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  1. DVD Ninja budz's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by oldfart13
    No reviews of the new Sony? Not enough $$ to buy one to test out and return? What will happen when the new Blu-Ray units are out? Probably no reviews from this site...
    How about you buying it then test it out and then return it! :P
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  2. Member
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    The Sony I could test but it's already been done at avsforums. Ditto on the new Panasonic DVD recorder. I could do the Sony unit as my friends own the in-town dealership. I could do other higher end units providing they come in as friends own those stores in town. My "Oldfart" moniker isn't just for show you know...
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  3. I've had my Sony RDR-GX7 for a little over a month now. I use it a few times a day, so far flawless. I hope the 50% drive failure is just an opinion/guess.
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  4. JVC, LiteOn and Sanyo would be my top choices. However I have gotten some discs from Sanyo DVD recorders which, while excellent in video quality, tend to have reading/ripping problems similar the kind of occasional read/rip problems many folks have noted with Pansonic DVDs. IMHO any kind of problem where a DVD recorders spits out discs that will play but not read or rip properly, so the disc can't be copied or ripped, is unacceptable. Even if it only happens occasionally. This has never happened to me with a disc burned in a JVC or LiteOn DVD recorder but has happened with both Pannies and Sanyos, and is endemic on the Maggotbox -- excuse me, Magnavox.

    One quibble: the "loading" error on the JVC is hardly fatal. I've got it and as long as I leave the JVC unplugged overnight, it's never an issue. Only if the JVC runs for more than about 14 hours straight does it show up at all in my experience. Of course YMMV.
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  5. Many, many thanks to Lord Smurf for his excellent work on this topic. There is nothing more frustrating than having a problem with a product and then spending hours trying to find first whether others have had a similar experience and second what can be done about it. Having a list such as this must have already saved many persons an incalculable amount of time and frustration. Lord Smurf has an unequalled breadth of knowledge on video capture and he tells it as he sees it with no apologies. I feel very fortunate that he continues to be willing to spend his time helping those of us who lurk here in the forums.
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  6. Member
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    Besides the fix for Apex 9000 recorders there is a fix for Cyberhome 1500, 1500C 1530 and 2500 models now also. Please see the website for more information. http://www.drx9000repair.netfirms.com
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  7. Member KeepItSimple's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by stevec50
    Besides the fix for Apex 9000 recorders there is a fix for Cyberhome 1500, 1500C 1530 and 2500 models now also. Please see the website for more information. http://www.drx9000repair.netfirms.com
    You have to pay to fix something that shouldn't be wrong in the first place? I don't think so. I already paid when I bought it thank you.
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  8. Video Restorer lordsmurf's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by KeepItSimple
    You have to pay to fix something that shouldn't be wrong in the first place? I don't think so. I already paid when I bought it thank you.
    This thread is about identifying flaws, and maybe learning how to fix them. Not bitching about them being there to begin with. If you want to rant, start a new thread.
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  9. Member KeepItSimple's Avatar
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    Ok will do Mr. Smurf. My "bitch" was about paying some guy somewhere for the fix.
    Peace.
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  10. Video Restorer lordsmurf's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by KeepItSimple
    Ok will do Mr. Smurf. My "bitch" was about paying some guy somewhere for the fix.Peace.
    Well, Apex refuses to fix units (or outright ignores you), and Cyberhome does not do it correctly. So it's good that a few handy people in-the-know will fix them for people who would otherwise be stuck with a large and expensive paperweight.
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  11. Member vhelp's Avatar
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    Why not just take them into a fixer-upper (serviceman) if you can't
    get one fixed ??

    But, would probably be cheaper to get another cheaper unit

    oh yea. Good list LS. Forgot to commend you :P

    -vhelp 3408
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  12. Member Marvingj's Avatar
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    My friend has a Sony Gx-300 it has Macroblocks. I think this a first for Sony, Usually it has bad drives but its offical it has the same problem as Panasonic. I try to look at Sony more expensive model to see if this just a GX-300 problem or all Sonys.
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  13. I've noticed that the Panasonic E85 units have audio sync problems with cutting parts of video out of a title, or splitting a title. The problem doesn't appear when playing the video from the drive, but when ripping to my computer (I do it with DVD-RAM discs), anything that had parts cut out or if a title was split seems to be out of sync. Not sure if anyone else has seen this problem before.
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  14. Originally Posted by lordsmurf
    So it's good that a few handy people in-the-know will fix them for people who would otherwise be stuck with a large and expensive paperweight.

    And the fix does work. I had Steve fix mine. No problems since and now it works like it should have all along.
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  15. Video Restorer lordsmurf's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by non-linear
    I've noticed that the Panasonic E85 units have audio sync problems with cutting parts of video out of a title, or splitting a title. The problem doesn't appear when playing the video from the drive, but when ripping to my computer (I do it with DVD-RAM discs), anything that had parts cut out or if a title was split seems to be out of sync. Not sure if anyone else has seen this problem before.
    This is related to it's AC3 problem. All kind of hell break loose when you try to edit Panasonic-made audio files. Sync issues, as well as drop-outs, even complete loss of parts of the AC3 track.
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  16. Member Marvingj's Avatar
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    Welll, I have Evaluated Toshiba DR-2 & Dk2-r. THE GOOD: Toshiba picture is Great second to JVC. It has all kind of neat toys like DNR, TBC (line), Black level adjustment & white Levels. Has a Manual that in a least a inch thick. Lots of neat things to adjusted. THE BAD: has Once Copy Protection ( Can not copy off of HBO etc. with some kind of video stabilizer). I haven't found a Black Bug issue. Does Not like ant DVD's . Very Picky. Will only accept Ridata, panasonic . If you copy with any other it will definitely be a coaster. Only will read DVD-, DVD-rw & Ram. But only certain Disc. Very Picky. NO Hacks or firmware upgrade at all. Plays DVD-Video Movies excellent. Does extremely well with dubbing a VHS or Hi-8 tapes when you have a Video stabilizer or TBC to take out the Marco. Overall its a very good model but . will never defear JVC or Pioneer. Better build than Lite on.
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    I am just wondering, I have been doing some test recordings from a iLO DVDR04 ... On playback (on a different DVD player) there seems be some random white lines (verrry light though) that appears in the upper third of the video... Has anyone else had this problem or is this just this unit or a brand thing?
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    Just thought that I would post an update... I hooked up my JVC VCR to the recorder and used its' tuner, and the quality level went way up... I am thinking that the tuner on the iLo isn't all that great...
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  19. I have a Philips DVDR600VR/37 that is quite impressive to me. The picture quality is outstanding I have no idea what product was tested but my images are perfect, not grainy. If I do encounter any defects I will come back here and let you all know. I am a heavy user, so if this thing sucks I will know it.
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  20. Member
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    Yes, noble Lord Smurf... it is a valuble service you give all us Recorder fans... great info here.

    I too fall victim to the Pioneer "drop-out" curse with my DVR-510H (for which I sold my previous deck, the Panasonic DMR-E80H -- probably a mistake).

    The Pioneer is extremely finicky about VHS tapes... any tape that has less than a first-generation "signal" - however well it plays on other machines - jumps and "blanks"... it's almost as if the Pioneer thinks the tape has macrovision...

    A tech at Pioneer told me that they were aware of the problem, but had no plans (he knew of) of a fix.

    Since this is the main reason I bought a recorder, this is unfortunate... the standalone recorder is so much less work-intensive than burning on a computer...

    From your list, it looks as thought JVC is the least error-prone... maybe I'll pick one of those up. I can't take this Pioneer any more.

    Thanks, Dave
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  21. Member ann coates's Avatar
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    dstuck, I had the same problem with my Pioneer 520 which I returned. The problem appears to be resolved on the new Pioneer line. I picked up a Pioneer 531 from Walmart and using the same tapes my Pioneer 520 choked on everything seems fine. So far at least.

    I also have a Panasonic E85 which does a great job on video tapes, but I prefer the Pioneer overall for recording. The new line has better PQ as well.
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    Thanks Ann -- this is good to know.

    I don't know why I didn't catch this deficiency in time to return it, but I didn't...

    I will be trying something else as this problem is driving me nuts... maybe I'll try a new Pioneer...

    thanks again,

    Dave
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  23. Here's one courtesy of a friend who bought the "Wal*Mart special" AKA the giant red flags for DVD Recorders...

    Sanpo
    Issue: (1) Does not burn 8X DVD-Rs (even at 1X-4X speeds,) (2)does not read burnt 8X Discs from other machines, set-top or PC.
    How common is it? Very. According what I was told, a phone call to the company will get you a "Sorry, our machines don't handle 8X Discs, please buy 1X-4X blank media only." response.
    Can it be fixed? Unknown, I don't have one to dissect and rebuild.
    Will it break again? Unknown, but unless a magic firmware upgrade is released, yes.

    NOTE: This is the first I've heard of any recorders choking on 8X Discs, even my Panasonic recorders don't have this type of issue, as for the Macroblocking, I only notice it when fast forwarding or recording in anything under SP Mode which is basically a "Garbage Mode" anyway. (I have a DMR-HS2 and a DMR-E500HS but I've never seen the IRE issue or it's replacement, even on PC Drives and Sony units, screenshots of the symptoms would be nice.)


    With all the chaos surrounding DVD Recorders, one would think it'd be easier to "build your own" in an HTPC case and cannibalize any parts needed from another model.
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  24. Video Restorer lordsmurf's Avatar
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    The newer 8x-12x-16x media are a large problem for many, many, many DVD recorders. Most of the drives currently out there are 2x and 4x drives with old firmware.

    Pioneer, JVC, Panasonic, .... everybody... all have it.

    Although this is a RANDOM ERROR and often depends on the media you're using.
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    "This is related to it's AC3 problem. All kind of hell break loose when you try to edit Panasonic-made audio files. Sync issues, as well as drop-outs, even complete loss of parts of the AC3 track. "

    Is this on the recorder or on a computer via the DVD-RAM? I edit on the unit and burn to DVD every day and I can detect no sync or AC-3 errors...but then, I only use playlists and don't use the "shorten segment" feature. On the computer, I do hundreds of discs every month for people here in town with no complaints. Must be I have one of those gem units that has no flaws (like all those U99 errors I'm supposed to be having) or else everyone has poor hearing and vision when it comes to the discs I make. I must remember to check out all those flaws on my friend's 102" projector with next week's batch of Sci Fi shows...

    And I do audio discs, converting AC-3 audio from music channels to Mp3 to play in my car. I've had no problems with ripping the audio or converting the audio at all. I guess I've been pretty lucky these last 22 months, no?
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  26. Video Restorer lordsmurf's Avatar
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    The errors are random. However, the AC3 issue is related to computer use, when you attempt to re-encode the audio to anything else. The A3 files are flawed. If you have none of these issues on your unit, yes, you're lucky. Go knock on some wood right this minute.
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  27. Originally Posted by lordsmurf
    The errors are random. However, the AC3 issue is related to computer use, when you attempt to re-encode the audio to anything else. The A3 files are flawed. If you have none of these issues on your unit, yes, you're lucky. Go knock on some wood right this minute.
    I might do that right now LOL! I haven't had the AC3 issue on the DMR-E500HS although the HS2 was quite capable of making it noticable. The solutionw as to "ofset"the audio in VDUB and usually re-encode it, sometimes to a WAV File first if need be. It's been fairly fixable. SP Mode seems to make pixelation harder to notice than any of the others, LP and under are going to be garbage regardless, for pixelation in SP Mode it's usually microblocking around the corners of images, it looks like something a TBC could fix but I could be wrong, very rare and on occasion just the station that's on. I had a Cable company that had macroblocking issues of a Panasonic Recorder in EP Mode-- I switched to a DBS Provider and that eliminated 99.9% of the "flaws" (Remember, Garbage In=Garbage Out.)

    Have not had any HDD Failures, I did pop open a DMR-HS2 once and noticed it was using a Hitachi HDD IIRC and it looked like a decent model, I haven't popped open the E500 but with 400GB worth of space I'm wondering if it has multiple HDDs and if they're using RAID-0 which would be a good way to loose data.

    I think the worst issue has been poor quality blank media, namely the dreaded CMC/Princo issues, these will usually shut the recorder down enitrely and Memorex can be just as bad, everything else seems to work well though.

    As an interesting experiment I threw a load of 8X DVD-Rs at two Panasonics, they handled these very well, I've yet to see 16X or higher but I can't complain about Panasonic's ability to handle whatever blank media is readily available, especially Maxell. I'm trying Taiyo Yuden next for high quality media. I have had a U99 error on an HS2 DVD-RAM drive, I'd like to get this fixed as the drive no longer reads cartridge-type DVD-RAMs but I don't know weather to call Panasonic or to see if someone around here is working on a fix.

    Also, one more flaw for Panasonic: If you should be lucky enough to have a unit with MPEG-4 recording capabilites, note that the format used is *.ASF and that these are not easy to edit. (ASFTools had trouble reading them!) -- In addition to using a Microsoft Proprietary format, 90% of these *.ASFs are corrupt or damaged in some way and are all at a 320sx240 (VHS/VCD) Resolution. The "MPEG-4 gimmic" isn't worth the extra money IMO unless the recorder has another feature you use and should not be a deciding factor in your purchase. (Windows Media Encoder even choked on the ASFs I threw at it.)

    Has anyone "networked" the DMR-E500HS line of recorders? I'm curious to see if these have networking errors as I don't feel like attempting to tie my recorder into my PC although it could do some good. I'm just curious about networking errors on this model as I don't know if any other's have this "feature" that seems somewhat pointless.
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  28. Member
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    Originally Posted by ann coates
    dstuck, I had the same problem with my Pioneer 520 which I returned. The problem appears to be resolved on the new Pioneer line. I picked up a Pioneer 531 from Walmart and using the same tapes my Pioneer 520 choked on everything seems fine. So far at least.

    I also have a Panasonic E85 which does a great job on video tapes, but I prefer the Pioneer overall for recording. The new line has better PQ as well.
    Well, I've been trying out the Lite-On LVW 5045 (owing to the no-problem return policy at Costco)... the video sync/blanking/flagging problems from the Pioneer have certainly vanished -- the first thing I x-ferred and burned was one of my worst "dub-of-a-dub" tapes (a 60's TV show) with no problems.

    However, like you, there are so many things about the Pioneer interface/options that I love.

    The Lite-on requires you to delve into the system to perform simple things like creating chapter marks -- also, it appears to me that you can't delete chapters (i.e. remove comm'ls), only "hide" them... you would have to 'split' every commercial, then delete to really get ride of unwanted material. Furthermore, since there is no backward 'frame advance', only forward -- the marking of split points or chapters is that much harder. And the remote button access is sooo tiny...

    Pioneer has all this beat, hands down...

    Which leads me to my last question, Ann -- you mentioned you had no problems with the newer Pioneer, the '531'. I can't find this model anywhere, including Wal-mart. Are we talking about the DVR 533H-S? If so, Wal-mart must not carry it any longer, at least on their website...

    thanks a bunch,

    Dave
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  29. Member ann coates's Avatar
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    Hi Dave,

    I have the Pioneer 531 - 80 gig hard drive, it's a Walmart only model that they're selling for 337.00. I bought it in store, not off their website. Maybe your Walmart just doesn't have it in yet?

    The Pio 533 is exactly the same as the 531 except the 533 has dv in. You might have an easier time finding the 533. One important note about the Pioneer 53x line, they have (surprisingly) removed the chapter mark button so if this is a feature you use a lot via the remote you might want to reconsider the purchase. Now you have to do this via the chapter edit menu which I actually prefer. See this thread at the avs board for more info on this:

    http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=571891&highlight=chapter+marks

    Other than that (and it also includes the TV guide feature, dont know how you feel about that) it's an excellent recorder, I love it.

    Good luck!
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  30. Member
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    Originally Posted by ann coates
    Hi Dave,

    I have the Pioneer 531 - 80 gig hard drive, it's a Walmart only model that they're selling for 337.00. I bought it in store, not off their website. Maybe your Walmart just doesn't have it in yet?

    The Pio 533 is exactly the same as the 531 except the 533 has dv in. You might have an easier time finding the 533. One important note about the Pioneer 53x line, they have (surprisingly) removed the chapter mark button so if this is a feature you use a lot via the remote you might want to reconsider the purchase. Now you have to do this via the chapter edit menu which I actually prefer. See this thread at the avs board for more info on this:

    http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=571891&highlight=chapter+marks

    Other than that (and it also includes the TV guide feature, dont know how you feel about that) it's an excellent recorder, I love it.

    Good luck!
    Hi Ann --

    Thanks for posting back...
    I had only looked for the 531 online, since there's no Wal-mart in my vicinity... then as luck would have it, I was running an errand Saturday about 45 minutes from here and ran across a store... they had one 531 left, so I bought it...

    so far I like it... still trying to see the benefit of moving the chapter mark to the edit menu (especially since I don't use the TV Guide function!). Also, it looks like the step forward/back button advances more than one frame - is that correct? Is it just due to being in VR edit mode? I don't remember this being an issue with the 520. All that aside, it works well capturing from VHS, so I think I'm gonna stick with this one... thanks for the recommendation!
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