Panasonic DMR-EZ45VEBS aspect ratio / Freeview

Discussion in 'Blu-ray & DVD Players & Recorders' started by saw, Apr 26, 2007.

  1. saw

    saw
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    I have two basic questions, with a postscript which should cement my credentials as a technical illiterate.

    This is my virgin experience recording video DVDs, and receiving digital signals. My setup is a television and this unit, with no other peripherals. I'm pretty sure I have all the cables plugged into the right places.

    First question is, not having a separate digibox, can I watch Freeview live? I've already sussed that I can record it.

    Next, aspect ratios. I can't seem to get a consistent one. Currently I have the setting at 4:3 and programs are being recorded full screen from BBC1, 2, ITV, and channel 5. Channel 4 comes up letterbox, as do the Freeview channels I've tried. (Sometimes it's a kind of modified letterbox, by which I mean the black bars are still there but the picture isn't quite so narrow.)

    On installation and initial recording, I hadn't touched this setting, which was default 16:9. Then, everything was recording full screen. Until they switched to letterbox for no good reason. At that point I started fiddling. Still haven't worked it out.

    ----

    Here's the story from the beginning. It may be confusing, as I am confused.

    Purchase unit. Plug it all in. Deposit tape from old VCR. Awful quality. Do a trial recording. Playback is a gray screen, a picture only appearing when fast forwarding. Try DVD recording. Although reception is fine, playback is terrible. Notice that BBC1 is showing up as "901 BBC1" when I was setting to record. Have no idea what it means. Much random pushing of buttons. Develop idea that this has something to do with Input button, so I try the "A1" setting, again without a clue. Eventually scroll through to another BBC1 which records properly. Some of the same channels seem to be replicated on the spectrum...?

    Discover the ability to record Freeview. Hold small celebratory party, as until now even channel 5 had been but a dream. I'm missing House for God's sake!

    Start DVD recording in earnest, still on shaky ground. The instruction manual is no frigging help, that's for sure. It seems to be working when I decide to try the subtitle function. That program is the first to be recorded in letterbox (odd coincidence?) and subsequently so do other programs as mentioned above.
     
  2. Gavtech

    Gavtech
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    SO many issues here :) .... I'll try to deal with them in dribs and drabs

    Welcome to the forum saw.
    I presume you are meaning that your TV does not have a freeview tuner... and can you watch it live from the DVDR.
    Provided you can receive it - yes. Just a question of selecting the AV channel on the TV which you get the output from the '45 [ if neccessary] and then selecting the TV channels using the channel selection buttons of the DVDR remote.
    This aspect ratio output setting should match what ever kind of TV you have - Either 4:3 or widescreen [ You have not said what your TV is ]

    Thereafter, it gets complicated ... because different channels broadcast in different ratios and change their ratios according to content.
    Furthermore, there are other variables according to whether you are watching recordings on the hard disk or removable disk .. and what type of disk that may be... because in many cases the Widescreen flag is not transferred to most removeable disks.
    The subtitles setting would not make any difference... Possibly you fiddled with aspect settings at the same time... or are comparing different sorts of programming / channels.
    Incidentally - If you record with subtitles on - they are permanently burned into the recording. You cannot switch them off.

    ----
    Sounds like your Audio / control head on the VCR is dirty and is not picking up the sync pulses... or your pinch roller is worn and dragging the tape ribbon out of alignment with the ACE head.
    The numbers in the 900's are where the analogue channels are placed.
    Digital channels are placed in numbers 1 ,2 ,3 upwards etc.

    A1 - meaning AV1 - which refers to the top scart on the back of the unit..means that in this case you were recording from the TV's tuner [ assuming you have your main AV1 scart connected to the TV - which you should ] .
    Hurrah :)
    I guess over time we might be able to help you straighten out some of these issues.
     
  3. saw

    saw
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    Thank you for the welcome, and the help.

    The TV is a 5 or 6 year old Samsung Plano w/full flat screen, no model number that I can see. Built in DVD player which stopped working long ago.

    What was so confusing about the aspect ratio thing is that I've recorded the same exact shows on the same unit and it's turned out two different ways - this without changing the ratio in the settings menu.

    As for Freeview,

    I can't figure out the bit of your answer that I've put in italics. How do I select the AV channel on the TV which I get the output from the '45? What is '45? Sorry to be so dense!
     
  4. ROYOLD

    ROYOLD
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    It really would be a good idea to read the manual. Thoroughly. Spend a few hours on it.

    I have been so impressed with the DMR-EZ45V that I purchased another from SVP. Now have two of them and they are excellent combi's for the money. The manual is well written and explained.

    The TV broadcasters swap widescreen about on the commercials when showing a 4:3 programme. My two machines are on different TV's. One is a 28" widescreen the other is a Toshiba 4:3 21" set. BOTH EZ45s have been left on the default aspect of 16:9.
     
  5. Gavtech

    Gavtech
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    '45 was shorthand for the DMR-EZ45VEBS. Sorry - I thought that would be obvious.

    In regard to watching the freeview output, there is a setting you could change that will probably make this a lot easier to do.

    With this setting altered your TV should always show the output of the EZ45V when it is switched on which at present it will not always do.

    Goto: Functions / To others / Setup / Connections and change the AV1 output setting from RGB 2 to RGB 1

    Thereafter, if you turn the EZ45 on, you should be able to watch the Freeview tuner output and change channels with the up / down channel buttons which are just to the right of the 3 and 6 button on the remote control.
     
  6. saw

    saw
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    Brilliant! Thanks. The only problem is, now I seem to be unable to access any of the digital channels while recording (other than the one being recorded).

    I've actually given the manual a pretty good look. The answers to my questions didn't appear to be inside, though I'm willing to stand corrected.
     
  7. Gavtech

    Gavtech
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    I'm afraid that is not a problem..... It is the way things are.

    To be able to see another channel as well as the one being recorded would require two independent tuners... and your unit, like all DVDR's currently available, only has one.
     
  8. saw

    saw
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    Gotcha. Thanks again.

    I do wish tapes recorded on our old unit would play on the new one. It isn't a mere tracking issue; the screen often goes completely blank/gray. I can't think that dirty heads would be the problem as it is just out of the box.
     
  9. ROYOLD

    ROYOLD
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    The two I have work fine but my thousand odd tapes have been recorded on several different VHS recorders over the years and there is a tracking issue with some older tapes from around 1983 which can be adjusted using the EZ45 tracking control on the remote.

    To check if its a faulty VHS section try recording onto VHS tape from the units freeview tuner. Mine give excellent results on playback from this recording.
    Also you could try borrowed tapes from a relative or try some pre-recorded VHS tapes in the machine. If you don't have any purchase a reasonable looking quality one from one of the charity shops etc.

    Leaving old tapes close to a magnetic source such as large speakers also ruins the magnetic VHS tapes. Also the de-gaussing on CRT TV's.
     
  10. Gavtech

    Gavtech
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    Actually, it not only can be a tracking issue, but almost certainly is.
    The sceen blanking to grey is a common if very irritating technique that is used in VCR's when tracking pulses are lost... supposedly to save us from imperfect images.

    Each VCR exhibits separate characteristics according to its alignment, state of the pinch roller, and back tension, and take up torque.

    All have a bearing on the place where the tape ribbon will tend to run in relation to the head interfaces. The most critical of these is the control track which is a simple linear track that produces the sync pulses necessary to produce a stable picture.

    The ideal is to play the tape on the machine that produced it .. but if that is not an option, you may be able to tweak the Tracking control as Royold suggests.
     

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