I need advice on what to buy. Iím still using a 20 year old Panasonic DVD recorder which is on itís last legs. For a new device I need the following:
1) Blu Ray & DVD Multi-Region
3) Ability to transfer recorded content off HDD to USB or linked PC. Is this possible?
4) If not, is a DVD recorder the only option?
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There are several issues here.
1. You are unlikely to find any device that offers your options 1) and 2)
2. A quick glance at Amazon reveals several devices that claim to have Multi-region for both Blu Ray and DVD. But despite these being BIG NAME brands such as Panasonic and Sony, neither of these companies make such units. So inevitably they have been independently modified. That creates two issues a) the original manuf guarantee is invalidated and b) any update (often necc for new disks) can break the modification.
3. You may still find a dvd-recorder with a HDD. However, since most UK broadcast tv is now HD even if you can record to the HDD it will be in SD. The way around this is a separate HD recorder but you could then have HDCP (copyright protection) issues to overcome. It might help if you were to state your tv source freeview, freesat, $ky or another provider. (The older $ky boxes had a scart output appropriate for recording but all newer boxes are hdmi only)
4, Direct copy from any HDD to usb is likely to fail since a PC will be unable to read the content. The only way to get the content to a PC is by re-recording via standard capture or, as you say, as dvd.
Thanks for your reply, I realise that i would have a buy a modified model for multi region. I read somewhere that there are models out there that link with home WiFi and can transfer HDD content via FTP?
Currently I can connect my $ky Q box to my DVD recorder which works fine but as its AVI the quality is rubbish.
Well transcoding from HD to SD is going to be 'rubbish'
As to the other, you may be thinking of a Dreambox such as this one
I had a German friend who adored his but there are caveats.
1. No idea whether it will work for UK $Sky and for subscription channels. He, and another German associate, typically used it for FTA Astra 19.2 as opposed to Astra 23.5.
2. All setup instructions etc. are only in German.
It is Linux based if memory serves... a typical German device. LOTS of documentation pretty well thought out, will take ages to get going but once it does it is da schtuff...