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Pioneer DVR-220 or Prog Scan Recorder?

Discussion in 'Blu-ray & DVD Players & Recorders' started by Easy2BCheesy, Sep 1, 2004.

  1. Easy2BCheesy

    Easy2BCheesy
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    I currently own a Philips DVDR890 and after a couple of years of service it is beginning to become increasingly unreliable. So no shock there then.

    I am looking for a recorder with RGB input/output/passthrough and the ability to record in either PAL or NTSC.

    I send a lot of British TV to my friends in the States and I send them NTSC disks by firstly recording onto a PAL disk from Sky+, bunging it into my cheapo DVD player (set to NTSC) and running the signal back into the recorder to get a native NTSC recording.

    The NTSC method means that I need a recorder that uses either DVD+RW or DVD-RW - which rules out the Panasonic recorders.

    My current thinking is that I should go for a Pioneer DVR-220, which seems to do everything I want it to do and is a very reasonable £215 from RGB.

    However, I'm wondering if any one can comment on the performance of the DVD recorders that output PAL progressive scan? It would be nice to improve the picture quality of Sky on my Pioneer plasma. How does the Toshiba rate in this regard? Does the progressive scan look good, or does the MPEG2 re-encode nullify the advantage? And is it true that it cannot handle a native NTSC input?
     
  2. Rasczak

    Rasczak
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    Yes, I'm afraid it is.

    There is mixed opinion on this. I am viewing Sky+ through the progressive component output of the Panasonic E95 on a Panasonic 50" 6 series plasma and can see a subtle improvement in PQ. Several others members on the forum have also commented on this. However a few others have also said there is a reduction in quality so I guess it depends on your display.

    From what you've said it does seem as though the Pioneer 220 is well suited for you. My other suggestion would be the Pioneer 920 which is a new HDD/DVDR due around November that offers HDMI, 250GB HDD, progressive scan as well as other features typical of a Pioneer recorder. The only downside is the £1300 price tag but it would serve your plasma well.
     
  3. Easy2BCheesy

    Easy2BCheesy
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    The DVR-920 sounds like an incredible machine - alas my Pioneer plasma would need a new video card to accept HDMI input which would further increase the cost. I would imagine that a far cheaper solution for me would be a HCPC with a Sweetspot capture card that would run straight into my plasma via its conventional DVI.

    In the meantime, it looks as though the DVR-220 is indeed the machine for me. Is there a link to the manual anywhere? Or a decent review with screenshots of the user interface?
     
  4. 3804

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    Have had a 220 for 2 weeks and i could not find any review of it
    anywhere
    will say the the manual is quite detailed!
    but the interface is v.good,
    and easy to get to grips with
     
  5. burcac

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    the 220 seems the neatest in size
    most of the others are big junkers
     
  6. Benfica

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  7. Easy2BCheesy

    Easy2BCheesy
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    OK, so today I have taken delivery of my Pioneer DVR-220-S. A snip at £217.99 from Digital Point. Superb service, multiregion, next day delivery. Nice.

    So, what about the machine itself? Well bear in mind that I am used to the Philips DVDR890 so I am obviously going to be comparing performance like for like in many situations.

    Firstly, in terms of encoding picture quality, the Pioneer is seemingly light years ahead. Very, very impressive. Manual recording is easy to set up. Even 2.5 hour recording is pretty decent, whereas it's a bit ropey on the Philips.

    The menu system is rather complex, and will be very daunting for the beginner after a DVD recorder. The Philips was infinitely more user-friendly. Lots to fiddle with though, which personally I like, but I couldn't really recommend this to someone with little technical experience who is after a VCR replacement.

    A big minus compared to the Philips is that it will not accept an RGB signal in NTSC mode :( Also when switching from NTSC to PAl and vice versa you need to change settings in the set-up menu, which you don't need to do on the Philips.

    There are two recording modes. Video and VR. Video ensures compatibility with all other DVD players, VR offers far superior editing facilities. Alas, choosing video appears to offer no editing facilities whatsoever. Correct me if I'm wrong but creating a well edited VR disk is a total waste of time if it cannot be run in other players. I guess I am going to have to stay with the old technique of taking recorded disks to the PC and editing and producing final archive copies there.

    Overall I'm pleased with the machine. It's small and thin, very attractive, tons of functionality etc. The Philips editing seems to be better (in that its edited disks can be made compatible with other players), it's more user-friendly and the "RGB in NTSC" input is another advantage, but the Pioneer effortlessly outquaffs it in terms of recording picture quality.
     
  8. jtorry

    jtorry
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    this is a bit of an old thread but I was looking at thoughts on the pioneer and just saw wanted a recorder that can record NTSC in RGB. Looking at the manual it doesn't mention not being able to record NTSC in RGB so was about to order but according to what you say it can't. So can you confirm that after a few weeks with it that the pioneer cannot record NTSC in RGB? Thanks
     
  9. OARDVD

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    This is why people like me keep banging on about DVD recorders with a hard drive. You get excellent VR editing on the HDD and then you dub to DVD-R (in Video mode) for superb compatibility with DVD players. The best of both worlds (assuming you don't want to edit on a pc).
     
  10. Easy2BCheesy

    Easy2BCheesy
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    @ jtorry - it definitely does not record in RGB with NTSC. But curiously I'd say that the picture with S-Video knocks the spots off my old Philips 890 which does have RGB support. I'm guessing that the MPEG2 encoding is just that much better.

    @ OARDVD - yes, as an all-in-one solution, I would imagine that the Pioneers with internal HDs offer the best all in one solution. However, I edit on PC and didn't see the need for the extra expense. I just do a raw copy in video format onto DVD-RW and edit on the PC.
     

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