Difference between the Panasonic DMR-EH67 and DMR-EH69? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 28 Old 06-30-2012, 03:26 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi,

I'm in Singapore and have been offered a Panasonic DMR-EH67 for US$120.

The main purpose is to transfer VHS / Camcorder Hi-8 Tapes to DVD.

The alternative is a new LG RH388 / RH589 DVD recorder.

I know I've asked for help on this topic before, but have yet to take action beyond buying a EasyCap DC60+ USB capture device. (ref. http://www.avsforum.com/t/1359243/vhs-to-dvd-transfer-advice#post_20996047)

However, I also read in Digital FAQ.com's review of DVD Recorders that the Panasonic's seem to be over-rated and that the LG's are ranked as good as the Panasonics in recorded picture quality (both rank 'B') and lack of over-saturated colours? (ref. http://www.digitalfaq.com/reviews/dvd-recorders.htm)

But if you guys think that the EH67 is good enough and stable enough for transferring VHS / Hi-8 tapes, I'll jump for it.

I'll probably just split the output from my tape player and run them simultaneously into the DVD recorder and my computer.


Thanks and best regards,
Stephen
Singapore


- - -

Links:

Panasonic DMR-EH67 offer: http://forums.hardwarezone.com.sg/electronics-bazaar-259/wts-dvd-recorder-3786156.html

LG RH387 review: http://www.askmelah.com/my-gadget-reviews/2011/3/1/lg-dvd-recorder-rh387h-review.html

EasyCap DC60+ USB Capture Stick: http://easycapexpertti.mybisi.com/product/ezcap-dc60-v31c-videoglide-license-key-only-for-mac
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post #2 of 28 Old 06-30-2012, 07:18 AM
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I would go for the EH-57. Being a '07 model it will have full resolution LP but if recording from video tape I'd try to stick to SP or FR set to not much more than 2hrs 30 minutes. LG DVDRs have not proven to be very reliable and like most DVDRs will switch to 1/2 D1 resolution on any speeds longer than SP meaning if your source is something like 2hrs 10 minutes you will need to resort to 1/2 D1.
The Panasonic will be able to use DL media although maybe the LG would too, a LG I had for a short time in '07 and it could also burn DL DVDs.
While I respect quite a bit of what is said on DFAQ the author in no uncertain terms dislikes Panasonic DVDRs. I think the dislike stems mainly in the choice Panasonic made in '05 to have full D1 resolution up to 4hrs/DVD. While I agree full D1 LP can cause noticeable macroblocking in scenes involving fast movement(among other things) for more stationary scenes or sometimes B&W footage it's nice to have the ability to record full resolution up to 4hrs/DVD. Personally I like to use FR set to no more than 2hrs 42 minutes or even 2hrs 30 minutes for main color movies and up to LP for things like B&W movies, extras or even still photos.

An ideal DVDR would let the user chose full or 1/2 D1 but unfortunately none ever had such a option, most automatically switch on speed longer than SP. I think just post '04 Panasonic and later Pioneers went past SP with the Toshiba XS series switching at a MN speed ~2hrs 19 minutes(MN 3.2 if memory serves me).
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post #3 of 28 Old 06-30-2012, 03:45 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi jjeff,

Thanks for your feedback to my latest question, and to my earlier set of questions too! :-)

I just looked up what D1 resolution is, and see that it would refer to 720x576 PAL. Even though VHS resolution is lower than this, this would be the resolution I would want to record in, and probably only either in SP or XP modes.

(After all, if I do any editing, having a better quality digitised copy is better, even if no one ends up caring to watch the footage of the family growing up. Old photo albums are far faster to flip through and easier to deal with.)

However, I also see a post on DFAQ on the use of SP, and that it might at times be even better than XP. (ref. http://www.digitalfaq.com/forum/video-capture/1507-sp-mode-best.html, see last paragraph)

I also forgot to post some info regarding the prices of the various DVD recorders I can purchase. This includes an old JVC DR-M10 which is highly ranked by DFAQ's review on DVD recorders. While the JVC DR-M10 is supposedly an unused display set, I would have serious questions as to how long it will work and whether it can be repaired if any problems crop up. (Note that I am essentially looking for a "good enough" solution, rather than a "perfect" solution.)

Prices:

New:
- Panasonic DMR-EH59 / 250 GB -- US$400
- Panasonic DMR-EH69 / 320 GB -- US$480 / US$350 without warranty
- Panasonic DMR-ES18 / no HDD -- US$160 (available in a neighbouring country)
- LG RH388 / 250 GB -- US$320
- LG RH589 / 500 GB -- US$400

Used:
- Panasonic DMR-EH67 / 250 GB -- US$120
- JVC DR-M10 -- US$250 (display set)


Given the difference in pricing, is it still worth getting the EH67, or go for the new EH69 (or even one without warranty)? And is there much difference in features or durability between the two models?

The good thing about getting a new Panasonic is that I can get an extended 5-year warranty from the retailer on it. And since these products seem destined for extinction, it might not be a good idea that I get the retailer to support me for an extra long time (especially in the event of a laser assembly or HDD failure).

On the other hand, the good thing about the LG's is that it seems easy to upgrade the internal HDD (according to a LG tech guy, the new ones use standard 2.5" SATA laptop drives vs. 3.5" IDE desktop drives), and based on a thread from a South African forum, might even allow you to read the contents off the drive. (ref. http://www.askmelah.com/my-gadget-reviews/2011/3/1/lg-dvd-recorder-rh387h-review.html + http://mybroadband.co.za/vb/showthread.php/386479-LG-HDD-DVD-recorder-hard-drive-upgrade-clone)


Thanks and regards,
Stephen
Singapore

P.S. Would be happy to hear from Citibear or Church AV as well. :-)
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post #4 of 28 Old 06-30-2012, 03:56 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi all,

If I am keen to buy a second-hand DVD recorder, what are the key signs I should look out for to check its condition?

Is there the equivalent of an odometer to see how long the HDD has been running, or how many discs the laser has burned? Perhaps to get an idea before suddenly finding my newly acquired second-hand set failing soon after I bring it home?

Should I just see if anyone in the household has been smoking around the recorder, etc.?

Or if there are other AV components stacked on top of it that might cause any component / tray mis-alignment?


Thanks and regards,
Stephen
Singapore
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post #5 of 28 Old 06-30-2012, 04:01 PM
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I haven't owned a JVC DVDR but I know the author of DFAQ really likes them. Personally I'd be a little worried about the durability of them along with the vintage Toshiba XS models. Both seem to be prone to premature DVD drive failure and I believe the JVCs had power supply issues with the LOADING error a common problem.
I haven't owned a EH-67 but have owned '05-'09 model year Panasonics with the newest being a EH-59. Panasonics seem to have an almost bulletproof burner although they can fail(knock on wood I've never had a burner failure, even though I've burnt literally 1000s of DVDs over the years).
If it were me I'd get that great deal on a EH-67, the ES-18 is a fairly bare bones DVD only burner similar to the '06 N. American ES-15. Again because of durability I'd really steer clear of the older JVCs as well as LG models. If you're only going to use SP another model worth considering if available in your country would be a Magnavox HDD model or the older Philips 3575/6 models. They might not have as fancy editing as the others mentioned but I believe DFAQ also likes these models for VHS conversions. The Philips/Magnavox models have the plus of the ability to easily and cheaply replace the DVD burner and ability to upsize the HDD to 500GBs. Panasonics use a proprietary burner that can only be repaired by select people and the HDD size cannot be changed, although I believe it can be easily swapped with a similar HDD.

Citibear knows more about the vintage JVCs having owned one and I believe Church AV Guy has owned a EH-67.
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post #6 of 28 Old 06-30-2012, 09:17 PM
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Hi Stephen,

Since you are located in Singapore, you have access to full mfr warranty on a new Panasonic, which in my opinion should sway your decision (if you can afford the $400). All the other recorders you are looking at are either quite old or have questionable reputations on some points.

The D-Faq recommendations should perhaps be viewed more from the perspective of an advanced or professional video restorer, not the average consumer. Much of the info there is based on past experience of the site owner, who is a respected professional with specialized technical expertise and equipment well beyond the typical forum member. He has a distinct aversion to any sort of "noise" in the video encode, and a decided preference for the long-discontinued JVC models due to their proprietary noise filtering circuits. Many people flocked to those JVCs based on his recommendations, and while many were happy with their JVCs, many were not. The noise filter cannot be adjusted or turned off, so depending on your source signal will result in encodes that are either nice and smooth, or soft and blurry as vaseline. One mans "noise" is another man's "detail", and vice versa. All of these JVCs were discontinued by 2004, so they are ancient in DVD recorder terms. They all have power supply flaws common to many products circa 2002-2005, which make them unreliable. The DVD burners have a difficult time with some current blank discs, and there is no HDD which is very inconvenient. The $250 being asked for the "unused DRM10" is unrealistic for a nine year old recorder: chances are you will have a lot of problems with it. Today, its worth paying perhaps $50 for a JVC just to see what all the fuss was about, but no more than that.

Prior to 2006, Toshiba sold their XS series, which had video quality similar to the JVCs but with adjustable noise filters and an HDD. They had the most advanced features of any DVD/HDD recorder ever sold, with full authoring of very elaborate DVD templates. Sadly, these also had the misfortune of poor parts quality and many today require repairs, which can be very difficult or impossible depending on the model. They can be very expensive second hand because of their unique features.

The LGs share some parts in common with JVC, such as burner design, but not the video encoders or noise filters. The LGs have exhibited poor reliability long term, and would be second choice to almost any other brand. They can be very nice when working well, but only worth the risk if you get an excellent price. They do have the benefit of being recent or still available new.

Realistically, of the units available to you right now, the Panasonics are the most practical choice. They are current, still-sold models. The burners are very rugged, and last forever if you open them up and clean the dust out periodically (instructions for this are here on AVS). They are the most compatible with newer blank media. They have the most convenience features. And they are covered extensively on this and many other tech forums (which helps when you have questions). Six or seven years ago, Panasonic had a rabid following of obnoxious fanboys on forums like this who attacked anyone who tried to point out advantages in other brands. This left a sour impression on some of the more "mature" members, which to this day results in a bit of snobbery against Panasonic as being the "uninformed choice" (primarily on D-Faq). While it was true some early Panasonics had serious PQ and technical drawbacks, newer models like the EH67, EH59 and EH69 are about as refined as DVD/HDD recorders ever got. To achieve better PQ, one would really need a high degree of skill with computer software and a loaded video-optimized PC. The 2006 Panasonic EH55 was arguably the most popular recorder among forum members, and the current 57, 67, 59, and 69 are an evolution of that design.

The only significant difference between the 57/59 and 67/69 is the more expensive models had larger HDD and an SD card slot to read JPEGs from a camera memory card. There were some minor feature upgrades from 67 to 69, which I can't remember, they're basically the same unit. If you can get a 67 in excellent working condition for only $120 US, that is an excellent deal. Otherwise, buy the most affordable new Panasonic you can get.

Regarding tips for shopping used recorders, this is something you can't really learn in a forum post. There are signs you pick up on after spending several years using recorders of a particular brand, which can help you spot some typical problems. But on the whole, most recorder defects are subtle and don't appear until the machine is used in your home for a couple days. The best advice is not to pay more $$$ than you can afford to lose if the seller is dishonest, or buy from a shop or seller who allows a 7 day audition period in your home and will refund your money if a problem arises. The most common problems with Panasonic are dirty disc clamp in the burner, which causes disc errors or failure to load/play discs. This can usually be fixed yourself by a simple cleaning, but in some rare cases indicates a dying laser (which is a very expensive repair). If the recorder makes a great deal of long, drawn-out knocking noises while attempting to load a disc, it tends to be a laser problem. You might want to send a private message to member DigaDo and ask him for some links to his very informative posts here on Panasonic maintenance and troubleshooting.

(My personal area of expertise is in Pioneer recorder maintenance, so I'm not as informed on Panasonics as some others here.smile.gif)
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post #7 of 28 Old 07-01-2012, 04:50 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi jjeff and Citibear,

Thanks for your thoughts!

Your sharing in this thread and the last round back in September are certainly driving me towards just going for the Panasonic (used or new).

I've been posting on DFAQ as well on this issue, and am also very keen to hear the site owner's opinion in light of additional info regarding the LG's. (ref. http://www.digitalfaq.com/forum/video-capture/4307-choosing-between-panasonic.html)

But between the two I still have a better gut feel for the Panasonic.

I mean, if you guys are willing to buy the international models of the Panasonics without warranty and dealing with the inconvenience of getting proper power cables, how much worse off can I be if I have the option of getting a standard 1-year manufacturer's warranty, or even a 5-year extended warranty from the retailer? ;-P

Or I could join you guys with a much cheaper used EH67 or no-warranty EH69 ... :-)


Cheers,
Stephen
Singapore
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post #8 of 28 Old 07-04-2012, 09:46 AM
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Sorry, but I have been offline for the last four days.

The only difference I can rec all between the EH67, which I owned for a short time, and the EH59/69 is the phrase-save feature. For me, this was important, as I am 1) very lazy,and 2, forgetful.tongue.gif Entering text into these machines can be really tedious, so the phrase-save feature can be really helpful. If you are like me and plan to save all the episodes of a certain televions show, like "Burn Notice" for example. I like to save the title of the last episode so I don't have some disks with text that looks different fomr others "Burn Notice: 5-01 TITLE" vs "Burn Notice 5.01 - Title" or some such variation. If you same, it they all look the same. Ohter than that, and a mionor variation of the HDD size, they are exactly the same. Download the manuals and compare them if you want, all the manuals are readily available. If it's used, how many hours are on it? The only other significan this is that the EH59/69 nis newer, not that being so is a "feature".smile.gif

As Citibear has said, the warranty is a recorder "feature" that is not to be taken lightly. If you're a gambler, go with the cheaper machine and no warranty, if you are prudent, get the one with the warranty. It dfepends on your budget too of course. For me, the $120 EH67 is a terrific deal and well worth double the price, which is STILL less than I paid for mine.rolleyes.gif I'd go for it.

My opinion of the D-Faq is more critical than CitiBear's. It is clearly one man's opinion, and he is VERY opininated. It is also narrow-minded, overstressing some features, and ignoring others. Different recorders have differnt feature sets because they are made by differnt companies. Some align better with the way one person thinks about recording and editing, and some no so much. It's like someone telling you that he likes chocolate ice cream, but dislikes strawberry, and you should too. He is definitely performance oriented, and not at all interested in reliability. The Panasonics have show themselves to be reliable, which should count for something.

Luke

Evil is charming and beautiful. It makes you doubt yourself. It asks for one small compromise after another until it whittles you down, and it functions best when no one believes in it.-JOA
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post #9 of 28 Old 07-04-2012, 07:14 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi Church AV Guy,

Hope you are having a very Happy 4th of July!

Thanks for adding your thoughts to this thread.

I took a look at the manuals over the weekend and it seems that the difference are (1) the phrase save feature, (2) ability to access the Gracenote CDDB database for playing and ripping audio CD's, and (3) exterior outlook. The comb filter and noise-reduction filters on the AV-inputs (especially for recording from VCR) are mentioned in both manuals.

I also spoke with Panasonic Singapore on Monday about the difference between the two models. The tech guy there said he'll try to dig up info for me (especially on chipsets and filters), and said that if they had the time, I could even bring my VCR and Camcorder down to their service office to give the models there a test run. (I would probably also get my Panasonic VCR serviced at the same time while I'm there.)

So I'm now waiting for Panasonic to get back to me.

As for the seller of the DMR-EH67, he wrote back to say that the set is about 2 years old and used less than 10 times. Given the prevalence of cable boxes with PVR's in Singapore, I won't be too surprised at the low usage.

- - -

In general, the DMR-EH67 seems to be basically like new (except for a nice layer of dust that I'm sure it has gathered.)

And for what might be a one-off project for me for the purpose of tape transfers, the lack of Phrase Save and Gracenote probably won't hurt.

After all, I mainly use my AC Ryan DVR for recording shows from my cable box (which writes a MPG file to a hard disk which I can access over USB or network).

- - -

Regarding DFAQ, I've posted in an earlier post above the link to my thread there.

Honestly, what surprised me is that LS is "actually a bit surprised" to hear that DVD recorders can still be bought new in Asia. (I mean, where do B&H and World Import get their supply of international models from?)

LS also wrote that he thought all EH models use the Panasonic chipsets, not LSI chipsets. Do you know anything about this? Have you opened your boxes up before? Do the EH67 and EH59 / EH69 use the same chipsets? (I wouldn't want to find out that the EH67 has a chipset that results in better recordings than the newer model, but it can happen.)


Cheers,
Stephen
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post #10 of 28 Old 07-04-2012, 08:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sChen77 View Post

LS also wrote that he thought all EH models use the Panasonic chipsets, not LSI chipsets. Do you know anything about this? Have you opened your boxes up before? Do the EH67 and EH59 / EH69 use the same chipsets? (I wouldn't want to find out that the EH67 has a chipset that results in better recordings than the newer model, but it can happen.)
Cheers,
Stephen
I would agree with LS on this, AFAIK the only Panasonics to have non Panasonic silicon was/were the N. American EZ and EA series of DVDRs which had LSI silicon(which LS is quite fond of). I'm quite critical of PQ and truthfully I can't really tell a difference between the two but I do notice all the bugs and quirks in the way Panasonic implemented the LSI chipset. I'd take the Panasonic silicon any day.
Also AFAIK the EH-67 is a 2007 model year DVDR(although it may have very well been sold later than that). If you haven't seen this thread it lists various Panasonics with features and years produced.
http://www.avsforum.com/t/1134909/panasonic-dvd-recorder-us-models-years-produced-and-features/0_100
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post #11 of 28 Old 07-04-2012, 11:39 PM
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Quote:
I took a look at the manuals over the weekend and it seems that the difference are (1) the phrase save feature, (2) ability to access the Gracenote CDDB database for playing and ripping audio CD's, and (3) exterior outlook.
You are right of course. I COMPLETELY forgot about the Gracenote thing. I never have used it, so it slipped my mind. Just so you know, I (and many others here) don't ever use our recorders for playbacl of DVDs, or CDs, and don't recommend you do either. The laser is a critical point of failure, so the fewer hours on it the better, ESPECIALLY when I (you) can get a decent DVD player at Walmart for $30. Save the recorder for recording!

Luke

Evil is charming and beautiful. It makes you doubt yourself. It asks for one small compromise after another until it whittles you down, and it functions best when no one believes in it.-JOA
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post #12 of 28 Old 07-05-2012, 08:52 AM
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The controversial LSI chipset was not used in any generic (non-digital-broadcast-tuner) DVD/HDD Panasonic models, only a couple older DVD and DVD/VHS models and the new post-2007 EZ/EA models. As far as anyone here knows, the EH-57, 67, 58, and 69 were simply warmed-over updates of the original European EH55 DVD/HDD design, which used the reliable Panasonic encoder circuitry. It is possible that the later, country-specific DVD/HDD models with digital PAL DVB-T and satellite tuners have LSI chipsets, since they rolled out of the factory with the EZ/EA series. But the "global" non-specific models with simple analog PAL tuner are not known to be LSI based.

Just FYI: the LSI chipset is a bit over-hyped, again largely due to those early JVC machines D-Faq is inordinately fond of. Given the poor performance of LSI chips in other brands of recorders, the early JVC (and Toshiba) models were apparently a lucky accident where everything just worked together nicely. More than anything else, fans of old LSI-based recorders are responding to the noise filters built into those machines, which has nothing to do with LSI chips but is a feature of the recorder. Giving a blanket recommendation of LSI-based recorders as being "the best" is a bit inaccurate in that regard, its kind of like saying the only reason a particular Ferrari sportscar handles so well is due to the fuel injector chip in the engine.

To put it in perspective, all Panasonics that use LSI have been horrors of unreliability, and their PQ is not noticeably better than non-LSI Panasonics (definitely not enough to justify tolerating the operational flaws). The only recent reliable LSI recorders sold in North America are the Philips/Magnavox (Funai) DVD/HDD models- and even these have some annoying bugs that manifest only when dubbing from VHS/Beta tapes. LSI is not the panacea some make it out to be: it was really only implemented well in pre-2006 JVC and Toshiba models. Its been problematic in nearly every other recorder that employed it. At this point in the product cycle of DVD/HDD units, the most important "features" are reliability, compatibility with a broad array of current blank media, and decent PQ at the most useful SP recording speed. All other considerations are now moot: the machines are disappearing off the face of the earth. Splitting hairs about PQ is meaningless if the recorder in question can't reliably burn a disc and is unsupported by the mfr.
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post #13 of 28 Old 07-05-2012, 01:39 PM
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Originally Posted by CitiBear View Post

The controversial LSI chipset was not used in any generic (non-digital-broadcast-tuner) DVD/HDD Panasonic models, only a couple older DVD and DVD/VHS models and the new post-2007 EZ/EA models.
Yep, forgot about the '05 ES-20 and ES-40v combo which both used LSI silicon. Both those models were known for quirks and unreliability, in fact it's my belief(although I have no official word) that Panasonic had so many problems with these models that they fell back to Panasonic silicon in all '06 models and only went back to LSI with the introduction of their Digital tuner models in '07 and all N. American models since then.
I really have no idea what the European digital tuner Panasonics use but before their introduction I was told by a LSI(later renamed Magnum) engineer that only N. American Panasonics used LSI silicon.
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post #14 of 28 Old 07-07-2012, 02:09 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi all,

Thanks for the great help you've been. smile.gif

I decided to buy the used Panasonic DMR-EH67 for US$120.

Below I detail the tests I did and the outcome.


- - - -

This afternoon, I went by Skyjammer's place to test the EH67 on offer. It was a black colour model, unlike the silver one shown on the World Import website. Black looks better to me. smile.gif

What Skyjammer said to me about the unit really appears to be true.

The sticker on the back of the EH67 indicates a production date of September 2007, but it is possible it's been sitting in a shop floor for long enough that he has only had it for two years. The unit had supposedly been sitting unused on a shelf in his TV cabinet. There were no signs of corrosion on the contacts of the AV-inputs / outputs, just that they looked a little dull. Nothing that a rub down with tissue paper couldn't fix and shine ...

When we made a new recording, it added an 11th item to the list of recordings. Even better, the sum total of the first 10 recordings was only around 15 hours! He also said the reason he stopped using the EH67 was that he had switched to using the local cable company's PVR box (which I had earlier suspected he might have done).

More importantly, when I said I wanted to burn a test DVD of the test recordings made, he expressed surprise that the EH67 could burn DVD's. (The burned DVD played fine in a separate Samsung DVD player.)

In other words, the HDD is practically new, and the DVD burner has probably not been used. biggrin.gif

I happily paid him the pre-agreed sum. No further bargaining needed. tongue.gif


- - - -

I also noticed a few other things during my test in the afternoon, and during further tests later in the night.

Connection map: Sony Camcorder --composite--> AC Ryan DVR --composite--> DMR-EH67.

During the afternoon, I hooked up my Sony Video8 camcorder to my AC Ryan DVR and passed the signal through to the EH67. I used composite cables (ie. yellow RCA cable, and single mono audio output).

I played 3 minutes of tape from the Sony, and the AC Ryan almost immediately began to drop the signal, and displayed an error on the screen. In the end, I only got 44 seconds of recorded footage in an MPEG file.

The EH67 on the other hand, recorded all 3 minutes of the passed-through footage just fine, including all the error messages produced by the AC Ryan DVR.

Connecting the Sony Camcorder directly to the EH67, I recorded a further 7 minutes of tape without incident, for a total of 10 minutes of footage. (When previously recorded by the AC Ryan DVR, 10 minutes of footage from this particularly problematic tape resulted in a 2-minute recording.)

This already indicated that the EH67 could handle what appeared to have been a problematic tape or unstable video signal. (I note that the ability to record an "unstable signal" is similar to capturing footage through a EasyCap DC60+ USB video capture stick hooked up to my MacBook using the VideoGlide software.)

However, the sound was only captured to one channel, since I did not have a RCA splitter on hand. (You could hear the sound come out from only one side of my home theatre setup.)

- -

But what I noticed during further testing done tonight was even better. biggrin.gif

Connection map: Sony Camcorder --composite--> DMR-EH67 --composite--> AC Ryan DVR.

I hooked up the Sony Camcorder's composite video output and mono-audio output to the front of the EH67, with the audio cable going into the mono-audio jack. I then used the EH67 to pass the signal through to the AC Ryan DVR's AV-in jacks.

Firstly, using the EH67 as a pass-through to the AC Ryan DVR, I noticed that the AC Ryan DVR had no problem recording the section of tape that had earlier resulted in dropped signals.

Secondly, using the EH67 as a pass-through with both Playback NR and AV-in NR set to "ON" resulted in a much improved picture, with vertical lines (like door frames and window grills) straightened vs. remaining wavy.

Thirdly, the EH67 duplicated the mono-audio sound input into both L and R audio outputs for recording by the AC Ryan DVR. (I didn't check to see if the audio waveforms for both the L and R channels match, but I could hear sound come out from both sides of my home theatre setup. smile.gif )

Basically, it appears that the EH67 has a built-in Time Base Corrector or stabiliser of some kind that is particularly valuable. Such that even if the HDD and DVD laser assembly are to fail, I can still use it as a TBC for video capture on my DVR or computer! smile.gif

This is actually the best setup I can achieve as I intend to put all the recorded and edited footage into a digital movie jukebox for playback, and mixing of DVD's. And having the DVR or computer able to capture and generate a contiguous and editable video file is a great starting point. wink.gif

I understand that this functionality is what makes the DMR-ES10 much sought after and probably easily worth quite a bit. The function is also described in Panasonic's FAQ on DVD recorders and DFAQ's FAQ on TBC's. (ref. http://www.panasonic.com.sg/wps/portal/home/getsupport/faq/faqdigitalav/DVDRecorder, see question 6 + http://www.digitalfaq.com/forum/video-restore/2251-tbc-time-base.(tml)

However, what doesn't seem to have any effect is the comb filter function (be it set to ON or OFF), as I can clearly still see "dot crawl" in the recorded video, especially around the TV station's static logo. (Perhaps a comb filter isn't much needed for recording PAL video which has greater vertical resolution compared with NTSC.) (ref. http://www.avforums.com/forums/1826946-post5.html)


- - - -

So thanks again to all (ie. jjeff, CitiBear and Church AV Guy) who helped me decide on taking the Panasonic route.

I'm certainly very happy with my purchase. smile.gif

And please let me know if I can help out in any way from this side of the globe.


Cheers,
Stephen
Singapore
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However, what doesn't seem to have any effect is the comb filter function (be it set to ON or OFF), as I can clearly still see "dot crawl" in the recorded video, especially around the TV station's static logo. (Perhaps a comb filter isn't much needed for recording PAL video which has greater vertical resolution compared with NTSC....
It's also possible the comb filter only works if using S-video connections(that or SCART) and using composite you may not notice what it does. I don't believe the N. American Panasonics have such a comb filter setting.
I agree with leaving the NR filter ON. I turn it ON on all my Panasonic DVDRs.
Note even though the passthru may act like a TBC it will NOT remove CP like a real TBC smile.gif
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I decided to buy the used Panasonic DMR-EH67 for US$120.

Congratulations on your purchase. I sincerely hope it works out for you and you are happy with it. It was an OUTSTANDING deal at $120.

Luke

Evil is charming and beautiful. It makes you doubt yourself. It asks for one small compromise after another until it whittles you down, and it functions best when no one believes in it.-JOA
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Hi jjeff,

Thanks very much for your all your advice as I went about researching the Panasonic recorders. smile.gif

I have a few comments to make and questions to check.


Comb Filter -- I understand that Y/C filters (3D or not) are mainly designed to handle composite video, which combines the luminance (Y) and chrominance (C) signals into one cable. This compares with S-video cables which already have four pins (two of which are active) to keep the Y and C signals separate, or component cables with already have 3-pins (ie. R, G and B) to keep the Y, C1 and C2 signals separate.

So it would appear that the job of the comb filter is to separate the Y and C signals, which if not separated results in "dot crawl" video artifacts.

Page 59 of the EH59's manual says you cannot turn it off for NTSC video input.

(We had discussed this issue last year too, and thanks for your input then! smile.gif(ref. http://www.avsforum.com/t/1359243/vhs-to-dvd-transfer-advice#post_21024686))


NR settings -- Are you referring to playback NR or input NR? Based on the same post you made referenced above, it seems to be both?


Time Base Correctors -- I'm mainly transferring home videos, so don't think I'm going to run into a problem here. wink.gif


- - -

Questions from me

  • The exhaust fan at the back of the recorder IS NOT spinning. Is this normal? Is it supposed to be spinning? Or does it only start up when things get a little hot inside?
  • What is the maximum time setting on the EH67 / EH59 / EH69 when using FR recording before it switches from D1 to 1/2 D1? Based on your post comparing post-2003 Panasonic recorders, it seems to be 2 hours and 4 minutes?


Thanks and best regards,
Stephen
Singapore
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Quote:
I decided to buy the used Panasonic DMR-EH67 for US$120.
Congratulations on your purchase. I sincerely hope it works out for you and you are happy with it. It was an OUTSTANDING deal at $120.

Hi Church AV Guy,

Thanks for all your help which contributed to my purchase decision. If you remember this old thread (ref. VHS to DVD Transfer advice), it has taken me almost a year to finally settle on using a DVD recorder as a core component of my video transfer workflow. And I'm even happier that the video stabiliser in the EH67 will actually make my backup computer / DVR-based workflow even easier! smile.gif

Now ... time to make my family happy by actually getting the 100 hours of tape converted ... smile.gif


Cheers,
Stephen
Singapore
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Originally Posted by sChen77 View Post

Comb Filter -- I understand that Y/C filters (3D or not) are mainly designed to handle composite video, which combines the luminance (Y) and chrominance (C) signals into one cable. This compares with S-video cables which already have four pins (two of which are active) to keep the Y and C signals separate, or component cables with already have 3-pins (ie. R, G and B) to keep the Y, C1 and C2 signals separate.
So it would appear that the job of the comb filter is to separate the Y and C signals, which if not separated results in "dot crawl" video artifacts.
Page 59 of the EH59's manual says you cannot turn it off for NTSC video input.
That makes sense, I guess for me since I rarely use anything but S-video and I basically only use NTSC I didn't really pay much attention to that setting.
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Are you referring to playback NR or input NR? Based on the same post you made referenced above, it seems to be both?
I rarely use my DVDRs for playback, only really for things on the HDD and even then I usually HS burn them to DVD and play the DVD on one of my standalone players, I always leave input NR on but probably not playback NR.
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Time Base Correctors -- I'm mainly transferring home videos, so don't think I'm going to run into a problem here. wink.gif
That makes sense, it's just when many here the word TBC they immediately think of CP removal and I just wanted to point out it's not that kind of TBC smile.gif
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Questions from me
  • The exhaust fan at the back of the recorder IS NOT spinning. Is this normal? Is it supposed to be spinning? Or does it only start up when things get a little hot inside?
It only comes on under extreme use or very hot external conditions, note once it starts even turning OFF the unit will not turn off the fan, it totally runs of a temperature sensor and will only shut off when the internal temperature drops to a certain point.
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[*] What is the maximum time setting on the EH67 / EH59 / EH69 when using FR recording before it switches from D1 to 1/2 D1? Based on your post comparing post-2003 Panasonic recorders, it seems to be 2 hours and 4 minutes?
The pre '05 Panasonics drop resolution at FR set to 2hrs 4 minutes and then again at LP while newer Panasonics like the EH-67/59/69 keep full D1 through LP and only switch to 1/2 D1 on FR set to more than 4hr 1 minute or EP6 and then again at EP8.
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Originally Posted by sChen77 View Post

Questions from me
  • The exhaust fan at the back of the recorder IS NOT spinning. Is this normal? Is it supposed to be spinning? Or does it only start up when things get a little hot inside?
  • What is the maximum time setting on the EH67 / EH59 / EH69 when using FR recording before it switches from D1 to 1/2 D1? Based on your post comparing post-2003 Panasonic recorders, it seems to be 2 hours and 4 minutes?
Thanks and best regards,
Stephen
Singapore
What jjeff said is correct. The fan is temperature controlled,and if my experience my EH75 is any indication, if it stops working or gets blocked/jammed, the machine will shut down on it's own. The machine switches from D1 to 1/2 D1 at 4:01. Incidentally, if you use FR at 4:02, it will be at 1/2 D1, BUT if you use LP quality mode, youcan get about 4:14 on a disk using high speed copy, so it's a bit of finesse allowing you to get more then 4:01 in full D1. Just a bit of slop. I never have used any mode longer then LP for anything.

Luke

Evil is charming and beautiful. It makes you doubt yourself. It asks for one small compromise after another until it whittles you down, and it functions best when no one believes in it.-JOA
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Hi jjeff and Church AV Guy,

Thanks for the clarification on the operation of the fan.

Chances are, I don't think I'll be using FR much, since most of my tapes were in the 60-90 minute range. So I should be able to record everything just fine in SP, and transfer it to disk in SP mode.

In addition, I'll be passing the signal through to a media player-based / computer-based recorder as well, and it will be far easier to edit or re-encode files there to h.264 or some other format. For frame-accurate MPEG editing, I'm planning to use either MPEG StreamClip or Mpg2Cut2, or give Womble VCR a try. The EH67 will come in really handy as a TBC / stabiliser for this purpose. As well as making a backup copy. smile.gif

So, in reality, I don't think I'll hit the limits when the next level of FR kicks in, but it's a good-to-know. smile.gif


- - -

A few more questions from me (as I am now in the process of getting new cables / connectors):
  • jjeff -- I ask about the playback NR setting as I'm trying to determine if the playback NR setting affects the video on pass-through mode as well. In other words, will setting the playback NR to "ON" affect the quality of video displayed on a TV or computer-based USB capture stick?
  • jjeff -- As for S-video, since my computer-based USB capture stick has an S-video input, I'm thinking about connecting the EH67 to my capture stick using S-video cables.

    My thoughts are this ... if the EH67 processes the composite input with a comb filter (to remove "dot crawl"), it could clean it up for pass-through over a S-video signal (which is not subject to "dot crawl"). As such, the capture stick would receive a cleaner signal over S-video and composite stereo. (Again, this might also be subject to the effects of whether Playback NR is ON or OFF.)

    For reference, this is the link to the cheap capture stick that I have, for which the capture quality has been roundly criticised by DFAQ members. (They are correct in saying I should spend more money buying better gear. smile.gif ) (ref. EasyCap DC60+ info and pictures)
  • Church AV Guy -- can the EH67 or newer models pass-through videos over more than one composite AV output port? While there is only one built-in AV-out, I can get a SCART-to-composite-and-S-video adaptor and switch that to output mode. Basically, can I use the EH67 as a single-input-multiple-output TBC / stabiliser?



Thanks for all your patience and help!
Stephen
Singapore

P.S. I'm beginning to think we're going quite off topic from the original title / purpose of the thread. How can I move this thread back to the one in September on "VHS to DVD Transfer Advice"? I think the recent info is more relevant there.
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post #22 of 28 Old 07-09-2012, 10:02 AM
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[*] Church AV Guy -- can the EH67 or newer models pass-through videos over more than one composite AV output port? While there is only one built-in AV-out, I can get a SCART-to-composite-and-S-video adaptor and switch that to output mode. Basically, can I use the EH67 as a single-input-multiple-output TBC / stabiliser?

Thanks for all your patience and help!
Stephen
Singapore
P.S. I'm beginning to think we're going quite off topic from the original title / purpose of the thread. How can I move this thread back to the one in September on "VHS to DVD Transfer Advice"? I think the recent info is more relevant there.

I wouldn't worry about being off topic for the thread. This isn't so much of a rabbit trail as a natural progression.

All of the outputs are active simultaneously. This means the HDMI out, the component out, the composite/S-Video out and SCART (AV1) out are all active, all the time.

Luke

Evil is charming and beautiful. It makes you doubt yourself. It asks for one small compromise after another until it whittles you down, and it functions best when no one believes in it.-JOA
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Hi all,

Thanks for the great help you've been. smile.gif

I decided to buy the used Panasonic DMR-EH67 for US$120.

.
.
.

So thanks again to all (ie. jjeff, CitiBear and Church AV Guy) who helped me decide on taking the Panasonic route.

I'm certainly very happy with my purchase. smile.gif

And please let me know if I can help out in any way from this side of the globe.


Cheers,
Stephen
Singapore

Your last post was July 8th. I assume you are still happy with your purchase. Any followup you wish to comment on based on your first month (or so) with your purchase.

Luke

Evil is charming and beautiful. It makes you doubt yourself. It asks for one small compromise after another until it whittles you down, and it functions best when no one believes in it.-JOA
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Your last post was July 8th. I assume you are still happy with your purchase. Any followup you wish to comment on based on your first month (or so) with your purchase.


Hi Church AV Guy,

Thanks for following up. :-)

I've been busy with work, and converting a bunch of tapes along the way.

The EH67 certainly has been a great help when passing the video through to my AC Ryan DVR MPEG-2 recording box. Unfortunately, I have confirmed that the quality of the MPEG-2 recording by the AC Ryan leaves something to be desired (ie. introduces image ghosting or banding artifacts). However, it seems to handle old low-resolution tapes just fine. It's biggest advantage is that I only need to edit the .MPG file produced, instead of having to go through the process of burning and ripping a DVD on my computer before editing. (I've been using Womble DVD Wizard to edit MPEG files.)

However, I have now hit a problem.

As of yesterday, the EH67 does not seem to be recording sound over RCA inputs. I've tried changing the RCA cables, switching from using AV3 to AV4 and also AV1 (through a SCART connector), resetting the EH67 to default settings and even to shipping condition. However, nothing seems to get it to record sound over RCA again. Video recording works just fine though.

Connecting my VCR / cable box directly to the TV results in both video and sound, but through the EH67, only video is recorded.

So it appears that the problem lies with the EH67's audio recording hardware.


- - Potential work-around - -

One way for me to continue my project is to still pass my tapes through the EH67 to stabilise the video before it gets recorded by the AC Ryan DVR. As for the audio, I can run a cable directly from the VCR to the AC Ryan.

To test if there might be video / audio sync issues if I do this, I recorded nearly 2 hours of footage yesterday on my AC Ryan DVR, and I didn't notice any video / audio sync issues. As my tapes are 90 minutes long, I think this should work ok.


- - Question - -

Is there a setting that I am missing to get the audio recording function to work again? Or is this really a hardware failure?

Is it worth getting the EH67 repaired? Or better to get a new EH59 to replace it?


Thanks,
Stephen
Singapore
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Have you accidentally set the machine to play back the second audio program instead of the main audio track?

On page 72 of the manual is the trouble solutions section dealing with your problem:
Quote:
No sound.
Low volume.
Distorted sound.
Cannot hear the desired audio type.

≥Check the connections and the “Digital Audio Output” settings. Check the input mode on the amplifier if you have connected one.

≥Press [AUDIO] to select the audio.

≥Turn off V.S.S. in the following cases.
–When using discs that do not have surround sound effects such as Karaoke discs.
–When playing bilingual broadcast programmes.

≥Audio may not be output due to how files were created. (DivX)

≥Audio may not be heard when more than 4 devices are connected with HDMI cables. Reduce the number of connected devices.

≥The sound effects will not work when the bitstream signal is output from the HDMI AV OUT terminal or the OPTICAL DIGITAL AUDIO OUT terminal.

≥To output audio from a device connected with an HDMI cable, set “Digital Audio Output” to “HDMI and Optical” in the Setup menu.

≥Depending on the connected equipment, the sound may be distorted if this unit is connected with an HDMI cable.

≥If recording to the HDD or a DVD-RAM when “Rec for High Speed Copy” is set to “On”, you can only record either the main or secondary audio of a bilingual broadcast. If you do not intend to copy the title to a DVD-R, DVD-R DL, DVD-RW (DVD-Video format), +R, +R DL or +RW set “Rec for High Speed Copy” in the Setup menu to “Off”.


The machine is definitely worth fixing. I have owned fifteen or so of these devices (sold several) and I have never heard of this issue before.

Luke

Evil is charming and beautiful. It makes you doubt yourself. It asks for one small compromise after another until it whittles you down, and it functions best when no one believes in it.-JOA
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Have you accidentally set the machine to play back the second audio program instead of the main audio track?
On page 72 of the manual is the trouble solutions section dealing with your problem:

The machine is definitely worth fixing. I have owned fifteen or so of these devices (sold several) and I have never heard of this issue before.

Hi Church AV Guy,

Thanks for the quick response.

I'll take a look at the recorder again tomorrow (it's nearly 2 am here).

But shouldn't a re-initialization of the recorder, and resetting it to shipping default eliminate a setting issue?


Also, videos that have already been recorded play back just fine with both video and audio tracks being played back over composite RCA cables.


Cheers,
Stephen
Singapore
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But shouldn't a re-initialization of the recorder, and resetting it to shipping default eliminate a setting issue?

Also, videos that have already been recorded play back just fine with both video and audio tracks being played back over composite RCA cables.
The setting for which audio track to record is like the channel number selected. I doubt those choices are reset.

Now that I have had a chance to think about it though, I think SAP only applies to content you get through the tuner, not the AV connections, so I think I was wrong in suggesting that as a cause.

Now, I just don't know...

Sorry. Maybe soneone else has a better idea.

Luke

Evil is charming and beautiful. It makes you doubt yourself. It asks for one small compromise after another until it whittles you down, and it functions best when no one believes in it.-JOA
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Now, I just don't know...
Sorry. Maybe soneone else has a better idea.

Hi Church AV Guy,

Thanks for your help.

Strangely, over the weekend, the EH67 seemed to accept audio input again. But then yesterday (and today), it has stopped working again.

This is the case for the various AV inputs, as well as for RF input (ie. the PAL tuner).

I managed to speak with someone in Panasonic Singapore, and without looking at it, he thinks it could be a problem with the motherboard. And since this is an old model, parts for it might be hard to come by. (I'm sourcing a quote from one of Panasonic's authorised repair centres, and hope to hear back from them tomorrow.)

Given the potential cost of parts and labour, the Panasonic tech support guy (he doesn't offer repair quotes; that is the role of another department) thinks that it might be more cost-effective for me to get a new EH59 as a replacement instead. At least that will have 1-year of warranty and I can potentially purchase an extended warranty too.

- - -
Hence, it seems the only things the EH67 can be used for now is as a DVD player or video TBC in pass-through mode.

Sigh ... so much for what was supposed to be a good US$120 deal on a barely used second hand EH67 ...

Maybe I should just pop the cover and look inside to see if something is loose ... like maybe the audio chip?


Cheers,
Stephen
Singapore
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