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  1. Member Seeker47's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by jwillis84 View Post
    Seeker47 i love eSATA, and still do.. but Oxford stopped making chips years ago. Every chip manufacturer did., the only consolation I have found is that SATA based motherboards or devices can be turned into eSATA hosts with a special bulkhead connector.. but that's not for normal people. OWC has discontinued all eSATA devices in favor of Thunderbolt.. so that generation (eSATA) is long gone. I still patrol auction sites looking for old eSATA gear.. but its getting pretty thin.

    I don't like hating on DVD or Blu-ray.. I rather like the format.. but its incredibly small by todays standards of file storage.

    I don't trust spinning rust.

    But its almost all that's left.

    Maintaining it by active monitoring and cloning, is tedious.. and problematic.. its not fool proof.

    i seriously don't know what to do.. i am hoping m.2 proves stable since archived video is not written over and over again, but stays static on the chips.. for how long is debatable.

    and I totally (Totally) agree with Orsetto
    m.2 (not to be confused with the movement that became part of the socio-political fallout detailed in "Bombshell" and "The Loudest Voice" ) is a type of SSD -- correct ? I should keep up on these tech developments better . . . .
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    Originally Posted by Seeker47 View Post
    Originally Posted by aedipuss View Post
    i don't mind HDD storage. my oldest nas has 63,048 hours (over 7 years) of continuous on time with the original drives. samsung knew how to make hard drives
    Interesting. Fry's and Micro Centre were my 'Go-To's, never did much mail order, preferring to buy what I could see, off the shelf. I'm a longterm Western Digital buyer (Made in Thailand, only), though I'm old enough to remember when the very best enterprise or server-class HDDs were the SCSI IBM's that were made in Hungary. Best MTBF specs. I've seen plenty of Seagates and Toshiba HDDs for sale, but can't recall running into any Samsungs. A regional thing, maybe -- or just not from brick & mortar retail places ? Where did you source them from ?


    seagate bought samsung's HDD business in 2011. before that they were readily available, i bought most through newegg.
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    the longest lived drives are only known (after) they have been on the market for a while

    HGST was recently bought by Western Digital.. the Chinese Government (.. the Chinese Government ?) stepped in and was worried about a monopoly in the business where all brands were made by only "one" maker in their country..

    As a condition of Sale.. Western Digital had to divest (some) of the old Hitachi (HGST) plants to Toshiba.. (who did not want them).. and Toshiba had to keep making the drives and offer them for sale.. or Western Digital could not buy HGST

    Toshiba drives are kind of a "reluctant" model for now.. they didn't want the business.. but the drives are getting phenomenal reviews on sites like Backblaze.. when they can get a few in..

    Seagate is rumored to be looking to exit the spinning rust business and go totally SSD.. they tried hybrids.. but that didn't work out.. they are a mystery at this point. They might go total cloud storage model and stop selling to the public in a few years. I wonder if Google or Amazon will buy them in a pre-emptive move. Big data is worried about vast cheap data.. silicon is not that cheap yet. Recycling silicon however is less complex than picking apart mechanical drives.

    WD (regardless of brand) is practically the sole source supplier to the public now.. which reminds me of Verbatim and CMC.. we're down to one.. how much longer will spinning rust be around ?

    m.2 to me is interesting.. since it is silicon, and the laptop and tablet/phone market is still paying for it.. its increasing in size.. and durability for long term storage might make it the best alternative to ancient "ink printing technologies" like DVDs or Blu-ray

    m.2 is already at 1 and 2 TB in a surface area far smaller than a DVD or Blu-ray disk.. with 6 Gb/s interfaces with a basic compression from MPEG2 that's around 1000 to 2000 hours of standard definition video, on a single stick.

    it could be a fools errand.. I don't know a lot about m.2 at the moment.. but I'm looking towards understanding it better.

    Toshiba drives when you can get them are great.. but eventually they will wear out.. the old Hitachi plants will have to be replaced.. or the deal will run out.. and WD will get the Toshiba brand to put on their drives.

    In ten years spinning rust will be as popular as 5 1/4 floppy disks.
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  4. Member Seeker47's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by jwillis84 View Post
    I shouldn't go off like that.. it will upset people.

    Pioneer BDR-2209 / BDR-209UBK

    The prices for good player/burners is going back up though even for older models, which makes me wonder if they have already been discontinued and someone knows something not public yet.
    At first glance, I'm seeing a from $60. to > $100. price difference on these, as between Amazon and NewEgg. In the past, Amazon (direct, not with 3rd. party sellers) had a better rep. for handling returns or refunds in the event of defective goods. Do VH readers have any strong preference on where to buy -- and considering the price spread -- with these suppliers ?

    [Separately, I would add that in the case of discontinued items, I've generally had pretty good luck finding things on eBay . . . but of course you need to check on condition, avoid ridiculous bidding wars on scarce items that may be in demand, and to be picky about who you buy from.]
    Last edited by Seeker47; 19th Jan 2020 at 14:11.
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    Originally Posted by orsetto View Post
    It really has become annoying to watch history repeat itself all over again (for those of us old enough to have seen this "movie" before). Instead of taking a balanced wait-and-see attitude, people are again running headlong off a cliff in pursuit of apparent convenience, with nary a single thought to how that might completely box them in and screw them over in the future. Consumers can't get enough of streaming, to the point its burying physical media before it can even get its coffin lid closed. And predictably, just as in the '80 and '90s, terrified dumbstruck studios are trying to stay one step ahead of a stampede they can never understand and have nothing but contempt for in any case.

    Between "live for today" consumers and content providers with no clue, a destructive tsunami has been unleashed that is drowning data storage options as collateral damage. For better and worse, the computer industry long ago abandoned dedicated storage options in favor of jumping on the consumer optical disc formats. This made for some economies of scale and universal compatibility we would never have had otherwise, but after a good 20 year run the underlying subsidy of those consumer formats (CD, DVD, BD) is evaporating like dew on an Arizona morning.

    Without mass market demand for entertainment system devices and media to play on them, PC data storage has been forced to migrate to cloud solutions That sort of thing is single-handedly floating Microsoft (and is a huge chunk of Amazon's non-retail business), but doesn't do squat for us non-corporate individual peasants who just want safe, private, durable storage solutions we can own and control in our homes. We finally had a decent updated alternative with BD-R HTL, but they've already begun kill it. Redundant sets of HDDs is about the only remaining option, and I hate it with a passion (too much reliance on a single magnetic technology, that requires endless nannying and periodic re-cloning).

    At least we'll have the hollow satisfaction of watching the streaming juggernaut implode over the next couple years. It only really worked when there was just Netflix and Hulu funneling everything from every source: now, every studio is doing takebacks and trying to forge their own separate service. Thats going to end up being about as popular as their VHS "rental-only, no more owning, each cassette is unlocked to play just once" strategy. I'll be interesting to see what the "post-streaming" paradigm turns out to be.
    It's astonishing that the issues of archival storage, in part alluded to within this thread, have not taken on a vastly greater importance and urgency -- both for companies and for individuals. That applies to most varieties of data storage. On the one hand, there is the example of some truly ancient tech: pieces of the Dead Sea Scrolls, or sections of the original Magna Carta, and founding documents for our country that are preserved under museum glass, hopefully for a long time to come. But our latter day tech has vastly changed that landscape, with some alarmingly short time horizons. I recall reading an interesting article about storage and retrieval, devices and media, regarding what stored material may or may not still be readable / viewable well within the lifetimes of many in today's populations. And this probably gets into a general human shortsightedness.

    Practical examples abound. A relative happens to be a rather skilled photographer. It's mainly a sideline for him, but he's won awards in several regional shows. A few years back, he expressed some concern to me about archival photo storage for preserving his work, ever since film and negatives gave way to digital formats. Those 1's & 0's are readily subject to being corrupted. I told him about an article I had read, about PAR files with checksums, that some more technically aware photographers seemed to be getting into. He seemed relieved. But even so, we are still left with issues of storage devices and media. For now, it would be great if SD cards had good, proven, long-term storage capability . . . but I don't know that they do.

    This also gets into the area of overlap between accessibility and security. As a near-Luddite, I have a near-zero faith in today's vaunted cloud-based solutions. They are just a good terrorist-attack and the next iteration of

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ICloud_leaks_of_celebrity_photos

    away from exposure or total wipeout. If it's not directly at hand and under your local control, it's all pretty dubious, is what I'd say.
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  6. Member Seeker47's Avatar
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    Hello orsetto,

    This seems as good a place for this question as any. Perhaps you can correct a gap in my basic video knowledge. (One of very many, I'm sure !)

    I used one of my Pio 460s to record something, in this case a documentary. It had a running time of slightly under two hours, and was recorded at the Pioneer's MN21, which would be a standard, default setting for having the material fit onto a DVD-5. As such, it is going to take up ~ 4 GB of space. My guesstimate is that this MN21 recording must fall somewhat below full DVD-5 resolution -- maybe no more than 640 x 480 ? MN 31 or 32 would bump that up to the upper limits of DVD, your 720 x 480 (there was some musical content, and the sound might be better at the higher setting ?) . . . but then we'd be talking about a DVD-9 to contain it.

    If I felt that the material was of sufficient importance and otherwise unavailable, I could have endeavored to share it. (Thus far, I have only been a grateful recipient of online material, and so far never a supplier.) In this case, that proved to be totally unnecessary, because with a bit of searching I found that it was indeed already available online, so no need to bother.

    Now, my question. That online file version -- in 1080P and good stereo -- was just 5 GB in size. So, that relatively small size differential but major resolution and sound quality differential must simply be a matter of using a more powerful, more efficient codec -- H264 vs. the basic MPEG-2 of the Pioneer ? I would assume so, because I noticed that a better 720P version of this same program clocks in at no more than 3 GB. file size, and an HEVC one would probably come to half of that, or less. Maybe even if you threw in DTS / extra channels. (But HEVC must offer a much higher degree of compression.)

    I don't suppose there were ever any DVDRs that employed much stronger codecs than MPEG-2 ? Probably not, because that was the "lingua Franca", or most common denominator for video -- consumer video, certainly.
    Last edited by Seeker47; 6th Mar 2020 at 17:30.
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  7. seeker47, my understanding is the Pioneer recorders follow the controversial protocol set by Panasonic: maintain full 480x720 resolution up to and including LP speed (4hrs per disc), even if the video is starved for bit rate or other parameters. Pioneer MN21 is the same as setting the unit at SP, so results should be indistinguishable between them.

    Yes, it is sort of depressing that "scene" releases can pack an hour of video into a 300mb file that appears to have triple the resolution and clarity of our DVD recorders running at 2Gb per hour. But these are drawing on different resources: usually begin as direct full-HDTV-res uncompressed off air or satellite captures that are compressed using PC software more sophisticated than the hard-coded MPEG chips in DVD recorders. It would have been nice if recorders had remained popular enough to make the transition into higher power and performance, such that they could optionally create such mp4 or mkv files themselves to save as standard data discs instead of dvd-video. But interest waned rather quickly, and Hollywood would never have stood for such a feature in consumer products, so that was that.

    Sometimes we DVD/HDD recorder fans forget just how absurdly consumer-hostile these units really were/are. I was reminded recently when I lent one of my friends a Pioneer to record a series that could be had in no other way unless you record it directly off a niche local cable TV service. He was fine with hitting the HDD record button, but after that was lost so I had to personally create the DVDs for him. He patiently watched me divide the two six-hour HDD blocks into 12 episodes, trim the beginnings/ends, add chapter marks, correctly title each episode, create thumbnails for each episode, select burning layout for three discs of four episodes each, burn and finalize each disc. I'm so used to it by now I can do it in my sleep: my fingers flew over the remote buttons, Pioneer action menus and submenus flashed on and off the TV screen in a blur. As the first of the three dvd volumes began burning, my friend just looked at me and said "What in the actual F--- was all that? Twenty+ steps per episode: are you SERIOUS?!?! Who the hell could ever figure that out or even want to? No wonder these machines never caught on!"
    Last edited by orsetto; 7th Mar 2020 at 13:02.
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  8. Member Seeker47's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by orsetto View Post
    Between "live for today" consumers and content providers with no clue, a destructive tsunami has been unleashed that is drowning data storage options as collateral damage. For better and worse, the computer industry long ago abandoned dedicated storage options in favor of jumping on the consumer optical disc formats. This made for some economies of scale and universal compatibility we would never have had otherwise, but after a good 20 year run the underlying subsidy of those consumer formats (CD, DVD, BD) is evaporating like dew on an Arizona morning.
    And yet, these guys

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Criterion_Collection_releases

    continue releasing both Blu-Rays and even DVDs, at least for now, albeit with the proviso that substantial parts of the catalog have by now gone out of print. (Terrific reference page, btw. Should have discovered this and bookmarked / saved it a long, long time ago.) I was wondering what might come after their physical media releases ? The article seems to answer that -- another dedicated subscription service to replace the departed Filmstruck -- but I see no sign of that being offered by DirecTV. They finally slotted three Epix channels, so one might reasonably expect to find it there.

    Originally Posted by orsetto View Post
    Without mass market demand for entertainment system devices and media to play on them, PC data storage has been forced to migrate to cloud solutions That sort of thing is single-handedly floating Microsoft (and is a huge chunk of Amazon's non-retail business), but doesn't do squat for us non-corporate individual peasants who just want safe, private, durable storage solutions we can own and control in our homes. We finally had a decent updated alternative with BD-R HTL, but they've already begun kill it. Redundant sets of HDDs is about the only remaining option, and I hate it with a passion (too much reliance on a single magnetic technology, that requires endless nannying and periodic re-cloning).

    At least we'll have the hollow satisfaction of watching the streaming juggernaut implode over the next couple years. It only really worked when there was just Netflix and Hulu funneling everything from every source: now, every studio is doing takebacks and trying to forge their own separate service. Thats going to end up being about as popular as their VHS "rental-only, no more owning, each cassette is unlocked to play just once" strategy. I'll be interesting to see what the "post-streaming" paradigm turns out to be.
    Well, you know, in the wake of this current "zombie apocalypse" we're in with Covid, it's gonna get interesting, and soon. I just heard a commentator on the radio wondering if all the folks now forced to work from home, all the kids-through-college level students forced into a strictly online instruction mode, and all the extra people who might otherwise go out but who now are cabin fever forced into just streaming, will expose the deficiencies in our internet infrastructure (still markedly inferior to many other parts of the developed world), and grind all sorts of things to a crawl ?
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  9. Member Seeker47's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by orsetto View Post

    Sometimes we DVD/HDD recorder fans forget just how absurdly consumer-hostile these units really were/are. I was reminded recently when I lent one of my friends a Pioneer to record a series that could be had in no other way unless you record it directly off a niche local cable TV service. He was fine with hitting the HDD record button, but after that was lost so I had to personally create the DVDs for him. He patiently watched me divide the two six-hour HDD blocks into 12 episodes, trim the beginnings/ends, add chapter marks, correctly title each episode, create thumbnails for each episode, select burning layout for three discs of four episodes each, burn and finalize each disc. I'm so used to it by now I can do it in my sleep: my fingers flew over the remote buttons, Pioneer action menus and submenus flashed on and off the TV screen in a blur. As the first of the three dvd volumes began burning, my friend just looked at me and said "What in the actual F--- was all that? Twenty+ steps per episode: are you SERIOUS?!?! Who the hell could ever figure that out or even want to? No wonder these machines never caught on!"
    I was looking to simply illustrate something along the lines of what you wrote, for someone who still has a (potential) interest in being able to do these things that-- after some requisite learning curve that proved to be worth the perseverance to us -- we came to take for granted. But not to the extent of mounting a cell phone or camera on a tripod and making a short video myself. So I went looking on Youtube, thinking that surely someone had done this in the past. There I found about 6 prospects, none of which were particularly good or appropriate. Most were for earlier models, like the 510 or 440; one seemed to have a Slovenian or Hungarian (?) language narration; one had blurry and shaky-cam video; another was apparently made in the U.K., although the speaker had a French accent, and it showed evidence of the dreaded EPG feature. The best of the lot was actually for the Magnavox DVDR.
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    Xfer Disc Anomalies w/ RW media | IsoBuster

    [intended especially for orsetto and jwillis84]

    Trying to fill in some knowledge gaps here. This happened to be using the Pioneer 640, but I don't know if anything would have been different if it was with a 460 / 560, given the same set of circumstances ? I regularly transfer material to the computer, generally using the good quality -RW discs I have (in this case, older stock TDK 4X rated -RW), though I'm not sure at what point they simply wear out, and what exactly is to be expected when they do ?

    The DVDR at this point has about 359 recorded items on it, which I know may be pushing it for these units, even though the vast majority of these recordings are relatively brief items, but with overall free space remaining showing as 45 %. In large part, what I'm trying to do here is to get stuff off of the DVDR HDD, and to free up space + reduce the # of recordings. So I recently did a xfer -RW disc with 26 items to it, but only consuming 3.1 GB. in total -- which I would not have expected to overload the disc. The only reasonable menu to choose was the last "grid" one, with around 8 items per menu page, extending to -- in this case -- 3 pages. (Evidently, the finalization stage does more than just tack on the menu ?) On this run, the finalization seemed to take an unduly long time, at the end of which I got some error along the lines of "Unable to Repair Disc." When I reinsert the disc, the Pioneer 640 reports "Incompatible or Unrecognizable Disc." And it cannot be re-initialized again. Can't Erase / Reformat it on the computer, either. It seems to me that in the past I salvaged such a disc by erasing it on the computer, at which point the Pioneer was able to re-init it. But that was quite some time ago, and I'm not certain about this. Worse yet, the next -RW I went to re-init after this (which had heretofore been a pretty routine and reliable operation) also got trashed, becoming another "Incompatible or Unrecognizable Disc." Disc failures ? Or Pioneer DVDR failures ? If this persists, I'll have a serious problem.

    I'll jump ahead here for a moment, to report that on a following pass, using the same, untouched 26 item Copy List from the Pioneer -- this time burning to a regular -R -- it went without a hitch, and the contents are fine and playable wherever.

    Before I finalized that -R, I thought that I'd give the latest version of IsoBuster a spin, since my use of that program and so level of skill with it have been minimal. Despite not having much of an idea of what I was doing, I managed to extract an image file of the disc. (Snapshot attached.) This looks like a good design strategy on the part of the author, in that once you have a viable image file to work on, you need not worry about the condition of the source disc. From that image file, I extracted VOB #78 (? Don't see how that jibes with 26 video files, but leaving that question aside for the moment.) It played fine. O.K., I'm finally beginning to grasp at least some of the utility of this program.

    But no dice on those two apparently trashed -RW discs. Tried to access them with either Burnaware Premium or IsoBuster. They either spin endlessly in the optical drive, in a vain attempt to access them, or show up as "Blank -RW." But they can't be erased / reformatted. Haven't tried ImgBurn yet. So, is there no way to forcibly reformat them, or are they kaput, fit only for tossing in the trash ? [Burnaware is finally giving some indication that it might be able to reformat one of the -RWs, but says that this may take a long time. I'm skeptical, but we shall see.]

    If I have to offload the remainder of the DVDR's HDD content using just -Rs, it's going to burn through an awful lot of them, and I'm trying to use what stock I have left as judiciously as possible. I'd only remount the HDD for that added-later HDD-extraction feature of IsoBuster as a last resort. Would rather not risk any surgery on the Pioneer.
    Image
    [Attachment 59859 - Click to enlarge]
    Last edited by Seeker47; 14th Jul 2021 at 17:02.
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  11. Member IsoBuster's Avatar
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    It's possible your DVR DVD writer is having difficulties with -RW. Writing with wrong laser power (for instance) could be ruining the discs.
    Try a few more drives to read the 'bad' discs because not all drives behave the same on troublesome media and some may still be able to read what others can't.
    Personally I would not trust these -RW discs anymore (for instance after you've managed to reformat them).

    Re the screenshot. Aside from the weird paint problem in the (right panel) ListView (is this always the case?) I notice you scanned for missing files and folders.
    Is this required to see the files ? Is there not at least one file system found straight away ? (Perhaps a screenshot of the top items in the TreeView (left pane) ?)
    Put in a few good working DVDs to get an idea of what you should expect to see.
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    Originally Posted by IsoBuster View Post
    It's possible your DVR DVD writer is having difficulties with -RW. Writing with wrong laser power (for instance) could be ruining the discs.
    Try a few more drives to read the 'bad' discs because not all drives behave the same on troublesome media and some may still be able to read what others can't.
    Personally I would not trust these -RW discs anymore (for instance after you've managed to reformat them).

    Re the screenshot. Aside from the weird paint problem in the (right panel) ListView (is this always the case?) I notice you scanned for missing files and folders.
    Is this required to see the files ? Is there not at least one file system found straight away ? (Perhaps a screenshot of the top items in the TreeView (left pane) ?)
    Put in a few good working DVDs to get an idea of what you should expect to see.
    Hi,

    So glad to see that you were monitoring this thread (!), and very glad to have been a licensed supporter of your program for several years. Even though I guess I've been fortunate not to have had any dire need to use it, it's been good to know it was there should that need arise. It is entirely possible that at some point I may need to salvage one of the DVDR HDDs, as jwillis84 detailed in his posts and videos. (Or some other important source.) Some of the circumstances I presented could be specific to the Pioneer DVDRs, or even that particular model, which is why I wanted to draw upon the great experience orsetto has with them. There seem to have been a number of variables involved.

    One of the two -RWs I did ultimately manage to erase using Burnaware, so at this point I could only do a test for readability on the other one with alternate optical drives or burners. Several questions remain open, for which I would like to gain a better understanding. I'll try to follow your suggestion, re the IsoBuster display. Some of the way that pic came out is likely an artifact of the light graphic editor program I used to take the snapshot. It is a good one, but has certain quirks. The only other one I have covering that functionality (though seldom use) is IrfanView.
    When in Las Vegas, don't miss the Pinball Hall of Fame Museum http://www.pinballmuseum.org/ -- with over 150 tables from 6+ decades of this quintessentially American art form.
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    One very worrisome problem with DVD-R/W discs that I recently discovered by accident is they have a "wear out mode".

    Basically.. simply.. there is a VTOC section of the disc independent of the larger media portion that can only be written to 49 times.

    DVD-RAM shouldn't have the problem, but it might be a tad slower.

    I'd suggest finding one DVD-RAM disc and using the heck out of it.. it should hold up.

    Panasonic Blue and Green label or an old Toshiba disc are probably best.. but their quality didn't vary as much as DVD media. Medical professionals used DVD-RAM up until very recently so the media was pretty reliable.

    But still .. stay away from Memorex just in case.

    Verbatim was the last DVD-RAM manufacturer until they sold their entire business a couple years ago.

    As the 'oldest' of the DVD-video specifications, it was also the most stable and reliable, contributing to its ultimate longevity and continued use even after DVD-R/RW use has faded.

    The DVD-RAM spec didn't sell a lot of media.. because a single disc could last so darned long. It was the ultimate Floppy disc replacement.

    Later specs sacrificed a lot in order to appeal to the consumer market and sell more disc media.

    In the End, return to the beginning.

    If your having trouble finding a PC DVD drive that reads DVD-RAM..





    PIONEER Electronics BDR-2212



    Its not cheap.. but the quality holds up.

    Isobuster is the ultimate cheaper, faster, better way of scoring vast amounts of video from recorder to pc hard drive. But for retrieving complex edits and other reasons.. failing back down to DVD-RAM is probably best in this case.
    Last edited by jwillis84; 16th Jul 2021 at 05:34.
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  14. Member Seeker47's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by jwillis84 View Post
    One very worrisome problem with DVD-R/W discs that I recently discovered by accident is they have a "wear out mode".

    Basically.. simply.. there is a VTOC section of the disc independent of the larger media portion that can only be written to 49 times.

    DVD-RAM shouldn't have the problem, but it might be a tad slower.

    I'd suggest finding one DVD-RAM disc and using the heck out of it.. it should hold up.

    Panasonic Blue and Green label or an old Toshiba disc are probably best.. but their quality didn't vary as much as DVD media. Medical professionals used DVD-RAM up until very recently so the media was pretty reliable.

    But still .. stay away from Memorex just in case.

    Verbatim was the last DVD-RAM manufacturer until they sold their entire business a couple years ago.

    As the 'oldest' of the DVD-video specifications, it was also the most stable and reliable, contributing to its ultimate longevity and continued use even after DVD-R/RW use has faded.

    The DVD-RAM spec didn't sell a lot of media.. because a single disc could last so darned long. It was the ultimate Floppy disc replacement.

    Later specs sacrificed a lot in order to appeal to the consumer market and sell more disc media.

    In the End, return to the beginning.

    If your having trouble finding a PC DVD drive that reads DVD-RAM..





    PIONEER Electronics BDR-2212



    Its not cheap.. but the quality holds up.

    Isobuster is the ultimate cheaper, faster, better way of scoring vast amounts of video from recorder to pc hard drive. But for retrieving complex edits and other reasons.. failing back down to DVD-RAM is probably best in this case.
    Thanks for your reply. That explanation covers a lot of ground, and may well point the way to what is at work here. However, I'm kinda doubting that those failed discs got written to 49 times . . . unless a Pioneer re-init burn to make them useable again counts as one of those times ?

    I'm pretty sure that I have a few DVD-Ram blanks around here somewhere -- almost certainly never removed from the shrinkwrap. (They'd go back to when Fry's was still with us, and still stocking both that and some videocassette blanks. So, sitting around undisturbed for a long time. Now I just have to find them.) I also have a Pioneer BR drive or two that were bought for PC builds that never happened. Even so, they remain good spares, or as future replacements / upgrades. They are not the same model as you mentioned. One is an older model, another may be an external. Will need to check on that and do some tidying up in various places where gear has accumulated. Most of my installed or in-use computer BR burners are from other brands such as LG though. In (another) sharp counterpoint to prevailing trends, I do not regard optical discs as being obsolete.
    Last edited by Seeker47; 16th Jul 2021 at 10:16.
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    Old DVD-RAM should be ok, it lasts a long time in storage.

    I never heard of DVD-RAM ever having polycarbonate separation issues like with DVD-R/RW or + media.

    You could try "Washing" the surface of the bad discs with mild soap and water.. in case a film has built up that is preventing the Laser from getting at the media.
    Last edited by jwillis84; 16th Jul 2021 at 10:09.
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    Originally Posted by jwillis84 View Post
    Old DVD-RAM should be ok, it lasts a long time in storage.

    I never heard of DVD-RAM ever having polycarbonate separation issues like with DVD-R/RW or + media.

    You could try "Washing" the surface of the bad discs with mild soap and water.. in case a film has built up that is preventing the Laser from getting at the media.
    Thanks a lot for all of your suggestions. I am ordering some of the DVD-Ram you recommended whilst it is still available, rather than rely upon tracking down the small quantity of old stock that got stashed somewhere. I have also been using some discs from a spindle of Sony +RW that was on hand, even though I never particularly liked +RWs. At some point it must have looked like the best that could be found in stock at some store, long after the TDK -RW became scarce to unobtainable. Also ordered one of those BDR-2212 Pioneers. (It doesn't seem that pricey to me, in terms of what past BR burners that were any good had been selling for.) If these are going away too, it may not be the last one I order, either. I would not want to use any rig -- particularly one with production rig or semi-HTPC aspirations -- that was not equipped with a good quality player / burner, which in more recent years would have to handle BR format well. (It may not prove necessary, but I'm wondering if one of those 2212s could be successively mounted in a portable drive enclosure, as I once occasionally did with older Pioneer CD / DVD burner models ?)

    Making slow, gradual progress on xfer archiving stuff off of one Pioneer DVDR, lately down from 359 recorded items to 311 and decreasing. Will need to do that with a couple more DVDRs. In turn, I use them extensively for archiving stuff from the DirecTV DVR satellite boxes -- hopefully in time before the next one croaks, which if past history holds won't be too far off. I find it a great facility to have available, well worth the trouble in editing / chaptering / titling / burning that orsetto correctly described as having tech-sunk this as a "handy" consumer product. While it may have been beyond the ken of the average Joe ex-VCR user, it never dissuaded me. Then again, there are plenty of other tech subjects that did, so I understand.

    I'd like to thank you again for all the pioneering work -- no pun intended -- that you did with the developer of IsoBuster, on the DVDR HDD salvage issue ! I'm certain it will be of immense value.
    Last edited by Seeker47; 17th Jul 2021 at 11:11.
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    Sounds like a plan.

    PS.

    Originally Posted by Seeker47 View Post
    and very glad to have been a licensed supporter of your program for several years
    Thank you very much (I forgot to say that earlier). It is what puts food on the table, pays the mortgage and puts my daughter through school, so appreciated !
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    [QUOTE=Seeker47;2625516]
    Originally Posted by jwillis84 View Post
    . . . One very worrisome problem with DVD-R/W discs that I recently discovered by accident is they have a "wear out mode".

    Panasonic Blue and Green label or an old Toshiba disc are probably best.. but their quality didn't vary as much as DVD media. Medical professionals used DVD-RAM up until very recently so the media was pretty reliable.

    But still .. stay away from Memorex just in case.

    Verbatim was the last DVD-RAM manufacturer until they sold their entire business a couple years ago.

    As the 'oldest' of the DVD-video specifications, it was also the most stable and reliable, contributing to its ultimate longevity and continued use even after DVD-R/RW use has faded.

    The DVD-RAM spec didn't sell a lot of media.. because a single disc could last so darned long. It was the ultimate Floppy disc replacement.
    In advance of receiving what I've ordered, so far I've managed to find this, still in the Fry's shrinkwrap. The price may offer some clue as to just how old this is. Had not disturbed anything on that shelf in quite some time.

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    O.K., some results, and emerging workflow issues:

    Tried to init a DVD-Ram disc in one Pio 640, from the (much older, blue label Panasonic) package above, got an "Incompatible or Unrecognized Disc" error. Then took it to another 640 in a different location, where it did initialize successfully. [I don't know why that was the case, or what differences there might be with another model Pio like the 460 / 560, absent diving into the respective manuals. Or whether it comes down to the status of the respective DVDR burners ?] A recently received Green Label Panasonic DVD-Ram did init successfully on the same "could be problematic" 640. I have Verbatim DVD-Ram media on order, so will see if that makes any difference.

    So far, the in-computer optical drives or ones external-for-computer I've tried that didn't happen to be Panasonic, such as LG, have been able to read DVD-Ram. So that's a positive.

    DVD-Ram, as with +RW will only work as VR mode, and no finalizing possible, therefore no menus. Clear advantage there for -RW, which I can init for Video mode and finalize with menus. I don't necessarily need the menus later as final result, but it's a great convenience when there are half a dozen items or more on the disc. Otherwise, I have to review the Copy List after the fact and jot down what the contents were for reference. That can get tedious. And leads right into the next issue.

    I was glad to confirm that DVDVob2mpg can handle VRO. That winds up being fine on xfers when dealing with single items, like for one shorter documentary recorded years ago, a tribute to James Gandolfini that I just backed up. There is just a single VRO file on the DVD-Ram disc. If it was 2 or 3 distinct items, I expect I could divide them out with Machete, or some other video editor. (No, scratch that: Machete doesn't do .MPG, so it would have to be another editor, like VideoRedo or Solveig MM.) But I just tried one xfer in which the single VRO file comprises a dozen small separate items. Again, that's gonna be tedious . . . unless something like Digiarty's Win-X Copy can turn the VRO back into a \VIDEO_TS structure. Still no menus in that case, but at least separate VOBs to work with. [EDIT: No, looks like it can't, and neither can their HD Converter Deluxe program.] [Correction: turns out both packs of Panasonic DVD-Ram were the Blue Label.]

    I guess it will depend on the details as to just how much of a viable solution the DVD-Ram option is likely to be.
    Last edited by Seeker47; 22nd Jul 2021 at 16:52.
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    DVD-RAM was the first DVD-video format established.

    DVD-R came along after and mimicked Vinyl Records.

    DVD-RW came along even later and introduced the requirement of "finalization" in order to appear like a DVD-R disc to a simple DVD player.

    DVD+R and DVD+RW just sort of arrived on the scene after the other formats were standard and backwards supported the DVD-R/RW discs, but in theory had guide tracks so they could compensate for cheaper unstable media quality.

    I'm not really surprised by what your seeing.

    I would suggest "washing" the discs in mild soap and lukewarm water.. as this seemed to be a best practice with TY discs that kind of got skipped once production moved out of Japan. I'm not saying you have too.. but it seemed more coasters started getting reported across many brands made outside Japan.

    The 640 might have an optical 'dust' problem on the inside of the case, that has begun.. to linger in the lens of the optical pickup. The air flow sucks in air from the front and exhausts it out the back.. over time a lot of dust can build up inside the case. It could also be the power supply is getting weaker from capacitor age. Though washing the discs and clearing out the dust may be enough to let it keep going for a little while longer.

    The differences between the two 640 machines are hard to determine.. it could be their history, their number of hours used.. even the firmware version they are running.. even though Pioneer rarely issued firmware updates.

    I know you'd like to preserve this workflow.. but bottom line is your recordings are at risk and simply getting them off the hard drive and on to a PC should be the most important step in the overall process. Isobuster can alleviate a lot of the format conversion and media issues simply by copying the recordings off in bulk.. either way.. unless you have a Perfect Storm of events.. it doesn't seem like the previous workflow is going to work much longer.

    Once the recordings are on a PC, DVD authoring is pretty well understood and supported by many legacy main stream programs like VideoRedo or Premiere or Sony or a million other programs that you can find used for pennies on the dollar.

    DVD-RAM sounds like excruciatingly torture to me.. when Isobuster can do the job super fast.. but I have no vested interest in a workflow you've spent literally years using.. we all like to keep doing what we know. I know if my Dad were still around I'd help him do whatever he wanted, however he wanted and just enjoy the time spent with him.
    Last edited by jwillis84; 22nd Jul 2021 at 17:59.
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