Which harddrive dvd recorder to get?

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by PeterGri, May 8, 2005.

  1. PeterGri

    PeterGri Auditioning

    Jan 16, 2005
    Likes Received:
    I really want to get a dvd recorder with a harddrive. I'm just not sure which to get. Essentially I will be using it to record off of my satelite tv box, put my vhs videos onto dvd and make backups of the preexisting dvd's. I would like to get one that will ensure that the video and sound quality are identical to the dvd I'm recording off of. Any input or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.
  2. James Corey

    James Corey Stunt Coordinator

    Oct 16, 2000
    Likes Received:
    PeterGri -

    Just to toss my $0.02 in on this....

    Recently I purchased a Pioneer DVR 65H-S recorder from their Elite series. Basically it's the same as their 520 model but boasts a 160GB hard-drive and a 3 Year Warranty in Canada. (plus now I see that it's dropped by $200.00 on it's MRSP since I bought mine, but I haven't heard of any plans to discontinue it yet).

    For compatible media, it works with DVD-R and DVD-RW, but not DVD-RAM.

    The navagation of the menus and the editing features are a snap (once you get thru the fairly thick owners manual, which appears to have been written in Jinglish)

    It's got a myriad of features including separate video value settings for your external input connections, 2 values for the Black Level IRE (0 and 7.5) plus continually variable black settings, white balance, and others too numerous to name here. Plus you can choose your video quality settings when selecting the recording speeds when copying from the HDD to DVD.

    I've found that it makes very faithful copies from my SuperBeta deck, standard VHS and pretty reasonable copies of 16:9 HD broadcasts when connected via the S-vid cable(of course these are stepped down to normal resolution) but the aspect ratio is kept intact when fed from my EVU 6100 set top.

    For outputs, in addition to analogue and video component progressive scan, it has one optical digital out for audio, but if your HT amp is "optically" challenged you can always purchase a converter to allow you to connect to a co-axial input on the amp ( as I had to do, but it works a treat !)

    I've also recently hooked it up to be used as my main playback deck (replacing a Toshiba RD-5109 (one of their first progressive scan players), and the picture quality now being fed to my CN36X81 36" CRT is jaw-droppingly good

    Now for the bad news: It won't allow you to directly digitally copy from a commercial release due to copyright issues. I don't know of any brand names that make units that will allow you to do this 'right out of the box', but your mileage may vary.
    Also there are limitations on copying some digital broadcasts (like PPV items) that are flagged as 'copy once' only material.

    From what I've been seeing, there are some new pieces coming shortly from Pioneer, but their regular line has the standard 1 Yr Warranty.

    Toshiba has some well-regarded dvd-recorder units, the new RDXS-34 now boasts a 160GB drive.

    It's predecessor (RDXS-32) had an 80GB drive (which likely is ample for most needs) but some web groups made reference to a black level bug in which the image recorded on the Tosh unit would appear a little washed out when played on certain makes of DVD players, but this was not happening in all cases, so YMMV.

    Hope this is somewhat useful for you and if you have any questions, please feel free to PM me.
  3. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

    May 22, 1999
    Likes Received:
    Run out and pick up a copy of the current "Home Theater" magazine. They have an article on 10 different DVD recorders.
  4. CraigL

    CraigL Screenwriter

    Jan 16, 2000
    Likes Received:
    Or u can wait until Sept for the Sony machine which will record DUAL LAYER [​IMG]

    FYI...you can't make exact copies of pre-existing DVD's on any stand-alone recorder.

Share This Page