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Old 2nd Dec 2017, 11:24 am   #1
Ryan_1993
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Default Setting up a Betamax VCR to record Freeview and from my DVD player

Hi guys

I've got a fully refurbished BetaHIFI Unit coming in the next few days. Its a Sanyo VTC M40, the best model Sanyo ever made. I've also got quite a lot of Betamax tapes to get playing.

My question is as the VCR just has RF outputs and no SCART connectors what's the best way to record Freeview? Someone advised me I'd need an RF Demodulator unit?

Its been so long since I've programmed a VCR I've forgot a lot about them. I know the built in tuner will do nothing now we've switched over to digital though, so I was hoping to use my TV's built in Freeview tuner if this is possible?

I also wouldn't mind hooking in my little DVD player to it to copy some old 1980s shows (top of the pops etc) on to BetaMax Beta Hifi to try out the sound. Apparently, this was so good, people used these solely for music playback, as can be seen in this Youtube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nMnGG60iyIk

Does anyone know the best way to do these things?

For reference here a couple of pictures attached of my model

much appreciated Ryan
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Old 2nd Dec 2017, 11:44 am   #2
paulsherwin
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Default Re: Setting up a Betamax VCR to record Freeview and from my DVD player

The VCR has BNC sockets for composite video in and out. You would connect the composite video output from the Freeview box to this, and the audio output to the audio phono sockets. Unfortunately the cabling won't be straightforward - you will need a Scart to phono adaptor at the Scart end and a phono to BNC adaptor at the VCR end. You can buy suitable adaptors from eBay sellers, and sometimes from market stalls.

I can't see what the cable is in the first picture but it may do some of the required interconnection.
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Old 2nd Dec 2017, 12:03 pm   #3
Ryan_1993
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Default Re: Setting up a Betamax VCR to record Freeview and from my DVD player

I guess a DVD player would be the same sort of thing as well? The DVD unit I have is small and has a SCART connector on it
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Old 2nd Dec 2017, 12:18 pm   #4
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Default Re: Setting up a Betamax VCR to record Freeview and from my DVD player

Hi Ryan,
Be thankful it hasn't got SCART: a horrid interface which caused me all sorts of problems & call outs from customers in the past!! BNC /phono gives much greater flexibility.
It's very unlikely you will be able to get signals OUT of the freeview tuner in your TV. You will need a stand alone freeview box.
Using a SCART to BNC/ phono lead, you can connect the output of this to the video / audio IN on the VCR. Select external input on the VCR.
Connect the VIDEO OUT BNC of the VCR to the SCART input of the TV using a second lead.
Connect the audio out to your Hi Fi.
You could be clever and route the output from the freeview box and the DVD player via a SCART switch box- you could then select which device to record from.
VCR playback on flat screen TV's often does not look anywhere near as good as it did on a proper analogue 4:3 CRT TV. This is partly because the poor quality VCR signal does not digitise well and partly because the much higher definition of the flat screen TV shows up the very low res VCR pictures!!
Also be aware that SCART to BNC leads come in either IN or OUT formats depending which way you want the signals to go. You can get switchable ones which are handy.
I have used VHS Hi Fi machines as audio recorders in the past using small VHS C tapes. We termed this the NAF audio format - Nick's Audio Format
Hope you enjoy the machine
Cheers
Nick
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Old 2nd Dec 2017, 1:28 pm   #5
Ryan_1993
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Default Re: Setting up a Betamax VCR to record Freeview and from my DVD player

Hi Nick thanks.

Both have put my mind at ease, I knew it was going to be possible one way or another, but for some reason I just was over complicating it in my mind.

I also have a small portable 14 inch CRT for non HD stuff. I am intending to use this. I do have a 32 inch Smart TV as my main tv in my room, but always find analogue stuff looks a little soft on it. I am hoping to install the CRT inside my 1953 Bush TV 24 cabinet to give it the retro look.

Last edited by Ryan_1993; 2nd Dec 2017 at 1:34 pm.
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Old 2nd Dec 2017, 2:40 pm   #6
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Default Re: Setting up a Betamax VCR to record Freeview and from my DVD player

You should be able to record Freeview by using a STB that has a modulator. You might pick one up at a boot fair and it should cost less that getting a dedicated RF modulator. Examples are the Icecrypt T5000 and the earlier models of the Ferguson FS01STB, the one that comes with a rectangular remote and has a D connector on the rear panel (the later FS01STB with a dogbone-shaped remote and no D connector has a fixed frequency modulator tuned to the same frequency as one of the digital multiplexes in my area, making it unusable). You would not then need to use a SCART lead if playback is via a TV having an analogue tuning capability. I use an Icecrypt with an old Philips colour portable that has no SCART socket but I haven't tried recording via the modulator output.
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Old 2nd Dec 2017, 3:21 pm   #7
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Default Re: Setting up a Betamax VCR to record Freeview and from my DVD player

Like most of the 70s-80s PAL VCRs, the M40 is not different. It uses a BNC connector for composite video in and out. So, you just need a male BNC to female RCA adaptor then you can plug anything that uses an RCA plug for video. The JVC/Ferguson Videostars used a multi-pin DIN socket for audio in/out for which I can't find an adaptor...

Regards,

Fivos
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Old 2nd Dec 2017, 6:38 pm   #8
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Default Re: Setting up a Betamax VCR to record Freeview and from my DVD player

Yes stick to using BNC and Phono in/ out for the entire signal chain, and avoid using the RF modulator. You won't be able to take advantage of the machine's stereo capability if you use RF, which would totally defeat the point of Beta Hi-Fi!

Naturally, the setup will be different if your TV is not stereo capable, and/ or lacks an A/V input. In that case, the Freeview side of things remains the same (BNC and Phono In), but with the machine's RF output going to the TV, and the machine's stereo audio output to a separate amplifier.
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Old 2nd Dec 2017, 6:54 pm   #9
winston_1
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Default Re: Setting up a Betamax VCR to record Freeview and from my DVD player

Quote:
Originally Posted by emeritus View Post
(the later FS01STB with a dogbone-shaped remote and no D connector has a fixed frequency modulator tuned to the same frequency as one of the digital multiplexes in my area, making it unusable).
I find that very hard to believe. Modulators in equipment are always retune-able for that very reason. I guess you have not found out how to do it.
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Old 2nd Dec 2017, 8:13 pm   #10
toshiba tony
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Default Re: Setting up a Betamax VCR to record Freeview and from my DVD player

Think you have problems now! Welcome to Macrovision when you hook your DVD up to your Sanyo.
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Old 2nd Dec 2017, 9:19 pm   #11
dj_fivos_sak
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Default Re: Setting up a Betamax VCR to record Freeview and from my DVD player

Betamax wasn't affected by Macrovision and that's why Universal Studios sued Sony back in 1984.
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Old 3rd Dec 2017, 1:31 am   #12
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Default Re: Setting up a Betamax VCR to record Freeview and from my DVD player

Sorry Winston, but I did check with the distributors (Comet) who confirmed the absence of tuning the modulator of the later STB. I have now dug out the respective user manuals and extracts are attached: just noticed that, although both types of box have identical front panels and both are marked " F01SDB", the title of the manual for the earlier is "F01SDB" while the later is " F01SDBE".

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Page 22 of the earlier F01SDB manual explicitly says "You can change the set top box to a different transmitting channel".
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Page 7 of the later F01SDBE manual at the lower reference (1) states that the output frequency is 503.25 1 MHz, and lower ref (2) mentions the possibility of channel conflict but doesn't say how to resolve it!

Page 30 first paragraph says "You need to tune the TV to the set top box transmitting channel:..." There is no mention of any possibility of tuning the STB output to a different channel.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

The tuning of the earlier box is done in software. There is nothing to twiddle in the later box and I have thoroughly explored all the menus in case there was something hidden. (That was the case with the Icecrypt STB, the manual of which was silent as to its modulator's ability to selectively output European PAL and NTSC as alternatives to GB PAL : I tested it using a multi-standard TV, and it worked.
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File Type: pdf Late FS01SDBE.pdf (316.8 KB, 8 views)

Last edited by emeritus; 3rd Dec 2017 at 1:53 am.
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