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  #1  
04-09-2019, 12:03 PM
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The Latest Alpha version of 4.3.3 contains support for the following:

Toshiba RD-XS32, 50, 52, 34, 54, 35, 55, 34SB, 34SJ
Philips 3575 and 3576
Magnavox 2160 and 513
RCA DRC8030

Pioneer 510, 520, 530, 533, 540, 550, 560, LX61, LX70

The Alpha 4.3.3 is available for download from (here)

If you have any questions about this release please submit the questions to this thread and I'll try to answer as best I can. Guides and a video will be forthcoming for 4.3.3

-- merged --

Just created a YouTube channel to hold the videos.

Videorecap

Nothing professional or anything, just a place to hold them so I don't clutter up things here. I'll condense them into guides for LordSmurf shortly.
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  #2  
04-10-2019, 12:30 PM
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Pardon me, jwillis, if this is questioning the obvious. Is your project here for the purpose of recovering video from broken recorders with intact hard drives, or from systems with encrypted files to PC?

Appreciate your work!
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04-10-2019, 02:35 PM
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Broken recorders (Broken DVD drives, Broken Power Supplies, Broken Motherbords or Broken Hard Drives) was the initial goal, but the files are not encrypted in any way, remarkably they are in plain MPEG2 format in a VRO style arrangement on hard disk. If they were encrypted a normal media player would not be able to play them back.

This tool is a data recovery tool, so even if the recorder cannot read the hard drive, it is still possible to recover portions or entire recordings from damaged hard drives. If the recorder power supply dies due to bad capacitors, or in some other way the main motherboard is damaged or unable to boot (lightening strikes, power surges).. the recordings can also still be recovered. There are many use cases where normally the recordings would be irretrievable.. until now.

Once that operation was made clear, it opened the option of rebuilding the recorder with new technology without hard drives so they could be used with modern media today. For example, after hard drive technology left the realm of 160GB hard drives. Compact Flash and then microSD cards entered that space. So these recorders can now run on very small hand held cards that can be routinely removed and stored or read on a common PC... where the recordings could be stored, played or burned onto higher capacity Blu-ray discs as traditonal video media discs or plain data discs.

People used to store personal camcorder video of weddings, birthday parties, school functions on these recorders. Until now they had no other option other than to place the recorder on a shelf and slowly loose hope they could ever be recovered. Now they can.

Some news and public interest events last much longer than a movie or television program.. and might go on for hours (or days).. consider the events surround 9/11 or other historical events. That would not fit on a normal sized DVD. Now they can copy those off in their entirety to a PC hard drive and from there to some other preservationist system or long term media. In a way its a method of recovering the past.. a technological archeology recovering these recordings.

I've also noticed quite a few government and law enforcement agencies used these recorders for their services, and recovering forsensic evidence from recorders appears to be one facet of a number of specialty data recovery companies.. so those public service organizations might have need of something like this.

Re: encryption.. sorry.. nothing was encrypted (if it were) this task would not be possible. First I have no experience with encrypted files and wouldn't have the first clue of how to proceed on that type of task. Second if the makers had decided to invest in that technology I think the recorders would have been more difficult to use and cost a lot more. And Third while I observed some familar english text in some files.. no deciphering was involved.

I do acknowledge there was a general assumption that the video would be encrypted.. but that has not been the observation. You can use many free tools to browse a hard drive and find perfectly viewable fragments that are not unreadable, or unplayable. They playback perfectly well. This tool simply copies the fragments off in linear order to a different location.. its fairly straight forward.

also.. since we had no access to the recorder firmware or source code, and no clue as to how it worked.. the only way to check the final work, was to (playback) the recording from beginning to end.. and check that against playback with the hard drive in the recorder and compare notes. If the video had been encrypted.. we would have no way to verify that a recording had been properly copied from the hard disk to the pc. Any truly encrypted video would remain so if copied from the hard drive and remain just as unplayable without first using the recorder to decrypt it. Discoverying the video was not encrypted was the first major step in successfully extracting it to a pc.

-- merged --

I should clarify what I meant by ('linear') is in the context of the order in which the fragements 'should be played'.. so a recording is playable in its entirety as intended, from beginning to end.

Many recorders store 'metadata' in plain english text, sometimes a foreign language, or in a foreign character set. Following VRO method.. that is usually partnered with allocation data, which sorts available blocks of storage into playable recordings.. because of re-use and fragmentation over time.. the blocks can appear 'jumbled up'.

The sorting can take place based on 'knowing' how the recorder firmware works (we almost never have a clue how that works) or inferring how it works by trial and error.. (which is how it has been done here..). The programmer (Peter) is very good at puzzles and inferring how video is stored.. there are also subtle hints in the MPEG data stream.. and different recorders buffer gaps between recordings.. highlighting when a string of blocks jumps, ends or concatenates.

IB rolls all that information into one.. and predictivly extracts a recording. During testing we make many trials until arriving at a method for each recorder. Its sounds like a lot of work.. and it was a lot of work. But it was puzzle solving.. and you could tell when the puzzle was solved.. so it was a little bit fun.

Each brand has many models, each model can (and does) usually change the manner in which it uses the storage blocks, either due to new features like chase play.. or due to removing features.. or disabling them.. like timeslip.. it happens all the time. The only way to compensate, is to 'fingerprint' a drive as belonging to a brand and specific model and then applying learned rules to extracting recordings from that specific recorder. Sometimes even the fingerprinting becomes confusing.. and we have to group them into 'families' for similar treatment.

In a way, its just as wrong to assume the job is 'easy' once you have figured out how to extract recordings from one model of one brand.. as it is to 'assume' that all the video is 'encrypted' just because the storage blocks are re-used. Looking at a sample on (one recorder) leads you to make guesses that tend to fall short of being correct.

And its an on going process.. we only had a small sample of recordings to test the predictions on.. so there are many edge cases that (may) and probably (do) exist in the real world.. in which the predictions will fail. And that is why this is an ('alpha') release of the software.

Its so feedback can be collected to improve the final result. Some people may find it perfectly usable in most cases.. but in a small number of cases.. where their hard drive has a big gash in the side of it.. or got struck by lightning.. it may not work.. as 'predicted'.
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  #4  
04-11-2019, 12:29 PM
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Damn. Wish this was available when I threw away my old Pioneer. I had several recordings on the HDD that I lost.
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  #5  
04-11-2019, 12:34 PM
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Starting to get that from a few people privately, but on the other hand.. a few encouraging remarks from people who still have one on the shelf with precious memories standing on the sideline.

-- merged --

Feedback is good for "exact" match of Brand and Model that has been tested. Feedback has been if we haven't actually listed the recorder as "tested" then brute force salvage attempts do not always produce good results. The recorders simply tamper with their format from specific model number to specific model number such that especially with Magnavoxes they "tweak" something just enough to throw off the entire storage format.

The least "gyrating" of the Brand/models was the Toshiba, which seemed to have a near Universal storage format between all models. This is not surprising since history shows they were the strongest advocate for the DVD VR storage "standards", backed up and strongly supported by Pioneer.

Philips played it fast and loose varying somewhat from model to model, they went off an invented DVD+RW after all. Pioneer has good standards per family. Magnavox almost has a brand new format per recorder. Panasonic, more stable between families but multiple dynasties.

-- merged --

Late night. It looks like we got support for all of the families and dynasties of panasonic from 2002 to 2009 (maybe 2014). I don't have or can't get access to every single model.. but I do have access to at least one model in each family. Panasonic is more stable within familes.. so coverage should be expected to be broad.

A new alpha release may not be arriving soon however.. we need to test as best we can. And Peter is going to be unavailable for a while.. so I can catch up on the test load to verify, but new brand / model support will be on pause for a while.

Good time for Guides and more Videos.

-- merged --

I should mention.. its not always the case. But Peter does encourage testing on more than one of the same model when possible.. which we have been lucky enough to do so far. That eliminates model to model variations.. in case anyone was concerned about that. -- it is not always the case -- we have simply been lucky enough to do that for many models so far.
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04-13-2019, 06:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jwillis84 View Post
Toshiba RD-XS32, 50, 52, 34, 54, 35, 55, 34SB, 34SJ
Philips 3575 and 3576
Magnavox 2160 and 513
RCA DRC8030
Pioneer 510, 520, 530, 533, 540, 550, 560, LX61, LX70
Two more late generation recorders, which were still sold new in stores around 2008/2009, were the Toshiba 411 and Sony GX257. These were some of the last new-production units that I had tested, where quality was not objectionable. Now then, both were DVD-only, not HDD, but there's a chance an HDD version existed. Unlike many earlier tests I had done in the 2000s, I bought these from Best Buy, ran some tests for about a week, and returned them both. I sometimes wish I'd have kept the Sony, as it had HDMI output (though peeking at eBay, I probably still could, for under $90 shipped).

Neither were as good as older Toshiba or LSI (JVC/etc) for analog content.
Nor as good as the Zoran RCA.
But both were just under the Philips, with clean input digital cable/satellite.

Most Sony recorders were terrible, and most Funai Toshibas were equally lousy.

But if you just want to R&D and tinker, these should be on your radar.

I still have a pair of my test ISOs from these recorders, recently came across the testing data.

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  #7  
04-14-2019, 03:45 AM
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Toshiba 411 appears to have been a TV. Perhaps the 2007 Toshiba D-R400. It had HDMI Upscaling but looks quite a bit like a Funai unit. Until Funai had to stop using LSI and started using Panasonic Blu-ray encoder boards in their DVRs I guess they could be different from the Last of the Magnavoxes I think this split occurred between the 533/535/537 and the 865/867/868 models. The last of the LSI might have actually been the spunoff company Magnum with the DominoFX 8653 just before the company evaporated.. but I've never actually seen a Magnum encoder board in the wild. -- from what I've read on some forums that very last LSI/Magnum chipset "stuttered" on playback something awful on HD and probably lead to the switch to Panasonic and end of Magnum. Recording and playing DVDs made on it (away) from the recorder was reported ok, it was trying to playback any high resolution content directly from the recorder that made them choke.

The Sony GX257 also looks like a Funai made box. From 2009. But if they avoided the LSI/Magnum demise.. (or maybe not) then I'd guess they went Panasonic as well. Unless LG or Samsung electronics acquired a Divx encoder set I'd bet they were Panasonic inside as well. Zoran would have been the last player left on the field.

To me it appears ATI bet everything on MPEG2 and ended up with the final 550 before being acquired by AMD, never releasing a Divx capable chipset. Instead ATI and AMD went the way of GPU assisted compression for their later PVR recorders.

LSI was strictly MPEG2, MAGNUM tried to go Divx then quickly disappeared. Panasonic got some experience partnering with LSI and that translated into their own stuff after LSI was gone. Since Panasonic had Blu-ray they sort of had to support chipset higher compression, general purpose GPU wasn't an option.

I have no idea what JVC did. They certainly used LSI in the beginning.. and it looks like they continued to do that up to pretty late in the game. Today in their Blu-ray models JVC might also be using Panasonic silicon for encoding.. but doesn't mean they aren't handling the pre and post filters themselves. It would be hard to imagine them using anything else.

curious data point:

I was looking at the file system of a Panasonic EH59 this weekend, 2014 I think.. and they diverged from the DVD-VR storage format to dumping the high resolution Divx files without a lot of structure. Since the DVD-Forum seems disbanded now, or ineffective.. and as almost the 'Last Man Standing'.. it appears standards just don't matter anymore in manufacturing. ( also don't know if the video is encrypted.. ) Its my belief the Divx (standard?) includes DRM within the format.. so even if you can copy the files off.. they may not be readable.. but this remain untested.

On the bright side however, SD material seems to continue to follow the DVD forum storage format. (again its my belief) but I don't think they even could encrypt the MPEG2 streams unless special burners or DVD media were used.. the generic stuff consumers had available did not support 'Studio' standards.. which included encryption.. perhaps because it required greater CPU power than the recorder had at the time.

The 'dockable' or 'external storage expansion' boxes however could support a true 'file system' encryption to lock those to the recorder.. I think I saw something that mentioned Linux ('mcrypt') being used on the Pioneer 940HX for its externally connected drives. The Magnavoxes may have done the same. Its not the MPEG2 that would be encrypted.. but rather the file system on which they were stored. Doesn't make a difference if your trying to copy them off.. but its a difference. -- So...

(long winded method of saying) at least for early HD from Panasonic the SD material was still accessible.. that is a new data point. As for the Divx material.. that is still to be determined. Layering DRM over time instead of for every single video file kind of makes sense if that is what they did.. it would be less stress on existing recorder designs and only be used when for example a CP flag was set.. and you couldn't burn that to a DVD without converting it first anyway... downscaling it.

I am definitely not adverse to looking at more recorders.. I have a SONY HX900 that might be nice to look at (its very old).. but mostly this last week and last day or so Peter has before he has to travel will be finishing up Panasonic support. Whether that makes it into one final alpha release before taking a break is an unknown.

The break will be nice though.. since I can go back to look at the TFS2.. its the (only) puzzle we have not been able to solve yet. Its definitely not encrypted.. but its bizzare. The meta table is there, the mpeg blocks are there.. stored 'backwards' but how to get from one to the other is still baffling.

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  #8  
04-14-2019, 04:12 AM
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The 411 was a Best Buy specific variation of the Toshiba DR410 DVD recorder, and the series was 400-410-420-430 as far as I can remember. All Funai that I can recall, though with the latter ones stripping out features.

Sony was probably in-house, not rebadge, but I just don't remember what was under the hood. I should have copious notes on it, but the whereabouts of those are currently unknown. A lot of my 2008-2012 research is scattered, the outcome of my 2012 health crisis, and fallout from it.

ATI was more interested in quality than not, something AMD didn't care for. AMD wanted the graphics assets, and didn't give two craps about the video assets. That happens too often in M&A, take/plunder certain items, dump the rest in a trash heap. Sometimes a fire sale, but AMD didn't do that to ATI's video hardware, just shelved/trashed it.

DivX was always a non-starter, regardless of company toying with it.

JVC isn't JVC anymore. JVC ceased to exist in 2008, and formed JVC Kenwood. Based on observations, a lot of JVC was using Matsushita/Panasonic in the 90s/00s, having been a Matsushita subsidiary until 2008, though still somewhat independent. When JVC divorced Matsushita, thus Panasonic, their electronics offering vastly changed. So questions about the Blu-ray recorders like JVC SR-HD2700US would be nice to answer. It is foreseeable that Panasonic chips are used, though possibly because nobody else makes them.

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04-16-2019, 11:49 AM
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Thanks for the insights about the DR410.. I willl take a closer look.. people tend to dismiss Funai somewhat.. maybe with cause.. but I know very little about them really.

Sony is its own puzzle to me. Its more so now that you say they did their own thing. I am sorry about your health crisis, it seems an unavoidable part of life for everyone eventually. Leaving all this knowledge behind since the kids don't care.. makes me wonder if sharing what we know on the Internet is the future.. that it will become our Pyramids of Antiquity thousands of years from now. With cultures tearing it down from time to time like assaults on the Internet Archive by the EU becoming the modern day version of the Middle Ages or Genghis Khan overrunning Constantinople... just another day at the races.

ATI was Tesla or SpaceX.. for their day.. I wonder if history repeats.

DivX (is confusing) just doesn't do it justice. But DVRs seems to have a fanatical interest in it at the start of HDTV and PVRs.

Its seems the entire world changed 2008-2010.. everything of my childhood abruptly 'ended'.. my Dad passed during that time.. NTSC > ATSC.. Apple died.. Microsoft 1.0 fired all the testers and was sold to Microsoft 2.0 .. gosh.

-- merged --

Support for the Panasonic EH55, EH75, EH59, EH69 is working and looks very close.



The extra "==" were just me trying to find the Limits to how long a Recording Title could be.

I have to feed this back to Peter, but 'extra long' titles can cause IB to request you rename the Title to address filename limits in the PC file system before copying.

Last weekend:

1. figured out Panasonic (blessing) of drives, so could zero wipe and reformat smaller drives, make recordings and compress those for Peter > E500H, EH50, EH55, EH75, EH59, EH69 .. he figured out how to best support the 55, 75, 59, 69 last night

2. figured out (for me) choices when installing IB on a 2012 MacBook Pro.. this in preparation for making videos using IB on a Mac ('Mojave') to extract recordings to the Mac from a DVR hard drive

mini-synopsis - IB runs under Wine/WinBottler very easily.. but Wine on OSX doesn't have low level access to USB devices that are not "character based" so.. IB can only work with disk images from (Wine-space).. (but).. VirtualBox fully supports USB 1.x, 2.x, 3.x access. Thus it works with my USB 2.0 drive dock and cables which I used in other videos.

So I installed Windows XP on VirtualBox on OSX for a test and put IB on that.. and it 'works a charm' accessing and extracting recordings on OSX.. its probably a better experience in fact.. unless you really prefer working with disk image files. USB 2.0 is fine for most things when your extracting since speed is not an issue.. there are no 'frame drops' for example.. its already digital. - it makes a pretty convenient and solid method for capturing MPEG2 video on a dedicated device that isn't prone to reboots or hiccups and then ('importing') that footage over to the Mac when complete... at disc to disc speeds as whole files.. rather than burning to a space constrained DVD-R/W or DVD-RAM, then ripping and reassembling things later. This is also simple for recovering recordings when the DVD burner is broken, DVD media is unavailable, or the recorder won't start for some reason.

I plan to get to videos and documentation.. but so many directions I can go (like demo'ing using IB on Linux with VirtualBox) it can be delaying and distracting.

-- merged --

Update on Panasonic support.. lots of news

Whoa boy.

EH50, EH55, EH75, EH59, EH69 are now baked in and confirmed to be working. E500H is a short step away.

Blu-ray BS750 is almost supported.

There are a ton of technical details but we established the variations on the MEIDFSv2.x, HDFSv2.0 and Panasonic "special UDF" file systems. Its never as simple as it seems at first.

Blu-ray wasn't on the road map.. it just sort of bounced its way into the middle of the road. The file system reveals a BDAV folder structure.. which is sort of Matroska MKV (only) commercial (for consumers version). And its definitely not encrypted.

I've been worried the Magnavoxes 865/867/868 would have had to deal with the one file equals one recording problem for a long time.. and how would they do that? BDAV was a natural choice.. but its not well documented.. or its not supposed to be. MKV named for a "russian doll" theme, surrounds collections of files to make a whole "thing" easily transportable.. it can surround one file or many. When extracting single recordings from BDAV you have to "put it into something" and an MKV makes sense.. or throw away meta data and slap a reduced information Title name on a streaming file like .m2ts > .mts .. which generally .. makes a lot of people very mad at you.

JVC Blu-ray would also have the same problem.. so its all (actually) a good thing running head long into this problem.. unexpectantly.. with a Panasonic of all things.. but oh well.

That little excursion put me behind on videos and guides. They're coming.. really.. there are a finite number of recorder models in this universe.. lol.

Just a reminder that I am not a software coder, Peter is and I'm mostly a tester/observer. So take everything I explain with a grain of salt. This project would drive some people absolutely crazy with all the twists and turns to support all these recorders and formats. Peter really does an amazing job.. and he gives new meaning to the word (next?).

Oh yeah.. about the long title names.. Peter said using a modern operating system like Windows 7 or 10 ... \_(ツ)_/ its not problem.. its only a problem on Windows XP


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04-16-2019, 03:15 PM
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When I get a guide or instructions, plus free time, I'll try this on the EH55. I know it still has TV recordings that were never pulled off. And the reason for them never being pulled off is that HDD>DVD>computer was also such a long process.

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04-20-2019, 04:03 PM
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Last two days have been a little exhausting for me. Peter has a cold and been slowing down.. but feels like he's accelerating to me. He has nailed every Panasonic DVD recorder with hard drive I have access to.. and started adding support for Panasonic Blu-ray recorders. I am slowly getting access to a couple older (2002/2003) Panasonic recorders.. but one is in shipment and the other I can't afford right now.. so that end of the Timeline is about to stop.

So both ends.. past and future.. we are about to run out of hardware to test with. Its not that we couldn't "flash sideways" but I don't have any of that gear.. and no one I know currently has a lot of that gear.. so the broadness of coverage for Panasonic will linger behind the excellent Pioneer coverage and Toshiba coverage.

Since we got Blu-ray and Peter has to travel soon.. the upper end Mags that internally say they are Blu-ray might be the next "peek" into the future.

I'd like to look at the JVC MX and DVMs next and skip over the Polaroid revisit.. because it beat us up so badly before..

.. its getting to be the only game left in town however, we may have to jump into the JVC once Peter has time again. That leaves me with time to bash my head against the problem in private for a while.

I feel I must apologize again for the lack of more videos and guides. Soon Peter will be too busy to work on this for a while and I (also) wanted to get as far and wide coverage and the next public alpha out and available before we have to stop.. so.. the videos and guides are lower priority for the moment. -- If I did those, we would end up with fewer brands and models supported.

Quote:
HDD>DVD>computer was also such a long process.
Isn't that the truth.. if you can find good media and the time to do it.

ps. Two other thoughts.. much of the Panasonic Blu-ray testing has been with PAL, but some NTSC recordings. The native formats are .m2ts and .m2ps which means they (could) record HD and SD on the same hard drive. .. just some interesting misc info.

-- merged --

I don't think we will be looking into Sony DVRs before the 700 series.

[note: Sony models numbers (are confusing) they appear to range from 1 to 1080i and then "reset" after they left the PlayStation models and restarted with the 700 series.. more in keeping with the European Kuro line of the LX70 recorders that Pioneer made.. which Sony continued selling for years after Pioneer stopped making their own.. its possible Pioneer made these "too" but under contract and that is why parts from those later Sonys could be used to repair older Pioneers even after Pioneer stopped selling replacement parts.]

Early Sony started with the PSX DVR, which I do not have access too.. but I did look at an RDR-HX900, internally it resembles a PlayStation 3 or 4 which were well known to use the PFS file system encryption.

As I said before.. I know nothing about encryption.. so those will be a non-starter.

I know there are lots of approaches to PlayStation file systems.. but we don't want to go there.

At some point Sony broke ranks from the PlayStation development teams and partnered with Pioneer to produce a more "full featured" DVR device.. they barely resemble anything put out by Sony before. - The PlayStation DVRs for instance (did not) include Title Divide, or Chapter marks from what I could tell and their users strongly regretted Sony's decision. The menu system of a PlayStation DVR resembles a Sony PlayStation menu system as well.. so its quite "alien" to anyone used to more conventional DVRs.. it was obviously used "first" for some other purpose and "Stretched" to fit the DVR purpose.

In fact the later post-700 editions look like re-branded Pioneer recorders with slight service remote tweaks. But they sold mostly in Europe not the North American markets, and then mostly in Canada, I don't know if there was ever an official Sony "post" PlayStation design sold in the US... which means they will be rare or almost unobtainable "by me".

I am not adverse to testing with a Sony RDR-715, 750 or one of the others.. its just probable I (will never) get the chance.

Sony had a hardware advantage with the PlayStation chips no other company had.. including encryption chips no doubt drove up the price.. but it was already part of their production line inventory.. in fact pulling it out of the design might have cost more money.

The typical DVR of the time might have four major chips on one motherboard and one central processor. Sony easily had 30 chips on 6-8 motherboards running around inside the case.. and a lot of those don't look like they had anything to do with video. The Sony's run hot sitting still when turned on. If anything their legacy probably interfered with their success.. great picture.. but a big ticket item to start. They had to (build-down) rather than (build-up) their designs.

In the end outsourcing it to the leader in the industry at the time historically (based on the 520) probably made good business sense. And with Pioneer leaving the market.. it was Sony's to loose... at least in Europe.
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04-20-2019, 06:27 PM
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What does the playstation-like menu look like? I have a HX910 (PAL, think the 710 is similar but lacks a few features), but I can't remember the menu looking playstation-like on it. It's at least completely different from my HX750 which has nearly identical menus to my pioneer dvr. So I can help out with that one if you are curious.
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04-20-2019, 08:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hodgey View Post
What does the playstation-like menu look like? I have a HX910 (PAL, think the 710 is similar but lacks a few features), but I can't remember the menu looking playstation-like on it. It's at least completely different from my HX750 which has nearly identical menus to my pioneer dvr. So I can help out with that one if you are curious.
I appreciate the offer of help with the HX750. I am curious, but its probably a matter of trying the IB on it with Pioneer support to see if its detected as a Pioneer model.. and which model.

There has been some thought it might be based on the 540, 550 or 560.. but precisely which? No one ever definitely knows. It might not even be identified at all.

-- merged --

(I think) this will be the SONY support matrix

Code:
PIO        SONY
--- (2005)       HX720
520 (2006)       HX730
530 (2007) HX650 HX750 HX950
540 (2008) HX680 HX780 HX980
550 (2009)       HX790 HX990 HX1090
The earlier HX900 and HX915 were succeeded by the HX715.

The earlier HX900 and HX915 were the PlayStation based models I was referring to. This might include the HX715 in that "PlayStation" family.. but I can't be sure. As the last model with Component Input.. its probably a safe bet that the HX715 was a member of the PlayStation family.

Beginning with the HX730 I believe they were all based on the Pioneer "base model" at the [left] even though those Pioneer models were released in different and earlier years. I believe that occurred because Sony added HDMI and proprietary boards to link with other Sony av control systems and probably had to qualify with regulatory agencies after Pioneer developed the base models delaying Sonys models.

After the HX790, HX990 models Pioneer stopped production of their DVRs and Sony had to turn to Samsung models.. and shortly after that Sony left the market.

I am vaguely aware of some peripheral models made for particular markets, but they were variations on this central core of models.

Since IB currently supports and has been tested with all PIO models, the SONY models should identify as the PIO models they were built upon. If they do not that would be useful feedback.

I have only one HX900 and it is not supported by IB, and I think it unlikely at this time.

I have none of the other Sony models to test with.. so this is mostly speculation... partly based on knowing the formatting routines in the PIO based models have to conform to PIO standards.. or they could not deliver the same DVR features as the Pioneer DVRs.
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  #14  
04-22-2019, 03:16 PM
Bogilein Bogilein is offline
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Hello jwillis84,

I have used the Pioneer DVR-555, the Sony RDR-680 & Sony RDR-870 with the Alpha Version of IsoBuster. IsoBuster identify all 3 hdd as Pioneer 550,560 models. I only have had a few recordings on the harddisk and I could extract the files easily. Usually I have used the dvr-recover script to extract the files from the hdd but with IsoBuster it is much easier.
I just want to try to extract the files from a Toshiba XS32 but IsoBuster says I have to register to extract the files.
What version I have to buy to use IsoBuster to extract files from any dvr hdd? The Pro Version for personal use or would I need the Pro version for professional use?
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04-22-2019, 04:03 PM
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lordsmurf lordsmurf is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bogilein View Post
What version I have to buy to use IsoBuster to extract files from any dvr hdd? The Pro Version for personal use or would I need the Pro version for professional use?
Given that Mr. ISO Buster has done so much work, for that reason alone I'd suggest the $60 USD Pro version (57€ with VAT), instead of the $40 Personal version. And the Pro has more features anyway, and may come in handy eventually.

And if you click this link, you'll be supporting this site as well.

- Did my advice help you? Then become a Premium Member and support this site.
- Find television shows, cartoons, DVDs and Blu-ray releases at the TVPast forums.
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  #16  
04-22-2019, 04:11 PM
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jwillis84 jwillis84 is offline
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Wow.. thanks for the Feedback!

Thats very encouraging, detailed and useful information. I was so worried about recorders over there I would never be able to test. You've made my day.

To answer your questions about features and licensing I have to refer you to the authors website for IB.

I started by buying a Professional license for v4.0 and have never run the alpha 4.x.x editions without using the v4.0 license. There are several levels of features: free, standard and professional.

The website has details on what each level offers, there is a chart that breaks it down by individual feature. There are a lot of features.. in fact its overwhelming when you dig into what it can do.. but Super easy to use if you ignore all the bazillion things you (could) do.

So I must reluctantly say I can't help you beyond telling you what I did that works for me. I am not the author and I don't work for IB, i simply test and encourage people to try it out.

Regarding Personal or Business edition. I would definitely advise you heed LordSmurfs advice.

LordSmurf is correct in that this has been a multi-month project and taken up a great deal of the authors family time. He's about to have to leave his family for six months.. so it was quite a sacrifice for him to make.

Last edited by jwillis84; 04-22-2019 at 04:40 PM.
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  #17  
04-22-2019, 10:21 PM
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jwillis84 jwillis84 is offline
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Fyi..

I did get some clarity on why some recorders you can cannot off load video from some recorders without a license, and some you can off load videos without a license.

The issue with the "alpha" versions where you cannot off load videos without a license. Is those recorders require using well known and standard file systems that already require a license.

The issue with the "alpha" versions where you can can off load videos without a license. Is those recorders do not require using a well known and standard file system, but some new variant which (will) require a license once a new version of IB is released with this support.

So to answer the question of (will) you need a license to access all recorders for off loading in the future, the answer is (yes).

But an appropriate license will grant you access to all the recorders in the "alpha" right now.

So for clarity, if you currently have an up to date license and are currently using it you will have access to all the features indicated per the feature level: free, standard or professional.

The only confusion will arise when you have temporary access in the "alpha" version until its release. And predicting which recorders will and will not allow you to off load while in "alpha" testing, would be impossible to predict until after support has been added and someone has tested it.

The easy way around all the uncertainty is to look at the feature list for each level on the IB website, and use a license that suits your situation.

I'm not the definitive arbiter of license rights and make no decisions for IB.. if you have deeper insights or questions about IB licensing it would be best directed through the IB website.

A [concrete example] would be:

Toshiba RD-XS32 recorders use the UDF file system, a well known and standard file system that already requires a license in order to off load recordings.

Pioneer 550 recorders use a slight variant of a well known file system, sufficiently different enough that it has to be handled differently and that branches around the licensing for now. That is not intentional, its simply a result of the slight variation. Many Sony models are for all intents and purposes a Pioneer, so they benefit from the same unintentional result.

The intention however is that in the final edition they will all require licensing for offload.

And [this is the "alpha" release] a "Beta" release is planned for later this year which will have additional user interface badges and performance tweaks which the alpha currently does not have.

My personal feeling is its quite good as it is today, each addition makes it even better.. and frankly I'm concerned it might disappear like a whisp of smoke.

You can download and use the alpha to test it against a recorder hard drive and see for yourself.

There is always the possibility your hard drive is too far gone to salvage, or got wiped by someone over the years and there is nothing left to recover. In which case you wasted no time and know the situation. (just be sure its a known "supported" recorder.. and you can still use Advanced Salvage mode to scour the hard drive for any remnants lingering in the far corners of the drive)

If you see what your looking for is available, then you can commit to acquiring a license and continue down the path of off loading and recovery. For a wedding or graduation video uploaded to your recorder years ago, and for which the recorder DVD burner no longer works.. this would be a very happy outcome indeed.

Last edited by jwillis84; 04-22-2019 at 11:19 PM.
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  #18  
04-24-2019, 10:49 AM
hodgey hodgey is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jwillis84 View Post
I appreciate the offer of help with the HX750. I am curious, but its probably a matter of trying the IB on it with Pioneer support to see if its detected as a Pioneer model.. and which model.
I was more referring to the HX910 in case you were wondering about hardware and hard-drive data. I'm actively using the 750 so I can't mess too much with it at the moment.

Also a bit curious about whether this would be possible on any cable/sattelite box dvrs, or if they would all be encrypted.
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04-25-2019, 12:41 PM
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jwillis84 jwillis84 is offline
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Cable or Sat boxes are unlikely to be encrypted, except for the file system, but doing anything with those boxes risks your warranty. The recorders we've been looking at have long since left their warranty period, and may have come to the end of their service life.

They might be re-tooled or re-purposed but its unlikely people would expect them to continue to be used for anything else. At worst they can recover their videos. At best they can use them to convert analog sources to digital (high-speed) without using any intervening bridge media.

The method also (removes the bit rate cap) a normal DVD recording places on videos. When by-passing the DVD media you can record at the maximum bit rate of the recorder, to minimize any potential artifacts.

Last edited by jwillis84; 04-25-2019 at 12:58 PM.
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