Ready to take the plunge.....

Discussion in 'Blu-ray & DVD Players & Recorders' started by midiman, Jan 15, 2005.

  1. midiman

    midiman
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    For the last 24 hours I have been looking through magazine's and through this forum and trying to narrow down what I want and finally feel I'm getting close. :) Just need you guys's to give me that final bit of help. Price am looking to spend is £400 max.

    I currently have in my setup the following:-

    LG PX11 42" Plasma
    XBOX - Modded and using component out for Games & DVD/DIVX playback
    Bose Lifestyle@25


    My requirements are:

    MUST HAVE'S

    Record from SKY+ (I know, they all do)
    RGB to Progressive Scan conversion (For use with SKY+. passthrough when switched off?)
    Good quality Record/Playback (a must)

    Optional niceties:-

    HDD Record (Sky+ hass HD record so not a must - can edit on PC anyway)
    Freeview (Gives another option if the missus is watching SKY+ in bedroom)
    iLink (Have Camcorder but can just as easily use PC)
    DIVX support :) (Anything out their support this?)
    DVI out :D

    As such I have narrowed it down to the following:-

    Sony RDR-GXD500 - Freeview, £296.79 inc VAT & Delivery - Jack in the Box
    DVD-R: Sony RDR GX300, £249.49 inc VAT & Delivery - Amazon
    Panasonic E85 - HD record £329.95 Over the counter - Richer Sounds
    Toshiba RDXS32 - HD Record £356.96 + £9.99 Delivery - Digital Direct

    Have heard that the the Panasonics RGB/Component conversion can be grainy so am tempted by the Tosh over the Panny but would very much be willing to be swayed by panny owners if they know different.

    Also if anybody knows of better deals then the one's above, would like to hear.
     
  2. Rasczak

    Rasczak
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    Have a look at this site for basic DVD recorder information. But to answer your specific questions:

    All models with RGB input will record in high quality from Sky - avoid JVC or the 'cheapies' then and you'll be fine. As for RGB to Component conversion the Toshiba RDXS32, Sony (with the exception of the GX300 or GXD500) or any Panasonic DVD recorder will do this: although depending on your screen and which machine you get will depend how happy you are with the results. You may prefer a dedicated RGB to component converter.

    For high quality recording I rate them Panasonic is by far the best with Toshiba and then Sony. Playback I would rate them in the reverse order - although note you are MUCH better off with a dedicated standalone DVD player.

    The only integrated freeview DVD recorder at present is the Sony GXD500. The limitation fo you there is you can't use component and RGB input :rolleyes:

    Not yet I'm afraid.

    Bottomline I suggest you look at a model such as the Toshiba RDXS32 or Panasonic E85 (or E95 if you want iLink). They are more expensive than 'standalones' but are the best DVD recorders currently available.
     
  3. midiman

    midiman
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    Thanks for your reply Rasczak. You have helped to narrow it down a little bit. As progressive scan is a must it rules out the Sony's altogether.

    I take your point about better quality conversion from dedicated RGB to Component devices. Hower I'm tryin to placate 'er in doors as she hates wire's n things so if I can keep it in one all the better. My main concern here is from reading somewhere that the Panasonic output wes a bit grainy. Is this the case or just pie in the sky ?

    I am now looking only at the Tosh and Panasonics's. Is there much difference between the E55's & the E85HD's other then the HD or are they identical apart from that?

    I will have a good look at the link you posted above, perhaps that may assist me :)

    Many Thanks
     
  4. Rasczak

    Rasczak
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    It depends on your screen but yes they can look a little grainy - although better than the Toshiba IMHO. Both give reasonable results though...

    Yes - that will explain the benefits of the HDD inside the E85 as opposed to a 'standalone' like the E55. Whilst the machines are similar in features - the E85 HDD makes alot of difference to 'real world' operation.
     
  5. midiman

    midiman
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    Thanks for your help Rasczak :smashin: The Panasone E85 it is then :thumbsup: . Just gotta get the best price now. I seem to recall a place in TCR selling them sub £300 before christmass. I'm guessing it was the E85 as it was a Panasonic -DVDR/DVDRAM with HD. I doubt if they have anything else that could fall into that price range
     
  6. russraff

    russraff
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    The Panasonic will NOT do RGB to component conversion, at least not on the fly. See my response to another thread:
    Therefore you cannot have an active RGB connection at the same time as an active Component one, nor can you display NTSC signals at the same time as an active RGB connection.
    So be warned about this - it seems that the Panasonic would work fine as a R2 only machine, but not if you have RGB/Component mix or if it is a multi region machine.

    Russell
     
  7. midiman

    midiman
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    :confused:

    Multiregion is not something I am particularly interested in so shoudnt be an issue.

    I am only looking to straight RGB to Component coversion to the display from the SKY+. I am not intending to use RGB out only RGB in. Is this going to cause a problem?
     
  8. russraff

    russraff
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    Yes, as you cannot use RGB and Component at the same time with Panasonic recorders.

    Russell
     
  9. Rasczak

    Rasczak
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    YES you can. Several of us connect this way to our plasmas - me included! What the Panasonic cannot do is RGB output and Component output together - it is one or the other! Don't have the E85 manual at hand at present - but in the E55 manual it is page 14. All Panasonic Ex5 series DVD recorders (and the Toshiba RDXS32) do RGB to Component conversion - but you need to read the manual to set it up ;) Ask on the plasmas forum if you don't believe me!
     
  10. midiman

    midiman
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    Must admit I was a bit :confused: by the previous post as I was sure that it could do staight conversion. Thanks for the clarification :thumbsup:
     
  11. Rasczak

    Rasczak
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    Yes. If your in any doubt as to what I'm saying ask one of the senior members in the Plasma forum (some of them do this) or just trawl through some of the posts here - you'll see quite a few people do it as there have been full blown arguments over the quality! It can be very annoying when peeps don't read their manuals as it makes me look like a liar... He is correct about the NTSC playback though.
     
  12. midiman

    midiman
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    I read in article somwhere about the RGB/Component conversion being grainy hence it being included in the origional question. So am satisfied you are correct :smashin: .

    As for the NTSC issue, should not be a problem. In fact been into RS and am trying to get the Region 2 only version as I have never used anything else other then PAL Regeion 2 DVD's. Anything I have encoded myself I always convert to PAL anyway.
     
  13. russraff

    russraff
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    Okay, fair enough, the Panny does do "RGB in -> Component out" conversion. My mistake. After the NTSC thing I just assumed that RGB and component didn't mix. However, I would say that the quality after this conversion very poor, no different to a composite connection. So much so that I would avoid if at all possible.
    I apologise for any inconvenience and that any annoyance a non manual reader may have caused has been assuaged.;)

    Russell
     
  14. Rasczak

    Rasczak
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    As always it depends upon your screen and is, of course, somewhat subjective. Try toggling PS on/off and see if that helps. Try adjusting your settings on your TV for the component input. But you'll never get the same results as a (e.g.) JS RGB to Component converter - that is just not the DVD recorders prime ability.
     
  15. midiman

    midiman
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    I guess I'm going to have to suck it and see :) Thanks for your input guys :smashin:
     
  16. midiman

    midiman
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    OK just bought one from Richersounds :thumbsup: didnt have the regeon 2 one for £329 so had to buy the MR for £349 :rolleyes: The salesman was very pushy on selling me the Pioneer to the point of rubishing the RGB/Component conversion argument :thumbsdow . Even though I got it £50 cheaper then anywhere else I did come out of RS feeling I should have gone elsewhere. Dont like being patronised :mad: Dont like being dismissed :mad: and dont like pushy people :mad: :mad: GRRRRRR

    OK rant over. Looking forward to getting it home and giving it a spin :clap:
     
  17. Rasczak

    Rasczak
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    Let us know how you get on!
     
  18. midiman

    midiman
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    Will do Rasczak :)

    Still sat in work but reading the US manual I downloaded earlier. Dont want to open the box till I get home as I have to traverse the London Underground.

    I see from the US manual that it will download a Cable TV program list if connected to a Cable box. Does it do the same with SKY? I will be seriously impressed if it does :D
     
  19. Rasczak

    Rasczak
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    Afraid not.
     
  20. midiman

    midiman
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    Knew it had to be too good to be true :rolleyes:
     
  21. midiman

    midiman
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    By the time I got home last night, didnt have much of a chance to get to grips with it. Unpacked it and connected it up. Took a little while to work out the RGB/Component bit but got that working. Dont care what the guy from RS says, picture is definately better :thumbsup: . Only real headache was an audio problem which turned out to be a loose scart on the Sky+. Haven't Got as far a recording anything yet, but all going well that pleasure awaits tonight.

    One question. With the E85 on standby I get no picture from the SKY+ system. I am guessing this is because in standby it will not do RGB to Progressive scan conversion. If I turn progresive scan off will it do RGB passthrough in standby?
     
  22. Rasczak

    Rasczak
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    The E85 will not do RGB to Component (progressive or not) conversion when in standby - no machine in the world will do that. You could hook up a Scart cable from AV1 on the E85 to your TV. Although this wouldn't work when the E85 was on, when off it would pass through RGB Scart. However by leaving your E85 on all the time you then benefit from instantly being able to record things should you get called away (and then use of timeslip etc).

    Glad you are happy!
     
  23. midiman

    midiman
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    I've got a spare scart lead and more inputs on the LG PX11 I can shake a cable at :D , Wont hurt to connect it up so might as well do that. Will probably have the E85 on most of the time anyway
     

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