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Discussion Starter #1
Quite awhile back there were some postings where DVD-RAM discs were being formatted with something like 2hrs 7min in the SP mode, versus the normal 2hrs. I tried doing a search but there were either way too many results or none at all depending on the parameters. The only actual message I saw was a disc formatted on one model Panny showed the 2:07 on a different model Panny.


I don't know if this can be done on a PC or not. Now that I have DVD drive in my PC it might be nice to get a few extra minutes. That way I could put two 1-hr progams on a disc and allow an extra minute or 2 for each in order to make sure nothing gets cut off. Currently I use FR mode on my Panny to do this. Not a big deal either way, but might be nice to try 2:07 for timer recordings.


If anyone recalls if RAM can be formatted this way on a PC please let me know.

Thanks in advance.
 

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When I format the discs on my Panny recorder, the avail time shows as 2:00. However, when I edit the discs or erase the contents on the disc using Panasonic's DVD MovieAlbum software (that came bundled with Panasonic DVD-RAM compatible optical drives) and then put that disc back into the Panny recorder - the available time changes to 2:07. I don't know of any other program that does this.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike99 /forum/post/14331542


Quite awhile back there were some postings where DVD-RAM discs were being formatted with something like 2hrs 7min in the SP mode, versus the normal 2hrs...
Quote:
Originally Posted by oldfart13 /forum/post/0


Oh you can use Movie Album to erase the DVD-RAM disc. This will give you 1:03 in XP and 2:07 in SP when re-recording the disc. Faster and better than using a DVD recorder....
Reference: VCDHelp: DVDMovieAlbumSE 3
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I did see that Panasonic DVD MovieAlbum software, but it appears it only comes with Panasonic optical drives or with their cancorders. The only related software I saw on the Panasonic web site was for upgrading existing versions of DVD MovieAlbum.
 

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Discussion Starter #6



I'm not sure what drives it works with. If Panasonic supplies the software with its camcorders I would think it would have to work with more than just their drives. Perhaps there is a version supplied with their optical drives which only work with their drives.


The software may recode the audio, but if used only for formatting then the audio should not be a concern.


It's not a big concern, but having 2:07 at SP would just be an option. I don't know how the Panasonic DVD recorder changes bit rates in FR mode. Does it do it in steps or is it a linear function, so to speak. IOW is the bit rate in 2:07 FR mode going to be just slightly less than 2:00 SP mode? Or does 2:07 FR get bumped to another level & use the same bit rate as 2:15 FR for example?
 

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I use DVD Movie Album with an LG drive on my PC. I'm not aware that it re-encodes anything. It works by dividing a RAM title on the RAM disk into as many segments as you want. It makes it's cuts at I-Frames. So you simply make a cut before and after a commercial to make alternating segments of program-commercial. You then delete the commercial segments and use the join tool to rejoin the remaining program segments into a single title.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike99 /forum/post/14335714


I'm not sure what drives it works with. If Panasonic supplies the software with its camcorders I would think it would have to work with more than just their drives. Perhaps there is a version supplied with their optical drives which only work with their drives.


The software may recode the audio, but if used only for formatting then the audio should not be a concern.


It's not a big concern, but having 2:07 at SP would just be an option. I don't know how the Panasonic DVD recorder changes bit rates in FR mode. Does it do it in steps or is it a linear function, so to speak. IOW is the bit rate in 2:07 FR mode going to be just slightly less than 2:00 SP mode? Or does 2:07 FR get bumped to another level & use the same bit rate as 2:15 FR for example?

All Panny recorders (in fact just about all standalone DVD recorders) record in VBR mode but set the avg bitrate such that content with average motion and contrast can be reliably encoded in set duration increments such that programs of a discrete duration such as 1hr (XP), 2hr (SP), 3hr (not a typical Panny record mode) , 4hr (LP), 6hr (EP) or 8 hr (EP+) will fit on a standard single layer DVD. The Panny FR mode simply sets the average VBR bit rate based on the quotient of available disc space (or defaults to the space available on a standard DVD when recording to its HDD) divided by the duration of the program. For FR mode to work, it needs to know the program duration in advance either by setting the duration explicitly or it infers the duration via the TVGOS or program timer settings. FR mode allows average bit rates to be set between the standard discrete default bitrates for the various record modes (i.e., XP, SP, LP, EP). So to answer your question, Panny sets the average FR mode bitrate at the beginning of the recording and keeps it there for the duration (obviously, the instantaneous bitrate varies above or below he average based on the content being recorded).
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelson /forum/post/14337160


I use DVD Movie Album with an LG drive on my PC. I'm not aware that it re-encodes anything. It works by dividing a RAM title on the RAM disk into as many segments as you want. It makes it's cuts at I-Frames. So you simply make a cut before and after a commercial to make alternating segments of program-commercial. You then delete the commercial segments and use the join tool to rejoin the remaining program segments into a single title.

Early versions of MovieAlbum block installation until it successfully checked the firmware of the drive you were using to ensure that you weren't trying to use it on an optical drive model different than the one the software came bundled with (do not recall if it simply checked to see if you were using a Panny drive or specific model Panny drive). Panny dropped that check on later versions of MovieAlbum.


With respect to DVD MovieAlbum's export feature - MovieAlbum indeed transcodes the audio track from AC3 to MP2 when exporting DVD RAM content as an mpg A/V file to your hard drive. Must be some licensing thing but I thought the practice was pretty annoying. This can be easily checked by running the exported file through any multimedia file properties checker program.
 

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Discussion Starter #10

Quote:
Originally Posted by vferrari /forum/post/14339581


All Panny recorders (in fact just about all standalone DVD recorders) record in VBR mode but set the avg bitrate such that content with average motion and contrast can be reliably encoded in set duration increments such that programs of a discrete duration such as 1hr (XP), 2hr (SP), 3hr (not a typical Panny record mode) , 4hr (LP), 6hr (EP) or 8 hr (EP+) will fit on a standard single layer DVD. The Panny FR mode simply sets the average VBR bit rate based on the quotient of available disc space (or defaults to the space available on a standard DVD when recording to its HDD) divided by the duration of the program. For FR mode to work, it needs to know the program duration in advance either by setting the duration explicitly or it infers the duration via the TVGOS or program timer settings. FR mode allows average bit rates to be set between the standard discrete default bitrates for the various record modes (i.e., XP, SP, LP, EP). So to answer your question, Panny sets the average FR mode bitrate at the beginning of the recording and keeps it there for the duration (obviously, the instantaneous bitrate varies above or below he average based on the content being recorded).


I realize FR sets the bit rate at the beginning based on how much disc space is available. But I was wondering if there was an almost unlimited number of bit rates it would choose. IOW is 2:07 different from 2:08 and different 2:09, etc., or does it work in discrete blocks? For example is anything from 2:01 to 2:10 assigned the same rate, and anything from 2:11 to 2:20 the same rate, etc?


Previously I thought I read Pioneer did not have a FR mode, but allowed the user to select from quite a few recording times. This made me wonder if Panasonic has a whole bunch, yet limited, times available for FR mode. Does my description make sense?
 

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Ok, I see what you are asking, its continuous vs. discrete. It does the math and sets the average bitrate accordingly.
 

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Discussion Starter #12

Quote:
Originally Posted by vferrari /forum/post/14341249


Ok, I see what you are asking, its continuous vs. discrete. It does the math and sets the average bitrate accordingly.


If it's continuous then using a 2:07 FR mode time would not have a much different bit rate than a disc formatted at 2:07 SP mode. I typically add a couple minutes to timer programs to make sure the ends are not cut off. While I may not go to 2:07 FR, I may go to 2:02 FR. My concern was the machine might have used discrete settings (invisible to the user) and bumped me up to 2:15 for example, or even 2:30. I mainly time shift & even 3:00 FR looks OK on my 42" TV. But every once in a while I save a program so I want as high a bit rate as possible.


Thanks for the clarification.
 

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Don't format the disc. Just erase it. Ashampoo Burning Studio can also erase RAM discs. When you do this it will also show 2:07 in SP speed on a Panasonic DVD recorder. I usually just use the Panasonic Movie Album software and select "Erase All Programs". Time to do this will vary. On my newer LG H22L, it takes a couple minutes. On my old LG 4163B, mere seconds!
 

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Discussion Starter #14

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug O /forum/post/14372600


Don't format the disc. Just erase it. Ashampoo Burning Studio can also erase RAM discs. When you do this it will also show 2:07 in SP speed on a Panasonic DVD recorder. I usually just use the Panasonic Movie Album software and select "Erase All Programs". Time to do this will vary. On my newer LG H22L, it takes a couple minutes. On my old LG 4163B, mere seconds!


I have erased programs on DVD-RAM with my DVD recorder, but it never changed the available time. Of course they were all formatted on the recorder in the first place. Are you saying Ashampoo Burning Studio will erase the disc and give an extra few minutes?
 

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Yes. Wish I could do that as a screen shot. Ashampoo Burning Studio says:


"Please insert a non-empty CD-RW , DVD-RW , DVD+RW or DVD-RAM."


Then hit the erase button. The Panny will see the disc as 1:03 (HQ), 2:07 (SP), etc.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug O /forum/post/14372600


Don't format the disc. Just erase it. Ashampoo Burning Studio can also erase RAM discs. When you do this it will also show 2:07 in SP speed on a Panasonic DVD recorder. I usually just use the Panasonic Movie Album software and select "Erase All Programs". Time to do this will vary. On my newer LG H22L, it takes a couple minutes. On my old LG 4163B, mere seconds!

Yes, I also want to emphasize from my previous post above regarding Panasonic's MovieAlbum that I was talking about ERASING the disc, not FORMATTING it to get the 2:07 SP available time. I believe if you format the disc using the DVD recorder or DVD MovieAlbum you will get a 2:00 SP disc again. And, yes, simply erasing on the DVD recorder will not get you the extra :07 SP per disc.
 

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Discussion Starter #17

Quote:
Originally Posted by vferrari /forum/post/14377749


Yes, I also want to emphasize from my previous post above regarding Panasonic's MovieAlbum that I was talking about ERASING the disc, not FORMATTING it to get the 2:07 SP available time. I believe if you format the disc using the DVD recorder or DVD MovieAlbum you will get a 2:00 SP disc again. And, yes, simply erasing on the DVD recorder will not get you the extra :07 SP per disc.


This means that once you format the disc you are stuck with 2:00 SP, is this correct?


And that the only way you will ever get 2:07 SP is with a factory formatted RAM disc?


All my discs have been formatted several times in my DVD recorder, which means they will never hold 2:07 SP.
 

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A RAM holds a certain number of bytes -- that is the absolute. However, people want to think in terms of "recording time". The problem is that because VBR (variable bit rate) is used for all recording, the translation of bytes available --> recording time is not precise. A RAM disk formatted for SP mode has a "2hr recording time" based on an average bitrate for SP mode which is calculated NOT to fill the disk. They leave a little buffer space (which tanslates into 7 min of SP recording time) in case you record something that causes the encoder to use a little more than the average bitrate. Everybody is happy if they can squeeze a couple extra minutes of recording time on a disk, but nobody finds it acceptable if it won't record at least 2hr and you lose the end of a show because the "disk ran out".


All DVD Movie Album has to do is access the disk. It must reset a counter when it does because the disk will show up as 2:07 when put back into the recorder. The big caveat with this is that you are not guaranteed 7 extra minutes of recording time. The bytes that account for the extra 7 minutes belongs to the just-in-case VBR reserve and could easily be used so that you only get say, 2:04 give or take. So it is unwise to depend on that extra 7 min. You are only guaranteed 2hr.


Like anything else, if you live within the means you are safe. If you over-extend yourself you take a chance on getting burned.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
From my experience, the 2:00 SP is not even guaranteed. Originally I used to record a 2:00 hr program in SP mode. But it typically ended a few seconds early. This did not affect the main program, but usually affected the credits or coming attraction preview for the following week. So I started adding a minute or two at the end. And since some programs seem to start a few seconds early, I also started a minute early. So I'm usually at 2:03 FR just to make sure I get it all.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike99 /forum/post/14384350


This means that once you format the disc you are stuck with 2:00 SP, is this correct?


And that the only way you will ever get 2:07 SP is with a factory formatted RAM disc?


All my discs have been formatted several times in my DVD recorder, which means they will never hold 2:07 SP.

First of all, factory formatted discs are 2:00.


You are "stuck" with 2:00 if you don't have access to one of the two programs mentioned above (e.g., MovieAlbum) that can erase/edit the disc on your computer. If you are limited to erasing/formatting on your DVD recorder only, you can never get to 2:07.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike99 /forum/post/14385867


From my experience, the 2:00 SP is not even guaranteed. Originally I used to record a 2:00 hr program in SP mode. But it typically ended a few seconds early. This did not affect the main program, but usually affected the credits or coming attraction preview for the following week. So I started adding a minute or two at the end. And since some programs seem to start a few seconds early, I also started a minute early. So I'm usually at 2:03 FR just to make sure I get it all.


Consistent with Kelson's warnings above, by fooling the recorder to go into the :07 "safe area" or "buffer zone" then you are definitely risking a YMMV situation.


Regarding your personal experience that 2:00 is not enough is typically related to lack of synchronization between the broadcast station's "clock" and your recorder's clock (vs. less than 2 hrs of actual record time available). If your RAM disc discovers and flags bad sectors, then those units are typically carved out of the :07 buffer, so you would have to have signficant bad sectors combined with a significantly higher than typical SP bitrate to run into problems. To mitigate the clock synchronization issue, I typically add a 1 minute before and after program schedule time as a "record" buffer to ensure I get the entire program recorded. Using FR mode for recordings near the 2hr SP breakpoint is a wise approach to preclude from impinging on the :07 safe area and any penalty in bitrate/picture quality vs. pure SP mode is negligible. So I would keep recording your shows this way. Its the smart way to go to ensure your entire show gets recorded.
 
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