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Pioneer DVR-530H-S v Panasonic DMR-EH50 v Sony RDR-HX510S Which one do I buy??

Discussion in 'Blu-ray & DVD Players & Recorders' started by ComfortablyNumb, Aug 16, 2005.

  1. ComfortablyNumb

    ComfortablyNumb
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    I have spent a while getting my short list down to these 3

    I have sort of made my mind up on the Pioneer, with the Panny in second and Sony 3rd both do a similar same job to the Pioneer albeit with an 80 gb HDD, although the Panny has the added bonus of RAM, none have SACD which is really annoying considering both Pioneer and Sony have the SACD facility on the majority of their "Players" but it seems not their recorders, any one know why they haven't or can't have it on recorders as JVC have managed to do it?!?!

    So which would you go for?? I think I'm on the money with the Pioneer just waiting for LX to get some more in and whilst I'm waiting I'm looking for someone to tell me why I shouldnt get the Pioneer

    Cheers

    CN
     
  2. scotte

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    I'm also looking at these models. Do these have anything that the Toshiba RD-XS34 doesn't?
     
  3. Rasczak

    Rasczak
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    What are you planning to use you device for?
    - Recording from VHS?
    - Recording from Sky/Freeview?
    - Do you have Sky+?
    - Do you have NTL?
    - Will the device be your main DVD playback machine?

    All these will influence what machine is best for you. As the above poster comments the Toshiba RDXS34 is also an excellent machine with similar/better performance to the ones you list.

    To summerise each unit:

    Panasonic DMR-EH50: Offers the best all round recorded picture quality by quite some margin. Very simple to use. Disadvantages are no set-top box control or iLink (for digital camcorders).

    Sony RDR-HX510: Offers the best DVD playback of the four decks and dual layer recording on DVD+R DL media. Disadvantages are no set-top box control.

    Toshiba RDXS34: Offers the most DVD authoring options (i.e. ability to set bitrates, define menu backgrounds and GOP control) - the most flexible solution without using a PC. Has set-top box control.

    Pioneer DVR530: The only machine on your list to offer an EPG (Guideplus) but is the weaker of the four at recording. Also it is single format which has 'burnt' Pioneer buyers before (i.e. when 8x DVD-RW arrive they won't work in your machine).

    ...have a look at the 'Which DVD Recorder?' link in my signature for guidance on buying DVD recorders!
     
  4. ComfortablyNumb

    ComfortablyNumb
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    Thanks Rasczak

    I have read a lot of your links over the past weeks :thumbsup:

    It will be used for transfering from Mini DV (didn't notice that the Panny didn't have the DV In, Ooops) onto the HDD and then on to DVD after chapters editing have been done

    It will also be used for transferring from VHS onto the HDD and then on to DVD.
    We have Sky+ and yes it will be the main play back machine, we currently have a very basic Sony DVPNS355, a gift!!

    So these are my main uses

    Cheers

    CN
     
  5. Rasczak

    Rasczak
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    In which case loose the Panasonic and Pioneer from your list. The former doesn't have iLink and as you have Sky+ the EPG on the Pioneer is pointless.

    Ergo look at the Toshiba RDXS34 and the Sony RDR-HX510. Both are good, but different, machines. With the Sony you can record in HQ+, edit and then re-encode digitally to DVD - whilst this is a second generation copy (albeit a very good one) it will provide smooth edits unlike the other machines which will pause briefly at cuts unless you re-encode (which for all other machines passes through the analogue domain). The Dual Layer DVD+R recording is a nice touch as well - although be aware if you want highly compatible media you will need to stick to single layer DVD-Rs. (According to Video Help your Sony won't play DVD+R DL anyway).

    The Toshiba though will be stronger for archiving from Sky+ and VHS. You can set the bitrate to perfectly fit space on disc to length of programme and you have a few more menu tweaks than the Sony. It also has a larger HDD (160GB - equates to around 32hrs at best quality). Playback of DVDs is very good - but the Sony is just a tad better IMHO (via RGB Scart).

    I would recommend having a look at reviews of both machines and trying to get a hands on to see which User Interface you prefer - the Toshiba is more 'powerful' but is also more complicated. The Sony is more wife-friendly. Both are highly recommended!
     
  6. ComfortablyNumb

    ComfortablyNumb
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    Many Thanks Rasczak

    Appreciated :)
     
  7. spannersuk

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  8. Rasczak

    Rasczak
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    That's about the long and short of it yes. When speed upgrades occur on DVD-RW they have so far proved to be incompatible with what has come before - the best example is the Pioneer 3100 (DVDR) and Pioneer 5100 (HDD/DVDR) which were 2003/2004 models - these arrived around about concurrently with 4x DVD-RW media - however they are incompatible with these discs. A simple firmware upgrade would solve them but Pioneer Japan declined to release one.

    DVD-RW is now approaching 6x speed - this may or may not be compatible with the existing units. But what we do know is that 8x DVD-RW (due early next year) will definetly not be. Thus the risk of a single format machine like the Pioneer is to be landed with a model that can't use re-writeable discs.

    Now potentially it's not only DVD-RW that suffers from this: 8x DVD+RW is incompatible with previous versions (again a firmware upgrade can overcome this) and 16x DVD-RAM is incompatible with current machines. But nobody is likely to make 16x DVD-RAMs for that very reason (as most of the DVD-RAM market is in set-tops).

    Whatever if you go for a multi format machine - be it DVD-RAM/-RW/-R or DVD-RW/-R/+RW/+R or a combination - you're going to be 'safer' in the long term.
     
  9. Pbryanw

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    Thanks Rasczak for the good advice. I'm now approaching a decision regarding which DVD/HD recorder I'm going for. But now the Panasonic DMR-EH50 has been thrown into the mix :( . I was wondering if you(or anyone reading this) could answer two questions I have about the Panny:

    1. In your signature link I read that the panny could record upto 4 hrs at full res - how good is the quality on this recording mode?
    2. It also mentions a version of the EH50 with a freeview recorder and 160GB HD becoming available. Do you know when this will be released?

    And a question about the Sony:

    If I connect a Freeview tuner to my setup can I record from the Freeview device using the Sony's Synchro-Rec function?

    If you can answer any of these questions I'd be very grateful.

    Val
     
  10. Rasczak

    Rasczak
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    It's reasonable - there are artifacts (mainly light blocking) as you'd expect. However the key point is that it's better than rival machines. Only the JVC range seems to be able to come close quality wise - and they are not recording an RGB source and are using a non-standard resolution. Certainly the bigger your screen the more you'll appreciate full resolution recording - and in this the Panasonic is a godsend.

    But it's important to note that myself and others rave about the new Panasonics not just because they can record 4hrs at full resolution (how many of us actually archive that much to a DVDR anyway?) but that the quality at the all important SP (2hrs per disc and surrounding modes) is the best. Toshiba comes close - but the Panasonic's just have the lead - for now.

    Due any time now - it will be called the Panasonic DMR-EH60D and will sport a 200GB HDD. Have you read the comparison thread between the Panasonic ES20D and Sony GXD500? Much of what is written in there will be applicable to the new EH60D and Sony DVB/HDD/DVDRs! The site (which isn't actually owned/written/maintained by me despite it being in my signature!) needs to be updated on that score.

    Depends what your setup is :) Generally such auto-record/external link connections aren't brilliant though even when working fine.
     
  11. Pbryanw

    Pbryanw
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    Thanks for your informative reply.. it's been very helpful :thumbsup:

    The Panasonic DMR-EH60 looks like it will be out of my budget but I've made up my mind and am going for the Sony HX510 for ease of use and dual layer ability.
     
  12. Rasczak

    Rasczak
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    :thumbsup: It's a good machine - I don't think you'll be disappointed! :smashin:
     
  13. johnsteed

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    I thought I had decided on the Pioneer 530 but after reading Rasczak posts I am now having second thoughts.

    The biggest single point is that I need a recorder that will accept a PAL60 signal to record some of my NTSC format video tapes to dvd.

    So does that mean I am stuck with either a Pioneer or Philips?

    Do any of the other makes have PAL60 recording options?
     
  14. Rasczak

    Rasczak
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    Yes - only Pioneer or Philips models will do this (unless you look at a combi device such as the Panasonic ES30V or EH80V). The Pioneer models aren't bad machines - if you get one I'm sure you'll be more than pleased with it.
     
  15. GARYFORUMS

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    Pioneer - the recording speeds - i would have thought there wasnt much
    mileage left in recording speeds esp. on DVD-Rs plus most of the record/wipe progs will be on the HD which is a decent size

    we'll all be replacing these machines in a couple of years anyway

    Sony - could be wrong but i read in a few places , something about you lose the chapters when you coipy a HD recording to DVD ?

    From my experience of my Pioneer 530 - i would say using the HD is the biggest breakthrough - i can just record everything and delete straight after - i've only burnt one dvd of it and thats for a friend
     
  16. gavan

    gavan
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    When I had my Panasonic EH50 I hardly ever burned discs - virtually all recording was simple timeshifting and done on the HDD.

    Once you can record to hard drive, it's amazing how little you actually feel the need to commit something permanently to a DVD. My dream combo would be a HDD recorder (twin digital tuners + analogue tuner/input and TiVo of course) with an ethernet port so that I could easily transfer stuff to my PC for authoring and burning there. Oh, and a USB2 port which you could attach a PC external DVD burner to, just in case you wanted to make DVDs seperate from the PC.


    Gav

    Gav
     
  17. GARYFORUMS

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    you build it m8 - i'll buy it !
     
  18. PeterC

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    Rasczak
    May I piggyback onto this thread to ask your advice re choice of DVDR?
    I am interested in the Tosh RDXS34, Sony RDR-HX510 and Panasonic DMR-EH50.

    We live in an area that can't receive Freeview, so although I'm uninterested in Rupert's
    subscription offerings, I shall get a basic Sky digibox and 'freesat' card.
    Thus some arrangement to reliably record various channels by use of a timer
    is highly desirable.

    Main tasks for the DVDR will be:
    Time-shifting TV shows.
    Editing (breaks out, etc) & archiving shows to DVD.

    I would like to be able to produce DVD -R discs for sending to friends back in NZ.
    Pause live TV would be useful for when She Who Must Be Obeyed needs to pop out
    to the kitchen in the middle of Rick Stein's show.

    I tend to hang on to equipment for ages, only upgrading when forced to by new
    technology. That said, the DVD will connect to a new Panasonic 28" analogue
    widescreen TV with scarts - and my trusty Cyrus 2 amp circa 1986...

    Any advice/comments appreciated
     
  19. davidb71

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    Hello folks. After much magazine buying and online review reading I purchased the sony rdrhx510. Not the cheapest option but the quality of playback is outstanding. However I really wanted a machine to archive off sky+ and my VCR. It does do this fine and again the played back pictures are lovely. I am crying however as it appears that although I set up the lovely thumbnails and chapter marks, AB delete the sections I don't want and split titles into 2 or 3, when I burn them to a disc all this gets deleted. Upon very close reading of the supplied manual it actually says thumbnails and chapter marks will get deleted on burning (in small print). Am I missing something or have i simply bought the wrong machine for the job? I didn't even consider this issue when researching. Any comments please. :suicide:
     
  20. spiver

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    Yes I think you bought the wrong machine. I bought the RDRHX510 and it does seem crazy that you can insert your chapters and thumbnails but not copy this info to disc. It almost makes the facilities pointless.
    Its not much to ask. Its a bl****y hard drive. You should be able to cut/paste/insert/move anything you want. I guess all the manufactures will get there in the end. I just wish they would get a move on.

    Other than that I love it. The menus are superb as is the playback. It fires up much quicker than my previous RDRGX3 & 300 models. Nice remote. Generally idiotproof operation. The autotune takes forever - why??

    Love the Pause Live TV function :smashin:

    I know I`ll be upgrading in no time - its all one big conspiriacy to extract our hard earned cash :devil:
     
  21. PeteTh

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    Just wondered if any of you 510 owners could tell me if the 510 maintains in its 'Title List' all of the Disks you have archived to ? or do you have to insert each Disk into the 510 to see what is on it ?

    I'm looking to buy a 910 but this Disc Library functionality is unclear, so I'm guessing if the 510 does it the 910 will.

    cheers
     
  22. ComfortablyNumb

    ComfortablyNumb
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    I'm now at the point where I will be buying mine after many weeks of reading this forum and untold reviews and it was going to the the Sony, until I read this :thumbsdow
    So let me get this right I can save to HDD from my camcorder and I can edit, create chapters etc but when you come to burning onto DVD you lose the chapters?? I just want to be 100% sure.
    Thanks
     
  23. davidb71

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    Yep that's right. You can do all sorts of wonderful things on the 510's HD and I've spent hours already doing that. But when you burn to disc it all gets reverted to a single title with no chapter marks that you've inserted. If you record to HD with auto-chaptering turned on I have found these random placements do get put onto the dvd, but little point.
    It's particularly frustrating as I have a lot of science schools programs on many VHS tapes and wanted to organise them better for use in my lab. Nice big HD, just left the Sony copying from the VCR for 4 hours at a time and them edited them all later. Burn to DVD to find all my efforts gone to waste.

    If anyone can tell me which dvdrec will give me disc authoring tools I want that would be great.
    Cheers
     
  24. ComfortablyNumb

    ComfortablyNumb
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    Thanks David

    That just means I will spend another 2 weeks now trying to make my mind up and in the end i'll probably just take the "chapter" issue on the chin, although its very remiss of Sony as well as my other complaint, the lack of SACD, Comet advertise this as having SACD, I'm sure it hasn't can you confirm or deny ??

    Cheers
    CN
     
  25. PeteTh

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    anyone know if the Pioneers 530H and 630H retain the chapters ? as if they do, maybe I'll hold out for a newer version of these with freeview and HDMI
     
  26. davidb71

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    Hi CN.
    The Manual for my 510 has a section called discs that cannot be played. In the list is "HD layer on Super Audio CDs"

    Certain SACD discs feature a conventional audio CD layer (hybrid SACDs) which can be played back by any CD player or computer with a CD-ROM drive.

    Whether HD layer is the same as CD layer I do not know. I can tell you that the section of the manual that lists playable discs DOES NOT list SACDs. I think I wouldn't risk it!

    David
     
  27. ComfortablyNumb

    ComfortablyNumb
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    Thanks David

    I have an SACD player but its hooked up to my Hi Fi set up, It would have been nice to have the facility on my AV set up, it seems both Sony and Pioneer have decided not to equip their Recorders with SACD whereas their "players" do have the facility, the only manufacturer that I'm aware of that has it on some of their recorders is JVC, rather strange considering Sony developed it in the 1st place, but their recorders have the ability to play SVCD something Sony don't really have too much to do with, maybe there isn't the room in the recorders to accomodate it, I'm still trying to find out why :) one day....
     
  28. davidb71

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    I'm sure they just don't want to put all the goodies into one box too soon. That way we keep shelling out for the next model to come along. Or am I just...
     
  29. davidhh77

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    Yes they do (at least my 530H does, so the 630H should).

    David
     
  30. dmpoole

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    Can I just add that in over 12 months of owning first a Pioneer DVR-420 and now a Pioneer DVR-530 I have never recorded onto a DVD-RW so for me recording to a higher speed disk is not needed at all. I transfer from camcorder/video to the hard drive, I then edit with the excellent editing facilities on the Pioneer and then I transfer at high speed to DVD-R disks. I honestly can't see what DVD-RW disks are needed for on the Pioneer but I can give an example -

    you record a film to your hard drive but you want to watch the film upstairs or loan to a friend and you want the disk back to record onto it again. You then transfer to the DVD-RW disk and finalise it so you can watch it upstairs or for your mate. If you have recorded the 2 hr film at the best resolution it will take about 8 mins to transfer to the disk. With the faster media you should be able to cut this by half. If thats going to be a problem then don't buy the Pioneer but I've yet to transfer to DVD-RW. Everything I record to my Pioneer and edit goes onto DVD-R disks.
     

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