Panasonic BR & HDD recorders.

numptydumpty

Active Member
Having been lucky enough to have some wonderful holidays all over the world over the last 15/20 years, I decided quite quickly that I wanted to capture these good times on video equipment that was as high a quality as I could afford at the time. Over the last 10 years, that has included HD camcorders, and HD TV sets to display the footage.

For a long time I have been plugging my camcorders into my TV via HDMI, and using them as playing decks....not the best idea I know, but hey. I have recorded a few on portable hard drive (or should I say, a friend with a brain did :p). The downside of that was this. I am a technophobe, but compared to my good lady, I am Einstein (hope she doesn't read this, lol). So, every time she wanted to view her beloved holiday vids, I would have to get all the stuff out, plug it in, fiddle about....well you get my drift.

Now comes the bit with the violins! I am 76, I have COPD, heart issues, prostate cancer, and a few other niggles. My wife is 79, has incurable non Hodkin lymphoma (she is in partial remission, with limited time to go), bowel disease, a crushed vertabrae in her lower spine, etc., etc. In other words, we are pretty much in the same messed up state as half of the rest of the of the world when they reach our age group :laugh:

Now, to get to the point. My old lass has begged me to put our holidays on Blu-ray disc, as that is the only way she can watch her much loved memories independently (they give her enormous pleasure). Now the really BAD news. It appears that Panasonic, and I gather the other manufacturers, have stopped including HDMI input sockets in their Blu-ray recorders!!!!! So, as far as I can see, I am stuffed, because to the best of my (severely limited) knowledge, that is/was the only way of downloading HD (1080p) footage to a Blu-ray recorder?

I don't know what to say, this will break her heart, and I will never forgive myself for letting her down at this stage of our lives. So people, any ideas please. Any old miracle will do.....

And please, please don't say to put them on sd DVD....that would be a VERY last resort that would break MY heart!
 

John7

Well-known Member
As far as I know, Blu Ray recorders have never had HDMI input sockets (copyright reasons).

What you want to do can be done with the use of a game capture recorder (of which there are many) but you would also need to use a PC with video editing software (and the knowledge to use it) and a Blu Ray burner for the PC. All the recordings would have to be copied in real time as well, so depending on how many tapes you have, could take ages!

As Clem_Dye says, you might want to consider a commercial video transcribing service, although that is likely to be expensive if you have a lot of tapes.
 

jonoro

Active Member
Have you been storing the recordings on a PC?
If so you can take the recrdings and copy them to DVDs or BluRay if you have a bluray writer.
These would be in HD.
There are many programs that will do this, Wondershare, avs2dvd to name 2.
If they recordings reside on your camcorder still, does it have a memory card yoiu could remove and then transfer the recordings to your pc?
Or the camcorder may well have a connector such as usb that you could connect up to copy the recordings.
 

numptydumpty

Active Member
It might be better to use some sort of external agency/company to do the transfers for you.
Thanks for your reply Clem Dye, but I have lots of holiday tapes the boss wants me to put on disc, so yes, it would be re-mortgage the house time. I have briefly looked down that avenue, and my heart rate hasn't recovered yet :laugh:
 

numptydumpty

Active Member
As far as I know, Blu Ray recorders have never had HDMI input sockets (copyright reasons).

What you want to do can be done with the use of a game capture recorder (of which there are many) but you would also need to use a PC with video editing software (and the knowledge to use it) and a Blu Ray burner for the PC. All the recordings would have to be copied in real time as well, so depending on how many tapes you have, could take ages!

As Clem_Dye says, you might want to consider a commercial video transcribing service, although that is likely to be expensive if you have a lot of tapes.

Thanks for your suggestions John7, but being a dyed in the wool technophobe (I even lost this post until a nice man rescued me :facepalm:) that would all be way past me, I am ashamed to say. The first time I was really confused with technology was when the shop refused to repair my Brownie box camera :thumbsdow
 

numptydumpty

Active Member
Have you been storing the recordings on a PC?
If so you can take the recrdings and copy them to DVDs or BluRay if you have a bluray writer.
These would be in HD.
There are many programs that will do this, Wondershare, avs2dvd to name 2.
If they recordings reside on your camcorder still, does it have a memory card yoiu could remove and then transfer the recordings to your pc?
Or the camcorder may well have a connector such as usb that you could connect up to copy the recordings.

Thanks for your thoughts jonoro, very interesting. A few of the vids I want to transfer to Blu-ray are on SD card, some on the camcorders internal hard drive. The majority though are from my older camcorder, and they are on MiniDV tapes. Sadly, I did have a laptop with a Blu-ray writer, but the damned thing died one day, and was declared unfixable, sob.

Connecting with USB? I was under the impression that USB was not capable of carrying HD material. But, I know naff all, so probably completely wrong, lol.
 

numptydumpty

Active Member
OK, here are the mutterings of an idiot.....which may well get me burnt at the stake, and almost certainly laughed at :D. These Panasonic (and others) Blu-ray/HDD recorders invariably come with (obviously) a blu-ray recorder, a whacking great hard drive or two, and frequently a free sat/free view receiver or two. Now, what If a clever electronics bod were to purchase an HDMI port, then disconnect the free sat/view receiver, and connect the HDMI 'in' port in it's place (with whatever processor or whatever was required in-between, if any)....would that not work? Right, I have my protective clothing on, so fire away :p
 

numptydumpty

Active Member
Oh heck John7, that is sad :(. Where would the huge expense come in? Would it be labour, or parts? The thing is, I have been quoted a minimum £30 per disc by a small business, without editing. As I don't know how much run time a 25GB B-R disc can hold, I wouldn't know how many discs it would require. So lets just say there are 50 one hour MiniDV tapes, and a pure guess here, let say 1 B-R disc would suffice for each tape. That would be £1500 for that format alone, with the hard drive and SD cards still to do :eek:. (By the way, I am not sure what transcoding is, just assume it is putting my footage onto B-R discs?)
 

k-spin

Active Member
The manual for my Panasonic DMR-BWT735 (older version of the current DMR-BWT850) says that you can connect a camcorder via USB and transfer the recordings to the HDD of the Blu-ray recorder via USB. It says that they need to be in AVCHD standard for HD recordings or MPEG2 for SD recordings for this to work. Once on the HDD of the Blu-ray recorder you could copy them to Blu-ray discs.

I don't know anything about camcorders, so not sure if yours are likely to have made recordings in these standards, but thought it might help.

Good luck!
 

numptydumpty

Active Member
Thank you so much for that k-spin. I don't know off hand what format my camcorders record in, but I will look it up with my fingers (and anything else possible) firmly crossed. Even if I can only do this with one of the camcorders (they are two very different types) in will be a major step forwards on what I have at the moment! I will report back on my progress, if it works. If it doesn't, you will see the mushroom cloud as I self destruct :D. Thanks again for that, appreciated.
 
This thread may be of interest ref the MiniGV tapes
 

numptydumpty

Active Member
Thanks very much for that davemurgatroyd. I have just been looking up formats , got as far as discovering that MiniDV is very much NOT AVCHD! The camcorder is a Sony HDR-HC3. The pretty stickers on it say it is HDV/DV switchable, HDV 1080i/MiniDV. The connections on this little camcorder are :- LANC jack, HDMI out, component out, A/V out, USB jack, HDV/DV interface (i LINK), Memory Stick Duo slot (that's aged it somewhat :D ).

It's so long since I used this little recorder that I am not sure about this DV/HDV switchable option? I assume that as I used MiniDV tapes that it's recorded in the simpler DV option, but I just cannot remember switching between the two, or how that would work? I only really bought this camcorder because there was a cheap Sony underwater housing available (a simple 'down to 3 metre depth' case that allowed me to film some half decent stuff while snorkelling on coral reefs in places like Eilat, Marsa Alam, the Maldives and the Great Barrier Reef in Australia.

To have to downgrade this stuff to SD DVD's, so that the wife can watch it would be a tragedy. But, when you are a total technophobic simpleton like me, the available options open to me are few, if not non-existent :( .

My second (newer) camcorder is a Panasonic HDC-HS900, which is listed as a 'AVCHD SD/HDD HYBRID' with SD-XC card slot and 220GB HDD. It apparently is full HD 1920 x 1080 progressive. it has HDMI out, AV multi out, USB out. Not a lot :p. As to what all this means in terms of my being able to achieve my dream of transferring at least some of my good ladies holidays onto Blu-ray discs....:thumbsdow

Despite a number of helpful replies from the great guys on here, I am still too confused, uncertain and lacking in tech know-how to judge whether there is a realistic chance, or whether I am just chasing my tail down an avenue that is doomed to eventual/inevitable failure :blush:.
 

numptydumpty

Active Member
Having looked further, it would seem that k-spins enormously helpful post, which suggests that there is a distinct possibility for success with my AVCHD camcorder, and that this would be my best bet. Sadly, it would seem there is no hope in that direction for the other one, but half a cake is sure as hell better than none :p

However, in order to even test the validity of the theoretically possible plan that k-spin has discovered in his manual, I would need to spend several hundreds of pounds on a (second hand) Panny Blu-ray recorder, preferably the version he has. Before I go ahead and do that though, could anyone confirm that (A) it is likely that this would work, and (B) That the process involved is 'Idiot proof', meaning that you have to take into account the fact that I am almost 'Tech illiterate' (a term I made up so that I wouldn't have to own up to total stupidity :laugh:).
 

goingoingong

Distinguished Member
Having looked further, it would seem that k-spins enormously helpful post, which suggests that there is a distinct possibility for success with my AVCHD camcorder, and that this would be my best bet. Sadly, it would seem there is no hope in that direction for the other one, but half a cake is sure as hell better than none :p

However, in order to even test the validity of the theoretically possible plan that k-spin has discovered in his manual, I would need to spend several hundreds of pounds on a (second hand) Panny Blu-ray recorder, preferably the version he has. Before I go ahead and do that though, could anyone confirm that (A) it is likely that this would work, and (B) That the process involved is 'Idiot proof', meaning that you have to take into account the fact that I am almost 'Tech illiterate' (a term I made up so that I wouldn't have to own up to total stupidity :laugh:).
Why not replace blu-ray recorder with PC/laptop in this scenario? The main challenge is getting the video files off the camcorder in a usable format. If you can't do that the burning disc side of things is immaterial. I'd hope/expect you could transfer the files off the camcorder via the USB connector.

Once you have the files on a USB stick/hard disc you may not even need to burn blu-rays as many TVs/blu-ray players let you playback video files via USB connected devices.
 
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numptydumpty

Active Member
Hi GoingGoingGone, thanks for your reply. I had a horrible feeling that it may not be as simple and straight forward as I had hoped :( . According to k-spins post (at least that's how it reads to me), It's just a case of 'plug and play', but it may well be that he left out the part which you guys with functioning brains would see as too obvious to be worth mentioning, I really don't know. Here is his post :-

' The manual for my Panasonic DMR-BWT735 (older version of the current DMR-BWT850) says that you can connect a camcorder via USB and transfer the recordings to the HDD of the Blu-ray recorder via USB. It says that they need to be in AVCHD standard for HD recordings or MPEG2 for SD recordings for this to work. Once on the HDD of the Blu-ray recorder you could copy them to Blu-ray discs.'

Not what it seems then?
 

goingoingong

Distinguished Member
Hi GoingGoingGone, thanks for your reply. I had a horrible feeling that it may not be as simple and straight forward as I had hoped :( . According to k-spins post (at least that's how it reads to me), It's just a case of 'plug and play', but it may well be that he left out the part which you guys with functioning brains would see as too obvious to be worth mentioning, I really don't know. Here is his post :-

' The manual for my Panasonic DMR-BWT735 (older version of the current DMR-BWT850) says that you can connect a camcorder via USB and transfer the recordings to the HDD of the Blu-ray recorder via USB. It says that they need to be in AVCHD standard for HD recordings or MPEG2 for SD recordings for this to work. Once on the HDD of the Blu-ray recorder you could copy them to Blu-ray discs.'

Not what it seems then?
See page 121 onwards for copying files from the camcorder to PC
You can copy the motion/still picture data to the HDD of PCs or write to media like Blu-ray discs, DVD discs or SD cards using HD Writer AE 3.0, the software installed in the supplied CD-ROM.Refer to the operating instructions of HD Writer AE 3.0 (PDF file) for details on how to use it
http://panasonic.ae/en/manuals/HDC-TM900.pdf

Have you still got the software installation disc for your camcorder?
If not an ISO of the CD seems to be available for download. Panasonic HD Writer AE 3.0 CD ROM : Panasonic : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming : Internet Archive
 

numptydumpty

Active Member
See page 121 onwards for copying files from the camcorder to PC
You can copy the motion/still picture data to the HDD of PCs or write to media like Blu-ray discs, DVD discs or SD cards using HD Writer AE 3.0, the software installed in the supplied CD-ROM.Refer to the operating instructions of HD Writer AE 3.0 (PDF file) for details on how to use it
http://panasonic.ae/en/manuals/HDC-TM900.pdf

Have you still got the software installation disc for your camcorder?
If not an ISO of the CD seems to be available for download. Panasonic HD Writer AE 3.0 CD ROM : Panasonic : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming : Internet Archive

I am almost certain it must be around somewhere GoingGoingGone, as I would never deliberately dispose of that sort of thing. However, when wives tidy up......

Anyway, one way or another, I will avail myself of one. My two remaining brain cells can surely manage that. (I SOooo hope those are not 'famous last words' :laugh:)
 

numptydumpty

Active Member
Hi Numptydumpty.

I had a quick look on Sony's support site for the HDR-HC3 and there is an interactive quide to importing your tapes to a PC, MAC or standalone recorder:


Does your PC have an iLink port? If so, you might be in luck as Sony provide software to transfer your recordings.

The Sony one does indeed have an iLink port k.spin. By heck, things are looking up :clap:
 

numptydumpty

Active Member
If you don't have an iLink / Firewire port on your PC then this might help (if you have USB-C):

Oh man, this gets better by the minute k-spin. My wife and I have so far had an 'Annus horribilis', as the Queen would put it, but you guys are giving me hope that I may just achieve something to make her smile again. Thank you all so much for your efforts thus far, however it finally turns out :clap:
 

numptydumpty

Active Member
This will allow you to digitise your camera tapes from HDMI to MP4. You will then need to import the files to a PC to assemble/edit

Amazon product

Wow John7, thanks for that...looks an impressive bit of kit! However, this is where my head starts to spin again :mad:. You said "This will allow you to digitise your camera tapes from HDMI to MP4." :eek:. I thought HD footage was already digital!!! Dear God, as Manuel in Fawlty Towers would say, "I know Nuuuthing" :laugh:.
 

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