I don't have nearly the same technical expertise as many others in this forum so I often sit on the sidelines and watch rather than enter the fray. However, in this case I feel compelled to throw in my $0.02 against those who think DVD-RAM is an inferior format. Please note that this is more of a pragmatic argument than a technical one.
I have owned a Panasonic DMRE-30 for several months now and I absolutely love it. If DVD-RAM were to die, it would be a great atrocity. Here is why I love the DVD-RAM format:
1. Ease of Use
There is nothing simpler than using DVD-RAM to record tv. If you want to create a professional looking product, you can easily edit out commercials, transfer the contents in a few minutes to your computer's hard drive for advanced menu authoring and then burn the completed project.
Take the DVD-RAM out of the set top box and insert it into your computer's DVD-RAM compatible drive and you can quickly type in labels for all of the recorded programs. What a change from VHS!
I love the cartridges. You can treat the disks like vhs tapes and leave them lying around the room without fear of being scratched. You can edit out commercials in order to mazimize the amount of space on a disk to store as many programs as possible. You can write and rewrite 100,000 times to these fellas versus only 1,000 times with the +RW or -RW.
4. Time Slip
Tivo on a disk.
Someone earlier said that DVD-RAM is expensive. I buy Optodisk DVD-RAM disks from Rima and a pack of five 9.4GB disks costs only $37.50. That's just $0.80 a GB. Figure that you can fit 8 hrs in LP (VHS) mode on each disk and that's 40 hours that can be reused thousands of times for less than $40. I'd call that pretty cheap.
+ Reply to Thread
Results 61 to 73 of 73
Ram disks price depends on it's use and quality rather it is expensive or not!
9.4 gigs data is 9.4 gigs! Does not matter what type disk. Be it 2 DVD R of anytype or a Hard drive, it is still 9.4 gigs. And recording quality does not matter!! SP LP EP, it is still all just 9.4 gigs data in the end!
Now of course one must be able to use RAM disks for it to even matter what the price is! Who cares how much a Rolls Royce costs if you have no intention of getting one because you can't drive
If you buy DVD R at $1 a disk, then the 9.4gigs cost 2x $1 = $2
If you buy disks at Wallmart for $3.33 each in a 3 pack ($10), then 2 cost you $6.66 for 9.4gig
Someone posted they pay about $8 per ram disk. If those are of the same quality as DVD R you would normally buy then that's what you compare for price.
So $2 against $8 is pretty bad! $6.66 against $8 not too bad. $1.34 more.
Now when you figure it is all one disk, it is more convient sometimes.
I would rarely want to pay $8 to backup a dual layer disk, but I could and not lose any quality or extras if I wanted too. I would consider it expensive though, since most DVD's I buy are in the $10 range! I rarely buy any of the $20 ones, I just wait for the price to drop! I figure there are tons of great movies I have never seen yet at $10 or less, so why rush out and buy the $20 ones? I can wait! So that IS expensive at $8 for a 1-1 backup since I can just buy a second copy for $2 more.
Now if I have single movies that fit on a DVD R I have no reason to pay $1.33 extra to put 2 on one disk. Not that much more expensive, but why waist the money?
A movie series! Aww, now we have something! Ok, $1.33 is not bad to pay extra if I can fit 3 nearly DVD quality movies on that one disk!
I like stuff like Beverly hills cop, Police Academy, Leathel Weapon ect...
Since I like to watch movies in order often, it would be worth extra money for a disk to put 3 VHS or better movies onto just to keep them in order!
Same with TV series.
That's one of the reasons I am backing up my tapes to disk also. Not just because they rot away. Because I like to start watching a series of movies from the beginning to the last one when I have time, and who wants to fumble with rewinding durring the marathon, or 6 tapes after? Or even worse, all those garbage commercails at the begining of each one!
For those movies, it would be worth a few extra dollars so I only have to find 2 or 3 disks and put em in a 3 disk changer
Not that I am too lazy to change disks, just easier to keep up with.
Now when capturing movies 9.4 might be nice also a times. I constantly have to delete files to make room for more. And often they are 4gig or more. 4 gig is not bad as it fits a DVD rw if I want to keep it, but a 6gig or 8gig does not and I hate to break em to 2 disks. So for that ram disks might be worth $8 as just RWs to have 3 or 4 availble when needed. But then again, I can buy another hard drive for the same purpose cheaper per gig so why bother with ram unless I need to move it to another system for editing? And a network is faster if the computers are at the same location, and not much more expensive for a 10/100 than a few ram disks. So that would still make them only worthwhile if I were go to some other location. And could I use them when I got there?
So the option of being able to use ram disks is great, but how often are they worthwhile at the price you have to pay?
Since I use DVD -r disks and will only buy them under $1.50, ram disks are expensive even at $8 and barely any reason to use them.
Now if the price were to drop to $3 and nearly everything would read them like DVD r, then I would start using them pretty often.
overloaded_ide - I like the points that you make in your post. You are correct that it is not worthwhile to go the DVD-RAM route if you are unable to use it. For our purposes here, an even better analogy than the Rolls Royce one would be if you owned a Betamax vcr in the early 90's as the rest of the world followed the VHS standard.
Please allow me to respond to your points as best as I can::
1. Quality of Disks vs. Price
You point about "quality" and price for DVD-RAM is a good one. However, I believe that the Optodisks that I mentioned in my previous post are truly high quality for DVD-RAM. I have tried Memorex (absolute junk that stopped working after a few times or never worked to start with), Verbatim (okay), Panasonic (excellent) and Optodisk. I can honestly say that Optodisk is just as good as the Panasonic DVD-RAM which appears to be the most expensive DVD-RAM on the market. So, $6 or $7 for a very robust, high quality disk that you can reuse tens of thousands of times without any loss in quality is pretty darn good in my opinion. Think of DVD-RAM like a VHS tape on steroids. You can set the quality of recording from DVD to VHS quality and use it over and over again without the "tape" wearing out. It's a paradigm shift in thinking about recording.
2. Transferability & Readability
You are correct that hard drives are dropping rapidly in price. However, it is easier to swap in and out DVD-RAM disks in your set top recorder (and transfer to a computer) than it is to swap in and out hard drives. Also, I don't have a home network, but I do have a pretty good network at my place of employment, and from my experience it is faster to take a 4 or 9 GB disk and just insert it into another computer than to try and transfer that amount of data across a network. It takes seconds for me to walk a few feet and insert a disk, but it still takes several minutes for me to transfer that amount of data (sometimes tens of minutes). This is another plus of DVD-RAM, it can be read and written to like a hard drive. As an aside, it still blows my mind that we can now argue about it taking several minutes versus seconds to transfer gigs of data!
I also agree that you need a compatible drive to read the DVD-RAM and/or compatible set top recorders. The DVD-RAM drives are pretty cheap now for computers and it looks like more set top boxes are coming with DVD-RAM read capabilities. I have seen Panasonic dvd set top boxes that can read both dvd and dvd-ram (but not record) for only $70. Hopefully, it will really catch on. Otherwise, you are correct that one needs to go the extra step of transferring the contents to DVD-R to share your content with others. For me, this isn't a big issue, but I could see how others might find this last step annoying if they have greater time constraints. But, if you are taking the time to edit out commercials and make menus, etc. then it really isn't that much more time.
I doubted the value of DVD-RAM at first, but the more I have used it, the more fond of it I have become. In fact, I'm not ashamed to say it, I love DVD-RAM!
Yes, depending on use DVD ram disks are worthwhile.
I'm thinking along the lines of permant storage or if your capturing to the PC and need to move it to another PC mostly I geuss.
In using a set top recorder, I can see it being worth while for recording to Ram disk then putting it into a PC, copy to the hardrive, edit, then burn to DVD R disks. You can then re-use the ram disk for the next recordings.
For storage in many/most cases I would still consider it expensive. Since it technically is only re-writable if you erase the data and write new data on it, if you used it for a permanant copy of a movie then technically it is same as write once, since your gonna keep that movie and not write a new one over it
Yes, if those are high quality disks the price isn't bad. However I think I can get alot of high quality DVD -r disks for about $2 each or less. So for the same amount of data space the price is double still at $8.
Though $4 is not alot of money, when you start figuring 100 DVD -r is equal to 50 Ram Disks, that's $200 difference and that's when it starts getting too costly still. For occasional or specail use like a series it would not be bad. For everything on ram disks it would be though!
As for transferring data, you are correct, it is faster to pop out a disk and stick it in elsewhere. I geuss I am thinking mostly in PCs though, not yet in setops. Figuring the data is captured to the Pc hard drive I would have to burn the disk then swap it (taking more time for burning). Still maybe faster than a network transfer, but that I could do in the back ground while working on something else.
As for portablity, I just experienced my first DVD -R skipping and locking up near the end of a movie. Took it to a friends house for party, all he has is a playstation 2 for a DVD player. I never tried my disks on one of those before, and this one had problems near the end. Otherwise it worked fine 3/4 of the movie. So today I have to test it in my player and see if it is my disk or his playstation! Luckily I had the camcorder and tapes with me, so we all still watched the end of the movie.
Not sure what would have happened with a ram disk in that case.
It is always great to have extra options though, long as you don't have to pay through the nose for em. And maybe someday Ram Disks will get as low as DVD R in cost and then we can use them for about everything if our devices will read/write them.
Would be nice to have a voting on different recorders
btw; isn't a HDD better than DVD-RAM ? (yes it does cost more.. )
I am a proud Philips DVDR 985 owner. The picture quality is exellent at SP mode. It has more inputs and outputs than you can shake a stick at. It can pause anywhere....anytime. Mine has NEVER broken down. It is OLD. It has the original ff9(something) firmware...never upgraded it.
Wanna know my secret? Read each and every post here on this thread. Every post contained info and questions on RECORDING. My point?
I have played ONE commercial DVD in my 985. I have NEVER played or tried or experimented to see if it will play VCD, SVCD, audio CD, cDVD and I've never tried to toast my morning bagel in it.
At nearly $800 (that's how OLD it is)....I use my machine for the reason I bought it....TO RECORD DVD's. I always tell people who bitch about their Philips DVD Recorder NOT playing commercial DVD's "...when they play just fine in my DVD player" that if you wanted the most expensive DVD PLAYER....you should have bought a Nakamichi or a Bang & Olufsen. You bought it because it RECORDS DVD's....use it as such and leave the DVD playing to the MUCH cheaper machine designed to play DVD's....and it obviously does it MUCH better.
right on....and that is why I bought a matching/companion DVD (Panny) Player to play back DVDRam. For the other stuff I also use 2 or 3 other players..ie macroV free etc.
Originally Posted by webeye
DVD-RAM is nice!
But I rather be using a HDD instead
So what happens when you want to show the movies at your friends house... ? (you bring you dvd-ram player with you ?)
Originally Posted by deepdown
You can't just say "bring your HDD".
Either you have a TiVO system, or a dvd-recorder with HDD.
We are not talking about computer-HDD, but standalone equipment.
How do you connect a HDD to a TV ?
Wouldn't you burn a DVD R disk either + or - to take to the friends house and leave the RAM disk or HDD at home
Or are you talking about a Burner that only burns Ram disks?
I would only use ram disks for recordings I want to edit on the PC and reburn, then I can erase the ram disk and use it over.
I have an E50, actually burn one disk with it, not happy and went back to the PC. Now it's a $500 DVD player! Yep, since I have the Norcent connected to my Pc/VHS equipment the wife and kid have been using the E50 to play comercail DVDs and my DVD -R disks. Luckily I have awhile yet I can return it for a refund, and I am going to!
I guess it did a good job for capturing and creating a DVD, but to me it just cost too much for the quality of the disk it produced. I like to know what my settings are not just guess what the recorder might use. I want decent menus, not the ones that went on the disk from the E50. Ect...
It was my plan to capture and create a DVD with the E50 then edit and reburn at the PC. But, the E50 claims to not write -RW disks, only -R and Ram. Unfortunatley I don't think I have any DVD drives that Read Ram, and of course I'm not going to trash a disk for each capture, that would be expensive! SO if I can't erase and write the same disk over, then I geuss I have no use for the recorder.