Making copies of DVD-R's

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by DanC, Jan 22, 2004.

  1. DanC

    DanC Stunt Coordinator

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    Forgive me if this is a simple question but I'm quite new to the world of DVD recording and had to ask. First off, I'm using a Panasonic DMR-E50 for all of my recording...which so far has been VHS -> DVD via composite inputs.

    My question is this. If I wanted to make another backup copy of any dvd-r that I created, would I loose anything in terms of picture quality? I did some research on my own and couldn't really find the definitive answer. If there is a loss, is it enough to even notice? I don't own a DVD burner for the PC yet (ROM only) so this would be my only way to make any copies.

    Any help at all would be great...thanks in advance!

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    If you can make a bit-for-bit copy, there should be no loss in quality. But I don't believe the E50 can do that.

    M.
     
  3. Scott Dautel

    Scott Dautel Second Unit

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    Since the DMR-E50 (or -E60) does NOT have the internal hard drive, you can't do a perfect digital copy. However, you could connect a 2nd DVD player to the E50 via component or S-video and make a copy ... The problem is that you are converting the source digital-analog-digital. the copy will be good, but certainly not bit-for-bit.

    Now, if you have a DVD burner on your PC (now can be easily had for < $100), and ample HD space, you could easily make as many EXACT DIGITAL copies as you want. (I'm assuming that your not duplicating copyrighted material)

    Scott
     
  4. DanC

    DanC Stunt Coordinator

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    Scott, when you say digital-analog-digital...what exactly are you referring to? I'm guessing you mean the source (dvd-r) is digital and then it's once again coverted to analog for transfer and then back to digital again for recording? Does that make sense?

    Also, you say it wouldn't be a exact bit for bit copy, which I understand but is the difference really all that noticeable? I tried a copy last night and couldn't really tell. I would be interested in hearing some opinions on that as well.

    And no, this is all home videos (mostly recorded sports) for archiving/personal use.

    Thanks for the replies! [​IMG]
     
  5. Scott Dautel

    Scott Dautel Second Unit

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    Yes, you got the D-A-D thing right.

    So I take it we are talking about televised sports events you have recorded off broadcast TV to DVD-R, as opposed to home video (via camcorder tape). As such, your 1st generation recording is on DVD-R (at the highest bitrate you can fit, right).

    OK, if you want to make copie(s) of that 1st-gen DVD-R, then as I said, you'll need a 2nd DVD player to be the source. Use s-video (+ L/R audio) into your DMR-E50 and make copies, always using that 1st gen DVD as the source. Your copies should be VERY close to the original in quality.

    Just be aware that the mpeg compression algorythm generates compression artifacts each time it performs an analog-digital conversion. The 1st A-D conversion is on your source DVD-R, since the TV broadcast was analog. The second A-D conversion is on every [Panny E50]copy. Fast motion & busy scenes (example: running water is REALLY hard to compress) are the toughest for mpeg compression. Artifacts on top of artifacts can get ugly quickly. I recorded a football game the other day at the "LP" (4 hour) setting and was not very pleased. I wouldn't want to try a 2nd gen copy.

    However, as I said before, the copy would be identical if you could do digital-digital via PC DVD-burner.
    Actually sounds to me like the Panny DMR-E80 or -E100 is the one for you. It has in internal HDD. This allows you to record the orig to HD, then edit out commercials and make as many 1st gen digital copies as you want. Maybe eBay time for the 'ole -E50.

    Scott
     
  6. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    Not immediately applicable but worth noting: Even the E80 (and, I assume, other Panasonic models with hard drives) will not copy to the hard drive from a DVD-R. I doubt that it's a technical limitation; more likely an anti-pirating measure. So even with the hard drive machines, Dan can't count on making digital copies of his existing DVD-Rs.

    M.
     
  7. DanC

    DanC Stunt Coordinator

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    Awesome...that's exactly what I was looking for! It does seem like something with a HD would probably be my best bet. However, the DVD recorder was a Christmas gift and being a new father, the $ isn't there for personal spending like it used to be. My in-laws did just purchase a new PC with a DVD burner so maybe I'll just have to start visiting them more often...huh? [​IMG]

    FYI, I've been recording all of my football games on the SP mode and just split them across 2 discs. Getting up to change the disc isn't exactly convenient but the diff. in quality is worth it.

    Thanks again for all the help, I really appreciate it! [​IMG]
     
  8. andrew markworthy

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    I've yet to find a way to do a DVD-R to DVD-R recording using a conventional DVD player and my Panasonic E30. For some reason it reads everything as copyright protected. I wouldn't object to this if they were copyright discs, but it's discs of home movies I've copied onto DVD-R and am trying to make extra copies of for relatives. [​IMG]
     
  9. JeremySt

    JeremySt Screenwriter

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    I have an E50, but I also purchesed a TDK burner for my PC. Using DVDecrypter software, I can make perfect bit for bit copies of DVD-Rs created by my E50.
     

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