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  1. Member vhelp's Avatar
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    [UPDATED] - last time on Thu July 27, 2006 p.m.

    Prev revsion: Sun July 23, 2006 p.m.
    Prev revsion: Sat July 22, 2006 p.m.


    -[ Polaroid DRM-2001G Review / Tests / Experiences ]-




    Some Basic Features (includes my personal 1-5 scoring) :

    [x] - [3].DISC FORMATS: DVD, +R/RW, -R/RW, SVCD, VCD, JPEG, MPEG4
    [x] - [3].RECORDING FORMATS: +R/RW, -R/RW
    [x] - [4].HDD: 80 gigs
    [x] - [4].DV: Input; can also control dv-cam via inc remote
    [x] - [4].RECORD QUALITY: HQ(1hr), SP(2hr), SP+(2.5hr), LP(3hr), EP(4hr), SLP(6hr)
    [x] - [3].VIDEO EDITING: Basic( split, segment, index pic change, renam, more.. )
    [ ] - [1].RECORD CONF SETUP: None, i.e., no adjust of IRE; Color; chrom/luma, etc.
    [x] - [3].Audio: this unit puts out a MAXimum of 384k audio.
    [ ] - [3].Component Video: Input and Output (can record from Component as well)

    Note 1, There's no such thing as a perfect score.
    Note 2, Items check marked with an "X" were Used in the latest test rounds.


    Main Menu - Polaroid DRM-2001G:

    ** [x] Preface
    ** [x] PROS and CONS and Myths
    ** [x] Test preporation road map
    ** [x] Picture Quality Tests
    ** [ ] empty
    ** [ ] empty
    ** [x] DOWNLOADS of DRM-2001G sample clips
    ** [x] Closing Notes
    ** [ ] Resources
    ** [x] Misc, Tips, Hacks, etc.
    ** ** ** TIP - Audio: Determining if your Tuner's audio is MONO or STEREO - by vhelp;
    ** ** ** TIP - HDD: Adding in a *new* Hard Disk Drive - by next;


    Note, those that are check marked "x" are to an extent, completed.

    Finally, I'm just beginning to share with you my past two weeks expereince
    with my new 80g HDD unit. I just love it.

    Now, if you'll bare with me as I unfold all the information I have so far, I
    would appreciate it

    -vhelp 4050
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  2. Member vhelp's Avatar
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    PREFACE

    Timing is everything..
    Sorry to everyone, for being so late with this review/test. I was hoping to have
    it ready for Thursday evening, but the heavy rain/thunderstorms prevailed and had
    knocked my power out, on and off throughout the remaining evening/night. Also, I
    had wanted to do a short review on the unit* separate of tests, but realized
    that I can merge both into one, if time allows. I've been spending most of my time
    with the unit, recording various tv programs; vcr videos; dvd videos; etc, so that I
    could post *honest* facts and figures, and not come at you all as if I knew every-
    thing there is to know about the new Polaroid unit. That would be so foony.
    Anybody can post pics in a matter of seconds. So, I spent the last several weeks
    getting preporations and tests and things in motion, for an honest and true
    report. And, putting this thread/topic together was probably the hardest part of
    it all. So please bare with me as I know I'll make mistakes, and hope to find
    them and correct them as fast as possible.

    Also, because I lost my webspace account (have to wait for provider's call) I am
    not able to post pics and things as quickly as I used to. For now, I have to learn
    how to upload images to this forum.

    So, this thread is mainly about the unit's picture quality capability. You decide
    if this unit fits your needs -- couple that with your level of comprimises when
    shopping around for a dvd recorder.

    * some of you may recall that I had mentioned I would give a review..
    My standalone DVD Recorder is a

    Planning and Preporation, Adding and Revising..
    First, bare with me as I add/update to this topic. Been waiting two weeks
    to put this together, and I'm a bit restless and excited at the same time,
    and getting my images and thougths/notes together is overwelming.

    User Configuration features..
    This unit does not have any fancy or advance user-configurable settings.
    So, if you are looking for things like, IRE; Color adjmt; more.. you are
    going to be looking elsewhere. It looks like this unit was fine-tuned
    to the point of good overall picture quality, and that is not saying too
    much, by this author. You'll have to test and try, yourselves and conclude
    with your own level of expetations, etc.

    A 2nd unit? oh, the excitement..
    To be honest, I'm seriously thinking closely at getting a 2nd unit. If
    that matters any, in your decision weighing.. this unit does (IMHO) such
    a great job at many video sources, *including* (and to my surprise) VHS.
    I was *really* surprised!

    I honestly can't get (or do) enough with this unit. I am SOOO satisfied
    with it. A 2nd unit might be in order, if I can swing it. And, it *IS* a
    good purchase decision -- you won't regret it!

    Special note.. please, no bashing..
    And, for those who want to beat this author up (in the form of posting your
    tipicle relative links of facts and figures, to show how wrong I am or what-
    ever) or bad-mouth another unit, please.., (find another forum) there's no
    room for this here. This is just a review/test of this unit's picture quality
    and maybe a few other things, I don't know

    Lets separate, shall we..
    Also, I thought about separating everything into pages, so that navigating and
    adding new info would benefit. This way, only a page has to be updated, and
    the user would only have to jump directly into it. Not a bad idea, after all.
    I think I'll go along with this idea, and do it, hehe.

    -vhelp 4051
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  3. Member vhelp's Avatar
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    PROS and CONS and MYTHS, oh my

    Below, are just a few of pros/cons/myths I could get at.

    Some of these myths (if you don't mind my refering to them as such) were based off
    what I read inside many user reviews from online shopping malls found via google
    searchs. when I read them, some of them I couldn't believe, and just had to test for
    myself (after waiting more than 3 months for the unit to finally show up at Wal-Mart)
    I think that about the only truth in Myth's, are with the tuner's audio. Read on..


    PRO:
    ** Quality of MPEG videos. Its quite good actually. My source is from Analog cable,
    though a bit noisy. But this unit handled it well, (better than other brands) and
    without producing as much pixelation in the finished MPEG's.

    VHS sources is a bonus, IMHO. I couldn't believe the quality I could get out
    of it after a re-encode to my usualy and specialized MPEG-2 videos. I favor VHS
    sources as a hobby, specially when they are Widescreen. These transfers I make
    into high bitrate Widescreen Anamorphic videos.


    PRO: - [rev 1.0]
    ** Ability to capture from a pre-record on units HDD while still Recording.
    (or, as davideck; calls it, "timeslip" [or, timesliping; timeslip manuver])
    Say you are recording something, but you would like to capture from it as well.
    And, say you want to capture one of the pre-records from the HDD on the unit.
    Well, you can.. by pressing the [DVD] key on the remote, and viewing what is
    already on the units HDD by scrolling through the list of videos and choose which
    one to play, and capture from it.. all, while the unit is still recording a tv
    program. Nice.

    Explanation, in more detail:
    This is probably some aspect of the unit's featured "TimeShift" or "timeslip"
    capability.

    While you are recording to the HDD from your TV Tuner (or any other source)
    you can play what is already recorded (or stored) on your Polaroid's HDD. So,
    while you play what's on your HDD (while the unit is still recording) you can
    capture with a capture card or another dvd recorder (or whatever) the video
    playing from the HDD. The unit can do both of two things at once.. record and
    play, at the same time, because it is using the HDD, which is far faster than
    an dvd-ROM. It's probably taking advantage of some on-bard MEM CACHE for this
    technique to work. However it works, doesn't really matter. It just does

    PRO: - [add ]
    ** Timeshift or Timeslip features..
    This is a must-have, as well as a minimal requirement in a dvd recoder. You
    can benefit from this only with a HDD unit.

    I stole this explanation from another member, davideck; because it serves
    very well similarily in capability from one dvd recorder HDD unit, to another..

    davideck; wrote:
    In the long run, the added convenience, flexibility, and capabilities of a HDD
    unit will save time, frustration, and blank media. As examples;

    Capturing to the HDD with Timeslip capability will allow you to verify the capture
    quality while you're capturing instead of after the entire DVD is burned. Will you
    ever see something strange in the tape playback during capture and wonder what the
    capture looks like? With Timeslip, you can search through the capture in progress
    and replay a section as many times as you like.

    Will you ever want to start the capture at a specific point? Timeslip will allow you
    to verify this in seconds and start over as many times as you like without wasting
    time and media.
    [/color]


    PRO: - [rev 1.0]
    ** Burning to +RW disc's w/out Finilizing..
    Another plus feature I found was that this unit does not need to finalize a disc
    as long as it is an +RW format. Otherwise, -R, +R, and -RW, *MUST* be finalized.
    So, I look at using +RW disc's as a speed bonus, specially if you have a lot of
    archiving videos off HDD -> +RW to do.

    (I was informed that +RW always never requred finalization - was news to me)


    PRO: - [rev 1.0]
    ** Burning speed, i.e., 1 hr video length took 30 minutes..
    Those +R and +RW 's I archived to (1 hrs) took 30 minutes to complete. So using
    the +RW format is better than the using the -R or +R disc's, if you are archiving
    to do non-permantent disc work. I highly recommend using +RW discs for quicky
    turn arounds, specially when you're busy doing multipile tasks.


    PRO: - [rev 1.0]
    ** Burning to +RW during recording..
    Another plus. You can burn what you *have* already recorded, while recording a
    tv program. Comes in handy when you have to clean up space to make more room
    for add'l recordings. I've already had to do this a number of times on my small
    size 80g HDD. (I'm thinking about shopping around for a much larger HDD to throw
    into this unit -- I know it can be done)
    (I was informed that +RW always never requred finalization - was news to me)


    Now comes the CONS..
    * Note, just because the items below are presented as CONS, does not mean that
    they are truely CONS. Some may be interpreted as PROS by other users. I wrote
    them down as cons because I felt that it would be best to describe anything
    that *seems* negative without bias.

    CON: - audio - [rev 1.0]
    ** Tuner Audio is MONO !!. Unfortunately, this seems to be True, so far.
    Although there were times when I could sware that the audio came out Stereo, I
    have to say, based on my observations and testing, its still mono
    Also note, the audio comming from the DRM-2001G unit is MAX'ed at 384k.
    However, everything else is STEREO, including recording from other sources
    Currently there are two ways to test this for *any* device (see below)


    CON:
    ** Scanning channels take about 10 minutes to complete.
    This was an unfortunate experience. But, since it was a one-time thing, I did
    overlook it and moved on. As a test, I simulated a power-outage, and unpluged
    the unit for about 30 minutes, and even over night, and then plugged unit's power
    cord back in. The channels were still where they were last. The only thing you
    had to change was the date/time. You see, I was worried that you would have re-scan
    in those channels, but that proved wrong. Boy, was that a load off *my* mind.


    CON:
    ** The Remote Control keys were small and hard to reach.
    This was also unfortunate, but I've grown accustom to this weak area, and most of
    my remotes are this way, anyway. The reason it bothered me, was mainly on account
    of hearing how other users were complaining about this. The [RECORD] button should
    have been placed further down. I also feel that the key layout could be better.


    CON:
    ** (in the editing stage) Spliting "accuracy" is done within a 0.5 sec interval.
    I wasn't sure weather or not this was a pro/con, but thought it prob should be
    here, case there are shorter (or, more accurate) numbers from other units or mpeg
    utilities. Considering how MPEG has always had this one flaw.. as such, this may
    be neither pro/con, fwiw.


    CON: - [rev 1.0]
    ** Jumping inside MPEG's during sw dvd playing..
    I found that when I played the MPEG's inside powerdvd v3.0 it would not allow
    me to jump anywhere when I clicked anywhere inside the time line scale. The
    only thing I could do was FF really fast. On short scenes, it's not much of
    a problem, but on longer lengths, it is.

    Maybe this could be fixed inside a re-author. I dont' know.. because I do not
    speciallize in that area. Perhaps someone else can comment on that, cause it
    would come in handy for others.


    CON:
    ** The Recordings Form Factor setup..
    There is no (VR vs. Video Mode) setup option. The way the unit works is like this.
    Depending on what you put into the unit, -r; +r; and -rw; the unit will set the
    form-factor to (Video Mode) ..while if +rw, will put into (VR mode) automatically.
    I guess this is why +rw disc's don't have to be finalized, because they are by
    default, form-factored to VR Mode.

    The problem with VR Mode recorded disc's are that some pc dvd-rom drives will not
    recignise them. For example, on my Pioneer DVR-220-S, the VR Mode recorded disc's
    are not recignised by my pc's Optorite DVD RW DD0201 dvd burner. Only if I set
    the DVR-220-S unit to Video Mode, will it recignise the disc's.

    However, on *this* unit, the Polaroid burnned disc's *DO* play inside my dvd-rom
    drive. So, that's plus. Mind you, I could be wrong about the VR thing, that
    the disk is VM after all, and not VR.

    * Terminology: replace "form-factor" with ...


    CON:
    ** VR Mode recorded video and Audio delay param value..
    Note, this is for those of you who like to do re-encodes.

    First, Smartripper reports all my DRM-2001G MPEG's as having -67 ms delay.
    But, once inside DGIndex, it's another value. Read on..

    When using TMPGEnc to re-encode demo's, the "audio delay value" was not the same
    as the one posted by DGIndex. For example, so far, all videos comming from the
    Polaroid unit are read in as having an "Audio delay value" of 48ms, but sometimes
    they can be different, depending on the video's GOP layout. When TMPGEnc processes
    this .d2v source, audio de-sync occurs. To overcome this, I had to use a bit of
    trial 'n error to finally reach a new actual setting value of: [-240 ]. So far,
    this has worked every time for me.

    Course, this could be an isolated issue with the TMPGEnc version I am using, not
    to mention, sw MPEG Encoder.


    CON:
    ** Unit Lock-ups..
    It's been my experience with all my dvd recorders' that they lock-up at some
    point in time for mysterious reasons. The Polaroid model is no exception to
    this. I have experienced several lock-ups when using the machine. But I suspect
    it is on account of the various dvd media brands I have been putting into the unit
    or (because of the remotes' very small-size keys) hitting the wrong key-combo
    may have set the unit into caos.


    CON:
    ** No de-Macrovision capabilities so far..
    I don't know of any at this time. FWIW, some VHS that I know for sure that has
    MV seem to pass through w/out an problems. My THX Widescreen movie, "Contact"
    was clean during recording.

    Note, when unit sences MV (ie, DVD) it imediately issues: PAUSE [copy protection]
    warning notice, though the picture passes through -- you just can't record from it.


    CON:
    ** Shutting off the unit..
    The unit won't shut off if you are still inside a menu. When I have the unit
    connected to my pc so I can watch/record things during my multi-tasking, and
    when I finally shut down for bed, I often have the unit still inside a menu,
    and when I've already shut down my pc, and I go to power off the unit, it stays
    on. Can't tell you how annoying that is. Out of frustration, I just unplug
    the unit, and go ta bed


    Ok. Now for what I consider MYTH's.. I hope that noboday takes this too peronsal.

    MYTH: - noise 1
    ** The unit is noisy, on account of (theory) Fan or HDD. False or, slightly false
    At least on this unit, there were Little, to No noise. However, it did come from
    the fan, and its purpose is an obvious one.. to keep the unit cool, but the Loudness
    of the noise was probably dramatised at best, though from other unfortunate users
    who are most likely used to quieter brands/models/units.


    MYTH: - noise 2
    ** The unit exhibits loud noise on power-up from HDD. (I read this somewhere) False.
    Whenever I turn on the unit, there are no noticable or loud noise. It is quiet.


    MYTH: - tuner - [rev 1.0]
    ** Tuner video quality is bad. False.
    The tuner's quality is just as good as my Pioneer DVR-220-s brand/model.
    (however, the tuner's audio is MONO)


    MYTH: - remote 1
    ** Remote has slow response time. (I read this somewheres also) False.
    After using this unit (and remote) every function operates accoringly, to its
    natural speed - usually, instant operation.


    MYTH: - remote 2
    ** The remote only works within 6 feet. False.
    According to the manual, pg 6., the range's limit is 16 feet, but that the
    angle is a bit more narrow'er than most remots.

    -vhelp 4052
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  4. Member vhelp's Avatar
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    TEST PREPORATION ROAD MAP

    Because of the unit's Macrovision sensitivity to video DVD's, I could not run
    any tests using my Pioneer DVR-220-S as the optimum choice. I did not want
    to re-author any of the dvd disks I had -- I was too lazy, plus I couldn't
    find my disk that I *did* re-author from a previous test, using the "Ice Age"
    dvd disk's Setup from the "test THX" section.

    To give you an idea of what went on during my hay-ride in this area, the items
    below are what I used in these first round of tests. Some items were not used
    in the latest of tests, but are planned for later 2nd round of tests.


    PREPORATION for DEMO TESTS:
    Those items check marked with an "X" were Used.

    EQUIPMENT:
    ** [x] DVDRecorder: Polaroid DRM-2001G w/ 80g HDD
    ** [x] VCR: JVC S-VHS HR-S3910U
    ** [ ] VCR: Sharp VC H960 (composite only)
    ** [x] Source DVD PLAYER 1: Apex AD-1500 [ IRE = 7.5 ? ]
    ** [ ] Source DVD PLAYER 2: Pioneer DVR-220-s (is a dvd recorder)
    ** [ ] HDTV as source: Hisense, USDigital USDTV DB-2010
    ** [ ] Pro Brand, Digital Stream HD3150Plus DTV receiver
    ** [ ] Laserdisc player: Pioneer CLD-V2600
    ** [x] DVD source: "Ice Age" - disk 1, Setup, THX Optimization selection
    ** [x] VHS source: "Contact" 4:3AR THX Widescreen

    INPUT/OUTPUT AVENUES INCLUDED:
    ** [ ] RCA
    ** [x] S-Video
    ** [ ] Component (Y Pb Pr)

    SOFTWARE TOOLS:
    ** [x] DGIndex v1.4.3
    ** [x] VFAPIConv.exe v1.05
    ** [x] VirtualDUB-MPEG2 v1.6.15 B 24560
    ** [ ] Bitrate viewer v1.5.043
    ** [x] TMPGEnc v2.5


    The basic recepe for obtaining the images used in the postings from the
    Polaroid DRM-2001G recorded MPEG's were:

    ** +RW -> Smartripper->HDD -> DGIndex -> VFAPI -> vdubMPEG-2->CopyToClipboard
    ..or..
    ** +RW -> Smartripper->HDD -> DGIndex -> VFAPI -> vdubMPEG-2->SaveImageSequence->BMP

    Note, at the moment, today I am using .png w/ slight compression to fit this
    forums space requirement of 150kb image size. So, you might see some
    compression artifacts which can't be helped, for now.

    A minor note on DGIndex..
    I almost didn't use this tool, but only because it no longer offers the option..

    ** Video\Color Space\[RGB 24bit ] or [YUV 4:2:2 ]

    ..as other dvd2avi versions did. Because of this, this author is not certain of
    the color space output.. RGB or YUV, while vdubMPEG-2 internally converts to RGB.


    Apex AD-1500 piculiars..
    After my previous rounds of testing with this unit, I found something *new*
    out about the Apex. There seems to be a Sub Sampling or Chroma-Bug being
    output during the Polaroid's capturing.

    Also, its not fully known weather or not the Apex is outputing: IRE = 7.5 values.
    But, when things are captured from the Apex, the color levels are pretty dark..
    probably even darker then they should be.

    Because of these issues (above) it is my determination that the Apex is giving
    "flaud" or skewed result when used with the Polaroid, though quality was still
    acceptable. But, because this was the only available DVD unit to test with, not
    to mention I didn't know of the discovered issues noted, I had no other choice.
    But I am planning on a 2nd round of tests w/out the Apex.

    As such, I think its more so important to re-run the tests with another unit
    that does not have issues, and outputs proper specification parameters.


    Regarding VHS sources..
    The recording preporations for this (using the above JVC vcr) were with the
    s-video connection. To be totally honest, I was expecting to see chroma
    rainbows and/or sampling errors, but to my review, I didn't see any.

    Recording from Commercial tape sources can be tricky when it comes to MV
    (macrovision) I haven't completed my test in this area to rule it out, but so
    far, no MV problems yet. At the first sign of trouble, I'll report back.

    Attempting re-encodes from vhs sources is possible, and with good quality
    finished results too. I found that in my finished Polaroid MPEG recordings,
    once brought into my pc for further processing, that setting up for an IRE of
    7.5 (or PC Scale) was actually the better choice to use. All I can do to prove
    this, is UPLOAD some sample clips. Unfortunately, those *would* have to wait
    till next week, where I have access to fast internet connection.

    -vhelp 4053
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  5. Member vhelp's Avatar
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    ** [ ] Picture Quality Tests, comming slowly..

    The modes supported include: HQ, SP, LP, SLP

    All results of pics below are based on: Apex AD-1500 -> Polaroid DRM-2001G

    Polaroid DRM-2001G: HQ[9000 bitrate]

    ** Apex AD-1500[s-video] -> Polaroid DRM-2001G
    ** +RW -> Smartripper->HDD -> DGIndex -> VFAPI -> vdubMPEG-2->SaveImageSequence->BMP
    ** DGIndex [YUV->RGB].[TV Scale] - [L:16-235, C:16-240]
    ** saved as .PNG w/ (o) Optimized Octree compression.
    ** name: "vhelp.01b.ice.age.thx.0003.tv.sid.png"


    Polaroid DRM-2001G: HQ[9000 bitrate]

    ** Apex AD-1500[s-video] -> Polaroid DRM-2001G
    ** +RW -> Smartripper->HDD -> DGIndex -> VFAPI -> vdubMPEG-2->SaveImageSequence->BMP
    ** DGIndex [YUV->RGB].[TV Scale] - [L:16-235, C:16-240]
    ** saved as .PNG -- no compression.
    ** name: "vhelp.ice.age.thx.6253.tv.the.gang.png"


    Polaroid DRM-2001G: HQ[9000 bitrate]

    ** Apex AD-1500[s-video] -> Polaroid DRM-2001G
    ** +RW -> Smartripper->HDD -> DGIndex -> VFAPI -> vdubMPEG-2->SaveImageSequence->BMP
    ** DGIndex [YUV->RGB].[TV Scale] - [L:16-235, C:16-240]
    ** saved as .PNG -- no compression.
    ** name: "vhelp.ice.age.thx.2900.tv.color.bars.png"


    Polaroid DRM-2001G: HQ[9000 bitrate]

    ** Apex AD-1500[s-video] -> Polaroid DRM-2001G
    ** +RW -> Smartripper->HDD -> DGIndex -> VFAPI -> vdubMPEG-2->SaveImageSequence->BMP
    ** DGIndex [YUV->RGB].[TV Scale] - [L:16-235, C:16-240]
    ** saved as .PNG -- no compression.
    ** name: "vhelp.ice.age.thx.1550.white.chroma.blocks.pn g"


    Polaroid DRM-2001G: HQ[9000 bitrate]

    ** Apex AD-1500[s-video] -> Polaroid DRM-2001G
    ** +RW -> Smartripper->HDD -> DGIndex -> VFAPI -> vdubMPEG-2->SaveImageSequence->BMP
    ** DGIndex [YUV->RGB].[TV Scale] - [L:16-235, C:16-240]
    ** saved as .PNG -- no compression.
    ** name: "vhelp.ice.age.thx.1791.tv.black.chroma.blocks.png "

    -vhelp 4054
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    ** [ ] empty
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    ** [ ] empty
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    ** [ ] Downloads of sample clips - ongoing..

    TH.07.27.06
    DOWNLOAD: 072606.drm2001g.[supernatural].mpg
    ** Analog Cable -> Polaroid DRM-2001G[Coax IN, tv tuner=MONO]
    ** +RW -> Smartripper->HDD -> DGIndex[TV scale] -> VFAPI -> vdubMPEG -> TMPGEnc
    ** Note, DGIndex [YUV->RGB].[TV Scale] - [L:16-235, C:16-240]
    ** Encoding: CBR @ 9000 bitrate / Audio: 384k
    ** Note ( was suppose to be, [supernatural.hitchhiker] )


    TH.07.27.06
    DOWNLOAD: 072606.drm2001g.[matrix.end.fight.scene].mpg
    ** Analog Cable -> Polaroid DRM-2001G[Coax IN, tv tuner=MONO]
    ** +RW -> Smartripper->HDD -> DGIndex[TV scale] -> VFAPI -> vdubMPEG -> TMPGEnc
    ** Note, DGIndex [YUV->RGB].[TV Scale] - [L:16-235, C:16-240]
    ** Encoding: CBR @ 9000 bitrate / Audio: 384k


    TH.07.27.06
    DOWNLOAD: 072606.drm2001g.[matrix.begin.fight.scene].mpg
    ** Analog Cable -> Polaroid DRM-2001G[Coax IN, tv tuner=MONO]
    ** +RW -> Smartripper->HDD -> DGIndex[TV scale] -> VFAPI -> vdubMPEG -> TMPGEnc
    ** Note, DGIndex [YUV->RGB].[TV Scale] - [L:16-235, C:16-240]
    ** Encoding: CBR @ 9000 bitrate / Audio: 384k
    ** Note (was suppose to be, [matrix.load.the.jumprope.scene] )


    About the MPEG clips..
    First, know that these sample clips are re-encodes by my own hands.

    And.. As you all know how I have pointed many times in past, how these
    broadcasters or entities output their video sources at various degress of
    quality attributes, such as color space being off; or source is purposely
    jimmied or tainted; for their own reasons.

    Also, there will be other sample clips, and from other sources as well,
    like VHS. I know some want to see what this unit can do with VHS sources,
    though those source I did work with were based on Commercial Tapes.

    -vhelp 4057
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  9. Member vhelp's Avatar
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    CLOSING NOTES:

    IMHO, I am so very pleased with this unit. Even in its bare-bones state,
    it just performs so well. Bare-bones is just that.. no user-control of
    the higher advanced features found in many higher priced brand/models dvd
    recorders.


    Apex player and sub sampling / Chroma-Bug..
    With the exception of the Apex AD-1500 being used as the test input model,
    it is obvious that this Apex has a problem with: color space; and sub sampling
    handling; causing the familiar Chroma-Bug found prominately in RED's as well
    as other color gradients. A follow-up battery of tests will probably be done
    soon, using a none-macrovision source, fed into a better brand player, such as
    Pioneer, because they have user-configureable option settings, like IRE; Chroma;
    etc.

    However, because it has been determined by this author that the Apex is to blaim
    for the poor picture quality (sub sampling / chroma) from it's output port, on
    some of the tests, it is only fair for me to note with you all that I found other
    player devices which did perform without the issues, (though not included in these
    tests) in terms of recorded picture quality, etc.

    As a for instance, my VCR, a JVC S-VHS had no color space or sub sampling / chroma
    decernable issues. Anyway. Only further follow-up tests can add truth to all
    this nonsense.


    Redo some of the test? ..that is the question..
    I am considering re-doing some of the tests, but using a clean non-macrovision
    video source. To do this, I would have to re-rip my THX disc and re-author an
    new disk, unless I can find my old re-authored disk of the THX disc I did last
    year.

    Also, to include in these tests, other features not yet in this round, such as
    the Component features. I wanted to include in this round of tests, this area,
    but I haven't gotten around to it yet. And how I would test this is through
    the avenue of my:

    ** [ ] Hisense, USDigital USDTV DB-2010 and
    ** [ ] Pro Brand, Digital Stream HD3150Plus DTV receiver


    Mysterious features, and then some..
    Last, and in addition to all the above, this unit offers (shall I say) *many*
    mysterious tweak-like potential advantages that one only needs to be figured out,
    making this unit a treasure trove. Did I say, I'm thinking about getting a 2nd
    unit ? Well, I'm still thinking about it, hehe


    Recommend this dvd recorder? ..
    Of course I would. There are minor issues or slight clumzyness about this unit,
    but that's a give or take with any dvd recorder or new toy.

    The latest results I reported (above) are based on a player with some minor problems.
    And a follow-up round of tests might be done soon, to add to the one's above.

    Sometimes we never know a device is "faulty" until some years later. In my case,
    it was some years later, with my Apex and these tests uncovering them. But you
    would never know, from watching on tv, as a normal person would.

    -vhelp 4058
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  10. Member vhelp's Avatar
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    ** [ ] Resources
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  11. Member vhelp's Avatar
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    ** [ ] Misc, Tips, Hacks, etc.

    Determining if your Tuner's audio is MONO or STEREO:

    STEPS: - testing stero/mono Audio - by vhelp;
    > This should be easy to test, by hooking up a splitter to you main video
    > cable line:
    >
    > Pioneer DVR-220-s (or other "known" stereo unit)
    > ==
    > **
    > ************ --- Main Cable Line to your Tuner ---
    > **
    > ==
    > Polaroid DRM-2001G
    >
    > --- Fig A. ---
    >
    > Knowing in advance when a particular tv program will be airing in Stereo
    > you can record the source with both units.
    > Applying the above test should prove once and for all, Stereo or Mono.


    Adding a *new* HDD to the unit:

    STEPS: - adding HDD - by next;
    > open the case
    > remove the old hdd
    > put in new HDD
    > power on unit


    WORDS:

    ** HDD - Hard Disk Drive

    -vhelp 4060
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  12. Great review. You might want to add that this unit's hard drive can be easily upgraded. It's essentially plug and play. Just open the case, remove the drive and put in a new. I have a 200 gig in my now.
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  13. Member Marvingj's Avatar
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    Super Review, Loved it!!!!!!!!!
    http://www.absolutevisionvideo.com

    BLUE SKY, BLACK DEATH!!
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  14. Member vhelp's Avatar
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    Afternoon everyone


    Thank you guys.

    About the topic creation..
    Finding typos/Revisions and much more, was a chore to do. I can't tell
    you how many times I kept finding something to cleanup. Now that its
    skulped into what it is today, its slowly begining to look like something
    meaningful and useful, not to mention, a resource stop.


    My Original Component INPUT test idea..
    I mainly wanted it (at first) for the Component. When I first saw it back in
    February, I couldnt' believe it had Component OUT *and* IN. I wanted to test
    it out with my HDTV receiver, cause on one of my receivers, I can hack it to
    output Component quality video. so, I wanted to run some ideas across it.

    That's what got me started on this unit in the first place. Everything else
    followed as time progressed. Course, now that I have it, (thanks to the 80g
    HDD) it's been used quite heavily since.


    Waiting for the Polaroid DRM-2001G to arrive at Wal-Mart, more..
    I waited more than three months for this thing to arrive at my Wal-Mart.
    Every week I went in, and still no units. I told this to the saleswomen.

    And, I even tried pushing agressvily at the saleswomen and then the store
    manager, hoping to get *them* to allow me to buy the floor model, but even
    she wouldn't budge an inch. Last thing she said was, "..nobody had ordered
    these units, yet ???" and the other women replied, "no!". Manager continued,
    "..order them now, and round up everyone for a.." well, I guess they all
    had an interesting meeting, afterwards. But it didn't do me any good at that
    time, cause I wanted to walk out with one, then. Anyway.


    2nd idea - (HDD/Ribbon hack) ..
    My second idea on this unit was to hack it so that I could rig some kind of
    outside HDD and Ribbon (that I was going to invent or put together somehow)
    and -- cut to chase -- create some kind of swap-HDD-MOBO-Swith gizmo.

    - The idea is to eliminate the writing out to an +RW disc.

    But, I didn't want to try this (or any type of warranty-void) until I was
    sure that I was happy with this unit. So far, I am very happy with it

    -vhelp 4061
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  15. vhelp
    PRO:
    ** Ability to capture from a pre-record on units HDD while still Recording.
    Say you are recording something, but you would like to capture from it as well.
    And, say you want to capture one of the pre-records from the HDD on the unit.
    Well, you can.. by pressing the [DVD] key on the remote, and viewing what is
    already on the units HDD by scrolling through the list of videos and choose which
    one to play, and capture from it.. all, while the unit is still recording a tv
    program. Nice.

    Is this addressing the HDD while it's recording, or addressing the HDD while recording to the DVD disk


    vhelp
    PRO:
    ** Burning to +RW disc's w/out Finilizing..
    Another plus feature I found was that this unit does not need to finalize a disc
    as long as it is an +RW format.

    I know of no +RW disk that would require finalizing to play in any machine that will accept a +R/RW disk, or any +R/RW recorder that would do so.


    Edit
    It was indicated that this unit has a 2,5 hr SP mode
    If so that would be a halp for those concerned with bit rate on programs of say 2 hr 20 min and use the 3 hr mode
    Quote Quote  
  16. Member vhelp's Avatar
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    >> PRO:
    >> ** Ability to capture from a pre-record on units HDD while still Recording.

    >> >> Is this addressing the HDD while it's recording, or addressing the HDD
    >> >> while recording to the DVD disk

    Both.. if I understand your question.

    I probably should have wrote:
    ** Ability to capture a pre-recorded video on unit's HDD, while still Recording.

    Explanation, in more detail:
    This is probably some aspect of the unit's featured "TimeShift" capability.

    While you are recording to the HDD from your TV Tuner (or any other source)
    you can play what is already recorded (or stored) on your Polaroid's HDD. So,
    while you play what's on your HDD (while the unit is still recording) you can
    capture with a capture card or another dvd recorder (or whatever) the video
    playing from the HDD. The unit can do both of two things at once.. record and
    play, at the same time, because it is using the HDD, which is far faster than
    an dvd-ROM. It's probably taking advantage of some on-bard MEM CACHE for this
    technique to work. However it works, doesn't really matter. It just does

    While Recording -> play/watch HDD videos[OUTPUT: hdd video] -> RCA/S-Video output


    >> PRO:
    >> ** Burning to +RW disc's w/out Finilizing..
    >> Another plus feature I found was that this unit does not need to finalize a disc
    >> as long as it is an +RW format.[/quote]

    >> >> I know of no +RW disk that would require finalizing to play in any machine that
    >> >> will accept a +R/RW disk, or any +R/RW recorder that would do so.

    Ok. So I didn't realize this. I always thought that *all* dvd media required
    finalizing.


    >> It was indicated that this unit has a 2,5 hr SP mode
    >> If so that would be a help for those concerned with bit rate on programs of
    >> say 2 hr 20 min and use the 3 hr mode

    yes, it has 2 1/2 hr mode, or SP+ [2.5hr] But, there is no adjusting of the
    Bitrate or Times, like there is on other brands, like Pioneer. Personally,
    I dont find the need to increment Bitrate or Time for recordings. That's
    mostly because I do all my recordings in 1hr increments. If there are more
    than 1 hr, I'll just break it up into 1 hr increments (find a breaking point,
    like a commercial, and stop, then restart recording for the next hr) The
    reason I follow this practice is because it makes things easier in terms of
    smaller source chunks to work with. And, since +RW disc's are 4.3g, makes
    no sense to go beyond that point, depending on the nature of the project.

    -vhelp 4062
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  17. vhelp

    There is no (VR vs. Video Mode) setup option. The way the unit works is like this.
    Depending on what you put into the unit, -r; +r; and -rw; the unit will set the
    form-factor to (Video Mode) ..
    Can you verify this? I was under the impression that this recorder is like the Lite-On, only VR mode for any disk type.
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  18. vhelp

    Thanks This machine must have an onboard mem buffer as the HDD can't do two things at once, Thats a handy thing to have and the machine looks to be very good for the price.
    I have been trying to find out about this unit but no supplier has one in this area.
    It was reported that it will format a larger HDD without use of a PC and possibly be CP free. If so it would be one heck of a unit.
    Thanks again
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  19. Video Restorer lordsmurf's Avatar
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    Pull off the case cover and see what encoder chipset is inside.
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  20. trhouse

    Thanks for the link. I Must have missed it. I knew the Polaroid had an LSI chipset burt wesn't sure if it was 2nd or 3rd gen.
    It has been indicated that the 3rd gen disk may have CP compliance incorparated in the architecture but don't know for sure.
    Even so the unit looks good especially at the price
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  21. LCSHG,

    I tested and photographed the the insides of this unit on this thread recently,
    https://forum.videohelp.com/viewtopic.php?t=279460&start=90

    The heatsink is cemented onto the LSI chip so I could not pull it off.

    The Achilles heel of this unit is the remote. It works over a very narrow angle from 8-9 feet.
    Quote Quote  
  22. Originally Posted by trhouse
    LCSHG,

    I tested and photographed the the insides of this unit on this thread recently,
    https://forum.videohelp.com/viewtopic.php?t=279460&start=90

    The heatsink is cemented onto the LSI chip so I could not pull it off.

    The Achilles heel of this unit is the remote. It works over a very narrow angle from 8-9 feet.
    The remotes are hit and miss. I picked up two units. One remote was very difficult to use because of limited range. The second worked as a normal remote should. It works fine from across the room and the both units were very responsive to this remote. This told me that the unit itself has a decent ir receiver and the problem was in the distribution of faulty remotes. Also on another forum it was stated that when set up with a Harmony remote the unit worked fine. If you get a bad remote then return it (as I did). I wound up keeping the unit with the good remote and everything is fine.

    Also there initially was a bunch of bad units that were distributed to Walmart that had to be sent back to Polaroid - maybe because of bad remotes? I don't know but beware of ebay purchaes as a result. At least for a while. I believe some of these units were sold before they were recalled

    I think this is why the remote is listed as a "myth" above. Obviously the remote tested was a good one.
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  23. Thanks for that information. This unit came from Walmart. I just checked the manufacture date. February/2006. It probably should have made the recall but slipped though. It is going back today.
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  24. Originally Posted by trhouse
    Thanks for that information. This unit came from Walmart. I just checked the manufacture date. February/2006. It probably should have made the recall but slipped though. It is going back today.
    Definately! I think they started showing up at Walmart in late April or possibly May so your February production date is way too early. I saw one on ebay with a date of June of 06.
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  25. Member vhelp's Avatar
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    Evening everyone

    Ok. Here are several sample clips that I put together real quick for you all
    to freely download and review for your own reasons. But I must inform you
    that I miss-labeled a couple --

    [supernatural].mpg was suppose to be [supernatural.hitchhiker] and,
    [matrix.begin.fight.scene] was suppose to be [matrix.load.the.jumprope.scene]

    Sorry for the screw-up. Anyways. You can get them at the DOWNLOADS link,
    [on page one].. with full detail descriptions.

    Note, these latest sample clips are re-encodes of the DRM-2001G video's.

    -vhelp 4066
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  26. Member
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    I just picked up one of these units from my Local Wal Mart. This one has a February 2006 manufacture date and yes it does or should I say DID have the limited remote control range problem. I repaired the problem by taking apart the remote control and replacing the Infrared LED with one I purchased from Radio Shack (Cat. #276-143). It cost me $2.28 with tax (pretty cheap fix). The range now is excellent. In fact it's probably better than any other of my remotes for other devices. I can even put the unit behind my back and face the remote to the wall in back of me and it will still work. Please note before trying this that this mod will require soldering and desoldering of the LED and that LED's do have a polarity to them so make sure to solder them in correctly.
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  27. I want to thank both vhelp for his WONDERFUL review of this unit, and KTH, for the new LED idea. My unit sits fairly low under the Dishnetwork receiver in my bedroom, and the remote BARELY worked at all until I replaced the LED with the higher power one. Only cost me $1.98 with tax. Hardest part was getting the remote control apart.

    BTW, any one know of a way to turn off the timer display icon? once programmed to record a timed show, the icon stays on until it's finished recording.
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  28. Member vhelp's Avatar
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    Morning all

    Thanks KTH (for his "bright" LED idea -- I have to try it -- our electronic's
    specialist) and to Barnabas kind words. I Didn't know you were in the market for one.

    Yeah. Like I said, (about the unit) it's all bare-bones, but does such a great
    job with all sorts video sources out there, and re-ecoding them w/ IVTC, and you
    can't believe its that good! (Oh, NBC has been airing Star Trek Enterprise on
    Thursdays, pretty late, around 12:30am but they don't interupt it with any logos
    nor banners at bottom, that i've seen) -- check out the sample clips.

    So far, the logo stays at the bottom, and can't be removed. Perhaps if enough
    users complain, Polaroid will put out a Firmware patch for it.. what at it, fix
    that annoying clock.. what's up with that

    -vhelp 4076
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  29. I picked up one of these units last week. I've only had a chance to record some VHS tapes. I asked a few friends to judge the quality and to their casual eyes the recordings looked better than the original source. The unit seems to boost colors a bit which would probably fool some people that the quality was better. There is indeed less noise in the picture.

    The recordings also looked better than when I captured through the DV passthrough of my camera onto the PC,--> apply some filters in VirtualDub --> encode to DVD.

    All these tests were in HQ mode (9Mbs). I did a few quick recordings in SP mode (2hour) and it was almost impossible to tell the difference between the two recordings.

    I'll be hooking it up to cable later on and do some more tests.
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