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Recommendations for a dvd recorder?

Discussion in 'Blu-ray & DVD Players & Recorders' started by stephen19, Dec 9, 2003.

  1. stephen19

    stephen19
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    Hi. I'm a newbie here. Sorry if this is fast becoming a faq, but what is the consensus on the best dvd recorder?

    I would like to use it to replace my vcr for recording from the tv shows when I'm out and to archive old vhs recordings too.

    I don't really need the expense of a model with hdd as I think I would do any editing on my pc.

    Is prog scan available in pal? Is prog scan really needed on a recorder? I'm thinking of have a prog scan player separately for playing my movies/recordings.

    Can you get multiregion recorders?

    I haven't got sky+ yet but I would like to be future-proof!

    I'd like the drive to be compatible with as many formats as possible, just in case in the future one format predominates.

    Being new here, can you tell me what some terms mean that I've read in the other posts:

    what is vr and video mode?

    and what is seamless playback (not on dvdram)?

    Thanks.
     
  2. malcom

    malcom
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    Don't really understand the question as put (not DVDDRAM)????

    Seamless playback on DVD RAM means that the recording will play back without any pause in the picture due to any edit points that you might have created on your disc.

    The answers to your other questions can be found on this forum if you have the time to do a thorough read.

    Which format depends on your personal requirements and as you can see people argue over format because personal requirements differ from person to person and some believe any format they don't need should be scrapped.

    Ignor these people who appear to live on a screwed up planet all of their own.

    RAM is by a mile the best technically but if compatibility is an issue with you then you need to do further research.

    I would rate RAM at the top of the list if compatibility is not important.

    Then -RW as an alternative.

    -R the most compatible

    +RW/+R bottom of the pack in my book. Not my cup of tea but each to His/Her own.

    If you have the dosh a RAM/HDD combination unit is all you will need until blu-ray hits the High ST in affordable mode.:D
     
  3. kenfowler3966

    kenfowler3966
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    No, top of the list has to be a hard drive, without it a dvd recorder is a crippled machine with very limited capacity for recording at acceptable quality.
    IE 2 hours onto a dvd, 18 hours onto a 40gig hard drive at the same quality.

    When using ram you would have to heavily compromise on picture quality to record one evenings progs whilst out, let alone a weeks worth whilst on holiday which could fit onto a hdd but not onto a ram.

    Once you have the hard drive the ram is hardly ever used with programs being watched and deleted or archived onto cheaper -R.
    Hence you have compatibility as well with all the players out there.
     
  4. malcom

    malcom
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    Agreed. I instinctively put RAM at the top because I hate the + format and RAM/R machines are the cheapest way into quality DVD recording with any degree of sensible functionality. But you are right if the poster can afford then a HDD/RAM machine should be at the top of the list.
     
  5. stephen19

    stephen19
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    Thanks for the replies. I asked about seamless playback because a post I read here last night was on about it and said that it was not applicable to dvd-ram.

    How customisable is the quality of the recordings? I'm fussy about artifacts so I would like as little compression as possible, so I see your points about having a hdd.
     
  6. PhilipL

    PhilipL
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    Hi

    The best recording mode for the least artefacts is 1 hour of video per disc.

    Panasonic's DVD-RAM/DVD-R or Pioneers DVD-RW/DVD-R recorders both allow you a Flexible recording option for footage that lasts longer than 1 hour.

    For example: A Philips recorder has rates giving you 1 hour or 1 hour 30 minutes. So if your footage is 1 hour 5 minutes, you are forced to the 1 hour 30 minutes mode that gives you a disc with 25 minutes of freespace that could have been filled with a better quality recording.

    Panasonic/Pioneer recorders will allow you to select a recording time of 1 hour 5 minutes, so you get the best quality possible without wasted space on the disc.

    DVD-RW/DVD-R is a good format now we have the new Pioneers. Not only do they offer time-slip and non-linear editing just like DVD-RAM, but you can also choose to record to DVD-RW (at the expense of editing features) that will play on other DVD Players, something DVD-RAM can not offer.

    VR Mode is used on DVD-RAM and DVD-RW, this is a newer format than that used on standard DVD Videos, but provides non-linear editing features, freespace management, and things like "time-slip", as importantly it also provides defect management, so scratches, dust or damage to the disc can be skipped over without loss of a recording. Many newer DVD Players will play DVD-RW in the VR mode, but as DVD-RAM is physically different, not so many DVD Players accept DVD-RAM.

    The Video mode is always used on DVD-R and is basically DVD Video, like bought DVDs. On DVD-RW, because it is just like a DVD-R but re-recordable, you can choose to record using the Video mode on that instead of the VR mode. These DVD-RW discs then have a very good chance of playing on most DVD Players. There is no point using the DVD Video mode on DVD-RAM as it is physically different so wouldn't play in standard DVD Players anyway, so you do not get the option on DVD-RAM recorders. Because the Video mode is DVD Video, and that format was never designed to be recordable, it can only have limited editing features. +RW pushes the boundary somewhat with the DVD Video format to allow a bit more editing, however this is complicated to achieve and leads to lots of errors and broken machines.

    One critism of DVD-RW was that once you had recorded and finalised the disc (made it compatible), you couldn't add anymore to it, you had to basically erase it completely to reuse it. This isn't the case on new Pioneer models, that allow you to add to it or select different menus in the same way you can with +RW.

    Regards

    Philip
     
  7. hornydragon

    hornydragon
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    If you are looking at Sky+ and high media compatibility then JVC-DM1 might be worth a look, PS play output, highly compatible BUT no RGB in So limited to S-Video, lower quality than RGB so possibly not what you are after.
    What is your budget? HS2 £550, DMR- E50 £250, DM1 £350.
    Do you have Digital comcorder/camera ? DVD writer on PC? What TV?
     
  8. stephen19

    stephen19
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    Hi. No digital camcorder, so an input for that is unneccessary. I do have a dvd multiformat drive on my pc for editing recordings on the pc later, eg to remove adverts.
     
  9. hornydragon

    hornydragon
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    Then JVC is of little use. I say Panny E50 the way to go as long as PC will read Ram discs and you are happy to PC edit.
     
  10. phelings

    phelings
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    Philips recorders do not have a 1.5 hour level-its 1 hour then 2.So DVD- FR is even more useful if you have something like a 75 minute show to record.
    Malcolm is referring to me in his above rant.But I have a RAM recorder,acknowledge its superiority,apart from HDD,but I feel the market would be simpler,and DVD+ would not be storming ahead,if RAM were replaced by -RW in Panasonic machines.RAM will always have a niche,but those prepared to put cost over everything,and will buy something like a Mico ,even with Panny or Philips at only £25 extra,are only interested in simplicity.RAM is great,but its not simple like DVD+,and thats why these supermarket cheapies(all DVD+) are flying off the shelves.With DVD-R,you have some machines paired with -RW,others with RAM,it complicates the market,and most people offered compatibility or editing will go the simple and cheap route.
     
  11. hornydragon

    hornydragon
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    The people who buy their TV, Hi-Fi and DVDplayer/recorder at tesco or sainsburys even aldi are not those who necassarily know what they want or how to use it. £200 gets you a very basic DVD-recorder, No RGB-in, no time slip etc £250 gets you one with all of these!
    Also how many people will use these in composite mode only, will try and connect YUV output to the composite+stereo TV input etc etc etc?!?
    Personally anybody who bothers to even research the product so much as too look on the internet can make up their own mind as to what is and isnt worth spending £25 on.
     
  12. hotmetal

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    I find it funny that my local Sainsburys has the Mico recorder on sale but only has dvd-r and rw media for sale. How many punters have returned their machine as non working because the wrong media was bought to go with it. Just shows that even sainsburys don't understand what they are selling
    I personally have a Panny E60 and am very happy with it. DVD-ram disks are only about £3 or a fiver double sided in a caddy when bought of the net and the flexible record is great. A fine companion to Sky+ especially as I have a ram drive in the PC so I can edit commercials etc, burn a new DVD-r and reuse the ram disk over and over again.
     
  13. pio5100h

    pio5100h
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    PhilipL,
    That is one great summary of the formats from you !
    I wish something like that would be included in a lot of magazines and leaflets, cause now a lot of nonsense and inaccute information is still being published.
    As we know most have no knowledge (or won't admit) that the '-' format has also evolved (have a good look at the new pioneers, as you say).
    Also what you say about +RW is worth telling. Yes, it surely is great in theory (to extend the bounderies of DVD Video), but the technical implementation should remain reliable.
    I see no reason to have to (ex-)change DVD recorder each and every year, simply because the ("+") machine's laser is suddenly "off" or the firmware is incomplete.
    Sell me whatever format machine, as long as it works (and stays that way for many, many years).
    Not that it matters, but I personally would prefer any *RAM* machine from a mere technical point of view. 100.000 re-writes on one cheap disc, isn't that wonderfull technology ?
     
  14. Ged

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    I bought the 890 for the exchange disc, compatibility of the format.
    After reliability issues I bought the E50, this did though fail as it had problems which naffed me off especially as the 890 hadn't!
    So with some good fortune I was bought the HS2....
    HDD and any form of subsequent archiving is just the D'S B's...
    Choose what suits, but the HDD steals the show I use it like my old VCR and only save the odd thing, it's proper Bo' I tell the
     
  15. bobbles

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    I would again just repeat a few others go for a HD version.

    I myself thought they were a bit pointless when I bought my E30, they were also much more expensive. I am now looking to upgrade.

    If you plan to archive, as you already own sky+ for timeshifting I asume you do, go for a HD version
     
  16. Billilu

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    Can someone please explain how, in practice, one might use Sky+ alongside a Hard drive/DVD recorder? Presumably you can't transfer Sky + recordings to the other HD - or can you? Or would you use the 2nd HD for terrestrial recordings only?
     
  17. kenfowler3966

    kenfowler3966
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    You would record to the hard drive from sky the same way you would to a video. This allows yoy to edit out all the ads and over-run before archiving to write once media. Of course if you don't mind all the extras you can go straight to a dvd.

    I see no need to get sky+ now I have a HS2. It only takes a few minutes to set it up to record everything I want to watch either from analogue for speed or from the digibox in combination with the epg and there is little need for the second tuner or dual record as most programs are repeated again that day or week if there is a clash.

    Basically unless you want the enhanced epg and second tuner sky+ is an expensive luxury if you already have the hdd recorder. Particularly so if you don't bother with the premium channels so would have to pay a monthly sub for it.
     
  18. malcom

    malcom
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    Same old rubbish phelings. You are doing your best to frighten people away from RAM.

    RAM is simple and ideal to use and you know it.
     
  19. phelings

    phelings
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    Malcolm,despite what you say RAM is not as simple to use as any other format,even if for no other reason than the multitude of options it offers-as many as HDD.With DVD+RW you stick in a disc,press record -thats it.With RAM,you can do the same,but then you look at the manual and start looking at playlists-partial erase-dividing-editing etc.Great format but certainly not simple.I have a RAM machine,and have had a Philips machine-so I can compare the 2.I would suggest you have not.So its you talking rubbish-again.
    It may be ideal for your use,but the punter prepared to throw £200 down on a Sainsburys counter for a piece of high tech equipment just wants a vcr replacement.
    RAM is dead ,almost,in the PC market,which has simplified that area greatly-its just a matter of + or -.Although RAM is a brilliant format,its prescence in the STB market,is giving the simple DVD+ format a headstart and holding the DVD- format back as the officilal formats get lost in their own war-RAM versus -RW.
    Malcolm-what is your explanation for DVD+'s massive strides into the market.Its not simply prices.
     

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