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  #1  
Old 08-22-2010, 11:22 PM
DSperber DSperber is offline
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Default Questions about TV-out cable usage

I purchased the Cowon audio/video cable accessory and tried to use it tonight, connecting it first to the V-AUX input of my Yamaha AVR but had no success. Apparently there was no audio or video being sent out from the J3 over the USB->A/V cable.

To simplify the experiment I then connected the cable directly to the front "Video 2" input of my Sony TV. But again, there apparently was no audio/video output being sent from the J3.

I then looked in the manual and discovered that you actually had to "activate" the output to the A/V cable since it was "OFF" by default. Once I tapped on the right icons, including the "ON" button, sure enough now I had excellent audio and video on my TV. The screen of the J3 simultaneously went blank.

Which brings me to my questions:


(1) Since the J3 screen is blank, there is no way to control the video... pause, navigate, stop, etc.

I tried holding the POWER button in briefly but with no effect. Nothing came back on the J3 screen. I then tried holding it longer, and sure enough that video setup dialog screen I was last looking at (when I finally pushed the "ON" button) re-appeared very briefly but then the J3 powered itself off. I guess holding the POWER button for a longer time is what triggered that.

So... it would appear that once you start playing a video out to your TV you just have to let it finish playing. I don't know what happens at the end of the video because I haven't waited around long enough to see, but I would hope the J3 screen would light up again so that I could do something else.

It seems a bit odd that you can't control the video, or get back to the J3 screen lit up again to at least interrupt the playing video and maybe do something else. Seems strange that the only thing you can actually do to interrupt/stop the video now playing out to the TV is to turn the J3 off... which really is NOT what I wanted to do at this moment.

Can anybody provide some insight and guidance on this question, based on your own experience and findings?


(2) Also on the same settings dialog where the "activate TV-out" option icon is shown, there is a second icon which the manual describes as "Clear/Soft". It does not describe this further than that, including which of the two "state icons" corresponds to clear and which corresponds to soft.

I'm going to assume it refers to what gets sent out over the TV-out cable, but I'm not sure. Does somebody know if that's what this feature relates to? Or is it associated with the display of video on the J3's screen? Or both???

Furthermore, when you tap on the icon two buttons appear at the bottom of the screen, with the one on the left seemingly "selected" as ON (by default, everytime to initiate this dialog). And certainly I can tap on the right icon and it will appear to get "selected". So I can navigate the selection of one or the other of these two buttons, although I don't know what I'm accomplishing (since the dialog is really an overlay on top of the video which is playing in the background and is mostly obscured, so I have no idea if I'm affecting the appearance of the video on the J3's screen... or if this is only relevant once I activate the TV-out mode).

Certainly on the J3 I can't see any difference in picture quality once I exit this settings dialog, no matter whether I selected the left (clear?) or right (soft?) icon buttons. Nor, for that matter, can I really see any difference even viewing the video on my TV... once I activate it (and the J3 screen goes dark).

So, does anybody know about this "clear/soft" option? Does it only affect TV-out, or also video playback on the J3's screen? And is the left-button "clear" and the right-button "soft"? Exactly how much difference am I supposed to see? Is it only relevant for certain types of video playback, or for all types?


Thanks for any information you can provide.
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  #2  
Old 08-26-2010, 01:58 AM
DSperber DSperber is offline
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Bueller? Bueller?


Anyway, finally "heard back" from Cowon on these two questions. I'm afraid the answer to the first question was disappointing, and the second "answer" didn't really answer the question.

"I am sorry to tell you that once you start TV out in video mode the display will be off. You can only start and stop movie by J3 in TV out mode. And about the Clear and Soft. Clear is more sharpen images and soft is less sharpen images for your eyes."

As it turns out, TV Out cannot be started unless the selected video is already playing. So you'll actually never see the very beginning of that video on your TV.

And of course once the video-out-to-TV is in effect and the J3's display screen if dark, you obviously have no way of controlling or navigating that video. Your only option is to actually STOP it from playing but not with a "stop" action but rather simply by holding the J3's power button in until the unit itself (i.e. the screen) briefly comes back to life so that it can immediatly shut itself off. Obviously, this DOES stop the video out to your TV.

Of course if you want to watch another video you have to power it on again, pick your video, start it playing (to the J3 screen), and then again re-activate "TV out".

Seems they might have figured out just a slightly more user-friendly way to do all of this, if they were going to support a "TV out" video capability... for the video itself. Why couldn't the whole video control interface have just remained on the J3 screen, subject to the same auto-dim/off rules as when playing music, allowing it to come out of power-save by holding the power button briefly? Oh well.


As far as "clear/soft"... I had no problem understanding what these words meant. I wanted to know whether the control affected videos as presented on the J3 screen, or only videos as sent out to a TV, or both?

I still can't tell any difference, and don't know the answer to my question. Anybody provide any insight?

Thanks.
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  #3  
Old 08-26-2010, 05:52 AM
Xul Xul is offline
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I don't have the AV cable so I don't know about its behaviour but i'm not surprised. All the rave reviews I read before purchase says nothing about these faults. They all say how good the unit is. Makes me think reviewers give rave reviews and get a free unit. They don't actually 'use' the thing. That soft and sharp setting is exactly that. It softens or sharpens edges on the video. You'll never see it on a screen this size though, unless you use a micro scope. lol.
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  #4  
Old 08-26-2010, 06:42 AM
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rickysio rickysio is offline
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Hmm, sounds like the chipset Cowon uses only supports 1 video output at any given time. Probably a limitation of hardware itself.

Perhaps Cowon might look into getting a DSP unit that supports dual simultaneous output (or at least one that can use clone displays) to solve this issue in the next generation of players?
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  #5  
Old 08-26-2010, 07:16 AM
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dfkt dfkt is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DSperber View Post
And of course once the video-out-to-TV is in effect and the J3's display screen if dark, you obviously have no way of controlling or navigating that video. Your only option is to actually STOP it from playing but not with a "stop" action but rather simply by holding the J3's power button in until the unit itself (i.e. the screen) briefly comes back to life so that it can immediatly shut itself off. Obviously, this DOES stop the video out to your TV.
The hardware buttons don't work?

I don't have the S9/J3 video cable, but every other Cowon player I have (including D2, O2, V5, i9) can use its hardware buttons while in TV-out mode, for FFWD/REW, volume, play/pause, etc.

Maybe you just have to set the J3's hold mode to only affect the touch screen, not the buttons. I never use hold mode for buttons, and I never have accidental key presses when I use the player in my pocket.
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  #6  
Old 08-26-2010, 08:47 AM
DSperber DSperber is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dfkt View Post
The hardware buttons don't work?

I don't have the S9/J3 video cable, but every other Cowon player I have (including D2, O2, V5, i9) can use its hardware buttons while in TV-out mode, for FFWD/REW, volume, play/pause, etc.
You know... that idea never even occurred to me, as far as using those for video navigation. I'm a newcomer to the J3 and aside from the volume up/down buttons and power/hold button I didn't even remember that there were the play/pause and ffwd/rew buttons up near the top on that edge of the player. Never actually used them!

At the moment, I'm J3-less, having mailed in mine to Cowon for repair/replacement (for its clock problem). But when it finally returns (new, or repaired) I will absolutely try these physical buttons when watching video via TV-out... at least for the very basic functionality the provide.

Of course there's still no apparent way that I could figure out to STOP the video and return the display back to the J3 screen (e.g. to locate another video to play, or to do anything)... without powering it off entirely and then powering it back on. And of course once the J3 is back on its output is back on its own screen. If you want to watch something else on the TV, you once again need to "activate TV-out" (which is really only a temporary redirection, lasting only for the current video being played).

Anyway, thank you for that suggestion on the basic navigation buttons. I'll certainly give that a try.
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  #7  
Old 08-26-2010, 08:54 AM
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dfkt dfkt is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DSperber View Post
Of course there's still no apparent way that I could figure out to STOP the video and return the display back to the J3 screen (e.g. to locate another video to play, or to do anything)... without powering it off entirely and then powering it back on.
Press the hold key shortly, then tap the screen? Press the play/pause button longer? That's how other Cowons work to exit TV-out mode. There aren't that many combinations to try, one will certainly work.
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Old 08-26-2010, 09:07 AM
DSperber DSperber is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dfkt View Post
Press the hold key shortly, then tap the screen? Press the play/pause button longer? That's how other Cowons work to exit TV-out mode. There aren't that many combinations to try, one will certainly work.
I'll give these methods a try. Maybe I was just impatient, or couldn't figure out quite how long to hold the hold button. Didn't think to tap the screen after that.

Anyway, I'll play around a bit more with this when I get my J3 back.

Thanks again for all these idease.
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  #9  
Old 08-26-2010, 08:57 PM
dduckquack dduckquack is offline
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can you use the tv out to project pictures? i was looking to get the tv-out cable and use my J3 for slide presentation (after saving my slides as jpeg)
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  #10  
Old 08-26-2010, 11:06 PM
DSperber DSperber is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dduckquack View Post
can you use the tv out to project pictures? i was looking to get the tv-out cable and use my J3 for slide presentation (after saving my slides as jpeg)
Don't know. I didn't have any pictures on my J3.

But I don't think so. The user interface that allows you to choose TV-out only appears via the "pull-down" icon menu when you are watching a video. As the User Manual shows, there is no TV-out option in the "pull-down" menu for Pictures.
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  #11  
Old 12-13-2010, 11:54 PM
SpeedBoy3 SpeedBoy3 is offline
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This thread was a concern to me before I picked up my J3, and I noticed it hasn't been updated.

Video playback can indeed be controlled during through the J3 when running on a TV. The screen will not light up, but as long as the buttons are unlocked, they continue to function as follows:

Skip tracks - advance and rewind video
Play/pause - play/pause video
Volume up - exit video-out mode and return to J3 screen
Volume down - toggle between stretched/ratio playback on TV

Cheers!
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