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Always Record in XP to HD

Discussion in 'Blu-ray & DVD Players & Recorders' started by GroundhogDay, Jul 4, 2004.

  1. GroundhogDay

    GroundhogDay
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    I'm just in the process of transferring my (old) VHS collection via my new Panny E85 and have been recording in SP mode. On the latest burn there was 30 mins (SP time) left over when making the final DVR. It strikes me that to make the best use of every 4.7gb DVR it would make sense to always record everything first to the HD in XP mode and then use FR when making the final burn.

    The only down side would be using more of the HD space and not being able to use the fast dub facility, but picture quality and DVR usage should be at its opitmum. Unless I'm missing something here, then it seems to make sense to always record to the HD in XP mode whatever. Especially when most often its not known in advance what and how much will be archived onto the DVR.
     
  2. Rasczak

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    Yes you can do that - and you will get impressive results. The only drawback is that your not getting a lossless dub - the programme is re-encoded which reduces the quality a bit but not significantly.

    You realise you can use Flexible Record on the HDD? Say you wanted to record 3 x 42 min programmes (42 mins + 18mins adverts) onto a DVD. Record each with a FR setting of 126mins onto the HDD, edit and then dub each cutdown episode to disk. This way you still get a lossless result...
     
  3. GroundhogDay

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    Thanks for the response.

    I didn't know about recording to the HDD in FR mode. I can't see how to set this up on my E85 quite how you specify. There is a feature to record in FR whereby the time of the program to be recorded is set with the notion of filling the available disc space at the best rate. Recording to the HDD with ample space seems to equate to an XP recording, the best it can do. The manual doesn't help much, just points to this feature as being a way to best fill remaining disc space.

    This would seem to be the same as recording in XP in the first place, assuming as you point out, that in dubbing to the DVR there would still be a new encoding necessary.

    Is it me? or the E85 doesn't have a feature to specify both the progam record time time and the FR time, it just does its best with the available space.
     
  4. marting2

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  5. jesmat2003

    jesmat2003
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    You are missing something. And I'd also say that when archiving VHS tapes you will almost always know in advance how much you'll be placing on each DVD-R.

    This thread covered the same ground, including a detailed description of how best to record in FR mode. Well worth reading:

    http://www.avforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=134804

    Recording in FR mode to the HDD and fast dubbing to a DVD-R is definitely preferable to recording in XP then dubbing in FR mode. When hooking up your video to the E85 just set the timer to record in FR mode from the relevent AV input.
     
  6. Rasczak

    Rasczak
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    Have you altered the input setting on AV2 (I assume you have connected the VHS to the AV2 Scart input)? You need to select Composite (or Video or PAL - I can't remember how the Panny describes it). If you have RGB input selected you'll just get sound and a black screen.
     
  7. Rasczak

    Rasczak
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    Although it's worth pointing out XP recording on the HDD, partial erase and dubbing in FR to DVD-R/DVD-RAM will offer frame accurate editting albeit with a (slight) drop in quality. Lossless dubbing obviously is limited by the MPEG2 format.
     
  8. jesmat2003

    jesmat2003
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    I'm not sure I understand this. Surely you can partial erase and have frame accurate editing recording in FR mode as well?
     
  9. Rasczak

    Rasczak
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    Yes indeed - if you dub in realtime to the DVD-R/DVD-RAM - but there is very little benefit unless you want to employ lossless dubbing.

    Certainly if your going from XP to (for example) FR90 on the DVD-R then, in my experience, it is better to use the higher bitrate and dub to the lower bitrate provided you do not cross the resolution threshold. Not to mention it is easier to use the default recording mode.
     
  10. jesmat2003

    jesmat2003
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    You've lost me. With the E85 you can record in FR Mode, edit it as you would any other recording - partial erase (frame accurate), change thumbnail, enter name, create chapter points and then high speed dub to a DVD-R.

    If anything, recording in XP and dubbing in FR offers less flexability:

    Extra encoding
    No high speed dubbing
    No retention of chapter points
     
  11. GroundhogDay

    GroundhogDay
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  12. Rasczak

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    jesmat2003, the method you describe is indeed the best dubbing method using the E85 (etc), i.e. lossless recording.

    However that does NOT give precise frame accurate edits - your 'limited' to inserting a break where the MPEG2 stream allows it. Depending on how much dubbing you have done you may or may not have noticed this yet (and your Panasonic will not show you the 'extra frames' - you'll need a third party DVD player that doesn't support Seemless playback). But I can assure you they are there.

    Look - I don't know how 'up' you are on digital video so please forgive me if you know all this. MPEG2 consists of three types of frame:

    I-Frames
    Intra-frames are single compressed frames which contain all of the spatial information of a video frame.

    P-Frames
    Predictive frames are computed based on the nearest previous I or P frame. P frames are highly compressed and provide a reference for the calculation of B frames.

    B-Frames
    Bi-directional frames use both a past and subsequent frame as a reference to
    calculate the compressed frame data.

    Accordingly all cuts need to be done on I-Frames as all other frame types are directly or indirectly based upon these. Now the closer you are to XP mode the more I-Frames you'll have and the less you'll notice this effect. But I can assure you although the Panasonic uses some neat tricks it doesn't re-encode I-frames on the fly. Thus all your lossless dubs to DVD-R are based on the nearest I frame (approx every 0.1-0.2 of a second) and so you may have one or two unwanted frames.

    If you dub in XP to FR then you loose the high speed option and take a (slight) quality hit but you do get true, 100% frame accurate editting. Which can be worth it depending upon what your editting...
     
  13. jesmat2003

    jesmat2003
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    That's it exactly. Although I only suggested adding a few extra minutes on to the timer as the original poster was talking about recording a weekly programme off the television. If you're recording from VHS to the recorder then there's no uncertainty and I only usually add on 1 extra minute.


    Yes. If you're recording a 2 hour and 1 hour show off the telly to be placed on one disc then you can set the timer for a three hour period in FR mode to record both shows. The recorder will record at the correct bitrate to fit 3 hours worth of programmes on one 4.7GB DVD-R. Of course, the quality will be awful as 3 hours is far to much to put on one disc - but this is a good demonstration of the theory.

    Also, say you know that the 2 hour programme will contain 15 minutes worth of ads and you also know that the 1 hour programme contain 8 minutes worth of ads. If you plan on editing out the ads then you know that the total amount to eventually be transferred to a DVD-R will be about 157 minutes. So in this case, you only need to set the timer for a 160 minute period when recording each programme.

    It's a case of planning ahead and knowing what the total amount of material you'll be transferring to a DVD-R once all the ads etc are edited out and setting the timer for that length (perhaps with a minute or two extra added on, just in case).

    I've found this technique really useful for transferring films and tv programmes on VHS to DVD-R. It seems to me to retain the best quality by recording at the highest possible bitrate to fill a DVD, with the added bonus of high speed dubbing, no re-encoding and chapter points retained.


    I agree. It's also a lot simpler. Some people will be put off by the method we talked about above.


    That's exactly what I do.

    I'd also recommend re-reading the manual several times and experimenting with the recording and dubbing (using a DVD-RAM so you can experiment as much as you like).
     
  14. jesmat2003

    jesmat2003
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    I bow to your superior knowledge. That's one drawback I didn't know about. I certainly haven't found this to be a problem. For example, I recorded a film on Channel 4 the other week using the timer in FR mode. Channel 4 stopped the action at the beginning of each commercial break and restarted after the break with the very next frame of the movie. For example, one ad-break started with someone walking across a room and continued after the break with the very next frame of the movie with the character still walking across the room. I edited out the ad-break, and although there was a slight pause, there was no apparent loss of frames. ie I was apparently able to edit out the adbreak to the nearest frame. From what you say though, if I try the disc on a third party player may I see one or two unwanted frames?

    Even if there was a few frames difference, it certainly wouldn't stop me from recording in FR mode and high speed dubbing to DVD-R as we appear to be talking only about a mere fraction of a second.
     
  15. Rasczak

    Rasczak
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    The Panasonic range have a very good VBR - it's one of the reasons they are so popular. Your getting good results because the MPEG2 encoder on the machines is good and is inserting I-Frames. In 90% of cases you'll find it will allow you to cut exactly where you want it to and thus I am with you all the way in using lossless dubbing.

    It would have been remiss of me not to mention it though - especially as I get so many e-mails on this very subject. The perfect example of where this really matter is someone recording a series of music videos where the odd unwanted frame may annoyingly add an unwanted note at the start/end of a tune.
     
  16. Rasczak

    Rasczak
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    It depends - on the scene and on the recording mode used. If you using a high bitrate you will have lots of I frames and so will be able to make more accurate edits and so the less likely you are to see unwanted frames. Generally speaking the Panasonic will playback the disk (DVD-RAM or DVD-R) exactly as you editted it. On another DVD player you may see, for a split second, an unwanted frame but it all depends on the crucial I frame location. If you recording in the XP-FR160 band you should find that around 90% of your edits will be frame accurate.

    Without going too technical the number of I frames in an MPEG2 recording is determined by the value of the Group Of Pictures (GOP). At XP mode this will be anywhere between 1 and 6. That means at the minimum you will be getting 5 I frames per second - hence quite accurate editting. The further you get away from XP the more the GOP increases and can go as high as 15 (which clearly is noticeable).
     
  17. jesmat2003

    jesmat2003
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    That's comforting to know, though I've yet to put more than two hours on a DVD-R. If a film/programmes/music performances etc stretched to 150 minutes I'd be tempted to record in XP mode and then spread it over two DVD-Rs anyway.
     
  18. GroundhogDay

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    Thanks for your patience in explaining how this FR recording works. I was assuming that the reference when recording in FR to the HDD was the HDD size not the size of a DVDR. The manual seems light on explanations and to leave a lot to trial and error!
     
  19. jesmat2003

    jesmat2003
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    It's not the easiest thing to read. I'd already transferred a couple of films from VHS to DVD-R by recording in XP and transferring in FR before realising there was an easier way.
     
  20. geordie

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    My interest is in using a HDD dvd recorder to do basic but good quality assemble editting from camcorder tapes (and old s-VHS copies of Hi-8 recordings). I could live with slight quality drop in dubbing to dvd from an XP hard drive copy off a DV / Hi8 / sVHS source. and I would not be bothered about seeing or losing the odd frame I thought I had editted more accurately. I would be much more annoyed by a momentary pause (frozen frame and audio dropout) between cuts from one scene to the next. If you re-encode from an XP hard drive copy to dvd-ram (or dvd-r) at FR, do you avoid this pause phenomenon? In other words, can you re-assemble and trim short tape recordings and enjoy a seamless, joined-up playback from the dvd copy? I heve learned that this is not possible on the Toshiba RDXS 30/32 models which would appear to be a significant advantage for the Panasonic.
     
  21. marting2

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    Thanks. I've tried that changed AV2 input setting from RGB to Video, but still only get sound and blue screen. I've tried taking the Sky+ out of the equation, but no luck. The only connection I've got from the VHS is from Scart (I've tried both sockets) to AV2 input on Panny. I've also tried connecting VHS to TV and TV to Panny, but still nothing. I just feel I am doing something very basic wrong! :confused:
     
  22. nwgarratt

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    I do the same on my HS2. I only do it with films though. I take the ads out as much as possible then FR to a RAM. I use SP on TV series programmes.

    I then use the PC to do frame precise editing on the ad breaks. The software MPEG-VCR can show all the frames and not just the I frames (I think) like TMPGEnc DVD Author. I then use DVD Author to create the DVD-R.
     

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