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  #1  
04-02-2019, 08:58 PM
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jwillis84 jwillis84 is offline
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Peter has just completed support for three new families of Pioneer DVR 510, 520, 633 and we're testing many more. This is with the PNR formatted file system.. we have no other name for it. PNR gyrates around a bit but he's to the point of "predicting its next moves".. which is really impressive. The files are normal length and complete. This is a "pre-pre-release" sneak peek at what its doing. The names are autolabel names generated by the DVR when you don't give it one.. and to be thorough were running up the recording count artificially to fill the drive up.

sneak-peek.jpg

Pioneer DVRs make interesting direct to MPEG2 capture devices.. but until now you couldn't get the video off the hard drive direct, you had to burn DVD-R/RAM to disc and rip it later.

Pioneers are also unique in that removing the hard drive sometimes requires a service remote and ID disc to "re-authorize" or "mate" a new DVD burner or new Hard drive to the DVR motherboard.. making it more than a simple removal and return of the hard drive from the case (if you had a way of reading the hard drive in a PC). Peter's software makes that possible now in a browser style navigation tree which never mounts or writes to the hard drive. It was nerve racking since if the procedure failed.. you bricked your DVR.

So far.. using the procedure and Peters software, it has not been an issue. Only when introducing a "new hard drive" does it become necessary. Past problems were related to "attempting" to mount the HDD under windows, or accidentally "formatting" the HDD under windows. That is not necessary for IsoBuster to read and copy the recordings off the HDD to the PC.

As part of all that I was making an ID disc and using a Casio labeler to "thermal" a label on top the disc. This is "far far less" than an inkjet printer label, and less than a stick'em up label that covers the entire disc and risks unbalancing or warping the disc.

I'm not sure what happened?

It could be I've run out of ribbon, or it could be the interaction with the Super Slick Silver Surface of the new Verbatim DataLifePlus disc.. but it turned out pretty awesome.

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ps. the label "shadow" does wipe away and leaves a clean label on the surface, its completely dry (it was never 'wet') and rugged it doens't smear or wipe away. The only downside 'maybe'.. is the label is surface mounted/embedded.. so it sort of 'hovers' over the silver backside of the media and give off a glossy 3D effect.. some people may not like that.



Last edited by jwillis84; 04-02-2019 at 09:17 PM.
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  #2  
04-02-2019, 10:36 PM
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So what is the lucky weird accident? I don't get it.

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  #3  
04-02-2019, 11:06 PM
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jwillis84 jwillis84 is offline
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Yeah my sense of humor can seem obscure.. I admit it.

I was trying a new label technology for my DVD disc. I had never used it before.. and it came out Ghost gray.. it was supposed to come out dark smoke black.

I "imagined" it poking hot poker holes through the disc.. or etching it like an old fashion identity dremel tool.

I got "lucky" because it didn't destroy the disc.. but it made this cool "trippy" Greatful Dead looking non-coaster. Tested now too.. works great.

Everything else was kind of fluff.

To explain why I was doing something so bizzare anyway.

Peters work is unbelievably fast and spot on.. its really cool to look at a beat up and burned out DVR who you know the DVD burner is toast.. and there are no replacement parts for it.. and think.. huh.. I can use that again.. full functionality.. and just copy those recordings over to my PC.. and it uses SD cards now.. wow. .. hence .. lucky.. weird.

ps. Oh ya.. details..the Casio printer software was designed only for XP and kind of hard to find these days.. let alone one of the Casio printers that can auto position the media and label.. its a tiny robot in a box at the end of USB cord. It works wonderfully on Windows 7x64 and I've read the printing robot will work with Surething to make even more elaborate label designs. I just used the boring out of box software on Win7 and looked up Pioneers official font name.. typed it up in a couple seconds and it looks decent. .. I feel like (retro-review's) here demo'ing stuff so old kids weren't born yet that still works better than anything currently available on Amazon... lol.

Last edited by jwillis84; 04-02-2019 at 11:18 PM.
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04-02-2019, 11:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jwillis84 View Post
it didn't destroy the disc..
But those are always the more entertaining stories!

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  #5  
04-03-2019, 09:43 AM
Tester Tester is offline
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This. Is. So. Great!
Please keep us, Pioneer DVRs owners/fans, posted.
(And thanks for all the work.)
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  #6  
04-04-2019, 03:38 AM
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jwillis84 jwillis84 is offline
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x10, x20, x30, X33, x50, x60 done
x40 needs a tweak
LX61 needs a tweak
Lx70 needs work

These are the base model of each Pioneer family.
The side to side models in the years with upgrade and downgrade models have not been tested.

The LX61 is a UK model but tested with North American NTSC only, so far.
The LX70 is a UK model but tested with North American NTSC and had PAL-B, so its the most complex.

There are simply a lot of models to test.. and I don't have any Euro Models.

The depth of testing is also somewhat shallow.. I haven't tested fragmentation support yet.. but Peter thinks it may be okay. We also haven't tested really long recordings on each, nor tried to force them into PAL mode where possible to test support for those recordings. I can say I have watched PAL from one or two models, and Korean NTSC (it looked like IRE-J) and those came out fine.

I'm a little concerned, thinking the UK EPG system, or the one that was selected may be confusing the code working on the LX70.. and might show up whenever there is a UK or Euro EPG in play. We got some of this with the 633 but Peter caught it before I could remember to warn him about it.

I'm simply bad at Euro testing.. I have access to few resources and most of the equipment accessible to me can't do PAL variants or SECAM. So mostly any good support in that direction will have to come from people in Europe.

I also think Peter was worried about 256 or 2048 titles. If the number of titles on the hard disk exceeds those limits (either one) we're not sure yet what will happen. The Philips 3575 and 3576 had a hard coded limit of titles in the owners manual. Pioneers don't mention any limit to the number of recordings.. though.. there were some discussions on forums about high numbers causing hard disks to crash many years ago. -- seriously though, navigating 256 recordings with the remote would take some marathon button pressing.

Last edited by jwillis84; 04-04-2019 at 03:59 AM.
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  #7  
04-04-2019, 07:29 AM
hodgey hodgey is offline
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In case you are not familiar with these, from the x50 models on there are also Sony variants (rdr-hx x50/hx x60 and so on, except the latest ones which were made by someone else) which are almost identical, so maybe the software would work on them as well.

Are the NTSC versions PAL/NTSC switchable like the PAL ones and do you have all these different ones?
I got the DVR-440 and Sony RDR-HX750, but I'm using both of them for TBC-ish passthrough so I can't help out with the hard drives themselves as I don't want to risk bricking them.
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  #8  
04-04-2019, 09:59 AM
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jwillis84 jwillis84 is offline
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Bricking was a concern I had in the beginning. So I wouldn't want anyone to risk their own machine unless it were something they realy wanted to do and accepted the risks. But so far I've had zero problems with bricking and zero problems with having to re-authorize unless I deliberately switched the drives.

I appreciate the mentions of the SONY variants and I just acquired a J-6090-203-A service remote with the idea of supporting them in mind. I do not however have any of the SONYs currently and know next to zero about their line up.

Peter has shown interest in supporting the later SONYs.. I think a 950 ? might have been mentioned.. and a couple others. But I need to find one and understand how their families go.

The Asian, Euro and UK Pioneers do support PAL-B, NTSC-M, NTSC-J and NTSC 4.33 or PAL-60 ? Which is a small fraction of the variants of PAL and doesn't comprehensively cover SECAM. Several of those countries experienced a terrestrial digital conversion, or conversion over to encrypted or "free" satellite signal standard from analog.. some of these recorders included those tuners, some did not. I have mainly stayed with the older analog inputs and signal standards to remain focused on VHS, Camcorder and recovering Analog broadcasts in digital format direct from the recorder hard drives. Cable isn't as popular around the world as it is in the US, but some have the common interface card slot or port.. which looks like Cable Card in the US. -- to put it bluntly I'm woefully inadequate to test or provide information on Euro or World support. I know that so I'm putting it out there up front.

But I guess your asking if the North American models support PAL or trans-format conversion between NTSC and PAL. They do not from what I can tell. And specifically the Euro, UK models I have seen are PAL native and suport NTSC reluctantly.. when in "525 line mode" as they call it one cannot playback PAL recordings. When in "625 line mode" they cannot playback NTSC recordings. So the standard being supported is exclusive of the other.. and something of a pain to switch between. Its best to do one or the other but not attempt to switch on demand.

But (why) would you want to do this?

For some it would be obvious.

(a) Its far faster than chopping up long programs, like news events or sports and rendering them to DVD's or having to squeeze them into low resolution artifact filled long play DVDs

(b) rescuing recordings stuck on a recorder for which there are no spare parts available, or a power surge has made the recorder non-functional

(c) when the hard drive becomes corrupt and you want to retrieve recordings but can't even burn a disk

(d) if/when you want to replace "both" the DVD burner and HDD with a newer storage format like high density SD cards or CompactFlash cards which you can eject and pop into a USB 3.0 reader on your desktop or laptop computer

(e) when you want to switch from using one model to a different model recorder when they both support the same HDD storage formats

So there are only a handful of special use cases, and its not for everyone. But its nice to have choice.

I could see how this might be a 'Technician level' tool but there are only a few people left that qualify for that title and all of the service centers that might have once supported these recorders no longer support them. So its fallen to the consumer to support themselves if need be. This tool lets them do that. -- you could look upon it as a tool of last resort.

Its also only fair to point out, it already supports all of the Toshiba RD-XS models sold in North America, Philips 3575 and 3576. The Magnavox 2160 and 513 models and the RCA 8030. (with some potential for Pansonics, Polaroid and JVC down the line with future research.. if interest is shown..)

It may already support more brands and models.. I've only mentioned what I could get my hands on to test.

Last edited by jwillis84; 04-04-2019 at 10:56 AM.
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  #9  
04-04-2019, 08:29 PM
IsoBuster IsoBuster is offline
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I can't comment on re-authorizing HDD's, when it is needed and when it is not. But there is zero risk of bricking your HDD.

I don't understand why people are so scared of it ?
From a software perspective that is.

Removing your HDD from the recorder is something else, but then @jwillis84 makes nice videos to demonstrate how to do it, so no worries there either.

Last, I'd like to comment on IsoBuster being a 'Technician tool'. It certainly isn't. Many can testify to that and if it were I'd have to make it way more expensive to support the development effort (it is what pays for the food on the table and a roof over our heads).

www.isobuster.com
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  #10  
04-08-2019, 08:54 AM
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jwillis84 jwillis84 is offline
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Citibear over on AVSForum whom I respect has said the 'risk' that a service remote and ID disc would be required was much more so for the very early 510 and 520 than for later models. He's a big Pioneer fan and services them regularly.. so I would take that as an endorsement that its less risky with the 540, 550 and 560 generations.. with the exeception of the 533 generation.

Regardless of my recent experience with the 533 and 633 models CB continues to warn that there is a section of code at the top of the HDD in those recorders which is irreplaceable, except from Hakan's archives or the factory.. and that the chance of bricking is higher.. but not certain if that section is accidentally damaged.

A bonus is that IsoBuster does not care about that section of code in the 531, 533 or 633, so even if the recorder is bricked and you can't use a DVD burner you can still copy your recordings off.

IsoBuster never "writes" to the HDD so I would think that risk exceedingly small.

We had a great testing phase last night (Sunday) and the support for the 640 is almost complete, great strides for supporting over 256 recordings were made.. and we are working on what I like to call edge cases. The drive may also have some corruption since the 640 recorder is pleading with me to allow it to Optimize the drive and has twice had to Repair the drive on start up. This is not due to IsoBuster as I work from disk images, but rather from the large number of recordings, fragmented recordings, and microSized recording of 32 seconds or smaller. The recorder struggles with such varied use cases natively. We selected this HDD to work on because it was so tortured and beaten to death in order to find extreme use cases.. so its all good.

If I'm not mistaken this is the last model we're including in this coming alpha release. Which means all North American released Pioneers have had at least one family member tested and are known to be working. Broader testing will continue.. but they seem to be settling into nice clean categories for support.

Calling IsoBuster a "technicians tool" is (unfair) in the extreme.. and poor word choice on my part. What I meant is for those who aren't willing to take the risk of dissassembling their recorder. Someone with the hardware skills should be able to use IsoBuster easily to do that for them. Its no longer 'impossible'.

But IsoBuster can be used by anyone familar with browsing a folder and right clicking on a plainly labeled recording for playback or export. It really is that simple.

And for the truly cautious IsoBuster is completely capable of working only with a "raw" disk image captured to a file.

So if you are a Linux or OSX type person and only trust the "dd" command, you can make a file with the raw contents of the HDD and open that in IsoBuster to playback or retrieve the recordings. IsoBuster also works under WINE on Linux and OSX.. so bootcamp is merely an option not a requirement.

Last edited by jwillis84; 04-08-2019 at 09:21 AM.
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