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DVD-HD recorders with built-in freeview - any concrete info yet?

Discussion in 'Blu-ray & DVD Players & Recorders' started by Joe Pineapples, Apr 17, 2005.

  1. Joe Pineapples

    Joe Pineapples
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    Forgive me if this has been posted already, but having heard rumours of some manufacturers bringing these out this year, has anything official been announced or can anyone make an educated guess as to when?.

    joe
     
  2. redsox_mark

    redsox_mark
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    Sony have said their upcoming 710 and 910 machines will have Digital Tuners. Sept/Oct timeframe. Panasonics also coming later in the year.

    Mark
     
  3. Joe Pineapples

    Joe Pineapples
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    thanks MArk
     
  4. Roger G Cam

    Roger G Cam
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    I am waiting to see the Panasonic which I understand is due in September.

    Roger
     
  5. rogerh

    rogerh
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    Just to add my agreement to all. Wait until the new Sonys or the Panasonic arrive in September/October. There's a lot of us who have been waiting for a properly spected machine to arrive in the UK and these may just be the ones we're waiting for!
     
  6. Kevo

    Kevo
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    I guess the 'milking of analog only tuners' is at last starting to 'go off'.
     
  7. bonzobanana

    bonzobanana
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    I'm curious how they will implement the technology. If they record the bitstream information to hard drive like a humax/pace freeview pvrs then it will be more difficult to process this as a dvd recording both technically and legally. I suspect they will simply record the analogue image of the freeview section which will result in them being a lower quality option than a humax/pace pvr which have no loss of picture quality. I suspect some form of copy once to hdd only with no dvd recording option wil have to be implemented if it directly records the bitstream. Especially if these dvd recorders are dual layer and you could simply record a film off air and create a high quality dual layer dvd from it.
     
  8. sdh500

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    bonzobanana, I understand the legal issues, but why would this be technically difficult?
     
  9. bonzobanana

    bonzobanana
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    Technically as in implementing a form of copyright protection that works and can't be over-ridden. Stuff like;

    1. Preventing certain movies being recorded to the hdd/dvd recorder.

    2. Allowing certain movies etc to be recorded to the hdd but not written to the dvd recorder.

    3. Allowing movies to be written to the hard drive but only watchable for a few days before being automatically deleted.

    Maybe they'll get round these problems by only implementing some sort of analogue lower quality freeview picture. If they want to implement different quality modes they'll need algorithms to process the raw bitstream information to a higher compression ratio. For normal analogue recordings from the normal tuner and scart etc they'll need different encoding for their its own video captured/digitised material.

    They might implement something like direct bitstream recording from freeview but no recording to disc at all and no quality options for the recording.

    I suspect the first generation models will have at least some limitations where as perhaps second and third will be much better.
     
  10. rogerh

    rogerh
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    I'm lost here.
    If the recording is so fraught with difficulties about copyright then how come SKY+ can record the broadcast stream at the same quality, record to hard disc and even allow recordings to be retained for a set period of time before being deleted?
    Recordings can also be watched as many times as you want within the saved period and, of course can be partly viewed.
    Is this simply because of the technical differences between Satellite Digital Broadcasts and Terrestial Digital Broadcasts?
    If so does it mean that Satellite DVD recorders with both Hard Disc and Removable Disc are a much better bet than any Freeview system?
     
  11. bonzobanana

    bonzobanana
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    sky plus can't record a perfect copy to a dvd though which can be given away to friends or even sold. I don't have sky plus myself but doesn't that have some sort of protection for films?
     
  12. Roger G Cam

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    On some of the Pay per View films - I believe so. On the Sky Movies package - no.

    Roger
     
  13. kwebbotaurus

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    Bit confused about this too, does this mean you're not going to be able to back up a decent quality recording to DVD, is so what's the point in recordable DVD?
     
  14. redsox_mark

    redsox_mark
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    Here is a hopefully simple explanation...

    Today, if you have a separate Freeview tuner and a DVD recorder, the DVD recorder records the analogue (RGB) output from Freeview. This can still be excellent quality, though it won't be a digital copy of the Freeview source.

    Today, with a PVR, it records the digital bitstream to disk, so there is no digital/analogue conversion. So in theory this would be better, as it is an exact copy. Though if you later record this to DVD, it would be via analogue as with the Freeview.

    The question/speculation is, when a Freeview tuner is added to a DVD recorder, will it:

    1. Work like today's Freeview Tuner/DVD recorder combination (just on one box); i.e. the recorder will record an analogue (RGB) image. This will be just as good as today's 2 box solution, but all one one box, only one timer, etc.

    2. Will it work more like a PVR, and record to disc digitally (directly in the Freeview format)? As the Freeview digital is different than DVD digital, there would have to be a digital-digital conversion to dub to DVD (the technical issue).

    I'm just guessing, but I'd think we would see option 1 - that is the easiest; keep the same "architecture" as for DVD recorders today, just add the convienence of the Freeview tuner on the same box.

    Mark
     
  15. kwebbotaurus

    kwebbotaurus
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    Thanks Mark, that explains it perfectly!!
     
  16. rogerh

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    So that would mean that the recordings made to the hard disc on a dvd recorder with built-in Freeview could either be converted to analogue before recording to the hard disc OR they could convert the Freeview Digital signal to the type of Digital signal used to record onto dvds BEFORE recording onto the hard disc?
    If the latter, then I'm being thick I know, but SKY+ records the Digital broadcast stream onto its' hard disc without conversion so why would a Freeview broadcast stream need to be changed to a different digital recording signal before being recorded onto a hard disc?
    If the issue is about the recording onto the Removable dvds then I assume that a recording made onto the Hard Disc could be in Broadcast Quality (without D/A conversion) but a recording made to the Removable dvd both from the Hard Disc and directly from the Broadcast Stream would have to go through a conversion process from one Digital system to another?
    So it would seem that the alternatives are that we will either get a recording made via an analogue conversion process OR we will get a Digital recording on the Hard Disc and a recording onto a Removable disc which has been converted from one type of digital (broadcast stream) to another - the dvd digital syatem? :rolleyes:
     
  17. redsox_mark

    redsox_mark
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    A Freeview PVR does record the Freeview bitstream - like Sky+ does - but you can't edit it.
    With a DVD/HDD recorder today, you can directly edit the recordings on the HDD.
    If the Freeview DVD/HDD records the native Freeview format (like a PVR), then you wouldn't be able to directly edit it, set chapter points, etc. And that is the whole point of a HDD on a DVD recorder.

    Mark
     
  18. foneman

    foneman
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    qoute from rogerh:
    "If the recording is so fraught with difficulties about copyright then how come SKY+ can record the broadcast stream at the same quality, record to hard disc and even allow recordings to be retained for a set period of time before being deleted?"

    the 'difficulties about copyright' are not sky's - the *encoded* stream is saved on disk! - It then needs the sky signal to decode this - and if you dont have a signal, you dont see the movie!! (just think, too rainy/ snowy for sky reception, you *cant* see your recording!!)

    also, sky has complete access rights to your box - It is a condition of your contract that the contents are sky property, and it can use your phone line to access it!

    The only problems I have had with recording sky on my tosh xs32 is with the 'box-office' channels - I havent used the movie channels for years- DVDs are far better, its the 'extras' that make them worth it.

    It is the greed of the film companies that will stop 'progress'... and I think that is why I may get a small separate freeview box - it can also be upgraded easily, and all manner of devices are available, for me to record what I want..
     
  19. sdc395

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    The new Panasonic TU-CTH100 allows you to edit your recordings before viewing or archiving them.
     
  20. bonzobanana

    bonzobanana
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    Connect me if I'm wrong (and there's a high chance that I am) but I think both sky plus and freeview both use mpeg 2 compression for their services anyway so very little processing needs to be done to write a perfect broadcast quality movie to a
    dvd-r to share with all your friends and family and sell at the local car boot if you are so inclined. In fact I think I remember reading on sites that make dvd player logic chips that the same chips are actually used for satellite, cable and digital tuner boxes too.
     
  21. redsox_mark

    redsox_mark
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    I believe you are right; did a quick Google search and found several references to Freeview being MPEG2.

    I don't know technically what the difference is between the Freeview encoding and a DVD... but of course it is possible to have a MPEG2 file or stream which is not DVD compliant...

    This is an interesting topic. It would be great for a DVD/HDD/Freeview recorder to be able to record the Freeview broadcast to HDD without any conversion (an exact copy), and let you edit it, set chapter points etc (all the things we can do with a DVD/HDD recorder today), and create a DVD-Video from this (preferably with a high speed option without re-encoding).

    Is this feasible?

    If we take the Sony 910 as an example, as the non-Freeview version is already available, I assume the Freeview version just adds the Freeview tuner, but would still use a analogue-digital conversion to record.

    But this idea of lossless recording and DVD creation is interesting.

    Mark
     
  22. rogerh

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    So we seem to have reached the conclusion that as the broadcasts on both Sky and Freeview use MPEG-2, the only issue is that Sky have control over their broadcasts and make sure that you are currently subscribing in order to record/view recordings etc. whereas Freeview don't have the same control.
    In which case Freeview could be recorded from the broadcast stream.
    So why would a manufacturer want to go through a Digital to Analogue conversion before recording?
    The only need for conversion from Digital to Analogue would be to output via the scart to the TV surely? If the output is via HDMI then the whole process could be in digital?
    I can understand that copyright owners of films would like to put pressure onto manufacturers to prevent digital copies being transferred onto removable DVDs but that doesn't mean that manufacturers have to do what Hollywood says.
    From the manufacturers' point of view surely competition to produce the best quality recordings from their kit means that in this Digital evolution all kit will become totally Digital eventually anyway (whether Hollywood likes it or not).
    So attempts to hold onto Analogue to prevent Digital recording can only be short lived. Copyright protection is in any case already in existance without the need to restrict the quality of the recordings we can make at home.
     
  23. redsox_mark

    redsox_mark
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    I don’t know if the manufactures are thinking about this or not. I assume at least the first generation of these recorders will use an analogue conversion, as that would easily fit in to the architecture they have today. Just replace the analogue tuner (or augment it) with a Freeview one. But maybe they will surprise me!

    But longer term an all-digital solution would be better.

    I’m not sure if Hollywood would have an issue. If a recorder has RGB in, and a good encoder, it can already create a high quality recording from a broadcast (one that is indistinguishable to the eye from the broadcast). So why should they care if it was created digitally or with an analogue step in the middle?

    What they will want to keep is the ability to block copying (which does exist even with Freeview, see

    http://www.pcplus.co.uk/opinion/def...eid=33721&subsectionid=381&subsubsectionid=77

    The recorders will have to enforce this regardless of if they use an analogue conversion or not.

    Mark
     
  24. GagHalfrunt

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    Surely if it were recorded digitally you'd also be able to fit more on the Hard Drive too? Because you're recording with the compression already done.

    Or am I talking rubbish? ;)
     
  25. rogerh

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    That's a good point. I guess it would apply to both the Hard Disc and the removable discs? Or would there be an issue of playback with removable discs (eg. on different machines which may have variations on decompression software)?
     
  26. redsox_mark

    redsox_mark
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    Well, it would depend on what bitrate is broadcast. I'm not sure what rate they use. If the rate was higher than the DVD standard can support (~10.0, including the audio) then it would take more, and also would need a re-encoding to go to disc.

    I think I heard the actual rates used is something like 5-6 Mbps, but I don't know this for sure.

    Mark
     
  27. sdc395

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    Yes, bitrates on Freeview range from about 2Mbps to 7Mbps. This would be DVD compatible once the transport stream was converted to a programme stream. One problem, however, is that some of the multiplexes use non-standard encoding with large gaps between I-frames.

    I would hope that combined HDD/DVD Freeview recorders would make bit-perfect recordings to the HDD even if they then re-encode (all digitally, as the Sony RDR-GXD500 does) before writing a DVD. However, I can imagine 1st-generation machines simply substituting the analogue tuner for a digital one.
     
  28. rogerh

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    If the Sony RDR-GXD500 is all digital then what's the thinking behind their forthcoming machines, the 710, 910 and 1010, not being the same?
     
  29. redsox_mark

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    That the 910 already exists as a non-freeview version.

    I guess the question is what Sony will use as the base to build the 910 (and 710, 1010) base - the current HDD models, or the GXD500.

    Mark
     
  30. rogerh

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    I take the point. Let's hope they base it on the GXD500 then!
    Fingers Crossed! :)
     

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