Originally Posted by datwyl01
...The Sony has the option of setting the record quality (HQ, HSP, SP, etc.), but that really only allows for preset record times (60, 90, 120, etc.). Not sure how that plays into the PQ on the copy.
It's VERY similar to how things worked with VHS recorders.
The more time you want on the DVD, the lower your picture quality is because you're squeezing more digital information on the disc. Sacrifices have to be made to do that, so your picture quality isn't as good.
Using the HQ setting gives you the best results on your DVD. Using anything lower than that gives you, step by step, lower and lower picture quality.
A VHS example-
Normally storebought movies and TV shows on video tapes would be recorded at the "two hour" setting. (Called such because most VHS tapes would record two hours of material at that setting.)
The "six hour" setting wasn't anything like that, quality-wise. You were literally trying to squeeze three times the material onto each inch of video tape. You just couldn't do that, so what did get onto the tape couldn't produce the same type of picture on playback as the "two hour" setting would have allowed.
I once saw a really weird release of the Western mini-series "Lonesome Dove"...the entire thing on a single VHS tape, at the "six hour" speed.
The results were NOT what you'd expect from a storebought video.
The original was fine, naturally, but the lower recording setting worsened the picture.
You'll get the same results with a DVD recorder's various settings.