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  1. Member Seeker47's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by ibex333
    I am actually fairly tech savvy when it comes to computers, having built several systems in the past, including my current one.
    I looked into the option of building an HTPC, but I had to give it up.

    Reasons:

    1)According to quite a few people on various forums, an HTPC WILL NOT record cable programming. Only OTA channels like CBS, FOX, CW, ABC, etc. That alone makes it a pointless ordeal to build such a PC unless you are very interested in keeping your movies on the HD, and playing them off one too.
    So, you can't feed the output from a digital cable box into any capture card in the HTPC ? If that is correct, it would be an important detail I had no clue about.

    Originally Posted by ibex333
    2)An HTPC is a lot more expencive than a DVD recorder. You cannot build a good HTPC for under $450-500 - it just cannot be done. Some might argue with me, but either you are willing to make significant sacrifices, or you dont know a great deal about PCs, and therefore willing to settle for mediocrity. Before recently, an HTPC was even more expencive, but with the arrival of new ATI boards with a chipset that takes most of the strain from the CPU when it comes to video processing, such PCs became a lot more affordable since you can afford to get a crappy, outdated CPU, and still get great performance out of you HTPC. Still, the costs of a spacious HDD, a good tuner card, a quality mobo, case ram, software, and peripherals will more than compensate for what money you will save on the CPU. .
    No, I'm not surprised at all by that estimate. I would have guessed no less than $1000., total expenditure -- without having to make significant sacrifices. In fact, I think I recently saw a listing on Ebay for an HTPC someone built, around a dual-core Shuttle XPC. Premium components throughout, I think, but when I saw he was asking 4 Grand for it I thought that must be a typo !
    When in Las Vegas, don't miss the Pinball Hall of Fame Museum http://www.pinballmuseum.org/ -- with over 150 tables from 6+ decades of this quintessentially American art form.
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    Re: old VCRs. That VBT-200 RCA is still sitting in it's box probably awaiting the day I put it into it's own shrine. That was the first VCR I ever owned though I started in this "hobby" earlier with friends and their early Betamaxes. I still have several working Beta decks that I have had to use recently to transfer old Beta and SuperBeta tapes. They have held up remarkably well. The SL-2710 was made in the early to mid 1980s and has survived things like a car fire. My SLHFR-70 is also still functional. These "Made In Japan" units were built tough. The pro-sumer SVHS units are also still working great. These were built before the market fell out on VHS and we started to get all those plastic and white metal cheapies that no one in their right mind should have bought. My Panasonic E80H for all it's (supposed) faults has also survived these many years. That was the first DVD recorder I owned and cost me $1,200CAD (at a time when the Canadian dollar was only 65% of the US Dollar). Nice to know it can be repaired for a low cost if it starts to get flaky with the discs (so far it hasn't).
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  3. Member
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    I don't understand why some of you guys are So into HDD DVD Recorders. I have had one for over six years. At first I thought that was an incredible feature, but then something much more spectacular came along...TiVo. I haven't used the Hard Drive on My DVD Recorder since. Why would I store a TV program on the HDD when I can store it on my TiVo or DVR? An HD DVR at that! I've got a 750GB External Hard Drive hooked up to my DirecTV DVR and I have a 250GB inside my HD DirecTiVo. That's 1TB of storage and The TiVo and DVR features, Picture Quality, Sound Quality and ease of use absolutely Destroys the HDDs of DVD Recorders. I only use my DVD Recorder for archiving DVR/TiVo programs onto DVD-Rs. The HDD on my DVD has become OBSOLETE.

    The reason You don't see a great demand for DVD Recorders with built-in Hard Drives is because of the popularity of DVRS and the simple fact that they are a much better option. If you have a DVR, I don't see the need for a HDD inside a DVD Recorder. Only thing I can think of is editing, and that is done better on PCs anyway. And if you want to skip commercials, using a DVR, it takes a couple of clicks with the remote and a few seconds and you're done. Instead of wasting time doing the manual editing.

    What am I missing here?
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  4. Member
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    Originally Posted by cmw
    What am I missing here?
    The monthly fee associated with something like Tivo or a pay tv's DVR and if you're OTA your only choice is Tivo, not a lot of choices.
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  5. The ability to burn to DVD without the loss of connecting a seperate DVD recorder. The only advantage to a HDD recorder for me is the ability to adjust the bitrate in small increments, something Tivo doesn't do. I'd rather edit on a PC but sometimes I go for the higher bitrate I can get by recording and editing on the recorder itself.
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    Originally Posted by cmw
    The reason You don't see a great demand for DVD Recorders with built-in Hard Drives is because of the popularity of DVRS and the simple fact that they are a much better option.
    Take them damned US blinkers off...

    They are only a better option in the US, because the cable companies give PVRs away practically (or actually) for free. If it were left to you to go shopping for one with your own hard earned cash then I'm quite sure that an fully featured HDD/DVD model would be what you aspire to - as it is in many other parts of the world.

    So, the reality is that a large number of US consumers don't have much use for an HDD/DVD recorder, but a significant fraction of people on this site are doing VHS or camcorder -> DVD conversions, and the HDD/DVD recorder is excellent for this (and your PVR is not )
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  7. Member
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    Originally Posted by jjeff
    Originally Posted by cmw
    What am I missing here?
    The monthly fee associated with something like Tivo or a pay tv's DVR and if you're OTA your only choice is Tivo, not a lot of choices.
    The monthly fee I pay from DirecTV is well worth it. Standalone TiVos are expensive monthly, but why anyone would even consider cable instead of DirecTV is mindboggling.

    Who uses just OTA nowadays??? I have that option and don't even use it. All my locals are in HD anyway. and the sub channels are a joke. Only interesting OTA-only channel that I have ever seen is The Tube Music Network. I don't know if new channels are coming with the whole Digital switch in Feb, but OTA is useless as far as I am concerned.
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    Originally Posted by mpack
    Originally Posted by cmw
    The reason You don't see a great demand for DVD Recorders with built-in Hard Drives is because of the popularity of DVRS and the simple fact that they are a much better option.
    Take them damned US blinkers off...

    They are only a better option in the US, because the cable companies give PVRs away practically (or actually) for free. If it were left to you to go shopping for one with your own hard earned cash then I'm quite sure that an fully featured HDD/DVD model would be what you aspire to - as it is in many other parts of the world.

    So, the reality is that a large number of US consumers don't have much use for an HDD/DVD recorder, but a significant fraction of people on this site are doing VHS or camcorder -> DVD conversions, and the HDD/DVD recorder is excellent for this (and your PVR is not )
    Well I can prove you wrong. I had a full featured HDD DVD Recorder and used to use the HDD all the time. Was great. Then I was introduced to TiVo and never used the HDD again. I paid for the HD DirecTiVo (HR10-250) myself and Own it. DirecTV didn't give it to me. And I bought this while I had the HDD DVD Recorder.

    I still don't see the use of a HDD DVD Recorder vs. a DVD Recorder without HDD nowadays when DVRs are available with massive hard drives - larger than the HDD of DVD Recorders especially if you have an HD DVR, where you can record and store IN HIGH DEFINITION. I have no idea what is or isn't available overseas, so I'm just talking about the U.S.

    Regarding VHS or Camcorder to DVD conversions, why in the world would you need a HDD for that, when you can put it straight on a DVD-R and store it!
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  9. Banned
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    Originally Posted by cmw

    The monthly fee I pay from DirecTV is well worth it. Standalone TiVos are expensive monthly, but why anyone would even consider cable instead of DirecTV is mindboggling.

    Who uses just OTA nowadays??? I have that option and don't even use it. All my locals are in HD anyway. and the sub channels are a joke. Only interesting OTA-only channel that I have ever seen is The Tube Music Network. I don't know if new channels are coming with the whole Digital switch in Feb, but OTA is useless as far as I am concerned.
    Great. A zealot. Look the reality is that cable is cheaper. If you like DirecTV that's fine, but those who use cable instead are not morons. And anyway, there are channels that DirecTV doesn't have. Why don't you get back to me when they have RTPI? (Dish Network has it) Maybe some people don't need DirecTV or maybe it doesn't have some channels they want.

    It's very obvious to me that you are a very opinionated person with no ability to conceive of other viewpoints. That's sad.
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  10. Member
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    ibex333

    " 5)Copies VHS to DVD and records TV programming to DVD.

    I don't need a tuner, and I don't want a hard drive. Unit must cost $300 or less. "


    How is it, that you expect to record TV, but you don't want a tuner?
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  11. Member
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    Another issue with DVRs is that even if you've purchased them outright, if you were to someday part company with the paid TV provider or TiVo, whatever is left on your recorder won't be available to you after your service expires.

    As far as OTA only goes, some people get good reception with an antenna and see no reason to pay for additional channels they have no interest in watching. Others just feel that they have better uses the for $720 or more per year they'd need to spend on a paid TV service to get more than what they can receive OTA.

    @kennywally: People who have a terrestrial receiver for OTA or a set top box for their paid TV service may find a tuner unnecessary.
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  12. LiquidTV is coming Oct. 15. This software turns your computer into a TIVO. You still have to pay that monthly thing.
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  13. Member
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    MOST people watching or recording TV via a computer must be gearhead males who are either single or live "apart" (in another room?) from their "significant other" who is a "typical" female? I apologize in advance to all gearhead females reading this... you ROCK... and I realize this situation CAN be reversed!

    My wife and her four sisters are not only computer "averse" they just don't want to touch one! My wife quickly learned how to operate our Philips 3575's, so she can set timer programs, watch titles on the HDD, chase play a recording in progress, etc... IOW, do all the things necessary to operate a HDD recorder end enjoy the many shows we record weekly.

    SHE HAS NEVER TOUCHED A DVD DISC AND DOESN'T WANT TO, so single-disc recorders are out for us also!

    Telling my wife she'd have to record and watch her shows thru a computer would be the same as me actually telling her one time that she'd have to press the Sleep button to see the Disc Menu on a universal remote I tried... it didn't have logical buttons for 13 of the ops controlled by the 3575's remote! That universal remote is back on Walmart's rack... didn't need "his" and "hers" remotes for the same machine!

    In this runaway economy, we also don't need another monthly bill for TIVO or satellite service cuz we're retired and on a budget that values FOOD and GAS over TV channels or TV Guides in our recorders!
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    Great. A zealot. Look the reality is that cable is cheaper. If you like DirecTV that's fine, but those who use cable instead are not morons. And anyway, there are channels that DirecTV doesn't have. Why don't you get back to me when they have RTPI? (Dish Network has it) Maybe some people don't need DirecTV or maybe it doesn't have some channels they want.

    It's very obvious to me that you are a very opinionated person with no ability to conceive of other viewpoints. That's sad.
    ahahahaha! in what world is Cable cheaper than DirecTV???? that is biggest bunch of crap I have EVER heard. I've had both and they are not even close. I don't know what you're on...

    What the hell is RTPI???, And you let me know when your Cable company gets 130 national HD channels. Hell, how about 30? And let me know when they stop charging you for every thing in site like a friggin remote!

    the only person who is sad here is you. Actually ignorant is better description.
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  15. Member
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    Originally Posted by usually_quiet
    Another issue with DVRs is that even if you've purchased them outright, if you were to someday part company with the paid TV provider or TiVo, whatever is left on your recorder won't be available to you after your service expires.
    Not True. At least with DirecTV. You can cancel your service and disconnect the cables to your DVR, and all the material will be saved any you can watch it whenever you want.
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    Originally Posted by wabjxo
    we also don't need another monthly bill for TIVO or satellite service cuz we're retired and on a budget that values FOOD and GAS over TV channels or TV Guides in our recorders!

    I am shocked someone who feels this way is even on this forum..
    And I've never seen someone who is retired spell the word "cuz"
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  17. Member
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    Interesting article about HDD DVD Recorders and why they don't make them anymore :

    http://news.cnet.com/8301-10784_3-9787239-7.html
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  18. Member
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    Originally Posted by cmw
    Originally Posted by usually_quiet
    Another issue with DVRs is that even if you've purchased them outright, if you were to someday part company with the paid TV provider or TiVo, whatever is left on your recorder won't be available to you after your service expires.
    Not True. At least with DirecTV. You can cancel your service and disconnect the cables to your DVR, and all the material will be saved any you can watch it whenever you want.
    What would happen if you cancelled your TiVo subscription?

    As far as the other part, I have read at least one report here from someone who purchased a DVR from his provider, and they bricked it after he discontinued his service.
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  19. I personally have both PVR and HDD recorders. Initially, I was using two HDD recorders in the same fashion as I used to use two VCRs, recording 2 shows at the same time and watching another with the TV tuner. I added a dual-tuner PVR to the mix, which we buy outright up here, no further subscription fee for the PVR unless you need a second one, charge is $2 extra a month, no big deal, and now rarely, if never, use my HDDs to record TV as the PVR with 2 tuners plus timeshifting channels, does all my watch-and-erase needs.

    Having said that, I would still never part with my HDD recorders as I do a lot of archiving from commercial-free movie channels which are fed to the recorders via the PVR, I find the signal from the PVR very clean, for a 480i signal, compared to the onboard tuners in recorders and like the editing features of the HDD-based recorders.

    I use Liteon and Liteon-based recorders. Some of models I have are Macrovision-free and I have/can replace the HDD, larger if I want and also put better drives in them.

    The only people who desire HDD models are users that want to do some archiving, for most users, a PVR fulfills their needs of watch-and-erase. We are in the minority, but I suspect that a lot of future users that are currently still using VCRs will be very surprised to find out that they will be very limited in the choice and availability of HDD-DVD recorders for the purpose of archiving some stuff, while others are kinda waiting for the price to go down, the question now is price going down on what, they're just not available anymore.

    That's quite evident by new posters that are coming online looking for info on HDD recorders. They are looking usually for something cheap, and that can do everything. As a lot of us here know that in order to fulfill all of our wishes, it sometimes required us to buy different models with different capabilities, again that option is no longer available either. Some of us lucked out by getting on the band wagon early on.
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    Originally Posted by usually_quiet
    What would happen if you cancelled your TiVo subscription?
    Well you will no longer have TiVo service - you won't be able to record anything, but everything that has been stored on the machine itself is yours to view whenever you want as long as you own the machine.
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    Originally Posted by CrazyCanuck
    The only people who desire HDD models are users that want to do some archiving, for most users, a PVR fulfills their needs of watch-and-erase.
    How's a HDD different in that sense? both have limited hard drive space. You can only archive so much onto a HDD. What happens when it gets filled up? With DVD-Rs, it's unlimited, just keep popping them in and record.
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  22. Sorry about the confusion, what is meant here by archiving is that with the HDD recorder you can do a lot editing than with just the DVDR recorders. With the HDD recorder, you do not have to babysit the start and end of the transfer, just record and later, trim off the unwanted portion at the begining and at the end, you can set a thumbnail and name the title and then copy (archive) directly from the HDD to the DVD disc, once copied you just delete it from the HDD, there's no loss in quality as it copies bit-by-bit.

    If your recording has commercials, you can split the recording, delete the commercials, remerge the sections and now you have a commercial-free recording to burn to disc. Very few single drive recorders can do that hence the value of a HDD recorder. A HDD recorder is not recommended to store recordings long-term, it may freeze up and crap all the stored recordings, it's just very convenient for editing and the drive is only in use for the copying process (20 minutes to fill a DVD) instead of recording in real time, let's say 2 hours at the SP mode for instance thus less wear and tear on the drive.
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    Originally Posted by CrazyCanuck
    Sorry about the confusion, what is meant here by archiving is that with the HDD recorder you can do a lot editing than with just the DVDR recorders. With the HDD recorder, you do not have to babysit the start and end of the transfer, just record and later, trim off the unwanted portion at the begining and at the end, you can set a thumbnail and name the title and then copy (archive) directly from the HDD to the DVD disc, once copied you just delete it from the HDD, there's no loss in quality as it copies bit-by-bit.
    So you are saying the only benefit to a HDD DVD Recorder is the editing. Well that take some work too. You can do old school editing by just using the Stop/Pause/Rew/Fwd buttons if you don't have a HDD DVD Recorder. It would be nice if you had a DVD Recorder without a HDD and be able to record everything onto a DVD-R and be able to edit everything the same way before finalizing.

    Originally Posted by CrazyCanuck
    and the drive is only in use for the copying process (20 minutes to fill a DVD) instead of recording in real time, let's say 2 hours at the SP mode for instance thus less wear and tear on the drive.
    But you are forgetting that before that, you ARE recording in real time to the HDD in order to THEN get it in speed dub mode onto the DVD-R. So the recording process is actually longer when you combine the two then if you were to just record straight to disc.
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    Originally Posted by cmw
    ahahahaha! in what world is Cable cheaper than DirecTV???? that is biggest bunch of crap I have EVER heard. I've had both and they are not even close. I don't know what you're on...
    The only "crap" I see here is the assertion of satellite being cheaper than cable. It fully depends on the provider and your location. For $50-60, I get two digital boxes, locals in HD, and about 100 cable channels -- real channels, not 17 variations of QVC. For anything similar on satellite, I'd have to pay about $75-100. Inversely, folks one town over would pay a lot more for the same sort of cable service, to another provider, to where satellite really is cheaper.

    That would ONLY be for the bedroom and living room, it excludes the office, guests room, kitchen, etc -- where I can use analog cable on a cable-ready tv. I'd have to buy more boxes for satellite -- for an absurd price.

    They're all priced stupid, in my opinion.

    My service also does not disappear when it rains.
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    Originally Posted by cmw
    Originally Posted by usually_quiet
    What would happen if you cancelled your TiVo subscription?
    Well you will no longer have TiVo service - you won't be able to record anything, but everything that has been stored on the machine itself is yours to view whenever you want as long as you own the machine.
    Considerate of them to at least leave you with half-functionality after paying about as much money for that box as for an HDD DVD recorder, assuming you paid full price for it.

    Personally, the additional features offered by a DVR aren't worth the additional cost to me. I'll worry about HD when I have something to watch it on. I only have SD TVs now. Half of what I watch is available OTA. At some point in the future, I may decide to give up paid TV and monthly fees that keep rising, and I'd still be able to use an HDD DVD recorder for OTA. I like having the ability to archive programs too.

    I have also suggested the Philips machines to my elderly parents to replace their current recording device, a VCR. Plus, they don't currently have a DVD player for their 720p TV. It would be just one box and one remote for both functions, like a VCR, and there would be no more tapes to deal with. I did suggest a DVR at one point because of ease and convenience, but they are against more monthly fees, and they don't want to have two boxes or two remotes to deal with.
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  26. A few years back, I bought a Panny with a 400gig HD for $447. I knew it would have to last longer than if I got TIVO or Comcast DVR & paid for those monthly. About three years
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    handyguy

    so what broke on it? the hdd?
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    Originally Posted by cmw
    So you are saying the only benefit to a HDD DVD Recorder is the editing.
    That's putting it a bit too simply.

    "Editing" means the ability to snip out the bits you don't want, so you only need room on the burned DVD for the bits you do want, meaning you have room for a higher quality recording. Also, the ability to record a show in longer / higher quality than will fit on a DVD - which you can later chop into segments for archiving onto DVD and hence to PC. Also, the previously mentioned benefits of being immune to defective DVD media, and not having to babysit the recording with remote control in hand - a requirement that should have died with VHS.

    There is no doubt that an HDD/DVD recorder is a more flexible and reliable tool than a simple DVD recorder. I don't see how this can even be a matter of controversy.
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    Damn - I forgot another important benefit. Not having to look for blank media before making a recording!
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  30. Originally Posted by kennywally
    handyguy

    so what broke on it? the hdd?
    It's working perfectly still. Use it daily.
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