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PC GUIDE: DVD-RAM (inc DVD-RW VR-Mode) To DVD-R

Discussion in 'Blu-ray & DVD Players & Recorders' started by Rasczak, Nov 4, 2003.

  1. Rasczak

    Rasczak
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    Quite a few users on these boards have expressed an interest in going the PC route to convert DVD-RAM or DVD-RW (VR Mode) recordings to DVD-R. This is actually quite an easy process but to point people in the right direction I have compiled this brief guide on how best to go about the whole process.

    It is not, by any means, exhaustive. There are many other ways of doing this. But to provide a basic starting point I have posted seven guides:

    1) Getting The Correct Hardware To Read DVD-RAM
    2) Converting Your DVD-RAM (VR) To DVD-R (Video) Format
    3) Recording Onto A DVD-R
    4) Getting The Most Out Of Your Dvd Recorder
    5) Making A Backup Of A Home-Recorded DVD-R (See post number 32 in this thread)

    If you have a problem/suggestion with any process on this list or have your own guide post it as a reply as it will enable this thread to become a central source for solutions!

    This guide is now included on a website I help run - www.digital-recorder.co.uk. If you wish to read the Guide in a more presentable fashion then that is the place to look. Regular updates will continue to be made to this forum based version with the next one around Easter 2005.
     
  2. Rasczak

    Rasczak
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    Important for DVD-RAM users (but not for DVD-RW users) is the need to get PC hardware compatible with DVD-RAM disks. There are two options:

    - Purchase a DVD burner which reads and/or writes to DVD-RAM

    - Purchase a DVD-ROM drive capable of reading DVD-RAMs

    Either solution will suit for the purposes of this guide as you only need to extract the data from the DVD-RAM disk and do not need to write.


    Buying A DVD-RAM Capable PC DVD Burner
    DVD-RAM reading and/or writing support can be found in DVD burners from LG, Panasonic, Pioneer, Toshiba and Iomega among others. Such drives can normally be purchased without software or drivers (these are marked OEM) and are cheaper accordingly. Some examples of DVD burners that support DVD-RAM are:
    - LG4120 Super Multi Format Burner
    - Panasonic LF621
    - Pioneer A08/108 (the earlier A07/107 series also supports them)
    - Samsung SH-W08
    - Toshiba SD-R2572 (the earlier SD-R5112 also supports them)


    Buying A DVD-RAM Capable DVD-ROM Drive
    If you already have a DVD burner which doesn't support DVD-RAM you may well wish not to change it and instead opt for a new DVD-ROM drive. This will cost in the region of £20 as opposed £70 or more for a new burner. Generally RAM support can be found in most, but not all, Panasonic, LG, Toshiba and Samsung drives – however always check before you part with any money! Note Pioneer DVD-ROMs do not currently support DVD-RAM.

    Some DVD-ROMs that support DVD-RAM are:
    - LG GDR-8163B
    - LG GDR-8083N (Laptop Drive)
    - Panasonic SR-8589-B (or the earlier SR-8588-B)
    - Samsung/Toshiba SD-M1912
    - Toshiba SD-M1712 (or the earlier SD-M1612/M1711)
    - Toshiba SD-C2512 (Laptop Drive)


    Some Good Places To Buy
    Everyone has there own recommendations but, at time of writing, the following were good options:
    www.ebuyer.co.uk
    www.dabs.com/uk
    www.simply.co.uk
    Why not post a request asking for the current favourite suppliers? Invariably their websites don't tell you if there is DVD-RAM support or not so I suggest you have a look on the producers website to check the model number prior to burning:
    www.lge.co.uk
    www.samsung.co.uk
    www.toshiba.com/tai-new/


    Notes & Troubleshooting On “Getting The Right Hardware”

    1) It goes without saying that the above models will change over time. This guide is updated periodically but will, inevitably, not keep up. Accordingly I strongly suggest that you call into www.avforums.com or another suitable forum prior to making a purchase – to ensure your getting the best available.

    2) For those opting to use DVD-RAM disks in caddies you should note that most drives will NOT accept caddied media - not normally a problem as you can remove the disks from the caddies. There are one or two drives that DO accept caddied media though – for details of these goto www.panasonic.com

    3) Before buying check that your current hardware isn’t already DVD-RAM compatible – Panasonic, Toshiba, LG and Hitachi are all large OEM suppliers and there is a very good chance you could already be compatible without realizing it.

    4) Windows XP supports DVD-RAM by default so you should not need a specific DVD-RAM driver. Should you be using an older version of Windows though you will need a suitable driver. Normally this will be supplied with the drive you buy but, if not, post a request for a link on www.avforums.com
     
  3. Rasczak

    Rasczak
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    ‘Authoring’ is the term used to describe preparing your recording for burning onto a DVDR. Thus this Guide will take you from a recording on a DVD-RAM or DVD-RW to a VIDEO_TS folder on your HDD which can then be burnt to DVD-R (see Guide Four).

    DVD-RAM recorders store the data they record in a file format called VRO (as do DVD-RW operating in VR Mode). This is essentially a MPEG file with Dolby Digital audio that is multiplexed (merged) together but has a few key differences meaning you need a VR capable programme to read them correctly. Whilst there are many VRO capable programmes out there now, this Guide will focus on TMPG Encoder Author which is one of the easiest to use (and one of the cheapest). This can be downloaded from:
    http://www.pegasys-inc.com/e_main.html
    There is a free, time-limited, trial - so you download it and see if it suits you before you part with the cash!


    Step By Step Guide

    1) The first step, before anything else, is to define the project size (either for a 4.7GB DVD-R/+R or a 8.5GB DVD+R DL disc).

    Launch TMPG Enc Author and click on the ‘OPTIONS’ box in the top-right hand corner. Select ‘ENVIRONMENTAL SETTINGS’ from the pull down menu:

    CLICK FOR PICTURE

    2) In the window that comes up select the relevant project size: either 4.7GB or 8.5GB and then click ‘OK’:

    CLICK FOR PICTURE

    3) The ‘Capacity Bar’ that runs along the bottom of the screen will change to the show the current project capacity. Your now ready to start your new DVD compilation. Click on the 'CREATE NEW PROJECT' box:

    CLICK FOR PICTURE

    4) You should appear on the Source Setup Page now. Put your first DVD-RAM (or DVD-RW) disk in the drive and click ‘ADD DVD VIDEO’:

    CLICK FOR PICTURE

    5) On the window that appears goto your DVD-RAM drive and select the folder ‘DVD-RTAV’ on the disk. Click ‘OK’.

    CLICK FOR PICTURE

    6) A window will now display showing you the contents of the DVD-RAM disk:

    CLICK FOR PICTURE

    In my example two separate recordings are found on the disk. Highlight the recording you want to copy to DVD-R (or the one you want to be first title) and click ‘NEXT’.

    7) The final page of the Add DVD-Video wizard will now appear:

    CLICK FOR PICTURE

    Check the box marked ‘COPY CLIP VIDEO DATA TO HDD’ and specify a suitable location using ‘BROWSE’. Then click ‘OK’

    8) The recording will now copy across to your system. The time it takes will depending upon the read speed of your DVD-RAM drive, your HDD and your system in general:

    CLICK FOR PICTURE

    9) Once the Programme has finished copying the data to the HDD the following screen will appear:

    CLICK FOR PICTURE

    If you wish to add chapters (or conduct more editting) click on ‘CHAPTER CUT EDIT’. If not click on ‘OK’ and skip to point 9 of this guide.

    10) If you clicked on "Chapter Cut Edit" you will be taken to this screen:

    CLICK FOR PICTURE

    To insert a chapter marker simply navigate to your chosen point using the navigation buttons, home down to the precise frame and click ‘ADD FRAME TO CHAPTER’. Once you click this a chapter mark will be added:

    CLICK FOR PICTURE

    11) If you wish to edit (although you shouldn't need to as you have equally good facilities on your DVD recorder!) then you can use the ‘SET AS START FRAME’ and ‘SET AS END FRAME’ to mark the start/end points you wish to edit and use the ‘CUT’ button to remove the unwanted segment. Once your done adding chapters/editting click ‘OK’.

    12) You'll now appear back at the Source Setup screen. You can either add more tracks or proceed on to create the menu. If you want to proceed and create the menu skip to point 11 of this guide (on the next page), otherwise read point 10.

    13) To add a second track as a seperate title click on the ‘ADD NEW TRACK’:

    CLICK FOR PICTURE

    This will bring up a new Programme box and you can add your next recording by repeating the process described in points 3-9.

    Important Note:
    I should point out that if you do not click on the "Add New Track" option BEFORE importing your second clip it will be added onto the end of the first track meaning the two will play seamlessly when the DVD is finished. This can actually be a neat trick for merging video files but isn’t what you want if your adding seperate episodes of a TV series.

    14) Now you have finished importing all your recordings you need to check the Capacity Bar along the bottom of the screen:

    CLICK FOR PICTURE

    This shows how much of a DVD-Rs capacity you have used. Needless to say you need to ensure it is below the 4438MB limit. If your planning to archive onto a DVD+R you must not exceed the 4430MB limit. DVD+R DL users need to be below 8026MB.

    15) Click on the ‘CREATE MENU’ button at the top, centre of the screen:

    CLICK FOR PICTURE

    I'm not going to go into Menu Designing in too much detail in this Guide – that is something for you to discover and experiment with. I will go through the basics.

    On the left hand side of the screen there is a pull down menu (circled in the picture above) and visible pulled down below:

    CLICK FOR PICTURE

    Select the template that suits you best or go for "New Theme" and design your own (as you will see I have a few custom designs in the list). To alter a theme (move buttons, thumbnails or titles/labels) you can click on the ‘EDIT MENU THEME’ button:

    CLICK FOR PICTURE

    The menu editor is easy to get to grips with – but as it’s non-essential to the process we are trying to achieve I’m not covering it in this Guide. Just experiment with it once your happy with the rest of the process.

    If you want your thumbnails to be animated, or you only want to show the Track and/or Title menus or only want to display some chapter points click on ‘MENU DISPLAY SETTINGS’ button:

    CLICK FOR PICTURE

    Once again this is a design issue and not essential to the process so experiment yourself. The options are all self-explanatory.

    At anytime during you menu creation you can switch between the Title menu and chapter menus by either clicking on ‘NEXT PAGE’ or by selecting the specific page on the list on the left hand side of the screen:

    CLICK FOR PICTURE

    You can change the background image of any menu by double clicking on a blank area and selecting the file you wish to use as the background (JPEG images or MPEG movies can be used):

    CLICK FOR PICTURE

    You can double click on any title/label and rename it (or remove all text) as well as change the font/colour and size:

    CLICK FOR PICTURE

    …and that’s all I’m covering on menus. Experiment at your leisure on how to get the effects you want from the Programme. I've gone through more than enough to get you started!

    16) One your happy with your menu(s) click on 'Output' at the top of the screen:

    CLICK FOR PICTURE

    The screen will change to this:

    CLICK FOR PICTURE

    Ensure that the ‘CREATE DVD FOLDER’ option is checked and you have selected a suitable directory on your Hard Disk Drive for the DVD-Video files to be created in (by using the ‘BROWSE’ button). When ready click ‘BEGIN OUTPUT’ - depending on your PC speed it could take several hours or could be done in 10 minutes! Now move onto Guide 3: Burning the project to DVD-R/+R.
     
  4. Rasczak

    Rasczak
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    Assuming you have followed the authoring guide (Post #2) you now have your recordings in DVD Video format on your HDD so all you need to do is ‘burn’ them onto a DVD-R/DVD+R. TMPG Encoder Author comes with a burning utility to do exactly this although note you can use another, separate burning programme (e.g. Nero) just as successfully.

    A Note On Media & Archiving
    Before you start you need to decide what media to use. If your just burning a test disk then use a re-writeable DVD-RW or DVD+RW. If your archiving the recording use a DVD-R or DVD+R. I recommend the former, DVD-R, because various sources have now confirmed them as significantly more compatible than DVD+R media. If your burning a large project (over 4438MB) then you will need to use DVD+R DL as that is currently the only dual layer type DVDR media available. Note though the longevity, reliability and compatibility of DVD+R DL is yet to be properly gauged.

    Whatever media you decide to use you need to consider it’s durability. Optical media is NOT a highly durable storage medium. DVD-R, DVD+R, DVD-RW and DVD+RW are all prone to failure even in ideal storage conditions. Accordingly you would be wise to use only good quality media from major brands (e.g. JVC, Maxell, Panasonic, Pioneer, Sony, TDK, Verbatim) and record each project onto several DVDRs from different producers! To ensure total security of your recordings you should keep the original DVD-RAM as the structure of which is significantly different from the other optical media formats so as to make it a good choice for long term archiving.

    Burning Your DVD-R Or DVD+R
    1) Reload TMPG Encoder Author and click on the button marked ‘WRITE FOLDER TO DVD R/RW’:

    CLICK FOR PICTURE

    2) Your DVDR type should be automatically detected. Set the ‘WRITE SPEED’ to whatever speed your disks are or ‘Maximum Speed’ if your trying to record faster than the media was designed for. Then select your DVD burner from the ‘RECORDER’ pull down list. Once both are set click ‘BROWSE’:

    CLICK FOR PICTURE

    3) Navigate to the folder on your HDD where you outputted your project. Select the VIDEO_TS folder and click ‘OK’:

    CLICK FOR PICTURE

    4) Check the capacity of your disk is within the allowed limits (4.4GB DVD+/-R or 8.0GB for DVD+R DL). When ready click the ‘WRITE’ button at the top left:

    CLICK FOR PICTURE

    5) A confirmation box will appear – you guessed it – just click ‘OK’:

    CLICK FOR PICTURE

    6) The DVDR will now start burning. Obviously the time it will take will depend upon the writing speed set and the size of your project:

    CLICK FOR PICTURE

    7) Once burning is finished the DVD will be ejected and a message will come up saying ‘Writing’. This is a bad translation from Japanese and should read ‘DVD Completed’ – just click ‘OK’ and your DVD is now ready for playing in other DVD players!


    NB: If your using a different burning programme then do a Google search for a suitable guide or consult the huge PC knowledge base at:
    http://forum.digital-digest.com/
     
  5. Rasczak

    Rasczak
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    This guide is a basic introduction on how to use ‘Flexible Record’ function found on Panasonic DVD recorders. The core principles are equally applicable to other brands of recordings with a similar function (Samsung and Toshiba) and to recorders that use 32 recording modes such as those from JVC, Pioneer, Sharp and others.

    The ‘Flexible Record’ function is one of the core benefits of the DVD ‘minus’ format machines over the DVD ‘plus’ machines (although the feature could easily be implemented on ‘plus’ machines it hasn’t, presumably because they tend to be cheaper, low end machines).

    On Panasonic models it can be accessed by selecting ‘Functions’ and then ‘Flexible Record’. It allows you to ‘dial in’ the recording length of the programme which maximizes the data rate used during recording and hence gives the best possible quality. If you dial in 2hrs 15mins then it will record for that length of time and effectively will fill the disk.

    The use of Flexible Record is easy if recording a film from the BBC, Sky Movies or another uninterrupted source. However if your trying to archive multiple episodes of a series to DVD-R or are recording a film riddled with advert breaks then it can be more complex.

    Likewise if your planning to archive to new dual layer DVDR media then you need to careful plan your useage of Flexible Record to get the best effects.

    Example One…
    You want to record three hour long programmes to a DVD-R. Each programme is 43mins with 17mins of adverts which you want deleted.

    1) Record each episode onto separate DVD-RAMs using a Flexible Record rate of 129 minutes calculated as follows:

    43 x 3 = 129mins (1hr 9mins)

    2) Edit each episode to remove the adverts and import into TMPG Enc Author. Once all three episodes have been imported you should be within a couple of hundred MBs of the capacity of a ‘4.7GB’ DVD-R project.

    Example Two…
    You want to record a three hour film to a DVD-R. The film running time is 2hrs 35mins and there is 25mins of adverts which you want deleted.

    1) Start recording the film onto a DVD-RAM using a Flexible Record rate of 155 minutes (total running time of the film).

    2) After around an hour change the DVD-RAM in an advert break and record the remainder using a Flexible Record setting on 155mins.

    3) Edit each portion of the film and import into TMPG Enc Author ensuring you do NOT click on add new track (just use the ‘Add DVD-Video’) so as to recombine the segments seamlessly.


    Flexibe Record And Archiving On Dual Layer DVD+R

    DVD+R Dual Layer disks are an excellent thing – almost doubling the capacity of normal DVDRs. You can still prepare material for archiving on them using the Flexible Record function in the same way as above to maximize the recording quality.

    The useable capacity of a ‘8.5GB’ DVD+R DL is 8026MB whereas the capacity of a ‘4.7GB’ DVD-R it is 4438MB. The Flexible Record function will use around 4200MB. As 4200MB is around 52% of the capacity of 8026MB you need to factor that into your calculations when using the Flexible Record function with a view to archiving on dual layer media.

    Example One…
    You want to record four hour long programmes to a dual layer DVDR. Each programme is 43mins with 17mins of adverts which you want deleted.

    1) Record each episode onto separate DVD-RAMs using a Flexible Record rate of 89 minutes calculated as follows:

    (43 x 4) x 52% = 89mins (1hr 29mins)

    2) Edit each episode to remove the adverts and import into TMPG Enc Author.

    Example Two…
    You want a three and a half hour film to dual layer DVDR. The film is three hours long with 30mins of adverts which you want deleted.

    1) Start recording the film onto DVD-RAM using a Flexible Record rate of 94 minutes calculated as follows:

    180 x 52% = 94mins (1hr 34mins)

    2) After around an hour change the DVD-RAM in an advert break and again record using a Flexible Record setting on 94mins. Repeat in another advert break after two hours duration.

    3) Edit each portion of the film and import into TMPG Enc Author ensuring you do NOT click on add new track (just use the ‘Add DVD-Video’) so as to recombine the segments seamlessly.


    Hints And Tips

    1) Try and avoid the resolution drop. DVD recorders record in full resolution unless the recording length is too long, they then halve the resolution resulting in a softer, poorer image. On Panasonic DVD recorders this occurs around 3hrs. On JVC models it occurs after 2hrs 30mins. On Pioneer and Toshiba models it occurs after 2hrs 20mins.

    2) Ensure your DVD-RAM is empty before you try the above Guide. If not the Flexible Record will ‘fit to disk’ based on the existing space on the DVD-RAM and you’ll have a lower quality recording as a result.

    3) Experiment with ‘non-critical’ recordings before you use this process!
     
  6. sparkybun

    sparkybun
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    Hi,

    MODS is it possible to make this a sticky? Very Useful information.

    Thanks

    Mel
     
  7. jda

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    Great info, just what I was looking for.

    Why should it take up to 2 hr to process???

    How long should it take to take from Ram disc if you only did a small fine cut or two???


    Jim
     
  8. nwgarratt

    nwgarratt
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    Excellent guides, and very similar to what I do.

    I do a similar thing, but I put all episodes one one RAM. I just reduce the FR mode by 42 minutes each time an episode is recorded. Then, I get four episodes of (Buffy, Enterprise etc) at around 1GB each on the disc.

    Also, I realised that DVD Author only shows 12 frames per second. There doesn't seem to be I Frames shown. Which means when taking out advets, the results on DVDR/RW may not be so seemless. There also seems to be pause where the adverts are taken out.

    Another thing to remember, is the way the advert titles fade out and in, can influence how the editing comes out. I find it better to keep the beginning titles to the advert and the ending titles. Otherwise, a few seconds can be missing from the program. This leads to a very badly done edit. The wierd thing is when the RAM is edited and played, the adverts are always edited out perfectly and is seemless with no pause. It shows how good RAM is.

    I have the LG 4040B DVD writer. It takes 20 minutes to copy 4GB of episodes to the hard disc and then 15/20 minutes to make the files for R/RW. Burning then takes another 20 minutes.

    Hope that hopes some people.
     
  9. Rasczak

    Rasczak
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    I say "upto" 2 hours - it depends on your PC speed (including elements such as your HDD etc), whether your using your PC whilst it is compiling and whether you have opted for animated menus.

    It also depends whether your HDD is damaged or not (mine overheated in that hot spell we had and has never been the same since)! Going to build a new PC in the New Year though so not unduly bothered.
     
  10. Mattk

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    Just the thread I was hoping for!! :) Thanks for the info!

    Erm just one problem I have found don't know if anyone can help?

    When I playback the VRO file off of the DVD RAM (Originally recorded and edited on a Pansonic DMR-E60) the file is perfect on the Panasonic player but on the PC you still have the old and edited out bits in between?? I have a LG GSA-4040B drive for my PC. I mainly record music videos and leave it recording for 2 hours then edit out all the ones I hate!:D

    I would be really grateful for any help as to why this is happening it's almost as if the recorder doesn't delete the old info but just tells the playlist not to play a few seconds of erased material?

    Matt.
     
  11. nwgarratt

    nwgarratt
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    You need to copy the IFO and BUP files over as well to the hard discl. These files store the editing you have done. Otherwise the adverts will be still there, if you edited them out.

    It is also possible to rename the VRO to MPEG. I have had to do this a few times. This happened wheb importing DVD Video failed. I then renamed the VRO and used the 'add file' option..
     
  12. ShaunIOW

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    Excellent post Rasczak, it certainly deserves to be a sticky.

    I should have my LG DVD burner on Thursday, and the insructions you've given here for getting my stuff from DVD-RAM to DVD-R will be invaluable. I've been playing with the editing on my E50 and it is a breeze to to it on there.

    As it happens just today, I've asked on another forum I'm a regular on (theDVDforums.com - I'm pompeyfan on there) for suggestions for PC software to use for transferring from RAM to -R, but my question has now been answered.

    Cheers mate.
     
  13. bobones

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    It's worth adding that Panasonic have a new x3 RAM/x4 -R burner that takes caddied media. Details here .

    The Panasonic Eshop have them in stock and are selling them on special offer for £137. This retail package comes with all the software required for RAM authoring, playback and archiving, and so represents pretty decent value for money.

    The LG 4040B remains a faster burner for -RW and CD, and it also supports + writing, but the Panny has more RAM-focused software, and its caddied operation is a big advantage in my book.

    Those who already have all the software they require may wish to wait for the OEM version of this drive - the 9572 - to arrive.
     
  14. nwgarratt

    nwgarratt
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    That panasonic is the only real choice if you want RAM ability as it does cartridge ones. However, I neeed + format as well, which is why I bought the LG. I use non cartridge RAM with it,
     
  15. bobones

    bobones
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    I'm curious as to why you need the ability to burn +?
     
  16. nwgarratt

    nwgarratt
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    MY DVD players play + discs and I upgraded from a + only drive.
     
  17. ShaunIOW

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    The Panasonic certainly looks a good player, but I couldn't justify the extra 40 quid to get one.
     
  18. Rasczak

    Rasczak
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    There have been a few threads lately about this process and so thought I would add this short guide. It's quite a basic guide so long term posters will probably have a fair bit to add - but it does provide a quick 'how to'.

    Good results can be achieved by going down this route although it must be noted there is an extra digital>analogue>digital conversion involved which will mean there is some, slight loss of quality. The other key issue to note is that some (all?) of the players listed do not offer seemless playback. In English this means that there will be a slight pause (0.5-1 second) when the player reaches an edit on the disk. Finally it should be noted that this process will not enable you to copy commercial protected DVDs!

    Obviously to do DVD to DVDR recordings you will obviously need a suitable DVD player that will play your recording format - be it DVD-RAM or DVD-RW VR Mode. Some examples of DVD-RAM compatible players are:
    - Panasonic S35
    - Panasonic S75
    - JVC XV-NA77

    Some examples of DVD-RW (VR) compatible players are:
    - Pioneer DV-360
    - Panasonic S75
    - SONY DVP-NS330

    There are other choices as well available now and in the immediate future (such as models from Denon, Thompson and Toshiba make compatible models) - the models listed are just examples. Ultimately any HighMAT DVD player should also be able to cope with VR mode - although always check before buying!

    Now it is just a simple process to connect up your new DVD player and your DVD recorder. To maintain maximum quality always hook up via the RGB out scart on your DVD player to the RGB in Scart on your DVD player. If you don't have RGB in on your DVD recorder (such as Pioneer or JVC models) then use the S-Video output on the player to the S-Video input.

    If you use your DVD recorder for recording from Sky or Freeview then you may want to purchase a "2 into 1" converter which will enable you to effectively plug both RGB sources into the single RGB in Scart on your DVD recorder. A quick press of a button will then enable you to choose between dubbing from the DVD player to recording from Sky. Good quality devices, which will not result in picture degridation, can be purchased from the likes of:
    http://www.lektropacks.co.uk/
    ...and:
    http://www.keene.co.uk/

    When hooking up your devices it is always worth investing in good quality cables. Ok DVD recorders may not offer the highest picture quality in the whole world but they can offer a satisfactory picture with the right connectors. Everyone has their own favourites but QED or IXOS offer a good balance between quality/affordability.

    And that is basically it. Conversion from DVD-RAM to DVD-R is a simple process of playing the DVD-RAM in the DVD player and recording on DVD-R in the recorder. There are a few simple tricks that may help you get the best possible results though:

    1) When you edit (partial erase) your DVD-RAM recordings prior to putting them in your DVD player leave a few unwanted seconds at the start of the recording. This will enable you time to get yourself a sorted between playing the DVD-RAM and pressing record on the DVDR! Ensure you also note a good 'stop point' at the end of the recorder, i.e. where you will press STOP on the DVD recorder. So don't be too enthusiast with your end edits!

    2) On Panasonic/Toshiba models make good use of Flexible Record (and the associated multiple recording settings on the Pioneer/JVC models). You can do this by reference to the example quoted above (but repeated here as interested persons may not have read teh PC route):

    EXAMPLE:
    You wish to archive episodes from a TV series onto DVD-R. Each episode is 1 hour long (42 minute episodes plus 18 minutes of adverts). You want three episodes per DVD-R.

    Calculate (in your head) that 3 episodes at 42 minutes each will equal 126 minutes overall. Record each programme onto a seperate DVD-RAM disk using a Flexible Record setting of 2 hours 6 minutes (126 minutes!). You can now use the editting features of your recorder ("Partial Erase" on the Panasonic models) to get rid of the adverts.

    Thus the contents of each of the three DVD-RAM disks is a 42 minute episode of the TV series all editted and ready to go. It also nicely takes up 1/3 of the 4.7GB disk capacity meaning when you dub to DVD-R all three episodes will fill the disk!

    3) Remember a DVD-R does not have to be recorded entirely in one session. As long as you don't finalise it you can take it out and record more on it later.

    4) If you start recording on a DVD-R too early or late then stop the recording straight away. You can erase the title and, whilst you won't get the disk space back, you will have only have wasted a few seconds worth of time. Once finalised you will never know the 'mistake' was there!

    I'm sure users who do this frequently can offer other hints and tips to get the best from the set-up!
     
  19. jxp

    jxp
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    I use a similar approach to this but I have an E100 with HDD. The method I take is as follows;

    Record episodes in best quality to HDD.
    Edit the episodes 'frame perfect' on the HDD
    Dub x episodes (3 or 4) to a DVD-RAM using Flexible mode.
    I can then add menus on the PC before writing the final disc.

    It seems the full video is retained on the HDD even after editing. This allows frame perfect editing as you do not have to start at a keyframe. The player builds the frame you want using the previous keyframe even if it has been edited out.

    I find editing much easier on the E100 than the PC. The PC does not fast-forward or rewind as well to find adverts etc.
    The only problem with this approach is it means your DVD machine is tied up for 2 hours while dubbing. I set it off before going out!

    The things I haven't tried yet in TMPG Author are;

    Animated menus. Can you use different audio/video sources?

    Playing an intro before the menu. I think you can do this but I don't know if the intro title would then appear as a menu option.
     
  20. jxp

    jxp
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    I use a similar approach to this but I have an E100 with HDD. The method I take is as follows;

    Record episodes in best quality to HDD.
    Edit the episodes 'frame perfect' on the HDD
    Dub x episodes (3 or 4) to a DVD-RAM using Flexible mode.
    I can then add menus on the PC before writing the final disc.

    It seems the full video is retained on the HDD even after editing. This allows frame perfect editing as you do not have to start at a keyframe. The player builds the frame you want using the previous keyframe even if it has been edited out.

    I find editing much easier on the E100 than the PC. The PC does not fast-forward or rewind as well to find adverts etc.
    The only problem with this approach is it means your DVD machine is tied up for 2 hours while dubbing. I set it off before going out!

    The things I haven't tried yet in TMPG Author are;

    Animated menus. Can you use different audio/video sources?

    Playing an intro before the menu. I think you can do this but I don't know if the intro title would then appear as a menu option.
     
  21. nwgarratt

    nwgarratt
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    I have edited on a E50 and RAM and thought it was frame perfect on playback. However, there was still some frames not edited and shows up or on +RW.

    Its rather annoying. I can also see the missed frames in DVD Author. That also doesn't show all the frames. It only shows 12 frames for every second as thumbnails.

    It is possible to rewind and fast forward in Author going through the thumbnails.
     
  22. Rasczak

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    nwgarratt - do you have seemless playback on? If so switch it off. Failing that just trim the surplus frames in TMPG.
     
  23. nwgarratt

    nwgarratt
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    What do you mean seemless payback? Are you taling about the E50 or the software?

    I can trim the frames in the software, but it usually means that part of the program is missing. It is how the programme is broadcasted. Somtimes CH 4 doesn't use fade out to adverts and then fade in. Instead the advert title sequence fades over the top of the programme.

    It would help better if all the frames are shown in author. Also, there is a second long pause where the adverts were, when the two bits of the progarmmes are joined together. It is slightly better in a DVD player with a DVD ROM drive though.
     
  24. Rasczak

    Rasczak
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    On the E50 in Functions/Setup/Picture there is a setting marked "Seemless Playback". If it's on you will be unable to get precise edits as you will not be able to see what your cutting properly!
     
  25. nwgarratt

    nwgarratt
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    I don't get that. I just have -

    Rec Resolution - Fine
    Hybrid VBR Resolution - Auto
    Stil Mode - Auto
     
  26. Rasczak

    Rasczak
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    Interesting. Can you check the other menus - they might have moved it. I wonder if Panasonic got rid of that option on the E50 (it's still their on the E60 though) :confused:

    I'll look into the problem and report back.
     
  27. HMHB

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    A vote for making this a sticky from me too.
    This is excellent information.
     
  28. ShaunIOW

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    Can't find it on my E50 either (bought about 2 weeks ago).
     
  29. nwgarratt

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    Its not on my E50 anywhere (about 9 weeks old).
     
  30. Rasczak

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    Yeah I checked through an E50 today and it was defintely not there. It's obvious a feature that has just been removed from the E50 as it is still present on higher end models (E60, E100). It's a shame as this feature allows you to do precise frame editting (on the set-top). Disappointing IMHO.
     

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