Quantcast 3-hour vs 2-hour vs 4-hour recording modes? - digitalFAQ Forum
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03-25-2010, 06:15 PM
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Finally getting around to testing the Liteon, I see the 3 hr mode is enabled, is it better than the 2 hr mode, I found a thread that was talking about the 3 hr being superior to the 2 hr because I think the bitrate, could you comment about that, is that true for all recorders or just certain ones? And what about the 4 hr, I read you saying you would never put more than 4 hrs on a disk, that works as even edited superbowls don't go much over 3.5 hrs. Forgive me if this should have been asked in the forums, as we have this Liteon in common.
Recording "modes" are just consumer-friendly names for digital video presets, usingnow-outdated VCR terminology.

In an analog era, it was common knowledge that SP (2-hour) looked better than LP (4-hour), which looked better than SLP/EP (6-hour). This is because the heads would simply write data in a shorter space, often with some overlap.

In a digital era, however, it's not that easy. Because of how resolution and bitrate interact, the perceived image quality at longer play modes can surpass the quality at the shorter ones. And because every chipset/recorder can be different, the "best" mode differs from unit or unit, or sometimes model series to model series.

This has already been covered in detail at Is SP MODE the Best DVD Recorder Mode? (NO!)

Read over that, and then if you still have specific questions, go ahead and post them here.

Your exact Liteon, the 5001 model -- a custom hacked one, at that -- looks best at 1-hour XP mode.
  • The next best quality mode is the custom-added LP 3-hour mode. HOWEVER, this mode is not as stable as XP or SP (or even the 4-hour EP mode). As long as nothing jitters, you'll be fine.
  • SP (2-hour) is a bit better than EP (4-hour). Although the allocation of bitrate at SP and EP should be the same, this particular machine gives a bit more bitrate to SP, and these machines are optimized for XP/SP recording modes (as are most DVD recorders!).
  • SLP is terrible crap, those 6-hour mode butcher your video quality -- don't use it.
These early LiteOn machines also use CVBR (constrained variable bitrate). It's better than a constant bitrate (CBR), but it is constrained in how "variable" the VBR is. There is a short floor and ceiling -- a minimum and maximum bitrate that is not too far removed from the target bitrate. CBR = target bitrate at all times, it does not vary. Variable bitrate is better because it uses more bitrate where needed, and less when not needed. VBR is most important at the longer-than-XP modes. At XP mode, on any recorder, you're basically at a CBR of 9000kbps.

Hope all this helps. I know it's a bit techie.


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