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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I recently purchased a DMR-E30 and have problems playing finalized DVD-Rs recorded on the machine in my other DVD players. I have a Zenith DVD2100 and a Panasonic DVD-RV32. On the Zenith, the the disc won't even play. I get the menu, but that's all. Neither selecting "Play" on the menu or directly pressing the Play button on the remote does anything. On the Panasonic play, it will play, but at a certain point in the recording I start to get periodic momentary video freezes and large pixelation areas. I have recorded two TDK DVD-Rs and the both exhibit the same behavior. The strange part is that when I play the discs in the DMR-E30, there is absolutely no problem with those areas (i.e. they only show up on the player only).


After I finish a recording, a screen pops up on the DMR-E30 and says something like "writing data" and has a progress bar (this is before finalizing). I have noted that both times, the progress bar gets to 44% and then disappears. Then, I finalize normally. The interesting thing is that the problem areas seen when playing on regular players start showing up at about the 44% point (i.e. for a 60-min XP recording, everything up to ~25 minutes is fine, after that there are periodic pixels and freezing). It seems like whatever the "writing data" process is, it is terminating early and it not being completed is causing problems on the areas of the disc that haven't processed yet. Whatever the problem is, it doesn't seem to affect playback on the DMR-E30 as there areas are perfect. It just causes problems when playing discs back on other machines.


Anyone run into this before or have any thoughts? Bad machine? TIA.
 

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I was going to say that the 44% thing might be a coincidence but perhaps you are on to something as my HS2 has similar problems - in my case the 'writing data' message usually gets to around 80% then it disappears. Now, the thing is that I have the same problem as you - the DVD-R, either finalised or unfinalised plays back perfectly every time in the HS2 but once finalised and then played back on my Pioneer 525 I nearly always have pixelation and picture freezing at around 80% in to the video!

To be honest I thought that perhaps the problem is cheap Datastream media but I have also had the exact same problem with an Apple $11 DVD-R, so I am not sure if it's a media problem, a Panasonic problem or a Pioneer problem or even a mix of all three.


There is a fair bit of flack around towards TDK blanks - have you tried any expensive media? I'm going to buy a few Panny blanks and then try playing them back on a Panny DVD player - then if I still have problems then it's a Panasonic problem for sure....
 

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Have you tried any DVD-Rs other than the TDKs? I had a similar problem with some cheaper media a while back.


Try some other brands of media, or better yet, try a DVD-R burned on another E-30.


Good Luck,

Peter M
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I haven't gotten any other media than the TDK discs yet to try, but that is going to be my next troubleshooting step.
 

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I also have an E30 and use TDK and Vivastar DVD-Rs. I've never had a problem with a TDK disc (Playback in Panny RP82, JVC XV60 or XBox). I have had some playback problems with the Vivastars in the JVC and Xbox.


I have experienced the menu problem that you mentioned when play is hit and nothing happens. Oddly enough I found that just hitting enter on the title seems to work on discs that have this problem.


I mostly use SP or FR modes and the "Writing Data" message usually goes up to at least 80%. One thought I have on the freezing problems is that you are using XP mode. Perhaps your other players have problems with the higher bit rates that XP mode uses. Try an SP recording to see if that eliminates or reduces the freezing problem.
 

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I've had the same problem with my E30 and cheap Khypermedia discs. The last 10-15 mins of *some* of my discs get really pixelated or freeze on my Pioneer 525. I have had 0 issues with Verbatims, though.


What's interesting is that my $70 Mintek 2110 plays the Khypermedia discs perfectly, just like the E30. I guess it is a combination of slightly out of spec sectors on the media and the ability of the DVD player to read out of spec stuff.


I still buy the Khypermedia's for relatively unimportant stuff, especially now that Officemax has them for 10 for $10 after rebate this week. I know that my Mintek will play them!


jb
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by PatsWonSB
I also have an E30 and use TDK and Vivastar DVD-Rs. I've never had a problem with a TDK disc (Playback in Panny RP82, JVC XV60 or XBox). I have had some playback problems with the Vivastars in the JVC and Xbox.


I have experienced the menu problem that you mentioned when play is hit and nothing happens. Oddly enough I found that just hitting enter on the title seems to work on discs that have this problem.


I mostly use SP or FR modes and the "Writing Data" message usually goes up to at least 80%. One thought I have on the freezing problems is that you are using XP mode. Perhaps your other players have problems with the higher bit rates that XP mode uses. Try an SP recording to see if that eliminates or reduces the freezing problem.
Thanks, of the two discs that have the problem, one was an XP recording and the other was a SP recording. The XP has the problem at ~ 25 min in and the SP has the problem at ~47 min in. Both of those numbers seem to be at about 44% of the total length. I've gotten some Memorex discs. I'll try one tonight.
 

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I have had the DMR-E20 for the better part of a year and can report the exact same issues. My pioneer player wouldn't play the discs at all, so I went to the Panasonic website and found that the Panasonic DVD-RV32K was supposed to play discs recorded on the E20, so I bought one. Well it would load them and play them, but there was pixelation every minute or so...often it would cover large portions of the screen. It was absolutely unwatchable. I have tried every disc brand I could find with it and it did not seem to matter, the 32K would constantly misplay them. Finally I sold the unit and purchased a RP-82 for its superior video capabilities. I threw in a DVD recorded on the E20 and it played it perfectly. I have had no problems on the RP-82...it even perfectly plays DVD-RAMs recorded on the E20. I am now very happy with my Panasonic equipment.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Well, I tried an XP recording on a Memorex disc. This time the "writing data" got up to 83%. Finalized it, popped it in the DVD-R32 and everything was fine until 50 minutes (i.e. ~ the 83% of the total time). Then, freezes and pixelation. Based on my experience, the following seem true:


1.) Whe the video glitches start is related directly to how far the "writing data" gets before it fails


2.) Different manufacturer's discs go further in the process than others.


Frankly, the lack of compatibility is disappointing. While it wouldn't be surprising that old players might not handle the discs, it seems a little unreasonable that the compatibility window is so narrow with name brand discs or newer players. People shouldn't have to try every brand of DVD-Rs to find out which one will make it to 100% or find the one or two specific players that will play the discs back without problems. It doesn't seem like it should be so sensitive to which brand disc or player.


The advertising certainly seem to imply that DVDs recorded on the E30 will play back on most DVD players. What's the average consumer going to think when he or she lets a friend borrow a DVD they recorded and the friend comes back and says it's all messed up? Of if they one day get rid of the E30 and go back to a standalone player?


I guess the main question is: Is this a real problem that I should send it back to Panasonic to fix, or is this the way it works and one has to accept that the compatability is so low? It sounds like this isn't the first time this has come up, but strangely none of the reviews have mentioned it.
 

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It's early days in DVD recorder history - this all reminds me of how fussy CD-R was only four or five years ago. IMHO, the cheap blanks still do not have good quality control and it could be some time before things settle down and all blanks will record and play back ok.

I think you may have a valid case as far as sending the E30 & the R32 to Panasonic along with the unplayable discs and ask for them to fix the problem BUT I suspect the first thing they will say or blame will be the Memorex (and the other cheapies) media. Now, if youwere to make a recording on a Panasonic blank and still have the same problems then they have no excuse - it has to be Panasonic's problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
In a further update, the recorded DVDs will play fine in the DVD drive of my 4 year old computer, but not in a 6-month old standalone DVD player made by the same company who makes the recorder.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by CKNA
I think your player might be defective. I never have problem playing and DVD-R on any Panny DVD Player.
Perhaps, but it doesn't say much for quality control at Panasonic, since I have yet to speak to an owner of an E20/E30 that did not have playback compatibility problems regardless of media and brand used. There are many of us who bought a Panny DVD player thinking that it would solve this issue(probably because Panasonic claimed that it would); unfortunately, it did not. I would also point out that Pan. marketed certain players in order to show that they could play E20 discs, which tells me that the problem was more widespread than on just a few machines. By the way, look at how they word this in the description from the RV32K:


________________________________________________

DVD-R Playback Capability* Yes


(*This unit can play back Panasonic DVD-R discs recorded with Panasonic DMR-E20 DVD video recorder. It may not be able to play some DVD-R discs depending on the condition of the recording.)

______________________________________________________-


So, even though it plays the E20 discs, it may not always(depending on the recordings quality). That's odd...apparently I could never get a "quality" recording regardless of disc brand used.
 

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The player isn't defective. This is a relatively common concern with DVD-R discs. It's why I purchase mainly RAM. The process of recording to DVD-R is a physical process. The dye is actually physically being changed. And it's usually at about the 80% mark that most people have problems. I've seen it explained as having problems writing to the outer rings of the disc, but have no data to support that. I have a number of discs with pixelation and skips after the 75% mark.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by CKNA
I think your player might be defective. I never have problem playing and DVD-R on any Panny DVD Player.
Just for clarification, are you using Panasonic E20/30 recorded DVD-Rs, or DVD-Rs recorded elsewhere. Part of the mystifying history of some of the E20 compatible Panny DVD players is that they play other discs fine, while they butcher the E20 recorded ones. I can't figure it out except to say that I have never had a problem on my new Panny RP-82(which would also signal that there is noting wrong with the recorder + the recorder itself plays the discs flawlessly). There is just some reason that earlier Panny compatible players cannot.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by hroeder
The player isn't defective. This is a relatively common concern with DVD-R discs. It's why I purchase mainly RAM. The process of recording to DVD-R is a physical process. The dye is actually physically being changed. And it's usually at about the 80% mark that most people have problems. I've seen it explained as having problems writing to the outer rings of the disc, but have no data to support that. I have a number of discs with pixelation and skips after the 75% mark.
My recording have pixelation all the way through although they do get worse after the 75% mark. Still, no problems now on my newer Panny player and the recorder itself was never a problem, so I believe that my issues are in the other Panny not properly reading the disc. I have seen very few machines handle E20 discs properly.
 

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What do all these compatibility problems mean on the long term?


Will DVD-R's that we record now still not be playable in a few years? Or, even worse, will compatibility decrease when there's finally a (new) standard.


Isn't all the work that goes into recording DVD's lost when you might not be able to play them anymore after your current recorder stops working?
 

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Yes that's my biggest worry too. All this talk about DVD recordings lasting 200yrs is crap IMHO - the whole process of changing the colour of a microscopic amount of dye and expecting it to be stay exactly in that state for 200yrs or more is garbage IMHO - with the state of the 'art' at the moment I reckon we would all be far safer with anaolgue tape!

Some discs actually carry warning statements saying to keep it out of direct sunlight!

I agree that the RAM recordings are far more robust and that would be my prefence especially as then you can edit them - add marker points etc whenever you need to BUT the price of RAM discs is close to 10 times the cost of a cheap DVD-R blank, AND it's totally incompatible with any other player but a few Panasonics...
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I'm going to try some experiments. I gave a recorded DVD to a friend who has three players and he's going to see how well it plays in each of them.


So far my playback experiences:


Zenith DVD 2201 - displays main menu only and won't play program

Panasonic DVD-RV32 - plays fine until time where "writing data" failed during post-recording process. Then freezes and pixelation.

4- year old DVD-ROM computer drive - plays flawlessly.

Panasonic DMR-E30K - plays flawlessly.


Media:


TDK - "writing data" fails at 44%

Memorex - "writing data" fails at 83%


I've ordered some Panny, Sony, and KHypermedia DVD-Rs and I'll see how that goes.
 

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This is exactly the problem I am having with my E30. At about 75-80% of the way into a disc it starts to pixelate, pause and break up. Sometimes it lasts only 5 to 10 minutes, but that is certainly long enough to spoil what you are trying to watch. The discs play fine in the E30 and in my RP82, but the problem is with my GE 1101P. I had tried the discs and they seemed to play, but the problem is that I did not play them all the way through. On a 2 hour movie you get to chapters 15 or 16 and it starts. I had given the GE to my daughter so she could watch dvd-r's that I

had recorded on my E30 and it was disappointing when we tried to watch them at Thanksgiving time. So I need to find an inexpensive dvd player that will play my recorded dvd-r's. There are no stores where I live that have the players hooked up in order to test them, so I need some recomendations.


Another problem I have had with recordings on my E30 is using the XP mode. I get very short pauses every few seconds and this occurs when playing them on my E30 or RP82. I have used Vivastars lately, but it has also occurred with Riteks.
 
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