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DVD writer & HDD & Freeview

Discussion in 'Blu-ray & DVD Players & Recorders' started by etaf, Apr 25, 2005.

  1. etaf

    etaf
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    I have just replaced the TV aerial, amp and all the cabling - so at last i have a verygood picture.
    I want to get freeview and know its available in the area as my neighbours have it.
    A few questions - if you can help
    My TV does not have a scart and i do not want to replace yet - but plan to but a flatscreen LCD TV 32" later in the year.
    so freeview boxes - i was just after a cheap one and saw a alba for £34 in argos but i'm not sure if they transmit the freeview signal on a channell out the aerial out {i know of various boxes that do as I have set them up to record on videos and play on TV's just by aerial NOT using scart} is there a way to tell????

    Next - I'm very interested in a DVD recorder with a HDD and know very little about it, they range from about £200 to £1000, I'm looking at maybe £300 ish. Do they come with a freeview tuner installed ??
    But I want it to be usable on the new flatscreen TV when I get it later in the year.

    sorry if i have been too general
    anyhelp very appreciated
     
  2. Rasczak

    Rasczak
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    Have a look at this website which will guide you through the basics of getting a decent DVD recorder.

    Currently the only DVD recorder with a freeview (DVB) tuner is the Sony GXD500. A decent enough recorder but it lacks UHF (Aerial) output. Thus you would need a seperate Scart>UHF converter to use with your existing TV - something like this for example.

    What you could do is purchase a Panasonic DVD recorder. These, alone, have UHF output. You could then plug a seperate Freeview box into the Scart input of the Panasonic which you could watch through the DVD recorder.

    I believe there are some dedicated Freeview boxes with UHF output - others will need to advise you on these - but seeing as you want a DVD recorder as well I thought I would point this solution.

    Needless to say whichever DVD recorder you get (provided it isn't a cheap, unknown brand!) it will have sufficient connections for connecting to your future LCD/Plasma. Preferrably opt for a model with progressive scan capable Component connections.
     
  3. ABP

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    Just a note, the new Sony's 510,710 & 910 also appear to have aerial in and out according to the operator manual garydhooper kindly emailed to me.
    Still again though it seems as though Sony have not added variable bit rate recording to this otherwise excellently specified machine. I was very tempted to go for the 710 but yet again it seems to be asking too much to have all in one box. Back to the drawing board.

    AB-P
     
  4. Rasczak

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    ABP,

    All DVDRs have aerial input and output sockets - this allows a signal to be carried to the internal tuner - what they do not have is a UHF modulator. This means the output from the DVD recorder will not be viewable via UHF. Ergo if he got such a DVD recorder and a Freeview box without a UHF modulator then he wouldn't be able to view either until he upgraded his TV. Unless he buys an external modulator such as the one I linked to...

    The Sony models use full variable bitrate recording.
     
  5. ABP

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    Rasczak ,

    :oops: Sorry my mistake about the UHF modulator.

    I do have a question though. I have read through the RDR-HX710 operating instructions and as is usual with these things I find it confusing.
    My question as to variable bit rate recording is that this machine does not appear to have a function like the Panasonic FR recording. This is the ultimate use of variable bit rate recording as I see it. i.e. totally filling a disc at a rate to transfer a selected recording. The Sony seems to select one of its standard rates closest to what is required. Does this mean that if I were to record something for 2hours 1 min it would select the LSP 2 1/2 Hour setting as it cannot use the SP 2 Hour mode?
    I also cannot find a reference to the recording resolution at the various recording rates, as this seems to be important why do the manufacturers not advertise their rates like the New Panasonic EH50 does?

    Many thanks for all your advice Rasczak.

    AB-P
     
  6. ABP

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    :oops: I Think I may be confused about Variable bit rate and the Recording Modes. Please can someone explain in English :lease: what i can expect from the Sony 710? or would i be better off with the EH50's FR recording mode?

    Thanks in advance

    AB-P
     
  7. LV426

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    AFAIK, the Pioneer series do everything you want except contain a Freeview tuner. There is an offer on at Superfi at present; you can get a multi-region DVR520H for GBP350. This has a 80gb hard disk and editing features, and, according to the review, you can optimise the space used on your DVD discs. I have used, briefly, a friend's 720 (bigger HDD) and the results are virtually flawless. Review here:

    http://www.homecinemachoice.com/cgi-bin/displayreview.php?reviewid=4587
     
  8. etaf

    etaf
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    thanks - i'll read through the links - I'm still confused on how I can tell if a freeview box will work through UHF - I guess I need to call th emanufacturers each time and ask :(
     
  9. redsox_mark

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    I’ll try…

    You are right that Variable Bit Rate is something else… this is an internal detail as to how the recorders work, and they all have it, so don’t worry about this.

    Now the basic concept which you probably know is there is a trade off between the amount you can record on a disc, and the quality. On a recording of less than an hour, it will fit with maximum quality. Longer than that, to fit more on, a lower bitrate has to be used.

    The Panasonic “Flexible Record” feature combines internal support for many bit rates and figuring this out for you. So if you tell it to use FR on something 2 hours 19 minutes, it will internally select a rate which pretty much fills the disc.

    With at least the previous Sony models, they didn’t have this and were very limited in the choice of recording modes. So a recording of 1 hour 1 minute would need to be recorded at a 2 hour rate, filling just over half the disc, with lower quality. I haven’t seen the manuals for the new ones to tell if they have changed this – others can comment.

    Other recorders like the Toshiba XS32/34, support the flexible recording manually. I.e. the XS32 has 38 different rates I can select, so I can also fill the disc like with the Panasonic; just in a different way.

    Mark
     
  10. etaf

    etaf
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    whats the view of a panasonic DMREH50
     
  11. z5461313

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    You need a freeview adapter in the player because then you have a very nice to use Electronic Program Guide - this is an onscreen menu that shows you all the programs on and at the click of a button, you can say which programs you want to record - very easy!!

    Currently most have analogue tuners and guess what? - its going to be turned off in the future!

    I would recommend waiting until new models come out with the freeview adapter on board or possibly 2 so you can record one program while watching another

    If you don't need to copy to a disk ( in the long run of course you want this functionality ) buy a stop gap like the Humax which lets you record television to a hard disk with a nice Freeview Electronic Program Guide but it doesn't allow copying programs to a disk. I bought one for £130 pounds for Currys and is my stop gap until the ultimate one comes out hopefully this year people are saying
     
  12. Rasczak

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    ...but as he has his eyes on a new flatscreen TV shortly then he would get more benefit from a model with component outputs. The Pioneer 920 would be a good choice but, for the above reason, I would say avoid the Pioneer's in this instance.
     
  13. etaf

    etaf
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    so i should make sure the DVD has component outputs.

    Phoned a few places today and could not find a Pioneer DVR-520H DVD in stock but got further recommendations

    I'm now sort of looking at a freeview box with harddrive and a cheap dvdrw - but z5461313 says you cant record from this at all + i dont really undersatnd what has an anologue tuner so getting confused.

    If I get a freeview with harddrive and plug into DVDwriter, would it be possible to record off the harddrive - playback the freeview HDD through the DVD and record

    shortlisted to
    DVD with harddrive
    pioneer 420 @ £399
    panasonic dmreh50 £399
    panasonic dmreh60 160GB + freeview
    or i have been recommended as a really good buy
    philips dvdr520h @ £300

    then just get a cheap freeview box for about £60

    OR


    freeview with harddrive 80gb and twin tuners panasonic - TUCT100 £300
    and a cheap DVDRW - for about £120

    Humax Digital Set-Top Box and Hard Drive, PVR8000T-80 £169
    and then a cheap DVDRW

    so as you can tell I'm lost :) :)
     
  14. Rasczak

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    Avoid the Philips models - these are poor DVD recorders and they have a terrible reputation (do a search). Only JethroUK rates these DVD recorders on this forum - do a search for his username to find precisely how impartial he is on the subject...

    The 'best' solution is to get a Freeview/HDD combi and a HDD/DVDR combi. The benefit of the Freeview/DVB is you get an easy-to-use EPG controlled timeshifter that has the added benefit of removing the interactive 'red dot' on recorded content. You can then use the HDD/DVDR combi to make edited recordings, in the highest possible quality that play on other DVD players.

    For the Freeview/HDD combi I would recommend looking at Humax, Thompson or Pace models. The Panasonic is not highly regarded. Ask on the Sky+/Freeview Forum for the current favourites.

    For the HDD/DVD recorder I would recommend the Panasonic EH50 or Toshiba RXS34. Sony models are also worth a look - have a look at the 'Which DVD Recorder?' link in my signature to determine your precise requirements.
     
  15. LV426

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    Why? Are you saying that

    - component is better than RGB (which IS available on the Pioneers)?
    or
    - LCD TVs don't have RGB inputs ?

    Neither statement is true.

    It might be true to say that a DVD with progressive outputs via component might produce a better image - but even that is wholly dependent on how good the scaler in the chosen TV is. If it were a Loewe, for example, then (without knowledge) I'd guess the TVs scaler would be the better device.

    Component video is not an automatic route to the best possible image. RGB is just as good.


    Agree with everything you say about everything made by Philips.
     
  16. redsox_mark

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    I agree that component/progressive isn’t necessarily better than RGB/interlaced. But I still think that a recorder with component/progressive is at least nice to have with a LCD or Plasma screen, as it gives you the option.

    In my case, with a Panny PW6 plasma screen and a Tosh XS32 recorder, I have tried it both ways – RGB and component (with progressive on and off). I couldn’t see a noticeable difference; I’m using the RGB today as I find that the most convenient in my overall setup. But I like having the flexibility.

    Mark
     
  17. peter l

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    Actually checking Pricerunner, you can pick this up for nearer £300.
     
  18. peter l

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    Ignore the Pioneer DVR420, given that you can now get the Pioneer DVR520 for around the same price, around £300. Or even consider the Pioneer DVR720 with 160GB, now available for 409.
     
  19. Rasczak

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    LV426,

    I'm not quite sure what you have taken offence too. The point I was trying to make is that he doesn't know what Screen he is planning to get yet - and thus he should keep his options open. I can name a wide number of screens where RGB Scart inputs look noticeably inferior to Component (selected Panasonic for example). Ditto the alternative (selected Philips). With a component equipped model he will have the option for RGB Scart or Component - and if he sticks to the popular models this will include the option of progressive scan which, as you say, may or may not be of benefit for his specific screen. If he buys a Pioneer then he has limited his options to RGB Scart.

    If he was going to be paying more for a component equipped DVD recorder or the Pioneer's had some specific advantage over the main competition (Panasonic/Toshiba) I'd agree with you LV426. However price is comparible and features are similar/better on the others. Which makes it hard to recommend Pioneer in this instance.
     
  20. etaf

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    well i went out to kingston-upon-thames today with a viw to buy a freeview and DVD recorder with about £600 in my pocket... and what a waste of time - you are so right about choice - they have just not reached the market yet.
    I had the choice of two freeview boxes with harddrive - the panasonic tucth100 @ £280, which this forum has notes about bugs etc and the Humax @ £169 only single tuner - I'm sort of convinced i need the two tuners, asked the guy in johnlewis about connecting a cheap tuner box up and he was not that helpful also neither are topTV compatable {no cam} and so i ended up with nothing - as I wanted to see also see the Topfield TF5800T and the Sagem's, The comments from Bentalls, johnlewis, sevenoaks sound&vision & dixons was they are releasing more in the summer and will be combining with DVD-writers etc.....

    the dvdrw and harddrive - i think i may have got some duff info @ the first shop I went into they said that panasonic would only work with DVD-RAM so i crossed that off my list as i buy DVD-+R's and DVD-+RW from fairs by the 100 and so can get them for 25p/35p each and want that compatability.
    The pioneer did not have composite out which was suggested here as a good to have - it also did not have firewire or ilink or DVin - I think these are terms for all the same thing anyway connecting a camera/vid
    didnt see any toshiba in any of the shops :(
    as i said i wrote off the panasonic dmr-eh50 for the wrong rwason possibly
    and it was suggested i avoided philips
    :(

    however, after all that I quite liked the Sony RDR-GX210 @ £249 from most shops - any views / inputs welcome

    sorry for the length - felt like a rant i guess :)
     
  21. pants

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    Pity about the Philips as this
    has got me well tempted :lesson:
     
  22. redsox_mark

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    The Panasonic EH-50 can record to DVD-R and DVD-RW as well as RAM, so you are right that you were mistaken about that.
    I don't know much about the GX210, but it doesn't have a HDD, while the EH-50 (or the Toshiba XS34) do. If you want to edit out adverts and create a DVD-video, you want one with a HDD.

    Mark
     
  23. etaf

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    yea i thought i was mislead - when i went into the last shop i saw that the same model had DVD - & + on it :(
    anyway I have been reseaching the TF5800t on the web and looking on the toppy forums - i then went to the online stores who sell them and found this
    box on the web which looks more like the functionality i expected to see - anyone have any views or already have it
    http://www.reelbox.co.uk/reelbox-PVR-1100CT.htm
     
  24. z5461313

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    This is it...

    You want a dvd recorder and hard disk combo for recording TV...

    The government has made it more complicated by introducing Digital TV and plans to turn off analogue TV in the near future

    All the dvd and hard disk recorders have analogue tuners in them which means when the government turns this type of signal off ( ie you cannot get it any longer ) its made your machine very unfriendly to use from there on

    A common confusion is Freeview. Freeview actually means digital TV

    So the general guidance at the moment is to wait later on this year until dvd recorders with hard disks come onto the market THAT HAVE DIGITAL TUNERS IN THEM!!
     
  25. etaf

    etaf
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    thats the conclusion i think i have come to wait for late summer and see whats about then
     
  26. Rasczak

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    The Sony RDR-RHXD910 and Sony RDR-RHXD1010 will arrive in September - so it looks like the first is going to be the Panasonic EH60 in July.
     
  27. etaf

    etaf
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    do you know if these will have twin tuners - so you can record onething while watching something different??
     
  28. Rasczak

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    AFAIK no - but I haven't seen the full specs of the 1010 yet. The EH60 will have analogue and digital tuners - but whether this will work in a dual tuner capacity remains to be seen. Personally I doubt it.
     
  29. etaf

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  30. Rasczak

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    The new ES20D and EH60D are both UK specific variants - only in the UK will they have both analogue and digital tuners. That is an international press release.
     

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