Help me decide between two types of DVD players.

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Jerome Grate, Feb 17, 2004.

  1. Jerome Grate

    Jerome Grate Cinematographer

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    I written before about my Pioneer DV414 going on the fritz, and now I'm looking to finally replace it.
    Choice 1: DVD-Audio/SACD player to take advantage of multi channel music. I would be running it through my HK AVR 500 and will be upgrading in about a year to a 630. The 500 currently accepts 5.1 channel inputs but no bass managment. My speakers are Platinum Audio Speakers which can handle some bass.

    Choice 2: DVD Recorder, that will play my recorded movies in other players (DVD+R I believe) would be nice to record some of my son's favorite shows on DVD and not worry about playing it over and over again. Also I would take advantage of recording from satellite PPV, those shows in Dolby Digital and Letterbox. My question is will a DVD recorder record the Dolby Digital Sound?

    I would be using S-Video for the time being with my current t.v. Toshiba CX32 model until I upgrade the t.v. and that won't happen until the new basement is finished which is a year from now. But if the Pioneer goes, I would lose my mind. Anyway my dilemna needs your input.
     
  2. Don_Berg

    Don_Berg Supporting Actor

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    DVD recorders unfortunately do not record from a DD source, only from analog stereo audio inputs.
     
  3. Jerome Grate

    Jerome Grate Cinematographer

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    Well that sucks, no motivation there in regards to PPVs. But I can still record the kid shows. Those who have one or the other, what was your reason on why you made the selection that you did.
     
  4. Don_Berg

    Don_Berg Supporting Actor

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    I evaluated some of the standalone DVD recorders but they were very expensive and limiting. I instead came up with a cheaper more versatile solution - I do it on my PC. I got an ATI Radeon All-In-Wonder video card which has onboard TV tuner and video inputs and with its application software can record video with real-time MPG2 encoding for DVD compatible format, even has a scheduler for acting like a PVR. You can record from the TV tuner channels or from an external video source like a VCR. Once recorded to hard disk the MPG2 files can be authored using other software like TMPGenc DVD-author to make a DVD-R/RW with a lowcost DVD burner drive. It costs under $200 now to add this capability to a PC, much less than standalone DVD recorders. You can easily edit out commercial breaks and add menus, etc to make DVD-Rs much better looking than the standalone recorders and also record them to any recordable format you choose for maximum compatability on playback on regular DVD players.
     
  5. ThomasL

    ThomasL Supporting Actor

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    Jerome,

    I'd say it really depends on what you want more. Either option is a nice upgrade. I have both [​IMG]

    I bought a Pioneer 563A for DVD playback and got the benefit of SACD/DVD-Audio - it is an inexpensive option and performs well for the cost (now ~$150). I now own 5 multichannel SACDs and they sound great. I would say though that the biggest drawback here is that there isn't a lot of multichannel SACD/DVD-Audio releases depending on your musical tastes. I had not planned on getting into multichannel audio - it was just a haphazard bonus of me getting the Pioneer player.

    A number of months ago, I bought a Panasonic DMR-E50 recorder so that I could archive shows from the TIVO to DVD-R as well as transfer a bunch of VHS tapes to DVD-R. I'd say that if you don't have a TIVO you'd want to get a hard drive into the mix somehow. Don's PC-based system is also an interesting and more flexible/powerful route to go at the cost of some simplicity. For me, I wanted the ability to just dump stuff from the TIVO and from VHS and not do any fancy editing, etc. I only use the recorder for recording as well since the Pioneer is used for playback in that room. This player has not dropped in price as much as I thought it would - it's still ~$400 retail which is about what I paid for it.

    So, I'd say you really want to determine which feature set you want more. Option #1 will be less of a cost and there are supposed to be a number of universal players coming out this year.

    cheers,


    --tom
     
  6. Jerome Grate

    Jerome Grate Cinematographer

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    Thanks for the replies, keep em coming. ThomasL, how's the picture and the sound on the Pioneer, I saw it and noticed that it did both DVDAudio/SACD at a reasonable price?
     
  7. ThomasL

    ThomasL Supporting Actor

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    Jerome, I only have the Pioneer hooked up to a non-HDTV 27A40 Toshiba and am using the 4:3 letterbox downconversion mode so I can't comment on the progressive 16:9 image. With that said, I'd say that the picture looks better than my older Toshiba SD2700 did. In looking through my old Sound&Visions, I noticed that in the past, Toshiba seemed to get a 'poor' rating for the 4:3 letterbox downconversion while this Pioneer got a 'good' rating. I suspect this is why I've noticed a small improvement. As for sound, the digital out sounds the same as with the Toshiba which is what I'd expect. The SACD/DVD-Audio 5.1 analog outs sound excellent to me as well but I have no real comparison here since I've never heard them on another player/system. I'm currently using a Pioneer 811S receiver and some Cambridge Soundworks Newton M50 bookshelf speakers for my front and rear. I'm satisfied with the sound . There was a very long thread about the Pioneer player with a number of reviews and comments that you can read here. Just do a search and it should pop up.

    good luck,


    --tom
     
  8. Jerome Grate

    Jerome Grate Cinematographer

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    Thanks, I'll do that.
     

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