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Pioneer DVR-630H-S -v- Panasonic DMREH60D

Discussion in 'Blu-ray & DVD Players & Recorders' started by rpb, Sep 29, 2005.

  1. rpb

    rpb
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    I took delievery of a Pioneer DVR-630H-S yesterday and am generally quite happy with it. However, I am now wondering whether I should have gone for the Panasonic DMREH60D and need to decide whether to send the Pioneer back in the next few days. The issues are:-

    1) The Pioneer can control our Sky Box - however it does so via an infra red sender on a lead which I can see getting knocked or obscured

    2) The Panasonic cannot do this - however it has an internal digital tuner and as we currently only have freeview via satelite we would use the digital tuner to record freeview stuff, leaving Sky free for other viewing at the same time.

    3) If we ever wanted to record a Sky channel then the Sky planner can trigger the Panasonic to record (but not the Pioneer)

    4) We currently have a Panasonic TV which the Pioneer remote cannot control. Hopefully the Panasonic DVD remote would have a better chance of controlling it.

    5) The Pioneer has a slightly larger HDD (250 v 200)

    Are there any other differences between these machines which would help me make up my mind?
     
  2. laser

    laser
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    I have just replaced my Pioneer DVR-220S with a DMR-EH60D and have a few nigglies with the Panasonic recorder although overall I'm happy with it.

    1. The DMR-EH60D will not record in VR mode although it will play VR mode DVD-RW's. This isn't really a major problem as any editing would be done on the HDD or RAM discs but neverless after being used to it on the Pioneer I would have liked the functionality.

    2. The Panasonic is so quick to startup and record. Don't about the DVR-630 but my DVR-220S took ages before I could record, typically 20 seconds after poweron. When you quickly want to insert a DVD and hit the record button it's rather infuriating.

    3. There is no jukebox facility on the Panasonic which would have been a nice feature to include.

    4. The analogue tuner on the Panasonic is better than the DVR-220S. If the Pioneer DVR-630 is still using the same tuner as DVR-220S then tut tut Pioneer.

    5. PQ from the inbuilt Freeview tuner in the Panasonic is not that much different from using an external Freeview tuner and RGB. It is marginally better but you would probably not notice on a conventional TV although the slight improvement can be seen on a LCD or plasma.

    6. The Panasonic user interface is very easy to use and pretty intuitive if you have used a DVD recorder before.
     
  3. PeteTh

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    I've been deliberating between the latest DVD recorder models, particularly the Pioneer 630H & 930H, Panasonic DMR-EH60D, and the new Sony 910.

    I also have a Sky Digibox

    1) One thing I think I would prefer is with the 630H / 930H is that GuidePlus will control my Skybox and name all of the recordings, even those on non-freeview channels e.g Sky Sports, MTV etc.

    Whereas with the other freeview recorders, I think recording other Sky channels is going to be difficult ? and then I'll end up with a load of recordings that aren't named, naming them is a pain (as I found with my Panasonic VCR with tape library)

    I think I'd like one with freeview and GuidePlus control, which the new Philips DVD-R9000H claims to have. But people have made me wary of Philips.

    I know you can use this smartlink?, and Skybox autoview, but I hear this doesn't work with RGB.

    2) From what I've read the Pioneers retain the 16:9 aspect ratio better than Panasonics, also they retain all manually added chapters and thumbnails, do Panasonics?

    3) The Panasonic can't use dual layer disks.

    4) I also like the way with Pioneers you can assign a category/genre to a HDD recording. Not sure you can do this ? (you can't with SOny's).

    The Pioneer 930H has been tempting me, it is like the 630H but adds 400GB and HDMI upscaling. However it doesn't write to dual layer discs, and is pricey. However with 400GB, maybe I wouldn't need to archive too much to disk anyway.
     
  4. laser

    laser
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    2) From what I've read the Pioneers retain the 16:9 aspect ratio better than Panasonics, also they retain all manually added chapters and thumbnails, do Panasonics?

    Recordings made to DVD-RW in video mode and those to the HDD have no problems retaining the 16:9 aspect ratio when recorded in XP of SP mode. Haven't recorded anything in LP mode.

    4) I also like the way with Pioneers you can assign a category/genre to a HDD recording. Not sure you can do this ? (you can't with SOny's).

    You can't assign a category/genre to recordings on the DMR-EH60D.
     
  5. Lt. Dang

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    Recordings to DVD-RW and DVD-R on the Pioneer DVR630 do retain the correct aspect ratio. You don't have to use VR mode to achieve this but you have to record at a high-enough bit rate in DVD-R to retain the 16:9 aspect ratio.
     
  6. eddyad

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    The GuidePlus timer setting ability on the Pioneer would convince me, everything else being equal. A piece of double sided sticky tape or pad shoud stop the IR unit being disturbed once you've got it in the right place. If your TV stand has legs you might be able to fit it vertically behind one of the front legs and it would be almost invisible.
    Anything that really simplifies time setup is welcome.
     
  7. Phantom Phixer

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    Double sided tape to fix the IR sender is supplied with the Pioneer 530.
     
  8. rpb

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    Any idea where the IR receiver is on a Sky box?

    In any case the internal DVB tuner of the panasonic might be the clincher

    I basically only use freeview on Sky anyway.

    If I keep the pioneer the risk is that whilst recording something from Sky someone else might try to change the channel and thereby scupper the recording.

    If the panasonic records most of its channels from the DVB tuner this would leave Sky free for idle browsing
     
  9. skyline32

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    I think it varies from brand to brand. You should be able to find out by holding the remote right up against the digibox, so reducing the beam spread, then moving it about until you find the range of positions where it works. In the middle of that range is the receiver.
     
  10. rpb

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    Laser - are you talking about the pioneer or the panasonic?
     
  11. Peter Baker

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    Sorry, just a little confused here. I like the idea of an infrared control cable for the sky box. Will this also work with analogue cable boxes? I currently have a much loved tivo which does this, and have never had any problems.
    Also I'm not sure if you are saying that the Pioneer will record to dual layer DVD's, as this is what I want, due to the poor recording length at high quality.

    I had been looking at the Sony, as I saw the Digital tuner as a major benefit. However I was disappointed that it does not have the facility for a top-up Tv card, restricting me to Freeview. Looking at the above the Pioneer looks like it might do the trick with an IR control, particularly if it names programmes.
     
  12. laser

    laser
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    I'm referring to the Panasonic DMR-EH60D.
     
  13. Phantom Phixer

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    The Pioneer will record to DVD-R dual layer.
     
  14. HHGTTG

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    That's disappointing to hear; I would have thought that the IR unit's head/sensor, whatever you want to call it would have had some means of securing it on or near the STB or other unit.

    If I get a Pioneer 530H, and find that it operates my Matsui DTR1 (probably won't) then I'll bring it underneath the box - can it be bent upwards/downwards at all?
     
  15. Phantom Phixer

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    See my previous post - it come with double sided tape to fix it where you want it.
     
  16. HHGTTG

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    Ooops!
    Sorry. :oops::D
     
  17. phelings

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    While 16:9 switching is retained on any HDD recording-if you then transfer to -R in anything other than high speed,the switching is lost,along with anychapter points you may have set
     
  18. docnaz

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    Hi, I have a DVR 720HS. Gen very pleased with it BUT no component output. Having just bought a panasonic plasma without HD (deliberate decision, not a mistake) which came with a "free" dmres10, I am pretty impressed by the better pq on component. Hope helpful
     
  19. rpb

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    I had the Pioneer originally and swapped it for the Panasonic because I wanted to use the Panasonic's internal DVB tuner as the main source for recordings leaving Sky free for general viewing.

    My initial thoughts are:-

    1 The Panasonic is slightly quieter and has a visually clearer menu system

    2 The Panasonic remote control is very cheap and plasticy. There is a wheel feature which is a complete waste of time and makes selecting up, down, left & right slightly more difficult. It does have the benefit of having slightly fewer buttons and controlling my aged Panasonic TV

    3 The Panasonic does not use Guide Plus to set recordings. It uses the DVB guide which is equivalent but not quite as user friendly. This means that if any recordings are made from an external source like Sky they will not automatically get a title with the Panasonic.

    4 I was concerned that recordings made without using the "guide" were not picking up the title name. However I think this is OK provided more than 10 minutes are recorded, at least for the main channels. I need to check tonight whether it works for eg BBC3 and BBC4

    Perhaps the best of both worlds would be to have the Pioneer with both Sky and an external freeview tuner. This would be more expensive and more boxes.
     
  20. PeteTh

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    rpb,

    That's interesting I was thinking of getting one of the Pioneers myself 630H or 930H based on some of the findings you have listed e.g. the built in freeview recorders not naming Sky recordings.

    Also the Pioneers sounds like it has the best archiving options e.g retains aspect ration wss, retains manually added chapters and thumbnails etc.

    Re: your last point, using a Pioneer with both external freeview and Sky, how would you rig this up ? My Philips 36" CRT has 3 scarts (2 RGB), but no component inputs, therefore I would have to use one of the Pioneer scarts for outputting to the TV, leaving just the 2nd SCART for either Sky or Freeview ?

    Could I plug the free view into S-Video ? I guess so, if freeview boxes have S-vidoe out ? but this wouldn't be as good as RGB would it ?

    Or is there any way I can daisy chain them ?
     
  21. Phantom Phixer

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    I have the Pioneer 530. I have tried using the s-video input for connecting a Pioneer freeview box but could not get it to work. Othere have reported similar problems with the s-video input. It works ok with a camcorder.

    I have been connecting the equipment daisy chained as :-

    Freeview to Sky+ to 530 to TV

    all using RGB.

    This worked well except for being unable to watch Sky while recording from freeview, which at first I did not think I would want to do. I could, however, watch freeview while recording 2 programs to Sky+.

    I have now got a Trilogy 1 scart control box which allows for recording any input while watching any input. Total flexibility.
     
  22. PeteTh

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    Does the Trilogy 1 scart control box have 2 outputs - one for TV and one for DVD recorder, with both RGB ?
     
  23. willsy2

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    I'm thinking about getting the Panasonic DMREH60D, mainly to replace my DVD player and VCR with one unit. It'll mainly be for general watch and throw away stuff, however if i want to keep a recording and transfer it to my NAS drive to watch on my HTPC do i have to copy to DVD, and if so are there any editing facilities on the recorder prior to copying?
     
  24. Phantom Phixer

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    The Trilogy has 5 scart inputs 4 of which are RGB. There are 2 RGB scart outputs. One output is for the TV. The DVD recorder connects to the VCR connector which outputs RGB, and the DVD connector which inputs RGB. The VCR scart can be locked to any input so that recording cannot be interrupted.

    There are also various other connections.

    The user manual, with connection diagram can be downloaded here:
    http://www.lektropacks.com/view_item.php?product=82&&category=20
     
  25. rpb

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    On looking at the Pioneer manual I think there is only one Scart input (AV2). I do not think it is possible to record from the AV1 Scart, which is intended to connect to the TV
     
  26. Phantom Phixer

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    That is correct.
     
  27. rpb

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    If I were somehow to daisy chain a sky box and a freeview tuner into the AV2 input of the Pioneer, my understanding is that the G-Link could hapily control either of them, on a per channel basis.

    However, if the Sky box was on all the time, how would the Pioneer get the Freeview signal (or vice versa)?

    Is it possible for an RGB Scart lead to be converted to an S-video connection?
     
  28. Phantom Phixer

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    Yes, you can setup 2 external devices and after downloading the EPG data tell Guide+ which external device to use for each channel.

    [/QUOTE]
    However, if the Sky box was on all the time, how would the Pioneer get the Freeview signal (or vice versa)?
    [/QUOTE]

    This is the problem I had. If Sky is in standby, it could still be recording, Freeview will be passed through to the recorder and tv. If Sky is on then freeview could not be used. This is overcome using the Trilogy box I now have. Either Sky or Freeview can be locked to the recorder whilst any input, including the one locked, can be watched.

    [/QUOTE]
    Is it possible for an RGB Scart lead to be converted to an S-video connection?[/QUOTE]

    Yes, but I have tried 2 different adaptor cables and neither worked. The best I got using the S- Video input, AV3, on the 530 was a black & white picture with odd patches of colour. However, straight s-video from a Hi-8 camcorder worked ok.
     
  29. rpb

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    The trilogy box seems a bit complicated & expensive.

    There do seem to be a number of freeview boxes that output svideo

    (see http://forum.digitalspy.co.uk/board/showthread.php?t=284725)

    Surely one of these should work?

    In which case is there a significant picture loss from RGB Scart to svideo?
     
  30. rpb

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    ...and another reason I am going off the Panasonic is that in order for a timed recording to work the unit must be left on or have been switched off via the "timer" button.

    If the unit is switched off by the normal standby button (by a helpful spouse or child, for example!) timed recordings do not work.

    I don't think this affected the pioneer.
     

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