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post #1 of 168 Old 08-05-2007, 07:44 AM - Thread Starter
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Been reading about this panasonic model a bit. And wondered what peoples experience was with it.

Can you record an HD signal in 16/9 ? I know it will be downconverted, but I do want the widescreen aspect intact.

Is the picture quality decent ?

Just wondering what the ups and downs are on this product.

Thanks for any input.
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post #2 of 168 Old 08-06-2007, 12:05 PM
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Hey,

This question has been answered in many other threads but to answer it in it's own thread, I have been extremely pleased with the performance of my EZ17 since applying the little tricks to avoid it's initial problems (i.e. turning clock set to off, DST to off and VSS to off) Have had no problems at all other than the usual glitches using these digital media recorders (finicky recorders spitting out certain brand DVDs!). I have not even bothered contacting Panasonic for their Bios update for mine since it is doing what I want.

To further answer your questions, yes, it records an HD 16:9 widescreen signal downconverted to SD res with excellent PQ. Blows away my analog recorders on analog cable. In my experience, recording in widescreen seems to depend on how your local affiliate encodes the picture to begin with. Panasonic states that DVD-RAM is to be used to record widescreen but I have been told that is only to maintain the widescreen flag. It seems to record widescreen on regular DVD-Rs for me. I am still learning the widescreen thing myself.

Despite others still reporting problems with the new Panasonics, for basic OTA timer recording, I have been very happy all Summer. Your experience may differ but I would reccommend them.

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post #3 of 168 Old 08-06-2007, 12:18 PM
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i use the very excellent dmr-es15 to record w/s discs. the only downside is that the recorded discs will look vertically stretched on a 4x3 tv. i think the only difference from the ez17 is the digital tuner which i dont care about cus im out here in the vermont woods, no sd or hd ota signals get up here. were lucky to get am radio. i also use toshiba dr2 to record up to 130 mins of anamorphic widescreen/letterboxed stuff.

10' from 84" screen.


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post #4 of 168 Old 08-07-2007, 07:18 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the info guys. I'm really leaning toward this unit. You've mentioned some problems with the media used. Whats the best brand of media in your experience ?

You mention using timer control, so this must be fone for timeshifting. Not clear on what you mean by turning off the clock set. Could you explain what this is ? From what I have read, it must not be that important.

One more thing. The DVD-Ram. This allows you to watch one recorded show while recording another. Is this right ?

I really appreciate the time taken to respond to my concerns. Thanks again.
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post #5 of 168 Old 08-08-2007, 07:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tuna-head View Post

Thanks for the info guys. I'm really leaning toward this unit. You've mentioned some problems with the media used. Whats the best brand of media in your experience ?

I use Sony DVD-Rs. They may not be THE best but they rate up there and they are the brand I found to work in ALL of my DVD recorders - allowing me to use them in any of my machines. Results vary as far as brands in different recorders but Sony works fine in the Panny as it does in my others so I haven't experimented with it.

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You mention using timer control, so this must be fone for timeshifting. Not clear on what you mean by turning off the clock set. Could you explain what this is ? From what I have read, it must not be that important.

Yes, I use it strictly for timer recording. I am not interested in using it as an HD tuner/converter, DVD upscaler, etc. The menus are not intuitive and the buttons on the remote are not laid out optimally (I much prefer my Samsungs on these points) but for the little I need to interact with it to set my timer I am OK with it. Otherwise, it has not missed a recording yet and all with excellent PQ.

When I first hooked it up I had some problems with it missing timer settings. It was attributed by others on this forum as the DST or Daylight Savings Time bug. To be more clear, turning OFF Auto Clock Set (Set the time manually) and OFF Auto DST solved those initial problems. There was also a problem with it not correctly downmixing 5.1 channel surround sound into 2.0 stereo audio. The work around was found to be turning VSS or Virtual Surround Sound to OFF. Why they would have assumed I would want it to default to on is beyond me and I guess they have to apply it when down converting the TV signal BEFORE recording but it definitely affected the recording. There is now a Bios update available from Panasonic but they haven't posted it to their website. You have to call their customer support and log a support claim to have a CD mailed to you in a few weeks time. I haven't bothered since mine is working like I want. Maybe when the make it generally available on their website; like other models.

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One more thing. The DVD-Ram. This allows you to watch one recorded show while recording another. Is this right ?

Yes, I believe this is accurate. I have never tried it myself. I strictly timer record; even on DVD-RAM.

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I really appreciate the time taken to respond to my concerns. Thanks again.

I am glad I could help. To say I have been very happy with my Panny would be an understatement. I find people so quick to report problems on here that I felt somewhat compelled to stick up for the EZ17. While your usage may vary from mine and your results may differ, I think it is a great choice with features not found in other recorders.

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post #6 of 168 Old 08-08-2007, 07:49 AM
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Originally Posted by HomeVideoGuy View Post

When I first hooked it up I had some problems with it missing timer settings. It was attributed by others on this forum as the DST or Daylight Savings Time bug. To be more clear, turning OFF Auto Clock Set (Set the time manually) and OFF Auto DST solved those initial problems.

The funny part about that is that wabjxo posted a link not long ago, which listed the Panasonic EZ series as being compatible with the new DST rules. Now that you have everything running properly, if you feel adventurous, try turning the auto clock back on and see if it no longer has problems. It may have been a case of faulty data being sent out by the local PBS station.

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post #7 of 168 Old 08-08-2007, 09:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Kelson View Post

The funny part about that is that wabjxo posted a link not long ago, which listed the Panasonic EZ series as being compatible with the new DST rules. Now that you have everything running properly, if you feel adventurous, try turning the auto clock back on and see if it no longer has problems. It may have been a case of faulty data being sent out by the local PBS station.


I actually can't turn auto clock back on as my local PBS station was flooded in Katrina (I live in the suburbs of New Orleans) and they are not broadcasting the time while they lease a tower from another station and rebuild their facilities. I actually had auto clock off but DST on; which was causing me the problems. I had forgotten about the new DST changes and was unaware of the bugs in recorders. Turning it off did solve the problems though. Have made dozens of recordings with no problems this Summer. Looking forward to using the EZ17 full force when the TV schedule kicks off this Fall.

On a side, I actually like having autoclock off, as my Samsung analog recorders were picking up all kinds of weird times from many different cable channels and I missed some recording b/c of that. Since I could not set it to my previously known to be good local PBS station I turned those off too. As long as I don't forget DST changes, I find I can keep my clock set very accurately opposed to it setting itself; despite the convenience.

At any rate, I could go to the trouble of getting the patch from Panasonic but I only wanted mine for timer recording and it is working fine so I probably won't bother unless they make it easier and post it to their websire.

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post #8 of 168 Old 08-08-2007, 09:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelson View Post

The funny part about that is that wabjxo posted a link not long ago, which listed the Panasonic EZ series as being compatible with the new DST rules. Now that you have everything running properly, if you feel adventurous, try turning the auto clock back on and see if it no longer has problems. It may have been a case of faulty data being sent out by the local PBS station.

Kelson, I have an EZ-17 scheduled to be delivered tomorrow, and so I should be able to give this a try.

HVG, thanks for all your posts on the EZ-17. They will help me get it up and running. Unlike you, I purchased it to do double duty. I want it to record ATSC programs from Comcast cable (the clear QAM channels anyway) on DVD-RAM to H-S dub onto my Panasonic E-500 to watch on my Mits RP TV, and to use as a ATSC tuner for my SD TV that only has an analog tuner.

I'll report back my experiences using this 1st gen ATSC recorder.

RG
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post #9 of 168 Old 08-08-2007, 10:17 AM
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Originally Posted by rgazzara View Post

Kelson, I have an EZ-17 scheduled to be delivered tomorrow, and so I should be able to give this a try.

I admit, against my better judgement, I have been sorely tempted to buy one of these just to play and see what the state of digital OTA is in philly. I was going to justify it to myself as a secondary recorder to accomodate all the conflict recordings I have to do during the season. But alas, my daughter ships off to college this year which in one fell swoop eliminates my need for conflict recording (as well as dramatically lowering my water bill).

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post #10 of 168 Old 08-08-2007, 07:45 PM
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Although I'll be using it primarily for cable, I'll probably check out digital OTA for the heck of it. Not sure what kind of signal I'll get as we are about 20 miles from the Roxborough transmitter towers.

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post #11 of 168 Old 08-08-2007, 08:11 PM
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RG,
I like to check out antennaweb.org from time to time and see how they rate the reception for me. For the longest time they showed the digital signals out of philly would be more difficult to receive than the analog and I would need a bigger antenna with booster. No surprise since they were broadcasting digital at minimal power.

That apppears to have changed in the past months. Now the digital signals are rated to be easier to receive than the analog -- they must have finally boosted transmission power or constructed some new towers. I already get excellent analog reception so when I saw that I started getting itchy for something, less expensive than a new TV, with a digital tuner so I could play with the digital.

If you are 20mi from Roxborough, you should get excellent signal. Eagle games on FOX should look really clear. Let me know if you get it hooked up before the preseason game on Monday.

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post #12 of 168 Old 08-10-2007, 05:43 AM
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Received the EZ-17 yesterday in good condition with all the accessories (more on that later).

I have it connected to my Comcast analog/clear QAM cable (no STB) with output to a small 13-in SD TV.

First impressions:

Recorder entered setup immediately upon powering up. Setup asked the usual questions before asking to set the clock automatically. It scanned for a channel with the time code with audio on so that I could hear which channel it was tuned to. Stopped scanning at the PBS station (WHYY, channel 12 in Philly). I waited for a while for the time to be set, but it seemed to be taking a long time, so I exited out.

Next it did a scan for channels, analog first, then digital. It appears to have found all the digital channels that I get on my Mits RP HDTV.

I set the clock manually (with DST OFF), and went looking for the VSS setting to make sure it was off. Found it, and it was already off by default (not sure why others have found it set to "natural").

Did a channel scan with the remote. Analog channels tuned in with no delay, while digital channels had a 2-3 sec delay (similar to what I see with my Samsung digital tuner). All the channels came in with a good to excellent PQ. Analog channels were OK (similar to the Mits), but digital channels were excellent. Did not see any dropout, but didn't stay long on any 1 channel.

Menu is OK, but very different from my other Panasonic recorders. Some similarity to my Panasonic DVD players.

Set it up to record 8 half-hour programs today (all digital) in LP mode to check PQ at LP on DVD-RAM. I will check the PQ on my Mits, and I will try to H-S dub onto the HDD on my Panasonic E-500.

The reason I commented on the condition of the EZ-17 is that I purchased it on the Best Buy Outlet Store on eBay. It was described as in "good condition" and tested as functioning OK. All the accessories were included, but it was shipped in the original box and not double-packed (I expected this). When I unpacked the recorder I was surprised in what good condition it was in. There was not a mark on it, and it appeared like new.

Bottom line -- Best Buy is blowing out the Panasonic EZ17 and EZ27 recorders on eBay (also found some on Overstock), and the prices are about one-half retail. I got mine for $76 plus SH&tax -- not a bad deal. If anyone is interested, check out eBay for the BB outlet store.

I'll post more impressions as I use this baby more -- but as of now I am quite happy. More later.

Cheers.

RG
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post #13 of 168 Old 08-16-2007, 11:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rgazzara View Post

Received the EZ-17 yesterday in good condition with all the accessories (more on that later).

I have it connected to my Comcast analog/clear QAM cable (no STB) with output to a small 13-in SD TV.

First impressions:

Recorder entered setup immediately upon powering up. Setup asked the usual questions before asking to set the clock automatically. It scanned for a channel with the time code with audio on so that I could hear which channel it was tuned to. Stopped scanning at the PBS station (WHYY, channel 12 in Philly). I waited for a while for the time to be set, but it seemed to be taking a long time, so I exited out.

Next it did a scan for channels, analog first, then digital. It appears to have found all the digital channels that I get on my Mits RP HDTV.

I set the clock manually (with DST OFF), and went looking for the VSS setting to make sure it was off. Found it, and it was already off by default (not sure why others have found it set to "natural").

Did a channel scan with the remote. Analog channels tuned in with no delay, while digital channels had a 2-3 sec delay (similar to what I see with my Samsung digital tuner). All the channels came in with a good to excellent PQ. Analog channels were OK (similar to the Mits), but digital channels were excellent. Did not see any dropout, but didn't stay long on any 1 channel.

Menu is OK, but very different from my other Panasonic recorders. Some similarity to my Panasonic DVD players.

Set it up to record 8 half-hour programs today (all digital) in LP mode to check PQ at LP on DVD-RAM. I will check the PQ on my Mits, and I will try to H-S dub onto the HDD on my Panasonic E-500.

The reason I commented on the condition of the EZ-17 is that I purchased it on the Best Buy Outlet Store on eBay. It was described as in "good condition" and tested as functioning OK. All the accessories were included, but it was shipped in the original box and not double-packed (I expected this). When I unpacked the recorder I was surprised in what good condition it was in. There was not a mark on it, and it appeared like new.

Bottom line -- Best Buy is blowing out the Panasonic EZ17 and EZ27 recorders on eBay (also found some on Overstock), and the prices are about one-half retail. I got mine for $76 plus SH&tax -- not a bad deal. If anyone is interested, check out eBay for the BB outlet store.

I'll post more impressions as I use this baby more -- but as of now I am quite happy. More later.

Cheers.

Hey,

I was wondering how your recorder was working recording the unencrypted QAM off of cable? I just purchased one of the BB Outlet Stores units (thanks for the heads up - paid $69 plus S&H/Tax but looks like word is getting out now) as a second recorder and was going to try hooking it up to cable to tune in my locals in QAM as well as analog cable channels.

My Samsung R-130 started flaking out and spitting out discs to often to be trusted so I hooked the S-Video out from my digital cable box to my current EZ17. While it still records a nice picture, especially in LP mode, I found it only to be on par with my other analog recorders in XP or SP mode; even with the clearer digital signal. I still plan on using it to record cable only channels that way, in space saving LP mode, but I would rather record my locals from the antenna.

I have heard that unencrypted QAM channels on cable don't always look as good as their OTA signal. I guess I'll find out but was wondering your impressions and if it tuned the QAM channels as well as analog by simply setting the tuner to cable rather than broadcast? I wanted to avoid getting any more antenna equip., boosters, dist. amps, etc. as well as have another means to record cable channels.

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post #14 of 168 Old 08-16-2007, 07:18 PM
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The clear (unencrypted) QAM channels on my Comcast cable record very well. I am quite happy with the PQ, even in LP (4-hr) mode. I have not been able to compare it to OTA digital channels because we live too far from the broadcast towers to receive a signal using an indoor rabbit ears antenna, and I have no desire to purchase a better one (or an outdoor one) to test this out.

Yes, by setting the tuner to cable, all the "clear" channels, digital and analog, were received. The digital channels look a heck of a lot better than the analog ones. I am quite happy with the EZ-17, especially at the price I paid. It actually does double duty, both as an analog/digital DVDR, and as a digital tuner for my SD TV. The price was definitely right.

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post #15 of 168 Old 09-09-2007, 07:17 PM
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This is exactly what I have been looking for! I've wanted a QAM capable STB and was looking at the Samsung, but the thing that turned me off about it was that it didn't have a standard NTSC tuner. But then I found about this, it fit pretty much all of my criteria! I am looking just basically to use it as a basic cable/QAM tuner and occasionally record both of those too.

How has everyone's luck been with using DVD+RW media? Any particular brand work better than others? I have some 4X RiData DVD+RW that has seemed to work with almost anything I've used and it would be great if I could use it with this device also!

I just finished winning one off eBay for $45.88 + shipping!!!! It doesn't have any AV cables or the remote (it just includes the DVD Recorder & power cable). The remote really doesn't matter to me because I have a Logitech Harmony and I looked up in their database and saw this DVD Recorder! Sweet!!
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post #16 of 168 Old 09-09-2007, 08:11 PM
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Originally Posted by rdb4133 View Post

This is exactly what I have been looking for! I've wanted a QAM capable STB and was looking at the Samsung, but the thing that turned me off about it was that it didn't have a standard NTSC tuner. But then I found about this, it fit pretty much all of my criteria! I am looking just basically to use it as a basic cable/QAM tuner and occasionally record both of those too.

How has everyone's luck been with using DVD+RW media? Any particular brand work better than others? I have some 4X RiData DVD+RW that has seemed to work with almost anything I've used and it would be great if I could use it with this device also!

I just finished winning one off eBay for $45.88 + shipping!!!! It doesn't have any AV cables or the remote (it just includes the DVD Recorder & power cable). The remote really doesn't matter to me because I have a Logitech Harmony and I looked up in their database and saw this DVD Recorder! Sweet!!

I got one off fLeaBay too... to use in my bedroom with an HD-ready tv. The 3tuner feature is nice. Can flip through all the NTSC-SD, ATSC-HD via QAM, and NTSC-DT via QAM from my cable company with no problems, all integrated seamlessly.
Please be aware, the only way to properly record a picture in 16:9 format, is with DVD-RAM media. It even states it as such right in the manual. I haven't actually been able to record anything yet, but other posts here will give you a good idea.
Also, if you didn't already know, this unit does not output HD resolutions. It downconverts to outout at 480p.

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post #17 of 168 Old 09-09-2007, 09:31 PM
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I got one off fLeaBay too... to use in my bedroom with an HD-ready tv. The 3tuner feature is nice. Can flip through all the NTSC-SD, ATSC-HD via QAM, and NTSC-DT via QAM from my cable company with no problems, all integrated seamlessly.
Please be aware, the only way to properly record a picture in 16:9 format, is with DVD-RAM media. It even states it as such right in the manual. I haven't actually been able to record anything yet, but other posts here will give you a good idea.
Also, if you didn't already know, this unit does not output HD resolutions. It downconverts to outout at 480p.

I can't believe how cheap these things are going for off "fleaBay". I downloaded the manual and read that you need DVD-RAM's to record in 16:9, which is fine I found a Panasonic 5-pack of DVD-RAM from CC for a decent price. (BB had it cheaper but none in stock at any stores near to me) So I went ahead and set up the in-store pick-up so I'll get it in the next few days. I saw that it doesn't output HD resolutions but for the difference in price (between the Panny and Samsung QAM/ATSC tuner only), all of the other things it can do and that it's only going on a Olevia 26" Widescreen LCD TV in my bedroom I can live without it being "True HD". Now if this were for a much bigger screen then I would want full HD, well for my bigger screen I have a HD Cable Box from my Cable Co. The reason I didn't bother get one for the bedroom they wanted nearly $10 more a month just for an extra HD Cable Box?! I thought that was completely insane.

I take it that the Panasonic brand DVD-RAM discs that I am buying probably would work best with this DVD Recorder since it's also Panasonic?
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post #18 of 168 Old 09-10-2007, 03:52 AM
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I take it that the Panasonic brand DVD-RAM discs that I am buying probably would work best with this DVD Recorder since it's also Panasonic?

That's what I would think. Like I said though, I haven't been able to use the recording functions as of yet. I need to get some RAM discs myself. Totally forgot about getting some till now.

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post #19 of 168 Old 09-15-2007, 11:54 PM
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Glad I caught up with this topic! I have been researching this product, as well. Has anybody tried out recording on a dl disc? Anything peculiar to report?

When you guys say it only records 16:9 to dvd-ram, what exactly does that mean? Is it recording anamorphic 16:9 to dvd-ram or just letterboxed 16:9 in an sd frame? So what happens if you try to record 16:9 to dvd-r?

This product family also seems to be touting "hybrid vbr" recording as a spec. feature. Does anybody know if this is any different from how other dvd recorders are doing it? Is there any way to assess the benefit to pq, as a result of this feature?

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post #20 of 168 Old 09-19-2007, 12:22 PM
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Glad I caught up with this topic! I have been researching this product, as well. Has anybody tried out recording on a dl disc? Anything peculiar to report?

When you guys say it only records 16:9 to dvd-ram, what exactly does that mean? Is it recording anamorphic 16:9 to dvd-ram or just letterboxed 16:9 in an sd frame? So what happens if you try to record 16:9 to dvd-r?

This product family also seems to be touting "hybrid vbr" recording as a spec. feature. Does anybody know if this is any different from how other dvd recorders are doing it? Is there any way to assess the benefit to pq, as a result of this feature?


I have tried using TDK DVD+R DLs in mine. I was concerned the first time as it seemed to hang up the recorder, and spit out the disc, at the layer change. Two more discs have recorded just fine so who knows why the first failed. I have not gone back and watched them straight thru to see what happens at the layer change but spot checking seemed fine.

It will record 16:9 to DVD-R but will only preserve the widescreen flag, to tell your TV to stretch the picture, on DVD-RAM. Not a problem if your TV can maually stretch the picture. I only have a 4:3 set, everything appears letterboxed but I see the full width of the frame.

The VBR feature, called FR mode on the Panny, is only available when timer recording. That way the recorder knows how long you intend to record and how much space is left on the disc. It calculates a "hybrid" BR based on this. While maybe not as good as a multiple pass, non-realtime encoding on a PC, it is better than being stuck with standard CBRs and can improve PQ by compressing less and allow you to fit a program to the space left on a disc or just a whole disc. I can't discern a difference between SP and LP modes on my 25" analog TV set but I use FR mode frequently to "fit" things to disc using the least possible compression.

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post #21 of 168 Old 09-19-2007, 12:34 PM
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Variable bit rate (VBR) actually has nothing to do with FR recording. VBR means that the bit rate will vary during the recording in an attempt to allocate more bits for fast-moving scenes, while allocating fewer bits for slow-moving scenes. This scheme will more efficiently allocate bits than a fixed bit rate recording.

Flexible recording (FR) sets the average bit rate for the recording based on the length of the recording, to maximize the PQ of the recording. FR is available for BOTH timer recordings and manual recordings.

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post #22 of 168 Old 09-19-2007, 06:19 PM
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Just to add a little more to RG's post. As far as I know, every recorder encodes using VBR. In addition Panasonic has a mode when recording to HDD or RAM they call "hybrid" VBR. This mode not only changes bitrate but also resolution in an attempt to provide an overall higher quality picture by also dropping resolution where not needed so it can apply even more bits where needed.

Most of us (probably all of us) with Panasonic HDD recorders turn this feature off because the consequence of recording in hybrid VBR is that you cannot high-speed dub the recording to DVD-R. It must be done in real time so that the recording can be re-encoded to a constant resolution to satisfy DVD video standards.

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post #23 of 168 Old 09-19-2007, 06:59 PM
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Thank you for the responses to my post.

So I'm confused now- is this Panasonic doing real "vbr" or FR via cbr, then? I guess the "vbr" nomenclature is a source of confusion, in that even cbr has some degree of vbr to it, but it still is not the same as "multi-pass" vbr. I was intrigued if this recorder could really do "real" vbr ("multi-pass" is what I had in my head), but that wouldn't make any sense, if it has to record realtime onto a recordable dvd. So my hunch tells me that there use of the term "vbr" isn't what I had in mind is actually just the regular cbr with some variance and possible FR, as well.

The built-in atsc on a dvd-recorder seems like "the ticket", though, when it comes to seamlessly snagging hd broadcasts to an anamorphic sd recording. It takes some of the guesswork out of what to send the recorder from an outboard stb. It just seems like they need to make the flag setting operation more consistent, regardless of the media you choose to record.

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post #24 of 168 Old 09-19-2007, 07:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelson View Post

Most of us (probably all of us) with Panasonic HDD recorders turn this feature off because the consequence of recording in hybrid VBR is that you cannot high-speed dub the recording to DVD-R. It must be done in real time so that the recording can be re-encoded to a constant resolution to satisfy DVD video standards.

I don't quite understand this part. Why does it matter if it is hybrid vbr or not if you high-speed dub from hdd to dvd-r? Does dvd-r have some native limitation that makes it not support vbr recordings? I can see how if you were recording direct to dvd-r, you would have to be stuck with how ever you were encoding the realtime source, but I don't see how the media, itself, could mandate if it is cbr or vbr.

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post #25 of 168 Old 09-20-2007, 12:57 AM
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What Kelson is referring to is that H-S dubbing cannot be performed if the resolution varies during the recording -- this violates DVD video standards. That is why, in Panasonic recorders, when H-S dubbing is set to "on", the hybrid VBR is automatically set to "fixed", to prevent the resolution from varying during the recording.

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post #26 of 168 Old 09-20-2007, 07:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Hanky View Post

Thank you for the responses to my post.

So I'm confused now- is this Panasonic doing real "vbr" or FR via cbr, then? I guess the "vbr" nomenclature is a source of confusion, in that even cbr has some degree of vbr to it, but it still is not the same as "multi-pass" vbr. I was intrigued if this recorder could really do "real" vbr ("multi-pass" is what I had in my head), but that wouldn't make any sense, if it has to record realtime onto a recordable dvd. So my hunch tells me that there use of the term "vbr" isn't what I had in mind is actually just the regular cbr with some variance and possible FR, as well.

The built-in atsc on a dvd-recorder seems like "the ticket", though, when it comes to seamlessly snagging hd broadcasts to an anamorphic sd recording. It takes some of the guesswork out of what to send the recorder from an outboard stb. It just seems like they need to make the flag setting operation more consistent, regardless of the media you choose to record.

I think you have the right idea and was what I was trying to explain. No matter how Panasonic varies from the set CBR bitrates of XP, SP, LP and EP "modes" it is not a true VBR as in the computer sense. That would require a non realtime, multipass encode where by the encoding software determines the complexity of the video and what can be compressed more and what should be compressed less for optimum PQ for the amount of space designated. Everything on a DVD recorder is 1X, on the fly encode, at some preset or predetermined CBR.

I have heard others say that the Panasonic's record FR when live recording. I only use mine to timer record and have not read the manual in quite some time. That may be true but I am puzzled at how the unit would know when you are going to press the STOP button. In other words it doesn't know HOW MUCH recording it has to fit to the space available on the DVD. My Samsungs only have FR mode when timer recording. Then again, FR mode on the Samsung only decides for you, based on the length of the timer setting, which preset CBR to use for us; XP, SP, LP or EP.

At any rate, I would highly reccommend the EZ-17 to do just what you want; record downrez'd HD off of a digital tuner. The PQ is awesome even in 400 line LP mode. I only use FR mode to fit things to disc or what's left on a disc and reduce compression for even better quality. But on my 25" analog set, I can't see a difference between any setting except EP mode; which is pretty good but noticably compressed.

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post #27 of 168 Old 09-20-2007, 08:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rgazzara View Post

What Kelson is referring to is that H-S dubbing cannot be performed if the resolution varies during the recording -- this violates DVD video standards. That is why, in Panasonic recorders, when H-S dubbing is set to "on", the hybrid VBR is automatically set to "fixed", to prevent the resolution from varying during the recording.

"Violates DVD video standards"? First I've heard of this. The DVD standards allow MPEG2 encoding, which does the VBR encoding. (See this page.)

I'm high-speed dubbing DVDs with VBR encoding all the time. You must be referring to something else or specific to Panasonic?


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post #28 of 168 Old 09-20-2007, 08:43 AM
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I agree. VBR is within the DVD standard. VBR or variable bit rate just applies to how the bit rate is allocated. With VBR the bit rate can vary. With CBR or constant bit rate the bit rate is fixed. Both are within the DVD standard.

VBR or CBR do not effect resolution. A resolution of 720x480 can be either VBR or CBR. As can 352x480 for example.

I had a Panasonic E30 which I believe was circa 2002. This model would change resolutions within a recording. Not good. Editing on a PC with Wombles MPEG2VCR for example was a real problem. And most if not all DVD authoring programs rejected the Panasonic recordings. Back then there were no or very few HDD models so editing was done on a PC. But it was my understanding that newer Panasonic models no longer change resolutions within a recording.
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post #29 of 168 Old 09-20-2007, 09:33 AM
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Ah, I see now...changing bit rate AND resolution during recording...not a good thing!


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post #30 of 168 Old 09-20-2007, 09:50 AM
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I did not say that VBR violates the DVD standard, reread the post.

If the resolution of the VBR recording varies during the recording (which Panasonic allows if the hybrid VBR is set to "automatic"), then the recording cannot be H-S dubbed. This function is provided, if desired, to decrease the appearance of macroblocks if the allocation of bits at the "normal" resolution is insufficient to prevent them. Decreasing the resolution decreases the bit rate needed to prevent macroblocks.

On older Panasonics (my E-500 for example), if you select the H-S dubbing option, the hybrid VBR is automatically set to "fixed" to prevent the resolution from changing during the recording. The selection of "automatic" hybid VBR (which will reduce the resolution during the recording, if needed to prevent macroblocks) is only allowed for recording to HDD or DVD-RAM, which means that it is only allowed for VR mode recordings. Automatic hybrid VBR (with varying resolution) is NOT allowed for Video mode recordings, which is why Kelson said (and I repeated) that recordings with varying resolution violates the DVD standard. If you want to dub a recording with varying resolution to a Video mode disc (DVD-R, +R, etc.) you need to do a real-time dub (and not a H-S dub) to reencode the program and maintain a constant resolution during the recording.

I hope that this is more clear.

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