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  1. The rumour about the Panasonic DMR-ES20 having an LSI encoding chip is true. I just got hold of an ES20... opened it up, removed the heat sink and the unit in fact has a LSI DoMiNo DMN-8602 encoding chip. What's more, the ES20 records full D1 at 720x480, not 704x480 (the "cropped" D1 format) like all the previous Panasonics do.

    I made some quick test recordings with the DV and s-video inputs - same method as always... I used my Pioneer DVR-320S as the source player.


    Panasonic DMR-ES20, DV input, SP mode







    Panasonic DMR-ES20, s-video input, SP mode, Line-In NR Off


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  2. Member Marvingj's Avatar
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    Stilll the ES10 has a better picture and the black are better. I notice that went I pick up a ES20 the picture look smera and the black level was grey. The pic you have looks pretty good, the ES20 I had must been defective. I wish you would compare pioneer to the ES20.
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  3. I have an ES10, too. Here's what the s-video input recording looks like using the identical method (Pioneer DVR-320S source player)... I shut off the input video noise reduction to achieve the sharpest picture possible.



    Panasonic DMR-ES10, s-video input, SP mode, Line-In NR Off







    The ES10 has a softer recorded image than the ES20. Also, it crops 16 pixels from the left and right frame edges (704x480 format). The ES20 records in full D1 format 720x480.



    For reference, here's what the THX test disc frames look like:

    THX test disc frame grabs:







    The ES20 recordings, especially using the DV input, are the closest to the original test disc in terms of sharpness, color, black level, etc. Plus, my experience with other LSI encoding chip based machines is that they make better looking MPEG2 recordings overall, with fewer artifacts. The Panasonic proprietary chip that has been used in all their other units produces noticeable macrobocks, especially on recordings longer than 2 hrs.
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  4. Video Restorer lordsmurf's Avatar
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    But doesn't the ES20 still insist on LP mode (4-hour) at 720x480 with 2.5Mb/s bitrate? That's still no good, LSI or not.

    The ES10 was also 720x480, as that is a "new generation" sort of Panasonic chip. Quality still sucked on it though, the changes were minor and Diga did nothing.

    I would be interested in seeing if the LSI was used correctly on the ES20. Is it true VBR, are the chroma removal filters in use, and is 352x480 ever used?

    I also wonder if the ES20 has the same sort of sync filter that corrects flagging/tearing like the ES10 did.

    I don't know if you ever used the ES10 for those sort of tests, but I'd like to see how it compares to the ES20.

    Also, could you comment on how well the ES20 timer recordings work?

    How does the ES20 handle DVD+R DL (MKM), DVD+R and DVD+RW media (anything good, 1st/2nd class as per nomorecoasters.com)?

    And then, does the ES20 handle PAL region-free discs?
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  5. Originally Posted by lordsmurf
    But doesn't the ES20 still insist on LP mode (4-hour) at 720x480 with 2.5Mb/s bitrate? That's still no good, LSI or not.

    The ES10 was also 720x480, as that is a "new generation" sort of Panasonic chip. Quality still sucked on it though, the changes were minor and Diga did nothing.

    I would be interested in seeing if the LSI was used correctly on the ES20. Is it true VBR, are the chroma removal filters in use, and is 352x480 ever used?

    I also wonder if the ES20 has the same sort of sync filter that corrects flagging/tearing like the ES10 did.

    I don't know if you ever used the ES10 for those sort of tests, but I'd like to see how it compares to the ES20.

    Also, could you comment on how well the ES20 timer recordings work?

    How does the ES20 handle DVD+R DL (MKM), DVD+R and DVD+RW media (anything good, 1st/2nd class as per nomorecoasters.com)?

    And then, does the ES20 handle PAL region-free discs?

    I have an ES10 on hand, as well. I posted some frame grabs in the post before yours. The ES10 still uses Panasonic's encoding chip (captures cropped D1 704x480) with the familar artifacts like macroblocking beyond two hours.

    The ES20 definitely records a sharper and more accurate image than the ES10, as far as I can tell. Check the frame grabs above and you can see the ES10 has a softer recorded image. As for hybrid VBR encoding, the ES20 does have FR mode recording just like the JVC does. I'll have to make some more recordings, particularly with high action scenes to see how they look. I haven't had a chance to dig into the machine very much yet, so I don't know when it drops to 352x480, etc.

    I find it interesting that Panasonic chose to use an LSI chip in this particular machine, the first time they have done so as far as I know. I wonder if they've finally given up on using their own crappy encoding chip, or if this is a cost savings measure to make the ES20 more competitive at the retail level.
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  6. Member Marvingj's Avatar
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    The ES20 picture does look sharper than the ES10. But I don't believe that it has a Sync Filter like the ES10. When I try to record a VHS tape and use the ES20 as a Pass thru. It didn't do the same thing as ES10 did ( no correction in terms of video jittering). I think they chose to use LSI because of Complaints of Marcoblocks. Have you compare it to the JVC yet. I might try to pick up a ES20 to see do I get the same result as you have. Nice going gshelley61!
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  7. I can confirm the ES10 is 704 by 480. I once heard that the ES20 had the DV input added to make it more competitive against Sony. It may be that they went with LSI because their own chip could not be redesigned quickly enough to accomplish that. The ES20 appeared about six months after the ES10.
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  8. The ES20's LP 4 hr mode is indeed 720x480, which can't be good for high action scenes.

    The unit has a nearly identical GUI and most of the same setup options as the ES10. For example, there is switchable Line-In Noise Reduction (On, Off, Automatic) just like the ES10. It has the same Black Level adjustment settings for input and output, too. The playback MPEG DNR is switchable, as well.

    The noise reduction circuit is reasonably effective, suppressing grain and chroma noise pretty well. How it compares to the JVC noise reduction filters, I don't know at this point. In the tests I ran above, I left it off.
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    The DMR-ES40V is also based on the LSI Logic DMN-8602.
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  10. Originally Posted by drmpeg
    The DMR-ES40V is also based on the LSI Logic DMN-8602.

    That's good to know... I was wondering if that was the case.
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  11. [quote="gshelley61"]
    Originally Posted by lordsmurf
    But doesn't the ES20 still insist on LP mode (4-hour) at 720x480 with 2.5Mb/s bitrate? That's still no good, LSI or not.

    Also, could you comment on how well the ES20 timer recordings work?
    I haven't done exhaustive timer testing yet because I use the DVR from the cable company, but there seems to be at least one feature-bug: If you use the FR mode in a Timer recording and there is at least one recording on the disc, the FR mode does not fill up the disc, so you don't get the expected resolution. If you are using a blank disc, the FR/Timer fills up the disc as expected. The live (non-timer) FR recording behaves as expected - it fills up the disc.


    Originally Posted by lordsmurf
    How does the ES20 handle DVD+R DL (MKM), DVD+R and DVD+RW media (anything good, 1st/2nd class as per nomorecoasters.com)?

    And then, does the ES20 handle PAL region-free discs?
    From the ones you mention above, I have tried these:
    * recorded on 100+ DVD+R from Fuji, Philips, TDK, and Staples with only 2-3 problems.

    The ES20 does not record on +DL or +RW. I have not tried to record or playback from those discs yet - mainly because I don't have any
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  12. Member ricky d's Avatar
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    I purchased a ES20 from a local shop brand new. I bought it cause I heard / read how good the sync filters were on the ES10 - And since they dont make the ES10 anymore, I figured I would buy their upgraded model (just a little more than getting a used (out of date) 1 off fleabay). I checked on Panni's website, and they stated the identical "sync / dub filters" on both models...

    However, I use this in my video chain coming off different VCRs, and as far as I can tell it does not do much to clean up the picture - flagging at the top. Maybe this is on certain tapes that I have not sene yet, but my results / tests were not even close to what LS raves about this box...

    -Disapointing-
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  13. Video Restorer lordsmurf's Avatar
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    Yeah, it's becoming clear that ES10 and ES20 are dissimilar in a number of ways. Sync filters gone most likely, and LSI encoder used instead (but poorly implemented, given the 720x480 LP).
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  14. What we need is someone to build a DVD recorder with the sync filters from the Panasonic ES10, the input video proc amp and noise filtering adjustments of the Pioneer DVR-533, and the LSI encoder with hybrid VBR and FR recording capability of the JVC. May as well put a 250GB hard drive in it with frame accurate editing, too.
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  15. Member ricky d's Avatar
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    That would be sweet, but I would really just be happy with a standalone device (sync / dub filter) like the ES10's, without all the other crap attached to it. They could sell this thing by itself for a quarter, or even half the price.

    If they can build this feature into that lame DVDr - Surely that can pull the chip set out, stick it in a small box, and run some S-video cables through it...


    -I think we are just too small of a market-
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  16. Video Restorer lordsmurf's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by gshelley61
    What we need is someone to build a DVD recorder with the sync filters from the Panasonic ES10, the input video proc amp and noise filtering adjustments of the Pioneer DVR-533, and the LSI encoder with hybrid VBR and FR recording capability of the JVC. May as well put a 250GB hard drive in it with frame accurate editing, too.
    Let's keep saying it, and hope somebody reads it.

    For all we know, this is why Panasonic took the hint about using LSI chipsets. We already know companies visit this forum.
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  17. The ES20 seems to clean up some VHS tapes at times, but I don't have an ES10 to compare to.

    I accidentally made a VHS recording from an RF source with the RF cable half-way in. The recording on VHS was very noisy and too annoying ot watch. After recording it to DVD-RAM, it was visibly cleaner and more watchable. But I don't have any other DVD recorder to compare it to.

    Sometimes when playing some VHS tapes right after a fast-forward-playback, the VCR has some interference junk at the bottom of the screen that recedes after 2-3 seconds. The ES20 does not remove those, but it cleans them up a bit, so you get cleaner junk I don't know what the proper VHS term is for that, so I call it "interference junk", which is probably not a good description.
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  18. So, is it the case, that for normal dvd recording, the ES20 is a better machine than the ES10? Or is there no difference?
    Thanks in advance.
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  19. Originally Posted by ncaahoops
    I don't know what the proper VHS term is for that, so I call it "interference junk", which is probably not a good description.
    Head Switching Noise
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  20. Member vhelp's Avatar
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    Evening everyone :P

    I have been looking at the test pattern pic you posted for the:

    ** Panasonic DMR-ES10, s-video input, SP mode, Line-In NR Off

    And, I can't help notice that it looks the closest to the original
    THX pattern from your dvd disk.

    IMHO, I would have to say that the ES10 does a better job at retaining
    (or reproducing) the test pattern image to the closest detail. That
    means, that the ES10 has a chip (IMO) that does better job on the
    sub-sampling process than the ES20 chip's.

    I read earlier in this topic, how it was suggested that the ES10
    has a slightly more softer look. I don't agree. I think that they
    both look the same, sharpness wise, but what might be overlooked, is
    the sub-sampling of the color space for each of the unit's chip process.

    On the ES20, you can see how some of the color's bleed into the next
    block. But on the ES10, its much less.

    Now, I noticed this right away, on account of my current research and
    study of yuv and sub-sampling processes. And, because I am deeply
    involved in this area, it was all too easy for me to spot, quickly.

    Also, because I used the original THX test image that gshelley61 had
    posted here. And, I spent a good part of the day, studying and runing
    various test scenarios of sub-sampling (via my yuv tool I'm developing)
    and the results aftwards.

    It is my honest opinion, that we need to first view the method of the
    sub-sampling done for these units. Then, comes the overal picture
    quality. Mainly becase these units incorporate various kinds of filter
    processes. And, they can be anywhere's, from before, during, and/or
    after the sub-sampling stage.

    Last, it is also my opinion, that the sub-sampling step is a form of
    filter on its own, and could be viewed as such. Therefore, I truely
    believe that we talk about image quality from these devices, that it
    is very important to first look at the sub-sampling results. To do
    this, would require some test patterns, such as the ones that gshelley61
    has posted here. These serve as good references, mainly on account of
    the color blocks and how you can discern "bleeding" across each block's
    bounderies.

    @ gshelley61

    If you could post *other* images that would show more RED colors, that
    could (or might) help bring better conclusions on the overal picture
    quality. What we are after here, is how well the *each* unit's chip
    does in its processing. In this case, we are looking for how well
    each chip handles (processes) during the sub-sampling stage.

    I leave that up to you to consider


    To recap:
    ** sub-sampling -- I believe this was overlooked, and should be considered.
    ** ES20 vs. ES10 - It is my opinion that the ES10 did a accurate job
    ** images -------- more should be demo'ed, but with RED colored areas.

    footnote:
    (Also, I thought it would be wise to include (in your first post) some
    links to your *other* test pattern demonstrations. I think its a good
    idea for us to reference. I don't know if you recall those test, but
    if you do, maybe you could post them at the bottom on your first post
    under "references" or something. Just a suggestion )

    -vhelp 3702
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  21. Video Restorer lordsmurf's Avatar
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    vhelp, don't get lost in stills. Watch the motion of the discs made in the ES10. There are some "ghosting" effects pretty bad in the units too, which contributes to image detail loss. It gets compounded by using the DNR of the ES10, but usually your tape is already screwed and some ghosting is better than a tearing picture.

    The ghosting is actually POSTERIZATION here. That's something you get from limiting the color palette. In this case, your offender would (most likely) be the encoder chipset.

    That's just the ES10.

    Typical mediocre Panasonic quality image. But the filters are great for tapes otherwise considered lost to errors. Lesser of evils.
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  22. Originally Posted by Rosco
    Originally Posted by ncaahoops
    I don't know what the proper VHS term is for that, so I call it "interference junk", which is probably not a good description.
    Head Switching Noise
    Thanks! I learned something new today!

    I forgot to mention that stuff usually gets cleaned up with the Tracking button.
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  23. Originally Posted by mray
    So, is it the case, that for normal dvd recording, the ES20 is a better machine than the ES10? Or is there no difference?
    Thanks in advance.
    I think the ES20 in the UK is different from the one in the USA shell-wise. I do not know if there any differences inside.

    Featurewise, some features of the ES10 have been removed from the ES20.USA, the most frustrating of all IMHO is the removal of the ability to PAUSE during a manual FR recording. There are a couple of other minor things removed from the ES20, such as no shorten-title feature.
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  24. Now listed on LSI's web site as using an LSI processor,

    http://www.lsilogic.com/products/product_showcase/index.html
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  25. Member
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    my ES10 burned out and I bought an ES20 from Ebay, New In Box. Now I am regretting it for the following reasons.

    1. FR mode does not allow pause. This is a critical feature for omitting ads in real time without having to do it on the PC later. You can still pause in the other modes XP, SP, LP....

    2. FR mode auto creates chapters about 90 seconds apart!! In XP mode, the chapters are also auto created but the splits are about 4:30 to 5:15 (mineconds) apart which is normal and customary on Pannys I believe.

    3. the worst feature is that on ANY mode, there seems to be copyright protection on any tv show, game etc where you cannot even play the FINALIZED disc on any other dvd player, dvd recorder, or PC drive. THUS I HAD TO extract the vob files using DVD Decrytor and that only in IFO mode (File Mode did not work for extraction). Then I had to reauthor the video then burn it to another disc.

    anybody have experience with these issues?

    what about the firmware upgrade U3-150, does it solve any of these problems?

    any help is appreciated..
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