Help needed please

Discussion in 'Blu-ray & DVD Players & Recorders' started by sdfuk, Dec 6, 2004.

  1. sdfuk

    sdfuk
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    Hi all

    I'm about to purchase my first DVD recorder but the more I read the more I'm confused (just spent about 4 hours surfing & reading reviews) so can anyone please recommend a good reliable machine.

    A couple of things:

    1. My budget is around £400
    2. I want to be able to archive my VHS tapes onto DVD (I need S-video in for this right?) - Macrovision problems?
    3. Record off TV.
    4. Have the possibility to record off Sky TV (may get it in the future)
    5. have the possibility to link up to a projector or plasma (is this a DVI connection?)
    6. Not sure about sound what output you get from various players i.e. Dolby surround sound, but would like to link up to speakers around the room.

    I read a few articles about 'progressive scan', 'RGB inputs' and I haven't a clue to what any of this means so I someone can give me some links for a complete novice that would be great.

    Some machines that I've read reviews on and look quite good are:

    Sony RDRGX700
    Panasonic DMR E85
    Sony RDR GX300
    Sony RDR GXD500
    Toshiba XS32

    Not interested in Phillips as my previous Phillips DVD player has just packed in and although it's 3 years old it was never used that much!!! - Sorry Phillips owners.

    Thanks for any help
    S
     
  2. gpward

    gpward
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    Here is some info on some of your specific questions:

    If your budget is 400 quid, consider also the Pioneer DVR-420H which I bought (multi-region) online for under that amount.

    If your VCR is S-VHS then it will output S-video. If it is only plain VHS then it will almost certainly only output composite. Make sure the DVD recorder has a noise reducer (Pioneer does according to manual) because MPEG-2 doesn't like noise: it hurts picture quality much more than on a VCR.

    Pioneer can record channel TV is tuned to, according to manual.

    Sky boxes output RGB, Pioneer can record RGB as it has RGB input. RGB just gives better picture quality than composite video.

    As far as I know, all current DVD recorders can play surround DVDs (via digital audio output only as they only have 2 analogue audio outputs) but cannot record surround. All DVD recorders and players can be set to output stereo digital audio even if DVD is surround.

    I don't think that "progressive scan" is vital on a DVD player or recorder (unless it's HDTV!) because any progressive display (plasma, LCD or whatever) should accept interlaced video.
     
  3. Nick_UK

    Nick_UK
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    It's not vital, but the pictures are infinitely better from progressive scan / component video, especially with a projector. You will be able to record "Dolby Surround" which is encoded onto normal stereo tracks, but alas none of the machines that I know of will record Dolby 5.1, although many (including the Panny) will play back Dolby 5.1 DVD's. Macrovision will be a problem with commercial VHS tapes, but you will find the quality disappointing anyway.

    As a Panasonic E50 owner, I would recommend the Panasonic E85.
     
  4. gpward

    gpward
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  5. sdfuk

    sdfuk
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    Thanks for the help.

    I'll probably spend another day reading up on it all and then try and get one before Christmas.

    Cheers
    S
     

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