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I have a panasonic dmr-eh50 dvd recorder. The last time I tried to play a disc a few days ago the disc came out split down the middle. Since then it has not been able to read any disc i put in

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I expect the damaged disk spun round and has damaged the lens assemby and laser.
If the unit is not too old, Panasonic are very good, price wize, for repairs.
Hope that helps.

Posted on Dec 29, 2010

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I have been able to record down converted HDTV shows on my Panasonic DMR-EH50 recorder directly to the unit's hard drive and/or directly to a blank DVD-R disc.

I do not know of any DTV converter box that can provide the proper codes to the Panasonic DMR-EH50 to allow recording and scheduling of shows using the unit's built in TV Guide menuing functions (the program recording codes are essentially VCR Plus codes in the USA and VCR Video codes in the UK, and this technology was previously owned by TV Guide/Gemstar but was purchased by Macrovision within the past couple of years.)

When the DMR-EH50 is hooked up to standard RG-59/U coaxial TV cable, the cable company provides the specific VCR Plus recording codes, as well as auto setting the time and date information required for the TV Guide recording schedule menus. The VCR Plus recording codes are sent via the cable company through the coaxial cable to the end consumer's recording device. Since Gemstar's VCR-Plus patents are now owned by Macrovision, I am not sure of how this works (or will work) for non-cable/non-satellite customers or if such codes will be made available by Macrovision to record shows when one receives HDTV signals (or down converted DTV signals) from an over-the-air antenna.

Though the DMR-EH50 recorder can only record at Standard Definition (SD) broadcast resolutions, I connect the DMR-EH50 to my High Definition TV using the three progressive scan YPBPR output cables and switch my HD-TV into the YPBPR mode when I want to watch shows from the DMR-EH50.

YPBPR are the analog video signals carried by three color coded component video cables. The green cable carries the Y signal; the blue cable carries the PB signal; and the red cable carries the PR signal. The added benefit of using the YPBPR hookup is that you can 'up convert' a standard DVD disc (non HD Blu-Ray disc) in progressive scan mode to somethin akin to 720p resolution using the DM-EH50 (or any other progressive scan DVD player) to get a better quality image on your HD-TV.

Visually speaking, the same appears to hold true for playback of programs recorded on the DMR-EH50's hard drive even though down converted via the DTV converter box, and when played back on an HD-TV using the YPBPR progressive scan cabling hookup.

I also been able to successfully record programs from the DTV converter box to the DMR-EH50 recorder in both 16:9 wide screen and 4:3 normal aspect ratios, but again only in Standard Definition quality.

For NTSC and PAL formats, the correct aspect ratios for any particular TV (the rectangular height and width of your output resolution for a TV screen) can usually be setup correctly for most any DTV converter box by going carefully through the menus on the converter box. Though the converted DTV often will yield 'better looking TV' than cable, it's certainly not high definition however, as the purpose of any DTV converter box is * not * to yield a High Definition digital TV signal but a lower quality Standard Definition signal for viewing on older SD-TVs.

We must remember that what is happening here is that (by NTSC USA standards), we are transcoding (i.e., down converting) an over the air 1920 x 1080p (progressive scan) High Definition digital broadcast signal, captured by your over the air antenna, back to a Standard Definition 720 x 480 resolution analog broadcast signal (the 720 x 480 resolution is a 4:3 aspect ratio.)

Hope this helps a little -

Greg Loveria
Conklin, NY USA

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