New member question 3: CC doesn't display on other units
The reason we swapped discs in question 2 was to view Closed Captions. The dialog was being spoken in a futuristic pigeon English that hardly made sense. As soon as the disc started to play in the recorder the captions came up perfectly, full of contractions and spellings that matched the odd dialog.
Over the years I've methodically worked through record menus on the Pana recorder and menus on playback units and the TVs; but no CC is displayed except when the discs are played back on the recording unit. That goes for PC playback too, with at least 10 different software players.
New member question 4: 1080i feed recording terrible
My new TV can display details about the feed. A certain show on a digital channel usually comes up as 720p. The recordings looked great. Last Sunday I recorded something I had been looking forward to and it looked terrible. As it happens I was watching it on the TV with straight feed and it looked great like that. This show has a long break in the middle so I stopped recording and found another channel that had its usual 720p feed; and that recorded very clearly.
The direct feed channel for the poor recording came up as 1080i on the TV, and looked every bit as good as the 720p channel I checked it against. However, the picture through the recorder unit and on the recording its self had muddled colors, I'd say yellow was in short supply because I can't describe that in terms of RGB. But it was also less clear and the displayed dimensions of the picture were like standard def. This TV will put gray bars on the side and black on the top and bottom (it's a plasma) for SD feed on over-the-air digital channels, and that's what this recording was like.
What was odd is other weeks when this show was broadcast they used 720p.
New member post 5: Observations, recordings on the PC and back again
Recently I've been fooling around with a manual-hybrid DVR. That's kind of a joke name so humor me.
Since I've asked so many questions, I want to pass along some hints.
The ATSC and QAM (antenna and cable in the menu) tuners cannot have their channels populated at the same time. (Surely that's not news around this forum.) My apartment setup has feed for both. The "antenna" selection with the HD or digital channels populates quickly, 3 minutes or so. The quality is higher but there are way fewer channels. The "cable" channel tuner that is all standard def takes forever, 14 minutes, but there are many more channels where I live. I've found that since there are no digital channels on QAM here, if I let it run through the analog lineup I can quit after one or two digital channels by pressing 'return' over and over to back out of the menu system. That literally cuts the 14 minute setup to about 2 minutes and all the 'cable' channels are available.
Lately I have been recording to +RW and mostly to -RAM media and then copying it to my PC for later viewing on the PC and also to view on non-recorder units. That's what I mean by manual-hybrid DVR. Here are some rules I've discovered.
First of all, the Panasonic unit does not like any media that it did not format or record.
Second, Panasonic recorded RW discs are very protective of their contents and file structure.
Basically, once content is removed from a Panasonic disc, it can't go back to being played on a Panasonic recorder.
It just appears to be lost time remaining; although sometimes the Track listing is goofy and the disc needs to be Pana formatted.
Someone here may have a work around but I haven't found one yet. I think it's a rights issue, even as admin. I can replace RW files but the results are so far inconsistent at best.
Now for the good news
Recording to RAM, copying to PC and back to RAM works on the Pana recorder, you can even edit the copied back content.
--You can only do that on a Panasonic formatted RAM though
RAM content copied to an RW either directly or from a PC HDD (hard disk drive) works in my Blu-Ray and old combo units
RW content can also be treated like the RAM content and played on non-recorder units
--These RW discs may be formatted on the PC. Sometimes they need a long format, sometimes quick will do.
--The full filesystem will need to be copied over to the RW root. Avoid having other files corrupting the filesystem.
--Relabeling an RW will ruin it for the Panasonic player, but re-relabeling it with the right name will fix it. (use the DOS 'label' command.)
--These RW operations have only been tested on several brands of +RW media, but not on -RW.
--These tricks didn't work on a PS3
Say you have content called "Alpha Show" If you create a directory called "Alpha Show" and copy the disc to that (RW/RAM) you can read it using several different software players. Codecs may be an issue but it can be solved.
Next task: DNLA!
I guess I'd try an avoid it if possible but unlike videotape pausing a DVDR doesn't cause the heads to spin over and over on the same segment of tape. On a DVDR it would just cause general wear and tear which should be minimal.
I've left mine on pause for an hour or so with no issues but if you don't have to I guess I wouldn't, if you had to then I'd go ahead and do it.