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SD Recording from HD Channel Problem

jim mohundro
03-24-2008, 10:59 AM
I’m taking the liberty of posting this on both the HiDef Forum and the AVS Forum for DVD recorders:

In the last couple of days, I’ve attempted to use my Panny DVDR to record two HD “broadcasts” on HD channels from my set top box. Up to this point I’ve had complete success recording from SD channels and playing those recordings on my plasma panel, adjusting the aspect ratio to “just” to fill the screen (I’m still in the anti-burn-in break-in period).
The problem: I recorded “Meet the Press” on the local HD NBC-affiliate KING-TV and a movie on TNT’s HD channel. In each case, the finished recording appeared with top and bottom bars when replayed on the Panny plasma’s “full”, “hi-fill”, 4:3 and “just.” On “zoom” which I’d normally use to eliminate the black bars, I got a smaller (than on “full”) picture with black bars on all four sides.
I’m just hoping to be able to make SD recordings from HD channels without black bars anywhere.
Is there something in the HD broadcast screen aspect ratios or screen size that gives me this unwatchable (at least during the break-in period) result?

Equipment, All Panasonics:

Plasma Panel: TH-42PZ700U
Blu-Ray Player: DMP-BD30K
Hard Drive DVD Recorder: DMR-E80H
VCR: PV9664
PV7662 (backup for when the PV9664 fails)

plus the
ComCast Set Top Box: Motorola DCH3200

VideeO
03-24-2008, 02:24 PM
The problem: I recorded “Meet the Press” on the local HD NBC-affiliate KING-TV and a movie on TNT’s HD channel. In each case, the finished recording appeared with top and bottom bars when replayed on the Panny plasma’s “full”, “hi-fill”, 4:3 and “just.” On “zoom” which I’d normally use to eliminate the black bars, I got a smaller (than on “full”) picture with black bars on all four sides.
I’m just hoping to be able to make SD recordings from HD channels without black bars anywhere.
Is there something in the HD broadcast screen aspect ratios or screen size that gives me this unwatchable (at least during the break-in period) result?
Ah, welcome to the club.

I have a Philips DVDR3475/37 and have experienced the same issue.
Others have posted previously that this is "just the way it is", and I have come to accept that.

It seems that when the HD program is sent to the DVDR (usually using S-video), it has obviously been downscaled from HD to 480i, and for some reason, most DVDRs seem to "fill the extra space" with black bars resulting in a windowboxed picture.
I have experimented with every setting on my DVR, DVDR, and TV while playing HD content through the DVDR and it seems to be an unavoidable consequece.

There was a post by someone quite a while back about a particular Sony DVDR (model RDR-GX330) which was claimed to have the capability to record HD content and play back in 16:9 SD.
I have never had the opportunity to confirm his information, nor did anyone refute his claim, so . . . who knows?

Indeed, if the Sony unit solves this problem, it would certainly be worth the price. I would be happy if we heard more on this topic as well.

allargon
05-21-2008, 11:38 AM
Bumping this old thread as it showed up.

I have the same Philips. I have a Dish Network DVR 622. The solution I've found is to set the Dish receiver output to 480i 4x3#1. I'm not a black bar hater. I just found this out accidentally. I got a 4:3 fullscreen version of a recording this way.

Scottnot
05-21-2008, 12:20 PM
Thanks for keeping it alive. And for the tip - I'll see if I can get my Motorola box to do something similar.

I'm surprised we don't have more posts on this topic as there's gotta be lots of flolks out there with DVDRs.
Also surprised that there have been no comments on the Sony player.