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Sony RDR-HXD890 DVD/HDD Recorder 4:3/16:9

edrch

Standard Member
I wonder if anyone on the forums can help with a problem I have always seemed to have with dubbing footage onto disc (DVD-R) from my RDR-HXD890 recorder.

I have had the machine for several years now but have been unable to transfer programmes (and films) onto disc in the correct aspect ratio. For some reason, when playing the footage back (after being finalised) on the same DVD recorder from disc (or on my Mac) the footage always appears in a 4:3 box and if the picture was originally broadcast in 16:9, it will be squeezed vertically in the '4:3' window.

Is there anything I can do to get around this? My father and father in law both have the same recorder and neither have this problem. Could it be that they initially set the recorder up with a 16:9 TV (I set up my machine with a Sony 4:3 telly but now I have a 16:9 Samsung).

Sony haven't been much help. They suggested that different aspect ratios in each broadcast can be a problem, but I have been careful to ensure to edit the footage to avoid this.

Help!

Ed
edrch
 

LV426

Administrator
Staff member
My own experience is much as yours is. I believe it's a limitation of the recorder.

You may be able to fix it using a computer:
- make the initial burn using a -RW so it can be re-used for the next one & finalise as normal. Ensure the -RW is formatted (initialised) in VIDEO mode (not VR mode). Or use a -R but be prepared to throw it away.
- copy the files onto your hard drive
- fix the aspect ratio using eg DVDPatcher 1.06 - VideoHelp.com Downloads on all the *.vob files (note - this is a trivial process that doesn't involve re-encoding)
- burn the fixed files in the PC to a fresh disc.
 

edrch

Standard Member
Well, that is a severe limitation to the player, if correct. How is it that my father and father in law don't have this trouble?

Would it be worth resetting the recorder to its factory settings (will doing this remove the data on the HDD?) and try again.

Will the suggested DVDPatcher program work with a Mac?

Apologies for all the questions - I am determined to get to the bottom of this problem, once and for all!
 

LV426

Administrator
Staff member
One other thing to look at - and I am partly guessing here - is whether the source material you are burning to the disc contains any 4x3 content - either mixed items, or at advert breaks etc. etc.

I don't know about patching on a Mac. I'd have to guess that dvdpatcher is Windows software only.

Different experience of your relatives may be down to differences in the way their equipment detects 16x9 video vs. your computer. Especially if they are using a TV. (Try one of your flawed discs on their equipment to validate this possibility).
 

edrch

Standard Member
Well, as mentioned in the original post, I have been extra careful to edit out any clashes with aspect ratios (either 4:3 entirely or 16:9 entirely in each dub). Therefore, when burning a 4:3 film, I would completely edit out the 16:9 adverts etc.

I have tried one of my burnt discs on their machine - same problem. The aspect ratio problem appears the same when viewing the disc on their computer too. Frustrating.
 

Gavtech

Administrator
Firstly, be absolutely sure that you are transferring to DVD-R discs and not DVD+R discs.

All titles are restricted to 4:3 when transferring to + type discs.

Secondly, editing can have no impact on the aspect.
The aspect flag is determined and set by the aspect being used on the video material at the instant the recording is started and thereafter cannot be changed (on this machine).

Thirdly, it is easy to be fooled, by all the various automatic systems in the playback chain - including the TV - to believe something is 16:9 material when it is actually 4:3.
This is especially problematic if you are trying to copy material from 'secondary' Freeview channels where 4:3 transmissions are commonplace.

Test by using primary material that you can guarantee is 16:9.

Fourthly, see page 137 of the manual for 'HDD recording format' setting and check which setting the unit currently has as this can impact on aspect issues. {The default is Video Mode ON}
 

edrch

Standard Member
I am absolutely certain that I'm using DVD-R discs (Sony). I have never used DVD+Rs with this machine.

I have the unit set to Video Mode ON in the Recording menu - always has been. Should I change this to OFF? Is this what is causing the trouble?
 

Gavtech

Administrator
I have the unit set to Video Mode ON in the Recording menu - always has been. Should I change this to OFF? Is this what is causing the trouble?
Yes - possibly... but there are implications.

When recording to the HDD recordings are made in the 'original aspect' if the setting is set to OFF. (i.e. in VR Mode)

But thereafter you will not be able to High speed copy those recordings.

I suggest you check what your Father's and inlaw's settings are here because I strongly suspect that they will be producing the same limitations - but not seeing them because of all the playback variables I mentioned earlier.
These machines and TV's can compensate whereas a computer will not. - However that does not explain being display in a box from this machine as you say - so it may be an issue with it and your TV.

So it may be relevant what ype of connection you have - If HDMI there are special aspect settings for that route only which may be affecting matters
(See page 140 of the manual Column A re 4:3 output)

If checking with your relatives... the issues settings that all impact are:

Original HDD recording setting Video or VR mode.
Which disk format type is dubbed to.
Dubbing mode - High speed or real time.
Display settings as page 137 column B ( Which does not affect what is recorded to disc but affects what they see)
Similarly TV aspect settings they may use impact on that also.
 

edrch

Standard Member
Right. I have consulted my old man and he has Video Mode set to 'On' in the Initial Setup menu. The only two settings different to my machine are in the HDMI Output menu: he has 4:3 Video Output set to 'Full' (I have it as 'Normal') and Colour as 'RGB (0-255)' (I have this set to 'YCbCr 4:2:2'). I haven't changed these settings since I bought the machine three years ago. My father doesn't know what type of disc he dubs onto, however, he doesn't think that particular DVD choice has been an issue in the past.

We have a similar set up - the aerial comes into the DVD recorder and an HDMI cable outputs to the TV (in his case, a Sony telly). I suspect he uses 'real time' dubbing.

If I dub anything onto disc (or at least try to), I will always do this is in 'real time' rather than high speed copy.
 

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