• 06-02-2005, 09:21 AM
    External HDTV Receiver Question
    I just added an HDTV receiver to my HT setup which I intend to use for non-cable, over-the-air reception of local HDTV broadcasts. It has three video connections on the back: composite, s-video, and VGA. My HDTV-ready TV only has composite, s-video, and component video, so:

    - For s-video, what is the rated resolution? Will it support 1080i? If not, what is the best resolution it will support?
    - Will I be better off using the VGA output instead? If so, what type/brand of adapter should I use to convert the signal to component video?

    Also, I have not yet purchased an antenna, but was considering the Radio Shack $49 model. Is there anything better out there I should consider?

    Thanks in advance.
  • 06-02-2005, 09:57 AM
    edtyct
    S-video is an analog, 480i format. For HD, you'll need to use the receiver's VGA output to the TV's component input, and you'll need a transcoder to complete the process, since a simple component to VGA adaptor won't work. The most well-known transcoder is the Audio Authority 09A60, which many people (me included) used in the early days of the RCA DTC-100 satellite/OTA receiver (is that the receiver that you're using?). RCA also came out with its own transcoder to compete with Audio Authority's at the same price. As far as I know the Audio Authority version is still for sale at Copperbox for $129,

    A bunch of different antennas can do the job, depending on how far you are from the source and what's in the way of the signal. If can get away with a low-profile antenna on a window sill or somewhere near your system, Terk has a few inconspicuous models. They market them as HD antennas, which is hogwash. But unless the looks of the Radio Shack one bothers you, see if it can do the job. If not, take it back to the store. Don't forget to find out how many stations are in your area.

    Ed
  • 06-02-2005, 10:45 AM
    Resolution with a VGA Transcoder?
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by edtyct
    S-video is an analog, 480i format. For HD, you'll need to use the receiver's VGA output to the TV's component input, and you'll need a transcoder to complete the process, since a simple component to VGA adaptor won't work. The most well-known transcoder is the Audio Authority 09A60, which many people (me included) used in the early days of the RCA DTC-100 satellite/OTA receiver (is that the receiver that you're using?).

    Yes, it's an RCA DTC-100. Got a great deal on a used one (I like to keep costs down). What resolution can I expect with the Audio Authority transcoder?

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by edtyct
    Terk has a few inconspicuous models. They market them as HD antennas, which is hogwash.

    The one from Radio Shack is a Terk. What did you mean by "hogwash"?
  • 06-02-2005, 11:12 AM
    edtyct
    The transcoder will provide whatever resolution the DTC-100 sends across. I don't remember whether the DTC-100 does 720p; it may default to 1080i for high def. If you have a CRT, 720p would become 1080i, anyway, unless you have one of those rare birds that downconverts 720p to 480p. I believe that the DTC-100 upconverts non-HD formats to 540p (though the manual doesn't say so). However, if you have a fixed-pixel display, both formats will be scaled to the display's native resolution. In short, you'll get high definition if you have a high-definition-capable set.

    The hogwash comment was not to imply that the Terks can't get HD, only that antennas aren't really classified as SD or HD. Antennas are antennas; some are better than others.

    Ed
  • 06-02-2005, 03:02 PM
    Antennas & Specs
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by edtyct
    The hogwash comment was not to imply that the Terks can't get HD, only that antennas aren't really classified as SD or HD. Antennas are antennas; some are better than others. Ed

    Any other brands or specs I should consider for the antenna?
  • 06-02-2005, 06:01 PM
    edtyct
    You only want to get as much antenna as you need. Go to the Terk site and click on "Antenna Locator" at the bottom of the indoor/outdoor antenna page. Enter your zip code. A list of all channels accessible in your area will come up, provided by CEA. You can customize the list for digital, analog, or both. The color coding of each channel will tell you what kind of antenna you'll need to receive it. If you're interested primarily in stations with a red code, then your chances of succeeding with one of the indoor antennas are best, and so on down the line. If you want channels that are hard to get, you'll be better off with some variation on an outdoor antenna, possibly with an amp and high directionality. Winegard also makes good antennas, if you want to check out an alternative.

    Ed
  • 06-14-2005, 11:20 AM
    Will S-video support 480p?
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by edtyct
    You only want to get as much antenna as you need. Go to the Terk site and click on "Antenna Locator" at the bottom of the indoor/outdoor antenna page. Enter your zip code. A list of all channels accessible in your area will come up, provided by CEA. You can customize the list for digital, analog, or both. The color coding of each channel will tell you what kind of antenna you'll need to receive it. If you're interested primarily in stations with a red code, then your chances of succeeding with one of the indoor antennas are best, and so on down the line. If you want channels that are hard to get, you'll be better off with some variation on an outdoor antenna, possibly with an amp and high directionality. Winegard also makes good antennas, if you want to check out an alternative.

    Ed

    Will S-video support 480p?
  • 06-14-2005, 04:31 PM
    edtyct
    No. You need a component, DVI, or HDMI connection.
  • 06-14-2005, 09:48 PM
    s dog
    over the air
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by edtyct
    No. You need a component, DVI, or HDMI connection.

    Do they make over the air hd receivers that have component out puts, Im thinking about doing the same thing with my toshiba hd tv which only has component and hdmi hookups for the hd And i was wandering how much do these receivers cost ,dish wants $200.00 for a hd receiver installed and $10.00 a month for the hd package but it only has a few channels that are hd and besides most of the stuff i watch is on local cbs and fox, also where do you buy these things, thank you
  • 06-15-2005, 05:14 AM
    edtyct
    Yes, the OTA HD receivers have component outputs. Samsung, Motorola, and others sell OTA receivers for about $250. OTAs can also double as DirecTV, Dish, or cable receivers (LG's, for one). DirecTV's, for example, doesn't cost more, but you pay for programming. Any electronics store, such as Best Buy or Circuit City, carries a few. You can also find them online or at more dedicated A/V stores like Tweeter. DirecTV and Dish have picked up some of VOOM's HD channels, and each apparently has other plans to increase programming. Comcast cable offers about 15 to 20 HD stations. For someone like me, that's more than enough, if you can stomach the company. I'll resist making political comments about the various providers.

    Ed
  • 06-15-2005, 11:03 AM
    What about recording HDTV?
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by edtyct
    No. You need a component, DVI, or HDMI connection.

    OK, so here's the crux of the problem. The HDTV box (an RCA unit) will only output HDTV via the VGA out (I bought an AA 9A60 adapter). But I have become quite fond of watching TV w/o commercials, particularly the basic channels. I use a Panasonic PVR to time-slip and then the CM button to zip past the commercials.

    It seems to me that the end result is that there is currently no way to record HDTV. If so, I've got a good mind to sit the whole HDTV fad out. Even most of the cable programs that claim to be HDTV and digital (whatever that means), are being crammed with commercials. It's the whole reason I bought a PVR in the first place. I'd gladly replace it, but there isn't a single unit out there that has component video in (or DVI/HDMI, for that matter). It's not just that commercial interruptions are irritating, they actually cause ADD, hyperactivity, and a host of other behavior problems in children and I'll be damned if I'm going to screw up my kids like that.

    If there is one sure way to make HDTV go the way of SACD/DVD-A, it's to keep honest people from recording....
  • 06-15-2005, 02:00 PM
    edtyct
    Boy, I hear you. When my daughter watches TV, 95% of the time, it's PBS. On those rare occasions when we let her watch something on a commercial network, the difference is jarring, at least for me. The crass come-ons that kids get from advertisers is beyond tolerance. Since the network stations that are on HD simply duplicate any children's programs that are also on SD, the commercials persist on them. (I don't believe that any of the kids' digital "cable" stations, like Nickoledeon, Noggin, Disney, etc. are in HD yet.) The difference between digital broadcasts and HD broadcasts is the difference between the 480 format and the 1080i/720p format. To remind you of your logical syllogisms, All digital is not HD, even though all HD is digital.

    I take it that you object to commercials not just for your kids' sake but your own as well. Otherwise, you could let them watch their accustomed commercial programs as they usually do via the Panasonic, while you suffered through the HD stations with the commercials intact. I personally confess no great love of DirecTV, but if you want to avoid commericals but still watch HD, you do have the option of getting DirecTV's HD DVR receiver, along with the appropriate dish, which does in fact allow you to record HD via an embedded hard drive and thus skip through commecials. You could also move to cable and rent an HD DVR from them.

    The industry treatment, or non-treatment, of SACD/DVD-A, is deplorable. But I like them regardless of their lack of recording opportunities and their analog cabling. What I don't like is their status as afterthoughts within the recording industry and all that it implies. In any event, HD video does permit recording. My library of Deadwood recordings testifies to it. Honestly, even if I couldn't record HD, I'd still be an adovocate of it, and my daughter would watch primarily stations without commercials (in our case, PBS, HBO, and various On Demand offerings). Good luck in your quest. Sorry that it isn't working for you yet.

    Ed
  • 06-15-2005, 02:42 PM
    What kind of hookup do you need to record HDTV?
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by edtyct
    In any event, HD video does permit recording. My library of Deadwood recordings testifies to it.

    Ed,

    How are you recording HD? Are you using DirectTV's PVR? So I take it that not being able to find a recorder has nothing to do with some kind of copyright nonsense that Panasonic is doggedly trying to stick to. If that's the case, there should be a market for HD recorders in the near future...

    I also don't care for monthly subsription fees, hence the reason I bought the Panasonic, but I'm not married to the brand, so if there's something else out there that you recommend, I'm all ears. I've heard that Mac laptops can do this using the firewire link, but that's a bit expensive just to record HD.
  • 06-15-2005, 02:55 PM
    edtyct
    I record on a hard drive that is embedded in my Motorola cable receiver. The prohibition against HD recording concerns stand-alone components like your Panasonic, which might produce contraband disks of HD broadcasts that would make you millions on the international market. The hard drive ones don't run that risk, since the broadcasters themselves can control what you record and what you can do with it. Any recording that can be done via a hard drive on a computer is about to get much more difficult, as encryption and HDCP are about to be brought to bear more stringently on it. All such digital devices sold on the market are to be HDCP-equipped by July. Barring strategies that are beyond me (and many are), you'll need a reputable STB of some kind to record HD. Mine costs $15.00 a month, along with my programming.

    Ed
  • 06-15-2005, 03:54 PM
    Well, I better buy that Mac soon, then...
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by edtyct
    Mine costs $15.00 a month, along with my programming.

    Seriously, though, what if DirectTV decides they don't want you to skip commercials anymore? Or what if they start selecting which programs they will allow you to record for later viewing? Or ultimately, they decide what you should watch...

    Personally, I hope that the broadcasters fall flat on their faces with this big-brother crap and that there will always be ways around it. The airwaves (i.e. all the broadcast channels) aren't there to be owned by miscreants who will charge us for access at every flick of the switch. All such schemes have failed in the past, often violently.

    I'm not trying to break the law, here. I am only exercising my right to order a burger w/o the advertising pickle. Just as I don't want to buy a whole album just to enjoy one hit song, or just as I want to be able to buy a hybrid sedan instead of gas hog SUV, I want to enjoy my programming w/o being force-fed constant interruptions from Zocor, Masengil, and that pop-pseudo-news-crap about wacko Jacko. If I'm watching a movie, I should be able to watch it w/o interruptions. If not, I should have the right to buy another one that doesn't have interruptions. I heard that they will start "product-testing" movie theater commercial intermissions and including those on DVD's too. It wasn't too long ago that there were no Ford commercials at the movies....

    I for one, will fight this with my pocket book for as long as I can. I also believe that I'm not alone in my dismay about this. Sooner or later this overcommercialization will reach a boiling point and something is going to snap. The corporate fat cats should realize that worker productivity is way down, not because of pay (everyone is making more than ever before), but because there is no entertainment outside of work that offers a true respite. Everything that was once fun has become laborious. If I didn't have children who remind me of the more important things in life, I would be one miserable employee just a few lattes shy of going postal.

    Philosophers through the ages have warned us that societies have to provide some mechanism of meaningful escape for the workers. When it doesn't, something usually snaps.
  • 06-15-2005, 06:04 PM
    edtyct
    Nightflier,

    Sounds like you're turning into a good candidate for Marxism (no, not communism, as we've known it, which is just capitalism by the state instead of the bourgeoisie). I agree totally about the utter tastelessness and decadence of commercialism and about the government favoring corporate America over traditional citizenship (but that's what our government does nowadays). It is a disgrace, but the whole notion of what constitutes "rights" is immensely tricky. You only have a "right" to buy one song rather than an album if that song is made available by itself (or if you have another way, legal or illegal, of procuring it). You do have the right to buy a hybrid car rather than an SUV, because both are offered. But you don't have the innate "right" to watch a TV show without its sponsor intruding on it, unless that opportunity is presented to you somehow, because that TV show exists only because of the sponsors' money. HBO and other noncommercial outlets exist as an alternative because people are willing to pay for them.

    Every coroporate entity has a categorical imperative to increase its revenue in this culture. Corporations by their very nature, like sharks, are amoral. It's up to us, and our government, to make sure that no business or other parochial interest swallows up everything in its path. I happen to believe that our government is failing us in that regard, largely because it is more allied with corporate concerns than the good of society as a whole.

    If we're going to watch shows and movies, somehow they have to be delivered to us. The current system is wearing out its welcome, but it isn't going to change any time soon. Commercials aren't going to stop. To me, rather than looking for a better escape from reality, we ought to be making reality something that doesn't require escape. If pulling your purse strings tighter helps to maintain your integrity and improve your life, more power to you. It probably wouldn't hurt us to watch less TV and buy fewer films and records. But the people that you end up penalizing might not be the ones that you intended (why should record company executives make more money than artists? why should Exxon have profits of over $20 billion at a time when most of us are feeling the crunch of a so-called gas crisis?). Besides, one man's commercial-ridden horror story is another man's escape for the evening. To me, not enjoying what we create is like cutting off our noses to spite our faces. Our quarrel isn't with the creative people who entertain us, and sometimes even enlighten us; it's with the means of production, to borrow a phrase. It's better to find a way to keep the good things that we have without constantly having to associate them with less decorous ones. In some ways, culture is subject to inertia; it won't be completely overhauled. It's not always going to go your way or mine. But in other ways, it is subject to improvement that would meet with most people's approval. Political, social, and economic environments aren't totally etched in stone. I'd certainly hate to think, as Pangloss said, to his own folly in Candide, that this is the best of all possible worlds. If the best we can do is think of ways to escape from it, it might as well be.

    Okay, I'm off the soapbox and into the showers.

    Ed
  • 06-16-2005, 05:17 AM
    Groundbeef
    Recording HD
    I have Direct TV and the HD package. I did NOT however purchase the HD receiver and TiVO combo as it was $999 when I bought. They can now be purchased for about $699. Anyway I digress. I did however purchase a stand a lone Tivo Unit. It has input for S video and S video output. It does a pretty good job of recording HD programming. Now, I understand S video is not as good as component, but I stress the pretty good job. I does record the Direct TV HD signal, as the channels were manually added to my TiVO lineup. As far as over the air I have to "cheat" a bit. I simply change the channel on my DirectTV HD reciever to the over the air HD signal say "local HD channel 15". It is VERY IMPORTANT to only change it with the Direct TV receiver. Tivo still thinks its on what ever channel it was on before, but the signal from the box is the HD signal from the over the air channel.
    The clarity is very good for what I am doing, and I am pleased with the result. Just another way to skin a cat. I still can then do the commercial skip and all that. The only down side is you have to change the channel manually to record instead of TiVO doing it.
  • 06-16-2005, 09:01 AM
    Engels, Pangloss & Citizen's Rights
    Wow, I certainly didn't mean to echo Engels in my wishes. I actually think my argument was rooted more in a Republican or even Libertarian ideal. Although it is interesting to find that in their extremes, political philosophies usually wind up sounding an awful lot like their polar opposites...

    But without getting too philosophical, here, I am asking for choice. I do have the right to request a song from an artist directly, if the means are there. No one should have the right to charge me a toll while I legally access the file over the airwaves or the internet. This is what I am addressing: that there are mediums such as the internet and the airwaves that are universally owned. The idea that by controlling the manufacturing of my access tools (my computer or cable box) Bill Gates can now charge me for my use of something that he does not own, infuriates me.

    I'm not trying to access HBO illegally, I'm trying to reach CBS, NBC, PBS, etc., which previously I could access with rabbit ears, record at my leisure, and fast-forward through the parts I didn't care for. I could choose to watch just the commercials I wanted to see and no one had a problem with that. The cost of the programming was borne by the collective commercials that all of us recorders selected to watch and not skip. That was then. Now, because I need a different antenna to access the exact same information, I somehow need to pay extra for it. That's crap!

    And not that I have anything against suffering philosophers, but I must say that this is not the best of all possible worlds. Perhaps you don't mind paying a small toll for everything, but if you agree to increasingly crippling terms, then what will you do when they come asking for your half of an arse? Personally, I'd like to continue sitting up straight.

    So I have a very simple question: is anyone developping a standalone recorder that will record HDTV, either via component video, Firewire, HDMI, or DVI?

    Or will I have to bring one over from Europe, hack it to change the country code, and break the law in doing so just to be able to enjoy what more liberal and egalitarian countries enjoy? If everyone else in the world objects to the US's copyright laws, certainly the possibility is there that we are not doing what's best for our citizens. Even the staunchest Republican-Corporatist must entertain the possibility.
  • 06-16-2005, 11:51 AM
    edtyct
    NF,

    Oy, my late night rambling was not meant to be an endorsement of any policy, simply a description of how things stand. I agree with you about the airwaves and internet. I believe that government, in its alliance with the content providers, is indeed overextending its powers by forcing the broadcast flags on us. Nothing in the original mandate of the FCC gives it that kind of reach. Maybe you read my report on the board about the unsuccessful attempt of a few independent parties to bring the matter to court. Not many people did.

    Sometimes I don't mind paying a small toll for things, so long as the reasons seem to warrant it. Not everyone will agree with what everyone else thinks on such matters. Nor am I against taxation. To me, the idea that all markets can take care of themselves is naive--if not plain self-serving for those with money and privilege, and delusional for those without them. In fact, I resent the implication these days that matters of social concern, justice, economic well-being, etc. should be treated like classic markets, anyway. Moral laissez-faire always favors those in power, never those with intelligent disagreement. The rhetoric of "it's my money, my time, and my business, and I'll do with them what I like" is a dangerous recipe; contrary to what many people would like to think, it is a prescription for more government in the wrong places and far less common good. The point is that if enough people think that certain laws are unjust, then eventually these laws may change. But they won't change automatically if we don't make a good case for it. Just saying that we have a right to something won't cut it. The language of rights is a language of custom, law, power, and economic interest. Certain people are going to feel entitled to some of what you might want to take away from them. You'd better make a strong case for your position, not just that you want something that they won't give to you.

    A person is always free to obtain programming illegally. The negative side is the practical risk involved, not the fires of hell and eternal moral judgment. My question was about how we show disagreement, which involves making clear what we think we are entitled to have that we don't have. Otherwise, things stay as they are. In the relatively trivial (in the scheme of things) matter of copy protection, I think that we're dealing with a kind of greed that gets support in the upper levels of American politics, because the people involved are major players; they can get what they want. Personally, I think that it's symptomatic of far more serious problems in this country. Frankly, I disagree that "the staunchest Republican corporatist must entertain the possibility that we're not doing what's best for our citizens" and that this country's values are askew--at least not the ones that he holds and currently rule the roost. And that's my point in a nutshell. So what do you do?

    I have no doubt that some company has already developed a stand-alone HD recorder to sell when the powers that be deem that copy protection makes it safe to market. What company could afford to pass up this possible golden opportunity? If I could give you an alternative now, I would. If one ever arrives in the mainstream, however, you can bet that it won't have analog HD-capable component outputs. If you're willing to go outside the country, you might explore Chinese electronics manufacturers, which have already developed their own HD DVD system and may well have their own HD-capable DVRs. Some people have speculated that the Chinese may well benefit from any format war or other delay involving fair use of HD in this country.

    Ed
  • 06-16-2005, 12:33 PM
    China, isn't that getting us back to Marx?
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by edtyct
    If you're willing to go outside the country, you might explore Chinese electronics manufacturers, which have already developed their own HD DVD system and may well have their own HD-capable DVRs. Some people have speculated that the Chinese may well benefit from any format war or other delay involving fair use of HD in this country.

    Then off to China I go. Heck, Candide went all over the place to find happiness, right? So does anyone else know of any far eastern manufactured recorders that will allow me to record HDTV? Is there anyone over there that's part of this forum?

    Ed, to answer your question, I vote with my pocket book, as the saying goes. I'm also a thorn in the side of my local congressman (yes, it's a man, not a woman and likely won't be for many more years) when he gets the wild idea that I'm not paying attention, and perhaps the most important thing that I do is teach my children to think beyond the obvious.

    Specifically, I go to the supermarket with a list and stick to it like religion, I search the net for as much info as I can before I buy anything, I drive a low-fuel consuming stick shift, and I've been known to spend whole days at car dealers to get the deal that I want. I don't read the Times or Wall Street Journal, I skip through commercials, skip through magazines using the index, buy most of my movies second-hand, avoid movie theaters, award shows, and reality shows, but attend my duaghter's recitals, graduations, and games. I avoid fast food, buy organic or at least check the labels, and use cash whenever possible. I read books (remember those?), enjoy good music, and a fine wine whenever I can. I don't have high-speed internet, don't pay for cable or satellite, don't have a cell phone plan (I use my work phone, so I guess that doesn't really count). I give to charity, recycle or compost most everything, carpool, walk or take the bus whenever possible, borrow from friends and relatives (hence my access to lots of good electronics) & lend out as much, and I write letters and postcards more often than most people. Basically, I do everything I can to steer clear of the nonsense that is crammed down our throats at every turn.

    And yes, there is still a lot more I could do so I still feel guilty about all the awfull things in the world that my laziness contributes to. I am also a bit of a nut about speakers and since recently, also amps and other components. This is expensive and I'm sure it contributes to slave labor overseas.

    I guess like Pangloss, I tend my garden, but I buy really nice bulbs.
  • 06-16-2005, 12:58 PM
    edtyct
    NF, I wasn't sending a personal challenge, but I'm grateful for the response. Too bad we live on opposite coasts. It was good talking to you. One thing I can tell you, you ain't lazy. Take care. I hope we talk again soon.

    Ed
  • 06-16-2005, 03:40 PM
    hermanv
    Recording HDTV
    A while back there were some video tape machines, I think they were VHS-D (for digital?) they could record HD from the component inputs which do not have the copy guard flag like the digital signals do. Are those machines still around?

    Wasn't there a recent superior court decision that said the FCC was never granted authority to 1. control consumer electronics equipment and that 2. the FCC requirement for inclusion of a a copy guard flag signal in any player or recoder was a violation of their charter? and 3. A violation of both free trade and speech?

    Of course the entertainment industry is up in arms....

    Also I'd bet some enteprising soul has by now written a digital copy disable tool to let you copy HDI, HDMI or other format to your computer hard disk. Maybe an internet search?
  • 06-16-2005, 06:13 PM
    edtyct
    Yeah, the ruling was that the FCC exceeded its jurisdiction; it can affect only communication by wave or radio per se, not what happens after it. For now, the flag is on hold. It remains to be seen what happens next. You can bet that the entertainment industry will punish everyone and withhold programming from ATSC, leaving only cable and satellite to show it. It has already threatened as much. I wish it were, but this ain't done.

    D-VHS actually had one of the thirteen protection schemes approved by the FCC.
  • 06-17-2005, 08:13 AM
    hermanv
    Copy quality
    The current brouhaha over "perfect" copies seems so silly when you think about plain paper copiers. It's pretty much the same as demanding that those copiers be limited to no more than 100 dots per inch instead of the 1200 dots and up commonly available.

    When the first Xerox machine appeared, who could have seen the connection to digital cameras and the ability to print photographs at home, to home fax machines?

    The industry attempts to halt long term progress in favor of short term greed. Remember these are the same folks who spent fortunes trying to block the VCR. The VCR due to shortcommings led to the DVD and DVD sales now account for around half this industries income.

    As predicited all the movie theaters went out of business.- Oh wait, no they didn't, they were transformed into a different experience, reborn as the multiplex.
  • 06-17-2005, 10:22 AM
    Any Firewire recorders out there?
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by edtyct
    NF, I wasn't sending a personal challenge, but I'm grateful for the response. Too bad we live on opposite coasts. It was good talking to you. One thing I can tell you, you ain't lazy. Take care. I hope we talk again soon.

    Ed

    Ed, I was more talking to everyone. Didn't mean to imply anything. Your input is greatly appreciated.

    Herm,

    Since the fat cats and their puppet-politicians are still undecided about how to squeeze more blood out of a stone, any recorders on the horizon? Right now, the only resonable option is to buy a computer and put that next to my TV (not really what I would want to do). Here's an article about how to do that, by the way, if anyone is interested:

    http://www.powerpage.org/cgi-bin/Web...y?newsID=13379

    This is because of "a recent FCC regulation requiring all cable companies to provide a Firewire-enabled Cable box to any customer who asks." It looks to be a loophole for now, but I'm sure someone is going to put a stop to it soon.

    P.S. Other than computers, are there any firewire recorders out there?
  • 06-17-2005, 11:03 AM
    hermanv
    The times, they are a changing.

    Wireless connectivity is getting cheap, real cheap. I've seen it as as low as $15, Hong Kong. So soon you wont need to have your TV next to your computer or visa versa, Homes will have wireless LAN (That's Local Area Networks for any non-computer geeks) to distribute everything from e-mail to FAX to video and audio.

    Whether the format becomes wireless USB, wireless Firewire, 802.11 is pretty much irrelevant.

    Some of this technology is already cheaper than decent cables and will soon be cheaper than even the lowest cost cables (if you include connector prices). So given corporate cost conciousness what do you think will be the way our home theater stuff connects in the future?

    It's all digital, noise free, quality as good as goes in, comes out. These people so frightned of digital copies have long ago lost the war, it just hasn't penetrated yet.

    You may recal the entertaiment industry was succesful in delaying the introduction of home CD recorders. Their myopia didn't notice that CD-ROM (same thing) copying for computers was well established and cheap, they lost that war for the same reason, by the time they got dressed for battle, the front had moved well past them.

    Dinosuars inevitably suffer the same fate, a few are able to postpone it for a while.
  • 06-17-2005, 12:47 PM
    Well, it may take a while to get there. In the meantine: Firewire is it.
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by hermanv
    Wireless... It's all digital, noise free, quality as good as goes in, comes out. These people so frightned of digital copies have long ago lost the war, it just hasn't penetrated yet.

    If you're thinking of something like bluetooth, I don't see that happening soon. The problem with wireless in a hi-fi /hi-def environment like HDTV is bandwith, and perhaps to a lesser extent, interference.

    I'm sure most people would love to get rid of $300 cables connecting two components, but technologically that's a lot harder to pull off. I give it another ten years at least. In the meantime the fat cats and their puppets will have their way with instituting tolls inside the box (probably within a year or two). And then it won't matter if it's wireless or not.

    From everything I've been reading on this, Firewire is the only legal way to record HDTV. And if I'm guessing right, Firewire is the least popular hi-def format so there are very few players that have a Firewire port (Pioneer and some off-brands, I think). The other problem is that HDTV requires far more storage, so a measly 80Gb drive found in most of today's PVR's may not cut it.

    Also, I can't seem to find a VGA to Firewire adapter anywhere online. Anyone know of one?
  • 06-18-2005, 08:04 AM
    hermanv
    wireless bandwidth
    I have little real data on MPEG4 compression ratios. I know they are an improvement over MPEG2 (used in DVD). DVD players have a peak bandwidth of near 12 Megabits/second averaging closer to 4 or 6. (With a cheap RAM buffer, peak to average ratios can be evened out considerably if a delay of say 1 second is added to the stream).

    So where do bandwidths of popular network connections stand today?

    All these are raw bandwidth, overhead takes anywhere from 5 to 25%
    Standard USB: 12 Mbit/s
    802.11: 47 Mbit/s
    USB2: 480 Mbit/s
    Firewire: 100, 200, 400 Mbit/s

    As you can see, if dedicated to a single signal, even standard USB can present a credible HD picture if the data is reasonably compressed. MPEG4 is a lossless compression algorithm.
  • 06-19-2005, 02:35 PM
    12Mb? Not so fast...
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by hermanv
    I have little real data on MPEG4 compression ratios. I know they are an improvement over MPEG2 (used in DVD). DVD players have a peak bandwidth of near 12 Megabits/second averaging closer to 4 or 6. (With a cheap RAM buffer, peak to average ratios can be evened out considerably if a delay of say 1 second is added to the stream).

    So where do bandwidths of popular network connections stand today?

    All these are raw bandwidth, overhead takes anywhere from 5 to 25%
    Standard USB: 12 Mbit/s
    802.11: 47 Mbit/s
    USB2: 480 Mbit/s
    Firewire: 100, 200, 400 Mbit/s

    As you can see, if dedicated to a single signal, even standard USB can present a credible HD picture if the data is reasonably compressed. MPEG4 is a lossless compression algorithm.

    I don't know the exact specs, but I can tell you that a real-time video stream over anything but firewire's 400Mb is choppy; and that's on a computer screen. I can't imagine what that would look like on a large TV, but it can't be acceptable, expecially for HDTV. I've also seen video stream over 802.11g and that's not impressive either. I would say we would need an improvement (in bandwidth) of an order of magnitude before these technologies become viable.
  • 06-20-2005, 11:11 AM
    hermanv
    Digital bndwidth.
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by nightflier
    I don't know the exact specs, but I can tell you that a real-time video stream over anything but firewire's 400Mb is choppy; and that's on a computer screen.

    It's very hard to scale a computer generic machine to a dedicated video device, that's one reason game consoles like the X Box exist. I agree that computers surprisingly seem to need more bandwidth than for example DVD. DVD isn't HD but I've never seen it be choppy, as I said earlier DVD bandwidth runs an average of around 6 Megabits/second. Doubling the quality of DVD video or better yet 4 times would make for a pretty nice picture. If MPEG4 is twice as good as MPEG 2 (I think thats about right) the bandwidth barier seems less of an obstacle than you might think. I could be confusing megabits with megabytes when talking about DVD that would sure help explain our different perspectives.

    I could easily be wrong about how long it will take to introduce some of this technology, since there seem to be more lawyers than engineers involved. However, I stand by my prediction that wireless connectivity will become mainstream for entertainment consoles.