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Old May 28th, 2004, 07:35 AM   #1
Major Player
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Eugene, Oregon
Posts: 366
Hidden Features on Video Equipment

Over the years, I've either discovered or read about special tricks various models can do, that aren't discussed in their manuals. In some cases, perhaps the manufacturers didn't want us to know about them, as they were supposed to be for more expensive models. But, the features existed, hidden in circuit boards that were given to all their models and waiting to be liberated.

Tonight, I found something on my new JVC DV/S-VHS
dual deck, the HR-DVS3U, that works on the S-VHS side only. On my older JVC's remote controler, there's a small button marked "Search", to the right of two other L&R search buttons. When you pressed this button during "Play" on the old deck, it did a FF for 30 seconds and reverted automatically to normal playback. You could press it up to four times to go two minutes, before going back to play. This was very handy for avoiding commercials. This feature is also found on some other VCR brands.

But, on the new HR-DVS3U, there is no such search button, no mention of this feature in the manual and no way to use its remote controller or front panel, that I can find, to do this. However, when I pulled out my 8 year-old JVC controler, switched it to the same channel as the HR-DVS3U and pressed this separate search button, it did a short FF and went back to play, up to four 30 second pushes worth. The function was there, but no apparent way to have access to it, without this older controler. Now, if only the commercials were no more than two minutes long!

I can think of many more such concealed functions over the years. Here's two: Sony's TR101 secretly recording timecode, but not being able to display it. However, it could be called up on the TR101 recordings, when they were played on some later models. And how about those viewfinder color bars and zebra stripes on some Sony DV models, that were unmentioned in their manuals? They could be displayed, by doing some trick pushing of buttons. With other models, this display could be forced by
using the RM95 service remote controler to re-program certain codes (don't try this last one at home!).

It would be interesting if our members could recall some other secret functions and trickery of which many of us aren't aware.

Steve McDonald
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Old May 28th, 2004, 11:40 AM   #2
Regular Crew
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Quebec, QC, Canada
Posts: 123
Hidden features & tricks

Here's one I've already posted some time ago, Steve.
After 6 minutes of idling, most consumer camcorders automatically shut down to spare the heads and tape. That's OK.

On Sony models, instead of switching the camcorder OFF and back ON again, just touch the PHOTO button and it comes back alive in 2 seconds with most of your settings undisturbed. Voilą!
Norm :)
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Old May 28th, 2004, 11:56 AM   #3
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Mays Landing, NJ
Posts: 11,624
This one deserves a big caveat, as you can mess up your television if you aren't careful! But this site tells you how to tweak lots of parameters on all the popular TV sets by using your regular remote in its secret service mode. Using different menus you can adjust things like color, overscan or even make your 4:3 set display 16:9 video.
Boyd Ostroff is offline   Reply

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