My dilema!

Discussion in 'Beginners, General Questions' started by Richard Ferns, Dec 9, 2003.

  1. Richard Ferns

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    If I've posted in the wrong area, please excuse me and redirect this post.

    Hello Folks,
    This is my first post. I have been reading about HT and various recievers for about 2 months now. Although I'd like to begin my first post with the numerous questions I have about HT, I cannot. I am actually urgently looking for a few suggestions from the gurus out here or more so a justification to my reasoning with this cunundrum I'm faced with.

    At the moment all I have is a SONY all in one piece stereo system, its about 10 years old and a crappy GE 25" tv. The sony box is pretty powerful and it fills up a 3 floor house when it is cranked. However, I would like to delve into the pleasures of the HT world. I am a music fan. I listen to a wide range both culturally and acoustically speaking. However, for now lets get back to my cunundrum.

    Just as I began thinking about what I'd like to purchase in terms of an HT about a month ago, I ran into a problem with my awesome sony VCR. I am very disheartened by it. At the time that I purchased it, it was $500, top of the line at the time. The front loading tray had some problems and when I took it in to the repair shop I found out that the arm that links both sides of the tray had broken. The only way it can be repaired is to replace the full loading tray assembly. It costs $150. I went to the sony store and asked what their top of the line VCR costs today, salesman said $139 + tax. that too it does not have the shuttle jog dial and/or numerous other options I have on my vcr and remote control. Also, the new vcr these days seem to be a lot lighter which only drives me to think that the quality is'nt as good as what I have.

    My question is what should I do ? Pay 150 to fix my loading tray or get the new vcr. I was thinking about getting a VCR/DVD combo, since I am planning on building up to HT. But that screws up my plan - buy recievers and speakers first then DVD players n so on. I am a music fan first and then a movie fan so my logic is reciever, speakers then movie stuff - since the finances are'nt as flexible. A couple of people have said that buying the combo is'nt a good idea.

    So dear Gurus which choice should I go with :
    1) Fix old VCR and hope that nothing happens again. Cost $150
    2) Buy new lower quality VCR. Cost $139
    3) Buy new combo Probably cost around $250 and up.

    Thankx in advance for the tips.
    Richard
     
  2. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    None of the above.

    The price of time-shifting your shows onto recordable DVD or a hard-disc recorder keeps coming down. And if you must consider a combo unit, check out the new PVR/DVD player combos.

    In short, time to move on past tape.

    (Oh, and welcome to HTF. You've come to the right place!)
     
  3. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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    hi richard -

    believe me, i absolutely feel your pain. i also had a uber-cool sony vcr from the old days. it had all the good stuff; jog-shuttle, led meters for my levels, multiple a/v inputs, etc. it was truly an awesome vcr ... until my roomate stole it. [​IMG]

    anyway, i gotta admit that it's probably time to let it go. 150 bucks is quite a bit to repair something that has basically become obsolete. unless you have specific needs for such a hi-performance vcr, it's time to chuck it and get into tivo.

    listen closely: tivo will change the way you watch tv. i promise you that.

    as far as ht, goes, you're doing it right. build the system slowly, buy quality gear and you'll be much happier in the long run. since music is important to you, there's really no rush to get all the speakers at once.

    congrats, welcome to htf and welcome to the wonderful world of a/v!
     
  4. Richard Ferns

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    Hello folks,

    Well Ted and Jack, I dont disagree with you. I can see VCR technology slowly going obsolete. However, what am I supposed to do with the numerous home videos I have ? I'd have to use my TV-in/out card on my PC to convert them from VHS to MPG/AVI and then store them on DVD or else I would'nt be able to watch them if I have no VCR. Anyone know where I can find a cheaper price on a front loading tray for this VCR ?

    Cheers,
    -R
     
  5. Richard Ferns

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    Hello,

    Is it a bad idea to purchase DVD/VCR combo units ? If so why ? What are some of your views on those ? If I wish to get a DVD/VCR combo, which brands or models are recommended ?

    Would also like some opinions on single disc DVD only units - which brands, what features are a must have, what features are nice to have ?

    Thanks in advance for your comments.

    Rich
     
  6. ChuckSolo

    ChuckSolo Screenwriter

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    Actually, I was in the almost the same dilemma you are in about a year ago. My wife and I had purchased a Sony 1st generation surround system when we got married and it included a 27" Trinitron and their top of the line VCR. Well, the VCR was the last to go so I too had to face the choice since I have over 400 movies on VHS tape. Since I had already upgraded my main HT to a DVD player 5.1 surround and Super VHS VCR, I decided to install a second HT in my bedroom. Well, the Zenith VCR/DVD combo unit I bought is just the ticket I needed for a second HT. However, I would NOT use a combo unit as my main HT source device. The unit has the inherent weakness that if one of the componenets dies, you are basically stuck with nothing. On the other hand, if you have an older TV with limited inputs, a combo unit may be the way to go unless you want to spring for separates and a A/B switch box. The Zentih combo unit has been in operation almost a year now with absolutely no problems whatsoever. My main HT at this time has a two year old Pioneer DVD and I recently purchased a JVC S-VHS VCR at a rock bottom price from Circuit City. Both those units cost me a grand total of $250.00. My combo Zenith was around $170.00. Get whatever you think is best for you.
     
  7. Jamie=B

    Jamie=B Auditioning

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    As far as family memories on tape rember over time tape brakes down also the more you play it it can stretch.. So why fight make it digital witch wont brake down or stretch a better format for keeping memories. plus you can cut pictures out and email them and other trick things..
     
  8. Steve Lucas

    Steve Lucas Stunt Coordinator

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    It occurs to me that even if you do want to convert your old tapes to dvd (a good idea if you have time), you would still need a vcr to play them in order to do the conversion in the first place.
    The other guys are right though, tape is dead. The picture quality of dvds is so far beyond tape, not to mention that they don't get eaten by the player, have so may extra features, etc. means you should really go ahead and make the move to dvd. From now on your movie library can be dvd instead of tape. Trust me, once you do end up switching, you'll want all your old favorites on dvd anyway. Do yourself a favor and switch now, before you buy many more tapes you will want to replace later.
    That being said, here's my $.02.....
    FIRST: Buy a decent (maybe not even top of the line) 4 or 6 head, stereo vcr for your old tapes. you should be able to get one for less than $100 that has all the picture quality you old one did. Remember, you will only be using it to watch old stuff occasionally and maybe to archive old stuff to dvd. You don't need all the fancy controls anymore. I can't remember the last time I used my vcr for anything other than recording a tv show to watch later.
    SECOND: Buy a decent dvd player. Again, around $100 should do it here. You don't need progressive scan with your current tv, but you can get it at this price so that you'll have it when you need it. DVD player prices are dropping so fast that by the time you do upgrade your tv, chances are you may want to upgrade to a newer, better model at little cost anyway. However, this solves your immediate problem, and just may set you up for the future at a cost that is less that that of a combo unit by itself. Another advantage is that if either unit breaks, or needs to be upgraded later, you can do it cheaper by replacing only the one rather than the whole combo.

    Hope this helps.
    Steve
     
  9. Garrett Lundy

    Garrett Lundy Producer

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    I suggest: Upgrade to a SVHS or even a DVHS machine! Reap the benefits of new technologies and improved resolution while still being able to watch your old tapes and even tape HDTV! (DVHS only).

    I personally made the switch to a SVHS player a few years ago. Couldn't be happier. Regular tapes look a little, but still noticably, better. And television recorded on SVHS tapes looks great! Its a shame SVHS wasn't available sooner, it seems like it was only around a year or two before DVD came 'round and engulfed the industry.
     
  10. SethH

    SethH Cinematographer

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    I don't think I would buy a combo unit if I were you. As someone else mentioned above, there is the chance of one breaking down and being forced to toss it out even though half of it's still good. But also, since you are mostly a music guy, you may want to spring for a DVD player that can also play SACD or DVD-A which I don't think is available in a combo unit.
     

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