OT: DVD-Recordable

sym

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Anybody got one of these and if so what do you think of them ?

I need to buy a DVD player (have resisted for a long time!) , but VCR is also dying, and thought I might go for one of these instead . . the prices are beginning to become reasonable.

Any thoughts ?

S.
 

scotth_uk

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Argos have some for £297 at the moment. Good value at that price even if the standards have not been finalised. I would recommend waiting for the standard war to end though.

+r, -r, +rw, -rw, etc.
 

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I use a DVD -RW on a PC. ripping DVD's correctly is a bit of an art form but have pretty much mastered it now.

The format still seems a bit flawed as dvd-r's only play on certain DVD players, and they are also very fragile...a very minor scratch is enough to make them coasters. They also have a very short shelf life as some perfectly good disks have been unuseable after only 9 months.

Personally, I'd buy the Hitachi DV-PF3E combined VHS/DVD (below) and spend the balance on a DVD+/- RW for the PC. (I may be able to get you a discount on the Hitachi if your interested)

20982761.JPG
 

Steve_Perry

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My laptop has a DVD-R/-RW/RAM drive on it and as Sp!ke has said ripping DVD's is a bit of a black art. Especially as most commercial DVD's are dual layered so you have to choose either to record to 2x discs or to go movie only and maybe increase compression slightly. The -R discs I've made seem to work well, even in my PS2 which are notorious for being extremely picky. *Ahem* not that I pirate stuff, but prefer to share my bought collection with my parents you understand :devil:

Are you after a PC drive or stand alone recoder? If you're after a drive, then the 'super combo' drives are becoming more prevalent which can handle all the main formats: +R/+RW, -R/-RW & RAM. If you're looking to get a stand alone recorder then if you can spend the pennies I would get one with a built in HDD like the Panasonic DMR-HS2 or DMR-E100, if you're after maximum compatibility then the Sony RDR-GX7 can record -R,-RW,+RW, play only on +R but can't read RAM. Blu-Ray which is another format again has recently launched in Japan with the rest of the world to follow sometime soon.

Personally, I'd steer clear of combined DVD/VHS players because if one bit fails you've effectly lost both bits if the unit goes off for repair but that's just my own thoughts, not dissing any perfectly good models out there.

S.
 
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Shude

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Originally posted by smartbrabus
Getting cheap(ish) now...

http://www.prcdirect.co.uk/PRC/PRC.storefront/EN/product/DMRE50
Just beware of what formats the recorder can use! That recorder is a DVD-RAM recorder rather than DVD-RW!

My neighbour bought a DVD recorder to replace his VCR and it's a good unit. I like the way it works, a bit like my TiVo in some respects (although not nearly as clever!). The only problem with it is that it won't use DVD-RW. I didn't know anything about DVD recording so had to do some research, but it looks like DVD-RAM is turning into the "betamax" of the DVD world, DVD-R is supported by all DVD recorders, but DVD-RAM discs can be hard to come by sometimes whereas DVD-RW seem to be a lot more popular. My only suggestion is that when you buy your recorder, buy about 50 recordable discs of the correct format to go with it. Then if the market changes overnight, you will still be able to record stuff :)

Now I have used my neighbour's DVD recorder...I want one too! :)
 

Steve_Perry

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Originally posted by Shude
Just beware of what formats the recorder can use! That recorder is a DVD-RAM recorder rather than DVD-RW!

My neighbour bought a DVD recorder to replace his VCR and it's a good unit. I like the way it works, a bit like my TiVo in some respects (although not nearly as clever!). The only problem with it is that it won't use DVD-RW. I didn't know anything about DVD recording so had to do some research, but it looks like DVD-RAM is turning into the "betamax" of the DVD world, DVD-R is supported by all DVD recorders, but DVD-RAM discs can be hard to come by sometimes whereas DVD-RW seem to be a lot more popular. My only suggestion is that when you buy your recorder, buy about 50 recordable discs of the correct format to go with it. Then if the market changes overnight, you will still be able to record stuff :)

Now I have used my neighbour's DVD recorder...I want one too! :)

Hence getting a recorder like the Sony, mentioned above, that covers a number of formats. All the Panasonic recorders can do 2 formats, DVD-R and RAM, whereas Philps have opted for DVD+R/+RW, and Pioneer have chosen to back DVD-R/-RW. You'll find that most (90-95%) DVD Video players will play either DVD-R or DVD+R format discs. So while there is a format war as such it's not so cut and dry as VHS/Betamax/V2000 was all those years ago.

If you pop into your local PC World or similar you should be able to pick up all the formats of DVD blank disc without any hassle. While -R/-RW & +R/+RW are targeted towards the video market, DVD-RAM is geared more towards the PC market because it uses true Random Access making it ideal for data storage.

I find the following site pretty good for info...
http://www.dvdrhelp.com/

S.
 
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sym

sym

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Thanks all - I have some food for thought now !

One more thing - does anybody reckon the multi-region players are worth the extra ?

S.
 

Steve_Perry

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Originally posted by sym
One more thing - does anybody reckon the multi-region players are worth the extra ?

S.

If you're going to get region 1 DVD's for early releases or to get esoteric stuff that would never see the light of day in region 2 then Yes.

If you're just going to buy normal films from the usual highstreet outlets, then probably not.

If you do some research, even some of the cheaper players have 'region hacks' that are accessed by pressing buttons in the right order on the remote control, a bit like accessing the engineering menus on modern TV's.

S.
 

Tan

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Give Richer Sounds a try, some of the prices are amazing, cheaper than trade.
 
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sym

sym

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Originally posted by Tan
Give Richer Sounds a try, some of the prices are amazing, cheaper than trade.

agree - have had stuff from them before . . and they will even do a price match if you find it cheaper anywhere else !

S.
 

Shude

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Originally posted by sym
agree - have had stuff from them before . . and they will even do a price match if you find it cheaper anywhere else !
My neighbour bought his DVD recorder and a huge TV from Costco, for very good prices, maybe you could try there if you know someone with membership?
 

Steve_Perry

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Originally posted by sym
agree - have had stuff from them before . . and they will even do a price match if you find it cheaper anywhere else !

S.

I like Richer Sounds too, they're very competitive on price.

The other trick I use is to visit one of the following:

http://www.empiredirect.co.uk/
http://uk.pricerunner.com/Home.jsp
http://www.techtronics.com/uk/shop/index.html
http://www.unbeatable.co.uk/

print out the page for the item I want at the cheapest price, then hit the local retailers (private shops not the likes of Dixons or Comet) here and bargain with them. You'll be pleasantly surprised at what deals you can get if you're prepared to haggle. ;)

There is a Makro here similar to Costco, trouble is I don't know anyone who's a member :(

S.
 

Shude

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Originally posted by Steve_Perry
There is a Makro here similar to Costco, trouble is I don't know anyone who's a member :(
These places cost about £25 to join (usually two person membership) so it helps to know someone who is already a member :)
 

Aswall

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I've had a Panasonic E30 for about a year now and haven't used my VCR since. As someone has mentioned before it uses DVD RAM discs (expensive) that can be recorded on many times and DVD-R (cheap) that can only be recorded on once. I very rarely record things permanently to play on other peoples DVD players, but when I have, the DVD-Rs have played faultlessly on other players. I tend to use the DVD-RAM all the time and just erase something when I've watched it and record over again. One particularly useful function is the ability to either play something from the disc while recording something else and to be able to watch something from the beginning before it has finished recording and pause the play as you are doing it, just like the hard disc recorders (which I think are definitely the way to go).

One word of warning - the marketing for this device says "can record up to 12 hrs on one disc". This is by using a double sided disc and using the 6 hrs record mode, which is virtually unwatchable, and then manually turning it over. I use the 4hr mode most of the time which is comparable in quality to the long play mode of a good quality VCR, and use the 2hr mode where I want better quality of sound and picture.

One other idea, if you can stand the cost, is to get SKY+ and a DVD player which would give you even more facilities. A good player can be had for under £100 and SKY+ is coming down in price in Oct and an update to allow recording 2 programs on the hard disk at the same time is imminent.

Cheers
Andy
 

mw_C32

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I have had a Philips DVD +RW for the last year now. Very happy have not used a VCR since.
The only problem is that it has broken down twice. Still, after care is good as they havent fixed it just sent me a new one.
I like the fact that you have scene selection without having to fast forward or rewind and the picture quality is better than VCR especially on my plasma.
I have played my +RW discs in other DVD players without any problems but I have heard some wont play. I have a DVD-R in my PC and these wont play in the Philips so I got a cheap non branded DVD that will play anything (multiregion,-R, +R, CD, VideoCD even .AVI files) for 45 squids from a computer fair last weekend.
Yes I recomend DVD recorders over VCR anytime just pick the functions you like and go for it.

Agreed on Richer Sounds too very helpfull in shop and will show you how it works or let you fiddle with it if they dont know. Best AV shop I have ever been in.

Regards
M.
 

Shude

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Originally posted by Aswall
One particularly useful function is the ability to either play something from the disc while recording something else and to be able to watch something from the beginning before it has finished recording and pause the play as you are doing it, just like the hard disc recorders (which I think are definitely the way to go).
I wonder how I lived before I owned a TiVo. My VCR has been unplugged and now collects dust in a corner!

Pity they canned the TiVo really, it's an excellent device!
 
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sym

sym

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OK - well I thought long and hard (honest, I did !!)

... and have just ordered a Panasonic DMR-E50, for £250 from www.techtronics.com

Link

panasonic-dmr-e50-X.jpg


The price includes a free upgrade to multi-region format, a free DVD-RAM disk, and free delivery !!

Hopefully I'll be a happy bunny when it arrives, & thanks to all who provided your views & reviews !

S.
 

Steve_Perry

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Sym,

Keep us posted as to how you get on with it :) The 'Timeslip' function that Aswall described is a really nifty feature.

S.
 

RichardM

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I'd be interested in how you get on with it. For £250 I could be tempted!

I've got a Sky+ box and love it, the picture quality is perfect and features like the series link are great so it never misses your favourite program. Like others by VCR is gathering dust in the loft.
 

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