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Discussion Starter #21
Im finally learning something, I wish I had this research done 5 years ago before my purchase.

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Originally Posted by CitiBear /forum/post/20897924


Standard Video Format DVD can be played anywhere, is universal, so is good for piracy: for this reason cannot be copied freely back to HDD, only from HDD.

One more thing I noticed. When copying titles to the DVD from the HDD (DVD formatted Video Mode) and I don't finalize the disc, Im still able to copy back to the HDD. Do I lose image quality there also? That really sucks
 

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Yes, you are correct: unfinalized Video Mode dvd can be copied back to the HDD, but only in "real time" which loses quality and also your custom chapter marks and thumbnails (have to re-do those on the HDD copy). Finalized DVD will copy back to HDD the same way: your 640 should allow such dubs of finalized discs it has made earlier.


But for backup/restore at lossless high speed, use the VR format trick. When I learned of this a few years ago, I got in the habit of making both Finalized Video Mode and VR Mode copies of anything I think I might want to rework on the HDD at a later time. Since you can make these extra VR backup discs out of normal DVD-R, they are very cheap insurance in case you want to re-edit something or replace the HDD.
 

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Discussion Starter #23

Quote:
Originally Posted by CitiBear /forum/post/20898715


Since you can make these extra VR backup discs out of normal DVD-R, they are very cheap insurance in case you want to re-edit something or replace the HDD.

What about USB tuners, like Kworld, how they OTA analog compares against line in s-video. And editing software, are you familiar with such products?
 

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Sorry, LeandrodaFL, I do not know much about USB tuners and HTPC.



I like using the DVD/HDD Pioneer and Magnavox much better for TV recording: I only use my PC for downloaded videos.


You can learn about USB tuners and HTPC systems on other threads here at AVS, in the HDTV and HTPC areas.
 

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This reminds me of problems I had long ago with my old Panasonic E80H...fragmentation of the HDD because of overuse of the edit function. That's why I never edit programs. I divide them at the beginnings and ends so I can fit them to a single disk and do full editing and other post production work on a computer. Since I used this method, I have had no problems other than full failure of a hard drive or quirks with electronics ( stuck on 'Hello' on Liteons, C language problem in Dayteks, etc.). I'm going to be offloading a lot of programs from the Pioneer 640 I got some weeks back and then using the optimization function of the drive to defragment it. At least I think that's what the function is for...
 

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Hard drives fail, period. I've lost boatloads of videos and other files from PC hdds that crapped out on me: it doesn't just happen to recorders, and it certainly doesn't just happen to Pioneers.


Every recorder brand has some wacky infuriating way of tanking its HDD when full or near full, of the many I've used the Pioneers have actually been the most resilient and graceful: tons of edits don't seem to faze them. On the few occasions that they died on me after running their HDDs out of time, they froze but let me delete titles to make room immediately after a restart returned everything to normal. The only seriously faulty Pioneer HDD issue I ever experienced was a bad drive in a model 520 that stuttered and froze on playback: this occurred when the drive was half-full and even re-formatting did not help (it was simply a bum HDD that had to be replaced).


The "Optimize HDD" function you can invoke in later Pioneers does defragment the HDD, but with little practical advantage aside from reclaiming a few extra minutes of recording capacity. The Pioneer OS periodically sweeps recordings across all points of the HDD to keep the wear load even, so the next few recordings after a defrag could still be dispersed in multiple segments. And there's always the possibility of a crash during any defrag operation, so its best to avoid unless you have the contents backed up to DVD beforehand.
 

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New to forum, try to help...


I'm using the Pioneer DVR-541H-S (brazilian discontinued model) and whenever the HDD is full is impossible to edit. What I do here is to erase any title or copy some video from HDD to a DVDRW media.
 

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Discussion Starter #28
Yeah, Leo, the problem is that the Pioner sees my drive as FULL event ough it isnt, I erased almost all titles already. When I finish backup, Im gonna try to restart the HDD
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by CitiBear /forum/post/20999645


Hard drives fail, period. I've lost boatloads of videos and other files from PC hdds that crapped out on me: it doesn't just happen to recorders, and it certainly doesn't just happen to Pioneers.

.......

The "Optimize HDD" function you can invoke in later Pioneers does defragment the HDD, but with little practical advantage aside from reclaiming a few extra minutes of recording capacity. The Pioneer OS periodically sweeps recordings across all points of the HDD to keep the wear load even, so the next few recordings after a defrag could still be dispersed in multiple segments. And there's always the possibility of a crash during any defrag operation, so its best to avoid unless you have the contents backed up to DVD beforehand.

Hi Citibear,


I find this curious. Have you seen evidence or documentation of this? This would indicate a level of sophisitication beyond even normal pc's, yet apparently the rest of the recorder is below pc intelligence.


If true that would render useless and unnecessary my methods of controlling fragmentation up till now, which is no editing except in copy mode, and only deleting blocks of movies, for example 5 or 10 at a time, and then record a new 5 or 10. I thought I needed to do this because I'm regularly at 99% full, but if the system is doing that, there's really no point, is there?
 

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I don't have a reference link handy regarding the Pioneer OS updates that came in with the SATA models of 2007, there was discussion of it on several Pioneer and general recorder sites. In any case it has no impact on your particular usage since you apparently are content to live on the razors edge of imminent catastrophe: maintaining a 99% full drive as standard procedure is extremely risky. For you, it seems to pay off: there's always someone lucky who flies against the odds with great success.



Unlike some older Panasonic and Phllips models, Pioneers have always had a fairly rugged ability to handle multiple edits and scene deletes without HDD crashing or sector damage: no Pioneer owner should avoid editing for fear of corruption, that defeats the design ethos of the recorder. If cutting commercials crashes your Pioneer, something is wrong: its HDD is damaged, you haven't got enough free space on it, or you have hundreds of very short recordings using up the allotment of editing cues (the system is designed for larger blocs of "normal" TV recordings, if you fill it with hundreds of music video clips it can choke even if half the HDD is open space).


Pioneer was not the only brand recorder with "auto sweep" recording algorithms for the HDD, and it isn't that sophisticated a feature really. It relies on the user NOT stuffing the HDD to its absolute limit, and deactivates if the drive capacity fills above 75% or so. If it senses a reasonable amount of open space on the HDD, it tries to place new recordings at varying sectors, building toward the "middle", as opposed to the usual sequential cramming. The idea is to spread platter wear to all sectors of the HDD, avoiding buildup of errors in the "first half" which is what most typical users end up wearing down (despite all our chatter here, your typical owner does in fact timeshift/watch/erase fairly quickly, recycling the same portion of the drive repeatedly).


"Auto-sweep" is not a substitute for defragging or "optimizing" and in fact conflicts with it: the goal of "auto-sweep" is to scatter recordings over the widest swath of HDD area possible without regard to fragmenting. Here again there is a dichotomy between how a PC works and how a recorder works: each can seem "more sophisticated" than the other unless you put the systems in context. A post-2005 DVD/HDD recorder with 160GB or larger drive does not benefit much from defragging, because the system EXPECTS to deal primarily with fragments due to editing and adding/deletion of titles. Since it is dealing ONLY with video chunks of finite number, which tend to be much larger than a text file or jpeg on a PC, it is not as subject to the HDD issues that crop up with PCs and doesn't usually need heavy-duty software to maintain proper function.


Optimizing a modern recorder is really only effective if you're the type who insists on maxing out the full HDD: if you only have a couple percent free space you'll want to optimize that as much as possible to reduce chance of errors on both old and new recordings. Optimizing is most useful for those adventurous souls who like to play Frankenstein with a hex editor, swapping their recorder HDDs into a PC to transfer recordings into an archive system. An optimized recorder HDD makes it much MUCH easier to lift the proprietary video recordings, since they'll be joined as one file instead of scattered as dozens of pieces needing tedious reconstruction. If you're not one of the three people here on AVS who enjoy this mind-numbing workflow, or don't constantly keep your HDD 99% full, you can safely put optimizing out of your mind and leave the recorder to its own intuition.
 

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Hi,

Quote:
content to live on the razors edge of imminent catastrophe

living on the razors edge...I like that...


Quote:
it isn't that sophisticated a feature really

I wonder why OS manufacturers or disk tool makers don't implement this feature and put it into general practice. I'm thinking if it's fairly straightforward, why not help pc users and save their disks? After all, there's tons of software dedicated to pc disk maintenance out there, yet afaik none for "auto-sweeping"... at least, I haven't come across that.

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you can safely put optimizing out of your mind

I often debated the risk/benefit ratio of optimizing.... I think about all the heavy disk activity while optimizing, and contrast that with the relativley minor seeking while playing a movie. Which one will wear out the hardware first?

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there's always someone lucky who flies against the odds

Actually I don't consider myself as flying against the odds. I have 3 of these wonderful machines, (640, 550, 650) and aside from one bad SATA cable (which you helped guide me to replace many moons ago, thanks again!), have had no issues.... touch wood



I guess I have more faith in the software than others.... fwiw, my Windows craps out on a regular basis, yet my Pios keep chugging.


But then, I only edit in the copy function, my reasoning being I suspect there must be some reserved internal space which it re-uses to store these edits. Does that sound right to you?


And then my other habit of watching movies from let's say sequence 1-10, then deleting these as a block, recording a new 10, while watching the new 1-10, and so on, ensures that the disk blocks being used are always different.

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auto-sweep....deactivates if the drive capacity fills above 75% or so

Ok, if that's true, good to know my efforts haven't been in vain...



Everytime I record the new 10 I mentioned, I'm back at 99%



At least when the time comes to cut the cable, I'll be good for a year...
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fred999 /forum/post/21119073


But then, I only edit in the copy function, my reasoning being I suspect there must be some reserved internal space which it re-uses to store these edits. Does that sound right to you?

I've never seen this point confirmed or denied anywhere, even the Pioneer fanatic sites, so your guess would be as good as anyone else's. Given how heavily you use your Pioneers in a particular workflow that successfully assumes this "reserve edit space" exists, I would tend to think you're probably right. OTOH, I have seen instances of 90-95% full Pioneers flatly refusing to allow any DVD dubbing or copylist edits (unless some titles are deleted from HDD first), while you are getting away with 99%, so there might be some unspecified point at which the "reserve edit space" is encroached upon. Perhaps its dependent on the specific quantity or type of recordings accumulated. There is also some slight unit-to-unit OS variance between Pioneer models and production runs that could account for this.

Quote:
And then my other habit of watching movies from let's say sequence 1-10, then deleting these as a block, recording a new 10, while watching the new 1-10, and so on, ensures that the disk blocks being used are always different.

Adding and deleting titles in large contiguous blocks would tend to naturally optimize HDD wear, and open enough space to permit copylist edits while dubbing. I find it much too difficult to rigorously do this with my own Pioneers, just because my mind balks at the discipline necessary to pull it off.
I do try to rotate every six months between one "half" of the HDD space or the other being in "active" use while the other half remains unused and filled with previous recordings. Whether this actually accomplishes anything positive is a question that makes my head hurt, especially when I remember the "auto-sweep" function might render the whole idea pointless.
 

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Quote:
mind balks at the discipline necessary to pull it off

Yes, sometimes I just don't feel like watching any of the first 1-10 titles of my 650, or even one of the first 1-10 of my 550... it does take some discipline



Most of my movies are from TCM, and they have a habit of showcasing a star for many hours, so if I like that star, I get a bunch of movies all in a row with the same person...


Anyway, no system is perfect - I'm sure there's a slow creep towards fragmentation in any event...

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Perhaps its dependent on the specific quantity or type of recordings accumulated.

Probably... I would only have one or two titles with edit points at one time, and then they are quickly deleted.

Quote:
Whether this actually accomplishes anything positive is a question that makes my head hurt

We can but try and do our best...
 

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Discussion Starter #34
This is crazy....simply optimize the disk and all space will become free again. It took 8 hours on my hdd, so you may wanna set this before sleep
 
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