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Sky+, DVD recording/authoring, 16:9 and 4:3L

Discussion in 'Blu-ray & DVD Players & Recorders' started by Loobster, May 8, 2005.

  1. Loobster

    Loobster
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    Hi all

    Hope someone has an idea on this one.

    My kit is as follows:

    Sky+ V1 (160GB HDD)
    Philips DVDR980 and Pioneer DVR420H-S set-top recorders
    PC with NEC2500a

    Currently my process for archiving 16:9 (anamorphic WS) from Sky+ is as follows:

    Record to either the Philips or Pioneer on RW disks (video mode).
    Rip to PC HDD and edit out adverts with Womble MPEG2VCR.
    Use Ulead DVD MovieFactory 4 to re-author the MPEG2 files into new DVD files.
    Set the 16:9 flag with IFOEdit.

    This works fine for me, as my TV is a new-ish Sony Vega 28" WS model, and it interprets the widescreen switching flag correctly.

    I have a friend who I lend some disks to, but his TV is 4:3 only, and has no manual function on the remote to switch to 4:3L, to view my authored disks in the correct aspect ratio. His DVD recorder (4Kus, rebadged ILO from Asda) doesn't appear to have any functionality to manually change modes either.

    I was wondering if there was any other way I could author the DVD files so that his DVD playback device would display the material on his 4:3 TV with black bars top and bottom, instead of me having to reauthor the disks differently exclusively for playback on his system. There seem to be a bunch of other options in IFOEdit, but I'm not sure what effect these will have.

    Ideally I'd like to find a set of options that will both switch my TV to 16:9 and also play the stuff on my friend's system correctly.

    <Edit>Obviously I don't want to re-encode and hence lose quality.</Edit>

    Any ideas? I did try and do a forum search but couldn't find anything relevant.

    Thanks in advance.

    --Loob.
     
  2. phelings

    phelings
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    I have 420 connected to Sky+ and a Fusion Freeview HDD recorder.I transfer recordings directly to the 420 HDD which reads the WSS correctly.The flag is transferred from HDD to DVD-R in a high speed copy,but I believe that doing a real time copy removes the flag,as it also does with chapter stops.
    All the 16:9 recordings I have made from Freeview and Sky+ auto switch my widescreen set,and also allow my son to watch in 4:3 L/B on his portable tv via his PS2.Whether the dvd plays as 16:9,4:3(P&S) or 4:3L/B is set by his dvd player,not his tv.As long as the WSS is recorded ok,all modes should be selectable.
    As long as you know the running time of your final edit you can record at the correct MN setting on the 420 to enable highspeed copying and without reencoding.
    Recording to -RW(VIDEO) also misses WSS,but -RW(VR)and HDD don't.Why record to -RW then to PC HDD when you can record direct to the Pioneer HDD in the first place?
     
  3. musukebba

    musukebba
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    I can't believe the 4Kus recorder won't output letterboxed 16:9 - it isn't that old if it's the 230.

    There's a couple of extra bits in the byte which specifies the video handling, other than the aspect ratio:

    Bit.......Function
    7.........0 = MPEG-1
    6.........1 = MPEG-2

    5.........0 = NTSC
    4.........1 = PAL

    3
    2.........00 = 4:3, 11 = 16:9

    1.........1 = Prohibit pan & scan
    0.........1 = Prohibit letterbox

    If you check the data in the IFO file of your Video_TS folder, perhaps the 4Kus recorder is being inhibited from auto-letterboxing the output. Try clearing the last bit but retaining the second-to-last as a '1' (binary to hex calculator here).

    Allowing letterboxing on your recorders/players connected to a 16:9 display shouldn't make any difference.
     
  4. Loobster

    Loobster
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    Thanks for that info, musukebba. Perhaps you could indulge me one more time.

    Could you point me to the correct option to edit in IFOEdit, which corersponds to the information you gave me (or recommend another tool which will do this). I admit to having little idea as to what those options refer.

    I found this option (automatic letterboxed?) in IFOEdit, in VTS_01_0.IFO > VTSI_MAT > 00000200. Would that be the same option?

    [​IMG]

    I found it hard to believe that the 4Kus (it IS the 230, as AFAIK) didn't have the letterboxing function, but that's what my friend says. Perhaps I should go round and take a look at all the menus to see.

    Thanks again

    --Loob.
     
  5. musukebba

    musukebba
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    Apologies - my fault. I didn't give you the essential piece of info, which is that it's byte &200 (ie hex) of the IFO file which comprises the aspect ratio and other flags. I used WinHex (free trial here) to alter the byte directly, but it does look like IFOedit is doing the same thing at that location in the app window you showed.

    Matching up the binary flags to what you want, with reference to the previous table, should be:

    &200 bit number (flags)..7..6..5..4..3..2..1..0
    ......Value you want...........0..1..0..1..1..1..1..0 = &5E

    Open the IFO file in WinHex. Look for the byte value at &200. Change to &5E which will set the binary bits 2 and 3 to '1' (16:9), leaves bit 1 as inhibiting pan & scan, and change bit zero to the value '0' to allow letterboxing.

    I appreciate this is the low level way of doing it, and you could briefly try putting a tick in the 'automatic letterbox' option in IFOedit since that may do the same thing and indeed be easier in future.

    Edit: Hmmm.. OTOH maybe that third option in the 'Static' area of the IFOedit window forces letterboxing. Bit unclear.

    ...and yes, I think a visit to your mate's for a full menu scan is in order...
     
  6. Loobster

    Loobster
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    Excellent stuff.

    I opened an IFO file configured as the IFOEdit screenshot above, and here is what Winhex looked like:

    [​IMG]

    I closed and went back into IFOEdit, and checked the "Automatic Letterboxed" option, and saved. Back to Winhex:

    [​IMG]

    I changed it back to 5F in Winhex, saved, back to IFOEdit, and the checkmark had disappeared. So it appears that that is the exact same option.

    I haven't tested a disk yet, but I'm confident that this should work now. Good stuff.

    Many thanks Musukebba.

    BTW I presumed that the third "static" option in IFOEdit cropped the picture, so wouldn't be the same function at all.

    --Loob.
     
  7. Loobster

    Loobster
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    Update: Worked perfectly on the mate's 4Kus recorder. Letterboxing working correctly.

    Thanks

    --Loob.
     
  8. musukebba

    musukebba
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    Jolly good - glad it worked and thanks yourself for doing the comparison of the apps. IFOedit would seem the easier option for those of us that don't think in hex any more :)
     
  9. phelings

    phelings
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    But why bother messing about recording to -RW,then to PC HDD,then IFO edit,when correctly setting up the Sky+ and 420 allows a direct recording to the 420 HDD with the WSS automatically recorded.
    Talk about making extra work for yourself.
     
  10. musukebba

    musukebba
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    You appear to have completely missed the point. We are not talking about setting the "WSS", but reversing the automatic prohibition of letterboxing on someone else's 4:3 system. It's clear that the DVD recorder settings can sometimes be overridden by the DVD IFO file information, whatever the background aspect ratio. For that you need to edit the least significant bit at &200 separately, which can only be done on a PC formatted rewriteable storage medium, i.e. the PC HDD. With your suggestion, how exactly would you change this setting?

    By reading carefully you'll also notice that some of the original recordings are not made on the Pioneer.
     
  11. phelings

    phelings
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    I have found that any dvd which records the WSS,thus automatically activating my widescreen set to WIDE mode,also allows selection of 4:3 and 4:3 L/B on my sons portable tv.
    As I have the same setup as Loobster,why should his be any different?
    Obviously,if the original is not done on the Pioneer,he would do what I did with some previous Philips and Panasonic recordings.
    Copy to PC using DVD Decrypter in FILE mode.Then use IFO edit to add WSS,then burn back to -R.
    Wastes a disc each time,but thats the price you pay
     
  12. musukebba

    musukebba
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    It isn't different - it's his mate's recorder which is not responding as expected.

    By definition you'll always use another disc if you revisit and tweak an older recording. Loobster's point was that he didn't want to make an extra disc of the same recording for his mate, and thus avoid wastage. He had used an RW for the inital recording.

    What is your point exactly, Phelings? You appear to be looking for fault in a process which has solved someone's else's problem.
     
  13. phelings

    phelings
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    My point is that by simply recording from Sky+ to the Pioneer HDD,then the WSS is retained.
    The dozens of discs I have home recorded with WSS,some from the Pioneer,other older ones redone with IFO edit,all work perfectly on a 16:9 set,and on a PS2 feeding a portable.
    As I said above,if WSS is present on the disc,then playback type(wide,4:3 or L/B) is detemined by the display settings of the dvd player.
    If his mates does not work right,it suggests a connection or setting cockup.
    My main point is that Loobster does not have to use -RW,then PC,then IFO edit to add WSS.My Sky+ and 420 add it ok,and the discs do what he is trying to get his to do.
    If his elongated process sorts the problem with his friends player then good luck.But this points to a problem with the player settings or connections.
    Of course,this is irrelevant if part of his reason for going to the PC is to tart up the menus etc,but he has not mentioned that
     
  14. ChrissyboyII

    ChrissyboyII
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    I too have this issue. I wrote a .Net tool (IfoAR2WS) to patch all the IFO files in one go.

    So my method is:

    Record to RW media
    Copy VIDEO_TS folder to PC
    Run IfoAR2WS
    Burn VIDEO_TS folder to R media

    Of course sometimes i may do some edit etc too.
     
  15. phelings

    phelings
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    But as my experience clearly shows,Sky+ most certainly does send WSS via Scart.
    If you record in VR mode (like HDD does,or select it on RW) then its retained and you should not need to manually add it on the PC.
    Assuming you dont have a HDD machine,record in -RW(VR),then you can edit onboard the recorder,then use your PC to do a simple backup to -R
     
  16. ChrissyboyII

    ChrissyboyII
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    Ok. But no setting or media choice make any difference in my case. Thats why I take it to the PC. It is no biggy and I can remove the poor menus too.
     
  17. Loobster

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    I can't see what Phelings is saying because he's on my ignore list (and deservedly so). But I can tell from the responses from others that he's trotting out the same old excuses for his set-top box (and getting nowhere as usual). Some people just can't accept that some things are done better on a PC, that a HDD/DVD recorder is not the be-all and end-all of DVD archiving, that not everyone has the same requirements as him, and aren't interested in being converted to his fan club.

    No doubt he's also dumb enough to protest against this post even though he knows I won't see it.

    --Loob.
     
  18. phelings

    phelings
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    Loobster you are obviously a complete idiot.
    While menu creation remains one area where a PC can do it better,the addition of WSS is not another one.As I have the same equipment as you,Pioneer 420 and Sky+,it goes to show that if you are actually intelligent enough to know how to use your equipment properly then you don't have to give yourself extra work as you do.You are obviously too stupid to know how to do it with the devices you have.
    And don't give us that usual crap about ignoring posts-we all know you read them.
     
  19. Rasczak

    Rasczak
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    I wouldn't be so sure - surely somebody who has spent so many months on forums talking about digital recorders could be expected to understand the basics of them? - Loobster clearly doesn't. The only explanation could be he has ignored everybody!
     
  20. musukebba

    musukebba
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    So? Nobody is saying the WSS isn't retained, not even Loobster. If you read his first post it is obvious that the switching occurs correctly on his TV.

    All your posts to date have been claiming that since it all works for you, there must be something wrong with everyone else's intelligence. Yet what you have been repeatedly shown the evidence for, but seemingly cannot absorb, is that the automatic letterboxing of 16:9 can be inhibited on some DVD recorders or players. There are other posts around, stating the same thing with the 4Kus unit in particular. Removing the inhibiting flag at &200 sorts this out, so we need a PC. It ain't rocket science.

    You really only have yourself to blame for prolonging this post well beyond its value, and quite frankly by now deserve any criticism you get. However what motivates other contributors to join in with clearly ludicrous personal comments, especially when they previously withheld information deliberately that could have allegedly solved the problem, can only be a mystery.
     
  21. Loobster

    Loobster
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    What mystery? Some people obviously just have a post count inversely proportional to their IQ.

    --Loob.
     
  22. Rasczak

    Rasczak
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    Predicatable responce from Loobster's only fan.
     
  23. musukebba

    musukebba
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    Predictability implies an element of anticipation, of which there appears to have been none. Your response to this post should therefore not occur.

    However others might find this thread useful, mainly in the earlier stages (sigh...).
     
  24. phelings

    phelings
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    What I have been saying from the off,is that using the same equipment as Loobster is using(Pioneer 420/Sky+)I retain WSS which seems to ensure that all dvd's playback as they should ,whether its in 16:9,4:3L/B or 4:3,which is what he wants to do.
    If his mates player does not do it correctly then its his player at fault.Loobster has done what is needed,even if he does waste time doing it on a PC.
     
  25. musukebba

    musukebba
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    I give up.

    "Time for bed...", said Zebedee.
     
  26. Loobster

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    I gave up with him a long time ago.

    People who don't listen can't take part in useful dialogue.

    --Loob.
     
  27. Rasczak

    Rasczak
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    Yes - they tend to loose credibility and leave the forums. You've effectively moved on from Digital Spy haven't you Loobster. And Phelings still partakes. Nobody is interested in your Philips ranting anymore are they? Times have changed - but you and musukebba are still stuck in your own little format war. Get a life - or even better get a high end +RW recorder like the Sony range and experience the difference!
     
  28. musukebba

    musukebba
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    I know it really helps you to attempt discredit in this way, but others will note that the meaningful contributions to this thread are of a format independent nature.

    If you haven't anything useful to add, what are you doing posting here? There must be loads of other people having trouble choosing a DVD recorder.
     
  29. Rasczak

    Rasczak
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    There are useful contributions in this thread and they are not discredited by a correction to a point made by Loobster. I'm surprised you think this - guilty conscious perhaps?
     
  30. musukebba

    musukebba
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    Well, I am as "guilty conscious" (sic) as the next person, but strangely enough it's difficult to find anything signalling in a thread where the meaningful information supplied by all parties is format independent.

    However to avoid re-acquiring 'troll status', which I anticipate would be the next level punishment by the prefect on playground duty, I'm off.
     

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