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another Panasonic DMR-E85 v Toshiba RDXS32

Discussion in 'Blu-ray & DVD Players & Recorders' started by daydreamer, Sep 17, 2004.

  1. daydreamer

    daydreamer
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    Well I started looking at getting a DVD recorder because my girlfriend would like to archive her huge VHS collection to less bulky DVDs. And further archiving of TV programs in the future (she likes to keep everything).

    I myself am more interested in the timeshifting capabilities and so a HDD recorder would seem a good idea. We don't have any digi boxes yet, so just terrestrial analogue.

    Difficult to describe, but I thought there could be an issue with trying to use a DVDR for both these purposes - you have to decide in advance if you want to timeshift (pref DVD-RAM), or archive (DVD-R) the program. i.e. if I record a film to DVD-RAM and then decide I want to keep it, you can't copy it to DVD-R using the single machine. I could buy parts for my PC I guess, but the obvious solution seems to be DVDR/HDD which gives the best of both. Record everything to HDD, trim, edit and then archive to DVD-R if needed.

    So, apart from the thought that ideally I love the idea of TiVo or something with EPG etc, I think I will settle for a DVDR/HDD combo as the best compromise. And the Panasonic DMR-E85 or Toshiba RDXS32 seem like the two best candidates. Any comments on anything obvious I have overlooked in the above would be welcome, but hopefully I won't have to completely restart my descision process :eek:

    I have reviewed the threads I could find on the suject - including the huge RDX thread and 2 comparison ones - and started to look through the Tosh manual (does anyone know if the E85 manual is available anywhere?), but I wanted to confirm a few thoughts on the pros and cons as far as I see them. They look v.similar for my needs and the important distinguishing features would seem to be -

    Panasonic DMR-E85
    No DVD -> HDD :( e.g. to copy/edit from -R/RAM to a new -R via HDD
    Have to remember to put it in standby :(
    Higher quality recording in the 2:30-3hr region.
    Nice looking box :)


    Toshiba RDXS32
    Record priority - so no worrying about whether you have left it in the right mode :)
    DVD -> HDD is possible :)

    I've seen comments about the RDX being less friendly. Are there any examples of this?

    The -RW is a nice extra, but not a descision factor.
    Noise would be an issue, but I gather that is down to individual units.

    So, currently I'd say the RDX is winning.

    I guess a rather critical question - I hear these are a bit scarce. How likely are places (Richer would be good) to have any stock of these things (assuming I actually make up my mind soonish).


    Thanks for reading all that, sorry for such a long rambling post, especially as it's my first. I hope there aren't any introductory traditions I missed out on.
     
  2. Rasczak

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    You seem to have a fairly good grasp of the state of play - your spot on with your understanding of why HDD/DVDRs are better than standalones. Only things to note is that you can dub from DVD to the HDD on the E85 (high speed from DVD-RAM, realtime from DVD-R).

    The Toshiba RDXS32 is more complex than the Panasonics - I'll be mobbed now by Tosh users saying it isn't - but, one example can be seen by just how many posts have we had by people asking how to loop videothrough the Toshiba. Personally I don't consider it to be an issue: however complex the machine you will get used to it fairly quickly. And the Toshiba is only complex because it has so many more options than the Panasonic...hardly a bad thing then!

    I would say the bottom line is if you want the very best recording quality go for the Panasonic. If you would rather have 'polished' final DVD-Rs with nice menus etc then go for the Toshiba - the PQ will still be great.
     
  3. Baj

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    Manual for American version can be found at

    media-server.amazon.com/media/mole/MANUAL000050727.pdf
     
  4. daydreamer

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    Many thanks for those comments. I thought one of the HCC (or similar) reviews had said something about not being able to do DVD to HDD. :confused:

    I will have a look through the DMR manual later - ta.

    One other thought - the RDX has a DV input, DRM doesn't. I don't have a camcorder, so is there any other use for it? Do any other devices have DV output.
     
  5. Rob20

    Rob20
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    I have the Pan 85 and you can copy from dvd-r to hdd, but only in real time for some reason!? but you can copy from ram disc to hdd using the the high speed transfer. Have had it for a few months now and it gets constant use. Shame you have to put the timer on or it won't record though. Perhaps it reminds you not to change the channel by accident if you have to put the timer on.
     
  6. Rasczak

    Rasczak
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    iLink (Firewire) does have other uses - but none that you would use on a DVD recorder such as the RDXS32.
     
  7. Nelviticus

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    I think the confusion over dubbing from DVD to HDD may have arisen because you can only do this with some DVDs. Ones that you've recorded yourself are fine and non-copyrighted ones may be too (I haven't tried it), but most DVDs that you buy can't be copied to the HDD for obvious reasons (i.e. to prevent piracy).

    Regards

    Nelviticus
     
  8. Rasczak

    Rasczak
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    Yes - good point - commercial DVDs (and even some DVDRs made on other burners/recorders) may not successfully dub across. Only DVD-RAM/DVD-R made with the machine in question are guaranteed to work.
     
  9. daydreamer

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    It was the HCC review - 0407HCC22 Panny E85 DVD* 4/5/04 12:37 Page 72
    http://www.homecinemachoice.com/cgi-bin/displayreview.php?reviewid=4456
    But glad to hear that it is possible. :)

    So, it brings it down to Rasczak summary: (plus my concern about remembering the Panasonic standby for recordings). A very close call, the Toshiba is cheaper, both sound a little scarce on stock availability.

    DV = iLink = Firewire, Aha! so possibly able to input stuff from a computer (if/when I have suitable outputs)?
     
  10. Rasczak

    Rasczak
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    Generally not - such transfers seem to be largely disabled. The iLink sockets are designed for camcorder use and most other uses are disabled/not supported.
     
  11. arcamalpha

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    I have seen some very good prices for the panny e85, how would I go about transfering stuff from my dv video cam to the panny, then burn it to DVD?
    Given there is no DV input on the panny.
    Thanks.
     
  12. Rasczak

    Rasczak
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    Connect via S-Video to AV4.
     
  13. arcamalpha

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    Thanks Rasczak, forgive my being a newby to this dvd recorder game, but is my understanding of how I would transfer dv tape material to dvd correct?
    I would connect my dv cam using s-video lead to panny, transfer from the dv cam to the hard drive of the panny, then record onto dvd-r? from hard drive of panny?
    And could the dvd discs then be used on other machines apart from panny ones?
    Thanks a lot for the patience :thumbsup:
     
  14. Rasczak

    Rasczak
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    Yes that's correct. You would copy across in DVD-R compatible mode using Flexible Record, edit as required and then high speed dub to DVD-R. You finished disks will play in virtually all DVD players.
     
  15. arcamalpha

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    Thanks a lot Ras, you have been a great help :thumbsup:
     
  16. lazzer

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    To add to Rasczak's help, I have been connecting my dv cam staight into the front of the E85 (white red and yellow connctors) and dubbing to the HDD, then editing and finally burning to dvd-r. Picture quality is fine and I'm pretty pleased with this feature.
    Rasczak, what is the advantage of a firewire in over this method please?

    Many thanks. Lazzer :)
     
  17. Andyclockwise

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    I'm sure Ras will correct me if I'm wrong, but Firewire aka i.Link aka IEE1394 is a high speed data link between two or more items of electronic equipment. As I understand it the benefit to DV camcorder users of using Firewire over AV input is that you are transferring raw data without any loss due to conversion, wheras transfer via AV input requires conversion from digital to analogue (in the camcorder for the output) then back to digital again for the capture to HDD (in the Recorder). In addition to the potential degradation due to this conversion process, you can only transfer in real time vs high speed transfer possible with Firewire.
    There is a further problem using the front red and yellow connectors as they are composite and this is generally held to be of low quality when compared with S-video.
    In short you are probably not getting the best possible transfer using this method.

    Hope this helps.
     
  18. arcamalpha

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    Thanks guys for the input, I think I will be taking the s-video option once my panny 85 comes, should hopefully be here this week :clap:
    Any tips on best places to buy blank discs?
    Thanks again.
     
  19. Andyclockwise

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    Arcam - I've found SVP www.svp.co.uk to be excellent on price and service. I think you'll find a few threads here that echo this view.
    Andy
     
  20. Neville Street

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    Arcam, if you get a m/c with a DV in there are various options that use the DV signal. I plugged my old analogue camcorder into the red, white, yellow on Saturday and dumped a tape onto the HDD fine. This is how you are proposing doing it. If I had been using a DV camcorder with the DV lead the Tosh gives various options for pre-chaptering according to original recording date, scene change, etc. I anticipate this being useful when the inevitable upgrade to a DV camera happens (which it will in the next few months I am sure ;))

    Sorry Arcam - just re-read the thread, you are already committed to a non-DV machine so this post is not very useful. Hope you enjoy your new toy :smashin:
     
  21. arcamalpha

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    I have a jvc dv camera, it has dv out and s-video out.
    I will have to transfer to the hd using the s-video route.
    Andy thanks for the link.
    Can't wait for the panny to come, thing is I am on the early shift this week, so it is guaranteed I will be up very late when it does come :laugh:
     
  22. daydreamer

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    I've (re)noticed that he DMR-85 only has optical digital audio out - no coax. Which seems rather odd to me. So to connect a DMR-85 to my Amplifier will require me getting an optical connector of some sort, whereas the RD-XS32 has coax and optical. Or continue to use my Sony DVD player for reprecorded media.

    Is is easy to get a suitable optical connector? Do most people not use their DVDR/HDD for prerecorded DVD-Video? Or are optical connectors more common than I think? Or is the DMR-85 just a bit odd in this respect?
     
  23. Andyclockwise

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    The E-85 does have standard analogue audio out (red and white phono sockets) for connection to amplifier which is how I have mine connected.
     
  24. daydreamer

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    But that's only stereo isn't it? I was meaning the digital audio (Dolby 5.1) connection but using copper rather than optical. My current DVD player and Amp have both optical and coax (copper).
     
  25. Nelviticus

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    If your current DVD player and amp both have coax and optical, why don't you connect them using coax and connect the E85 using optical?

    My E95 is a fine DVD player but it takes a lot longer to start up than a stand-alone DVD player. That's the reason I'd consider having a stand-alone in addition to the recorder.

    Sorry, I've just re-read your post - I thought you were talking about getting an optical-to-coax converter. The answer to your question is that optical cables are very common, you'll find them in almost any hi-fi shop.

    Regards

    Nelviticus
     
  26. Andyclockwise

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    Only stereo! Young man how many ears do you have? - 2 channels should be enough for anybody!!

    Joking - apologies for the misunderstanding. One day I'll catch up with all the technology.
     
  27. daydreamer

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    Ah, good. Many thanks.
    And thanks for the comments about player and recorder.
     
  28. arcamalpha

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    My panny 85 came today :clap:
    I am not in work tomorrow, so fun and games tonight :D
    Has anyone tried dvd audio via the 85 yet? opinions please.
    Thanks. :thumbsup:
     
  29. marah

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    Sorry to hi-jack your thread but is anyone connecting either of these machines with the component connection and is there a noticeable difference over RGB? And is one better than the other with regards playback?
     
  30. Nelviticus

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    I connect my E95 to my CRT TV with a component connection and it is marginally better than RGB. It is definitely different, although if you weren't looking for it you wouldn't be able to tell. The TV is considered one of the better CRT models, a Panasonic TX32PD30, so if anything is going to show up the difference then this one will as it's prog-scan capable.

    If you have great eyesight, sit close to the TV and would rather scrutinise the picture quality than watch the movie then you will appreciate a component connection. Normal human beings should be more than happy with RGB though, which is noticeably better than SVHS or composite.

    Regards

    Nelviticus
     

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