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  1. The November issue of the British magazine “What Hi-Fi” brought out a test of 3 new DVD/HD recorders(160GB), the best ever DVD recorders: Panasonic DMR-E95H, Pioneer DVR-720H and Sony RDR-HX900.

    The test results:

    1. Sony RDR-HX900 (5 stars):

    For – Scintillating picture quality; stylish; well-equipped; easy to use;flexible.
    Against – Nothing of any note: the remote handset isn’t that sexy, but that’s it.
    VERIDICT- Breathtaking ability: the Sony shoots straight to the top of the table. It’s the best recorder on the market right now.

    “…The new RDR-HX900 records to no less then four different formats: DVD-R, DVD-RW, DVD+R and DVD+RW… A great deal of effort has gone into optimizing the image quality: pre-video noise reduction and video equalizer technologies filter incoming video signals to reduce undesirable nasties, and similar attention is lavished on the video outputs… Most intriguingly, if you record mainly to hard-disk (160GB), you get access to the remarkable 15Mbps HQ+ mode, which, Sony claims, offers better then DVD image quality.”


    2. Panasonic DMR-E95H (5 stars):

    For – Excellent performance; fine features; terrific recording quality.
    Against – Stereo performance isn’t great, but that’s about your lot.
    VERIDICT – Sensational recording capability, easy to use and very flexible: an immensely appealing design.

    “… Panasonic provides great recording quality…of excellent, fully saturated, gloriously rich video. Digital artifacts are kept well in check and as a result images are virtually identical to the original.”


    3. Pioneer DVR-720H (3 stars):

    For – Easy to use; slim; well-equipped with editing features;large hard-disk (160GB).
    Against – Picture performance just isn’t up tp scratch at this money.
    VERIDICT – A reasonable performer in some ways, but both Panasonic and Sony offer you more ability for your cash.

    “…but we can’t help but point an accusing finger at the Pioneer’s chief weakness: the picture quality should be a lot better…next to Panasonic and Sony, its picture lacks verve, crispness and richness… It’s such a shame. The DVR-720H scores highly for easy of use and has an extensive array of editing features, but luck of video sparkle, whatever you’re watching, weighs heavily against it. You can buy better.”


    I hope that these test results, as well as the one that I had posted before, will help you make an informed decision when buying a new DVD recorder.
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  2. Master of Time & Space Capmaster's Avatar
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    Nice work zorankarapancev.

    But please edit it to remove the all-caps in the topic title. It's annoying. Thanks

    Edit: I'll just do it. You're not here that much and I can't look at that screaming title all day
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  3. HDTV recorders are the way to buy.....

    zorankarapancev, what do you think about our recorder reviews in the dvd writer topic on left column?
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  4. Some are good, some…completely useless and misleading! Example:

    “don't support time shift functions !!!
    don't support mp3/vcd disk
    don't support dvd-ram disk
    don't support dvd-audio disk
    writes only on DVD-R/RW (partly on DVD+RW)
    disused internal design
    high price
    ...
    Rated this writer 1 of 10.”

    This is review for one of the best DVD recorders(without HD) on the market. Silly!
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  5. That Sony looks interesting... not released here yet. Lowest price I could find was $800 at GoodGuys.

    http://www.goodguys.com/sony/sony_adtemplate.asp?invky=843879&catky=

    There's a link to the owner's manual at the bottom of the page, too.
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  6. Member
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    I have been using the Toshiba RD-XS32 for a few weeks now and after an extremely tough hurdle initially of navigation I am finding it extremely nice at editing. I find it quicker to edit on recorder than PC. On the quality side..........I can't comment to much. I record everything at a very high bit rate.....probably higher than original brodcast and then move all edited programs to PC to be put back together and re encoded using proper software.

    How are the editing functions on the Sony?

    Thxs
    All I've got in this world is my balls and my word.....

    and I don't break them for no one!
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  7. That Sony allows you to record to the HDD in HQ+ (15 Mbps), then use "Dynamic VBR" to dub to a smaller, compliant file size to disc... supposedly retaining nearly all the original recording quality. Cool.
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  8. Member
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    I won't argue that the Sony HQ+ feature is not cool but I don't see the practicality of it. I doubt it has component inputs..........the only situation I think you may want to use that function is if it has a firewire input to accept a Camcorder.

    Am I wrong in thinking this?? Most broadcasts.......or even DVD will not get even close to 15mbps.
    All I've got in this world is my balls and my word.....

    and I don't break them for no one!
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  9. Member
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    should have checked before posting.

    INPUTS/OUTPUTS
    Video Inputs: Component Video Input
    Video Inputs: TV Input (RF Type)
    Video Inputs: S-Video Inputx 3
    Video Inputs: Composite Video Input x 3
    Video Inputs: i.LINK® Input for DV/Digital 8® Camcorder
    Audio Input: Audio L/R (RCA Type) x 3
    Video Outputs: TV Output (RF Type)
    Video Outputs: S-Video Output x 2
    Video Outputs: Composite Video Output x 2
    Video Outputs: Component video output
    Audio Output: Audio L/R (RCA Type) x 2
    Audio Output: Optical Digital Audio Output
    Audio Output: Coaxial Digital Audio Output


    I can now see the benefit of HQ+

    Very hefty price tag though. $1199 on sony.ca
    The Toshiba is only $799.99 and I got for $699
    I can only find the E85 panasonic model which is $1300 on there website.

    zorankarapancev a little unfair comparing the pioneer @ 799 reg. (or 699 last week) to the other models which are far more expensive.

    all prices are cdn
    All I've got in this world is my balls and my word.....

    and I don't break them for no one!
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  10. That Sony looks interesting... not released here yet.
    Strange, it is available in Canada:

    http://www.sonystyle.ca/commerce/servlet/ProductDetailDisplay?storeId=10001&langId=-1&...ductId=1000360

    P.S. I see, the anticipated date of arrival is Nov 12, 2004! Hmm...good for Christmas...
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  11. So Sony wins again this time with it's HD version. I was waiting for the JVC HD version (it's out now) but I haven't really seen any raving reviews.
    I was thinking Pioneer 520 for a while but now I think I may stick with the Sony. Especially since I am really happy with the RDR-GX300. This Sony RDR-HX900 seems to have it all. I guess it would be too much to ask for Dual/Double layer.
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  12. Sony is incredible…the King on the hill…about a year ahead of everybody…cheaper than Panasonic…untouchable… worth every penny…I will buy it in a heart beat…but I really need FR mode of recording…shoot!!!
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  13. Yea, the omission of fr mode does suck. Recently i've been noticing some shifting going on on Sony's website. They've removed the old RDR-GX7.
    They have now added the RDR-HX900.

    http://www.sonystyle.com/is-bin/INTERSHOP.enfinity/eCS/Store/en/-/USD/SY_BrowseCatalog...rders&Dept=hav

    Whatever happened to the RDR-HX700? without the HD.
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  14. I saw that Sony at pricegrabber.com for $799, free shipping, no tx. This month.
    http://www.crutchfield.com/S-M6UxQGfqhyv/cgi-bin/prodview.asp?i=158RDRHX9H
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  15. Yes, but - Expected: 11/15/2004

    I strongly believe that this Sony model is the best DVD recorder on the planet. Personally, I will never buy any Sony DVD recorder until they will have some kind of FR mode of recording.
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  16. tommyoz,

    Since you have Sony RDR-GX300, will you tell us what is the difference in the picture quality between 2 and 3 hour mode?
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  17. Member rhegedus's Avatar
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    I read a similar review about a year ago when there were only two HD/DVDR combos on the market - the Panasonic DMR somthing and the Pioneer DVR5100.

    Needless to say, they chose the £800 Panasonic over the £600 Pioneer. I bought the Pioneer over the Panasonic and have not looked back.

    https://www.videohelp.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=862386#862386

    The only real advantage the newer recorders have is a larger hard drive, but with 17 hour recording at highest quality, there's no need for anything more.

    Also, now that DL media is available, single layer recorders are a bit...... erm...... yesterday.
    Regards,

    Rob
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  18. Member sky captain's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by zorankarapancev
    Yes, but - Expected: 11/15/2004

    I strongly believe that this Sony model is the best DVD recorder on the planet. Personally, I will never buy any Sony DVD recorder until they will have some kind of FR mode of recording.
    Forgive me, but I'm a newbie. What's FR mode?
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  19. The FR(flexible recording) mode determines the most appropriate bit rate(quality of the recording) according to the lenght of the project that you want to record.("FR mode" is terminology used mostly by Panasonic).
    In other words, the FR mode will optimize the recording quality automaticly and will act as a timer for stopping the recording at the exact end of the project without wasting blanc DVD.

    What would you do if recording project needs, for example, 2 hours and 5 minutes of recording? If you do not have FR mode to set exact time (for the best quality of the recording, which in this case will be virtualy same as for 2 hour recording), you will have to switch your DVD recorder to a 3 hour preset mode of recording! And that will affect the quality of the picture, plus you will end up with 1/3 unused blanc DVD disc.
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    WOW! I can't believe some of these recorders are so inflexible.

    The toshiba I have is much more robust. You can change the bitrate in increments of 0.2 mbps. You can also change from 3 differents types of audio....... DD 192 kbps, DD 384 kbps and PCM.

    It does not have VBR as most people call it but as far as I know no one does. Pioneer claims to be able to do it but I doubt it is anything close to good PC programs.

    At some point I have to believe that at some point they will be able to do it but for now...........I record at high bit rate and transfer to PC and re-encode at 1/2 the bit rate with little loss in quality.
    All I've got in this world is my balls and my word.....

    and I don't break them for no one!
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  21. Member DVWannaB's Avatar
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    Great thread here.

    I too am interested in purchasing one of these units (maybe x-mas ). The Sony and Panasonic sounds great.

    One thing I did notice when I visited each website to check on the specs, the Sony did not mention anything about picture control (Brightness, Color, Contrast, Gamma ), while the Panasonic does. This is hugely important for older VHS transfers. Can anyone verify this as being so?

    Also, I am confused how these hard drive units handle editing. For example if you recorded a show at HQ, but you want to write to a single disk, can you edit commercials and have lets say a 2hour 15 minute show on a 4.7GB disk and have it maximize that space?

    Finally, how do you guys handle transferring captures from your recorders to your computer for, lets say, re-encoding or authoring using software based apps? Firewire out port?

    Thanks.
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  22. Member rhegedus's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by DVWannaB
    For example if you recorded a show at HQ, but you want to write to a single disk, can you edit commercials and have lets say a 2hour 15 minute show on a 4.7GB disk and have it maximize that space?

    Finally, how do you guys handle transferring captures from your recorders to your computer for, lets say, re-encoding or authoring using software based apps? Firewire out port?
    1) yes, you can edit out stuff and re-encode. the editing is basic cutting with no effects.

    2) write to DVDRW and then rip to HD on PC.
    Regards,

    Rob
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    I want to buy a standalone dvd recorder, no hurry. I came to this site to do a lot of reading before I do. After reading this thread I am wondering if it is possible to backup my dvd-9s to dvd-5s using one of the dvd recorders with a hard drive and this fr mode? I have done some of our dvds with my pc for my son to take on car trips, but was just wondering if this was another way to consider.

    Thanks and sorry if this is a dumb question.
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  24. Originally Posted by zorankarapancev
    tommyoz,

    Since you have Sony RDR-GX300, will you tell us what is the difference in the picture quality between 2 and 3 hour mode?
    I apologize for responding late, I was away. As far as picture quality do you want to know the specs or what i think?

    I don't record on anything less than the 2 hour mode. I did try a few recordings just to see and it wasn't that bad. There was some very slight pixelation at fast scenes that were not present in 2 hour mode but other than that it looked good to me.
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  25. Member DVWannaB's Avatar
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    thanks rhegedus for your reply. very helpful.

    Can anyone verify the picture control (Brightness, Color, Contrast, Gamma), in the Sony RDR-HX900 or previous Sony models. If not, I am leaning toward the Pany :P
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  26. Member
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    Originally Posted by DVWannaB
    Can anyone verify the picture control (Brightness, Color, Contrast, Gamma), in the Sony RDR-HX900 or previous Sony models. If not, I am leaning toward the Pany :P
    i doubt any of these machines can do it. The easiest solution may be to play through your tv with altered corrections and then go out from there and into recorder. I have no idea if the altered settings is the output though since I can not test this.

    Also you should be able to change some of these settings if you re-encode on your computer.
    All I've got in this world is my balls and my word.....

    and I don't break them for no one!
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  27. Originally Posted by tryintoo
    I want to buy a standalone dvd recorder, no hurry. I came to this site to do a lot of reading before I do. After reading this thread I am wondering if it is possible to backup my dvd-9s to dvd-5s using one of the dvd recorders with a hard drive and this fr mode? I have done some of our dvds with my pc for my son to take on car trips, but was just wondering if this was another way to consider.

    Thanks and sorry if this is a dumb question.
    Back up your DVD's on the computer with a program like DVDShrink, for example. It makes exact or compressed duplicates of the original... the entire disc, or just the movie only if you like.
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    Thanks gshelley61. That is the way I have done it in the past, but just wondered after reading about fr mode if it could be done another way.

    Appreciate your response. I have read enough on this site to know that you do know what you are talking about!
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  29. News that didn't surprise me:

    European Imaging and Sound Association (EISA) named Sony's flagship DVD recorder RDR-HX1000 (essentialy same as HX900 but with 250GB HD) the European Digital Video Recorder of the Year 2004-2005.
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  30. Member DVWannaB's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by zorankarapancev
    News that didn't surprise me:

    European Imaging and Sound Association (EISA) named Sony's flagship DVD recorder RDR-HX1000 (essentialy same as HX900 but with 250GB HD) the European Digital Video Recorder of the Year 2004-2005.
    HUH???? A little bit premature, since we are even in 2005 yet and no clear idea if Toshiba, Pioneer, Sharp, etc. will launch a challenge.

    Then again, if the their competitive year is Feb 1 to Jan 31, then its all good and makes more sense
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