Relief Recording Stupidity - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 08-13-2003, 10:08 PM - Thread Starter
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This is one of those things where I really have to blame myself for not reading the manual more carefully, but I can't believe Panasonic implemented it this way...

I needed to record something that was 2 minutes over the 2 hour limit for a DVD-RAM, and didn't want to use FR mode to fit it. I didn't have much space left on the HDD at the time, so I couldn't route it there. I figured that "relief recording" would record as much as it could in the -RAM, then spill the overflow on to the HDD, which had less than an hour of space left.

Guess what? It don't work that way. I not only didn't get the last couple of minutes... I didn't get almost the last hour and a half! How? The algorithm they use is... if there's not enough space left on the DVD-RAM disc (or DVD-R) to fully record a scheduled program, it automatically gets re-routed to the HDD. EVEN IF THE HDD HAS LESS SPACE FREE THAN THE REMOVABLE MEDIA! So I wound up with ~52 minutes, and the full 2 hours of free space on the DVD-RAM weren't even touched.

Wow. Some real brainiacs over at Panasonic! :(

- Tim

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post #2 of 9 Old 08-14-2003, 01:26 AM
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I really wouldn't consider it stupidity on Panasonic's end considering that if you would have just used FR mode in the first place (and it seems that you made a conscious decision in advance not to) you wouldn't have encountered a problem at all (and wouldn't have noticed a PQ difference between SP and FR for a 122 min recording). Besides you are really talking about an unusual situation where you have more free space available on DVD-RAM vs. the HDD because its nearly full and want the relief algorithm default logic based on that special case. What you are saying is that you would rather have relief recording implemented as either (1) splitting a program across DVD-RAM and the HDD if there is not enough room on the HDD (which would make it a pain to recombine later) or (2) have it intellegently determine which medium has more space and record it that medium (even if you are only going to get a partial copy either way so I'm not sure thatt would really help) rather than (3) Panasonic's choice to have it automatically default to recording a relief always to the HDD, regardless. I guess Panasonic made the mistake of assuming some intellegence on the user's part that when faced with insufficient space for a "fixed" mode recording (i.e., XP, SP, LP, etc...) on either RAM or HDD the user would use FR mode to ensure that the program would fit on a disk without risk of the program being prematurely truncated or would ensure that his HDD had sufficient space for a contingency relief mode recording. My personal preference is to have it relief record the way Panasonic chose rather than split the program across RAM and HDD. Frankly, it appears to be more of an engineering judgement call by Panasonic to cover the most likely case of someone setting a fixed mode recording like SP to DVD-RAM without realizing that the RAM is either nearly full or that there is not disk in the tray. In that case I like the way Panasonic chose to use the HDD for relief recording to cover MY stupidity.

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post #3 of 9 Old 08-14-2003, 01:14 PM - Thread Starter
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Wow. Thanks for the friendly response, Vic. :confused:

> I guess Panasonic made the mistake of assuming some intellegence on the user's part... <

If I didn't know better, I'd think you were calling me stupid. (And, BTW, it's intelligence.) This isn't your usual helpful style.

Just for the record:
1) Yes, I made a conscious decision not to use FR mode, because I wanted to see how the Panny actually did Relief Recording, vs. how they described it. And no, the program wasn't of huge importance to me, which justified the "risky" test. I wasn't upset by the loss itself, but rather by what I consider to be less than optimal design engineering on Panasonic's part.

2) It's not all that uncommon that I would have less than 2 hours free on the HDD. Maybe I'm the only one who's lazy, and tends to let things pile up on the convenient HDD until I'm forced to do something about it. :) Plus, it's nice to be able to pick shows to watch from those collected on the HDD, while recording other stuff. Before you know it, 36h27m of free space turns into less than an hour (and the alarm bells go off :D).

3) Yes, I would have preferred that it split the recording across the two media. Making it "a pain to recombine later" is an improvement over not having it at all, at least IMO. I think my problem was thinking it would work like the dual-cassette decks, which overflow to deck B, when deck A fills up.

4) Yes, at the very least it should be smart enough to select the destination with the most free space, in the event that neither one has enough.

5) "My personal preference is...". Thanks. We have differing opinions on this, which is fine.

6) "...cover the most likely case of someone setting a fixed mode recording like SP to DVD-RAM without realizing that the RAM is either nearly full or that there is not disk in the tray." Yes, I agree that this is most likely, and the Panny handles it well. The common analogous scenario on VCR tapes would be to forget to pop one in, or insert the wrong one with only 30 minutes free at the end. Automatic HDD fallback is great then, and would make a better description of what it actually does.

It's also smart enough to do timed recordings without having to be shut "off" first, like many VCRs. And it will interrupt a live recording to start a scheduled event on time. They didn't botch everything. ;)

- Tim

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post #4 of 9 Old 08-14-2003, 04:27 PM
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Hate to tell you this, but you can get 2:07 in SP on a DVD-RAM, with a little 'trickery'...

format DVD-Ram in the 'E', shows 2:00 SP
record something (just a minute or so) on the disc.
take that disc to a PC with a compatible DVD-Ram Drive
load up MovieAlbum SE
delete the program on the disc
take it back to the 'E', it now shows 2:07 SP

and will CONTINUE to hold 2:07 SP no matter how many times you record/erase programs from the disc, delete programs on the 'E', whatever, it will come back to 2:07 SP UNTIL YOU REFORMAT THE DISC IN THE 'E'.

and will work reliably with no errors.

Have been doing that since day one.. no problem at all (and multiple brands of discs)

You know, I used to think it was awful that life was so unfair. Then I thought, wouldn't it be much worse if life were fair, and all the terrible things that happen to us come because we actually deserve them? So now I take great comfort in the general hostility and unfairness of the universe.
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post #5 of 9 Old 08-14-2003, 07:02 PM
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Quote:
> I guess Panasonic made the mistake of assuming some intellegence on the user's part... <

If I didn't know better, I'd think you were calling me stupid. (And, BTW, it's intelligence.) This isn't your usual helpful style.
Didn't mean to offend nor imply anything about your intelligence. I simply stand by my statement that the scenarios you list above could be remedied if you simply chose to use FR MODE (unless you had less than 1/3 of your disk space left, using FR would ensure that you would get an entire 2-hour program recorded, albeit in low res mode). You called Panasonic stupid in the way they chose to implement relief recording. I would reserve such strong statements for a potential fatal design flaw. This is more of an engineering judgement call and they made one. As the saying goes, "you can't please all the people all the time". Like I said, I personally like the way they did implement it (it's saved my butt a few times) and would not like it implemented in the manner you prefer (split recordings don't work for me, though having it compare available space and pick the one with more room might be margnially advantageous). This makes neither one of us stupid or better than the other. You have your opinion and I have mine, and that's the beauty of this forum.

BTW, thanks for helping me with my spelling, I can use all the help I can get.

Peace!
Vic

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post #6 of 9 Old 08-15-2003, 07:57 PM - Thread Starter
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Londo wrote:
> Hate to tell you this, but you can get 2:07 in SP on a DVD-RAM, with a little 'trickery'... <

Wow, that's a pretty slick trick. I can't count the number of times on my 125+ DVD-RAMs (most recorded on my E30) that I could have used a couple extra minutes beyond 2 hours. If I've anticipated it, I wind up with a bit lower quality, using FR to squeeze it in. If I don't, I wind up losing the last 30-60 seconds of the program, because it ran a bit over, or the timing wasn't exactly right. On the HDD now I pad most programming.

Thanks a lot!

vferrari wrote:
> Didn't mean to offend... <

Accepted.

> As the saying goes, "you can't please all the people all the time". <

That's certainly true. It's also true that I've benefitted a lot from your numerous helpful posts here. Thanks!

- Tim

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post #7 of 9 Old 08-16-2003, 12:40 PM
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That trick can indeed come in handy sometimes. However, it has the drawback that if you use the entire 2:07 (i.e., us FR mode) and don't trim anything off the program or enough such that the program exeeds 4GB, Workshop chokes on the vro file. Also, if you are using a FAT32 based file system, you can't transfer the vro file to your hard drive using explorer drag and drop. So I tend to stay away from it unless I really need it.

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post #8 of 9 Old 08-18-2003, 02:25 AM
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Vic..

the solution there is Windows 2000 (Not XP.. yuk..) and NTFS drives. I have 600gb in NTFS online (plus three pull out USB 2.0 external cases) and learned LONG ago that trying to monkey video around in FAT32 is asking for trouble if you go above 2gb (that's probably why Workshop is choking on the 4gb+ file.. Win98 will BARELY tolerate the area between 2gb and 4gb as it is...

oh.. and dragging and dropping the VRO? heh.. call me old fashioned..but I use the Movie Album copy tool to move stuff on/off the RAM's (and the disc tool to check them regularly for dust).

2K is OK, I say.. so don't say nay...

yay!

(it's 2:30am and I'm getting a bit flakey)


ADDENDUM: and with that trick, you DON'T have to use FR to use the whole 2:07... SP will use it without problem (at least it has for the last year or so..)

You know, I used to think it was awful that life was so unfair. Then I thought, wouldn't it be much worse if life were fair, and all the terrible things that happen to us come because we actually deserve them? So now I take great comfort in the general hostility and unfairness of the universe.
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post #9 of 9 Old 08-20-2003, 07:56 PM - Thread Starter
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Londo,

I wish I'd known about that trick when I started using DVD-RAMs. I'd have about 28 hours of extra space on the stack of -RAMs I have here. :)

- Tim

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