I am looking to get a new stand alone DVD recorder with a HDD my current one is no longer reconizing DVD-r discs, and when it does and I go to record to disc, it grinds and stops and 'Cannot record to disc' comes up on the screen.
My current record is a Pioneer DVR-640H and I have no pioneer repair shops in my area that work on recorders only players.
So I figure I need a new recorder, I opened it up to clean the laser eye but it looked a little harder to open up compared to the Panasonic dvd recorders. So I did not even bother, too many wires taped up over the casing for the DVD drive. I'd be afraid I'd ruin it further lol.
So any help on getting a new DVD recorder with a HDD would be much appreciated.
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What country? Here in the USA they are scarce as hen's teeth.
opps sorry yup USA.
And I know I have been searching, and only come up with some on ebay mostly. and just need advice on a good brand and model right now the Pioneer has a 160gig hard drive. I would like something near that if possible but if I need to go lower for better quaility or filters etc then fine heh.
Everything is now gone: the last decent machines in North America were the Phillips/Magnavox in USA and the Pioneer x60 models in Canada. All were recently discontinued and will not be updated with replacement models. I strongly urge you to consider the Pioneer 460s currently listed by several reliable eBay vendors for approx $229-249 Buy It Now. These are the final Pioneer recorders (they are exiting the recorder business altogether), and they are very good: similar to your 640 but with better 12-bit video encoder, more multimedia handling, a DV camera input, HDMI output.
The grinding noise and media errors you are seeing on your 640 are common as these recorders reach their third birthdays, at a certain point the burners start wearing out. Based on my long-term experience with a 640, I can offer you two hopeful possibilities. The 640 burner is affected strangely by weather as it ages, mine has gone thru periods where it grinds and fails for a month or so during seasonal shifts in humidity until it settles down again: this may be happening to you. Another issue is the burner slowly loses its ability to cope with retail 16x media, until in the final stages the only media it accepts is the older 8x formula. Look online and buy some 8x Taiyo Yuden (TY), Verbatim DataLife 8x, or Sony 8x. My three year old 640 will now only burn the TY, occasionally it will accept Sony 16x successfully but it usually fails with the grinding noise symptom. For the last three months I have not had any failures with 8x, so try it on yours- you may get another year out of your 640 using the slower discs. BTW don't try to open the burner to clean it unless you're totally willing to wreck the machine: the 640 uses a hybrid motherboard/disc controller sandwiched into the burner which makes disassembly tricky, and the damn burner is practically welded into the chassis anyway.
THanks for the info on my recorder, I will see if I can grab one of the 460s on Buy it now off ebay
Must all be sold out I couldn't find a single 460 model many 645s though those seemed to be in Australia, I couldn't find any sellers in Canada selling DVD recorders. I will keep looking on ebay.
Last week's listings closed out over this weekend. Relistings of additional stock have already started: I see one 460 just went up auction-style. There are three steady Canadian dealers, usually two of the three have both auction and Buy It Now available any given week. The dealer with the current listing is the newest but has racked up impressive feedback selling nothing but the DVR-460 over the last few months. The other two dealers, joe7900 and bestcostelectronique, have been selling surplus "new open box" Pioneers for the last three years: I have purchased (for myself and family) 540, 450, and 460 models from both dealers with no problems.
The eBay search engine is often brain-dead if you use it to look for a specific model: it returns no hits. The best way to pull up the 460 listings is to run a search for the generic phrase "Pioneer dvd recorder".
Cool thanks I am watching the one and then I noticed another Pioneer I think its a 500 it does both NTSC and PAL dvds but is over a grand lolol I searched joe7900 only found them selling one item and bestcostelectronique I could not locate the seller, ebay said invalid ID.
Well, you could try a disc cleaner. I had burning problems before on my Pioneer 520 and it did work believe it or not (and I always thought these things were bull before). The one I used was a Maxell, with a brush inside. Then I used good media and I was fine.
If that doesn't work, then it's time to go shopping. Repairing it would probably be more expensive than getting a new one. Orsetto has lead you in the right direction.
But, let me mention, that I don't care any more whether or not my burner works now. I have no need to burn any longer with my 520 due to its DV-Out port. If you can score a Pioneer 520 on eBaY, then you have it made - you can transfer the video content via DV-Out port. Here's a thread showing how it's done if you're interested in bidding on one.
http://forum.videohelp.com/topic366035.htmlBeen away for a while and busy with work the last few months so I had no time for forums. My apologies for any emails I couldn't get to in time - missed you all! :-)
You should clean your laser, you're supposed to do that. Worked for me & mine records again.
Originally Posted by PuzZLeR
Originally Posted by handyguy
orsetto - Just FYI, Sony media in North America is hit or miss. You have equal chances that it was made by one of the best media manufacturers or one of the very worst. I'd advise using TY or Verbatim for that reason unless you have a way prior to purchase to be absolutely sure you are getting the good stuff from Sony. Your Sony discs could easily be some of the ones made by the poor manufacturers they still use.
MOTUfan - Laser cleaning is hit or miss with it working for some people and being worth taking a chance on, but there's a high degree of probability that it will make no difference. We've had enough posts from people for whom it made no difference that I'd personally guess that it has less than a 50% chance of fixing your problem. It does sometimes do the trick and it's relatively cheap and easy to try, but do understand that there is a very good chance it won't fix your problem and be prepared to move on if that's the case.
MOTUfan, look for the 460 on a daily basis on eBay, the seller will put up about 10 at a time when he's got them. I snatched one up last week, at the time he still had 9 left to sell and within 3 days they were all gone. So keep looking, he's been selling these opened box models for almost 2 years now and it's always the same pattern, he has a few then he'll be quiet for a while then he'll pop up with some more.
I was in Costco in Victoria BC the other day, not a dvd player or recorder in sightPAL/NTSC problem solver.
USED TO BE A UK Equipment owner., NOW FINISHED WITH VHS CONVERSIONS-THANKS
Magnavox 80GB if not using the tuner.
Philips 160GB 3575/3576 if you can find one.
eBay, ecost, buy.com, search Walmarts if you live in BFE, etc.
Originally Posted by orsetto
I noticed that a 510 recently sold for $300. There was also an LX70 model (?) that recently sold for a lot more than that. That's not a model # I recall seeing before.
Buyers and sellers are both aware the Pioneer x60 models are now discontinued and will not be replaced with new models: this is causing buyers to commit quicker than usual when units come up for sale and sellers to hold back a bit hoping to build demand (and prices). Keep checking daily and the 460s should turn up again.
The 510 is an excellent recorder but very primitive by todays standards: its navigation is terrible and it has no real editing features other than creating/deleting chapters. The 520 is similar but adds some basic editing features. The 531, 533 and 633 should be avoided: these models have poorly-implemented TV Guide software that wears them out prematurely. The x40, x50 and x60 series are near-identical to each other, all operate the same way and are very good, with excellent reliable editing features and DVD-RAM capability added. The x50 and x60 models have slightly better encoders than the x40. The x40 has no HDMI port and usually no DV port for video cameras. All x50 and x60 models have HDMI, and all except the 450 have DV camera ports.
The 640 sells for ridiculous prices because Americans overbid on it: as far as they know it was the last Pioneer made because it was the last one sold in USA stores. It has an excellent reputation, which also drives prices up. The lesser-known x50/x60 followup models were sold only in Canada and are actually refinements to the solid 640 design: opt for a newer x50/x60 over an x40 unless the x40 price is much lower. The LX models are a must to avoid: they are insanely overpriced "international" versions of the x60 design, the added money only buys a larger HDD and a digital PAL tuner thats useless in North America.
Thanks again Orsetto.
You mention encoding abilities (at least a slight variance among models). And in another thread you mentioned how some models are better suited for VHS -> digital conversions.
Can I get you to give just a bit more detail on these attributes? I would imagine differences wouldn't be that great, but since I am going to get a second unit as a backup, I would love to know this when bidding.
Thanks in advance.Originally Posted by MOTUfanBeen away for a while and busy with work the last few months so I had no time for forums. My apologies for any emails I couldn't get to in time - missed you all! :-)
Originally Posted by PuzZLeR
The 510 and 520 use an earlier encoder design which is optimized for recording broadcasts and DV camera inputs: on those sources the image is very clear, sometimes too clear (shows every bit of noise in the broadcast.) These recorders fall down when used with VHS, however: they cannot process the unstable VHS signal fast enough to avoid weird artifacts and distortion. The workaround is to use an outboard TBC and other devices, but these then add their own image softening and other artifacts which have to be considered.
The x30, x40, x50 and x60 series have what I call "line input buffers" for lack of a precise term: they lock on to VHS perfectly, way better than the 510 and 520, which avoids the necessity for outboard processors unless you specifically need one to clear Macrovision, etc. Unfortunately this "buffering" does diminish the recording quality of some models a tiny bit compared to the older 510 and 520. This is the rundown, based on my experience and my eyes:
The x30 is nearly as sharp as the 510/520, but suffers from motion artifactis ranging from mild to really disconcerting, depending on the source material. Its hard to explain in words, but if you own a high-end VCR with built-in TBC/DNR, it looks kind of like when you turn on the DNR: the image is cleaner, but motion just looks weird- i.e. someone will turn their head rapidly, and there is a blurring of facial features as they reassemble themselves in the new face position. This isn't horrible, many don't even notice, and its already present in a lot of cable broadcasts anyway. But it is definitely there and will be unacceptable to some users. Since the North American x30 series is also burdened with Pioneers atrocious version of TV Guide software, and they tend to be impossible for even Pioneer to repair when they break, I recommend avoiding them altogether unless you can get a fantastic price (below $200).
The x40 series was created to fix the problems of the x30 series, the returns and warranty repair rate was so bad on the x30 that at one point Pioneer just swapped new x40s for broken x30s. The x40 is rock solid by comparison mechanically and electronically. The weird motion artifacting was completely fixed on the x40, but at the cost of slightly impaired overall image clarity vs the prior x10, x20 and x30. In its favor, the x40 has very clean color and it conceals a lot of ills in overcompressed cable broadcasts. But it is a tad bit softer than I'd like, mostly during playback on the unit itself: DVDs made on the x40 actually look much better played on other hardware so some of the "softening" I see may be limited to the machine's playback circuits.
The x50 and x60 are identical to the x40 in every way except minor added convenience features for multimedia use (pointless) and an improved 12-bit video encoder vs the x40 10-bit (significant). The x50/x60 Pioneers blend the best image parameters from all the previous Pioneers: excellent stability with VHS input, clean color, minimal motion artifacts, reasonable concealment of broadcast defects, and 90% of the sharpness of the 510/520.
I would say for Pioneer fans, it doesn't get better than the x50/x60. The only thing lacking on them is the "undocumented" bidrectional DV connection, which was technically "not supposed to work" on the 510/520 in the first place anyway. If you don't need that particular rare feature, the Pio x50/x60 series are tops in class.
(Strangely, the styling of Pioneers has gotten progressively worse over the years: the 510 is gorgeous with its mirror-finish front panel, the 520 is duller but still distinctive, the 530 is a little too "Jetsons", the 540 is generic utilitarian to the point of boring, the 550 looks like the 540, and the 560 looks the 550 in a black finish (yawn).
Originally Posted by orsetto
Thanks very much for that, and for your revised lineup of the models comparison. I thought that something you mentioned earlier -- about being able to hook up a keyboard to the 560 (?) -- sounded quite interesting. Was that the only model with this feature ? I always managed adequately with the built-in character generator, but if I had to re-title a dozen recordings with it in one session, that might get to be a drag.
I'm going to make a note to check with Hkan's site, to see which Pio CPRM discs apply to the x50 and x60 models. Now would be the time to plan ahead for that, especially if Pioneer is barely hanging in there.
Originally Posted by PuzZLeR
The question of which models have what connectors for what purpose gets very confusing, so here's a list:
510/520: DV only, no usb. 530 series: the 531 has no DV input, the 533 and 633 do, as does the "global" 530 model. None of the x30s have usb. The 540 has neither DV or USB, the 543 and 640 have USB only which works with cameras, printers and USB sticks but not keyboards (global-market 340 models add the DV input). The 450 has neither DV or USB, the 550 and 650 have both and do accept keyboard input. The 460/560/660 all have both USB and DV input, and all accept keyboard input.
The x10, x20 and x30 need the "Type 1" service disk, GGV1179 is OK on all of them but you should probably look for a more recent revision like GGV1256 or GGV1302 (which I think was the final Type 1 variation). The x40, x50 and x60 need a "Type 2" disc, because they have entirely different internal design from earlier Pios. The x40 can use GGV1305 or later, the x50 and x60 switched from EIDE to SATA hard drives which require the GGV1321. All Pioneers use the same service remote codes, so any genuine or "clone" service remote can be used with any model recorder.
The Canadian Sony model RDR-HX780 slots between the Pioneer 640 and 550, its an odd amalgam of both machines (but not quite as good as either). It does borrow heavily from the basic Pioneer chassis design, so oddly enough you need the Pioneer service remote and service disc 1321 to repair or swap its hard drive! Strange bedfellows...
Originally Posted by orsetto
I noticed this morning that Walmart is again showing the Magnavox H2160mw9 available online for $249.98
References on File.
Yes several people on AVS including a relative of mine have ordered one. People are waiting to find out if this is a '09 model or just some extra '08s Walmart procured. Either way it's a great price on a decent HDD recorder.
Regarding the problematic 2005 North American Pio 531-533-633 models, the TVGOS cannot be entirely bypassed because the machine relies on it for part of its operating system. You can suppress the TVGOS automated functions, so that it ceases to search for data updates- that will extend the life of the hard drive and cut down on annoying fan and HDD thrashing noises. But again, it is not uncommon for hard drives to get corrupted in DVD recorders, doesn't matter which brand, none of them have the "self-healing" features of a PC so after a few years the HDDs often fail (hence all the threads here about "how do I replace my recorder HDD?"). When this happens in a Pioneer TVGOS machine, you basically throw it away or sell it for scrap, because not even Pioneer can reinstall the TVGOS anymore and without that software on your replacement HDD, the recorder won't function at all. It is possible with superhuman effort to do a fresh TVGOS install yourself at home, but it rarely succeeds and is just not worth the immense trouble.
Suppressing the TVGOS will turn the 531-533-633 into manual-timer recorders. Since most recorders have manual timers, this alone shouldn't be a big deal, but it is on these TVGOS Pioneers because their manual timer system is from hunger. The setting windows are tiny, and the method for adjusting the numbers varies from field to field- until you get the hang of it, its torture. The great irony of the 2005 models is they were designed to be pure automatic TVGOS machines, Pioneer never thought anyone would bother with the manual override so they barely include it as an afterthought. It wasn't until they got warranty returns by the thousands that they realized their version of "auto" TVGOS was hopelessly botched.
Anyway, to deactivate the TVGOS subsystem, you need to go into the home menu and then the TVGOS setup screen. Make the following changes (it doesn't matter whether or not you live in Canada or have cable service, this specific combination of settings immobilizes the TVGOS because they don't make any sense to it):
1. When TVGOS setup Screen Appears press Enter
2. Choose "Canada"
3. Set Postal Code to A 0(Zero) A 0(Zero) A 0(Zero)
4. Choose Cable
5. Choose No Cable Box
6. Confirm Settings OK
BEFORE TURNING POWER OFF after this, you MUST set one permanent recurring (weekly) "dummy" timer program in the TVGOS manual timer screen. This "placeholder" program is what prevents the TVGOS from trying to load new data automatically. Choose something thats unlikely to ever get in the way of a normal timer recording you might make: for example, every Wednesday from 5am to 5:15am. It is a minor annoyance to delete the placeholder recordings from the hard drive every week, but it beats dealing with a loud, noisy zombie recorder mindlessly grinding itself to bits trying to load TVGOS updates.
Thanks, Orsetto, I'll pass that info along.
(I'm just glad I skipped that model series. Can't claim prescience or even good research
there: it was just happenstance. I got a 520, towards the end of its model run, then a
couple years later went for the 640 while it was the current model.)