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What is XP, SP, LP, EP, SLP, and SEP?

Discussion in 'Blu-ray & DVD Recorders' started by chicouk, Jul 30, 2008.

  1. chicouk

    chicouk Member

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    hey all,

    i have got myself a pioneer tv recorder but i am just wondering what XP, SP, LP, EP, SLP, and SEP means. For the past few months i have been recording in LP and i think the quality is really poor.

    Thanks!
  2. StevieBuck

    StevieBuck Active Member

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    It is recording modes. My dvd recorder is similar. It ranges from 1 hour recording time through to 8 hours recording time i.e. XP = high quality, SEP = less quality, more recording time.

    The letters give you an idea of what each mode is - SP=Standard Play, LP=Long Play, EP=Extended play etc.
  3. zomp

    zomp Member

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    Beat me to it-XP is best quality(1 hr per dvd) SP is standard play(2 hrs per dvd) then you have long play,extended play.super long play,super extended play- i think-you`re better off sticking to XP and SP.On my Panasonic I use nothing else.LP/EP is okay for archiving VHS for example where the picture is pretty poor to start with.
  4. Hal_loe

    Hal_loe Member

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    A bit of extra info for you.

    The different recording lengths are gained by changing the bitrate (amount of data per sec of video / audio). So an SP recording has more compression than XP etc.

    This is very different to the way SP and LP recording work on VHS.

    Flashing lights and fast motion requires alot more bitrate than a static / slow moving picture to look good.

    Hence recordings in LP look bad and are really only useful for viewing.

    Not advisable to use LP and lower for VHS transfers as the noise on VHS tape can use up all the bitrate and so not enough for the motion etc. Infact the recordings can look much worse.

    Hope that helps.
  5. Gavtech

    Gavtech Administrator

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    The best general compromise of quality versus storage space is built into machines and is rightly called SP - Standard Play.

    Use this for everything and only deviate from it for exceptional reasons:
    Up to higher quality for exceptionally precious material and lower qualities only when really pressed for storage space.

    If possible, avoid using the lower qualities.
  6. kurkosdr

    kurkosdr Member

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    In simple terms:

    When it comes to digital video, the duration of video a recordable media (ex. this 4.7gig size capacity DVDR you just bought) can hold is NOT fixed. This is because the size of a video of certain duration (ex 2,5 hours) is not fixed too!
    Instead, these 2,5 hours of video can take a varitety of sizes, according to how much you are going to compress it (yes, all videos in standard DVD video format are compressed). How big or small this compression will be (the "compression rate") is selected by you, before you make the recording. That's the big advantage of digital video. If you want to make these two and a half hours of video fit in a media of small capacity, you can select to make a big compression, which will result in a small size, and, bang! 2,5 hours of video will fit in your small size capacity media. However, big compression rates really ruin the quality. When you overdo it with really big compression rates, the video gets too pixelated, and it gets even worse at the parts when the video includes lots of movement. So, if you have the luxury of a big size capacity media, you can select to have a smaller compression rate. The final video will be somewhat bigger (and demand media of bigger size capacity), but, due to the smaller compresision you selected, the quality will be noticably better (= no pixelation effects visible, even in big TVs)

    So when recording in a media, you will have first to decide in your mind if you want to make a DVD that will fit a small duration of video, but with awesome quality (= small compression rate, big video size), or a DVD that will fit a truckload of hours in it, but with an awful quality (= big compression rate, small video size).

    Most programs for pc/devices offer a variety of compression settings (often called quality settings), so that you can select the balance between quality and duration you wish. Here are some:

    HQ (high quality): The better quality possible is achieved by this quality setting. In this quality setting, the video is compressed as little as possible, and thus makes an awesome quality. Of course, recording in this quality setting makes a really big video. That kind of setting can fit about only 1 hour and 1 minute of video on a single sided (4.7gig) DVDR. Since I am not on a tight budget and can afford double layer dvd's with big capacity (8.5gig) this is my personal favorite. This quality setting is close to the best DVD video technology has to offer

    HSP (high standard play): Falls between HQ and SP in quality. Good quality with a reasonable size.

    SP (standard play): The wise choice. This setting tries to hit the fine balance between quality and duration. In this setting, the compression is not that big to ruin the video, but not that small to make the video too big. It can fit 2 hours of video in a single sided (4.7gig capacity) dvd. This is the lowest quality setting I accept to use, as everything below this looks like and old VCD.

    LP (long play): Can fit 3 hours and 40 minutes on a 4.7gig capacity dvd. This kind of quality looks like a video CD. Use only if it's your last resort.

    EP (extended play): Even worse that LP

    SEP/SLP/[insert-idiotic-cryptic-name-here]: These are usually names for the minimum quality setting a program/device offers (the exact name depends from the device/program you will use). They all have cute cryptic names like "super extented play", "super long play", "super ultra long play" and other like these. Crap!! The bottom line is that in this quality, the program/device just compresses the video as much as it can to acheive the smaller size possible, with absolute neglet for the final quality of it. Generally, video in this quality is so awful and pixelated that will be unwatchable (really). Yes, I agree with you that it will allow you to fit 10 hours of video on a 4.7gig capacity dvd, but don't expect you 'll be able to watch it on a proper tv after the recording. If you ask me, that kind of qualiy settings are a marketing ploy by dvd recorder companies, to be able to boast that their recorder can fit many hours of video in the hard disk/dvd. Yes, the video will fit, but it's not going to look pretty.

    -Read only in case you want to get more technical: [How big or small the compression will be mostly depends from the "bitrate" of the video The "bitrate" is the amount of data a second of video is made of. The compression used in DVD video basically removes excess data, in a way not noticable by the user, and that's how reduces the amount of data required to make a second of video, and consequently, the size of the video data as a whole. However, everything less than the SP compression setting results in a such small bitrate, that vital data have to be removed and the video gets pixelated. The bitrate is measured in Kbps/Mbps usually. Bottom line: The BIGGER the bitrate, the SMALLER the compression, the BIGGER the size of the video, the BETTER the quality]

    Here is a list of the most commonly used by users quality settings [their bitrates], and the duration the most common capacities can hold. The first duration is for 4.7gig capacity media, aka single layer dvds, the second one 8.5gig capacity media, aka dual layer dvds. The duration may vary! That's because different companies use different compression rates [and bitrates] to refer to the same quality setting [for example, some companies define HQ quality setting as video compressed in 9MBbps bitrate, other companies as video compressed in 8,5Mbps bitrate]. So, the following durations are approximate. I decided to use the smallest compression for each quality setting, so, an up to 20minutes difference in duration (more) may exist in some programs/devices [if you want to see the exact time your program/device can fit with a certain compression setting, look at the manuals/menus for the exact bitrate it uses for each of it's compression settings, and search for this number in a chart, ask me to post one if you want].

    HQ (high quality, up to 9.8Mbps): 1h1m , 1h51m
    HSP (high standard play, up to 6.8Mbps): 1h30m , 2h41m
    SP (standard play, up to 5Mbps): 2h , 3h35m
    LP(long play, up to 3.19Mbps ): 3h40m , 6h35m

    e.t.c.

    PS: When recording to harddisk, just consider the harddisk as, 160gig for example, media (do the math to find the duration in each quality setting, if not mentioned in the manuals, menus)
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2008
  7. kurkosdr

    kurkosdr Member

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    Wow, that was a long post....
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2008

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