|Originally posted by adixon|
I've seen that you can see the broadcasts through either, but without the guide it seems easier to just watch it through the 6412.
True enough. When watching DVR playback or live HDTV there really is no logical reason to be viewing through the 40K, especially if it is not being used simultaneously to record what is being emitted from the 6412. You want to see the responses from the 6412 when you use the remote to control the DVR, and viewing via the 6412 is the only way to see them.
It's only during the early stages of getting set up to record to D-VHS that I want to be sure the 40K/6412 sync is established successfully that I have need to monitor the 40K component video output. However once sync is confirmed and recording is started and I'm satisfied that all is going well, I always go back to watching the content from the 6412 on my HDTV.
Another justification for switching back to view the 40K output on your HDTV is to view the OSD display out of the 40K, for example to see the elapsed recording time duration values. In other words, when you want to view the graphics output generated by the 40K (which of course only go out to the HDTV via component video and naturally don't get recorded onto the tape) you need to be looking at its own component video output and not that of the 6412.
But yet another reason I prefer watching anything from the 6412 over the 40K when I have such a choice (i.e. when the content is coming from the 6412) is because I feel that the MPEG D/A decoders on the 40K which send output to the HDTV via component video produce a slightly more reddish coloration than the component video outputs on any of my other HDTV sources.
I've done A-B-C-D comparisons on the top-quality skin-color-heavy almost stationary often close-up image Jay Leno show (I had four comparable sources for local networks at one time that were available for such a comparison) through my Zektor switch, and this is simply my own observation. The sources for this comparison were (a) true OTA local network signal via Panny DST50, (b) Comcast-provided local network signal via 6412, and (c) D* provided local network (when I still subscribed to D* HDTV, which I no longer do) via Hughes E86. The Zektor allowed me to view all three original sources directly from their tuners and MPEG decoder component video outputs going to my HDTV, as well as from the Comcast 6412 through 1394 to the 40K and out the component video from the 40K.
In my opinion, all three original HDTV receiver sources for the same Leno content produced the identical (and "perfect") skin tone coloration out of their MPEG decoders onto the component video outputs to my HDTV. It was only the component video output of the 40K (fed by 1394 from the 6412) which had a noticeably slightly reddish skin tone.
Sure, I could probably have compensated for that on my HDTV setup, but I didn't want to. And, why were the other three sources identical and perfect (per my current HDTV setup), and only the 40K output slightly reddish? It could be my particular 40K I suppose, but for whatever explanation I believe my 40K puts out slightly reddish component video and plain and simple that's my situation and I have to deal with it.
I've got very high-end Audioquest component video cables involved for connecting all four sources to the Zektor and out of the Zektor to the HDTV, so I don't think it's a cable difference issue. I haven't tried swapping input ports on the Zektor just to be sure that the 40K's port wasn't somehow different, but honestly I don't believe it is the Zektor switch which might be at fault. I really do feel it is the MPEG decoder on the 40K.
I've also done A-B comparisons between 6412 and 40K on non-OTA premium-type channels (e.g. HBOHD, SHOHD, INHD1/2, DISCHD, ESPNHD) and have observed the same slightly reddish coloration out of the 40K. This reinforces my OTA-based feelings about the MPEG decoder on the 40K, as compared to that of other HDTV devices I own. Again, this is only my own personal experience, but again is just even more motivation for me to watch 6412-provided content from the 6412 to my HDTV rather than via 1394 to the 40K and out of the 40K to my HDTV.
|I've heard that the handshake is pretty fragile|
Well, I wouldn't say that it's fragile once it's been established and recording is in progress. In my experience, it's fragile only when you begin to use VCR controls on the 40K, for forward or backward or index point searching. Once other than normal mechanical motion speeds come into play there's a time period once you press PLAY (or STOP) where the MPEG synchronization from tape as well as 1394 sync from 6412 (going on all the time) must be simultaneously addressed and reestablished. This problem seems especially difficult for the 40K following reverse searches, followed by pressing PLAY.
These challenges seem to be a bit much for the 40K to handle with 100% success, hence my comments about the non-zero likelihood of just losing sync with the 6412 after a series of such VCR control actions. So I'm always very aware of and sensitive to these possibilities whenever I'm positioning tape on the 40K, and hence why I would be monitoring the 40K output on my HDTV output during this period rather than caring about a slight reddish coloration. I'm sure the HDTV digital MPEG2 data being recorded on D-VHS tape is the same exact digital data as was present on the 6412 hard drive, and that's really what's important in the end.
But for watching 6412 content directly when I could also watch via 1394 and the 40K, I myself always watch from the 6412. I only watch from the 40K when viewing D-VHS playback.
One final note on 40K care and feeding... my own policy is to only use D-VHS tapes (JVC) when making HDTV recordings. I never use my top-quality S-VHS tapes (Fuji Pro-S ST-120, 81581 stamped on the shell, bronze colored trim on packaging) for anything other than S-VHS recording. I do not try to use S-VHS tapes for D-VHS applications. Others may have different opinions, but that's just my feeling and I'm satisfied with the results no matter what the cost consequences.
Also, I follow JVC's recommendation which came with the 40K in several different and very visible printed formats about using the provided D-VHS cleaning tape on a regular basis, maybe after every 50 hours of use. I have found this (whether really necessary or not) to have produced excellent results for me in preventing recording glitches, dropouts, etc. I suspect this has beneficial results in general, even for analog S-VHS recordings.