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  1. Member ann coates's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by dstuck
    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!
    It does advance more than one frame, yes. The Pioneer recorders are not as accurate as, for instance, the Panasonic recorders for editing as the Panasonic's include all frames and still allow you to use high speed dubbing. The only way you can get that kind of accuracy on the Pioneer is to use VR mode, which isn't really a good option in most cases.

    What I've come to learn from trying many different recorders this past year is for every few positives one recorder may have, there's also a negative to deal with. Ultimately PQ has to be the most important factor and the 531 has really good PQ. Glad it's doing a good job on your VHS tapes.
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  2. Member
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    Originally Posted by ann coates
    Originally Posted by dstuck
    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!
    It does advance more than one frame, yes. The Pioneer recorders are not as accurate as, for instance, the Panasonic recorders for editing as the Panasonic's include all frames and still allow you to use high speed dubbing. The only way you can get that kind of accuracy on the Pioneer is to use VR mode, which isn't really a good option in most cases.

    What I've come to learn from trying many different recorders this past year is for every few positives one recorder may have, there's also a negative to deal with. Ultimately PQ has to be the most important factor and the 531 has really good PQ. Glad it's doing a good job on your VHS tapes.

    Boy, you're right -- and I guess that's the gist of this topic forum anyway -- they've all got negatives!

    What I was surprised about was that the 520 advanced by single frames by default ... the 531 gives you the option only via the lesser-preferable VR mode.

    Sheesh -- it's always something!

    Thanks for all your help,


    Dave
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    The fatal flaws for the lite on 5045 seem to vary by manufacture date. I've tried 4 of these recorders now and for both manufactured in January 2005 sometimes defragmenting the hard drive would corrupt recordings making them unplayable and both manufactured in February would record timer recordings for the wrong day.
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  4. Video Restorer lordsmurf's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Bondiablo
    The fatal flaws for the lite on 5045 seem to vary by manufacture date. I've tried 4 of these recorders now and for both manufactured in January 2005 sometimes defragmenting the hard drive would corrupt recordings making them unplayable and both manufactured in February would record timer recordings for the wrong day.
    That's pretty much a general flaw of all HDD recorders. Fragmentation and general hard drive issues found on computers are compounded on DVD recorders because the machines lack diagnostic software like you find on a computer (things like Norton Utilities).

    Timers are also fairly unreliable on every single DVD recorder I've ever tested. This is why I still use my trusty S-VHS machines to record backups for times when the DVD recorder fails to properly follow through.

    I see complaint reports for these kinds of issues pretty much weekly. I think it sucks, and it obviously needs to improve. For everybody.
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    I can't speak to the problems with the January version but it seems they may have finally fixed the timer problems of the February version with the 201 firmware. When I noticed it, it wasn't on the US website or available for all regions yet but now it seems to be everywhere, except Australia.

    http://www.liteonit.com/DC/english/download.htm
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  6. I'm going to buy Pioneer DVR-530... I hope it doesn't have any flaws!! I do hope!!!
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  7. A workaround for Panasonic error 6 (dubbing to dvd-r fails): I have encountered this error a number of times on my e85 unit. It always traces back to a problem with one video title on the dubbing list. The first title not transfered to the dvd-r is always the bad one. I fix the bad video title by dubbing in XP,SP, or LP to a dvd-ram disc. The new copy always works fine.
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    lordsmurf, thanx for your many efforts in so many areas. Add fan and tuner noise to the Panasonic DMR-ES20 (I don't know if it's on other models, I didn't try them). Tuner has residual static "simmer" at all times, seen on dimly lighted scenes and on a VCR's blue-screen or menus. Also seen are intermittent, horizontal floating gray RF bars, similar to those seen on some cable stations. Most evident when ES20 boots up. I returned 2 ES20's, the 3rd from another store had the same noise. Sometimes you can wait a few minutes for the bars to clear up, but they come back later.
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  9. Member Leoslocks's Avatar
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    Pioneer DVR 633H-S EPG noise. This I conseder a serious defect if used in the sleeping area. Manufactured September 2005, purchased at Wal Mart (online as no Pioneer DVR's were on the shelves).

    The hard drive access sounds like a teletype machine or perhaps a motorized toy car constantly changing direction. The fact that the EPG function can not be (easily) turned off after initial setup is disturbing.

    Originally Posted by Pioneer Fact [url=http://208.220.235.52:7001/eSupportJSP/SolutionShow.jsp?solution_id=F15973
    Solution 15973[/url]] IN ORDER TO SHUT OFF THE EPG AFTER THE UNIT IS POWER OFF. THE UNIT WILL HAVE TO BE RESET.
    [1] PRESS AND HOLD THE STOP BUTTON ON THE FACEPLATE OF THE UNIT [NOT ON THE REMOTE] AND POWER OFF THE UNIT USING THE BUTTON ON THE UNIT. THE SCREEN BLINK OFF THEN ON AGAIN AND THE "WAIT" MESSAGE WILL APPEAR. AFTER A WHILE THE UNIT WILL POWER OFF AND THE TIME DISPLAY WILL HAVE DASHES INDICATING PROGRAMING HAS BEEN ERASED.
    [2] POWER THE UNIT BACK ON.
    [3] THE INITIAL SET UP SCREEN WILL COME ON ASKING TO SET THE LANGUAGE. SET FOR ENGLISH.
    [4] THE NEXT SCREEN WILL GIVE YOU THE OPTION TO START THE TV GUIDE SET UP. AT THIS POINT CHOOSE CANCEL THE PROCESS. WHEN THE POWER IS OFF THE EPG PROCESS IS TURNED OFF.

    WHEN CHOOSING THIS OPTION, YOU WILL NOT BE ABLE TO DO A TIMER RECORDING.
    [Edit] This resets the machine[/Edit]

    How about this, "EPG CAN TAKE AS LITTLE AS 24 HOURS TO COMPLETE ITS INITIAL DOWNLOAD PHASE OR POSSIBLY A WEEK DEPENDING ON HOW MANY CHANNELS YOU HAVE IN YOUR AREA AND ALSO HOW OFTEN THE INITIAL DOWNLOAD IS INTERRUPTED."
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  10. Well it looks like my pioneer-220 suffers from picture drop-out from VHS sources. So this "fatal flaw" does exist. I just noticed this problem today when I was actually paying attention to what I was dubbing. I originally thought it was my vhs tapes but upon rewinding the tape and playing back the exact same spot, nothing would happen. I am petrified to see if all my dvds I converted have this loss of signal

    I have converted around 100 of my tapes and really never paid too much attention to the screen as they were dubbed until today. Hopefully, I can get it repaired for free at least. I bought it at walmart in March, so it should still be under warranty. I will give pioneer a call and see what happens.
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    What are the "fatal flaws" of the Sony RDR-VX515? Are the DL+R capable drives "bad" like the earlier models?
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  12. Member Leoslocks's Avatar
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    Pioneer 633H

    Utilizing the Canadian Zip Code to disable the the EPG.

    An issue that is reoccuring is the DVR starts Auto Reprograming the Channels (for Antena) after schedueling a timer recording.

    This Auto Programing of the Channels may start after using the Home Menu to adjust the settings or after exiting the Disc Navigator. It will start just about every time if the TV Guide button on the remote is pressed. As the Home Menu and TV Guide buttons are so close together, I assumed I had inadvertantly hit the TV Guide and initiated this headache. (Reprograming the channels for cable's 125 channels takes minutes).
    I recognize not that using the Return button to exit the Home Menu and Disc Navigator keeps this from happening most of the time.

    Again, I consider the EPG disfunction of the 633 to be a Serious Flaw.
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  13. Member ann coates's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Leoslocks
    Again, I consider the EPG disfunction of the 633 to be a Serious Flaw.
    I do too, very much so. I disabled my EPG because I just couldn't stand the constant (virtually non-stop) noise, drove me nuts. And I have mine in my living room, I can't believe someone could use this machine in their bedroom. I use a Panasonic in my bedroom with the EPG and it's whisper quiet. So having to disable to EPG has been a serious disappointment for me on the Pioneer because I would really like to use the EPG, but can't. So, I agree, it's definitely a fatal flaw.
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  14. Member Faustus's Avatar
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    Friend says his Samsung DVD-R120 don't read his Ritek disk. So I guess that kinda sucks.

    Wouldn't have been an issue if he had switched to TYs when I told him they were cheap enough to start buying.
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  15. Video Restorer lordsmurf's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Faustus
    Friend says his Samsung DVD-R120 don't read his Ritek disk. So I guess that kinda sucks.Wouldn't have been an issue if he had switched to TYs when I told him they were cheap enough to start buying.
    Ritek media has a very low reflectivity. Even when they play in players, they often choke when you try to FF-PLAY the content at 2x, 4x, 8x, etc. This is one of many reasons why RITEK is, and always has been, a mediocre quality disc.
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    Wow, this particular thread has been a life saver!!!

    After the sad demise of my ILO R04 back in December (which was an EXCELLENT machine, it did everything I wanted!!!), I did some research to try to find a good replacement for a similar amount of cash. I found that the ILO R05 was just not going to cut it, so I started researching the Lite On boxes. Low and behold, the LVW-5005 appeard to be the answer to my quest! Same interface, same features, and more! And with a little work, you could get three hour record mode as well, just as you can with the R04! The feedback I read seemed very favorable, so it appeared to be the one. As the commercial says "Brilliant!"

    I ordered it quickly from Egg.com, and even did next day shipping (I can be an impatient cat, I can't help it). When I got it, it seemed to work great! There did appear to be a little jitter with harder video sources, but that was rectified with the use of a Sima CT-200 Video Signal Processor. All appeared well with the world.

    But then I tried to use anything over 2 hour speed. You see, I'm working to convert some old vhs source auto races over to DVD before the source tapes detriorate any further. As anyone who either is a race fan or has suffered through a race (trying to cover both bases here), the majority of events run in excess of 3 to 4 hours. My target speed has always been no more than 4 hours to get the best picture quality. My old ILO did very well with these, unless it was a poor video source. On a good clean source, which most of these are, it would do very well, with only an occasionally "jitter".

    But not the Lite On. It seems as soon as I told it 3 or 4 hours, the jitter would begin. I couldn't figure it out, it was driving me nuts. So I came here and read up on LordSmurf's recommendations. Now I think I have the answer!

    Popping the case and running a desk fan across the unit in an experimental stage seems to help some, but not completely. So this weekend, a friend and I will be doing some "meatball surgery" on my Magic Box, following the advice that LordSmurf so graciously provided in this thread. We're going to add a heatsink to the main processor, as well as adding ventilation holes, and a 2nd cooling fan. We may even try to use the fan from my old ILO R04, as it seemed to do a much better cooling job than the LVW-5005's does.

    Just wanted to say thanks for the info, LordSmurf. I'm not a highly technical guy, though I can find my way around a computer's guts when I need to. The heat problem would never have occured to me without your advice in this thread, and it hopefully will save me more grief with this set up.

    I do have one quick question, and this is just because I'm a newbie......but then, we all were at one point in time......what power source did you use for your 2nd fan? Is there an addition power source on the board, or did you "hotwire" one? The person that's helping me feels he has everything else figured out, but we were discussing the size, type and power source for the fan as I work to get parts together.

    Thanks again, and I'll be happy to let everyone know how it goes once it's done.
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  17. Panasonic
    Issue: 16:9 W-I-D-E-S-C-R-E-E-N images are matted to a "letterboxed" 4:3 480i image of 704x480 instead of maintaining their OAR of 16:9 even if the recorder is set to playback videos letterboxed in 16:9 (rather than 4:3 Pan & Scan.)
    How common is it? It affects every unit to my knowledge; Panasonic acknowledges it in the owners manual with a statement along the lines of "All recordings will be in 4:3 even if they were originally broadcast in 16:9." I have yet to see a Panasonic recorder without this "disclaimer" despite the fact that it can play back 16:9 discs correctly. (Just set to letterbox for correct playback of pre-recorded DVD-Video discs.) This also affects any Firewire dubs you may make from a 16:9 DV/MiniDV source tape.
    Can it be fixed? No. Panasonic has designed their recorders to only record in 4:3 and it doesn't look like that's going to change anytime soon. Unless Panasonic releases a firmware upgrade (talked about, but never actually done,) there will be no way to fix this.
    Will it break again? Unless Panasonic releases a firmware upgrade (they referance the possibility of such an upgrade in the HS2 and E500HS manuals, but they've never released one,) there's no fix for this. It's not noticable on a 4:3 TV Set either, but play a video back on a 16:9 set and you'll see the issue.

    Related myths: (1) The video is still 16:9, it's just letterboxed. This is false; load a 16:9 video file recorded on a Panasonic DVD Recorder into VDUB and you'll get a 4:3 image with black bars at the top and bottom; true 16:9 won't show the "matting" when imported into an editing program; the 16:9 image is being recorded as 4:3 and being letterboxed during recording. There are supposedly recorders that do record 16:9 and don't matte to 4:3 so I consider this an Aspect Ratio flaw. (2) The recorder isn't maintaining the original AR on 4:3 videos because it's recording at 704x480. Search the Restoration forum for a thread on why this is 4:3; 720x480 is "padded" on the sides of most videos from television which are shot in 704x480 for 4:3; edDV has an excellent post on why this is done.

    NOTE: I consider this a flaw much like the IRE bug; if we're going to count the inability to record an IRE setting of 0 (vs 7.5) as a "bug" than the "matting" of a 16:9 video should also be considered an error since real 16:9 DVDs will display as 16:9 on a 16:9 TV Set and not matted 4:3. This error wasn't so annoying early on but as more and more shows are being shot in 16:9 I think this should qualify as an "error" much the way the IRE bug does. At least the IRE bug doesn't appear to affect my DMR-E500 or DMR-HS2 on certain players, but it's definitely noticable on others. I might attempt to "fix" it by running it through vDub and correcting the IRE there but I've yet to try it.
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  18. 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.
    Are there any good "quick-fix" re-encodes for the AC-3 audio that can sometimes fix the problem? (e.g. re-encode to a *.WAV file?) I can usually get around this but if it's a really annoying file sometimes the only way to "fix" the issue is to re-sync the A/V by running the audio in through Red/White "analog" inputs and then using an NLE to piece everything back together. This seems to be a rare error on my recordings and is usually easy to fix; the biggest issue is the use of 8X dubbing mode on recorders that have it which seems to add to the AC-3 problem. If you're using a Panasonic with 8X dubbing mode (to DVD-R,) shut it OFF. The problem is in the file itself and usually requires some sort of fix. I have one sitting on my PC right now with an AC-3 issue and I'm going to try some fixes, I'd like to try a freeware program before I lug out the 20' cable that I use to do Analog pass-through or capturing with when the original digital file won't work. You'd think this list would at least have a few complaints headed to the BBB but I don't see anyone filing them. There ought to be a "lemon law" on electronics the way there is on cars; if we're acting as "consumer reports" for DVD Recorders someone ought to pitch the idea of a "lemon law" for electronics to the government.

    Question #2: What's the problem with a DVD Recorder's timer record function LordSmurf? I've been using DVD Recorders like VCRs for four years now and I've yet to have a timer recording not record or cause a major problem. Is this common among a specific brand, model, or type of DVD Recorder, or just more common than it was on VHS and S-VHS? I timer everything and I've never had a problem; then again, I also set everything to add five minutes on each end in case of a mistake and I have the clock constantly synched to the one on The Weather Channel so maybe that has something to do with the problems, but I don't know.
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  19. Video Restorer lordsmurf's Avatar
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    #1 Toss it into Womble MPEG Video Wizard (import file, drag it to timeline), and then re-encode the audio to MP2 real quick (export video). That does it, maybe takes 5 minutes for a 30-minute clip, on a 2Ghz CPU. The new MP2 audio will be just fine.

    #2 The problem is a lot of them just don't work. If you've been using Panasonic timers for all this time, then you have one of the ones that tends to work most of the time (but still not flawless, the HDD models crap out a lot). They're getting better, slowly. The latest JVC DR-M100S has a very nice timer, for example.
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  20. Originally Posted by lordsmurf
    #1 Toss it into Womble MPEG Video Wizard (import file, drag it to timeline), and then re-encode the audio to MP2 real quick (export video). That does it, maybe takes 5 minutes for a 30-minute clip, on a 2Ghz CPU. The new MP2 audio will be just fine.
    Thank you; I was about to drop-kick the stupid AC-3 codec Panasonic keeps using. I don't know why they haven't fixed this yet, especially if it's been listed as a "flaw" on every unit... then again, they took at least a year to even acknowledge they had an IRE issue and about another year to "fix" it by cooking your picture. I just record with the washed out IRE and I'm hoping to figure out the exact setting o a VDub or FCP filter to fix the problem. I know VDub has a filter, I just don't know how to set it to "correct" the IRE. Thanks for helping me fix the audio though. MVW looks like it's a good program; I might use it to replace Studio 7 (crapware) which crashes every time I load it and outputs garbage AVI and MPEG files; you might have solved two of my (somewhat related) problems LOL.

    Originally Posted by lordsmurf
    #2 The problem is a lot of them just don't work. If you've been using Panasonic timers for all this time, then you have one of the ones that tends to work most of the time (but still not flawless, the HDD models crap out a lot). They're getting better, slowly. The latest JVC DR-M100S has a very nice timer, for example.
    I've never had a Panasonic timer randomly crap out on me; the worst was a 1996 Sony VHS VCR timer and I think it was just that unit. Maybe "Timer flaws" should be listed if they're improving.

    Since you mentioned the JVC DR-M100S, what do you know about the JVC DR-DX5S and the timer recording on that machine? I'm looking at using a JVC DR-DX5S while I'm away at college next year and my four main concerns are:
    1. Is the HDD Reliable?
    2. Is the MiniDV Deck (SP Mode) good enough for a quick dub from/to MiniDV to/from the HDD and then to a PC? Assume that the output will also be to a DV Tape (with better equipment.) -- I do intend to use this deck and the six-way dubbing feature with it though.
    3. Is the timer one of the more reliable ones? This is how all of my TV-recordings will be done, the same way I use my Panasonic, I need a recorder with a reliable timer, at least on par with the Panasonic machines.
    4. Does it record 16:9 correctly, or does it do what Panasonic does and "matte" it to 4:3LB so that when you play the video back on a 16:9 TV you get a bizzare Windowboxed--not letterboxed--windowboxed image that puts a "black frame" around your entire video?

    I'm just curious since JVC seems to have the fewest known "fatal flaws" and Panasonic has a list that makes me think most of the machines are going to need headstones if it expands.

    Any info is appreciated. Also, what brands and models are known to have the fewest fatal flaws that have been found? I know there are plenty of "flawed but unknown where" recorders, but I'm looking for recorders where the flaw/flaws is/are known. My favorite on this list has to be the Apex units; "May cause fires." I'd like to see how many people would buy them if they were forced to stick that on the box at the store. Then again, I wouldn't touch Apex after reading about what happened to their CEO several months back. Between Sony bungling everything they touch, and Panasonic's list of flaws being as long as their list of features, JVC seems like the best choice for a new recorder out of the brand-name camp, but I want to make sure that a $1300 machine doesn't have "fatal flaws" that are so inexcusable that they turn the thing into a $1300 dollar luxury doorstop.

    Also I don't think I saw it listed, but the "XP Mode" Panasonic flaw should be on that list. (Bitrate too high to play in most other units.) This isn't so much a Panasonic "flaw" as it is a flaw on behalf of other brands, but it's still a problem if you decide to stick an XP Mode disc into another player and get a lovely "unreadable disc" error because of bitrate issues.
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  21. Video Restorer lordsmurf's Avatar
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    The JVC always had a good timer, but the situation was more complicated. On the first generation JVC machines, the way to avoid "loading" errors was to turn off (or was it turn on, I forget) the power save setting. Doing this prevented the timer from working. That's really all there was too it. These days, 2nd and 3rd generation JVCs, there is no "loading" and you can use the timer just fine, no worries. It should be the same on all JVC units.

    So far, the JVC DR-M100S appears to be the most flawless. If you want to get really sniggly about things, the IRE may be off a half step or so, but nowhere near the +7 variance some people would like you to believe (especially the anti-JVC whiners).

    Pioneer's current generation got worse rather than better, so they gave up the opportunity at that spot (EPG and 3-hour Full D1).

    Toshiba loses from false copy protection that is easily the worse I've ever seen at falsely seeing anti-copy, even from cable and satellite channels where none exists. This has been a problem since day #1 for them. Sometimes even a TBC will not help, which is sad. At least (seemingly) modern generations fixed IRE issues, so there was improvement.

    On the Panasonic bitrate, it may just be spiking above 10080k max allowed. We already know a DVD recorder can do 15k or more, if allowed (check Pioneer recorders, they can do it).
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  22. Preservationist davideck's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by lordsmurf
    Toshiba loses from false copy protection that is easily the worse I've ever seen
    My experience has been just the opposite. The JVC DR-M100S refused to record non-MV VHS tapes that a Panasonic and a Toshiba had no issues with. I have transferred many old VHS and Beta tapes now with my Toshiba, without one false MV detection.

    The JVC was also very sensitive to timebase jitters, making them more noticeable in some cases. In comparison, the Toshiba does a nice job of timebase correction.
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  23. Video Restorer lordsmurf's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by davideck
    Originally Posted by lordsmurf
    Toshiba loses from false copy protection that is easily the worse I've ever seen
    My experience has been just the opposite. The JVC DR-M100S refused to record non-MV VHS tapes that a Panasonic and a Toshiba had no issues with. I have transferred many old VHS and Beta tapes now with my Toshiba, without one false MV detection.

    The JVC was also very sensitive to timebase jitters, making them more noticeable in some cases. In comparison, the Toshiba does a nice job of timebase correction.
    Yeah, but the thing is I'm not talking solely from experience, I've literally gotten piles of reports about this issue, and to the best of my ability, aside from tossing the Toshiba in the trash, or just not using it to record from those sources, it cannot be fixed.

    I have no doubt JVC and others will give off false anti-copy warnings, all of them will at some point, it largely depends on your sources (I get this from personally recorded S-VHS-ET tapes sometimes). I'm referring to a problem that is recurring and verifiable among a large user base, not just isolated personal experiences.
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  24. Preservationist davideck's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by lordsmurf
    Sometimes even a TBC will not help
    Do you know what type of source causes this?
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  25. Video Restorer lordsmurf's Avatar
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    The #1 problem I hear is Comcast PVRs. Generally though, it's cable boxes, TIVOs, and PVR sources that give you grief. Rarely is it a VHS tape or something more common.
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  26. Preservationist davideck's Avatar
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    Do you know which TBC is involved?
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  27. Video Restorer lordsmurf's Avatar
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    The usual suspects (DataVideo, AVTools), plus others from pro racks (all those fancy brands I forget between the time I hear the name and the next breath I take).
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  28. Preservationist davideck's Avatar
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    And only Toshiba units? Both HDD and non HDD models? I am wondering if the HDD models might have a better front end than those without.
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    Lord Smurf -
    You have obviously put a lot of work into this. Rest assured it will be used by a lot of people, for a long time. We really appreciate your efforts.
    Thanks
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  30. Video Restorer lordsmurf's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by davideck
    And only Toshiba units? Both HDD and non HDD models? I am wondering if the HDD models might have a better front end than those without.
    I know it was both, but I forget at what frequency. Just knowing the market, I would guess there are less reports with HDD models, but they also sell far less HDD models, so the complaint curve sort of went with market curve. For the most part, your HDD and non-HDD units are essentially the same machines, I almost never see a HDD unit (or a combo unit, for that matter) being much different. Generally if the "plain" unit does something, the HDD and combos follow suit.
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