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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
As I just described in this thread (third post), I own a Panasonic E50, an Iomega Super DVD burner, along with Womble MPEG2VCR, TEMPGEnc DVD Author, Ulead DMF2 and Nero Burning ROM to go with my ReplayTV.


The one thing I have not been able to figure out with this setup is how to author DVDs in a format (DVD_RTAV/*.VRO, aka VR Format) that I can write to DVD-RAM on the Iomega, and then play on the Panny.


Currently, I only author and burn VIDEO_TS DVD-Rs and that works just fine. But sometimes when my ReplayTV is getting full, I just want to preserve something long enough to watch it before I reuse the disc it was on. I feel a little silly throwing out DVD-Rs after watching them a single time. But I can't seem to find out if it's possible to author to DVD-RAM on my PC, or if only my Panny writes in that format.


Any help, advice, pointer to FAQs, etc. would be appreciated.
 

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Apologies for being a little slow with your question.....but it sounds like you are authoring recordings from your ReplayTV onto DVD-R and instead want to author to DVD-RAM?? Am I missing something? Why not use the e50 to record onto DVD-RAM, watch off the e50 when you want, then erase the DVD-RAM?


I must be missing something....can you please elaborate on what you're trying to do with DVD-RAM?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the reply, SteveK2, but I neglected to mention that I was trying to have my copies be as lossless as possible.


The DVD-Rs I burn from my ReplayTV are faithful digital copies (transferred to the PC via DVArchive, and cleaned up with MPEG2VCR). I'd like to make DVD-RAMs with the same quality.


There's also the matter of the logistics involved. While I'm transfering shows from my ReplayTV over the network, I still have every single piece of my equipment available for use. Not only does dubbing to the E50 lose quality, but it ties up two pieces of equipment and requires more of my attention and over a longer span of time than when I author the DVArchive/Womble/DMF2 way.


Since I first posted my message, I've done a little bit of research that seems to indicate programs that author to DVD-RAM are extremely rare. I've found a mention of Panasonic's DVDMovieAlbumSE software, but I haven't yet figured if it does what I want and whether it's available for purchase standalone (i.e. separate from Panasonic's Digicam hardware).


Thanks again.
 

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The logistics does help with your overall explanation/situation.

Quote:
Not only does dubbing to the E50 lose quality
...I guess you mean when you dub from Replaytv, over network, thru PC via authoring software......cuz I dub from Ultimatetv to DVD-RAM on my E50 with no loss of quality (except in 4-hour and 6-hour mode which is understandable).


So you don't want to hook the e50 directly to the ReplayTV cuz you do other things with your e50?


Short of buying the Panny's DVD MovieAlbum software, which also comes with its multi-format PC burners, BTW, why don't you experiment around a little.


For example, why not take a fresh DVD-RAM disk, record something short onto it from the e50. Then you'll know the file structures that need to be in-place on the disk. Then, take a vob file that you've authored and just copy that onto the DVD-RAM into the same directory as the .VRO file, finally rename the .VRO file?


I recall reading about a similar trick on this forum a few months ago.....worth a shot since the disk is re-writable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The loss of quality I mean is what I happens when I play back from my ReplayTV while recording on the E50. The D/A followed by A/D conversion results in loss (that I personally can detect, though others may be less fussy) even if I record on the E50 at XP quality. At SP quality, the D/A/D loss is even more detectable and even then, the Panasonic's encoding size requirements are a lot higher compared to the Medium quality of the ReplayTV. In other words, a 1-hour Medium quality program from my ReplayTV is about 1.5 GB (and IMHO of visibly higher quality even assuming a common source) compared to a 2+ GB size for a 1-hour Panasonic recording at SP.


Thanks for the suggestion about faking the VR format. The thought hadn't even occurred to me. I'll report back if I'm able to fool the Panasonic.
 

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Wow, copying off the Replaytv results in noticeable loss of quality! I guess you're actually recording a 2nd generation copy at that point --- original broadcast (analog) is encoded into mpeg on the Replaytv, then coverted to an analog signal on the s-video or composite outputs. What output connection(s) did you use to connect a tv/monitor to make the comparison? Hard to believe there's such a noticeable quality loss.


Ultimatetv recordings are of the satellite stream, so there's no loss of quality from an 'original' broadcast.....all playbacks are 'originals'. I've done quite a few A/B tests using a good quality source (premium movie channel for instance) between a DVD-RAM dub from the Ultimatetv and the 'original recording' on the UTV and there is no noticeable difference. And that's using a 42" plasma Panny monitor.


BTW...I have the Panny MovieAlbum software (haven't really used it, though). You can author to DVD-RAM. I'll play around with it over the next few days and let you know what I think of it. At first glance, it looks a bit kludgy...separate programs for editing, copying, burning, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Quote:
What output connection(s) did you use to connect a tv/monitor to make the comparison?
S-Video from the ReplayTV and 480i component from the Panny. In fact I compared my ReplayTV's medium quality with the unrecorded signal as it comes out of the default A/D/A conversion that the Panasonic performs even when it's not recording, and I thought the ReplayTV signal was superior. That said, I understand that nothing beats DirecTivo and UltimateTV's direct digital recording. I'd love to have that ability, but not at the expense of the ReplayTV's wonderful software.


Thanks for looking into the Panny software. I'll try to figure out if I can download an eval copy of it.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by replayed
As I just described in

Any help, advice, pointer to FAQs, etc. would be appreciated.
While I can't help you with this. I have tried and failed to find VRO authoring software. Can I ask why you don't author -video on -RW on your burner (instead of -R) ? This is what -RW was designed for, ie rewriteable -video . Plays back fine on my Panny E100 and E30 and Pionner 655 when I do this from my LG4040B
 

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Gilgamesh' answer is the simplest and probably makes the most sense.....IF the e50 will read a dvd-rw. I haven't tried on mind (no need yet), but the manual clearly lists dvd-rw as NOT playable. But manuals can be wrong!;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Yeah, SteveK2, the E50 won't deal with -RW's. It's actually in the documentation. Yes, life would have been a lot simpler if Panasonic hadn't decided to criple the E50 (and, I assume, the E80) that way.
 

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MovieAlbum does not allow you to import an MPEG file and write it to a RAM disk (at least not the version I have).


Ulead VideoStudio 7 and MovieFactory 3 both allow you to write to RAM disks using the VRO format. I tried it with VS7 and was successful with MPEG files containing AC3 2.0 and 5.1. However, only the ones with AC3 2.0 would play in the recorder while both would play in my Panasonic players. I was unsuccessful with recordings with MP2 and PCM audio. This may work for you depending on what format the recording is coming off of the Replay unit. The resolution and audio format would have to be compliant with what the E50 was expecting.


If you have a Panasonic player then there is another alternative. You can burn your recordings to RAM using the DVD Video format. These play fine in the Panasonic players, but not in the recorders.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Quote:
PatsWonSB: This may work for you depending on what format the recording is coming off of the Replay unit.
The ReplayTV audio stream is MP2. I suppose I could use Womble to convert it before I feed it to VS7 or DMF3. I'll have to give Ulead's new software a try to see what the implications are in terms of authoring times and data size. Thanks a lot for the suggestion.


Or I might moot the whole thing by upgrading my play-only DVD unit. My Apex AD600a has given me many years of faithful service. But it may well be time to replace it with something like a LiteOn that can handle DVD-RW as well as DixX/Xvid format. Not sure what I'll do about Macrovision.
 
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