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Panasonic DMR-E20 Screen format problem

Discussion in 'Blu-ray & DVD Players & Recorders' started by DaveP, Mar 6, 2002.

  1. DaveP

    DaveP
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    I've just bought one of these and made my first DVD-R recording last night. I finanlised the disk and tried it in a Pioneer 606. The disk was recognised and presented the menu fine. When I started to play it though the picture was sqashed vertically. I can best describe it as double anamorphic! Even when stretched on my Philips w/s telly to widescreen it still looked like normal anamorphic watched unstretched.

    I tried it on my newest deck, a Sony NS700, and it adopted the correct ratio.

    Is this caused by a setting in the panny setup menu or is it a fault with the compatibility of the older Pioneer deck?

    I must say I do find all the setup options very confusing!

    Any help appreciated.

    Thanks

    DaveP
     
  2. ammar

    ammar
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    Hi there,

    Yes I have noticed the same problem with the screen format. I have also (more worryingly) read in the manual that the recorder records all programmes in 4:3 format and then it recommeds using the TV screen to change the aspect ratio back to the desired format on playback. I am not sure I like that very much.
     
  3. PhilipL

    PhilipL
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    Hi

    When you recorded onto DVD-R what hour rate did you use?

    At longer rates DVD recorders use half resolution of normal DVDs, some players may not deal with this correctly, newer ones normally do however.

    I think over 2 hours sees the resolution halved, this is a standard feature of all DVD recorders to get more on a disc.

    Regards

    Philip
     
  4. ammar

    ammar
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    Hi there thanx for yuor reply.

    I have been using the SP (2-hour) mode. But I believe that the screen aspect issue is not dependent on the recording quality, as that should only affect the number of lines (horizontal) and sharpness of colors, or am I mistaken.

    Did anyone else read the page in the manual that says all recordings are done in 4:3 aspect and then it is up to the playback medium to resize the picture? I believe there in lies the crux of this issue.

    I could be mistaken, I certainly hope so :)
     
  5. PhilipL

    PhilipL
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    Hi

    The aspect ratio can be complex as there are various switching methods or signals that indicate an image is 4:3 or 16:9 etc, depending on how the signal is broadcast.

    The manual is probably stating that everything is in 4:3 as a get out clause, because it may not, or can not always know what aspect it is recording. If you record a 16:9 DVD via Scart for example, the recorder should recognise the signal for widescreen switching and record that flag onto the DVD, so when that DVD is next played it outputs the same switching signal to a widescreen TV.

    If you are recording the same DVD via S-Video lead for example, it may not be able to see the switching signal utilised in S-Video connections, so just records it with the flag set to 4:3, so you would need to manually set the TV. In each case what is recorded is the same it is just the switching signal that may not noted correctly.

    Regards

    Philip
     
  6. DaveP

    DaveP
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    Just my 2p worth:

    I don't think the recording in 4:3 mode is the issue in my case. This would merely mean, I think, that the widescreen image is recorded anamorphically to fill the 4:3 size. When stretched on a 16:9n screen it would then look normal.

    The problem I have with the playback on the Pioneer is that even when stretched it still only occupies a 4:3 size on the 16:9 screen.

    I havn't since recorded any widescreen material, I'll have to check the 4:3 stuff on the Pioneer and see if that has to be stretched to give me a 4:3 picture, if you see what I mean!

    DaveP
     
  7. wellsi

    wellsi
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    Your points about the screen ratio that it records at seem correct consulting the handbook. However, have you entered Setup and set the output screen ration to 16:9. I think you have to go through a couple of menus before you get to the area where you set the outputs and inputs (PAL / NTSC etc ) and the screen ratio...

    Whilst I'm on here; I'm still having no joy recording NTSC tapes to DVD, even after changing the input to NTSC; The sounds fine, but the picture is dreadful, with half B & W and half pale colours. Playback of the tape through the same VCR connected straght to the TV is fine tho'. Any offers of advice?

    Cheers,
     
  8. Trailblazer XP

    Trailblazer XP
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    Hi Wellsi

    Is there a setting on the Panasonic allowing NTSC recording?

    Your problem could be that instead of an NTSC signal being output by your playback device, it could well be that it's a PAL60 signal.

    Most modern TV's can cope with a PAL60 signal, but the recorder won't.

    There might be a pure NTSC out on the playback device, have you checked for that?
     
  9. ammar

    ammar
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    Hi Wellsi,

    I have read in the manual that if part of your disk contains PAL recorded material then you CANNOT add NTSC material to the same disk and vice versa.

    Secondly, is it possible that your VCR is playing back the NTSC tape as PAL anyway, in which case you just record on the DMRE20 as though you are recording from anyother source.

    The only other thing I can think of is if you havent set the input channel to the correct option on the DMR, try with a PAL tape until you get a good picture then try the NTSC tape.

    Good luck
     
  10. wellsi

    wellsi
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    I'll have a go with those points this evening. I've set the Input on the DMR to NTSC in... if I leave it to PAL, the picture is, ironically, quite good but the sound is distorted. I believe I was using a new RAM disc, but I'll double check that tonight; forgot about not combining NTSC and PAL.

    Cheers for the help,
     
  11. lbeck

    lbeck
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    I'm just coming off my first full weekend of using the E20. I must say that I'm impressed overall, and very pleased with picture quality. Glad that I don't have to mess with the PAL/NTSC problems. However, I have found a personal issue that maybe someone can help me with:

    I'm one of the many TV viewers that do not own a wide-screen TV, and apparently one of the few that are very annoyed by the letterbox format that is designed to get around the issue, using black space above and below the picture so that the edges of the original video are still maintained. My old DVD player had a "zoom" feature that allowed the user to bring videos recorded in letterbox mode to fill the entire screen (with of course loss of the L/R portions). While not an issue for video that I record to the E20 (which fit the screen perfectly), I find that some of my favorite pre-recorded DVDs (e.g., Star Wars) are in letterbox without an option on the DVD itself to present the video in 4:3.

    Is there an option for the E20 that will allow these letterbox-recorded videos to be viewed without the black space above and below the picture? I've read the manual and can't find any setting that works. Page 21 of the U.S. manual states that "Apart from TV Aspect, other settings affect how video appears on your television." One of the examples is "the video setting on the disk. How video appears is often specified by the disk itself." I've tried all settings of the E20's Action/TV Screen menu options.

    I'm thinking that the E20 must not have a way of eliminating the black space above and below a letterbox DVD. However, given the myriad of options afforded, the cryptic wording of some parts of the manual, and the fact that many low-end DVD players offer a work-around (e.g., a zoom feature) I'm wondering if there is something that I haven't discovered.

    Can any of you more familiar with the E20 confirm my assumption or offer a way to zoom in on the center portion of a letterbox DVD?

    Thanks.
     
  12. DaveP

    DaveP
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    Just to update you all after I have tried a 4:3 recording in my Pioneer. The aspect ratio is as it should be, so, to quote Alice, Curioser and Curioser!

    DaveP
     

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