Panasonic DMR-ES10 Hybrid VBR Resolution

Discussion in 'Blu-ray & DVD Players & Recorders' started by guylj, Apr 5, 2005.

  1. guylj

    guylj
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    On the Panasonic DMR-E50/55 under the SetUp / Picture MENU there is an item "Hybrid VBR Resolution" which can be set to Fixed or Variable. It determines when recording to DVD-RAM in VRO mode whether the scene resolution can change within the program - eg from 704 * 576 to a lower one - depending on the picture content as perceived by the E50/55's encoder.

    I was trying out the new DMR-ES10 in my local Panasonic store today and noticed that this menu item seems to be no longer present.

    Does anyone know whether the ES10 will be working in fixed or variable resolution when recording to DVD-RAM? It is very important to me as I transfer my recordings to PC via DVD-RAM and do all the editing on the PC before burning a DVD-R. Some programs struggle with resolution changes (involving resource intensive recoding) and others just give up completely. But the DVD Video standard insists on constant resolution.
     
  2. guylj

    guylj
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    I've received a reply from Panasonic UK Support stating that the VBR is fixed.

    I've therefore bought a DMR-ES10 and when I get time intend trying it out to see if it stays in fixed resolution when the DMR-E50 doesn't on the same program. I'm not sure what the best recording setting to use would be for this.
     
  3. guylj

    guylj
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    Had some strange results recording to DVD-RAM on the ES10 off ITV1 (DTTV) last night in SP mode. There were two short TX breaks in quick succession and first time I tried to import into TMPG_Enc_DVD_Author it just aborted half way through. But second (and third for luck) times it was OK.

    DVD Movie Album would not do a simple export from the DVD-RAM so I had to do a Full Export (Same Resolution/Use DVD Video) and that was OK although I noticed the cpu utilisation was varying between 20% and 50% - the latter equalling 100% of one of my two virtual HT CPUs - which suggests reencoding of some sort. This yielded 6 .mpg files - a long one up to the first TX break, then 3 short ones around the TX breaks, then another long one and finally a very short one which I think may possibly have been due to a resolution change from 16:9 to 4:3 after the main program finished. Thinking about it that might have been happening on the TX breaks as the DTTV boxes then display a static graphic of a TV with a blank screen and it's possible that it drops the Wide flag.

    I had also taken a safety copy in SP mode to the DMR-E50 and this behaved almost identically - again giving 6 mpgs of very similar lengths.

    I doubled checked that the E50 had Hybrid VBR Resolution = FIXED which it had.

    So although these results are a little bizarre there's nothing to suggest the ES10 is behaving differently to the E50. If anyone can explain the behaviour of DVD Movie Album I would be interested - it's not a program I normally need to use.

    I don't think there's any reason at this stage to doubt Panasonic's statement that VBR is fixed on the ES10 but I'm not going to have a lot of time in the near future to absolutely prove it one way or another.
     
  4. mray

    mray
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    Hello Guylj.
    Can you please tell me if there is any improvement in SP mode on the ES10, compared to the E50? I know LP is supposed to be improved, but I'm more interested in SP mode.

    Thanks in advance!
     
  5. guylj

    guylj
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    Your timing is impeccable coming just as I had two recordings of a program made simultaneously in SP mode off identical DTTV tuners!

    I drew all the curtains to give a dark room for a test. I'm using a Panny TX32 PF10 100 Hz TV which gives a really good picture. However it only supports RGB on its AV1 input (fed from the ES10 AV1 OUT) and as the E50's AV1 OUT is going to the TVs AV2 IN which is non RGB enabled I didn't want the ES10 to have an unfair advantage. So for most of the testing I changed the ES10 AV1 OUT from RGB to Video with Composite.

    I also took care to make sure that the DVD-RAM disc being played in each recorder was the same one as used for the recording.

    The film was last Friday's James Bond movie in 16:9 aspect and there are some fast action snow scenes at the start together with some sharp detail close ups.

    In absolute terms there wasn't a great deal in it but my impression was that the ES10 definitely had a slight advantage. Of course in RGB mode edges sharpen up considerably and it might be that it would out perform the E50 by rather more here due to its 12 bit technology. I felt that the test was only really viable if I could have both recordings running in sync and could flick rapidly between them using the AV1/AV2 buttons on the TV handset. Switching the E50 to use the RGB enabled AV1 TV input would mean getting round the back of the set-up and pulling plugs by which time I would have lost the immediate comparison with the ES10 in RGB mode.

    Although you're not so interested in LP, there is no doubt that this is where the big difference lies, certainly in relatively static scenes. I haven't tried it on anything fast moving yet. Like you I concentrate on SP (which is the main reason why I have bought a second recorder) and use XP where possible.

    One other thing that I'm pleased with is that the ES10 is actually mechanically quieter than my E50 which I considered to be very quiet anyway. I had a bad experience with two very noisy E55s a month or two back but maybe that did me a favour as I now have the ES10. The ES10 does not seem to have a fan and I think it runs a tad warmer than the E50 but still relatively cool.

    Hope this is of some use!
     
  6. mray

    mray
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    Hey! Great reply! Thanks very much for taking the time to post such a detailed response. I've been trying to get an answer to this question for a couple of weeks.

    I have an E50 and also an E55. Personally, I prefer the E50. I'm sure it's recordings are better than the E55's. I seem to get macroblocking or mosaicing with the E55, which don't appear nearly as much with the E50. The E50 has more features too in my opinion.

    It's good to know that the ES10 is an improvement over the E55 in the recording dept. I know it's a better machine in many other ways.

    Thanks again!
     
  7. guylj

    guylj
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    I ran a test recording the same constant 4:3 aspect program to both the DMR-ES10 and the DMR-E50.

    On the E50 Hybrid VBR Resolution was set to Automatic.

    Both recorders were set to FR mode with a time of 2h 58m and both had empty DVD-RAM media with 1h 00m available in XP mode.

    Using DVD Movie Album on the PC in Simple Export mode, the VRO file from the ES10 produced a single large mpg file. However the VRO file from the E50 produced six mpg files with resolution switching between 704 * 576 and 352 * 576.

    This result is in line with Panasonic's statement that the ES10 operates in constant resolution.
     

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