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Discussion Starter #1
Hi Everyone,


I know that a lot of you are probably like me, and have a lot of content archived on D-VHS and possibly even PC hard drives that was collected from broadcast HD material. Recently, I started converting some of these movies to HD DVD (I support BOTH formats) and got kind of tired of splitting the movies up into two different discs (using dual layer DVD's). They worked great and all, but there were a few shows that I just didn't feel like swapping discs on, and even a few would have actually required 3 discs!


That got me to thinking... With a Blu-Ray 50 GB, I could LITERALLY put the entire original (high bitrate versions of) the "holy trilogy" on ONE disc! That was all the motivation that I needed. I did some searching around, and found that the Sony internal (100) model supports both the 25 and 50 GB discs in both -R and -RE forms. Other drives (which actually are MORE EXPENSIVE) only supported the 25 GB single layer variety.


After looking at some websites, I noticed that both Circuit City and Best Buy had the Sony recorder on sale for $599, which was less than most online retailers. I went by Best Buy in person, and to my surprise, they had a couple of them in stock. I wasn't expecting this, as their website stated that they were not available for store pickup. I just so happened to have a 12% off reward zone coupon, and I ended up purchasing it for $529.


After going home, I plugged the drive into my primary PC, and my computer (for some strange reason) would not boot into windows OR go into the BIOS settings. Apparently, the drive confused my "older" (and I use this term loosely) motherboard. Determined to make this work, I pulled the drive and installed it into my son's "newer" computer. It was recognized and worked fine.


I loaded the supplied software, and did a test burn with a 25 GB BD-RE disc. I am not about to start burning $18 coasters at this point. Sure enough, my first 5-7 discs would have been "coasters", as my Playstation 3 refused to play them and came up with an error code. After doing a search on the 'net using this error code, I was pointed to a thread that explained that this issue had been fixed through a recent patch on Cyberlink's website. By installing the "Sony patch" to the Director software that came with the drive, I was FINALLY able to produce WORKING Blu-Ray movie discs for the PS3.


At this point, there are only 2 "issues" that I am experiencing:


1) There are audio dropouts that appear to effect the first minute (only) of the video files. After the first 30 seconds to a minute, it doesn't appear to happen again. This is consistently happening, even when the source video file has no noticeable issues. This HAS to be happening during the processing of the files in the Cyberlink software. My temporary fix for this is that I am going to put some type of "filler" intro material before the feature, so that the audio dropouts will be over before the movie starts.


2) My receiver does not flag the video as full dolby digital. My HD DVD conversions of the same material DID. This is a Playstation 3 issue, and it also happens when you play a "normal" video file from the media center. The interesting thing is that the audio "sounds" fine, and is most certainly multi-channel. When I select to view the information on the stream, the PS3 shows an accurate bitrate for the video, and lists the audio as Dolby Digital 48Khz @ 256 Mbps. In comparison, a "regular" 5.1 signal from a retail Blu-Ray disc shows 48Khz @ 640 Mbps. At this point, I do not know if the audio source for my videos is actually at a higher audio bitrate and is being downsampled by the PS3, or if the issue with my receiver not flagging the 5.1 signal as Dolby Digital is a PS3 firmware issue. I suspect the latter, as the video and audio is NOT being processed or converted IN ANY WAY by the Cyberlink software. It would be interesting to see what kind of output a set-top Blu-Ray player would show.


Overall, I am EXTREMELY pleased with my initial results. Using the -RE discs is a VERY conveinent way to "proof" my burns. I thought that I should share my results with you all, since I was unable to find much info about doing this from performing a search on the internet. If this information has already been covered here, please forgive me, as I have been VERY busy lately and have not spent much time on this forum recently. I Hope this information will help those who were looking for a solution for making a durable (and more importantly conveinently usable) backup of your archived HD material...


Lee
 

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Thanks for the post, couple of questions:


How long is the burning process? Maybe some examples with different sizes?


This is probably a dumb question but is the burner buffer underrun proof? If the computer has a slight problem or can't provide the data fast enough will the burning pause and wait for the buffer to fill back up without failing?


What bitrate are you using/getting, are you just getting the same as the source? does it pad or have default settings in the software?




again thanks for the info
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jiffylush /forum/post/0


Thanks for the post, couple of questions:


How long is the burning process? Maybe some examples with different sizes?


This is probably a dumb question but is the burner buffer underrun proof? If the computer has a slight problem or can't provide the data fast enough will the burning pause and wait for the buffer to fill back up without failing?


What bitrate are you using/getting, are you just getting the same as the source? does it pad or have default settings in the software?




again thanks for the info

So what file format did you use to burn?

Have you try changing the PS3 audio output to bitstream so your receiver can see it as Dolby Digital?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by LeeB99 /forum/post/0


When I select to view the information on the stream, the PS3 shows an accurate bitrate for the video, and lists the audio as Dolby Digital 48Khz @ 256 Mbps. In comparison, a "regular" 5.1 signal from a retail Blu-Ray disc shows 48Khz @ 640 Mbps. At this point, I do not know if the audio source for my videos is actually at a higher audio bitrate and is being downsampled by the PS3, or if the issue with my receiver not flagging the 5.1 signal as Dolby Digital is a PS3 firmware issue.

640 Mbps is indeed pretty much the standard DD 5.1 bitrate for commercial Blu-rays, but 5.1 can be produced at lower bitrates, and almost always is on SD DVD's. Pink Floyd's PULSE is the only SD DVD I can think of with a 640 Mbps DD encode. It's likely that if your movies came from cable or satellite, 256 Mbps was the bitrate of the original broadcast. Then again, I could be completely clueless.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Yes, the audio output is in "bitstream" mode. The receiver flags the "retail" Blu-Ray discs just fine. It is DEFINITELY a PS3 firmware issue, and as noted in my previous post, you get the exact same result playing a 5.1 Mpeg in the normal "media center" mode. Unlike that, with the BD-RE disc, the PS3 is reading a disc that is in "BDAV" format, which you would "think" would elminate the issue that one sees in the media player. For some reason, the PS3 "knows" that it isn't a retail DVD, and that somehow changes the audio output. I have not examined the bitrate of my source videos to see what they are at, so for all I know, they are 256Mbps to begin with. The results that I am posting are from preliminary burns, and as I experiment more, I SHOULD learn more about exactly what is going on.


The burning process is REALLY FAST. The software uses a "direct burn" system that compiles the folders and burns "on the fly". A FULL 25GB disc only takes between 30-40 minutes to burn, and less if you are only burning only one movie on to the disc. The bitrates are EXACTLY the same as the source, so what you get in the final burn is directly tied to the source. Most "broadcast" HD material hovers in the 9-11 Mbps range, but "high bitrate" material is up in the 20+ Mbps range. The "Best" HBO-HD material (for example) seems to peak out around 15 Mbps. When I "explore" the disc after burning, I find that the file size of the M2TS stream is basically identical to the original HD Mpeg.


Since the burner records at 2X speed, and this INCLUDES rewriteable media, you can burn 25 GB worth of material in 30 minutes "best case scenario". When using the Cyberlink software (which does NOT re-encode the video, Praise GOD!) the folder organizing coupled with the lead-out and lead-in burning will increase this time to about 40 minutes "maximum". Of course, a full 50 GB "dual layer" disc will end up taking around an hour.


TX- Your thoughts on bitrate sounds pretty good. I think that the reason why the receiver doesn't flag it as "Dolby Digital" HAS to do with the PS3. It is the ONLY reasonable answer. I have converted the SAME videos to HD DVD format, and my receiver flags them as Dolby Digital (as you would expect). Now, my receiver DOES see it as "multi channel audio", it just doesn't recognize it as "Dolby Digital" for some reason...


Lee
 

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I hope this thread doesn't get moved to the HTPC forum. It would also be nice if a BD-authoring sticky would find its way to the top of this forum, much like the HD DVD Software has its own stickied Authoring/Burning thread.



Anyway, I've transferred a few D-VHS recordings and Motorola cable box archives to 25GB BD-REs with the same burner Lee uses (Sony BWU-100a) and my results have been more or less similar. I'm also using Vista Ultimate, for what it's worth.


At first, I would only get DD stereo output from my authored discs, but then I found the setting in Power Producer to allow MPEG 5.1 streams to write to the disc. Oddly enough, my Sammy P1000's display says my 5.1 BDs are 2-channel, but my Anthem AVM-50 is correctly identifying the 5.1 PCM stream.


My burning times are much higher (read: longer) than Lee's, but then again, I have my Sony burner in an external 5.25" enclosure (the blasted Sony faceplate wouldn't fit in my PC's case). I'm sure the USB connection is affecting my write speeds.


Overall, my authored discs are hit-or-miss. I'm soooo happy I bought BD-REs, as I would have made at least 20 coasters by now. I've noticed strange dropouts on my BD-REs that neither my D-VHS versions or previously-recorded HD Cable feeds have. I can't quite explain it, but I'm fairly certain it has to do with the encodes I've done from .TS to .MPEG in VideoRedo.


Anyone else want to share BD-RE authoring experiences?
 

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I've been waiting to do that, but I've had zero problems burning red laser HDDVDs of high def material. I was hoping to move to Bluray for stuff over 1.5 hours, but it seems like it's still a month or four off.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nathan_R /forum/post/0


I hope this thread doesn't get moved to the HTPC forum. It would also be nice if a BD-authoring sticky would find its way to the top of this forum, much like the HD DVD Software has its own stickied Authoring/Burning thread.



Anyway, I've transferred a few D-VHS recordings and Motorola cable box archives to 25GB BD-REs with the same burner Lee uses (Sony BWU-100a) and my results have been more or less similar. I'm also using Vista Ultimate, for what it's worth.


At first, I would only get DD stereo output from my authored discs, but then I found the setting in the Sonic recorder to allow MPEG 5.1 streams to write to the disc. Oddly enough, my Sammy P1000's display says my 5.1 BDs are 2-channel, but my Anthem AVM-50 is correctly identifying the 5.1 PCM stream.


My burning times are much higher (read: longer) than Lee's, but then again, I have my Sony burner in an external 5.25" enclosure (the blasted Sony faceplate wouldn't fit in my PC's case). I'm sure the USB connection is affecting my write speeds.


Overall, my authored discs are hit-or-miss. I'm soooo happy I bought BD-REs, as I would have made at least 20 coasters by now. I've noticed strange dropouts on my BD-REs that neither my D-VHS versions or previously-recorded HD Cable feeds have. I can't quite explain it, but I'm fairly certain it has to do with the encodes I've done from .TS to .MPEG in VideoRedo.


Anyone else want to share BD-RE authoring experiences?

You should be able to burn at 2X over USB2.0.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nathan_R /forum/post/0


At first, I would only get DD stereo output from my authored discs, but then I found the setting in the Sonic recorder to allow MPEG 5.1 streams to write to the disc.

Nathan,


What is Sonic recorder?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by MozartMan /forum/post/0


Nathan,


What is Sonic recorder?

I'm sorry, I meant Power Producer. I'll correct my post. All these authoring tools (and experimenting with multiple ones at a time) kinda run together after a while.
 

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Alas this does me little good because most of the DVHS tapes I made off cable had 5C protection on so I can't back it up.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I have used the same setting in Power Producer, and yet my receiver "still" seems to not accept it as a dolby digital 5.1 stream. The strange thing is, the audio is OBVIOUSLY multi-channel, as the center channel IS the voice track, the Left and Right front channels make sounds when appropriate (with the video) and the surrounds seem to run when they "should". The audio does not "sound bad", but I suppose that every time I look at my receiver and see it in "Home Cinema" mode instead of "THX Ultra2", I will keep wondering if I am missing out on something...


I have yet to burn a -R disc, even though I purchased several at the store. I am trying different movies to see how they burn on the re-writeable disc first. I sure would hate to waste a bunch of $18 -R discs. Have you tried burning a -R disc yet? Perhaps the audio dropouts MIGHT not be present on an "R" disc?


I don't think that your audio issues have ANYTHING to do with you conversion from .ts to .mpeg. I have checked my files with the VLC player, and even in the power producer software before burning it to disc, and they are audio "glitch free". I am thinking that there must be SOMETHING that is taking place during the initial burn and folder creation that causes an issue, as it only seems to occur at the very beginning of each file/show. Much like the incompatibility with the PS3 was an issue in the Power Producer software initially, I am sure that this is also software related. Perhaps a future patch will fix this as well. So far, have you ran into ANY recordings where the audio dropout issue did not stop after the first 30 seconds to a minute into the video???


MOST of my D-VHS archives are 5C flagged as well, but for the first 6 months or so (when the Firewire Motorolas first came out) everything was "unprotected". I spend so much time collecting movies that I will (probably) never watch, and yet here I am, adding to the "piles" of media. Every time I see a lot of posts from people wanting to know when "specific" big hit movies are coming out on Blu-Ray, it makes me feel good to know that I already have the ability to watch them on Blu-ray. I understand that in most cases these conversions will not be "as good", due to a lower bitrate encode, but it is really cool nonetheless. It took me LOTS of attempts and tweaks to figure out what worked best to do HD DVD conversions, and now I have those pretty much down-pat. Hopefully, Blu-Ray conversions will become as good/reliable in the near future...


Lee
 

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Discussion Starter #14
UPDATE: I have come to the conclusion that ALL of the issues cited above MUST be attributed to the PS3. I have yet to test a burned disc in any of the regular "set top" players, but I suspect that the two issues (early audio dropouts and your receiver not properly flagging the audio as Dolby Digital) may/might not be present on standalone players.


If you put a BD that you have recorded into a PC and open the contents, you will find the "stream" folder under the root BDAV directory. Open it, and you will find the "M2TS" video stream file. If you compare it to the original .mpeg that was used to create the disc, it will be about 20 MB larger than the original video file. This pretty much confirms that the audio stream has not been altered. When you "double click" on this file, the Cyberlink "PowerDVD" BD edition will boot up to play the file and (surprise!) there will be NO audio glitches as seen on the PS3. And this is reading DIRECTLY from the disc that you have burned. This, for the most part, confirms to me that the issues are in the PS3's player. I will try and test a disc on some various set-top players (in some stores) and report my findings. I bet that they will be SHOCKED to see what's on my test disc...



Lee
 

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Lee,


The only issue with PS3 right now for me is that it downconverts DD 5.1 to 2/0 when playing MPG files from XMB.

I think all other issues are with PowerProducer. I have suspicion that PowerProducer re-encoeds the audio

Quote:
If you put a BD that you have recorded into a PC and open the contents, you will find the "stream" folder under the root BDAV directory. Open it, and you will find the "M2TS" video stream file. If you compare it to the original .mpeg that was used to create the disc, it will be about 20 MB larger than the original video file. This pretty much confirms that the audio stream has not been altered

You just said it yourself that M2TS file is 20MB larger. It means something was altered. And I think it is audio.


And I think that PowerProducer is crap. I just burn files on BD-RE as data disks and play them from XMB.


BTW, you can play files more than 4GB in size on PS3, but there are some issues with progress bar and navigation.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Mozart-


Based upon my experience with both burning .mpegs (in UMD format) to disc and viewing them in the media center (as you have described) AND in burning "BDAV" mode Blu-Ray discs, the audio "receiver flag" issue APPEARS to be exactly the same. This is why I believe that it is the PS3 and not the Power Producer software. If the Power Producer software was re-encoding the audio, it would take a LOT longer to burn the disc, but in reality it is "burning on the fly" for the most part if you pay attention to the burning process and what the drive is doing during the burn.


Re-Encoding usually adds a LOT of time to the conversion/burn and should "noticeably" change the file size. A 20MB difference on a 17GB video file is practically "nothing". And it is 20MB "larger", not smaller. One would think that if it were "downsampling" the audio stream that (at least) the file would be smaller, if anything. I think that ALL of the issues are PS3 related, and hopefully, I will be able to find out conclusively when I go test a disc on a set-top Blu-Ray player. We can also check this by playing a "Power Producer" burned BD disc in the Cyberlink PowerDVD BD edition software, to see if it recognizes the audio as 5.1 dobly digital. I haven't done this yet, but hopefully, this will give us some insight.


The issues that you mentioned with navigation are non-existent when you burn a "BDAV" (or "BDMV", I can't remember exactly) disc. You can even add chapter stops which (thankfully) do NOT effect playback in any way. I didn't notice any audio dropout issues when playing the regular .Mpegs in the media center, so perhaps if you don't mind the "navigation" issues, that might be the best way to go "for now". The other wierd thing that you will notice when playing a DD 5.1 mpeg (or BD-RE video for that matter) in the PS3 is that when you call up the "controls" menu and select the "i" (circled I) icon, you will notice that it shows in the upper right hand corner that it is INDEED multi channel audio. This is another reason why the PS3 is altering the audio output through the optical connector. IF I had a firewire compatible receiver, I would LOVE to check and see if the same thing is happening through that output as well...


Lee
 

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Lee, it appears that your findings directly mirror mine when it comes to creating BD-RE discs.


Here's what I've found:


I have taken a 17 gig MPEG2 file, that has a DD5.1 448k audio track and burned it onto a BD-RE using an LG Blu-Ray burner and Cyberlink Powerproducer 4 software. The disc plays back in PowerDVD with 5.1 audio, but when you play it in the PS3, it shows up as Dolby Digital Multichannel audio 48Khz @256MBps. It's definitely an issue with the PS3 firmware, not the Powerproducer software. The disc DOES have a DD5.1 soundtrack, as verified by PowerDVD on my PC. I took the disc to a few local stores and it wouldn't play on a Samsung or a Sony Blu-Ray player. I suspect the problem being the firmware on the store demo's has not been updated. Samsung Blu-Ray players won't recognize BD-RE discs unless the firmware has been updated.. Not certain about the Sony players. I can't find a Panasonic player locally, but I've read that BD-RE's WILL play on the Panny players.


So these are the key points I've learned in my Blu-Ray burning experiences:


1) Cyberlink PowerProducer 4 , with the latest patch, will produce BD-RE discs playable on the PS3


2) Cyberlink Powerproducer 4 does NOT re-encode the video or audio in any way. The original stream is left intact. I verified this by copying a chunk of the original file onto a USB key and playing it back it the PS3, making note of the bit-rate and peak level bit-rates during certain scenes. The original file is identical in bitrate to the BD-RE. No changes in bitrate or picture quality.


3) The PS3 thus far will NOT play back 5.1 audio from any home-made Blu-Ray, or media file.


4) The picture produced from a high-bitrate BD-RE is simply breathtaking.



So if we can get the 5.1 issue solved, we will definietly be set.



I've been splitting similar recordings to 2 or 3 DVDR9 discs authored to HD-DVD as well, but the convenience of having the whole darned thing on one Blu-Ray disc is well worth the extra effort!


Marc.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by MozartMan /forum/post/0


Lee,


The only issue with PS3 right now for me is that it downconverts DD 5.1 to 2/0 when playing MPG files from XMB.

I think all other issues are with PowerProducer. I have suspicion that PowerProducer re-encoeds the audio



You just said it yourself that M2TS file is 20MB larger. It means something was altered. And I think it is audio.


And I think that PowerProducer is crap. I just burn files on BD-RE as data disks and play them from XMB.


BTW, you can play files more than 4GB in size on PS3, but there are some issues with progress bar and navigation.


The 20mb file is simply the BD-RE disc structure and chapter information being written as well. The audio is NOT re-encoded. I have verified this by playing the BE-RE with Power DVD. The original 5.1 stream is still there, untouched. It's a PS3 issue , plain and simple.


Marc.
 

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I haven't tested it, but does the latest v1.54 PS3 firmware resolve the 5.1 issue? This is my only gripe about the PS3.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brajesh /forum/post/0


I haven't tested it, but does the latest v1.54 PS3 firmware resolve the 5.1 issue? This is my only gripe about the PS3.

No, it doesn't.


I have PowerProducer 3.7. I will author BDAV on BD-RE disk tonight to see how DD 5.1 plays in PowerDVD 7.2 Ultra compare to PS3.
 
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