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Slink-e / CDJ Discussion Archive #3

Slink-E, VCRs and LANC(Control L)

Posted By: Mike Ginns <MikeGinns@D...>
Date: 1/20/1999 12:58a.m.


I am building a system designed around a dedicated OnNow PC (So that it can be left on with minimum power usage) and a Slink-e to control my AV system.

The CD side is very easy using CDJ and output to a TV to display the GUI.

Now I want to do something similar for Videos. The aim is to have the PC control the recording of programs on several VCRs and to build up a database of tapes, which programs are on them and at which counter positions. You could then search the database, pick a previously recorded program, be prompted to insert a specific numbered cassette and then the PC would instruct the VCR to move to the correct tape position and play the recording Ė Just like CDJ with CDs. There are VCRs which do this, but have a limited capacity, poor GUI and obviously donít handle recordings across several VCRs.

I am writing software to display a GUI and allow an IR remote to select the TV programís recording information on screen(This may be improved by allowing direct program selection from a teletext card later). Having got the information (including destination tape number) the PC would use slink-e to issue IR commands and download the recording data into whichever VCR I select.

The remaining problem is that I need a way for the PC to capture the current tape position on a VCR so that the position at which the new program is recorded can be stored in the database. Maybe Slink would provide this info but neither of my VCRs has Slink.

I am investigating LANC (Control L) and Panasonic 5 pin edit connection which are very common on VCRs (including all of mine). These sockets are used to connect a VCR to Camcorder and I believe exchange tape counter information. Does anyone know if this is true or know anything else about this? I have been to http://www.york.ac.uk/~adv3/lanc/lanc.htm and got some information but need more.

Does anyone out there know anything more about either the LANC (Control L) or Panasonic 5 pin edit connections? Anyone have details of the physical pinouts or the command protocols used? Most importantly can the SLINK-E be used to read the serial data off these connections using a zero carrier IR input line? Anyone done any of this sort of thing or am I all alone with a crazy idea!!!

Thanks for any help anyone can provide


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