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DVD Recorder advice please, spend my money...


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38 replies to this topic

#1 of 39 Doug Taylor

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Posted May 02 2003 - 04:54 PM

I'm buying a 40" Sony direct view XBR and want to add a DVD Recorder. Which do you recommend? I'm considering the Philips DVD R985 or the Panasonic DMR HS2.

Thank you

DBT

#2 of 39 MikeRP

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Posted May 03 2003 - 01:40 AM

I just bought the Pioneer Elite 7000. I have 30 days to take it back and I'm really studying its capabilities.

So, maybe we can help each other out.

I did some research on e-bay with owners there and all are very satisfied.

So.............

#3 of 39 Marvin

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Posted May 03 2003 - 04:28 AM

Aren't there also format/compatibility issues with DVD recorders to consider? DVD-R, DVD+R, DVD-RAM, whatever.

#4 of 39 Doug Taylor

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Posted May 03 2003 - 05:34 AM

I haven't actually thought through all the format issues, although I know they exist. The Philips and Pioneer have the widest format range and, for that reason, I'm leaning toward them.

With the quality issues raised in this thread it makes me think the Pioneer is probably the way to go.

Thanks to all and keep the advice coming.

DBT

#5 of 39 Doug Taylor

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Posted May 03 2003 - 05:37 PM

Thanks again for all the advice. At this point, I think I've eliminated the Philips and will choose between the other two.

DBT

#6 of 39 Ernest

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Posted May 03 2003 - 11:19 PM

I have two DVD-R / DVD-RAM recorders, a Samsung R3000 and a Panasonic E30 and are very happy with both of them. As far as compatability goes DVD-R is most compatable with DVD players. Whatever manufacturer you decide on make sure the recorder records to DVD-R. DVD-R's are also the least expensive blank media with costs ranging from as low as $0.69 to $4.00. On average I spend $1.00 per blank.

The recorders are reliable it is the DVD-R blanks that are unreliable. I have done alot or recording from converting my VHS, SVHS and laserdisc library to DVD-R and from DirecTV. I recently tried a new brand of R's and the Panasonic hated them. Luckliy they record fine on the Samsung.

I recently recorded Children of Dune, Napoleon and Helen of Try with excellent results. RAM offers some excellent editing features. After recording the three movies on RAM I used their "shorten segment" progam to flag all the commercials and record onto a DVD-R. The results were excellent.

The Samsung and Panasonic recorders both use variable bit recording. The incoming signal is recorded to a hard drive so the software can determine the proper bit rate. This makes for an excellent recording scene by scene. The recorders also employ "Flexible Recording" which provides the highest bit rate for the recording time. You would not want to record a movie 2:10 minutes long using a 3 hour fixed recording time.

Worldwide Panasonic is #1 controlling over 50% of the DVD recorder market. They are very agressive and make an excellent product. They just introduced their fourth generation recorder, the E50, that is selling for under $400.00. I can say from experience both Panasonic and Samsung make an excellent recorders. Good luck.

#7 of 39 andrew markworthy

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Posted May 04 2003 - 08:02 PM

I've got the Panasonic E50, and it's excellent. I've now recorded about 30 discs on 'standard play' (gives 2 hours of recording per disc) and unless you sit about 2 inches from the screen, you cannot tell the difference between the recording and the original. Recordings on 'flexible recording' as Ernest has described in his excellent post are even better.

In the UK at least, the E50 is current one of the the cheapest on the market, and I'd say get as cheap as possible, then you won't worry so much about upgrading it as newer (and inevitably cheaper and better) recorders come along.

A word on formats - nearly all recorders offer two recording formats. My Panasonic has DVD-RAM (fantastic quality, reusable - and incompatible with nearly all other makes) and DVD-R (once formatted the discs can be used with a large range of other machines - my Sony and my parents' ageing Panasonic DVD players both play them without problems). I'd personally make sure that at least one of the recording media is widely compatible, otherwise your library of recorded DVDs is going to be useless when you change machines (think Betamax).

It's also worth noting that one or two (more expensive) machines have a hard disc recorder as well (basically like having a Tivo recorder *and* DVD recorder in one box). I've no need for this because I have a Sky+ box (only available in the UK, but basically like Tivo). However, I've got to say that the hard disc recorder is a superb idea. Not least, you can record a fair amount of stuff onto the hard disc (about 20 hours on my machine) in perfect quality (the disc records direct from the digital feed on the Sky+) and then recording on to the DVD-R is a rather more controlled affair than trying to record 'live'.

Incidentally, Ernest, I've tried my machine on about 5 different types of DVD-R and found no difference in quality or reliability. The cheapest (in the UK about a pound each, for which you guys in the States can probably buy a warehouse-full of discs, no doubt) unknown/unlabelled brands seem to work just as well as the most expensive big name brands. Maybe I've just been lucky.

#8 of 39 Jeff Adams

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Posted May 05 2003 - 04:46 AM

Isn't there some new Pioneer dvd recorders getting ready to come out?
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#9 of 39 andrew markworthy

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Posted May 05 2003 - 06:28 AM

Jeff, yes - along with several other companies. There are also a couple of cheap machines by manufacturers I've personally never heard of due out (in Europe at least).

#10 of 39 Jeff Adams

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Posted May 05 2003 - 06:48 AM

I have been wanting a dvd recorder for some time but have waited for them to work out all the bugs. I don't want to waste my time transfering my vhs and home movies to dvd for something that is not compatible or obsolete in a year. I was also waiting for prices to be more resonable. I think that time is almost here. I really want to see how the Pioneer recorders will perform. It is time though. I am getting tired of watching Law and Order and CSI recorded on VHS.
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#11 of 39 Doug Taylor

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Posted May 05 2003 - 07:02 AM

Well, after reading everything yesterday, I had decided to go with the Pioneer DVR-7000. Final, no changes.

Now today, after reading the comments and thinking about digital storage and such, I'm back to thinking I'll go with the Panasonic DMR-HS2 so I can use the 40 gig HD and "tivo-like" capabilities.

Unless someone tells me I'm crazy, I'll place and order from my friendly etailer later tonight.

Thanks very much to all who have helped.

DBT

#12 of 39 MikeRP

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Posted May 05 2003 - 08:24 AM

Well Doug:

I was hoping you'd go with the 7000 so I could have a fellow HTF member to correspond with since i just got my 7000 last week.

I have 30 days to return it. I have hooked it up and played DVD's on it only to this point. The DVD quality is great.

I have a Tosh 57HDX82 I'm using with it.

I will be testing the recording capabilites this week. One thing neat I noticed right off was that the Channel guide comes up when your using the Pioneer like a VCR in a translucent guide which looks something like my parents DishNetwork with a menu guide showing the Channel name and specifics.

So, I haven't worked further, but one thing I know this has over the HS2 is the DV connection in and out. The reason I bought this thing was to get my old vhs home movies off that onto DVD. My computer, is a laptop gateway with 30 gig harddrive and 512 Mem and a Pentium 3 processor. I've loaded some digital video from my Sony camera - and the hard drive doesn't last long. But, the editing software I have seems pretty nice.

So, I think I can put my old VHS tapes on to a -rw disc. Then dump that to the computer for editing and then permanent storage back to a -r disc. This might involve another step in the process than the HS2 but may work very well as the editing on my computer may be better than the Pioneer or the HS2 - athough that remains to be seen and I really shouldn't say that's true till I get down the road a little further.

But, really I'll mostly be transfering tapes WITHOUT editing as this takes a lot of time and effort for any of us. I have mutil hours full of video. I'll really just be looking for snipets from the final DVD's for inclusion for family members and say my graduating seniors party next year.

This method should work for my purposes. If you know that it won't - please let me know.

Another thing I liked was Pioneer's 2 year warranty.

Mike

#13 of 39 Doug Taylor

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Posted May 05 2003 - 09:43 AM

Mike,

It's really, really a tough call. Generally, I prefer newer to older and the Pioneer is hot off the presses. What it came down to was: I'll be using this to watch DVD's (of course), to record movies from cable/sat. and to copy old VHS tapes to DVD.

In the end, the hard drive seems to make using this as a VCR and as "VHS copier" a little easier. (I won't be editing much.)

But, who knows, maybe I'll hear something to change my mind in the next couple of hours?

Thanks again,

DBT

#14 of 39 MikeRP

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Posted May 06 2003 - 01:26 AM

I beleive the Pioneer 9000 does have the 5.1 audio feature.

But, its a few bucks and is supposed to the exact same as the 7000 except for this feature.

Mike

#15 of 39 Jeff Adams

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Posted May 06 2003 - 08:32 AM

Mike,
Now when you say that the Pioneer has the 5.1 feature, does that mean it will record 5.1 dd sound from directTv? Do the other dvd recorders not have optical or coax digitial inputs? Also do dvd recorders record widescreen material?
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#16 of 39 Tomoko Noguchi

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Posted May 06 2003 - 10:36 AM

Pioneer will have new models with 80 and 120 gb hard drives coming to the US any day now.

#17 of 39 MitchP

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Posted May 06 2003 - 11:23 AM

Quote:
But I have read about reliability problems with both Philips and Panasonic.

And I cannot stand Panasonic's stingy 90 day labor warranty.


Panasonic Dvd Recorders come with a 12/12 (months) parts and labor warranty.

#18 of 39 MikeRP

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Posted May 06 2003 - 02:54 PM

Yes, the 9000 will record DD 5.1. I don't know the method but there may be some deals on these since Pioneer will be introing new recorders. I'll bet these will be mega bucks.

I've done more hookups on my 7000 this evening and am finally finished after a call to Pioneer support.

Too much flexibility between the Pioneer 45TX I have, HD Cabee box, and my Tosh 57HDX82, I was going nuts how to hook this thing into my system properly.

Guess its best just to describe the process like the old VCR's where basically everything you may want to record from goes thru the 7000.

It was pretty involved and I wouldn't have gotten it right without talking to a guy at Pioneer - he did a great job which is unusual.

Mike

#19 of 39 Doug Taylor

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Posted May 06 2003 - 03:58 PM

Mike,

I want to be like you!

You convinced me to be your "video buddy" so today I ordered the 45TX and the 7000.

I'll be ordering my Sony 40" XBR and Cabasse XO speakers in time to have it all ready when I move into the new house on June 6.

I'll need all your advice on hookups...you game?

Thanks for the help.

DBT

#20 of 39 MikeRP

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Posted May 07 2003 - 03:36 AM

Doug:

Great - yes sir.....we'll learn together! I also have the 45TX and I think I finalized hookup today. Had to call pioneer - there's some things not really talked about in the book.

My e-mail is phantomtiger@fuse.net.

Looking forward to working with you on this....

Mike