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Best buy for around £250?

Discussion in 'Blu-ray & DVD Players & Recorders' started by Dave Blows, Dec 22, 2003.

  1. Dave Blows

    Dave Blows
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    Merry Xmas everyone!

    Here's an old chestnut for you... I've got a 36inch Panasonic TV, Sky+ and a VHS video I want to consign to the back row.

    What I want to do is:

    1) get a re-recordable dvd player
    2) copy my videos onto disc
    3) be able to download saved progs from Sky+ to disc
    4) re-record discs if necessary
    5) copy films from my camcorder onto disc and edit as I go along

    Can all this be done for around £250? Panasonic E50 is mentioned in these threads and seems a decent bet - but does it do all I want it to do?

    And can anyone advise on types of disc to buy/what sort of capacity they have?

    Thanks
     
  2. bobones

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    The E50 doesn't have a dv input - you'd have to make do with s-video, although some people have said the difference is not dramatic. The E60 has firewire (ilink) but it's about £100 more than the E60 but offers a better connection for a video camera.

    The E50 uses dvd-ram discs for rewriteable media and dvd-r for write once. dvd-ram cannot be read by the majority of dvd players, although panasonic ones can play ram discs that have been removed (or were never in) caddies. You can do all manner of editing on ram, but unless you have a hard-disk recorder or a PC, editing dvd-r is not possible once a programme has been recorded. (You can use the pause button for basic editing and add programmes to an unfinalized dvd-r).

    Double sided ram discs have a capacity of 9.4GB (4.7 for single sided). dvd-r has a capacity of 4.7GB. Depending on the quality mode used, you can record up to 6 hours per side, but a more realistic maximum is 3-4 hours, with 1 hour being optimal.

    Double sided RAM discs can be bought online for less than £6 each. Dvd-r's can be found for less than £1 each.
     
  3. Dave Blows

    Dave Blows
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    Bobones - thanks, though being a techo-phobe I'm not quite sure you said yes to everything (I'm assuming you did, but qualified!).

    Bottom line, though - is the E50 the best bet at this price? And, judging by your reply, are we in a VHS/Betamax struggle? You seem to be suggesting that any ram recordings will only ever play on a Panasonic? Not, for instance, on a PS2? Presumably, dvd-r will play on other machines such as a PS2?

    Looks like the one for me (?) unless anyone can recommend something else?

    Finally, is there a make of disc I should be looking for? Bit like old tapes - always used to get TDK. Not the most expensive, but pound for pound they did the trick. I guess it's the same with discs? All sorts of quality and prices?

    Thanks
     
  4. bobones

    bobones
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    The E50 will do everything you want, and is probably the best machine at the £250 price point, all things considered.
     
  5. Dave Blows

    Dave Blows
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    Which is what I wanted to hear. Many thanks. Any recommendations on type of discs to get and from where?
     
  6. bobones

    bobones
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    RAM disks can be expensive if you go for a major brand like Panasonic. I bought a box of 5 MediR double-sided RAM disks from www.lynxdv.co.uk for about £30 - these do for time shifting. Since you've got Sky+, you might not even need RAM (you get one disc in the box).

    Opinions differ on dvd-r media. I've never had a problem with Ritek G03 or G04 based discs on my E50 and the guys on www.dvdrhelp.com swear by them. Get them online or in local PC component shops for the best prices. Have a look at
    www.blankdiskshop.co.uk, www.bigpockets.co.uk and www.ebuyer.co.uk. PC World sells a number of brand name discs, but they're a bit more expensive.
     
  7. bobbles

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    if you want to keep the recordings on disc I would strongly advise you up your budget and buy a dvd recorder with a hard drive.

    If you want to archive tv programmes and you buy say an E50 I would imagine you will find yourself upgrading within a year.

    I did :smoke:

    as you have sky+ I would recommend the Tosh RDXS30 It can be bought now for under £500 and I would imagine this reducing after christmas.

    ok this is double the £250 but it is well worth it and will save you money in the long run.

    You could also try for a second hand HS2 as many have upgraded to E100
     
  8. bobbles

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    with regards to discs big pockets do some excellent double sided Ram for just over £5 each

    be very careful with -r I just had to send 100 back, and they were Ritek G03 discs

    I recommend you only buy a few and once you have found a reliable brand stick to them.

    There have been reports of cheaper discs using dye which will degrade meaning recordings will eventually become unplayable so don't go for the cheapest

    I have found datasafe very unreliable on my E30
     
  9. Wasabi

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  10. numskull

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    I've found that "ONE" DVD-R disks made by Datasafe from here to work perfectly in our E50 - at 60p each these are good value. ;)
     
  11. bobbles

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    thanks for the tip

    very expensive P&P mind you. I usually stick to big pockets as I work nearby and can pick up direct
     
  12. numskull

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    Well, it's 60p per disc INCLUDING P+P!! (based on buying 50 that is).
     
  13. bobbles

    bobbles
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    ah yes sorry, postage is the same for 50. Personally, If you know this works I would get 100 then.
     
  14. Dave Blows

    Dave Blows
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    Wow, awesome advice! Now I suppose I should have it all set up right - what connections do you recommend with the TV aerial, scarts etc (and can I keep the video in the system - don't think my wife would ever suss how to use a dvd recorder).

    System is

    Sky+
    Panasonic 36 inch TV (3 scarts)
    Sony video (2 scarts)
    and the E50 (2 scarts?)

    It all works ok now (pre-dvd recorder) but there always seem to be so many options/alternatives to set up and connection. Any idiot guides I can try and follow? I'm not ashamed - treat me like a total set up virgin!
     
  15. bobbles

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    I would recomend

    Sky+ tv scart RGB to E50 Scart RGB IN

    E50 Scart RGB out to TV Scart AV1 RGB

    Sky+ S-Video to TV S-Video inputs

    VHS to remaining TV scart

    TV ariel to Sky+

    one sky+ RF output to E50 the other to the VHS

    E50 RF out to your tv


    What is the VHS for, not recording I take it just for watching old VHS. You could convert the VHS to disc then consign the old fella to the attic

    The second sky+ scart only outputs a composite signal so you are much better off getting an s-video lead for when the E50 is busy and you want to watch sky


    You can buy quite cheaply a -RAM / -R drive for your pc that what you can do all your copies on RAM. Edit, then burn onto -R.
     
  16. chilpillphil

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    dave said "Wow, awesome advice! Now I suppose I should have it all set up right - what connections do you recommend with the TV aerial, scarts etc (and can I keep the video in the system - don't think my wife would ever suss how to use a dvd recorder)."

    So i asume his wife wants to watch VCR's as she can record onto sky plus.
     
  17. Dave Blows

    Dave Blows
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    Thanks Bobbles. If/when I dig out the dosh for an E50, I shall certainly give this a try. I'm assuming the video will still be used for recording - that's the bit the trouble and strife can work out, not the dvd record facility and playback (I know, I know, but it's probably true; horses to water and all that).

    Your connection suggestion - that mean recording to video not possible/difficult?
     
  18. bobbles

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    no you are sending the sky+ signal to the VHS too

    so whatever is on sky can be recorded onto the vhs

    surely recording onto sky+ is easier than using a vhs

    just take it away she'll soon learn when corrie needs recording
     
  19. Dave Blows

    Dave Blows
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    You are right, of course - but I can picture the scenario: watch one prog, record another on Sky+ and a further prog on video... it's happened before (she goes upstairs and records on another video through the old Sky box). Once in a blue moon, but if she knows it can be done, it must be done. Who am I to disagree (the age old song of the harrassed male...)?

    Ho hum.
     

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