Originally Posted by highheater
My major concern is the lack of tracking control on the VHS side when dubbing to DVD. I've read some of the thread on internal vs external dubbing.
The other concern is recording 16:9 to DVD-R. Specifically, in my case, recording widescreen content from my Direct TV HR21 DVR to a Panny DVD recorder. The manual doesn't explicity say this can be done (only to DVD-RAM) but I've been told that I can go ahead and record 16:9 and it will play properly on a widescreen TV. But since the anamorphic flag is not preserved on the Pannys, this content would be squished rather than letterboxed for play later on a 4:3 set (Someone please correct me if this wrong).
So the VHS tapes will be all 4:3, but new content will be 16:9. So its been a little confusing to me exactly what each content will look like on either type of TV after recording with a Panny DVD recorder (and yes I've read many posts on the subject).
I can't specifically comment about the tracking control on the EZ-48 but I can say on my Panasonic ES-30 I can indeed manually track my tapes even when dubbing to the DVDR. Maybe someone else can specifically comment about the EZ-48. Personally I wouldn't use the front panel buttons for dubbing or even the menu initiated method. What I do on my ES-30 and I understand the EZ-48 is similar, is to use the single machine like 2 separate machines.
First I play the VHS and get the tracking right. Then I rewind the tape to the point I want to start the recording. Next I select the input to the VHS side to a unused input, something line line 2(what this does is is prevent you from recording to DVD some of the tuner output of the VHS if you start your DVDR recording too soon or the tape stops for some reason, it would only record a black screen instead of a TV program). Next I push VHS on the remote and work with the DVDR side. I select TP for the input for the DVDR. Next hit REC or if using FR I set the FR recording time I want and hit enter. The DVDR will start recording. Next I quickly push play on the VHS side. You should see the VHS playing. Lastly I push DVD again since when you push PLAY on the VHS side the machine automatically goes into the VHS output mode. I prefer to watch the VHS output through the DVDR since that tells me exactly what the DVDR is recording.
I hope this made sense and I believe this method would work with a EZ-48. Since the EZ-48 only has one common display to see the elapsed time of your VHS you will need to push VHS on your remote. The ES-30 had 2 separate displays which made things easier. I believe the ES-30 was one of the last Pannys to have the 2 displays(if not the only one?).
I suppose a advantage of leaving the machine in the VHS mode during your dub would be that you could adjust the tracking if necessary(or possible). On my ES-30 I use the CH up or CH down buttons on either the main unit(VHS side) or remote to adjust the tracking. On my ES-30 once the manual tracking has been evoked the unit will not autotrack again until you push the CH up and CH down(at the same time) on either the unit(VHS side) or the remote.
I hope the above procedures work on the EZ-48, I could stand to be corrected by someone who actually has one and can follow my method.
My method might sound a little complicated but it gives me more flexibility than either the front panel or menu mode of dubbing.
On your second question about 16:9 and 4:3, the big catch their is whether your STB can output 16:9 full screen to it's S-video outputs. Most Motorolas from what I understand only output 16:9 letterboxed output to anything but HDMI or component outputs. If this is the case you're kinda screwed. To test this run a S-video cable from your STB to your 16:9 TV direct and see what the signal looks like. If it's full screen 16:9 your good. It it's letter box your not. If the output is full screen you will be able to record the 16:9 image to any DVD. If you are NOT using RAM discs you are correct, the WS bit will not be set. If you play the resulting DVD on a 4:3 TV the whole 16:9 frame will be displayed vertically stretched on your screen. If you play the DVD on a 16:9 screen with your DVD player set to stretch 4:3 format to fill 16:9 screen you will be ok and you'll see the whole 16:9 scene in it's proper format.
In the EZ-48's setup you want to set the unit up for 16:9 format to be able to record the whole 16:9 image.