Which Sony DVD Recorder

Discussion in 'Blu-ray & DVD Players & Recorders' started by Steve F, May 11, 2005.

  1. Steve F

    Steve F
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    Hi I have managed to get my hands on a RDR GX300 and wanted to get opinions, before I open it and cannot take it back, if this machine is better or worse than the newer model the GX210?

    I have looked through the forum and see there have been quite a few comments on the 210 but the guy in the shop was not overly helpful in describing the two machines.

    Any comments on either machine greatly received. If you think I am mad and should go for a different make then let me know. My set up is JVC AV28R4s with Sky Plus.
     
  2. Rasczak

    Rasczak
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    Your better off withe GX300. The GX210 is the updated model but has an RGB passthrough problem associated with it. Effectively the two models are very similar in performance and features.
     
  3. Bloomsburybill

    Bloomsburybill
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    I had a GX210, and had to return it because of the RGB problem. So far Sony do not appear to have come up with a fix for this, and the consensus appears to be that it affects all or nearly all machines. You certainly shouldn't buy a GX210 until this issue has been resolved.

    The most obvious difference between the two machines is that the GX300 does not have DV input for a digital video camera. If you need this, then you would need to get hold of the GX700 (now discontinued), which seems to be pretty much the same as the GX300 but with DV in added.

    I was rather bounced into ordering the GX210 without access to the full specs, for reasons that I won't go into. I was very disappointed with it. Obviously the fact that it would not accept RGB, as it said it should, was a major problem.

    However, let's cover the GX210's advantages first:

    The GX210 can read jpegs, whereas the GX700 cannot. The GX210 rather neatly gives you a little thumbnail for every chapter in a title, so that you can quickly go to where you want to in a film. Er... that's it. In other forums there has been a suggestion that the picture is better with the GX210, but I think that this has turned out to be a compatibility issue between the GX300 and a particular Panasonic TV. I think that that the picture on the GX210 and the GX700 is equally good, and that is very good indeed.

    Now to the GX700's advantages (shared by the GX300):

    This has chasing playback on DVD-RWs. This is one of those features which seems to be a bit of a gimmick until you have it. Then you can't live without it. I can already rewind live TV on my freeview PVR, but if I am transferring something over to DVD, and I want to start watching it from the beginning, then I can do so without mucking up the download.

    It also has synchro edit, i.e. the machine can be set to start recording as soon as it receives a signal (via SCART) from an external source. This means that you can use the timer in the external source, which is much more convenient than programming timers on both machines.

    DVD-RW editing is definitely cleaner on the GX700. Sony has been criticised for the fact that a brief freeze is introduced at edited points, and this seems to be about the same on both machines. However, when you insert an edit point on the GX210, the edit is actually done at a slightly different point, and the error can be nearly a second. Neat editing was therefore impossible. On the GX700, the edit is done at exactly the point that you have placed the edit point. You cannot preview the edit (as you can on the JVC DR-M10) but you don't need to, as the machine does exactly what you have asked.

    The GX700 has very clever editing from a digital video camera (using the DV in via i.link). You can edit on a DVD-RW, and then reproduce the same edited footage on another DVD-RW (or possibly even onto a DVD-R, I haven't tried). Obviously this doesn't apply to the GX300 which doesn't have a DV in.

    After that, we are down to rather more superficial differences. The build quality on the GX700 seems much better than on the GX210 (and more so with the GX300 which doesn't have the GX700's peculiar 2mm protrusion of the disc tray when closed). The tray opens and closes much more smoothly. The menus are much more enjoyable to use on the GX700; they elegantly slide in and out of view. Call me superficial, but this really adds to my enjoyment of the machine! There are many more menu options, allowing for processing of the signal coming in when recording and of the signal coming out when playing (video and audio). However, this is only really relevant when you want to clean up the picture from some ancient old VHS recording. I have various noise reductions on my TV already, so I don't think that I'll be making much use of these features. As I remember the connections at the back, whilst good on the GX210, are better on the GX700 (I think that there is an extra standard video input on the GX700, and the SCARTs take S-video signal on the GX700 but not on the GX210).

    At full price, the GX700 would be quite a bit more expensive than the GX210, but with some haggling you should be able to get a GX700 for only about £50 more, as it has been discontinued.

    As regards other machines, I am totally sold on DVD-RWs, as being cheaper than DVD-RAMs but with much better editing than DVD+RWs (both Sonys, of course, can record onto DVD- and DVD+). The only other make I considered therefore was the Pioneer DVR 320 (also discontinued but still available with some dealers), and I decided against this because in the UK it doesn't have component video output (and hence no progressive scan). I have to say, with my 26" widescreen TV this is probably not a very important criterion as S-video or RGB via SCART give a perfectly good picture, and the benefits of progressive are hardly detectable. But I imagine that with a bigger TV you might notice this. The new range of Pioneers, out in the autumn, will have component video output with progressive scan. Finally, if you are prepared to pay quite a bit more, perhaps you should wait for the next round of Sony machines, which will have a digital tuner on board (at the moment only the GXD500 has, and this machine is otherwise rather underspecified).
     
  4. apj30

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    Stick with the GX300.

    The only advantages the 210 currently has over it are:

    DV input/output
    Zoom (but limited to 2x, 4x and 8x)
    JPEG viewing (on a Photo CD)
    Picture thumbnails

    Disadvantages of the 210 are:

    Major bug with RGB pass-through
    Doesn't look as good (IMHO)

    Andy
     
  5. dhop

    dhop
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    does the 510 have the rgb problem. :confused:
     
  6. JAMIN

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    Does anybody know if the problem with the RGB has been resolved yet? I will be buying a recorder very soon & am looking at spending around £200. If the Sony still has the problems are there any other models which people could suggest (would like a Dv input if possible).
     
  7. Chris at Home

    Chris at Home
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    [QUOTE DVD-RW editing is definitely cleaner on the GX700. Sony has been criticised for the fact that a brief freeze is introduced at edited points, and this seems to be about the same on both machines. However, when you insert an edit point on the GX210, the edit is actually done at a slightly different point, and the error can be nearly a second. Neat editing was therefore impossible. On the GX700, the edit is done at exactly the point that you have placed the edit point. You cannot preview the edit (as you can on the JVC DR-M10) but you don't need to, as the machine does exactly what you have asked.[/QUOTE]

    I find it odd that the GX210 should behave this way on a DVD-RW. My HX900 give edits to the nearest frame (40 milliseconds), likewise the HDD edits, but on DVD+RW, it always edits out slightly fewer frames than you set. The start point of an edit may be up to 11 frames late while the end point may be up to 10 frames early.

    The trick here is to deliberately edit a few frames too many at each end and the end result should be (as near as dammit) spot on. Most of my edits are erasing commercials and there is usually a 1 second blackout available immediately before/after the 4 minute advertising slot.

    On all edits I find a frame freeze (which is longest on DVD+RW for some reason) but the secret here is to put the start point of the edit at or immediately after the end frame of the part you wish to keep. Frustrating at times, but practice makes perfect ... well, most of the time!
     
  8. ArtS

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    Question about GX210 and/or HX510

    Does frame inaccuracy occur on DVD-RW in VR mode too? I thought it is only DVD-RW Video Mode problem.
    By the way, I would like to know if Sony can cut titles on HDD and -RW VR Mode with exact frame accurate.

    ArtS.
     
  9. murrayp

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    I got the HX510 a few days ago so I've only done limited testing and others will perhaps have more detail.

    I found that you can make edits to HDD recordings that look 100% frame accurate when you play them back from the HDD, BUT...

    When I then transferred an edited recording from HDD to DVD+RW, ripped it onto my PC and loaded it into an editor the cuts weren't frame accurate - the video included a full GOP on each side of the cut. Somehow this got hidden on HDD playback.

    I can't yet tell you what happens with -RW but I'll be testing this over the weekend.
     
  10. ArtS

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    Thanks murrayp,

    please, try to do the same with -RW in VR mode. I think, it should be work well.
    Of course, I'll be waiting for results.

    ArtS
     
  11. Chris at Home

    Chris at Home
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    I had the same problem when I did high speed dubbing from HDD to DVD. At least half a dozen edited frames were originally masked off each side of the cut point when the HDD edit was done. They reappeared on the DVD.

    Now... When I used same-speed dubbing, the frames did not reappear. Don't ask me why. I did not design the apparatus... I just use it.
     
  12. alan.n

    alan.n
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    I bought a cheap goodmans recorder, it went wrong. So I bought a Sony GX210 and now that has developed a fault after 2 months use, the tray keeps opening saying it will not read the discs that were recorded. Took it back to Makro for a refund and they said sorry sir it will have to be repaired just because they have a 28 day notice. Also the repair will take up to 28 days so be very weary when you buy Sony products made in China.

    Update on the Sony GX210. Owing to the delays to get spares on this machine I now have a complete refund and have bought a Philips DVD recorder 520H which is produced in China, what can I say.
     

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