1. Join Now

    AVForums.com uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

DVD-R and widescreen recordings

Discussion in 'Blu-ray & DVD Players & Recorders' started by 2 many boxes, Jan 31, 2005.

  1. 2 many boxes

    2 many boxes
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    I've just bought a Panasonic DMR-E55EB and I was having a lovely time :confused: reading the manual. Anyway, I noticed that it said it would record 16:9 signals in 4:3 format on DVD-R. It would record 16:9 OK on DVD-RAM. I bought the recorder to record programs shown in widescreen from my Pace digibox and view them on another non-Panasonic machine (at my Dad's house).

    Is this a restriction of the DVD-R format, or just this machine? Or will everything be OK as, apparently, the Freeview signals I'm recording are recorded as widescreen, squashed to 4:3 for transmission and then my telly unsquashes them for display?

    I need to know as I don't want to try it out in case the shop refuses to refund me or exchange the machine if I've used it, or says I've had it too long. :lease:
     
  2. Baj

    Baj
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2004
    Messages:
    64
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Location:
    Canterbury
    Ratings:
    +0
    Correct.

    You have to switch your TV to wide screen (16:9). No problem, but some people on this forum have expressed irritation at having to lift a finger in order to do the necessary TV switching.
     
  3. redsox_mark

    redsox_mark
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2003
    Messages:
    6,512
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Location:
    Bath, England
    Ratings:
    +621
    I don’t have the Panny E55 (I have a Tosh XS32), but I can record 16:9 programs in widescreen OK on -R.

    I thought all DVD recordings are were anamorphic - i.e. Widescreen 16:9 video, is stored on the disc in anamorphic form, meaning the picture is squeezed horizontally to fit the standard 4:3 rectangle, then unsqueezed during playback.
    I’m not sure why the E55 manual says that with RAM 16:9 recording is supported, but with –R it is “recorded in 4:3 mode”. Unless maybe with RAM you can record a “true” 16:9 image, rather than one squeezed then unsqueezed?
    In any event, I’d be very surprised if your E55 doesn’t do what you want. If you record a 16:9 programme you should be able to watch it in widescreen on a widescreen TV.
    Mark
     
  4. bossnas

    bossnas
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2005
    Messages:
    48
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Ratings:
    +0
    I too find it annoying that Panasonic (and other brands) record 16:9 in this way 'cos it makes it impossible to watch the recording correctly on a 4:3 tv or on a computer. The problem being no 'flag' is recorded with the material telling the player you're using that the file is 16:9 so any player connected to a 4:3 tv won't know to letterbox the disc when playing.
     
  5. 2 many boxes

    2 many boxes
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    Bossnas,
    so what does the picture look like? Does it just not display, or is it squashed up, or are the edges cut off?
     
  6. eddyad

    eddyad
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2003
    Messages:
    940
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Hampshire
    Ratings:
    +9
    Squashed up I suspect.

    All 16:9 images are squashed up, in TV transmisioon too. The WS signal tells a suitable (16:9) TV what to do with the image - expand it or not.

    If the WS signal is recorded it should be possible to watch it on a 4:3 TV by telling the player that is what you have. Then the player will send the picture in the correct proportions - either all the picture with black bars top and bottom (letterbox), or with the sides chopped off but full height (pan and scan).

    If a 16:9 program is recorded without the flag it has to be assumed it is a 4:3 pic, so usually cannot be correctly displayed on a 4:3 TV. Some recent 4:3 TVs (e,g, Sanyo) have a 'squeeze' function which can be used to squeeze horizontally any picture. So a vertically squashed one can be forced to a letterbox display on the TV.

    Different recorders do different things on DVD-R recordings. As I understand it:
    Panasonics never put the flag on
    Pioneers put it on at picture modes better than LP (2h20m or less)
    Toshiba you can 'tell' to put the flag on, but I don't know if this applies to LP.
     
  7. Kevo

    Kevo
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2001
    Messages:
    5,355
    Products Owned:
    1
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    86
    Location:
    Manchester
    Ratings:
    +144
    I am a Pan owner and find this omission very annoying. It's more than just a simple case of 'lifting a finger' to manually change the Tv setting, as bossnas points out you can't view it correctly on a 4:3 TV.

    The only way to resolve this is to author & burn on a PC where you can re-insert the ws flag prior to burning using the right software.
     
  8. Nelviticus

    Nelviticus
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2003
    Messages:
    468
    Products Owned:
    1
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    31
    Location:
    Hitchin
    Ratings:
    +68
    Kevo, what software do you use to re-insert or remove the flag? I have TMPGEnc Plus, TMPGEnc DVD Author and NeroVision Express and I haven't yet found where you can set this.
     
  9. Kevo

    Kevo
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2001
    Messages:
    5,355
    Products Owned:
    1
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    86
    Location:
    Manchester
    Ratings:
    +144
  10. 2 many boxes

    2 many boxes
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    What really makes me :mad: is that there was no mention of this in the What HiFi? :thumbsdow :devil: :censored: review. This player is a full five star recommended machine. :(

    Whether this is conspiracy or cock-up I can't say. When it comes to serious Hi-Fi there is no way I would rely on that magazine, but for AV it's not something I know very much about, so I have little choice. I guess this is the price you pay for going to Comet instead of a proper specialist dealer. You might pay less, but you'll also get burnt once in a while.

    I'll be taking the machine back to Comet. I'm sure they won't let me have my money back, as the machine isn't broken and I'll have a hard time convincing them it's not fit for purpose, so I'll have to part exchange for something else. Any recommendations?
     
  11. bossnas

    bossnas
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2005
    Messages:
    48
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Ratings:
    +0
    eddyad is correct: "If a 16:9 program is recorded without the flag it has to be assumed it is a 4:3 pic, so usually cannot be correctly displayed on a 4:3 TV."

    What you end up with is the whole image (no cropping) in a 4:3 size squashed upwards which is unwatchable in my book.

    I've sent the Liteon back to SVP (who have really stella service and a 30 day money back gaurantee). They mentioned reporting the problem to Liteon and suspect that it will be fixed in a future firmware update but I don't want to wait around for that.

    I'm holding out for the new Panasonic models that were announced at CES. Someone on this forum suggested they might be available at the end of April.

    Cheers
    Nas
     
  12. bossnas

    bossnas
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2005
    Messages:
    48
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Ratings:
    +0
    Kevo,

    Do you know of any straight forward tutorials that can talk me through editing a dvd in pgcedit so it has the 16:9 flag? That's all I'm interested in doing. I looked at the 'read me' but it seems a bit too in-depth for me. I can't find where it tells you how to change the aspect ratio of a DVD :confused:

    Cheers
    Nas
     
  13. bigsby

    bigsby
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2004
    Messages:
    266
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Ratings:
    +8
    I just leave my telly on 16:9 permanently, no finger lifting required ;)
     
  14. eddyad

    eddyad
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2003
    Messages:
    940
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Hampshire
    Ratings:
    +9
    Do you know if the WS flag is recorded in all modes - i.e. SP and LP?

    All 16:9 TVs can be made to show anamorphic images in WS, with or without a WS flag in the original material.

    A problem arises when a 16:9 recording does not contain the flag, e.g. from a Panasonic or a Pioneer in LP mode (or a Toshiba in certain modes?) and youi try to display the pic on a 4:3 TV.
    Then there is nothing to tell the DVD player to adjust the image before sending it to the TV, almost no 4:3 TVs can do anything to alter an image (see my note about Sanyo in previous post)

    I don't recall anyone saying just what a Toshiba can do with regard to the WS flag. A number of people have said it 'can be inserted' - but are there restrictions? Perhaps you can help.

    I have the Tosh XS32 manual but admit to being totally baffled by it.
     
  15. Kevo

    Kevo
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2001
    Messages:
    5,355
    Products Owned:
    1
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    86
    Location:
    Manchester
    Ratings:
    +144
    But what if someone wants to watch the DVD on a 4:3 TV that has no 'anamorphic squeeze' option. They're left with a squashed looking picture which they can't adjust!
     
  16. Kevo

    Kevo
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2001
    Messages:
    5,355
    Products Owned:
    1
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    86
    Location:
    Manchester
    Ratings:
    +144
    You need to have the DVD already authored and in the VOB format.
    Usually this would be on your PC HD. So no RAM disks or VRO format.

    Open the VIDEO_TS folder in pcgedit and you will see a list of various files.
    You highlight the title that you want to change the ws flag of.

    There may be more than one title and also there will be various 'Root Menus' and 'TitleMenus' for the DVD menus. I tend to leave the menus without the flag changed as my authoring software only supports 4:3 anyway.

    Then click on the green film reel icon (Domain stream attributes) in the menu bar and select 16:9 and the middle option 'Automatic Letterbox' and no other.
    Click on OK and then File, Save DVD.
    After saving it creates a backup file in the folder which you should delete.

    That's it, now just burn it to DVD.

    This software can do a whole lot more but I haven't taken it any further than changing the WS flag.
     
  17. Nelviticus

    Nelviticus
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2003
    Messages:
    468
    Products Owned:
    1
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    31
    Location:
    Hitchin
    Ratings:
    +68
    According to my manual for the E95 - which although a different model is pretty similar to the E85 - widescreen titles are only recorded in 4:3 when you turn the "high speed dubbing compatible" mode on. This means that when you turn that mode off it does record the widescreen flag.

    I can't find an E85 manual for download but I suggest you check it out.
     
  18. Nelviticus

    Nelviticus
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2003
    Messages:
    468
    Products Owned:
    1
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    31
    Location:
    Hitchin
    Ratings:
    +68
    D'oh, I've just realised that the original poster was talking about an E55. That doesn't have a hard disc so there won't be any setting for high-speed dubbing or any other kind of dubbing. Forget I said anything! I'm too tired to be clever.
     
  19. bigsby

    bigsby
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2004
    Messages:
    266
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Ratings:
    +8
    Hasn't been an issue for me. Any of my family members that I've lent DVDs to have widescreen tellys, so no problem.
     
  20. redsox_mark

    redsox_mark
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2003
    Messages:
    6,512
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Location:
    Bath, England
    Ratings:
    +621
    Well I'm confused. The XS32 manual doesn't talk about a flag, but when creating a -R/-RW DVD it has an option to set the aspect at either 4:3, 16:9, or "original" (where I assume original looks at the aspect of the source). Maybe this sets the flag?

    What I do know, is when I record a 16:9 programme to DVD-R or -RW this way on my XS32:

    - On my widescreen display downstairs, I get a full widescreen picture with the display in 16:9 mode. (The display also does auto switching to the right mode if I leave it on auto)

    - When we play the DVD upstairs on a 4:3 TV, we get the full widescreen picture, "letter boxed" as I would expect.

    The XS32 allows setting this 16:9 option for all recording rates except the very lowest setting of 1.4 Mbps; for this it says 4:3 only.

    Mark
     
  21. johnjackthom

    johnjackthom
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2001
    Messages:
    707
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    46
    Location:
    Northumberland
    Ratings:
    +236
    The E55 does at least get it right when recording to DVD-RAM, ie widescreen is correctly flagged.
    So the easiest way of getting a correctly flagged DVD-R is to use a straightforward PC authoring programme like TMPGEnc DVD Author to import from a RAM recording.
     
  22. eddyad

    eddyad
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2003
    Messages:
    940
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Hampshire
    Ratings:
    +9
    The flag is a signal in line 23 of the picture to tell things (usually TV) what sort of picture is stored. The commonest values represent 4:3 and 16:9, but others exist (6 in all), e.g. 14:9.
    I guess the flag in the recording would be set according to the 4:3 or 16:9 setting.
    I would assume 16:9 sets it to WS.

    I found the manual confusing because I couldn't relate 1.4 Mbps to anything on a DVD. Pioneer give all their (32) recording modes in terms of time per DVD and it is clear that modes longer than 2h20m (the maximum SP time) do not carry the WS signalling (i.e. the flag) so the picture defaults to 4:3.

    The Toshiba arrangement doesn't really worry me, but so many people have mentioned it I though it would be useful to have it clearly explained.

    For examlpe, what happens if you copy 16:9 source material with the 4:3 setting? Do you get the anamorphic picture and no WS flag? :confused:
     
  23. redsox_mark

    redsox_mark
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2003
    Messages:
    6,512
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Location:
    Bath, England
    Ratings:
    +621
    Thanks eddyad, that is interesting!

    I may try and create a 16:9 source as 4:3 and see what it does....

    On the Toshiba, 1.4 Mbps is the 6 hour mode. It is only this setting which is 4:3 only.

    Mark
     
  24. johnjackthom

    johnjackthom
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2001
    Messages:
    707
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    46
    Location:
    Northumberland
    Ratings:
    +236
    I guess that is what you get. The pictures remain squashed but as far as the DVD player is concerned it's a 4:3 programme.

    The flag on a DVD-R is simply a single byte of data in the .IFO file corresponding to the video title.
    The XS32 lets you decide the 'value' of that flag (while hopefully the automatic setting gets it right without intervention most of the time).
     
  25. redsox_mark

    redsox_mark
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2003
    Messages:
    6,512
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Location:
    Bath, England
    Ratings:
    +621
    I did an experiment with my XS32. I took a 16:9 programme, and dubbed it to -R with the "flag" set to 4:3.

    When I play this on a 4:3 TV, it fills the screen, but is squashed (skinny faces). Same footage with 16:9 set, you get the widescreen letterboxed, no distortion.

    So with the XS32, setting this option in the DVD creation menu seems to set the flag as expected.

    Mark
     
  26. eddyad

    eddyad
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2003
    Messages:
    940
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Hampshire
    Ratings:
    +9
    Thanks for reply. So the flag is 'off' (absent) in 4:3 setting.
     
  27. mdawkins

    mdawkins
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2004
    Messages:
    130
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Location:
    Sydney
    Ratings:
    +0
    I have been trying to decide between the Pan E85 and Tosh XS32, and think I will go for the Pan E85 as it will play DVD+R as well as DVD-R and hopefully won't be a fussy as the Tosh on different brands of media. Please can someone clarify if recordings from SKY set to output in 16:9 made on the HDD and to DVD-R will play back OK on a widescreen TV as this is a major point that I need clarifying before I go and buy one, probably from RS for £329.95

    Thanks

    Martin.
     
  28. bigsby

    bigsby
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2004
    Messages:
    266
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Ratings:
    +8
    I can confirm that. The only issue is that these DVD-Rs will look squashed up if played on a 4:3 TV, and if you have your telly set to switch automatically you will have to switch manually to widescreen when watching them.

    Why anyone would do anything other than leave the telly set in 16:9 mode is beyond me. It really annoys me when the telly starts switching to 4:3 during adverts etc.
     
  29. redsox_mark

    redsox_mark
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2003
    Messages:
    6,512
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Location:
    Bath, England
    Ratings:
    +621
    I guess I got lucky here with my XS32. I wouldn't be so worried either about pressing a button on the widescreen TV. But what is essential is that I can record a widescreen programme (from Freeview) that my wife can watch upstairs on a dumb 4:3 TV without being squashed. The XS32 can do that, I'm surprised the E85 doesn't.

    Mark
     
  30. Teleport

    Teleport
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    Martin,

    Could you post a link to where RS sell the E85 for £329 please?

    Thanks
     

Share This Page

Loading...