I have a Sony RDR-HX900 DVD recorder linked to a Sky+ box via S-VHS. I’ve set both 16:9 but when I record a program to DVD and play it back on the PC, it looks stretched and looking at the file properties its set at 4:3. Is this a DVD Recorder limitation? I read somewhere about +/R making a difference on this recorder?
It’s not a limitation of +R/+RW, but of Sony who choose to implement a reduced subset of the +VR feature range. I’m not sure about the RDR-HX900 exactly, but most of their other DVD recorders lack this facility.
If it’s a true anamorphic recording and you have access to a PC with DVD rewriter, then you can alter the playback aspect ratio (A/R) settings by ripping the DVD folders to PC HDD and change the A/R from 4:3 to 16:9 in the IFO file, using IFOedit.
You mention +R/+RW, so what about -R/-RW?
You mentioned +R/+RW only, hence the specificity of reply. I thought that’s what you were using .
Nevertheless, the advice in the second paragraph is true for both ‘+’ and ‘-’ formats (once you have the recording in the DVD-Video specification, the adjustments are format independent). Copy Audio_TS and Video_TS folders to HDD and edit the IFO file in Video_TS.
Note that this will only work if the Sony has made a proper anamorphic recording of the transmission (which it should), and thus it’s capable of being played back either as 4:3 or 16:9. What happens on your PC monitor if you change the A/R of the ‘squashed’ image to 16:9. Does it then look OK?
The IFO trick worked great - the BBC 3 logo on the video is now a circle again! Its a real shame I’m going to have to do that everytime though. Maybe I should just record in 4:3
Found some more info:
"You can record 16:9 on the Sony HX900, with the following limitations:
You cannot use +R or +R/W
You are limited to SP (2 hour/disc) or higher mode."
I also needed to enable 16:9 in the tools section. All sorted now
This is Sony-speak for:
“Despite anamorphic recordings being authentically recorded on +RW/+R, we don’t implement the +VR standard fully; nor could we be bothered to arrange for the 16:9 flag to be written.”
Still, as long as you have the correct A/R sorted for your own uses ;).
I have the strangest thing to tell about this issue: I have a Sony RDR HX710 and it recorded everything in 16/9 just fine. I could burn DVDs, watch them on the comp in 16:9, etc. Then the thing suddenly decided to only record in 4:3 onto the HDD with the distorted image, but still recorded in 16:9 onto a DVD-RW.
I thought it was announcing its future demise that way, so I purchased another machine, a Sony RDR HXD990, a week ago. Well, this device will only record in 4:3, be it onto a DVD or to the HDD and of course one gets the distorted image on a comp or old TV. I am currently in exchange of mails with Sony to see why. Might they be in the process of selling us pieces of excrement by any chance? Has anyone noted similar problems?