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  1. Member
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    handyguy,

    oh, ok, I misunderstood your comment. I thought you were being sarcastic.

    glad it's still humming along. my e95hs and e100hs are both humming along ok too. I'm just considering my options out loud in here.

    I'm truly tempted to get a pioneer. It's funny that I never heard of them until I started eyeballing a new unit. In the past just prior to buy the 2 pannys I have now, I don't recall ever seeing a pioneer. I mainly remember the ones I was considering, the panny and the LG. But I think the lg came out just after I bought, and I was a bit disappointed I missed them, until a friend told me about LG's software issues. And now LG disappeared offf the shelves at best buy as did all the hdd dvd recorders. So, what's done is done, but a pioneer is on the menu, I just have to wait a bit.
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  2. Member Seeker47's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by kennywally
    It's funny that I never heard of them until I started eyeballing a new unit. In the past just prior to buy the 2 pannys I have now, I don't recall ever seeing a pioneer.
    They were carried by several major chains -- brick & mortar mostly, somewhat less so online.

    It's funny (as in odd), but as has been pointed out here a few times, people keep turning up who are surprised to learn this train left the station -- on its final service -- in 2007.
    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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  3. [/quote] why anyone would even consider cable instead of DirecTV is mindboggling.[/quote]

    Content. Some offerings are only via digital cable, like Howard TV.
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    " but as has been pointed out here a few times, people keep turning up who are surprised to learn this train left the station -- on its final service -- in 2007. "

    I'm sorry, but you lost me there, could you elaborate that point a bit further please!
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    Originally Posted by kennywally
    " but as has been pointed out here a few times, people keep turning up who are surprised to learn this train left the station -- on its final service -- in 2007. "

    I'm sorry, but you lost me there, could you elaborate that point a bit further please!

    KennyWally,

    I believe Seeker was talking about recorders dropped from the market.
    Yeah, I'm probably nuts... But what the hell. Nobody's perfect.
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  6. Originally Posted by kennywally
    I'm truly tempted to get a pioneer. It's funny that I never heard of them until I started eyeballing a new unit. In the past just prior to buy the 2 pannys I have now, I don't recall ever seeing a pioneer.
    Back when DVD/HDD recorders were still marketed in the USA, Pioneers were kind of a "coastal" brand- they were popular in New York and LA stores, but less visible in, say, Chicago. Initially this was because at $600 an "inland" USA consumer would be more likely to plunk down the $$$ for the more recognizable Panasonic name (Pioneers presence in video recording was nil until DVD/HDD recorders). Later, in 2005, Pioneer made the most horrifically bad series of DVD/HDD recorders ever released in the USA, which caused many stores to drop the brand. In 2006, Pioneer pulled it all back together with the model 640 and since then has been making rock-solid recorders. Unfortunately this was too little too late for the USA market, since every mfr of DVD/HDD units (except Phillips) withdrew these machines from America in 2007. Pioneers became relegated to Canada-only, making them even harder to get than before. They can be had, with a little effort, and are well worth it as the best brand-new USA-spec DVD/HDD recorders available. But they don't have ATSC tuners, they don't have USA warranties, and they cost double what a Phillips 3576 would by the time you get one shipped from Canada. The price is also going up every model year, with no guarantee Pioneer will remain in Canada much longer (they are the last "big name" DVD/HDD machines sold new in all of North America). If you want a Pioneer, buy it now- they aren't getting any cheaper and the basic feature set has not changed since 2006: don't wait in vain for some incredible breakthrough feature to appear or for prices to drop dramatically.
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    [quote="mpack"]
    Originally Posted by cmw

    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.
    HDD part of the DVD Recorder becomes OBSOLETE once you get a TiVo or DVR. Like I said I have not used the HDD once since I got my first TiVo 5 years ago. And thats the reason HDD based DVD recorders aren't in high demand anymore. Because people have moved on to DVRs.
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    Originally Posted by pinetop
    Content. Some offerings are only via digital cable, like Howard TV.
    Howard TV is the absolute only advantage of Cable. Luckily I can just download all episodes for free and not pay a penny. DirecTV has an advantage in everything else. And its not even close. If you use Cable, you might as well use AOL and Internet Explorer. While you're at it, why not get a bunch of Monster cables...
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  9. Originally Posted by cmw
    HDD part of the DVD Recorder becomes OBSOLETE once you get a TiVo or DVR. Like I said I have not used the HDD once since I got my first TiVo 5 years ago. And thats the reason HDD based DVD recorders aren't in high demand anymore. Because people have moved on to DVRs.
    This is true for YOU, as it is true for 90% of the rest of America, but only because you (and they) don't give a rat's ass about keeping anything permanently or sharing with friends/family. Based strictly on timeshifting, view-and-erase convenience, of course a TiVO/satellite/cable DVR blows away any generic DVD/HDD recorder. But you attack the "generic" machines as if this was their fault, and it is not. The cable and satellite vendors intentionally set out to kill the market for independent recorders by renting their own DVRs cheaply and allowing them total integration into the service and scheduler, something they expressly *forbid* independent recorders from doing. Believe me, if the general public could actually buy a Panasonic or Pioneer DVD/HDD recorder that was totally integrated into their cable/satellite service, they'd be all over it and the proprietary DVRs would not be nearly as popular. North America is the only worldwide market that does not support sales of independent DVD/HDD recorders, for the sole reason our population is spoiled rotten with proprietary cable/satellite service and can't be bothered to use anything that isn't totally integrated into their system. Other parts of the world rely far more on OTA broadcasts than we do, and these machines are still quite popular there, up to and including new HiDef BluRay/HDD recorders that we will never, ever see in the USA.

    For anyone who is a habitual recording hound and DVD packrat, the TiVO/satellite/cable DVRs are essentially useless because they can't burn a DVD and can't edit. Yes, you can connect a plain DVD recorder to the outputs of the satellite DVR and sit there like a friggin moron for hours on end doing real time dubs, losing quality and riding the pause/stop buttons. It gets damn old, damn fast. The independent DVD/HDD you loathe for timeshifting becomes a Ferrari for the rest of us, because we can edit quickly and precisely, maintain a backup, and dub to a finished DVD in 9 minutes digitally without losing any quality, all within one machine. Is it a royal, shoot yourself in the head, total pain in the ass to set timer recordings or timeshift? Absolutely. But we choose to deal with it in order to get other features we value more than one-click integrated timeshifting.

    No device can be everything to everybody. You buy what will do what you want most. Stamping your foot here and carrying on about the unmatched convenience of TiVO or satellite DVRs is kinda pointless: everybody knows this already. 9 out of 10 Americans already choose the integrated satellite/cable DVR. Every independent DVD/HDD machine (except one) was pulled from the USA market two years ago. The war is over, TiVO and proprietary recorders won. We *get* it, okay? But it doesn't follow that independent DVD/HDD recorders are "obsolete": far from it. If you need their capabilities, you gladly embrace the compromised conveniences. You don't see people chasing used TiVo boxes all over eBay, but you do see many people bidding up used Pioneer and Panasonic DVD/HDD recorders to higher than their original list price. Don't kid yourself- there is still a demand for such machines. Just not enough to be profitable in the USA due to the cable/satellite integration lockout, and TiVO's bullshit patent threats.
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    Originally Posted by cmw
    Originally Posted by pinetop
    Content. Some offerings are only via digital cable, like Howard TV.
    Howard TV is the absolute only advantage of Cable. Luckily I can just download all episodes for free and not pay a penny. DirecTV has an advantage in everything else. And its not even close. If you use Cable, you might as well use AOL and Internet Explorer. While you're at it, why not get a bunch of Monster cables...
    Good for you. You found something that suits your needs at a price that seems reasonable to you. However there are people in the world who dont want more than their local channels or who cans use DirecTV. For example, they might live in an apartment that faces the wrong direction to receive satellite service, or there is an immovable obstruction in the way.

    Not everybody wants or needs the features a TiVo or other DVR offers or the monthly fees that go along with having them. In my case, a $250 Philips HDD DVD recorder with 160 GB drive and no monthly fees would be more useful to me than a subscription-based DVR/rental, plus a regular DVD recorder. I dont currently have an STB and would prefer not buy a new piece of furniture to have room for a both DVR and DVD recorder. I don't need HD. I don't plan to keep things around on the hard drive for long, so I don't need my recordings organized for me, and I prefer to schedule recordings using a timer.

    I actually do use IE most of the time. I use Firefox too, but I prefer IEs layout, plus my ISPs software and my security software are more compatible with IE.
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  11. I use satellites. It's not too much fun cleaning the snow off the DN dish 18' or so up on the roof. If it's snowing it will just go back out before I can watch anything anyway. I hate cable but there are advantages and disadvantages to both cable and satellite.
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  12. Member Seeker47's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by orsetto
    North America is the only worldwide market that does not support sales of independent DVD/HDD recorders, for the sole reason our population is spoiled rotten with proprietary cable/satellite service and can't be bothered to use anything that isn't totally integrated into their system. Other parts of the world rely far more on OTA broadcasts than we do, and these machines are still quite popular there, up to and including new HiDef BluRay/HDD recorders that we will never, ever see in the USA.
    So, these definitely exist, or soon will ? I've long thought there was an excellent chance things like this would turn up in the Japanese market, at least. They have a history of being "gadget crazy", and of being willing to purchase cutting-edge gear that is beyond the capabilities and well beyond the price points of the models that turn up here. (One question is whether that will change, if we slide into a severe or lasting worldwide recession.) You may recall that movie made from the Michael Crichton novel some years back, "Rising Sun." Part of the murder mystery plot turned on a gold colored disc the size of a mini-CD that was capable of recording a then-science-fictional storage amount of high quality video. Even at the time, this passed as semi-plausible, because they had a demonstrated prowess for such tech that was unseen elsewhere, but perhaps more importantly the will to pursue it, even at great cost.
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  13. Video Restorer lordsmurf's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Seeker47
    a gold colored disc the size of a mini-CD that was capable of recording a then-science-fictional storage amount of high quality video.
    Useless and undesirable format. Too many flaws to optical tech (of course tape and hard disk have more!). The future is in "flashable" memory. Remember me when it comes true. I've seen the signs for years, and even naysayers in the field are starting to eat words and more and more articles are appearing in the industry mags. Consumers are too low-brow to understand this, especially the rabid fanatical ones that like to buy into crap like Blu-Ray, which will dinosaur itself like an LD or Super Beta.
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    Originally Posted by lordsmurf
    Consumers are too low-brow to understand this, especially the rabid fanatical ones that like to buy into crap like Blu-Ray, which will dinosaur itself like an LD or Super Beta.
    There's always something better in the works. but the question is: How long will it be before these products are released? If that doesn't happen for a few years, Blu-Ray could still make a lot of money for Sony.

    I saw Charlie Rose's interview with Sony's CEO, Howard Stringer, a couple of days ago. It was pretty interesting. The end of the HD DVD/Blu-Ray format war did come up.
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    [quote="usually_quiet"]
    Originally Posted by lordsmurf

    I saw Charlie Rose's interview with Sony's CEO, Howard Stringer, a couple of days ago. It was pretty interesting. The end of the HD DVD/Blu-Ray format war did come up.
    OT alert. I wish their was a listing for what's coming up on Charlie Rose. Both TVGOS and Zap2it don't ever tell who's going to be on CR, and it's past my bedtime to just watch it live
    I would have liked to watch that interview. No I don't have BR but have many other Sony products.
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    Originally Posted by lordsmurf
    The future is in "flashable" memory.
    I doubt it. First, the industry would never allow movies to be distributed in such an easily copied format. Second, I doubt it would be as cheap as pressed DVDs say. Third, DVD movies I buy get put on a shelf with their spines facing outward so I can browse through them when I want to watch something. How do I browse through a bunch of flash drives? They would need to come in boxes as big as a DVD, not very elegant.

    I think something like a Media Center with a huge (multi-terabyte) storage capacity, and with an interface that lets you browse its virtual shelves - see the artwork, read the reviews... well now that might be the future. This future would be agnostic about which particular portable medium was used to get movies into the internal storage.

    ps. By "Media Center" I do not mean Windows Media Center PCs. The thing I have in mind is a consumer item with a much simpler interface than a PC.
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  17. I agree. Flash memory will never be anywhere near as cheap to produce as optical discs and therefore won't replace them. It will gain popularity for other uses but not for TV/movies.
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  18. Originally Posted by samijubal
    I use satellites. It's not too much fun cleaning the snow off the DN dish 18' or so up on the roof. If it's snowing it will just go back out before I can watch anything anyway. I hate cable but there are advantages and disadvantages to both cable and satellite.
    I have to wonder where you are that gets such snow amounts. I don't remember ever clearing snow of my dishes, DirecTV or Dishnetwork.

    Advantages for me as a Dishnetwork sub are good service & price.

    If I were signing up now I'd probably take one of their HD only packages and be paying even less per month.

    Cheers
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  19. Flash memory is suddenly very much in the picture. SanDisk and other makers are in full-court-press mode, currently in simultaneous major negotiations with both the studios and CE mfrs. Home video/DVD has splintered and is not following the uniform pattern that happened with audio/CD (where packaged media is totally dead in the water and downloads now rule completely). Video is by definition a longer-form product with some uses that are not subject to change with the whims of the young, as happened in audio.

    Video recording has now ossified due to the paralyzing effect of the moribund American market with its proprietary do-nothing-but-timeshift cable/satellite PVRs. But packaged DVD for playback remains a very healthy business for rental and sale of commercial releases. This cuts across all age groups: the over-40 demo is just used to having physical media, and the under-40 demo understands the theater experience at home entails a disc, especially for Hi Def. Recording is another story which is flailing in search of some direction. Recordable video disc is dead in North America because its "too hard to use" and doesn't integrate seamlessly with cable or satellite. In global markets DVD recording is still very popular, but the key North American market is indifferent, a deadweight dragging profits and hardware volume way down. While young and old here agree on the viability of discs for playback, they are far apart on recording. The over-forties live and die by their cable/satellite PVRs for timeshifting and have no other recording interests. The younger generations are desperate for convenient video recording, but only if it can be manipulated like MP3 as files easily ported to multiple devices. They want easy transfer to the Sony PSP, iPod, cell phones and other portable media players. They *don't* want to deal with an intermediary recordable optical disc that must be tediously ripped to a computer and then converted for their device.

    This is where the flash memory mfrs are hoping to stake a new business. This type of video usage does not require media that costs pennies, because its transitory. After you put the card into your device and download the video, you recycle the card for another recording, or you just keep a few cards on hand for semi-permanent storage. Right now chip makers have a huge surplus of mfring ability they are dying to tap, which will drive flash prices even lower if the concept takes off. All they have to do is get everyone from Apple to Zenith to include an SD slot in all their devices, and get the studios on board with some sort of workable but not oppressive DRM scheme. Admittedly its a long shot in the current climate, but there is a lot of money behind and riding on this. Chip makers have seen how stalling and and patent greed strangled the Hi Def disc, which should have been a slam dunk. They want to seize the moment while they still can, before video moves on to something like direct beaming into our skulls via cell networks. It will be interesting to watch this play out, whatever happens.
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  20. Originally Posted by TBoneit
    Originally Posted by samijubal
    I use satellites. It's not too much fun cleaning the snow off the DN dish 18' or so up on the roof. If it's snowing it will just go back out before I can watch anything anyway. I hate cable but there are advantages and disadvantages to both cable and satellite.
    I have to wonder where you are that gets such snow amounts. I don't remember ever clearing snow of my dishes, DirecTV or Dishnetwork.
    I live in northern Utah and believe me there's plenty of snow to have to go out in it to clean the dish at least a few times a year and usually a lot more than that if I want to watch or record when it snows. Half the time it will go back out before whatever is on has ended anyway so it can end up just being a waste of time. Compared to a lot of other places in the country we don't get that much snow. It would be a lot worse in many other places.
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  21. Just to join in this Fun packed ping pong match... I have a Hdd/dvd recorder, and a previously purchased DVR .. I use both... recorder to archive stuff.. and the Dvr to watch n wipe.. I have NOW realized that neither is what I really needed. I should have bought something like the TopField 5800 a DVR that lets you archive/xfer to computer. I do virtually all my editing on Computer anyway, and have a very good (and replaceable) DVD burner on that anyway.. while also being able to store recordings on various (replaceable) Hard drives.

    I now (mostly) understand my philips recorder(free Epg). DVR was cheaper AND more flexible (record2, watch 1).(Free & Better EPG)

    and the extra PC software costs money as well(inc EPG). And none of this crap is HD.

    *off now, to record the end of civilization as we know it
    Corned beef is now made to a higher standard than at any time in history.
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    Originally Posted by handyguy
    I like that 3575 but I don't want to buy it because it doesn't have a tv guide feature. My Panasonic r500 with 400gig HD does & I use it a lot.
    I decided to read through this whole thread today. I noticed that handyguy wrote he had a recorder with TV Guide, and I suddenly remembered something. Those who have a paid TV service may not be affected, but anyone in the USA who has an NTSC DVD recorder (or is planning to buy a Canadian NTSC DVD recorder) and uses an antenna won't be able to use the TVGOS/Guide Plus+ features after the analog cut-off date.

    There is a digital broadcast version of TVGOS, which of course requires a digital tuner. The DISH DTVPal/TR40-CRA is the only converter box that will allow those who use an antenna to keep using TVGOS with their NTSC-only devices. A G-Link cable is also needed, and the TVGOS-equipped device needs to be set up for a Scientific Atlanta cable box rather than an antenna. People have reported they can't get the feature to work, but it may be because their local CBS affiliate is not broadcasting it yet. At present, only a few cities have it up and running, althogh it is supposed to be more widely available next year.
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  23. Member Seeker47's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by orsetto
    The younger generations are desperate for convenient video recording, but only if it can be manipulated like MP3 as files easily ported to multiple devices. They want easy transfer to the Sony PSP, iPod, cell phones and other portable media players. They *don't* want to deal with an intermediary recordable optical disc that must be tediously ripped to a computer and then converted for their device.
    The last part of that I get (even though it is far from my own take on this). What I'll never be able to understand is how anyone would want to watch a movie or program on the tiny screen of iPod or cell phone. As far as I'm concerned, even a good computer monitor is just too small for anything but brief, casual viewing. It's adequate for editing or running other video apps, but not at all the sort of viewing experience I would want.

    Originally Posted by RabidDog
    I should have bought something like the TopField 5800 a DVR that lets you archive/xfer to computer. I do virtually all my editing on Computer anyway, and have a very good (and replaceable) DVD burner on that anyway.. while also being able to store recordings on various (replaceable) Hard drives.
    I'm not familiar with that device, but hard drives are no panacea either. I use my DVDR (Pio 640) quite a bit for timeshifting, and I'm starting to run into fairly regular "bad program" spots, where the sound disappears for awhile, or there is bad video noise with shifting horizontal sections, or the picture freezes or breaks up into blocks and then re-forms itself. If the original HDD is starting to go, I'll need to replace it much sooner than expected. But this is not so easy to diagnose: I've seen similar anomalies in the broadcast signal viewed directly without the Pioneer, and have had some intermittent problems with the LCD display. But hard drives are going to fail sooner or later, whether it's the one in your computer, your cable-Co. supplied PVR, or what-have-you.

    I just hope I don't discover such problems in many of the movies I've steadily been recording on the DVDR, well after the fact. Quite a few are seldom broadcast, and I archived them promptly off to DVD, then erased them on the hard drive to free up that space.

    That reminds me, Orsetto -- I'm still hoping to hear your opinion re the optimize function of the Pioneer. Do you think it locks out bad sectors, as PC optimizer programs do ? And how much risk is there in using it, regarding whatever is currently on the drive ?
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  24. Member Seeker47's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by usually_quiet
    Originally Posted by handyguy
    I like that 3575 but I don't want to buy it because it doesn't have a tv guide feature. My Panasonic r500 with 400gig HD does & I use it a lot.
    I decided to read through this whole thread today. I noticed that handyguy wrote he had a recorder with TV Guide, and I suddenly remembered something. Those who have a paid TV service may not be affected, but anyone in the USA who has an NTSC DVD recorder (or is planning to buy a Canadian NTSC DVD recorder) and uses an antenna won't be able to use the TVGOS/Guide Plus+ features after the analog cut-off date.

    There is a digital broadcast version of TVGOS, which of course requires a digital tuner. The DISH DTVPal/TR40-CRA is the only converter box that will allow those who use an antenna to keep using TVGOS with their NTSC-only devices. A G-Link cable is also needed, and the TVGOS-equipped device needs to be set up for a Scientific Atlanta cable box rather than an antenna. People have reported they can't get the feature to work, but it may be because their local CBS affiliate is not broadcasting it yet. At present, only a few cities have it up and running, althogh it is supposed to be more widely available next year.
    As was recently mentioned here in one of these threads, the DVDRs (now mostly off the market, except for the Phillips) which had the built-in TVGOS feature (again, past tense, because the feature got dropped for later models) were all quite problematic. The feature gave rise to operational problems that negated its virtues. I don't know how large a percentage of antenna-users there is these days, but probably not all that large. They will have a problem as you said, if they were fond of TVGOS from a purchased recorder. But I think virtually all cable / sat subscribers get some proprietary program schedule feature from their service provider. If there is no box -- and after 2/09 I guess there has to be, unless a few analog cable services manage to survive -- then there's a dedicated channel you turn to. If there is a box, you press a dedicated button on the remote, and there it is, for your browsing pleasure. There will be differences. The "schedule channel" on the analog service only covers about a 3 hour window. My older digital cable box only shows programming up to about 3 days ahead, whereas the much more recent one shows up to as much as 2 weeks ahead.
    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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  25. Originally Posted by Seeker47
    What I'll never be able to understand is how anyone would want to watch a movie or program on the tiny screen of iPod or cell phone.
    This is one of the rare trends I've actually succumbed to myself. I actually put off getting an iPod until last year, because I'm not fond of the portable music experience (background noise makes it impossible for me to enjoy music on a bus, plane, or God help me the subway). But recently I've had to travel quite a bit, taking long Greyhound trips and enduring the tyranny at the airlines. Portable DVD players proved too bulky with too short a battery life, so I finally risked $125 on a used, first-gen video iPod. I was totally shocked to find I got used to the tiny screen almost immediately: its amazingly hi-res, sharp as a tack with dead-on color accuracy and contrast. I would never use it to watch a good movie, especially one I haven't seen before, but the tiny screen lends itself wonderfully to TV shows. I've loaded up the 30GB with nearly 46 hours (!) of backed-up shows I need to catch up on, and its fantastic. Zero bulk, the internal battery lasts nearly four hours and charges in one, and an accessory 4 AA battery pack will run the damn thing for 18 hours straight. I love it for video, and use it for audio if I'm in the motel or a quiet place. The only drawback is converting DVDs to MP4s, I'm with the kids on that: there has to be a better way.

    I use my DVDR (Pio 640) quite a bit for timeshifting, and I'm starting to run into fairly regular "bad program" spots, where the sound disappears for awhile, or there is bad video noise with shifting horizontal sections, or the picture freezes or breaks up into blocks and then re-forms itself.
    This is almost certainly your program sources and not the hard drive in your Pioneer 640, I see the same problems myself but they are all traceable to Time Warner's atrocious cable compression in my area. I'm sitting on a mountain of Pioneer recorders of various vintages, I buy broken units to repair for myself. My most heavily-used machines are a 531, a 540 and a 450 (2005, 2006, 2007). They have never had a hard drive problem, and I skirt 90% full capacity with a gazillion edits on each machine. Over the years I have only seen one type of hard drive problem on Pioneers, and this appeared exclusively on the earlier 510 and 520 models: the video will lock up totally and freeze. You get about ten seconds of playback, and then nada. Any attempt to fast scan in forward or reverse locks up quickly. Yet the entire recording is there: the machines will record OK but some sort of drive corruption prevents playback. Since this does not happen with the post-2004 models, Pioneer may have added better HDD management to those.

    That reminds me, Orsetto -- I'm still hoping to hear your opinion re the optimize function of the Pioneer. Do you think it locks out bad sectors, as PC optimizer programs do ? And how much risk is there in using it, regarding whatever is currently on the drive?
    I optimized both my 531 and my 540 a couple weeks ago, because I thought it would be a good precaution. I noticed I had way too many heavily edited or very short recordings on those machines. The optimization was surprisingly quick, about two and a half hours per machine. Went thru the process without a hiccup, and I'm sure it prolonged the life of those recordings and will make new ones easier for the machines. There is no operational change, except the navigation screens seem to be a bit snappier now. What isn't clear is if optimizing locks out bad sectors: on these recorders I think it probably just defragments the drive.
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  26. Video Restorer lordsmurf's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by mpack
    Originally Posted by lordsmurf
    The future is in "flashable" memory.
    I doubt it. First, the industry would never allow movies to be distributed in such an easily copied format. Second, I doubt it would be as cheap as pressed DVDs say. Third, DVD movies I buy get put on a shelf with their spines facing outward so I can browse through them when I want to watch something. How do I browse through a bunch of flash drives? They would need to come in boxes as big as a DVD, not very elegant.
    I think something like a Media Center with a huge (multi-terabyte) storage capacity, and with an interface that lets you browse its virtual shelves - see the artwork, read the reviews... well now that might be the future. This future would be agnostic about which particular portable medium was used to get movies into the internal storage.
    ps. By "Media Center" I do not mean Windows Media Center PCs. The thing I have in mind is a consumer item with a much simpler interface than a PC.
    You're making assumptions about media from your own limited consumer experience.

    Copy protection, production costs, storage, longevity, compression, size -- trust me, all the ingredients for a DVD-killer are there. And it's being developed in sly by folks such as Toshiba, along with studios that can already see the failure of Blu-Ray (including ones that release in that format).
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    Originally Posted by orsetto
    Flash memory is suddenly very much in the picture.
    I didn't say that flash memory will never be used for video (obviously I'm quite aware that this has already happened), I said that I doubted that "the future is flash memory".

    Flash is just yet another portable medium. It has the advantage that it is inherently rewriteable, plus there is no definite upper limit to capacity. Other portable media has other advantages, so I don't believe that any one will dominate, ie. none are "the future". My own belief is that the future will be devices that can accept data from a number of portable media types, and not care very much which.

    However, I think the dominant distribution format will continue to be optical disks, or maybe some kind of equally cheap-to-mfr medium that doesn't exist yet. I don't see how fab lines (even in China) can make and package USB NAND-flash devices competitive in price with pressed optical - yes, there will be a market for these for use on portable players, but it will not IMHO displace the spinner for everyday distribution.
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    Originally Posted by lordsmurf
    You're making assumptions about media from your own limited consumer experience.
    Well, given that my consumer experience is not infinite, I must concede that it is therefore limited. I note that the same can be said of you, so forgive me if I decide not to accept your opinion as gospel.
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    Originally Posted by Seeker47
    As was recently mentioned here in one of these threads, the DVDRs (now mostly off the market, except for the Phillips) which had the built-in TVGOS feature (again, past tense, because the feature got dropped for later models) were all quite problematic. The feature gave rise to operational problems that negated its virtues. I don't know how large a percentage of antenna-users there is these days, but probably not all that large. They will have a problem as you said, if they were fond of TVGOS from a purchased recorder. But I think virtually all cable / sat subscribers get some proprietary program schedule feature from their service provider. If there is no box -- and after 2/09 I guess there has to be, unless a few analog cable services manage to survive -- then there's a dedicated channel you turn to. If there is a box, you press a dedicated button on the remote, and there it is, for your browsing pleasure. There will be differences. The "schedule channel" on the analog service only covers about a 3 hour window. My older digital cable box only shows programming up to about 3 days ahead, whereas the much more recent one shows up to as much as 2 weeks ahead.
    Of course I know people who have an STB with their paid TV service also have a program guide available to them as part of their subscription. I also know that people who have TVGOS devices often had trouble with the feature. Usually it was some problem with the cable provider not transmitting the information needed. Its hard to say whether or not cable companies that presently send analog TVGOS information will convert the digital TVGOS, or whether analog TVGOS via cable will disappear when analog transmissions cease.

    Some people, like handyguy, did get TVGOS to work though, and apparently still use it. Perhaps they even use it to schedule recordings, like a poor man's TiVo. It seems like a fairly important consideration to him.

    As far as antennas go, close to 1 in 5 US housholds watch TV exclusively via antenna. There are also housholds with a paid TV service that don't have it connected to all their TVs, and some with satellite service who receive their locals via an antenna.

    I have analog service from Comcast that does not yet require an STB, though no doubt that will change within three years, maybe less. They will soon move the TV Guide channel, which serves as the program guide for their analog subscribers, to a digital package. Go figure.
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    Originally Posted by mpack
    Originally Posted by lordsmurf
    You're making assumptions about media from your own limited consumer experience.
    Well, given that my consumer experience is not infinite, I must concede that it is therefore limited. I note that the same can be said of you, so forgive me if I decide not to accept your opinion as gospel.
    Sorry, but my experience does go a good bit outside of the "Best Buy consumer" arena.
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