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what do you guys think of hdd?

Discussion in 'Blu-ray & DVD Players & Recorders' started by Halloween Jack, Oct 26, 2004.

  1. Halloween Jack

    Halloween Jack
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    i was going to buy a dvd recorder in a few months but since my players just bust i thought now might be a good time.

    so hdd, is worth the extra cost? i like the idea of it and mostly i record disposable stuff but i'm wondering if i should pay the extra and get hdd. would it be better to get sky + or tevo? i'm in the uk.

    i'm also swaying towards the panasonic field as i like the idea of non-linear editing (like taking ads out) any thoughts?
     
  2. tabatha

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    It sounds like an HDD would be ideal for your needs. I can't remember the last time I used a VHS tape. Time shifting is exceedingly useful as is being able to watch a program or DVD whilst simultaneously recording a "live" programme to hard disk.

    Not to mention "pause" when the phone/doorbell rings. There is little doubt that the Panasonics are probably the "creme de la creme" but you might also find the Toshiba RDXS32 a good buy.
     
  3. bigsby

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    I've got a Panny E85 and it's great, but there are pros and cons of Sky & DVDR with HD vs. Sky+ & DVDR.

    For example, recording programmes on Sky+ is much easier than having to set the timer on the E85, make sure the sky box is on the right channel etc.

    On the other hand, if you don't have premium channels (like me) then you have to pay extra for Sky+ and you can't high speed dub stuff you want to keep from the sky to the DVDR. Having to do everything in real time would be a bit of a pain.

    Then again, Sky+ (£100) and a Panny E55 (sub £200) could cost less than an E85 (around £400 now?)

    So it looks like swings and roundabouts mate! Don't supposed that's helped to make your mind up! ;)
     
  4. OARDVD

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    Short answer: YES! (for many people).

    Long answer: If you value picture quality, want good editing and you need excellent play compatibility, then only a machine with an HDD will optimise all of these. That means you need either an HDD enabled DVD recorder OR a PC. The PC allows the most flexibility but it’s slow. Assuming that you would rather save time, then a DVD recorder with an HDD is better. It allows you to speedily perform fairly sophisticated editing on the HDD then losslessly copy to write-once DVD-R which is the format with the highest compatibility (>90%). By the way, if you want to add more fancy menus then you can always copy it to a PC afterwards anyway.

    Non-HDD machines allow you to record & edit directly on re-writable DVDs, but with these machines you are not optimising the disc space. In other words, when you’ve taken out the unwanted sections on the DVD, a lot of the space is not being used for what you’ve recorded. This is important if you’re recording a single movie, for example, and you want the highest possible picture quality.

    An additional advantage with an HDD recorder is that you can record many more titles than on a single DVD (useful if you want to record when you go on holiday for example). Most HDD machines allow at least 20 entries in the timer.

    If you do decide to go for a machine with an HDD then I would advise you get one that has:

    1) Flexible Recording (or manual settings) to optimise the bit rate to completely fill a DVD
    2) An option to re-encode from the HDD to DVD
    3) A split utility on the HDD.

    Regards,

    OARDVD
     
  5. Kevo

    Kevo
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    HDD is ideal with today's 'throaway garbage' that they put out on TV these days.

    In the year that I've had my DVDRAM/HDD recorder (Pan E100) I've only ever archived one programme to DVD-R and thet was The Office Xmas Special last Xmas!

    You'll probably find that you'll mainly use recordable DVDs to transfer your old VHS tapes and camcorder footage to.
     
  6. phelings

    phelings
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    Unless you plan to keep/archive recordings go for Sky+.
    If you do want a HDD/DVDR machine,Pioneer use -RW which also allows for editing so bear that in mind when selecting.The Toshiba currently available is probably the best deal as it offers RAM/-RW/-R/HDD,custom menus and is between £300 and £350
     
  7. Halloween Jack

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    thx guys. i'll have a look at the pana e85 or e100. is there much difference?
     
  8. bobcar

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    If you mostly record disposable stuff then Sky+ would be by far the best bet, people who recommend standard Sky with a seperate HDD have either never used Sky+ or are heavily into editing/archiving. If you archive sometimes then a DVDR or if you do a lot a DVDR with HDD.

    This cannot be emphasised enough, Sky+ is massively superior to a seperate HDD/DVDR for temporary storage/ time shifting. Advantages include EPG, recording one channel whilst watching another, recording 2 channels at once, red dot removal (very important) and its very easy (and quick) to use.
     
  9. Rasczak

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    I agree with this statement. Sky+ is the easiest to use Digital Recorder whose recordings do not suffer any loss in picture qulaity. If you have Sky I would strongly recommend getting Sky+. The ideal accompanying machine is, of course, a HDD/DVDR combo.

    Of course if you don't subscribe to the premium Sky channels or don't want to pay £10 per month then a HDD/DVDR recorder alone does a good job. Look at the Toshiba RDXS32 though as this can control your existing Digibox whereas the Panasonic range cannot.
     
  10. pjclark1

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    waste of money
    dvd recorder with or without hdd, I've had one for a year and only used it 4 times as a recorder. Divx player much more useful as any tv proggy you want is available for download. Use your pc more and the money you save on not getting the recorder can pay your broadband fees.
     
  11. OARDVD

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    The E100 is a little older and I think it may now be officially discontinued (but it’s still available & is shown on the UK Panasonic website as a ‘current’ model).

    Some features the E100 has which the E85 doesn’t are:

    Firewire input for DV camcorders
    SD & PC Card slots for JPEG and MPEG 4
    Better build quality (ie. case is a little sturdier & unit is made in Japan)

    Some features the E85 has which the E100 doesn’t are:

    PAL progressive scan
    Ability to dub from DVD-R to HDD (real time only)
    Record in EP 8 hour mode

    In addition the E85 has a new direct navigator for HDD & RAM that shows the programmes which have been recorded as pages with 6 thumbnails on each (one for each programme). Apparently it can be a bit slow at loading the thumbnails up when paging through. The E100 uses a simpler list of programme titles which is faster to scroll through. On both units you can directly access a programme by entering its position number.

    I’ve had an E100 for nearly a year and I’m very pleased with it. Unlike Kevo I’ve archived over 200 DVD-Rs on it. I’ve not used an E85 so I’m sure owners may be able to add to what I’ve said.
     
  12. Halloween Jack

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    i'm a bit confused now, half of you say hdd is great half say go for sky +. i've currently got sky with movies and sport so perhaps this is better, but is it easy to archive from it's hdd to dvdr? and take out ads etc? why would i need a dvdr/hdd as well? surely just a dvdr would do the trick?

    pjclark1, i looked up divx but didn't really understand how it could be implemented. can you really download tv progs as well as films? and is this legal? what is the procedure, do you download stuff (i already have broadband) then burn a dvd and watch it on your dvd player?

    thx all
     
  13. Kevo

    Kevo
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    What...off air recordings, 200 DVD-Rs?

    Have I missed something?
     
  14. pjclark1

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    Yep, I download tv series (xvid or divx usually) burn the files to dvdrw and watch them on my Dk Digital player. Takes about 2hr to download a 45 min episode. Last week I downloaded the entire enterprise season 3, 24 episodes (took 3 days)
    Is it illegal? now that's a really good question
    I can't see the difference between recording it off air & downloading it off the internet, can you?
     
  15. OARDVD

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    No, you're right, a lot of them have been from VHS & camcorder tapes! :)
     
  16. OARDVD

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    Well if you don't want to do much editing then a Sky+/DVDR combo might well be suitable for you.
     
  17. Rasczak

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    The core benefit of a HDD/DVDR combo is that it allows you to make editted recordings, at the highest possible quality and then dub them to DVD-R which will play on almost all DVD players. If you get a standalone DVDR then you can either edit or make recordings that play on other DVD players - you can't do both (unless you get a Philips when you lose-lose as you can't do either well) - hence the reason these units are so popular. Equally good results can be achieved with a standalone DVDR and a PC burner but the whole process isn't quite as slick (although you get more power over menus etc).

    Sky+ on the other hand is the ultimate (Sky) timeshifter - ideal for daily recording but useless (obviously) for archiving or lending to your mates. If you can afford it get both - most users here have Sky+ and a HDD/DVDR because it is the best combination.
     
  18. Kevo

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    Thought as much. Probably one of, if not thee best use for recordable DVDs, archiving old video & camcorder tapes
     
  19. Rob20

    Rob20
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    Personally I wouldn't buy a dvd recorder without a HDD. It's that essential.
     
  20. phelings

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    The ideal is for Sky+ and a HDD/DVDR combo.Sky+ is the best for everyday use and you will certainly get better value from your subscription.
    A DVDR/HDD is a necessity if you want to keep anything.You should get a dvdr only as a last resort,even with Sky+.
    As for downloading programmes-what tosh.2 hours for a 45 minute show,very useful!!
     
  21. Halloween Jack

    Halloween Jack
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    pjclark, where can you d/l progs from? that'd be great for progs i missed, the simpsons or indeed enterprise and voyagers i missed. i guess at some stage bbc, itv etc will have the facilities to d/l all thier progs from a library, can't be that far over the horizon?

    so the divx is a codec that allows you to d/l at a realistic speed? is it possible to burn stuff to a dvd after then watch them on a standard dvd player?

    also i don't quite get why a dvdr/hdd combo and sky + is a good combo. why do you guys use a hdd and sky+?
     
  22. Rasczak

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    As I described in post #17 in this thread because it allows you to make the highest quality, editted recordings that play on virtually every DVD player! Sky+ is a timeshifter, HDD/DVDR is for (basic) editting. You need a HDD to been able to edit and arrange your recordings before dubbing to DVD-R media at the highest possible quality.
     
  23. bobcar

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    It depends partly on how much you record to keep. If like me you only record to keep once every 3 or 4 weeks then a DVDR without HDD is fine. If you record more often you can edit the recording on a HDD to remove the adverts and thus cram more programming onto the same amount of disks at the same PQ.

    A DVDR with a HDD costs around £200 more than one without so it depends whether the extra cost is worth it to you. If you record a lot then the HDD can save you money (less blank DVDs).

    The above comments assume you have a Sky+ for time shifting otherwise a DVDR/HDD combi has many other advantages over a plain DVDR.
     
  24. Neville Street

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    1. I record Shoebox Zoo on Sky+ each week for my kids (still missing episode 1 - anyone?). I copy them overnight across to the Toshiba HDD from Sky+, usually with other stuff too, say 5 hours total. I then mark the beginning and end of the programme using chapter marks and either delete the chapters that are Sky padding or make a playlist of just the programmes. I then dub programmes only to DVD-R to play in the kitchen or the car. Kids happy, no extraneous material.

    2. I record Glastonbury coverage over the whole weekend on Sky+ (Still missing some of the Saturday coverage (Sky+ crashed) and all of the Sunday coverage (Sky+ full) - anyone?). I then copy it all over to the HDD and remove all the waffle leaving just the 20 or so songs I want and make a DVD of it for me to keep and use (this one is a work in progress due to missing bits:))

    That covers the editing elements.

    There are lots of other advantages, e.g. record 2 things at once on Sky+ and watch a recording (DVD or HDD) or live/timeslip terrestrial on Tosh. Or indeed record 2 things on Sky+, record a terrestrial on Tosh and watch a live TV on the TV tuner. This last example assumes that there are 4 things worth watching/recording on at once, which I will grant you, is a long shot :rotfl:

    Hope that helps the original poster with his conundrum!
     

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