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  1. Video Restorer lordsmurf's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by deuce8pro
    Lordsmurf check ebay there is a bunch of 2004 model drm30's refurbished, very nice prices.
    I almost never see any. And when I do, they are "parts only" or PAL format.
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    I am never buying refurbished again. Refurbished just means "still broken".
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  3. Originally Posted by lordsmurf
    I've never been a fan of hard drive DVD recorders, and apparently never will be. Recently I've looked into various models, and have hit one pain after another.

    Pioneer -- That awful EPG/TVGOS mess, which causes all sorts of lock-ups, noise, and other nuisances. Force 720x480 recording at longer modes after SP.
    Couldn't have been too recently, LS, unless you overlooked Pioneer's 640. Not a problem with the 640H-s. They dumped the guide mess. I dont even have a guide set up.
    I run one of the outputs direct from Sat to Recorder input and set timers on both and have never had a problem.
    It's been a very reliable machine for about 4 months now.
    This model being out so long now I figured you would have read all the excitement about Pioneer fixing the guide problem.
    Very soon it should be (from reliable online retailers)able to buy for under $300.00.
    Check it out.
    Regards,
    NL
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  4. I think you'd be happy with a Toshiba RD-XS35 (assuming it performs as well as my XS34). Sure, it has the TVGOS, but it has worked perfectly fine for me... plus TVGOS can be bypassed (not set up or used) and manual timer recording is not a problem.

    It goes to half D1 when it should, has two levels of input video noise reduction (plus OFF), a high degree of control over video bitrate, three audio bitrate settings (two for Dolby Digital, one for LPCM), more options and controls for burning finished DVD's than any other unit (including AR flag settings, kiosk loop playback, and a no menu option), it has settings for both 7.5 IRE and 0.0 IRE source video black level plus several "mode" settings that allow you to tweak the input black level and luma up or down a bit... it really does everything you are looking for.

    The cooling fan does run all the time, but this can be dealt with by a simple mod if it really bothers you. There was a thread some time ago by a guy who installed a small variable resistor on the power lead to the fan and he was able to reduce the fan noise to a whisper. I know you're not opposed to doing mods on your gear, LS!
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  5. I've got the Toshiba RD-XK50, the fan only runs on it when the power is on. It upconverts to 720p or 1081i even. I don't know how well it does at upconversion since my TV upconverts everything anyway. Last I knew they could be bought on ebay for about $50 without the remote, $80 with remote. I use a One For All 8910 on everything anyway, so I didn't need a remote.
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  6. Video Restorer lordsmurf's Avatar
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    My issue with the Toshiba fan is one of safety. I wanted a machine I could leave running while I'm out of town for a week or two, and I get antsy with leaving on devices that could cause fires. Everything else about the machine seems great. It's the TVGOS (which causes the fan to run) that is the deal-breaker for me. I wish it were not the case.

    The Pioneer 640 has poor recording modes. Using 720x480 at anything beyond 2 hours is foolish and makes the machine worthless for 3-hour mode (which should be bitrate-rich, like XP 1-hour mode is).

    Toshiba RD-KX50 has a noticeably incorrect IRE.
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  7. The IRE can be set just like the RD-XS35.
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  8. Video Restorer lordsmurf's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by samijubal
    The IRE can be set just like the RD-XS35.
    Hmmm...... thanks for that little tidbit.... I will have to go look and see.
    How is the RD-XS52 model?

    Some of these are a tad harder to find to buy.
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  9. I don't know anything about the 52 except they manual is the same for the 50 and 52.
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  10. Try the Pioneer 640, it has most of the features you're looking for, including the flexible recording, stereo tuner and no EPG! Unfortunately, as you well know, there's no perfect DVD recorder but the Pio comes the closest. The only problem...good luck finding one in a store, you'd most likely have to buy it online.
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  11. Originally Posted by lordsmurf

    The Pioneer 640 has poor recording modes. Using 720x480 at anything beyond 2 hours is foolish and makes the machine worthless for 3-hour mode (which should be bitrate-rich, like XP 1-hour mode is).
    For me, anything past 2 hours on a SL disc is irrelevent, at least for anything I want to archive.
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  12. I have a DVD only Philips DVDR70 standalone dvd recorder and it works fine. I always record in 1 hour or 2 hour mode (less often on 2h30 mode).

    Picture quality is great. Little noise because of my Analog cable souce

    VCR -> DVD quality is great.
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    Originally Posted by chrisdab
    I am never buying refurbished again. Refurbished just means "still broken".
    Not true. I bought a reburbished, it wasnt broken just had a few scratches.
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    I have considered Toshiba RDXS35, Philips 2455, Pioneer 520/640, LG LRH780 as well as cheaper stuff like Sonar/Kaco/Polaroid. My conclusion was that all brand name machines are very close in features, give or take some...
    Main issue was reliability and longevity as I didn't feel like throwing the recorder away after 14 months of use due to faulty DVDR drive or HDD issues which really plague DVD recorders.. Toshiba seems to an excellent unit but I couldn't find much on self-upgrade plus it was the most expensive at BestBuy. Some guys swear by Philips some say they won't buy anything again from this company. Upgrade issue also unclear. Pioneer and LG were the only ones with proven track record in that regard. LG doesn't need any special tools or utilities, just plain swap. After checking it for few weeks I decided to keep it. I haven't had any issue with DRM as well.
    The tuner features were not important to me as I feed the signal from the digital box via RCA's. So far so good. I've had it for 6 weeks.
    I ran several tests in 4hr mode (XP and SP - 1 and 2 hr are just superb) last one rec. Top Gear with lots of fast panning and to the naked eye there's no difference between the rec. and digital cable - very clean, no pixelation). After you edit the video the only transfer mode to the disk is realttime (only quasi-frame accurate editing). beside lack of S-video in the back (front panel only) that's the only gripe I have. Noise-wise it could be quieter, you can hear HDD and fan spinning (whine). My SA 8300 (...? not sure the number...) Rogers PVR is super quiet in comparison.
    Summarizing, Pioneer has no DV-in, sub-par rec. beyond 2.5 hrs in some users opinions, Philips supposedly unfriendly user interface, issues with freeze-ups, Toshiba: poor or no upgradability, expensive (if bought at regular price). LG, although still not perfect, offered good quality, upgradability, decent feature set. Owners love it... Considering other choices I thought LG gives me the most for the money.

    I still do agree with LS that you could expect more from HDD DVR's, better consistency in quality and performance, better built and more logic behind them. After all they arrived on the market quite some time ago, enough to figure out what's important and what's not. Choosing a recorder was a very frustrating process and I'm glad to have it behind me.
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    Find it strange so many dislike the EPG on the Pioneer models?. This feature makes it much so much more useable for the whole family, (especially my elderly mother), and has lead to my sister, a neighbour and friend buying the same model, (technically not the same model:- I have a 601 and they bought 530, but it's virtually the same in function:- 601 has VCR and 80gb hdd, 530 no VCR and 160gb HDD and DL DVD)
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  16. Member FulciLives's Avatar
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    The USA/Canadian Pioneer models with the EPG/TVGOS did not work very well. It was better NOT to use it and just set recording times etc. manually.

    This applied to the 531/533/633 models. I have the 531 model myself.

    I do love it ... I just don't use the EPG/TVGOS feature.

    - John "FulciLives" Coleman
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    EXPLORE THE FILMS OF LUCIO FULCI - THE MAESTRO OF GORE
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  17. Member classfour's Avatar
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    After reading these posts it confirms why I took the trouble to build a media PC for recording onto a (removable) hard drive
    ;/ l ,[____], Its a Jeep thing,
    l---L---o||||||o- you wouldn't understand.
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  18. Member p_l's Avatar
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    The TVGOS feature is one that I really like ...when implemented correctly. On the otherwise good Pioneer 633 I had, the TVGOS no workee, but on my Toshiba RD-XS35 it works fine. Add to that the more sophisticated menu making features and DV-IN, and the Tosh is a machine I really like.

    A downside to this machine is the fan noise, which I would find intolerable if it were a bedroom machine, but in the living room it doesn't bother me at all, and I'm someone who really hates fan noise wherever -- a kitchen fan, a car heater, etc.

    The Tosh also has a bit of a steep learning curve and I actually found myself consulting the -gasp!- manual for some markedly unintuitive functions.

    Also worth mentioning: it has a good quality picture.
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  19. The Toshiba interface definitely isn't for the timid. I like all the options, they really do a lot, if you can figure out how to do it all. The manual is a must have for the machine, you'd never figure out how to do all the recorder offers without it.
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  20. Maybe offtopic, what you think about Samsung HR 730 dvd recorder. This model have some 3d noise reduction filter. Does is this better than Panasonic ES15 or EH50
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  21. Preservationist davideck's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by lordsmurf
    How is the RD-XS52 model?
    The RD-XS52 (160 GB) and the RD-KX50 (80 GB) are the same except for their hard drive capacity.

    These machines do not have TVGOS. As a result, their fan turns off during standby, and their standby power is less than one watt in Eco mode. The Toshiba units with TVGOS have a standby power of about 15 watts.

    The RD-XS52/KX50 also have the high degree of control over bitrate, etc. as the other Toshiba units, as well as excellent TBC performance. Their IRE error is similar to that on the JVC DVD Recorders.

    The Toshiba manuals are available online.
    Life is better when you focus on the signals instead of the noise.
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  22. Member FulciLives's Avatar
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    What about Funai DVD recorders like the sub $100 unit by Magnavox that you can buy at WALMART? I wonder if these do Half D1 at the 3 hour recording mode?

    - 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
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  23. Member
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    Originally Posted by davideck
    Originally Posted by lordsmurf
    How is the RD-XS52 model?
    The RD-XS52 (160 GB) and the RD-KX50 (80 GB) are the same except for their hard drive capacity.

    These machines do not have TVGOS. As a result, their fan turns off during standby, and their standby power is less than one watt in Eco mode. The Toshiba units with TVGOS have a standby power of about 15 watts.

    The RD-XS52/KX50 also have the high degree of control over bitrate, etc. as the other Toshiba units, as well as excellent TBC performance. Their IRE error is similar to that on the JVC DVD Recorders.

    The Toshiba manuals are available online.
    Can you elaborate more on the ire error with the jvc dvd recorder?
    I have noticed a slightly lighter picture.
    Has it been discussed how to get around that?
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  24. is Pioneer still in the recording business ?also if I'm not wrong the 640 doesn't have firewire.for me no firewire= no buy.They charge over $300 for a recorder that doesn't have firewire,HDMI,cardreader,usb,,,,,,
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  25. Preservationist davideck's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by deuce8pro
    Can you elaborate more on the ire error with the jvc dvd recorder?
    I have noticed a slightly lighter picture.
    Has it been discussed how to get around that?
    Here is a good place to start;
    https://forum.videohelp.com/viewtopic.php?p=1520611#1520611
    Life is better when you focus on the signals instead of the noise.
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  26. Member
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    Originally Posted by davideck
    Originally Posted by deuce8pro
    Can you elaborate more on the ire error with the jvc dvd recorder?
    I have noticed a slightly lighter picture.
    Has it been discussed how to get around that?
    Here is a good place to start;
    https://forum.videohelp.com/viewtopic.php?p=1520611#1520611
    I was looking for that post. Thanks David.
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  27. Member FulciLives's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by MJA
    is Pioneer still in the recording business ?also if I'm not wrong the 640 doesn't have firewire.for me no firewire= no buy.They charge over $300 for a recorder that doesn't have firewire,HDMI,cardreader,usb,,,,,,
    Pioneer is one of the very few with excellent image quality and a wide range of features. Yes it lacks a DV in port but I could care less ... one should be doing camcorder footage on a computer so as to make use of editing software like Sony VEGAS or Adobe PREMIERE etc.

    As for the other things you list ... not really needed on a DVD recorder.

    To me the only DVD recorders that are "full featured" are the Pioneer models (like the DVR-640H-s) or the HDD models by Toshiba (like the RD-XS35).

    These models stand out because:

    1.) They have a built-in HDD which allows for uninterrupted recording i.e., not restricted to what will fit onto a single DVD disc. Also can edit etc.

    2.) Have selectable bitrate instead of just 1 hour or 2 hours or 3 hours etc.

    3.) Have some proc-amp type controls.

    4.) Superior image quality (thanks to excellent MPEG-2 encoding) compared to most other models. Also selectable 7.5 IRE BLACK and 0.0 IRE BLACK settings.

    My main beef with most DVD recorders are that they seem to be locked into modes like 1 hour or 2 hours or 3 hours etc. with no way to optimize for recording speeds in between like say 90 minutes etc.

    At least some of the newer LSI chipset based DVD recorders added a 2 1/2 hour mode but I still find it highly wasteful to use the 2 hour mode on a movie that is only 90 minutes long or so etc.

    - 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
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  28. Member
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    Originally Posted by davideck
    Originally Posted by deuce8pro
    Can you elaborate more on the ire error with the jvc dvd recorder?
    I have noticed a slightly lighter picture.
    Has it been discussed how to get around that?
    Here is a good place to start;
    https://forum.videohelp.com/viewtopic.php?p=1520611#1520611
    Do you know if there is a way to do that with a Panasonic?
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  29. Video Restorer lordsmurf's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by davideck
    Their IRE error is similar to that on the JVC DVD Recorders.
    I do not agree with this.

    JVC does not have an IRE error as so much as it has an IRE variance (like ALL ... I repeat ... ALL... other DVD recorders, including ones with so-called "adjustments"). Most folks that think JVC (and some others) have "brightness problems" is because they are too used to machines that had legitimate problems of making the image darker than it needed to be (of which Panasonic is the most guilty, with their luma augmentations).

    Early gen Panasonics, on the other hand, as well as clear-cut IRE-error machines, have stark brightness issues. They are so bright that pastel colors entirely disappear. It's pretty serious.

    I've not seen all of the Toshiba models, so are you telling me it's a slight IRE shift on the light side (2-3 or so), and not a full-blown 7.5-measurement IRE error?
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  30. Video Restorer lordsmurf's Avatar
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    Okay, I tried out the LG 519, as found on clearance ($199 refurb) at Electronics Express. In theory, the machine is good. In practive, the machine is obnoxious.

    The ability to transfer recordings to USB thumbdrives or USB hard drives, as well as over a LAN cable, or even pain old DVD-R/-RW, is awesome.

    But the good/better/best recording modes are stupid. Again with the 720x480 non-sense, including even a god-awful 1.5mb/s bitrate at "good". Good looks like garbage. It uses DVD resolution, but with VCD bitrates. WTF?!

    "Better" is about 3 hours or so, give or take. "Best" is like 2 hours. Better has some noise, about what you'd expect from a 3500k bitrate on Full D1. Best still has noise. I don't know that it uses an LSI chipset, it's not listed with LSI Logic, and I don't care enough to open the unit.

    I actually like the Windows-like feel to it (Microsoft helped make the unit, apparently). It's very convenient.

    This is NOT a VCR replacement, not at all. You cannot just hit record like a VCR. Hitting record takes you to a menu where you have to set it on a timer. It's a lot like some PVR software.

    ______________________________________


    I need to say this again:
    I have a DVD somebody gave me, made from a Panasonic E80H. She said it was "excellent quality". It looks like barf. It was a VHS tape converted to DVD. I have no doubt the VHS was fine. The DVD, however, is dark. The image has blurriness, ghosting, and is posterized.

    Earlier today, I was thinking "no wonder people like HDD Panasonic, it's the lesser of evils". That thought did not last too long. Panasonic may work better, but that still does not excuse it from looking like Lego vomit.

    ______________________________________


    Fulci, I plan to try your idea next. Where can I find a Pioneer 640 in stores?
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