DVD & Home Theater Gear Discuss DVD and Home Theater Equipment.

Dumb S-Video VCR questions (& other HT setup issues)

Old 02-15-01, 11:19 AM
  #1  
New Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
Posts: 9
I am a novice in the middle of setting up my first home theatre system, with a low- to mid-range JVC DD/DTS receiver.

My first great discovery was that when I connected my old VCR (RCA outputs only) to my receiver via RCA cables, then the receiver would not send the signal to my TV over its main S-Video out. So I guess what I discovered is that it has to be an S-Video connection the entire way (from the VCR to the receiver, and from the receiver to the TV). Is this correct?

If it is correct, then what are my options? Should I just buy a RCA-to-S-Video cable to run from my VCR to the tuner OR should I buy a new VCR (I need one anyway) with an S-Video out? I read in another thread here that the RCA-to-S cables are either $20 for a cheap one (Radio Shack?) or $100 for a good one (Monster?) ... I'd hate to spend $100 on a converter cable!!! ... is the $20 one good enough? If I go with the new VCR w/ S-Video output, I have one other concern ... someone told me that it would not play tapes recorded on non-SVideo VCRs (i.e. - all the old tapes I've made on my old VCR). Is this true?

Any input would be greatly appreciated.

Actually ... while I'm asking a bunch of dumb questions, let me ask one more. The optical audio cable I connected between my Phillips DVD player and the JVC DD/DTS receiver does not seem to be working at all. I'm pretty sure that I have everything set up properly to work on my receiver ... is it possible that I need to "tell" my DVD player to send the audio output through the optical output (rather than the RCA audio outputs)? If not, the only other thing that I can think of is that I might have a bad optical cable???

Thanks in advance for any replies.
golfer is offline  
Old 02-15-01, 11:44 AM
  #2  
DVD Talk Hall of Fame
 
Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: Vermont
Posts: 9,774
Originally posted by golfer

My first great discovery was that when I connected my old VCR (RCA outputs only) to my receiver via RCA cables, then the receiver would not send the signal to my TV over its main S-Video out. So I guess what I discovered is that it has to be an S-Video connection the entire way (from the VCR to the receiver, and from the receiver to the TV). Is this correct?
Yes.

Originally posted by golfer

If it is correct, then what are my options? Should I just buy a RCA-to-S-Video cable to run from my VCR to the tuner OR should I buy a new VCR (I need one anyway) with an S-Video out?
You can do either, although you're not looking for a composite to S-Video cable, you'd be looking for a composite to S-Video converter.
You might be able to run a composite cable from your receiver to your tv, if the tv has multiple inputs and can switch between them. (Sometimes tvs will have a composite and S-Video input and only be able to use one or the other. Sometimes not.)

Originally posted by golfer
I read in another thread here that the RCA-to-S cables are either $20 for a cheap one (Radio Shack?) or $100 for a good one (Monster?) ... I'd hate to spend $100 on a converter cable!!!
I've never used or seen these converters in use. If you're thinking of spending $100 on a converter, you might consider getting a S-VHS vcr for $180 or $200. Then again, you might need neither. (See above.)

Originally posted by golfer
someone told me that it would not play tapes recorded on non-SVideo VCRs (i.e. - all the old tapes I've made on my old VCR). Is this true?
No. Not true. I have an S-VHS vcr and it plays back standard tapes just fine. You can't, however, play back S-VHS tapes on a standard vcr.

Originally posted by golfer
The optical audio cable I connected between my Phillips DVD player and the JVC DD/DTS receiver does not seem to be working at all. I'm pretty sure that I have everything set up properly to work on my receiver ... is it possible that I need to "tell" my DVD player to send the audio output through the optical output (rather than the RCA audio outputs)? If not, the only other thing that I can think of is that I might have a bad optical cable???
You're probably on the right track. I'm wondering what you mean by "does not seem to be working..." Does it work sometimes, but not others? Go into your dvd player's menu (or better yet, the owner's manual), and try to find out how to check if the digital output is on. You can also do a search here, since this topic comes up a lot.

-Steve
stevevt is offline  
Old 02-15-01, 12:01 PM
  #3  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Posts: 553
quick clarification- only tapes recorded in svhs mode on your svhs player cannot be played on regular vhs vcrs. You also have the option of using your S-vhs vcr to record standard vhs, which will play on all vcrs.

Also check your receiver and make sure it is set to use the optical input for the dvd player. My receiver has all defaults set to the standard rca audio. If I want to use a digital audio in I need to tell the receiver to associate that input with the specfic device (like the dvd player) so it knows to look there for the sound, and not to the rca plugs.
Kelric is offline  
Old 02-15-01, 12:21 PM
  #4  
DVD Talk Ultimate Edition
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: Chicago
Posts: 4,172
Does your TV have multiple video inputs??? What kind of TV is it? If so just connect the video to one of the other inputs.. and the audio to the reciever... Does your TV have a audio out? If it does then connect it to the reciever and the VCR audio into the TV and you will be fine..


S-VHS player are rather expensive....probably cheaper to buy a cable.

Did you set up the reciever correctly to get the DD5.1 sound?
ANDREMIKE is offline  
Old 02-15-01, 12:22 PM
  #5  
New Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
Posts: 9
Thanks, Steve & Kelric, for your quick replies. (And ANDREMIKE, too.)

>>You can do either, although you're not looking for a composite to S-Video cable, you'd be looking for a composite to S-Video converter. You might be able to run a composite cable from your receiver to your tv, if the tv has multiple inputs and can switch between them. (Sometimes tvs will have a composite and S-Video input and only be able to use one or the other. Sometimes not.)<<

My TV does have multiple inputs, but I'd rather keep everything on Video 1 (easier to explain to the wife!). Do composite to S-Video converters typically come in the form of a cable or just a little adapter that you plug onto the end of either a composite or S-Video cable?


>>I've never used or seen these converters in use. If you're thinking of spending $100 on a converter, you might consider getting a S-VHS vcr for $180 or $200. Then again, you might need neither. (See above.)<<

No, I definitely don't want to spend $100 on a converter. I am thinking about getting a JVC HR-S3800 S-VHS VCR (hoping Sears will price match on that I found for $150 online). But if I do just go the composite to S-Video converter route, can I get away with just paying ~$20 for one? I can't imagine that the loss of quality would be any worse than just using a staight composite-to-composite connection. Any suggestions on where to get the converter ... Radio Shack? (I can't find one on their website.)


>>I have an S-VHS vcr and it plays back standard tapes just fine. You can't, however, play back S-VHS tapes on a standard vcr.<<

Good. And I think Kelric cleared up my other question ... I'm glad that you can tape in VHS mode on SVHS VCRs. Is this pretty standard ... for S-Video VCR's to allow you to tape in VHS mode? Are there special SVHS tapes, or is SVHS just a "mode" that you use to tape on standard VHS tapes? I'm assuming that you'd be better off taping in SVHS mode (better picture quality?) unless you think that the tape you are making might need to be viewed on a regular VHS VCR in the future?


>>I'm wondering what you mean by "does not seem to be working..." Does it work sometimes, but not others? Go into your dvd player's menu (or better yet, the owner's manual), and try to find out how to check if the digital output is on.<<

Does not work at all. Have been forced to keep using the RCA audio jacks.


>>Also check your receiver and make sure it is set to use the optical input for the dvd player. My receiver has all defaults set to the standard rca audio. If I want to use a digital audio in I need to tell the receiver to associate that input with the specfic device (like the dvd player) so it knows to look there for the sound, and not to the rca plugs.

I'm 99.9% sure that I have my receiver's digital audio output settings set up correctly. So I'm hoping that I can figure out how to "tell" my DVD player to use its optical out (now where did that dang manual go???).


Thanks again for your replies. (And sorry that I'm not smart enough to figure out how to use the "reply with quotes" feature!)

[Edited by golfer on 02-15-01 at 09:30 AM]
golfer is offline  
Old 02-15-01, 12:55 PM
  #6  
DVD Talk Special Edition
 
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Kennesaw, GA
Posts: 1,333
Yes there are special SVHS tapes that are about three to
four times as expensive as regular VHS. However, most modern
SVHS machines (including the JVC's) allow you to utilize HT
technology. This allows you to record in SVHS mode on a VHS
tape. The quality isn't as good as with a SVHS tape but still better than VHS.
Rand is offline  
Old 02-15-01, 03:29 PM
  #7  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Posts: 553
All the JVC s-vhs vcr's allow you to tape in VHS, SVHS, and SVHS-ET (which is SVHS on a VHS tape, like what Rand said).

I have the 3600, which although a lower number, is one step up from the 3800. I got it from Mercata for $99 right before they went out of business. I love it. I record almost everything on svhs-et, and the quality is much better than standard vhs. Definately worth it.
Kelric is offline  
Old 02-16-01, 10:32 AM
  #8  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 1999
Posts: 633
Originally posted by golfer
If it is correct, then what are my options? Should I just buy a RCA-to-S-Video cable to run from my VCR to the tuner OR should I buy a new VCR (I need one anyway) with an S-Video out? I read in another thread here that the RCA-to-S cables are either $20 for a cheap one (Radio Shack?) or $100 for a good one (Monster?) ... I'd hate to spend $100 on a converter cable!!! ... is the $20 one good enough? If I go with the new VCR w/ S-Video output, I have one other concern ... someone told me that it would not play tapes recorded on non-SVideo VCRs (i.e. - all the old tapes I've made on my old VCR). Is this true?
Yes correct, unless you have one of those cool high-end Kenwood receivers with the "Universal Video" feature. It's reported to not lose any quality in the upconversion. For the life of me, I don't know why the higher end brands don't have this for their receivers.

A cheapo RCA/S-Video convertor thing from Radio Shack is basically useless. The picture is absolutely unacceptable with crawlies and diamond patterns all over the screen. A $100 Monster convertor thing is better. I'd say the picture is about 75-85% the quality of the original source. Not bad if you don't want to spend the $200 on an S-VHS VCR.

Then there are powered convertors which I think are $300-$1000 depending on what type of connector you want to output with. At that price point, you might as well get a scan convertor that does the same thing plus various other features for video improvements.

I was in the same predicament, as it's just easier to have the switching done on the receiver so that I don't have to tell anyone they have to press the "Video" button on the remote to switch between cable/VCR and DVD. I thought about an S-VHS VCR, but then I'd have to eventually figure out what to do again when I get a TV with component inputs and a good receiver with wideband component switching. I settled on the Monster convertor as a temporary 6-18 month solution.

Actually ... while I'm asking a bunch of dumb questions, let me ask one more. The optical audio cable I connected between my Phillips DVD player and the JVC DD/DTS receiver does not seem to be working at all. I'm pretty sure that I have everything set up properly to work on my receiver ... is it possible that I need to "tell" my DVD player to send the audio output through the optical output (rather than the RCA audio outputs)? If not, the only other thing that I can think of is that I might have a bad optical cable???
I've had a couple of DVD players now from different brands, and they both had a thing in their setup menus where you choose between the "AC-3 or Digital" output and the "PCM" output. PCM is what sends the analog signal through the RCA cables.
El Pollo is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Archive Advertising Cookie Policy Privacy Statement Terms of Service

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.