Which dvd recorder for sky+

Discussion in 'Blu-ray & DVD Players & Recorders' started by forest stu, Oct 25, 2003.

  1. forest stu

    forest stu
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    I am hoping to buy a dvd recorder soon and want to know which would suit me most. I have sky+ and would mainly use the recorder for keeping movies, i would also want it to playback in Dolby digital 5.1. I run my current dvd player through s-video as i have a seperate sound system. Any advice

    Cheers
    Forest Stu
     
  2. Rasczak

    Rasczak
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    Firstly I should point out that there are no DVD recorders currently available that offer RECORDING in 5.1. They all record in Dolby Digital but it recorded from a standard analogue in source. The KISS 550 is supposed to offer Digital In recording but it isn't available yet and, given the quality of KISS products, probably won't be anything that hot. Still I could be wrong on this.

    By far the best option is a HDD/DVDR combo - there are several available (in price order): the Toshiba RX3, Panasonic HS2, Pioneer 5100, Panasonic E100. All are good machines although only the Panasonic models have RGB in (which is useful if recording from Sky as it allows you to record the best possible picture). However your Sky+ box does have an S-Video socket so you may also want to look at the Pioneer and Toshiba models.

    The benefits of a HDD/DVDR are huge. They allow you to record all programmes to the HDD in the best quality setting, edit and dub to DVD-R wasting no space on the disk. No 'standalone' system can come close unless you use a PC. Personally I use Sky+ with a Panasonic HS2.

    If you can't quite stretch the budget to a HDD/DVDR combo then you need to consider your options closely. Unless you are prepared to use a PC then you'll have to make some sacrifices.

    If you purchase a DVD recorder from Panasonic, Toshiba or Samsung then you'll be able to record onto DVD-RAM (where you have excellent editting facilities but limited compatibility with existing players) or onto DVD-R (where you have no editting facilities but the best possible compatibility with existing players). A Flexible record option allows you to fill the disk (maximising quality).

    If you purchase a DVD recorder from Pioneer or Sony then you'll be able to record to DVD-RW in either 'Video Mode' (where you have no editting facilities but the good compatibility with existing players) or 'VR Mode' (where, like DVD-RAM, you get powerful editting but limited compatibility). A large number of quality settings allows you to fill the disk (maximising quality).

    If you purchase a DVD recorder from JVC then you'll be able to record onto DVD-RAM, DVD-RW or DVD-R. Again a large number of quality settings allows you to fill the disk (maximising quality).

    If you buy a Philips you can record onto the (unofficial) DVD+RW format. This will play in many DVD players and allows you to 'hide' scenes you don't want to view (although note this is not an accurate process). There is no flexible record equivalent on the Philips models.

    Now having typed all this I realise I haven't yet answered your question. Well I would say if you can possibly afford it buy a HDD/DVDR combo (unless you are certain you don't want to make compatible, editted recordings OR you wish to use your PC for authoring). Second choice would be either a Panasonic or Sony standalone (as both offer RGB in, record to DVD-R media and, if you "mainly want to record movies off Sky" then don't need editting).
     
  3. mark67

    mark67
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    Not wanting HI-Jack this thread :eek:,
    But could I ask Rasczak, what are your thoughts on the Pioneer DVR-5100 compared to say a Panasonic DMR-60EBS, or the Sony GSX7 (not HDD, I know).

    I never thought it would be agonising choosing a DVD Recorder :zonked: :zonked: .

    Thanks.
     
  4. Rasczak

    Rasczak
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    The Pioneer 5100 is one of the best/most flexible pieces of AV kit I think I've seen. If it only had RGB in I would open up shop and sell them myself. But it doesn't which is a major omission IMHO given that the sources we primarily record from in the UK are going to be Sky, Freeview or Cable - all of which offer RGB out.

    The Panasonic E60 is a great piece of kit - but to compare it to a HDD/DVDR combo is unfair. If you don't want a HDD/DVDR combo (perhaps because you don't want to make editted recordings of Sky, or you wish to use your PC for authoring etc) and you want to make RGB recordings from Sky, record concerts on TV or need iLink then the E60 is the best budget recorder available.

    The Sony GX7 has 'grown on me' over the last few months as the price has dropped. Initially it was very, very expensive for what it was (essentially a machine with the same functionality as an E60). It is still expensive but does offer an RGB compatible route for DVD-RW users. The support of DVD+RW seems a 'needless gimmick' given that, in use, recording onto a plus disk is similar to recording on a minus disk - only with the latter you get the option of editting facilities (if you record in VR mode) whereas with the plus disk you don't. I suppose it sold more units for Sony - but the consumer ended up paying for something that doesn't really bring much of a benefit.
     
  5. mark67

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    Thanks for the reply.
    I suppose I am starting to repeat myself some what, so I do appolgise.

    1: I want to record/erase from the TV on a day basis. Maybe keep the odd film permenantly.
    2: Use it with my Tag AV32 for the best possible sound.
    3: Play back copied DVD's from friends, with the best possible picture and lend to friends.
    4: Use CD/RW and DVD/RW.

    Can you recommend a Machine?

    Thanks for bearing with me.
     
  6. Rasczak

    Rasczak
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    Mark,

    Give your requirements I would look at a DVD-RW machine. The specific machine depends upon whether you prefer RGB or S-Video.

    IF YOU PREFER RGB
    Buy a Sony model - either the GX3 or GX7. The latter offers iLink and better playback ability. If you don't need either or these then opt for the GX3 as it's cheaper. If you record on DVD-RW you will have a good medium for day-to-day use and it will play in most DVD players.

    IF YOU DON'T FEEL YOU NEED RGB IN
    If you can afford it buy the Pioneer 5100. If you can't/don't want a HDD/DVDR combo then the Pioneer 3100 (the non-HDD one) and JVC DMR1 are both candidates. Have a look at their respective specifications/features and see which you prefer. Again recording onto DVD-RW you'll be be able to share you recordings and have a good medium for daily re-use.

    I would recommend a Panasonic HDD/DVDR combo - but as one of your requirements was to share re-writeable disks I haven't mentioned it. Still the Panasonic HS2 does RGB in, is available at around £550. It writes to DVD-RAM (largely incompatible) and DVD-R (very compatible). What many HS2 users do (myself included) is buy a cheap spindle of DVD-R disks for 'sharing' purposes (you can get them for 50p each). Still it's an additional option you may want to consider.

    I'm sorry I can't advise a specific machine - but the situation just isn't that clear cut. Hopefully you can read through this post and get to a conclusion.
     

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