DVD-R HDD recommendations?

M

mishad

Guest
Have Sky and fed up of worn out video tapes and scrabbling around to find blank space. Don't fancy spending £10pcm on Sky+ forever so looking for a DVD-R with HDD, perhaps with Freeview (to get "1 and a half" tuners -- not officially in a FV area but near neighbours with high-gain aerials pointing in "wrong" direction suggest it is possible).

Must haves:
120GB or more (or less but can upgrade with normal PATA/SATA HDD)
<= £300 (perhaps a little more with Freeview)
RGB+Stereo in and out (incl pass through, rec, playback)
Play while recording (same file i.e. timeslip, different file, freeview if included)
Stable and easy to use for whole family (no random crashes or horrible menu structures to do a timer recording, no horribly complicated R/C with 150 buttons)

Would really like:
Editing on HDD then write to DVD (cut out ads, overruns etc)
Pause/Rewind live TV from RGB (Sky) (and from Freeview if included)
Guide+ & G-Link (might get away without it if Freeview included though)
FW/1394/I-Link (to use as an on-the-cheap camcorder->DVD edit box)

Nice to haves:
Upgradable/replacable HDD
Easy-to-MR DVD player (already have a MR CH505 for DVD playback but could use that elsewhere) (have a laptop with IR so MR via codes via a WinXP/Linux proggy would be fine)
Record RGB(/FV)->HDD while playing DVD
DVD DL record
"just fit"/re-encode on copy from HDD to DVD (and VBR encoding?)
UI features like PIP, get programme info while recording without recording the blue popup,
Play DVD/HDD to UHF (ch 36 or whatever like a VCR)
Quiet running
Cheaper would be better, too, of course (is £250 out of the question? for a decent make?)

Not too worried about progr.scan component/HDMI (current TV is 32" 50Hz CRT interlaced only and we'll be keeping the TV a few years yet).

Before I start trawling forums, newsgroups, g/froogle and reading the manual for every pana/pio/sony/tosh and jvc model from the last 3 years (argh!), does anyone have any recommendations?

Misha
 

bradavon78

Novice Member
I don't know about:

* no horribly complicated R/C with 150 buttons: You're buying a 3 in one Recorder - Freeview, DVD, HD so in some ways this is unavoidable[/b]
* Pause/Rewind live TV from RGB (Sky): BUT Freeview definitely
* FW/1394/I-Link: I don't think it has Firewire but don't know for sure. It does have S-Video in though I believe
* RGB Loopthrough: I'd be surprised if it doesn't but don't know for sure
* Record RGB(/FV)->HDD while playing DVD: IF it's a PAL (so European R2 and Australasian R4) DVD then yes but NTSC (so R1) then no. This is common and why I've stuck with owning two DVD Players. You basically can't have both NTSC and PAL active at the same time.
* UI features like PIP, get programme info while recording without recording the blue popup: Do any Recorders have PIP, I've not seen any. The blue popup is sent with the stream so unlike Teletext where it's a separate stream you're stuffed. This is common for ALL recorders right back to VCR's
* Quiet running: No idea I've not heard one

But otherwise the new160Gb Toshiba RD85DT released around May time is a very reasonable &#163;259 MULTI-REGION delivered:

http://www.rgbdirect.co.uk/ProductDetails.asp?SKUNumber=104528

From RGB Direct it comes with 5 DVD-Rs free, odd it was &#163;256 a few days ago.

NOTE: For a start you're not going to find another Recorder this close to what you want for this price but Toshiba's are known for being more complicated than the likes of Panasonic (who're known for ease of use) BUT Panasonic's are about &#163;100 more.

For example I paid &#163;368 for a very similar machine with Divx from Pioneer (the 540).

The upside being the editing features are better than most. I say for the price sit wifey down for half an hour and getting learning. I've not used one but surely they're only as complicated as you make them (don't need to edit don't learn how to do it).
 

bradavon78

Novice Member
More on the Toshiba:

http://www.avforums.com/forums/showpost.php?p=3310814&postcount=4

"Toshiba RD85DT 160 gig HD: 'best buy' Home Cinema Choice (Aug); 4 stars What HiFi (Sept).

Downside: no RGB input (if your mum has a satellite box for instance she will not be able to record from it at best quality); no HDMI output to TV. No dual layer recording to DVD. No input on the front for a DV camera.

Upside: good reviews, good ergonomics, easy to programme recordings. Good price."


What NO RGB input how dumb.
 

knotpc

Novice Member
The Toshiba RD-XS32SB has PIP and I would have thought the newer XS34 would have as well.

I would stick my neck out and say the Toshiba 32/34 were the best recorders for quality and features ever (apart from their DVD Drive which do not seem to stand the test of time) better than the Panasonics,Pioneers and Sony's.
Then Toshiba mess it all up by bringing out new machines without all the things which made it so GOOD!

Regards
knotpc
 

bradavon78

Novice Member
What was dropped from the 34 to the 85? The 85 does have Freeview where the 34 doesn't. I wonder if that makes it easier to use?

I find the Pioneer 540 editing wise fine but wish it did auto chapters when recording to the HD. It does when burning to DVD so why not HD? It only takes a minute or so to manually add them (it's dead simple) but frankly I shouldn't have to.
 
R

RosemaryP

Guest
I have the XS34 and the RDT85 and I love them both. I thought the XS34 was wonderful after the JVC DRM10 which had to go back for repair twice. I did fancy one with freeview though and just happened to be in comet when they had been put on the shelves so I could not resist. I did pay £350 though.

love the RDT85 even more. It is so easy to set programmes to be recorded from the electronic guide. It has the advantage of naming the programmes you record.

The only disadvantage I have found is that the RDT85 does not have the Sat Moni button which was a great help when we were watching our Pace Twin we had then. Now every time the recorder starts 10 minutes before it will record it completely takes over the telly and the Fusion 200 we were watching vanishes. My husband always goes mad. He has to find the telly remote quickly as he can and press av until it says AV2. On the XS34 if sat mon was pressed it did not affect it. He always has the remotes if he is in, it is a man thing I suppose. He has no idea how to set a programme on any of the recorders we have but can do the Fusion.
RosemaryP
 

knotpc

Novice Member
bradavon78 said:
What was dropped from the 34 to the 85? The 85 does have Freeview where the 34 doesn't. I wonder if that makes it easier to use?
.
I've not looked at the 85, although I was offered a Tosh 24 as a replacement for my Tosh 32.
The main differences that I can remember are-
1. No RGB input for recording.
2. Zoom not small step, just X2 and X4.
3. No Picture in Picture.
4. Editing Suite not as good.
5. You could select any background image for your DVD compilation.
6. Select Title and Chapter pictures.
7. Chase play/Timeslip.
Probably others I cannot recall at present, maybe someone who still has one can update. (Your cue foneman)...

Don't take this as Gospel because I'm writing this from memory and stand to be corrected.
The RGB issue was the big No No for me. Fortunately Domestic and General let me have the Pioneer 440HX as a replacement instead.
Although the the Pioneer is fine, dare I say not in the same league in extras as the TOSH.

Regards
knotpc
 
M

mishad

Guest
Unfortunately have to discount the Toshs with no RGB in (XS24, 85DT) -- the Sky box [thomson] has no S-Video out, so the drop would be to composite, which is just too awful.

Candidates so far:

FV and 160GB:

Sony RDR-HXD860 (DL, FV, i-Link/1394, G+, 160GB, very new) ~&#163;330
Panasonic DMR-EX75 (similar spec to Sony 860) ~&#163;350
Pioneer DVR540 (no i-Link/1398, poor "pause live") ~&#163;350
Philips DVDR7250 (no FV EPG, just G+) ~&#163;300

Smaller HD:
Sony RDR-HXD560 (as 860 but 80GB) ~&#163;290
Pioneer DVR440 (as 540 but 80GB) ~&#163;285

No FV:
JVC DRMH300 (has RGB in unlike most JVC, but no DL and poor composite in) ~&#163;290
Pioneer DVR530 (older model) ~&#163;300
Philips DVDR7300 (250GB doesn't really justify the price to me...) ~&#163;350

Smaller HD and no FV:
Philips DVDR3300 ~&#163;230

Any preferences? Any turkeys to avoid in the above? Other suggestions?

So far the savings from drop to 80GB or losing FV don't seem worth the loss of space/function; I'm leaning to Sony 860 and hoping Sony's rep for decent quality and usability is well deserved... (or perhaps the Philips 3300 if I find FV is a no go from our house, or requires a new &#163;150 aerial :rolleyes: )

Misha (OP)
 

bradavon78

Novice Member
Pioneer DVR540 (no i-Link/1398, poor "pause live") ~£350
Agreed literally it's poor as the PLTV buttton is rubbish but in honesty it depends how you look at it. When you PLTV to answer the phone does it really have to actually pause? I don't see why it does in practise .

You press Record (and mute if you wish), answer the phone, come back and press Play, Playback is resumed where you left off. Isn't that really the whole point of PLTV? The actual pause aspect is a gimmick IMO.
 

bradavon78

Novice Member
Pioneer DVR540 (no i-Link/1398, poor "pause live") ~&#163;350
Agreed literally it's poor as the PLTV buttton is rubbish but in honesty it depends how you look at it. When you PLTV to answer the phone does it really have to actually pause? I don't see why it does in practise .

You press Record (and mute if you wish), answer the phone, come back and press Play, Playback is resumed where you left off. Isn't that really the whole point of PLTV? The actual pause aspect is a gimmick IMO.

knotpc said:
7. Chase play/Timeslip.
You seriously can't Chase Play on the 85? What???

Agreed RGB Loopthrough is an odd one to drop. Still for the price you get: HD, DVD, Freeview, MR - That's a lot of bang for your buck.

RosemaryP said:
He always has the remotes if he is in, it is a man thing I suppose.
He he probably :D

RosemaryP said:
He has no idea how to set a programme on any of the recorders we have but can do the Fusion.
You've probably heard this before but I still find that so weird ;) , role reversal or what.
 

bradavon78

Novice Member
RosemaryP said:
The only disadvantage I have found is that the RDT85 does not have the Sat Moni button which was a great help when we were watching our Pace Twin we had then
What's the Sat Mon button?

RosemaryP said:
Now every time the recorder starts 10 minutes before it will record it completely takes over the telly and the Fusion 200 we were watching vanishes.
Is that also when recording from he Freeview tuner? Do you know why it's doing this? I presume Sat-Mon starts recording straight away but also sets the scheduler from Monday-Friday, right? At which point some signal is sent to your TV and it switches the TV over, right? I wonder if that would happen if watching via something else than scart.

RosemaryP said:
love the RDT85 even more. It is so easy to set programmes to be recorded from the electronic guide. It has the advantage of naming the programmes you record.
It doesn't name them on the 34? I thought that was a basic feature, the Pioneer 540 does.

Is it easy to use, bar settings programmes? My Mum has commented it must be easy to use a couple of times.
 

Aitch_Kay

Standard Member
In the same boat here !!

If HDMI was essential ..... what would you all recommend ?

So far I've gathered that none of the Sony's have HDMI .... is this correct ?

The new Panny EX95 seems the dogs balls ...... anybody got one ??
 

bradavon78

Novice Member
HDMI HD Recorders are rare. Doesn't it just leave Panasonic? I think the Pioneers in October will have HDMI. They offer up scaling.
 

knotpc

Novice Member
bradavon78 said:
What's the Sat Mon button?
bradavon78,

It's basically the same as the up channel button on your Pioneer machine except it's on the Remote where it should be! for Scart pass through on and not only while recording, this is where the PIP was usefull. Eg. you
could watch something on the hard disk while watching SKY in the small picture, so not to miss the start of a program.

Also if I remember correctly you have a SAT Control button which controlled your SKY box from the TOSH's remote as well which was quite usefull.

Regards
knotpc
 

k-spin

Active Member
Aitch_Kay said:
In the same boat here !!

If HDMI was essential ..... what would you all recommend ?

So far I've gathered that none of the Sony's have HDMI .... is this correct ?

The new Panny EX95 seems the dogs balls ...... anybody got one ??
The Sony RDR-HXD860 has HDMI. So does the RDR-HXD910 if you can still get hold of one.
 

bradavon78

Novice Member
Thanks Knot.

The skip chapter buttons double up as channel +/- on the remote. I'm sure I can switch AV sources using the remote. I can't remember what remote button I need to press though.
 

alaniho

Novice Member
this new philips dvdr HDD seems to have a nice spec for £199 does anyone know more about it, review maybe? seems like it should be added to your list above

it is a really beautiful looking machine actually !!:smashin: !
 

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