Pioneer DVR 220 Brought back to Life. - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 33 Old 02-23-2010, 06:31 PM - Thread Starter
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Well,

My Pioneer DVR-220 Took a crap after 4 years. I would not turn on. Luckily it was just some bad caps on the power supply.

Took a little trip to Chester Electronic Supply in Kenosha, WI. Bought a few dollars worth of parts and I am back in business.

Everything new seams to break.. Everything of mine that is 30+ years old has never had to be opened. That includes Amplifiers, Turntable, Preamplifier, tuner. Everything new is junk granted I am not buying top of line Marantz or anything. But my 30+ year old stuff was not top of the line either.



Yes, I know that I am cheap for not taking the opportunity to upgrade to a real DVR.
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post #2 of 33 Old 02-24-2010, 09:18 AM
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Excellent!

Now that you've cured the power supply your 220 should be good to go for a few years more. The next breakdown will almost certainly be the burner, which is now 6 years old and way overdue for laser failure. Best to be proactive: start scouring eBay asap for a functional old Pioneer DVR-107 or DVR-A07 computer burner, or the identical TEAC DV-W58DP burner. If your original burner fails, simply remove it and swap its internal green controller board with the board in your replacement burner, and put the new burner in your recorder. Note these burners are all optimized for TY 8x DVD-R media, you can extend their useful life by only using these discs (available online from supermediastore or rima as "TY Premium Silver Lacquer 8x DVD-R" or "JVC/TY 8x DVD-R").
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post #3 of 33 Old 02-24-2010, 08:13 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the tips..
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post #4 of 33 Old 09-08-2010, 05:27 PM
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heya

My Pioneer 220s just died on me the same way. Was working like a champ for almost 4 years as well til the power wouldn't come on. I'd bought this one as a refurb in 2006 so I'd say I got my money's worth. I got used to this one so much I'd like to stick with this model or with a Pioneer but it looks like they've been out of the DVD Redorder business for quite a while. The few units I see up for sale used are usually out of my price range or haven't been tested as working to my liking. None of them are a 220 either.

I'm curious to try this fix-it on my unit though. Just pick up the two components shown and replace on the board? Does this require any soldering? or is it a simple pop in/pop out?

Thanks to this foum I've got good pointers on a possible replacement if I'm forced to jump off the pioneer bandwagon. If all else fails it seems the best current bet for a replacement is the philips 3575 or Magnavox 2160/513 and skip the VCR/DVD combos. This is cool but I really don't need a tuner or HDD on the thing. I only use it to back up other DVDs/LDs/VHS tapes.
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post #5 of 33 Old 09-08-2010, 07:18 PM
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The capacitors are soldered in place and many times it can be a little tricky to get at the bottom of the board to do the soldering, you may have to do some disassembling.
I've never done it on a Pioneer but personally I think if you haven't done any soldering before you might want to have a relative who has or a service shop do the work. You don't want to overheat the board or capacitor and cause board damage.
I wouldn't think it would cost too much to have a shop do the work if you supply the cap and let them know which one to replace.

The only Pioneer that I've run across in second hand shops was a lone black 220. I think it was ~$50 but I'm really holding out for a HDD Pio, preferably a 560 or 660, for sure not one with TVGOS. So you might want to check second hand shops to see what they have. I've seen no Pios on Craigslist but your area may be different than mine.
You may think you don't need a HDD but once you've gotten used to one, you'll really appreciate it.
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post #6 of 33 Old 09-08-2010, 09:42 PM
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The one time I ever tried soldering new caps on a circuit board was the power supply in my Thorens TD-145 turntable. It was nerve-wracking, and so tricky I've yet to get my nerve up to go back and finish the job by soldering new audio cables into it.

Soldering is like software programming: easy if you have a knack for it, hopeless if you think you'll just start doing it out of the blue. You need an incredibly steady hand, fantastic eyesight, a lot of manual dexterity, and a well-ventilated workspace (melting solder releases toxic lead fumes, and the outgassing will make your eyes water up close). If you've never worked on circuit boards before, and have no need to aside from fixing the caps in your DVD recorder, just bring the damn thing in to a service tech with a printout of this thread (they shouldn't charge much to replace two caps if you hand them a roadmap). Or find a friend/relative who does soldering. A good soldering iron, some fine solder, and a removal ribbon will run you $20 anyway if you don't already have those things on hand.

(The replacement burner controller board swap I mentioned in a previous post does not require soldering, just removing/replacing screws and snap connectors).
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post #7 of 33 Old 09-09-2010, 11:54 AM
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Thanks for the responses. I've seen you both post a lot while I was researching in other threads and it's nice to find knowlegdable folks willing to share info on here. Your posts on VCRs and DVD Recorders have been a great help to me so big thanks.

Well actually I do have seom solder and a soldering iron. Granted I usually only solder simple projects,- repairing connections to a battery compartment on simple electronic toys/gizmos etc. Never attmpted anything on a circuit board and in the end you're probably right- finding/taking it to a proper repair shop would be best. Better that than ruining the circuit board in the attempt.

The only thing that gives me pause about repairing the power board is citibear's previous comment about how the unit is now 4 years old (possiblly 6 actually since I think it was the '04 entry model but refurbed in '06) and I have really put it through the paces. I have my ebb and flow, but it gets a LOT of use in my home. I burn an average of 100 discs a month depending on the need. Burner failure is likely to be right around the corner.

I'd normally have just jumped on the Maganvox due to the high recommendation and the fact it'll re-instate the one thing I miss from my previous DVD recorder (a Sony RDR-GX7) which was a 3 hour record mode. However the thing that keeps me looking for a Pioneer model (beyond ease of use/I'm-just-used-to-it factor) is the fact the Pioneers all seem to have 2 inputs/2 outputs for A/V. This has been invaluable to me since I often toggle between making dubs of VHS and DVD. Occasionally editing footage from the two sources on the same disc. Having to re-hook up between machines with only 1 input on most current models would be a minor yet tediously constant headache.

While lately I've been mainly burning DVD back-ups, I am finally on the verge of finally backing most of my 2,000 tape VHS collection so I can finally clear out some needed shelf space. So that toggling will be pretty important over the coming months.

Because this just hit me after some car repairs last week my budget for repair/replacement is only a max of about the $200 mark.

With all that said, it seems these are my best current options:

1 - Repair my existing unit power board at a repair shop. probably the cheapest option- my guess is under $50. Assuming I have a similar problem to the other posters who have reported similar power-on problems with this unit anyway.

2 - Buy a new/refurb Maganvox 2160. It'll run me higher- around $150-$227 depending but it'll be a new player - probably have longer life and have the HDD capability for better editing. I did some occasional on-the-fly editing on my current Pioneer from time to time so this does have great appeal for me.

3 - Grab a used Pioneer 225s I just saw on craigslist in my area, seller claims it's barely used and it's only $100. It's a risk but this may be best bang for my buck. No HDD but I keep my dual inputs/outputs and physically it looks identical to my 220 so I have a feeling operating it will be easy.

4 - After reading Citibear's long and informative post on the various DVD recorders on the VCR thread, it hit me to try and look for thier late Canada models (for the 'newest' Pioneer I could lay hands on) and a friend of a friend I trade with may be able to hook me up with a used but good condition 2007 450 model for the same price range as the Maggy. It'll be the most costly option though once shipping is factored in. But it's a Pio with my outputs plus the 80gb HDD.

I also just saw a listing for Pio 310-S dirt cheap used but with no remote. I'm a little iffy on that one even though it's likely my 220 remote may work with it. If it seems to good to be true it usually is.

Luckily I'm not in a rush but I'll see what works best for me and take the plunge by the weekend.

On a side note, I find it kind of sad that I condsider 3-4 years of use good value for money now. Seems today most electronics are almost designed to fail in 1-2 years so you're forced to buy the next model (unless maybe you're buying the high end stuff?). This is what I'v encountered with many of my SD DVD players, the Sony RDR-GX7 DVD recorder and some internal drive DVD burners I've used on my iMac. In comparison the VCRs my family bought in the 80's and into the mid-90's (plus my Pioneer LD player from '93) all lasted 10 years or more. Our 1st VCR, a 1982 RCA top-loader & built like a tank, lasted almost 20years with only minor service before it was simply retired for DVD. Thing probably still works if I were to dig out and plug it in again. Crazy.

Edit to add: Something else just occured to me. If I jumped on a Recorder with an HDD (the 2160 or the 450) it seems to me the Hard Drive is likely to fail down the line before the burner. if this happens is the whole unit kaput til repaired or can it still be used strictly as a DVD recorder/burner?
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post #8 of 33 Old 09-09-2010, 02:50 PM
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If you already have the solder and tools and some minimal experience, then try repairing the 220 yourself. There isn't much to lose at this point, and as you noted you might need to track down a replacement burner for it anyway. If you can find a repair shop willing to replace the caps for $50 or less, that seems fair.

The 220 and 225 models are a special case among Pioneers, particularly the 225s which were all made in one huge batch for CostCo. Nearly all 225s have the early power supply failure problem, conversely nearly all 225s you see for sale cheap as "broken" still have perfectly good burners in them. If you like your 220 a lot, snap up any "won't power on" 220 or 225 models you find cheap on local CraigsList. The burner alone is worth at least $25-50, a lot more to some people who need them for their 520 DVD/HDD model.

The 310 is a beautiful recorder, the first Pioneer I ever owned. Same features as the 220 but way more high-end faceplate. Very sharp recordings at SP, and the remote was more-or-less identical to the 220. The burner is a different model, the 106. The 106 can be swapped into a 220 but its a bit more involved than using the correct 107 burner.

The last thing to worry about in a modern DVD/HDD recorder is the HDD. The Magnavox is probably the easiest-to-repair model ever made: it can take any random SATA drive as replacement HDD (within certain power draw/heat limits), and replacement burners are available direct from the mfr for under $70. Either drive can be replaced without additional accessories, using the diagnostic mode of the recorder itself (described fully in wajo's sticky thread). The Pioneer 450-550-650 and 460-560-660 can also take any random SATA drive as replacement HDD, but they do require the service remote and service disc for that operation. The Pioneer burner on the final models is not user replaceable, but is normally much more durable than the 220 burner if you stick to 8x premium DVD-R blanks.
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post #9 of 33 Old 09-09-2010, 03:59 PM
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Good points. Thanks for the info. I'll give the fix-it a whirl tomorrow on the 220 and see.

If it fails then I'm leaning on seeing if the Pio 450 option pans out since it sounds like it's a great deal on a great machine. I love the 220, but if all Pios are this easy to use I'm happy to upgrade to a better model within my price range. Sounds like for the price and the fact I probably have a compatible remote it may be worth the nearly nil investment to try the 310 anyway should the 450 option fall though.

I had wondered about the 220/225s models since I don't see them talked about as much as the higher end versions. Costco huh? I guess that may explain the power supply problems I read some users have had with it. If this is a chronic problem then it makes me weary of long long I'd have with the used 225 I'm looking at before it fails.

The 2160, as great as it sounds, is kinda my last resort option. Reading what a Pioneer enthusiast you are, I'm sure you understand why I want to stick with the brand. When I made the switch from Sony I never looked back. I liked thier LD players just as much.

On the VCR side of the VHS-to-DVD front: My 2001 Sony RDR-N57 served me well for a long time but recently has started to act up (spits out tapes everal times before finally accepting one). I have a '95 Sharp model as a back up but it's mono only. I don't need to go crazy with the Panny AG1980 but I read you recommended shooting for one of the DVHS models by JVS or Mitsu. Will the Mitsu HD1000 model wrok just as well as the HD2000?
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post #10 of 33 Old 09-09-2010, 06:48 PM
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Re the low forum profile of the Pioneer 220: the boom-and-bust cycle of development for DVD recorders was so comparatively brief, and the heyday already seems so long ago, that many of the less-cult-followed models have sort of disappeared from discussion. Also AVS at that time had a larger percentage of enthusiasts who were willing to spend more for the more versatile DVD/HDD models than the somewhat limited DVD-only versions, so there was less discussion of the 220 here than at other similar forums. The most popular Pioneer ever made (by far) was the 520, which was a 220 with 80GB HDD added. That model long dominated Pioneer discussion threads, with the 220 relegated to afterthought status.

Those who did use the 220 rated it very highly here on AVS and elsewhere, and it was popular among budget-conscious consumers (thats why CostCo ordered a specific "house" version in the 225). Unfortunately 2004 was a bad year for a lot of electronics items due to a colossal run of faulty Chinese capacitors: not only the Pioneer 220 but the 520 as well as many JVC and Panasonic recorders were contaminated in some way. The HDD-equipped models were so much more expensive and so beloved that owners did make the effort to discuss and obtain repairs, but the non-HDD models like Pioneer220/225 and Panasonic ES-20 were often discarded or neglected as not cost-effective to repair. Please note the power supply fault was not inherent in the design, but in the parts that were available that year: once you replace the bad caps, the recorder should not fail again for at least 7-10 years. If you like your 220, and can repair it inexpensively, it should be possible to use it as long as compatible DVDs (and replacement burners) can be found.

The Pioneer 450 is a really nice recorder, with great PQ and operating feel. It was the Canadian CostCo version of the Pioneer 550, the CostCo versions lack only the USB and FireWire ports of the 550. If you do much dubbing of VHS, you'll find the 450 is more "forgiving" of a wider variety of tapes than the older 220 (because it has a more stable line input signal lock). Its a little better than the Magnavox at coping with deteriorated tapes or multi-generation copies like concert bootlegs. I'd go so far as to call the 450 absolutely bulletproof. I have fed it videotape signals so unbelievably poor the VCR could barely play them, yet the Pio 450 doesn't flinch: what goes in is reproduced with no added digital flaws or distortion (as often occurred with my 520). The 450 sold at CostCo for $429 in 2007, its lowest price from overstock web liquidators in 2008 was $229, the price since then for used 450s on eBay has remained in the $300 ballpark. If you can get the one you have your eye on for anywhere near $200, its a great deal.

Having owned all Pioneers since the 310, my feeling is the design was perfected in the 450 and later versions. The operating interface I find much improved over the 220/520, which I thought was difficult. Editing, chaptering, thumbnails, copy list, and HDD navigation is much easier: the basic interface is similar but less crude and more streamlined. The only thing I like better in the 220 is the choice of DVD menus: in the 220, all six options are useful. In the 450 and later models only three of the six options look good, the other three are butt-ugly.
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post #11 of 33 Old 09-09-2010, 07:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by manofsteel25 View Post

I don't need to go crazy with the Panny AG1980 but I read you recommended shooting for one of the DVHS models by JVS or Mitsu. Will the Mitsu HD1000 model wrok just as well as the HD2000?

The Mitsu 1000 is a decent VCR but optimized almost completely for DVHS use: it plays normal VHS tapes like any average vcr. It isn't bad, merely average. If you can score one really, really cheap (under $70), it could make a good workhorse for dubbing VHS. But in the price range the 1000 usually sells for, a used AG1980 is a much more suitable choice. The Mitsu 2000 adds a TBC and DNR circuit to the 1000 chassis, making it more directly comparable to the AG1980 and various JVCs. I would pay up to $150 for a good clean Mitsu 2000.

If you just want a basic VCR, there are many good options if you shop carefully. The more compact, earlier base-model Sonys from around 1996-2000 can be very good (I think they had model numbers like SL-V685HF). Panasonic, Quasar and GE all had lookalike, performalike models from 1995-1998 that were quite good, again look for the compact narrow 13" wide versions instead of the full-size 17" units (for some reason, the smaller ones hold up better and have better PQ). Most Sharps were very good- you could just look for the hifi version of the one you have now. Occasionally the "little sister" of the AG1980 pops up on eBay: this was the AG2560 of 2000, an excellent basic hifi unit with a rugged transport and great PQ. I see them once or twice a month for approx $30, but of course the shipping often kills the deal unless you can manage local free pickup.
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post #12 of 33 Old 09-10-2010, 01:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CitiBear View Post

...Soldering is like software programming: easy if you have a knack for it, hopeless if you think you'll just start doing it out of the blue. You need an incredibly steady hand, fantastic eyesight, a lot of manual dexterity, and a well-ventilated workspace (melting solder releases toxic lead fumes, and the outgassing will make your eyes water up close). If you've never worked on circuit boards before, and have no need to aside from fixing the caps in your DVD recorder, just bring the damn thing in to a service tech with a printout of this thread (they shouldn't charge much to replace two caps if you hand them a roadmap). Or find a friend/relative who does soldering. A good soldering iron, some fine solder, and a removal ribbon will run you $20 anyway if you don't already have those things on hand...

This is kind of funny. I do soldering all the time and have never seen it as such an odious task like you describe. If you have a few nice tools, and have access to a decent soldering station, it's not a problem at all. The only real issue, really, is the soldering station. The good ones start at about $150 and go up from there. Useable ones can be had for half that. Anything cheaper is not likely to be easy to use, nor llikely to give good results. A few connections on something the size of a power-supply boad should not be intimidating. Surfacing mounting pins a half millimeter apart, now THAT is a different story!

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Evil is charming and beautiful. It makes you doubt yourself. It asks for one small compromise after another until it whittles you down, and it functions best when no one believes in it.-JOA
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post #13 of 33 Old 09-10-2010, 04:31 PM
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As always thanks for all the great info.

Interesting to note on the 220/225. shame about the bad parts that year I guess I'll count myself lucky or maybe those were the parts fixed during the '06 refurb.

I'll let you know how my fix-it atempt goes over the weekend. Seeing as my potential Canadian 450 option may be a bust now - if this fails I'll probably just flip a coin on the used listings of the barely used 225s with remote for $100 or the more moderately used Pio 310S with no remote for $50.

I've seen some Panny 1980 and 2560s on ebay starting at really good under $70 prices. I'll keep an eye on those and see.
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post #14 of 33 Old 09-11-2010, 01:43 PM
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On the VCR front as luck would have it my GF has a late 90's SHARP hifi model that got little use then and pretty much no use since 2004 that she's given me today. So for basic/SLP playback I'm covered. I can finally retire my pesky tape-spitting-back '01 Sony.

For some of my other tapes that are SLP-SP dubs or more than 2-3 generations (or simply 20ish years old now) it sounds like I'm still better off finding one of the recommended DVHS Mitsu/JVC or AG1980 (or 2560?). The main advantage I see to these is the relative new/non-use of the DVHS and the repairability of the 1980. Plus of course the TBC & DNR described. Although I am unfamiliar with these last two- what do they contribute to help VHS PQ playback so much? I have a mild kneejerk reaction to paying anything over $100 for any VCR today even a high end/newish one considering how outdated the format is. On the other hand I've got around 1500 tapes I'm planning to back up so it's not like I won't get my money's worth.

The DVD recorder is the most important thing in this equation though at the moment. I got my parts, I won't have a chance to perform the fix-it til tomorrow. Even if it works, due to limited availability I'm probably going to grab another purely for back-up. I did just see a new-in-box Pio 220 listed in NY for $160 but the guy will only deal local- no shipping. Bugger.

The Canada trade option was indeed a bust. The guy was too reluctant to sell and it turned out it was a 440HX after all. Seems I'll have to get really lucky to find a Pio 450/460 or 550/560 today for my price range anyway. Which brings me back to the generally well reviewed 220/225, 310 or 520 used options I see. Although I note all of these model were from '04 and are potentially subject to the bad chinese part problem so I roll the dice there no matter what. But I love my Pioneer and for the price range I see on a lot of these it's a minor risk.
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post #15 of 33 Old 09-13-2010, 08:54 AM
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TBC means "Time Base Corrector" and DNR means "Digital Noise Reduction". Those two (relatively rare) features are what prompted people to engage in bidding wars up to $600 for old JVC svhs vcrs and the Panasonic AG1980 a few years back when dubbing your VHS collection to DVD or AVI became a hot hobby. Today, a large percentage of VHS conversion projects have been completed, so many of those higher-end VCRS have been put back into circulation. Also, the DVHS vcrs (which were ignored/unavailable initially) have gone into circulation, adding more choices and dropping prices. (The Panasonic AG2560 I mentioned is a sturdy, well-built option for a normal everyday vcr: it does not include any TBC or DNR, and it is not a true SVHS model.)

Like nearly everything we discuss on forums, the "need" for a TBC/DNR equipped VCR is highly subjective, and a lot of people get talked into buying one just because a few forum gurus recommend them. I am guilty myself here, and recently received a lot of pushback from people buying these machines at my suggestion and being disappointed when they don't work so great. So before I go any further describing the benefits of TBC/DNR, let me make a very clear disclaimer: do not go hunting down one of these used VCRs unless you truly feel you need one and are prepared to pay for/deal with the possible repair requirements of used electronic items. Aside from the usual aging issues of older VCRs, keep in mind there was an absolutely ridiculous run on these units from 2003-2006, when practically everyone who read the forum musings of a handful of gurus (not me, I'm late to this party) just "had to have one". This drove prices thru the roof, and relative scarcity means the same group of several hundred vcrs have been passed from user to user and beat on to transfer huge tape collections. Today, more than ever before, when considering a used high-end VCR you must be aware we are talking about seriously used gear. It will likely be worn, and very likely need repair. The sole exceptions being the DVHS vcrs, which are at least ten years newer and for some reason did not catch on with VHS>DVD enthusiasts until the initial craze died off (so they're typically in close to mint condition).

With that warning out of the way, here is why you might want to gamble with one of those specialty VCRs: they are the only consumer models with built-inTBC/DNR. If your tape collection is old enough and large enough, you probably have more than a few tapes that could benefit from being processed thru those features. For one thing, they "clean up" a VHS signal to make it more compatible with the somewhat picky digitizing circuits in many PC boards and most early DVD recorders (including the Pioneer 310/510/220/225/520). VHS tapes often include signal irregularities that are invisible to our eyes and irrelevant to older CRT televisions like a Sony Trinitron. But these irregularities can totally confuse a picky digitizer and often look dreadful on a modern LCD screen like a Samsung. A vcr with TBC/DNR can often minimize or completely eliminate those signal issues.

The TBC feature helps primarily with flagging or bending distortion of vertical objects like doors and buildings. It can also reduce jittering or juddering, and some forms of static that look like tracking distortion along edges of high-contrast objects. Depending on the specific VCR model, some TBC circuits will also help minimize audio lip-sync issues. The DNR feature completely smooths out color issues, often making a night-and-day difference in color noise and color blur (common to reds especially). But this "improvement" is highly subjective: it depends on your particular tapes, and how your own eyes perceive various types of video defects. The dancing splotchy color noise that drives some people crazy is totally acceptable to others, who would rather watch a "noisy but natural looking" tape transfer than one that looks "spotlessly clean but strangely fake". There is a price to be paid for "cleaner-looking" video: it looks kinda weird, because it goes thru two digitizing passes: one in the VCR, then again in the DVD recorder or PC.

The TBC/DNR circuits in the VCR aren't exactly professional-class $10,000 quality: they work amazingly well but they have performance limits, usually visible as plastic-looking faces on people and a hard-to-describe unnatural quality in movement. More often than I'd like, I end up making two VHS conversions: one with a TBC/DNR vcr, and one using a normal everyday vcr. Depending on the television display and size, I might prefer one or the other, so for future-proofing insurance I make both if the tape is really rare or important to me. The only way for you to know which result you would prefer is to try both and judge with your own eyes. As a very rough guide, based on my own experience, the tapes that benefit most from TBC/DNR are recordings from analog cable TV made prior to 2004, analog camcorder tapes like VHS-C, and various bootleg or second-third generation tapes. Note the TBC built into high-end VCRs is not quite the same as an external TBC box like the DataVideo TBC-1000 or AVT-8710. External TBCs will allow you to make DVD transfers of your commercial copy-protected tapes, the TBC built into a VCR will not. Most cases of lip-sync audio drift are best cured with an external TBC, although some VCRs do a remarkable job with this (lip-sync drift is more common when using a PC than a DVD recorder).

In some cases, such as really poor multi-generatiion copies, you have to change the digitizing side of the equation. Really rotten signals cannot be improved much at the source, but you can get significant improvement by changing the DVD recorder or switching from a PC to a DVD recorder. Most PC boards and most DVD recorders made prior to 2006 just can't handle lousy tape sources, even if you use a TBC/DNR vcr and activate those features (which can make things worse instead of better). JVCs made before 2006, Pioneers made before 2005, and some Sony DVD recorders are especially sensitive and should be avoided when making DVDs from poor tapes. Pioneers and Panasonics made after 2005 are much more solid with crummy tapes, they will encode an exact DVD copy of bad source material with no added digital distortion even if the source VCR is a normal one (sometimes preferable to a TBC/DNR vcr when playing some tapes). The worst-case scenario I've seen is a Pioneer 220/520 trying to digitize a copy-protected commercial tape: really ugly results even with an external studio TBC hooked in. If you have a lot of commercial tapes to digitize, consider using something other than a Pioneer 220 (or just buy the commercial DVD versions).

The current Magnavox H2160 and 513 fall just slightly short of the late-model Pioneer and Panasonic recorders in this regard. The Magnavox encoder design occasionally suffers unpredictable reactions to TBC/DNR vcr sources: you can get a split-second picture roll a couple of times an hour. This is usually not a big deal but it does annoy some users who don't expect it (you don't see the glitches during the transfer, only when viewing the result).
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post #16 of 33 Old 09-13-2010, 05:27 PM
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Understood- thanks for clarifying on the 2560 front and the usefulness of the DNR and TBC.

My tape collection I'd say is pretty much TV Shows and movie recorded off-air fomr analog pre'04 cable or 1st gen copies from Laserdiscs and such. I have a good chunk that are 2nd-3rd gen dubs of shows also originally taken from offair in most cases. A smaller handful that are NTSC from PAL tapes or more than 3rd gen crummy quality but rare. All of my commercial VHS tapes already replaced by commercial DVD and were sold off a year ago so that's a non-issue.

I have about 2 dozen of my oldest tapes that are 1st or 2nd generation but SLP/EP. I'm worried most about the tracking on those.

Sounds like I would indeed have use for the features you decribe but it might be better to not deal with the headache of taking a chance on a heavily beaten machine that will need repair and just find a DVHS deck.

In the meantime, my fix of my 220 is on hold. 1 of the parts was wrong and I can only get the proper one online. So I'm waiting for that. Because of a timesenstive set of dubs I had to do I just bought the used 225 model on Craigs list. I figure it's good to have a back up even if the fix works. And it'd doubly good as I was still able to finalize a number of discs left undone before my old 220 broke.

Finding a good 450/550/650 or 460/560/660 seems a tough call these days. The few I see are the international versions or simply beyond my price range in the $500-$700 region.
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post #17 of 33 Old 07-02-2012, 08:08 PM
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I have a DVR-R07-XA burner out of a Pioneer DVR-225 I just scrapped due to the faulty p/s. 305-360-6780.
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post #18 of 33 Old 08-12-2012, 12:55 PM
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hey guys! I hope someone still reads this thread. I just brought my 220 out of storage, and it's still working great. my hangup seems to be is i can't seem to record in widescreen. the source displays in widescreen just fine, but the recorded disc gets squished to 4:3 am I missing something? or can this not do widescreen recordings? when i used it the most I was using 4:3 content so it didn't matter.

The other thing is are there any firmware updates for this model? i never tried to update it ever since i owned it.

Thanks
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post #19 of 33 Old 08-12-2012, 06:05 PM
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All DVD recorders record in 4x3, and 4x3 only. If you can send them an anamorphic signal, that is 16x9 horizontally squeezed to 4x3, they will record that. Most cable and sat. systems will not output anamorphic over SD outputs, like S-Vid and composite. Some, but not all DVDRs will "set the flag" on an anamorphic recording, telling your TV to stretch the picture. With my setup, I have to select the "Wide" picture mode on my TV to see my anamorphic recordings fill the screen, as intended.
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post #20 of 33 Old 08-12-2012, 10:16 PM
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All "widescreen" DVDs are "squished" into a 4:3 frame: that is how the DVD standard was designed. So your Pioneer DVR-220 is operating correctly: assuming you are feeding it a full widescreen signal from a cable/satellite box or external ATSC tuner box, it should record 16:9 squeezed into 4:3 (people look skinny and too tall, etc).

If you have a modern 16:9 flatscreen LCD or Plasma TV, use the the Picture control on the TV remote to stretch the picture out to fill the wide screen. Most TVs cycle thru framings of 4:3 (aka Normal), Full (aka 16:9 stretch) or Zoom (which zooms into the middle of the picture ). You want to select "Full" so that the black bars on the sides of the screen disappear and the picture unsqueezes from 4:3 to 16:9. Commercial DVDs sold by Hollywood studios have a special signal flag built in that automatically triggers the TV to the correct framing, but most DVD recorders do not embed this signal so you need to manually stretch the picture using the TV remote. Note if you haven't already done so, you should go into the Pioneer 220 Home Menu>Setup>Playback settings, and switch the TV screen setting from 4:3 to 16:9 to optimize playback for widescreen televisions.

If you are still using an "old-school" CRT television with a 4:3 picture tube, you will not be able to change anything: these DVDs will always look squeezed. Here again, commercial Hollywood DVDs embed a special signal flag that instructs a DVD player to unsqueeze the picture, make it smaller, and letterbox it (black bars on top and bottom) when the DVD player is connected to a CRT 4:3 television. Most DVD recorders like the Pio 220 do not embed this flag either, which means you need to change the recording format to 4:3 letterbox instead of 16:9 squeezed. This requires changing your cable/satellite/ATSC tuner to output 4:3 letterbox instead of 16:9 widescreen, and changing the Pio 220 TV setting to 4:3. All DVDs will then be recorded in letterboxed format appropriate to a 4:3 television. If/when you ever get a 16:9 television, you can zoom into the letterboxed image and make it fill the screen. This is not ideal, but is the only way you can make a Pio 220 DVD that will play properly on both old and new televisions.

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The other thing is are there any firmware updates for this model? i never tried to update it ever since i owned it.

There are no firmware updates for any North American Pioneer recorder models (aside from a minor bug fix for the 2006 DVR-640). No updates are available for the 220, you are stuck with the original 2004 specs of its 107XA burner. This burner vastly prefers DVD-R blanks with a speed rating of 8x, like Verbatim DataLifePlus or JVC/TY. Using the typical 16x speed blanks sold in stores will kill this burner dead fairly quickly (I've repaired enough 220s to know). Blank 8x is only available from web dealers, it isn't sold in stores anymore: check supermediastore, rima, eBay or Amazon.
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post #21 of 33 Old 08-13-2012, 04:33 AM
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Thanks so much for the feedback guys. I figured out the signal issue with the recordings.

I have it connected to a sony BDP-S570 via the video out port. I mainly wanted the pioneer back for a dedicated dvd player since it still has the a-b repeat function, that most blu-ray players do not have.

As far as a recorder, I was hoping to record stuff to DVD from my streaming services like netflix, amazon VOD, etc.

I was testing the recorder yesterday, with video files from a usb stick connected to the sony. and while the output was correct on the TV screen i didn't realize that the recorder was recording something different.

As far as skill level goes I have an A.S. in broadcast (TV), i just haven't had a lot of experience with DVD recorders like the pioneer, other then to record stuff from satellite in the late 90's when I had it. My particular pioneer is between 7 and 8 years old, if i remember correctly.

My primary players are my 2 2012 Sony BDP-S590 players, the 570 is a backup BD player from 2010, the pioneer is my oldest legacy device before i even got into HD.

I have two tvs a sony 32" and a panasonic plasma 42". The pioneer is in the bedroom connected to the sony lcd. Most of the DVDs i'm done have been on a computer so that's more detailed software then the pioneer has so that may have been why i didn't realize the difference at first, that and when i used the pioneer it had always been from a 4.3 source until now. When i record from the sony device, i've found setting it to a 4:3 tv solves the recording issue to DVD.

As for as the DVD-R speed thanks for informing me of that. I hadn't thought of it because, like i said i haven't used it in years, and when I have used it off and on in recent years i've used 16x discs without issues, i figured like any other drive, if the disc rating is faster then the hardware, the hardware would just go at it's maximum speed ratings.

UPDATE: Just tried a netflix recording this morning and got the copy protected message. This kind of sucks as what I want to copy I have a legal copy of on DVD, however the DVD has become scratched with use, and no longer plays correctly. i thought this would be a cheap way of replacing content without needing the internet to constantly stream, or over spend to replace the whole tv season just to replace one disc. There has to be easier ways.
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post #22 of 33 Old 08-13-2012, 06:00 AM
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The other question I wanted to ask, is with the switch of OTA broadcasts, is the only way to record from live tv with this unit now is to use a digital converter box, since i don't have cable? I can get some channels to my tvs since they have digital tuners with a simple powered antenna, but i connected the antenna to the recorder and set the input to the tuner, and did a channel scan, but nothing tunes in. I'm guessing because it's expecting an analog signal, and it's receiving a digital signal instead.
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post #23 of 33 Old 08-13-2012, 09:20 AM
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Yes, you have it correct: the Pioneer 220 tuner is now obsolete for off-air broadcasts and is not able to pick up anything at all. If you don't have cable or satellite, but rely on an off-air antenna, you will need an external ATSC converter/tuner. These were known as "CECB" (Coupon Eligible Converter Box) four years ago during the transition from analog to digital. Millions were sold under many different brand names. The two best by far were the Zenith DTT-901 and the ChannelMaster CM7000. These are long discontinued and highly sought after, so prices on the secondary eBay/Amazon market are all over the place. When they were still in stores, they sold for about $79 new with a federal rebate coupon bringing the actual cost down to $40. I wouldn't pay more than that for a used one today: be patient, and one should turn up in a thrift shop, Craigs List or eBay for $40 or less. The many other brands and models of CECB weren't terrible, they just weren't great if you had poor reception issues: if your reception is mostly OK and you aren't extremely picky about PQ you can pick up any random CECB and be happy with it. Ask around, most people who bought one have moved on to a newer TV by now and have one or two of these boxes sitting unused collecting dust. You might snag one for free. All of them can output full 16:9 widescreen squeezed into the 4:3 frame required by a DVD recorder: the setting is accessed thru a picture button on the box remote. Note you will lose the ability to timer record multiple events on different channels: since these tuners are external and your 220 cannot automatically change the channel on them, timer recording is limited to whatever channel you manually select on the box.

The "cannot record" or "copy protected material" issue requires another piece of hardware to work around. You need either a "video filter" like the Grex or DPX7000, or a full TBC (Time Base Corrector) like the AVT8710 or DataVideo TBC1000. The Grex is approx $80, the TBCs $220-$495. You can sometimes find one of these two TBCs used on eBay for under $150, and there are earlier filters like the Sima CT2 and CT200 (same as the current DPX7000) which occasionally turn up second hand at lesser prices. There are many many threads on this topic here on AVS, for further discussion you could start here:

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1405522/sima-ct-2-ct-200
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post #24 of 33 Old 08-13-2012, 09:53 AM
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Thanks so much CitiBear,

I'll start looking at the thread that you suggested.

I'm kind of behind the times slightly when it comes to video. When I had a majority of my Television training Analog equipment was the norm.

It was only the last year of my training 2010, did i start learning about digital broadcast, and formats such as blu-ray, HD, etc. So that's why i haven't kept up with a lot of this stuff as for the reason you've said, by the time, i've had a need for some of these devices most people have moved on and they aren't available like they used to be.

I am able to use my antenna directly with my TVs, just not the dvd recorder.

I was wondering, if there was a way to use the TV's tuner as the converter and save money, e.g connect the antenna to the tv, and then pass the tv tuner's signal into the dvd recorder, or without having video outs, will this not work strictly with coaxial cable.

As far as the copy protection, I've considered just buying new discs too it is probably cheaper then the video filter, and would be better quality then copying SD from netflix. Still i may look into a device just to have, if i need it. The nice thing is now with computers simply ripping a DVD removes copy protection, and that's what i'm trying now to back up this damaged disc. i'm crossing my fingers it was able to be salvaged. Another thing i'm doing is to buy the blu-ray when content is released that i want to replace. Blu-ray doesn't have the wear and tear issues DVDs seem to have. (this coming from someone who takes good care of their media.)

Anyway,

Thanks again. I'll keep you guys posted.
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post #25 of 33 Old 08-13-2012, 12:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MacinMan View Post

I am able to use my antenna directly with my TVs, just not the dvd recorder.I was wondering, if there was a way to use the TV's tuner as the converter and save money, e.g connect the antenna to the tv, and then pass the tv tuner's signal into the dvd recorder, or without having video outs, will this not work strictly with coaxial cable.

I'm afraid you'll need to get an accessory tuner box for the 220: tapping into the TV's own tuner would require the TV to have video output jacks. AFAIK, almost none do. And none have a coax output that could feed the tuner of the 220. All televisions and DVD recorders with analog tuners were obsoleted in 2008, that is why our gov't spent millions on subsidy coupons so people could buy adapter boxes for them.

Quote:
As far as the copy protection, I've considered just buying new discs too it is probably cheaper then the video filter, and would be better quality then copying SD.

This is a tricky issue. The trouble with "buying replacement discs" is that very often the entire run of discs is contaminated with mfring defects. This is especially true with season sets of older (pre-2006) TV series, where double-sided discs were used. These are very hard to press without defects, and tend to degrade within two-three years so you discover only later some of your "perfect discs" now skip or freeze. I think its ridiculous to have to keep re-buying a $30-60 set of DVDs because of latent mfr defects: if I notice one or two episodes become unplayable, I download them from web sources and burn personal-use supplemental discs. (Ripping backups in the PC won't help once the original discs have gone defective.)
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post #26 of 33 Old 08-13-2012, 01:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CitiBear View Post

I'm afraid you'll need to get an accessory tuner box for the 220: tapping into the TV's own tuner would require the TV to have video output jacks. AFAIK, almost none do. And none have a coax output that could feed the tuner of the 220. All televisions and DVD recorders with analog tuners were obsoleted in 2008, that is why our gov't spent millions on subsidy coupons so people could buy adapter boxes for them.
This is a tricky issue. The trouble with "buying replacement discs" is that very often the entire run of discs is contaminated with mfring defects. This is especially true with season sets of older (pre-2006) TV series, where double-sided discs were used. These are very hard to press without defects, and tend to degrade within two-three years so you discover only later some of your "perfect discs" now skip or freeze. I think its ridiculous to have to keep re-buying a $30-60 set of DVDs because of latent mfr defects: if I notice one or two episodes become unplayable, I download them from web sources and burn personal-use supplemental discs. (Ripping backups in the PC won't help once the original discs have gone defective.)

Do you know where i could download Disc 5 of season 3 of Stargate SG-1? this is the bad disc, and the rip failed. It's also a single sided disc.

Since I know this disc has become scratched as i can see the thin scratches, i was going to to try a banana peal since i read if it's not scratched too bad the peal can help remove some. At least, it won't hurt since the disc is already unplayable for the most part. Oh well, thanks so much for the help i think i'm pretty well situation now, and just have to pull together the few minor details.
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post #27 of 33 Old 08-13-2012, 01:53 PM
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A scratch is different from an internal manufacturing defect that causes a disc to degrade and become unplayable. Unless the scratch is very deep, it can usually be buffed out using a disc rescue kit (check chain stores) or some video rental shops have a machine that will do a professional polish for a couple bucks. If I were you, I'd look into that first. If the disc can't be repaired with a polish, try streaming the episode from NetFlix or another site and capturing it to your 220. If all else fails, you'll have to Google various fan websites of the series and look for a possible download link or torrent. These change every day so you need to keep checking until you find the ep you need to replace.
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post #28 of 33 Old 08-13-2012, 02:22 PM
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Something I just thought to ask is this:

with everything i need to buy to make the pioneer compatible with digital ota, is there maybe a more current DVD recorder that's equally as good, that would add support for DVD+R and DVD-/+DL? The other thing is, now i have a miniDV camcorder with firewire, I could have gotten direct support for this buying the 320, instead of the 220, but didn't need that then. Is there something I can buy now that woud add features that wouldn't cost a lot more then buying the stuff needed to upgrade the pioneer? I love the unit don't get me wrong, it's just older, and it might be better to invest in a more current unit in case the pioneer were to die and the cost to fix it would be better spent with a new unit. I'd consider buying a blu-ray recorder, but i don't think they exist, at least not in the same way as DVD recorders do.

Thanks
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post #29 of 33 Old 08-13-2012, 02:43 PM
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Nothing like you want currently nor has ever been made(nor will ever be made).
If you can do without the DL and DV support along with much different editing operation then a Magnavox w/HDD talked about in it's sticky thread is your best bet.
If you can do without a digital tuner then a international Panasonic w/HDD may be an option.
Your about 6 years late to DVDR land and unfortunately most DVDRs were a year late to the digital transition frown.gif
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post #30 of 33 Old 08-13-2012, 02:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjeff View Post

Nothing like you want currently nor has ever been made(nor will ever be made).
If you can do without the DL and DV support along with much different editing operation then a Magnavox w/HDD talked about in it's sticky thread is your best bet.
If you can do without a digital tuner then a international Panasonic w/HDD may be an option.
Your about 6 years late to DVDR land and unfortunately most DVDRs were a year late to the digital transition frown.gif

Hey Jeff,

I'm not late to DVD recorders I've had the pioner for 6 to 8 years. Technology has just changed so much and the way i watch TV has changed, so now the unit has become obsoleted as a DVD recorder except for source of s-video or video. It still is a great DVD player though.
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