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Panasonic DMR-E50 vs Philips DVD-R70 DVD Recorders. Faulty 16:9 recording aspect ratio?

 
 
metn41
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Posts: n/a
 
      08-01-2003
Hi,

First of all, apologies for cross-posting, but I'm trying to reach as
many owners of the above models as possible.

I'm thinking about buying a DVD Recorder. I don't need a HDD or
Firewire input and I'm looking at a price tag of 400 maximum, so I've
pretty much narrowed it down to either the Panasonic DMR-E50 or the
Philips DVD-R70. I've searched all through the net, read reviews on
both, and downloaded and read both of the manuals, but I still can't
find any answers to my questions. I'd be grateful if owners of the
above two can answer the following:-

1. On page 11 of the Panasonic manual, it states under the DVD-RAM
section that "Picture aspect ratios, regular 4:3 or widescreen 16:9
are recorded as they are received."

But under the DVD-R section on the same page it states: "The video is
recorded in a 4:3 aspect ratio irrespective of the signal input."

Can anyone here who owns this machine confirm this by recording a
short anamorphic widescreen programme onto DVD-R, or checking some
you've already recorded that you know without doubt were broadcast in
anamorphic widescreen? Is it recorded as a widescreen picture (which
it should be) or does the player really letterbox it into a 4:3 frame
before recording like it says in the manual, and also hints at on:-

http://www.dvdplusrw.org/video/videoformat.html

I know the above site is obviously biased towards the +RW format, but
it states:-

"Usually, all recordings made with a DVD+RW video recorder have a
screen aspect ratio of 4:3. When you record video from an anamorphic
widescreen source (such as a DV camcorder recording made in "16:9
Wide" mode, or a 16:9 enhanced DVD), it will be recorded as such in
anamorphic format on the disc. The recorder will include an extra flag
in the video stream that will allow the recorder to signal the TV to
swith to "widescreen" mode when playing back the disc.

Keep in mind however that this is a DVD+RW "special feature", that is
not defined by the DVD-Video specification. "


Effectively meaning that this "special feature" is not common to DVD-R
(and thus the Panasonic DMR-E50). Does the Philips record widescreen
programmes properly onto DVD+R, and can any Philips owners of this
confirm this? It says absolutely nothing in the Philips manual about
it.

This is the biggest issue for me so far. I'm not going to buy a DVD
Recorder if it can't record widescreen programmes in widescreen on
DVD-R discs!

2. According to the manual, the Panasonic appears to have a fan. Is
this noisy? What about the noise level of the Philips? What's the seek
noise like on the Panasonic when it is doing a timeslip on DVD-RAM
(simultaneous play & record)?

3. Can both of these machines edit out adverts on DVD-R / DVD+R as
well, ie, can chapters be added and "hidden" on write-once discs, or
is editing strictly limited to rewritable discs only?

4. What's compatibility like with other players (particularly +RW
discs on the Philips)?

5. Does the Panasonic have a "zoom" feature like the Philips? It isn't
mentioned in the manual.

6. What's the picture quality like on both machines in various modes?
Is it noticeable worse when recompressing?

7. What's the pre and post processing like on the Panasonic, and does
the Philips have this as well? It doesn't seem to be as I haven't
found it mentioned anywhere in the Philips manual or marketing
literature.

So correct me if I'm wrong (I hope I am regarding W/S recordings), but
my choice is between:-

Panasonic DMR-E50:-

Which has an excellent "timeslip" feature, pre and post processing,
but may be unable to keep anamorphic widescreen programmes as
anamorphic widescreen on DVD-R discs.

Or the Philips DVD-R70:-

Which doesn't seem to have any "timeslip" feature or pre / post
processing, but possibly can keep anamorphic widescreen programmes as
anamorphic widescreen (although the manual says absolutely nothing at
all about it.)

Any help will be greatly appreciated on this matter. The only real way
to be sure is to ask someone who has the recorder in front of them who
can personally verify it.

Thanks,

metn41
 
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Damien Thorn
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      08-01-2003
My 'Panny' definitly records the anamorphic image fine and does not
letterbox it.


 
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metn41
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      08-01-2003
On Fri, 1 Aug 2003 14:58:55 +0100, "Damien Thorn"
<(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

>My 'Panny' definitly records the anamorphic image fine and does not
>letterbox it.


Is that just on DVD-RAM's or do DVD-R's also record it perfectly and
maintain its "anamorphicness"? If both of them do then I'm sold! I
just want to be absolutely certain first

Many thanks, Damien. This is my biggest concern.

metn41.
 
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Damien Thorn
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      08-01-2003
it does it perfectly on both DVDR and RAM the only downside is that when
finalising a DVDR - it loses the widescreen switching signal that 'pings' my
16:9 TV so I have to do it manually. The aspect ratio is fine though.

Hope this helps you a little bit.


"metn41" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed)...
> On Fri, 1 Aug 2003 14:58:55 +0100, "Damien Thorn"
> <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>
> >My 'Panny' definitly records the anamorphic image fine and does not
> >letterbox it.

>
> Is that just on DVD-RAM's or do DVD-R's also record it perfectly and
> maintain its "anamorphicness"? If both of them do then I'm sold! I
> just want to be absolutely certain first
>
> Many thanks, Damien. This is my biggest concern.
>
> metn41.



 
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Clem Dye
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Posts: n/a
 
      08-01-2003
metn41 wrote:
> Hi,
>

<snip -long post deleted>

A lot of questions, all of which I can't really answer, expect the
widescreen issue. I have a Philips DVDR880. This records widescreen from
my Nokia Freeview box without an issue on DVD+RW discs and plays pack in
the same way. My Yamaha DVD player (a Philips clone) plays back a
widescreen recording as widescreen. However, my Cyrus DVD player doesn't
see the widescreen flag and I need to switch things manually. I can't
comment on DVD+R. I've taken a look at the manual for the '70 and it
seems very similar to the older 880. If I'm right, then the drive should
be pretty quiet on operation. Quality-wise, I always use SP. Other
posters in the NG have commented that SP+ is pretty comparable. Frankly,
I'm not interested in the quality drop below SP+.

HTH


Clem

 
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Justin Cole
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Posts: n/a
 
      08-01-2003
"metn41" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed)...
> On Fri, 1 Aug 2003 14:58:55 +0100, "Damien Thorn"
> <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>
> >My 'Panny' definitly records the anamorphic image fine and does not
> >letterbox it.

>
> Is that just on DVD-RAM's or do DVD-R's also record it perfectly and
> maintain its "anamorphicness"? If both of them do then I'm sold! I
> just want to be absolutely certain first
>
> Many thanks, Damien. This is my biggest concern.


Remember that "anamorphic widescreen" is always in a standard 4:3 frame
anyway... (Stored compressed horizontally)

It's only the TV that does the uncompression with the display mode. You can
record anamorphic widescreen with *ANY* recorder - even a 15 year old VHS
recorder...

The problem you will have is with auto-switching on the TV - you may have to
manually change the aspect setting.

Justin.


 
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Fred Glaser
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      08-01-2003
Hi Clem
I also have the 880. Have you ever used the Sat Record function of the
DVDR880 and got it to record an RGB signal successfully from your digi box?
Fred
"Clem Dye" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed)...
> metn41 wrote:
> > Hi,
> >

> <snip -long post deleted>
>
> A lot of questions, all of which I can't really answer, expect the
> widescreen issue. I have a Philips DVDR880. This records widescreen from
> my Nokia Freeview box without an issue on DVD+RW discs and plays pack in
> the same way. My Yamaha DVD player (a Philips clone) plays back a
> widescreen recording as widescreen. However, my Cyrus DVD player doesn't
> see the widescreen flag and I need to switch things manually. I can't
> comment on DVD+R. I've taken a look at the manual for the '70 and it
> seems very similar to the older 880. If I'm right, then the drive should
> be pretty quiet on operation. Quality-wise, I always use SP. Other
> posters in the NG have commented that SP+ is pretty comparable. Frankly,
> I'm not interested in the quality drop below SP+.
>
> HTH
>
>
> Clem
>



 
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metn41
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      08-01-2003
On Fri, 1 Aug 2003 19:12:55 +0100, "Justin Cole"
<(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

>> Is that just on DVD-RAM's or do DVD-R's also record it perfectly and
>> maintain its "anamorphicness"? If both of them do then I'm sold! I
>> just want to be absolutely certain first


>> Many thanks, Damien. This is my biggest concern.


>Remember that "anamorphic widescreen" is always in a standard 4:3 frame
>anyway... (Stored compressed horizontally)


>It's only the TV that does the uncompression with the display mode. You can
>record anamorphic widescreen with *ANY* recorder - even a 15 year old VHS
>recorder...


>The problem you will have is with auto-switching on the TV - you may have to
>manually change the aspect setting.


Yes, I understand that. The trouble is, if I wanted to watch it (or
lend it to someone) using a 4:3 TV, it would come out looking
horizontally squashed and there'd be no way of correcting it since:-

a). The DVD player playing it would mistakenly think that it's a 4:3
picture that doesn't need letterboxing and for most DVD players it's
impossible to forcibly letterbox a programme flagged as 4:3
fullscreen, and

b). Most 4:3 TV's (especially older ones) do not have a button to
change the aspect ratio. So the DVD player would not stretch it, and
most 4:3 TV's would be unable to correct for it. Everyone would appear
tall and thin in the same way that they do when 4:3 users accidently
select 16:9 mode on their DVD player.

If possible, I'd rather get the aspect ratio right during recording so
that:-

a). It would play back on a Widescreen TV without needing manual
aspect changing, and

b). It could be viewed correctly on a 4:3 TV (eg, in the bedroom or
lent to another family member or friend who doesn't yet have a
widescreen set). I know some modern 4:3 TV's have a letterbox feature
to correct for this, but the vast majority (including mine) don't.

Thanks to all who replied to my original post. I know how anamorphic
widescreen works, it's just that the way it was worded in the manual
(and the lack of clarification elsewhere) led me to believe that "The
video is recorded in a 4:3 aspect ratio irrespective of the signal
input" may well have meant that the recorder letterboxed the 16:9
source (like DVD players do when connected to a 4:3 TV) BEFORE
recording, storing the black bars as part of the picture so that it
would appear correctly on a 4:3 TV. Thanks to all of your helpful
posts, I now know that's not the case, but is merely a case of not
storing the W/S "flag" properly.

Thanks again,

metn41.
 
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Clem Dye
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      08-02-2003
Fred:

You know, I haven't! I'm going to check the manual right now!!! Ta for
the heads-up.


Clem
Fred Glaser wrote:
> Hi Clem
> I also have the 880. Have you ever used the Sat Record function of the
> DVDR880 and got it to record an RGB signal successfully from your digi box?
> Fred
> "Clem Dye" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
> news:(E-Mail Removed)...
>
>>metn41 wrote:
>>
>>>Hi,
>>>

>>
>><snip -long post deleted>
>>
>>A lot of questions, all of which I can't really answer, expect the
>>widescreen issue. I have a Philips DVDR880. This records widescreen from
>>my Nokia Freeview box without an issue on DVD+RW discs and plays pack in
>>the same way. My Yamaha DVD player (a Philips clone) plays back a
>>widescreen recording as widescreen. However, my Cyrus DVD player doesn't
>>see the widescreen flag and I need to switch things manually. I can't
>>comment on DVD+R. I've taken a look at the manual for the '70 and it
>>seems very similar to the older 880. If I'm right, then the drive should
>>be pretty quiet on operation. Quality-wise, I always use SP. Other
>>posters in the NG have commented that SP+ is pretty comparable. Frankly,
>>I'm not interested in the quality drop below SP+.
>>
>>HTH
>>
>>
>>Clem
>>

>
>
>



 
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Stephen Reed
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      08-02-2003
What about the best of both worlds, the Sony RDR-GX3 which I've seen for
410 from..
http://www.unbeatable.co.uk/CatalogueItem_13488.html

Steve

"Clem Dye" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed)...
> Fred:
>
> You know, I haven't! I'm going to check the manual right now!!! Ta for
> the heads-up.
>
>
> Clem
> Fred Glaser wrote:
> > Hi Clem
> > I also have the 880. Have you ever used the Sat Record function of the
> > DVDR880 and got it to record an RGB signal successfully from your digi

box?
> > Fred
> > "Clem Dye" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
> > news:(E-Mail Removed)...
> >
> >>metn41 wrote:
> >>
> >>>Hi,
> >>>
> >>
> >><snip -long post deleted>
> >>
> >>A lot of questions, all of which I can't really answer, expect the
> >>widescreen issue. I have a Philips DVDR880. This records widescreen from
> >>my Nokia Freeview box without an issue on DVD+RW discs and plays pack in
> >>the same way. My Yamaha DVD player (a Philips clone) plays back a
> >>widescreen recording as widescreen. However, my Cyrus DVD player doesn't
> >>see the widescreen flag and I need to switch things manually. I can't
> >>comment on DVD+R. I've taken a look at the manual for the '70 and it
> >>seems very similar to the older 880. If I'm right, then the drive should
> >>be pretty quiet on operation. Quality-wise, I always use SP. Other
> >>posters in the NG have commented that SP+ is pretty comparable. Frankly,
> >>I'm not interested in the quality drop below SP+.
> >>
> >>HTH
> >>
> >>
> >>Clem
> >>

> >
> >
> >

>
>



 
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