Panasonic DVD-Recorder [dmr-e80h]

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by KevinFord, Nov 19, 2003.

  1. KevinFord

    KevinFord Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2003
    Messages:
    50
    Likes Received:
    0
    My Panasonic DMR-E80H is scheduled for delivery tomorrow. I've been waiting for a couple of weeks, but couldn't beat the price I paid.

    UPS tracking site says it's currently sitting in Secaucus, NJ. I wonder if they'd let me drive out there and pick it up. I could be back home in 3 hours... Ok, need to keep my OCD in check.

    I have a box of 10 DVD-r's [memorex] and a UFC pay-per-view on Friday.

    I have a couple of questions. I've been flamed in the past for not searching, but try not to go easy on me if they've been answered, as I searched the audio/video sources forum for about an hour and a half before posting this.

    First. What's the low-down on copy protection? I have digital cable from Time Warner in NY. I expect that I will be able to record anything (except HD content) to the hard disk, and to DVD-r and DVD Ram. Correct?

    Second. Can I record commercial DVDs to the hard disk and/or to DVD-r or DVD Ram?

    Third. When I am creating a DVD of content created on my DV camcorder (wish the E80H had a DV input), can I create a menu and chapters on the DVD? I watched the feature demo on Panasonic's website. It shows how to shorten and divide clips, but doesn't mention making chapters.

    Fourth. I read on Panasonic's site something about copy protection on VHS tapes. How common is this VHS copy protection? Is it only on newer VHS tapes?

    Thanks for the help.
     
  2. Don_Berg

    Don_Berg Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    May 30, 2003
    Messages:
    931
    Likes Received:
    0
    1) Yes for digital cable if the box has analog outputs.
    2) No, commercial DVDs are protected.
    3) No, but on a PC with authoring software you could.
    4) Virtually all VHS commercial tapes are macro-vision copy-protected. Of course not for your own recordings.
     
  3. KevinFord

    KevinFord Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2003
    Messages:
    50
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks for the info Don. Very helpful.
     
  4. alan halvorson

    alan halvorson Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 1998
    Messages:
    2,009
    Likes Received:
    0
    The Panasonic gives a very simple menu; it's merely a list box of titles. You can add chapter marks but you can't name them - they won't show up on any menu. One way around this is to divide your program into titles, name them and then dub the titles to DVD-R. There may be a small pause between titles on playback. If you want anything more sophisticated than this, as Don says, you'll have to do it on a PC.

    Some dvds are not copy protected, but, so far as I know, all major studio releases are.
     
  5. KevinFord

    KevinFord Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2003
    Messages:
    50
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ok, I got the DMR-E80H and installed it. I had a hard time figuring out which outputs to use and after the installation, the picture quality of regular (non-HD) cable is much worse than before. I'll list my equipment and how I had it hooked up, and how I now have it hooked up (with the DMR-E80H). If you have any suggestions, I'd appreciate it.

    I omitted my audio hook-up and XBox cause I don't think it matters in this case.

    Cable: Time Warner Digital Cable
    Cable Box: Scientific Atlanta explorer 3100HD
    Receiver: Sony STR-DE835
    TV: Panasonic 53TW53 RPTV
    [new] DVR: Panasonic DMR-E80H

    Before installing the DMR-E80H
    --------------------------
    wall -> cable box with coax
    cable box -> TV with component cables (Generic)
    cable box -> TV with S-Video cable (Monster)

    After installing the DMR-E80H
    --------------------------
    wall -> cable box with coax
    cable box -> DMR-E80H with coax
    cable box -> TV with component cables (Generic)
    DMR-E80H -> TV with component cables (Monster)
    DMR-E80H -> TV with S-Video cable (Generic)

    HDTV still looks good, and it still goes straight from cable box to TV (as the E80H doesn't process HD signal)

    I've tried watching regular cable (like HBO) using the S-Video input AND the Component input (both coming through the DMR-E80H), and the quality is very degraded since the addition of the DMR-E80H. The path of non-hd content now includes a cheap S-Video cable, which it didn't before, but I can't believe it would make as much difference as I'm seeing.

    I'd also like some advice on how to set up my DMR-E80H and TV with respect to darkness levels, noise reduction, 3D Y/C filter, etc, as the TV and the DVR both have some of those features and I don't know if I should be using, for example, 3D Y/C filter on both units, or just choose one.

    In frustration....

    Thanks for the help.
     
  6. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 1998
    Messages:
    21,763
    Likes Received:
    2
     
  7. KevinFord

    KevinFord Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2003
    Messages:
    50
    Likes Received:
    0
    Michael,

    Thanks. I feel kind of stupid now, not even thinking about that. I have a little bit of confusion in this area, considering I'm really not that technically savvy when it comes to video and the different cable choices. I know they go something like this... coax, RCA, S-Video, Component, DVI, in ascending order of quality. Could you explain one thing to me, though....

    Given that coax is the worst signal, how come I can view all the great HD content coming from my cable box to my TV when the cable box is being fed by coax? Is it because the signal actually traveling through the coax is ONLY DIGITAL between Time Warner and the Box, and ANALOG after it leave's the cable box's coax output port?

    I didn't search for an answer to this one because I think I'd be returned 20% of all the posts on the site, given my keywords. [​IMG]

    Thanks for the help.
     
  8. Don_Berg

    Don_Berg Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    May 30, 2003
    Messages:
    931
    Likes Received:
    0
    >
    Exactly. The cable box converts the digital signal for the digital channels (those above channel 100) to analog format on the output.
     
  9. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 1998
    Messages:
    21,763
    Likes Received:
    2
     
  10. KevinFord

    KevinFord Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2003
    Messages:
    50
    Likes Received:
    0
    Once again, thanks for the helpful answers gentlemen. I am now using an S-Video cable between the cable box and the E80H and it is MUCH better.

    I'm supremely unhappy about one thing, though. There's no IR blaster on this unit, so scheduled recording is basically useless. The only way to schedule recording is to run COAX directly to the device, and even if you do that, you can only record non-scrambled channels.

    Panasonic should have included an IR blaster with this device to control the cable box. Who spends $699 on a DVD-Recorder and subscribes to only basic cable. I'm sure the answer is very few people.

    I guess I could set an auto-on timer on my cable box with a particular channel and just configure the E80H to begin recording on input1 at that particular time. That would do it. Ugly, but at least would be possible.

    Thanks again.
     
  11. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 1998
    Messages:
    21,763
    Likes Received:
    2
     
  12. KevinFord

    KevinFord Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2003
    Messages:
    50
    Likes Received:
    0
     
  13. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 1998
    Messages:
    21,763
    Likes Received:
    2
    Kevin, I know what an IR blaster is. There's one attached to my Sci. At. cable box right now. It's how TiVo controls it. Generally, they work by having "Device A" (to borrow your phrasing) change channels and instruct "Device B" to follow suit. So, in order to get "Device B" to change to (for example) channel 4, "Device A" has to do so as well -- which is not what you want in your current configuration.

    Maybe there's some version of VCR Plus out there that allows "Device A" to stay on an alternate input while still sending instructions to a cable box, but I haven't seen it.

    M.
     
  14. Phil Tomaskovic

    Phil Tomaskovic Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    May 8, 1999
    Messages:
    751
    Likes Received:
    3
    um... I have one and have regular cable :) I use it as a great tivo-like device and record mainly concert ptograms like PBS Soundstage to dvd-r and other specials.
     
  15. Steve_S

    Steve_S Auditioning

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2003
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Regarding not being able to get the scientific atlanta cable box to change channels for timer recordings. I have one of these boxes as well. For Time Warner Digital Cable you can quite easily program the Cable box to change channels on it's own.

    1) leave the cable box plugged into the E80H via one of the L1,2,or 3 inputs.
    2.) Do timer record on the E80H for the program in question for the appropriate L1,2,or 3 input.
    3.) on the Scientific Atlanta, use the guide button to find the program in question, press select, then
    4.) you will likely get a message on your TV regarding the fact that the program happens in the future.
    5.) Choose the option for "Set VCR Timer". It is a yellow triangle.
    6.) Even though the S.A cable box cannot control the E80H, it will however change it's own channel at the appopriate time.
    7.) As long as you leave the S.A. box on and have it connected to the E80H through the L1,2,or 3, you should be able to record whatever you want, whenever you want.

    Additionally, if you use the settings button on the S.A. remote control, you can specify repeating recordings so that you don't have to always do it through the guide.
     

Share This Page