Originally Posted by DeanS
I know this is a new product, but has anybody had any recent experience recording down-rezzed HD from D*s new HR20 DVR to their DVD recorders?
Here is my situation:
My DVD recorder is a Sony RDRGX7. I have set the recording options (rec screen size) on this recorder to 16x9. The documentation that comes with the recorder states that the rec screen size "function works with DVD-R's and DVD-RWs (video mode) when the recording mode is set to HQ, HSP or SP. For all other recording modes, the screen size is fixed at 4:3. For DVD-RWs (VR Mode), the actual picture size is recorded regardlesss of the setting. For instance, if a 16:9 size picutre is received the disc records the picture as 16:9 even if "Rec Streen Size" is set to 4:3. For DVD+Rs, th screen size is fixed at 4:3."
My monitor is an older 4:3 Sony HDTV that displays 1080i and 480p in a 16x9 frame. I have the HR20 set up as follows:
T.V. Type: Widescreen 16:9
Screen Format: stretch
What settings or adjustments do I have to make (either to the DVD recorder or the HR20) to get HD material (downrezzed to 480i) and inputed into the s-video connection of the RDRGX7 to get a propertly adjusted image? I'm going to do some experimenting this evening - I think the stretch screen format is the issue - and will post my results, but if anyone has struggled with this before, I would like to know...thanks.
To record anything on the DVD recorder, you must be sure that the HR20 is outputting 480i. Other resolutions are incompatible.
I have no personal experience with the HR20. I have 2 HR10-250's but they are completely different designs, so there is no expectation of consistency between the HR10 and the HR20. But here are some observations that you can consider food for thought.
I wonder if you should turn your "Native" setting off? I would guess that the component outputs from the HR20 would vary resolutions based on the channel/program being watched. Are you using the component output of the HR20 to feed the component inputs on the Sony DVD recorder?
The S-video and composite video outputs of the HR20 can only be 480i, so if they display all the time (i.e., regardless of the selected resolution for HD display), they are compatible with DVD recording. But, I have no idea whether you can get a widescreen (anamorphic) output over s-video/composite. If not, you need to use your component video connections to get full widescreen from the HR20 to the DVDR.
We don't know (yet) if the HR20 outputs the widescreen flag that can communicate with downstream devices to control how pictures are displayed. For example, if the widescreen flag is provided, most 4x3 Sony HDTVs will automatically compress the video vertically to show a letterboxed picture, but having all scan lines compressed vertically to maintain maximum vertical resolution. I don't recall for sure if the Sony DVD recorders auto-detect the widescreen flag and preserve it, but I would be surprised if they did not.
If the widescreen flag is not provided, your Sony DVDR allows you to force the picture to be recorded in widescreen mode if you meet the conditions you recapped in your post. I see no reason why, with your equipment, that you could not achieve a properly flagged widescreen recording that would be equivalent to commercial DVDs that are labeled Anamorphic and/or Enhanced for Widescreen TVs.
All DVD players provide the means to select the aspect ratio of the display connected for viewing. A 16x9 TV display option will pass a 16x9 program in a full screen mode that causes it to fill the screen horizontally and vertically, thus recreating the original widescreen program as it should be.
A 4x3 display option set in the DVD player actually offers 2 variations: letterboxed or pan and scan. If 4x3 letterbox is selected, the DVD player will add black bars at the top and bottom of the picture before sending it to the TV, such that the 4x3 TV will display the 16x9 window letterboxed within the 4x3 screen. If 4x3 pan and scan (or full screen) is selected, then the DVD player will crop the left and right edges of the widescreen program such that the remaining picture completely fills the 4x3 screen.
For your scenario, there are two more considerations: whether the Sony DVD recorder sends the widescreen flag along with the video output when set for a 16x9 TV, and whether your Sony TV will react to that flag and compress the picture vertically to display 16x9 full resolution within the 4x3 screen.
Ideally, and quite likely given Sony's handling of widescreen flags, the DVDR will send the flag and the TV will detect it and respond to it as described above. If not, you may have to vary how you set everything up to get what you want to see on your HDTV. You can test this by playing an Anamorphic, Enhanced for Widescreen commercial DVD in the DVDR and watching the behavior of the TV.
Whether or not the ideal situation works as described, I would encourage you to always record your widescreen copies of HDTV programs with the widescreen flag set properly. There are 2 major benefits for doing so: 1) when playing those recorded DVDs on any other DVD player working with a 4x3 TV, they will behave just like commercial widescreen DVDs, and, 2) on your next HDTV that will definitely be 16x9, they will play properly also.
Without setting the flag, but still recording the anamorphic widescreen movie, playback to a 4x3 TV will result in a vertically stretched/horizontally squished picture sometimes referred to as "tall and skinny."
Hopefully, with this information you can experiment with your equipment and answer your questions and report your findings back to us.