1. Join Now

    AVForums.com uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

help for a novice

Discussion in 'Blu-ray & DVD Players & Recorders' started by shaunthedude, Feb 13, 2004.

  1. shaunthedude

    shaunthedude
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    hi guys

    I am thinking of buying a dvd recorder. However I now nothing about them. Basically I would like to record films etc onto disc off the tv. Can I also copy my videos to disc using one of these. All my gear is pioneer and I would like to stick with them if possible. Any recomendations for me for what I want to do. Any help appreciated.

    cheers
    shaun:confused:
     
  2. Rasczak

    Rasczak
    Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2002
    Messages:
    21,136
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Location:
    Argyll
    Ratings:
    +2,203
    There are FIVE DVDR formats. Each have been implemented in such a way on set-top recorders that they have 'features' associated with them:

    DVD-R
    The closest their will ever be to a standard DVDR format. DVD-R recording is found on ALL DVD-RAM and DVD-RW machines. In short any machine not by Philips, Thompson or minor Chinese brands (such as Mico) have DVD-R recording. DVD-R will play in virtually all existing DVD players but once full cannot be re-used. There is no editting facilities available.

    DVD-RAM
    This format is supported by Panasonic, JVC, Toshiba, Samsung, LG and Hitachi. It has numerous features such as accurate editting, timeslip (watch a programme whilst it's still recording) and flexible record (the ability to maximise quality by altering the bitrate used so a recording fills the disk). The drawback is that DVD-RAM has very limited compatibility with existing DVD players.

    DVD-RW
    This format is supported by Pioneer, Sony, Sharp (and also JVC and Toshiba who put both RAM and -RW on their machines). It has two recording modes: Video and VR. The former is like DVD-R (i.e. high compatibility but no editting), the latter is like DVD-RAM (although not all machines offer Timeslip on DVD-RW).

    DVD+RW/DVD+R
    This format is supported by Philips, Thompson and numerous Chinese producers (such as Mico, Alba, Bush). Sony also has +RW support on their recorders but does not add the full features of the format. DVD+RW has only one mode of recording which will play in many existing DVD players but has little in the way of editting or features (it's top end model does come with an EPG though). DVD+R is the write-once format of DVD+RW.

    If you want to make EDITTED recordings the best option, by far, is a HDD/DVDR combo. This makes the choice of re-writeable DVDR media abit irrelevant as you will primarily only use write-once media (DVD-R) which can be got very cheapily these days (from 50p). The only drawback is that HDD/DVDR combos are expensive (the cheapest being the Toshiba model).

    Pioneer have two very good DVDRs out - the Pioneer 3100 (without a HDD) and the Pioneer 5100 (with a HDD). The only potential issue with these is they lack RGB in which means to get the best quality from a Sky or Freeview Digibox you'll need a RGB-to-S-Video converter. There have been some reports of the internal TV tuner not being that good - although I can't vouch for that one way or the other.

    If your looking at RGB equipped machines you'll need to look at Panasonic, Sony or <shudders> Philips.

    Both DVD-RAM and DVD-RW machines have built in TBC (Time Base Correctors) which make them all ideal for connecting up a VCR and making copies. DVD+RW do not have this - not an issue unless your tapes are old - in which case you would need to purchase an external TBC.

    If you can help us to help you by:
    - Deciding what your budget is!
    - Do you have a PC burner?
    - What equipment to you have now (Sky? TV? etc etc)
     
  3. shaunthedude

    shaunthedude
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    Hi mate

    many thanks for the info. I have digital and terrestrial only. Basically all I want is to tape movies of the tv onto a disc. AND copy my videos to disc. thats about the top of it

    cheers
    shaun
     
  4. Rasczak

    Rasczak
    Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2002
    Messages:
    21,136
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Location:
    Argyll
    Ratings:
    +2,203
    :blush: Ahh I see you listed your equipment in your signature! Do you have Sky (or Sky+) or Freeview?
     
  5. shaunthedude

    shaunthedude
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    oh, budget is about £400-500
     
  6. Rasczak

    Rasczak
    Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2002
    Messages:
    21,136
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Location:
    Argyll
    Ratings:
    +2,203
    Do you want to keep that disk long term or share the recording with friends? Or is it simple timeshifting that you want (i.e. record it today, watch it whenever).
     
  7. shaunthedude

    shaunthedude
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    hi mate

    basically if I tape a film off the tv it will be to keep for myself to watch when I want to. And to copy all my vhs tapes onto disc.

    cheers
    shaun
     
  8. Rasczak

    Rasczak
    Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2002
    Messages:
    21,136
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Location:
    Argyll
    Ratings:
    +2,203
    Well on the info given you would find the Panasonic E50 (or it's upcoming replacement the E55) is probably the best choice. These models use DVD-RAM for timeshifting with all the associated features and DVD-R for archiving of your VHS collection. You can buy it online for around £270.

    If you do want to stick with Pioneer then the Pioneer 3100 will do everything the Panasonic E50 does but also has a iLink in socket (for digital camcorders). It lacks RGB in though which will affect your ability to get the best possible quality from your digibox.

    Other options are:

    JVC DMR1
    A multi-format DVD recorder that records to DVD-RAM, DVD-RW and DVD-R. Lacks RGB in though.

    Sony GX3
    A DVD-RW/DVD+RW recorder that lacks Timeslip but does offer top playback quality. Has no iLink.

    Panasonic E60 (or replacement model E65).
    This is effectively the E50 with iLink - only relevant if you have a digital camera.
     
  9. shaunthedude

    shaunthedude
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    many many thanks for your help. One other question. How long (60 min,2, 2/3 hours) are the discs you can buy?? Also, once recorded off the tv do the recordings last just like a bought dvd

    cheers
    shaun
     
  10. Rasczak

    Rasczak
    Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2002
    Messages:
    21,136
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Location:
    Argyll
    Ratings:
    +2,203
    All DVDRs (of whatever flavour) have a capacity of 4.7GB. The length of time they can record for depends on what quality settings you use. All machines normally offer 1hr mode, 2hr mode, 4hr mode, 6hr mode and so on. Some offer alot more and some also have Flexible Record (or similar) which allows you to specify how long you want to record on the disk down to the precise minute.

    The Panasonic E50 has 1hr (XP), 2hr (SP), 4hr (LP), 6hr (EP) modes and has Flexible Record (which you would ideally use when archiving your videos).

    Needless to say the more you record on a disk the more quality will be reduced. Only you can decide what is an acceptable picture but generally (given the low quality of digital TV in this country) you'd be hard pressed to tell SP recordings from the original - many find LP a fairly reasonable reproduction if just timeshifting a non-important programme. For VHS recordings you want to archive use a high bitrate (2hr 15mins or less is ideal) as VHS is a 'noisy' source and thus requires more data.

    A DVD-RAM recording should last longer than the machine - especially if contained in a caddy. DVD-R lifespans vary - if you use good quality media (i.e. branded disks from the likes of Panasonic, JVC, Pioneer, Sony) and store them correctly (in cases away from bright sunlight) and handle them with care then they should last a good many years. Of course if you ensure you make two copies of any VHS tape you copy onto DVD-R your going to be alot less likely to loose any recordings!
     
  11. shaunthedude

    shaunthedude
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    thanks again matey. One last thing. If I record on this machine will it play back on other dvd players?? Or will it only playback on this machine.

    cheers
    shaun
     
  12. Rasczak

    Rasczak
    Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2002
    Messages:
    21,136
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Location:
    Argyll
    Ratings:
    +2,203
    If you record onto DVD-R (which I suggest you do for your VHS archivings) then the recordings will play on virtually all DVD players. Anything you record onto DVD-RAM though will only play in a DVD-RAM compatible player (i.e. a recent one from Panasonic or JVC).
     
  13. shaunthedude

    shaunthedude
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    Hi matey

    Im still a bit confused. I was going for the Pioneer but having read problems with ghosting etc and NO rgb im tempted towards the Panny. Also how do you connect these things to the tv. i have a Daewoo digi box. i assume that the dvd recorder goes to the digibox then the box to the tv. BUT the digi box only has one scart?? Im lost:confused:
     
  14. Rasczak

    Rasczak
    Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2002
    Messages:
    21,136
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Location:
    Argyll
    Ratings:
    +2,203
    To get the most out of your kit the best way to connect it up would be:

    Daewoo Digibox Out > AV2 on the Panasonic then AV1 > TV

    This setup would allow you to record your Digibox output on the Panasonic. The limitation would be if the Panasonic is recording (even from the internal analogue tuner) you would only be able to watch that - although as the Panny has Timeslip you could just start watching a already recorded programme.

    You Digibox should have RGB out (not having seen the Daewoo I don't know for certain) and the Panny has RGB in (on AV2) and RGB out (on AV1) so you'll be getting best possible quality.

    If the Digibox has any other type of output (i.e. composite video) or through the aerial you could use this to watch (in low quality) when recording on the Panny.

    Even if you don't opt for a Panasonic model the above connection method is still recommended. Although for a non-RGB capable recorder you'd need to add a RGB-to-S-Video converter between the Digibox and Recorder.
     
  15. shaunthedude

    shaunthedude
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    thanks again. I think I will go for the Pioneer 3100/ Sony GX3 or the Panny E50. Can you tell me which one is best for me or the pros and cons between them?

    cheer
    shaun
     
  16. Rasczak

    Rasczak
    Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2002
    Messages:
    21,136
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Location:
    Argyll
    Ratings:
    +2,203
    The best option is the Panasonic E50 as it is the cheapest and has lots of features: Timeslip, Flexible Record etc. The only reason this would be unsuitable is if you wanted to record things on re-writeable media and then share with friends.

    If that's the case the next best option is the Sony GX3. This records to DVD-RW, DVD-R and DVD+RW - you only get the most out of the machine when using DVD-RW though. I favour the Sony above the Pioneer 3100 as this has RGB in. It has many of the features of the Panasonic E50 (no Timeslip though) but costs around £50 more. Playback is excellent on this machine though.

    Around the same price as the Sony is the Pioneer 3100. A flexible machine it has the same features as the E50 but also has an iLink connection (for Digital Camcorders) but lacks RGB in. IMHO if you have an RGB capable Digibox go for the Panasonic or Sony.
     
  17. shaunthedude

    shaunthedude
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    hi mate

    what do you mean when you say the panny is no good if I want to share discs with friends. If I copy a vhs film on this machine or make a recording from tv wil it only play on the panny machine? Sorry about the dumb questyions but im confused. im getting there though
     
  18. Rasczak

    Rasczak
    Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2002
    Messages:
    21,136
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Location:
    Argyll
    Ratings:
    +2,203
    No worries - I probably wasn't being very clear.

    The Panasonic models record to two types of media:
    - DVD-RAM
    - DVD-R

    DVD-RAM is the media you'll use day in, day out for your own timeshifting. With DVD-RAM you get features such as Timeslip (watch a programme that's still recording). However a DVD-RAM will not play in most DVD players - so if you record a programme you won't then be able to lend it to your friends (unless you copy it to VHS or similar).

    DVD-R is the media you can use to archive programmes you want to watch again and for archiving your VHS videos. Once you've recorded on DVD-R it will play in virtually ALL DVD players. So for lending friends VHS recordings you would record onto DVD-R and they would be able to play it no problem.
     
  19. shaunthedude

    shaunthedude
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    cheers matey, your a star. ill let you know how I get on
     
  20. shaunthedude

    shaunthedude
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    hi matey

    well I went for the Sony GX3. I have set it up after much faffing. Anyway I have scart 1 on the recorder going to the tv. Scart 2 on the recorder is going to my video. Its set to RGB and its recording ok from video to recorder. HOWEVER. If I want to add my digi box I will have to use the scart that the video is currently in, right?? So everytime I want to make a copy off vhs I will have to swap scarts.. right??

    cheers
    shaun
     
  21. Rasczak

    Rasczak
    Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2002
    Messages:
    21,136
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Location:
    Argyll
    Ratings:
    +2,203
    Yes. I do the same with my HS2 - I just copy VHS recordings to DVD in batches when I'm on holiday and then unplug the video and plug the digibox back in (remembering to change the settings from Composite back to RGB once your finished).

    Anyway have fun playing with your new bit of kit!
     

Share This Page

Loading...