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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm trying to make up my mind between the DMR-E80H and the Pioneer DVR-510HS and downloaded the operating manuals to review them. I'm not excited about recording to DVD-RAM, so I'm leaning toward the 510HS.


In reading the operating manual for the E80H, I came across this line on Page 10 re: DVD-R recording:


"The video is recorded in a 4:3 aspect irrespective of the video signal input."


I hope this doesn't mean what it says, i.e. that all 16:9 video sources are encoded at a 4:3 aspect ratio if recorded to DVD-R. Can any E80H owners confirm this?


If this is true, what does the recorded video look like on a widescreen display? Squashed?
 

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I believe that it just means that the movie will be dubbed to the DVD-R disk in 4x3 and therefore viewed as letterbox with black bars on a 4x3 TV.


The manual also indicates that you CAN dub 16x9 sources to the RAM disks. However, if you have no desire to use the RAM disks, this may not be helpful to you.


I personally, don't understand why panasonic went with the RAM discs as oposed to RW's. I hear the the RAM's are better for a few reasons, but if not that many players will play them, then I don't see what the benefit is. Perhaps more will play them in the future. I think the RAMs are good when you're using a computer DVD burner, but I really wouldn't know about that as I don't have one of those. Good luck.
 

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The statment from the manual is very confusing.


The 16x9 image is actually squeezed into a 4x3 frame when recorded (regardless of what media is used). When you play it back on a widescreen TV, the DVD player stretches it so it has the correct aspect ratio.


Heres where the confusion arises:

- On DVD-R the disks are flagged as 4x3

- On DVD-RAM the disks are flagged as 16x9


When playing back a DVD-R with 16x9 material burned on the E80 on a 4x3 TV, the aspect ratio is NOT correct (everything is tall and thin). However, the same material on a RAM disk will play back correctly on both 4x3 and 16x9 sets.


To get around the DVD-R flagging problem, I re-author 16x9 recordings on a PC (correctly setting the aspect ratio). The resultant disks play back correctly on both 4x3 and 16x9 TVs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Quote:
To get around the DVD-R flagging problem, I re-author 16x9 recordings on a PC (correctly setting the aspect ratio). The resultant disks play back correctly on both 4x3 and 16x9 TVs.
Well, that kinda sucks. I was hoping to buy a HD DVD Recorder so I didn't have to keep moving material to the PC for further editing. I already archive to DVD using an AD converter and my PC and wanted something that would reduce such use.


Moreover, I have a widescreen plasma and I archive material for my sister who watches it on a widescreen portable DVD player. If the Panny requires me to reauthor to get the correct 16:9 aspect on certain material, notably hi-def, then I'd be better off capturing directly to the PC and authoring without reencoding/transcoding.


Well, I guess I'll go with the 510HS.
 

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the 510H is an excellent machine, I've had it for a couple of weeks now and very happy with it, I haven't tried working with 16:9 material, but the 510 manual mentions the widescreen format a couple of times. I saw one thread here in this forum that has a lot of info on it. Do a search and you probably will find it.


erick
 

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I have the dmr-e-30 and it records 16x9 material perfectly regardless of what media is used. during playback it does not stretch the material, if it's 16x9 it displays the image correctly, if it's 4x3 , it displays 4x3. (I'm using the samsung directv stb feeding s-video signal to my panasonic dvd-r)
 

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There's no problem recording 16x9 stuff on the E80 or E100 as long as you've got a 16x9 display. Because the DVD-Rs are flagged as 4x3, they play back as tall/squeezed on 4x3 monitors. On 16x9 a monitor thay play back just fine as full widescreen.


If you're going to be playing back on 4x3, you'll have to get the signal source to output a letterboxed or cropped picture, and that is what will be recorded on disc. This is easy via the setup settings if the source is an HD STB or another DVD player. Possibly more problematic if it's something like a VCR or camcorder with no ability to adjust the output sizing.


One possible workaround is to get a player for your 4x3 set that allows you to over-ride the aspect flag and manually set the output for letterbox. They exist, tho I couldn't give you a specific current model.


The other workaround is to equip any 4:3 sets with current Panasonic players, which you can get for as little as $60 or so, and then do all your recordings with RAMs. All Panny players sold today play RAMs, and will handle the widescreen discs appropriately.
 

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I have the Panny E80 and have recorded both 4:3 and 16:9 material on DVD-R and viewed them on both a 4:3 and 16:9 TV. There is no issue at all with the aspect ratio other than setting the source (DVD player for me) to the screen type on which you will view the DVD-R.


An interesting note: after I got my new 16:9 TV I still had some recordings left over that were recorded when I had the old 4:3 TV, so these were recorded with the DVD player set for a 4:3 display. On the 16:9 TV the resulted is the dreaded "4 bars of black" (black bars on all 4 sides of the picture), much like a 4:3 program looks when letterboxed and viewed on a 16:9 screen. But wait! I just set the set's picture mode to Zoom and bang! The picture now fills the entire screen 16:9 screen. Resolution suffers a bit, though.


Bottom line: The E80 is a great machine, but the manual sucks.


Good luck with your purchase.


HDD
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by HardDrive
I have the Panny E80 and have recorded both 4:3 and 16:9 material on DVD-R and viewed them on both a 4:3 and 16:9 TV. There is no issue at all with the aspect ratio other than setting the source (DVD player for me) to the screen type on which you will view the DVD-R.


An interesting note: after I got my new 16:9 TV I still had some recordings left over that were recorded when I had the old 4:3 TV, so these were recorded with the DVD player set for a 4:3 display. On the 16:9 TV the resulted is the dreaded "4 bars of black" (black bars on all 4 sides of the picture), much like a 4:3 program looks when letterboxed and viewed on a 16:9 screen. But wait! I just set the set's picture mode to Zoom and bang! The picture now fills the entire screen 16:9 screen. Resolution suffers a bit, though.
HardDrive:


A 16x9 recording burnt to DVD-R on the E80 does NOT play back with the correct aspect ratio on a 4x3 TV. It needs to be re-authored so that it is flagged as 16x9. The DVD player will then correctly letterbox it on a 4x3 set.


As Spoffo suggested, one way around this is with a DVD player that can be forced into letterbox mode. I know some of the JVC players support this, not sure about any others.


What type of DVD player are you using ?
 

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PatsWonSB:


I stand corrected. The key (at least for me) is how the DVD player I am recording from is set. When I had a 4:3 TV I set my source DVD player to 4:3 output and the recorded DVDs played fine on the 4:3 set. Now that I have a 16:9 TV I have the source player set for 16:9 and again everything plays fine on the 16:9 TV. However, if I were to put the source player into 16:9 mode, make a recording, and then view on a 4:3 TV I am sure the image would look distorted.


However, the original question from smallwonder concerns being able to record 16:9 material (from downconverted HD) on DVD-R (not RAM) and then watch it on a 16:9 display. The E80 can do this just fine, no tricks or flags required. From what smallwonder said in his posts, this is what he is after, so the E80 should work fine for him.


The hitch is in getting that same recording to look right if it were to be viewed on a 4:3 TV over at grandma's house. As has been pointed out, getting this one right requires changing the flag via re-authoring, getting a player that has an override to force letterbox mode, or sticking with RAM recording.


Another option would be to set the original source to output 4:3 letterbox. Recordings will display fine on a 4:3 TV and have the "4 black bars" on a 16:9 TV, but that can be overcome via stretch modes. Not as desirable from a PQ standpoint, but it does not require a computer with a DVD burner or a special player at grandma's house.


Regards,


HDD
 

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With the E80 (or E30, which I have), if you record an SD program that is shown in 16:9, will it fill the screen normally if played back on a 16:9 screen (EDTV set)?


Thank you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by HardDrive
PatsWonSB:


The hitch is in getting that same recording to look right if it were to be viewed on a 4:3 TV over at grandma's house. As has been pointed out, getting this one right requires changing the flag via re-authoring, getting a player that has an override to force letterbox mode, or sticking with RAM recording.
Thanks for the clarifications, guys. Although most of my viewing is on the plasma, I do have a 4:3 in the bedroom and would prefer not to have to re-edit. I also would prefer not to have to buy another DVD drive that can read DVD-RAM disks (even as cheap as the Toshiba is on Newegg).


I think I'll still go with the Pio even though I almost pulled the trigger on the Panny last night. The Pio offers a more "all-in-one" solution for what I need, including the DV input. With the latter, I'm anticipating that I can also archive from the PC via my Canopus ADVC-100 back to the Pio.


And with the $100 rebate from Pioneer as of 2/1/04, the price point is comparable to the 810.
 

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So based on what I've read in all these posts, it sounds like the manual is wrong, or at least technically wrong in regards to what can be dubbed onto a DVD-r.


I have the E80H. I don't have a 16:9 TV, but my 4:3 WEGA does have a 16:9 enhanced mode which simulates it. It's a pretty great feature actually as I can play 16:9 material (DVD's in a player set to output in 16:9) in a virtual letterboxed fashion, but the resolution is supposedly 33% better than standard letterbox. I don't know if that %'age is accurate, but difference in PQ is obvious and very noticable. When this TV accepts that same 16:9 source with the enhanced mode turned off, the picture looks distorted (as it should)


When I recorded from a 16:9 source to HHD and then dubbed to DVD-R the picture looks un-distorted in the 16:9 enhanced mode. From this, I gather that it would play correctly (full) on a wide screen TV.


I don't really understand what "flagged" means as it relates to what is dubbed on a DVD-R. Is flagging an actual way to identify what the material really is, or is it just a "label" to be read by a tv/player that may actually mis-identify what the material is recorded as?


I hope that wasn't confusing :rolleyes:
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by stevorino
I don't really understand what "flagged" means as it relates to what is dubbed on a DVD-R. Is flagging an actual way to identify what the material really is, or is it just a "label" to be read by a tv/player that may actually mis-identify what the material is recorded as?
There are 2 types of flags that I know about which indicate the aspect ratio (4x3 vs 16x9). The first is in the MPG file itself (VRO or VOB). There is a header which indicates the aspect ratio. The second is in the IFO file which exists on the DVD-RAM or DVD-R disk. The IFO file contains a per title indication of the aspect ratio.


The Panasonics set the IFO file correctly for HDD and RAM recordings, but not DVD-R recordings. The VRO/VOB file is never set correctly by the Panny recorders.
 

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So then it would be possible to have a VRO/VOB of 16:9 and an IFO of 4:3 on a DVD-R? In other words, we can burn 16:9 to DVD-R, providing we are playing back on a widescreen display (or in my case, a 16:9 enhanced 4:3 TV).


Does that about sum it up?
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by PatsWonSB
There are 2 types of flags that I know about which indicate the aspect ratio (4x3 vs 16x9). The first is in the MPG file itself (VRO or VOB). There is a header which indicates the aspect ratio. The second is in the IFO file which exists on the DVD-RAM or DVD-R disk. The IFO file contains a per title indication of the aspect ratio.


The Panasonics set the IFO file correctly for HDD and RAM recordings, but not DVD-R recordings. The VRO/VOB file is never set correctly by the Panny recorders.


Is this the reason whenever I record a 1080i show like Joan of Arcadia to my Panny it never records it to where it fills the whole screen on full mode on my 16x9 set. Or am I doing something wrong? since I tried different things and I can never get it to have no black bars on top& bottom recording an HD source, unless I use stretch modes of course while viewing.
 

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Quote:
(or in my case, a 16:9 enhanced 4:3 TV).
NO!


Be careful on that one. On a standard wide-screen 16:9 television, you can force the ratios to work with a Panasonic DMR-E80H recorded disc, since it doesn't record any 16:9 flags.


HOWEVER, on some 4:3 sets as Sony Wega models, THEY CAN ONLY DISPLAY IN THE ANAMORPHIC SQUEEZE MODE WHEN A 16:9 FLAG IS AVAILABLE. THEY WILL NOT GO INTO ANAMORPHIC SQUEEZE MODE WITHOUT A FLAG! Sony's squeeze mode is not manually forcible. It can only be engaged automatically by the 16:9 flag. So you'd be out of luck if you own a Sony Wega or a model that operates in the same fashion.


If you have a Sony Wega, your best bet would be the Pioneer DVR-510H-s. It records a 16:9 flag as long as the source is identified by it's own 16:9 flag. If the source isn't flagged correctly, the 510 will think it's 4:3 ratio, and record it as so. On the 510, there is no 16:9 manual force(as on the Pioneer 7000 stated by others), it's identification flagging is only automatic.


Have a good one.
 

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Quote


HOWEVER, on some 4:3 sets as Sony Wega models, THEY CAN ONLY DISPLAY IN THE ANAMORPHIC SQUEEZE MODE WHEN A 16:9 FLAG IS AVAILABLE. THEY WILL NOT GO INTO ANAMORPHIC SQUEEZE MODE WITHOUT A FLAG! Sony's squeeze mode is not manually forcible. It can only be engaged automatically by the 16:9 flag. So you'd be out of luck if you own a Sony Wega or a model that operates in the same fashion.

End Quote


Mike Up:

I have a WEGA from about 2 years ago (KV27FS13). I recorded 16:9 source to E80H and burned it to DVD-R. I then played it back on this 4:3 WEGA and it played in full screen (seemed somewhat distorted). I then turned on the anamorphic squeeze and it played it in wide screen (or anamorphic squeeze).


My anamorphic squeeze seems to be manual as I understand it. I just turn it on in the options menu. I know that the newer WEGAs can turn the feature on automatically and they seem to be set that way from the factory, but I believe that they can be turned back to manual in the options menu. I've seen one in action and was very happy to see it work automatically as I don't think people were figuring out how to use this wonderful option. It only works correctly with 16:9 material. Otherwise the picture looks too verticall sqeezed. Maybe it's not enhanced the way that I thought, but this WEGA can definitely force letterbox with what I indicated was burned. ???????
 
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