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  1. Great find from our friend oldfart13!

    If you have an E85H, you might want to check this out:

    http://www.dxcc.com/dmr-e85h.htm
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  2. Video Restorer lordsmurf's Avatar
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    Because you never know when a webpage may disappear:

    The Great DMR-E85H Snafu.

    By Roger W. Amidon

    February 22, 2005

    In September 2003 I bought a Panasonic DMR-E80H DVD recorder. This unit was really neat and worked well. Using the "high speed" copy, it took 58 minutes to burn a DVD with 2 hours of "SP" quality video. Certainly better than taking 2 hours! Well, in April of 2004 I saw the new DMR-E85H. It had a 120 GB Hard drive, a 4X DVD-ROM drive, and other features that looked really good. I bought one. The first time I burned a DVD, it took 12 minutes to burn a 2-hour DVD! Much better than 58 minutes! Also, you could be burning a DVD and still use the machine to play or record another show. It also had a new "8-hour" EP mode. Great for recording talk shows (I can put 16 Nightlines on one DVD…) A really sweet machine. I told all my friends how neat it was, and probably helped Panasonic to sell 3-4 more machines. A few months later, while dividing a file, my machine froze up. After a while, it put up an error "U99". The machine wouldn't respond to the remote, and I finally had to hold the power button for 10 seconds before it finally shut off. When I turned it on, it went into "Self-Check" for a long time and then showed the "U99" error again. I called Panasonic tech support. I was told it was a defective Hard Drive (see Letter to Panasonic). After this had happened 3 times, I decided to get serious about getting Panasonic to look into this. I must have talked to 6 different "Tech Support" people for over a month. I tried to explain that it wasn't a defective hard drive, but they wouldn't listen. One guy said "This is the first time I have ever heard of this error, and I have been doing this for over a year." I was told "You are the only person who is having this problem." I tried to tell one guy that I was an electronic engineer and knew how this stuff worked, etc. He said, "I am very happy for you" and then went about telling me I had a defective hard drive and I should send it off for repair… My fear was that they would simply replace the hard drive and send the unit back. Then, a month later it would happen again.

    The following is a letter I had originally planned on sending to Panasonic along with my defective DMR-E85H. However, I never did send the unit in - mainly because I could never get anyone at Panasonic to admit there was a problem.

    Letter to Panasonic

    I have enclosed a copy of the receipt for this unit. I bought a Panasonic DMR-E80H in 2003, and I was so happy with it I decided to buy a second one. However, that unit was defective out of the box. So, when I returned the unit, I decided to exchange it for a DMR-E85H (Best Buy had just gotten them in.) I was very happy with the unit for a few months. However, one day I was doing a "Divide" on a title and it froze up, displaying a "U99" error. I called Panasonic Tech Support, and I was told it was a defective hard drive. I really needed to record some programs that night, so I went and bought a 120 GB. (Western Digital 7200 rpm) drive and replaced the drive myself. I am a computer engineer and fully familiar with the electronics involved. When I powered up the unit, it wanted to format the new drive. After that, it worked just fine. I then took the "defective" drive (which had over 50 hours of Video that I had not transferred to DVD ROM yet) and put it into a PC (as a second drive). I ran a hard drive diagnostic on it, and the drive passed all tests. There was nothing wrong with the drive! About a month later, while doing a "Divide", it froze again, displaying a "U99" error -- using the new Hard Drive! I then put the original drive back into the unit. After it formatted, everything worked fine again - for a few more months. (I have saved that Western Digital drive - I am hoping I can somehow recover some of the video on it. I have been told that others with this problem have been able to do this. I haven't tried to recover the data yet, but some day I hope to do so…) A few weeks later, it happened again. (That's three times.) I have been trying to determine if there is a pattern as to when it fails, but I have nothing definitive yet. I put another new drive in the unit. This time it was a 160 GB (the store didn't have a 120 GB). It formatted as if it was a 120 GB and worked just fine for a while. Then it happened yet again…"U99"! At one point, I thought it might be the speed in which I go through the menus while doing the divide. So, I tried to pause for 3 seconds between each menu selection. I decided to use the original drive again this time. Well, it happened again!

    The point of this discussion is that I am SURE there is nothing electrically wrong with the drive. The unit is well ventilated, and the "Overheat Error" indicator has never triggered. I believe the REAL problem is bad software (firmware) in the controller card. One clue is that on my DMR-E80H, when I do a divide, it takes about 5 seconds to perform the operation. However, on the DMR-E85H it takes over 11 seconds! Twice as long! It makes no sense, as the operation is exactly the same. The program is simply splitting a single file into two files. I believe there is an error in the firmware code that causes incorrect data to be written to the file directory area on the hard drive (buffer overflow or stack overflow, etc.). When the unit finishes the divide, it must re-assemble the file list (because there is now an additional entry as a result of the divide). As it does this, it reads garbage data in the sector where the file entry should be. The software then assumes that the hard drive is bad, displays the "U99" error and gives up. Now, I suppose this could be aggravated by bad hardware in the controller - perhaps a race condition or timing glitch. Just remember that I have never seen any problems during recording or erasing or even doing a "Shorten" edit. This has ONLY happened doing a "Divide". Four times on three different hard drives! Also, recognize that I also own a DMR-E80H (that unit is in my living room - the DMR-E85H is in my Den) and I have done thousands of "Divide" operations on the DMR-E80H and it has NEVER failed. (It's also twice as fast…)

    I have been on the phone with over 6 technicians at Panasonic and I have talked to two local "Panasonic Authorized Service Centers" and I have never gotten a satisfactory response. I most cases, the standard answer is "Defective Hard Drive", which I know is not the case. My hope is that someone (perhaps in Japan) has a REAL fix for this. My biggest fear is that you will "Fix" the unit, send it back, and a month later, while doing a "Divide", it will freeze up with a "U99" error. You have no idea what it feels like, knowing that you have just lost 50 hours of video that you took the time and effort to record. Frankly, if I were in charge of developing the software for this unit, I would have a "Data Recovery" mechanism built in to the unit. In my world, DATA is sacred, and every effort should be made to preserve the integrity of DATA. Perhaps the firmware should do read-back verify on all file directory operations. By the way, I have been involved with large software and hardware projects - I would be glad to offer my suggestions to the designers of these machines. I have always been impressed with Matsushita, and have bought hundreds of Panasonic products over the years. However, my experience with this unit has been disappointing to say the least…

    Please repair this unit and then call me and let me know what you have found. I would also be interested to see if a "Divide" operation still takes 11-12 seconds after you have repaired it. Right now, every time I do a "Divide", my heart races and I break out in a cold sweat. Please be SURE you have repaired it. Thanks!

    Roger W. Amidon

    PS - have you seen the DMR-500 yet? How long does that unit take to do a "Divide"? I have been thinking of getting one of those units if I could be sure it doesn't have the same problem…

    (End of Letter to Panasonic)



    So Now What?

    OK, so here's what happened next. On the "AfterDawn" DVD Forum, one of the participants noted that there was a mention of the "U99" error on Panasonic's Japanese web site. I had remembered seeing that when I had done a Google on the "U99", but I had skipped over it (unfortunately, I can't read Japanese). Looking again, I noticed that Google could translate the page. Boy, was I surprised what I read there! First, they were not only acknowledging error "U99", they were advising their customers to avoid doing the "divide" function until they upgraded the firmware in their unit! They also were telling their customers that there were three ways to accomplish the upgrade. First, you could fill out a form on the web site, and they would mail you the CD. Or, you could call a toll-free number and they would send you the CD. Or (get this!) you could download the upgrade file and burn your own CD-R with the file. (I was tempted to, but I was afraid all the menus would be in Japanese). When I read this, and saw the difference in how this problem was handled between the American Panasonic and the Japanese Panasonic! It made me really mad (and a bit sad). I called one of the tech support people in the Elgin, Illinois Panasonic repair center and I told him what I had learned. At first he put me on hold for a while to discuss this with others at his location. He then told me that yes, there was a problem with the "Divide" function, and there was, indeed, a CD that would upgrade the unit's firmware and fix the problem. However, it was for internal use only. They don't send them to "customers". After all that I had been through, I told him he MUST send one of the upgrade CDs to me. (At this point, I was seriously contemplating legal action.) After some more "hold" time, he said he would have one of their technicians make a copy of their disk and send it to me. However, before he agreed to send me the disk, he mentioned that if a unit comes in with a "U99" error, you can't do the upgrade. Since my unit (at that point) was in that condition, what good would the CD do? I told them I could handle it. I then found out the way they repair a "U99" errored unit is to first install a new controller board assembly. That's the only way they can re-format the hard drive in the unit. At that point, they can put in the upgrade disk. In other words, with the error "U99" showing, there is NO WAY to upgrade the firmware with the CD. I told him all he had to do was swap out the hard drive to a spare drive - any drive really - and power up the unit. It will format the spare drive. Then put the original back. It will format the original and now you can do the upgrade. He was silent for a moment and then said "gosh, never thought of that...". Can you imagine how many controller cards they have replaced? And there was nothing at all wrong with them... Good Grief!

    In two days, I got the disk!
    The Upgrade CD

    This is a standard "DATA" CD-R. (I use Nero's "make a data CD".) The CD just contains the one file. I assume the unit observes the filename's extension and then validates that it is an upgrade file. I think it also compares the CD version with the currently installed version and does not do the upgrade if the one on the CD is the same or an older version. You simply put the disk in the unit and it will take it from there. It doesn't take long. It opens the DVD drive at one point. I just took the CD out and closed the drive. After a while, the unit shuts off. You then power the unit up again and you're good to go! It would make sense to check your current version first and make note of it. Also, if your unit was manufactured after August 2004, it's probably OK. If your version is earlier than 0970DL (see below), probably best to upgrade.

    Download the Upgrade File
    ("Main" Version 0970DL, dated Jan 27 2005 ~ 6 Megs, zipped)

    Neat Things

    I have also discovered a number of special things you can do using special key presses. These have not been documented in any of the user manuals. As an aside, one time I was trying to manually set the clock. There is an automatic clock setting mechanism, but it's never correct. Even if it is, if the program you are recording starts 1 second early, it looks like it started at "8:59 pm" instead of "9:00 pm". The way I set the clock is 30 seconds before the top of the minute (At exactly 30 seconds after 9:00, my clock goes to 9:01). This way, you will have a ±30-second window at the top of the hour to get the time-stamp correct. At any rate, I was trying to set the clock manually, but that function was "grayed out". I tried the "Reinitialize Settings", but that didn't help. I tried to change the TV-Guide settings, but that didn't help either. I tried to switch between cable and TV, but that didn't help (and somehow even that became grayed out). I called Panasonic Tech Support. I was told that my system RAM had gotten corrupted and I had to send the unit in for service! This made no sense to me. I asked her if there wasn't a way to clear the RAM back to some starting point. I was told there wasn't, and please send the unit in for service. Well, as it turns out, there IS a way to do that! (See Commands) Another time, I (somehow?) managed to make the DVD Drive tray "Lock". If I tried to eject a DVD, it would display "LOCK" and refuse to open. At least this time, when I called tech support, I was told what to do - but it really should have been in the manual.

    Commands

    To toggle the disk eject from "LOCK" to "UNLOCK": With the unit ON, press and hold "Power" and "Stop" for 5 seconds.

    To eject a disk if the unit won't operate (U99, etc.): With the unit OFF, press and hold "Power", "Stop" and "Channel Up" for 5 seconds.

    To initialize ALL parameters to factory defaults: With the unit OFF, press "Skip Rev" ( |<< ) and "Time Slip" and "Open/Close" for 5 seconds.

    To enter "Service Mode": With power off, press "Stop" and "Time Slip" and "Open/Close" for 5 seconds. "SERVICEMODE 00" is displayed.

    What follows are the more useful commands you can perform. You use the remote to key in a 2 number value. You can usually return back to the "Service Mode" by entering "00". If you get stuck, hold the power key for 10-12 seconds or until the unit shuts off. Try to avoid unplugging the unit while in service mode. In fact, because losing power while writing to either the hard disk or a DVD-R or DVD-RAM can lose everything, I use a small "UPS" (Battery backed-up Power Source) to power my units. This way, if the AC Mains go out, I don't damage anything…

    Oh, and DO NOT experiment with any number combinations that aren't documented here. If you do, you may wish you hadn't…

    00 = Return to Service mode start.

    02 = Display Firmware Versions. The display will show the following for 3 seconds each:

    1. DVD Region Code (should be Region 1 for USA)

    2. Main Firmware Version (0950DL, or something like that)

    3. Timer firmware Version (0110DC, or something like that)

    4. DVD Drive firmware version (J125, or something like that)

    5. ROM checksum (I think) - It should be all zeroes.

    The ROM checksum will remain. You can get back to Service Mode with 00.

    41 = The number of hours the laser in the DVD drive has been active.

    51 = All display segments are turned on. Use 00 to exit.

    61 = Date the unit was manufactured. YYYYMMDD

    To exit Service Mode, hold the power key for 10-12 seconds until the unit shuts off.

    Final Thoughts

    I have looked at other units similar to this one. So far, I haven't found any that come close to the power and flexibility of this one. There are some things I would have done differently. The "Playlist" is not as easy to use as the same feature on the DMR-E80H -- I wish they had kept that as it was in the older unit. I also wish the finalized menu were more flexible. I usually have 2 titles per DVD, so to have 8 slots is dumb. I think you should be able to select the number of titles per page of the disk menu. You should be able to choose 1 or 2 or 4 or 8 per screen. That would make the thumbnails easier to see as well. And the name of the titles would look better. As it is now, I sometimes have to split a word to get the full title in. It looks ugly. I also think it would be neat to be able to switch the display between the "time from the beginning of the track" to the "Actual time it was recorded". Maybe they can do this on the next model…

    I have been testing the "fixed" upgrade (on 3 machines) for the past 10 days, and it has not failed once since the upgrade. And I have been dividing like a bunny... I am now beginning to think the problem may have been an interrupt that was happening during a small critical "window" in the firmware code that does the divide, causing data corruption. I really do believe they have fixed that problem. However, I also believe there is still a bug in the firmware's "divide" function code. Every operation (erase, shorten, etc.) takes only 5 seconds to perform. Even on a DVD-RAM the "divide" takes 5 seconds. ONLY on the hard drive does the "divide" take 11-12 seconds. This makes no sense. The operation is identical. You would think it should take LONGER on the DVD-RAM, since that drive is not nearly as fast as the hard drive. Why does it take 12 seconds? The HAS to be an error in the firmware. In fact, that error may have given the timing problem a chance to screw things up. They have put a Band-Aid on the "U99" error, but Panasonic has not fixed the REAL problem. Maybe they can do this on the next model too…

    Roger W. Amidon

    Besides quality complaints, the #2 most heard Panasonic aggravation is hard drive failures. I don't have the time/patience to read the above article (yet), so hopefully this is addressing this HUGE problem.
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  3. There is a lot of discussion above about the 4 Gig "cap" set by Panasonic recorders and whether it is real or a function of some software fakery. Any way you look at it you are getting less. If you look at the burns from the discs, you will see that they do not burn to the full edge but stop just short. I believe they also start the burn a little farther away from the center ring as well. This results in less burned media and the corresponding reduction in quality. Early opinion on this had to do with the loss of quality on the edges of discs made in the early years and Panasonic's attempt to avoid bad areas of the disc.

    My apologies if this did get mentioned before and I missed it.
    Still a few bugs in the system...
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  4. If you visit the DVD Recorders section at avsforum.com, you will find lots of complaints about the Panasonic machines there. They are not universally accepted as "the best". To be fair, the avsforum has complaints (and praises) about practically everthing...
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  5. Because you never know when a webpage may disappear:
    I agree with you, but perhaps we could edit the text and make it shorter because the main idea could be easily related with less text.
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  6. Member
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    Actually, avsforum does have a lot of praise for the Panny units and a lot of detractors for the cheapo Chinese origin units. That group was a big booster of the Panny line especially from the units that came out a year ago. But then again, there are a lot of professional people using that board or else where would you get groups with titles like "Projection TV equipment $20,000 [USD] and up"? How many guys on this board can afford those kind of toys? Not me let me tell you...
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  7. Video Restorer lordsmurf's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by oldfart13
    Actually, avsforum does have a lot of praise for the Panny units and a lot of detractors for the cheapo Chinese origin units.
    Well, sort of. A lot of that is smoke blowing by certain infamous avsforum trolls. We also have to discriminate reviews, to eliminate the "clueless idiot" or "newbie" factor. That pretty much holds true on ANY KIND OF REVIEW. Try to filter out the worthwhile ones, and then examine only those. You most often end up with just a handful of good reviews, and then you have to carefully go over what may have been missed, or what may be inappropriate for your needs.

    This thread is for Panasonic Tip and Tricks ... help for Panasonic users ... let's not muck it up with "my machine is better than your machine" or "my machine is the bestest ever" posts. Save that for elsewhere.
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    Oh, I dunno but Vferrari seems to be held in high regard even by certain members of this board and he is a big Panny booster. The Chinese decks will have to get cheaper now that Wal-Mart wants sub $100USD units by next year. I don't even want to think of the build quality on those units...
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    I have a question. I have a Panasonic E55 and use it for capturing purposes for transfer to the PC. I am so pleased with it I am considering getting another. My only beef, though, is that I do all my capturing in XP mode and whilst this produces absolutely superb video the unit will only ever record an hour and nothing more. This is very annoying as when ejecting the disk you can see that not all of the DVD-RAM disk has been used. I know this has been mentioned before with a 4.0GB capacity potentially being artificially cretaed by Panasonic in order to avoid using the very outside of the disk that may not be up to grade but on my disks we are only talking in terms of aopprox 3.38GB being used. Is there anyway round this as I have avery confidence in my Ritek produced disks down to the last byte. If not has anybody petitioned Panasonic over this? It is very frustrating - to record something at an hours length you have to be there in order to start the recorder at exactly the right time and as regards taping a film using the adverts as disk change points this problem creates no end of issues.

    Any advice would be appreciated. Even getting 4.0GB of use per disk would be great.
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  10. Originally Posted by zorankarapancev
    Some players have problems playing high bit rates not only from Panasonic DVD recorders, but also from other brands. I can mention two of them that I personally have: Daytek and Malata. They have occasional hiccups also playing XP recordings from the Sony DVD recorders.
    Hi Zoran,

    I have quick (maybe not) question for you. While reading your comment I remebered this issue. I am not sure what you ment by "problems playing high bit rates", but I think that issue is not rates but authoring. Here is why...

    Some time ago I recorded some home video on friends recorder (Panasonic) in XP mode. This DVD was not playable in 2 of my 3 DVD players. I thought that it was disc quality so I tested couple of them. Lets make it short...

    I solved issue by reauthoring same streams in one (don't remember which one) of the more expensive DVD Authoring programs. What I did is that I extracted streams (audio and video separatly) and authored them again. Which means no conversion, no decreasing bit rates or anything like that.

    After reauthoring, new DVD played well an all DVD Players. Maybe I am missing something but that is what I found. If you (or anybody else) can reproduse issue with playback, and have ability to reauthor DVD, please try it and let us know your results.

    Thanks,
    donpedro
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  11. Member FulciLives's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by donpedro
    After reauthoring, new DVD played well an all DVD Players. Maybe I am missing something but that is what I found. If you (or anybody else) can reproduse issue with playback, and have ability to reauthor DVD, please try it and let us know your results.
    I already covered this topic earlier in the thread.

    It has nothing to do with too high a bitrate. The same thing happens when using SP mode etc.

    A lot of DVD players just do not like the DVD-R discs that come straight out of the Panasonic stand alone DVD recorders BUT if you re-author with sometihng like say TMGPEnc DVD Author then problem solved.

    My guess is it has something to do with the file structure aka the finalization phase that Panasonic uses. Maybe the quality of the burn has something to do with it as well.

    - John "FulciLives" Coleman
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  12. Interesting topic. From my latest experiences:

    - I have noticed that occasional hiccups also occur from the SONY GX-7 DVD recordings (XP mode) on the same el-cheapo players. That means some DA processors used in the budget class players can’t handle high-bit data streams.

    - Panasonic has the highest bit-rate of recording from any available DVD recorder today, therefore we should expect more problems from the recordings done from the machines of this brand. It is ineteresting to note that every recording that I have done in the XP mode with the Panasonic DVD recorder is problematic on Malata and Daytek but every SP recording is just fine.

    - Some players definitely have problem with DVD discs that don’t include an AUDIO_TS folder. Panasonic recordings, unfortunately, come out without this folder. With every re-authoring the missing AUDIO_TS folder is automatically added.

    - Just yesterday I have tested a Panasonic DVD disc (done in SP mode) on my new JVC XV-N312 player. I couldn’t believe when I saw the picture stuttering and freezing every couple of seconds! I have never ever seen anything like that in my life. The disc was Maxell 4X( re-branded Ritek G04 - bought as a 100 pcs. spindle from Future Shop) . The same disc was playing beautifully on the cheap Malata and Daytek and on a JVC XV-N44 and Pioneer DV340! Next, I made a clone of that disc using my DVD copy tower (it didn’t add or subtract anything to the original recording). This clone was playing perfectly on the JVC XV-N312 player! The blanc disc I was using this time was Ridata 4X (again Ritek G04 !). When I tried another recording on this player, done on Ridata 8X, it didn’t recognize the media at all and it wouldn’t play it no matter what!

    This leads me to conclude that the problem is more complex than we thought and it definitely contains three major variables:

    1. The quality of the players DA converter
    2. High – bit recording
    3. The compatibility of the DVD media

    I only hope that with the introduction of the new DVD recorders and players (not only from Panasonic) and with better quality DVD media this problem will gradually disappear in the future.
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  13. Video Restorer lordsmurf's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by zorankarapancev
    Panasonic has the highest bit-rate of recording from any available DVD recorder today
    Ummm.... no.

    With few exceptions, most recorders go up to 10.08 max combined bitrate. If anything, because the Panasonic is known to not use the full 4.25GB+ of disc space (after VR formatting), it would actually be one of the few machines on the open market that uses LESS BITRATE than normal.

    I mentioned this some posts back. This is an issue to watch for and be aware of, and sadly there is not "trick" or "tip" to fix this, aside from using a hard drive, and the fact that some of the models do not share this problem on RAM discs.

    As others have suggested, you cannot blame DVD players for this issue, as it is easily corrected by re-authoring the streams. It is most likely some sort of authoring error, and more likely just another flaw of DVD-VR sub-specs for DVD-Video. Maybe not even the fault of the Panasonic necessarily. I have heard about this on other recorders.
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  14. Actually, I think the Sony 900 model has the highest encoding bitrate to it's HDD when you use the HQ+ mode... 15Mbps! It then transcodes to a lower compliant bitrate when you transfer from the HDD to DVD.
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  15. Originally Posted by FulciLives
    I already covered this topic earlier in the thread.
    Sorry ... I missed it... I have been working on this long time ago and posted results in this thread...
    https://www.videohelp.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=175473&postdays=0&postorder=asc&highlig...horing&start=0
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  16. Originally Posted by zorankarapancev
    This leads me to conclude that the problem is more complex than we thought and it definitely contains three major variables:

    1. The quality of the players DA converter
    2. High – bit recording
    3. The compatibility of the DVD media

    I only hope that with the introduction of the new DVD recorders and players (not only from Panasonic) and with better quality DVD media this problem will gradually disappear in the future.
    Based on the others replies and my test that was done long time ago I would have to partialy disagree. Yes... those points affect result, but there is something that will make DVD uplayable and it is not quality of media, bit-rate, media compatibility, missing AUDIO_TS or any of usually blamed things.
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  17. Donpedro,

    I don’t know the definite answer for this problem. Like all of you here, I am trying to find out what is going wrong with some of the DVD recordings, not only from the Panasonic recorders (while maybe it is more evident with this brand), but also from the other manufacturers too (see one of the newest posts: https://www.videohelp.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=260872)


    - If it has nothing to do with the high bit-rate and the player’s DA converter, then how will we explain the problems that occur only with the XP recordings and not with the SP recordings (I can refer, at least, to el-cheapo players that I have tested)? If the recording is the same and only the bit-rate is different, isn’t it obvious that we have a problem with the bit-rate?

    - If it has nothing to do with the media compatibility, then how will we explain the fact that the same recording on one DVD disc is problematic and it is fine on another one? Isn’t it obvious that we have a problem with the DVD media too?

    - If, regardless of the recording speed, some players are not playing the discs without the AUDIO_TS folder, but are very happy with that folder included in the recording, isn’t that an obvious point that this folder is also one of the factors that has to be considered as relevant?

    You are very much certain that something else makes the DVD’s unplayable and you suspect that this is probably connected somehow with the authoring software. Maybe you are right, but that does not exclude the relevance of the facts I have mentioned before. Also, we should remind our selves that the authoring software in the DVD recorders is embedded in the hardware (chipsets) produced from a handful of companies. These “hardware/software bundles” are used from all of the manufacturers of DVD recorders and if there is an authoring problem it should be equally evident in different brands of these machines.

    Frankly, I don’t know which chipset is used by Panasonic (or Sony, for that matter) and therefore I can’t question or blame any manufacturer for the problem we discus here. Maybe somebody who is working in the Panasonic service department can help us…
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  18. Video Restorer lordsmurf's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by zorankarapancev
    Frankly, I don’t know which chipset is used by Panasonic (or Sony, for that matter)
    Panasonic = Panasonic (in-house)
    Sony =Cirrus (newest models), and either Zoran or Sony (in-house) for older models.

    But those are encoder chipsets. The chipsets have nothing to do with authoring. Authoring is handled by motherboard firmware.
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  19. Member FulciLives's Avatar
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    When I said that I had trouble with playback using my two DVD players what I mean, specifically, is that the DVD-R discs WILL play but only with "defects".

    They play for a bit ... freeze up ... the counter keeps going ... then they start playing again ... freeze up ... etc.

    If the problem was as simple as a lack of AUDIO_TS folder then wouldn't they NOT play at all?

    In other words the problem I think is "deeper" than just a missing AUDIO_TS folder.

    This has happened with ALL of the DVD-R discs I have tried that have come from the Panny DVD recorders be it XP or SP or FR etc.

    Again, when I re-author with TMPGEnc DVD Author (which does no re-encoding) the new DVD-R I burn plays just fine.

    - John "FulciLives" Coleman
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  20. FulciLives,

    I understand you completely:

    This has happened with ALL of the DVD-R discs I have tried that have come from the Panny DVD recorders be it XP or SP or FR etc.
    You have problems with ALL of the DVD-R discs from ANY brand, with ANY Panasonic DVD recorder at ANY speed.

    While this is almost hard to believe I don’t have any intention to dispute your findings with such extreme results. It is very clear to me that you have researched this problem thoroughly and have exhausted any other option, but the encoding. I never said that encoding is out of the question as one of the suspects (I have always been open to any suggestions), but my findings, so far, don’t conclusively suggest that notion as an only answer to this problem...

    In all your posts you strongly claim that this problem has nothing to do with the players, recording speeds and the blanc media and yet, you are not giving me even a hint as to a possible answer to my questions:

    - If it has nothing to do with the high bit-rate and the player’s DA converter, then how will you explain the problems that occur only with the XP recordings and not with the SP recordings with, at list, some of the DVD players?

    - If it has nothing to do with the media compatibility, then how will you explain the fact that the same recording on one brand of DVD disc is problematic and it is fine on another one?

    Again, I don’t know the definite answer to this problem that frustrates me as much as anybody else, but there are certain findings that can be easily verified and therefore must be taken seriously and not be ignored. That will be of no help to anyone who seeks advice and answers on our forum.
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  21. Let me try to recapitulate what I think. All of those findings that you are talking about are true. All of them affects if DVD is playable or not. But… I would add one more and that is way how DVD was authored. If you checked my old post you would see that these are testings that I did.

    Recorder : Panasonic DMR-E30
    Player : Daewoo DVD-5800
    DVD was recorded in SP mode from VCR and lenght is 1h 17min

    Tests that were done to identify issue.

    1. it is not media => burned copy of commercial DVD to same media on PC => result PLAYABLE
    2. it is not media => I ripped DVD to PC and burned it on PC to good quality branded DVD => result FREEZING
    3. it is authoring => I stripped video and audio stream on PC and reauthored it again => result PLAYABLE
    4. it is not AUDIO_TS => I added that folder during test 2 => result FREEZING

    ways how people fixed same isue

    1. editing and adding menu in DVD Workshop (not clear since reencoding may be involved)
    2. using DVD Shrink to reauthor. (If I understand it right… if source can fit on DVD there is no “shrinking” only reauthoring.
    3. reauthoring with TMPGEnc DVD Author (no re-encodig)

    I know that my testing was not covering 100% of possibilities but it is pointing to exact issue. Let's keep this discussion open and readers can decide how to solve it for them.
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  22. Member NamPla's Avatar
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    I was like, OK yeah JVC, then OK panasonic, then, OK JVC again, then yeah mate Pioneer, then JVC, then Panasonic again... oh and Lite-On seems to be in there somewhere...

    You know what? Panasonic wins. I'll tell you why. I like "Panasonic". It rules. And I see in this forum tests that shit over GShelley's (who I greatly respect) tests. His tests results are different to other results.

    Who do we believe (ie the consumer)?

    Zorankopavovich or Gshelley or LordSmurf or the Delay Lama???????
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  23. Today, with some big help of a few good friends, I have a chance to try DVD recordings from the Panasonic E60 on a different DVD players ( JVC, Panasonic, Pioneer, Hitachi, Sony, Toshiba, Malata, Daytek, Acura, Nova). The goal of the test was to find out if there is any specific correlation between recording speeds and different brands of DVD players.

    The result from the test bench is this:

    - Recordings done with the SP setting were fine on all players.

    - Recordings done with the XP setting were more or less problematic for some of the players. We noticed occasional stuttering and frizzing of the picture. The most interesting finding was that these problems came out only from the budget brands of DVD players - from the brands well known of cutting every corner in their production in order to lower the price of their products.

    We didn’t notice ANY problem from the well-established and reputable manufacturers - JVC, Sony, Toshiba, Panasonic, Hitachi and Pioneer. Not a hitch even from their basic DVD players.

    So, what does this mean my friends?

    If the encoding is bad, why is it good for some well-known brands of DVD players and not for others? If it is really bad, shouldn’t it be bad for any DVD player from any manufacturer?

    The result of this test clearly shows that the recordings cause problems only when played on the cheapest brands of DVD players! That is the fact my fellows.

    Now, what can we do in order to alleviate this problem when we face the same challenge with our equipment?

    If you like to keep your DVD recorder and you want to stick with the questionable player that you already own, then:

    - Always record in SP and FR (for the recordings over 2Hrs) mode.
    - Test several different brands of blanc DVD discs and use those ones that are most compatible for your system.

    If you find out that this advice doesn’t work for you, then you have another option:

    - Re-author the disc. From other people’s experiences this should be the best solution.

    If you find that this advice for some reason (too complicated, takes time…) is not for you, then you have one final option:

    - Either you have to buy another DVD recorder or a better DVD player.

    For me, this case is closed. The problem is verified and the tips are given. I am sure that we can’t affect every manufacturer in the world to make more advanced DVD players, or to press any manufacturer of DVD recorders to make their models compatible to any player designed on Earth. What I can definitely do is to remind myself of an old wise saying: I am not rich enough to buy cheap staff!

    Anyway, I am sure that with the introduction of the new DVD recorders and players, as well as with the better quality DVD media, this problem will gradually disappear in the future.
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  24. Originally Posted by zorankarapancev
    I am not rich enough to buy cheap staff!
    I must agree with your last post with one explanation.... Sometimes it is not about buying cheap staff, but about buying player that does what you need. Unfortunately any of big names do not make DVD Player that can be used in 110V/NTSC and 220V/PAL world. Which was reason why I bought Daewoo DVD-5800. I used it for 2 years in US and now in EU. Same goes for DVD Recorders.... only cheap Recorders do that and I don't think that it would be too dificult or expensive for big names to implement it too. But they have their resons, right ?
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  25. Member FulciLives's Avatar
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    Another point on the "cheap stuff" argument ...

    My Pioneer cost me $725

    It is a "very old" model now but it still performs very well (age is really not showing).

    It can play DVD-R discs I make with my computer without any issues what-so-ever BUT it doesn't like Panny stand alone DVD recorder discs UNLESS they have been re-authored (in my case TMPGEnc DVD Author). So to me the problem is clearly the Panny and NOT my DVD player.

    This issue is perhaps less important to the original "end-user" of a Panny stand alone DVD recorder. You can just use the Panny as your play back device or buy a standard DVD player that "likes" the discs.

    But remember some people like to share such DVD discs such as camcorder footage of loved ones ... some people use it in making DVD discs for business such as wedding videos etc. so the Panny's "out of spec" discs are still a BIG concern if you ask me.

    At least it does seem that playback issues can be solved with re-authoring and this can be done rather easily and quickly with something like TMPGEnc DVD Author so in that regard ... maybe it isn't such a BIG deal.

    However it surely is not "ideal".

    - John "FulciLives" Coleman
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  26. @ Donpedro

    In the world of international trade, there are many standards, rules and regulations to be followed. In order to avoid paying royalties, as well as to offer unique products, the “cheap” companies do no play by the internationally excepted regulations. They even take pride of that fact, as we all know very well. They modified the standardized software and hardware up to the point that they can legally claim it its different enough from the originally copyrighted designs, in order to avoid paying royalties. Unfortunately we, as the users of those products, are the ones that are often paying the ultimate price. I also own a cheap Malata and a Daytek player (PAL/NTSC) that come “bundled” with the same playing issues, but I expect the fact that something is eventually going to give in the future. I don’t blame the manufacturers of the DVD recorders for my inconveniences of playing burned DVD discs on those questionable players.

    Since I have experienced the low playback quality of the above mentioned players, I had spent my time looking for better options of playing PAL/NTSC discs. In respect of the notion that big names do not make DVD Player that can be used in 110V/NTSC and 220V/PAL world, I am happy to inform you that with a little research I found that the JVC models XV-N44 and XV-N312 are an excellent PAL players. I bought them and I can assure you that they are doing better than Malata and Daytek, and on top of it, I don’t have any problem playing Panasonic’s XP recordings. Even if you need region free players from reputable manufacturers, you can find several places on the Internet that are selling them. Sure, they are more expensive than the Chinese counterparts, but…you are getting what you paid for.




    @ FulciLives

    Now I understand why you have problems with ALL of the DVD-R discs from ANY brand, with ANY Panasonic DVD recorder at ANY speed.

    You have an older model of a DVD player that is not FULLY compliant to the International standards for burned DVD’s. The fact that it still performs very well playing some DVD’s, doesn’t prove that it is up to the newest International standards. It is a well documented fact that the older models of DVD players have an issue with DVD-R/+R discs and I am 100% positive that you have the same problem with some other brands of DVD recorders too, not ONLY with Panasonic.

    I sympathized with you about the people who like to share DVD discs with their friends and relatives who own the old non-compliant DVD players like you. They are not properly informed about this technology and therefore are paying the ultimate price. I am using a Panasonic DVD recorder for my business, as do many other professionals, without any problem (following the tips and tricks explained in the beginning of this thread) and as I have stated before, the Panasonic is not “out of spec” as you want to believe. Therefore, if it is not a BIG concern to professionals, now that we have discussed this issue in detail, I am sure that it will not be a BIG concern for you too.

    At least, the mystery is finally solved with your player … and I have definitely agree with your last words. Yes, there is no “ideal” product on the market, especially in this, still emerging, DVD technology. We have to live with whatever we have or whatever is offered to us... because that is the reality of our lives…

    P.S. I really love and appreciate your posts in “PAL -> NTSC using BeSweetGUI” thread.
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  27. This has happened with ALL of the DVD-R discs I have tried that have come from the Panny DVD recorders be it XP or SP or FR etc.

    Again, when I re-author with TMPGEnc DVD Author (which does no re-encoding) the new DVD-R I burn plays just fine.
    When you re-author, aren't you also *re-burning* with a different drive, and a different disk?
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  28. Member FulciLives's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Tom Roper
    This has happened with ALL of the DVD-R discs I have tried that have come from the Panny DVD recorders be it XP or SP or FR etc.

    Again, when I re-author with TMPGEnc DVD Author (which does no re-encoding) the new DVD-R I burn plays just fine.
    When you re-author, aren't you also *re-burning* with a different drive, and a different disk?
    Of course but the original vidoe and audio are the same i.e., no re-encoding takes place.

    - John "FulciLives" Coleman
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  29. Originally Posted by FulciLives
    Of course but the original vidoe and audio are the same i.e., no re-encoding takes place.

    - John "FulciLives" Coleman
    That's great, but what if one burner is laying down the track with 100x more parity errors? Wouldn't you expect the likelihood of playback problems to go with the disk having the worse burn quality?

    All I'm saying here, is with (2) different burners, you have more variables at play than just the logical authoring. There are the physical variables also.
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