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  1. Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2020
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    England
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    Hi everyone,
    New here so apologies if I am in the wrong place!
    I am in England so please bear that in mind with replies.
    My dad, who is of an older generation has always enjoyed fixing things, especially TVs and electrical items. He has not been able to keep up with the computer era so has asked for my help.
    He likes to keep a copy of his DVD's in case of damage and discovered he could do this using a particular DVD recorder in some combination of devices that I don't recall and is irrelevant!
    Unfortunately his beloved recorder stopped working and he has spent over a year trying to repair it but doesn't have the right parts.
    I am on the hunt for either the exact model. Can be working or not, or an alternative device (remember old school not computer based) that will do the same thing.
    He is not in the least interested in copy for resale. He just wants a personal copy of discs he buys including copyright material.
    The one I am looking for is:
    Acoustic solutions dvd recorder with hard drive model DVDRW300
    Many thanks for readin.
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  2. Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
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    United States
    Search Comp PM
    I have seen some US members here say they have found listings for older DVD recorders on craigslist/classified ads or websites like ebay, and sometimes at pawn shops or charity shops.
    Ignore list: hello_hello, tried, TechLord, Snoopy329
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  3. What type of DVD does he need to back up? Discs he recorded himself from a tv tuner, or commercial discs he purchased? If the former, any good second-hand DVD/HDD model sold by Pioneer, Sony or Panasonic can replace his current recorder. They all include a disc duplicating feature for "home-made" dvds.

    If the latter, it will be needle in a haystack, I'm afraid.

    First, because the "retail disc" duping feature your father has relied on was and remains utterly unauthorized by Hollywood, to the point it was forbidden in almost every DVD/HDD recorder ever sold in every country. When he bought it, your father had the great good fortune to stumble upon one of the extremely rare "generic" no-name models that failed to incorporate this duping lockout, but the unit is over a decade old now. Finding a functioning, second-hand replacement may prove difficult: all you can do is scour eBay, local trading websites, and pawn shops. A quick Google search for "Acoustic Solutions DVDRW300" pulls up very few useful hits, indicating two daunting probabilities: few were made/sold, and perhaps fewer have survived intact to 2020. A couple of owners allege there was a DVDRW300 clone sold in some stores with Packard Bell branding and 80 or 250 HDD, but I haven't been able to confirm. The PB has a very odd "Art Deco" front panel, doesn't look like the A.S at all.

    The most likely part to fail in a DVD/HDD recorder with age is the dvd drive, followed by the HDD, then the power supply module, then finally (rarely) the main microcontroller. The first three can sometimes be repaired by clever workarounds: one-off generic recorders often used slightly modified dvd burners that were sold by the thousands for PC use. Unfortunately the Acoustic Solutions model used a more typical bespoke custom recorder burner: it looks similar to a Funai in the one internal photo I've seen, but hard to be certain, and in any case Funai burners had to be custom matched to the recorder and are now unavailable as spare parts.

    HDD is almost always replaceable with a similar-capacity off-the-shelf HDD made for PCs, EIDE or SATA 3.5", but it must be completely erased with no trace of Windows formatting left on it before installing in the recorder. Often the recorder employs an odd adapter with a ribbon cable to connect the HDD to the recorder motherboard: this must be transferred to the new HDD. Most recorders will automatically offer to format a new HDD when you power them on, but some annoyingly "play dead" and require a secret remote code sequence to initialize a new HDD: if you can't find instructions how to do this posted on AV websites by other owners, you're out of luck.

    Power supply modules are usually easy to get repaired by shops that take in desktop computers for servicing: often its just a matter of replacing a couple of aged swollen capacitors, but if a custom IC chip is involved all bets are off. If the main microcontroller "brain" chip on the motherboard got fried by a power surge, the recorder cannot be repaired at all.

    The compact standalone "DVD Duplicators" you may have seen all include detection circuitry that will prevent copying of commercial movie and TV series discs: so no alternatives there.

    Like it or not, your only practical option might be to do this disc backup chore for your father every now and then on your own computer with common dvd backup software. Unless he is buying a dozen dvds per week, the task shouldn't be too onerous for you. Or, if he wants to keep it all in-house, make him understand there is no other option than to learn how to do it on his own computer. He might surprise you: its amazing what an elderly parent can suddenly learn after they accept they have no other choice. Once installed and set up, backup software typically just requires clicking thru five or six buttons to make the copy. Your father doesn't need to understand exactly how it works: you could just print out a half dozen screen captures showing which button he needs to click as each screen appears (thats how I taught my 84 y/o father to migrate from VHS to DVD player).
    Last edited by orsetto; 11th Sep 2020 at 12:53.
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  4. Member
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    England
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    Originally Posted by orsetto View Post
    What type of DVD does he need to back up? Discs he recorded himself from a tv tuner, or commercial discs he purchased? If the former, any good second-hand DVD/HDD model sold by Pioneer, Sony or Panasonic can replace his current recorder. They all include a disc duplicating feature for "home-made" dvds.

    If the latter, it will be needle in a haystack, I'm afraid.

    First, because the "retail disc" duping feature your father has relied on was and remains utterly unauthorized by Hollywood, to the point it was forbidden in almost every DVD/HDD recorder ever sold in every country. When he bought it, your father had the great good fortune to stumble upon one of the extremely rare "generic" no-name models that failed to incorporate this duping lockout, but the unit is over a decade old now. Finding a functioning, second-hand replacement may prove difficult: all you can do is scour eBay, local trading websites, and pawn shops. A quick Google search for "Acoustic Solutions DVDRW300" pulls up very few useful hits, indicating two daunting probabilities: few were made/sold, and perhaps fewer have survived intact to 2020. A couple of owners allege there was a DVDRW300 clone sold in some stores with Packard Bell branding and 80 or 250 HDD, but I haven't been able to confirm. The PB has a very odd "Art Deco" front panel, doesn't look like the A.S at all.

    The most likely part to fail in a DVD/HDD recorder with age is the dvd drive, followed by the HDD, then the power supply module, then finally (rarely) the main microcontroller. The first three can sometimes be repaired by clever workarounds: one-off generic recorders often used slightly modified dvd burners that were sold by the thousands for PC use. Unfortunately the Acoustic Solutions model used a more typical bespoke custom recorder burner: it looks similar to a Funai in the one internal photo I've seen, but hard to be certain, and in any case Funai burners had to be custom matched to the recorder and are now unavailable as spare parts.

    HDD is almost always replaceable with a similar-capacity off-the-shelf HDD made for PCs, EIDE or SATA 3.5", but it must be completely erased with no trace of Windows formatting left on it before installing in the recorder. Often the recorder employs an odd adapter with a ribbon cable to connect the HDD to the recorder motherboard: this must be transferred to the new HDD. Most recorders will automatically offer to format a new HDD when you power them on, but some annoyingly "play dead" and require a secret remote code sequence to initialize a new HDD: if you can't find instructions how to do this posted on AV websites by other owners, you're out of luck.

    Power supply modules are usually easy to get repaired by shops that take in desktop computers for servicing: often its just a matter of replacing a couple of aged swollen capacitors, but if a custom IC chip is involved all bets are off. If the main microcontroller "brain" chip on the motherboard got fried by a power surge, the recorder cannot be repaired at all.

    The compact standalone "DVD Duplicators" you may have seen all include detection circuitry that will prevent copying of commercial movie and TV series discs: so no alternatives there.

    Like it or not, your only practical option might be to do this disc backup chore for your father every now and then on your own computer with common dvd backup software. Unless he is buying a dozen dvds per week, the task shouldn't be too onerous for you. Or, if he wants to keep it all in-house, make him understand there is no other option than to learn how to do it on his own computer. He might surprise you: its amazing what an elderly parent can suddenly learn after they accept they have no other choice. Once installed and set up, backup software typically just requires clicking thru five or six buttons to make the copy. Your father doesn't need to understand exactly how it works: you could just print out a half dozen screen captures showing which button he needs to click as each screen appears (thats how I taught my 84 y/o father to migrate from VHS to DVD player).
    Wow, thank you so much for you lengthy and very informative response. That certainly has made things much easier to understand. Although disappointing, it's good to have a clear picture.
    I don't now how to copy disc's on a PC myself although I am sure I could find out. As you rightly deduced he wants to do it himself.
    I did get him a duplicator but as you said, it didn't work.
    The DVDs that he buys are all old and can easily be purchased these days for a few quid so the similist answer is to just buy back ups.
    However, he enjoyed the actual process of copying them.He is pretty much house bound these days and it is just something eles that he used to do that has been taken away from him. As you say, the only option would be looking at getting him a computer.
    Thanks again for all your help. Very much appreciated!
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