To DVD ot not To DVD? (DVD ot PVR)

Discussion in 'Computer Information' started by Bazzer Smith, Sep 1, 2006.

  1. Can you identify such a channel for me to try? I've had no such
    problems so far. I haven't recorded much from the shopping channels, I

    Matti Lamprhey, Sep 3, 2006
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  2. That applies to any data in any format.
    You appear to imply you accept my point, though see (*) below.
    There's an historical reason for this. DVD originally meant Digital
    Video Disk. It was only after this had been formulated it dawned on the
    groups involved that DVDs had applications for data storage, hence a
    rapid contrived name change which kept the initial acronym, to Digital
    Versatile Disk, with those used for video storage in the original format
    now known as DVD Video disks.

    I assume inertia, existing investment in the format & a desire to
    maintain perceived security of the video data are the reasons the DVD
    Video format wasn't itself changed to support more flexible storage.
    (*) Okay, perhaps not then.
    That's what existing PVRs do. If they wanted to be able to copy content
    to DVD Video disks they'd have to support transcoding at some point.
    This can only practicably be done at record time as otherwise the
    customer is faced with delays they'd consider unacceptable when
    preparing the video data for burning to DVD Video. Fortunately it can
    easily be done at record time as transcoding then needs only be done in
    real time, however to operate simply & consistently (a user requirement
    for consumer electronics) it would require the ability to transcode
    every input source. Since the PVR can process multiple sources
    concurrently, it would thus need multiple transcoders.

    In case it isn't obvious & fwiw, if I designed such a device I'd want it
    to record both the original stream & the transcoded to the hard drive.
    One for playback & one for possible writing to DVD Video.
    Your claim is only correct if your combined PVR/DVD Recorder does the
    required transcoding as a distinct step at some other time between
    source input & burning the data to DVD Video. This is doable, but would
    either require very expensive hardware or result in the copy process
    being done at about single speed. Neither is practical from a consumer pov.

    Given your attitude, this will be my last attempt to explain your mistake/s.
    Michael Rozdoba, Sep 3, 2006
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  3. I didn't know VideoRedo did that. I'm about to buy my first PVR (a
    TF5800) & this is useful info indeed. Cheers :)

    Mind you, most of my anticipated archiving will be to h264. Still DVD
    Video is useful for passing copies on to friends & relatives - though
    atm when faced with a similar situation it's proven less hassle & not
    much more expensive to give them an xvid compatible dvd player along
    with the video in xvid format ;)
    Michael Rozdoba, Sep 3, 2006
  4. Bazzer Smith

    Mike Henry Guest

    No problem! I've not used VideoRedo myself but I understand the bundled
    "Quickstream fix" tool will fix the GOP size (see page 2 of

    Incidentally, as a seasoned TiVo user of 5 years, trying to find a
    Freeview PVR to buy for my father last year proved very problematic. The
    Toppy is the only one of the lot I found to be useable. You've made the
    right choice IMHO.
    Ah, well my slow PC means I rip my TiVo recordings to DVD-Video without
    re-encoding the video. Less hassle :)
    Mike Henry, Sep 3, 2006
  5. Bazzer Smith

    Mike Henry Guest

    I'm not talking about the shopping channels. I don't have a DTT card in
    a PC to give me the resolutions directly, unfortunately. But try E4,
    More4, ITV2, ITV3 and ITV4. So far you've "lucked out" creating your
    DVDs from channels broadcasting at the right resolution, using a nice
    software tool which fixed the not-legal-for-DVD GOP lengths and
    re-encoded some of the frames for you without you realising.
    Mike Henry, Sep 3, 2006
  6. Bazzer Smith

    Pyriform Guest

    Might he not have '"lucked out" by having a DVD player capable of playing
    non-compliant DVDs? I'm not sure how fussy authoring software is about that
    sort of thing.
    Pyriform, Sep 3, 2006
  7. Well done! See you at, then ;-) .

    Depending on what version of the firmware it has installed when you
    buy it, you may have to take temporary evasive action to deal with the
    current glitch. It's all at the Toppy forums.

    André Coutanche
    André Coutanche, Sep 4, 2006
  8. Bazzer Smith

    Adrian B Guest

    Oops. Talk about "light the blue touch-paper".

    Just to clarrify (because we've had this discussion before, and I'm pretty
    sure I understand the issues).

    You see, typically, I probably burn to DVD about 5% of what I record to the
    HD, so there's no point in transcoding *everything* to DVD-compliant MPEG2.
    Just when burning a DVD. That way only one MPEG encoder is needed (as is
    the case in my analogue single tuner PVR/DVD and every DVD recorder
    available now). Of course, that will drastically slow the production of a
    DVD, but so what. This is for archival only, and anyway, processors keep
    getting quicker for any given price, so the problem will diminish.

    So. Going back to what I want.... (surely I'm not alone here).

    Something like a Humax or a Topfield, with A DVD-R drive for archiving - if
    necessary in realtime, but realistically at whatever rate the processor and
    MPEG2 encoder can muster.

    Adrian B, Sep 4, 2006
  9. Probably. I fancy figuring out how to write taps.
    Ta for the advice, but I'm so wise^Wparanoid I've already followed that
    one up. If the problem was indeed mishandling of unexpected data as part
    of an OTA update for another box, that should have stopped being a
    problem around 9am today, iirc. I just hope they fix the firmware so
    similar malformed data in the future doesn't cause a repeat run.

    FWIW & as in this context the h is very small in IMhO, the recent
    problem was a Toppy one. Any system, especially a black box, should put
    out well formed data but always cope, as best as possible, with
    arbitrarily malformed input. There's no excuse for crashes.

    Waiting for Wednesday now, when my tf5800 is expected from Digital
    Direct; along with yet more cables including a ludicrously long Lindy
    usb extension.
    Michael Rozdoba, Sep 4, 2006
  10. Yes, it apparently has.
    No argument from me, or from many of the people who frequent We just think that (a) it's the least bad PVR
    currently available, and (b) the unbelievably responsive and
    supportive user-base compensates almost entirely for Topfield's
    Ah - USB extensions has *lots* of threads on the forums!

    André Coutanche
    André Coutanche, Sep 4, 2006
  11. Bazzer Smith

    Andrew Guest

    Can I get rid of the patch TAP now then?
    Was a bit miffed that the problem occurred (still don't know who to
    point finger of blame at though), but was amazed that a functioning
    patch was released from somewhere within about a day. Can't see that
    happening for any other PVR.
    Andrew, Sep 4, 2006
  12. Bazzer Smith

    Adrian B Guest

    Just in case anyone thinks that such a machine would be prohibitively
    expensive / technically impossible etc. etc.

    I just noticed this. Only single tuner, but pretty cheap....

    I'm tempted. Does anyone have any experience of Yamada - probably cheap and

    Adrian B
    Adrian B, Sep 4, 2006
  13. Bazzer Smith

    Pyriform Guest

    Two problems with that approach:

    1) User perception of slow DVD writing. You may understand the issues and
    accept the consequences of such an implementation. Others may think the
    machine is a pile of crap and not buy it. What manufacturer is going to take
    the risk?

    2) Do you expect to be able to use the machine as normal while writing a
    DVD? In this case you'd need another Freeview decoder, together with a means
    of controlling disk accesses (current twin tuner machines use highly
    integrated solutions to do this).

    These problems are not insurmountable, but they aren't trivial either, and
    the benefits are debateable.
    I would much rather have the means to access the data via ethernet and deal
    with it on a PC (or conceivably in an ethernet-enabled stand-alone DVD
    recorder, should anyone decide to make one that could do the job!).
    Pyriform, Sep 4, 2006
  14. Yes, subject only to the qualification that if the Sagem update which
    almost certainly caused the problem (or, rather, the dodgy Topfield
    software caused the problem when catalysed by the Sagem update) is
    transmitted again before an 'official' firmware patch has been issued,
    then the crashes could restart.

    My wholly unofficial advice, FWIW, is that if the TAP isn't having any
    side-effects which you don't like, then leave it there (I didn't
    install it myself, because I reverted to an earlier firmware which was
    unaffected before the TAP was announced). In any case, all I would do
    is to move it from Auto Start to the general TAP folder (and then
    reboot) and leave it there ready for next time ;-o .

    André Coutanche
    André Coutanche, Sep 4, 2006
  15. Bazzer Smith

    Paul D Guest

    That does look interesting. Google isn't that helpful regarding this model,
    although it shows that Yamada as a brand seems to be very popular in France.

    The Toshiba 85T is only another forty pounds, with the same size hard drive
    (good machine although no RGB input). I'd be interested to know what
    connections the Yamada has, especially whether it has RGB in.

    I tend to be wary of these 'supermarket' brands (Liteon is another one).
    Build quality seems to be an issue. Reading the reports on various forums
    the machines often seem to work fine for a year or so and then they just
    pack up, reminding me of the expression 'if you buy cheap you buy twice'.
    Paul D, Sep 4, 2006
  16. Bazzer Smith

    Andrew Guest

    As I don't know exactly what it does, aside from sorting out the bug,
    I would rather not have it there if it isn't needed. As you say, I can
    always quickly put it back on if needed :)
    Andrew, Sep 4, 2006
  17. Cool :)
    I'm counting on both of those, though I have to warn you I have a habit
    of picking lemons, so once I own one the entire user community might
    Now I'm worrying again. Oh well, I'll look into that tomorrow...


    <45 minutes later>

    Hopefully I'll be okay with one 5m repeater & a 4m passive cable. I get
    the impression the main factor is mobo power output on usb. If I have
    problems I'll try adding a powered hub.

    Anyone know of a utility which measures usb link quality? I'd rather
    that than rely on whether the device seems to work or not - I don't want
    to be borderline...

    $100 for the loopback plug & software is too rich for me. I wonder if
    there's a cheaper reasonably effective solution?
    Michael Rozdoba, Sep 5, 2006
  18. Although you can try to author an 'illegal' DVD-Video from such a
    broadcast if you have software that will let you get away with it.
    (i.e. just writing the MPEG without re-encoding it or changing the
    resolution.) Might not play on every player, though - some are more
    tolerant than others.

    Zero Tolerance, Dec 6, 2006
  19. Bazzer Smith

    John Russell Guest

    I have made lot's DVD's from dumped DVB-T MPEG streams and never has a
    problem. What exactly is different in reality? Pointing out that DVB-T can
    include bitrates higher than DVD-Video is a moot point. I've rarely come
    across DVB-T broadcasts that exceed 4.5 MPS, never mind the 9.8 that
    DVD-Video allows.
    John Russell, Dec 6, 2006
  20. A handful of things are different. Apart from DVB having a wider range of
    resolutions there is also that it allows for a larger GOP (group of pictures)
    than DVD. There may be a few others bit with a/v sync and error checking.

    Generally just the first models have issues though.
    Darren Wilkinson, Dec 6, 2006
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