the Mits, unlike the Panny PV-HD1000.

The modded DTC-100's timer can control the 30K for OTA recordings but not from DirecTV.

The only option currently is to use an external remote control with macros to set-up the JVC to record at a given time after all other steps in the process have been performed.
post #146 of 3266
Am going to bed early tonight so I can take RIchard and family to the airport. And no, I didnt get any new s/w. When I dropped some stuff at his house yesterday, it was cute because I was not going to talk about the s/w. He brought it up that Todd had bugged him so I could do it now. I just looked at him and said I didnt need to say anymore since he knew I am disappointed. This is the max pressure I can do is do silent pressure on him.

post #147 of 3266
Thanks for the quick response. I'll give that a try, by leaving the DTC100 and the AVX-1 on, and setting a macro timer on my Pronto to start and stop recorder at the desired time. That should work OK.

Again, thanks,
post #148 of 3266

I have had good success with the Pronto timers, etc. Just make sure that you leave a bit of a time cushion since I can't seem to get my Pronto internal clock to stay with the DIRECTV one. You would hate to miss the start of your record time.

Happy Holidays!
post #149 of 3266
Maybe this question has been asked before -
and I think I know the answer, but:
Any chance the HDVR speaks 5c such that you
could play a D-Theater tape through the DTC100?

My guess is no - that D-Theater tapes played on the JVC will not play through the DTC100 but I just wanted to check.
post #150 of 3266

I've got it working now with a Pronto macro. I made several short recordings of HD Net, with a macro that starts at designated time, and powers on JVC and then starts RECORD. The stop macro hits STOP and powers off JVC.

My observation on several of these recordings is that there is pixelization. I'm thinking that maybe I should be leaving the JVC on, and just have the macro start RECORD.

What do you do as far as powering the JVC? Do you let the macro power it on, or just leave it on?

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