G-Code and Showview and standards confusion

Australia is an odd market for home entertainment equipment. We are small (20 million) but the market here has mixed and matched the standards used in the US and Europe, each of which are huge (300-ish million). One example is that we use the PAL TV system that is widespread in Europe, rather than the NTSC system. But the majority of DVD players sold here have component video outputs rather than the SCART RGB outputs common in Europe.

With new products we often get the Europeanised versions. So most standard definition digital receivers have SCART outputs, and quite a few DVD recorders are also European oriented.

Toshiba D-R1 DVD recorder The big players, like Panasonic, Pioneer and Philips, usually perform some localisation of their products, but many others don’t. So when I was recently reviewing some DVD recorders, I applauded the inclusion of the somewhat user-friendly G-Code* timer recording system on models from Panasonic and Pioneer, and was slightly critical of its absence on the Toshiba D-R1.

Only slightly, because I personally don’t find using G-Code much more convenient than simply keying in the time, date and channel for timer recordings. I prefer to allow a little slack at the top and tail of a programmed recording, just in case the TV station isn’t running exactly to schedule.

However, my criticism of the Toshiba was wrong it turns out. It has a European timer recording convenience called Showview, and I am now informed that Showview and G-Code are one and the same, differing only in name. So if you’re a G-Code fan, don’t let the absence of the G-Code logo put you off. Just enter the same code into Showview.

* In the G-Code system, rather than entering the start and stop times and channel for the program you want to record, you just key in a seven digital number printed in the TV program guide. This maps across to these parameters, entering them for you. You must, of course, have your TV stations numbered in accordance with the way the G-Code system expects.

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