CHEAP HDr/DVDr Combo or Branded DVD Recorder?

bradavon78

Novice Member
It's about time my Mum upgraded her ageing Mono VCR and recently having upgraded to a Pioneer 540 HD/DVD Recorder I'm strongly recommending she gets a hard disk based Recorder.

It also needs to have DVD Recording capabilities for use on another DVD Player and because of the imminent analogue switch off she definitely needs a Freeview Tuner too.

However the price of a Pioneer 540 and the like is to much for her to pay. My question is this:

* Should she get a decent branded DVD Recorder (ONLY) with Freeview from the likes of Panasonic, Sony, Pioneer etc . . .

OR

* A cheap DVD Recorder, Hard Disk and Freeview unit such as this £199.99 model from Wharfdale:

http://www.argos.co.uk/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/Search?&searchTerms=5333992

The Wharfdale looks to only have two scart sockets so no Component or Progressive Component which is a shame but considering she's also going to go from a 14" Mono TV to a 20" LCD Widescreen TV I suspect she'll be chuffed with the quality jump regardless.

Normally I'd never recommend anyone get cheap or unbranded makes but hard disk technology is so much better than DVD recorder technology I'm not sure. Considering she won't stretch to £300 I'm tempted to risk the cheap Wharfdale model. Then again it's not multiregion (and I can only find it at Argos) which is anything issue entirely.

What do people think?
 

Gavtech

Administrator
Yes. I agree with your own view that Hard Disk recording is 'the thing'.. and most desirable.

However, I just could not recommend going down the cheap route, especially for an older person, and someone who is not familiar with the technology.

For ease of use and reliability you need to go for one of the brands.
Panasonic are noted for their ease of use for example.

The benefit of HDD is so great, that if it is too much to afford now, I would strongly urge waiting and saving until it can be afforded.


Buy cheap? Buy twice... and live in constant frustration.

Good Luck
 

bradavon78

Novice Member
Gavtech said:
However, I just could not recommend going down the cheap route, especially for an older person, and someone who is not familiar with the technology.
Agreed she did specifically say if it's complicated she won't use it but then complained when I said the price (under £300 I said). Which as you know you can't have one without the other.

Gavtech said:
The benefit of HDD is so great, that if it is too much to afford now, I would strongly urge waiting and saving until it can be afforded.
You could wait forever. The Toshiba HD/DVD/Freeview box is reasonable at £256 Multiregion delivered (much less than from Sony, Panasonic or Pioneer) so I'll see what she says and if that's to much look into a DVDr with Freeview which incidently are still near the £200 mark.

It's annoying only those 4 makes make a HD/DVD/Freeview box, where's the hardware from the also decent but much cheaper Samsung or LG?

Gavtech said:
Buy cheap? Buy twice... and live in constant frustration.
Agreed. My Dad bought a crud Grundig DVDr a few years back and has nothing but problems with it. When it does work it's incredibly basic too IMO.

But he won't pay more than £200 so what does he expect!

Personally I only buy decent branded hardware as I know it's definitely worth the extra but most people don't (my parents included). At least she realises an LCD TV is around the £300+ mark and that's just what they cost. She needs one of those too.
 

Gavtech

Administrator
Have you considered suggesting a PVR maybe?

It may be advantageous in terms of ease of use and probably not as expensive.

It does away with the all the many disk issues that can arise.

Maybe in combination with a cheapish disk player which is much less critical than a burner?
 

bradavon78

Novice Member
Gavtech said:
Have you considered suggesting a PVR maybe?
I did but my brother often takes what he records upstairs or to my Dad's house so I need to be able to archive off. Having two Recorders would really add to confusion.

Gavtech said:
It does away with the all the many disk issues that can arise.
I'm hoping she will go for the Toshiba, at £256 it's very reasonable. It has a 160Gb hard disk too. I'd have preferred the same with an 80Gb at say £180 as that's more than enough but Toshiba don't do one and the other brands with 80Gb hard disks are roughly the same price.

If not I think I'll suggest a DVD Recorder with Freeview. The latter is crucial with Freeview being switched off soon and not wanting to have to buy another recorder in a few years. She often records something and watches something else right now so two Freeview tuners is compulsory (she already has a Freeview STB but of course having two of those is overkill).
 
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