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  1. I have a Sony RDR-GX120 and the quality of the recordings made from it are poor.

    I just looked at one of the vob files and noticed that the resolution is only 576x352. Is this normal? Since this is a PAL machine that says it supports 576p, I was expecting it to record at 720x576.

    I have the TiVo box I'm recording set to output 576. Does it make any difference between 576p and 576i?
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  2. Choose a higher quality recording mode.
    I just looked at one of the vob files and noticed that the resolution is only 576x352. Is this normal?
    It's normal for the recording mode you're using.
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  3. Member DB83's Avatar
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    I assume you actually mean 352*576. No recorder records at a vertical resolution of 352.

    This is known as half-DI since in has half the horizontal resolution of full-DI (704*576)

    I do not know your recorder but recording modes are normally named in hours or two-letter codes. One and Two hour modes will normally give you good quality. Some recorders have a three-hour mode as well. All these should record at 720*576. Four hour mode is typically the half-D1 that you are getting. Anything longer than that is normally VCD (352*288)
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    Originally Posted by Pongydog View Post
    I have a Sony RDR-GX120 and the quality of the recordings made from it are poor.

    I just looked at one of the vob files and noticed that the resolution is only 576x352. Is this normal? Since this is a PAL machine that says it supports 576p, I was expecting it to record at 720x576.

    I have the TiVo box I'm recording set to output 576. Does it make any difference between 576p and 576i?
    DVD recorders don't record progressive video, only interlaced. Your DVD recorder can output 576p, but will only record 576i.

    Yes it is normal. Resolution is determined by the recording settings that you use. The recording modes you can use are: HQ (1 hr/DVD 5), HSP (1.5 hr/DVD 5), SP (2 hr/DVD 5), LSP (2.5 hr/DVD 5), ESP (3 hr/DVD 5), LP (4 hr/DVD 5), EP (6 hr/DVD 5), and SLP (8 hr/DVD 5).

    The manual doesn't give resolutions, but based on what other DVD recorders do, HQ, HSP, SP, and maybe LSP will record at full D1 (either 720x576 or 704x576 for PAL). ESP and LP will probably record at half D1 (352x576 for PAL). EP and SLP will probably record at quarter D1 (352x288 for PAL).

    If you want to change the recording resolution, you need to look at the manual and get a replacement remote. See this post in your other thread: https://forum.videohelp.com/threads/373358-Sony-RDR-GX120-Burns-un-playable-discs?p=240...=1#post2403750

    [Edit]Note that I can't tell you if that particular remote will provide all the required functions.
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  5. I suppose there is no way to change the recording mode without a remote?


    Looks like I'm going to have to give in and order a remote. You would have thought they'd have a recording mode button on the front, it seems like a basic function.
    Last edited by Pongydog; 8th Aug 2015 at 17:05.
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  6. So I bought a remote and have spent the last few weeks playing about with it. But I'm still not really happy with the quality of the recording output. Even using high quality mode that records about an hours worth on one DVD still gives recordings that have a soft image quality. I don't know If I just have a faulty unit since I purchased it 2nd hand.

    I have a tivio box connected into the Sony via Scart, which then is connected in turn to my TV again via scart. When the Sony is switch on the video quality I'm seeing on the TV drops quite dramatically.

    Might just try buying another make and model from ebay to see If I can get better results.
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  7. I don't think you will be very much happier with another dvd recorder. The RDR-GX120 dates from the peak Pioneer+Sony co-production era: these were among the better recorders you could buy at the time (the pricier RDR-HX models simply added the hard drive feature).

    It appears from your other thread that your primary recorder is a TiVO, and this Sony is the first DVD recorder you've ever owned. If both recorders are attached to a modern flat-screen LCD television, the TiVO will (usually) look noticeably better because it is recording from digital HDTV broadcasts, while all DVD recorders must downconvert their inputs to standard def. The slight generation loss dubbing from TiVO to dvd is further exaggerated by HDMI vs SCART playback: HDMI looks significantly better even when playing standard def. It may be worthwhile to get a cheap BluRay player: these connect via HDMI, and will help DVDs made in an old recorder play clearer on a flat LCD screen (the RDR-GX120 is limited to the old analog SCART tv playback connection).

    If your TV is an older CRT model 27" or less, the difference between TiVO and DVD dub should be less obvious: CRT is much more forgiving than flat LCD screen technology. The Sony dvds recorded from TiVO in 1-hour or 2-hour mode should be watchable on CRT screen: if they look so bad you can't enjoy them, the Sony may have an internal or SCART defect. You can rule that out by testing the dvds on someone else's player/tv: if they look good, the Sony playback circuit is defective, if they look as bad as they do at home then the Sony's record circuits are funky.

    All the above refers to dvds you dubbed from TiVO, note dubs from VHS to a dvd recorder are almost always disappointing. The best one can hope for from VHS is "passable".
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    Originally Posted by orsetto View Post
    I don't think you will be very much happier with another dvd recorder. The RDR-GX120 dates from the peak Pioneer+Sony co-production era: these were among the better recorders you could buy at the time (the pricier RDR-HX models simply added the hard drive feature).

    It appears from your other thread that your primary recorder is a TiVO, and this Sony is the first DVD recorder you've ever owned. If both recorders are attached to a modern flat-screen LCD television, the TiVO will (usually) look noticeably better because it is recording from digital HDTV broadcasts, while all DVD recorders must downconvert their inputs to standard def. The slight generation loss dubbing from TiVO to dvd is further exaggerated by HDMI vs SCART playback: HDMI looks significantly better even when playing standard def. It may be worthwhile to get a cheap BluRay player: these connect via HDMI, and will help DVDs made in an old recorder play clearer on a flat LCD screen (the RDR-GX120 is limited to the old analog SCART tv playback connection).

    If your TV is an older CRT model 27" or less, the difference between TiVO and DVD dub should be less obvious: CRT is much more forgiving than flat LCD screen technology. The Sony dvds recorded from TiVO in 1-hour or 2-hour mode should be watchable on CRT screen: if they look so bad you can't enjoy them, the Sony may have an internal or SCART defect. You can rule that out by testing the dvds on someone else's player/tv: if they look good, the Sony playback circuit is defective, if they look as bad as they do at home then the Sony's record circuits are funky.

    All the above refers to dvds you dubbed from TiVO, note dubs from VHS to a dvd recorder are almost always disappointing. The best one can hope for from VHS is "passable".
    I also agree that getting another DVD recorder is probably not the answer. It is likely that one that produces sharper recordings will sharpen too much, resulting in ringing artifacts around edges which are very noticeable when viewed on an LCD TV.

    I think you meant to say the TiVo downconverts from HD to output video over composite, SCART, or S-video. The OP is using a 1-hour per DVD recording mode, so in this case the DVD recorder isn't downconverting, merely digitizing analog video and audio input. The DVD recorder won't downconvert further, unless someone wants to put more than 2 hours on a DVD.

    True, LCD TVs are less forgiving than CRT TVs when playing SD material. Also, some LCD TVs are better at upscaling from their SD analog connections than others.

    [Edit]SCART can provide both RGB and composite. My guess that when the DVD recorder is off, it forwards an RGB signal from the TiVo via SCART and when it is on, it outputs a composite video signal via SCART.
    Last edited by usually_quiet; 30th Aug 2015 at 16:45. Reason: added to post
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  9. What do scene group on torrent websites use to make their captures?

    Basically I've been converting my burned DVD's to x264 MP4 files. But mine look a lot softer in picture quality to the ones that other people are uploading to torrent sites. Are they using professional grade equipment or something? I'm using the same bitrates with 2 pass encoding and such as the scene groups but mine don't look anything like theirs. Besides it not the encoding to MP4 that's the problem -when I play back the vob files on my computer from burned DVD's the loss of quality is noticeable already at that point.

    Would hooking up via composite connectors or something give better results that scart?





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    [Edit]SCART can provide both RGB and composite. My guess that when the DVD recorder is off, it forwards an RGB signal from the TiVo via SCART and when it is on, it outputs a composite video signal via SCART.
    Yeah basically the quality with the DVD recorder switch on is crap and that's what's it's recording. If it recorded at the quality the TV displays when the DVD recorder is switch off then I'd be happier with it.


    All the above refers to dvds you dubbed from TiVO, note dubs from VHS to a dvd recorder are almost always disappointing. The best one can hope for from VHS is "passable".
    Yes obviously I only expect to get VHS quality when copying from VHS , the problem is dubbing from my tivio is also giving quality that doesn't look much better than VHS as well.
    Last edited by Pongydog; 30th Aug 2015 at 18:17.
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    Originally Posted by Pongydog View Post
    What do scene group on torrent websites use to make their captures?
    These days they probably use an HDMI capture device of some kind or they capture the broadcast signal directly. Just a word of advice, be careful about discussing torrents here. See the forum rules.

    Originally Posted by Pongydog View Post
    Would hooking up via composite connectors or something give better results that scart?
    I don't think there would be a difference in quality between composite video delivered via SCART and composite via delivered via RCA, but I guess it wouldn't hurt to try.

    Originally Posted by Pongydog View Post
    [Edit]SCART can provide both RGB and composite. My guess that when the DVD recorder is off, it forwards an RGB signal from the TiVo via SCART and when it is on, it outputs a composite video signal via SCART.
    Yeah basically the quality with the DVD recorder switch on is crap and that's what's it's recording. If it recorded at the quality the TV displays when the DVD recorder is switch off then I'd be happier with it.
    I can't recall anybody ever mentioning a DVD recorder that could record SCART RGB. Most DVD recorders can only record from S-Video or composite sources (including SCART). A very few DVD recorders made about 9 years ago could record SD component video using RCA component connections (component video is close to SCART RGB quality), but they were products from minor brands and would be very hard to find in working condition today.

    [Edit]I did a Google search and found one DVD recorder that appears to have allowed recording from SCART RGB. https://www.sony.co.uk/support/en/product/RDR-HXD790#Manuals
    Last edited by usually_quiet; 30th Aug 2015 at 21:29.
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    Originally Posted by Pongydog View Post
    Would hooking up via composite connectors or something give better results that scart?
    No, it's still Composite video. Unless the cable quality is very different between the two, it does not have an effect whether the signal goes through a Scart or an RCA connector.


    Originally Posted by usually_quiet View Post
    I can't recall anybody ever mentioning a DVD recorder that could record SCART RGB. Most DVD recorders can only record from S-Video or composite sources (including SCART).
    Some DVD-recorders actually have the ability to record Scart RGB in addition to Composite and often also S-Video via Scart. For example the Panasonic DMR-EH and ES models often recommended for stabilizing VHS can actually record RGB via Scart. The incoming signal type needs to be selected in the menu manually.


    The manual of the RDR-GX120 on page 63 reads: "RGB signals cannot be recorded when 'Video/RGB' is selected". That's not very clear to me as Video/RGB is the only setting that I would expect to record RGB (in addition to Composite). So that might mean the unit cannot record RGB at all.

    It can, however, record S-Video. So if the Tivo can output S-Video that would already give a good quality boost over Composite.
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