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Copy from panasonic BD recorder to PC

Discussion in 'Blu-ray & DVD Recorders' started by riku2, Dec 4, 2011.

  1. riku2

    riku2 Member

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    I have a panasonic blu ray HDD recorder and want to copy programmes from the hard disk to my PC. The recorder is networked to the PC but there doesn't seem any FTP access like some of my satellite tuners have. I haven't seen an easy method to do this and thought I'd have to burn the programmes to BD and then read the disks in my PC.

    But it is possible to copy the programmes over the network to a PC. Steps are below. I'm really pleased this is possible since it's the best and easiest way to archive shows.

    1. Enable DLNA server on the Panasonic.
    2. Make sure you can ping the panasonic from your PC.
    3. Install twonky media server on the PC. Make sure you also choose "install twonky copy".
    4. Launch twonky copy and you'll be asked where to copy from and where to copy to. Choose "Source" = panasonic DVR (you should see the model number of your machine in the list). "Destination" = TwonkyServer (your PC where you are running the Twonky software.
    5. Two folders called Video and Photo appear in the window. Navigate to the saved TV shows on the panasonic's HDD. Click copy.
    6. The file downloads to your PC and is saved on your hard disk.

    So far I have tried two shows. One recorded in DR mode, one in HM mode. It's actually the same show and one is 2.2Gb in size (DR) and the other about 700Mb (HM).

    I used vlc media player to open the copied (ts) files and they played fine on my PC.

    Twonky can be downloaded here. The Twonky server comes with Twonky Copy. I only installed the trial version so far. I'm not sure when the demo expires or how it affects twonky copy.

    Twonky Suite Media Manager :: Store
  2. Gavtech

    Gavtech Administrator

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    It will be interesting to see if those titles play OK if burned to Bluray... and if in other machines.

    Roughly how long did the copy process take in each case?
  3. riku2

    riku2 Member

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    Transfer speed was about 5Mb/second. So a 600Mb file took around two minutes. The speed didn't seem to be troubled by the recorder being in timeshift mode, so was also recording a show while I was copying another show from it. The network interface on the panasonic is not 1Gbit so I doubt I will get much faster than this.

    The transfer did break if I went into the setup menu on the panasonic while copying a file over the network.

    In Twonky Copy you can select multiple files for copying, so what I plan to do is build up some shows on the internal hard disk and then copy many at once to the PC for archiving. For this the HM mode seems ideal since I am yet to see how the quality is worse than DR mode. And for 70% size reduction it seems worth it.

    What would be nice is an option in the timer to downconvert DR -> HM after a while (eg after a week). Then you can watch in DR mode but older shows are automatically compressed. My model will convert DR -> HM automatically but probably does it as soon as it can while in standby.
    Since I watch a lot of NHK world HD (where the shows repeat on a 4 hour cycle each day) then I record each programme twice. Once in DR mode with renew mode and once in HM mode for archiving later.
  4. Gavtech

    Gavtech Administrator

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    I should make it clear to others that riku2 has a German BTW700 so it remains possible that there are machine differences that may mean UK machines will not behave in the same way.. until someone can demonstrate otherwise.
  5. riku2

    riku2 Member

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    Yes, this is the german model from model year 2011. The UK freeview machines have been updated with new models for year 2011. The Freesat models in the UK are not updated in 2011.
    If your instruction book doesn't have the DLNA logo on the cover then this certainly will not work. Checking one freesat UK model's instruction book it has DLNA on the cover but not the chapter "playing contents from other equipment (Server)". This is the part where the panasonic acts as a server for your PC to copy data from. The UK freeview 2011 models do have the chapter about DLNA server.

    The hard part in these steps was finding PC software that would let me copy the file from the panasonic, rather than just play back a stream with the panasonic acting as a server.
  6. Gavtech

    Gavtech Administrator

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    Just to make that a little clearer for those not familiar with the model ranges:

    The only UK models which have DLNA client AND server capability are the BWT700 and the BWT800

    Previous DLNA models could only act as client.
  7. ametcalfe1

    ametcalfe1 Member

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    I have a DMR-BS780 (freesat) and a DMR-BW780 (freeview). Both are DLNA servers only and UK versions.

    I also wanted to be able to archive the files on the panasonic boxes to a PC; ultimately to save on my 5TB NAS server.

    I tried Twonky Manager (has twonky server option) but no Twonky Copy. I could not get it to work with the panasonic boxes using twonky media server aggregation (both aggregate and autocopy); a similar test with an iomega cloud the twonky server did work; the files were copied to the PC hard disk.

    I was going to give up and revert to burning to Blu-ray disks then copy to the PC with PavTube Blu-Ray ripper as m2ts files (the default panasonic blu-ray file extension).

    I tried mediamonkey version 4 (it is free); It has a download option and can see the files on the panasonic boxes. It is not very elegant/automatic but it works and is far quicker than copying by blu-ray.

    In the tools/options/downloads/podcasts settings change the following

    number of concurrent downloads to 1 - any more than 1 and files are over written/vanish.

    set the default directory to where you want the files to be stored with a name eg. D:\directory\name.m2ts - it will automatically increment the file name if you convert multiple files - name.m2ts name(1).m2ts name(2).m2ts etc.

    From the main screen select media servers/panasonic/videos and the files you want to copy. Press the right mouse button over the selected files and select download and off it goes.

    Alternatively instead of download select send to and a directory to save in and it will use the panasonic file names AV-0-268435456-268435533-1324645022_BDY

    If you want to change the file names in bulk try the free program "Bulk Rename Utility"

    Obviously this does require the firewall and media sharing to be configured to work.

    As with copying to blu-ray you can not copy any recording from HD channels; I believe this is due to extra security protection on the files. If you use the panasonic convert DR to other format like XP the converted file can be copied to the PC.
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    Last edited: Dec 24, 2011
  8. ametcalfe1

    ametcalfe1 Member

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    By installing the Twonky Server software and not the Twonky Manager Software you do get the option to install Twonky Copy. Running it gives an upgrade option which goes straight to the Twonky Manager upgrade; makes me wonder how long there will be support for Twonky Copy or will they drop it for media server aggregation which did not work for me.

    I did some tests on twonky copy;

    It copies directly into a twonky media server system so you can not set where to copy the files.
    It was far slower than mediamonkey.
    It could not cope with files with identical titles (i.e. a series) unless they were copied one at a time.
    It created files with extensions of mpg-tts; I had to rename them to .mpg to use with PC media players.

    Personally I think that mediamonkey is faster and more flexible.
  9. ametcalfe1

    ametcalfe1 Member

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    Another solution is to use Cyberlink SoftDMA 2.

    It is a windows media centre style media player that supports DLNA servers and has a download option.

    It is expensive - £40 ($50) but is a neat system. 30 day free trial.

    Downloads using a queue system. Copes with multiple files in a series and preserves the panasonic title name.

    It did have a limit on the number of files you could download; waiting for Cyberlink to confirm if this is limit with the trial version or a bug.

    To get round the limit you have to download the first block of files; delete them from the panasonic box; then repeat the process for the next block of files.

    If the file limit is resolved this is an elegant solution; I will let you know when cyberlink respond.

    This software should work for other makes of DLNA server boxes.

    24-01-2012 - New information

    There is no limit to the number of files that you can download; using SoftDMA 2 with a NAS Twonky server you can download all the files. There is a bug with the SoftDMA 2 software; on both the panasonic boxes when you have 24 or more recordings SoftDMA 2 misses out 12 recordings; i.e. if you have 25 files recorded it will only show you 13 recordings. (all the recordings are SD files and not HD files)

    There is a work around if you have a twonky server; I tried both my NAS and PC versions of twonky and they seemed to work. If you set up the Twonky server to "aggregate" the panasonic boxes; you also need to set the "media receiver" to advanced view; the media receiver is the PC you are running SoftDMA 2 on. When you run SoftDMA 2 by looking for videos under "Albums" on the twonky server you will see a folder for the panasonic box; selecting this you will see all the files. You can transfer them to the PC.
    This method should not have an impact on the download speed; all aggregation does is to store details of the names of the files and where they are located; the download is done directly from the box where the files are stored and not via the twonky server.

    Note - it can take a while for the aggregation process to run; there may be a slight delay in new recordings appearing; also it is better if the panasonic box is turned on and not in standby mode. If you are recording or performing other functions like setup; viera cast it can cause problems.

    03-02-2012 - New information

    Cyberlink have responded - "it is a limitation of DLNA"; I have asked them to look into this further; if other software can read all the files then softdma 2 should be able to; I believe it is a timing issue; the panasonic boxes can be slow to respond/wake up.

    I have done further tests using my twonky server and aggregation with softdma 2; so far I have not experienced any problems; I have been able to copy all of the SD recordings on both panasonic boxes. As with copying to Blu-Ray discs HD recordings have to be converted to SD first using DR copy before they can be copied. Copying HD files is not possible; it is a restriction with the panasonic boxes. This is the method I will be using to archive the recordings unless Cyberlink come up with a solution and I can cut out the Twonky server step.

    To be able to copy the recordings to my PC via the network and not to have to use DVD/Blu-ray discs is fantastic; it is a bonus; it will save a lot of time and effort.

    update 04/03/2012

    Cyberlink have responded - As SoftDMA 2.0 is not a core product it could be a while before they can look into this problem. They did suggest using Power DVD 12 (ultra version costs £76). Although you can view/access all of the files to stream and play using Power DVD 12 ultra the download option did not work at all; the developers of SoftDMA 2.0 and the developers of Power DVD 12 ultra need to work with each other to resolve the problems.
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2012
  10. JFBUK

    JFBUK Member

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    I am looking at replacing my Sony RDR-HXD870 with a Panasonic BWT800.
    The ability to copy/archive recordings to a PC hard disk would be a key selling point. At the moment I have to transfer to DVD from my Sony and then from DVD to PC to accomplish the same task. I'd like to avoid having to do something similar albeit via Blu Ray disc.
    I'm looking at the BWT800 in preference to a BWT700 because it will support RGB SCART input from my Virgin V+ box.
    Has anyone successfully used any of the solutions for transfer to PC described in this thread with the UK variant of the BWT800 acting as a DLNA server ?
    Thanks
  11. ametcalfe1

    ametcalfe1 Member

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    Welcome to this thread.

    Good luck in finding someone who has tried the methods detailed in this tread on a UK version of the panasonic BWT800. Hopefully the information riku2 and I have posted will enable people with similar boxes to test them and to post their results.

    Although I can not test a UK panasonic BWT800 to confirm if it would work; considering the tests from riku2 and myself; I think you will probably be OK; I can not guarantee that it would work.

    Andy
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2012
  12. GYoung

    GYoung Member

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    Just to confirm that the MediaMonkey method described above works fine with my DMR-BS880.
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  13. joeylennon

    joeylennon Member

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    Hey guys.
    Has anyone found a way to get MediaMonkey to show all the files on their BD Recorder?
    Mine just shows 36 max and will only show more if I delete things off my BD Recorder's HDD!

    Cheers.

    Joe
  14. ametcalfe1

    ametcalfe1 Member

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    Hi Joe

    My free version of MediaMonkey does the same; it shows a maximum of 36 files; are you using the free version or the Gold version?
    What make/model of DLNA recorder box are you using?

    I did have a gold license for an earlier version of MediaMonkey; if I can find it I will try the gold version.

    I have tried the fix I used for SoftDMA (see previous post); the aggregation of the panasonic files using the twonky media server on a NAS drive does work; all of the files are visible with MediaMonkey. I have not done extensive tests but I have downloaded a file that was not visible when using MediaMonkey to access the panasonic box directly.

    Andy
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  15. joeylennon

    joeylennon Member

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    Thanks Andy.
    I'm using the free version of MediaMonkey with a Panasonic DMR-BWT700.

    To be honest I doubt I would buy MM Gold even if it does work with that.

    I don't have a NAS Drive. Is that necessary for the workaround?

    Cheers.

    Edit: ok forget that last question I have seen that you don't need a NAS drive from ur previous post. :)
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2012
  16. joeylennon

    joeylennon Member

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    You haven't by any chance found a way to get HD files to play on a PC??
  17. ametcalfe1

    ametcalfe1 Member

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    I have not looked into HD files any further; I do not believe it is possible due to restrictions imposed by Panasonic/HD channel providers. Early tests I did showed me that you could not even copy HD files to blu-ray discs on panasonic boxes. HD files have to be converted to SD files using the panasonic DR convert option.

    Personally I am only using SD files on my PC archive; they are a lot smaller in size than the HD files are; for most files SD resolution is adequate enough for me; for special video's I will buy a Blu-ray disc.
  18. joeylennon

    joeylennon Member

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    I think that's fair enough. HD files are very large.

    However just so you know on my Panasonic BD Recorder you can copy HD files to BD. Whether in DR mode or one of the other modes they both can be copied. I don't think DR files will play on any non-Panasonic players though.
  19. riku2

    riku2 Member

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    I have not seen any limitation in copying HD programmes either to blank disks or over DLNA to a PC. I do have the BTW700 which is not sold in the UK and I only record NHK World HD, not BBC or other UK broadcasters. There is a flag the broadcaster can set to limit HD copying.

    I gave up on bothering to copy the files from the BD recorder to my PC via the network. I just copy the files to a blank BD-RE 50Gb disk and read that using the blu-ray drive in my PC. It's quicker since the network connection is only max 100Mbit and I bought a load of blank BD-RE disks in Japan (about GBP3 for a 50G BD-RE).
  20. joeylennon

    joeylennon Member

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    Hi riku2,

    I too can get HD files onto my PC via the network but once they are on there they are unplayable whether copy restricted or not.
    Do yours definitely play?
  21. ametcalfe1

    ametcalfe1 Member

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    Since I did my original tests with BBC HD the panasonics have had firmware upgrades. It is now possible to archive HD channel files to blu-ray discs; the BBC channels have a limit of 1 HD copy (as many as you like on SD copy); the other channels have no limit.

    I can not test copying the files to a PC; I am about to throw my fourth PC Blu-Ray drive in the bin; I have had 3 internal and 1 USB drives fail; they have hardly been used.

    As to direct transfer to PC of HD channel files on panasonic boxes all of the methods listed use the DLNA server on the panasonic; the panasonic DLNA servers I have currently do not support HD channel files; until panasonic release a firmware upgrade (if ever) that supports HD channel files it will only be possible to transfer SD channel files directly; you will have to use BD discs for HD channel files for these panasonic units.

    So far I have never been able to transfer any files for HD channels; HD channels tend to broadcast files at 1080i/p; they can also broadcast files at 720i/p although this is not normal; 720i/p although considered HD are broadcast on SD channels as well. It is possible that the panasonic boxes I have use a limit of 720i/p for the DLNA servers; if a broadcast is transmitted and recorded from an HD channel at 720i/p the DLNA server may see these files.

    All the HD files I have recorded have been from the built in tuner directly to the hard disk, if you record from an HD source via the AV socket the files it records are not HD; although the source program is HD when you use the AV input to record the program it actually converts and records the program in standard definition. The DLNA server would be able to see these files.

    The only reliable method I have found so far for SD channels has been to use a twonky media server (NAS or PC) set to aggregate the files and then download with Cyberlink softdma 2.0; even with this I have had a few transfer failures; just had to rerun the transfer.

    I am currently looking at another method using only my Iomega Cloud NAS server; it is looking good and is nearly transparent - it does it in the background continuously.

    Considering I only purchased the Panasonics to stream recordings directly to my TV's; to be able to archive SD files to my NAS servers easily is a fantastic bonus.
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2012
  22. ametcalfe1

    ametcalfe1 Member

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    I have been looking at an alternative way to backup my Panasonic SD files directly to my Iomega NAS server; where I originally wanted to archive them. It will not backup HD files. This method may be adaptable for other makes of NAS servers; it may also work for non panasonic DLNA recorder boxes. I have tried the same with the Panasonic boxes and Twonky running on a windows 7 PC but cannot get it to work.

    I have an Iomega® Home Media Network Hard Drive, Cloud Edition; it has a 1TB internal hard disk and 2 x 2TB external USB hard disks. It has a built in Twonky Media server. The Panasonic boxes are DMR-BS780 and DMR-BW780; both UK versions.

    Some time ago when I originally tested the Twonky server aggregation mode in autocopy I thought it was not working; it was actually copying the files to a linux system directory that is not directly available to a basic user; you need linux root access. It was also saving the files without an extension so when the Twonky Media server scanned for the files it did not recognise them so could not find them and play them.

    Recently Iomega upgrade the firmware to version 3.2.3.15290 which included an upgrade to Twonky media server to version 3.0.64

    The Iomega media server configuration page now allows you to specify where the Twonky aggregation autocopy option actually copies the files to; if you specify a directory on the internal Iomega drive the directory/files still need root access; you still cannot access them with windows but the Iomega web browser gives you basic access/modification. However if you specify a directory on the External USB drive it creates a directory system based upon the program name eg. \mirrored videos\Last of the Summer Wine.12 (the .12 comes from the Panasonic tcp/ip number) and gives it a file name like AV-0-268435456-268435471-1333659421_BDY (files from a series are all stored in the same directory). The files just need to be given an extension to be able to play them (mpg).

    Be careful if you have multiple DLNA servers on your network; the Twonky aggregation defaults to aggregating all the DLNA servers it finds; use the Twonky Media Server configuration pages to set the ones you want to aggregate ( web page http:\\iomega_tcp_ip:50599\ or http:\\ iomega_tcp_ip:9000\ ) .

    Although copying files to a USB drive is slow most of the work is done in the background by the Iomega NAS.

    The basic steps are as follows

    Daily - automatic

    1)Twonky aggregation copies the file from the Panasonic to the USB drive as soon as the recording finishes.

    Regular (weekly/monthly?) – manual

    1)Basic checks on files being copied OK.
    2)Delete recordings on the Panasonic.
    3)Rename files on Iomega USB drive – directory/names/extension. (Bulk Rename Utility - free).

    Ocassionally you might get a file with a name with "loading" in it which is not increasing in size; this is a failed copy; probably due to the panasonic box recording two programs while the aggregation is copying a file (or accessing menu/viera on the panasonic). Just delete the file; the aggregation will copy it again; you can force a rescan by using the twonky media server web page; on the aggregation page select to ignore the DLNA server then select to autocopy the DLNA server.
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2012
  23. ametcalfe1

    ametcalfe1 Member

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    Hi Riku2

    I am interested in knowing how you are recording NHK World HD files on your BWT700 and then transferring them via the network; correct me if I am wrong but the BWT700 is freeview; NHK World HD is not available on UK freeview; do you live in a country that gets NHK World HD via freeview or are you recording from a freesat or other box plugged into the scart AV2 socket of the BWT700; if the latter is the case then this is why it works for you and not me; although the source program is HD when you use the AV2 to record the program it actually converts and records the program as a standard definition file.

    When I record a NHK World HD directly on my DMR-BS780 (freesat) I am not able to transfer the file via the network.

    Thanks

    Andy
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2012
  24. kit1cat

    kit1cat Member

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    I have a number of programs on my BW880 recorded in HD DR mode I was hoping to transfer them to my PC to convert via handbrake for playing via my Apple TV2. I transferred the programs to the PC via BD-RE discs but handbrake does not recognize the files. I have tried a number of video converters which claimed to support DR mode, but done worked. The files will not play from the computer, but did play via the RE discs using power dvd but without audio. I am not to concerned about picture quality, but was hoping to keep the 5.1 audio, looks like the best option is to archive to disc using HL mode, this gives good picture quality and keeps the 5.1 audio. SD copy works fine on the computer but I loose the 5.1 audio.

    Any one come across a video converter that works with DR mode files, and keeps the orignal audio, thanks.
  25. ametcalfe1

    ametcalfe1 Member

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    A package I have used for other files/DVD's is Pavtube bluray ripper ultimate; the ultimate version allows you to add files to convert as well as reading blu-ray disks (the ordinary version does not support files). It has a large selection of video conversion options; I personally tend to save the files as common video mpeg h.264 which gives either stereo or 5.1 surround options. These have worked on my NAS.

    It has a trial version that you can test before buying. It is a fairly new package so has had a few problems but the company do respond with regular upgrades to fix bugs.
  26. kit1cat

    kit1cat Member

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    Thanks, will have a look.
  27. kit1cat

    kit1cat Member

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    Well, tried a number of the Pavtube programs, none of them would open the HD DR m2ts files from the BD-RE disc or from the computer harddrive. The strange thing is my mate has the Freesat version of the Panny blu-Ray recorder and he has no problems transferring files from his recorder to PC via BD-RE discs, and they play with no problems. I have tried my disc in his computer and the files would not play, but the disc worked ok in his Blu-Ray recorder, strange.
  28. kit1cat

    kit1cat Member

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    After doing some research it's appears the problem could be due to the fact that Freeview HD sound is broadcast in LPCM and Freesat HD in Dolby Digital. Why this is a problem I do not know. (I had the same problem with a recording using LPCM in XP mode) My AV receiver shows the input received from BBC HD being PCM 48khz 3/2/0.1 (5.1 surround sound)
  29. kit1cat

    kit1cat Member

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    No one have any comments or observations.
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  30. grahamlthompson

    grahamlthompson Well-Known Member

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    Not familiar with the Panasonic but the following observations may help.

    Freeview+ pvrs encrypt HD content when recording, this is most likely the root cause of your problem.

    Humax Freeview+ pvrs encrypt HD to disc but they can be fooled into removing the encryption when copying HD to USB.

    Freeview-HD uses aac audio which most boxes recode to Dolby Digital (2.0 or 5.1 as broadcast). In this event the digital audio output of Freesat-HD and Freeview-HD is the same. SD satellite and freeview use mpeg1 layer 2 audio which the boxes output as lpcm stereo.
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    Last edited: Apr 20, 2012

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