Is this Pioneer recorder one of the best? I heard it was a flagship. I got an offer for 50$ but without that fancy remote control. And that seems hard to find.
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The LX-61D is an excellent unit, with very good stable encoder chips, but calling it a "flagship" is a little misleading: depends how you define "flagship". In any given model year, in most markets Pioneer had a three-model "good-better-best" lineup with each model having identical performance specs and analog tuners: as you went up the line and spent more money, you got a couple additional features in the midrange model and the largest HDD in the top model.
This strategy went out the window near the end of Pioneer recorder production in 2008: in countries where DVB-T was proliferating, Pioneer had to offer additional variations that included dual analog and digital tuners. These were usually (but not always) differentiated from the more common analog models by having two digit vs three digit model numbers, the LX prefix tacked on, and in some cases a letter D at the end of the model name. The LX-61D was the final "flagship" in the sense it offered every possible feature Pioneer had produced up to that point. In essence, it was the same recorder as the more common DVR-660 but with DVB-T tuners added and a card slot for a satellite scrambler decoding circuit.
$50 is a GREAT price for it if its actually still fully functional. But many Pioneers (and Sony clones of them) from this period now have failing DVD drives. The bespoke Sony replacement burners are very thin on the ground and expensive when you do find them. Replacing the drive requires the special Pioneer Service Remote GGF-1381 and Service DVD GGV-1321, which not every corner repair shop has on hand (you'd need to find a repair firm that was a former authorized Pioneer service depot). The ethernet web/PC connector on the LX-61D back panel is mostly useless now as it was critically dependent on arcane components of Windows Vista that were not carried over to Win 7-8-10. Recording quality is about as good as you can get for making VHS/Beta tape dubs to DVD, the tuner video/audio quality is very good but a hair less impressive than similar Panasonic models. Audio record/playback quality is about average for this type of unit: not bad, but not extraordinary either.
All Pioneer DVD/HDD recorders used the same basic remote code set, so any remote from any Pioneer DVD/HDD model will operate most of the features of the LX-61D. Many remote functions are duplicated in on-screen menus, so even if the remote doesn't have exactly the same buttons as the original LX-61D remote you can access most of the controls thru menus. New original Pioneer LX-61 remote is still available (if a bit pricey) from eBay and Amazon UK vendors:
If you live in a country with DVB-T broadcasts, and intend to use all the EPG timer guide features, plus the "Pause Live TV" feature, you will need the genuine LX-61 remote. If you live in North America, all the tuners will be useless and you can only record NTSC from the analog line inputs: in that case, you can save money and buy any random Pioneer DVD/HDD remote control (since 90% of the broadcast-centric features that require proprietary LX-61 remote buttons will be irrelevant in non-DVB-T regions).
Last edited by orsetto; 18th Jul 2020 at 12:18.