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  1. Hi:
    While waiting for a 640hs to arrive I've been reading the manual a lot.
    A couple things not clear to me (as with most manuals of the last few years).

    How do you set up the HD part for record speed?
    Do you set different "MN" record speeds for different Sat/Cable recordings or do you find a good source (MN21 or SP) and leave as is? With a 160gb drive and not needing many hours I guess I could set it higher than SP-21 but when you find something you would like to record to a R or RW for later veiwing, does the record speed of the DVD real time 1X record have to match the record speed for the HDD recording? Especially for high speed dubs do they have to match?

    Thanks very much for any help or tips.
    I've also been keeping up with the dicussion at AVS but the answers to the above questions elude me.
    I appreciate any suggestions.
    Regards,
    NL
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  2. The below is how it works on the 531H

    How do you set up the HD part for record speed?
    From the remote hit "Home Menu", "Initial Set Up", then "Recording". The top of the "Recording" selection will be "Manual Recording". You can set the MN mode from there.

    Do you set different "MN" record speeds for different Sat/Cable recordings
    It depends on what I am doing. If it is just record a program for later viewing, I leave the setting alone. If it is record to transfer to a dvd, then I might alter it to fit the quality of the source but that only happens occasionally.

    does the record speed of the DVD real time 1X record have to match the record speed for the HDD recording?
    No. If what is on the hdd will not fit on a dvd, the the 531H will select and re-encode from one mode to another mode, such as MN12 to MN11 in realtime so there will be some loss of quality.

    Especially for high speed dubs do they have to match?
    For high speed mode, it must match since this is a copy with no re-encoding.
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  3. Member Seeker47's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by NiteLite
    How do you set up the HD part for record speed?
    Do you set different "MN" record speeds for different Sat/Cable recordings or do you find a good source (MN21 or SP) and leave as is?
    (I presume this remains the same as on my 520H.) In the main Setup menu, you set a manual recording speed that in effect becomes your default. If you make use of the more detailed Recording Menu option (which on the 520 they called VIEW, as opposed to "Quick Timer"), this default recording speed will come up automatically, but is easily changed for your specific timed recording, as you proceed through the menu boxes. I used to have SP set as my default -- because my model only records SL blanks -- but rethought this a while ago and changed it to MN26. Now, most of the choices I would make for particular movies or programs, based on their length, and how important the photography or videography quality may be in those cases, are just a couple Up or Down arrow clicks removed from that MN26 position. I photocopied the box / graph from the manual that shows what you get for the various speeds, and laminated this as a reference card I can more easily refer to. While it's not the most convenient arrangement, I've gotten used to splitting longer movies over 2 SL DVDs, where picture quality is important. (But that won't have to be be an issue for you with the 640.)
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  4. Member FulciLives's Avatar
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    When you record to the HDD with the idea that you will later burn to a DVD then you want to make sure that no re-encoding is done. To do a high speed copy from the HDD to the DVD the recording mode must match.

    For isntance if you record a 2 hour show in the XP 1 hour mode and you want to put the entire show on a single DVD disc then it will copy in real time as it will have to re-encode it to the SP 2 hour speed to fit on the DVD.

    BUT if you record that same 2 hour show to the HDD using the SP 2 hour mode then you can high speed copy it to a DVD-R disc ... not only is this faster (high speed copy to DVD instead of real time) but no re-encoding is done.

    You can also use little tricks here. For instance let us say you record a TV show that is 2 hours long. We know that once you cut the TV ads out that the running time will be approximately 90 minutes.

    So you would want to record that 2 hour show using the 90 minute mode (sometimes to be safe I use the 95 minute mode).

    Now the full 2 hour show is too big on the HDD to fit onto a DVD disc ... until you cut out the commericials ... once you do that the size will be perfect for a DVD disc ... you can then high speed copy it with no re-encoding.

    I do the same thing with 1 hour shows. I use the 90 or 95 minute mode. Once I cut the commercials out I can just perfectly fit 2 of the 1 hour shows onto a single DVD disc.

    The only time you might want to re-encode from the HDD to a DVD-R is if you record something where the running time is not known ahead of time. For instance a sporting event or a ceremony show that tends to go long ... like the Oscars. For these programs I record in the XP+ mode ... edit out the commercials ... then use the OPTIMISE fucntion to put it on a DVD-R ... this will work in real time and re-encode so it will perfectly fit (maximise) the bitrate to fit onto a DVD disc. The XP+ mode records at 15,000kbps which is a VERY high bitrate.

    I just now as I was typing this downloading the PDF manual of the DVR-640H-S and it appears that the XP+ mode was dropped from this model. Oh well. Truth be told I never use it that much anyways.

    - John "FulciLives" Coleman

    P.S.
    I am basing my examples here on using a single layer DVD recordable. If you record a 2 hour show using the XP mode then it should fit onto a Dual Layer DVD recordable although even then I might use MN 31 (65 minute mode) or even MN 30 (70 minute mode) instead of XP (60 minute mode) just to be safe since a Dual Layer DVD is not exactly double the size of a single layer DVD.

    Also be sure you always use DVD VIDEO MODE ... do NOT use VR MODE ever!
    "The eyes are the first thing that you have to destroy ... because they have seen too many bad things" - Lucio Fulci
    EXPLORE THE FILMS OF LUCIO FULCI - THE MAESTRO OF GORE
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  5. A sincere thanks to all that took time to instruct me on this,
    Going from a Pio-200s recorder to one with a HDD is a little confusing but your help has given me great insight on how to acomplish it.
    I will print out your replies and add them to the manual for reference.
    My main concern was matching the HDD to the DVD recorder function. You all explained it with great detail.

    trhouse, Seeker47, FulciLives:
    My sincere thanks for sharing your wealth of knowledge. I see so many threads where members are desperate for help and you guys and others take time to help and then the OP never comes back to thank you. That sucks and anyone willing to teach deserves many thanks.
    Best regards,
    NL

    I'll continue to check this thread if anyone wants to throw in a tip about anything I may need to know. This is my first combo HD/DVD Recorder so I'll be learning as I go.
    Back in the 70's and 80's and some 90's you got a new piece of equipment, plugged it in, and were set to go.
    Manual? "We dont need no stinking manual." Man, things have changed.
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  6. Member FulciLives's Avatar
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    Another tip that came to mind ...

    Let us say you wan to record a football game. Let us say that you want the best quality possible SO you record to the HDD using the XP 1 hour mode.

    Now let us say that the football game runs 3 hours long.

    You can use the EDIT function to chop the recording up into 3 segments. You would chop at about the 1 hour mark and then again at the 2 hour mark so you get about 3 segments that are 1 hour long each.

    You can now burn these to a total of 3 single layer DVD-R discs.

    Or let us say you used the 90 minute mode to begin with ... since the game is 3 hours you just need to cut it in half giving you 2 segments that are about 90 minutes long each.

    Then you can burn that to 2 DVD-R discs.

    You just have to use some creative thinking here is all I am trying to point out

    One thing I should point out though ... at least my model (not sure about the new model) will not put chapter marks on HDD recordings. If you do a high speed copy you still get no chapter marks. If you change the mode so it records to the DVD in real time it re-encodes and puts chapters.

    That kinda sucks as you want to avoid re-encoding if you can help it.

    So what do I do?

    I record everything to a DVD-RW disc ... I then rip that to my computer ... I then import it into TMGPEnc DVD Author. This is a DVD authoring programe that allows for some simple editing (if you still need to do any) and of course you can custom make a menu and chapter points. It is easy to use and works really well. You can get stuff done with it quickly. When I am done I record to a DVD-R on my computer. Then I ERASE the DVD-RW and use it again and again and again to record on the Pioneer and transfer to the computer.

    - John "FulciLives" Coleman
    "The eyes are the first thing that you have to destroy ... because they have seen too many bad things" - Lucio Fulci
    EXPLORE THE FILMS OF LUCIO FULCI - THE MAESTRO OF GORE
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    Another quick way to add chapter marks to a HDD recording that you will high-speed copy to DVD is to use multiple presses of the commercial skip button while in the chapter-marking menu (I don't know what that menu is called in the 640). That way you can quickly skip forward every 5 minutes or so and enter a marker. Also, on my older Pioneer chapter markers are created at each edit point which I presume happens with the 640 as well.

    I've read elsewhere that Pioneer says you need to record to the HDD with the HDD format set to video mode in order to high speed copy to video mode discs. But users have found this isn't true and you can set the HDD to VR mode and still high-speed copy to video mode DVDs. VR mode offers more editing and playback features, I believe. So experiment with that to find out what works best for you.
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  8. Member FulciLives's Avatar
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    VR MODE will make a DVD-R (or DVD+R etc.) that is not 100% compliant ... at least some of the time.

    I would advise against using VR MODE and only use VIDEO MODE.

    - John "FulciLives" Coleman
    "The eyes are the first thing that you have to destroy ... because they have seen too many bad things" - Lucio Fulci
    EXPLORE THE FILMS OF LUCIO FULCI - THE MAESTRO OF GORE
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    Hmm, recording a 3 hr. show in a 90 min. speed then chopping it in two for best quality. Strange, but I never even figured I could do that (too used to what will fit on a single blank disc I guess). I assume it would work the same on a Panny HDD? Thanks for the tips "FulciLives"!!!
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  10. Just want to note I receive the Pioneer 640h Friday, 7/7/6.
    Will probably read the manual again and the printouts from this thread over the weekend.

    Wanted to thank everyone again for the valuable help offered.
    I'm sure something will pop up that will again confuse me.
    If so I will post and respect your input at that time.
    Regards,
    NL
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  11. Member
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    Keep the manual handy for a couple months. I kept browsing through my manual and finding things I missed or didn't understand until I'd used the recorder for awhile. Also, don't be afraid to do things the wrong way. You may discover some hidden "features" that work better than the right way.
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  12. Frobozz, You are so right about keeping the manual handy. Going from recorder to recorder with HDD is so different. It's really taxing to this old brain.
    The chapter marks post above was really helpful as the first high speed copy I made had none.
    So I used this thread and checked in the manual and found out how to do that before copying. I must say this thread is much easier to understand than the manual.
    The manual goes over such things but out of order and with little detail.

    FulciLives, sorry to hear about your 531 problems. I do hope the warranty dept. will fix the problem and quickly.
    And your method of -RW copying and using the computer to complete edits before burning makes sense. Especially for TV series recordings.

    I'm getting there thanks to you guys.
    Regards,
    NL.
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