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  1. Member
    Join Date: Aug 2009
    Location: Australia
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    I have been told in the past that the date and time that appears on the video during recording can't be saved to DVD. I had accepted that with Sony and Canon full HD camcorders I previously owned, and now with this X 920. However, I have just fitted a $50 dashboard camera to my car and that shoots in full 1920 x 1080 video and has the date and time on screen. When I burn the content to DVD, the date and time stamp is still there.
    Can anybody tell me why this El Cheapo can do it and not my X920 ? Seeing as how you can switch the date and time on the LCD on and off in the X920, I'm at a loss to understand what use that is if I can't then save that to my DVDs. After all, most of us do already know what time and day it is when shooting, so what's the point of having it on screen and not being able to save the times for posterity.
    I burn the footage as AVCHD to DVDs and I know that each jpg that crops up at the beginning of the DVD playback gives each jpg a date but the Panasonic HD Writer AE 5 software has a very clunky editor. I can use something else that lets me cut out the bits I don't want very quickly and still save the files as AVCHD but it gives me just one long "M2TS" file that then has no means of telling the time or date. If I had the onscreen details from the LCD I'd be in heaven.
    Is there a setting in the X920 menus that I've missed ?
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  2. Member
    Join Date: Jun 2012
    Location: USA
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    Sounds like your dash cam is burning the time and date information into the video while the other cameras (properly) store it only as metadata. As a test, can you turn the time and date off on your dashcam footage?
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  3. Member
    Join Date: Sep 2007
    Location: Canada
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    For most AVCHD cameras, the running time/date +/- GPS is stored as metadata . You can hardcode and overlay, or convert them to selectable DVD subs from SRT

    Easy hardcoding method is vats (Visual AVCHD Time Stamp), but not free

    Free method is using AVCHD2SRT to extract SRT subs, which then can be used in a variety of methods. See these threads for more details
    http://forum.videohelp.com/threads/316229-Export-AVCHD-frame-specific-metadata-to-subtitles
    http://forum.videohelp.com/threads/364207-making-open-burnt-in-caption-with-vegas-pro-12
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  4. Member
    Join Date: Aug 2009
    Location: Australia
    Search Comp PM
    Thanks for the prompt reply and advice. I've just done a test on the E-Prance dash cam and I can turn the date/time on or off. I did a test video to make sure. The date and time are still on the screen during filming but the recording transferred to my PC was clear of any time or date. This brings me back to why I once again asked the question: why can my El Cheapo camcorder do it and not my expensive X 920. I posted this in case there was a setting on the X 920 that I hadn't found.
    I do have a third party software that lets me do it, but it's very time consuming.
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  5. Member
    Join Date: Aug 2009
    Location: Australia
    Search Comp PM
    Strange development. I now have the date and time appearing on the video on files saved to the PC. It's only there for a few seconds at the beginning of each file, but that's better than nothing. Before, all I got was "0001.mts", etc, but now I get "02-08-2014_114205" for example. Elated by that, I burnt some files to disc, but the dates were no longer there. All I get now is "0001.m2ts" etc. Back to square one!
    I downloaded and installed a"vATS" software trial, but it saved the files as ".wmv", not ".mts." I'll spend some more time on it, but I still don't see how E-Prance dash cam does this simply and for free.
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  6. Member
    Join Date: Sep 2007
    Location: Canada
    Search Comp PM
    I've just done a test on the E-Prance dash cam and I can turn the date/time on or off. I did a test video to make sure. The date and time are still on the screen during filming but the recording transferred to my PC was clear of any time or date.
    "clear of any time or date? " So it doesn't have time or date ? Or is it hardcoded ? Is it selectable (can you toggle on/off on the recording, once it's been recorded? or only during the recording)


    I now have the date and time appearing on the video on files saved to the PC. It's only there for a few seconds at the beginning of each file, but that's better than nothing. Before, all I got was "0001.mts", etc, but now I get "02-08-2014_114205" for example.
    The reason you get it for a few seconds is because that's what the file has been renamed to. If you rename the video to "bob or david" it will say "bob or david" for a few seconds in some players. e.g. VLC does this


    Many people usually don't want their video permanently defaced by a timestamp. It's better to have options

    The most flexibile, highest quality method is using selectable subtitles. vats will re-encode the file, so you lose quality. If you put it on DVD you re-encode it again, lose quality again. It's not that difficult to extract the srt subs, and there are GUI's and batch files that can do it (just double click). For each video you will have a corresponding SRT file. e.g. 0001.mts will have 0001.srt . These selectable subs are playable in almost any software player. If you want to make a DVD or blu-ray you can easily add the subs as well . If you still want to make it permanent, hardcoded, you still have that option to do easily in most software
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  7. Member
    Join Date: Aug 2009
    Location: Australia
    Search Comp PM
    Had another go at the vATS software recommended by PDR here. Managed to do a whole batch of 22 files of over 3GB and save as MTS files. All now have full date and times for the whole length of the video and it was a hell of a lot quicker than the clunky Ashampoo Moved Studio that I have been using to do it I have a TZ40 Panasonic too which I keep in a pocket, but the X920 Software won't acknowledge the TZ 40 and vice versa . Same with my Sony RX100.That Ashampoo will acknowledge any mts files and burn them as AVCHD to a DVD which will play back on any BluRay player , unlike the Panasonic software that does give you a pop up menu, it burns to one single MTS file, but it plays back in any BluRay player which is OK now that I have the dates and times throughout the length of that single MTS file. I can now mix Sony RX 100, X920 and TZ40 files having edited them with the free video Editor from DVD videosoft ( easiest and quickest ) and burn them with Ashampoo Thanks for putting me on to this software "PDR". I'll be buying it unless I find a Panasonic setting that puts the info back on their videos.
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  8. Member
    Join Date: Aug 2009
    Location: Australia
    Search Comp PM
    PDR. Your reply crossed with mine as I was coming up to speed with that vATS software. Bit of a learning curve and now I'll have to do the same with "extracting srt subs" as up to now I have no idea what they were or where to find them. It's now 2:00AM here so I'll have to do some homework on that tomorrow. That dash camera does let me see the dates and times on the finished DVD. I can turn it off in software if I want.
    Thanks again.
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  9. Member Cornucopia's Avatar
    Join Date: Oct 2001
    Location: Deep in the Heart of Texas
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    Do a test: can you, if after having recorded via the dashcam WITH the date ON, can you switch between on and off on the dvd?
    If not, your dashcam is burning them in when visible. Not the best option, IMO.

    Scott
    "When will the rhetorical questions end?!" - George Carlin
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  10. Member
    Join Date: Aug 2009
    Location: Australia
    Search Comp PM
    Scott,
    In the dash cam menu, there is a setting option that says "date Stamp". It offers the options "on" or "off. If I turn it off, the date does not appear on a burnt DVD. If I turn it on, the date is there on the burned DVD. However, regardless of the setting in that menu, the date and time are always on the screen during filming.
    As I said at the beginning, this is a $50 item and I don't see why the X 920 can't have this option too. The dash cam files are all.MOV which is an Apple codec I believe. Is this the reason maybe ?
    Fred
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  11. Member 2Bdecided's Avatar
    Join Date: Nov 2007
    Location: United Kingdom
    Search Comp PM
    Originally Posted by fredhoward View Post
    Can anybody tell me why this El Cheapo can do it and not my X920 ?
    Panasonic are saving you from yourself. Having the date and time hard-coded into the video is irreversible. It's appropriate for low quality security-type videos where that information is vital (until it obscures something important!), but distracting for home movies. It detracts from the high quality images that decent camcorders produce. People did it on analogue camcorders where there was no other way of preserving this information, and even then it's distracting and (IMO) ugly.

    Seeing as how you can switch the date and time on the LCD on and off in the X920, I'm at a loss to understand what use that is if I can't then save that to my DVDs. After all, most of us do already know what time and day it is when shooting, so what's the point of having it on screen and not being able to save the times for posterity.
    It is saved in the footage. It is used by some software to sort the footage into dated folders. It is used by other software to name the files. It can be used to generate subtitles. It can be burned into the image when you re-encode if you really want.

    I burn the footage as AVCHD to DVDs and I know that each jpg that crops up at the beginning of the DVD playback gives each jpg a date but the Panasonic HD Writer AE 5 software has a very clunky editor. I can use something else that lets me cut out the bits I don't want very quickly and still save the files as AVCHD but it gives me just one long "M2TS" file that then has no means of telling the time or date.
    The editing on the Panasonic software is really horrible. It's a shame, because the Panasonic software lets you do many things really easily, does a good job of many of them, and sorts lots of quite complicated things out with a single click.

    If the "something else" you're using leaves the time+date metadata intact when you edit, you can run the edited file through one of the suggested utilities and you're done. If it doesn't, things are more complicated.


    I would strongly advise you to keep (a copy of) the original captures as-is. The footage from the X920 is very high quality, and any re-encoding will decrease the quality.

    Cheers,
    David.
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  12. Member
    Join Date: Aug 2009
    Location: Australia
    Search Comp PM
    Thanks for all the advice, David. It is appreciated. This still doesn't address the fact that the $50 dash camera always shows the date etc on the camera when filming, but it can be switched off in the software menu, thus giving you the option to use it or not. I'm not into complex editing and professional stuff. I just want that date info to be there if I choose and all the editing that I do is basically cut out the crook bits. That means having to open the original file every time you delete a bit and start again. I may have to do this several times on the one file and then have to go into the folder and find and delete all of the files associated with the several parts I have deleted. The Panasonic software does a good job and does give me a menu at the start of the finished DVD, but I can only import X 920 video. I often use the TZ40 when out and about , but I then have to use the TZ 40 software to make a separate DVD. The saved TZ40 files have the same four files and structure of the X 920 so I don't see why we need different software for the two cameras. That leaves me with lots of TZ 40 odds and ends that will take ages to accumulate enough to fill a DVD. I send all this stuff to the UK from Sydney, so it gets expensive.
    I've done a split screen comparison of a scene using the dash camera. One with the dates imbedded and the other without. I can't see any difference in quality. I've done the same thing with the vATS software recommended here and I can see a difference. It does a very good and quick job though with the dates being very neat and unobtrusive.
    I had accepted some years ago that this couldn't be done and I only revisited this subject when I saw that the Dash camera does it easily. There is no difference in on screen quality there either when the dates are on screen.
    I've spent some time also trying to get to grips with the 'srt" solution mentioned but it's a bit beyond me. I managed to generate the files but importing them to the video is beyond me and even if successful, HD writer would not the recognise the files.
    Fred
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