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DVD Recorder Purchase Help (DVD-RAM Compatible)


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34 replies to this topic

#1 of 35 MarkHastings

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Posted March 15 2003 - 08:00 AM

Since there really isn't a big choice when you limit them down to DVD-RAM capable, I've narrowed it down to this one...
Panasonic DMR-E30S which was a "Featured Item" on CC's web site and seems somewhat reasonable.

Does anyone have any other suggestions for a progressive scan DVD Recorder that supports DVD-RAM? What should I be looking for in a good recorder? i.e. Record Speed? Quality (is this a big issue?), etc.


p.s. There is also another Panasonic that's twice as much: Panasonic DMR-HS2.

#2 of 35 Ernest

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Posted March 15 2003 - 10:45 PM

The Panasonic recorders are excellent because they feature:

1.) "Flexible Recording" that records movies over two hours long at the highest bit rate.

2.) Progressive scan using the Farjouda DCDi chip set.

3.) Records to DVD-R which when finalized is most compatiable with DVD players.

4. Records to RAM which can be erased and re-recorded 1000's of times and provies editing features, such as deleting commercials.

The EM30 is being replaced by the EM50. So check around you maybe able to find some very goods buys on a close-out. The HD2 is the same as the EM30 with a hard drive. If you think you will get good use from recording to the drive and then re-recording to a DVD-R then the HD2 is right for you. The HD2 is not being replaced at this time so expect to pay at least $200.00 more. Good luck.

#3 of 35 MarkHastings

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Posted March 16 2003 - 07:44 AM

Ernest,

Thanks for the info. I should have also written that my main reason for wanting a recorder with DVD-RAM capabilities is because I have a DVD-RAM burner on my computer and I want to test out my DVD burns before I waste anymore money on incorrect DVD-R burns...i.e. I've been having interlacing issues with my burns and they obviously don't show up on the computer, but since they do appear on my tv (and my player isn't compatible with the DVD-RAM discs), I end up wasting tons of cash in testing on DVD-R.

In my research, it seems like the recording units are the only ones that support DVD-RAM playback. Is this true? or are there non-recorders that will play RAM's? This would obviously be cheaper...

Although I guess I wouldn't mind having a DVD recorder, so maybe I will look into the EM50.
Quote:
2.) Progressive scan using the Farjouda DCDi chip set.
I'll take your word that this is a good thing, but I'm not familiar with prog. scan chips so what are the benefits of this particular one?

-Thanks

#4 of 35 Michael St. Clair

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Posted March 16 2003 - 02:48 PM

I had an E30 on loaner for a while. Picture quality is excellent with both media; but there is a black level bug when recording on DVD-R that lightens up the picture. DVD-RAM mode, no such problem.

The next generation is supposed to fix this.

#5 of 35 Ka Yuen

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Posted March 17 2003 - 05:40 AM

Most newer Panasonic DVD players play DVD RAM. Check Panasonic web site.

http://www.prodcat.p......goryid= 2977

#6 of 35 MarkHastings

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Posted March 17 2003 - 06:09 AM

Ka,

Yeah, I just checked out a lot of manufacturers web sites last night and Panasonic seems to have a lot of DVD-RAM compatibility...and as you stated, Panasonic seems to be the only company that has non-recorders that handle DVD-RAM.

I was interested in the RP91, but it's been around for a few years and considering the recorders are going for the same price, maybe I'll pass. Does anyone know of a possible update to this model?

I was also looking at the XP30 & XP50. CNET gave them both good ratings CNET rating , but the bad is "Overly bright display; no aspect-ratio control; poor anamorphic conversion". Since I have a 16x9 tv, I guess I don't need to worry about anamorphic conversions or Aspect ratio control.

The EM60 recorder isn't on Panasonics site yet, but CNET talks about it and they say they'll have a full review in a few weeks. I think I may know where my tax refund is going. Posted Image

Hmmmm? What to do? What to do?

#7 of 35 Bill Will

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Posted March 17 2003 - 11:17 AM

I see J&R has the E30S "Silver" for $399.88 & the E30K "BLACK" for $449.88 Myself I rather have the black model but not for $50.00 more Posted Image

#8 of 35 MarkHastings

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Posted March 17 2003 - 11:28 AM

Quote:
but not for $50.00 more
But black paint is more expensive....right? Posted Image

#9 of 35 Bill Will

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Posted March 17 2003 - 11:31 AM

I guess so? & Lemon paint must be the cheapest right Posted Image

#10 of 35 Ernest

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Posted March 17 2003 - 01:20 PM

I also own two Panasonic RP82 players that play RAM discs. I have recorded 119 movies from VHS, SVHS, Laserdisc and DirecTV to DVD-R without any washout problems. The DVD-R's finalized to DVD-Video play back with excellent black color.

Last night I recorded part one of "Children Of Dune" and today I am recording part 2 on DVD-RAM's. I used the segment feature of the recorder to delete the commercials from part 1. When I finish recording part 3 tomorrow night I will convert the RAM recordings to DVD-R. The video recorded excellent, very dark, and the audio was digital pro logic.

I am very happy with the Panasonic EM30 recorder /player and have not experienced the so called washed-out problem in al my recordings.

#11 of 35 Michael St. Clair

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Posted March 17 2003 - 02:09 PM

Quote:
I also own two Panasonic RP82 players that play RAM discs. I have recorded 119 movies from VHS, SVHS, Laserdisc and DirecTV to DVD-R without any washout problems. The DVD-R's finalized to DVD-Video play back with excellent black color.

I am very happy with the Panasonic EM30 recorder /player and have not experienced the so called washed-out problem in al my recordings.


I'm sorry that you do not believe me, but I absolutely guarantee you that every single one of your DVD-R recordings have a 'washed-out' picture. Even Panasonic acknowledged the problem, and that they can't fix it with a firmware problem so the E50 will be the first player without the problem.

The difference is a few IRE and many people are simply not going to notice it.

If you don't believe me, record a test pattern (say the needle pulse in Avia or VE) onto both a DVD-R and a DVD-RAM. Compare side by side and you will see. An even better way is to take screen grabs on the PC of both sources - that's what I did. I have LF-D321 and SD-M1612 drives in my PC that read DVD-RAM.

Quote:
Statement from Panasonic USA (January 8th 2003):

Over the past few months Panasonic has been following the discussions about our DVD recorders, specifically those discussions focused on the video level at which "black" is recorded. We greatly appreciate the time each of you took to share these comments.

For the benefit of those who may not be aware, NTSC recordings that originate outside North America typically record black at 0 IRE, while here in North America black is recorded at 7.5 IRE. This portion of the video signal is often called "setup." Given the reality that the majority of consumer TVs are adjusted "by eye" most consumers would not notice such a slight variation unless an accurate alignment of the TV was attempted. Our Call Center has received a few calls from customers who, after reading this forum, contacted us for additional information. In general, they were very pleased with the products performance and contacted Panasonic more out of curiosity than concern.

In our research we discovered that these issues are mentioned in the operating instructions of some models made by our competitors. We also noted that while some DVD recorders may add 7.5 IRE to the native signal, others do not. Most manufacturers, Panasonic included, address this variable situation by including a feature in DVD players that allows the user to darken the playback picture by 7.5 IRE. Those manufacturers that don't have suggested a simple and effective solution, to slightly decrease the TV brightness. In either example, the level of black at 0 or 7.5 IRE is more of a personal viewing issue than one of performance.

This afternoon, a press conference was held in Las Vegas at the CE show that will open tomorrow morning. There, we announced our new DMR-E50 DVD recorder, the newest addition to our product line. The DMR-E50 retains the features of the DMR-E30 and adds new features such a MP3 playback as well as independent control of black level for both record and playback. This feature will allow the user to correct for variations that cannot be corrected when the DVD player does not offer the feature. We've also requested that this new feature be included in all subsequent models.

This feature was the result of extensive design changes, certainly beyond the possibility of adding this new feature to existing models. Information on the new DMR-E50 will be posted on our web site very soon and it should be in the stores sometime in February. Customers with questions can contact our Customer Call Center at 1-(800) 211-7262


http://www.avsforum.....hreadid=231435

They were (sadly) a bit misleading on implying that the 'darker/lighter' section on a player can 'correct' this. Of course, you can use this feature on the player but it still doesn't bring burned discs into spec with pre-recorded discs - if you make the system darker to 'compensate' for the fact that the burned discs are 'too light', then all the regular DVDs will play as 'too dark'. The truly correct solution is the independent black-level control they are adding to the new models. At that point it will be possible to burn DVD-R (not just DVD-RAM) on a Panasonic that will be truly in spec with other DVDs.

But if it doesn't bother you that your DVD-Rs are out of spec, and you don't notice, my honest advice is to just ignore it.

#12 of 35 MarkHastings

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Posted March 18 2003 - 02:54 AM

I think I'm narrowing down my decision to the E60 over the E50 for the DVD-A capability.

CNET states:
Quote:
The $699 (list) DMR-E60 offers all of the capabilities of the less expensive DMR-E50, plus a few additions. These include PC Card and Secure Digital memory slots, as well as a DV-input terminal for recording content from DV camcorders. The E60 is also compatible with high-resolution DVD-Audio discs.
The one thing I'm a bit confused on is in the specs:
The E50 says it has a 2 disc capacity, but the E60 doesn't have a disc capacity. Does anyone know if the E60 is a dual disc player as well? I would assume that all DVD recorders would have dual disc capability so that you can dub?

#13 of 35 Inspector Hammer!

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Posted March 18 2003 - 05:49 PM

I should note that the Panny isn't the only great recorder out their, I own the Philips DVDR-985 and it can do just about everything the Panny can, and also features the Faroudia Progressive package.

Just another option for you.
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#14 of 35 Michael St. Clair

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Posted March 19 2003 - 01:15 AM

Quote:
I should note that the Panny isn't the only great recorder out their, I own the Philips DVDR-985 and it can do just about everything the Panny can, and also features the Faroudia Progressive package.


It is a nice looking player. There were two things that I wasn't crazy about:

1) +R instead of -R: I had reliable $1 -R media for the Panasonic. I have also found -R to be more compatible in my own experiences. +R media is dropping in price, so I might reconsider in the future. I'm still not crazy about the fact that +R is not an official format of the DVD Forum.

2) Comb filter seemed a little better on the Panny, and the Panny worked as a great filter/doubler for watching live sources like laserdisc. On the Philips, anything you 'pass through' gets MPEG encoded/decoded, degrading the picture and lagging the video from any direct digital audio that you may have run straight into your receiver (like a DTS laserdisc).


Anyhow, not everyone's needs will be the same. I don't consider any of the current generation to be 'there yet', but I'm awful demanding. Posted Image

Oh, and a recorder should be able to change a channel on a cable/satellite box (IR blaster). My old $200 Toshiba S-VHS deck can do that!

#15 of 35 Steve Phillips

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Posted March 19 2003 - 10:42 AM

You might be interested to know that Microsoft just became the ninth company to offically join the DVD+RW alliance.

The plus+ format is just as compatible with players made since 2000 as the minus format; though some just will not admit that. Plus, the eraseable DVD+RWs will also play on regular players, unlike DVD-RAM. In my area, +plus format media is the same price as the others. Finally, no "washout" effect, which on DVD-R, is very real.

I've got both a Panasonic and a Philips recorder. Both are good machines, but the Philips is definitely a step up. Especially since the erasable discs can be played in my other machines.

I've got two Sony DVD players (one from 2000 and the other 2002) and they both play DVD-R, DVD-RW, DVD+R, and DVD+RW with no hickups whatsoever, outside of the washout on DVD-R.

#16 of 35 David Susilo

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Posted March 19 2003 - 11:26 AM

AFAIK, the Philips recorder doesn't have FR (or equivalent) bitrate selection.

#17 of 35 MarkHastings

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Posted March 19 2003 - 12:19 PM

Quote:
You might be interested to know that Microsoft just became the ninth company to offically join the DVD+RW alliance.
But I've already got the DVD-RAM burner, I realize the advantages of the + format, but that would also mean rebuying a burner. Plus, My parents and brother just got players that only support DVD-R and they (along with myself) are my target audience Posted Image

#18 of 35 David Susilo

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Posted March 19 2003 - 12:31 PM

Don't forget that DVD-R media can be bought for a mere 69 cents each whereas the same quality DVD+R is $1. If you use as many recordable media like I do, that 40c difference means US$80 difference each month.

#19 of 35 Michael St. Clair

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Posted March 19 2003 - 05:22 PM

Quote:
The plus+ format is just as compatible with players made since 2000 as the minus format; though some just will not admit that.


My experience is based on compatibility in my (several) players and in my friends players. In that experience, -R is more compatible.

That is nothing for me not to admit, that is a proven fact.

Also, DVD Forum members like Panasonic are making effort to insure that -R is compatible in their players in the future.

#20 of 35 Inspector Hammer!

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Posted March 19 2003 - 05:58 PM

Micheal,

i've played several +R's and +RW's on a few different players and have never had a problem yet, so I don't see where this assesment comes from.
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