Need some TV / DVD Recorder / EMI related assistance...

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Reverend Darkness's picture
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Need some TV / DVD Recorder / EMI related assistance...

I'm a bit of a idiot when it comes to hardware, electrical engineering, and the like, so I need some help in determining my best course of action.

Scenario: Got a DVD Recorder for Christmas and want to connect it to my TV

I have an 8 year old RCA that works just fine with the 2 year old Sony VCR, the 3 year old DVD Player, and the 10 year old stereo. I have some trouble with reception in my neck of the woods (or ass-end of the plains, whichever), but for the most part, can pick up every local station, both UHF and VHF.

I unplugged the DVD Player, and started connecting the new DVD Recorder. When I plugged it in and it powered on, suddenly my reception went to crap. Lines and squigglies all over the screen. Going down the channels (from 8 to 5 to 4), the reception got progressively worse.

I thought it might be that there was a lil too much plugged in to that one wall socket, so to verify, I went to the bedroom, where we have an 8-month old TV, and a relatively new VCR. All I did was plug the DVD Recorder in, and the same problem occurred. This means that it ain't the wiring, and it ain't the TV

The only thing that I can think is that something in this DVD Recorder is leaking EM or RF all over the place. Would it be that the DVD Recorder is bad? Keep in mind that I have a VCR, DVD Player, Stereo, TV, and Playstation and I don't have the reception problems.

I'm considering taking the thing back, unless there is some easy (and cheap) fix for what's happening. Any help will be greatly appreciated.

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What kind of DVD recorder? Qu

What kind of DVD recorder? Quality name brand or el cheapo? Also, is the chassis grounded (i.e. the power cord has 3 prongs)? If the recorder was poorly designed, its grounding may not be up to par and if it only has a 2-prong power cord, you might try attaching a ground lead to the chassis.

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Brand name

It's a Memorex MVDR-2102 and it only has a two-prong plug. Doesn't matter if I plug it in to the wall or the power strip that everything else is plugged in to.

What would be procedure to do this grounding to the chassis thingy?

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Re: Brand name

Reverend Darkness wrote:
What would be procedure to do this grounding to the chassis thingy?

Get some 16-gauge (or similar) wire, and attach a spade or ring terminal at each end. Fasten one end to the screw that holds the cover plate to your electrical outlet (be careful), and fasten the other end to the back of the DVD recorder with one of the screws that holds the casing on.

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Was the VCR off? With my TV

Was the VCR off?
With my TV if the VCR is on and Displaying a picture on Ch3 the reception of all of the other channels goes down the tubes.

Hope this helps

Jon
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It could be the Macrovision c

It could be the Macrovision copy protection of the VCR kicking in. We had a similar problem with a TV/VCR combo depending on how the DVD player was plugged in.

Are you sure you got you cabling correct? You want the DVD recorder to come straight into the TV. If you run it through the connections of a VCR your almost sure to trip the copy protection circuit.

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It was the box, not the setup

Well, after reading what I might have to go through in order to check whether it was grounded properly or not, I decided to just return it and get a different make/model.

I ended up getting a very inexpensive DVD Recorder/VCR combo by Funai, and when I got it home and plugged it in... the TV reception was actually better.

At this point, I don't know if it was the one Memorex unit, or if it was that particular model that had that the grounding problem. All I know is the cheapo Funai model doesn't exhibit the same behavior, and will allow me to do one-button dubbing from my VHS home movies to DVD.

I'm just glad to have confirmation that it wasn't the wiring, the TV, or some setup goof on my part.

Thanks for all the input.

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re: macrovision

Well, depending on how you connected up the gear, Jon's suggestion about Macrovision may be on the mark. Name brand sets like the first unit you got play nice with MV (that is, support and encourage MV) and display symptoms like you mention when connected to a VCR. The cheapo record deck probably ignores the MV.

MV-encoded tape is designed to play only to a TV set, not to recording equipment, with the idea to prevent just the sort of thing you want to do, dub copies. Sony is especially supportive of MV, being a major content provider.

dan k

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I hooked it up properly... really...

dankephoto wrote:
Well, depending on how you connected up the gear, Jon's suggestion about Macrovision may be on the mark. Name brand sets like the first unit you got play nice with MV (that is, support and encourage MV) and display symptoms like you mention when connected to a VCR. The cheapo record deck probably ignores the MV.

Though a valid concern, the DVD Recorder was hooked directly to the TV via S-video, while the VCR was going in via coax. Also, the problem occurred whether I had the DVD recorder connected to the TV or not. For instance, all I had to do was plug in the unit, and the interference appeared. The disturbing part is that it did not matter where in the house I plugged it in. Even if I plugged it in in the kitchen, the recpetion was hosed. The only description I can really give is that it looked like I had four vacuum cleaners turned on at the same time... make sense?

The only other time I've seen that type of EMI/RFI was with the acquired Tivo unit that I was playing with... right before the power supply went *poof*.

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Old scsi cables?

Hey, do you have any old high end scsi cables with the em shielding? Use the big circular magnet from the cable and wrap the cable around and through.

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