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Sony iLink and Panasonic DVHS

1119 Views 9 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  SBryan
I have a new Sony 42XBR950 (plasma display with media box). The media box has two iLink (firewire) connections.

I connected my Samsung T-165 STB and my Panasonic HD-1000 DVHS VCR to the Sony media box. I can view the Samsung through the Sony iLink (although it's not really needed -- the Sony has direct ATSC tuning). I can also view playback of DVHS tapes from the Panasonic, controlling it with the Sony iLink controls or with the Pansonic remote.

What I can't do is record from the Sony to the Panasonic. A record button shows up on the Sony iLink onscreen control panel, but is grayed out. The other controls (power, play, pause, etc) work fine.

I would love to be able to record directly from the Sony to the Pansonic DVHS, instead of being limited to recording from the Samsung T-165 to DVHS.

My guess is that the Panasonic DVHS does not meet Sony's "standards" for recording, in that it won't recognize whatever copy-protection controls Sony uses.

Does that sound correct? If there's a way around this, short of buying a new DVHS VCR, I'd love to learn it.

I think the new RCA DVR210 would work with the Sony iLink, but I'll probably just wait for the HD Tivo and forget about the iLink connection for anything but DVHS tape playback.
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Wellcome to the Sony world! The I-Link on TV sets are INPUT only and none of the Sony TV will send the signal out through the I-Link. The Mitsubishi does.

See what is in the specs "1 Front/2 Rear i.LINK® Inputs (TS/DV/MICROMV"

I read somewhere on this site that someone was recording from a Sony KDP-65WS550 to a JVC machine.
I think that the new Sonys have bi-directional firewire.
Originally posted by fire407
I think that the new Sonys have bi-directional firewire.
That's probably true since the specs no longer say "I-Link INPUT" ...

Good stuff!

Slimoli, you are WRONG about Sony TVs not being able to output to D-VHS recorders. I have the Sony KDF70XBR950 which is an LCD RPTV. It has firewire jacks and appears to have the same software as the plasma box above. I connected my JVC 30K D-VHS recorder via the I-link connector and can record both over the air and cable DIGITAL broadcasts. As long is there is a D-VHS tape in the recorder, the record button on the Sony I-Link screen is available and works perfectly. Unfortunately in order to record from the Sony TV it has to be on and showing the channel you are recording. This is unlike the Mitsubishi TVs, which can be used to record to a D-VHS recorder even when the TV screen is off, or showing another input.

My set up is the above mentioned TV, the JVC 30K and a Samsung SIR-T165. I use the Samsung for unattended recording with the JVC so the TV does not have to be on. When I activate the I-Link menu in the TV, it shows both the VCR and the Samsung and you can switch between them. It is a nice setup, but not as nice as the Mitsubishi, which my brother has. Of course, I love the sharp, clear and bright picture the the LCD provides, it is much sharper then the CRT based Mits.

The JVC D-VHS recorder shows two I-Link "channels" that can be used to record from. My setup has I-1 as the Samsung, and I-2 as the Sony. This way I can record something from the Samsung if I am not home, and if I am home and watching something on the Sony that I want to save, I can have the JVC record from I-2. I am satisfied with this setup, but it would have been nicer if Sony would have gone the extra step like Mits did.
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If you read my last post you can see that I agreed that the new Sony TVs have bi-directional firewire. The model 42XBR950 , however, seems to have I-Link INPUT only according to the specs on Sony's website.

The old Sonys only had INPUT firewire and I didn't know that some of the new ones have two way firewire capability.

Thanks for your comment.

A follow up answer to my own question. The Panasonic DVHS cannot record from the Sony XBR950, but the Mitsubishi can. I picked up the 1100 today (clearance item) at BestBuy. It can record directly from the Sony XBR's ATSC tuner through the firewire connection.
I can record OTA HDTV from a 65WS550's I-Link port onto a JVC 40k D-VHS deck, so I know that at least the WS550's have both input and output along their firewire ports.
My apology for a possibly pedantic quibble. FireWire (and i.Link) is always bi-directional. In fact, unlike USB and USB 2, it is a bus for connecting peers. A particular node, like the media box that comes with Sony 42XBR950 may only have the software present to support input or output, DV or HDTV-TS. It is certainly a decent shorthand to describe the i.Link of a device as input only but don't be surprised when packets pass between devices connected to the media boxes' two connectors. FireWire acts more like ethernet than USB or a regular serial connection. In fact both WinXP and Mac OS X can run TCP/IP over FireWire.

The issue of interoperability between devices that connect with FireWire usually comes down to which AV/C protocols have been implemented. Ideally all these devices would have HAVi implemented so they could "improve" as new devices appear.
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