Hit the Record Deck!
The SR-DVM700 is the new record/playback deck by JVC. This type of machine is a high-end solution for capturing, archiving and transferring data from one medium to another. With this device, you can hook up just about any piece of analog equipment and view a myriad of media files. Its an all-in-one media center for those looking to simplify workflow and save desk space.
Upon first look at this machine, we were really impressed with its features and capabilities. In the box came the instruction manual, the record deck, a controller with two batteries and the standard red/white/yellow RCA cables. However, we expected to find more cables because the SR-DVM700 has so many different kinds of input and output options. This was a disappointment, because it meant we needed to spend more money on cables to take full advantage of all that the device had to offer.
On the front of the SR-DVM700, there is a DV deck and DVD disc tray. There are also plug-ins for S-Video, RCA inputs and a DV in/out port. On the back are component video-out connectors (YPBPR) that allow connection to a high-end television for better picture quality and progressive viewing mode. A serial port allows connection with a computer, projector or any other device that uses an RS-232C cable. In addition, there are S-video and RCA video/audio connectors on the back for output and input of DVD, HDD and DV. Even so, the DVM700 comes with a BNC video-out connector and both coaxial and optical digital audio outputs. You can use these two audio outputs for connecting to your home stereo system or for digital audio dubbing. All together, the DVM700 packs a very impressive array of options for capturing, viewing and transferring digital media.
The next part of the evaluation was hooking up the SR-DVM700 and seeing how it performed. We were able to hook it up to our television easily, using just the RCA cables. Next we slipped in an old DV tape and started to watch some footage. The playback was seamless, and recording footage from the tape onto the 250GB HDD was done with a simple navigation of menus, using the controller. We did have one qualm about the design of the menus. They werent awful, but we felt, for the price, the machine was a bit lacking in the user-friendly department.
For capturing DV footage, JVC designed five different record quality settings to help save space. The highest quality is DV, which comes out to about 18 hours of record time. Next are XP (53 hours), SP (109 hours), LP (218 hours), EP (328 hours) and FR480 (473 hours). The difference in all these settings is the Megabits Per Second (Mbps) capability. For example, the DV setting transfers data at 25 megabits per second, while the LP setting transfers at just 1.6Mbps. A higher number means more information is transferred per second. This produces a better picture quality, while the opposite holds true for the lower numbers. Now, you do not just simply choose the highest setting for best picture quality; you must wisely choose the right setting for each kind of footage. For example, if you have footage of some fast action like a sports game, you would want to use DV or XP. This is because lots of action means that the image is drastically changing from one frame to the next and so uses up more information per second. A shot of someone talking with a static background uses less information because, more or less, the picture doesnt change. So what all this means is that, if you have a simple shot where not much changes, you can use a lower setting like SP or LP and not lose video quality. This is just one of the examples of how the SR-DVM700 manages your data beautifully.
The versatile nature of the SR-DVM700 is where the investment really pays off. In just one machine, you are able to display DVDs, DVD Video, SVCD, Audio CD, .mp3, .jpeg and DV footage. In addition, the DVD disc tray can read and write onto DVDs, DVD-RAM, DVD-R, DVD-RW, DVD+R, DVD+RW, VCD and CDs. Combine all that with a 250GB HDD, and you have a machine that allows you to transfer data to various types of media fairly easily.
Using the controller that comes with your SR-DVM700, you simply press dubbing, and up pops a menu with all the dubbing options the machine provides. You can copy data from the HDD onto a DVD or DV tape, transfer DVD information onto the HDD or a DV tape, and, of course, copy DV tape onto either a DVD or the HDD. Another nice feature is that you can format DVDs (DVD-RWs) and finalize them.
Playback, record and transferring data are the strong points of the SR-DVM700, but JVC wanted to add a little more. They decided that it would be nice if you could do editing and file management right on the device. Some nice features include the ability to create clips from footage you captured on the HDD, using the divide function. You can also categorize your footage by titles, category and playlist. It is a very efficient machine for archiving all your media data.
The JVC SR-DVM700 is a very impressive all-in-one machine for handling your media files. If this is what you need, then it definitely wont be a disappointment. The question is, of course: is this what you need? Priced at about $1,300 (street price), this is not just a toy for the amateur consumer. This is definitely a professional piece of equipment which is designed to make life easier when you have to deal with multiple media formats and data transfers. So make sure you do some research and exhaust your other resources first (like your home computer) before you start throwing down the cash for this record deck. When used correctly, the SR-DVM700 could pay off its debt in no time at all.
Format:DV format Rec / Play, DVCAM (Playback only)
Cassette: Mini DV cassette
Maximum Recording Times: SP-80 mins, with M-DV80ME cassette; LP-120 mins, with M-DV80ME cassette
Audio Recording System: PCM 48kHz, 16-bit (2-ch)/32kHz, 12-bit (4-ch)
Format: MPEG-2 (CBR/VBR)
Record/Play Formats: DVD-R, DVD-RW, DVD-RAM DVD+R
Play-only Formats DVD+RW, CDDA, VCD, CD-R/RW (JPEG, MP3, WMA)
Recording Times: 4.7GB DVD Max: 8 Hours duration
XP: Approx. 10Mbps: 1 hr.
SP: Approx. 5Mbps: 2 hrs.
LP: Approx. 2.5Mbps: 4 hrs.
EP: Approx. 1.6Mbps: 6 hrs.
FR60-480 Variable: 1-8 hours
Audio Recording System: Dolby Digital 2-ch, linear PCM (XP mode only)
Hard Disk Drive
Format: MPEG-2 (VBR)
Recording Times: 250GB HDD
DV: Approx. 25Mbps: 18 hrs.
XP: Approx. 10Mbps: 53 hrs.
SP: Approx. 5Mbps: 109 hrs.
LP: Approx. 2.5Mbps: 218 hrs.
EP: Approx. 1.6Mbps: 328 hrs.
FR60-480: Approx. 473 hrs. (non-continuous)
Audio Recording System: Dolby Digital 2-ch, linear PCM (XP mode)
Inputs/Outputs: BNC, FireWire, S-video (2), RCA-in (2), RCA-out (2), component, optical digital audio-out, coaxial digital audio-out
Control Protocol: RS-232C
Dimensions (W x H x D): 17-1/10″ x 3-4/5″ x 14-3/5″
Weight: 12.9 lbs.
- 250GB hard disk space
- Multiple formats to play back and record
- Hooks up to most analog and digital devices
- Too few cables included
JVC’s SR-DMV700 is an impressive all-in-one device used for recording, playing and transferring almost any kind of media file. It saves space and creates an easier workflow, but it comes at a high price.
Nick Strayer is a professional videographer and commercial producer.
1700 Valley Rd.
Wayne, NJ 07470