Originally Posted by waveformIRL
Thanks for the replies guys.
One oversight I made is transferring the recordings to my PC.
It seems the Panasonic EH series lack a USB port so the only way would be to write to a DVD which sort of defeats the purpose of having a HDD?
I would prefer not to remove the HDD each time to transfer also.
The EH-50 model has an SD slot, is it possible to transfer the recording from the HDD to an SD card?
I guess I could always do the SD card mod to replace thee HDD and use an extension cable and Dremel to panel mount it, that's provided it the video files can be read on the PC.
Are the eh-50 models any good? I can't seem to find any listings with the EH-59 and EH-69.
You need to adjust your expectations for this equipment a little.
In 2005 USB flash and memory cards were too expensive and rare, so they were not supported for offloading video. They were also generally too small to hold video when you could get them. Hard drives were not portable. Laptop hard drives were small and hugely expensive at common 40GB sizes. A laptop hard drive for this time would only hold 8 feature length videos. The next rung down was 4.7 GB DVD video discs.. which were a large jump up from a 600 MB CD. DVD-R was cheaper than DVD-RAM.. so that was what everyone was using to offload video. The DVD recorders were simply not made with the idea of using anything else to get video from the recorder to the PC. USB 1.1 was king and was only 12 Mbps, even USB 2.0 at 40 MBs was agonizingly slow. Ethernet was also only 10 MBs on most networks.. so it was too slow to transfer large video files. The practicality of it all led to the appearance that video was limited to 4.7 GB and locked up in the recorder on its hard drive in a proprietary format. These were the years of the MP3 file and the iPhone was in the distant future. Transfering Big video files over a familiar port just wasn't built-in. Camcorder video used DV or firewire at most.
SD video is captured "best" on this equipment, it had all sort of stablizers and filters to manage difficult and unstable tape playback.. but once the video is on the recorder hard drive your on your own as to how to get it off.
The fastest way to get the largest video files off the hard drive is remove it from the recorder and attach to a PC.. but the format of the drive is unreadable by any PC operating system.
Fast forward to Feb 2019.. a small discovery led to adding the ability to read and copy files off any Toshiba RD-XS model hard drive video on to a PC.. the next month Philips, Magnavox, RCA.. the next month most if not all Pioneer DVRs (using an 'alpha' release of IsoBuster).
While waiting on a meetup I discovered Photographer CompactFlash cards could be put into a CF to IDE adapter into a Toshiba RD-XS35 and used to completely replace its hard drive. the CF cards could then be ejected and connected to a USB 3.0 CF card reader on a PC to streamline and make even easier the process of moving vast amounts of larger than 4.7 GB video files from a recorder to a PC.. or between recorders since the Toshiba format is readable by different Toshiba recorders.
That led to trying the same thing on a Pioneer 633 (worst of the Pioneer models due to the TVGOS support).. it failed with Compact Flash.. but led to trying a microSD card to ID adapter and that worked.
All of this preliminary and premature "hardware hacking" has come as something of a shock.. but makes sense crossing the timelines from 2005 to 2019 given what occurred in the intervening technological years. Flash card prices fell.. and in 2010 card to IDE adapters became available.. but this is an interesting time.. its a sweet spot in history.
Card to IDE adapters are rapidly disappearing.. Compact Flash is rapidly being replaced by microSD cards.. so this solution will not last for long.. Card to SATA adapters came about in 2012.. but are untested so far and also rapidly disappearing.
I'm working with a fellow who developed IsoBuster to add support for more DVRs but its only two people and there are (a lot) of DVR models.. and not many people showing too much interest.. so I'm focused on getting as many brands and models as we can supported before we call it quits.
I complain constantly I do not have any Euro or UK models to test with.. and lament we won't be supporting them officially because.. well we can't test with them.. so your mileage with PAL may vary a lot.. this may be the last time anyone ever looks at enabling offloading recorder video direct to PC. (I mean) there are scripts and things out there.. but IsoBuster is a windows gui anyone could use with next to zero experience.. its smart and makes doing this easy.
So .. there is my excuse for not pursuing hardware upgrades to replace IDE and SATA hard drives in the recorders.. for now.. maybe later.. but not now.
Ultimately I have (ideas) on how to avoid hacking a chunk of metal out of the back of your DVR recorder to support a hard drive dock.. (ugh).. even ways maybe to go Wireless AC.. but not looking deeply in those directions for now.
A (few) panasonic models should be included perhaps this month.. maybe next week after we release the alpha version with Pioneer support. I only have the EH75V, EH55 and EH69 models to test with at this moment.. so those will likely be the only supported models in the near future. And it is speculation that we can support them.. we tried valantly to add support for the Polaroid 2001g and JVC MX and DVM models.. and failed.. (so far) sometimes we just don't have enough information and the formats are too wild and strange.