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Anyone Got The New Pioneer 720h

Discussion in 'Blu-ray & DVD Players & Recorders' started by get1a2get1a2, Aug 16, 2004.

  1. get1a2get1a2

    get1a2get1a2
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    Anyone Review
     
  2. Barzo

    Barzo
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    No, but I have got the 420, which is an 80GB HDD version of the 720, without a DV input (they all share the same manual!).

    A good, basic recorder - produces excellent quality recordings, and is well built and easy to use. Very good playback through RGB interlace scart, and a good selection of recording modes and timer events.

    On the negative, though, it seems that Pioneer treat HDD as big storage bins, rather than as something on which you can edit material. Compared to the Tosh X32, which I have experience of (and will likely repurchase), the editing functions are very limited. You can do the basics like remove sections, insert chapters (though only manually - no automated option, unless copying data to a DVD-R or video mode DVD-RW), but after that it is a bit of struggle. It is impossible, for example, to convert from a higher bit rate recording to a lower bit rate recording on the HDD, so that one could edit chapters. To do this, one would have to copy (in real time) to a DVD, then high speed copy back to the HDD. Also, if you record 16.9 flagged material in LP (4 hour mode) or less, it is impossible (why????) to copy it to a DVD-R - must remain on HDD or go to a VR mode DVD-RW.

    So, as I said, some issues with editing, but if you just want basic editing, then it is ok.
     
  3. mike72

    mike72
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    Hi Barzo,

    I am currently awaiting a Pioneer DVR520 - and digesting every critizism of it closely, so I just want to get your points straight. If my questions are daft it´s probably because I´ve misunderstood something completely :)

    You mean that you miss the automated chaptermarks when viewing/editing the content on HDD (instead of fastforwarding)?
    As far as I can tell you can search by entering a 'timejump' - is this too tedious?
    Why don´t just edit in the high bit rate before dubbing to HDD?
    Is the 4 hour mode really so good that it´s worth using for anything?

    How is the noise level of the Pioneer compared to the Toshiba? (and why did you return the Tosh in the first place?)

    Regards,
    Mike72
     
  4. valliant

    valliant
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    i've got the pioneer 720 and it works great, editting , transfering hdd to dvd or dvd to hdd and it is quite and easy to use. :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
     
  5. Barzo

    Barzo
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    Mike72,

    You mean that you miss the automated chaptermarks when viewing/editing the content on HDD (instead of fastforwarding)?
    As far as I can tell you can search by entering a 'timejump' - is this too tedious?

    Yes - it is too tedious - I navigate my DVD videos by chapter, so like to do the same on the DVD-Rs (one of the many advantages of DVD-R over vide-tape, imho). On the Tosh, you can either enter chapter marks manually (as with the Pioneer), or decide choose to have a recording automatically split into chapters (from memory, 5, 10, 15 and 20 mins are selectable). This may not sound like much, but adding chapter marks manually to a title on the HDD every five mins is a real pain. If you dub in high speed to DVD on the Pioneer, it keeps the marks, but you never again get to see the chapter thumbnails (cosmetic, I know). Worse, however, if you dub to DVD, it will not automatically mark chapters (or give you the option to) if you have not marked them manually. This is just plain poor thinking on Pioneer's part when designing the user interface.

    Why don´t just edit in the high bit rate before dubbing to HDD?

    Because, if you high rate dub, all chapter marks are lost. So, yes, you can edit out material (erase it), and have the recorder mark chapters at 10 or 15 min intervals (yes, it will add them to high speed dubs, ironically). Not much use if you have manually chosen to make specific chapter marks. On the Tosh, it is possible to dub the title to the HDD, then fiddle with and dump it on a DVD-R (with auto or manually created chapters, as the user sees fit).

    Is the 4 hour mode really so good that it´s worth using for anything?

    A good point. Maybe not, but it would be good to have the option. On the Tosh, you can copy widescreen content at any bit rate to DVD-R, provided is not below 1.4 Mbps (LP is about 2.2Mbps).

    How is the noise level of the Pioneer compared to the Toshiba? (and why did you return the Tosh in the first place?)

    Much the same. Fan noise is less constant, and the mechanism is quieter, but it is still noticeable. Worryingly, hard drive itself is a bit noiser than the Tosh. Why did I get rid of the Tosh? A mistake. As detailed on one of the other threads here, something went wrong with the DVD mechanism - it would not read self authored DVD-Rs, even though other DVD drives would. I took the Pioneer as the shop I originally bought the Tosh from is having trouble getting Toshes in stock. However, I will be taking the Pioneer back and getting a Tosh. The Pioneer is a very good machine, no doubt about that, and the quality of recordings is excellent (as is playback PQ). However, I'm just to use to the editing power and flexibility of the Tosh. The Pioneer seems to have nothing significant in its favour (beyond a 8x compatible DVD drive), and loses too many points to the Tosh - fewer editing features, no prog scan playback, less user options (e.g. less control over DVD-R menus and playback options (Tosh allows stills from DVDs to be used as menu backgrounds, and to decide whether titles autoplay or display a menu).

    Ultimately, it is all down to personal preference, and I don't mean to 'diss' the Pioneer. I am just very disappointed in it as an editing machine in comparisson to the Tosh, which sells for much the same price, and, of course, adds multi-format compatibility to the game (DVD-RAM also). So, it's back to the shop, Pioneer, and I await a new Tosh, which will hopefully not show the same drive problems as my first unit.

    Hope that answers your questions
     
  6. Barzo

    Barzo
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    Against all probability, Pioneer is beginning to grow on me. I've found a relatively quick way to mark chapters, by using the commercial skip feature. 6 quick presses skips 5 mins of footage. I may even programme a macro on my remote to allow me to do this with one button press. Still miss the menu creation flexibility, but there you go.

    Also used the video adjust feature properly for the first time, when backing up some dodgy VHS footage. Quick comparission to a Tosh recording showed Pioneer recording to be a bit more stable, and have a little less noise (not much difference, but noticeable).

    Hmmm. Clearly more thought needed before I ditch this. I also like the 'Auto Start Record' function which I missed from the Tosh, as I tend not to have my STB switched on all the time, so did not have much use for the IR controller.

    Lack of prog scan is also not an issue - my dedicated DVD player can more than cope with prog scan playback (575), and I'm sure it outperforms the Tosh here. Ok, Tosh would allow me to watch digital TV in prog scan, but I'm not convinced there would be a great benefit in this upscaling - suspect this is not a feature Tosh will have concentrated on.

    One of the wonders of RS, where I bought the Tosh and Pioneer, is the 14 day exchange policy - think I will sit on this for a while longer, especially as they still have no Toshes back in stock.
     
  7. get1a2get1a2

    get1a2get1a2
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    where from please
     
  8. Rasczak

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  9. Barzo

    Barzo
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    I have now decided to keep the Pioneer 420, rather than get another Tosh X32. This is such a turnaround that I think I need to explain my reasoning:

    (i) Pioneer is smaller, quieter (yes - despite earlier post, it is clearly quieter in operation than buzzing Tosh fan) and has a drive mechanism that seems to read anything thrown at it (except, of course, DVD-Rams :) )

    (ii) Have overcome problems with the 4hr+ widescreen material. Restriction on Copy Lists only holds true when the 'Frame Accurate Editing' selection is off (no marks to Pioneer for hiding this in the manual).

    (iii) I think VHS transfers are better - certainly tweaking the chroma settings, etc. on the video input seems to make a difference.

    (iv) I've just come to like it. Has grown on me - like the logical menu structures for operation, and the Pioneer Home Menu system. Still note that some of the editing frills of the Tosh are missing (re: chapter thumbnails et al), but the basics are covered, and I like the 'Title Divide' and 'Partial Erase' commands (although the Tosh could do essentially the same thing with just a few extra presses).

    A lesson in the importance of actually using a product for a while, even when having a gut reaction against it.
     
  10. mike72

    mike72
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    Hi Barzo

    Thanx for all the info. I was beginning to get a bit disappointed that the Toshiba is not sold here in Denmark, mainly because of the extra editing options.

    However this is a small sacrifice compared to a lower noise level.

    If you plan you use dvd-rw a lot (as I am) it´s nice to know you can still get discs for it in a couple of years when version 1.1. perhaps will be hard to find.
     
  11. markie

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    I've had the Tosh and exchanged it for a pioneer 420 - never looked back. Much easier to use, better menus, plays ntsc disks on a non-ntsc tv, quieter fan noise, easier to program, much better remote (in quality and how its laid out), etc.. May not have all the little tweeks that the tosh has, but as I'm only interested in basic recording and playing that doesn't matter at all. To me the pioneer is much more user friendly for the 'average user'.
     
  12. phelings

    phelings
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    Don't forget the Pioneer also records NTSC and PAL 60,and there is the superb "disc backup" feature that replicates a dvd entirely,including menus much quicker and far simpler than any PC system I now of.
    Although I have the 5100 I think the new additions on the Tosh of chapter thumbnails and being able to use a still from the disc as a menu background puts the Tosh on top for menu structure at least.
     

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