I have visited this web sit for a while to get some reviews on various DVD Recorders and have been a bit confused with the difference of opinions on various machines. So, can anyone suggest the best DVD Recorder to fill my needs?
I want a DVD Recorder to do the following:
Record Movies, Shows and Specials from my Bell 3100 Expressvu receiver.
Convert Non-Copy protected video tapes to DVD and clean the signal if possible. Good filters?
Have very good 4 hour recording quality.
$250CAN or less in cost.
Records on both DVD+/- R/RW formats (recording on CD-R/RW not important as I can do this on my computer.)
The non-copy protected tapes that I have are copie of B-Movies from the 30's to the 50's that are in the public domain. To my knowledge none of the tapes I have are copy protected. I can copy from VHS to VHS ok, but would like to transfer to DVD.
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First thing you need to consider is whether you are going to be in the market for a combo (vcr + dvd) or single (just dvd) unit. If you all ready have a high quality stand-alone vcr I think 99% of the people here will lead you toward a stand-alone.
I just want a stand alone DVD Recorder as I have two very good VCR's.
Good deal then. Here's my advice, go here:
Now, download into one folder the XP or SP Ice Age caps for each of the players that interests you. Once you do this open the pictures and cycle through them in Windows. You will note the minor quality changes much easier this way. Pick which you like best & buy it.
That helps some.
Not to bias your results, but the best IMO was the Toshiba, followed by the JVC. Both are GREAT. I probably would have purchased the JVC, if I needed its filters, but since I don't the Toshiba looked perfect.
The DVD recorder that can be purchased from local stores are Cyberhome DVR1600 and LiteOn 5005. Either of them cost US$99.00 or less. They both have firewire input ( for miniDV ) that Pioneer and JVC do not have.
From those firmware update site, a few brand name DVD recorders are OEM from liteon anyway.
My next door neighbor is currently on his 4th Cyberhome 1600. I didn't like the picture quality at 4 hrs and the reliablity sucks.
I have heard that Liteon's (all current models) built after Oct. 05 are very reliable and the picture quality at 4 hrs is very good. Is this true?
I am looking at a Liteon 5115ghc+ at Walmart for $139.97 CAN. Good deal?
I bough a Cyberhome DVR1600, after couple of my friends have their after 6 months, so far all them are still in service.
The only difference is my DVR1600 recording off cable is not as great as those from my friends, but it could be an issue with my cable. The quaility of 2 and 3 hours off miniDV and SVHS and VHS dubbing are great. There are posts that said the DVR1600 is using a high end video chip which will run hot. So leave some space behind the unit.
I do not care for 4 hours, because blank DVD is $0.10 a piece! So why save $0.10 and give out video quality ?
Price at US$99.00 is consider very low. I got another $20.00 off rebate at compusa.
The liteon unit is larger, and people mentioned it has macrovision hack, that DVR1600 lack.
Lite On is garbage.
The JVC DRM70 from futureshop is the best dvd recorder that ive tried out of the 5 inve tried.
I have a liteon 5005 and an ilo 04, both hacked, love them both
For a DVD recorder with no built-in HDD the Toshiba DR-4 is hard to beat. Another popular choice is the JVC DR-M100S.
If you want a model with a built-in HDD then look at Pioneer or Toshiba or JVC.
Pretty much anything else is garbage and yes I am including Sony, Philips and Panasonic in that group as well as Cyberhome and Lite-On. Actually Lite-On can have excellent quality but they are very unreliable.
- John "FulciLives" Coleman"The eyes are the first thing that you have to destroy ... because they have seen too many bad things" - Lucio Fulci
EXPLORE THE FILMS OF LUCIO FULCI - THE MAESTRO OF GORE
Originally Posted by solidsnake
The Toshiba D-R4 is the best I've used out of half a dozen recorders, picture quality in SP is amazing. I don't ever go over SP, when TY discs are 27 cents each, it's not worth using LP. Why lose all that quality over pennies?
What did Toshiba DR-4 get execellent mark/s on ?
In term of technical demands from low to high, they are :
1. VHS to DVD, 2. TV/Cable to DVD, 3. miniDV to DVD.
Since it don't have firewire. So Dr-4 at best can get you a very clean video copy upto super VHS quality at most.
On picture quality. Try a few recorders and see for yourself. Out of the brands I've used, Panasonic, JVC, Pioneer, Toshiba, the Toshiba has the best picture quality hands down for recording from my satellites. I have no need for firewire, and my satellite recordings definitely look better than S-VHS.
samijubal, How would you compare the XP vs SP picture quality on the Toshiba? I'm in the process of comparing the two.
If you have a few bucks more CND how about this
You maybe able to find a store near your location in Canada. Cheers! -garman
I should clarify something. The main reason that I want 4 hr recording time is that I have a large collection of B-westerns (Roy Rogers and such) that are on old video tape. The quality of the tapes are not that great now and if I can put 4 of these movies on one disks I would be quite happy. These movies are about an hour long each. If and when I can up grade these film with better copies (tape or DVD) I will, but for now having four on a disk with very good video quality will be ok.
I have been looking a an LG-LRA-536 Recorder. What is the word on these?
Thanks for all the help so far.
I forgot to ask if anyone knows if there has been any problem with some Recorders recording from Bell Expressvu?
Oh, and by the way, other than the copying the B-westerns that I mentioned above, I would like the 4 hr recording mode as I sometimes record shows and movies that are on late in the night or early morning and they sometimes add up to 4hrs. I'll more than likely be using RW disks for this.
Sorry to be a pain, but I don't want to throw any of my money away. I want to get the best that I can for the amount of money I have to spend.
Originally Posted by anitract
Originally Posted by Regor
In the USA, these run about $200 USD new.
I see one problem in your request. You're wanting a lot of features, but you're not willing to spend the funds. So not much can be done to help you there.
Most manufacturers have a combo version of their standalone recorders. Tonight I saw a LG, Toshiba, Panasonic, and JVC combo all in one store ( Best Buy ) and right next to the standalone versions. Why not take one of your tapes and go down to the store and plug it into a few combos and copy a few minutes onto a dvd in LP mode. Take the dvd home and decide for yourself. None of us out here can know what you consider acceptable. There are a lot of different tastes as you can see from the above recommendations.
 I am not suggesting you buy the combo, only use them as a convenient way to get a test dvd disk from various brands.
If price is an issue, you might want to look for an open box, store return, or floor model sale. They are sometimes marked down a lot but still carry the full manufacturer warranty.
LG may be a good choice, yes. I just noticed you were looking at it. LG uses LSI chips in most of their recorders, and the LSI-chipped ones react very similar to JVC equipment.
Originally Posted by trhouse
If LP is "unwatchable" then so is SP.
- SP is always Full D1 or Full D1 Cropped
- LP is usually Half D1
The allocations are the same. Just be sure the encoder is good (LSI, Renesas) and not something crappy (Panasonic, Philips)
You should use 1-hour or 3-hour for optimal quality. The bitrate allocation is abundant.
LP looks nothing like SP on any machine I've used, including the crappy JVC. I don't know what you're recording from or playing back on, but there's a big difference on my recordings.
I want to thank everybody for their input.
I have a short list of DVD recorders to check out. What I am going to do is make a VHS tape of about 10 min at the best quality I can and use this as a test for the following DVD recorders. I'll try to get the stores to let me record this clip on each DVD rercorder on a DVD-r or DVD+r (which ever the recorder can handle) and them play it back on my home DVD player (RCA).
I am going to test the following:
JVC DRM 100 and DRM70
the budget priced LITEON 5005x and 5115GHC
I'll let everyone know what my test results are.
You stated the following in one of your posts:
"I see one problem in your request. You're wanting a lot of features, but you're not willing to spend the funds. So not much can be done to help you there."
I don't think the the features that I am looking for are out of the ordinary or confinded to expensive machines. I just wanted the following features:
To record from my Bell Expressvu receiver
To copy non-copy protected video tapes and IF possible clean up the picture.
To have good quality 4 hr recording.
To be able to record DVD +/- R/RW (even the low price LITEON's do this)
I don't think that this is to much to ask, do you?
This is a correction to the comments below. The Pioneer correctly changes to 2.53 Mbs at LP mode because that rate would fill a standard 4.7 GB disk.
(2.53Mbs * 3,600 sec/hour * 4 hours)/8 bits/byte = 4.554 GB.
The ratio of bitrate to pixels is nearly same for SP and LP mode as follows,
5.06 Mbs/(720 * 480)pixels = 14.64 bits/pixel
2.53 Mbs/(352 * 480) pixels = 14.94 bits/pixel
Sorry for any confusion. The reason I have a Sony GX315 and Pioneer 531H at the moment is to do tests of dual/double layer media which being nearly twice the capacity of a standard dvd could handle 1/2 D1 at 5.07 Mbs.
I hope you do not mind my going back a step to some comments made by lordsmurf and samijubal. Both make good points.
It is true that recording in SP ( 2 hour mode ), D1 ( 720 by 480 resolution ), and at a bitrate allocation of say 5.06 Mbs and LP ( 4 hour mode ), 1/2 D1 ( 352 by 480 resolution ), can use the same bitrate allocation of 5.06 Mbs.
The problem is that some manufacturers do not. I use my Pioneer 531H here as an example only because it provides an onscreen display of the bitrate allocation ( this is not in the Pioneer manual ) depending on mode.
Pioneer SP ( 2 hour mode ), D1, bitrate allocation 5.06 Mbs
Pioneer LP ( 4 hour mode ), 1/2 D1, bitrate allocation drops to 2.53 Mbs
The Pioneer crosses over from full D1 at 3 hours 30 minutes to 1/2 D1 at 3 hours 40 minutes, but the bitrate allocation it gives drops as it goes to 1/2 D1.
Pioneer at 3 hour 30 minutes, D1, bitrate allocation is 2.89 Mbs
Pioneer at 3 hour 40 minutes, 1/2 D1, bitrate allocation drops to 2.76 Mbs
This kind of information is seldom found in manuals and other manufacturers are not so straightforward as Pioneer with what they are doing. You can analyze test clips on your computer to see what the recorder is doing or if you have a good eye and quality monitor, it may be fairly obvious that some are not as good as others.
P.S. Be sure to finalize any test clips or record to dvd+rw which does not require it for playback on a dvd player.
Originally Posted by trhouse
The Cyberhome managed to make the DVD+R/W playable on DVD and PC player without finalizing. The setup is in a folder called TS_VRM I think ). That's is a plus for convinence, but a minor to ripper like DVDshrink.