I have a Panasonic PWT-635 video recorder that can put stuff onto an external hard disk drive. However that HDD is registered to that recorder only and Panasonic have confirmed that were I to buy a new (Panasonic) recorder, I could not transfer archived material onto it from the HDD. So essentially archives die with the recorder !
Is there a workaround for this, or another make of recorder that does allow trans-generational archives ? How does one archive stuff these days ? (Bring back S-VHS tapes ?!)
All suggestions welcome...
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You need to capture video from that recorder with some kind of capture card. That's how.
It's possible the material on the HDD could be read by the latest pay version of ISO Buster. A couple of DVDR enthusiasts have worked getting ISO Buster to read the file format on many DVDRs, the catch is you have to remove the HDD from the DVDR and hook it up to your PC with some kind of adapter, which I believe is easily available. I have not done this but if you are comfortable removing the HDD it just might be your ticket. Note I believe they may have a free version to test if it's compatible with your HDD, or you could try emailing the people behind it to see if they know one way or another if it would work.
You could also do what badyu17 said, copy things off your DVDR realtime to a capture card/device but that would require you being able to play your titles, something you might not be able to do? and would also mean a quality hit do to the re-encode and would take a lot of time if your HDD has many many hours of material on it, basically realtime.
Just unplug the HDD, use a IDE>USB or SATA>USB connector. Run ISOBuster before attaching drive, so that Windows doesn't want to erase/use the "unknown format" drive.
I was somewhat involved in this. I fed as much information as I could to jwillis84, who used his knowledge to further this along. He got with Mr. ISOBuster, and it became a reality. The only real hurdle now is the TFS2 file system used by LSI (JVC, LiteOn, etc), but we get closer and closer, and hopefully that will be a reality someday. (If anybody can help with TFS2, post in the thread.)
Panasonics were apparently the easier recorders to add support for.
Buy ISOBuster, support the author.
Yes, I'm comfortable removing the HDD, so thanks for the suggestions. The recorder is still working but I think the disk is getting a bit flaky, hence my interest in moving stuff to a new recorder.
I can quite see that from the manufacturer's point of view they do this to discourage piracy, but it can't be beyond the wit of man to enable 'genuine' people like myself to keep treasured stuff. I suppose in the longer term everything I want will be available by streaming, at a cost.
I dont have any experience with that specific model, but several Panasonic Blu-ray recorders did get added to Isobuster support.
External generation drives may or may not be readable with Isobuster.. it will be very interesting to find out.
As mentioned they tended to want to discourage Piracy so they tended to encrypt the drives in newer models
there are over 60 specific models that do work
The PWT-635 is a big brand name (Panasonic). Anything with a big global brand name that can record in full HDTV quality to external drives is deliberately crippled with hostile encryption on those external drives, as part of a global effort to thwart "scene" uploading activity. The design intention is that you would use the external drive only to expand your "temporary time-shifting" storage, IOW the recordings would be completely transitory and of no long-term value to the user. Anyone who doesn't read between the lines of the vague warnings in the instruction manual to understand this eventually gets screwed if the recorder dies or they need a permanent generic copy of something on the external encrypted drive.
ISObuster might be able to see past the Panasonic encryption to read the files in its usual manner, all you can do is try, then report back here for the benefit of other owners with the same question. If ISObuster can't read thru the encryption, your only remaining option would be playing the videos in real time thru the Panasonic's HDMI output and capturing the signal with an external HDMI capture device or non-encrypted recorder like AverMedia. The PWT-635 does not have any other video output connections aside from HDMI, so if ISObuster can't recover the files HDMI is your only pathway out (short of paying to have the optical drive replaced at a Panasonic service center, if they still stock parts for the 2013 models).