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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

Please pardon what might be a frequently asked question. I have a Dish network PVR 501, and have that connected to my JVC VCR using RCA cables on the Video out, and Aux IN connectors. My vcr does not support s-video.

When I record shows from the PVR to tape, the quality is pretty crummy. Edges of objects are blurry, colors (especially faces) are blotchy and uneven - It's watchable, but about as high quality as a moderately bad set of rabbit ears.

Is this just an artifact of the digital > analog conversion? or is something else going on? Is there something I can buy that would improve the situation. Would a s-video capable VCR make it better?

Thanks,

Reed Wright
 

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I believe it would indeed. I'm no expert on composite video/svideo, but I do know the picture quality is much better, and you will be much happier if all of your gear supports svideo.
 
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I'm no expert, but I agree with neilster1.
Sounds cheap enough to try, you could pick a decent one up at the local Walmat.
 

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An S-Video compatable VCR will help but that usually means that you need to purchase a Super VHS VCR. You will definitely see an improvement recording in S-VHS.

What you are seeing are the problems involved in recording using composite video (RCA) to a standard VHS VCR. It's the second worst way to record from your satellite receiver. The first being the RF channel 3/4 outputs.

If you want to see better recordings, sell your VHS VCR and buy an S-VHS VCR. The quality is much better and they are relatively in-expensive.
 

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I sure hope it's just composite video artifacts you're seeing,
and not some clumsy attempt at copy protection. Otherwise,
I'll certainly never buy that receiver.
 

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An S-VHS VCR (the kind with the S-Video input) is MUCH better. But it's not a DAC artifact. Afterall - you're watching through a DAC also. It's simply taking crap (DISH's picture) and storing it to a crap format (VHS)
 

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Reed, I didnt realize you posted your question here too, I replaied in your thread at AVS.
 

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If you wanna buy an SVHS machine theres some great deals on Ebay. I bought a Philips SVHS VCR on Ebay last week, I paid by check so I wont get it for another 2 or 3 weeks. It was $57 +$13 shipping, brand new, never used and in the orginal box. I cant wait to get it :)
 

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Try using better quality tape (Sony, Maxell, TDK or Fuji), and using SP instead of EP tape speed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
A little more information,

I'm using the composite signal, not a modulator.
I record at both EP and SP speeds, sp is better, but still not as good as what I see live.

When I record from my standard broadcast antenna, the quality of playback is pretty equal to what I see live. - it doesn't make me go "what the hell is wrong with my setup?!?"

I used to have a nonPVR Dish receiver hooked up using the same composite signal, and didn't notice the diminished quality in that configuration.

My TV signal passes through the VCR, so it should be what I see is what I get.

To better describe the image quality - think of a good picture on your vga monitor at 32 bit color - now step that down to 256 colors - notice the discrete steps in shading - that reminds me of what I'm looking at - I was wondering about compression losses, but when I'm looking at the picture as it plays on the PVR, it looks good. It's only when it gets put on tape it gets crummy. Yet, off the air broadcasts record fine on the tape.

I'm using Maxell high quality tape

Thanks,
Reed
 

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VHS is an inherently cruddy medium. SVHS is a little better. Just because you're passing through the VCR doesn't mean ANYTHING. It's the tape itself and the tape format that destroys the picture. If you didn't notice it before, your eyes weren't as good. VHS looks terrible. It's a well-known fact. If you want GOOD backups you could get a capture card for your computer (I like my ATi All-In-Wonder Radeon 7500 - $199), and a DVD Burner (Philips has a nice one for $499) and record to DVD. Short of that I'd suggest you go with an SVHS VCR.
 
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