I'm burning alot of sport games onto disc and my first DVR was a Pioneer 560-HX. I really liked it. Easy to use. Recording quality as expected. I liked most things about it. The burner (laser i suppose) gave in after a few hundred discs or barely that.
Next i bought a used 440H. Not as good as the 560 but getting the job done. Now i've the same issue with my 440. My impression was that the burner in the 440 lasted longer. I thought it had given up completely after failing a huge amount of discs. But strangely enough it's making about 14 of 15 discs at the first try now and seems to have gotten new life.
Found another 440 used for almost nothing. Seller claimed to only been doing 6 discs. Burner sounds good. I'm using the scart input and this machine seems to have some trouble with the input. Very instable and sensative scart connection/picture. I assume the scart input might be slightly damaged. Picture is flickering at times. Can become totally blacked out by heavy vibrations. Remote had some rust where the batteries are. But that was easily fixed. Does anyone have any ideas about this scart trouble? Possible to fix?
1) Do all Pioneers from 2006-2008 (540-560, LX, 640-645 & 940) have the same burners?
2) Will the laser/burner last longer if you don't edit your recordings? It's my impression but i have no knowledge at all. But i thought that maybe it requires less work so it could possible...
3) Is it possible to change the scart socket (and maybe parts attached to it) from my worn out 440 to my 'new' 440?
4) I read some old post from 'orsetto' where he wrote that replacing the burner in 550 was a difficult task, and it was the same for all(?) later Pioneer models. I assume this is the case with the 440 as well? Or would be easier now when i have two 440s?
He also wrote that you should use x8 speed instead of x16 with these pioneers. Unfortunately i had no idea about that. I've been using x16 verbatims all along with no clue. Does anyone else have any expereince with this? And how much longer, approx. how many more discs will it last when using x8? (like 10 or 100?)
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1) Yes, all the Pioneer/Sony hybrid models (x40, x50, x60, LX series, and various Sony-branded like RDR-HX780) use the same burner design. The x40 series might differ in using EIDE connection to motherboard, while the others are SATA, but its hard to tell since the motherboard is actually sandwiched into the burner housing in all cases. It is possible they all standardized on a proprietary internal connector given the unusual chassis layout. The burner was supplied by Sony exclusively for Pioneer and Sony DVD/HDD recorders mfr'd between 2006-2008. I believe the burner model number used in most of these recorders was Sony DVR-L12SOR. (The Sony-branded recorders had the DVD-RAM features disabled, only the Pioneers could burn RAM media.)
2) The burner is not particularly stressed by burning edited recordings, if you're referring to edits you made on the hard drive or within the copy list that are then high-speed-burned from HDD to DVD. Editing directly on DVD-+RW should not be much of an issue either.
3) It should be possible to replace the SCART sockets, these are usually modular generic parts. I don't think its the best idea to try and switch parts between recorders, unless you're very skilled at this type of repair you might ruin both machines. Instead, open your broken 440 and examine the SCART connector from the inside to see how it attached to the motherboard, then purchase a similar replacement SCART from an electronics parts vendor.
4) Replacing the burner in these models is extremely difficult because of the peculiar chassis design with the recorder motherboard bisecting the burner, and everything welded down securely. Spare burners are near impossible to obtain, anyway. Once the burner dies, these machines should be considered unrepairable and relegated to non-critical watch-and-erase HDD-only use.
If you feel you have nothing to lose, by all means feel free to experiment by swapping the burners between your two 440s. But be aware no one has yet reported a successful DIY burner transplant on any Pioneer-related forums since 2006, also you would likely need a Pioneer Service Remote GGF1381 (or generic clone of it) and Pioneer Service I.D. Data Disc GGV1321 Type 2. Replacing the HDD or burner in Pioneers requires resetting the motherboard to mate with the new drives, and this can't be done without the two service tools. I can personally confirm this is true of the HDDs, but not the burners: the odd design of having the motherboard bisect the burner could mean all the firmware is on the motherboard, with the burner being a "dumb" unit. Earlier Pioneers (510, 520, 530 series) used Pioneer burners with custom controller board firmware: replacing them involved either the service tools or opening the burners to swap the controller boards, tricking the recorder into thinking it was still the original burner.
Regarding media, Pioneers do seem to prefer 8x DVD-R or DVD+R over 16x, even the high-quality Verbatim 16x AZO you've been using. The burner slowly loses ability to burn 16x media over time, typically you get between 500-1000 burns before the unit begins failing in the final moments of burning, creating coaster after coaster. Once this happens, switching to 8x media almost always restores full functionality for several more years. Whether this has something to do with the laser being weakened by 16x use, or mechanical wear causing the spindle to lose control of the disc at the faster burn ratings, I couldn't say for sure. I've personally had three x40 models in a row follow this same pattern, so once I obtained the nicer 550 and 560 models I avoided bothering with 16x and began feeding them 8x from day one. I've had very few problems burning the 8x discs. You would probably need to purchase 8x media from an online specialty media vendor, it isn't commonly sold in stores anymore. The two most popular for use in recorders is Verbatim DataLifePlus AZO 8x DVD-R, and TY/JVC 8x Silver Premium DVD-R.
Last edited by orsetto; 30th Dec 2012 at 21:45.
I'm very grateful for your exhaustive reply! Appreciate it alot.
I think i'll give one of their more expensive models another try and strictly use x8 discs from the start.