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Not my week I guess...

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
I had two thing happen this week that were just bad luck, I HOPE.

First, I purchased an EH75 from Craigslist. This was listed in Albuquerque, where I DON'T live, but my wife was a very close cousin who lives there. I had him buy it for me, and three months later, when we went through Albuquerque on our annual Thanksgiving trek, I picked it up. When I powered it up, it made the dreaded bad laser emitter sound: beep, beep, beep, beep, Burrp, recorded here. I don't remember if it was listed as condition unknown or not, and it was some months. If these machines have an Achilles Heel, it's the laser emitter. Anyway, the thing has already been sent off to MICKINCT for repair. To be honest, it was only $200, and it came with a some additional stuff not related to the EH75, so I suspect it was a part of an estate sale. Having a bad emitter was not terribly unexpected, but I was n't exactly pleased about it either.

Second, last night I was trying to copy a title onto a -RAM disk and I had lots of problems. The first -RAM disk I put in my trusty EH55 (my workhorse machine) came back saying it was unformatted. I know this is incorrect, because I have used that disk in the past--it had content on it. When I tried to format it, the machine said it was readonly! Really?!? So, I tried another disk. This one it read, but it too was readonly, as was the next one, AND the next one! At that point, I'm thinking that there is something wrong with the optical drive in my main DVD recorder. I tried yet a fifth -RAM disk, and this one worked just fine, no issues. I was able to delete the old content and write the title I wanted without incident. Of course, that was the last disk I made that day, and it WAS a busy day for the machine. I think I made about eight DVDs (T-Y -R's) before attempting to use the -RAM disk.

What do you think? (Clearly the EH75 from Craigslist was just bad luck.) Is my EH55's optical drive is going bad, is the power supply in my EH55 is getting weak and not delivering the power it should, or was I just having a bad day?
post #2 of 24
I find DVD-RAM to be very very dodgy lately. I've been using it for years as temporary storage and a means to shuttle content between my Pioneer recorders via HS lossless dub, but over the past year I've had nothing but problems using RAM on all my Pioneers, regardless of the RAM disc age or formatting. Pioneers are usually a bit less finicky with RAM than Panasonics, so if I'm having a problem along with everyone else it may be cosmic rays or solar flares or something.

Of course you may be right that your EH55 was just tuckered out after several burns in a row. TY is getting a little weird lately, too, I find my recorders need a rest after perhaps three TY -Rs otherwise the fourth doesn't burn completely or burns poorly. Let your EH55 burner relax for a day or two and see what happens. If it acts up again, its hard to say whether there's just something in the air right now that interferes with RAM discs, or your laser is weakening.

I expect mickinct is getting a lot of business now as these machines hit their sixth, seventh and eigth birthdays. smile.gif
post #3 of 24
Thread Starter 
Much earlier this year I put on -RAM disks the entire first seven years of Supernatural, from TNT. I have been slowly editing and writing them to -R disks. I have over 100 episodes finished, and so far, only two have had the "evil bits" problem, where the parity check seems to fail. I have been really happy about that. Sometime last year I did the same with the Dick VanDyke Show, and again, only had one or two bad burns out of 150 or so episodes.

I have seen what you talking about, the -RAM disks acting dodgy, but that has not been the case lately, at least for me, at least until this incident yesterday. rolleyes.gif I am hoping that we can figure out what is the culprit behind these problems.

T-Y -Rs had been working great until the JVC debacle. That was when I started to get burn failures. It was funny, but in a particular batch, several disks would fail at almost exactly the same point, say when the burn was 62% done, or 48% done. Then in the next batch, it was somewhere else, but still, very consistent. I changed all of my Panasonic DVD recorders so they never progressed from 8x to 4x,* and the problems disappeared. I still do a "disk verification test" on every disk I burn (It is a function provided by my DVD duplicator) and since I switched to 4x, the duplicator hasn't caught a single bad burn.

* From page 58 of the Panasonic EH59 manual:
Quote:
DVD Speed for High Speed Copy
Select the speed of high-speed copying (When using high-speed copy compatible DVD-RAM 5X, DVD-R, +R 8X or +RW 4X discs).

[Maximum]

[Normal ( Silent )]

The noise generated by this unit when "Silent" is selected is less than when “Maximum” is selected, however the time required for copying will
double (approximately).

In Panasonic's jargon, I expect maxamum is 8x, and silent is 4x.
Quote:
I expect mickinct is getting a lot of business now as these machines hit their sixth, seventh and eigth birthdays.
I just wonder, and worry, about how long his supply of laser emitters will last. By then, hopefully, we will have moved to infinitely deep holographic crystalline storage with V/R direct neuro stimulation, and NO glasses required! biggrin.gif
post #4 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by CitiBear View Post

I find DVD-RAM to be very very dodgy lately.
I totally agree with you on that! I'm forced to use RAM discs on a almost daily basis(Panasonics don't allow lossless transfers with RWs like Pioneer!) to move material from one of my Panasonics to another. Every so often I get the evil bits scenario, it's always going HS from the HDD to RAM, I've never had it going from the RAM back to HDD or if I originally recorded the RAM in realtime(but I REALLY don't want to use my HDD machines for realtime burns).
I've tried all the tricks, washing the disc with soap and water occasionally, etc. To the best of my knowledge the best way to minimize(other than realtime burning I know of no way to eliminate an occasional evil bit) problems is to REFORMAT(not delete all) after every reuse. Reformatting probably decreases my chances of evil bits by a factor of 4. Washing the disc may also help but again not enough to guarantee 100% success.
I basically never have failed HS burns with -R or RWs(other than if the spindle is very dirty, which I generally keep on top of) just RAM discs that may fail even with a newly cleaned spindle.
Knock on wood I've NEVER had a laser failure with literally 1000s and 1000s of burns, now watch after I've posted this I'll have a rash of failures tongue.gif

Other than how handy RAM discs are I really despise them but again with Panasonics your kind of forced to use them for certain things. Regarding the evil bits, I've got quite good at watching a title in 30x and being able to spot the bad area and delete it. Generally it's only a few seconds up to about 20 long and most of the time I've been lucky enough for it to not effect things too much. Deleting the bad area always lets me HS the title with no further problem. I don't want to spend the time to review all my titles and since it happens so infrequently I just live with the occasional failed burn.

Luke, I ONLY use SILENT mode on all my Panasonic, I figure I can wait a few extra minutes if it's easier on my vintage irreplaceable machines smile.gif
post #5 of 24
Thread Starter 
Why would the -RAM disks become dodgy LATELY? Would that not suggest that our machines are aging? Some of my -RAM disks are pretty new, while others are quite old and well used, over and over again. I doubt it's sunspots, or global warming eek.gif. As with other things, I find the change in the way things work, troubling.

jjeff, I too look for the bad spots and simply cut them. If a title is especially important, I copy it twice. I assume the probability of a single failure is poor, but the probablity of two failures, in the same place is infinitesimal. I too try to do as little realtime recording as possible. I have never checked the relationship between delete and reformat on the "evil bits" phenomenon. I try to keep them clean, but I really need to start inspecting the disks fro the occasional dust particle before use. On one occasion, I had a bad copy from a -RAM and when I inspected the disk, a very large and noticeable bit of paper chaff was stuck to the underside of the disk. Boy did I feel stupid.

You said that:
Quote:
Other than how handy RAM discs are I really despise them but again with Panasonics your kind of forced to use them for certain things.
While I understand your frustrations, many other machines don't have this capability at all. I would hate to lose the -RAM disk capability.
post #6 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Church AV Guy View Post

I have never checked the relationship between delete and reformat on the "evil bits" phenomenon.....
While I understand your frustrations, many other machines don't have this capability at all. I would hate to lose the -RAM disk capability.
On your first point, trust me I have. On 10s and 10s of burns I can tell you that reformatting dramatically(I'd guess in the neighborhood of 4x) lessens using REFORMAT vs DELETE ALL. Also note if you always FORMAT it really takes no longer than a DELETE ALL. If you've done many DELETE ALLs a subsequent REFORMAT may take some time(up to a minute or two).
I second your second point, as much as I dislike RAM discs, I'd dislike even more not having the option for lossless transfers smile.gif

Personally I don't think I'm having any more RAM failures than usual, in fact using REFORMAT and the occasional(maybe every 20th time) washing and I'd say I have failures of less than 1 out of every 20 full RAM discs. Note my full RAM discs generally contain 10-15 titles so if you figure it out my failures/title is really quite small, but annoying none the less when they happen.
post #7 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by CitiBear View Post

Of course you may be right that your EH55 was just tuckered out after several burns in a row... Let your EH55 burner relax for a day or two and see what happens. If it acts up again, its hard to say whether there's just something in the air right now that interferes with RAM discs, or your laser is weakening.

Okay, I let it sit for a day of non-use and tried it again. Same result. I too k the -RAM disk that was reported as being not formatted and put it in one of my EH59s, and it too said the disk was not formatted. I formatted it, and it took a VERY, V..E..R..Y long time, but it came back as format successful. I was able to write to it and delete the small title I had placed on the disk. When I took the newly formatted disk to the EH55, it was media locked. I then took the -RAM disk to a different EH55, and I was able to use it.

It sounds more and more like the optical drive or power supply. frown.gif
post #8 of 24
mad.gifmad.gifmad.gifmad.gif RAM discs mad.gifmad.gifmad.gif
Your bad luck has spread to me frown.gif
Just when I was thinking I had figured out a way to minimize the evil bits scenario they struck again today and I had many(I think 6) failed burns.
I was doing some HDD housekeeping last night and burnt 4 full RAM discs. I reformatted them and even did my occasional disc washing before the burn. Today I HS copied them to another Panasonics HDD, did some editing and finally tried to HS copy them to -R blanks. I say tried because of all the failures, and of course the failed titles just happened to be the longest titles(30-45 minutes SP) and as you know when this happens you lose all the space taken up by that title before the failure. 1/2 of the failures were particularly nasty and required me to hold down the power button for 5 seconds to abort the burn(normally when I have a failure the burn just stops and I get a OSD that says failed burn) this was not the case today mad.gif

So I'm basically scrapping my idea that washing the discs(again prior to the initial burn all discs were washed and looked like new) and I'm also second guessing if reformatting actually helps(although I'm probably going to still reformat between burns but more because it really takes on longer than a delete all). My new plan will to be to try and burn all my RAMs initially in realtime and monitor my success rate. Of course for the occasional time I want a mirror copy of whats on the HDD I'll be forced to use HS but for archiving off my Tivo I'm going to go directly to RAM in realtime and then at some later time HS back to a HDD, edit and finally HS burn to a -R disc.

Oh and in the past thinking that maybe my DVDR that I made the initial HS RAM burn had a flaky DVD drive I tried a couple others, they all had the occasional evil bits issues. I really don't think it's my machines or RAM discs, I truly believe it's just the flakiness of the RAM format, that or the way in general that Panasonic DVDRs record to them in HS mode. I also wonder how much of a coincidence it is that the majority of my failed burns seems to be on longer(30-45 minutes SP) as apposed to shorter (3-15 minute SP) titles that seem to fail less. Almost like a buffer overrun issue where the machine gets ahead of the disc......just speculating, trying to put reason to the seemingly randomness of my failed burns.
Edited by jjeff - 12/6/12 at 5:34pm
post #9 of 24
Thread Starter 
Sorry jjeff. frown.gif

I have been having on again / off again luck with my -RAM disks. I recently had very good luck with them, then last week, all those "bad" disks in a row. Like I said, I have taken to HS copying material twice, to two different disks on the assumption that is it very unlikley that there will be two bad burns on the same title.

-RAM disks are really nice, but their error rate is not impressive. My understanding is that they are mostly used for computer applications. Do the computers have the same problems? With the cost of disk storage getting very low, -RAM disks would seem to no longer be very useful.

The evil bits problem makes me uncomfortable whenever I have to use a -RAM disk. Interestingly, the 5x -RAM disks I have seem to be more reliable than the 3x ones. I haven't really done any hard numbers, just a sense.
post #10 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Church AV Guy View Post

The evil bits problem makes me uncomfortable whenever I have to use a -RAM disk. Interestingly, the 5x -RAM disks I have seem to be more reliable than the 3x ones. I haven't really done any hard numbers, just a sense.
Unfortunately all I have are the 2x-3x Panasonic RAM discs. I also wonder how good RAM discs would be for PC applications. I thought with PC apps that even one bit difference would cause a failure where video use seems to be able to skip over slightly bad parts with error corrections....
Your speed hunch might make sense and agree with my much better success(so far) using realtime RAM burning. I've been using that method since my rash of failures and so far 100% success. I know realtime burning may not make sense for all but for me, coming from my TIvo in realtime anyway, I don't lose any quality and because the discs are RAM I can easily HS(lossless) copy back to a HDD Panasonic.
I'll know for sure if it's the realtime burning or just good luck after a couple weeks but I seem to remember a while back I kind of figured out the same thing(realtime was much more reliable) but somehow got back into the habit of first going to the HDD and then HS copying to RAM. Oh as you may remember I already use silent mode so no way to really slow down the burn anymore when using HS.
post #11 of 24
Thread Starter 
Very few people I know have even HEARD of 5x -RAM disks, so I am not surprised that you don't have any. Mine came formatted for computer use, but the reformatted easily for DVD recorder use. The only ones available that I know of are the Verbatim.

I really think that there is some merit to your statement:
Quote:
...I really don't think it's my machines or RAM discs, I truly believe it's just the flakiness of the RAM format, that or the way in general that Panasonic DVDRs record to them in HS mode. I also wonder how much of a coincidence it is that the majority of my failed burns seems to be on longer(30-45 minutes SP) as apposed to shorter (3-15 minute SP) titles that seem to fail less. Almost like a buffer overrun issue where the machine gets ahead of the disc......just speculating, trying to put reason to the seemingly randomness of my failed burns.

In the absence of any other theory or opinion, this make some sense to me. I really wish I could figure it out so I can make it stop.

One of my 5x -RAM disks had a physical flaw in the disk itself. It was clearly visible to the unaided eye, so at least in that case, the quality control failed. When my recorder hit that spot, the disk stopped dead, waited a bit, then continued, but with a BIG dropout.
post #12 of 24
Thread Starter 
I had another "interesting" thing happen yesterday that perplexes me. I was making a DVD and when I finalized it, two of the titles had incorrect thumbnails. The playlists I was dubbing to the disk had the correct thumbnails showing on screen, but the DVD used the first frame of the playlists rather then the thumbnails I had selected. frown.gif This isn't the first time I have seen this, but it is unusual. I went back into the playlist and reselected a thumbnail a few frames different from the one I had previously chosen, and then it worked fine.
post #13 of 24
You didn't by any chance slip into Real-Time mode??? The Pansonics I've used lose three things when copying in Real-Time: Chapter points, freezes at edit points (meaning you get seamless playback), and thumbnails.
post #14 of 24
Thread Starter 
Richard,

No, it was a single copy operation consisting of five titles. All of them had the "proper" thumbnails in the playlist screen, but two of them had "reverted" to the first frame of the playlist on the optical media after the copy operation and finalization completed. There was no way it coulds have been realtime as I was dubbing five one hour shows recorded LP mode to the disk, and it took between ten and fifteen minutes to complete.

Good thought though.

It was just weird. Oh, and I was using an EH50, but it has happened only once before to me, and that was using an EH55.confused.gif
post #15 of 24
HMM-MM. Just for kicks, what are the chapter points like? Did they slip into the 5-minute RT mode too?
post #16 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by RichardT View Post

HMM-MM. Just for kicks, what are the chapter points like? Did they slip into the 5-minute RT mode too?

Dunno, I tossed the disk. I'll dig it out of the trash can and check. That would be good to know. Like I said, this happened twide before, so in my making over 2500 DVDs, I have had this happen three times. Hardly a real problem/issue.
post #17 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Church AV Guy View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by RichardT View Post

HMM-MM. Just for kicks, what are the chapter points like? Did they slip into the 5-minute RT mode too?

Dunno, I tossed the disk. I'll dig it out of the trash can and check. That would be good to know. Like I said, this happened twide before, so in my making over 2500 DVDs, I have had this happen three times. Hardly a real problem/issue.

I checked it out, and the chapter marks were where I put them, not every 5 minutes like in real-time mode.
post #18 of 24
As Citibear is fond of saying, and I believe him more and more every day........DVD burning is as much Voodoo as science(or something to that effect) biggrin.gif
Knock on wood, I've burnt about a dozen RAM discs realtime without one occurrence of the evil bits scenario. I know this isn't a option for all(like the people trying to losslessly clean off their HDD) but for me with my first recording being realtime anyway it just happens to work out OK. Never seem to run into issues HS copying back to the HDD, just going the other way smile.gif
Unfortunately because Panasonic chose to hobble the drive on non HDD models I can't do my original realtime RAM burning on a non HDD Panasonic(doing so will not allow lossless copying to the HDD of a HDD Panasonic mad.gif).
post #19 of 24
Thread Starter 
Yeah, I hear you. I was very unhappy to find out that using a non HDD Panasonic would allow me to make -RAM disks, then HS copy them to the hard drive in one of my other recorders, but that title could not be HS copied to optical media. What a bad decision on Panasonic's part.
post #20 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Church AV Guy View Post

I had another "interesting" thing happen yesterday that perplexes me. I was making a DVD and when I finalized it, two of the titles had incorrect thumbnails. The playlists I was dubbing to the disk had the correct thumbnails showing on screen, but the DVD used the first frame of the playlists rather then the thumbnails I had selected. frown.gif This isn't the first time I have seen this, but it is unusual. I went back into the playlist and reselected a thumbnail a few frames different from the one I had previously chosen, and then it worked fine.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Church AV Guy View Post

I checked it out, and the chapter marks were where I put them, not every 5 minutes like in real-time mode.

So, what is that telling us? Just that it didn't "think" it was operating in full TR mode. It simply slipped a cog in the Thumbnail area. ?
I thought perhaps you forgot to define a thumbnail in the Playlist, because like the name, the Playlist thumbnail does not automatically carry over from the source. But it looks like you have that covered. That it worked the second time---?? Would it have worked if you had not redefined the thumbnail???

I don't know how the software/firmware works. Is it conceivable that the data-bit combination could in this case have been misinterpreted as control-bit info?

I have 33+ years data processing background programming corporate mainframes from 1962 thru 1995. We can assume nothing.
post #21 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
So, what is that telling us?

I have no clue what it means, if anything. I thought it was interesting. If it has any significance at all, it's likely that there are still a few bugs in the system that on the rare occasion DO crop up.

This is what I am wondeing, if I hadn't selected copy and finalize, but copy only, and then looked at the titles on the unfinalized disk, would the thumbnails had been "wrong" and if so could I have fixed them there (selected the proper thumbnails on the unfinalized DVD-R)?


AND


As long as we're in the Christmas season, a joke I heard quite a few years ago:


Rudolph the Red-Nosed reindeer has died!

I know, it is sad. Travel authorities in Barcelona reported today that the famed reindeer was flying over the city when he was caught in a microburst that caused him to lose altitude very quickly, and disoriented, he flew into or was hit by a flock of seagulls which apparently stunned him, whereby he strayed into the path of, and was struck by a 747 passenger jet . The report concluded that although the loss of altitude and impacts with the birds contributed to his demise, the Reindeer in Spain died mainly from the plane."
Edited by Church AV Guy - 12/14/12 at 3:33pm
post #22 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Church AV Guy View Post

This is what I am wondeing, if I hadn't selected copy and finalize, but copy only, and then looked at the titles on the unfinalized disk, would the thumbnails had been "wrong" and if so could I have fixed them there (selected the proper thumbnails on the unfinalized DVD-R)?

Rudolph the Red-Nosed reindeer has died!
I know, it is sad. Travel authorities in Barcelona reported today that the famed reindeer was flying over the city when he was caught in a microburst that caused him to lose altitude very quickly, and disoriented, he flew into or was hit by a flock of seagulls which apparently stunned him, whereby he strayed into the path of, and was struck by a 747 passenger jet . The report concluded that although the loss of altitude and impacts with the birds contributed to his demise, the Reindeer in Spain died mainly from the plane."

Interesting question. I wouldn't expect the Finalize to run around changing data, but it obviously is busy doing something. If it WAS caused by the "Copy and Finalize" combination, how could you test it? It likely would not show up if the two jobs were separated.

How horrible about Rudolph! How about Dasher & Dancer, Prancer and Vixen, Comet and Cupid, Donder and Blitzen? Did any of them survive? Obviously , Santa survived, I still see him around, but I'm concerned about those eight reindeer.

And as I write this, the news is full of the Connecticut real life tragedy. I just can't even imagine the shock, the horror, of the 40 parents of those 20 children. Maybe not quite 40 if some of the children were siblings; in that case they would be feeling the multiple pain and loss. Could even be more than 40, if blended families, there would be step-parents in addition to the biological parents. And the adults, too, that died! What could drive a madman like that?
post #23 of 24
On second thought, I guess it would show up on the unfinalized disc.

Next question: Is it repeatable? If you ran the same job again, with no changes,---?
post #24 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
And as I write this, the news is full of the Connecticut real life tragedy. I just can't even imagine the shock, the horror, of the 40 parents of those 20 children. Maybe not quite 40 if some of the children were siblings; in that case they would be feeling the multiple pain and loss. Could even be more than 40, if blended families, there would be step-parents in addition to the biological parents. And the adults, too, that died! What could drive a madman like that?

I too wonder what could POSSIBLY be going through the head of someone who is even THINKING of doing such a thing. The world is not as safe and happy as we would like, or we naively assume. frown.gif
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