I am still searching for the 'right' machine to convert all those VHS-C tapes of the kiddies. Was pretty sure it was going to be one of the Pannys, then heard lots of good stuff about the JVC DR-10, but blanched at the price. Then followed the great iLo trail (now up to 360+ posts!). Then today read the one on the Lite-On 5101 vs iLo, with great screen cappture comparisons, but which made some real positive comments out Pioneer 220. Hmmm. Checked it out.... $220... not too shocking. For grins rechecked the JVC, whoa! it's now avail for $260 (but seems to be lots of operating problem posts). So, has anyone done a side by side of the Pioneer vs JVC, or can comment about ease of use? While I'm almost brain dead from reading I'd like somemore info before I email Santa.
For good measure the plan is to turn all my VHS-Cs into disks, then SOMEDAY edit those and reburn. Maybe I'm just driving myself nuts and the cheaper units are 'good enough'?
Oh, am I better off to use one of my sub$100 VCRs as an input or should I use the playback feature of the camcorder, or just try it when I get it and go from there? I understand garbage in - garbage out.
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I haven't done a side-by-side comparison, but I can tell you the Pioneer machines are a true joy to own. I've been using a Pioneer 210s for 6 months or so and just bought a Pioneer 420H-s with an 80gig hard drive (for storage and editing). Both machines have been flawless so far. Both machines record DVD-R & DVD-RW. Also, they both have the option to record in VR mode (for editing) with an RW disc. Editing is well thought out, and a breeze! The best feature by far is the manual (VBR) bit rate selection. Other features include chase-play and automatic recording from an external source (such as a Satellite Receiver).
Generally speaking, tapes playback better in the machines they were recorded in. There are exceptions to this rule. For instance, has your macine been dropped, serviced or otherwise "adjusted?" Is the machine about to die? If your answer is: "Yes," your tapes may playback better in another machine.
Also, you might consider purchasing a Time Base Corrector. 20 years ago these devices were priced at $50,000. Today a pro-sumer unit can be found at +/- $300. A TBC corrects sync and a variety of other componets of the video signal. NOTE: Some tapes copy better without a TBC (small percentage), so keep your eyes open for odd artifacts.
The bottom line is this: If it looks good to you, then nothing else matters. Don't let anyone (including me) persuade you into buying expensive equipment or following a certain PROCEDURE. (I hate that word; procedures are for people who are afraid to think & experiment. Sometimes you fail, but you always learn something new in the process.)
I only owned the 220 for a short period of time before returning it. I did a few short experiments and just didn't feel instantly comfortable with it. I later spent the money for the JVC. VERY easy to use. If you are using a computer, you can use the JVC without even reading the manual; I never did. One big difference between the two is VBR recording. The JVC will do true VBR recording, but not the Pioneer, at least to the best of my knowledge. As for operating problems with the JVC, I would say to stick to the basics outlined in the JVC "loading" thread.
1. Give it clean power, go through a surge protector.
2. Give it good discs, I only record with Fuji 2x DVD-RW in Video mode
3. Give it a clean signal
4. Turn the machine's Power Save option off and manually turn the unit
off when not in use on the unit, not the remote.
I have had 0 problems with my unit under these recommendations. As mentioned above a TBC would be good for VHS transfers, but that is really a discussion for the Restoration Section. Lordsmurf and gshelley61 are really good folks to follow with relation to the JVC unit, quality, and Restoration issues.
JVC has very good Video, But some JVC are having some burn out problems. Pioneer has problems backing up VHS tapes. I have a Panasonic for just about one year no problems.
One think I like about the 220 is when its off it draw about 1/2 a watt.
I think the JVC run warm and it "off" is about the same as on.
ecost.com has some refurbished DR-M10 for $181.
If they have been repaired for the LOADING problem, it would be a good deal.
JVC beats the Pioneer in video quality.
The JVC has some odd quirks that seem to be power-related, but it's not hard to solve, assuming the damage is not already done. I forget what the Pioneer quirk was. Every recorder has something.
I haven't come across any idiosyncracies with the Pioneer 210 so far, and I use it a lot. The only thing about it I'd change would be to add more menu choices.
Maybe this qualifies: when playing in my Apex AD1500, I can't go past 2x in forward search or it will freeze up. However, I can just go to the next chapter and it's okay......