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Buying dvd recorder for fist time - help!

Discussion in 'Blu-ray & DVD Players & Recorders' started by Starlings lady, Oct 29, 2004.

  1. Starlings lady

    Starlings lady
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    Have only had a video recorder till now but the time has come.. I would like a hard disk recorder and have been struggling through the jargon, reviews, etc etc.

    I want to put my videos on to dvds and use the hard disk for recording disposable stuff and some stuff for transferring onto dvds. We do not have Sky.

    I think I have come down to the Panasonic E85 or E100 - can anyone tell me whether the E100 is worth the extra cost - and whether I should be considering Philips as well.

    Any help/advice much appreciated.
     
  2. hornydragon

    hornydragon
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    Forget phillips.............
    OK panny are very good if you have a digital camcorder the E100 worth the extra... if not probably better off with the E55. is it just nalogue 1-5 you wish to record? have you got freeview? do you want it?
     
  3. Rasczak

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    Yeah forget Philips - their machines lack the functionality of all other producers and have been plagued by reliability problems.

    The E100 is a discontinued model - it has been replaced by the Panasonic E95. If your considering models in that bracket though you should consider the following:
    - Panasonic E85
    - Panasonic E95
    - Toshiba RDXS32
    - Pioneer 420
    - Pioneer 520
    Which one to choose? Well they are all excellent machines for archiving video tapes (etc) to DVD and you won't be disappointed with any of them.

    The Panasonic range has the best recording quality of the machines listed. The E85 has no iLink feature (for digital camcorders) but the more expensive E95 does. A point to note is that the Panasonic range only record onto DVD-R and DVD-RAM (the others record onto DVD-RW as well). Whilst DVD-R is universally compatible DVD-RAM isn't - it won't play on most DVD players and is largely just used as a HDD extension on HDD/DVDR combos. That said you will find whichever recorder you get you will probably want to archive onto DVD-R anyway as it is more compatible, won't get erased and the media is so cheap. So this is only an issue if you want to tape things on the recorder and play upstairs on a different DVD player.

    The Toshiba RDXS32 is an excellent machine although it is quite complex to use (i.e. might not be the best choice for a technophone wife/husband). It can't match the recording quality of the Panasonic range but it does beat it on DVD playback and records to DVD-RW (in addition to DVD-RAM and DVD-R). It also has iLink and is probably the cheapest recorder of the list.

    The Pioneer range are good machines that sit between the Panasonic and Toshiba range being neither as good as the former or as powerful as the latter. They won't disappoint but I would chose between teh Toshiba and the Panasonic personnally. Nevertheless if these are the machines for you then the 520 and 420 are identical except the latter has no iLink.
     
  4. phelings

    phelings
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    I would go for the Pioneer or the Toshiba.Exceptionally good value aswell as good machines
     
  5. Starlings lady

    Starlings lady
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    That's very helpful, thank you very much - so several out of the frame because of ilink or ease of use - seems to leave the following:

    - Panasonic E95
    - Pioneer 520

    Final questions - I do have freeview (Grundig) which I want to record things from sometimes - are the above compatible? Would be willing to replace the Grundig if absolutely necessary).

    And have I come down to a sensible choice between these two?

    Am very appreciative of your advice.
     
  6. Rasczak

    Rasczak
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    Don't forget the Toshiba RDXS32 - this does have iLink and is, arguably, the best all round DVD recorder currently available! It also has a magic wand (well infra red anyway) for changing the channel - I presume it will work OK with your Grundig DVB. To get the most out of the recorder then the Toshiba is a little more complex than the others - but then you would soon get used to it.

    Anyway assuming you have ruled out the Toshiba then the Panasonic is the better of the two - both for DVD playback and recording quality. Both will record from your Grundig although neither will control it like the Toshiba. I own the Panasonic E95 myself so it gets a thumbsup from me.
     
  7. hornydragon

    hornydragon
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    Have you considered a freeveiw HDD recorder and then adding DVD recorder Pacetwin and E55 is a good combo
     
  8. eddyad

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    All HDD/DVDs will work with Freeview set top boxes (STBs). I have g Grundig STB and Pioneer 420.

    A nice point about Pioneers is the ability to pass through the scart input when recording analog TV from its internal tuner. This means you can use a complete RGB path for watching and recording from STB and the recorder - and you only need one TV scart (RGB).

    One minor problem of this set-up is that the Pioneer Auto Start and Panasonic External Link do not work because the STB TV-out (the RGB one) is not activated when the STB turns on from standby under timer control.
    So for timer controlled digital recordings you have to set the timers on the STB and the recorder and leave the STB turned on. The STB will change channels as required by the timer.
     
  9. cliocarl

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    I see the cambridge audio recorder hasnt had a mention!

    I believe this has a video signal improver thingy, that takes composite inproves the qualiy and outputs it to say component!
     
  10. Rasczak

    Rasczak
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    Most component equipped recorders can output any input as component - including the Panasonic and Toshiba. The Cambridge Audio is based on a Philips reference design and well worth avoiding - especially as it's DAC is fairly poor compared to only marginally more expensive recorders.
     
  11. cliocarl

    cliocarl
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    Oh!

    What would be best one for doing that then? As I have a projector and was planning to link my sky, ps2 and such via this and output it using the component signal.
     
  12. Rasczak

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    Panasonic, Sony, JVC or Toshiba will all do a good job at it. Which one to go for really depends upon your other needs/requirements from a DVD recorder.
     
  13. Starlings lady

    Starlings lady
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    Have looked at the Panasonic, Pioneer and Toshiba now and am intending to buy the Panasonic E95, which I feel confident will do everuthing I want and last me a good few years.

    Am extremely grateful for everyone's input/advice/help in steering me through this particular maze.
     

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