tsmuxer works very well for this sort of thing. It will accept anything that is close to specs as input. For example, it will accept 24 fps 720p, which technically is out of spec.
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Thread: Want find a DVD recorder to buy
Here in NZ the pay TV operators don't sell a solution that lets you put a card in the computer either - although some technically savvy users have managed to get it working. However, we also have a free-to-air broadcast transmission on satellite, which is receivable using a PC tuner without a card.
HDCP strippers are kinda marginal here legally now - with a recent law change it isn't illegal to have/use one, but it is illegal to import or sell one. Fortunately, I imported mine (HDFury2) before the law change - when I saw what was proposed - so it's sitting on a shelf with a Hauppauge HD PVR waiting for my eventual HTPC build.
Archiving to hard drives does indeed expose you to disk failure risk. Fortunately, drive space is cheap, and I duplicate everything I want to keep to USB2 external hard-drives, one of which is stored in my garage and the other off-site. Will move (shortly) to a NAS box for centralised storage, networked to computers and media players. Plus, at the moment, recording is done via DVD recorder so, other than where I use rewriteable disks, there is the original recording that I have ripped as well.
Twin-tuner hard-drive DVD recorders are available here - Panasonic has just released a new model (the XW390). Twin-tuner Blu-Ray hard-drive recorders are also available, but can only record HD from OTA broadcasts, the AV inputs are SD only.
Yes - I do care about quality. So should everyone. Quality capturing, ripping, storing and playing isn't much harder or more expensive than doing a poor job. By reading what some of the very smart and helpful people have posted here, I have learned a lot over the last couple of years and the quality of what I am able to achieve has improved a lot.
I am so jealous, I would love to be able to get a BluRay recorder with hard drive that can tune and record OTA but there are none available here. At least you are grandfathered under the new law with your hardware. My major point of failure for important files would be flood or fire. They are on the computer, a external drive that is unplugged except when putting files on it and DVD or BluRay disks.If I'd known I was going to live this long, I'd have taken better care of myself.
DirecTV sat service makes use of sub-channels (I know I've seen a bunch of ".1"'s -- not quite sure how deep it goes), so it's not limited to cable services.
Years ago, DirecTV had a Tivo satellite-box solution, which got discontinued and was GONE for several years. From what I've heard, they have reinstituted this relationship and once again have such a solution. I have no personal experience with this, but am thinking about it. Aside from cost, another possible downside is that any hardware change of this nature will require a new 2-year service agreement.
Last edited by usually_quiet; 14th Oct 2012 at 13:13. Reason: clarity
What resolution is this Magnavox DVD recorder showing? Some say it's SD, others say like a DVD, some says it looks the same as HD. Is a HD program going to replay in full screen or SD size?
It records in DVD resolution. Since in my opinion HD starts with 720P and this is lower it isn't HD. On my HD it looks OK. It has settings for 4:3 and 16:9 output. I feed my HDTV via HDMI so it gets the video and audio.
When I start watching a show I don't notice the picture.
What does the picture look like to me. If I record in the best or next best quality settings from a HD channel the results look like a DVD would look on my HDTV. You could use the lowest setting for quality and get VHS quality. But why would you.If I'd known I was going to live this long, I'd have taken better care of myself.
I was a bit surprised to find several Panasonic units up for sale today, including this one
plus a few from the "EZ" series. (Not sure offhand if any of those were ever considered to be good -- maybe not.)
While I'm at it, I'm wondering if you've ever seen any mention of one of these (?):
[I see now that the listing got withdrawn.] Possibly rarer than those oddball Japanese-market Pioneer models. This one was listed in the U.K., but it sounded like one of those only-in-New-Zealand HD models. But it wouldn't be usable here, in any case.
Someone who expects to do a lot of hard-core editing before burning their DVDs, or who has cable or satellite service instead of an off-air antenna, might be a good candidate for a second-hand Panasonic EH series DVD/HDD recorder (the EZ series was bad news). Some second-hand Pioneers like the 540 are finally coming down in price, and the Sony 780 (Pioneer clone) pops up now and then. Brand new imported Panasonic EH59s are still sporadically available in the $350-$400 range. All of these have more extensive editing abilities than the Magnavox, but they lack modern digital ATSC tuners. To record television, you'd need to connect their line inputs to the line outputs of a cable box, satellite box, or external off-air ATSC tuner. This limits the ability to set multiple timer programs on different channels, or requires you to set a timer on both the DVD/HDD recorder and the external tuner box. Its certainly workable if you're a dedicated videoholic: I have a Zenith ATSC box connected to one of my old Pioneers and a cable box connected to the other. I'm willing to deal with aging recorders and a convoluted method of timer recording because I happen to love my Pioneer machines (as Seeker47 does).
But most off-air viewers today are not video archiving addicts. They want reliable recording, reasonably good quality, integrated digital tuner/timer, and brand new units at affordable prices. The Magnavox MDR533 suits this niche perfectly: if you don't usually expect to make a DVD of every TV series you follow, you can set the machine to record at the best HQ recording speed and get 40-50 hours of capacity on its HDD with great convenience. A network prime-time TV show or sports event recorded on the Magnavox at HQ speed, in 16:9 mode, connected to the TV via HDMI and upscaled, is quite watchable quality. Can you see the makeup caked on the weathergirls' eyelashes like you can in "true" HDTV? Not quite, but close enough for satisfactory viewing on a 32" or 40" LCD. If you've got a 50" display, you may not find it acceptable, but many do.
There aren't any other serious choices that will give full HDTV 720p or 1080 recording quality. Panasonic pretty much had the worldwide exclusive on BluRay/HDD recorders, but chose not to sell them in North America, so BluRay is off the table. You could get TiVO, which offers many advantages but comes at a price. Or there's the flaky unstable DTVpal and ChannelMaster HDD-only recorders, that cost as much or more than the Magnavox. Not many options these days for off-air, cable/satellite subscribers at least have the additional option of renting their providers' decoder box/PVR.
I was doing some research recently, as I am close to updating my Panny (somewhat elderly EH68 model that currently connects to a satellite box using AV cables and has a 320GB hard drive), with a newer model - to get twin-tuner, bigger drive, and the ability to recieve HD digital OTA feeds with an EPG.
The newer models are definitely also available in Australia, and also appear to be available in the UK.
While they are PAL machines, A quick google search showed that they may also be able to record analog NTSC(60 hz). If so, you could always try importing one from Amazon UK or similar, and feeding them of a decoder box using AV cables? (NOTE: Do your own research first, I can't promise this will work!).
Consumer BluRay recorders were locked out of North America because of the stalemate between consumers and our unregulated private cable/satellite services, our lack of a standardized EPG system, and our demented insistence on developing our own incompatible half-assed DTV broadcast format. Because of these factors, DVD/HDD recorders were doomed from day one. Sales never met expectations, price resistance was rampant, and any hope of upgraded BluRay recorders was dashed. Europe, Aus, and NZ kept on getting new recorders while US/Canada gave up by 2005 and got addicted to subscription recorders built into decoder boxes instead.
Eventually the American malaise infected the broader global recorder market: most brands have walked away now, even in Europe. Panasonic is the sole remaining supplier of new DVD/HDD and BD/HDD recorders. You would think Panasonic would benefit from having a virtual monopoly, but you'd be wrong: it hasn't been so great for them. If you want a new full-featured BD/HDD recorder, Chopmeister, I'd recommend you buy one sooner rather than later: the PAL DVD/HDD models are on deathwatch already, the BD/HDDs will stick around awhile longer but no guarantees. Panasonic is not going to stay in the game indefinitely, even though demand in Aus and NZ is stronger than the dead UK/Germany market. A recorder in the hand is worth two in the bush.
Last edited by orsetto; 17th Oct 2012 at 03:50.
Something like FreeSat won't work here. First of all, only about 10% of those who watch TV only watch channels available over-the-air, so there is hardly any point to it. Local over-the-air broadcasters would also object to to their network operating a free satellite system to provide service for those with inadequate ATSC reception. Most over-the-air stations are independently owned and operated network affiliates, and their advertising revenues are highly dependent on estimated viewership via Nielsen ratings. Since people with better reception could use the free satellite service as well, advertising revenues to local stations would be affected.
Last edited by usually_quiet; 17th Oct 2012 at 14:18. Reason: spelling
ATSC at this point has proven to be the boondoggle its critics predicted all those years ago, when Zenith and its gang of delusional lobbyists conned the Feds into going that way. I'm well aware of the "on-paper" technical advantages of ATSC over DVB-T for USA, but in the real world that adds up to squat: the reception is only marginally better for most people than DVB-T would have been. If you're in a great reception area, either would suffice, move 20 feet from that sweet spot and ATSC is no better than DVB-T: no picture is no picture, whatever the system. DTV is unsuitable for broadcast applications, period: ask anyone with a secondary TV thats not connected to cable or satellite. Even our bonehead Feds are finally admitting ATSC was a disaster, and considering proposals for a wi-fi-like subsystem to enable new portable TVs to actually receive a usable TV signal. Ever wonder why prices for portable ATSC TVs dropped from $229 to $69 within six months of the 2008 switch? Consumers discovered they don't work: at all.
I'm lucky: the ATSC reception from my 30 y/o attic antenna in Brooklyn picks up all local and network stations perfectly. But we have a few smaller secondary TVs that were rendered useless: they can't receive anything with their built-in or accessory antennas. Wiring every room in the house for a roof antenna isn't practical, so those smaller TVs sit idle. My neighbors on the next block don't get more than two sporadic stations from their new roof antenna, and everyone else I know within the tristate area gave up on OTA by 2009 and subscribed to cable or satellite. Ask them how much "better" ATSC was than DVB-T: the fact is, no DTV system was ever going to have even half the coverage of analog. So all we got out of the pointless ATSC dance was delayed implementation of DTV, televisions more expensive than they needed to be, and an incompatible tuning system that killed struggling products that still had potential (DVD recorders, BD recorders) because adapting them to ATSC instead of DVB-T was cost-prohibitive to mfrs. And the geniuses at Zenith who started the whole mess were long gone: by the time ATSC finally got off the ground, Zenith was a shell brand for Chinese-sourced CECB accessories. Their grand scheme to bring TV mfring back to the USA by dint of incompatible ATSC worked really well, didn't it?
We have ATSC because of cleverly manipulated "America First" beltway politics, not because of its alleged benefits over DVB-T for "uniquely American reception conditions." France doesn't have mountains? Germany doesn't have valleys? Italy doesn't have a crumbling infrastructure? Australia and NZ don't have vast underpopulated stretches? Please. Washington would have approved ATSC even if the signal couldn't penetrate a plaster wall (which is sadly true in many locations). Issues with ATSC were a major factor in name-brand recorders disappearing from USA in 2007: between the added mfr cost, and lousy reception forcing a huge consumer migration to cable/sat monopolies, the machines became unsaleable paperweights to all but the most dedicated video hobbyists. We can quibble over technical details, what agenda had impact when, and so forth, but in terms of sophisticated recorder options and the age of OTA television broadcasting, ATSC killed the golden goose. For 3 out of 5 North Americans, calling it a "half-assed system" is a polite kindness.
Last edited by orsetto; 17th Oct 2012 at 15:35.
With the switch to digital I was hoping for a worldwide TV standard, no more PAL/NTSC/SECAM etc. unfortunately again N. America went with something different that the rest of the world, sad really
Because of this we get far less options than the rest of the world, DVDRs being one of my major concerns. ATSC seems to work well in my area but I'm sure DVB-T would have also.
Optical disc recorders were never more than a niche product in the US even before the DTV transition. No matter which broadcast system was in use here, that still would still be true today. Plus, since disc-based recording is dying everywhere these days, hobbyists would still not have much to choose from now.
WiFi TV may help some people living in cities, but isn't going to help anybody living in the suburbs, let alone out in the middle of nowhere, where reception issues are the worst, and even cell service is spotty.
I believe Australia and New Zealand use satellite service to provide TV signals to underpopulated areas, not terrestrial broadcast TV.
Last edited by usually_quiet; 17th Oct 2012 at 18:51.
Wm has just discounted it's Magnovox's.
I bought 3 all the same model number ,because I did not think componet inputs were made available to the public, I ask Heartland America to write me a letter saying it was not a miss print. Im not sure what you mean or need in editing, these machines will delete titles, and they will pass through the video signal from any input to all the outputs , I've made 100s of beautiful SD copies from ATT uverses DVR to DVD 2 hours cost me 30 cents, Ive been building a home library all my life, and for 30 cents I can give copies to friends. I also have SVHS output on my HP PC graphics card,, so anything I see on my pc screen I can easily record to DVD , without trying to understand anyones software. I have 100s of hours on one of these Magnovox MRV660 the other 2 are backups. Good luck
It is not always a good idea,
a) implementing brand new technology that has not been grown for a while, to become solid work
b) makeing implementations without having or ignoring standards, or by design (as this is also a way to protect recording)
If you see it from the european view, especially german for me, we have the ability to use Satellite and DVB-T Cards in PC´s, or unified DVB-S / -T or Cable boxes, working with every available cable SAT and Terrestrial Broadcast .If you need access to encypted digital sources, you buy the card reader with card that is compatible to CI or CI+. Cable is analog (SD only) and digital, DVB-T and DVB-S/S2 digital only, with SD MPEG2 and HD H264 on Free TV and Pay TV using CI / CI+ Standard regardless if you have cable or sat. Resulting in having the choice of a lot of TV sets and other eqipment with multi purpose tuners, that tune cable / DVB-S/S2 and DVB-T and both without and with encryption. 90% of the receiver eqipment for sale does have a slot for the card reader, newer support CI+.
Europe was not a first implementer with colored tv, resulting in not copying the N(ever)T(he)S(ame)C(olor) system from US, instead developing and using the more robust PAL/Secam with better resolution (720x576).
Despite from that, the availability of DVD / BD recorders is very limited now, most users shifted to boxes with recording ability few use PC´s with TV Cards. Expectcing Recorders to die.
The older non-HDD recorders are more limited. You cannot do "true" editing on archival-quality -R and +R discs: you can only do "virtual" editing, which merely hides the titles you choose to delete. They are still on the disc, wasting space, and they can sometimes re-appear as visible when the disc is played in another brand of DVD player. You can use the erasable RW discs to get more flexibility and "true" deletion of edited sections, but the discs are not archival for indefinite library storage and they cost more. And the RW discs cannot duplicate some of the more sophisticated editing features of an HDD.
OTOH, other than one or two very old models, none of the USA/Canada DVD/HDD recorders offered the component input/passthru feature. If you prioritize full 16:9 anamorphic cable/satellite recording over flexible editing features, you will prefer one of the old direct-to-DVD recorders with that feature, and give up the editing options. This can work well enough if you mostly record commercial-free movies and TV shows from premium cable/satellite channels, or if you don't mind archiving commercials along with the shows, or you just don't need to edit much. But DVD-only recorders can make life hell if you like to get more deeply involved with recording, like to archive a great many shows or movies, or just tend to get backed up on your viewing: in these cases, the DVD recorder with HDD is much more convenient, versatile and desirable.
For people who get their TV signal from an off-air antenna, and not cable or satellite, the Magnavox 533 DVD/HDD recorder is without question the best option in USA. There is no need for component inputs, because the internal tuner automatically generates 16:9 anamorphic recordings squeezed into the DVD 4:3 frame, just like commercial Hollywood DVDs that expand to true widescreen when played on a 16:9 television.
Last edited by orsetto; 14th Nov 2012 at 13:17.