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Digital VHS - not satisfactory

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Old 08-07-2007, 08:33 AM   #16  
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Originally Posted by electrictroy View Post
No. My hard-drived-based camcorder uses MPEG-2, so that the video can be dumped directly to DVD. (MiniDV's HDV format is also MPEG-2.) I don't know what DVRs use.

Anyway:

You're probably right that JVC never saw a reason to implement LS7. The LS5 speed records at 2.8 MBps and JVC probably thought that was slow enough. (On the other hand, the slower speed records upto 60 hours, so purely from an economic standpoint, I think it would be worth adding.)

Another question:

Does D-VHS use constant bitrate recording? Or is it variable bitrate?
The tape speed is constant. Feed it an HDTV source that varies at HS speed and the VCR will record it bit for bit up to the maximum of 28.2Mbps. Feed it a digital SD source and it will record it up to 14.1Mbps. The VCR can record variable or constant bitrates input over firewire. I am not sure what happens if you feed it something that exceeds the maximum, I don't have a source to test that. I can't get the VCR to lock on standard when feeding it an HD source. Some using a PC have indicated it works over PC firewire connections, but I have no experience.

As far as the analog source recordings, I believe the VCR encodes at a constant rate, I can't see how it could do otherwise, but again as I have mentioned I have never used D-VHS for encoding an analog source.

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Old 08-07-2007, 04:12 PM   #17  
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Software shortcomings are the major flaws with DVR's. Chris
DirecTV's HR20 HD DVR had a lot of software bugs at first, but most of those problems have been resolved by upgrades. Mine has been rock-solid stable for months. I didn't like the idea of giving up my Tivo when I went to HD, but the HR20 is actually a very good DVR now and offers the same functionality as the Tivo.

The drawback on DVRs is that the capacity is limited to the amount of disk space you have. Even with a 1TB storage system, it really isn't a good solution for long-term storage of HD content. It would be nice to be able to record HD to other media, but it doesn't look like we're going to see any Blu-ray or HD DVD recorders anytime soon. The Blu-ray website shows a bunch of prototype recorders, but none of them have been released in this country. If that doesn't change, I might have to start looking at HD camcorders.
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Old 08-08-2007, 07:36 AM   #18  
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Or D-VHS. ;-)

I don't understand why making a DVR work would be so difficult. It's just like a VCR, except using a hard drive instead of tape. And yet I hear people complaining about how they experienced problems with their DVR. Doesn't make sense.
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Old 08-08-2007, 08:56 AM   #19  
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Or D-VHS. ;-)

I don't understand why making a DVR work would be so difficult. It's just like a VCR, except using a hard drive instead of tape. And yet I hear people complaining about how they experienced problems with their DVR. Doesn't make sense.
DVRs have software that VCRs don't have. With a VCR, it's just a timer that controls it. With a DVR, there is lot of functionality that isn't offered by VCRs. DirecTV had to get their HD DVR to market in a hurry, since the HD locals are in MPEG4 and their older DVRs are MPEG2-only. They released it with a lot of bugs and then fixed most of the problems with software upgrades.
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Old 08-08-2007, 11:05 AM   #20  
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With a DVR, there is lot of functionality that isn't offered by VCRs.
Like what?
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Old 08-08-2007, 11:13 AM   #21  
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It appears JVC actually went *backwards* with these HM-DH5U and HM-DT100 VCRs. Instead of adding an extra speed, they deleted a speed (LS5).
I still don't understand this. If we assume these VCRs are backwards-compatible with the 40000 unit, and can play old LS5 tapes from that model, why would JVC disable the ability to record?

I think being able to put 40 hours of NTSC-quality video on a single tape is a pretty sweet deal.

IMHO.
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Old 08-08-2007, 11:29 AM   #22  
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Like what?
To sum it up in a word: everything. DVRs allow you to set up programs to record automatically from an electronic program guide. You can also search for programs in the guide and record them by just pressing a button. You don't even have to know what time a program will be on or what channel. You can record programs that are on at the same time. You can watch a program from the beginning while it is still recording. You can freeze live programs and back up if you miss something. Also, unlike a VCR, there is no difference in quality between watching a live program and a recording. And there's no need to label tapes, since recordings show up in an on-screen menu. I could go on and on, but I think you get the idea.

A VCR is just a dumb device that lets you turn it on or off and set the channel using a clock timer. The difference is night and day. If you haven't used a DVR, you don't know what you're missing.
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Old 08-08-2007, 04:02 PM   #23  
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I still don't understand this. If we assume these VCRs are backwards-compatible with the 40000 unit, and can play old LS5 tapes from that model, why would JVC disable the ability to record?

I think being able to put 40 hours of NTSC-quality video on a single tape is a pretty sweet deal.

IMHO.
As far as I know, you are the only person I have ever seen mention wanting to use these longer recording lengths on tapes. My guess is the feature was not well received, the video quality atrocious and complaints were many. A DVR is the device to use for unattended lengthy recording. A D-VHS VCR is a device to use to record a program at identical to source quality using removable media. At least I can state I use mine that way and everybody I communicate online with regarding using D-VHS does the same to the best of my knowledge. I can't offer much information regarding anything longer than STD D-VHS recording, you are the only person I have seen that cares about it. D-VHS wasn't well received by the market and the encoding at low video quality sure wasn't something the market needed or wanted.

MY stand alone TiVo and ReplayTV DVR's both encode analog source video using MPEG-2, you might pick up one of those for hundreds of hours of extended recording to a hard drive. Something like a Panasonic Showstopper ReplayTV can be purchased fairly inexpensive used and has no service fee, but requires a land line connection to get schedules for any TV service you plan to use it with. I have never used one of the analog input DVR's for anything other than analog cable or analog OTA, but there is an S-Video input and composite video input.

Something like a DirecTV DVR has no MPEG encoder, it just records the digital satellite feed.

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Old 08-08-2007, 04:04 PM   #24  
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A VCR is just a dumb device that lets you turn it on or off and set the channel using a clock timer. The difference is night and day. If you haven't used a DVR, you don't know what you're missing.
I agree with that. My first and still favorite DVR was a TiVo, purchased from DirecTV.

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Old 08-08-2007, 04:27 PM   #25  
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I agree with that. My first and still favorite DVR was a TiVo, purchased from DirecTV.
Chris
I liked the Tivo, too, and I wasn't thrilled with having to switch. But once you get used to the HR20, it's really just as good. The interface is a little different, but it offers nearly all of the functionality of the Tivo and even adds a few new features. It has an external SATA port that makes it easy to upgrade storage (mine has 1TB). And its Ethernet port can connect to a broadband Internet connection and will be used for the upcoming Video on Demand service.
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Old 08-08-2007, 05:04 PM   #26  
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CHRIS: Yeah I was looking at a DVR today that advertised 200 hours of SD recording. That certainly beats 40 hours on a tape.
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You can also search for programs in the guide and record them by just pressing a button.
That does sound convenient. ----- As long as it's free; it doesn't make sense to save myself 30 seconds in programming, if I later have to work an extra 3600 seconds (hour) to pay the $20 subscription fee. That's throwing away time.
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Also, unlike a VCR, there is no difference in quality between watching a live program and a recording.
Super VHS produces programs identical to the live broadcast (since "live" is only 300-330 lines resolution).

Last edited by electrictroy; 08-08-2007 at 05:14 PM..
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Old 08-08-2007, 07:44 PM   #27  
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Super VHS produces programs identical to the live broadcast (since "live" is only 300-330 lines resolution).
Incorrect. A recording to Super VHS tape is not identical to the live broadcast from which it was recorded.
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Old 08-09-2007, 02:43 AM   #28  
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CHRIS: Yeah I was looking at a DVR today that advertised 200 hours of SD recording. That certainly beats 40 hours on a tape. That does sound convenient. ----- As long as it's free; it doesn't make sense to save myself 30 seconds in programming, if I later have to work an extra 3600 seconds (hour) to pay the $20 subscription fee. That's throwing away time.
Super VHS produces programs identical to the live broadcast (since "live" is only 300-330 lines resolution).
SVHS is not close to identical to the source. If you have two SVHS VCR's, just do a simple test and record an SVHS recording to SVHS, then do it again. By the third or fourth generation, tell me how identical it is to the original. I have W-VHS and it clearly isn't identical to the source, no analog recording can be. W-VHS is way beyond SVHS in terms of quality of analog recording.

A digital VCR like D-VHS is identical to he source when recorded over firewire when nothing goes wrong, but in the real world, things often go wrong. The digital recorders such as TiVo or ReplayTV do better than SVHS when used at the highest level, but they aren't identical to the source either when recording from an analog source.

I started using Beta then SuperBeta then EDBeta then to SVHS. EDBeta was slightly better than SVHS but tape for SVHS was less expensive and I sold my EDBeta VCR fortunately at a profit and lived with SVHS until D-VHS and TiVo made it obsolete for me.

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Old 08-09-2007, 07:55 AM   #29  
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I see you disagree with rcoleman's statement: "Unlike a VCR, there is no difference in quality between watching a live program and a [DVR] recording." I found it surprising Chris that you would disagree with Coleman's claim.

Oh well. I wasn't being that literal. I know a copy is never perfect.

I was merely refuting Coleman's claim that a VCR can't create a recording that APPEARS identical. When I tape my Comcast cable, and then play it back, I don't see any difference between the live cable and the S-VHS recording. (Thus negating Coleman's claim that a VCR can't make recordings that *appear* identical.)

Last edited by electrictroy; 08-09-2007 at 08:05 AM..
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Old 08-09-2007, 08:15 AM   #30  
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I see you disagree with rcoleman's statement: "Unlike a VCR, there is no difference in quality between watching a live program and a [DVR] recording." I found it surprising Chris that you would disagree with Coleman's claim.

Oh well. I wasn't being that literal. I know a copy is never perfect.

I was merely refuting Coleman's claim that a VCR can't create a recording that APPEARS identical. When I tape my Comcast cable, and then play it back, I don't see any difference between the live cable and the S-VHS recording. (Thus negating Coleman's claim that a VCR can't make recordings that *appear* identical.)
There are two kinds of DVR's, one that encodes an analog signal, without question there is a difference and the difference can be huge when encoding at a low bitrate. The other kind that directly records a digital signal, records the bitstream and there is no difference. I don't know where you think the two of us differ.

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