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HOME RECORDING TO DVD

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TalkieTime
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HOME RECORDING TO DVD

Postby TalkieTime » August 17th, 2007, 1:28 pm

It's easy and inexpensive to home-record TCM programming to watch at more convenient times.

DIRECT RECORDINGS. It takes very little effort to schedule direct recordings with (the usually accurate information found in) Now Playing. I have one Panasonic DVD recorder and one Panasonic combo recorder dedicated to my digital cable box so that I may record, in tandem, up to twelve hours of programming without swapping out a disc or even touching these machines. These machines are interconnected to each other in order to share a RGB connection to a Westinghouse 27 inch widescreen LCD HDTV.

I make notations in NOW PLAYING as to which Panasonic is set to record which titles, and when to swap out DVDs. Each blank DVD may record up to eight hours of content. For quality purposes I prefer to use the recording modes that yield four to six hours program content per DVD.

The Panasonic LP speed (four hours per DVD) gives 500 lines of resolution for very good quality color and b/w. The EP speed (set for six hours per DVD) is good quality b/w with lesser quality color. Flexible Recording fills or fits a recording or dubbing of specific length to a blank or partially filled DVD with the best quality possible.

In my opinion if it’s worth recording it’s worth keeping.

SOME HISTORY. I purchased my first VCR in December 1986. Back in the 1980's we had the Nostalgia Channel. Around 1990 our cable service transitioned to AMC. Most of my videotape recordings came from these services until AMC changed over to newer movies with commercial interruptions in 2001. We had TCM for a few months in 1997, but not again until 2004.

My main interests have centered upon early talkies through the film noir era.

DUBBING. In recent months, in addition to those items recorded directly from TCM, I've dubbed selected recordings from my videotape collection to DVD. Setting up combo recorder Time-Limit Dubbing (with or without Flexible Recording) takes some preparation with timing, queuing the videotape and such, but once programmed these Panasonics do most of the rest on their own.

I have four Panasonic combo recorders primarily dedicated to dubbing. Two of these have been dedicated to stand-alone dubbing or cable-ready direct recording. The other two have been dedicated to stand alone dubbing or dubbing from external Toshiba VCRs (decade old models M745 and M781) when wider/narrower audio or video tracking adjustments/settings are necessary. These Panasonic combo recorders are connected by a coaxial switch or Pelican PL-970 System Selector (under $20 at Circuit City) to a single 13 inch RCA TV.

The extensive dubbing project is now nearing its completion. I have recycled around 1,600 videotapes at this writing.

DVD RECORDING MEDIA. While I have used a variety of DVD formats (DVD-R, DVD+R, DVD-RW, DVD+RW), I have found TDK, Maxell and Verbatim DVD-R blanks to be the most practical, reliable, compatible and inexpensive for my particular needs. In the Sunday newspaper ads it’s common to find these name-brand spindles of 100 DVD-R blanks selling for around $25.00. A week ago I purchased 200 TDK DVD-R blanks for $31.99 at Costco. TDK is the brand I use most often. Due to a very high failure rate I no longer use Memorex DVDs.

DVD RECORDERS AND COMBO RECORDERS. From September 2005 I bagan purchasing Panasonic DVD Recorders, including two DMR-ES30V combo recorders, three DMR-ES35V combo recorders, one DMR-ES40V combo recorder, and one Panasonic DMR-ES15 DVR. (These are no longer current models. The current models have digital tuners ready for the new digital standard set for implementation in 2009.)

Three of my Panasonics were purchased new, two Panasonic factory refurbished, and two were used. New Panasonics have one year warranties. Panasonic factory refurbished combo recorders, with 90 day warranties, were purchased for prices less than $98 and less than $122 (including shipping). Used models, without warranties, were purchased for less than $35 each (including shipping). I also purchased one parts machine (of the same model as the two used machines) for less than $18 (including shipping). From that machine I swapped some parts to the used machines, and made some adjustments before placing these into regular service.

Three Panasonics may be set up in the same space by reassigning remote control operating codes. (One Panasonic combo recorder and one Toshiba VCR are set below the table to avoid conflicting remote control commands.)

All these Panasonics have continued to perform well.

DVR HARD DRIVE MODEL CONSIDERATIONS. DVR hard drive models were briefly considered. These were very expensive, were usually fitted with smaller (80GB) hard drives, and lacked the operational flexibility of several devices recording/dubbing concurrently. Following completion of my extensive dubbing project, DVRs with large hard drives will be worth consideration when current products need replacement.

A PRODUCT WITH “LIMITATIONS.” The bug-laden Panasonic DMR-ES40V combo recorder (purchased new in December 2005 for $270) lacks essential features for serious dubbing projects. There are workarounds that address some of this model’s bugs. One bug is a failure of scheduled early a.m. daily/weekly recordings. The workaround is to program a brief recording starting just before midnight and ending just after midnight ahead of early a.m. recordings. Another workaround for this scheduling bug is to program with actual dates rather than "every Tuesday" or "Mon-Fri." Other problems persisted, a frequent inability to finalize its own DVDs and frequent crashing in a variety of situations. The firmware update did not correct these design flaws. It became necessary to use other model Panasonics to finalize this model’s DVDs. The dubbing feature only provided for manual starting and stopping with no ability to set dubbing time limits or use Flexible Recording. The workaround is to treat the DMR-ES40V as a DVR (not a combo recorder) and use the procedures found just below. Due to these “limitations” the DMR-ES40V was abandoned as a recording/dubbing machine and is now primarily used as a DVD/VHS combo player connected to the family TV.

DUBBING WITH DVRs. Connect an external VCR through an Input, play the videotape on the external VCR, command the standard predetermined time periods for recording or when the item being dubbed has remaining playing time that coincides with a standard recording time command; or set up a “scheduled” Input recording (with or without Flexible Recording on a Panasonic DVR) where the external VCR plays the videotape during the scheduled recording period.

DVD INDEXING AND STORAGE. With a customized Microsoft Works database I keep my DVD index current. With the variety of searching and sorting options in Works, specific recordings on specific DVDs may be located very quickly.

DVD indexing and labeling (using a felt-tip Sharpie fine point) is the most labor-intensive part of creating and maintaining such a personal archive.

My DVDs are stored in large book-type albums. The most recently purchased albums, each holding 320 DVDs, were just $9.99 at CompUsa.

I watch whatever I please, whenever I please. It's like having the best of the old AMC and recent TCM available for personal viewing.
Last edited by TalkieTime on December 6th, 2007, 4:20 pm, edited 6 times in total.

feaito

Postby feaito » August 17th, 2007, 2:07 pm

Thanks for sharing these tons of useful information Talkie Time.

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Postby pktrekgirl » August 17th, 2007, 3:54 pm

This topic really doesn't have to do with new commercial releases on DVD, which what this forum is for.

I think I will move it to THE MARKETPLACE as that forum relates to film trading, which normally requires the use of the information in this post.

Get ready for takeoff, folks. Seats and tray tables in the upright and locked position and all that jazz. :P
My wife said she'd help young people, ... That's what I'd do. Help young people, then buy a big motor home and get out of town.
~ Gary Cooper

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Postby pktrekgirl » August 17th, 2007, 4:35 pm

Like TalkieTime and several others around here, I am a film collector. I have about 3,200 films on DVD-R and another thousand or more on commercial release, after about 2 years of collecting (didn't get into collecting until a few years after I started watching TCM).

Up until last week, I did not have Fox Movie Channel, and so did not have to worry about scheduling conflicts. However, now with the addition of FMC, I had to buy a second DVD recorder. Although just yesterday I decided to purchase a third because of time constraints which I will go into later.

The first machine I purchased was the Panasonic DMR-EH55. I purchased it for about $475. from Amazon last September. Before that I had a TiVo with DVD burner for a year...but that machine had no editing function, so I finally sprung for a DVD recorder so that I could edit all the stuff off of films besides the film itself.

I love the Panasonic DMR-EH55. 200 GB hard drive and the wonderful ability to use the TV-Guide feed to schedule recordings with just a touch. The only down-side to this machine is that you have to manually place chapter markings...which is so time consuming that I don't do it. I would much prefer the machine to auto-chapter my recordings.

The second machine I bought a few weeks ago, mainly to record FMC conflicts. It is a Philips DVDR3575H/37 1080p Upscaling DVDR with Built-In Tuner. It has a 160 GB hard drive and the ability to do chapters, but it does NOT have the ability to use the TV-guide feed to schedule recordings. This makes me exceedingly crabby - it's like the stone age with VCR's, manually programming every recording - time, speed, channel, etc. Another drawback of this machine is that you cannot stop the recording at the end - when it gets to the end of a recording, it automatically reverts back to the beginning. This makes precise editing impossible...because you are always gonna end up with a second or two of gibberish attached to the tail end of your recording that you had to leave there or risk reverting to the beginning. And to make matters worse, once it reverts back to the beginning, you have to chapter through the whole thing again (about 3 - 4 minutes) to try your luck again at guessing the ending and being fast with your thumb on the remote.

Because of this last drawback, I am being forced to burn everything recorded on this machine to a DVD-RW 'as is' and then run every single film through an editing program on my computer. This gives me nice menus and stuff...but it is EXTREMELY time consuming. And frankly, I will quickly be unable to keep up if I continue along those lines.

In short, this machine has turned out to be much more light-weight than I need for my busy schedule, and so it will end up being a back-up for when I go on extended trips. After such a good first experience with the Panasonic, I never imagined that a machine would have these issues...but I guess you live and learn.

The bummer is that I would have bought another of the Panasonic DMR-EH55's except they don't make 'em anymore...and in fact, they are currently going on Amazon's marketplace for anywhere from $1,400 to $2,300! Makes you wonder why Panasonic stopped making 'em...but there it is.

So because of the problems inherent with the Phillips, last night I ordered my third machine. This one is a Pioneer. I can't recall the model number, but it has a 250 GB hard drive and the ability to use the TV-guide to auto-record, so that in itself sold me. The guy also assured me that it was possible to pause a recording at the end, which will solve my other issue with the Phillips. It will arrive next week, and once I get that installed, I'll be good to go, even when I leave the country for a month. :D I will say that this has all ended up costing me WAY more than I wanted to spend...but hopefully it will all come together next week and I'll be able to get back to enjoying this hobby, instead of spending all my time obsessing over consumer electronics.

I suppose one good thing about coming so late to this hobby is that I don't have 3,000 VHS tapes lying around my house. I had about 400 - 500 films recorded on the non-editing TiVo...and I have been running them through the menu & editing program on my computer to get the gibberish out...but it's a slow process and I still have about 100 more to go. I can't imagine having to run a few thousand VHS tapes through such a process - and in real time, no less! :shock: I admire TalkieTime for undertaking such a monstrous task. I feel only a small sample of your pain, and I can barely keep up now! If I had the VHS issue, I'd be going nuts.
My wife said she'd help young people, ... That's what I'd do. Help young people, then buy a big motor home and get out of town.

~ Gary Cooper

feaito

Postby feaito » August 17th, 2007, 6:09 pm

pktrekgirl wrote:Like TalkieTime and several others around here, I am a film collector. I have about 3,200 films on DVD-R and another thousand or more on commercial release, after about 2 years of collecting (didn't get into collecting until a few years after I started watching TCM).


:shock: WOW :shock: Beda over 1,000 officially released DVD (that's a LOT of money invested) in two years and 3,200 on DVD-R...(that's a LOT of time & effort).... I'm amazed.... You must be out of this world!!!

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Postby pktrekgirl » August 17th, 2007, 7:26 pm

^ Well, I started buying the commercial releases earlier - maybe starting about 3 years ago. But the DVD-R's were all recorded or acquired in the past 24 - 28 months or so.

I've been workin' hard. :P
My wife said she'd help young people, ... That's what I'd do. Help young people, then buy a big motor home and get out of town.

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Mr. Arkadin
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Postby Mr. Arkadin » August 17th, 2007, 8:33 pm

Can anyone tell me what recorder they've had best luck with resolution and what is the best connection setup?

Right now I'm just recording straight to a Samsung 135 model. Picture looks all right on my TV, but when viewed on my brothers 62" TV, I see pixellation. I am hooking from the cable box with the standard 3 wire setup. I'd like to get better resolution prints. Also, I'd like to find a good region free recorder/player. I bought this unit because supposedly you could hack the remote to make it region free, but it won't work.

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Postby markbeckuaf » August 17th, 2007, 9:27 pm

pktrekgirl wrote:Like TalkieTime and several others around here, I am a film collector. I have about 3,200 films on DVD-R and another thousand or more on commercial release, after about 2 years of collecting (didn't get into collecting until a few years after I started watching TCM).

Up until last week, I did not have Fox Movie Channel, and so did not have to worry about scheduling conflicts. However, now with the addition of FMC, I had to buy a second DVD recorder. Although just yesterday I decided to purchase a third because of time constraints which I will go into later.

The first machine I purchased was the Panasonic DMR-EH55. I purchased it for about $475. from Amazon last September. Before that I had a TiVo with DVD burner for a year...but that machine had no editing function, so I finally sprung for a DVD recorder so that I could edit all the stuff off of films besides the film itself.

I love the Panasonic DMR-EH55. 200 GB hard drive and the wonderful ability to use the TV-Guide feed to schedule recordings with just a touch. The only down-side to this machine is that you have to manually place chapter markings...which is so time consuming that I don't do it. I would much prefer the machine to auto-chapter my recordings.

The second machine I bought a few weeks ago, mainly to record FMC conflicts. It is a Philips DVDR3575H/37 1080p Upscaling DVDR with Built-In Tuner. It has a 160 GB hard drive and the ability to do chapters, but it does NOT have the ability to use the TV-guide feed to schedule recordings. This makes me exceedingly crabby - it's like the stone age with VCR's, manually programming every recording - time, speed, channel, etc. Another drawback of this machine is that you cannot stop the recording at the end - when it gets to the end of a recording, it automatically reverts back to the beginning. This makes precise editing impossible...because you are always gonna end up with a second or two of gibberish attached to the tail end of your recording that you had to leave there or risk reverting to the beginning. And to make matters worse, once it reverts back to the beginning, you have to chapter through the whole thing again (about 3 - 4 minutes) to try your luck again at guessing the ending and being fast with your thumb on the remote.

Because of this last drawback, I am being forced to burn everything recorded on this machine to a DVD-RW 'as is' and then run every single film through an editing program on my computer. This gives me nice menus and stuff...but it is EXTREMELY time consuming. And frankly, I will quickly be unable to keep up if I continue along those lines.

In short, this machine has turned out to be much more light-weight than I need for my busy schedule, and so it will end up being a back-up for when I go on extended trips. After such a good first experience with the Panasonic, I never imagined that a machine would have these issues...but I guess you live and learn.

The bummer is that I would have bought another of the Panasonic DMR-EH55's except they don't make 'em anymore...and in fact, they are currently going on Amazon's marketplace for anywhere from $1,400 to $2,300! Makes you wonder why Panasonic stopped making 'em...but there it is.

So because of the problems inherent with the Phillips, last night I ordered my third machine. This one is a Pioneer. I can't recall the model number, but it has a 250 GB hard drive and the ability to use the TV-guide to auto-record, so that in itself sold me. The guy also assured me that it was possible to pause a recording at the end, which will solve my other issue with the Phillips. It will arrive next week, and once I get that installed, I'll be good to go, even when I leave the country for a month. :D I will say that this has all ended up costing me WAY more than I wanted to spend...but hopefully it will all come together next week and I'll be able to get back to enjoying this hobby, instead of spending all my time obsessing over consumer electronics.

I suppose one good thing about coming so late to this hobby is that I don't have 3,000 VHS tapes lying around my house. I had about 400 - 500 films recorded on the non-editing TiVo...and I have been running them through the menu & editing program on my computer to get the gibberish out...but it's a slow process and I still have about 100 more to go. I can't imagine having to run a few thousand VHS tapes through such a process - and in real time, no less! :shock: I admire TalkieTime for undertaking such a monstrous task. I feel only a small sample of your pain, and I can barely keep up now! If I had the VHS issue, I'd be going nuts.


Hi there!

Great info in this thread.

I started in 04 (well way before that with VHS, but I'll start with DVD recorders with hard drives which are the only kind I like because of being able to burn tons at once and edit before burning) with a Pioneer model that had a 120GB. I loved it, way better than the limitations of the VCR, but after a year, it developed a problem where it wouldn't read DVD's any longer, blank or burned. I bought a used one from someone I trusted and it worked fine for a while, but it developed a somewhat similar problem, though now I only use it as a backup and it will only crash once in a while but it's not bad as long as I don't over-use it.

Both of my newer models are MUCH faster in every respect. I will say that I loved the Panasonic EH55S, BUT I bought two units of this model and both developed similar problems only roughly 5-6 months after purchase (brand new). I still love the way it functions, but I seem to have problems in that the disc burner drive starts to drag and develop issues. I sent one to a repair shop, came back, burned 12 films no worries, then suddenly an error message pops up every time. Sent it back and after a week, they are still perplexed as to what is causing the problem. The other one sits here waiting for the first to be repaired, this one will bomb out half way through every burning, it spins and spins and spins until it finally fails, each and every time.

I love the Pioneer 640HS, the HD is slightly smaller than the Panny, but there are features I love (the only feature I liked better about the Panny is that it has a way to change cable channels on a cable box without you being there), but the Pioneer, you can edit stuff while recording, which you can't do on the Panny at all. It also burns slightly faster than the Panny. I also don't care for the TV guide thing, because I'd prefer to record all my stuff the old-fashioned way, which allows me to add padding around all the recording times, to avoid any cut-offs due to bad timings. I prefer the Pioneer but like both, but both are off the market currently.

I am curious about that Phillips, and may ask you more in PM, but would you mind passing along the machine model number/type of that new Pioneer, along with the price you paid, if you don't mind? Thank you!
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Postby TalkieTime » August 17th, 2007, 11:04 pm

Mr. Arkadin,

I prefer Panasonic products.

Each of my Panasonics, even the bug-laden one mentioned earlier, provide recording quality of the first order.

STANDARD RECORDING MODES. Panasonics have these Recording Modes, showing recording duration: XP 1:00, SP 2:00, LP 4:00, EP 6:00 (default setting). The EP default may be changed to 8:00 in the Setup menu.

I use the six hour per DVD EP setting for most black and white dubbing and direct recording and some color recording. When the black and white source material is of special merit or quality, or for most color material, I use the LP four hour per DVD setting. I use SP now and then.

FLEXIBLE RECORDING fits or fills a blank or partially filled DVD with a direct recording of a specifically designated length for the best quality possible. Flexible recording expands or compresses recording within the whole range of recording length and quality described above. The upper limit of program content is eight hours per DVD.

If I wish to fit a single recording on a blank DVD I use Flexible Recording. If I have a partially filled DVD with 1:45 remaining open at the EP 6:00 setting, a program of 2:04 duration will fit the 1:45 space using the Flexible Recording mode, but with some loss of quality. In that same 1:45 space a program of 1:08 duration will fill the 1:45 space using the Flexible Recording mode, but with better quality.

In my opinion Flexible Recording is an essential product feature.

EDITING AND COMPILING. My daughter edits and compiles wrestling DVDs from her videotape collection. She trades with other wrestling collectors. Once she familiarized herself with my first DMR-ES30V she purchased two of these for her own use.

With my extensive dubbing project I have not had time to venture into editing and compiling. Once the dubbing project is completed I plan to realign my Panasonic configuration for editing and compiling.

PERSONAL EXPERIENCE WITH FUNAI MANUFACTURED COMBO RECORDER. I have brief experience with one sample of a Funai manufactured combo recorder with the SV brand-name as sold by Wal-Mart.

I found that the two hour per DVD recording speed yielded poorer picture quality than the Panasonic six hour per DVD recording speed. Several sample recordings were made from a variety of cable channels.

This Funai product could not dub a home-recorded videotaped movie shown by AMC in the early 1990's. The Funai gave a message that the recording was copy-protected. (One of my Panasonics then dubbed the movie without complaint.) I called Funai Customer Service. They said that some of their products are overly sensitive. That representative suggested that I return the product to Wal-Mart. I opted for the refund, cheerfully given.
Last edited by TalkieTime on December 11th, 2007, 11:32 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Phillips DVDR3575H/37 ??

Postby markbeckuaf » August 29th, 2007, 11:34 am

Hi all,

I have the toughest time keeping my dvd recorders healthy, and I have both the Panasonic DMR-EH55S, and the Pioneer 640HS, both with hard drives, which I prefer. Neither are manufactured any longer in the US, and you can't even find them in other outlets, such as ebay, etc, either at all or for any price resembling reasonable. Both of mine keep breaking down, and I even have a backup model of each. 3 of 4 of them are not functioning properly. I have to send them outside of my area (I live in a remote location) to have repaired, and there is always a disconnect there, as they either don't fix it properly, or say they can't replicate the error. It's very frustrating. I want to find one that will work longer than 6 months.

So, there seems to be two HDD models available out there in the US, and one of them is the Phillips DVDR3575H/37 with 160GB HDD. Does anyone have any thoughts about this one? The price is MUCH better than either the Panny or Pioneer even in their heyday. I've done some reading on them, my main concern would be editing functions (ease, ability to divide long titles and rename them, as I record hours at a time from TCM, and other features along those lines). Also how many hours can you record at once, and how many programmable events (I thought I read only 25, but hope that's not true).

Thanks for the help!

Mark
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Postby pktrekgirl » August 29th, 2007, 4:18 pm

Mark,

I just purchased the Phillips you are considering (see my post above for the complete sad tale of woe regarding that unit), and I think I got a lemon. I have burned a TON of coasters...and the burn time for ONE film is often 30 to 40 minutes, plus finalization time (WHEN it allows me to finalize at all). It took me (literally) ALL DAY on Sunday, just to get the films I'd recorded on Friday and Saturday off of there.

Another problem is that it is really difficult to edit using this machine. It's impossible to cut the ending off of a recording accurately, because when you reach the end of a recording, it auto-reverts to the beginning. So when you try and edit off the end, you either end up with a few seconds of crap tacked to the end of the film...or you keep missing the ending over and over and have to chapter through the entire film numerous times to try and get it right. Tres annoying!

They are sending me a replacement unit, and I'll let you know when I get it what it's like and if there is any improvement. But I can tell you one thing - this is NOT a unit you want as your primary. It is really little better than a VCR in that you have to program everything manually using the timer. Even the remote is not 'heavy duty' like the Panasonics - it is just a cheap plastic remote.

One plus - it is really easy to divide a long recording. But I am confused about the renaming conventions - clearly it is not as straight-forward as the Panasonics are.

My favorite machine, which is now in the shop (thankfully under warranty) after almost a year of flawless service, is my Panasonic DMR-EH55S with a 200 GB hard drive. I LOVE this machine, which is now going on Amazon's marketplace for upwards of $1,400. I wish Panasonic would make this machine again...but I guess they are out of the DVD recorder business or something. Seems about EVERYONE is going out of the DVD recorder business, though - it's actually quite disturbing. I don't know what is driving them out - maybe no one but film fans are buying them or something. But in any event, the pickings are getting pretty slim. I was in Best Buy the other day, and the guy there told me that Best Buy isn't even carrying DVD recorders anymore. :shock:

I bought another machine - a Pioneer region-free machine with a 250 GB hard drive, but it arrived at my house in a condition where I couldn't even set it up! The screen kept rolling like it was a PAL machine, even though the guy kept telling me it was converted to NTSC. I had to send that one back too - and hopefully the replacement for that one will arrive in the next day or two.

Here is the Pioneer I ordered and had to return (hopefully it will come back able to be of use in the U.S.):

http://www.220-electronics.com/dvdrecor ... eer645.htm

Long story short - I completely get where you are coming from. This situation is getting pretty doggone grim. The past two weeks of this hobby have been WAY UN-fun for this little camper - I can tell you that! How I can have paid for THREE DVD recorders (two of which are BRAND NEW), none of which work properly is really beyond me. :(

But a deeper concern is that shrinking set of options. I don't know about you, but I am becoming quite alarmed. Especially since even when you find something on the net, there is no assurance that the shop will actually have the unit when you call or order. I've had that happen twice so far - I've called up to order a unit and was told they were out of stock and there will be no more of that model.

I am actually beginning to wonder if TiVo and the DVR business isn't pushing out the DVD recorder business in the U.S. Because my friends in Europe tell me that it is not the same over there - there are still plenty of choices.

If/when I ever find another model I really love, I will probably buy a second one just like it. Because I really think that before long, there will be hardly any units around with hard drives - at least for a reasonable price.
My wife said she'd help young people, ... That's what I'd do. Help young people, then buy a big motor home and get out of town.

~ Gary Cooper

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Postby markbeckuaf » August 29th, 2007, 11:12 pm

Oh yes, that is the model you wrote about, ok. I'm not sure it will be what I want then. I've also heard you can't do true chase play which is something I like to do many times, as well.

Ugh. It sounds like you have been around a very similar block as I. I haven't tried any of the international models yet, but I was looking at both a Pioneer (I think the same one you are trying to get), and a Panny. The non-US market does seem to have a healthy selection and from the major players, it does make one wonder about the US market. I was wondering if it was because of the impending 2009 switch over to digital, all of the models we have in the US (The panny, Pioneer, Sony, etc), were all analog tuners, I believe. But I'm not sure that's the problem.

I wish I would have bought 1-2 more models of the Panny when I had the chance. I hesitated when I bought the last one, there was some place online that had them in and were just selling them through. I bought one, and the next day, I tried to buy another, but they had sold out already. Darn, I wish I had.

Let's keep contact on this, because I'd like to find a solution. DVR and TIVO I don't like as much, and burning straight to disc is simply not an option.

Thanks!
Mark
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Postby TalkieTime » August 30th, 2007, 12:54 am

As I’ve recently turned my attention to editing home camcorder videotapes and compiling these on DVD, the necessity for hard drive DVRs and combo recorders becomes very clear.

Recent DVRs and combo recorders, including hard drive models, were discontinued due to government requirements that such products, beginning with those manufactured in March 2007, must be equipped with digital tuners.

Hopefully manufacturers will be marketing hard drive models again soon.

With much practical dubbing experience I offer comment concerning Time Limited and Flexible Recording dubbing, features found on several recent (but not current) Panasonic combo recorders. These features are essential for use in an extensive dubbing project.

How does the lack of Time Limited and Flexible Recording dubbing impact a dubbing project? Quite simply it means that one may not set up dubbing and then leave the combo recorder to do its work entirely on its own. One must be there to closely supervise dubbing.

Without Time Limited and Flexible Recording Dubbing, my dubbing project might possibly have taken years instead of months.

Discontinued Panasonic combo recorders DMR-ES30V, DMR-ES35V, DMR-ES45V and DMR-ES46V have these essential dubbing features. If facing an extensive dubbing project today, my advice is to choose from these Panasonic models. If one doesn't find these models new (with a one year warranty), one may find them factory refurbished by Panasonic (with a 90 day Panasonic warranty) offered by several online sources. The prices are usually reasonable. (Note: these models have analog tuners.)

Do the current Panasonic DMR-EZ37V and DMR-EZ47V combo recorders have Time Limited and Flexible Recording dubbing? Reading the Operating Instructions for these models--PDF files found on the Panasonic website under Support--I find no mention of these product features available for dubbing.

On 9/4/07 I called Panasonic Customer Support inquiring about Time Limited and Flexible Recording dubbing on these current models. The representative said that she "believes" that they do have these features for dubbing, but she could not find this information in her manuals. When I mentioned that I am a user of the earlier DMR-ES30V and DMR-ES35V models she said that she was pretty sure Time Limited and Flexible Recording functions would be found in the same COPY menus (DUBBING on the DMR-ES30V or COPY on the DMR-ES35V) as in those models. But she was not positive.

Current (digital tuner) Panasonics do have Time Limited and Flexible Recording available for scheduled and menu-initiated recording but it is unclear if these features are available for dubbing. The older DMR-ES40V combo recorder, a bug-laden model, lacked Time Limited and Flexible Recording dubbing.

Models without Time Limited and Flexible Recording dubbing features are fit for occasional dubbing by those with unlimited time and patience.
Last edited by TalkieTime on December 6th, 2007, 4:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

pktrekgirl
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Postby pktrekgirl » September 13th, 2007, 12:23 pm

Okay. So now that I've had this Pioneer DVD recorder a couple of weeks, I feel that I've had sufficient experience to comment.

First of all, it is a HUGE improvement over the Phillips, in about every way imaginable. It has that well-made feel about it for starters - like my Panasonic does. The remote is substantial - not just cheap plastic. The menus are more technical...but more responsive to a wider variety of user needs. And the burn times are great - BETTER than the Panasonic, in fact.

Here is a rundown:

Pros:

1. Huge hard drive. 250 GB is fabulous to have.

2. Super-fast burn times. I think the longest burn time I've had is less than 9 minutes. Most are in the 7 or 8 minute range, including finalization time.

3. You can actually watch the TV while you are burning stuff to DVD! This is great, and better even than the Panasonic...which limits you to either changing your TV input to another device while your DVD is burning (hopefully you don't forget to come back), or sitting there and watching the burn progress screen like a brain-dead stooge. *yawn*

4. Easy to do and easy to use editing - easy dividing and editing off the excess stuff at the beginnings and endings of a recording.

5. Like the Panasonic, this one has a flexible recording function (although they don't call it that) that fits a recording to disk at the best allowable quality. This is great when you are working with films that are over 2 hours long.

6. Can be used for NTSC or for PAL. If that matters to you. Which it might if you are planning to move to Europe from the U.S. any time soon.

7. As mentioned earlier, the machine just FEELS substantial. And it is. In fact, there are several features that I've not fully explored yet - stuff having to do with pictures and things.



Cons:

1. You must use the 24-hour clock to program. Not a huge deal...but I'm an accountant IRL, and I detest doing any sort of math, however basic, in my free time. :P

2. The 'pause' key could be more responsive: "No, I don't mean 'eventual' pause after 8 or 10 more frames. I mean REALLY pause when I hit that pause button."

3. Backgrounds to the 'menus'. You can pick from a selection of different backgrounds to put your thumbnail menu on, but ALL of them are butt-ugly. And I'm not talking here about just dull and boring looking - I'm talking about truly UG-LY. After extensive experimentation, I have finally settled on using this pea green and yellow background...but when pea green and yellow is your best option....well, you do the math. There is this one Pepto-Bismal pink one that makes my hair hurt.

4. Haven't found a way to auto-finalize. Not a huge problem, but setting it for every dvd you burn is a tad inefficient.

5. Can't figure out how to import the TV guide info so as to be able to set recordings quickly and with easy. Did I mention how much I hate math??? :P

6. Still working on getting the auto chapters to work. The machine clearly has them, which is a step above the Panasonic...but I don't know what I'm doing wrong, because I input for it to auto-chapter every 10 minutes...but the chapters aren't showing up on the disks. Don't know what's up with that.

I'm sure I'll think of other things and add them to the list later...but this gives you guys some preliminary info.
My wife said she'd help young people, ... That's what I'd do. Help young people, then buy a big motor home and get out of town.

~ Gary Cooper

TalkieTime
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Postby TalkieTime » September 13th, 2007, 4:13 pm

DUBBING VIDEOTAPES TO DVD, CONTINUED. This is a follow-up to my earlier post regarding essential features in an extensive dubbing project. On 9/13/07 I emailed Panasonic seeking a clarification concerning current model combo recorders.

I specifically asked if Panasonic models DMR-EZ37V and DMR-EZ47V have the Time Limited and Flexible Recording features for Dubbing/Copying videotapes. Here is their response:

"Thank you for your response. We do not have a Time Limit copying feature on our unit. You are able to dub from one driver to the other. Flexible Recording is only operable with recording and not copying. We hope this information is helpful to you. Thank You, Panasonic Consumer Support"


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