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Panasonic and the Widescreen 'Flag' Issue

Discussion in 'Blu-ray & DVD Players & Recorders' started by The G, May 27, 2005.

  1. The G

    The G
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    I know this has been mentioned before but it has been bothering me that on my Panasonic E95 finalised DVD-R discs of 16:9 recordings don't 'pop' into widescreen when loaded. I have to *shock* manually switch the TV to widescreen mode! :)

    Does anyone know of a way to insert a widescreen 'flag', possibly by burning a copy using a PC DVD writer? :lease:

    It's only trivial but very irritating!!
     
  2. kdp99

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    Yes, there is a programe call PCGEDIT, I use with the Pionneer 5100

    You write the dvd as normal to a -rw
    Use DVD decrypter in file mode. Open the files with PCGEDIT, change the flag for each widescreen title frol 4:3 to 16:9, save disc, then use nero to burn a dvd-r, BUT do not include the backup file created by PCGEDIT in the disc or it will overwrite the changes.

    Sounds compliated but is not after a few goes.

    Keith
     
  3. ChrissyboyII

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  4. Kevo

    Kevo
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    I also use PCGedit to add a 'ws flag' and it works a treat.
    Don't forget Menus too, as these may also require a flag but not as critical as the titles.
     
  5. musukebba

    musukebba
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    There's DVD Patcher for whole MPEG2 files prior to authoring.

    No-one mentions IFOedit, which is the classic solution to the problem.

    Then there's the inhibition of letterboxing and Pan & Scan, which may affect some recorders and for which quoting the whole thread above might have been useful.
     
  6. ChrissyboyII

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    Absolutely. The tool i am referring to does the same job in one click. Don't get me wrong - i was just a bit fed up of loading indivdual ifo files.
     
  7. musukebba

    musukebba
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    Yep, and you're being too modest - anyone who writes original code to solve a problem is right up there at the top of the tree.

    Was just trying to introduce some perspective...
     
  8. ChrissyboyII

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    Duly noted. Thanks. Have you tried it?
     
  9. gavan

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    There are lots of solutions on the PC side as can be seen in the rest of the thread, but the real solution should be for Panasonic to issue a firmware upgrade. I paid the extra for a HDD/DVD solution to avoid having to mess around transferring stuff to the PC and now find that I'm going to have to do it anyway to get 'proper' recordings. I could have saved money and just bought a cheap DVD-only recorder and done all my editing on the PC side.

    This is a really stupid issue and a prime example of how companies don't seem to have fully got to grips with 'consumerising' the technology of DVD recording. I don't want to constantly have to be wondering if the DVD I'm watching is 16:9 or 4:3 and then messing around manually changing the ratio in years to come.


    Gav
     
  10. Loobster

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    Indeed.

    Which is why a cheap DVD recorder of any format and a PC drive gives you by far the most options, and with a little work your end result will be much better than can be achieved with a standalone recorder only.

    --Loob.
     
  11. Rasczak

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    Your potentially going to get some fairly awful results if you opt for "any" DVD recorder. For one thing the PQ isn't going to be the best you can get - bargain basement models don't have Flexible Record and many don't have a wide range of recording modes. And this is compounded by inferior MPEG encoding. Compare the latest Ellion with the new Panasonic range for example!

    In addition if you intend to use your PC for compiling and burning DVD-Rs then compatibility with other DVD players is, depending on your specific requirements, not an issue. Thus buying a slightly more expensive recorder gives alot more options: non-linear playback, timeslip etc.

    Loobster - remember you have a 28" widescreen TV. I know you think your Philips +R recordings are superb but, as and when you can afford to upgrade to something better, you will be disappointed with the quality. You may buy cheap rubbish - but the average person doesn't want that.
     
  12. Kevo

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    Well, no not really....

    The reason it's fixed at 4:3 is to make compatible with all TVs and not to add any more 'confusing' options for your average Joe. Plus the fact that re-generating the WS flag requires extra instructions in the software.

    But more importantly.....

    Don't forget you could end up with one title (from a playlist) that consists of 4:3 and 16:9 clips and the DVD spec will only allow one per title.
    Which AR do you chose for such a title?
    Whichever one, some clips will end up looking odd.
    No problem if it's just one complete programme but Panasonic have to consider this or else it would just confuse the issue even more.

    Don't forget it HAS to be aimed at the masses and (unfortunatley!) not at AC enthusiats like us!
     
  13. watchmaker

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    The Sony GX300 is a good quality DVD recorder that also allows you to record the widescreen flag.
     
  14. gavan

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    Fixing it at 4:3 won't make it any more 'compatible'. The DVD player will still play the material on the TV set according to it's output options.

    I have plenty of commercial DVDs that contain both 16:9 (anamorphic WS) and 4:3 material switching between ratios as needed. Sure, if you were to somehow make a screwy title with two different aspect ratios within the same bitstream, you might have problems - but that's no excuse to limit ALL discs made with the machine to 4:3 ratio. Other recorders can handle setting the WS flag on a per-recording basis so there's no excuse for the Panasonics not to either....

    As for aiming it at the masses, given the price levels of good decks they are going to be primarily of most appeal to the enthusiast at this point in time. For anyone wanting to dub anamorphic widescreen material from a digital box, the Panasonic decks fall well short of expectations. However, as a straightforward replacement for a VCR for someone using analogue reception and a 4:3 set they would be perfect. Such people probably wouldn't see the point in spending big bucks for a HDD/DVD burner though.

    If I had to do it again, I'd get a Sky+ box for timeshifting - and a Panasonic HDD-less recorder along with a DVD-RAM capable drive for the PC side when I wanted to edit/archive. The niggly issues I have had with my EH50 have really spoiled it for me.


    Gav
     
  15. Rasczak

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    ...but not within the same title. If the Panasonic did insert the flag then it would curtail playlist operations. I'm not trying to justify it - as watchmaker points out the Sony will do it (but only on minus media) as will the Toshiba - but I can see the reasoning behind it. And to be fair it was clearly stated in my DVD recorder buying guide!
     
  16. kwebbotaurus

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    I'm thinking of getting the Panasonic E85, can you choose to record to DVD-R as 16:9 or will it ONLY record as 4:3?
     
  17. redsox_mark

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    Yes - All DVD recorders will record an anamorphic (16:9) signal. The issue is with the flag which enables a TV/display to automatically switch to the correct aspect ratio (when dubbing to DVD-R). If you don't mind manually setting the display you'll be fine watching this on a 16:9 display.

    The other issue you can have is if you want to also play this 16:9 DVD on an ordinary 4:3 TV (which has no display options); in this case the picture will not be the right format.

    Mark
     
  18. kwebbotaurus

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    Can you set the DVD recorder to flag the entire disc as widescreen 16:9 regardless of the picture format?
     
  19. redsox_mark

    redsox_mark
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    No, with the Panasonic you don't have control over the widescreen flag.
    Mark
     
  20. kazzup

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    Chrissyboy11, you are an absolute saviour. This little program of yours is unbelievable. For somebody who knows nothing like me this is a godsend.

    I just dont believe how simple it is, thanks for writing it, I'm surprised that others haven't commented on it.
     
  21. Crustyloafer

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    Can I just point out that the Panasonic DVD recorders do record the widescreen flag but only if you don't use the high speed dubbing mode. To be honest I don't understand why this is such a big issue for people. If you want to make perfect recordings with the widescreen flag attached then just accept that you'll have to to the dubbing in real time which can easily be setup to do overnight whilst you are asleep. If you are in a rush then the high speed dubbing feature is a real boon with the only minor issue that you have to tell the display what the aspect ratio is. Get a grip on reality people, look at where we are compared to a few years ago when we all had to wrangle with stupid video tape with crap picture and sound, very little editing options and cumbersome media.
     
  22. Kevo

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    On my Pan E100 the ws flag is lost whatever mode you dub to DVD-R or are you talking about dubbing to DVD RAM?
     
  23. kazzup

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    I've only had my EH50 for 3 days, so still learning. I Have no problem with dubbing in normal play if it keeps the wss, will try when I get home today.

    Does it keep the flag on all discs?
     
  24. eddyad

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    The Pioneers put the WS flag on DVDs dubbed at high speed providing the PQ is 2h 20m or less (manual modes MN19-32 - SP is MN21).

    Obviously the HD material has to be in the same mode, because you can't do high-speed dubbing with a rate change.

    If you plan ahead you can set the HDD recording mode to be optimum for the length of the material to fit the target DVD.

    As far as I recall dubbing in this way will deal correctly with interspersed aspect ratio changes.
     

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