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DVD Recorders versus dedicated players...

Discussion in 'Blu-ray & DVD Players & Recorders' started by BOFH_UK, Dec 3, 2004.

  1. BOFH_UK

    BOFH_UK
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    Hi all, I find myself in need of a little advice and was hoping you could maybe help me out?

    I'm currently running a Panasonic DMR E55 DVD recorder hooked up to a JVC HV-32P37SJE set via component video and, by and large, I'm very happy with it. Recording is easy, the quality of recordings is great and playback of commercial disks is much, much better than my old Cambridge Audio player (that I can't remember the model number for off the top of my head, d'oh!). And yet I can't help but wonder what I'm missing out on...

    While the E55 is giving good pictures it does have a tendency to produce less than silky smooth motion which is starting to get annoying. So the question is this: If I were to go out and spend say £200 - £300 on a new DVD player and hooked it up in exactly the same way as the E55, would there be any real noticable difference? And for that matter, any suggestions on what to buy? I've heard Denon 2200 and Panasonic S97 thrown around at that sort of price point, but I'm not too fussy about any particular brand, just the most bang for the buck.

    Thanks, and sorry for the lamenes of the question. All I did was look away for six months and everythng's bleedin' changed!:eek:

    Steve.
     
  2. imichael

    imichael
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    Steve

    My e55 is fussy about the quality of discs, it is not a fan of fingerprints or faint scraches, producing that blocky look to the screen - like when the Sky signal is about to drop out.

    the same disks play fine on my old Cambridge DVD300.

    Otherwise the e55 is a great player/redorder, except for having to manually switch between NTSC and PAL in the set up menu.

    Having said that, if you are going to go out and spend £300 on a dvd player, then it should produce significantly better peroformance. The E55 is around £200, and the recorder part probably counts for half of that cost (as a rough estimate). :confused: . That would make for a large gap in perofrmance for the player element alone.

    Cheers

    Ian
     
  3. Dean

    Dean
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    Sony DVD recorders are the best playback DVD recorders out there, although they don't include timeslip features on many models if that's your thing. I've got the RDR-GX3 and its playback is superb, probably because of the better video DAC (12 bit/108 MHz) than the E55 (10 bit/54 MHz).
     
  4. AML

    AML
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    A dedicated play back machine will give you better quality picture on pre recorded disk (shop bought DVD Videos). But I cant be sure if they offer better picture quality for a home made disk. Its hard to say. Take recorded disk to a hi fi shop and ask them to play it on some new high end players and see if it makes any difference.

    I have a Denon 3910 and the picture quality on all my DVDs is better than ever! I dont really record anything though, so I cant say what they quality would be like.
     
  5. BOFH_UK

    BOFH_UK
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    Oops, sorry I should have made that a bit clearer. For TV recordings I've got no problem with playing them back on the E55. It's just with pre-recorded disks that I'm not sure I'm getting the best I could out of the rest of the equipment.

    *Sigh* Oh to be able to afford a high-end Denon... After having a look round the forum and on-line reviews I'm starting to get very interested in the Pioneer DV575. Seems to be a pretty good deck, does prog scan on NTSC and PAL automaticaly (thank you, thank you, thank you) and a reasonable street price to go with it. Maybe a trip to Richer Sounds is in order for a home trial...

    Just out of idle curiosity, does anyone know of an article, either on-line or in a magazine, where they actually break down the visual differences at different price points? I know that sounds silly, but with even low end machines kicking the hell out of players that were £300 not two years ago a visual guide to what you'll get for your money might be a useful thing.
     
  6. nwgarratt

    nwgarratt
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    I used to have a E50 DVD Recorder and currently have a HS2. I think they are both superb as a playback DVD player. I haven't had any problems playing either commercial or home made DVD-R's. I even got DVD+R/+RW to work fine using bitsetting.

    I think they make excellent playback machines but, probably would only put them on a TV and not something like a projector.

    The HS2 has even played a DVD which got stuck even on a Pioneer 575.
     
  7. SNICK

    SNICK
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    I have a E55, which is great for recording/archiving - but not so, in my opinion as a DVD player. Bought a pioneer 575, and the difference was certainly noticeable on my plasma.
     
  8. AML

    AML
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    Any newish Pioneer and Denon is well worth a purchase. I recomend them all from my own experience.

    To answer your origianl question. Yes you will get better quality from a playback only machine.
     
  9. BOFH_UK

    BOFH_UK
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    Well, thanks to you lot making a convincing case for the prosecution there's now a Pioneer 575 sitting on top of my E55. Initial impressions, after the traditional cursing at my cable jungle, are a little odd so, for the benefit of anyone else browsing this forum with a similar question I thought it worth going into a bit of detail:

    My last update from a Camrdige Audio DVD55 deck to the E55 was a revelation. Much more detailed images, better definition and far less jagged edges. This time round I had both decks hooked in and running with Star Wars: Episode 2 as a test disk and while the Pionneer was bringing out detail I hadn't noticed before the Panny was showing them just fine when I specificaly went in to look for them. For a while I had that sinking feeling of having spent a good chunk of cash and not really ended up with any improvment. And then I started to just watch the movie...

    In almost every scene I was seeing little details that, while present on the Panny, had never caught my attention before. For a while I just couldn't work it out, then it hit me. The Pioneer was giving the image so much more 'depth' my eye was being drawn into the film rather than focusing on the TV screen. As weird as that sounds it's the best way I can describe it, and it's definately a worthwhile change. There's other things as well, with colours being brighter, blacks being a bit more solid and progressive scan mode giving noticebly better results than the Panny's prog scan. Best of all the sometimes annoying horizontal shudder that the Panny tended to produce from time to time seems to have vanished, with the fast sweeping pans of Lord of the Rings being smooth as glass.

    It's still not perfect of course, and there's an annoying part of me that can't help but wonder what the Denon 2200 I was offered for £300 would have been like. But then I look at the picture the 575 is capable of producing and can't help but think that, even at such a low price, the extra £180 really wouldn't be worth it. Downsides to the 575 are a noisy drive mechanism (high pitched noises in a home theatre = bad karma) and slightly questionable build quality but other than that I'm struggling to find fault here.

    Of course the biggest advantage as far as I'm concerened is having the ability to play a DVD on the 575 while recording on the E55. Granted this happens fairly rairly but it's such a massive pain in the backside when it does.it almost justifies the purchase by itself.

    Again, thanks everyone for the help, much appreciated.
     
  10. silent ninja

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    Some informative comments there. I too had a similar problem. I want mainly good quality playback. I can only buy one at the moment, either a dedicated player or a recorder/player. I had too many doubts over a dvd recorder-- a hard disc one would definitely be my choice but they are too pricey at £400 for the Panny's/Pioneers, also the playback wouldn't be as good. A dvd recorder with no hard disc, although far cheaper, still wouldn't offer as good picture quality, has limited editing ability and also there's the fuss of changing discs.

    So i eventually went with the Marantz DV4500 dedicated player which falls in my budget of £200. It was either that or the Camrbidge Audio Azur 540D or Pioneer DV575. I had a Pioneer DV-470S (very similar) which i returned because it didn't play multiregion discs as advertised. It was too much hassle to do it myself especially after i paid for it. Playback was excellent for the short few days i had it but the build quality didn't impress me. There aren't any reviews for the Marantz DV4500 because its quite new but the DV4300 seemed to get excellent reviews although the DV4400 wasn't so popular as it had no progressive scan. The new model has NTSC/PAL progressive scan.

    So for now, i'll stick with my Sky+ and delete recordings, until the next range of hard disc recorders come round (6 months?). Prices should be dropping for sure. Hopefully the 80gb models will have ethernet as standard.
     
  11. Dean

    Dean
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    I also got the Pioneer and am pretty impressed with it, not to replace my DVD recorder (in another system) but to replace a Sony DVP-525D which cost me £450 5 years ago. Everything about the player is excellent, the onboard DD/DTS processing is extremely good but no test tone feature unfortunately. I havent had a chance to check any SACD or DVD-A discs yet though. It even sounds fairly good with CDs, which is quite surprising given the fantastic price of approx £120! :smashin:
     

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