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I need your opinions please

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Raymond_S, Jan 8, 2005.

  1. Raymond_S

    Raymond_S Auditioning

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    Hi everyone,

    I just found this forum and I need some advise.

    I bought a Toshiba D-VR3SU Recorder/Vhs. I'm probably going to return it soon due to the realization that I want one with a hard drive and more editing power.

    I also really would like to be able to record 4 hour discs in good quality (if possible). So is one with a variable bit rate the way to go? If so wich ones have that?

    I looked into getting a Sony since they record + and - discs, but it seems the only one with a hard drive is 160 GB and very pricey.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. Elizabeth S

    Elizabeth S Producer

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    I recommend a recorder that lets you fine tune the bitrate like the Pioneers or Toshibas. I calculate how long the show(s) will be AFTER I delete commercials, then set the best bitrate for that length. Personally, I think the video quality drops once you exceed about 2-1/4 hours on a disk, though. I manage to fit 3 hour-long programs with the commercials edited out onto each disc (about 2:15).

    And I agree that you'll find hard drive models much more flexible and useful.

    Most of the major lines have just announced their new models for early 2005. I think this new Pioneer line sounds promising:

    http://www.pioneerusa.com/pna/press/...756428,00.html

    The 533H with the 80 GB drive or 633H with 160 GB have added the TV Guide Onscreen Program Guide which their previous models lacked. If that feature is not important to you, you'll probably see a nice price drop on the 520H with 80 GB before the 533 comes out in April. The $599 MSRP on the 160 GB 633H sounds really reasonable, though.
     
  3. Raymond_S

    Raymond_S Auditioning

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    Thanks Elizabeth.

    How can I find out wich ones can fine tune the bitrate?

    I don't see anything in the manual that says I can do this with the one I have now.

    Also, is there anything about these that are better than just using a video capture device and my computer?
     
  4. Elizabeth S

    Elizabeth S Producer

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    Hmmm, Raymond, I don't know a source offhand which has a comprehensive list of the recording rate flexibility of various models/brands. Over the months of research before making my purchases, I found out the Toshiba and Pioneers are quite adjustable. Some, like the new Sony with hard drive, seem to have limited choices -- you could elect either a 2 hr. mode or 3 hour mode (but you couldn't choose 2 hrs. 20 minutes, for example).

    I did not do extensive research on the Panasonic because of it's reliance on RAM as the re-writeable format (though the 2005 line seems to now do DVD-RW). From my impressions, the Panasonic lets you record at several basic bitrate levels, like XP, SP, LP and EP. If you choose Flex Recording, it records at the best bitrate level for the particular length of the program. However, what I see as a drawback to that strategy is that you're including the commercials as part of the length and not utilizing the best rate for the length MINUS commercials, as you can do with the more adjustable models. Perhaps a Panasonic owner can correct me if I'm mistaken in my impression. . .

    I know absolutely nothing about using a video capture device and a computer, but I'm sure many people here do!

    Well, good luck with your decision, Raymond! Some of the brand sites have downloadable manuals and detailed specs which might help you out.
     

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