Playback quality: Recorder vs Standalone

Discussion in 'Blu-ray & DVD Players & Recorders' started by Scooby Doo, Oct 19, 2004.

  1. Scooby Doo

    Scooby Doo
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    Hi, I've been looking at upgrading my DVD player to either the Toshiba SD-340 or Pioneer DV-470. I like them because they are well featured, have DivX playback and get good picture quality reviews in the magazines.

    I wondered though whether to consider a recorder instead I was thinking of the either Panasonic DMR-E55, Pioneer DVR-220, Sony RDR-GX300 or the Toshiba DR-3.

    My questions are:

    1. Would the recorders be at least a match for pre-recorded DVD playback quality when compared with either of these standalones. Has anybody had the opportunity to directly compare?

    2. Does it make sense to retain a standalone for playback?

    Although I don't currently record a awful lot on my VCR and therefore couldn't see a real need for an HDD recorder I am attracted to the idea of being able to record digitally to archive a few programs here in there.

    I'm familiar with PC video editing as I have a DV camcorder so I'd be happy to take the footage onto the PC. I have a Pioneer 107 DVD burner.

    In which case:

    3. Which of the above DVD recorders is the best bet. Panasonic/Pioneer look to be cheaper.

    Many thanks for any help.
     
  2. Rasczak

    Rasczak
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    I can't comment on the DVD players you quote but a general rule is that DVD recorders are about equivalent to DVD players half their price. Obviously that is a rough guide only: the Toshiba/Sony DVD recorders are slightly better than that.

    What you do need to consider is many of the 'playback features', e.g. zoom, changing display, DIVX playback etc etc are not available on many DVD recorders and thus retaining a seperate unit for playback is, for many people, preferrable. Obviously if you only want one unit under your TV then a DVD recorder will be adequate.

    All units you mention are good. From what I've seen playback PQ is best on the Toshiba DR3, then the Sony GX300, then the Panasonic E55. Recording PQ is best on the Panasonic E55.

    If you can afford it do consider a HDD/DVDR combo: if you want to make editted archivings that play on other DVD players then you do really need a HDD/DVDR combo. Models such as the Toshiba RDXS32 and Panasonic E85 offer very good value.
     
  3. Benfica

    Benfica
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    Regarding your question #2, I should say that I consider to have a separate DVD player to be a better solution for playback.

    I've a pioneer 5100 DVD recorder, and although I cannot say it does a lot of noise, if you are watching a movie (ex: commercial DVD) played back in the pioneer recorder, in the scenes where there is only silence or small dialogues, actually you can hear the Pioneer device working (presume it is the disk and fan). Not completely annoying, but you hear it ! With "normal" sound actually you cant´t hear it.

    So I really prefer to use my dedicated DVD player to play DVDs. I can't hear it - it is completely silent when playing a DVD !
    And I think that is the big diference between a DVD player and a DVD recorder/player (if you compare them at the same prive levels like Rasczak have mentioned) regarding DVD playback - it is the NOISE of the device in playback.

    And please note that I have a 5.1 surround system and I tend to see and hear my movies with the sound really loud. But you see, there is always a silent part in a movie ... And at night ... well actually you can't put the sound really loud, can you ? (I can't ... anymore .... my litle baby goes to bed early)

    Just a question of taste and/or needs ... I suppose that if you are a Home Cinema fan, you are going to have a dedicated DVD player. Not even to mention all other features or quality issues that Rasczak have pointed out.

    Best regards.
     
  4. Scooby Doo

    Scooby Doo
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    Many thanks for the info. Looks like having a fully featured dedicated player is the best bet.

    Having read all the reviews and noted what everybody says regarding HDD recorders there doesn't seem to be much in it between the Panasonic E85/Toshiba RD-XS32 and maybe the Pioneers.

    I'm not really sure I need it as my recording could be as little as 2 hours a week so maybe a DVD recorder would do, alternatively I could wait and see if prices continue to come down.

    Is there a difference in the DVD recording quality between the Panny E55/E85 or the Pioneer 220/420?

    Many thanks.
     
  5. Rasczak

    Rasczak
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    Yes - quite a substantial one - the Panasonic can manage upto 3hrs of footage per DVD in full resolution as opposed to 2hrs 20mins on the Pioneer. Although the difference is most noticeable at the resolution drop the Panny range clearly has a better MPEG encoder as it handles smoke/rain and other difficult effects quite well.

    Yes indeed. Get a player that does precisely what you want, how you want and in the quality you want as opposed to trying to find a DVD recorder that does all that AND all your recording requirements.
     

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