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Is GXD 500 Best way

Discussion in 'Blu-ray & DVD Players & Recorders' started by dartieman, Jan 4, 2005.

  1. dartieman

    dartieman
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    Hi Guys, getting delivery of panasonic pw6 plasma any day now, to cut down on equipment, was thinking of purchasing sony GXD 500 can either feed into vga or in to componenet board. Does any one have experience with this DVD recorder/ freeview player and what are your views. Kind Regards in advance
     
  2. Rasczak

    Rasczak
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    Have a look at the mini-review I posted on the machine.
     
  3. dartieman

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    Thanx Rasczak, read your review and will keep on board your comments,
    Any one else with thoughts
     
  4. JamesL

    JamesL
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    I have had a GXD500 for the last few weeks. General impressions are good: as a Freeview recorder it is fantastic. The picture quality just needs to be seen to be believed which makes the machine worthwhile despite it's "quirks". These are:

    1. DVD-RW is nowhere near as good as DVD-RAM (at least on Sony machines). The machine is sluggish, editting is the poor relation of my (old) Panasonic HS2 and the TDK media I'm using seems unreliable; it only lets me finalise some of my recordings!

    2. EPG timer recordings cannot be extended which means that the end of programmes get chopped off. Haven't found it to be quite as bad as Rasczak stated in his review but it does happen on half of all recordings sometimes upto a minute before the end :mad: :mad: :mad:

    3. If subtitles are left on they get recorded! A menu option to disable this would have been the icing on the cake.
     
  5. dartieman

    dartieman
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    Thanks James, seems like recording quality up to 2 hours is up with the best of them, would think epg missing programme ending though would really p*** me off, cant think of a worse thing !
    Is this generally the same for most dvd recorders or do some have facility to overcome this issue, the only other recorder i'm looking at is the panny E85, would this be better?
     
  6. Rasczak

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    From a Freeview source it IS the best - not surprising given the GXD500 uses an digital route (including 2pass re-encoding) from broadcast to disc.

    It is annyoing. I set all recordings via the manual Timer now. This is, it has to be said, very easy to do.

    The GXD500 is the only DVD recorder with an integrated digital tuner at present. So the issue simply doesn't apply to the other machines.

    dartieman - you should decide if you want a HDD/DVDR combi or not. The simple question to determine this is: do you want to make editted recordings that play on other DVD players? If the answer is yes then go for the E85 and don't look back. Otherwise, if you intend to record mostly from Freeview, then the Sony GXD500 is a great choice. If you want to record mostly from Sky or NTL then I think you'd be better off looking at a Panasonic E55 or similiar.
     
  7. dartieman

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    Cheers rasczak, good straight foreward info, mind made up.
     
  8. richiecas

    richiecas
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    Why do you think the E55 is better than the Sony for recording from sky?
    How is the E55 as a player?
    Is the DVD-RAM restrictive in terms of watching recordings on other players?
    Can DVD RAM be played on a xbox?
    I am considering the GX300 for its flexability in formats and recent reviews of its recording and playback capabilities
     
  9. Rasczak

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    Several reasons: primarily because it's MPEG encoder is several generations ahead of the Sony in performance. Side by side comparisons of the GX700 and E55 at the 2hr rate show the Panasonic to be marginally superior. Anything between the 2hr and 3hr mark and the Panasonic is far superior to the equivalent 3hr mode on the Sony. Even after the 3hr mark the Panasonic continues to perform better: the 6hr SLP mode on the Sony is roughly equivalent to EP (8hrs) on the Panny.

    A second reason is that the core features of each machine - playlists, A-B editting (partial erase), timeslip - are just so much slicker on the Panasonic. Editting, for example, is a smooth, easy process on the Panasonic. On the Sony it is compounded by badly thoughtout handset controls/layout (trimming the first few frames of a recording can be a nightmare!) coupled with poor response times caused by DVD-RW. Timeslip - a basic easy to access feature at anytime on the Panasonic - is subject to 'criteria' on the Sony such as correct speed media and not using HQ or HSP modes.

    All in all then whilst the current Sony models are decent enough recorders and players they just aren't as slick as the Panasonic equivalent.

    It's an average DVD player. The Sony does have a slight advantage here - between the two it is the better DVD player - but the difference is slight. Both decks are effectively equivalent to a mid-budget level player.

    Yes it is restrictive in that a DVD-RAM will not play on your DVD player unless it is a (relatively) modern Panasonic, JVC, NAD or Thompson model. It certainly won't play on your XBOX. But then neither will a DVD-RW in VR mode - which is what you need to use if you want to access the main 'features' of the Sony DVD recorder. Of course with a Sony DVD recorder you can record to DVD-RW in Video mode (or DVD+RW) and that will probably play in your DVD player/XBOX although the Sony is very limited in this mode (i.e. no editting, timeslip, playlists).

    Both Panasonic and Sony models will also record to write-once DVD-R that will almost certainly play in your DVD player/XBOX. Again both machines are limited in features when recording to such media (i.e. no editting, timeslip, playlists).

    The Sony is a good DVD recorder and certainly one you should seriously consider. I should stress though do not get to 'sucked in' by the multi-format support of the Sony - in real-world terms it has little end use for you: once you have recorded a DVD-RW/-R/+RW/+R it will mostly likely work in another DVD player thus support for all four is somewhat unnecessary.

    May I suggest you search through previous posts on this forum - one recent post has a Sony user who has just purchased a Panasonic E85 - that may be of interest.
     
  10. richiecas

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    rasczak
    Thanks for taking the time to give such detailed responses. I certainly will give it some thought especially as it is probably a little cheaper than the sony. Now that I think about it since I plan to get sky+ I won't really need to record to RAM as anything I burn to DVD will be things I want to keep permanently.

    Do you know if it would be worth stepping upto the E65. Is the playing ability any better?
     
  11. Rasczak

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    No - the core machines are identical. The E65 just has iLink (for digital camcorders) and PC/SD Card slots (for Digital Cameras). The only 'recording' different from the E55 is LPCM recording - should you want to record music concerts etc (not Pop!). So it's worth going for the E65 if any of that is important to you, otherwise the E55 is great.
     
  12. gogsboy

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    Has this model been discontinued now?

    I have been offered one from a friend at £180, would this be worth buying or better to go for a panasonic maybe?

    I dont like the sound of it cutting programmes short, can this be avoided.

    This model means you dont need to buy a freeview box does it?

    And can you also record from analogue using videoplus?

    There is a link on the sony website saying that What HI-FI reviewed this and they said it was the dogs but few negatives on here

    Thanks
     
  13. Rasczak

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    Yes - in preparation for the new Sony models due after the Summer. That said supplies are still widely available.

    Yes - just set the Timer manually (as opposed to with the EPG). The integrated tuner still makes it dead easy to set a recording.

    Correct. It also means you can avoid the digital > analogue > digital conversion associated with a seperate Freeview/DVD recorder setup (instead you get a digital re-encode which is marginally better at recording lengths 2hrs or under).

    The GXD500 is an excellent DVD recorder but do note the comments made and determine if any are 'show-stoppers' for you.

    The Panasonic ES10 is a better DVD recorder. However if you want to record mostly from Freeview then the benefits of an integrated tuner outweigh the advantages of the ES10 IMHO - unless you know you are likely to record alot of material over 2hrs in duration (the Sony doesn't perform well at recording times longer than this).
     

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