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"Passing Through" the DVD Recorder - Good or Bad?

726 Views 9 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  TomCat
Hello all, as a newbie here, I just want to let you guys know that this forum is great and has provided me a wealth of knowledge as I get accustomed to my week old E80.

The question I have regards keeping the E80 on during regular TV viewing. I currently run the cable box to the E80 via S Video and have the E80 connected to the TV via S Video. Because of this setup (obviously), the E80 needs to remain on to carry the cable signal to the TV. Is this setup harmul to the DVD recorder in anyway?

Thanks for your help
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I'm no engineer so I can't directly answer your question. However I have noticed a worse picture though the E80 than bypassing it via a switch. But I have directv and that may be different than cable.

I'm guessing the electronic equipment is meant for hard use, but others on here have reported intermittant problems reading dvds after prolonged use. May be isolated, maybe not. Also I'd worry about hard drive use but then again, I've also read it's good when a HD spins all the time and that the greatest wear is start up and shut down.

Sorry to confuse you, but it gives you something to think about at least :) My option was to use switches and keep the e80 off when not needed.
When I first hooked up my 65-Mits HDTV to DISH Network on January 2002 I was horrified at the picture quality.

Seven months later I bought the Panasonic DVD recorder (DMR-HS2) and noticed that the picture from DISH passing thorough the DVD recorder and out to the TV via component (480p) SIGNIFICANTLY improved the DISH PQ (SD only). In effect, the DVD recorder is fuctioning as a line-doubler. In fact, watching non-HD stuff off of DISH as well as analog broadcasts passing through the DVD recorder made for a much better viewing experience. There should no issues with wear and tear on the DVD recorder as a result of doing this because you are only using the electronics, not the DVD laser/mechanics.

So, go ahead and pass it through...it works great to improve PQ and won't cause any harm to the DVD recorder or your TV.
Maybe I am missing something but mine is set up the same way and I don't need to have the E-80 on to watch TV. In many ways it is just like a VCR and you don't need to have the VCR on to watch TV. Channels are controlled by the cable box and the picture is great. Remember that there are 4 video channels when the E-80 is on, TV, Video 1, Video 2 and Video 3. You may have yours set to the wrong "channel" and that is why you think you need to have the recorder on. Turn the E-80 off, set the remote to TV and cycle through the 4 choices to make sure one doesn't work with the recorder off.

I don't think it would be good for the recorder to be on all the time.
Here is my setup and I don't have to have the recorder on to watch TV. Channels are controlled by the cable box. Picture is great.

Coax to Cable box

Coax from cable box to E80H

Coax from E80H to VCR

Coax from VCR to TV

Composite Audio and S Video from E80H to TV L1
well, 3 different sources (DTV, dish and cable) and 3 different answers :)

Good luck heybige. You just have to try different things and see if you get better/worse/same picture running through the E80. If it's better, then you may have to think about keeping it on all the time. Thankfully mine is 'worse' so it was a no brainer to spend $ on switches and keep the e80 off while watching tivo.

I'm actually fighting against myself on the answer in your case because for me tivo is running 24/7, 2 hard drives spinning constantly, and I've had no problems in over a year. then there is a part in me that says the e80 wasn't meant for 24/7 use and needs a rest. I think the pic quality change, if any, would be the best determinate for you. And unless the manual suggests keeping the machine off, I guess you would be ok. Just read thru it one time pretty carefully. (yes it will be a horrible experience :)
I use a four way splitter to connect cable to my NTSC TV, a Replay PVR, the E80, and (I don't know why) to a SVHS VCR. All connect to the TV via a Sima S-4 video switcher using S-video and the Sima is virtually invisible in the signal path. There is only the slightest of differences between the live feed and the E80, but in some cases the E80 does actually seem to improve the picture by reducing video noise. But I agree it is probably not a good idea to leave the E80 on all the time.

Thanks for the helps folks. I think I'll head over to Radio Shack sometime soon to grab a switch.

To clarify, the E80 is not left on 24/7, only when i'm watching TV, which on an average day is only 3-4 hours - would this limited time still be of concern?
Originally posted by tommyrey
Maybe I am missing something but mine is set up the same way and I don't need to have the E-80 on to watch TV.
Just as aside. How many inputs do you have on your TV and which are you using to get a signal thru? My problem was I only had 1 S vid input on the TV and there was a marked difference with RCA cables.
Speaking as a long time broadcasting engineer, we tend to like to just let things run...sometimes for decades. Monitors, VTR's, computers...we never shut them off. In fact, if we ever have to take our UPS down we cringe at the thought, because there is usually some ancient piece of gear that would still run just fine while powered up, but can't survive a power cycle.

One school of thought regarding HD's is that spinning them up and down is more harmful than continuous running, even over the long haul, kind of like how stop-and-go driving is harder on your car than cruising along at 75 (FWIW).
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