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Confused - what recorder do I buy????

Discussion in 'Blu-ray & DVD Players & Recorders' started by italiastar, May 8, 2005.

  1. italiastar

    italiastar
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    I'm looking for a DVD recorder for normal home use - ie recording corrie st and eastenders to time shift, the odd film or programme to watch later etc etc etc. My main motivator is to archive my old 8mm camcorder tapes, but reading elsewhere it appears that this might not be the best medium - if so what is?

    Im looking for a branded budget machine and narrowed down to the LG DR4912 at £150 or the Panasonic DMR-E55 at £160 or £150 for a refurb model.

    The LG offers DVI which would suit my new camcorder, but will this really make much difference to picture quality? and it has the bonus of using rw discs againt DVD RAM. I'm not to bothered about using +R as -R appears to be the most versitile format. Everything recommends the Panasonic. Can anyone please advise.
     
  2. Rasczak

    Rasczak
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    The Panasonic is a significantly better DVD recorder but note several points:

    Opinion is divided. I am not a major camcorder buff so tend not to take sides on that - however DV input will make life easier.

    This is a bonus in some regards but with either machine you will have to make a choice: Compatible Recordings or Edited Recordings. If you choose the former then on the Panasonic you would need to use DVD-R whereas on the LG you could use DVD-R or DVD-RW (Video Mode). To be honest on either machine you would probably use DVD-R for most discs as it is more compatible. If you choose editing ability then you will be making incompatible discs whether you use DVD-RW (VR Mode) or DVD-RAM so it isn't a big issue either way.

    It's pretty much the same as + but is more compatible. Most users archive to DVD-R.

    Further advice really depends on what you want to do with your machine, i.e. do you want to author DVDs on your PC? Do you want to benefit from features such as timeslip? etc Have a look at the 'Which DVD Recorder?' link in my signature for a general FAQ on DVD recorder issues.
     
  3. Loobster

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    Which recorder is best for you may depend largely on your preferred method of archiving. If you want to just record to disk and that's the end of it, then pretty much any DVD recorder will do. I've seen the quality of DV camcorder capture to a Panasonic and also to the supermarket cheapie recorders and I or my friends can't see the difference on any TV less than 32" using 2-hour-per-DVD mode.

    If budget is the main concern, you can pick up +RW recorders for under £100. If you just want to have the DVD recorder as a way to get MPEG2 material to your PC for superior editing and menu creation then +RW is the cheapest way to do that.

    However, if you aren't bothered about playing with the material on your PC, -RW models often offer more choice of built-in menus, and as you say there are branded units like Panasonic and Pioneer which to be honest don't cost much more than the supermarket +RW models these days. These may also offer slightly better picture quality in some circumstances (although as I said sometimes it's not noticeable).

    For serious editing you will either need to use the PC or get a DVD-RW/HDD model.

    --Loob.
     
  4. Rasczak

    Rasczak
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    ...or put another way if you have a small, cheapie TV (he has a 28" widescreen - just go and see how 'big' they are) you can get away with a c*** DVD recorder because you won't notice it. Avoid the cheap Chinese imports like the plague if you want quality products.

    italiastar, once you have shortlisted a few products checkout the reviews linked to at the top of this site to help aid your decision who is trying to help and who is trying to mislead here.
     
  5. Loobster

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    Ahh, I see I didn't reccomend -RW enough for you in my last post.

    --Loob.
     
  6. Rasczak

    Rasczak
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    Times have moved on Loobster, the argument is no longer + or - as most machines are multi-format now. Even the cheapies (albi for example) are adding minus support whilst Panasonics are adding plus. The only issue now is which DVD recorder to buy to get the best features/performance.

    Anyone who believes you comments that they can buy a Supermarket cheapie and get equal performance at 2hr mark to a major brand model deserves everything they get. But I will still point it out for the benefit of those who haven't quite figured out that it is + + + for you and nothing else.
     
  7. italiastar

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    Thank you both very much!

    To get this into perspective, our main television is a 24" (widescreen) Panny. I Like Panasonic products and whilst the cheaper, supermarket brands offer shedloads of features for lower price, this raises the question - do you need the features and is the kit as reliable. That said, my best DVD players are two small size Cyberhomes, that WHSmith were selling.

    I'm keen to get the highest quality picture, but my as I found with my camcorder, this is not always the best - I had a Hi8 camcorder and have found that the tapes which are playing up the most are Hi8 - the 8mm ones are fine.

    As you've said, my PC is probably best for editing, if I ever get round to it. I'm happy with -R as it seems to be the most popular, compatible format.

    Thanks again. :thumbsup:
     
  8. phancey

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    I've had the JVC DRM10, Panasonic DMRE55 and Toshiba DR3. So far I like the JVC best. It has a library function which is invaluable if you do lots of recording - tells you which disk you taped corrie on 2 nights ago! It's great. The user interface is also the best in my opinion.

    What I really like about it which I don't think the Panasonic does (at least not that I could figure out) is a totally flexible bit-rate recording. The Panasonic allows FBR to fill up whatever disk space you have remaining but the JVC allows you to specify a rate so if you have a blank disc you can calculate to fit 4 50 minute episodes of your favourite program, recorded over 4 weeks all at the same rate to just fill up the disk.

    However the Panasonic wins on RGB input and more importantly for general use, it automatically titles your program if recording off TV whereas the JVC you have to title it yourself.

    The Toshiba was too noisy (we wanted it for the bedroom) and we didn't like the interface. Panasonic of course have just brought out the DMRES10 which can record 1 second after switching on which would be a big benefit.

    hope this is helpful

    Phil
     
  9. kelvin

    kelvin
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    Let's try and keep personal insults out of this please guys.

    There's no problem with arguing over techincal points (provided you don't take the initial thread too far off topic), but there's really no need for some of the comments i've just edited/deleted.

    Regards,

    Kelvin.
     

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