Advice need please. Newbie

Discussion in 'Blu-ray & DVD Players & Recorders' started by mark62, Mar 9, 2006.

  1. mark62

    mark62
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    Hi all
    I'm desprate for some advice & pointers on which DVD recorder to get.
    My 2003 VCR Sony is about to die on me and instead of getting a new one, I'd like to move on and make use of new technology. There are loads of areas I'm puzzled with & I appreciat that some of my questions may seem dumb (sorry), I'v listed below what they are.

    The models I'v seen are: Cyberhome DV1600 (Asda £69). Lite-on A4 (Comet £119, DivX). Daewo (Comet £79, Progressive-scan). I'm open to suggestions to other similair models.

    I have a spare VCR and need to copy all of my video tapes onto DVD, the tapes have mainly been Sky TV recordings. Would my DVD recordings be similair/same quality as the tapes or would I loose alot of the quality?

    I would want to use the DVD recorder for recording Sky TV programs and would use a RW disk for every day use. Again, would the picture quality be similair to a VCR? And is it viable to use a DVD recorder for simple day to day recording, does a DVD recorder truely replace an old fashioned & simple to use VCR?

    For the basic needs that I have, what features should I be looking out for? Is DivX worth while for me? Do I need progresive scan?

    I must appologise if these questions appear to be retard-like, but I really havn't got much of a clue and would like to avoid costly & time consuming mistakes. So all help/advice & recommendations would be truely appreciated.

    Many Thanks
    Mark
     
  2. Jim Pixel

    Jim Pixel
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    You know what,,

    I too replaced my VCR just mid last year, with a certain amount of skepticism. Afterall, I had my VCR's for over 20 years and I never had one ounce of troubles with any of them. I mean, why movie up to an unknown quantity or modern technology, just so I could record a few movies from Sky TV...

    Well, that was then. This is now...

    You wont believe the difference. Even the BEST recordings you had on VHS will not compare to a very low quality digital recording on DvD... Mind you, it has to be said that the trouble free side of the VHS recorders has yet to be displaced by these new recorders. I have had a few DvD drives/players die on me , in my PC, or a few players, and do not regard them as the most trouble free design of the century. To my way of thinking, some electronics equipment nowadays, is just pumped out each year and is very unreliable indeed.

    As far as the quality of DvD goes, VHS looks quite sad by comparison. If you can,, buy a recorder with a hard drive in it, as this way you have lots of room for messing about and instant replay at your fingertips, AND, you can burn to disc at your convenience, whereas with discs only, you have the same type of use as with video cassettes - take one out, put one in etc etc... Even an 80 GB hard drive, at EP compression will get you maybe 75 hours of recording and will still look far better than any VHS recording you ever did. I myself, use EP as the default recording level because it is the best all-round quantity vs quality level. When I want something a little better in quality, I might use the same level as a DvD which is SP, but of course, the number of hours recording available goes down bigtime, to about one third of the GBs' in hours, e.g 80 GBs would equal about 30 hours, or less, recording at DvD quality...

    As far as the ease of use and setting up goes, these things almost require you have a pilots license to fly them. They have so many adjustments by comparison, that it's not funny. All the inputs and outputs are mind boggling compared to a VHS recorder. Then comes the quality issue... Which types of cables and the quality of cables and, then which settings. Enough to give you grey hairs overnight - IF - you let it get to you... Normally you can use the same connectors from the VHS recorder and be content with what you see but the better the connectors and the better settings you give them, the better your final picture will be.

    At the end of the day, if you can own and operate a VCR then it is possible to drive a DvD recorder, and you can "learn as you go" for the extra settings and so on. You can also ask in here, if you need help...

    Oh yes... What sort of TV have you got?

    The reason I ask is... => To make the best use of a DvD recorders potential, you "should" have a good TV. It's NOT totally necessary, but if you have a 25 year old CRT type TV then you really aren't doing you or your DvD recorder any justice at all. You know the old saying about the weakest link in a chain is its strongest point. Don't let your TV be the weakest link. LCD or Plasma is a huge recommendation here. Well, you want "new technology", you gonna have to get it...

    You can still hook up your VCR and copy over your movies etc, but when you see what you have been watching, until now in the way of quality, you may not like what you see on your VCR tapes anymore... It IS like another world...

    Seven or eight months ago, I would not have even considered even entering the Home Theatre arena, just so I could watch a few recordings of my favourite movies or TV series with a beer in one hand and a remote in the other. I was happy with my 25" Philips CRT 1992 TV and my Mitsubishi Black Diamond and Panasonic VCR's, BUT, after the bug bites, you just HAVE TO get all the right stuff or you'll soon see where you've gone wrong... Now that I have spent until it hurts (and it 'does' hurt), I am quite the happy chappy and all of a sudden, merely watching that movie or series, is more than just a timer filler-in, it is compulsive viewing, just like a movie theatre in you own room with all the right sound gear to match... How can I sum up in a few words, how I feel about it now.?? Like this...

    A-One...
     
  3. Toasty

    Toasty
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    Note of caution on the Cyberhome, I have had problems with two units from Asda and I ultimately got my money back. It initially did everything I wanted and pretty well, but it became very unreliable quickly and the second unit was just plain faulty. I'm sure I was just unlucky however, I'm now in the market for a DVD recorder with a hard disk. There's some great threads in this forum that go into the major benefits and provide overviews of different makes and models.
     
  4. Gavtech

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    The 'Brands' have a reputation for very good reason... [ Panasonic, Sony, Pioneer etc. ] I would recommend you look at them rather than these cheapo's you mention.
     
  5. philipb

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    If your budget will stretch get a hard disc model. Makes life a lot easier. And the brand models although costlier are better.

    Copying your tapes across to DVD may not improve the quality of the recordings - you can only copy what's there in the first place. Some of the better models have noise reduction routines which should make the DVD look better than the original tape but not by much.

    As Jim points out where you will see a difference - like opening a net curtain -will be on original recordings done on the DVD recorder.
     
  6. mark62

    mark62
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    Hi all
    Very, very helpfull replies. I feel alot more confident that this is the way to go. No doubt, I'll be back with a load more request for help/advice.

    Many many thanks
    Mark
     

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