DVD HD RECORDERS - feedbacks for LG4820 and others

Discussion in 'Blu-ray & DVD Players & Recorders' started by hi-tech-geek, Sep 7, 2004.

  1. hi-tech-geek


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    My main use is to record TV soaps and send it to friend overseas, and transfer home video from DV.

    I have a Rogers 810 +RW recorder for several months and am generally very happy with it.
    For recording TV shows I had to watch with it and pause for adverts. So a hard disk recorder Would certainly make life easier as cutting the adverts afterwards is very easy.

    I had looked at manuals of Hitachi, Toshiba and LG and decided on the LG for the price/features.
    There are many shortcomings, so I am disappointed so to speak. I may decide to change to another one but before I do that, I can share my experience so that new comers to this will know what to expect.
    And users of others (Toshiba/Hitachi/Pioneer/Panasonic etc) can also share the experience on the same. I have a feeling that most of the hard disk recorders may have the same "short comings".

    LG4820 has only 4 recording modes: 1h, 2h, 4h, no 6h. It is not a problem as I would never record in 6h mode anyway.

    Quality of recording with 4h mode to harddisk is very disappointing. However, recording with 4h mode to dvd (-R/RW) is very good. So I usually record to HD in 1h mode and then transfer to DVD in 4h mode and I am happy with the quality. It means that changing quality when transferring to DVD is possible,
    but only limited to 1h/2h/4h, variable rate is not possible, which is a disappointment. But I knew that from the manual before so that was not a complaint.

    Fast dubbing - and that is a big disappointment, which is not stated or made clear in the manual:
    (I could say that their product distribution leaflet or even the manual was misleading)

    HD to DVD -
    1. Most dubbing can be done only in real time, fast copy is not possible if you want to copy HD content to DVD at a lower quality (e.g. a 4h HQ(1h mode) into one DVD). Fast copy is possible only if you copy one hour content (single title) into a VR mode DVD-RW.
    2. Only one title can be copied at a time. You cannot copy several titles into one DVD in one go. There is no playlist in HD content so you cannot make several titles into a playlist and then make copy.
    3. To over come the above I had to combine all contents (4-5 episodes) into one title and then copy to DVD. And I usually do this before I go to bed and leave it as it has to be done in real time.
    4. As I am making copy to send to friend, there is no question of copying it with VR mode. So they are all in video mode. There are no thumbnails in the copy. The end copy results in text display of about 20 "Empty Title" titles, corresponding to the beginnings/ends after deleting the adverts in between. I could not find a way to make the end DVD into just one single title, or with thumbnails.

    DVD to HD -
    1. Once again, only one title can be copied to HD at a time. You cannot copy several titles in one go. Needless to say, you cannot copy a whole DVD as it is. You must select a title to copy.
    2. I made a playlist of several titles (VR/RW) and tried to copy a playlist but it was no go. You cannot copy a playlist to HD.

    Editing -
    I only make editing in HD so editing a DVD VR -RW is not a concern.
    Editing feature is limited. You cannot import a picture as thumbnail outside the same title.
    You cannot make a DVD-R disc with all thumbnails/titles in tact as mentioned above.
    My main use is the delete adverts which is as easy as you can get from any make and that is one plus. Combining/dividing titles are also easy.

    What are your experiences with Toshiba/Pioneer/Panasonic/Hitachi as regard to the above "short comings"?
    What about Phillips 720 for +RW? Is there a big difference in features? (possible/not possible +/-)

    I (and probably most of you) would like to know what to expect before making a decision for another one. It may well turn out that every one has limitation of some sort.
  2. hi-tech-geek


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    I was generally happy with the quality/price but there is a big problem.
    I had the first one for a few days and the hard disk had read/write error. One of the recodings disappeared from the hard disk - very annoying!

    So I changed it for another one. After about 10 days, one of the the recordings disappeared from the hard disk, without any sign beforehand. Now that is a big disaster as the recording cannot be replaced.

    I feel that I cannot trust it any more and I plan to take it back for refund.

    Any one else has the same experience? perhaps with othe HD recorder?
  3. Bob H2

    Bob H2
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    Aug 27, 2004
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    I have had my Toshiba XS32 for only two weeks and I have not yet bothered with dubbing from DVD to HD.

    Dubbing from HD to DVD is very easy and dubbing to Rewritable takes half an hour at max irrespective of the bit rate. I have not dubbed to writable but that should take no longer than 15 minutes. If the bit rate is low and I am copying 4 hours, in effect it is saving at 16 speed.

    The machine will recode if recorded at a high bit rate and one wishes to save at a lower bit rate to DVD, but I have not bothered with that yet.

    I usually record direct to DVD-RW at 2.2 mbs which gives 4 hours of play. This allows me to record 2 full football games for my daughter and she is more than happy with the picture which is far better than VHS.

    I usually record to HD at 4.6 mbs and this gives near DVD quality and allows 2 hours to be recorded later to DVD. I cannot see any real reason for saving at a higher quality. At this bit rate, the HD allows someting like 35 hours of recording. At the lowest bit setting of 1.4 something like 100 hours could be saved. I am yet to check out 1.4 but would assume it would give quality similar to VHS.

    The Toshiba allows very fine tuning of bit rate - almost more rates than one would need, but the various rates that can be applied could prove handy in the future.

    As a final aside, the time shifting facility is a real boon.

    I can only say that I am more than satisfied with the Toshiba and could never go back to a VCR.

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