DVD recorder records 16:9 as in squashed 4:3 aspect

JTHM

Novice Member
Hi

May DVD recorder (Panasonic) is connected to my SkyHD box via SCART.

I'm finding that when I record a programme to DVD it gets squashed from the 16:9 video into a 4:3 framesize. This isn't too much of a worry if I replay the DVD on another 16:9 TV as everything gets unsquashed, but if I replay the DVD on a 4:3 TV or my PC the video is shown in its squashed 4:3 aspect.

Why is this and what can I do to record it on the DVD in it's orginal 16:9 aspect?

Many thanks!

JT
 

bsuttie

Novice Member
Some Panasonics flag recordings according to the voltage supplied on Scart Pin 8. I know the DMR EZ27 for example does.

Between 5 and 8 volts for 16:9
Between 9.5 and 12 volts for 4:3

regards

Brian
 

JTHM

Novice Member
Thanks for your answer Brian.

Would this be a fault of the Sky box then?

How do I overcome this problem? Would using Component instead of SCART solve my problem?
 

Hal_loe

Novice Member
You are suffering from lack of the WSS flag.

Does your recorder have a HDD? If it does, do the recordings on the HDD playback correctly?

What model number is your DVD Recorder?

What discs are you transfering to?
 
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Adrian_F

Well-known Member
Make sure you are using DVD-R type discs (or DVD-RAM) as the widescreen flag is not recorded to DVD+R type discs with some of these models(series 7 onwards), prior to that I do not think the widescreen flag was recorded to DVD at all.
 
Last edited:

JTHM

Novice Member
The DVD recorder is a DMR-EZ25 so doesn't have a HDD.

I'm recording to DVD-R discs.

I seem to be ticking all the boxes but not getting anywhere.
 

Adrian_F

Well-known Member
As I said in my previous post, prior to the *7 series of recorders the widescreen flag was not recorded to DVD-R or DVD+R (which would include the EZ-25).
 

Hal_loe

Novice Member
The DVD recorder is a DMR-EZ25 so doesn't have a HDD.

I'm recording to DVD-R discs.

I seem to be ticking all the boxes but not getting anywhere.
A quick search of the manual from the Panasonic website states 16:9 is only supported on DVD-Ram discs for the DMR-EZ25 as expected.

You could reauthor the DVD-R on your PC and use IFO edit to add the WSS flag before rewriting to a DVD-R.
 

JTHM

Novice Member
As I said in my previous post, prior to the *7 series of recorders the widescreen flag was not recorded to DVD-R or DVD+R (which would include the EZ-25).
A quick search of the manual from the Panasonic website states 16:9 is only supported on DVD-Ram discs for the DMR-EZ25 as expected.

You could reauthor the DVD-R on your PC and use IFO edit to add the WSS flag before rewriting to a DVD-R.
Wow, I keep forgetting what a fantastic forum this is! :thumbsup:

I started using DVD-R discs because DVD-RAM discs wouldn't work anywhere else in my house except my PC and got fed up with rewriting to DVD-Rs, and now I know why I thought I'd not seen this problem on my PC before - I was recording to DVD-RAM discs but I was on Windows XP then and using Panasonic's DVD-RAM driver and their DVD-MovieAlbum software that I got with my VDR-M70. Now I'm on Vista 64 and my copy of DVD-MovieAlbum doesn't work and that is why I'd moved over to using DVD-R discs for the PC too.

In recording to DVD-R won't I loose a whole chunk of horizontal definition if I try to stretch out the 4:3 that was recorded by the DVD recorder by editting the IFO file?

Can anyone point me at a copy of DVD-MovieAlbum that works with Vista 64? ...and a DVD-RAM driver if I need it for Vista? That way I can go back to transferring my video to my PC via DVD-RAM and then writing it in widescreen format from there. :lease:

Why is Panasonic's support for older hardware on new OS's so abysmally poor?! I've asked the question of them more than once and the best if ever got is an "It isn't supported" reply. :mad:

In fact they don't seem to list any drivers or software for their hardware (new or old) on their UK site at all. Their US site is far more useful but I doubt anything downloaded from there will work here because they use NTSC. :mad::mad:
 

JTHM

Novice Member
...and why can't they issue a firmware update for the DMR-EZ25 that allows it to write 16:9 to DVD-/+Rs??
 

Hal_loe

Novice Member
In recording to DVD-R won't I loose a whole chunk of horizontal definition if I try to stretch out the 4:3 that was recorded by the DVD recorder by editting the IFO file?
Depending on how the recorder is setup it should just be the flag that is missing and the horizontal resolution should be the same.

The video resolution should be 720x576, the WSS flag just tells a TV to stretch the image horizontally to fit a 16:9 screen.

Can anyone point me at a copy of DVD-MovieAlbum that works with Vista 64? ...and a DVD-RAM driver if I need it for Vista? That way I can go back to transferring my video to my PC via DVD-RAM and then writing it in widescreen format from there. :lease:

Why is Panasonic's support for older hardware on new OS's so abysmally poor?! I've asked the question of them more than once and the best if ever got is an "It isn't supported" reply. :mad:

In fact they don't seem to list any drivers or software for their hardware (new or old) on their UK site at all. Their US site is far more useful but I doubt anything downloaded from there will work here because they use NTSC. :mad::mad:
Movie Album SE was never sold in the UK separately I believe. It came with DVD-Ram drives and Camcorders.

The version I am using on XP is Japanese but the latest versions must be installed on a Japanese version of the OS. Japan use NTSC too.

Blame Microsoft for constantly changing their operating system.
 

Hal_loe

Novice Member
...and why can't they issue a firmware update for the DMR-EZ25 that allows it to write 16:9 to DVD-/+Rs??
If you read the discussion about 16:9 on the newer Panasonic Recorders it sounds like the operating software has been totally redesigned to allow support and more than likely it not easy to modify older units without totally redesigning for this too. The are a business and would like you to buy a new machine...

16:9 on DVD+R is a DVD+R problem mainly.
 

JTHM

Novice Member
Hi All,

I think I'm getting somewhere now! ...though I haven't it 100% proven it yet.

I did a transfer onto DVD-RAM last night and though Windows Media Player on my PC won't play nice, my copy of Pinnacle seems to, and the quality looks better than when recorded to DVD-R too.

I will prove this more tonight but I can't help feeling that I may get a better quality recording still if I were to use component between my Thompson Sky box and my Panasonic DVD recorder and use the DVD recorder's scaler to downscale the video rather then the Sky box's. Recordings off Freeview seem to be much better quality than the one I transferred from the Sky box via SCART last night.

Is what I said in the paragraph above likely or should I not waste my money on a component cable?

Many thanks

JT
 

JTHM

Novice Member
I have another question...

Why will WMP play recordings made to DVD-Rs without a second thought (despite them being squashed) yet takes umbridge with the same recordings made to DVD-RAM? I thought the same files were written to both formats; am I wrong?

Thanks again

JT
 

Adrian_F

Well-known Member
Hi All,

I think I'm getting somewhere now! ...though I haven't it 100% proven it yet.

I did a transfer onto DVD-RAM last night and though Windows Media Player on my PC won't play nice, my copy of Pinnacle seems to, and the quality looks better than when recorded to DVD-R too.

I will prove this more tonight but I can't help feeling that I may get a better quality recording still if I were to use component between my Thompson Sky box and my Panasonic DVD recorder and use the DVD recorder's scaler to downscale the video rather then the Sky box's. Recordings off Freeview seem to be much better quality than the one I transferred from the Sky box via SCART last night.

Is what I said in the paragraph above likely or should I not waste my money on a component cable?

Many thanks

JT
The recorder only has component out not component in, so you cannot record via component.
 

JTHM

Novice Member
The recorder only has component out not component in, so you cannot record via component.
That's a bummer - you're right! ...just looked at the instructions .pdf.

Looking from above into a dark corner of my room I was seeing two rows of 3 phono jacks, which were composite video and audio in and out, filtering what I was seeing through some wishful-thinking, and confusing them with component-in and component-out! :suicide:

If I haven't done so alreaady, I'm really about to expose myself as the video transfer Noob that I am...

...if SCART-in is as good as I'm going to get, what if I were to get a component-SCART video transfer cable? Would that give me any benefit?

Thanks!
 

ramjet

Banned
you can use scart in either as rgb or cvbs , not component and not hdmi either

the outputs can be scart rgb or cvbs (composite) , component or hdmi on most recorders
 

Gavtech

Administrator
I will prove this more tonight but I can't help feeling that I may get a better quality recording still if I were to use component between my Thompson Sky box and my Panasonic DVD recorder and use the DVD recorder's scaler to downscale the video rather then the Sky box's. Recordings off Freeview seem to be much better quality than the one I transferred from the Sky box via SCART last night.

...if SCART-in is as good as I'm going to get, what if I were to get a component-SCART video transfer cable? Would that give me any benefit?

Thanks!
You have a mistaken understanding of relative qualities here.

Use the TV output of the skybox[ as it is the only socket that outputs RGB] , via a fully wired scart to the input of the DVDR.

RGB IS component video and cannot be bettered.

The above is the only way to get quality transfers.
 

Hal_loe

Novice Member
I have another question...

Why will WMP play recordings made to DVD-Rs without a second thought (despite them being squashed) yet takes umbridge with the same recordings made to DVD-RAM? I thought the same files were written to both formats; am I wrong?

Thanks again

JT
DVD-Video disc have VOB files upto 1GB in size. DVD-RAM have one .VRO file upto a full DVD-RAM disc in size.

Some software DVD-Video Players support .VRO files and the different structure these use others don't.
 

JTHM

Novice Member
I've got to say a big thanks to everyone who's helped me here over the past couple of days. :clap:

You have a mistaken understanding of relative qualities here.

Use the TV output of the skybox[ as it is the only socket that outputs RGB] , via a fully wired scart to the input of the DVDR.

RGB IS component video and cannot be bettered.

The above is the only way to get quality transfers.
I only ever use HDMI to my telly so all I have to do is swap the SCART I'm using on the back of the Sky box (making sure the Sky box is set to output RGB at the TV out) and set my AV2-in on my DVD-recorder to use RGB and that's as good as I'll ever get with the equipment I've got - cool, thanks! I don't know why I ever connected my telly to my Sky box using both HDMI and SCART - just did.

DVD-Video disc have VOB files upto 1GB in size. DVD-RAM have one .VRO file upto a full DVD-RAM disc in size.

Some software DVD-Video Players support .VRO files and the different structure these use others don't.
Hal_loe - you are being very patent with me and my confusion over different media/file types! Thank you.

So...

I am able to read DVD-RAM on my PC, and able to write DVD-R on my PC. Can anyone recommend the best way for me to read the 16:9 video off my DVD-RAM discs and written to my DVD-R discs maintaining the 16:9 aspect? I have Pinnacle that I use with my camcorder, but can get another piece of software if recommended.
 

Hal_loe

Novice Member
Hal_loe - you are being very patent with me and my confusion over different media/file types! Thank you.

So...

I am able to read DVD-RAM on my PC, and able to write DVD-R on my PC. Can anyone recommend the best way for me to read the 16:9 video off my DVD-RAM discs and written to my DVD-R discs maintaining the 16:9 aspect? I have Pinnacle that I use with my camcorder, but can get another piece of software if recommended.
Hi

It might be worth trying out VideoRedo TVSuite as this should maintain the WSS flag. Which I believe you can test for 30 days for free.

Also might be worth checking out DVD Patcher, which can be used to patch the mpeg2 file header and add the WSS flag if required (Freeware).

Hope that helps.
 

JTHM

Novice Member
Hi All

I thought I'd post an update on my findings and workarounds with my 16:9 video transfer.

As it turns out - and this is wierd and has got to be a glitch - the setting of the WSS flag on my DVD-RAM recording seems to be a bit flakey. Sometimes it gets set, othertimes not - even when taking separate recordings off the same Sky+ recording. This means I only find out whether it has been set when I come to playback/transfer the video on my PC. If it hasn't been then I have to repeat the recording until it sets (...not yet been more than a second time).

The quality of the recording diminishes rapidly as I try to squeeze much more than an hour of video per 8cm DVD-RAM disk. So to get a decent quality for 2 hours of video I have to take the recording in 2x 1 hour chunks. If I can't find a suitable ad-break then I have to play tunes with my programmer and Flexible Record, and/or play tunes with my video editting software to piece the recordings together.

Next, I'm using Pinnacle Studio to capture the DVD-RAM video to my PC, but even with all the Import and Project settings correctly made to widescreen, Pinnacle still only captures the DVD video as 4:3 - Duh! The workaround for this is to manually re-set the aspect ratio in the SCENES mode for each scene - doesn't work in FILES mode (...took me AGES to find this and is a right PITA when youve got an hour of video automatically split into 2 minute scenes!)

However, once it's all done everything seems to work quite well and I get some decent quality footage to finally burn to a DVD-R disc ...and I get a much better quality recording if I use Pinnacle to burn the disc than if I use Windows DVD Maker, BTW, but hardly surprising.

Thanks for all your help everyone!

JT
 

Hal_loe

Novice Member
Hi

DVD-Ram file structure is different to that of DVD-Video.

Have you got your DVD Recotder plug into the TV scart or the VCR scart of your SKY box?
 

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