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Rasczak please help this n00b

Discussion in 'Blu-ray & DVD Players & Recorders' started by Ian_, Jun 12, 2004.

  1. Ian_


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    I am n00 to the field of dvd recorders (Except PC dvd - 3 years experience). I am looking for a recorder that supports VCD / MP3, and if poss, SVCD. Both formats -/+ and if possible a PC link so i can transfer video out from my grafix card to the unit.
    I don't particularly want DVD-RAM or Hard Drive. And I wont be recording from Sky or Cable but I will from Freeview. I was thinking that may be a Philips would be a compromise as it meets my requirements part way. What do you think about my needs. :lease: :lease:
  2. Rasczak

    Distinguished Member

    Apr 3, 2002
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    Always happy to help - but I need some more information before I can assist. Primarily what do you want to achieve from your unit?

    Do you just want to time shift? If so then have you considered a HDD machine such as the Pace Twin as opposed to a DVD Recorder? If your certain you do want a DVD recorder then any DVD-RAM or some DVD-RW machines are the best option as they have 'timeslip'.

    Do you want to make editted recordings? If so you will need either a DVD-RAM or DVD-RW machine with VR support.

    Do you want to make editted recordings that play on other DVD players? If so you'll need a HDD/DVDR combo.

    Do you want to lend recordings to friends etc? If so then look at a DVD-RW or DVD+RW machine. If you go with the former then (depending on which machine you get) you will still have the option to make editted recordings. If you go with the Philips you get very limited features.

    Is the DVD Recorder going to be your primary DVD player? If so then Toshiba models tend to offer the best picture quality by quite some margin.

    Do you require any other features such as iLink (for digital camcorders) or PC slots (for digital cameras)?

    There are actually only a few set-top DVD recorders that support multi-format (+ and -) recording. These are the Sony models are the Liteon. Steer clear of the latter as it is crap (no RGB/S-Video in etc) but the former - the Sony models - are well worth a look although they are somewhat expensive for what they are (your paying around 30% extra for the name).

    You also have to ask yourself what is the benefit of having both formats? Neither DVD-RW/-R or DVD+RW/+R is going to die (nor is DVD-RAM for that matter). And as both do effectively the same job multi-format recording is abit of a 'gimmick' on set-tops.

    The only PC Link currently on DVD recorders is iLink - found on most middle market DVD recorders. Generally you'd need a seperate PC card to make use of this (and then you may have compatibility problems). There are no VGA/DVI inputs currently on DVDRs to hook straight upto your Graphics Card. You can of course use the S-Video out (if you have one) but the quality could be fairly dire.

    Generally most DVD recorders will play MP3/WMA files now. VCD/SVCD is bit more hit and miss. If you can clarrify the questions above I will list a number of recorders that are worth you looking at and answer this on an individual recorder basis.

    The best all round option is, by far, a HDD/DVDR combo such as the newly released Toshiba RX3 or the Panasonic E85. These offer the best of both worlds if your willing to spend the £450 asking price. On paper (and past experience) the Toshiba looks superior to the E85 (although we can't be certain of that until we see some solid reviews).

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