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DVD Recorder - help?

Discussion in 'Blu-ray & DVD Players & Recorders' started by cagey, Mar 7, 2004.

  1. cagey

    cagey
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    Guys,

    A complete newbie here looking for some help...

    I currently have a multi-region Pioneer NS-DV55 home cinema set up, a Sky TV box and a PS2. I have 3 scarts on my TV - one for the Sky box, one for the DVD & one for the PS2.

    I want to buy a DVD recorder, so the first thing I want to know is if anyone can recommend a model? I want to be able to play the disks back on another player though, which I understand the Panasonics are no good for. I can pay up to £600 and I want one with a HDD.

    Another question is - because the NS-DV55 runs my surround sound speakers, would I have to plug the new recorder into this? If so, how would I do it? And I know that you can select the programmes you want to record on the recorder itself, but how is this connected to the Sky box for this to work.

    Lastly, I only have 3 scart sockets on my TV, so would the recorder need to be plugged into the TV, or could it play via the DV55?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated!

    Don't want much do I ?!?

    Cheers.
     
  2. Rasczak

    Rasczak
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    Well the HDD models within your budget are:
    - Panasonic HS2
    - Pioneer 5100
    - Toshiba RX30

    The top-of-the-range Panasonic E100 is just out of your price range (at around £700). There are a few nice looking models on the immediate horizon which might be worth waiting for: the Panasonic E85 and two JVC models.

    The Panasonic DVD recorders record to DVD-RAM which won't play back on most DVD players and DVD-R which WILL play back on most DVD players. Given the cheapness of DVD-R media you shouldn't discount them entirely. You'll probably find when you get a HDD/DVDR you won't use re-writeable media much.

    The core thing to note with the HDD/DVDR combos at the moment is that the only ones with RGB input are the Panasonic range. Unless you have one of the handful of Sky units that have a S-Video connection as well then you will need a RGB-To-S-Video converter. Depending on the quality of your set-up you'll also notice a quality drop between RGB output and S-Video.

    Putting aside the RGB issue then you'll find the core functionality between the machines isn't that much different. A load of people will probably jump on me now saying "what about this, what about that?" and they'd be right so let me define 'core functionality' as the ability to record onto the HDD in best quality mode and then copy to universally compatible DVD-Rs with some sort of 'fit to disk' option (where the maximum bitrate is used to ensure highest possible quality). There are obviously alot of differences such as MP3/WMA playback, card slots, HDD size, iLink etc etc.

    Anyway have a look at the specifications of the models listed. If you do need re-writeable media to be compatible then you will need to steer clear of the Panasonic and Toshiba models (both use DVD-RAM). This only leaves the Pioneer (DVD-RW) - although that has quality issues when recording from non-S-Video sources. So in such a situation you might find it preferrable to wait for the new JVC models coming in the next month or so (these are multi-format DVD-RAM and DVD-RW). Some Sony models are also on the horizon but they are not expected until Winter and will likely require a second mortgage.

    Presumably the home cinema setup has an optical in connection to which you can connect the DVD recorders optical out.

    The normal method is to connect a DVD recorder between the TV Output of the Sky Digibox and the TV as this allows you to record in RGB quality and allows you to use features such as Pause Live TV etc.
     
  3. Dean

    Dean
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    just got the sony rdr-gx3 and wanted to know a bit more about DVD-RW (VR) and DVD-RW (video) mode? From what I understand VR is more editable but less compatible? Will VR work playback on other DVD players?
     
  4. Rasczak

    Rasczak
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    DVD-R can only record in one mode, Video Mode. This is the same file structure as a DVD-Video you would buy in the shops and is thus compatible with any DVD player capabale of reading DVD-R disks (which is almost all of them). However this fle structure is not designed fo recording and thus no editting or other non-linear features are available.

    DVD-RW can be recorded to in two modes: Video or VR. In Video mode the recorder will again record in the same file structure as a DVD-Video. The same limitations exist with regard editting etc as with DVD-R but most DVD players will be able to play the disk (around 80% of players can read from DVD-RWs). However you can also record onto DVD-RW in VR mode: this has a totally different file structure to DVD-Video - it has one designed for recording with just one MPEG2 file contained in a 'container file' called a VRO. Edits can be made etc. However although most DVD players can read DVD-RWs they cannot 'understand' the VRO file structure unless they are one of models labelled "RW Compatible" such as those from Sony and Pioneer or one of the "HighMAT" models from Samsung and Panasonic.

    I should point out to Cagey this isn't an issue for HDD/DVDR combo owners as your HDD effectively is in VR mode all the time giving you the editting features/timeslip you want and you'd only dub to DVD in the compatible Video Mode.
     
  5. Dean

    Dean
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    Thanks for elaborating on that :smashin: - say I have a recording that I wish to erase commercials or fine edit musics videos say, then is VR the only way to do this? I read the manual and don't think you can do A-B erase with video mode.
     
  6. cagey

    cagey
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    Many thanks for such a swift and comprehensive reply!!

    I'm in no rush, so will wait until the JVC models come out, although I did already have my eye on the Pioneer 5100, cos I'm so chuffed with my NSDV55.

    Once again - many thanks!
     
  7. Rasczak

    Rasczak
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    Thats correct - you have to have made the recording in VR Mode. I should point out if you have a PC DVD burner it is simplicity itself to convert from VR to Video. Refer to the sticky thread "DVD-RAM (Inc DVD-RW VR Mode) To DVD-R" in this forum.
     
  8. cagey

    cagey
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    Hi again - somebody has recommended the Panasonic DMR-HS2, which although still doesnt write to DVD-RW, has better connection options.

    Is this a decent machine?

    Thanks in advance.
     
  9. Rasczak

    Rasczak
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    The HS2 is an excellent machine although is about to be replaced as the 'cheap Panasonic HDD/DVDR' by the E85. The "better connection options" is the RGB issue I described in my responce to your original post!
     
  10. cagey

    cagey
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    Right - me again.

    I bought the Pioneer DVR5100S and everything is connected up & seems to be working, although I'm having a problem with the S-Video connection.

    Basically, I bought a good quality S-Video to SCART cable, but it doesnt seem to work on my TV, even though I set up the DVR to S-Video out and my TV to S-Video in.

    My Pioneer NSDV55 is connected to my TV in the same way and works fine, so I don't understand why the DVR isn't working - anybody have any ideas?

    I have had to connect up using a SCART to SCART instead.

    Help anyone?

    Thanks in advance!
     
  11. cagey

    cagey
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    *Bump*

    Really sorry guys, but can anyone help at all? It's driving me nuts...

    Many thanks,
    Cagey.
     
  12. kenfowler3966

    kenfowler3966
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    I might be daft but if you have a s-video to scart connector, does't that convert to a video input? S-video in on a tv is usually the correct S-video input socket, often located under a flap on the front
     
  13. bobbles

    bobbles
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    no, scart can carry an s-video signal. You have to change the signal from video to s-video for the correct scart socket mind you.

    however, you can buy two types of scart - s-video cables

    s-video out to scart or scart to s-video in

    lektropacks sell them with a switch

    have you got the right type, your set up sounds fine
     
  14. phelings

    phelings
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    On the 5100 you need to make sure the AV Connector output on the Initial Setup is set to s-video.It arrives preset to VIDEO.If you are using the s video socket on the back of the 5100 make sure you are connected to the output one,rather than the input one.And most tv Scart inputs only allow S video input on selected sockets,not all of them.Normally,an RGB input will not take S video and vice versa.Try changing sockets
     

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