Advantage VX Model AVX-1

Instructions for use with JVC HM-DH30000U DVHS deck

 

Ø       For version AVX-1 software rev 0.8B2 © Copyright 2002 Sixteen Nine Time, document version 1.1

 

Initial Preparation

 

In this document the term “HDVR” refers to a DTC100 or Proscan STB that has the 169time.com HDVR firewire adapter board installed and version 1.6 or higher firmware in that firewire board. 

 

A special CD disk is provided for use with the AVX-1.  This disk should be inserted into the AVX-1’s CD tray and left there for all normal operation.  This disk is licensed only for use in the particular AVX-1 unit number written on the disk label, and there are other usage restrictions and conditions of that license, as stated on the label.  Read through this whole document before actually starting to use the AVX-1.

 

A set of four self-adhesive pads are provided with the AVX-1 to protect it and the surface it is placed on from scratches and marring, if the user desires to affix and use them.  The ventilation holes of the AVX-1 should not be blocked.   The AVX-1 generates more heat when it is actually processing digital television signals than it does when it is powered on and idle (idle = not selected as an input to the deck).

 

The large button on the right hand front panel beneath the CD tray on the AVX-1 is the power button.  Pressing this button will power up the unit and it will begin its power boot up sequence.  This boot up takes several minutes each time the AVX-1 is powered up.  The AVX-1 may be powered down by pressing and holding the power button for about ten seconds, until the green front panel power light goes out.  There is no special shutdown procedure.  The AVX-1 may be powered down at any time without harm.  While the AVX-1 is powered on, the user should avoid moving the AVX-1 as the spinning CD disk may be damaged by contacting stationary surfaces inside the CD drive during such movements.

 

IMPORTANT - The JVC deck assigns a unique I- number for each firewire device connected to it.  This number is assigned the very first time the deck communicates with a device connected via the firewire daisy chain.  The deck will assign a unique different number to the HDVR, and a different number to the AVX-1.  Proper operation of the deck requires that the user select the correct input source.

 

The firewire input source to the deck is controlled by using the channel up / down buttons on the deck front panel or remote.  To avoid confusion as to which I- number corresponds to the HDVR, and which I- number corresponds to the AVX-1, the user should determine the corresponding numbers that the deck has assigned.  For example, if the HDVR is the first device the deck has ever seen connected to the firewire daisy chain, it will be assigned I-1.   If the AVX-1 is the second device the deck has seen, it will be assigned I-2 by the deck.  This is true even if the HDVR is not connected at the moment the deck first senses the  AVX-1.  The deck’s user manual may contain additional information regarding the selection of firewire inputs source numbers and the ability to edit those numbers.

 

To use the AVX-1 smoothly, it is suggested that the deck first be connected to the HDVR alone without having AVX-1 connected and then the channel up/down button be pressed until the JVC displays the particular I- number it has determined for the HDVR unit.  Write that number down.  This will be the number to selected for using the HDVR without the AVX-1.  Separate instructions are provided on this web page for this mode of operation without the AVX-1.  For many users this will be I-1 if the HDVR was the first device ever connected to the deck.  The number determined above for the I- number corresponding to the HDVR is not the number that is needed to select the AVX-1 as the source.  The correct number  to select the AVX-1 as the input source will be some other number than the one found when the HDVR alone is connected to the deck firewire daisy chain.  After determining the I- number for the HDVR, connect and boot the AVX-1 and use the channel up / down buttons to find the I- number the deck has assigned to the AVX1,  a different number than the one for the HDVR.  Save the number for future reference.  It may take a few presses of the button to find the number as sometimes the I- changes are sluggish.

 

Interconnection for viewing and recording

 

¨       Use exactly two firewire cables.

¨       A VGA compatible monitor may be connected to the AVX-1’s 15 pin connector, though this is not required for normal use.  Besides this, only use the power and IEEE1394 connectors on AVX-1 rear.

¨       The cables may be any permitted IEEE1394 cable length, up to approximately fifteen feet.

¨       While operating the AVX-1, do not use hubs or PCs or other devices in the firewire daisy chain.   The only three interconnected devices should be the HDVR, AVX-1, and the DVHS deck.

¨       All three devices should plug into the same AC power source / outlet strip.

 

 

Since each of the three devices has two ports, and the ports are identical for all practical purposes, there are three ways to connect these.  The difference is in the particular device that has both of its ports used.

 

(1) HDVR to deck to AVX1 (front & rear ports  used on the deck – strongly preferred for USA JVC deck)

(2) HDVR to AVX1 to deck (2 ports are used on the AVX1 – least preferable) 

(3) Deck to HDVR to AVX1 (2 ports are used on the HDVR)

 

In a particular operating environment, the user may find that one of these connection schemes is less susceptible to problems due to the subtle differences of equipment and cable manufacturing.  The term “problems” refers to audio or video abnormalities in the viewed or recorded signal, or substantial delays in establishing a communication path that is needed to produce a HDTV signal displayed by the deck.

 

When connection scheme  (2) is used, there are two 6 pin to 4 pin cables.  With connection schemes (1) and (3) there is one 4 pin to 4 pin cable, and one 4 pin to 6 pin cable.

 

In our own testing, we have found that each of these three connection schemes performs adequately, though with the USA version of the JVC deck, connection scheme 1) produces the best results.  By utilizing the front panel firewire jack on the deck for the connection to the AVX-1, this connection may be most easily accessed if it becomes necessary to unplug the AVX-1 from the firewire daisy chain.

 

Depending on the cables used and particular JVC deck model, schemes 2) and 3) may take longer to achieve proper inter-operation and are not recommended for use with the USA version of the deck.  With scheme (2) if the AVX-1 power is switched off, the HDVR and deck can no longer exchange playback and record signals.  Power must be applied to a device for it to pass the signal from one port to another.

 

The interconnection setup described here is the particular setup that is needed to view the signal through the deck’s outputs and record the signal processed via the AVX-1.  When the AVX-1 is not being used, other interconnections are possible to facilitate the signal pathways needed by the user at that time.  Just as other devices should not be connected when using the AVX-1 as the input to the deck, the AVX-1 itself may need to be unplugged from the firewire daisy chain to properly use other devices.

 

Operation for Viewing and Recording

 

¨       Please reference the other document on this web page that describes the usage of the JVC deck with the HDVR for OTA recording, for additional information about recording and tape types.

¨       While the AVX-1 is connected and powered up, do not use the DTC-100’s built in timer functions nor any other automated means whereby the DTC100 automatically initiates a channel change..

¨       Do not connect other input sources to the deck (RF or line inputs) while operating the AVX-1.

¨       Avoid selecting the HDVR as the input source for the deck while the AVX-1 is intended to be active.  The deck’s input selection is determined by the I- number display on the JVC deck front panel.

¨       Use the sequence suggested below to condition the deck when there are problems and just prior to beginning the viewing or recording session.

¨       The DTC100 must be tuned to a H/DTV channel while operating the AVX-1.

¨       Use a monitor connected to the DTC100’s analog RGB, or S-Video, or composite video output to monitor and control the DTC100’s operation, as the DTC100 on-screen menus do not appear through the JVC deck’s video output.

¨       It is strongly recommended to monitor the deck’s processing of the HDTV signal by using a monitor connected to the deck’s analog (component and audio) outputs.

¨       While viewing or recording is in process, do not operate any control buttons on the DTC100 or its remote as this may introduce glitches or malfunctions in the viewed or recorded signal.

 

The requirement to avoid selecting the HDVR as the input to the deck requires some practice and planning while operating the deck’s channel up / down controls.  The steps are listed as follows:

 

1)       Tune the DTC100 to a H/DTV channel.  This can be either an OTA DTV channel or a satellite HDTV channel.  Using analog OTA channels or standard definition satellite channels is inappropriate.

2)       If not already on and booted, have the AVX-1 completely booted at this point.  Note that the AVX-1 does not need to be or reset rebooted at this point if it had previously been switched on and booted.

3)       Use the deck’s channel up and down buttons to select the I- number that corresponds to the AVX-1.

4)       Use the deck’s channel up / down buttons to select the input source that is adjacent to the I- number of the AVX-1, while not selecting the HDVR.  Here’s more on this.  If the HDVR has an I- number that is a lower number than that of the AVX-1, use the channel up button to select the next higher adjacent input source, typically this will display “2CH”  (most users).  If the HDVR has a higher number than the AVX-1, use the channel number to select a lower adjacent input source that is typically “F-1”.  This way the selection of the HDVR as in input source has been avoided and the deck is tuned to the adjacent input and not the either the AVX-1 or HDVR.  Sometimes the deck is sluggish in selecting the adjacent input source.  After pressing the channel up / down button allow a few seconds and then press it again if required to achieve the desired change in input as shown on the deck’s front panel.

5)       Use the power switch of the deck to put the deck in the power off (standby) mode.

6)       Again use the deck’s power switch to switch it on.

7)       Use the opposite of the deck’s channel up / down button  that was used in step 4) above to re-select the AVX-1 as the input source to the deck, thus avoiding  the HDVR as a selected input source.  It may take a few seconds for the deck to respond to the selection.  After waiting a few seconds if the I- number selection corresponding to the AVX-1 doesn’t appear, press the button again.

 

At this point the HDTV signal should be present on the outputs of the JVC deck.  Now viewing through the deck’s outputs, or recording can commence.  Even if not used for viewing, the deck’s outputs are an excellent way to monitor the integrity of the recording process.   If the deck is accidentally set to select the DTC100 as the input source, or there are substantial glitches in the audio or video signal output including for example a loss of audio to video time synchronization or pixelation as displayed by the deck, it is suggested to perform the steps 1) through 7) again to ensure that the deck is properly conditioned to accept the signal from the AVX-1 device.

 

Although the procedure outlined above will usually condition the deck to have it accept the AVX-1’s firewire output signal, it may occasionally be needed to power the equipment down, use different cables, and or re-plug the firewire connections to achieve correct operation.

 

Playback

 

If the tape playback is to be viewed through the DTC100, the DTC100 must be tuned to a stable OTA DTV channel even if the tape was recorded from a satellite channel.

 

The current version of AVX-1 software does not provide for the automatic switch into playback mode.  To best facilitate playback, it is suggested that the AVX-1 be powered off, or alternately positioned at least eight feet away from the playback deck, and the firewire connection unplugged from the AVX-1.  As the AVX-1 is not needed for the playback process, the HDVR, deck, and tape contents behave in an identical manner to playing back tapes recorded from OTA sources as discussed in the other document on this site.

 

Updates

 

Sixteen Nine Time is actively working on an improved version of the software CD for the AVX-1 system.  This will include improvements in the function and ease of use.  No particular time frame is set for its release, though it will be provided free (+ shipping) at request of any original purchaser of the AVX-1 that came with version 0.8B1 or 0.8B2.  When announced on our web page in the future, It will consist of an easily inserted CD software replacement CD disk.  Information on this upgrade will only be provided when it is actually available for shipment.

 

The AVX-1 represents a monumental advancement to HDTV enthusiasts by providing a bridge between the nothing of the past, and the something of the present.  Prior to the AVX-1 there were some signals that HDTV enthusiasts had no way to view and time-shift on their JVC deck.  Once again 169Time has achieved what many thought was impossible, by offering a working system to aid the loyal people of the free world in their quest for the liberty to watch better television.

  

Miscellaneous

 

When a VGA monitor is connected to the 15 pin VGA connector on the rear of the AVX-1, several status indications are present.  No additional documentation is provided about the meaning of these indications except to say that the only useful information displayed is self explanatory.

 

An earlier version of the CD distributed with some AVX-1 units was version 0.8B1.  The version number is written on the CD disk label.  The only advancement of version 0.8B2 over 0.8B1 is that when a VGA monitor is connected to the 15 pin VGA connector on the rear of the AVX-1, that signal will not blank out after a few minutes with version 0.8B2.

 

Users of AVX-1 systems have reported more robust performance when torroidal / ferrite filters are deployed on the interconnect cables, especially the firewire cables, and when careful grounding and shielding techniques are employed for the adjacent electronics and RF satellite / OTA reception systems.  The need for this may be predicated  by local environmental factors.  169Time is analyzing this and may have additional information to report on this in the future.