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  1. I have a Panasonic DVD Recorder EX-97 which is always fighting to have enough space on the HDD. I don't really want to delete any of the TV programmes already recorded, so thought that by converting some of these I would gain disk space. I have now converted 19 shows that each lasted about 2.5 hours from DR to LP mode. This has taken a few days when done in Standby (including deleting the originals) and they now show as being in LP mode. However, instead of gaining many hours for new recordings, the machine still says I only have enough space for 3-4 hours of new programmes. Where has all the converted space gone, and why can't I now use it? The machine is running software version 1.0, but says no later update is available for broadcast. Any help would be much appreciated!
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  2. Member hech54's Avatar
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    Is the DVD burner in it dead?
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  3. Member DB83's Avatar
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    Could I ask how you achieved the copy ?


    I own a Sony HDD/DVD-Recorder and I fail to see any way to actually make a copy (even if I wanted to).


    But what I do have is an 'Optimise Disk' function and that might reset the HDD to actually free up the space. Normal deletion, as I am sure you already now, also frees up space but like any HDD it will leave recordings spread over it.
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    Originally Posted by DB83 View Post
    Could I ask how you achieved the copy ?


    I own a Sony HDD/DVD-Recorder and I fail to see any way to actually make a copy (even if I wanted to).


    But what I do have is an 'Optimise Disk' function and that might reset the HDD to actually free up the space. Normal deletion, as I am sure you already now, also frees up space but like any HDD it will leave recordings spread over it.
    I believe his Panasonic has an option to internally reencode his DR(bit for bit recording of a digital broadcast) to a lossy format like LP, after deleting the DR recording(which may be done as part of the copy or it's possible it may have to be a separate function done after the reencode) this should free up quite a bit of space for the OP.
    GPK2 did you delete the original DR recordings, or was this done automatically after the conversion to LP?
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  5. Thank you hech54, DB83 and jeff for your 3 very quick replies. Hech54 asked if the DVD burner is dead: it isn't, and I know I could clear off items onto DVD-Rs, as I do frequently. But I do find the DVD-Rs get corrupted quite often, however careful I am with their handling and storage. As jjeff says, this machine has a built-in conversion feature (which I have never used before), so I thought I could keep all the current recordings on the hard drive for security and instant access. I chose the "convert then delete" option to be performed when the unit is on standby. The conversion appears to have worked, as the programmes now show as LP instead of DR (during the process they showed DR→LP), but the free space has not increased at all. I have just deleted a few programmes, and the extra time is immediately increased by a few hours. However I still have no idea why the conversion feature has not vastly increased the free space.
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  6. Member hech54's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by gpk2 View Post
    I do find the DVD-Rs get corrupted quite often
    After the recorder spits out the disc.....fire up the old faithful DVDDecrypter or even DVDShrink and save the video to a HDD.
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  7. Thank you again, hech54, I'll give that a try.
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    Originally Posted by gpk2 View Post
    Thank you hech54, DB83 and jeff for your 3 very quick replies. Hech54 asked if the DVD burner is dead: it isn't, and I know I could clear off items onto DVD-Rs, as I do frequently. But I do find the DVD-Rs get corrupted quite often, however careful I am with their handling and storage. As jjeff says, this machine has a built-in conversion feature (which I have never used before), so I thought I could keep all the current recordings on the hard drive for security and instant access. I chose the "convert then delete" option to be performed when the unit is on standby. The conversion appears to have worked, as the programmes now show as LP instead of DR (during the process they showed DR→LP), but the free space has not increased at all. I have just deleted a few programmes, and the extra time is immediately increased by a few hours. However I still have no idea why the conversion feature has not vastly increased the free space.
    Did you look at either the beginning or end to see if it truly deleted the DR titles? Personally on something like this I might to manually delete the titles myself, for one I will know they deleted and second I like you like to see the remaining time increase each title I delete. If the DR titles are gone I have no explanation, doing the conversion should dramatically increase your available space, makes no sense
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  9. As i did "Convert & Delete" the titles only show once, but those I have converted now show as LP rather than DR. I will try 1 or 2 just as "Convert", then delete them manually as you suggest, just so I can see if the remaining time changes. I did copy a DVD-R back to HDD yesterday, and that showed 17 hours remaining, rather then the 10 hours when I deleted an HDD recording. However, there should be much more than either of these! I will keep working on it, and will update any findings here - it's all rather weird. I just wish I could instruct the machine to re-calibrate the space left.
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  10. Member DB83's Avatar
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    Allow me to throw some thoughts in to this process. These are gleaned from reading the manual.


    The 'Convert and Delete' function does appear to be useful but I wonder if it's usefulness has been over-apprechiated.


    The manual clearly states that the process requires as much time to do a conversion as what is already recorded i.e a 2.5-hour recording will take 2.5 hours to convert since it is effectively writing a new version to the HDD. If the recorder goes in to full, rather than stand-by, mode during the process that conversion actually stops and will start again from the beginning, not where it left off, when the recorder goes back in to stand-by mode.


    So what if, as was questioned, those recordings were never actually converted but the title simply marked so. Or even if you batch a series of recordings you need sufficient stand-by time to do them all.


    I would test the system by doing one conversion immediately and see if the recording space then increases and another in stand-by mode.


    There is one other thing that puzzles me. Now my Sony is not a DVR but a dvd-recorder. Time left is calculated on the fly by a calculation of free space with the recording mode as set. I have the unit set at 3-hour mode as a reasonable compromise between quality and disk-space used. But, unless I missed something in the manual, you can not determine recording time available since the unit has no way of knowing until it is in use and recording since each digital stream will have different configuration. So you could delete a 2.5 hour recording but the actual time available will depend on the next recording rather than the one you just deleted.
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  11. The EX-97 is one of the "new generation" Panasonic recorders, circa 2015. As such it has little to nothing in common with the legacy, standard DVD/HDD recorders (Panasonic, Sony, Pioneer) most of us are familiar with from 2005-2008. Panasonic today is not the Panasonic of fifteen years ago: their current user interface is fairly convoluted and operation is less intuitive/reliable than it was in the older units. Lets just say the recent models have earned quite a reputation for "quirks".

    While DB83 makes some excellent points about the arbitrary nature of capacity indication in any multi-speed DVR, gpk2 appears to have taken that into consideration and still seems certain there is far less reclaimed space than expected. My impression is the unit bollixed its "standby compression" process, and "forgot" to free up most of the space that should be available post-conversion. The nav screen shows the larger originals as deleted, but the internal file system probably still thinks they are there, leading to a discrepancy.

    With the older classic DVD/HDD recorders you'd pretty much be stuck with no way out of this dilemma, but most variations of the EX-97 seem to allow offloading internal HDD recordings to an external HDD via USB? I haven't read thru the entire manual closely, so there may be restrictions I didn't catch, but it looks like gpk2 should be able to copy the smaller files off the EX-97 into an external HDD, erase (re-format) the internal EX-97 HDD for a clean slate with refreshed file system, then copy the videos back onto it from the external HDD. The internal HDD should then show correct available recording capacity. Worth a try, if this particular version of EX-97 allows it, but do be aware the external HDD will be re-formatted (erased) by the EX-97 before any copying can be done.

    As DB83 mentioned, if there is a menu option in the EX-97 setup screens to "optimize HDD", you could try that first: normally it would prompt the file system to notice the larger originals have been deleted and free up the space. But I didn't find any mention of HDD optimization in the EX-97 manual: older DVRs offered this because they ran a crude OS that required occasional manual optimization, newer DVRs have more automated defragment/optimization similar to newer PCs.
    Last edited by orsetto; 2nd Aug 2020 at 09:09.
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  12. Thanks DB83 & Orsetto for your comprehensive replies. I've tried various things, including "Convert only" followed by manual deletion, but it seems to make no difference. I've also converted "Now" rather than "on standby" to make sure it's not being cut off and having to start again. Your suggestion, Orsetto, about downloading to an external HDD and re-formatting sounds a bit extreme, but may well be the best solution. My daughter has an unused HDD that I can "borrow" later in the month, so I will probably give this a try and get it sorted once and for all. I will update this forum once I have had the opportunity to do this, and meanwhile thank everyone who has contributed time and effort into helping me - it really is appreciated!
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