Dubbing from HDD to DVD


Standard Member
Do you have to reduce the quality of a film recorded from a TV signal to fit it onto a DVD+R? I have recorded a broadcast film onto the hard drive of my Sony HDD/DVD recorder. The recorder says the film is 1 hour 54 minutes, 7.8G and HQ quality. But, the Sony DVD+R packaging says the disc has a capacity of 4.7GB/ 120min.

I understand I can split the film in order to fit it onto two separate discs, but when the big studios sell films on DVD, they are usually on one disc. I believe I could also have recorded the film in a mode giving lesser quality, but I wanted the best possible (HQ).

I originally posted this question into the Sony owners forum as I was not sure if it counted as a DVD player question. My question may seem silly, but I am new to digital tv (Bravia), HDD and DVDs.
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Well-known Member
The 120min only applies when using constant bitrates for recording - which most (all?) standalone DVD/HDD recorder's use. You'll notice this when selecting the record mode quality, i.e HQ may relate to 1 hour per DVD+R, standard qualty = 2 hours, extended = 4 hours, and so on.

All studio DVDs use a variable bitrate when encoding the video, so the movie length does not have such a direct effect on the overall file size. For example, in slow/low action scenes the bitrate will be lower and a smaller filesize wil be needed. In other words, the overall filesize is more dependent on the quality settings used to do the encoding as opposed to being dictated by the movie duration when constant bitrates are used.

Another thing to note of course, is that most movies are released on dual layer DVDs which have twice the capacity of a DVD+R. If you used a dual layer disk you'd fit your movie onto it as-is no problem.


Well-known Member
You should be able to dub the film to dvd+r using a slow re-encoding mode which will re-encode the movie as it copies to a higher compression rate so that you can fit the movie onto a single disc. Normally its best to select SP mode at the beginning and then you can high speed dub the movie to disc without re-encoding. Generally 'SP' is the mode to use for almost all recording as its a good compromise between recording time and quality. I would guess that recording to XP and then slow copying to SP will be a slightly inferior copy to simply recording at SP from the outset as you are encoding twice this way.

Basically just keep to 'SP' for all recordings. Many dvd recorders can copy recordings to dual layer discs but their compatibility with other dvd players isn't as good as single layer discs.

Roger Thornhill

Active Member
Does this mean i can dub the film to the DVD?


I am guessing from the terminology you are using it is a Sony DVD recorder?

When setting up the ''Dubbing'' just select a different recording ''Speed'' when you get to that option page in the process, as the others say SP should fit a 2 Hour recording on to it, LP 4 Hours etc etc.

Do keep recording in HQ, this will give you the best picture and when ''backing up'' to DVD you will just have to adjust as above.

Sorry, you do mention it is a Sony!!
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single layer dvd disks are the 4.7 gig ones , whereas the dual layer are approx twice as big due to having 2 layers of 4.7 gig and not just the one

plenty of shops sell dual layer disks , or try svp , bigpockets or e bay

check the manual for compatible types

I find something like SP mode ( MN21 ) is fine for most stuff on a single layer 4.7 gig dvd -r disk

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