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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been busy transferring my tapes to DVD over the last year and a half and am now down to the last fifty or so tapes. It's a good feeling overall, but I have hit upon a series of shows that come in at 2:12 to 2:20. This is JUST over the 2:07 that I can get in SP mode. I have to use the FR mode of my recorder. This isn't an issue in itself, but it's a little frustrating because, as many of us know, the FR mode does not actually fill up the disk, but it "sizes" the file to about 91% of the disk capacity. In order to make it use the whole disk, you have to jerrymander the time, and then split the recording into two parts. THAT is rather tedius.


Sigh... Just wanted to mention it. Nothing can ever be really simple, can it?


And of course, I made a typo in the thread title. That shoud read SIMPLE not SINPLE. How do you fix that?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Church AV Guy /forum/post/15413410


And of course, I made a typo in the thread title. That shoud read SIMPLE not SINPLE. How do you fix that?

Just go to Edit window and change it... I think the time limit is either 2 hours or 2 days for changing it yourself... can't remember exactly. Otherwise, a mod can change it for you.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Church AV Guy /forum/post/15413410


I have been busy transferring my tapes to DVD over the last year and a half and am now down to the last fifty or so tapes. It's a good feeling overall, but I have hit upon a series of shows that come in at 2:12 to 2:20. This is JUST over the 2:07 that I can get in SP mode. I have to use the FR mode of my recorder. This isn't an issue in itself, but it's a little frustrating because, as many of us know, the FR mode does not actually fill up the disk, but it "sizes" the file to about 91% of the disk capacity. In order to make it use the whole disk, you have to jerrymander the time, and then split the recording into two parts. THAT is rather tedius.


Sigh... Just wanted to mention it. Nothing can ever be really simple, can it?


And of course, I made a typo in the thread title. That shoud read SIMPLE not SINPLE. How do you fix that?

With FR the picture quality differences between 2:00, 2:12 and perhaps even 2:20 should not be of major consequence.


During my dubbing project I was always consulting my VHS index that gave me title timings within a six minute margin of error. That made the final auditioning easier and allowed me to plan each disc's contents. Since I had a library of around 2,000 home-recorded videotapes selective preservation was my main criteria so I did not spend much time creating "themed" discs.


Unfortunately the contents of only around half my home-recorded videotapes were entered into my VHS index and many of the other half had not been labeled nor had I made notes showing tape contents. I found several loose notes that I set aside until auditioning allowed the notes to be reunited with the tapes. This became so time consuming that I gave up on the notes and just did a standard auditioning for those tapes. This is where I am glad that most of my tapes recorded since 1988 (or thereabouts) had been recorded on VCRs with indexing. Despite the indexing feature my past labeling laziness created much more later work auditioning a great many tapes. It would have been so simple to make notes or label each tape as it was recorded. That's 20-20 hindsight!


In those days I had a notion that I would create template sheets for printing tape spine or face labels. I did, in fact, print out spine labels on 8.5 x 11 label sheets (printing one column and then reversing the sheet for the second column) for the 7,700 or so titles that had been entered into the VHS index, but these were so difficult to cut apart and apply to tapes that as few as forty tapes ultimately got those labels. I'm such a pack-rat that I still have most of those label sheets, somewhere.


I tried to revise one of my thread titles to encompass the somewhat wider discussion that grew out of the original post. I couldn't do it. It would be good to know how to do that.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by DigaDo /forum/post/15414178


I tried to revise one of my thread titles to encompass the somewhat wider discussion that grew out of the original post. I couldn't do it. It would be good to know how to do that.

You can change the thread title within the first 2 hours or 2 days, can't remember which, using the Edit window.


After that, just PM a Mod (e.g., David Bott) and ask him to change it... put a link to the thread in the PM so he can find it easily.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by wajo /forum/post/15414252


You can change the thread title within the first 2 hours or 2 days, can't remember which, using the Edit window.


After that, just PM a Mod (e.g., David Bott) and ask him to change it... put a link to the thread in the PM so he can find it easily.

Well it DID work for me, so the typo is no more. Thanks. Now there are references to a non-existant issue.
 

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Getting back to the OPs original question, we should perhaps clarify this issue occurs primarily with a subset of recorders: machines that have Flex Recording speeds that are set automatically to "fill the discs" as opposed to manually-set FR machines. The-auto-FR speeds adhere to strict guidelines that ensure the recording does not exceed the standard capacity of the blank media.


The catch, as ChurchAVGuy is complaining of, is that real-life disc capacity when encoding typical TV programs is quite a bit more than the "standard spec" assumes. So the "auto-set" FR speed still wastes some of that capacity by being too cautious. Using a machine with manually-set FR lets you play around with real-world disc capacity more easily: in the examples cited, a 2:12 program would comfortably fill a disc at the 2:10 FR speed, and depending on the nature of the video I have even managed to squeeze a 2:20 program into a 2:10 FR disc. Of course the sensible thing would be to set the 2:20 FR speed, but that would definitely leave leftover capacity as ChurchAVGuy noticed. Although I think a manually-set 2:20 speed would use more of the disc than an auto-fill setting of 2:20: the auto-fill probably adds a 10% cushion on top of the 2:20 running time you input. Manually-set FR is somewhat more "flexible" than auto-only, but no matter what you still have to out-think the recorders which sometimes try too hard to protect us from ourselves.


Its a puzzlement.
 

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To clarify Citibears remarks in reguards to Panasonics, if you set FR for 2:10 on a Panny the recording will stop at about 2:09:55 to 2:10:05. Even though as mentioned there may be unused space left when using FR, I've personally found that one cannot under program FR and expect to have it use up the unused space. Pioneers may be different but trust me on this one, I use FR almost all the time and actually if my source is 2:10 I'll set FR for 2:11 because I don't want to chance it that I'll miss the last few seconds.


What I don't know but would like to know is if I recorded a 2hr program using SP and then recorded the SAME 2hr program using FR set to 2hrs even, would one disc be a larger file size than another?(better bit rate). I can't answer that since I really don't use my computer for DVDs but if the source is 1:55-2:00 I tend to use SP because of what I've read here in regards to FR leaving unused space on the disc. I'd really like to know the answer from any of you computer guys.


One side note to confuse things. If I cancel a FR DVD recording when say there is 1 minute left using FR and do a display it will say 1 minute left. Now if I take that same disc and try to high speed write to it(from HDD), it will let me high speed copy about 8 minutes to the disc??

Again this probably has to due with the buffer and the fact that when High Speed copying you don't need the buffer since the destination knows the exact size of the source but the whole thing is rather puzzling, to me anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
To be more accurate than my first post, I believe the actual storage capacity of a DVD-R blank disk is 4407MB. When I use FR, it sizes the file to just over 4000MB, leaving about 10% buffer space. So, for a 2:07 title, it just fits in 4407MB, but a 2:10 title has to be FR mode, and that means 4000MB. In the first case, it's 34.7MB per minute, in the second, it drops to 30.8, amounting to almost a 13% diffference.


I would have to set the FR mode to 1:58 and record all 2:10 in that mode to completely fill the 4407MB. The machine would complain about that, because it would stop at the 1:58 set point. this is why it would be necessary to record the title in two parts, each usng the 1:58 FR mode, but totalling 2:10 in record time. (I think I got the math right, maybe not.)


Then you trim have to and combine the two pieces, and maybe the recorder will not be too confused, and allow you to HS dub the finished title. Maybe not, in which case, you have to HS dub it to the blank as two separate titles. There will be an obvious break when the player goes from one title to the next, but there are breaks at every point in any title where commercials were removed,and there is a substantial break where a DL disk changes layer, so my disks are hardly free of these anomalies. If I chose my break-point well, it might be almost unnoticeable.


It's this level of complication that I was referring to as a frustration. That and the embarrasing realization that I usually just plug in a tape and record it at SP, then separate the shows. When a couple of them come in at 2:15, that means I wasted my time with the original copy because I have to do it again. I never did annotate my tapes to include an accurate measure of running time. I guess now I will have to start determining program duration prior to copying to the recorder. The tapes I am copying are old enough that there are no index marks on them, so it will be a... wait for it... frustration! YES!
 

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Thanks for the clarification. From your explanation it tells me that I'm actually better off using SP for a program that's 1:50 instead of FR set to 1:50. Reason being 1:50 +10%(amount wasted using FR)=2:01. This tells me SP would actually give me a slight advantage since it would only fit 2:00 onto the disc
you're right, the math gets complicated. Were probably just splitting hairs but it's nice to think one has maximized the space as much as possible.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Church AV Guy /forum/post/15416835


To be more accurate than my first post, I believe the actual storage capacity of a DVD-R blank disk is 4407MB. When I use FR, it sizes the file to just over 4000MB, leaving about 10% buffer space. So, for a 2:07 title, it just fits in 4407MB, but a 2:10 title has to be FR mode, and that means 4000MB. In the first case, it's 34.7MB per minute, in the second, it drops to 30.8, amounting to almost a 13% diffference.

The Pioneer HDD/DVD recorders allow you to use a "manual" recording speed. "Manual" is a poor choice of words, what it really means is you can choose "in-between" quality settings. For example, instead of just SP (2 hours per disc) or LP (4 hours per disc) you can also choose 2:10, 2:20, 2:30, etc. hours per disc. And you can do this while recording to the HDD without any dependency on how long the title is or how much space is on the disc. For example, you can record a one-hour show (43 minutes after editing) to a HDD at the "2:10" speed, then later come along and record two more of them at the same speed and end up with three shows that take 2:09, which you can then burn to a DVD at high speed (no loss).


It's a great feature that I use all the time.
 

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Its sort of tricky because each mfr handles the "FR" mode a little differently and from different "ends of the telescope". The Panasonics apparently use FR "speed" settings that are running-time based and hard-locked to assumed DVD capacity, i.e. if you set a Panny to FR 2:10 it distinctly cuts the recording off at 2:10, leaving a lot of unused capacity. It appears the running time/disc capacity/recording length/FR speed are locked together on Pannasonics in a way that makes it difficult to "game the system" (its been awhile since I used a Panasonic, if I'm incorrect here, sorry...). Pioneers are pretty darn casual and assume you know what you're doing, and if you don't its your funeral
. Probably the reason Pioneers are shipped with FR turned off- you need to make a definite effort to activate FR as an available feature or the machines act like they don't have it! Guess they don't want to be blamed for tempting you.


Pioneers do not lock any of the factors together: their manually-set FR (actually MN) speeds only set a constant bitrate range that guarantees the specified running time will fit on a DVD5. Other than this the machines do nothing to police the situation: they will merrily record to their hard drives in the 2:10 bitrate for hours on end, they don't auto-stop at the 2:10 runtime point. They don't stop until you tell them to. It is left entirely to your discretion to up the stakes: if you know that the average Pioneer 2:10 bitrate can actually fit 2:17 onto a typical DVD, you can "irrationally" record that program at 2:10 instead of 2:20 bitrate. Nine out of ten times, it works, but on the rare occasions it doesn't the recorder will flag you and suggest you either trim the title or let it transcode. After some experience with a Pioneer, its easy to remember the actual disc capacity of your most-used FR speeds and set them accordingly. My most frequent gambles are setting FR90 for a 94 minute movie, and FR100 for 105mins. If the movie has commercials in it, I assume a minimum 20 minutes will be deleted, and record that two-hour movie at FR95 which averages nearly 100 mins capacity. And so on.


The JVCs I've used were even more generous in FR mode: they were wildly inaccurate, not using full disc capacity unless I severely under-set the FR speed (FR90 on a JVC would usually hold 105 mins!). Each machine is different. Of course, as I admitted in another thread, in the end I don't believe these shenanigans really improve things all that much on most recorders. But its nice insurance just in case.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by CitiBear /forum/post/15417487


It appears the running time/disc capacity/recording length/FR speed are locked together on Pannasonics in a way that makes it difficult to "game the system" (its been awhile since I used a Panasonic, if I'm incorrect here, sorry...

You have it right, when recording directly to DVD a FR set for 2:10 will stop at basically 2:10 even if their is unused space on the disc


When using FR to the HDD the machine does basically the same thing, that is it will record for 2:10 and then stop(using the same amount of disc space that will fit on a standard DVD). I kind of prefer Pios approach, that is being able to record indefinitely to the HDD in whatever MN you set or even directly to DVD in whatever MN you set. Oh well, live with what you get I guess
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Well I never said it, but for some time I have thought of getting a Pioneer just for the large number of MN quality settings, but I realized that I wouldn't use them enough to justify the expense. I *DO* think that the MN system as described is rather superior to the Panasonic approach, which is absurdly simpe, so you can't mess it up, and it's hard to mess it up even when trying. Frequently I wish these manufacturers were a little less rigid in their "protecting" us.
 

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The MN system has done wonders for me with my Sharp 300 hard disc/DVDR. In fact it one of the best I've used for video tape transfers because the MN system is great for those unattended video tape transfers as well. Plus you can timer a program on the HD to record for a HD to DVD recording again unattended. As the informercial says set it and forget it.
 
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