Looks like there's a recall
This has been in effect for quite a while. Sorry, I've been busy and away from the forums. I just sent in my RMA and will hopefully have better luck with the 1530 model.
Please read the ENTIRE review below (including updates) before deciding on a Cyberhome recorder. Many people, including myself, have had reliability issues with these recorders...
Now that I've had my unit for a few weeks, I thought I'd post an up-to-date user review. Read below for the details. Note: some of this information was copied from my previous post.
First of all, the unit seems to be well constructed (especially for the cost). It feels much more durable than my cheapo Apex 1100w and about on par with my Denon DVM-1805 DVD changer. I paid just under $272 US from HSN.com using a 25% off coupon found on techbargains.com. The CH DVR1500 has only been in stock 2 weekends at HSN, and they are currently out of stock, in addition to being the only dealer of this particular unit (at least for now). EDIT: Unit is now available at Walmart.com, Target.com, among others
Picture of unit:
I have been a -R/RW person in the past, but I couldn't pass up the deal on this recorder. I figured I could record to DVD+RW, then rip to computer, build fancy menus and save a ton of time. After receiving my Lite-On DVD-Rom, I've had a chance to try this. It seems to work OK, but it is much easier to edit on the Cyberhome recorder. More on that later...
The unit includes RF inputs for connection to cable/antenna sources as well as front and rear video inputs (RCA and S-Video). Here are a few pictures of the unit:
[img]http://groups.msn.com/_Secure/0RgAAA9oV2R*F6LHdgLlxskqJFZuhqV7B4Bk3UpfTnlOAzhO0L Iu0Pn8zTmy8YFDbgHcK9!1zhx2OD9DWqCmUfyFot2OGnDnITz1 fUounjc4/front_inputs.jpg[/img]
It would've been nice for Cyberhome to include a DV input (FireWire or IEEE-1394) for direct connection from digital camcorders, but they didn't. I guess I really can't complain, especially for the price of this unit. It is important to note, however, that Area450.com reports a FireWire input on the upcoming Sampo DVE-R3 recorder ($299 US). I may have jumped the gun on buying the Cyberhome...
Note: my unit has RF input sound issues. When I attempt to use the cable RF input, the audio outputted from the Cyberhome's RCA audio jacks is extremely low. Also, the video/audio are not in sync on the screen. For now, I have bypassed using the RF input and am using the Video 1 inputs, which are connected to the outputs of my Toshiba VCR. This method works fine, but does not allow me to set the timer to record different channels while I'm away. I've contacted Cyberhome's tech support but have yet to receive any response. More details when they become available.
First of all, I must say the recording begins IMMEDIATELY after pushing the record button. I did not notice ANY lag in the recording. Also, after pushing the "REC" button, you can push it again to set the length of live recordings. It can be incremented in 30 minute segments (30 min, 1hr, 1hr 30min, etc)
Since I have a macrovision disabled Apex 1100w, I was able to record some movie clips directly from DVD. The unit has 5 different recording levels including:
1) HQ - 1 HR Max (Highest) - Slightly better than SP, but not THAT much
2) SP - 2 HRs Max (Excellent) - The setting I leave mine on
3) LP - 3 HRs Max (Very Good) - Still very good, but I prefer SP. I think the rez is 1/2 D1 or 352x480 MPEG-2, but don't quote me on that one.
4) EP - 4 HRs Max (Better Than VHS) - better than SLP, but shows pixelation.
5) SLP - 6 HRs Max (Equal to VHS) - looks like MPEG-1 about VCD rez to me. I'd personally NEVER use this setting, but may work for some people.
Both the HQ and SP recordings from my DVD source were indistinguishable from the source (they use MPEG-2 compression and 720x480 pixels for NTSC). No MPG artifacts, and the audio/video was sync'd perfectly. The audio is recorded as stereo AC-3.
More importantly for my old VHS collection of home movies, the conversion to DVD looks as good as my tried and true VHS to Canon DV camcorder to computer (via firewire) for AVI capture, then convert to MPEG-2 (which takes FOREVER!). Let me just say I won't be wasting time doing this anymore! Some of my VHS tapes were pretty bad quality, and as long as I used the SP mode, I couldn't tell a difference from the source (obviously couldn't make it better).
The Cyberhome CH DVR1500 gives you the ability to do some very basic editing, most importantly "hiding" chapters. This can be very useful, mainly for removing commercials from your recorded TV shows. I was going to post some pictures, but was unable to get good screen shots.
Here's how it works. When you are playing back your recording, push "EDIT" on the remote and it brings up a simple menu. Choose "Insert Chapter" at the beginning of first commercial, then "Insert Chapter" again, right after the last commercial, before the show starts again. Then, go back a chapter on the recording (you should see the beginning of the commercials), then choose "Hide Chapter" from the Edit menu. Now the commercials for this sequence are hidden, but the space still remains used on the disk.
I found this was much easier than ripping the files to the computer, editing, then reburning to disk. It takes me about 8 minutes to edit out the commercials from a 1hr TV show. Not too bad.
In addition to inserting chapters, you can also use the "Change Picture" function from the Edit menu to change the picture on the main menu screen for any given recording.
Also, you can change the name of the recording on the menu screen. The recorder automatically uses the input as the name (such as VIDEO IN 1), but is pretty simple to change.
Here is a screenshot of the menu:
[img]http://groups.msn.com/_Secure/0SwDYAt4WDHD!zJ8AxRipl1b0slGOFqSVZFrMJmRmoxGcgLNwG jUJ1M8GAvnhYXRTNjS6F1*21W*XokM2rfIn7qBdLgharnJLuU3 e4j18PmId7fiR!!PeFw/chdvr1500_dvdmenu.jpg[/img]
So far, the unit has played every disk I've thrown at it. Being the MP3 freak I am, I tried one of my DVD-R's full of MP3 songs. Amazingly enough, the unit recognized the songs (including LONG filenames!) and has a pretty intuitive interface. Neither my Apex 1100w or Norcent DP-300 is as easy to navigate through songs.
It also plays Video DVD-R/RWs, DVD+R/RWs (duh), Video CDs, SVCDs, miniDVDs, JPG, MP3's on CD-R/RW and DVD-R/RW, etc. I tested some raw MPEG-2 files on CD-R and DVD-R but they were not recognized by the unit. However, MP3 files on DVD-R/RW disks are VERY NICE. There is long filenames supported, for up to 50 characters. Here is a sample screenshot:
[img]http://groups.msn.com/_Secure/0SwDTArAWImX!zJ8AxRipl3ahxpVJtReAigRtXLAsxYhc!zSu3 9qBEQ7mJXeFvbGtob7rhkgxCVV5OhuFj56W0vP5oPIx*grCCDB wuwZoHYR0AdkCd3or2g/chdvr1500_mp3menu.jpg[/img]
In addition to the RCA Audio/Video cables, RF splitter, and AAA batteries, the unit includes a remote control, Cyberhome embossed CD/DVD case, and 3 DVD+RW disks (if bought from HSN, not sure about future purchases from other retailers).
Picture of CD/DVD Case:
Picture of Remote:
[img]http://groups.msn.com/_Secure/0QADdAjsTrHHYWK8eTo7!rqxWReHWjkI4eEbrAMIJUfstk2PM5 LzDAWL8SajJwkHOHlgaV*JHVDPMtVISiNLD2wSudF!bozthzoz dAgBwwhk/remote.jpg[/img]
I'm very happy with my purchase. My only problem so far has been the RF input, which lowers the volume to my Denon HT system, and does not show correct audio/video sync. I get around this by using my VCR as the tuner (and connecting to Video In on Cyberhome). I've contacted Cyberhome's tech support and going to see what they say. It's not a huge deal to me, b/c I plan on keeping my VCR until DVD recorders are mainstream.
I'll update this post with more information in the next week. If anyone has any specific questions (other than PAL related, I can't test this), post here and I'll try to answer within a few days.
Picture of the unit with DVD tray open:
[img]http://groups.msn.com/_Secure/0RADTAukUKODF6LHdgLlxsrSSGQN*QIOnzxoN5NNFuS!NzvL0k JnXHGFPq7EukghcFUkQfw8VcocrUzB4r7NmiikFKUPT9VWFIAs 5HBc3aPk/front_open.jpg[/img]
UPDATE: 1/4/04 - I've noticed other people complaining of the RF input, so it appears to be a problem in more units than mine. I contacted both HSN and Cyberhome and they both claimed I have not "read the directions" properly. I've been wiring home and car stereos for over 15 years, so I'm pretty sure it's not my wiring...Other than the RF issue, I've been very happy with my unit. I use it almost daily to record TV shows. We got my father an Apex DVD recorder for Christmas, and I hope to get a chance to try it out soon. I've got a feeling I'll like it more than the Cyberhome, but we'll see...
UPDATE #2: 3/26/04 - My unit is now officially DEAD! It attempts to turn on, but sticks on the Cyberhome logo page, then will not read the blank DVD+RW disk inside. It will not allow me to eject the disk nor any other function. HOPEFULLY CYBERHOME WILL RESPOND TO MY RMA REQUEST!!! I filled out the support contact at their website and we'll see what happens. I was still happy with the performance of the unit (except for the audio/RF input issue), but Cyberhome's lack of tech support response is inexcusable (read below). How many CH-DVR 1500's have they sold from people reading this review? I'd guess quite a few. Last time I checked there were over 10k views...Anyway, I'll keep you guys and gals updated on the status of my unit
UPDATE #3: 3/30/03 - Cyberhome sales forwarded my email to support and they contacted me first thing Monday morning. My suggestion to those who need an RMA or question answered?? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org and NOT the online support form at cyberhome.com. You will wait WEEKS for a response and get very mad in the mean time. I don't know why they don't forward the online form to the guy who answered my emails, b/c he was very polite and responded within a few minutes of my emails during the day.
Since my unit was purchased back in September 2003, it was outside the 90 day P&L warranty period, I had to pay $89.95 for labor to have my unit replaced. I thought this was a little steep, but better than the alternative (buying a new one!). I'll post some additional comments when I receive my new unit
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For those interested, I created a Pro/Con list for the Cyberhome CH-DVR 1500:
-Very high quality recordings using HQ or SP modes
-Easy to use
-Remote is large, but comfortable and well laid out
-Component Video Outs for those with HDTVs
-Coaxial and Optical digital outputs
-Price is very affordable for a set-top DVD recorder
-Cyberhome's tech support seems to be nonexistent
-RF input sound and video/audio sync issue
-Clock does not show unless unit is powered off
-Unit does not show status of "make compatible" after editing a DVD+RW, so you may think the unit is locked up. It took a few minutes for my unit to complete the operation
-No DV input
-No 5.1 analog output, which it appears the Sampo DVE-R3 includes
-Currently HSN is the only US distributor, and they only get the unit in stock every few months
I believe there is a Cyberhome UK site that could answer some of your Q.
All in all you got a good deal with the 25%off.
I wanted to know if I could back up some store bought vhs tapes using this dvd recorder. If so how is the quality? Thanks in advance.
Originally Posted by nanz1
Tien_LeGuestOriginally Posted by mp3superfreak
I want to hook up my vcr with RCA cable from the A/V output in the back to the a/v input in the back of the television. Then tell the television the source is Video1. Then hook up the CH-1500 DVR with RCA cable from the front a/v connection on the television to the front of the DVR? and what? tell it the source is video2? And that it's live tv?
As you can see, I haven't worked out the logistics of this.
I Just Had Something Intresting happen with this recorder. Ok I burned a dvd+r in hq mode all the way untill there was no more room left to record. ok after it stopped recording. An error message came up on the screen and I couldn't get my dvd out of the player. so I waited like 5 mins and then was getting pissed so I hit the power switch on the back of the unit. ok so then after about 5 mins i turned the unit back on using the switch in the back. then the menu came up ok and then i went ahed and finalized the disc and now i have ran the disc through my 3 and 1/2 year old phillips dvd 825 dvd player and my 2 month old memorex mm-5000 portable dvd player and both played the dvd just fine. damn I was scared there for a min that maybe I had burned a coaster. But i Guess not. Have you had this problem mp3superfreak when using dvd+r discs in this unit? This is my first one that I have used. I've had the unit for about 2 weeks now and all I've used are rw discs and i have yet to get an error on those but I can't get them to playback in either one of my dvd players.
Ditto, Eric Cartman....This is an issue here that nobody seems to be discussing. What is the compatibility of the discs recorded on this machine?
I am using the DVD+RW format only. I have auditioned 3 of the +RW machines on the market, and NONE of them burn discs that will play in most other +RW capable players.
The failed recorders are as follows:
The discs burned in these machines would not play back on the following DVD+RW players (which WOULD play PC burned DVD+RWs).
General Electric DGE100N
The question is: Will the Cyberhome machine record DVDs that play on other machines?
Originally Posted by Eric_Cartman029
1) Pioneer DV-C503
2) Apex 1100w
3) Norcent DP300
4) Denon ADV-700 DVD HT System
Although, the Pioneer does not like the +RW disks unless they are "made compatible" w/ the Cyberhome. If not, I get a picture beside picture display.
I bought this DVD Recorder Nov 7th Friday Night at my local Wal-Mart.
And returned it Nov 9th Sunday night about the same time of night.
Why ?? My reasons are ...
I time-scheduled the dvd recorder to record "The 18th Angel" on STARZ Sunday Noon. No problems there. SP mode ... 2 HR mode.
I played the DVD+RW in my JVC XV-S 500BK ... the DVD+RW disc would play for 90 secs and freeze up ... I hit stop and play and it continues ... [did this over and over] this was the only way to see the movie on my JVC DVD Player.
I took it back when ... and this is really weird ... I recorded "Smallville Beginnings at 7PM Sunday night. I used HQ mode ... 1 HR mode. Because I was worried about running out of space on the DVD+RW ... I used the pause button to pause during commercials.
When Smallville was done ... I ejected the disc and put it in my Sony DVD burner.
I opened the folder containing the files ... oh boy ... weird. I had two title sets with about 5 vob files ... 16 megs each ... total of 10 files. Barely 200 megs ... huh ???
I clicked on one of them with PowerDVD ... and what did I have to watch using PowerDVD ... the commercials ... not Smallville. Like ??!!! ... what the F ... %$#... K !!!
I put the DVD back in the Cyberhome DVD recorder and Smallville was there playing away without the commercials.
I wanted to copy Smallville to my harddrive and reauthor/edit it with TMPGEnc DVD Author but I couldn't.
The DVD disc on the data side showed the greyed out burnt look through almost all the side.
I tried using the menu ... trying the compatible features ... adding extra chapters where Smallville started after commercial ended ... yeah it worked fine ... if I used the Cyberhome but didn't help when I moved it to the Sony DRU500A. 200 megs of commercials ... That were paused out ... that shouldn't have been there in the first place.
I packed it up ... and returned it ... crediting my Wal-Mart credit card.
I've had this player for a few days now and have been pleased with the results. I have had no problems transferring the DVD+RW to my computer using my Pioneer 105 and then burning to DVD-R. All content is visable.
I have also tested the Cyberhome 1500 with PAL content and can confirm it works fine.
Anyone know of a region free remote hack?
No worries I just discovered a region free remote hack and have posted it in the hacks section for anyone who is interested
Did Cyberhome make a modification to this unit? Every Unit that I have seen online has an analog coax input but no analog coax output, However this past weekend I purchased to units ($150.00/each) and they had both an coax analog input and coax analog output???
Is this the difference between the 1500/p, and the 1500/x units as I notice that there are two different firmwares on the cyberhome website?
Originally Posted by duckee
However this past weekend I purchased to units ($150.00/each) and they had both an coax analog input and coax analog output??? [duckee]
May I ask.....where did u pu for $150?
Sounds like a good DVD recorder only thing stopping me from getting one would be no hard drive. Panansonic seem to have play back problem so I might wait for a new unit
This was purchased from Fry's Electronics. It was a one day sale. Black Friday (day after thanksgiving). The model is a 1500/x which was manufactured in Sept 2004, it is not the 1500/p.
Also Compusa has on-sale the Lites-on for $277.00 plus a 30 dollar rebate bringing the cost to $247.00. The Lite-On LVW-5001 also has the DV firewire connecter, which may be worth the $100/extra bucks.
Thank you for the reviews!
I am also considering purchasing this recorder. I currently own a Sansui dual deck DVD/VHS recorder, but it will only record to DVD-R/RW. The recorded discs play great on my other DVD players in the house, BUT not with my PC's DVD-Rom which is a bummer. Of course, I only learned a lot more about DVD recorders and DVD+/-R/RW media AFTER I bought this machine. I later found out that my PC's DVD-ROM (Matshita DVD-ROM SR-8585 Firmware Version: 1w21pm) will play DVD(+)R/RWs!! That's why I'm looking into purchasing this CyberHome model. It seems to have a lot more editing capabilities than my current recorder as well, which is a plus. It's not a guarantee that this player will produce dVDs that'll play in my PC, but I'm willing to try it out.
(1) Anyone with a Matshita DVD-ROM SR-8585 Firmware Version: 1w21pm been able to play DVD+R/RWs successfully?
(2) The couple of sites I've seen selling this recorder state in their descriptions that this recorder will record to CD-R/RWs?? Is this true? If so, what a nice alternative! Quality won't be as great as they would on DVD+R/RWs, but my PC could definitely play CDRs.
I've seen this recorder sold at:
- http://www.walmart.com for $294
- http://www.target.com for $349.99 (You could apply for a Target card and receive 10% off your first purchase)
Can someone tell me if the models sold at these two stores are actually the same? They look like they are, but just want to make sure.
There's another CyberHome CH-DVR 1500 DVD Recorder listed at http://www.barrel-of-monkeys.com/graphics/prod/dvdrecorders/ch/chdvr1500.shtml. This one is a MULTI-REGION (PAL/NTSC) recorder/player! They have two packages with free ground shipping. Of course, this player is a bit more expensive that the model that's been reviewed here. The more expensive package includes the "Eliminator", which is a Copy Protection Remover for DVD Backup. Anyone have this recorder and can review it?
Originally Posted by DVDfann
BTW: This is by default PAL/NTSC multiregion recorder. Not player, but do you realy want to use recorder as player ? In a mean time try to find out if there is an easy hack for this unit.Pinnacle Studio 8 and DV home video editing (ver.9 already home)
I purchased my DVR-1500 4 days ago. I applied the 1229200301 upgrade and it seemed to go well (screen went from green to blackslowly). The disks Verbatim datalife 2.x dvd+rw will read in my desktop players- Sony,Samsung,Daewoo. However tonight I tried to make a copy in a pc(win98se). On 2 machines it absolutely locks up the machine- have to reboot. On two others it reports via nero or dvd decrypter that I have inserted invalid media. Is the machine defective/messed up with the upgrade or will the 1500d just not write pc compatible dvd's? I have fooled with the record mode and turned auto chapters on/off. Also tried making each title "compatible" but no help. Also tried a dvd+r with same results. If you put it in my Phillips 75 it will play but not allow further recording. Should I just return it or swap it for another?
Like all recorders the CH DVR-1500 discs may not be compatible with all players/PC DVD-ROM or PC DVD-Burners. You will need to check the compatibility of your PC DVD-ROM/Burner.
My discs will play in my DVD-Recorder (Pioneer 105 - 1 year old) but will not play in my DVD-ROM which is only about 2 years old.
Try this if you want to record additional titles using the Philips with a disc originally made on the 1500:
Put the disc in the tray, but do not close it. Hit "record", the Philips will ask you if you want to continue recording on the disc. If you hit yes, it should redo the menu to a Philips menu. Then it will work just like any other disc made by the Philips.
(This is only supposed to work with dvds made by other set top decoders, it will not work on discs authored on your PC)
Thanks to both qpskfec and Mediaman2000 for your posts. Encouraged that the dvd could be read by a pc, I have found the following:
I tried a winxp machine with a pioneer A06 and it read the cyber1500 dvd (using dvddecrypter or Nero). The same machine has a liteon ltd165h dvd drive and I could also read on that drive. I have the same drive on a win98se machine and the same disk locks up the w98se computer. I can only conclude that something in 98se won't let it work while it will in winxp. That's fine with me so long as I have a way to duplicate/edit the cyber 1500 dvd files.
The suggestion to be able to record on a dvdr75 also works just fine with the bonus that after the process the dvd is readable by my w98se computers!!
For now I am keeping the cyber 1500d thanks to you both.
Does anyone know if this machine supports RANDOM playback of MP3 files?
Tested quite a few DVD recorders that claim to support MP3's. They could play them, but so far none had ramdom playback support for MP3's.
If i was recording from a PAL source in SP mode, what resolution could I expect from this unit? Is this identical to what a PAL based unit would offer?
I'd read here
that these recorders should allow you to create various titles on a dvd+rw but they would playback 'seamless' (chained together) on a regular dvd player, meaning each TITLE will flow into the next when played back- very linear- like a videotape.
It seems to me like the CH1500 puts you back to the main title menu at the end of each title and you have to manually start the next title to play--
am i right? or is the CH1500 not compatible for that type of editing?
here's the paragraph i'm referring to in the link:
Titles and chapters
Every new recording will automatically be asigned a new chapter number, and a new entry for the recording will be added to the index picture screen (see next paragraph). All titles on a disc will be chained, that is, when playback of a title is started, all consequent titles will also be played (this way, the behaviour of a disc recorded on a DVD+RW recorder is comparable to a VCR).
Each title can be divided into chapters for easy reference. This can be done automatically by the recorder at standard intervals (about 5 minutes), or the chapter markers can be placed by the user himself. When playing back the disc on the recorder or a DVD-Video player, one can use the Next and Previous buttons on the remote control to go to the consequent chapter point. While pressing next during playback of the last chapter will advance to the beginning of the next title, since all titles are chained together.
Hmm, that site says that SP can be 720 x 576, yet i fail to see why cyberhome would emphasize the fact that HQ was 720 x 576. If someone could clear this up and tell me what resolution this cyberhome does PAL in SP at, I'd be really appreciative.
I find that link (site) pretty informative...however, i'm thinking the reason that some of the aspects described there do not apply to the CH 1500 is cuz theyre basing all their fact around the PHILIPS DVD+RW/+R technology?
There's bound to be differences in what was developed, and what Cyberhome actually employed on the recorder...
However- i can't believe the ability to "chain" the titles together would be one of them- seems like a pretty major thing to leave out. I am pretty happy w/it regardless... i'll just have my finger on the PAUSE button alot.
(i don't know enough about PAL/NTSC to answer the question above regarding resolution..sorry)
I'm pretty sure it that at SP it records in the standard PAL DVD resolution, i.e. 720 x 576. Someone correct me if I am wrong but the only difference between SP and HQ is the bitrate utilized. I think HQ uses 8000 kbps and SP uses 6000 kbps.