Forgive my ignorance on this topic, but I"m new to the whole dvd recording thing. Will these type of dvd recorders record content that was broadcasted in HD? I'm not asking about picture quality. I know you can't get high def picture quality on a dvd. I just want to know if it will actually record content that was broadcasted in HD or if it's incompatible. Thanks
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Last edited by usually_quiet; 15th Dec 2013 at 17:47.
Thanks for the response. I'm getting HD for the first time and I'm getting a DVR from the cable company. You're saying the DVD recorder won't be able to record what I have on my DVR if it's HD? I"m not recording anything directly from my tv. Strictly from DVR to DVD. I couldn't care less about the quality. Just want to be able to occassionally save something to disc if need be. Again, I'm completely clueless about all these technologies sorry. This will be my first time even having HD.
i don't have an HD provider, all my sources are SD over directv. but i do have the dr430.
the dr430 has connections for: (composite/rca, s-video as input/output), and (component as output) and although i haven't tested it, i'm pretty sure it is definately recorded only in SD format to dvd media.
so if you're looking for archive content, then you should get an external recording device, i.e., hauppauge hdpvr/pvr2, elgato, or roxio, as these devices hardware capture to AVC (h264) in sd and hd formats. i don't know any dvd recorder that records full hd, let alone while ignoring hdcp legally.
I appreciate all the responses. I've had my tivo for 8 years now which has a built in dvd player and recorder so I've made over a thousand dvd's. Now that I'm getting a high def tv set, I figured I can get a dvr box and just get a dvd recorder and record what's on my dvr playlist to disc. I"m not looking to archive huge amounts of stuff and go crazy with all these other programs. Just looking to save something on my dvr to disc every once in a blue moon. This doesn't seem like it's going to happen from what you guys are saying. So it's a step up in the sense that I'll be having HD on my DVR, but a major step down in the sense that I can't save something to a dvd.
I have an HD cable box and a DVD recorder. Even though it is an HD cable box, it has analog stereo out and composite video out. and I do record programming using a DVD recorder.
Most full-size cable decoder boxes, and their DVR variants, do have the yellow-white-red line output connections you'll need for the Toshiba DR430. You are located in Bellmore, NY: the cable provider in your area is probably CableVision aka Optimum. Friends I know with that service do have line outputs on their DVRs that are compatible with the Toshiba DR430. Just connect the line outs of the cable DVR to the line inputs of the DR430. You will be able to copy recordings from your cable DVR to dvds this way, albeit at vastly reduced video quality.
As others warned above, the line out connections provided by CableVision/Optimum, like nearly every other cable service, are designed for older CRT televisions: the signal is letterboxed with black borders top and bottom, to fit the widescreen image into the more square screen of older TVs. When connected to a DVD recorder, and passed on to a new widescreen HDTV, the result is a reduced image in the middle of the screen surrounded on all four sides by a black border. You can use your TV remote to zoom into that image, and fill the screen properly, but this lessens the clarity even further. It is the devils bargain you now make when trying to record DVDs from cable "the easy way" (using a standalone DVD recorder like the DR430).
A significant number of people are still willing to make that tradeoff of lesser video quality in exchange for quick 'n' dirty archiving to dvd (I often do it myself). But a lot depends on your screen size and your ability to adjust your eyes/expectations when watching the dvds. On a 32" to 40" LCD TV, the quality is passable enough to enjoy the average TV series and many movies. But it isn't really good enough for sports like the SuperBowl, or movie spectacles like Blade Runner or The Avengers or Gravity. If your TV is 42" or larger, the DR430 dvd quality will be bitterly disappointing for just about everything.
There are other issues that can come into play: unlike the standard decoder boxes, the HDTV decoder boxes with built-in DVR are often loaded with copy protection signals. So you may find the DR430 will refuse to copy many of the shows recorded on the cable DVR: getting around that requires a TBC like the AVT-8710, which costs $229 and further reduces video quality. Another "gotcha" strikes when recording old non-widescreen movies and TV shows: recently most cablecos have started putting black borders around that material as well, which when copied to a dvd recorder results in an absolutely ridiculous postage-stamp sized image where you see more black border on your HDTV than actual picture.
The move to digital video and HDTV pretty much screwed everyone who previously enjoyed making VHS tapes and then DVDs. As HDTV became more mainstream, support for devices that need a standard analog signal (like dvd recorders) was crippled or phased out. This has rendered the "easy" standalone dvd recorders all but useless. You can still make really nice DVD or even BluRays from cable, but not with a simple dvd recorder, and not with the cableco-provided DVR. You have to be willing to spend some serious coin, and deal with a slightly more complicated workflow.
The simplest solution is to buy a new TiVO with upfront lifetime service contract, a one-shot cost of about $600. You then tell CableVision/Optimum that you bought the TiVO, and you need them to come install a CableCard in it. The CableCard is just a little electronic piece that fits inside the TiVO and tricks the cable system into thinking its one of their own recorders. The CableCard is either free or costs $2 - $3 per month. You drop the decoder box from your monthly bill and you don't pay the PVR fee at all. The new TiVOs have a network feature that lets you connect them to your PC, and transfer recordings to it in perfect HDTV quality. Once on your PC, you can use software to quickly convert the TiVO files to nice widescreen DVDs or true HDTV-quality BluRays. Is it as easy as your old TiVO/DVD combo recorder? No, not by a longshot: but its easier than the "full-time-PC-based" alternatives.
You pay your money and pick your poison these days: there are no "budget" or "easy to use" options left on the cable table anymore. The closest you can get to "HDTV Cable Recording For Dummies" is to give up all thoughts of making DVDs and decide to be satisfied with temporary recordings on the cable-supplied DVR. This will give you easy, integrated, full-quality HDTV recordings with zero immediate upfront cost. But you won't be able to archive anything for your permanent library: you'll have to buy the season DVD or BluRay box sets of your shows every year.
Last edited by orsetto; 15th Dec 2013 at 23:30.
Wow. You sure gave me a lot to think about. Can't thank all you guys enough for taking the time. I have the Humax series 2 tivo. Bought it in 2006. Still using it right now. I'll be switching over to an HD tv set next week which is why I'll have to ditch my tivo and am going with an HD DVR box from Cablevision and I thought it'd work getting a dvd recorder. Not exactly sure how to explain the Tivo hookup. I'm terrible with that stuff. I had somebody else help me with it. If it wasn't for HD, I'd keep this tivo for another 8 years.
After reading your post, I'm thinking it would be best to just keep it simple and accept the fact that my dvd saving days are done. I haven't been saving much to disc lately anyways, so maybe it won't be much of an issue. I think I'm just going to return the Toshiba DR430 and just use a standalone player I have in storage and just deal with the DVR. I think the Toshiba DR430 would've been perfect for me in the early 2000's, but now we're at a different point in technologies. I just wish these DVR's had more space. If it doesn't work for me, I'll probably just get the newer tivo that has 100 hours on it or something like that. But for now I'll try it out the cablevision DVR. I was perfectly happy in the 80's and 90's with cable and a VCR. Now you can't even save your stuff without it being one big headache. Thanks again guys for taking the time
Sorry, Jayman71: I wasn't aware that Humax also sold TiVOs with built-n DVD burners. I have only seen the Pioneers and Toshibas, but I imagine they all worked about the same since they all date from the early 2000s and lack the CableCard interface necessary for anything but very limited basic boxless cable.
It was not clear from your earlier posts that this Humax (miraculously) still works after all this time, and is apparently still able to record what you want without issue (despite the many changes in cable signals over the past few years). Since the unit still works, I think your answer lies right in front of your nose: just keep using your Humax until it finally dies. It seems your local cable signal is still compatible with it, so there should be no change when you get the HDTV decoder box with PVR: all that will do is add HDTV and the PVR, it shouldn't change anything that would affect the Humax.
I'm assuming here that the Humax is operating as a self-contained unit: you have not mentioned anything about an existing cable box of any kind, so your Humax must be connected directly to the cable wire with no decoder box in between. If you currently set the TiVO timers to record shows for you directly, without the involvement of a wired remote pod attached to a cable box, then you should be clear to continue using the Humax as-is. You will just need to have a techie friend come and help you with the wiring, unless the cable guy is nice and willing to do it for you. You need a splitter to convert the single cable wire into two feeds, one for the Humax and one for the new HDTV PVR box supplied by the cable company. The Humax remains connected to your TV as it is now, while the new HDTV box connects to the new TV via a single HDMI wire. You would switch to the unit you want to watch using the TV remote.
If I assumed wrong, and you DO already have a cable box that you select channels on, and that box is connected to the Humax, then your options are reduced. The new HDTV-PVR box will probably not work well with the Humax, or any other DVD recorder. Also note, cable is in a continual state of change. Little by little, all channels are being optimized for newer 16:9 televisions, which reduces their compatibility with DVD recorders. Little by little, all cable companies are moving to mandatory decoder boxes for even the broadcast networks, and these boxes are not particularly friendly to DVD recorders. Finally, your Humax is a thousand years old in terms of DVD recorder durability: most recorders made in 2004 are dead by now. Eventually you will need to scour the Humax forums for tips on how to repair it, or give up and migrate to the newer TiVO-HDTV-PC hookup I described earlier.
It's just the standard set up. Hooked up to the non-hd cable box. Still works just as good as the day I got it. No problems at all with recordings or burning dvd's. If I could I'd buy that exact same tivo every 10 years for the rest of my life. I decided against getting the newer HD TIvo. I figured I can just rent the cable vision DVR box for 10 bucks a month. Either way I think it's time for me to move forward on the latest technology and make it an easy set up with cablevision. I figure either way, I"m going to have to change eventually as you said with the way things are changing with signals and all that. When space becomes an issue, then I'll get a newer tivo, but I think they'll have more space on these cablevision dvr's eventually. As long as my previously recorded dvd's look good on the new tv set, I'll be happy. They look great on a big screen HD set my parents have, so I think I'll be good. just a little annoying with the whole widescreen thing where you get the black bars on the side with the dvd's.
When recording HD channels with a DVD recorder, you will mostly see 16:9 letterboxed to 4:3 in your recordings, You may see some content that is "windowboxed" (pillarboxed and letterboxed) to postage stamp dimensions, or 4:3 content that was 16:9 letterboxed to 4:3 for an SD broadcast, but for HD broadcast they stretch it to 16:9 again without removing the letterbox bars, and then it gets letterboxed again to 4:3 for output over a standard definition connection. The picture in this case is a distorted stripe, with abnormally wide letterbox bars rather than a postage stamp.
Well I returned the DR430 unfortunately. I"m sure it was a great machine and I would've gotten great use out of it had this been the year 2000. But the cable vision DVR box is working great for me so far. I didn't realize it pretty much has all the same features as Tivo that I need. Just wish it had some more space, but I made it through the australian open without running out of space, so I guess I should be ok from now on if I manage it well. And all the on demand options that I never had before are awesome too. So as of now, I think I made the right choice.