HD to DVD-R on Pany E80

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Chris JC, Mar 23, 2004.

  1. Chris JC

    Chris JC Auditioning

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    Well, I've bought my Panasonic E80H DVR and have transfered VHS tapes to the hard drive. Now I'd like to transfer the video to DVD. What steps do I take with the E80H to make the best quality DVD of the video? Also, is there a way to make a copy of the DVD after the fact (once the original video is erased from the hard drive)?

    Thanks for any help you can give me.

    Chris
     
  2. alan halvorson

    alan halvorson Cinematographer

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    The steps to ensure the highest quality DVD-R's begin before recording to HD. Your goal is to encode your program once to HD and not reencode it again when dubbing to DVD-R.

    1.) Hopefully, you set DVD-R Compatability to "ON" before recording your program to the HD. This option must be "ON" to be able to use High Speed Dubbing, which is simply a dub of the program on HD to DVD-R with no reecoding. I know of no reason why this option should be set to anything other than "ON".

    2.) Decide your record quality level. I suggest that you never use speeds slower than SP and not attempt to dub program lengths of more than 2 hours. This will give you a result that is difficult to distinquish from the original. 2 hours at the SP speed is also about the maximum that can dubbed to a DVD-R.

    3.) Use the FR speed. I virtually never use any speed but FR. FR optimizes the bit rate for the choosen recording time. For instance, if your program is 1 1/2 hrs., using FR will give a higher average bit rate than SP.

    4.) If your program is longer than 2 hours, consider recording it to HD using the SP speed and then dividing it into maximum 2 hour length segments and dubbing to multiple DVD-R's, rather than using the LP, EP or FR speeds to make the program fit onto one DVD-R.

    5.) Alternatively, record to HD using the XP speed. You then can dub to DVD-R using whatever speed that fits. This will cause a reencode, but since the HD program was recorded at such a high bit rate, the loss in quality will probably not be noticeable.

    6.) If your display is very large, the SP speed may not be adequate. You might want to consider shorter maximum dub lengths. This will require some experimentation, but I'd guess that 1 1/2 hours would be a good place to start.
     
  3. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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    Alan provides some great advice. Using the FR mode to originally record to the hard drive, I have found that 2:15 is about the maximum length before video quality drops below standard SP quality. Using straight SP mode, you can usually get around 2:06 of material dubbed to a DVD-R.

    Like Alan, I use FR mode for most recording to the hard drive. The only exception is when the program material is almost exactly 2 hours, where FR and SP modes provide the same results.


    Once you have deleted the material from the hard drive, the only way to get it back is to re-copy it to the HD or directly to DVD-R. If you need space, but want to offload material from the hard drive, you can high speed dub to DVD-RAM and then copy that back to the hard drive later. However, the E80 only supports DVD-RAM to hard drive copying -- you cannot copy from DVD-R to the hard drive.
     
  4. alan halvorson

    alan halvorson Cinematographer

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    I came across somewhere that said that at about the 2:20 mark, the E80 switches to a much lower resolution (about half). So, your 2:15 recommendation is an excellent one.
     
  5. Chris JC

    Chris JC Auditioning

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    Thank you to everyone for the help.

    Here is what I plan to do; can you let me know if this is the best way?

    Transfer the 2 hour VHS tape to the hard drive with DVD-R compatibility "on" and using the XP mode.

    Transfer to the DVD-R at XP speed (I guess I will have to transfer one hour to the first DVD-R, then finish up with the second hour to a second DVD-R). Keeping the video on one DVD-R is not a concern to me - keeping the highest quality is more important.

    Am I missing anyhting with this plan?

    Thanks.
     
  6. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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    Chris, since your source material is VHS, I doubt that you'll notice much, if any, difference between XP and SP modes. I have dubbed higher resolution material (8mm and Hi8mm) in SP mode, and cannot notice any degradation in quality on my 56-inch ISF-calibrated TV. Even MiniDV dubs look excellent in SP mode. Our wedding video is on a VHS tape, and I could not tell the difference between XP and SP modes (I did multiple dubs for some family members).

    You may want to try both XP and SP, but personally I wouldn't waste the extra discs needed to dub 2 hour VHS tapes using two DVD-R's each in XP mode. If you want to check the difference without wasting any discs, use DVD-RAM, since those discs are re-recordable.
     
  7. Chris JC

    Chris JC Auditioning

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    Scott,

    Thanks for the advice.
     

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