need opinions on which dvd recorder I should get...

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Chris Hicks, Dec 7, 2004.

  1. Chris Hicks

    Chris Hicks Stunt Coordinator

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    I have finally decided to get a dvd recorder and am looking for some opinions on a few players. I have been looking at these and was wondering if anyone has any feedback on them. here are the recorders:

    Toshiba RD-XS52
    http://www.tacp.toshiba.com/dvd/prod...?model=rd-xs52

    Panasonic DMR-E95HS
    http://www.crutchfield.com/S-SRSQa9h...00&I=133DMRE95

    Sony RDR-HX900
    http://www.crutchfield.com/S-SRSQa9h...0&I=158RDRHX9H

    I definately want a recorder with an HDD which all the above do.

    the Sony is more versatile(in regards to media choice) since it can use DVD-R/+R and DVD-RW/+RW while the Toshiba ans Panasonic only use DVD-RAM 0r DVD-R. has anyone successfully used a DVD-RW in either the Toshiba or Panasonic?

    the Panasonic has 1 problem that I'm not sure would be major or not. it appears to have a problem downloading guide data through Motorola HD boxes(which I currently have).

    the Toshiba has HDMI with video upconversion to 720p or 1080i.

    if you were going to pick one of these units which would you get and why? is there a different unit you would suggest other than the ones listed?
     
  2. Westly T

    Westly T Second Unit

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    Am I correct that the Toshiba and Panasonic don't record to DVD RW disks? If so, that would make me not want them. I've had good luck with DVD-RW disk playing on regular DVD players and that way you can watch programs on other players and not waste a disk (just earase and re-use them). I think I'd check into the Sony of the three.
     
  3. WilliamS.

    WilliamS. Stunt Coordinator

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    I've been looking into all 3 of those, along with a Pioneer and a Phillips model.

    It seems like a crapshoot, because a lot of them have their own problems. From the various reviews I've read, the Pioneer seems to be the best one -- the one that has free Tivo (no monthly subscription fee, nor one-time start-up fee).

    The Phillips is the most affordable, but apparently the manual is hard to read (seems like it's not a big deal over time) and customer service is crappy.

    One thing to keep in mind with the dvd recorders that include Tivo is that you can't edit the programs you've recorded. With dvd recorders that have hard drives, and NO tivo, you can do this.

    Another thing is, the players that have the TV Guide listing built in typically have problems with the listings showing up. If you've pre-programmed recording in advance, and you the TV Guide listing is temporarily out of service, you'll have to reprogram all the shows you've wanted to record. Bummer, huh?

    The Panasonic one, btw, has no firewire.

    My eyes and brain are fried from reading too many customer reviews of Amazon, CNET, and Circuit City. Like, I said, I think it's a crapshoot, and better models are on the horizon. If I had to go with one, I'll probably go with the Phillips because of the price (plus, Best Buy carries the 120-GB hd model, and I have a couple of gift certificates -- albeit not that much in amount). =(

    Also, if you're a frequent Best Buy customer, they gave out coupons a week ago for 10% off electronics. I'll have to go ahead and make use of it. If I do, I'll come back here and report on what I think. However, I may be too chicken shit to make the plunge just yet. =)
     
  4. Chris Hicks

    Chris Hicks Stunt Coordinator

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    are you looking at the Philips HDRW 720? I have recently added that recorder to my list as well.
     
  5. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    If you're referring to the 95, yes it does. Crutchfield lists it, and so does the Panasonic site.

    M.
     
  6. Elizabeth S

    Elizabeth S Producer

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    The Sony seems to have a few drawbacks -- no "divide" function on the hard drive, and fewer recording bitrate choices than some of the other brands.

    The Toshiba XS-52 seems much like the XS-32 with a bigger hard drive and the deletion of -RW capability. It APPEARS from user reports that the black level issue of the XS-32 still appears with the XS-52 although it really depends on your other equipment whether you'll notice it or not. If the bigger hard drive on the XS-52 is not too important to you, the XS-32 is still available and it has -RW capability. (Only -RW up to 2x speed, however.) I'd make sure the store has a good return policy if you go with Toshiba just in case the black level issue is a problem with your particular equipment (it's apparent when playing XS-32 burnt DVD-Rs on my older Panasonic A120, for instance, but not on my Philips 727).

    I don't know much about the Panasonics, as I'm a bit wary of recorders taking only RAM as the rewriteable media.

    Is the reason you're not considering the Pioneer due to its weakness with recording non-perfect videotapes? I love my Pioneer and it's the one I recommend to people. While the tuner on my Toshiba XS-32 seems a bit better on weaker stations (I only have basic cable), the Pioneer is much simpler to use (though the Toshiba is more feature-laden).
     
  7. Bryan Garcia

    Bryan Garcia Auditioning

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    Elizabeth,

    Which Pioneer model are you using?

    Bryan
     
  8. Elizabeth S

    Elizabeth S Producer

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    Bryan,

    I have the Pioneer 420 -- this model is exclusive to Costco and is exactly like the 520 minus the DV input. (They even share the same manual.) I recommended the 520 for my sister since the 420 was no longer on sale on the Costco website and we found the 520 locally for not much more. She's been really enjoying it.
     

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