Panasonic DVD recorder questions

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Scott Merryfield, Jun 12, 2003.

  1. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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    I am contemplating adding a DVD recording deck to our home theater setup. My main uses will be copying home 8mm and Hi8mm videos to DVD and the occasional time shift off CATV (my SVHS vcr rarely gets used for this anymore, though). In the future, I may upgrade to a digital camcorder, so a firewire input on the DVD recorder would be nice. I doubt that I will be doing a lot of editing, but some simple editing features would be an added bonus.

    I am looking at the Panasonic DMR-E60S. It appears to be very similar to the E50, except that it adds firewire support and a memory card slot.

    I have a few questions for anyone familiar with the Panasonic DVD-RAM decks:

    1. Do the current Panasonic recorders use the Faroudja deinterlacing chip for progressive playback? Since this deck will get minimal use as a recorder, it would be nice to add a player with the improved Faroudja chip to my setup as a supplement to my current Panny RP-91.

    2. Does the DMR-E60 have front analog a/v inputs? The specs sheet on the Panny website states it has three sets of s-video, composite video and audio inputs, but does not specify location. The picture on the website does not appear to have front a/v inputs, but there could always be an access door covering them.

    3. Is the DV (firewire) digital input a big improvement in video/audio transfer quality over the analog inputs when copying from a digital camcorder? If the quality difference is minimal, would the less expensive DMR-E50S be a better choice?

    4. Considering my use (minimal editing of videos and only occasional timeshifting), is the DMR-E80H with its built-in hard drive still worth considering, especially considering its higher cost? This model does not have a firewire input, so which feature is more important?

    5. Are there other brands worth considering? Anything using the Faroudja deinterlacing chip?

    Thank you in advance.
     
  2. Jeff Newman

    Jeff Newman Auditioning

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    I have the recorder you are looking at. It's the best with the dvdram disks. However it stinks with any dvdr disks I'm lucky to have 1 out of 10 come out okay regardless of the blank used including panasonics brand.[​IMG]
     
  3. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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    Since I plan on using the recorder to archive videos from my camcorder, I plan to use the DVD-R format most of the time. Jeff's experience recording DVD-R's concerns me. Is this a common problem with the current generation of Panasonic recorders, or is Jeff's issue an isolated incident? Any other Panny owners out there having problems burning DVD-R's?
     
  4. Reginald Trent

    Reginald Trent Screenwriter

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    I have the E30 and have had good results with the Optodisc and Memorex brands.
     
  5. Rick Anderson

    Rick Anderson Stunt Coordinator

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    I have the DMRHS2 with the hard drive and I have had no problems burning to many different brands of DVD-R discs. I like having the hard drive, as it allows me to erase mistakes in dubbing without wasting a DVD-R disc.
     
  6. Larry Schneider

    Larry Schneider Second Unit

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    I've recorded many different brand DVD-R without too many problems. E-30.
     
  7. Scott Dautel

    Scott Dautel Second Unit

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    Scott ...

    Amazing ... I was getting ready to start a new thread exactly the same as this one. I, too was looking at the Panny DMR-E50 vs DMR-E60 mostly for archiving of Hi8 camcorder material w/ light editing.

    I could have written your post word for word.

    My research leads me to believe both Panny units generally do fine with DVD-R blanks. I really think Jeffs post represents an isolated problem.

    Both Pannys use the Faroudja (Genesis) FLI2200 chip, as does the cheaper Panny XP30.
    You can get all the scoop here in the DVD Shootout report

    The shootout was VERY comprehensive and should have uncovered DVD-R recording problems.

    Scott
     
  8. Ernest

    Ernest Supporting Actor

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    I own two DVD-R / RAM recorders, the Samsung DVDR 3000 and Panasonic E30 and from time to time experience some problems recording to DVD-R. Its not the recorders its the media. I believe it has to do with stacking blank DVD-R's. They are sensitive and become somewhat damaged from being bounced around. Because they sell for $1.00 or less its no big loss if you have to discard one. Same as a VCR eating the recording tape. We all experienced that many times.

    Having two recorders has solved the problem for me. When I run into a batch of DVD-R's the Samsung doesn't like I use them on the Panny or vice versa. For whatever reason the DVD-R's will always work with one of my recorders. (I recently purchased a batch of Shop4Tech blanks and the Panasonic hated them. The Samsung loved them. Now I have a batch of Prime Disc the Samsung hates that are recording perfectly on the Panasonic. You figure. I use Prime Disc, Shop4Tech and Optodisc and buy them at www.shop4tech.com. Optodisc are 50 for $54.00.

    You will never experience a problem recording to a RAM regardless of the brand. Unfortunatley, they sell for $6.00 and up. RAM's are stored in either an enclosed case or keepcase, never stacked. RAM is the best recording media, better than -RW or +RW, the same as recording to a hard drive.

    It is very easy to record a TV movie with commercials, Children of Dune or Helen of Troy, onto RAMS, flag the commercials and re-record to a DVD-R.

    I have converted well over 100 VHS, SVHS and Laserdisc, as well as recorded 70 movies from DirecTV to DVD-R. Based on my experience I am sold on DVD-R /RAM and the Panasonic recorders. I will more than likely purchase the E80 when it is released the end of June.
     
  9. Scott Dautel

    Scott Dautel Second Unit

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    Question for Earnest ...

     
  10. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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  11. JeremySt

    JeremySt Screenwriter

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    whats the scoop on the E80? price? features?
     
  12. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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    I looked through the Secrets Shootout, and still cannot find testing data for any DVD recorders. Is it confirmed that the DMR-E50/60 have the Faroudja deinterlacer?

     
  13. Brajesh Upadhyay

    Brajesh Upadhyay Supporting Actor

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    All Panny DVD recorders have Panny's own flag-reading chip, which does a fine job as long as the DVD is properly flagged. No Faroudja deinterlacer in any models.

    The Panny DMR-E80H's street price is around $630 (or less). Try onecall.com or elsewhere. I have one on preorder from Amazon.

    Having owned both the E20 & HS2, I'd definitely recommend a recorder with a hard drive. This is a necessity if you plan on recoding programs from cable or satellite, editing out commercials & burning to DVD-R. Also, you can make lossless DVD-RAM HDD transfers.

    If you don't have a DVD recorder yet, I'd get one of the newer Panny models (not the E20, E30 or HS2) as they don't suffer from the "black level bug". The previous models added 7 IRE when finalizing DVD-Rs, so the picture looked bright & washed out on most DVD players. The new models allow you to set black level for input & output.

    Blank DVD-Rs that have worked best for me are Ritek & Samsung's BeAll brands. Try shop4tech.com & meritline.com. The cheaper Princo, Lead Data & others have also worked, but not as reliably.
     
  14. Ernest

    Ernest Supporting Actor

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    In answer to your questions. The Panasonic and Samsung units have software built into their recorders for flagging commercials. It is real easy to do and with the E80 the flagging would be done with the movie recorded on the drive rather than a RAM. You could do the flagging on a RAM by why would you want to when you have a hard drive.

    Here are the steps you take. Within the recorder select "Direct Navigator" and then "Shorten Segment". Three windows appear on the TV screen. A large one to view the movie and two small ones in the right and left hand corners for editing.

    The left small window is the begining flag and the right is the ending. You can see where you marked the flag so you don't cut into the movie. If possible, the windows should always be black. Fast forward through the movie viewing it in the large window and flaging the begining and ending of the commericals.

    After the commercials have been flagged, unless you have the E80, you need to play the RAM on a RAM player, S35, to record onto a DVD-R. At the end of the first RAM you pause the recorder, insert the second RAM and start recording again. (Before recordng began you entered the recording time, 3 hours, to obtain the best recording.) Obviously, if the movie was 2 1/2 hours or less it would be recorded onto a single RAM

    Here is what happens during recording. The laser on the player retracts when it reads the begining flag and extends when it reaches the ending marker. It jumps over the commercials at warp speed so you end up with a very nice clean recording. This feature is great for recording "Helen of Troy", "Dune" or any made for TV movies that include commercials.

    I hope I answered your questions.
     
  15. Phil Tomaskovic

    Phil Tomaskovic Supporting Actor

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    Are there any cheap PC DVD drives that just read DVD-RAMs (no write; for cheap interface on my pc)? I was thinking to have extra flexibility (since I have an HP +R/RW drivein my PC). That way I could record programs on the 80, copy to DVD-RAM and then also be able to make +R copies. I see there are panasonic/matsushita write drives for pc.

    Also curious what would the PC see? Would it just be mpg files on the dvd-ram disc, or does it really look like the same structure/format as a dvd discs. In other words, could I copy a video directly from the dvd-ram to my hard drive and then use my dvd authoring software or would I have to "rip" it somehow?
     
  16. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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  17. Marvin

    Marvin Screenwriter

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    In case anyone is interested, the new issue of Sound and Vision magazine (July/August) has a positive write-up of the E50 (as long as you stay away from the LP and EP recording modes).
     
  18. Jim Garbern

    Jim Garbern Stunt Coordinator

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    So Earnest,
    I think this would work, but just to be sure, I have a Panny RP-91 that is said to be able to read DVD-RAM discs. Will I be able to make digital copies of an edited DVD-RAM onto DVD-R via the RP-91 onto a DMR-E60 I have on order from PC/MacMall (good price, but on backorder)?
    Thx
    Jim
     
  19. JeremySt

    JeremySt Screenwriter

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    Im getting a DMR-E50 this week, and my first priorities will be dumping all my MST3K VHS and Laserdiscs to DVD-R. How should I do it?

    One of my main questions is, how should I hook my Pioneer DVL-909 LD player to the Panasonic? Composite Video? S-Video? If I use composite, I'll be using the 3-D comb filter in the Panasonic. Would I get better picture than S-Video? The same question applies to VHS. I have an S-VHS vcr, but should I use composite?

    Also, how does chapter editing work on DVD-R? do I have to create stops while its recording? or can I do that after its done recording? Will the chapter stops work on any other DVD player or just the Panasonic?

    also, I assume PCM is the best sound fromat to use. But does PCM work on recording modes longer than 2 hours?

    thanks
     
  20. Larry Schneider

    Larry Schneider Second Unit

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    Laserdiscs won't be a problem, but if the tapes are copy-protected the machine will refuse to record them. As to the best way to connect...experiment?
     

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