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Fan Noise & PQ - SONY RDR-HX900/1000 vs Pana E95

Discussion in 'Blu-ray & DVD Players & Recorders' started by Tadek, Feb 27, 2005.

  1. Tadek

    Tadek
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    Hello,

    I am choosing now between the two: Pana E95 and SONY RDR-HX900 or 1000.

    I wonder:
    1) which of the two has less noisy fan (our bed is 2 m from the place where the recorder will stand, so if I set up a timer for a night programme, will I be disturbed by... my wife being woken up by it)

    Is this noise generally an issue? I saw some posts on a German site where people who bought Sony were saying they would never do it again because of this noise.

    If you compared it to a VCR work loudness, is it louder?

    2) which of the two will provide better PQ? Of course it's subjective, but I'm tempted by Sony block noise reduction and all its announced picture pre-processing systems and the thing called Dynamic VBR. I am very demanding as far as picture quality is concerned, so recording just in HQ mode is not a problem for me. I care very much for sharp details, no artifacts, no blocking, no colour misrepresentations, etc.

    Will - on the Sony - recording from VHS to HDD in HQ+ and then two-pass VBR onto DVD bring a better quality than similar process on the Pana?

    I know from bitrate point of view this exceeds probably VHS original quality by far and I heard that Sony can produce a picture which in this case looks subjectively even better than the original.

    If I want to copy VHS tapes to DVD, will Sony do a better job?
    I also have a camcorder with pass-through, which so far was doing a great job in digitising the picture for further transfer to a PC, but in order to get a decent quality on a PC-burned DVD you really need to spend hours when PC is encoding with a decent quality. I hope DVD recorder would make it all easier when I just need a quick transfer without too much editing.

    Any help greatly appreciated.

    Tadek
     
  2. Chris at Home

    Chris at Home
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    Hello,

    I can only help you with the first part of your query.

    First, the good news:

    I recently purchased the Sony RDR HX-900 and I would not have even known there was a fan on it. :)

    Now, the bad news:

    My hearing might not be as sensitive as yours. :(

    As for the sound of the timer cutting in/out, I have not noticed the click that you get on many VCRs, but I wonder if the German site had entries from people with sensitive hearing. One other point to mention. If my cat can fall asleep in front of the Sony, I would have thought most humans would have no problems.
     
  3. TobyW

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    I have a Panny E85 near my bed. The only way I can tell the fan is running is by looking closely or putting my finger over it. Also the hard disk is silent, except for a very slight sound on start-up. A far cry from VCR's!

    The only thing my wife complains about is the E85's display. If you set the display to be off when the machine is off, the display is always at maximum brightness when the machine is on.

    From my experiments on PQ, it seems to me that transferring VHS to DVD is much more demanding than recording off-air. Whereas a Tosh 32 failed (defeated its time base correction) and whereas my PC failed (artefacts from noisy VHS pictures), my Panny 85 seems to do an excellent job.

    If I was going to wish for anything more, it would be the ability to manually set the black level, contrast, and colour saturation, to deal with VHS recordings that deviate from the norm.
     
  4. Rasczak

    Rasczak
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    Fan noise seems to be the most subjective thing ever.

    The 2pass re-encode of the Sony will give significantly better results than a re-encode on the Panasonic. However that is a slightly unfair comparison as with the Panasonic you would simply do a first generation recording in Flexible Record and then digitally dub to DVD-R. With the Sony your 2pass re-encoded image would then be second generation (albeit very, very good).

    I should point out the Panasonic has all the above (although the encoding engine is getting a revamp in the new models).

    Bottomline is either machine will do an excellent job at archiving from VHS - at the highest quality modes (under 90mins) you would probably find it hard to distinguish between recordings made on the machines. The Sony benefits from multi-format support and nice looks whilst the E95 has better editing. You won't go wrong with either.
     
  5. NC11

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    Is there a way to improve VHS tapes PQ on either of these machines?

    Also , have you considered the Pioneer 720?
     
  6. Rasczak

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    PQ will be 'improved' in the sense that the image will be stablised, subject to time-base correction and will undergo noise reduction. Whether you consider the end result an improvement is subjective.

    From a tech perspective the 720 isn't quite upto the standard set by the Sony or E95 - but it does have alot going for it (features/price).
     
  7. NC11

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    So based on the above , if you had to purchase a HDD\DVR today - would you still go for the E95 or would you have waited until the new Sony models arrive?

    I cannot find a HX900 in stock , and am a bit disappointed with the PQ of the 720 I currently trying out.
     
  8. Rasczak

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    I would, and have, opted for the E95 based on superior recording PQ across the board (1hr-3hrs) and it's powerful editing abilities. I also use a Sony GXD500 for Freeview recording, but all editing and Sky/VCR recording is done with the Panasonic.
     
  9. the.jackall

    the.jackall
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    I had the sony model and changed it for the Panasonic,vhs transfers are much better and the added bonus with the panner is if you run over the 2 hours you can use flexi mode to keep a decent picture.off air recordings are great and mines in the bedroom as well no fan noise noticed at all,I will agree though the light off the front display is very bright even when switched off,however its not a problem as I just stand a cd in front of it !
     
  10. Tadek

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    Thanks for all the notes!

    I have been waiting for new SONY RDR-HX910 now. It will have 30 timer positions, divide function and will record double layer discs.

    I will be comparing it against Panasonic DMR-E500 then.

    I don't know if new Sonys will have a 5.1 audio system, for example - E500 seemingly does.

    As for fan noise, I checked HX-1000 in store myself - store assistant turned HDD on and we waited until the fan would start working. It is perfectly quiet - more quiet than PC fan or even VHS tape transport.
    However, some have berated it for the fan noise... Maybe it's an issue of manufacturing plant? The HX-1000 I saw was made in Hungary, maybe they use different fans there?
     

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