DVD/HDD Recorder- Panasonic DMR-EH50 vs Pioneer DVR-433H or DVR-530H

Discussion in 'Blu-ray & DVD Players & Recorders' started by wicker_man, Apr 27, 2007.

  1. wicker_man

    wicker_man
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    I've shortlisted my choice of DVD/HDD recorders to three models:
    Panasonic DMR-EH50
    Pioneer DVR-433H or DVR-530H (costs slightly more but has 160GB HDD)

    They are available for slightly over £100 refurbished/ex display and seem like better options than getting a new 'cheap brand' one. But, I'm not sure which one to go for and have a few questions that any owners could possibly answer for me (for any recorder):

    1. Are chapters automatically made when recording to HDD or DVD? And are they at regular intervals or 'smart' chapters where adverts/scene changes are detected?

    2. Are chapters (auto or manually made) retained when transferring from HDD to DVD? (I couldn't find a clear answer to this). And does it retain them whether you transfer in original format or re-encode to burn to DVD?

    3. How much of a delay is there from switching on to starting recording (on HDD/DVD)?

    4. Am I correct in believing you can time shift/chasing playback while recording? And is it possible to watch a DVD or another program stored on the HDD while recording?

    5. Are recordings made in 16:9 widescreen on HDD/DVD or does it letterbox them?

    If anybody can suggest another model I could consider that are similar to the Panasonic/Pioneer, please let me know.

    And finally any more comments would be appreicated. Also, if anybody has one of the above models for sale or knows of any good deals, please let me know.

    Thank you very much :)
     
  2. aekostas

    aekostas
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    I am a true believer in buying used, but not when it comes to DVD Recorders. A major local repairer showed me a stack of them waiting to be fixed and even recommended extended warranty (no immediate gain to him). So, yes to major brands, no to used as far as I am concerned.

    On your specific questions I have answers only for the EH50 which I own (and then not in all of them)

    1-3 don't know, much, but they are described in the manual, available todownload for free from http://www.panasonic.co.uk/ I believe that when dubbing from HDD to DVD-R it loses the chapters and automatically insterts some in regular interviews; it may retain them on DVD-RAM.

    4 You can view while recording, but not when dubbing in real time. Re timeshifting, a partially recorded title is available for you to start watching immediately as it starts recording. This is a brilliant feature; bye-bye ads.

    5 Recordings are made in the format they come in (I think there is a "source format" setting which may come into play). When dubbing to DVD-R the Panny loses the flag (but retains all the information); this is a problem to some TVs, as you may need to tell them to display it as WS. The issue is covered ad infinitum and ad nauseum in other threads of the forum.

    Good luck.
    p.s.: Out of interest, why did you turn down the 60D? I could not afford it (250 vs 400 new); is it still that much more expensive?
     
  3. wicker_man

    wicker_man
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    Thanks for the reply, I'll check out the manuals.

    I've decided to look for mainly refurb/ex demo models because it only needs to last a year or two until we decorate the lounge and get a new AV setup (and HD recorders should be more widely available). New DVD/HDD recorders around £100ish are mostly less well known/'cheap' brands with mixed reviews.

    The Panasonic EH60D still sells for around £200-250, and even on the well known auction site (not sure if I'm allowed to name it here), it is £180-£200.
     
  4. TobyW

    TobyW
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    I don't know about EH50, maybe somebody else can help. But my old E85 takes forever to start up (half a minute or more, really annoying). My 530 takes just a couple of seconds (2 blinks of an eye).

    If you create chapters on the HDD they will be preserved if you do a high-speed copy to DVD. But if you record directly to DVD, or do a real-time dub from HDD to DVD, any chapters you created are lost and instead you can opt for auto-created chpaters at fixed intervals of something like 5 or 10 minutes (depending on the model of recorder).

    Just one thing about the 530, though. I find that almost every blank disk (and I've tried several brands) will fail to burn the first track. I therefore burn a dummy track a few seconds long, on every new disk. If by chance it succeeds instead of saying "copy error", I just erase it. Either way, the disk is then OK to use as per normal.
     
  5. imagineers

    imagineers
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    I have had a lot of problems with "copy err" on disks but these cleared up when I used a can of "air duster" to clean the inside of the dvd drive. Don't know how but some crud had got in there. May even have been there from day one!
     
  6. TobyW

    TobyW
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    Thanks, I will try it. (It's been there since day one, especially with 16x disks.)
     

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