Panasonic HDD recorder: Which recording mode for files to be used on PC?

EasyLee

Novice Member
I recently started downloading TV recordings from my Panasonic DMR-BCT730 Blu-ray recorder to my Windows PC using MediaMonkey, as described in this thread. Some users in that thread claim that there are compatibility issues with video players and converters with files recorded in DR mode. They recommend having the recorder convert DR recordings to one of the HD formats HG/HX/HE/HL/HM (in order of decreasing quality) before downloading the files to the PC.

Can anyone enlighten me about the difference between DR mode and HG mode (the highest quality conversion mode)? And can anyone confirm that DR recordings really cause trouble?

The Panasonic's user manual says basically that DR recordings are lossless and can contain several audio tracks while HG recordings are lossy and contain only one audio track. Why is it then that files converted to HG mode are about 10% larger than the original DR recordings? That doesn't make any sense. The only thing I can say is that there is no perceptible difference in quality between them.

What if I convert the recordings (.ts files) on the PC to .mp4 anyway, using something like Handbrake or Avidemux, getting rid of additional audio tracks? Does it still matter what the recording mode was? I noticed that neither of these two apps have any trouble opening DR recordings.
 

LV426

Administrator
Staff member
DR recordings are an exact copy of the broadcast transport stream, with no process applied in the recorder. They are thus identical to the received broadcast.

The original broadcast is compressed. Thus it will be somewhat degraded from whatever the original source was. But it is as good as you can get.

In order to play back directly (or to re-encode) - the player first has to decompress to create a sequence of separate images. In so doing it does not - can not - restore anything that was lost in the encode. Thus you start any such process with whatever shortcomings the original received broadcast contains.

EVERY (re-)encode is a degrading process. All encoders use some sort of compression to limit file size and compression is always degrading. Even if you re-encode to a larger size it's still a (re-)compression (with attendant degrade) of the previously compressed content.

In terms of PC playback, I have found that VLC behaves just fine with the .tts files of a DR recording. And again, so doing means you are playing back exactly what was transmitted; you can't better that.

If you want to import into some editing software then you may encounter compatibility issues there. There are ways around that that don't involve re-encoding beforehand (although if you do edit, the end product will need re-encoding either in part or fully).
 

Gavtech

Administrator
And can anyone confirm that DR recordings really cause trouble?
The 'trouble' you are referring to is probably that BR discs which have had titles transferred to them in DR mode can only play on machines that support DR mode, and not all do.

Thus it is recommended that if universal playability elswhere is required, that disks are burned in one of the other modes - which is much less efficient but does provide universal playability.

Since you are wishing to transfer titles to a PC, the problem does not apply.
 

EasyLee

Novice Member
So would you say the following approach to archiving recordings is sensible?
  • Record in DR mode
  • Download .ts file to PC
  • Open .ts file in Avidemux, trim beginning and end, discard all but one audio track
  • Save as .mp4, either without re-encoding or with re-encoding applied to further compress file size
The alternative would be to have the Panasonic re-encode the recording to something with a lower file size (e.g. HX or HE modes) and then use Avidemux solely to trim and repackage the video stream from the .ts container to the .mp4 container without re-encoding.

Obviously, you have more control over the re-encoding with something like Avidemux or Handbrake, because it allows you to precisely set the desired quality. But if the Panasonic's re-encoding algorithm was superior to Avidemux I would still have the recorder do it.

The 'trouble' you are referring to is probably that BR discs which have had titles transferred to them in DR mode can only play on machines that support DR mode, and not all do.
I can't play burned BR discs on my PC anyway, no matter if the video content on them was recorded in DR or any other mode. Someone told me this was because the BR discs created with the Panasonic are in the BDAV format, as opposed to BDMV which is the format of commercial discs.
 

LV426

Administrator
Staff member
If you only need very basic editing (trim top and tail, for example) then that should work, I think. The only bit I'm uncertain about is the .mp4 container. But try it. And I'd suggest - only re-encode if you have to. Broadcast/recorded (DR) .tts files are generally quite small anyway and you will degrade further when you re-encode, regardless of the chosen quality. And it takes waaaayyy longer to process. Suggest you stick to the "copy" option in Avidemux for both audio and video.
 

EasyLee

Novice Member
Well, these files are not that small I think. In DR mode a 90 min film is about 6 GB. Handbrake or Avidemux can re-encode it to half the size with barely noticeable degradation.

For what it's worth, I've just done a little test to compare re-encoding in the Panasonic recorder to Handbrake/Avidemux. I recorded 10 mins in DR mode, then made a copy in HM mode (which is the lowest quality HD mode). Then I downloaded both to the PC. Next, I loaded the DR file into Handbrake and Avidemux and had them re-encode the file to .mp4 so that the resulting file size was identical to the HM recording (rate factor was 23).

The HM conversion off the Panasonic showed noticeably more artifacts than the conversions done with Handbrake and Avidemux - at the same file size. I concluded that conversion with these apps is more efficient than conversion in the Panasonic.
 

pevers3

Standard Member
Hi, I have for years now recorder via my computers to a dvd-re disc then used these disc in my Panasonic blu ray machine to copy them to the 1tb hard drive then re-arrange using dvd ram discs to order then copy them to either blur ray bd-re or bd-r discs which seem to improve the video quality and even moving the videos to a usb hard drive also appears to improve their quality but I have yet to find a way using blu ray discs in my computer to achieve the same, the machine sometimes plays the blu ray disc but will never allow these to be copied to it’s hard drive like that being possible with the normal dvd, or I’d there a solution to h thy his
 

pevers3

Standard Member
So would you say the following approach to archiving recordings is sensible?
  • Record in DR mode
  • Download .ts file to PC
  • Open .ts file in Avidemux, trim beginning and end, discard all but one audio track
  • Save as .mp4, either without re-encoding or with re-encoding applied to further compress file size
The alternative would be to have the Panasonic re-encode the recording to something with a lower file size (e.g. HX or HE modes) and then use Avidemux solely to trim and repackage the video stream from the .ts container to the .mp4 container without re-encoding.

Obviously, you have more control over the re-encoding with something like Avidemux or Handbrake, because it allows you to precisely set the desired quality. But if the Panasonic's re-encoding algorithm was superior to Avidemux I would still have the recorder do it.


I can't play burned BR discs on my PC anyway, no matter if the video content on them was recorded in DR or any other mode. Someone told me this was because the BR discs created with the Panasonic are in the BDAV format, as opposed to BDMV which is the format of commercial discs.

Hi, someone with the same problem, if a Blu-ray Disc is burned in my computer the Panasonic machine will play it sometimes but does not recognise any blu ray as a copy material, the dvd-r/rw/ram discs can be copying to the internal hard drive. I have tried numerious converters but as a blu ray disc records greater capacities ig is not worth the effort as any media is “stuck” to that disc, it could be a small file but as it cannot be copied it renders the bd-re disc a final medium. It could be that Panasonic have been told to disable this option. Or it could be the blu ray disc cannot be finalised or that the specificstion of the “burn” ie fps speed could be wrong or something else but I have tried every way possible, analysis of a Panasonic blu ray disc burned in a Panasonic machine did not help and the avchd format recognised is impossible to achieve or unless someone has a way but I do not hold any hope of that
 

garyleeoz

Standard Member
Hi Peverse3.

The manual for your Panasonic recorder may tell you that you can play .mkv video files on a BD-R but can't if they are on a BD-RE (at least my useless manual tells me this).

It also doesn't say anything about playing either mp4 or mpeg2 video files if they are on a BD-R or BD-RE (and my recorder wouldn't when I tried ). So any file conversion performed on your PC probably won't help you.

Incidentally, I think this forum topic is really about which is the best encoding mode to use when transferring mpeg files from a Panasonic recorder to a Windows device (the files could be in DR mode or some more compressed but more universally accepted mode like XP or SP mode).

The original poster isn't burning BD-R/BD-RE discs on their recorder. Instead they are using the DLNA file sharing / file transfer feature that allows some Panasonic recorders to share files with a Windows device when they are on the same home (wifi or wired) network.

As another poster pointed out, video files that a Panasonic recorder burns to a BD-R or BD-RE may not be readable or playable on a PC if the PC doesn't have software capable of reading / playing BDAV format discs.

As for my own use of BD-Rs, I just use them as "data" discs to archive mp4s or jpegs that I keep on my PC's Harddrive. I don't format my discs as "video Blu-Ray" discs so I don't have to worry about BDAV or BDMV compatibility issues (if you want to create a true Blu Ray video disc, you need a Blu Ray authoring program to do that). Then again, I don't try to play my archive discs on my recorder.
 
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pevers3

Standard Member
Hi, I think I am somehow joining topic together, I was also talking about usb and sd cards and what files they used.

I have several blu ray converter programs, are these what you call authorising programs but they must not use mpeg2 ? I sm lost with all this file formats , containers etc
 
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garyleeoz

Standard Member
An example of an authoring program is TMPEGENC AUTHORING WORKS which creates a Blu-Ray video disc which is playable on a BluRay player just like a commercial BluRay disc. AUTHORING WORKS "converts" a video file (which could be a DR mode mpeg2 video or mp4 video) into a "finalised" BDAV or BDMV format image which is then burned onto a BD-R or BD-RE disc. (Just as a commercial DVD contains VOB files that have the original MPEG2 video embedded in these VOB files, commercial BluRay contains the BluRay equivalent of VOB files (BDMV ? files) with the original MPEG2 video embedded in these files). Pardon my ignorance about BluRay file structures.

However, a BD-R or BD-RE disc can also be used as a "data disc" where mp4s, pdfs, jpegs, mpeg2s, avi videos, webm videos or DR video files are burned directly to the disc by software like IMGBURN or NERO. The files then can be played on a computer by media players like VLC, Windows Media Player or Media Monkey but the disc won't be recognised as a "BluRay" format video disc by a BluRay player although some BluRay players will play mp4s or mkv video files as a additional feature to their primary function of playing commercial BluRay discs.

I don't really understand how you are creating your BD-Rs/BD-REs. Are you burning your BD-R/BD-REs on your computer using a BD burner or are you burning them on the Panasonic recorder ? If you are burning your discs on the Panasonic recorder then you are making BDAV format discs that may not be recognised by your computer's media player software, especially freeware. If you are burning them on your computer (assuming that you aren't using "authoring" software), then you are making "data discs" that the Panasonic recorder may or may not play or copy (they'll only play mkv files from a BD-R, not mp4 files ... don't ask me why). I guess that's why this thread is about "downloading" (file transferring via a DLNA network) video files from the Panasonic recorder so that you end up with a video file on your computer that you can then edit/convert with AVIDEMUX or Handbrake.
 
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pevers3

Standard Member
An example of an authoring program is TMPEGENC AUTHORING WORKS which creates a Blu-Ray video disc which is playable on a BluRay player just like a commercial BluRay disc. AUTHORING WORKS "converts" a video file (which could be a DR mode mpeg2 video or mp4 video) into a "finalised" BDAV or BDMV format image which is then burned onto a BD-R or BD-RE disc. (Just as a commercial DVD contains VOB files that have the original MPEG2 video embedded in these VOB files, commercial BluRay contains the BluRay equivalent of VOB files (BDMV ? files) with the original MPEG2 video embedded in these files). Pardon my ignorance about BluRay file structures.

However, a BD-R or BD-RE disc can also be used as a "data disc" where mp4s, pdfs, jpegs, mpeg2s, avi videos, webm videos or DR video files are burned directly to the disc by software like IMGBURN or NERO. The files then can be played on a computer by media players like VLC, Windows Media Player or Media Monkey but the disc won't be recognised as a "BluRay" format video disc by a BluRay player although some BluRay players will play mp4s or mkv video files as a additional feature to their primary function of playing commercial BluRay discs.

I don't really understand how you are creating your BD-Rs/BD-REs. Are you burning your BD-R/BD-REs on your computer using a BD burner or are you burning them on the Panasonic recorder ? If you are burning your discs on the Panasonic recorder then you are making BDAV format discs that may not be recognised by your computer's media player software, especially freeware. If you are burning them on your computer (assuming that you aren't using "authoring" software), then you are making "data discs" that the Panasonic recorder may or may not play or copy (they'll only play mkv files from a BD-R, not mp4 files ... don't ask me why). I guess that's why this thread is about "downloading" (file transferring via a DLNA network) video files from the Panasonic recorder so that you end up with a video file on your computer that you can then edit/convert with AVIDEMUX or Handbrake.
An example of an authoring program is TMPEGENC AUTHORING WORKS which creates a Blu-Ray video disc which is playable on a BluRay player just like a commercial BluRay disc. AUTHORING WORKS "converts" a video file (which could be a DR mode mpeg2 video or mp4 video) into a "finalised" BDAV or BDMV format image which is then burned onto a BD-R or BD-RE disc. (Just as a commercial DVD contains VOB files that have the original MPEG2 video embedded in these VOB files, commercial BluRay contains the BluRay equivalent of VOB files (BDMV ? files) with the original MPEG2 video embedded in these files). Pardon my ignorance about BluRay file structures.

However, a BD-R or BD-RE disc can also be used as a "data disc" where mp4s, pdfs, jpegs, mpeg2s, avi videos, webm videos or DR video files are burned directly to the disc by software like IMGBURN or NERO. The files then can be played on a computer by media players like VLC, Windows Media Player or Media Monkey but the disc won't be recognised as a "BluRay" format video disc by a BluRay player although some BluRay players will play mp4s or mkv video files as a additional feature to their primary function of playing commercial BluRay discs.

I don't really understand how you are creating your BD-Rs/BD-REs. Are you burning your BD-R/BD-REs on your computer using a BD burner or are you burning them on the Panasonic recorder ? If you are burning your discs on the Panasonic recorder then you are making BDAV format discs that may not be recognised by your computer's media player software, especially freeware. If you are burning them on your computer (assuming that you aren't using "authoring" software), then you are making "data discs" that the Panasonic recorder may or may not play or copy (they'll only play mkv files from a BD-R, not mp4 files ... don't ask me why). I guess that's why this thread is about "downloading" (file transferring via a DLNA network) video files from the Panasonic recorder so that you end up with a video file on your computer that you can then edit/convert with AVIDEMUX or Handbrake.
Hi, just notice this, in reply on
My computer I am using various programs to convert them burn to a blu ray, some will burn to the blu ray disc and that disc will play on the Panasonic, however some will not but not one will copy to its hard drive, I do not know whether it is copy protection, the actual converting of burning parameters but I have no trouble with the normal dvd, dvd-r, dvf/re or dvd ram which the hard drive will copy with no issues but I have never tried the TMG progrsm
 

pevers3

Standard Member
Just a note I should have said all on my computer will burn to the blu ray but not all of these will be recognised by my blu ray recorder,
 

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