I'm looking for a new DVD recorder which finalizes quickly and simply (the press of a button almost) with no confusing menus etc. I know they're disappearing rapidly but I really do need them. We have a business that relies on providing our clients with a disc of their sometimes 2 stay at the end of their visit. Currently we have several Panasonic DMR-EZ48VK's (one showing some concerning signs by switching off occasionally) - Even these seem complex for our staff who don't even understand what's happened when an input is mistakenly switched. That's how simple I need the device to be.
Based on what's available still, can anybody give me some kind of reccomendation? In addition, where is this sort of thing heading? Is there maybe something better I should use the money on to record and quickly provide a disc? Thanks in advance for any help you can provide!
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Panasonic no longer makes any DVD recorders for the N. American market, nor do Pioneer, LG, or Samsung. Some specialty retailers sell "international" recorders made by some of these companies that can work for NTSC, but I'm not sure if any would meet your requirements for simple operation.
You may still find some Toshiba DVD recorders made for N. America for sale, and Magnavox definitely still sells DVD recorders for N. America. (The actual maker for the DVD recorders sold by both brands is Funai.) If buying from Walmart is a possibility, DVD recorders can be purchased from their website and they give you the option of free shipping to stores plus easy returns. I bought a Magnavox HDD DVD recorder from Walmart in late winter of this year. It is a good machine, although it doesn't have some of the refinements that Panasonic offered. It is also more complicated to operate than a DVD only recorder. You should probably look at the DVD recorders without hard drives.
Sony doesn't make regular DVD recorders anymore, but makes at least one for videography. This one can make AVCHD discs when used with some Sony HD cameras. http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=&sku=631186&Q=&is=REG&A=details
Thank you! I'll take a look at what's available from B&H and Walmart. Anything is an option. I'm a bit concerned though that as my other recorders age, I won't be able to find any kind of replacement. Is there some kind of other device people are recording on now? Straight to PC's for example and then burned to DVD afterwards, or something like that?
Amazon.com also sells DVD recorders and the prices might be cheaper, but do note that these days probably all or just about all of them will be via Amazon resellers rather than Amazon itself.
There's no real replacement. Recording video to your PC and authoring a DVD from it is fine for those of us who want more control over the process such as editing, making custom menus, etc. but it's not quick and easy. Basically the reality for people in the USA and Canada is that almost nobody wants to keep their video recordings any more so everybody has Tivo type DVR devices. I find people in the USA in particular to be obsessed with reducing clutter (and I mean OBSESSED) so they don't want to keep anything. In other parts of the world, particularly Europe, people want to keep videos that they record and consider DVRs to be almost useless. But you live in the USA so you're stuck with the realities of our marketplace.
I hate to say it, but DVD recorders seem to be less popular in much of the rest of the world too. DVRs are replacing them, and younger people in particular seem to prefer storing recordings in files on portable hard drives or USB sticks to storing recordings on optical media.
Video today is streaming and downloads and PVRs without removable media: discs are over except for commercial studio releases. This trend is great for those who prefer it, but it threw the baby out with the bathwater, leaving many cottage video industries like yours out of luck. Every week I see a post like yours on various A/V forums: apparently a whole range of video services based on instant gratification sprang up when DVD recorders made them possible, they are now crashing and burning as the product class disappears with no similar replacement device coming. Those of us who still find recordable discs useful are a minority few brands are interested in catering to. Soon, the only option will be PCs customized for video recording: while more versatile and flexible, they're more difficult to use than a standalone DVD recorder. Unfortunately there is no alternative: either your staff learns to use PC solutions or you stop offering video services to your clientele- the situation is that bleak for DVD recorders.
Only Funai is bothering to market them anymore (as Magnavox and Toshiba). The direct-to-disc models similar to your EZ48v lack some of the features you're used to and are not as well made (although many users report them as durable). The Funai Magnavox DVD/HDD models are better and more flexible, not expensive, but don't offer one-touch idiot-proof finalization (and overall operation is more confusing than Panasonic). A tiny handful of proprietary "industrial" DVD recorders are still available from niche specialty vendors, and these do offer auto-finalization, but prices begin at $1199: not economically feasible for most hospitality/videography services. Realistically, the choice in 2012 is between the Magnavox MDR535 DVD/HDD recorder from WalMart or a PC with A/V modifications.
DVD recorders are all but dead now worldwide, the sands have almost completely run out of the hourglass. They became almost totally ignored in USA by 2009, but held on in Europe awhile longer until stocks of the extremely popular Sony/Pioneer models were depleted in the wake of Pioneer's abrupt mfrg exit. Panasonic's attempt to migrate Europeans and Asians from DVD to BluRay recorders failed, resulting in the current final lineup of regressive, slow-selling Panasonics. When the "premium" Sony, Pioneer and Panasonic recorders stumbled or disappeared, they sank the European market for second-tier brands that had been riding their coattails. Acceptance of larger screens and HDTV in Europe lagged behind North America and Asia but is now catching up rapidly, further reducing interest in standard-def DVD recording. Hi-Def satellite has really taken off, leading Europeans to embrace the discless PVR so popular here in North America. Even the Japanese have lost interest in disc recording, and they had the highest concentration of video archivists in the world by far.
Last edited by orsetto; 12th Sep 2012 at 23:09.
Panasonics are readily available in this corner of the world. They are doing more than just continuing to sell them, they seem to be still releasing new upgraded models annually. Virtually all consumer TV stores carry them. Sony's and Pioneers are gone however.
Interestingly, blank disks are becoming scarcer, which also implies people may be burning less on their PCs as well. Retailers are shrinking the shelf space they devote to them, and many of them have dropped the 100 disk and 50 disk spindles and only carry more expensive 25s and 10s now. As someone who connects his pay-TV box to a recorder and is accumulating a big video library (I use around 50-60 disks a month), this means I now have to buy online more than I was.
Here's a list of things I had to buy online lately:
- lawn mower air filter
- specific kind of insecticide
- new just-came-out DVD box set
- computer power supply
It's almost ridiculous.
When they do actually have something I need or want, it tends to be 200%+ the price as found online.
B&Ms are no longer allowed to bitch about losing money to online stores, in my opinion.
Thank you all for the GREAT information. You've put me at ease and pointed me in the right direction - get what I can for now but begin planning a new system where maybe I can distribute clientele videos either through the web or on flash drives/SD cards. Unfortunately both are pretty expensive given the overhead costs of server space for videos or flash drives and I'll need a server like machine capable of capturing all videos possibly simulataneously and users who are able to work this machine. But ya gotta do what you've gotta do I suppose. Thank you all!
Easycap from Amazon is about $8. But you can still buy the old recorders.
this, unfortunately the price has gone way up since I last checked: the disc-only model is at a nosebleeding $1995 which IMHO is ludicrous for any DVD recorder when their typically-brief burner life cycles are taken into account. Unless this thing can accept garden-variety drop-in SATA replacement burners made for PCs, the price is unrealistic for most small business purposes. You might also consider a JVC industrial BluRay/HDD recorder, which at nearly half the price adds HDD editing and ability to burn HiDef BDs from HiDef camcorder sources.
Alternatively, buy up every remaining consumer Panasonic you can lay hands on and just stockpile them. Your Panasonic DMR-EZ48v has been one of the most hated recorders in North America since the day it was introduced, so tons of them circulate thru the secondary refurbished, repacked, and used recorder market. The number one reason for EZ48v disappointment is its flakiness when recording regular TV programming, a defect you pretty much bypass if all you need it to do is record personal or corporate videos via line input. Panasonic DVD recorder burners have proved remarkably durable over time, more so than any other brand: they do have a tendency to fail when they get dust or grime inside, but there are scads of web instructions on how to disassemble, clean and restore them. It is not unusual for a Panasonic to burn 5000 dvds before finally dying, an amazing feat of durability.
The issue of burner durability is what makes PC-based recording so attractive for commercial applications: PC towers have multiple cooling fans which ease heat wear on the burner, extending its life far beyond the typical proprietary DVD recorder drives. And when the PC burner does finally wear out, you can replace it immediately with any random drive from any local electronics store for $30 or less, and get right back to work.
In any case the OP is limited to whats available in USA, which isn't much.
Last edited by orsetto; 13th Sep 2012 at 15:52.
lawn mower air filter - 5 minute walk to Canadian Tire. Same to Sears as well as Honda (my lawnmower) dealership is a 10 minute walk away.
insecticide - depends (some stuff available in USA not available in Canada) but also Can. Tire as well as Zellers (5 minute walk), Real Canadian Superstore (earlier in the year) and Wal-Mart (5 minute bus ride) plus the feed/farming stores in town some of which are only a 15 minute walk from my home.
DVD box sets - unless it's some odd-ball stuff like MOD Warner Bros. or some such I can usually get these on day of release from Wal-Mart, FutureShop, HMV, etc. though many friends buy from Amazon now as their prices can't be beat.
Computer power supply - lots of Mom 'n' Pop computer stores left here as well as FutureShop and Staples sell power supplies...
Don't like the price? They will price match. I do that all the time with a variety of products...
Where are you located??
Last edited by oldfart13; 13th Sep 2012 at 16:24.
In addition, Panasonic still services these machines if one of yours breaks down. I've been using an EZ48VK and an EZ27K for four years without problems, contrary to the public opinion here.
As for the OP, can't help you there. I get a lot of stuff from the pawn shop in almost new condition. Latest acquisition is a Pioneer DVR-650H-S which is going to be way too complicated for your staff it seems. But yeah, the Funai/Magnavox is all you have left without going to computer recorders like Hauppage (http://www.hauppauge.com/) or Eye TV (http://www.elgato.com/).