I have read much that the Panny E-80 HDD can dub to a DVD-R with a "Lossless Dub" using the High Speed Mode. I believe I know what this means but I need some of our seasoned video guys to elaborate and explain the process and the PQ improvement if we have confirmed that. Did the Panny HS2 not have this? Does this only apply to recordings to the HDD off a live TV digital feed then dubbing to a DVD-R or does it also apply to inputting VHS tapes to the HDD and then dubbing high speed to DVD-R's? Is there any reason to ever dub a VHS or S-VHS tape input to HDD high speed to a DVD-R for better PQ?
Lossless simply means that the dub to DVD-R is a direct digital transfer with no re-encoding taking place. This is evidenced by the fixed data transfer rate of 1x (also known as high speed dub) vs. real-time dub. Lossless transfer means that if you record something to the HDD and subsequently dub to DVD-R you will not loose any picture quality due to a re-encoding step (although the loss in PQ is usually barely noticeable even if re-encoding takes place during the dub as was the case for the HS2). So the picture quality should be just as good as if you recorded direct to DVD-R. Lossless/high-speed dub applies regardless of whether the program was recorded to the HDD off the air or via the video inputs (e.g., dub from vhs or s-vhs source). Lossless/high speed transfer can only occur if you first record to the HDD in DVD-R compatiblity mode otherwise the subsequent dub to DVD-R will occur in real-time and will involve a re-encoding step, adversely affecting PQ.
Except that if you are recording something with commercials that's just barely over the size of the DVD, you *might* be able to record at a higher quality, cut out the commercials, and still fit it on a DVD.. riight?