Newbie questions - simple for you lot !

Discussion in 'Blu-ray & DVD Players & Recorders' started by linford1000, Nov 1, 2005.

  1. linford1000

    linford1000
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    So having finally decided to upgrade to watching DVD's on something better than my PS2 and also updatating the VCR I thought I would look into a DVD-Recorder.

    Found this forum which I have to say looks the busiest and best one on the net so thought I would bore you all with my questions...which have probably been asked many times before but I can find all the answers.

    So...if anyone would be helpful enought to help please see below....

    1- Do DVD-Recorders with HDD play multi region DVDs?
    2- I presume that DVD-Recorders with HDD will play normal DVDs from blockbuster (all I read about is that they can record!)
    3- I like the idea of pausing live TV (like SKY +) - how do I know what models do this
    4- When you record onto the HDD is there a menu to name the programs (so if I recorded Eastenders would it be easier for my other half to go into a menu and find the program (and more importantly not record over it when she wants to use it))
    5 - Can I record from SKY
    6 - Can I watch a DVD at the same time as recording to the HDD

    Thanks for your help with this....much appreciated.

    Linford.
     
  2. GaryB

    GaryB
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    A few basic answers:

    Not as standard but multi region mods are available for most of the major brands. It's easier to buy it region free.

    Yes.

    All HDD recorders that I have seen can do this.

    All the recorders I have seen have to option to add and edit the programme names. If you get one with GuidePlus, it will name the programmes automatically.

    If you have a Sky box, yes, via the video/audio inputs.

    Yes.
     
  3. linford1000

    linford1000
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    Thanks.

    One more simple question.

    What are the main differences between a DVD recorder with HDD and a PVR???

    I can't seem to find anything....?
     
  4. HelenS

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    My reply (some differences from the previous one):

    1. Yes, if they have been modified by a dealer or someone else to do so. They don't come from the factory with the ability.

    2. Yes, definitely.

    3. All will do it in one way - that they can play and record at the same time, but mostly it's a case of selecting the channel and pressing record first. A few do have an area of the disc (it seems) where constant recording of a channel can go on all the time, renewing from the start when it fills that area. I believe Philips and Sonys may do this from what I've read.

    4. Yes, most have such a facility, but also all automatically name recordings as you record them anyway. It can be altered after if desired. It isn't only Guideplus machines that do this - those without get the details from the teletext TV guide pages (analogue channels) or the Freeview EPG (digital channels). Accidental recording over programmes isn't really a risk with HDD recorders as they aren't linear like VCRs (i.e. not the case that you may have recording, gap, another recording, gap, recording, empty space to "end") - all the space is just space and recordings fit in without bothering each other until it's full. So you'd only lose a recording if someone decided to erase it, specifically.

    5. Yes, with the appropriate leads between the boxes.

    6. Yes.
     
  5. HelenS

    HelenS
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    Typically, a PVR ONLY has a hard drive (hence the "personal" bit I suspect, because there's no easy way to share recordings) and will usually be a Freeview tuner machine, often with twin tuners (for recording one Freeview channel whilst watching another live). They will usually have the true "pause live TV feature" where recording goes on continually, either to the HDD or a buffer. Usually, they don't seem to have the variable recording speeds (affecting quality and capacity) of DVD/HDD recorders. PVRs are the machines as made by Humax, Fusion, Topfield, Thomson, and the Sky+. No DVD drives at all in them.

    With the HDD/DVD recorders, Freeview tuners are quite a recent addition - only Sonys and Panasonics have them so far (oh, and a JVC or two I believe) and all are single tuner only. The Panasonics are able to receive analogue TV too on their tuner, which is unique to them. Of course all the other HDD/DVD recorders have analogue-only tuners but expect lots more Freeview ones soon.
     
  6. JethroUK

    JethroUK
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    with most HD recorders you need to press "Record" which defeats the object of rewind live TV since this is by definition a retrospective decision - Philips 720 records allllllllll the time into live tv buffer - you can rewind live TV upto a whoooping 6 hrs (Sky+ 30 mins isnt it?)
    Lot of recorders still use VCR programming methods but with option to rename - 720 has built-in EPG for one click recording & names all recordings + bit of blurb - so the recording would say "Eastenders - Derek finally eats a blue frog..." whatever :) - it doesn't get easier than that - it also knows which recordings you (or your wife) haven't yet watched and if the drive gets full it will record over the ones you've watched not the ones you haven't
    All recorders can record from Sky box but the 720 is amongst a few that will actual control it (switch it to the right channel at the right time to record something - eastenders :)
    some machines still have to be put into "Record mode" - 720 will record to HD whether its on or off, whether your watching DVD, watching HD or burning a disc
     
  7. linford1000

    linford1000
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    Thanks for all your help so far. It's obvious that I am out of touch with the latest and greatest technical devices (and that a lot of people on this forum aren’t !).

    So have been thinking a little more and now I am going to ask people to help me out with some recommendations. I appreciate that this may result in some 'in-house' disputes but with my limited knowledge I would like to get an idea of some makes and models that suit me.

    I have thought about what I actually need the machine to do and have listed this below. Would appreciate if people can reply back again with their choices….

    Has to be a DVD Recorder with HDD
    Needs to connect to my standard SKY box - not cable (could someone please explain, in English, what leads I would need to do this)
    Needs to work with SKY as I don't have a normal TV Ariel…everything runs through my SKY !
    Must have Guideplus (or equivalent). I want TV channel listings that I can just pull up and select what I want to record. This should be free of charge
    Need it to control my SKY box. For example, if I use Guideplus and select to record a premiership football match on Sky Sports 1 at 20:00 in two days time it will, at the appropriate time, change the SKY channel to SKY Sports 1 and start recording (question - what happens if the Sky box is off - will it turn it on)
    Should connect to my Sony DVD surround system (could someone also explain what leads this would typically require)
    Should be good value…I don't have a lot of money so the cheaper the better !

    The only other real simple question I have is…

    If I am recording from SKY I presume that I can't watch another channel at the same time? If I am recording SKY Sports 1 then people in the house can only watch SKY sports 1……??

    Thanks again for your help with this……
     
  8. Vallyboy

    Vallyboy
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    Regarding the not much money bit, this is a cheap as it gets. New model out shortly selling at circa £350 it is thought. Bigger and better no doubt but essentially the same. When these are gone that will be the end I suspect of the 720..you will have to pay more.

    Just had it and delighted, search threads on Phillips 720. It has to me what are the most important features, time buffer, it is always recording, and GuidePlus+ and I am finding that it gives quality results, and is quiet as a mouse, I mention that as some posters mention noisy fans on some makes, this if virtually silent, good job because it is best left on so will record the channel you are tuned to even if you are not watching TV.

    As for connection I will let others advise but it will do what you want I am sure except with Sky you can only watch/record the channel you are tuned to. Sky+ lets you have 2 channels.
     
  9. linford1000

    linford1000
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    Only problem with that is I that most reviews of the Phillips 720 that I read don't look upon it in a positive way.

    Yes it does most of the things I want but I would be concerned about the reliability and also the fact that I have seen two comments from people that state it is useless without a normal TV ariel (which I don't have).

    Anything else out there with similar functions (even if more expensive would like to get an idea).

    Thanks
     
  10. anna the dub

    anna the dub
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    Have a look at the Pioneer 530 (or 630 if you can afford it). This machine will do most of the things you require
     
  11. Vallyboy

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    I did a fair but of research about this model and unreliability was not an issue that I encountered. A few years ago Phillips made a big boo boo with regard to the laser on their models so a vast majority had to be returned, left a bad taste for many. This is not an issue on current models. I have seen a bit of criticising by some about the features it does not have, but usually by people who do not own the unit.

    GuidePlus+ is available on analogue ITV or Eurosport on Sky, this is for all players that have Guideplus+. You should have no problem.
    :thumbsup:

    If you want the Guideplus+ feature and it does make life easy, you could consider the Pioneer DVR530H circa £350 I think. It can pause TV but I do not think it has a buffer feature so it needs to be recording. Not sure what other recorders have GuidePlus+ or has the buffer feature as it was not something I gave any regard to when looking for a machine, but I now love it having used it. If the machine is left on all the time and many people do, recording can be instant, or better still you can record something you have missed, assuming it was on the channel being recorded in the buffer.

    It will do all the things you are asking it to do, not the "best" machine on the market as that is always the next one, but I like it. :smashin:
     
  12. baldrick

    baldrick
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    Remember that HD machines are coming out next year!!!

    Another option is to get a freeview tuner for your PC and use that as your PVR. If you've got a DVD writer then you have got yourself an HDD/DVD recorder and can put the money you save towards a Blue Ray machine!!
     

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