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FR Rec mode on Panny E50 question?

Discussion in 'Blu-ray & DVD Players & Recorders' started by CrazyHorse, Apr 26, 2003.

  1. CrazyHorse

    CrazyHorse
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    Got my Panasonic recorder last week but haven't had much spare time to play with it yet, so I'm still new to this DVD recording lark.

    I have four episodes of a TV series (Jim Henson's Greek Myths) on VHS that I want to transfer onto DVD using Flexible Recording mode (FR) to get the best quality. The thing is they are split up on different tapes.

    What I need to know is when using FR mode, can I pause the recording at the end of one episode and start a new one after that keeping it in the FR mode or will the machine revert to SP?

    The manual is pretty vague when it comes to the FR rec mode and just says to set the total length of the required recording and press start. No mention of pausing in between.

    Sorry if this seems like a stupid question, but I've only got a sampler set of DVD-R's at the moment and I'm trying to avoid making any coasters!
     
  2. harrisuk

    harrisuk
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    Why not use a ram disc for a trial run. You should have got one with the deck. I think you can pause using flexible recording mode.

    I got mine on Wednesday and have been playing with it. sp mode 2 hours seems to be pretty good.
     
  3. Rasczak

    Rasczak
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    Yes you can. Press pause whilst recording if FR and it will pauses just like if you did it normally. To release the Pause-Record press pause again and it will continue in the FR mode.

    Why not get a DVD-RAM or two just to enable you to get used to the machine? Also it would enable you to use the machine for casual recording and Timeslip.

    There are several places on the internet that sell them cheaplyon the internet - personally I use the AVLAND ones but these aren't the cheapest:
    http://www.avland.co.uk/media/index.htm

    It's personal preference but I wouldn't recommend putting more than 90 minutes of VHS footage (from a composite source) on a DVD. If you use a Copymate or similar you can increase this to 100 minutes without any loss. From SVHS then you can increase this to upto 2 hours.
     
  4. Cabo 5150

    Cabo 5150
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    If you use the pause function while using the FR mode, all of your episodes will be recorded as one programme. You will not be able to name the individual episodes on your DVD-R Menu when finalizing. The best method is to work out the total length of the four episodes to be recorded, record the first and hit STOP. Then work out the total length of the remaining three, record it and hit STOP. Then work out... etc. This method will allow you to take advantage of the FR recording mode, and still be able to select individual episodes from the menu of your finalized DVD-R later.
     
  5. Rasczak

    Rasczak
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    Cabo is spot on with this. If you do it as he suggests you'll be able to add names for each episode in the menu as well giving a much better end product.
     
  6. CrazyHorse

    CrazyHorse
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    Many thanks for the replies, people. Most helpful! :)
    Cabo, cheers for the tip re FR pause/selecting individual episodes. :smashin:

    The four 'Greek Myths' running times add up to just 95 mins, so I guess this won't be too bad.

    Well I've just bought a Digital Video Stabilizer from Maplin which is supposed to enhance the picture and control any interfering/distorted signals. Is this the same as/similar to the Copymate you mention?
     
  7. Rasczak

    Rasczak
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    Yes sounds the same. So you should be able to archive all 95 minutes on one disk without loss.
     
  8. Wayne Moule

    Wayne Moule
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    Is there some kind of limit then?

    Can you only add a Title on a DVD-R?
     
  9. Rasczak

    Rasczak
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    No the only limit is that of quality. If recording from VHS you need a high bitrate as it's a noisy source. You could if you want record six hours of VHS on a DVD but the quality would be awful as the noise of the VHS tape would cause hundreds of digital artifacts. Limiting the recording to around 90 minutes will use a high enough bitrate to ensure no quality is lost from the original whilst getting as much on a disk as possible.

    No with DVD-RAM (and the HDD on the HS2) you can create Playlists, add titles etc.
     
  10. Wayne Moule

    Wayne Moule
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    Thanks.

    I knew about DVD-RAM.

    You can only record 1 hour then in the highest quality for VHS.
     
  11. Rasczak

    Rasczak
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    The difference between XP mode and a 90 minute FR recording are barely distinguishable. I experiemented a fair bit with XP and FR recordings on DVD-RAM before I started archiving my off air VHS collection to DVD-R.

    I was only using a 32" television back then so got hold of a projector which gave me the ability to blow the screen up out of all proportion which made it clear there was little difference between 60 minutes and 90 minutes. At around the 100 minute stage slightly more artifacts were visible.

    Picture quality is a personnel thing - experiement on re-recordable media until your happy.
     
  12. Wayne Moule

    Wayne Moule
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    Would you say the FR quaility was better than using SP,which is as good as XP anyway and SP can do a 2 hour recording?

    Or put it another way,could I get more than 2 hours of XP/SP quality using FR?
     
  13. Rasczak

    Rasczak
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    2 hours in FR mode should be slightly better quality than 2 hours in SP mode as the VBR will kick in meaning high action scenes will be recorded in a high bitrate and low movement scenes in a low bitrate rather than a steady constant bitrate. So yes I would suggest using FR mode for everything bar casual recording.

    Yes - a recording that is 2hrs 15minutes long done in FR is virtually indistinguishable from a standard SP recording.
     
  14. Wayne Moule

    Wayne Moule
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    Thanks for that :clap: .

    That's magic,just what I would of hoped for,as there are a lot of films that go over 2 hours,especially if there are adverts.

    And it works for the timer!
     
  15. Fuel Crusher

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    "2 hours in FR mode should be slightly better quality than 2 hours in SP mode as the VBR will kick in meaning high action scenes will be recorded in a high bitrate and low movement scenes in a low bitrate rather than a steady constant bitrate."

    This isn't true, the panny records in VBR all the time. You do not have to do anything or select anything to enable it. Just do a recording in SP and then watch the bit rate via the status bar. 2 hrs SP should kick out the same quality as 2hr FR.

    "a recording that is 2hrs 15minutes long done in FR is virtually indistinguishable from a standard SP recording."

    Don't forget that only a few minutes longer than 2hrs and the recording will be done in the lower LP resolution of 352X480 instead of the SP resolution.

    On another note I use LP quite alot and the picture is perfectly watchable on my 42" TV

    Cheers
    Paul
     
  16. Wayne Moule

    Wayne Moule
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    I must admit,I feared this was the case and this is as I understood it.

    LP is a lot more blocky than SP,though it is better than S-VHS.

    So I can still only get a max 2 hours in SP quality then?
     
  17. Fuel Crusher

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    I think the SP resolution remains until a few minutes after 2 hrs, 5, 10 not sure exactly. Enableing the hybrid VBR resolution may help as this allows the machine to switch resolutions during the recording depending on the scene so it would drop down to LP resolution on a less complex picture and go back up to the higher SP resolution as the picture requires. Not sure if this would push even further from the 2hrs mark or if it is this feature that pushes it the 10mins extra I've already explained.

    Paul
     
  18. Fuel Crusher

    Fuel Crusher
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    "So I can still only get a max 2 hours in SP quality then?"

    By definition you can only get 2hrs of SP quality because SP is like a FR recording of 2hrs ie, it will use all the disc space to record 2hrs. If you recorded 2hrs 5mins then the disc space is being shared more so the quality WILL be lower, although it would probably be impossible to distinguish until it took the resolution downstep.

    Paul
     
  19. Rasczak

    Rasczak
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    Yes it is true. Think about it. You start a recording in SP mode and it records steadily at a constant bitrate (which is adapted in the buffer to provide a scene by scene VBR).

    However if you record in FR mode with Hybrid VBR it will adapt meaning low movement scenes are recorded in LP and high movement scenes in XP. How you can suggest a recording mode that DOES NOT adapt to whats on screen outside the buffer will be equal to SOMETHING that does is beyond me. Having done several side by side tests I can assure you that quality is better doing the FR mode. SP should only be used for on the fly recording.

    If you doubt this copy a recording from FR in Hybrid and standard SP to your PC's HDD and run a bitrate counter on it. The difference is quite amazing.
     
  20. Fuel Crusher

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    The Hybrid VBR resolution is nothing at all to do with FR. Most people wont realise that they are using hybrid VBR res because the machine comes with the factory pre-set with it enabled in auto, it will jump resolutions using xp,sp,lp,ep and fr.

    The FR is nothing magical and doesn't work different to the pre-set modes. XP, SP etc are just pre-set time limits to fill the disc to, for convienience, FR is just telling the machine to record inbetween, if you select SP the machine 'adapts' its resolution and bitrate to record 2hrs, if you FR with 150mins then it 'adapts' its resolution and bitrate to record 150mins, it doesn't switch over to some much better encoding system all of a sudden which is what you're suggesting. If there was this wonderful encoding system that gave better quality encoding with FR then why would Panasonic introduce a WORSE system for the pre-set limits?
    I've no doubt I'll be wrong on all counts though...

    Paul
     
  21. Wayne Moule

    Wayne Moule
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    :confused:

    How does FR adapt to a 2.5 hour one single recording?

    Does it just go into LP mode?If so what is the point of FR when it is effectively LP anyway?
     
  22. Fuel Crusher

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    "2 hours in FR mode should be slightly better quality than 2 hours in SP mode as the VBR will kick in meaning high action scenes will be recorded in a high bitrate and low movement scenes in a low bitrate rather than a steady constant bitrate."

    I stand by this being untrue, if you suggested that to get a better 2hr recording people should make sure Hybrid VBR Resolution was set to auto and not fixed then I'd agree but you are suggesting that it is Flexible Recording that would give a better 2hr recording than a SP 2hr recording, it would make no difference. Both would adjust bitrate to suit via the variable bitrate that the panny always records in and BOTH would jump resolutions or not depending on the Hybrid VBR setting.
     
  23. Fuel Crusher

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    Wayne a 2.5hr FR would fill the disc up with 2.5hr of video. A pure LP recording would fill the disc with 4hrs, 4hrs is obviously more video for the same amount of data so the bitrate would be lower for the 4hrs compared to the 2.5hr. The resolution would most probably be Lp res across both recordings.

    Paul
     
  24. Wayne Moule

    Wayne Moule
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    Ah,so it's the bitrate that would be as high/higher as SP in 2.5 hours,but the resolution would drop and FR would adjust the bitrate to the highest for the 2.5 hours and would be higher than LP?
     
  25. Fuel Crusher

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    Just about.
    If the resolution was fixed across all the recording modes then as you increased the amount of time you wish to record then the bitrate would get lower and lower. To stop the bitrate becoming too low as to become useless the resolution drops, when this happens then the bitrate jumps back up again.

    Paul
     
  26. Rasczak

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    SP mode is a defined bitrate, in a defined resolution. Setting Hybrid VBR does not alter this - all the requirements for VBR are met by the buffer. This is not so with FR which is why at the end of an FR recording you may have anywhere between 5 minutes and 0 minutes time remaining. You do a recording in SP and the disk will be full after 2 hours every time regardless of content.

    As I say load them onto your PC and compare them - they ARE different patterns. I'll grant the achieved result is minimal but there is still a difference.
     
  27. Wayne Moule

    Wayne Moule
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    I don't recall the instruction book mentioning anything about resolution though.That would explain the drop in picture detail in LP.I thought it was just a lower bitrate.

    I assumed my DVD recorder was PAL 625 lines,that's why I bought it,for it's high resolution recordings.
     
  28. Rasczak

    Rasczak
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    You get high resolution recordings upto around the 2 hours mark. It beats any other solutions (expect possibly DVHS - although that has other 'issues) such as VCRs. Until BluRay comes along DVDRs will have to do. If you want to archive things you shouldn't cram to much onto a disk anyway.

    The only way you'll find out what you consider acceptable is to do some tests and see for yourself.
     
  29. Wayne Moule

    Wayne Moule
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    So is resolution mentioned anywhere?

    :confused:
     
  30. harrisuk

    harrisuk
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    Sorry just reading through this post again I see menus mentioned. Can I add menus to recordings I make on this machine then ?

    Sorry if this is a supid question. I have only had it a few days and the manual is :boring:
     

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