HDD Recorder Question!!!!

Discussion in 'Blu-ray & DVD Players & Recorders' started by robjohnw, Oct 11, 2005.

  1. robjohnw

    robjohnw
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    Hi All. I'm just starting to look into the world or HDD Recorders and a friend told me that they record programmes without recording the adverts! Is this correct??? If so, do they all do this or just certain ones? Or is my friend giving me duff information!!!!!!!
     
  2. HHGTTG

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    Oh! How I wish this were so. I'm afraid your friend is wrong. Anyone who can invent or be allowed to market such a device/chip would make their millions.

    However, what you record to HDD can be edited, somewhat laboriously, to remove adverts etc and then you could copy that to a blank DVD.

    Hope I am correct as I haven't bought mine yet - still prevaricating!!!
    :lesson:
     
  3. robjohnw

    robjohnw
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    Thanks for that. Another mith blown apart!!!!!! Still like the idea of recording without tape or disk though, it's got to be worth looking at. Also, I'll enjoy telling my friend he was talking out of his back passage!!!! :D
     
  4. FLINTOFF

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    The was something brought out that could record and take out the ads think it was called tivo , but like hhgttg u can erase the breaks out of hdd
     
  5. HelenS

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    But... I do believe I read that Sony's new HDD recorders, the RDR-HXD910 and probably the RDR-HXD710 as well, have a facility whereby they can pretty reliably detect the change in the style of the transmission when adverts occur, so you can semi-automatically cut out the adverts. You can probably even leave it up to the machine if you're brave. Maybe Sony owners could clarify for us? (I'm in the Panasonic camp!!).
     
  6. robjohnw

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    Yeh, I've been looking at Panasonic. Can you recommend them?
     
  7. HelenS

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    Well, I am very happy with the Panasonic. I daresay I might have been just as happy with a Sony for all I know, but I don't have any regrets about going for the Panasonic and it's so easy to use that it's actually fun (though that sounds a bit weird of me to say it!).
     
  8. robjohnw

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    Tell me, if you don't mind me asking, what model have you got and what do you use it for the most, the DVD bit or the HDD. Is recording to hard drive easy and user friendly?
     
  9. HelenS

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    No, I don't mind at all. Mine is the DMR-EH60D, with the 200GB hard drive. Before this, I had a DMR-E55 from the previous range, which was a non-HDD model. When I got that one, I figured that, because it used DVD-RAM which acts just like a hard drive, I didn't need to go as far as getting one with an HDD. However, using DVD-RAM proved to me that the concept of this type of recording is great - and it's even better if you have lots of recording capacity! On a DVD-RAM (or any other type of DVD disc that is compatible), you have the choice on a Panasonic of recording speeds that equate to 1 hour (XP), 2 hours (SP), 4 hours (LP) or 8 hours (EP) (actually you can set that to 6 hours as well if you like) per disc, trading quality for increased capacity. I do a lot of watch and wipe recording of TV programmes (bit of a couch potato really...) and I found that I didn't really like to use the 8 hour capacity much due to the quality drop (though different people have different opinions of what's acceptable quality), so I primarily did things at the LP mode (4 hours). Of course you can mix and match, using whatever mode you prefer for any particular recording. SP mode is excellent; I found it indistinguishable from broadcast quality and would have preferred to use it, but I was down to 2 hours per disc there (XP is just so good that it's overkill - no point in using a too-good quality that only fits an hour on a disc). So I decided LP would do, at 4 hours per disc. Even then, I was amassing loads of part-watched discs with not quite enough time left on them for the next thing I wanted to record, and changing a disc took about 20 seconds a time, for the recorder to read it to find out what was on it and how much free time there was. I was finding this frustrating. Obviously I could have written lists to help myself out, but I'm not that organised! The recorder gave a nice thumbnail index page after it had loaded a disc, which is then available for that disc at the press of a button, but it only applied to the disc currently loaded. One blessing was that, like with an HDD, erasing unnecessary bits of recordings to free up space was quick and easy, but often it still wasn't enough and I was juggling loads of discs with a couple of minutes to go before I needed to start recording!

    So I knew an HDD was the way to go - the capacity feels like it's unlimited, since I can now use SP mode all the time and it has a total capacity of about 90 hours at that setting (double that for LP, and double it again for EP - halve it for XP, but XP is still too good so the improvement's wasted on me!). Like DVD-RAM, it is really easy to use - it keeps track of where the empty space is, and it's all just "space" - it doesn't have to be found, so no capacity is wasted. The timer's easy to program too, especially from the Freeview EPG where you just hit "enter" on the programme you want and fiddle the start and end times if you feel the need. When you want to record, just hit the button and it's recording instantly. The machine wakes up from standby in about a second too, which is useful. HDDs (and DVD-RAM, plus DVD-RW when it is used in a special mode called "VR" on recorders which can do that mode [the Panny can't, because DVD-RAM does the same job]) can do great things like play and record at the same time: therefore you can be watching a recording that is still being recorded, or watching a different recording whilst another one records, or watching a DVD recording you made whilst the HDD or that same DVD - if it's a RAM or a VR-formatted DVD-RW - records. Or you can watch a bought/hired DVD whilst the HDD records. It's all very handy indeed.

    I use the HDD the most. Because of its huge capacity, it has an enhanced option table of contents. My previous E55 had a system where 6 thumbnail images were shown per screen, with the name and other details below them, and the one you highlighted would start playing (mildly useful and entertaining!). But they take a second or so to appear. The extra mode on the HDD model has a text listing of the programme names and details instead, which fits 9 per screen, with a (playing) thumbnail only appearing for the one you have the cursor on. This appears faster and you can also temporarily sort it, on things like recorded date, alphabetical order, channel and so on. In either case, just highlight the programme you want, press enter or play, and it starts immediately - no searching and to-ing and fro-ing as with tape.

    Obviously the details above relate to the Panasonics in particular, but each make will have broadly similar facilities, and HDD recording is similarly flexible in all makes. Recording to other formats of DVD, such as DVD-R and DVD+R (compatibility varies according to the make of the recorder) is not so flexible and of course those two are record-once media anyway, so can't be reused. The rerecordable ones, DVD-RW and DVD+RW, aren't generally quite as flexible as DVD-RAM and HDDs, though DVD-RW is very close when used in VR mode.

    Most people with HDD recorders would generally use the HDD rather than the DVD for recording programmes off TV, due to its high speed, ease of use, massive capacity and convenience. Generally, I'll use DVD if I want to lend someone the recording, or if I want to archive it permanently - after all, hard drives in computers can fail so I daresay they can in recorders too. It's generally fast and easy to copy a recording from the HDD to a DVD-RAM (in fact the slowest time it can take to copy to any disc is the time the programme actually ran for, but you can go faster when copying to a DVD-RAM). Copying in the opposite direction is also possible. Again the precise details of copying speeds available vary according to make of the recorder and the type of disc being used, amongst other things, such as the quality of the original recording (e.g. if XP, SP, LP or EP was used - there's more data to copy at XP than at SP for example).

    I haven't owned another make of recorder, but I get the general impression that Panasonic and probably Sony have easier and thus slightly simplified interfaces compared with Pioneer and especially Toshiba, which appear to be more complex due to offering a more numerous selection of options about recording speed and so on.

    Sorry that's long, but I hope it helps. I've assumed you're coming from VHS recorders but apologies if you're already familiar with DVD recording.
     
  10. Frank01

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    What an informative reply, and written for the less technically minded. I am just about to purchase a DVD/HDD recorder and was struggling to make my mind up. Your post has clarified one or two things and I have now plumped for the Panasonic EH50 (I already have Sky+ so I only want the hard disc to edit before archiving to DVD).

    Keep up the good work :thumbsup:
     
  11. robjohnw

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    Well thanks for that. I've learn't more from you than I have the whole of the internet! I feel I know what I'm looking for now! You've convinced me, I'll be buying very soon! :thumbsup:
     
  12. HelenS

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    On another aspect, I suppose I forgot to mention clearly (though you probably spotted it) that my EH60D is a recorder with both Freeview and analogue (i.e. normal five channels) reception. The majority of DVD/HDD recorders at present are analogue-only, but there are bound to be more Freeview ones on the way. Sony's pair (the RDR-HXD710 and 910) are Freeview-only and both firms have a DVD-only version of the Freeview machines.

    There are plenty of Freeview-tuner recorders with *only* hard drives, which are the so-called PVRs (personal video recorders) by Humax, Topfield, Fusion etc., plus some by the big Japanese makers. I suppose they're called personal because it's not quite so straightforward for non-enthusiasts to "export" their recordings for sharing with others (such as via a DVD).

    Anyway, glad to be of help to yourself and Frank01 who also posted. Depending on your specific needs, I am sure that Panasonic, Sony, Pioneer or Toshiba (and others!) will have something that will be excellent for you.
     
  13. TheCat

    TheCat
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    Are HDD DVD Recorders more of a recording device than playing device as most of the descriptions don't seem to say they're DTS compatible.

    Are they?

    Cheers
     
  14. HelenS

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    I suppose they shine best when replaying their own recordings, but they do function as normal players also. Most tests I've read seem to infer that they're perfectly good players, but might be outshone by a good standalone player. I am sure that my Panasonic EH60D carries a DTS logo on the front, indicating that it's compatible, so I would expect that most others are too. One thing I've noticed that Panasonic's recorders are lacking, compared with the Panasonic player I had before (an S35 if I remember the model correctly) is a five-disc position memory for where playback of a bought or hired disc was interrupted. The recorders have a way of marking an unlimited number of positions on recordable discs, but not playback-only ones. Going back a few model ranges, their recorders did have the feature my player had though...
     
  15. SGM26

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    You are correct. This technology is available. It was used in Sony and Panasonic VCR, and they called it conmmercial advance (I'm a Yank, and that is our term for Adverts). My son uses a US service called Replay TV which has this feature, and he loves it. The Tivo service does not offer this. I expect that the whole issue revolves around the people providing these Adverts not wanting us to avoid them. I would like to find a DVR that does this.
     

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