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How easily does chase play work ?

Discussion in 'Blu-ray & DVD Players & Recorders' started by monocrider, Jul 25, 2004.

  1. monocrider

    monocrider
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    Firstly, apologies if this question is covered by another thread that I haven’t found – if it is, please just point me towards it !

    I’m thinking about buying a DVDR (probably a Panasonic DMR-E55 because of the combination of price and features). Mainly I want to use it as a general replacement for VHS, but I am also keen on the “chase-play” functionality.

    Before buying, I would like clear up a couple of points about usage, because I don’t want to end up getting something only to discover that in everyday use it’s more trouble than it’s worth !

    Please could you let me know if the following is how you use a DVDR, or are there other better / easier ways of working.

    Scenario: Watching something on TV, and the phone rings

    * Press record on the DVD (assuming a DVD-RAM disc is in the unit), and mute the TV
    * Once the interruption is over press something or other on the DVD to start chase-play on the current recording
    * During adverts etc. use visual search to gradually catch up with “live” TV

    Once I get back to “live” does the unit automatically drop out of record, or in some other way inform me that I’m back live ?

    Also, if I get a second interruption while in chase-play, I assume I can just pause the playback, but leave the recording running, and then start up again later, albeit further behind the “real time” programme

    Finally, if this is one of my main uses for the unit, is DVD-RAM up to the job, or do I really need a unit with a hard disc ? e.g. will using visual search on chase-play cause glitching on the record, or am I worrying about nothing ?

    Thanks in advance for your help.

    Best regards,
    John
     
  2. Benrudd1

    Benrudd1
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    Hi,
    I have the Panny e55 and use chasing playback far more than I thought I would.

    As you say when watching a programme, assuming you have a DVD-Ram in the machine, you just stab the record button to start it, then when you return press play to start from the point you pressed record. You can then skip through advert breaks using either forward search or there is a manual skip button which jumps 30 second sections per press.

    If you have to leave again just press pause and then play when you return.

    The player will keep recording until you press stop twice or it runs out of disk space.

    When you catch up with the recording, due to skipping advert breaks etc it doesn't stop recording automatically, but you can tell because you can no longer skip ahead so just stop the recording manually.

    Finally DVD-Ram is ideal for this as it acts just like a small harddrive, so when you have finished watching you can just wipe the recording to regain the space which takes about 20-30 seconds. This leaves no glitches on the recording that I have noticed so far.

    Originally I was considering the e85 recorder with hardrive, but have found the e55 perfect for my needs and have saved aprox £250.

    Hope this helps, any more questions just ask :thumbsup:
     
  3. Rasczak

    Rasczak
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    Your one of the first people I have actually seen who is buying the unit because of timeslip/chasing playback - normally people buy the unit for other reasons and then say how they couldn't imagine watching TV without it!

    You press record on the DVD recorder, it starts recording. When your ready to resume your programme you goto the programmes menu, select the programme and watch. You can pause/fast forward/rewind or play at 1.3x speed to 'catch up' - infact it acts just as if it wasn't still recording bar the fact it won't let you 'edit' whilst still recording.

    When you 'catch up' with live TV you can stay in Timeslip (around 7 seconds behind) or return to live TV.

    If your concerned about it all you can get the E55 manual off the Panasonic website and read for yourself:
    http://www.panasonic.co.uk/customer-Support/index.asp

    DVD-RAM is more than upto the job! The only thing I will highlight is capacity - if you want to record in high quality then you will want to use SP mode for most things (two hours per DVD-RAM disk). Most users seem to find that enough. A HDD can obviously offer alot more capacity - in which case you might want to consider machines such as the Panasonic E85 or Toshiba RX32 - both £200 more expensive though.
     
  4. monocrider

    monocrider
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    :thumbsup: Thanks very much for the quick and comprehensive replies.

    It certainly sounds simple enough to use, and it's also good news that I won't need to go to the extra expense of a HDD model for my every-day.

    Also, thanks for the link to the Panasonic manuals - I'd had a quick dig around on their site previously, but only found a more general brochure which didn't really have the detail I wanted.

    I have to say, for what it does the E55 seems excellent value for money, especially when I look back and realise that I paid over £450 for my first DVD player in 1999 ! :eek:
     
  5. PhilipL

    PhilipL
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    Hi

    Don't overlook the Pioneer 220, it offers time-slip also but on DVD-RW, which tends to be less expensive than DVD-RAM media. DVD-RW is much more likely to play back on a computer for watching or for further editing, where DVD-RAM is much less compatible. In addition DVD-RW gives you the chance to record in Video mode (this doesn't allow time-slip though in this mode) that will play on most DVD Players.

    Just another option that might be worth exploring however the E55 is a good choice.

    Regards

    Philip
     
  6. monocrider

    monocrider
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    Thanks, I will look into the Pioneer too.

    Am I right in thinking that DVD-R and DVD-RW discs are only available single sided ?

    In which case I guess that DVD-RW has in its favour greater compatibility and cheaper media, but with DVD-RAM you have the option of using double sided discs for twice as much reording time ?
     
  7. Rasczak

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    This isn't an issue as with a double sided DVD-RAM disk you have to turn it over so effectively the recording time on each type of media is the same.

    Comparing the two machines you will find the general consenus (in magazines such as HCC for example) still regard the Panasonic E55 as superior: it has component output and progressive scan over and above the Pioneer.

    Also the choice you make between DVD-RW Video and VR mode is much the same choice that you make between DVD-RAM or DVD-R on the Panasonic - you have to decide what media type/format you want to record in before you record.

    DVD-RW are cheaper but DVD-RAMs have the option of caddies (which makes them incredibly robust - useful if you have pets/children or have a high dust environment). And the cost difference is balanced by the fact that in most instances the Panasonic is about £20 cheaper than the Pioneer as well.

    There is another issue as well: Pioneer has so far implied that the 3100 and 5100 models (last years range) will not have a firmware upgrade to support 4x DVD-RW media although this could easily be done. And whilst the new models fully support 4x media what about the 8x media on the horizon? Of course 2x/4x media will continue to be available so it isn't a big problem - but be aware you may have to shop around. So far the latest type of DVD-RAMs (5x) have proven to be fully backwards compatible on set-top recorders. Of course Pioneer may issue a firmware upgrade in due course making this an entirely moot point.

    Still, as always, it all depends on what you want out of it. And I do not deny that DVD-RW does have it's advantages - namely having the option of a highly compatible DVD re-writeable medium. I have recommended the Pioneer 220 in several previous posts but only in circumstances where compatibility of re-writeable media is important, i.e. when the owner wants to frequently share large numbers of recordings with friends.
     
  8. kenfowler3966

    kenfowler3966
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    If you can possibly afford it go for a machine with a hard drive. This gives much more capacity for this use at the best quality, ie 1 hour on a ram disc, 17 hours on a e85.

    Personally I now set my machine up to record virtually everything I want to watch in the following week, this takes about 20 mins on a sat morning working through the tv mag. You then watch things when you want, not when the broadcasters think you want, and if the phone rings or the doorbell goes you can pause playback or abandon it and watch the rest another day. Even when I want to watch a programme at around the broadcast time I allow for the ads and say for a one hour programme, start watching about 15 mins after it starts, and zip through all the ads catching up about when it ends.

    This gives complete freedom to plan your viewing and you save 15 mins per hour on commercial channels.

    I also have the ability to easily edit the programmes and archive to -r without ads etc at the best possible quality, although I suspect in practice for every hour I archive, I probably wathc and delete 20 hours of progs.
     
  9. tabatha

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    I do not have an E55 but assume that the amount of the "Timeslip" is limited to the maximum capacity of the DVD-RAM in the mode one is using it in - around 2 hours in SP mode. This is not generally an issue with HDD combos as the hard disc recording length is generally eight hours max per recording.
     
  10. PhilipL

    PhilipL
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    Hi

    Not really the same choice, the Pioneer gives you three options, use DVD-RW like a DVD-RAM disc or use it like a DVD-R disc for compatibility but re-useable. DVD-RW in VR mode also plays on most computers, handy for watching stuff at work or elsewhere if you have a laptop, try attempting that with DVD-RAM. Oh and you can switch between using the DVD-RW like DVD-RAM or like DVD-R as many times as you like, of course you lose what ever was on there when you switch.

    I would recommend TDK DVD-RW Scratchproof DVD-RW for £1.39 at www.svp.co.uk, cheaper than any DVD-RAM disc and you can use wire wool on these things and not leave a mark! Both the E55 and 220 are the same price at www.avland.co.uk and you are bound to find one cheaper than the other somewhere.

    This isn’t a problem with the 220 series as it is the newer hardware, and Pioneer/DVD Forum is not likely to need to break the DVD-RW speed versions again now as they have already done it. Besides, for very little money you could buy all the DVD-RW you ever need in one go. DVD-R discs, that of course you will need a constant supply over the time you have the product, doesn’t have this issue.

    How do you know whether you will want share recordings or not? It is like you were saying about time-slip, most people do not appreciate it until they have it, so doesn’t the same apply to compatibility? Let’s face it, a large majority of people have DVD Players that will play DVD-RW, but most of them will spit out a DVD-RAM disc quicker than a toddler with a sprout :) Again, DVD-RW gives you the extra choice, and better to the have the option but never use it, then to need and find it isn’t there.

    The E55 is a very good recorder, and Rascak likes DVD-RAM a lot which is understandable, it is a good format, and the Panasonic recorders are well praised, so you will likely not go wrong with whatever you purchase, just take the plunge!

    Regards

    Philip
     
  11. Rasczak

    Rasczak
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    My point was that whichever machine he gets, Panasonic E55 or Pioneer 220 (or Toshiba DR2 or JVC DMR10 for that matter), he will still have to make the choice before every recording: compatibility or functionality. Whether you are using DVD-RAM or DVD-RW you still have to make that choice before every recording. If DVD-Rs were expensive I would agree this would be a point - but if you shop around you can get them from less than £0.25 each now - so it's hardly a major issue.

    But only if you record in Video Mode - most machines will spit out a DVD-RW VR as well ;) A DVD-R (which you can record in either machine) will play on alot more DVD players than a DVD-RW - so if the highest compatibility is your ultimate aim you would use write-once media anyway.

    I like DVD-RW alot as well - I just committed to giving the full case to anyone who wants it (and remember the original poster didn't ask for a discussion on the machine - he asked about some core features - so it was quite right to assume he had already done his model research). I have machines from all formats now (Panasonic HS2, Philips 1000 and Sony GX3) and so see things from a well informed perspective. If you look at my recent posts their have been numerous examples where I have recommended DVD-RW machines over DVD-RAM which quite clearly knocks accusations of bias out the window.

    Bottom line is that the Panasonic E55 is the best specified budget DVD recorder unless there are reasons to rule it out, i.e. you need compatible re-writeable media. When Pioneer (or anybody) beat that I will be the first to point it out. As PhilipL observes though: both machines will ultimately serve you well.
     
  12. monocrider

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    Thanks for everyone for your input - In the end I decided to up my budget a bit, and go for Hard Disc plus DVD-RAM & DVD-RW compatability.

    To that end I've just been into my local electrical shop and paid for a Tosh X32 - pick it up on Monday, so hopefully I won't be disappointed !

    Two other things that swayed me towards the Tosh from the E85 are the "sat mon" button which I think will be useful to the way I use things, plus the IR blaster to (hopefully) change channels on sky when doing timer recordings.

    With a bit of luck I'll have it up and running by Monday evening, because Belleville Rendez-Vous is on BBC4 !
     
  13. Rasczak

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    A very nice choice - the Toshiba is arguably the best their is at present.
     
  14. liteswap

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    Agree -- timeslip could not be simpler either: tune the unit into the right source and press the Timeslip button. The End.
     

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