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Philips DVD recorder or home build?

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by Aladdin, Dec 10, 2003.

  1. Aladdin

    Aladdin
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    I will be working in Germany for several weeks. During the week, I stay in a hotel in Germany and then come back to the UK for the weekends.

    The hotel where I'm staying doesn't have any English TV channels and so the evenings can get a bit tedious. What I want to do is watch UK TV programs that have been recorded for me during the week.

    Obviously, I can't cart around a VCR and a load of tapes. However, I do have a laptop with a DVD player so I could bring this and programmes recorded on DVD. Ideally, the programs I want to watch could be recorded automatically by me setting a schedule but, at worse case, my wife could do the recording manually.

    The question is what do I need to record the programmes onto DVD? I don't want to spend too much as I only need to do this for a few weeks but I could spend around £300.

    My first and simplest option would be to buy a lower end dedicated DVD recorder like the Philips DVDR70 for around £250. I'm a bit loathe to do this as it's an old model.

    The option which I prefer is to build a PC-based DVD recording system as it should be more flexible and upgradeable.

    I need some advice on the kind of spec I need. I thought about building the system around an EPIA ME1000 motherboard but is the processor up to recording a TV source. Although it's only got on-board graphics (and sound) my thinking is I don't need the display to be brilliant as I will be watching the recorded DVDs on my laptop.

    The other bits I'll need are memory, hard drive, DVD drive and a capture card. In terms of memory will 256MB be enough?

    I thought I'd get a large hard drive as it will always be useful so I'd go for 120GB or 160GB. I don't know if I'd need to record first to the hard drive and then to the DVD disc or whether I could record directly to DVD. (Again, my wife could change the discs when I asked her too if required).

    I'm not sure what capture card to get. The Nebula card seems to get good reviews so this is a definetly a contender. Any other suggestions?

    Also, what suggestions do you have for a DVD recorder drive? Ideally, it would be multi-regionable

    I realise that going the PC route will go over my £300 budget but I'm sure I'll use the components in other set-ups I have.

    In summary, would the following set-up be a better option than an cheap DVD recorder:

    Epia ME1000
    256MB RAM
    160GB hard disk
    Nebula TV card
    NEC +/- R/RW DVD recorder
     
  2. gab2001uk

    gab2001uk
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    I have one of the early Phillips DVD recorders, which I no longer use, as I got fed up with "Disc error" messages, "Copy Protect" messages etc. They are great for the convenience of using it like a VCR onto +RW discs for the purposes you describe, but not for long term archiving of programs.

    I now use a Nebula card and a Vidac VMagic MPEG2 hardware encoder card for archiving from Sky+, as it ignores Macrovision etc. The MPEG2 files produced from these two have to be modified with PVAstrumento first, then can be either burnt direct as data onto DVDR/W for playback on a PC, or authored with the likes of Ulead DVD Workshop for stand-alone player use. (Unless your DVD player will play raw MPEG files)

    Both the Nebula and Vidac cards are hardware based so you do not need a beefy processor to use them. Memory and HDD size is fine.
     
  3. Aladdin

    Aladdin
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    Thanks Graham,

    You convinced me to go down the PC route!
     
  4. calscot

    calscot
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    Eh? He's pretty much convinced me not to... I record on DVD+RW with my Philips DVDR880 and then when I want to watch it on my pj I just pop it into my HCPC and hey presto! It's treated like a prerecorded dvd and films are shown in progressive scan using PowerDVD 5.
     
  5. gab2001uk

    gab2001uk
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    Give it time...
     

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