On the right side there is a headphone jack, a speaker grille, and a LANC control jack.Behind a fold-out cover are an S-Video jack plus three RCA jacks for composite video and left and right audio. All four are bi-directional, depending on if you're playing a tape or recording. There's also a DC power output for a TV tuner accessory. In back there's the battery connector, the DV IN/OUT (it's a 4-pin Firewire/I-Link jack) and the IR "LaserLink" LEDs behind a window, which also do IR remote control of a VCR or camcorder. On the left side, behind a semi-hidden panel there is a twenty-contact connector for optional accessories, including a TV tuner and a jog dial editing control. In front there is an IR detector: the D900 does not come with a remote, but it works with the one that came with my TRV900 (RMT-811). Supposedly you can set it to work with other Sony remotes, but that didn't work with my Sony VHS VCR remote (RMT-V231B).
Opening up the cover you see the fairly simple control layout and the 4.25 x 3.25 inch LCD screen (5.5 inch diagonal). The manual says 940x234 pixels total (this must be counting the R,G,B pixels separately). Turning it on you hear a faint whining noise like a hard drive running. This comes from a small internal cooling fan, making it noisier than a TRV900, although it isn't an issue for me since I'm not using it while recording audio. The fan turns off when you fast-forward or reverse the tape, and turns back on when you stop the tape, which is kind of funny. An issue of current draw from a battery, perhaps.
You can play, FF, REV, slow-motion and stop using the panel controls. It can do photo/date searches, x2 forward/reverse and single frame steps forward/back but you need a remote for that. It has much better sound than I would have expected from a 1" speaker. For best audio you'll still want to use headphones, I expect. The LCD screen is nicer for playback than the smaller TRV900 viewscreen, but it's about the same pixel resolution so don't expect high-definition video from it.
Important note: the device is advertised as capable of SP and LP recording and playback. So it is, and it has no problems playing back tapes it records in either mode. However it has dropout problems with LP tapes recorded by my TRV900, and the timecode display is intermittent, suggesting the tape is on the ragged edge of unreadability. The same is true of LP tapes recorded by the D900 and played back in the TRV900. So, for interchangability you'll want to use SP mode only. I tried SP tapes recorded by each unit in the other one and they played back with no dropouts and no timecode glitches. Later note 12/9/98: another user with the D900 and TRV900 says he has no problem interchanging LP tapes between units. Evidently my units aren't aligned as well.
From: email@example.com Newsgroups: rec.video Subject: Re: GV-D900/GV-D300 Opinions & Price? Date: Wed, 02 Dec 1998 09:48:12 GMT I would just like to add a few points: > If you send it an analog video signal it appears on the screen and > you can record it Normally, yes. It should be additionnaly pointed out that the D900 will detect analog copy protection signals (macrovision) and refuse to record in that case. There also is a note in the instructions about digital copy protection (says unit will not play copy-protected cassettes or record copy-protected firewire signal). > Editing > IMHO, the built-in assemble editor is a real ergonomics disgrace, but opinions are not facts. Nonetheless, I would like to point out that the semi-automatic calibration function is not usable via the firewire output. So if readers of this group plan to use the assemble editor to create a DV tape on a DV-in enabled camcorder, they should forget about accuracy. Let me explain a little more. The calibration function works by outputting numbers on the video outputs and sending IR commands to the recording VCR. The user is supposed to note which number were recorded when the command was executed and use that for calibration. However, the numbers are only output on the ANALOG output. So if you plan to use a DV camcorder as recording device, unless you have one with analog inputs, you cannot calibrate it. ------------ Some additional notes ------------- The GV-D900 as a "title" function. it uses the memory on DV cassettes that have it, only permit basic titles (2 sizes), and is not ouput on firewire, just on analog. I have the PAL version. PAL and NTSC version cannot exchange DV cassettes (the new camcorders, like the PC-1E, can). Quality of record and playback is very good. I tried different signals (from Laserdisc and DVD) and cannot see any difference between input and ouput (on a projector), except maybe a little jaggyness on high-contrast diagonal lines (and even then I am not sure). Even better, the unit includes a TBC (like any digital recorder) and noticeably improves marginal signals. For example, VHS dubs are better than the original (more stable, less color bleeding) (but you still see it's crap VHS, I said better, not perfect). Note that if the input signal is really crappy you might sometimes get dropped frames. Use on batteries: you get about the claimed battery life. That is rare enough to be noted. "Mysterious" connector on the left: Sony sells an optional tuner for the unit and it connects here. They also have separate cameras to connect to it (don't know if they are really available).
------------------------------------------ Date: Sun Dec 20 10:14:35 1998 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: Marc Lerner
Subject: DV Editing John, I'm going to summarize my experience editing with the GV-D900 and the TRV900. You may want to post this on your site (feel free not to or to edit it as you will). My current equipment consists of the Sony TRV-900 camcorder, a Sandisk 20 meg memory card, the GV-D900 DV Video Walkman tape deck, and a consumer level SVHS vcr. Since I don't yet have the computer horsepower for true Non-Linear Editing, I do linear edits using the camcorder and the GV-D900. I take my original DV tapes and do assemble edits on the GV-D900 and then use the TRV-900 camcorder as the master recording deck using the firewire cable. The GV-D900 has had no problems with tapes recoded at either SP or LP. The edits are accurate and the GV-D900 does a very good job of pausing and unpausing the camcorder. It may not have exact frame accuracy but it is very effective. Using Ulead's Photo Impact 4.2, I've created many excellent title shots, saved as JPEGs and then recorded by the TRV900 from either a floppy disk or the memory card (one of the TRV900's most spectacular features, in my mind). If I want to use a different title than the one which is on the original tape, I create it save it to disk and then record it right onto the master tape on the TRV-900. I can then edit out the original title on my assemble edits. I also made a pure black JPEG and use this as a dividing mark between my edit sequences. It's certainly not as good as a fader but it's better than abrupt cuts between events taped at different times. After a sequence is recorded on the camcorder, I playback to the end of that sequence, pause, and record the black JPEG from disk. I put the cam back into record pause and let the GV-D900 send the next sequence. The number or types of these "divider's" is limited only by your own imagination. You can use any color/text/graphic combination you can think of as long as you can save it as a 640x480 JPEG sized at 8.89x6.6.67 inches. The TRV-900 will record it flawlessly. I now have a pristine, no-loss master DV tape. I just record that from the GV-D900 onto either SVHS or VHS tape, using the S-video cable in either case. The results have been very good. Using the DV master rather than directly mastering on SVHS or VHS, decreases the generation loss and produces a very acceptable dubbed image. Family and friends to whom I've given either SVHS or VHS tapes to have been very pleased. It's not nearly "professional" but for "keepsake" distribution purposes, it is a wonderful system. My only wish right now is for a Panasonic AG-1980 SVHS deck in order to produce even better distribution copies, but after spending lord knows how much on the DV equipment, $1000 for a another tape deck seems a bit heady (especially to my wife ). I am considering the JVC-S9500 deck, however. It is records an excellent picture and has a 4 meg Time Base Corrector which greatly improves its video output. At around $500 - $540, it seems like a very good buy. -Marc ----------- > How durable are the heads/mechanism of the TRV900 / GV-D900 ? Date: 24 Jan 1999 19:12:39 GMT I looked at the tape transports on my two MiniDV devices and, to my surprise, the GV-D900 Walkman does look different from the mechanism on my TRV900. The D900 has 5 metal posts in front of the head forming the tape path, plus a black (pinch roller?). Two of the posts are angled from the vertical, one more than the other. The TRV900 has six metal posts, a pinch roller, and a white plastic post ("V" cross-section) of unknown purpose. Again, two angled posts but both at the same angle to the vertical. I'm describing what's visible when the MiniDV cassette is not inserted; what posts may come to the fore then I have no idea. The axis of the D900's video head is tilted along two orthogal planes relative to the tape transport, and the TRV900's head is tilted in only one plane. (If you can visualize that!) What this means for reliability I have no idea. Some people have been concerned about head life, etc.; I don't have any hard data. One (1) person emailed me (yesterday) that a tape roller broke off in his TRV900, necessitating factory repair. That is the only mechanical failure I've had word of yet on either TRV900 or D300/900. Now, I'm not Sony Service obviously, but I do get 1-2 emails a day about the TRV900 due to my FAQ/web page. The technology is very new and it's probably too early to make any real judgments about lifetime though. -john
Problem playback statistics: 0 frame(s) dropped due to inadequate disk performance. [...] 17 event(s) where frame(s) were dropped due to late interrupts. [...] 353 total frames played. 9.9 MB/second average disk throughput.My computer is a Pentium 200MMX running Windows 98, Premiere 5.1, MotoDV 1.1.3. Video is coming from a separate E: drive, an 8gig UDMA/EIDE. The D900 and TRV900 do talk to each other fine over the firewire cable.
Subject: Soft case for GV-D900 From: Anthony Migliore Date: 18 Aug 2000For any GV-D900 owners who are looking for a soft case, I'd like to pass on this solution. The model DM1 from case logic (actually made as a CD player case) fits the GV-D900 nicely and cost just $15 USD.
There is just barely enough room for the GV-D900 w/NP-F950 battery attached in the larger zippered pocket (I disconnect the NP-F950 battery and lay the battery on it's side for a nicer fit). It has smaller zippered pocket that has room for the audio, s-video, and firewire cables, the remote from my TRV-900 and a few tapes. There is an additional mesh outside pocket, but I couldn't find a good use for that.
There is no room for the manual or the AC adapter/battery charger, but it contains (and mildly protects) the GV-D900 w/battery and cables very nicely. For a picture, try caselogic.com and search for DM1.