Help Which One & Other Newbie Questions

Discussion in 'Blu-ray & DVD Players & Recorders' started by Jerrysimon, Aug 26, 2004.

  1. Jerrysimon

    Jerrysimon
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    Ok have decided to take the plunge and get my first DVD recorder.

    I started looking at the low cost range lite-on and older philips ones and then came across the Panasonic DMRE55 which at the time a week ago or so was £299 but recently has dropped to £219 in Richer sounds for a multi region one!
    Seems very popular.

    Anyway I have manged to burrow one to try out and am very impressed. Have already copied a couple of my very valuable (sentimental) old VHS tape a treat onto -Rs. Very easy to use.

    Now I have seen a couple of other models with HDD (80GB) and dv inputs. Mainly the Toshiba RDX32 and someone was trying to sell me a Pioneer DVR 420 (no DV input).

    What I want it for :

    1. Recording off the TV (main use)
    2. Moving loads of family video (VHS and 8mm) onto DVD.
    3. Would be nice to backup a few DVDs ;) (but this is not essential)

    I assume you cannot back up a complete DVD (including menus etc) on a non HDD unit ? Can you on a HDD unit ? Or do you have to use a PC ?

    At the moment my video camera is analogue (with phono connectors) but I may get a digital one later.

    The Panny DMRE 55 seems like the bargain at the moment but no DV input :(

    I guess it's really whether the HDD and DV input is worth another £200 for the Toshiba which I think is better than the Pioneer unit ?

    Any comments help ?

    Regards

    Jerry
     
  2. Rasczak

    Rasczak
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    Jerrysimon, you need to decide if you want a HDD/DVDR combo or not before you go any further. HDD/DVDR combos are great value - they allow you to make editted recordings that play in (virtually) any other DVD player as well as offering large capacity for high quality timeshifting. They allow you to record to the HDD, edit as required and then dub to DVD-R. Now if that sounds like what you want to do then don't even think about getting a standalone (unless you are prepared to use it in conjunction with a PC - in which case see the sticky thread at the top of the forum ;) ). Models you should look at are:
    - Panasonic E95
    - Pioneer 520
    - Toshiba RDXS32
    On balance I would say the Toshiba RDXS32 probably offers the best all-round features versus price there. All models have iLink.

    If you do decide you are happy to go for a standalone then you need to think more carefully:

    First and foremost what sources do you record from? Freeview, Sky or just the internal tuner? Your answer seriously effects what machine will be recommended!

    Secondly do you want to play your daily time-shifted recordings on other DVD players in the house? If so then I suggest buying a Pioneer 320, JVC DMR10 or Toshiba DR1 where you can record to DVD-RW in video mode. If your not bothered about that then consider the Panasonic E65 (which does have iLink).
     
  3. brethy

    brethy
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    Jerry,sorry to butt in but are you sure the Panny E55 MULTI-REGION is £219 at R/S. It's shown as £229.99 on the website and £249.99 in the stores(region2 is £209.99). Do you mind me asking were it's £219 as we're currently waiting for stock at our local branch and I want to make sure I get the best price.

    Thanks

    Donna :)
     
  4. Jerrysimon

    Jerrysimon
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    Rasczak

    Than you excellent prompt reply & just read through the sticky.

    I now realize that you can record to the DVD RAM and then take it to your PC and (with appropriate hardware) edit and master the final recording to a DVD - or + R. I have a high specced PC :)

    If this is true then I don't need a HDD DVD for my requirements ?

    I only have one DVD player (actually I have an old Samsung 709) so the requirement to play DVD RAM elsewhere is not required.

    I like the Panny because of the time slip and it will effectively replace my VCR. As I don't have a digital video camera yet and have loads to move to DVD from my analogue camera and given the cost of the Panny I think I will go for one of these. As I also have a 32" WS telly the Panasonic links in with it nicely too i.e. remote etc.

    Have I got the PC stuff above right ?

    Hey just noticed you wrote the sticky. Well done should have read that first :)

    Regards

    Jerry

    Donna,

    Sorry yes £229 on the web site. Most high street stores have it for £299!
     
  5. brethy

    brethy
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    Thanks Jerry you had me going for a minute, I could feel my bartering head coming on :laugh: . Our local R/S said they will do it for their website price which we thought was better than saving a tenner and having to rely on carriers if we went elsewhere, plus they're brilliant if you have to return anything (just taken back a LG4810 so we know ;)

    Thanks again

    Donna :)
     
  6. Rasczak

    Rasczak
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    Yes thats correct. You'll be amazed at the results you get: animated thumbnails, custom background etc. The only downside is it sucks up your time when you become a perfectionist and spend hours designing menu backgrounds :laugh:

    A HDD/DVDR combo is still nice to have because you have more capacity for timeshifting (without using disks). But a E55 and PC will bring the same functionality at half the price (assuming you already have the PC ;) ).

    You will need DVD-RAM compatible hardware but that is very cheap to obtain. My guide will point you in the right direction on that subject.
     
  7. Jerrysimon

    Jerrysimon
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    Ok think I am going to go for the Panny DMRE 55. I have copied a couple of analogue family tapes to DVD -R to the one I have on loan and am really impressed with the results

    Still a slight niggle that the Tosh would be better, but at twice the price it's a little too much for my pocket. I am hoping my PC can make up for any difficiences in editing.

    As I also wanted a 3 year guarantee, the Tosh one is even more expensive.

    RS do a guarantee for £29.95 for the Panny. I think it's probably worth it. What do you folk think ?

    Regards

    Jerry
     
  8. Rasczak

    Rasczak
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    The beauty of the Toshiba is that it allows the best authoring options (choose your menu background, define chapter points etc) of any set-top DVD recorder. If you intend to do all this on a PC (where you have considerably more options when authoring) your better off with a Panasonic model anyway due to the longer recording time at high resolution (3hrs as opposed to 2hrs 20mins). The Toshiba RDXS32 is ideal for people who don't want to use a PC to author or who need DVD-RW compatibility but for others the Panasonic range is probably a better choice.

    My own personnel preference is never to both with extended warranties. As you get a free 12 month warranty by law in my experience if kit like this works for that period it will last for ages. Still £29 sounds a reasonable sum for peace of mind if that's what you want.
     
  9. brethy

    brethy
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    Hi Jerry we got our Panny DMRE55 tonight and we're very pleased with it, set up was easy (well according to Mr Brethy :D ) and we're currently still in playing mode. Seems really good value for what you get and we didn't go for the extended warranty as I think if somethings going to go wrong it will in the first 12 months- hopefully :rolleyes:

    Donna :)
     
  10. Jerrysimon

    Jerrysimon
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    Ok still playing around with the panny and as yet undecided.

    Been looking at the options of using my PC. Can someone tell me do tvtop units like the panny/tosh support DVD -r DL disks ? are these blanks more expesive than the single layer DVD -r disks ?

    Regards

    Jerry
     
  11. Rasczak

    Rasczak
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    No - no DVD recorder supports dual layer recording. It's exclusively a PC capability at present. As and when dual layer media arrives you'll need to buy a new DVD recorder.

    Dual layer DVD-R is not available yet - and won't be until Christmas/New Year. Dual Layer DVD+R is available now but is at least 5 times the cost of single layer media.

    This is an excellent option. You record everything onto DVD-RAM disks and import onto your PC. Why not have a look at the forum guide on the subject. Which I have just updated to include archiving to dual layer media.
     
  12. Jerrysimon

    Jerrysimon
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    Thanks again Rasczak

    Regards

    Jerry
     
  13. Jerrysimon

    Jerrysimon
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    Ok some more thoughts.

    What type of DVD media is used for commercial films given that they hold more than the 4.7GB recording DVDs we use on our PCs and tvtops DVD recorders ?

    I am probably going to get an LG GSA 4120B for my PC which seems very good value for money, are getting rave reviews and cover just about every format :)

    Regards

    Jerry
     
  14. Rasczak

    Rasczak
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    They don't use any media you buy in the shops! The DVD-Videos you buy aren't burnt in the way you record onto DVDRs in your PC/DVD recorder does.

    Yes this model is excellent value and does a good job IMHO. Seems to do a good job with any media thrown at it: single layer DVDR, dual layer DVDR or CD-R.
     
  15. Jerrysimon

    Jerrysimon
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    And DVD RAM ?

    Regards

    Jerry
     
  16. Rasczak

    Rasczak
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    Of course, that goes without saying!
     
  17. phelings

    phelings
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    Don't forget,the Pioneer models offer Timeslip on -RW discs,and you can back up a disc(not a commercial one unless its been copied on a PC first)with all menus etc using the "backup" feature.
     
  18. Rasczak

    Rasczak
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    The Pioneer 220 comes off as markedly inferior to the E55 IMHO. It has less recording time as high resolution (3hrs on the Panasonic, 2hrs 20mins on the Pioneer), no component output, no progressive scan and no DVD-Audio. Quite a high price to pay for timeslip on DVD-RW - especially as you can only use Timeslip in VR mode which makes it as incompatible with most DVD players as DVD-RAM. The benefit is of course you can read them in most DVD-ROM drives.

    Not on the models without a hard disk drive (which is what we are discussing here).
     

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