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DVD Recorder with HD??

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by StanGC, Jul 26, 2009.

  1. StanGC

    StanGC Auditioning

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    I am a newbie to this site and my knowledge of home theater equipment is very limited. My wife records cooking shows on our DVR and would like to transfer some to a DVD for future reference ... like a cook book on DVD. What is the best way to do this? Is there a DVR with a DVD recorder?
     
  2. Stephen Tu

    Stephen Tu Screenwriter

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    Do you mean HD = high definition or HD = hard drive?

    DVD-R only can record in standard definition. There do exist DVD recorders that have hard drives, you can record shows in SD then burn them on to DVDs.

    High-definition DVRs record in HD so they don't combine them with DVD-Rs, at least not in the U.S. Japan you can get some with a blu-ray recorder. What you can do is record in HD on the DVR, then connect a standard DVD-recorder, and record from the standard def S-video output.

    Alternately, you could get a TivoHD recorder, and transfer files (other than copy protected stuff like HBO) via network to a computer. This preserves them in high-definition and you can transfer them back to the Tivo later. You can use various software to burn to DVD, either in standard SD format for any player, or in actual HD that can be read in certain Blu-ray players (not std DVD players).

    Also those cooking shows might be available for purchase, or on an internet site, depending on the show.
     
  3. Andrew M

    Andrew M Second Unit

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  4. Alfonso_M

    Alfonso_M Second Unit

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    Originally Posted by Andrew M
     
  5. Andrew M

    Andrew M Second Unit

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    I don't have my instruction manual with me here at work so I'm not sure how I've go the Maggie set up. But I do use the 2160 for OTA recording here in SF using an indoor antenna and the recordings display properly on my Sharp LCD HDTV. (I think I might change the screen setting on the Sharp.) Mostly I've been recording in SP and watching Heroes, Chuck and Knight Rider (when it was on) at my convenience. Using the indoor antenna I get about 60 digital channels in downtown SF.

    Anyway this might be the last stand for the Magnavox and Phillips DVRs w/HDD. I'd suggest buying sooner rather than later. The HDD makes all the difference in editing out commercials, etc. for shows or movies I intend to keep. Good quality DVD-Rs from Meritline are inexpensive.
     
  6. Scott Merryfield

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    Does anyone make a DVD recorder with a hard drive and a QAM digital tuner? Comcast is switching over to all digital transmissions, so my Panasonic DVD recorder with its analog-only tuner will soon become useless for recording directly from CATV. An ATSC tuner will not help in this case, since that is for over the air digital transmissions, not cable TV.

    The only way I can use my current recorder is by connecting the A/V outputs from my HD cable box to a/v inputs on the recorder, program both units when I want to record something, and deal with different screen formats (the HD cable box is set for a 16x9 display, but I need it set to 4x3 for the DVD recorder). Under these circumstances, I doubt I will bother using the device anymore.
     
  7. Andrew M

    Andrew M Second Unit

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  8. Stephen Tu

    Stephen Tu Screenwriter

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    Why do you guys like DVD recorders so much in this day & age? SD recording blows chunks when compared to HD recording with full 5.1 audio on a Tivo-HD. Stick a terabyte drive on there if you want to keep stuff around. Or transfer it to PC for storage, transfer back when you want to watch it, still in full HD. Burn to DVD-R on the PC if you really, really need to for some reason. You can even burn in HD to play back on a BD player!

    I've never had a DVD standalone recorder, and don't see any reason to use one, for TV purposes. Making DVDs from camcorder footage, maybe, though I'd still go PC for that.

    If you don't have a HD-DVR in my mind you are in the dark ages. Being able to easily record every show you watch automatically is revolutionary. You don't ever have to get home at a certain time to catch a show live in HD. You can skip over commercials & boring segments. You can stop and resume later for any reason at any time. Watch the shows you want to, when you want to, at full quality, instead of being hostage to the broadcaster's schedule.
     
  9. Scott Merryfield

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    Stephen,

    I only record TV occasionally, so I do not want to pay a monthly fee for a HDD recorder. I've been using my DVD recorder for those rare occasions when I want to record something (usually a Michigan football game or Montreal Canadiens hockey game when I'm not home). I do not watch any prime time network shows.

    Unfortunately, with Comcast beginning to discontinue their transmission of analog signals, the recorder will become useless for this function without some sort of external box.

    If there is a product with a built-in QAM tuner that can record in HD without paying a monthly fee, I would be interested in such a unit.
     
  10. Stephen Tu

    Stephen Tu Screenwriter

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    The reason you only record occasionally is that it's a hassle, plus you lose the HD. You have to manage disc space, make sure there's DVD with enough space in the machine. You have to rig timers. You have to rig the cable box. And when you're done you only have an SD show in stereo not 5.1 discrete. With a HD-DVR all those inconveniences evaporate. Recording is a simple process. Like a series, with a few clicks every new episode is recorded for you automatically in perpetuity. Like a sports team, create a wishlist and it automatically gets every game for you on any channel. With a DVR there's just no great reason not to simply record every single show you think you might want to watch. A valid reason not to get a DVR is if you only "occasionally watch TV" at all, not that you only "occasionally record TV".

    Tivo has a lifetime sub option. You pay $400, that's it, for the life of the unit. So $600 total for a refurb. Yes it's more expensive than a $250 Magnavox. But you get *HD* recording, dual recording, internet features (Netflix streaming, Rhapsody if you subscribe), PC network features (MP3/photo streaming, transfer shows to/from PC). With a cablecard, you can record *any channel* digitally, no reencoding from another box, like the Magnavox would require for any encrypted channel. They have a 30 day moneyback, I strongly recommend you give it a shot.
     
  11. Scott Merryfield

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    No, the reason I only record occasionally is because there is rarely anything on TV that I care if I miss the show. I do not watch network prime time shows, except for Big Bang Theory, if I'm home. And I really do not care if I miss that show.

    My DVD recorder has a built-in hard drive, and was purchased originally for the purpose of transferring old camcorder 8mm and Hi8mm tapes (plus some VHS) to DVD. However, it also worked perfectly for my needs on the rare occasion that I did want to record something (maybe 6-8 times a year). The most use in the last year was Saturday night hockey games on CBC, if Montreal happened to be playing -- we usually go to the local Plymouth Whaler hockey games that night. The CBC games are not in HD anyway, so picture quality is not even an issue. Other than that, I may have recorded one or two Michigan football games when I was playing golf in the fall.

    I do not see the need to pay any kind of subscription fee for such occasional use. If I wanted to pay such a fee, I would just give Comcast another $10-$15 a month for their HD-DVR service.
     
  12. Stephen Tu

    Stephen Tu Screenwriter

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    Well if that's the case, then the Magnavox would work, for the unencrypted channel set only (expanded basic). Your Panasonic would still work for local channels (Comcast still keeping locals, only killing the "expanded" tier between ~30-99, the ESPN/CNN/TNT etc.)

    Though if I found that little on TV worth watching, I couldn't stomach paying $60+/month for cable to begin with, I'd just stick with Netflix + Internet stuff.

    It's hard for me to relate to recording 6-8 times per year. I often record 6-8 things *per day*, though most are stuff that I only watch 5-10 minutes out of the hour before deleting. (E.g. talk shows, I'll watch a bit of the monologue, maybe a skit/top ten list, maybe one of the interviews, news I'll quickly skip to only the stories I find interesting).
     
  13. Alfonso_M

    Alfonso_M Second Unit

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    Originally Posted by Andrew M

    Edited by Alfonso_M - 7/30/2009 at 03:51 am GMT
     
  14. Scott Merryfield

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    Originally Posted by Stephen Tu

    I do not use Netflix, either. We rent the occasional movie (maybe once or twice a month), but not enough to pay a monthly fee.
     
  15. Stephen Tu

    Stephen Tu Screenwriter

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    To me, watching any significant amount of HDTV at all, I would not want to be without the Tivo. Other than the TV itself, without which a Tivo wouldn't be useful, I'd give up every other piece of equipment out of my home theater first, no question! For sports, I don't like watching days later either. If I'm home, I watch "pseudo-live", starting 0.5-1.5 hrs after it starts (depending on type of event), which then allows me to fast-forward through the *tremendous* amount of commercials, halftime, and other breaks in action I have no interest in. By the end of the game I'm caught up to live action. If I catch up way too soon, I'll watch something else for a little bit to build up some more buffer. Watching this way, also allows me to replay any play I want, slo-mo etc., without being dependent on the broadcaster to do it. Plus interruptions become irrelevant, I know I'll never miss anything, if I have to leave I don't have to set up anything to catch the end of the game. Have you just never tried using your "chase play/time-slip" feature on your Panasonic?

    As for the other random shows, to me it's just so much better to search the guide once a week in advance & pick out a bunch of stuff that looks semi-interesting, whether or not I end up watching it either in part or in its entirety. If I don't end up watching, no big deal, I just delete or let it delete itself if the machine runs out of room. Some recordings have sat on my machine for years unwatched. Then there's always something worth watching sitting in the recorded programs list. There's tons of shows on tons of channels, and most of it is crap, but you get a much better selection of shows to watch if you are picking out the non-crap from an entire week, rather than picking out what looks like the least crappy thing *starting right now when I happen to be in front of the TV*.
     
  16. Alfonso_M

    Alfonso_M Second Unit

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    I also don't care to pay $60 a month plus Hi-DEF programming and PVR fees on top of that..as you said, most of it is crap chock-full of commercials anyways...I buy the movies and TV shows that interest me on DVD and if I miss something.. so be it. I out-grew the need and urge to see EVERYTHING or EVERYTHING NOW a long time ago.

    as you know , with a HDD-DVD recorder you can do the same as you describe here, of course not on HIDEF, and certainly not with the same level of functionality and ease when compared to a PVR, but I was pleasantly surprised to find how much functionality this inexpensive RCA HDD-DVD recorder of mine had; and If I can get that Magnavox with a Digital tuner, that's going to make recording that much easier.... .

    I'm also planning to get the Dish DTVPAL, and then dump any recordings I want to keep to my DVD recorder.

    Of course the DTVPAL won't work for everyone here, as it lacks a QAM tuner, and strangely Dish decided to omit a S-VIDEO output, but as of now, this is the best available out there for my needs without having to support any cable or SAT company...

    For me one other very important reason for DVD recorders is that I can share the recordings with other friends, for instance I use the recorder mainly to record "Musical performances" from the late shows, then after editing I burn them all on a DVD (by types of music) to be played continuously. (all done in the recorder’s HDD ) If you want to get fancy, one can use these recordings to 'author' your own DVD on your PC with all kinds of bell and whistles, but as you know, this is very time consuming, ( and buggy software in my experience) and I can only imagine how much more time it would take to do something like this from PVR HI-DEF recordings into Blu Ray disc.

    For starters, one would need the latest and fastest PC and software out there with a Blu burner, and the cost of Blu disc blanks is like ten times or more than a DVD-Rs the last time I checked, (software is buggy too) and then most people out there do not own a Blu player yet, including me.

    PS: I can't figure out how to write below or around the 'quoted' area with this new sofware,[/url]

    I watch "pseudo-live", starting 0.5-1.5 hrs after it starts (depending on type of event), which then allows me to fast-forward through the *tremendous* amount of commercials, halftime, and other breaks in action I have no interest in.
     
  17. Stephen Tu

    Stephen Tu Screenwriter

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    To me, whether to subscribe cable/sat or not is a mostly separate issue from DVD-R vs. Tivo-HD. There's no monthly PVR fee for Tivo if you pay lifetime, it's just $600 total, one time, for everything, and you can use it for OTA only if you don't think cable is worth it. If you are planning on getting a DTVPal + a Magnavox, that's already like $500. If you already have a PC with a DVD-R drive, the TivoHD can do so much more and is considered much more reliable than the DTVPal ...

    As for cable vs. OTA, yeah, it's kind of pricey. The only reason I do it is for the live HD sports which just isn't available elsewhere. Otherwise I'd just increase my Netflix sub (to me buying the DVD/Blu-rays also too expensive, I want to watch most things only once). But since I'm paying for the sub, I go ahead and record the TV shows rather than spending more on Netflix.


    You don't need a Blu-ray burner. HD can be written to standard DVD-Rs, played in Blu-ray players. You can always write to standard DVD also (with 16:9 + 5.1!). You just need VideoRedo if you want to do editing, and it's not that hard or time consuming if you don't want to get any fancier than what a DVD-recorder does. bfdtv has a great TivoHD FAQ on avsforum HD recorders section, check it out. http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?p=11126048#post11126048

    Plus you can always record TivoHD straight to an old standalone DVD-recorder if you have one, using s-video output.

    Also read testimony from people like Kelson over at avs in the "DVD recorders section", he also initally balked at Tivo's high price, but finally broke down & got one, and now admits it's worth it. http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1088519

    Edited by Stephen Tu - 7/30/2009 at 11:51 pm GMT
     
  18. MielR

    MielR Advanced Member

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    Is there any way you can take advantage of Comcast's free Standard Def cable box? Comcast subscribers are allowed one cable box and 2 DTAs at no additional charge. You could perhaps use the SD box to feed a signal to your DVD-recorder (which is what I do with my Sony DVD-recorder). In fact, I only got the cable box for DVD-recording. For regular TV viewing, I use my TVs QAM tuner.

    In your case, you'd be using your HD box for TV viewing, so you'd have to ask them if the free SD box offer also applies to you.
     
  19. Alfonso_M

    Alfonso_M Second Unit

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    Originally Posted by Stephen Tu

    Yeah, it is great thatTivo unlike Dish includes an S-Video output for archiving, some over at AVS claim there is not much difference, but I think there is when viewing on an 57" screen.

    Tivo's web download/transfer is great feature too, if I want to do something fancy on the PC I don't need to burn the raw footage to dvd first like I do now..

    Although I think I may need that video REDo software, I'm not sure that my Roxio Media creator 9 -> VideoWave editor is able to handle 5.1 audio. ( I need to check)


    I need to find and read this testimony next, thanks for links and the great info...
     
  20. Stephen Tu

    Stephen Tu Screenwriter

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    No you don't, the lifetime sub kicks in right away after activation (w/ 30 days to get money back if return). There's no $100/year initially, as long as you get lifetime right away, or start off monthly, rather than making the mistake of prepaying a year or two and letting the 30 days expire. Only some people were stupid, said "I'm not sure I want lifetime", paid a couple yearly before saying, "oops I should have gotten lifetime, guess I'll get it now". *Those people* kicked in an extra couple hundred to Tivo, you don't have to. Also there were about 1.5 years (2006-2007) where Tivo had stopped offering lifetime subs, which sucked. They were too pricey even for me back then, they had to release cheaper HD model + bring back the lifetime before I bought one (I had non-HD Tivos for many years).

    And don't buy the terabyte model; buy the std model and plug in the official external drive which is cheaper. Or if after a few months you don't mind voiding the warranty put in your own internal drive with a little bit of MFStools hacking, the same internal drive as the one in the big model is available for just $100.

    So $598 total for refurb + lifetime, budget $100-170 for drive upgrade depending if you want +0.5 TB or 1TB, and official or not. +maybe $40 for the USB Wi-fi adapter if you don't happen to have an Ethernet jack handy at the installation location.


    Yeah of course there is capacity issue. 8.5 GB on a double layer DVD-R is only enough for 1-1.5 hours of HD depending on the station bit rate. Enough for an hour TV show, maybe 2 if you cut out all commercials. Also you need "AVCHD" support on the Blu-ray player, most have but not all.

    Edited by Stephen Tu - 8/1/2009 at 05:32 pm GMT
     

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