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JVC HM-DH5U vs. JVC 40K vs. JVC 30K: Recording HDTV from the S/A 3250HD Cable box

422 Views 3 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Chris Gerhard
Check this out:

I have tried each of the JVC DVHS decks on the TWC HD cable system in NYC and the Cablevision HD cable system in CT. In each case, the cable box is the S/A 3250HD, and the connection is via firewire. The results are bizarre.

First, for you JVC HM-DH5U fans, let me point out that as good as the HD picture is via component from all of the decks, the HDMI output exclusive to the HM-DH5U is so superior, it's not funny. I didn't think the HD picture quality from these decks could be improved much, but I was wrong. For you lucky large display owners with HDMI digital inputs, that alone makes the JVC HM-DH5U extremely desirable if you have a collection of pre-recorded DVHS tapes.

Now, the weirdness:

The JVC 30K deck records from all thirteen available HD Cablevsion stations perfectly. The 30K only records HBO and Showtime HD on the TWC NYC system, but it does record, so TWC NYC just needs to set their HD copy flags correctly for NBC, CBS, ABC, Fox, Discovery, PBS, etc.

HD tapes made from these TWC and Cablevsion broadcast sources with the 30K also play perfectly on the 40K and HM-DH5U.

The JVC 40K deck records the TWC NYC stations that the 30K records. But get this: It will not record any of the Cablevision stations even though the 30K will. Similarly, the HM-DH5U will not record any of the Cablevision stations though the 30K will.

Oh, and once upon a time, the 30K when first installed recorded WNBC-HD and WCBS-HD off the TWC system...for a grand total of about 24 hours! Then the ability to record those stations mysteriously disappeared. Indeed, if you even attempt to record them now, the 30K deck locks up completely, and you have to reboot to get it working again.

Those tapes made of NBC/CBS during that initial 24-hour window play perfectly on the 30K deck that they were recorded on. But they serve up a blank screen on the 40K and HM-DH5U, as I mentioned in another thread. Unless, you hit "pause," that is, and then, Voila! You get a perfect HD still image of what had been recorded on NBC and CBS. But hit play again and the picture disappears.

To say this is all beyond strange is beyond an understatement.
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Copy flags. No doubt. This is very very common. Too common.
Could also be a tracking issue... have you tried playing with that?
You should try a tracking adjustment but I suspect Matt is right, it is the old screwed up copy protection flag that the 30K will play and the subsequent JVC models choke on. It is a frustrating format to deal with but I can say that I am able to record and playback D-VHS without too many problems but it is very rare I get a recording that will play back glitch free regardless of VCR or decoder used.

To adjust the tracking, hold down the channel up and down buttons simultaneously on the front of the VCR for several seconds and then use the channel up or down button during playback to see if the picture magically appears.

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