Are DVD recorders worth buying right now?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Theodore, Aug 10, 2002.

  1. Theodore

    Theodore Auditioning

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    Im considering buying one. I have an old vcr and I would like to upgrade to a dvd player. I don't do a great deal of recording though. Thanks for any feedback.
     
  2. Eugene Hsieh

    Eugene Hsieh Supporting Actor

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    Well, depends on your needs. The new Panasonic goes for about $550-600, and it's by far the cheapest of the models out there.

    If you don't much recording though you might consider just buying a good quality $200 player right now and keep the VCR for now, depending on your preferences and your current setup.
     
  3. LennyP

    LennyP Supporting Actor

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    I'd recommend a PC burner, like the popular and dependable Pioneer A04. First of all it's not as picky to media as the stand alone Panasonic, which you'll have a hard time finding one that works, and if it does, it's gona be expensive, with A04 you can get DVDPro for $0.98 shipped and works perfectly in stand alone players, like Malata N996 and Sony NC600 changer.
    You got also more features and control over the disc, you can make menus, copy 5.1 and DTS sound, etc, when with Panasonic DMR-E20 or the new E30 or ANY other stand alone recorder, it's just white and red analog RCA crappy sound!
    It's bad, even for recording off TV, which features surround sound and better on many channels now.
     
  4. Eugene Hsieh

    Eugene Hsieh Supporting Actor

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    Well, supposedly the E30 is less picky for media than the E20, but YMMV.

    As for a PC burner, I totally disagree. I have a PC burner myself, but it does not at all replace a set top burner. Just recording a TV show would be a major undertaking with a PC burner, and indeed most people would have to buy additional video capture hardware anyway. A set top machine is a nice all-in-one package.
     
  5. Larry Schneider

    Larry Schneider Second Unit

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    I've got the Panasonic E20 and it's been very reliable. It's like any other new technology in gadgets - as time passes the things will get better and cheaper, so maybe you should wait. If you wait, however, you can't enjoy it while you're waiting.
     
  6. Ernest

    Ernest Supporting Actor

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    YES. I have the Samsung DVD R3000 and have converted over 50 VHS and laserdisc to DVD-R and DVD-RAM with excellent results. I now have Wyatt Earp, Once Upon A Time In the West, 1492 and many others on DVD. These titles were converted from laserdisc. I mostly converted VHS titles that were colored, Captain Blood, Charge of the Light Brigade and many others.

    The recorder includes software features that improves the picture quality. In the end the result is based upon the source material. Excellent source material like laserdisc will result in a very high quality transfer. VHS is VHS and the player will improve upon the transfer but it still is VHS quality.

    Besides set recording speeds; XP 1 hour, SP 2 hours, LP 4 hurs and EP 6 hours the player includes flexible recording (FR). With FR you set the timer and the player will record at the highest bit rate for the programmed time period.

    I paid $569.00 and couldn't be more satisfied with the end result.
     
  7. Steve K.H.

    Steve K.H. Supporting Actor

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    For transferring archived media, it is great, specifically VHS, Home Movies, L/Disc, and recording "one of a kind shows" e.g. Sporting Events, off the tube.

    As far as downsides:

    The cost of media (plus your time) is very high in comparison to CD-R. One film burnt from DVD to CD-R results in 4 - 5 CD's, at 1/4 to 1/5 the cost total.

    The set top units restrict your copying of source material to two channel. Copying your old D.D. films from VHS that were previously 5.1 is going to result in inferior sound from previous, and in many cases, the DVD can be picked up new or used for equal the price of the blank DVD-Recordable.

    Internal DVD writers (i.e. in da P.C.) offer more flexibility in writing DD, DTS to the media disc. Again however, the cost benefit of a writer plus media versus simply buying the DVD is not worth it.

    DVD writing standards are still not fixed. We'll see DVD-RAM, or DVD+R/RW in a few months, when the drives actually start supporting DVD+R (as of now, no DVD+RW drive can write to DVD+R).

    In a few months, DVD+R may be compatible with set top players, but you may have to pay twice the price for a DVD+RW disc.

    As well, a new multi-format standard may arrive, allowing for the DVD-RAM/DVD-R/RW drives to write to any three of those types of discs.

    No one appears certain to head this way presently though.
     
  8. Selden Ball

    Selden Ball Second Unit

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    Steve,

    A quibble: VHS video tapes only have two-channel analog sound, not Dolby Digital 5.1, so being limited to two channel audio recording is not a problem for those sources. It is a limitation if you're trying to record a program from a premium TV channel or laserdisc that has DD 5.1 audio, of course.
     
  9. Bill Will

    Bill Will Screenwriter

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    If you "Don't do a great deal of recording" I would wait a couple of years when they will be around $350-$400 & have the bugs works out of them. That's what I'm planning to do.
     
  10. Eugene Hsieh

    Eugene Hsieh Supporting Actor

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    Just to correct a few points.

     
  11. Chuck Paskovics

    Chuck Paskovics Stunt Coordinator

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    Eugene-

    How would you compare the panasonic DMR-E30 and the soon to be released panasonic DMR-HS2 with the hard drive? I've been holding out for the hard drive version since I tape alot of tv shows and I think this would be very benificial. I believe the DMR-HS2 also has the dvi input.
     
  12. Eugene Hsieh

    Eugene Hsieh Supporting Actor

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    I'm probably not the right person to ask because I don't have any set top recorder at the moment. However, here are my 2 pennies.
    I too would love to get the DMR-HS2, precisely because of the hard drive and because of the Firewire input. This offers very much flexibility. The only thing it's really missing is the Firewire output, but most people wouldn't care about that - the input is the main feature that is desirable really.
    OTOH, I already have a PC PC DVD-RAM/-R burner so I will be able to read the DVD-RAM discs on my computer and edit them there and then burn the stuff to DVD-R on my PC when I'm finished editing the stuff. Furthermore, I don't have a MiniDV camcorder, so I don't (yet) need a Firewire input. Thus, I don't need as much flexibility in my set top recorder as some might (although it'd be a bonus).
    Plus the 60% higher cost (my guess) of the HS2 over the E30 is something I'm not sure I'm willing to pay at this time (or in October as the case will be). Now, if the HS2 were available today, and available at US$800, maybe it'd be stronger consideration for me.
    Obviously, YMMV.
     
  13. LennyP

    LennyP Supporting Actor

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    Posted by Steve K.H.
     
  14. CraigL

    CraigL Screenwriter

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    My big reservation is picture quality. I already know that the audio quality is usually top notch. My problem is that i've seen some recordings and there is just too much artifacting and macroblocking. It's not extreme but its definitely noticeable. Does anyone know how much better it's going to get? Should I still wait or bite?
     
  15. Larry Bevil

    Larry Bevil Second Unit

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    I recently purchased the Panasonic DMR-E30 and have made two recordings - one from a vhs tape and one from TV. I found that when I played back the recorded dvd's (DVD-R blanks)I found some problems playing back on my Panasonic A-320 player. I got a little skipping and a lot of artifacting. I've about come to the conclusion that the A-320 is probably "too old" to accommodate DVD-R recordings made on a burner. I've noticed that many of the newer players indicate they have the capability to play back DVD-R recorded discs. I'm thinking of upgrading the A-320 to one of the newer models, ie the Panasonic DVDRP62 or the Sony DVPNS715. Both of these models will accommodate DVD-R and also have the Progressive Scan capability. I could, of course, use the DMR-E30 for playback of the DVD-R's, but thought I would keep it "committed" to recording only. Any recommendations?
     
  16. Eugene Hsieh

    Eugene Hsieh Supporting Actor

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    The A320 is reported to work with DVD-R, although YMMV of course.

    Before you scrap the A320 though, first try better media, if you've been using cheap stuff. I find cheap media is not reliable, and I get the same results that you do. I have had major problems on my PC burner with Princo DVD-R media too (although that was a few months ago, and they may have gotten better since then). OTOH, with good quality DVD-R media (eg. Mitsui, Pioneer, Apple, etc.) those problems go away.

    Apple media goes for US$25 per 5-pack (ie. $5 ea). There is also a lot of mid-end cheap generic media out there which seems to work fine. Just don't get the $0.98 stuff.
     
  17. Steve Phillips

    Steve Phillips Screenwriter

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    DVD-R and DVD+R media are readily available at the same price around here. Best Buy has 15 packs of either for $59.95 ($3.99 ea)

    DVD+RWs are also easy to find but slightly higher, but I've seen them for under $6.00 each at Comp USA and Best Buy.

    DVD-RAM tend to be higher and a bit harder to find.
     
  18. Larry Bevil

    Larry Bevil Second Unit

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    Hmmm, okay. The first recording I made was on the really cheap stuff. I had seen a post somewhere that the individual had good experience with some DVD-R's purchased from Meritline. They cost about $1.10 each. That was the first one I used and copied the video tape. The source wasn't the best but it played pretty good on the A-320, although I noticed a few skips. No artifacting, though. The second DVD-R I used I purchased from OfficeMax yesterday. The had had some DVD-R's on sale (KHypermedia) on sale as a five pack for $19.99 with $5.00 off. I used that DVD-R to record the TV movie. When I tried to play it back on the A-320, I had severe artifacting and it "hung" up the player. I had to shut it down in order to retrieve the disc. When I played it on the "burner", it played very clean and was an excellent picture. I do have a five pack of Maxell DVD-R's on order. When they arrive, I'll have to give them a test with the A-320. Thanks for the tip.
     
  19. Steve Phillips

    Steve Phillips Screenwriter

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    Definately go with the name brand stuff to avoid problems!
     
  20. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    I am waiting for the price of DVD recorders to come down. When recorders are available for around $300, I'll consider one more seriously. I rarely record anything on my VCR, so I can wait for a selection of cheaper DVD recorders.
     

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