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  1. Hi All

    I have an option of buying a Sony rdr-hxd870 dvd recorder (£40) and was just wondering if it’s worth getting it to use as a pass through to improve my captures. Been looking for Panasonic es10/15 locally but not any about. There is a DMR EH50 but not sure if that would be any good.

    Cheers

    DMS
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  2. The EH50 (not to be confused with the older E50) is the higher end version from the same lineup as the ES10 main difference is that it has a hard drive, so that one should work. The Sony can also do a pretty decent job. It's not quite as robust as the panasonic, especially if there there are issues at the top of the image, though on the flip side it doesn't have the issue with clipping bright spots that the Panasonics do (which can be worked around by lowering video levels. Either of them will be a massive improvement over direct to capture card.
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  3. Originally Posted by oln View Post
    The EH50 (not to be confused with the older E50) is the higher end version from the same lineup as the ES10 main difference is that it has a hard drive, so that one should work. The Sony can also do a pretty decent job. It's not quite as robust as the panasonic, especially if there there are issues at the top of the image, though on the flip side it doesn't have the issue with clipping bright spots that the Panasonics do (which can be worked around by lowering video levels. Either of them will be a massive improvement over direct to capture card.
    Thank you, I might get both then, only problem with the eh50 is that the remote is missing, I do have a 2018 Panasonic TV, just wondering if the remote from the tv will work with it. I will mainly be using it for the pass through so I assume I would need to get access to the settings menu?
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  4. Originally Posted by Alwyn View Post
    Yeesh, that is one godawful damaged tape he used for his youTube demo!

    I would toss the VCR after putting that tape thru it: can only imagine what that did to the video heads. Yikes.

    Surprised the Sony 870 could be quite so effective: I've got a brace of Pioneers from the same era with the same Sony/Pioneer innards, they work very well for passthru but I wouldn't expect them to correct damage that severe. Then again, I wouldn't bother with tapes that damaged if my grandmother left me a million euros in one as a video will: that tape is just nasty.

    Generally speaking various older Panasonics like EH50 (and esp ES10) are known to be more predictable and stronger for passthru when tapes are really poor, but the Sony/Pioneer DVD/HDD models of 2006-2009 are also very good as long as you don't have massive tape issues. Sony/Pioneer is more transparent but doesn't have as strong correction as certain vintage Panasonics. This youTube video is slightly misleading: the guy admits he used the worst cheap junk generic USB capture device he could find for his "without the Sony" examples. That makes it complicated to determine whether the difference is due to the Sony being so great at passthru, or the unaided capture device being so defective it exaggerates the tape damage by an order of magnitude. I'd wager for more typical use the Sony is quite good at passthru, but perhaps slightly less effective than the handful of recommended Panasonics with severely challenged tapes.
    Last edited by orsetto; 5th Jun 2021 at 13:09.
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  5. Formerly 'vaporeon800' Brad's Avatar
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    He also changed VCRs between the two workflows. Without context from the comments section, the video itself implies that the Sony 870 could somehow magically turn a blue-screen squelch into partial video.


    Originally Posted by 'hsel' YouTube comment
    SHARP VC-M430, but for me SHARP has problem with showing blue screen when bad signal detected. Now I'm using middle class quality Panasonic NV-SJ412 and it has better signal detection and show every signal (even no video and some sound).
    (Formerly vaporeon800)
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    Orsetto, I'm considering getting a EH-65 or a HXD-870 for passthrough duties with their HDMI output. It seems as though you would lean towards the EH-65. Would that be a fair assumption?
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  7. [QUOTE=orsetto;2621986]
    Originally Posted by Alwyn View Post
    RDR-HXD870 in action:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tMA5aH_olAQ

    Yeesh, that is one godawful damaged tape he used for his youTube demo!

    I would toss the VCR after putting that tape thru it: can only imagine what that did to the video heads. Yikes.

    Surprised the Sony 870 could be quite so effective: I've got a brace of Pioneers from the same era with the same Sony/Pioneer innards, they work very well for passthru but I wouldn't expect them to correct damage that severe.
    I believe it's exagerated a little i got a hxd 890. I haven't tried on really bad tapes though, the key options i like on this bad boy:
    1- Reduce horizontal jitter quite effectively
    2- Full proc amp functions (black, white levels, hue, separate luma/chroma noise reductor etc..)
    3- Can record on hdd in HQ+ mode (mpeg2 15000 Mbps)
    4- Video from the hdd can be extracted
    5- Hdmi and YpbPr support and 480/576i output supported (i have tested with an hdmi card, works well)
    6- secam-l, ntsc, pal60, pal-b all tested successfully (mine is a french model)

    downsides: macrovision passthrough but that's to be expected
    Last edited by themaster1; 5th Jun 2021 at 20:02.
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    Originally Posted by Themaster1
    2- Full proc amp functions (black, white levels, hue, separate luma/chroma noise reductor etc..)
    Thanks for the feedback.

    How are they adjusted? Via the Remote?
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  9. Originally Posted by Alwyn View Post
    Originally Posted by Themaster1
    2- Full proc amp functions (black, white levels, hue, separate luma/chroma noise reductor etc..)
    Thanks for the feedback.

    How are they adjusted? Via the Remote?
    Yes you absolutely need the remote to access the special menu then you can enable/disable what you need (and adjust finely) with the remote
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  10. Video Restorer lordsmurf's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Brad View Post
    He also changed VCRs between the two workflows. Without context from the comments section, the video itself implies that the Sony 870 could somehow magically turn a blue-screen squelch into partial video.
    That "with TBC" clip still shows jitter (timing wiggle, missing lines aka vertical motion/non-tech "jitter"/jumping), and is definitely weaker than either JVC/Panasonic line TBCs or ES10/15 as TBC(ish) for line.

    It's better, but not completely fixed. I'd not be pleased with it. On a tape with less drastic tearing corrections, you'd surely notice easier.

    That jumping is really bad, really distracting.
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  11. Capturing Memories dellsam34's Avatar
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    If you take a closer look from this point on it doesn't have a DOC filter compared to the original VCR source which its DOC filter produces smoother lines, It just displays missing lines as static, It did fix some of the line wiggle but without DOC it is not good.
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  12. Both vcrs have drop-out compensation (pretty much all vcrs do,) but vcrs vary a lot in how many lines they will compensate for before turning to static. There are also dropouts in different places in each clip which also doesn't help the comparison, so it's not entirely idea.

    There is another comparison between a hxd870 and an ES10 here though it's not showing the raw one and seems it's a tape in good condition. It does illustrate the bright clipping issue on the PAL panasonics though.
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  13. Capturing Memories dellsam34's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by oln View Post
    Both vcrs have drop-out compensation (pretty much all vcrs do,) but vcrs vary a lot in how many lines they will compensate for before turning to static. There are also dropouts in different places in each clip which also doesn't help the comparison, so it's not entirely idea.
    I though the RDR-HXD870 is a DVD recorder not a VCR? I'm not entirely sure how that test was done, If using the same VCR the DOC effect should look the same, I don't know why it gets worse when adding a DVD recorder in the chain.
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  14. As noted earlier, the uploaded used a different vcr for each clip, that's what's causing the difference in DOC behavior.
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  15. Capturing Memories dellsam34's Avatar
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    That would be a useless comparison then if not the same VCR used, One cannot compare apples to oranges, If he wants to show the effect of the DVD recorder he should have used the same VCR with the exact same settings.
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  16. Originally Posted by Alwyn View Post
    Orsetto, I'm considering getting a EH-65 or a HXD-870 for passthrough duties with their HDMI output. It seems as though you would lean towards the EH-65. Would that be a fair assumption?
    It depends to a large extent on the condition of your tapes and whether your VCR includes line TBC/DNR feature.

    If most of your tapes are in good condition (not garbage like in that youTube demo), and you are using a JVC or Panasonic VCR with TBC/DNR, the late-model Sony and Pioneer DVD/HDD recorders can be good for framesync passthru. But if you are using an ordinary VCR without TBC/DNR feature, and/or most of your tapes have exaggerated defects (bad tearing, extreme distortion, extreme jitter), the Sony/Pioneers may not be strong enough to compensate as passthrus. You would have better chance of success with the Panasonic recorders instead, particularly the ES-10 or ES-15 (tho others like EH50 are also capable).

    Each brand of recorder offers a different compromise of performance. The Sony/Pioneer models typically have better clarity and color during passthru with fewer added artifacts, and as themaster1 listed they have several video adjustment menus not available with Panasonic. Whereas Panasonic has fewer options for video fine tuning, is a little less transparent in passing the video thru, but has stronger correction circuits. If you opt to go with Panasonic, take care that you choose an appropriate model for the amount of damage your tapes have: the dvd-only ES-10 without question offers the strongest possible correction performance, the similar ES-15 slightly less, more common DVD/HDD models like EH50 slightly less than ES-15. Really bad dog tapes will need the unique ES-10, most tapes with more minor defects will be fine with other Panasonics.

    Note Sony and Pioneer models sold during the period 2006 thru 2010 have nearly identical internals, with the same user interface and passthru performance. All the features mentioned by themaster1 in his post above are included in ALL Sony models in the RDR-HXx70, 80, 90 range, and ALL Pioneers in the DVR-x40, 50 and 60 range. There is little to no variation in passthru correction performance in any of these Sony/Pioneer models, aside from very slight differences in detail rendition depending on which of the two video encoder versions was used in a particular model.

    UPDATED: Forgot to mention, the passthru performance differences between Panasonic and Pioneer/Sony, and between models of Panasonic, are most apparent when used for analog>analog passthru (i.e., VCR > DVD Recorder > Analog Inputs Of Typical USB Stick Capture Device). If the intent is to use the dvd recorder to both condition the video and digitize it thru HDMI outputs for HDMI capture, performance differences become less obvious. I do not employ the HDMI capture method myself, but those that post about their workflow have said pretty much any Panasonic with HDMI will perform similarly in that mode (less noticeable model-to-model variation in their HDMI output vs analog output). The same applies to the Sony/Pioneers: any of these used for HDMI capture should perform almost identically.

    The outliers would be the Panasonic ES-10 and ES-15. These do not have HDMI features, so cannot be directly compared to the others for HDMI capture performance. Used for pure analog passthru, they have the strongest most effective VHS defect correction available from any other unit (including pro TBCs costing thousands). So truly awful defect-plagued tapes would likely benefit more from ES-10/ES-15 passthru to the analog inputs of a capture device than they would from a newer dvd recorder used for HDMI capture. I have not compared an ES-10 analog capture to an EH-65 or EZ-48v HDMI capture directly, so I might be wrong on that point, but it seems probable given Panasonic significantly diminished passthru defect correction performance in models made after the ES-15. Later models are still strong, but the ES-10/ES-15 were notably stronger.
    Last edited by orsetto; 15th Jun 2021 at 14:57.
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  17. Member
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    Thanks very much, Orsetto, that's great info. I (and I am sure many others) appreciate you sharing your knowledge.
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    I'm early days on a tiny research project in Japanese history regarding the Panasonic DMR-ES10, ES15, ES20 and later DVD recorders.

    Very early evidence is shortly after NEC integrated their default TBC "block" into their capture do-all chips.

    Panasonic via Matsushita created the LSI "MN673744" and LSI "MN673747"

    .. edited ...

    I just found a fascinating in-depth comparison between the chips in many of the Panasonic products on the Original Trilogy website.

    I don't pretend to understand what logic block components are inside the chips, or if they are simply relabeled standard chips like those above.

    But its another intersection of information.

    The "Original Trilogy" refers to an effort by Star Wars fans many years ago to restore or recreate a similar viewing experience for the original Star Wars movie to that in the 1977 Theater. They obsess over things like color timing and artifacts..

    Why they were interested in cross referencing so many Panasonic DVD recorders and their internal parts is a mystery to me.. but highly entertaining.

    In particular these models seem to form a family grouping, which except for the firmware, might produce similar pass through results:

    perhaps Generation 1?

    C1AB00001979:
    DMR-E65 (3 in)
    DMR-E75 (VCR, 2 in)
    DMR-E85 (HDD, 3 in)
    DMR-E95 (HDD, 3 in)
    DMR-E500 (HDD, 3 in)
    DMR-EH50 (HDD, 3 in)
    DMR-EH55 (HDD, 3 in)
    DMR-EH60 (HDD, 3 in)
    DMR-ES10 (3 in)
    DMR-ES15 (2 in)
    DMR-ES20 (2 in)
    DMR-ES25 (2 in)
    DMR-EZ17 (2 in)
    DMR-EZ27 (2 in)
    DMR-T6070 (HDD, 3 in)


    These are a different family grouping:
    perhaps Generation 2?

    C1AB00002083:
    DMR-EA38V
    DMR-EH75VP
    DMR-ES30VP
    DMR-ES35V
    DMR-ES40VP/VPC
    DMR-ES45V (VCR, 2 in)
    DMR-ES46V (VCR, 2 in)
    DMR-EZ37V
    DMR-EZ475V
    DMR-EZ47V
    DMR-EZ48VP/VPC
    DMR-EZ485VP
    SA-HT830VP/VPC
    SA-HT833V

    Since more of the VHS combos appear in the Gen2 list, they might have a stronger ability to handle VHS type signals.

    The Gen1 were nothing to sneeze at many of those models were top knotch, but also many were used for strictly recording broadcast quality signals.

    So much like the Pioneer DVR-510 and DVR-520 generations were great at Broadcast, the later DVR-540, 550 and 560 generations were much better at handling VHS quality signals.

    Its kind of odd since Panasonic Gen1 recorders were high priced and produced great results for the day. But Panasonic Gen2 were much more tailored (and lower cost) towards converting VHS content to DVD and included usually a VCR in the same cabinet.

    I think I've drifted way off topic for this thread however.. that Original Trilogy website did cover speculative PAL models but they used their own family of PAL chips. So any comparison might be difficult.

    The trend seems to be across two or three companies however to focus on SD Broadcast TBC & Frame sync first.. which needed it the "least" and then refine and focus on SD VHS TBC & Frame sync second.. in later models.

    If that is the case then the later Pioneer and SONY models are probably better at handling VHS tape signal types than most.
    Last edited by jwillis84; 17th Jun 2021 at 01:26.
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  19. I the person at that site misread the service manuals. The chip with that number is the chip that switches between inputs and outputs, and does not do any decoding. The output from that chip is sent to the "digital PCB" where the actual video processing happens. The service manuals do not include schematics for the digital PCB are not included in any service manuals I have seen on the ES10 and later models so one would have to look at the boards themselves to determine what chips are used. (The pre ES10/2005 models seem to be quite different both internally and with different menu interface.) There usually seem to be a large panasonic IC, some memory, and several smaller ICs. On the LSI logic-based ones there is a large LSI domino IC instead of the panasonic one. I think the motivation on that site was looking into 3D Y/C filters for laserdisc captures.

    On the back of this one (from a EZ48 digital board on ebay) you can see a "AN13350A" which I suspect is the video decoder chip:
    Click image for larger version

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    The Funai and similar (like later toshiba models) dvd-recorders use a panasonic chipset as well and have a "AN13351A" in the schematics listed as the video decoder (and another panasonic main ic) so I suspect it's related in some way. Those have also been reported to have a degree of tbc function but issues with the AGC. I can't find any other images with high enough resolution to see the IC numbers so I don't know if other models used the same or different video decoder ics.
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    Hello, I was surprised anyone was actually watching this thread.

    I usually pursue minute details no one else seems interested in.

    Nice to see someone else with more information.

    I have a rather large collection of Panasonics and Mags to take apart and take close up pictures of.. so this looks like something to do. They've been taken apart before so its not exactly a risk. But I am interested in whats going on with their TBC Frame sync chips.

    I was wondering why the exact TBC/FS chip was not showing up in the schematic diagrams.. I had jumped to the conclusion that like Toshiba/NEC they had taken the old peripheral chips and put them on the same silicon die and given them a special dedicated production chip number.. but from what you say they simply dispatched that detail to the digitizer board and didn't include it in the schematic diagrams. The IC lists in the parts list also did not have the chips.. but I never thought it might be a monolithic component with no chip details at all. -- that is very interesting, thank you

    In turn the "AN13350A" appears to be a common Input switcher chip. not sure what the AN stands for.

    If they outsourced the digitizer to a single daughter board as a module, I guess there was nothing to preclude it also having its own switcher... or perhaps that is where all of the ADC and DACs reside. In that case the core seems to be all digital processing. a "digital" TBC as opposed to an "analog" TBC like the 1981 version of a TBC.

    Image
    [Attachment 59464 - Click to enlarge]


    All of the digitizer boards (may) follow this general design pattern from the MPEG encoder datasheet, the large Stream (keeper) chip was used to enforce CPRM and various forms of encryption. guessing MN stands for "Matsushita Number" since they were the Panasonic chip fabrication facility.

    Image
    [Attachment 59465 - Click to enlarge]
    Last edited by jwillis84; 17th Jun 2021 at 10:14.
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  21. Video Restorer lordsmurf's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by jwillis84 View Post
    In particular these models seem to form a family grouping,
    C1AB00001979:
    DMR-E65 (3 in)
    DMR-E75 (VCR, 2 in)
    DMR-E85 (HDD, 3 in)
    DMR-E95 (HDD, 3 in)
    DMR-E500 (HDD, 3 in)
    DMR-EH50 (HDD, 3 in)
    DMR-EH55 (HDD, 3 in)
    DMR-EH60 (HDD, 3 in)
    DMR-ES10 (3 in)
    DMR-ES15 (2 in)
    DMR-ES20 (2 in)
    DMR-ES25 (2 in)
    DMR-EZ17 (2 in)
    DMR-EZ27 (2 in)
    DMR-T6070 (HDD, 3 in)
    No.

    The ES10/15, for example, has little in common with the ES20/25.

    Since more of the VHS combos appear in the Gen2 list, they might have a stronger ability to handle VHS type signals.
    No.

    Originally Posted by oln View Post
    I the person at that site misread the service manuals.
    Agree.

    Originally Posted by jwillis84 View Post
    I usually pursue minute details no one else seems interested in.
    I still wish you'd see about writing an AIW driver for x64 Win7. If anybody could do it, it'd be you. While I could probably figure it all out, eventually, it'd probably take me months, maybe even years.

    What you did with ISOBuster, for DVD recorder transfer, was awesome. I'm grateful that you did that with him. I wish it'd have been done years ago, but was still useful in my latter TV recording years (I'm not recording anything anymore). I just wish that LSI file system could be solved, as I still use my JVC LSIs for tapes.
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