Quantcast JVC SR-HD1250US Blu-ray recorder? - digitalFAQ Forum
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03-01-2019, 12:47 PM
JoRodd JoRodd is offline
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Does anyone have one of these newer JVC Blu-Ray/DVD Recorders? Don't know what the chipset is or the quality of recordings. Can anyone chime in? I have not heard of anyone owning one of these and was wondering how good (or bad) they are.
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03-03-2019, 03:56 AM
jwillis84 jwillis84 is offline
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You may not find a lot of Blu-Ray recorder people in the US and that recorder is mostly SDI (Digital) input if I recall. The next generation went back to offering analog Standard Def inputs as well.

Their price range new is many thousands of dollars US. Resale value varies.

The older JVC DVM and MH/MX series were based on LSI Corporation chipsets which were very good at removing chroma noise and dealing with motion without producing artifacts. But that corporation went out of business at least a decade ago. So JVC would have had to move on to other chipsets or fabricate their own.

Historical wise, Toshiba started with NEC/Renesas chips, then went with Texas Instruments in the RD-XS64 before ending the RD-XS series and replacing that with the Vardia which were HD-DVD recorders using off the shelf computer parts. I'm not sure of the chipsets in those. But..

Panasonic started with LSI chipsets in their early DVD recorders, then began a halted off again, then on again fabrication of their own Analog to Digital encoders, which they then sold to many other companies through their Electronic Component wing of their company. They turn up in many brands that people consider "good enough" like the later Philips and Magnavox DVD recorders up until those stopped production in 2017.

RCA/Thompson (Curtis Mathis) went with a little company out of Santa Clarita, California called Zoran which like ATI (the Video Graphics Card company) produced their own chipsets for Analog to Digital. Zoran was a late entry and had the benefit of looking at everything that came before it.. and produced quite good chipsets.. they targeted the entire market for resale of their chipsets which were priced at $25.. a very low price point for the time.

My point with all of this is there were a lot of vendors of chipsets to source from by the time JVC had to leave the LSI Company chipsets.. but they did have to leave them. The closest since they seemed to partner and then co-develop was panasonic.. so that is a "guess".. but I've never opened up one of the Blu-Ray recorders you are mentioning.

In Europe Panasonic continued to make Blu-Ray recorders until about 2018, when they went all hard drive and digital time shifting with no features for offload other than DLNA.. which is way long in the tooth and mostly ignored today. The more important successor to EPG - Electronic Program Guides for "scheduling" a recording off cable or air.. has become.. the "Find it Streaming for me Now" feature which is the "New thing". Amazon is doing a credible effort with their "Recast" black box add-on to the Amazon Fire TV which does this.

But back to your box. Its mostly for Wedding Photographers and Indie film or News production for recording HDMI or SDI output from a Professional field camera to a hard drive, where one is expected to perform a "Hot Edit" down to a Blu-Ray and dispatch to an end user. Its a little odd-ball in that today swapping SSD cards/hard drives is faster and more popular. But there are diehards with a set workflow that haven't adapted yet.. and some people still like to buy them to continue the "DVD recorder" work flow.

As to "is it good or bad?" that is a loaded question. Its much better than DVD recorders that did not handle VHS tape signals at all back in the year 2004/5 like the Pioneer 510/520 or any of the many other brands of that generation. But compared to a DVD recorder from 2007/9 its probably about the same, probably has a built-in "frame sync" TBC, but no "line" TBC for stabilizing VHS signals.

Its what you might call a "Broadcast" recorder.. it expects "perfect" horizontal "sync". A camera or a broadcast source "originates" its signals from a CCD or Image array.. there is no side to side shifting of the horizontal line information because there is no moving parts in the source. No tape reels or motors, no drum around which to repeatedly "stretch" and "release" to squeeze and relax a "springy" VHS tape like a rubber band. So no need for a "line" TBC.

It does have up and down "jitter" stabilization, which is what a "frame" TBC does, that can happen simply by poor cables. So it is good for that.. the down side however is it is [very] Copy Right (CP) or Digital Rights Management (DRM) "sensitive" especially since its Blu-Ray.. it will honor all of those.. even the most advanced signals embedded digitally "inside" the lines in the main image area.. which something like a macrovision scrubber cannot remove.. even if you want that. (But) being intended for superior digital input anyway.. its much more immune to "false" copy protection detection.

If you acquired it looking for something like Upconversion, Downconversion or significantly "better" signal handling of VHS signals.. it will probably disappoint you. But if you can get past the "line" TBC problem, by using a VHS player that has one built-in then it will be a good Blu-Ray analog to digital capture device.

Nothing "superior" mind you to a good DVD recorder.. but acceptable. If your looking to defeat copy protection.. it won't help you and will work against you.. more so than a plain DVD recorder. Upscaling and Downscaling.. are a foolish errand.. you can't put more information into a signal than is already there.. detail cannot be manufactured.

On the upside however.. you can store "more" video on one disc without having to choose lower bit-rates, or spreading a long video across multiple DVD discs. Like for example "Security Camera" output for 8 or 10 hours at Hi-Def.

Blu-Ray recorders are not something really to go "hunting for" as a substitute for DVD recorders.. all burners fail, get picky about media.. and can leave you with few alternatives when they finally become unrepairable. Their power supplies are universally "vulnerable" to the wall outlet power demon that invades your home from the power company to "zap" your expensive electronics.. never.. ever.. plug one direct into the wall.. (Always) use a surge protector, (Always) use a UPS.. and (Always) unplug them when not in use.. especially when there is a Thunderstorm.. they require/need pampering and baby sitting.. they cost a lot of money.. and often are not worth the cost of repair.

All told, as a "convenience" device for the living room.. they are (definitely 100 percent) (Not that). they handle optical disc media.. yes.. but that is where similarities end. A PC with a Blu-Ray tray is (far) easier to master and use on a daily basis.

They really are a device made for a small "studio" or a broadcast center like at your local community college.. but even there they are a niche device that wouldn't get a lot of use. They really are meant to be used with digital "Camera" equipment.

As part of the JVC "Professional" line of equipment and typically sold with their digital Professional Camera line of products, they are well matched for that purpose.

The strange thing is to see them adding (back in) analog input ports on their latest models.. which (I think) may be a sign of the demand for "Professional Tape Conversion Shops" having a need for such a device as DVD recorders for the consumer have ended.. no one makes DVD recorders any more, they are as dead as the VCR.

These are also typically sold with "service contracts (or) insurance polices" which are (worth the cost) because the Laser diodes in the DVD drives are consumables.. and do burn out on a regular basis like a set of tires for your car.. they don't fail, they get "used up". And when that happens.. its junk it, or pay a ridiculous amount of money to replace the recorder burner. Your far more likely to look for the newest model than spend that much money on the last generation.. and it'll just sit in the corner.

Last edited by jwillis84; 03-03-2019 at 04:42 AM.
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03-03-2019, 09:58 AM
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lordsmurf lordsmurf is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jwillis84 View Post
Panasonic started with LSI chipsets in their early DVD recorders,
No.

Panasonic's first recorders were using in-house chips, back around 1999 or so. Those "E" series recorders were horrible, with severe IRE/brightness issues, and I think AGC issues. The bitrates were low, making even 2-hour "SP" mode DVDs look really noisy. 4-hour looked worse than EP on a cheap tape frrom a cheap 2-head VCR,and 6-hour was unviewable crap that looked more akin to RealMedia than DVD.

Panasonic followed that up with the overrated "EH" models around 2002, which fixes the IRE/brightness/AGC, but at the cost of altering luma (remember: the green portion of the signal). So now we had noisy video with a slightly putrid look to skin tones. These were overly popular simply because they were easy to use, but quality hounds hated them. Many, many VHS tapes of rare TV shows were converted ruined to DVD by these machines, to the chagrin of serious TV show collectors. Even today, some of the only extant versions of shows are crap thanks to these machines/

By late 2003, LSI came out with the LSI DMN chip, first used in the Apex DRX9000 recorder. That recorder had serious PSU issues, including exploding and causing fires. The Apex CEO went to prison shortly thereafter for fraud, and Apex was defunct. But quality-wise, most concerning about the Apex was that it had a chip malfunction that could cause it to jump up the IRE and/or image gain for no reason, at any time. Both LiteOn and JVC saw it as a cheap kit to make DVD recorders, with JVC using it merely as the base. JVC used it to a pretty advanced degree, while LiteOn chose to cheap out. The JVC/LiteOn also had issues getting IRE/gamma/brightness perfected, unlike Apex, with LiteOn opting for the green cheat that gave some models that yurky skin color. Panasonic, the sister company of JVC, both beign part of Matsushita, saw the LSI chip as a potential cost cutting move during the ES series, and a way to correct the flaws on their own chips. But Panasonic apparently used it even worse than LiteOn, especially by insisting 720x480 being used for 4-hour (3.5mbps VBR), which was dreadful quality on par with the old E/EH series. So that was quickly abandoned back in favor of the own chipsets in other ES models and final EZ series, which continued to either flounder or get worse.

This abbreviates some things, but that's essentially a brief look at Panasonic chipsets in DVD recorders/

Aside from the frame sync / TBC(ish) filtering of the ES10/15 recorders, Panasonic was always crap. Even the ES10/15 recording quality sucks, and should not be used if quality matters. It's for TBC/sync, the end, nothing more.

I remember the troll HoustonGuy that hung out at AVS, and had some sort of unreal love affair with Panasonic. Some thought he was actually a Panasonic shill, though I think he was just a clueless crank. With that guy, up was down, left was right. I remember his ridiculous ideas, such as DVD-RAM is better than DVD-RW/+RW for longevity; however both were phase change media, neither was better than the other. But Panasonic recommended DVD-RAM, because they also sold it, so must tout the company line! I sometimes wonder if he was from Houston at all, and probably pronounced it "how-ston" -- a joke that I know won't be lost on you!

Quote:
My point with all of this is there were a lot of vendors of chipsets to source from
Nah. It was either in-house, or using maybe a half dozen vendors at most. I forget offhand what something like Cyberhome used (ESS?), but it was junk. No-names usually used the kits, as they did with DVD players, and higher-end used in-house (Panasonic, Sony, Philips). The fact that LSI and Zoran outdid the in-house was somewhat amazing, though with the understanding that LSI was already a player in higher-end broadcast/studio gear. Zoran was a skilled fab lab that designed many video chips, especially DVD. So, arguably, they were more skilled at video than the name brand labs. If only Zoran had the chroma NR, we'd be in DVD recorder utopia.

Quote:
by the time JVC had to leave the LSI Company chipsets.. but they did have to leave them. The closest since they seemed to partner and then co-develop was panasonic.. so that is a "guess".. but I've never opened up one of the Blu-Ray recorders you are mentioning.
That would be my guess as well: JVC used then-sister (until 2008) Panasonic chips. Although the former Matsushita twins were "separate", we've seen many instances of overlay over the years, going back to VHS and home camcorders. Some of the BD-R recorder features also remind me of features from Panasonic pro video cameras at the time (but also Sony).

I wish more info was available.

But then again, a big reason that DVD recorder chipset info was available is because I opened and dissected so many units between 2003-2009. Others followed, often in my example, or even cajoling. A few like LSI actually released public listings. Anything I could not test, I was in contact with reps at the companies. I'm not one to "take credit" for things, but the vast majority of info about DVD recorder chipsets can be traced to my posts here, at VH, and AVSForum. Also quite a bit of in-depth on quality, and features (that mattered). That includes the passthrough of the Panasonic ES10/15 units.

Quote:
built-in "frame sync" TBC
"Frame syncs" are not necessarily "frame sync TBC". And given the costs, no DVD recorder has a "frame sync DVD", usually just the frame sync buffer of a frame or so. It'll still choke on tape sources, bad or not. Perhaps some lines timing at most, with the strongest known being the ES10/15, though still not truly TBC due to Macrovision holes. But most don't have line correction, either.

Quote:
Its what you might call a "Broadcast" recorder..
These are appliances, usually from companies you've never heard of, and using formats and specs that would confuse you (like multi-streams MXF). You are expected to have already cleaned the source with TBC, and likely pro BetacamSP/etc. Not s-video or composite, either.

Quote:
Blu-Ray recorders are not something really to go "hunting for" as a substitute for DVD recorders..
Yep. My only interest in this is for research, not any sort of practical application. A curiosity. Someday prices will hover low enough the I can scratch that itch.

Quote:
These are also typically sold with "service contracts (or) insurance polices" which are (worth the cost) because the Laser diodes in the DVD drives are consumables.. and do burn out on a regular basis like a set of tires for your car.. they don't fail, they get "used up". And when that happens.. its junk it, or pay a ridiculous amount of money to replace the recorder burner.
You just described Southern Advantage.

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