Quantcast Panasonic DMR-EH59 vs. LG RH388H DVD recorder? - digitalFAQ Forum
  #1  
06-28-2012, 09:32 AM
sChen77 sChen77 is offline
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Hi all,

I live in Singapore (ie. PAL videos) and my parents are keen to transfer a pile of home videos off VHS and Sony Video-8 and Hi-8 tapes onto DVD's. I'd also be happy to get a copy of them onto my computer (either Mac or Win7).

The tapes are of me growing up, family gatherings, my brother's wedding, my graduation, etc. etc. Personal stuff, which should not trigger any copy-protection issues.

Essentially, the tapes contain footage that nobody has watched for a long long time. Given that the footage hasn't triggered the interest of anyone (including my brother or myself), having a copy that is not on VHS is probably already a big jump vs. having one that is beautifully restored with a TBC, shows no video tearing, etc.

Eventually, I'm considering putting all the captured video on a portable USB-attached hard disk, and playing them back through a media player or a new TV that has USB ports (since most of the new TV's and media players can directly playback MPEG2 or H.264 files). This seems far more convenient than managing a library of DVD's.

Therefore, what remains is what equipment to use to digitise the tapes. And for this, it has been interesting reading the various posts by Lord Smurf and the site Admin on DVD recorders, in particular Digital FAQ's review on DVD recorders.

Unfortunately, the list of DVD recorders mentioned in the review are not sold in Singapore. All I have to choose from are either the Panasonic DMR-EH59 or DMR-EH69 models, or the LG RH388H and RH589H models, which I understand is the same as the LG RH387H model, except with bigger HDD sizes of 250 GB and 500 GB. (Manual for the RH388H model can be seen here.)

(I do note that the Panasonic DMR-ES18 is supposed sold in nearby Malaysia. Is that worth getting?
ref. http://www.panasonic.com.my/wps/port...er/dvdrecorder)

At the same time, I am considering capturing to a EazyCap DC60+ USB capture stick hooked up to my Mac or PC, probably in either the Photo-JPEG or Motion-JPEG codec.

- - - -

My list of equipment:

* Output Devices
(1) Panasonic NV-SJ530 VCR (composite video and mono audio output)
(2) Hi-8 Camcorder from Sony (composite video and mono audio output)

* Current External DVR
(3) AC Ryan Playon! DVR HD (records SD over composite; records HD over DVB-T) ref. www.acryan.com/product/playondvrhd/
(4) EasyCap DC60+ USB Capture Stick (records SD over composite / S-video)
ref. http://easycapexpertti.mybisi.com/pr...y-only-for-mac

* Potential candidates
(5) Panasonic DMR-EH59, approx. US$400 (unsure if comb filter works with PAL composite input to minimise "dot crawl")
(6) LG RH388H or RH589H, approx. US$300 or US$400 (store salesman says there is a comb filter for PAL video to minimise "dot crawl", but manual doesn't say so)
(7) Uraku NV-812 (media player that has component inputs) ref. www.fudio-digital.com/URAKU_NV-812.html
(8) Send to conversion shop, US$12/hr for DVD, US$20/hr for DVD + AVI file

* Expected Workflow
VCR / Camcorder --> DVD Recorder --splitter--> AC Ryan + USB Capture Stick --> TV for monitoring

- - - -

Questions:

(1) Given what the Admin has written in the post on DVD Recorder Reviews, and Lord Smurf in a 2007 post, about the poor quality of Panasonic's MPEG encoding for their DVD recorders, is it better to get a current Panasonic DMR-EH series recorder vs. a LG RH series recorder?

I note that for recent models, the document ranks the recording quality of both the LG and Panasonic as a "B".

(2) Are the Panasonic DMR-EH recorders have essentially the same hardware and filters as the DMR-EZ or DMR-ES models? Do they also have the pass through filters to fix "tearing" that forumers keep mentioning about the DMR-ES10 series?

(I think I read somewhere that some of the older models don't have the "phrase save" feature of the DMR-EH5x models, which is useful for renaming batches of files.)

(3) Would the DMR-ES18 model sold in Malaysia have the same "video tearing" pass through filter that is on the DMR-ES10 model?

(4) Does the exhaust fan at the back of the Panasonic recorders get really loud? Does it keep the recorder cooler than the LG models?

I do note that the Panasonic DMR-EH59/69 models seem to be quite popular in the US, with World Import bringing them to the USA even though they only have PAL tuners. The units also seem to be mentioned often in the AVS Forums.

On the other hand, information on the LG RH recorders appear to be particularly scarce.
On the general topic of Panasonic vs. LG recorders, it appears that Panasonic seems to be make more durable machines?

ref.
Panasonic DMR EH55S vs. LG LRH-790 - http://www.avsforum.com/t/772247/pan...-vs-lg-lrh-790
Panasonic/LG DVD/HDD recorders - http://forums.whirlpool.net.au/archive/1696507

- - - -

I look forward to any help anyone can offer.

Thanks and best regards,
Stephen
Singapore

-- merged --

Hi all,

Would anyone have any advice to offer on whether it is better to get either the Panasonic or LG DVD recorder for recording from VHS / Camcorder tapes? As in, which is a more stable machine for this purpose?

From what I understand the new LG's use standard SATA HDD's that I can purchase replacements for at a regular PC shop. I'm not sure if I can extract video from it though, but the info in this forum thread seems to indicate the LG's HDD is readable by a regular Windows PC. (ref. http://mybroadband.co.za/vb/showthre...-upgrade-clone)

The closest I could find to a review of the LG RH388 / RH589 models is at this website (ref. http://www.askmelah.com/my-gadget-re...h-review.html)).

As for the Panasonic recorders, I was told that the big fan at the back should help keep the heat levels down and should make it better than an LG recorder.

I've also just been offered a second hand DMR-EH67 for US$120.

Also, the fact that the Panasonics are being imported into the USA on a no-warranty basis seems to imply that they should be "good enough" machines ...

But I'd still appreciate any advice anyone can offer, especially from the Admin or Lord Smurf.

Thanks in advance,
Stephen
Singapore

-- merged --

Quote:
Originally Posted by sChen77
Dear lordsmurf,

I've been trying to find information on converting my VHS / Hi-8 tapes to DVD / digital formats and would greatly appreciate your input.

I'm considering the purchase of a new DVD recorder from LG (models RH388 or RH589) or Panasonic (DMR-EH59 or DMR-EH69) or a used Panasonic DMR-EH67.

I even found a JVC DR-M10 (supposedly an unused display set) for sale, but I would have serious questions as to whether it even works and can be repaired if any problems crop up.

Prices:

New:
- Panasonic DMR-EH59 / 250 GB -- US$400
- Panasonic DMR-EH69 / 320 GB -- US$480
- Panasonic DMR-ES18 / no HDD -- US$160 (available in a neighbouring country)
- LG RH388 / 250 GB -- US$320
- LG RH589 / 500 GB -- US$400

Used:
- Panasonic DMR-EH67 / 250 GB -- US$120
- JVC DR-M10 -- US$250

I started a thread in which I wrote a fair bit of info on my needs, what I intend to do, and my list of current equipment. (ref. http://www.digitalfaq.com/forum/vide...panasonic.html).

I was hoping to hear from the site Admin or you, but after 30+ views and no replies from fellow forumers, I thought I'd try sending you a PM.

This was because I saw remarks made by the Admin in the Review of DVD Recorders and your own comments on Panasonic DVD recorders having colour issues and creating blocky video in a 2007 post in VideoHelp.com. I wanted to learn if your view still applies to the recent models of Panasonic DVD recorders.

I also noted that in the Review of DVD Recorders, the Admin had noted that the LG seems to make DVD recordings of VHS tapes that are worse than the originals. Would I be correct to then understand that I might be better off with a Panasonic despite the Admin's and your personal misgivings about the blocky video and colour issues?

Two other things that makes me lean towards a Panasonic is (1) the perception that the Japanese tend to make much better electronics than the Koreans, even if they lose money in the process, and (2) the fact that the new Panasonic models I'm referring to are PAL models being parallel imported into the USA. This seems to imply that if USA users are prepared to buy them despite the lack of a manufacturer's warranty, Panasonic must be doing something right that they appear to be in high demand by users in your forum and others like AVSForum.

Thanks in advance for any help or advice! :-)

I look forward to reading your reply in the forum at the thread that I had started. :-)

Hope you are having a great weekend,
Stephen
Singapore
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  #2  
07-01-2012, 02:24 AM
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That 160GB HDD LG unit looks identical the often-suggested Magnavox/Philips decks.

Forget about extracting video from a DVD recorder's hard drive. You'll have to burn to DVDs, then extra the DVDs on the computer.

Fans are not as important as airflow around the exterior of the deck. Too many people cram DVD recorders into hot wooden cabinets. Air show pass in front of, behind, under and above. It's really the same as a computer. A fan blowing hot air into a trapped area is not much better than not having a fan at all. Air flow is the key. Fans are not always needed.

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07-01-2012, 06:36 AM
sChen77 sChen77 is offline
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hi lordsmurf,

Thought I'd say that given the valuable info I've found at this site, I've just signed up for the Premium Membership. :-)

- - -
Thanks for your thoughts. Would I be correct to understand that you would prefer the LG RH388 / RH589 over the Panasonic DMR-EH67 / EH59 / EH69 models?


Some additional info that you might find useful:

On Friday, I spoke with an LG support engineer in Singapore (my initial post was written on Thursday evening Singapore time). He noted that the LG RH388 and RH589 uses LSI chipsets (same as the RH387), with the only difference he is aware of being the change in the use of 2.5" SATA laptop HDD's replacing the 3.5" IDE desktop HDD's.

This seems to imply that it is a different machine vs. the Magnavox (Zoran chipset) or Philips (Philips chipset) recorders mentioned in the site's Review of DVD Recorders. (Beyond the difference in the physical outlook of the sets.)

Other stuff the LG support engineer told me:

(i) He was actually the guy who told me that the big fan on the Panasonic should make it manage heat better than LG's own offerings. However, he noted that he does not have any data comparing the recording picture quality to share.

(ii) He said that many Singaporeans buy the LG for transferring their VHS tapes, and so far they haven't heard much issue with this. (I believe part of the reason for the RH387 model's popularity was that the 160 GB HDD model at US$240 was 40% cheaper than the Panasonic DMR-EH59 with a 250 GB HDD at US$400.)

(iii) Of the RH387 models that he has repaired over the years, no particular component failure has stood out. The laser, HDD, or other parts seem to fail at an equal rate.

(iv) They have been unsuccessful in trying to get from Korea the specs of the format used by the internal HDD. But he confirmed the change from desktop IDE to laptop SATA. He suggested that I might not want to try buying too large a drive for an upgrade as he didn't know where the capacity limit is.

(v) He also said that to his knowledge, the LG does not process the incoming video in any way. This was a point of particular concern to me given the Review's statement that LG DVD recorders are "not able to filter VHS signals, so quality of the DVD often looked worse than the VHS tape".


I guess that means I'm still trying to figure out:

(1) Would an LSI chipset-based LG record with better picture quality than a LSI chipset-based Panasonic for 720x576 PAL at XP or SP mode?

(2) In your opinion, even if the LG's have better picture quality, are the new LG's as durable as a new Panasonic? (The Panasonic certainly feels heavier, which might indicate better construction or better components, or maybe simply because of the 3.5" HDD inside. And somehow, Japanese brands still seem to be viewed more positively than Korean brands in terms of electronics and cars. But data may show otherwise in both cases.)

(3) Would either of the three current DMR-EH series recorders have the filter to fix "video tearing" that was on the DMR-ES10 recorders? That would seem to make them more valuable than the LG. (I know the Panasonics have a built-in comb filter to deal with composite video which I will be recording.)

(4) Is it easier to edit videos on a LG or Panasonic, or even transfer them (eg. using FastCopy on DVD-RAM discs) to a computer for editing in either iMovie / VirtualDub / MPEG StreamClip / Mpg2Cut2? (I really think that it is most efficient to put all my digitised videos on to a media player, but still need to give extended family members videos on DVD which I can burn using the DVD recorder.)


Thanks in advance for your advice! :-)


Cheers,
Stephen
Singapore

Last edited by sChen77; 07-01-2012 at 06:37 AM. Reason: Reorder questions
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  #4  
07-01-2012, 07:13 AM
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I wish I could find a 160GB hard drive DVD recorder with an LSI chipset inside. No such beast exists in NTSC, outside of rare and long-our-of production JVC DR-MH30S DVD recorders.

LSI chipsets all process chroma noise. In fact, based on what an LSI Logic engineer told me some years ago, that function could not be shut off. If it really does have LSI chips inside, it processes the video. In fact, all DVD recorders must process video in some way on input. Some form of sync stabilization is introduced, and most introduce some degree of bandpass filtering to help digitize the analog signal.

The fact that nobody has complained means nothing. Lack of evidence is not itself evidence of anything. It could be a that the typical buyer simply puts up with bad quality. Not that this is the case, but that conclusion is equally as likely as the other one. Always keep that in mind.

From what I've read, the DMR-EH models are not the same as the DMR-ES models. In fact, I thought the EH models were all Panasonic chipsets, not LSI.

Editing sucks on all DVD recorders. You play around in menus with a remote, and make imprecise cuts. I just assume burn everything to discs, rip the discs on a computer, and editing in an MPEG editor like Womble MPEG-VCR or Womble MPEG Video Wizard DVD.

Don't use DVD-RAM. It's DVD-VR mode, not DVD-Video mode.

Most DVD recorders are now made by Funai. This includes Magnavox, Philips and Toshiba. Our DVD recorder review is somewhat historical at this point, up until about 2010, maybe 2011. It's almost impossible to find DVD recorders in North America now. Very few brands exist, and most of them are rebadged Funai recorders. The rest are older models covered by the review. I'm actually a bit surprised to hear recorders are still new and available in Asia.

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07-01-2012, 08:30 AM
sChen77 sChen77 is offline
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Hi lordsmurf,

Thanks for your reply.

Chipset of Panasonic DVD Recorders

I don't know what is the chipset used in the EH67 / EH59 / EH69. I thought it was LSI based on the info in the Review of DVD Recorders for 2006-2009 models. I'll give Panasonic a call and see if the tech support guys can tell me.

However, the manual of the EH59 seems to indicate filters that can be turned on and off at the user's discretion, and even has a page on recording from VCR. (ref. page 23 on recording from a VCR, page 53 on input NR, and page 59 on comb filter. Link to manual.)

This kind of info on recording settings is not detailed in the LG user manuals. (Link to manual)

Editing Software

I've been trying out Mpg2Cut2 and MPEG Streamclip. Will give Womble VCR a try. :-)

Supply of New DVD Recorders

I can confirm that we can still get new DVD recorders in Singapore, but demand is falling for them. (LG's are far more in demand due to lower pricing, while the Panasonics are harder to find).

Prices from the websites of three major electronics retailers in Singapore

* Best Denki
* Courts
* Harvey Norman

I have also seen DVD and Bluray recorders in electronics stores in Hong Kong. The latter have DVB-T tuners instead of analogue tuners. Since Singapore doesn't have much DVB-T channels, these are somewhat limited in application. DVD recorders are still most useful for transferring videos off the PVR boxes from our cable company (we only have two pay-TV companies for our small market).

I also understand that Panasonic DVD recorders are very popular in India, where the Panasonic brand name seems to remain strong. (ref. www.HiFiVision.com)

While on my search for DVD recorders, I heard from a store I was checking with that Indian tourists will just buy a few sets of the EH59 / EH69 and carry them as on-board luggage onto the plane for the flight home! Given Singapore's relatively close proximity to India and India's import duties, I won't be surprised. (A local retailer in Singapore makes big business doing this trade with visiting Indians.)

Thanks again for your advice.

Cheers,
Stephen
Singapore

-- merged --

Dear lordsmurf,

Thanks for your help.

I decided to buy the used Panasonic DMR-EH67 for US$120.

Below I detail the tests I did and the outcome.

- - - -

This afternoon, I went by the seller's place to test the EH67 on offer. It was a black colour model, unlike the silver one shown on the World Import website. Black looks better to me.

What the seller said to me about the unit really appears to be true.

The sticker on the back of the EH67 indicates a production date of September 2007, but it is possible it's been sitting in a shop floor long enough that the seller has only had it for two years. The unit had supposedly been sitting unused on a shelf in his TV cabinet. There were no signs of corrosion on the contacts of the AV-inputs / outputs, just that they looked a little dull. Nothing that a rub down with tissue paper couldn't fix and shine ...

When we made a new recording, it added an 11th item to the list of recordings. Even better, the sum total of the first 10 recordings was only around 15 hours! He also said the reason he stopped using the EH67 was that he had switched to using the local cable company's PVR box.

More importantly, when I said I wanted to burn a test DVD of the test recordings made, he expressed surprise that the EH67 could burn DVD's. (The burned DVD played fine in a separate Samsung DVD player.)

In other words, the HDD is practically new, and the DVD burner has probably not been used.

- - - -

I also noticed a few other things during my test in the afternoon, and during further tests later in the night.

Connection map: Sony Camcorder --composite--> AC Ryan DVR --composite--> DMR-EH67.

During the afternoon, I hooked up my Sony Video8 camcorder to my AC Ryan DVR and passed the signal through to the EH67. I used composite cables (ie. yellow RCA cable, and single mono audio output).

I played 3 minutes of tape from the Sony, and the AC Ryan almost immediately began to drop the signal, and displayed an error on the screen. In the end, I only got 44 seconds of recorded footage in an MPEG file.

The EH67 on the other hand, recorded all 3 minutes of the passed-through footage just fine, including all the error messages produced by the AC Ryan DVR.

Connecting the Sony Camcorder directly to the EH67, I recorded a further 7 minutes of tape without incident, for a total of 10 minutes of footage. (When previously recorded by the AC Ryan DVR, 10 minutes of footage from this particularly problematic tape resulted in a 2-minute recording.)

This already indicated that the EH67 could handle what appeared to have been a problematic tape or unstable video signal. (I note that the ability to record an "unstable signal" is similar to capturing footage through a EasyCap DC60+ USB video capture stick hooked up to my MacBook using the VideoGlide software.)

However, the sound was only captured to one channel, since I did not have a RCA splitter on hand. (You could hear the sound come out from only one side of my home theatre setup.)

- -

But what I noticed during further testing done tonight was even better.

Connection map: Sony Camcorder --composite--> DMR-EH67 --composite--> AC Ryan DVR.

I hooked up the Sony Camcorder's composite video output and mono-audio output to the front of the EH67, with the audio cable going into the mono-audio jack. I then used the EH67 to pass the signal through to the AC Ryan DVR's AV-in jacks.

Firstly, using the EH67 as a pass-through to the AC Ryan DVR, I noticed that the AC Ryan DVR had no problem recording the section of tape that had earlier resulted in dropped signals.

Secondly, using the EH67 as a pass-through with both Playback NR and AV-in NR set to "ON" resulted in a much improved picture, with vertical lines (like door frames and window grills) straightened vs. remaining wavy.

Thirdly, the EH67 duplicated the mono-audio sound input into both L and R audio outputs for recording by the AC Ryan DVR. (I didn't check to see if the audio waveforms for both the L and R channels match, but I could hear sound come out from both sides of my home theatre setup. )

Basically, it appears that the EH67 has a built-in Time Base Corrector or stabiliser of some kind that is particularly valuable. Such that even if the HDD and DVD laser assembly are to fail, I can still use it as a TBC for video capture on my DVR or computer!

This is actually the best setup I can achieve as I intend to put all the recorded and edited footage into a digital movie jukebox for playback, and mixing of DVD's. And having the DVR or computer able to capture and generate a contiguous and editable video file is a great starting point.

I understand that this functionality is what makes the DMR-ES10 much sought after and probably easily worth quite a bit. The function is also described in Panasonic's FAQ on DVD recorders and your FAQ on TBC's. (ref. http://www.panasonic.com.sg/wps/port...av/DVDRecorder, see question 6 + What is a TBC? Time Base Correction for Videotapes)

However, what doesn't seem to have any effect is the comb filter function (be it set to ON or OFF), as I can clearly still see "dot crawl" in the recorded video, especially around the TV station's static logo. (Perhaps a comb filter isn't much needed for recording PAL video which has greater vertical resolution compared with NTSC.) (ref. http://www.avforums.com/forums/1826946-post5.html)

- - - -

So thanks again for your help and advise.

I'm certainly very happy with my purchase.

And please let me know if I can help out in any way from this side of the globe.

Cheers,
Stephen
Singapore
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  #6  
07-19-2012, 03:32 AM
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Quote:
Basically, it appears that the EH67 has a built-in Time Base Corrector or stabiliser of some kind that is particularly valuable.
Sounds like it.

Quote:
Such that even if the HDD and DVD laser assembly are to fail, I can still use it as a TBC for video capture on my DVR or computer!
Maybe. Sometimes broken units show and error message and refuse to do anything else. Pansonic HDD units are infamous for that, on the older series of units. Keep that in mind.

Quote:
And please let me know if I can help out in any way from this side of the globe.
I'll have to remember your offer. Sometimes I do need things from different parts of the world.

Thanks.

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07-24-2012, 04:36 PM
sChen77 sChen77 is offline
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Hi lordsmurf,

Thanks for your input.

I've been trying to transfer some of the video footage from my Video8 Camcorder to my Panasonic DMR-EH67 and MPEG recorder.

Unfortunately, the power adaptor on my MacBook has suddenly died. So for now, my workflow excludes the EasyCap DC60+ and VideoGlide.

* Desired Workflow (1): VCR / Camcorder --> DVD Recorder --composite--> AC Ryan DVR --> TV for monitoring
* Desired Workflow (2): VCR / Camcorder --> DVD Recorder --s-video--> EasyCap DC60+ --> MacBook + VideoGlide for capture and monitoring

* Current Workflow: VCR / Camcorder --> DVD Recorder --composite--> AC Ryan DVR --> TV for monitoring

As it is, I'm already making two recordings: one on the DMR-EH67, and another at the AC Ryan DVR. So if the MacBook was running, the EasyCap would have been making a 3rd recording. Perhaps this would have been too much redundancy, but it would be capturing to something other than the MPEG2 codec.

- - -
So now that I am stuck with editing MPEG2-based recordings, which would be a better software to use for editing / conversion?

Should I be using Womble? Or VideoRedo? Or MPEG StreamClip (ie. the Windows version at this time since my Mac is out of power)?

From various posts and tutorials, it seems that
* Womble VCR -- cheap at ~$20, has clean interface for trimming, but has audio sync issues with videos longer than 2 hours.
* VideoReDo -- pretty pricey at ~$50, but allows for upgrade. Does not seem to have audio sync problems, has automated ad-selection, but interface looks somewhat cartoonish vs. Womble.
* Womble MVW -- pricey at ~$100, still edits nicely, can edit and convert to other formats, but don't bother with authoring. (Think you wrote in our other discussion on the EasyCap that you use DVD Studio Pro for authoring?)
* MPEG StreamClip (Windows) -- free, but not suitable because it requires a codec pack? (ref. http://forum.videohelp.com/threads/3...usage-unusable)

I'd personally be quite happy to go with MPEG StreamClip and QT Alt 1.81 codecs, as MPEG StreamClip is what I would also use on my Mac (when I get a replacement power supply), but if it's not a suitable solution on Win7, I'm open to spending some additional money to edit my recordings.

At the same time, do any of the software handle splicing / joining of two or more MPEG2 files? I don't see any info on that for Womble VCR. Important for events recorded over two multiple tapes.

- - -
After editing, if I need to do very basic authoring or encoding to a different format (eg. h.264), what should I be using for:

* Authoring -- Something simple to recommend? Womble, VideoReDo or maybe even Windows DVD Maker? I personally prefer to playback MPEG2 files from a media player or USB drive attached to a modern TV. But my relatives are going to want DVD's, and I suspect Windows DVD Maker will satisfy them.

* Encoding -- Handbrake? Womble? VideoReDo? Others?

As mentioned before, my PC system config is: Asus u24e laptop / i5-2430 2.4GHz / 8GB RAM / 750 GB HDD / Win7 64 Pro.

Thanks and regards,
Stephen
Singapore

P.S. Regarding using the DMR-EH67 as a TBC even if the HDD dies, the Panasonic tech guy in Singapore said the same thing as you, that some of the systems cannot work without a functioning HDD ...

So hoping my unit holds up until after all my tapes are done ...
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  #8  
07-25-2012, 10:07 AM
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lordsmurf lordsmurf is offline
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Here's my feedback for you:

Editing MPEG:
  • Womble MPEG Video Wizard really is worth the funds.
  • VideoReDo functions, but I've always found the interface a bit hindering compared to Womble MVW,and my time is long-term worth more than $50 savings.
  • MPEG Streamclip has issues.
  • Womble MPEG-VCR is nice, but mostly only for shorter videos from DVD recorders.
Authoring:
  • Womble MVW is great for menu-less discs.
  • TMPGEnc Authoring works is great for menu-less discs. Also good for menu-less Blu-ray authoring. TAW does menus,mind you, but they're really quite crappy. The fonts are aliased, too, which makes an already low-quality menu look like total crap by any degree of standards. I'd rather have no menu than look at semi-garbled fonts.
  • Ulead DVD Workshop 2 makes the best menus.

Encoding?
Why re-encode MPEG? Don't do that. (Unless I've missed something. High bitrate recordings, maybe?)

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