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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, I just grabbed one of the JVC DT100U D-VCRs that others raved about. I received it today but I am confused by the connections. The manual says to connect the VCR to the TV in the same way that I have connected all my VCRs since time began: Antenna (I have no cable, satellite, etc.) to the "antenna in" terminal; and coaxial cable from the "antenna out" terminal to the TV.


I did that then connected the HDMI cable from the VCR to the TV. Then I did a channel scan and got a message that said "scan completed--no signal found." So I read the directions closer and there something which confuse me:


Step 4 of the "connections instructions" says to "connect a coaxial cable from the digital broadcast source to the VCR's (ASTC IN) terminal." I wasn't certain what that meant. I thought the antenna WAS the broadcast source. So I unhooked the antenna from the VCR's "antenna in" terminal and connected it to the "ASTC IN" terminal.


I did a channel scan again. This time it said "scan completed" but I couldn't get any picture. And when I tried to watch broadcast TV, there was no signal. I thought to my horror that I was going to have to re-hook up my awful converter box to get this thing to work, but that should not be necessary since the JVC has its own ASTC tuner.


Any clarification and help would be most appreciated. I want to tape the opening ceremony of the Olympics.


Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by jtbell /forum/post/18120916


Did you select the HDMI input on your TV? (sounds silly, but I've made goofs like that myself late at night.) Or maybe the output resolution isn't set to something your TV can handle.

Yes, I had the TV set to HDMI; and it's a Panasonic 46G10, so I'm sure it could handle the output. And the VCR menu did come on the screen so I know I had something right. Also, I tried playing back a previously-recorded tape and it worked. I just couldn't get any TV picture through the VCR.
 

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Several things to check: The antenna cable needs to go to the ATSC in F connector not the analog F connector above the antenna out F connector. To do the scan for digital channels use the DTV menu on the remote. It's the same button as the - start in the upper half of the remote. Make sure the band is set to TV then do a scan. This is described on page 20 in the manual.

If you have a sucessful scan press the Digital Ch button (-Date) and enter one of your local channel numbers. You can then use this and the + button above it to go up and down in channels.

John
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by yesodtiferet /forum/post/18120205


The manual says to connect the VCR to the TV in the same way that I have connected all my VCRs since time began: Antenna (I have no cable, satellite, etc.) to the "antenna in" terminal; and coaxial cable from the "antenna out" terminal to the TV.

Not quite. This is a digital HD-capable VCR, and there are significant differences.


Also, remember that when this box was built there was both analog and digital TV available OTA. Now it's just digital, so you can just forget everything dealing with analog.


There are TWO "antenna" inputs... one for analog NTSC OTA input (to be ignored) and one for digital ATSC OTA input (to be used). You should connect your off-air antenna to this one.


As far as using the RF coax output ("antenna output") this means nothing any longer. You used to use this for channel 3 on your TV on your old VCRs decades ago, to provide the lowest-quality analog audio/video from VCR to your TV. No longer. This was far improved just by using the alternative analog video ouptuts (yellow composite RCA, or even better S-video) and L/R (white/red) RCA audio connections. But again... this is all analog-only, and is not relevant to your desire to use the DT100 as an HD-capable VCR for OTA viewing/recording/playback... in HD.


Quote:
I did that then connected the HDMI cable from the VCR to the TV. Then I did a channel scan and got a message that said "scan completed--no signal found."

Again... FORGET ABOUT ALL ANALOG ASPECTS OF THE INSTRUCTION MANUAL. You're not going to be doing an analog channel scan for analog channels.


Look at page 20, "Digital Tuner Setting".


You need to use the DIGITAL AUTO CHANNEL SET, which is accessed by pushing the "DTV MENU" button on the remote and navigating to the Tuner tab on the Digital Setup dialog.


And as I said above, this digital channel scan will be done on the OTA input that was connected to your ATSC Antenna Input coax connector.



You should also connect the DT100 to your HDTV either using component video output (providing HD video only) if that's all your HDTV supports, or for optimal best-quality use the HDMI connection (providing both HD video and multi-channel digital audio as well as 2-channel digital PCM stereo audio... if your HDTV can support that kind of audio). Alternative, you can use the analog L/R stereo RCA outputs to feed the digital 2-channel stereo (which is included on all OTA ATSC programs, even if Dolby Digital audio is also provided) to some 2-channel stereo output... speakers in your TV, 2-channel stereo sound system, etc. The DT100 converts the digital 2-channel audio to analog 2-channel stereo out of these conventional analog red/white RCA outputs.


If you have an A/V receiver that provides multi-channel sound through multiple loudspeakers, you should wither (a) connect the HDMI output from the DT100 to the HDMI input of your A/V receiver to provide digital audio from DT100 to your sound system (and of course HDMI output from A/V receiver to your HDTV), or (b) connect the HDMI output from DT100 to HDMI input on your HDTV and also connect the optical digital audio output on the DT100 to the optical digital audio input on your A/V receiver.


In other words, the DT100 can provide best-possible digital video from your ATSC OTA antenna to your HDTV (either directly, or routed through an A/V receiver) using HDMI. One step down... you can send HD via component video, again either to HDTV or through A/V receiver.


And it can also provide best-possible digital audio from those ATSC digital OTA channels either directly to your HDTV (on the same single HDMI connection) or through your A/V receiver (either through HDMI through the A/V receiver, or through optical connection to the A/V receiver).


NOTE: The DT100 will absolutely send multi-channel digital audio output via HDMI, either to your HDTV or to your A/V receiver. The same digital audio is also emitted over the optical digital output. There is an audio setup option (see page 66, "Audio Function") to control what goes out over the optical output... either Dolby Digital, or 2-channel PCM stereo (which is the default). If you want to use the optical connection from DT100 to your A/V receiver you'll obviously want to feed true full Dolby Digital audio, not the 2-channel stereo. So make sure you change this setup option, if optical is your audio connection method.


And though it goes without saying, if you feed HDMI from DT100 to your HDTV (either directly or through your A/V receiver) you should obviously select that HDMI input on your HDTV for viewing true ATSC HD from the DT100, either live or recorded to DVHS tape. No more channel 3.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for your help, I think I've got it figured out. The VCR does not pick up a few channels but I think I just need a stronger antenna (which I've been meaning to buy anyway).


One more question: When I turn off the VCR, I can't get any broadcast channels on the TV. Do I have to always have the VCR on? Or do I have to have two antennas--one for the VCR and one attached to the TV? That would not be good. I'm thinking of just returning this unit and going with Tivo unless I can make it simpler.


In any case, thanks for your help!
 

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You should split the coax before going into the DVHS.

One branch goes into the TV, and the other goes into the DVHS.

When you power off the DVHS, you would switch over to the TV's ATSC tuner since there is no power to the DVHS and thus no output signal.


Tivo's have monthly subscription fees.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by yesodtiferet /forum/post/18130569


Thanks for your help, I think I've got it figured out. The VCR does not pick up a few channels but I think I just need a stronger antenna (which I've been meaning to buy anyway).

I think you'll discover that the 1st-generation ATSC tuner in the DT100 is not as sensitive as one might hope, and is definitely not as sensitive as later generation ATSC tuners now found in HDTVs and even in ATSC TV Tuner cards (e.g. my TV Wonder 650 PCI from ATI).


So for example, my building has an excellent roof antenna that pulls in almost 20 primary digital channels, which amounts to over 80 total digital channels if you count all of the sub-channels being brodacast (and separately recognizable via PSIP data, using TSReader Lite). These are all visible with my ATI TV card, and also with my Sony XBR960. But many (surprisingly including 2.1 CBS and 28.1 PBS) are not lockable on the DT100. This is surprising, but true.


As it turns out, NBC-DT happens to have one of the very strongest signals in my area, and is received perfectly by the DT100.


Quote:
One more question: When I turn off the VCR, I can't get any broadcast channels on the TV. Do I have to always have the VCR on?

Unlike all generations of VCR in the past, the DT100 does NOT pass-through its digital ATSC antenna signal (i.e. from ATSC antenna-in to an ATSC antenna-out), nor is there even such a counterpart to its analog NTSC antenna-in/out connectors.


If you notice, there is a "TV/VCR" button either on the remote, but just as with all analog VCRs it only supports analog functions... to allow you to be watching something in analog on an analog-tuner TV while you are recording something in analog on the VCR.


But this is NOT a functionally supported notion in digital mode. Again... your OTA antenna (which provides digital TV signal for the ATSC tuner in the DT100) is to be connected to the ATSC/digital RF coax connector of the DT100. Analog TV is gone.


Bottom line: the HDMI output from the DT100 is only active when the unit is powered on. And then it provides either (a) the channel tuned to by the ATSC tuner in th eDT100, or (b) playback from a DVHS recording. You obviously must have your HDTV input selected to "HDMI input", to see what's coming from the DT100. Now, once you turn off the DT100 you are no longer providing any output from its HDMI source, so you need to do something on your HDTV if you want to continue watching TV... e.g. using its own built-in ATSC tuner to watch digital TV channels that way, but not from the DT100. You'll obviously have to change the input selection on your HDTV to use its own ATSC tuner instead of HDMI input, and that of course requires an ATSC antenna input into the HDTV... just as you've fed the ATSC antenna input of the DT100. An ATSC tuner requires an ATSC antenna input to be connected (no surprise here).

Quote:
Or do I have to have two antennas--one for the VCR and one attached to the TV?

As has been suggested, just split the single coax and feed one side to the DT100 and the other side to the digital ATSC antenna connector on you HDTV.


This is the classic way of providing two antenna inputs to two devices, from a single antenna coax. Nothing revolutionary here, and works exactly the same way even when we're talking about digital channels instead of analog channels. The splitter simply facilitates two coax output cables from a single coax input cable, thus allowing you to connect both coax output cables to two nearby tuners, each of which needed an antenna input connection.


Quote:
I'm thinking of just returning this unit and going with Tivo unless I can make it simpler.

A splitter will cost you a few dollars, and will work perfectly to allow both the DT100's ATSC tuner and your HDTV's ATSC tuner to both operate off of your one OTA antenna coax.


This is the only conceptual difference between past generations of VCRs... and only pertains to the ATSC OTA antenna input, which is not passed-through to an ATSC antenna output, unlike the analog connectors on the DT100 which do have both IN/OUT in support of "watch a different channel on TV with its analog tuner while you're recording something else on the VCR using its own analog tuner). And, this analog antenna input/output does work even when the DT100 is powered off. Yes, this is how old analog VCRs used to work. And the DT100 does (or used to) also work this way... but just for analog antenna source which no longer is available. It simply is not available on the digital side.


But a splitter is the perfectly acceptable workaround, if you want to be watching something on HDTV while the DT100 is either powered off or recording something else. This essentially gives you two antennas... one for the DT100 and one for your HDTV. What could be simpler, and cheaper?


Also, Tivo (random-access DVR using hard-drive) vs. DT100 (sequential-access VCR using tape) is certainly not an even comparison feature-wise, nor are they cost-comparable. However both can provide HD programs to your HDTV from OTA antenna


Once you get your DT100 set up with the right cables and HDMI to your HDTV (doesn't sound like you have an A/V receiver), you'll be fine. Just use the input-selector on your HDTV to either watch TV using its ATSC tuner, or to watch an HD recording from your DT100 via HDMI input.



NOTE: the HDMI output of the DT100 is only functional when the VCR is powered on (and either just watching via its ATSC tuner, or playing back a recording from DVHS tape). That's when you're using its built-in ATSC tuner or the VCR's playback mechanism, feeding its HDMI output to your HDTV. If you power the VCR off that's it... you're closed, no more HDMI output. What more would you expect? Again... there is no "antenna pass-through output to your HDTV". I mean with the VCR powered off, how would you even choose a channel for its "sleeping" ATSC tuner to pass through to the HDMI output for viewing on your HDTV?


If you power the VCR off, you're telling the equipment you want it to be sleeping and you're now going to watch TV using your HDTV's tuner. The DT100 is "powered off", isn't it???


Instead, assuming your HDTV has its own built-in ATSC tuner, you split the OTA coax antenna and feed both the DT100 and your HDTV's ATSC antenna inputs. Then if you power the DT100 off, just use your HDTV's tuner (you'll naturally have to select the proper input on your HDTV to use its tuner, rather than displaying from its HDMI input) to watch digital channels directly via your HDTV.


This is not overly complex, nor would a Tivo make it any simpler (in fact it may be more complex, and far more expensive... in my opinion). But if you want a DVR instead of a VCR, that's a different story.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks, once again, for all your info. I truly would rather keep the VCR. We don't watch that much broadcast TV and only record a few times a year (more during football season) so TIVO would be way overkill and way more expensive. But I do want something reliable and simple and functional with which to record and watch HDTV when I want to do so. So far, this VCR has been very confusing and largely unusable. I even called JVC and the man on the phone couldn't help me figure it out either. He told me that it was broken and to contact the dealer for a replacement. But with the help of the good and knowledgeable people on AVS, I think I'm figuring it out.


I now have it hooked up right; I think I understand how to scan for DTV channels; and I get the coaxial cable splitter--an easy fix. But in order to make this VCR work, I'm going to have to install an antenna in my attic, something I've been resisting (I just don't like the idea of drilling a hole in the side of my house). The indoor antenna I have--which has been working reasonably well hooked up to the old VCR--is only picking up a few channels.


That will be the real test. If it doesn't work with a different antenna, back it goes.


Thanks again--I may ask for additional help about this unit in the future.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by yesodtiferet /forum/post/18132135


We don't watch that much broadcast TV and only record a few times a year (more during football season) so TIVO would be way overkill and way more expensive.

Well, when you do actually watch TV, what is your source? Cable or Satellite? (probably not) Or just that indoor rabbit ears (or equivalent) for occasional OTA TV watched directly on your HDTV?


Where do you live, and what is your HDTV? Presumably you have an HDTV that has a built-in ATSC tuner, since there is no longer any analog TV in America. So the tuner in that HDTV is very likely a better and more sensitive one than that in the DT100. But it's the same digital OTA channels you're trying to receive... whether you're using the HDTV's tuner or the DT100's tuner.


Nevertheless, I'll guess that the digital channel scan you did with your HDTV was probably more successful than the digital channel scan from the DT100. But the important question is whether you can get the channels you actually watch and that contain something you want to time-shift... namely the major networks, NBC-DT in the current story.


Quote:
But I do want something reliable and simple and functional with which to record and watch HDTV when I want to do so. So far, this VCR has been very confusing and largely unusable.

Well, it's more complex than an old analog VCR. But then today's HDTV, digital OTA channels, HDMI connections, A/V receivers, multi-channel Dolby Digital audio, BluRay discs, etc., is more complex that the 13" SD CRT TV I have in my kitchen (that still runs off of channel 3 fed via RF coax from the analog antenna RF output of my cable company HD-DVR).


But if you want to record HD in HD on DVHS tape, you're going to have to get used to this VCR, because this is it. I suspect you're also relatively new to the world of digital TV and HDTV, so it will take a while to adjust.


Quote:
I even called JVC and the man on the phone couldn't help me figure it out either. He told me that it was broken and to contact the dealer for a replacement.

So far, I don't think there's been a question you've asked that we haven't answered correctly or adequately. If you still have something that's not working, or that you just can't get to work even after finding the instructions in the manual... just ask here. You'll absolutely get the right answer here, as there are a number of us who own and use the very same DT100. I own two.


Quote:
I now have it hooked up right; I think I understand how to scan for DTV channels; and I get the coaxial cable splitter--an easy fix. But in order to make this VCR work, I'm going to have to install an antenna in my attic, something I've been resisting (I just don't like the idea of drilling a hole in the side of my house). The indoor antenna I have--which has been working reasonably well hooked up to the old VCR--is only picking up a few channels.

And this indoor antenna is sufficient to provide your HDTV's ATSC tuner with all the OTA digital channels available in your area? Again, where do you live? What is your indoor antenna? How long have you had it? What is your HDTV?


Again, your HDTV's ATSC tuner is no doubt superior to that of the DT100, and a better antenna will pick up more channels. But there are a number of stronger indoor antennas (specifically designed for picking up the UHF and high-VHF range, which is what digital DTV uses). Spending $20-50 for a good indoor HD antenna is a much more reasonable first step to solving your reception difficulties with the DT100, than an attic antenna project.


Quote:
That will be the real test. If it doesn't work with a different antenna, back it goes.

Fair enough.


But maybe cable/satellite DVR is what you're really looking for, though I don't think the expense is justified for your occasional TV watching habits.


If you want to watch HDTV OTA, you've got to have an adequate antenna for your area and your reception situation. That's true for many, who may live 60 miles from nowhere and still only want HDTV from OTA channels... thus requiring big antenna structures high over their homes to solve their particular reception issues. And yet others in more urban locations without building blockages, etc., find that indoor antennas are perfectly adequate.


Welcome to the world of digital TV, and DVHS VCR's.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Here's the scoop: I live in a first-ring suburb of Minneapolis, about 12 miles from most of the transmitting towers. We're not interested in cable or satellite as we don't watch enough TV to justify the expense--we watch mostly movies and TV shows from Netflix on our blu ray player.


As far as antennas go, I have tried about five indoor models, omni-directional and otherwise, that have given me mediocre reception, meaning that I have to move it around depending which channel I'm watching and what the conditions are outside (foggy, clear, etc.). As I said in a previous post, I have finally surrendered to the fact that I need an antenna in my attic or on my roof to get the reception that I want. I own a Panasonic 46G10, which, as you have said, has a more sensitive tuner than the VCR.


As for calling JVC, I did it before I posted here; and you guys know more than the man who works for JVC. Based on my conversation with him, I was set to send the VCR back and spend hundreds on a TIVO. So, any questions I have will most certainly be to you from now on.


So far, it's been me versus the VCR--very frustrating. But with your help, I think I'm figuring it out and all that's left is to get the right antenna. Then I can have harmony in my home once more.
 

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I find that even on my weaker channels the JVC will scan them in OK. When they are viewed using the JVC, I get a lot more drop outs than from my TV. The TV's tunner is not a current generation model as it was sold in 2003. It you have not gotten a sucessful scan yet I would still suspect a setup problem.

John
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by ctdish /forum/post/18135385


I find that even on my weaker channels the JVC will scan them in OK. When they are viewed using the JVC, I get a lot more drop outs than from my TV. The TV's tunner is not a current generation model as it was sold in 2003. It you have not gotten a sucessful scan yet I would still suspect a setup problem.

John

By set-up, do you mean connection? Or set-up of the VCR?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by ctdish /forum/post/18135385


I find that even on my weaker channels the JVC will scan them in OK. When they are viewed using the JVC, I get a lot more drop outs than from my TV. The TV's tunner is not a current generation model as it was sold in 2003. It you have not gotten a sucessful scan yet I would still suspect a setup problem.

John

When you say you get more drop outs, they must then show up on any recordings you make? How do you contend with this?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by yesodtiferet /forum/post/18137604


When you say you get more drop outs, they must then show up on any recordings you make? How do you contend with this?

The only way to fix the issue is with a more reliable signal from the antenna.


General Antenna Guidelines:

Outdoors is better than indoors.

Directional is better than omnidirectional.

Bigger is better than smaller.

Higher is better than lower.


Let's do a couple of things. First, I'm going to move this topic to the HDTV Technical Forum, because this is now a reception issue. Second, we'll direct you to TV Fool, which you can post the results here and that will help us help you. Third, we'll ask others in your area to see if they can help.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by yesodtiferet /forum/post/18137604


When you say you get more drop outs, they must then show up on any recordings you make? How do you contend with this?

They would show up in the recordings but I am just using the DVHS to play movie tapes I have made into a computer. When I was using the DVHS to record over the air programs I used a Panasonic and a JVC 30000 DVHS which do not have tuners. My TV has a 1394 output that supplied the signal. A few days a year I get bad reception with either no signal or lots of dropouts from most stations. At 50 miles from the transmitters I just have to live with it.

By setup I meant either the antenna connection to the JVC DVHS or them process of scanning in digital channels to the JVC.

John
 
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