DVD/VHS recorder suggestions - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 15 Old 05-08-2010, 07:24 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm in the market for a DVD/VHS recorder and don't really know what's good out there. I am basically going to use it for recording some saved programs from my DVR and transferring some older VHS footage onto DVD for playback.


Any suggestions on features or brands to consider when looking for an above average recorder? Thanks
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post #2 of 15 Old 05-08-2010, 07:59 PM
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There are no "above average" combo recorders anymore, and there were probably only one or two ever made. The rest were/are junk.

Best advice is to get a decent VCR off of eBay and something like a Magnavox 2160 DVD recorder. The Maggy's hard drive will make life easier.

You could also get a Panasonic EA-18 recorder (if you can find one) that will do just DVD burning, although you have to work a bit harder since it has no hard drive and you'll be authoring the disc as the VCR plays.

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post #3 of 15 Old 05-08-2010, 09:47 PM
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In recent years this question, or questions similar to it, have been asked and answered about once every week in this sub-forum.

A quick check finds the last time the same or similar question was asked and answered in these pages was five weeks ago! Is that some kind of record or what?

There are several "combo recorders" that will give you poor to fair results. There are no current combo recorders that will give better results. The last of the outstanding combo recorders (the 2005 Panasonic DMR-ES30V and 2006 DMR-ES35V, DMR-ES45V and DMR-ES46V models) were discontinued before 2007. Sorry, you're three years too late.

The Magnavox 2160 HDD/DVD recorder is the product to buy and it's attractively priced under $200. The first post in Wajo's sticky thread is the gateway to a wealth of information concerning the 2160. Start your inquiry here:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=940657

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post #4 of 15 Old 05-11-2010, 02:09 PM
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Still have to say I am very pleased with my Toshiba DVR670 VHS/DVD recorder. It dubs my tapes to DVD really well. I like that I can record OTA with its ATSC tuner when I want to and not need a separate box. In fact, you can even record the OTA to the VCR if still making the transition between tapes and discs. I believe it is the only VCR that can do this on its own. I have a good antenna for that choice when cable has a problem plus right now recording cable is fine as I still use my recorders for the analog signal and avoid having to have STBs.

I know a hard drive can be easier in many ways but for a VCR/DVDR combo....my tapes never looked so good as they do now on DVD.

Just wanted to mention an option I am satisfied with...as I, too, got in this area too late after many of the options were no longer available. In fact, I do plan to get a 2nd 670 soon.

My cable company won't force digital until 2012 so until then what I have will take care of what I need to record. Especially since it looks like companies will try to eliminate recorders in the future..unless of course they can charge forever for them.
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post #5 of 15 Old 05-11-2010, 02:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by microladyusa View Post

Still have to say I am very pleased with my Toshiba DVR670 VHS/DVD recorder. It dubs my tapes to DVD really well. I like that I can record OTA with its ATSC tuner when I want to and not need a separate box. In fact, you can even record the OTA to the VCR if still making the transition between tapes and discs. I believe it is the only VCR that can do this on its own. I have a good antenna for that choice when cable has a problem plus right now recording cable is fine as I still use my recorders for the analog signal and avoid having to have STBs.

I know a hard drive can be easier in many ways but for a VCR/DVDR combo....my tapes never looked so good as they do now on DVD.

Just wanted to mention an option I am satisfied with...as I, too, got in this area too late after many of the options were no longer available. In fact, I do plan to get a 2nd 670 soon.

My cable company won't force digital until 2012 so until then what I have will take care of what I need to record. Especially since it looks like companies will try to eliminate recorders in the future..unless of course they can charge forever for them.

I currently own two Magnavox digital tuner combo recorders, a ZV450MW8 (of March 2007 manufacture) and a ZV450MW8A (of August 2008 manufacture). Both are decent enough combo recorders that perform well with their ATSC or clear QAM tuners. I had a similar Sylvania ZV450SL8 combo recorder (of April 2007 manufacture) that had a satisfactory ATSC tuner but its clear QAM tuner ceased functioning and there were other operational drawbacks with timer programming, there was no functional "Make Recordings Compatible" feature and it lacked the 2.5 and 3 hour per disc recording modes--unsatisfactory for my use--so I gave the Sylvania away at my earliest opportunity.

Once the local cable company forces customers to obtain cable converter boxes or DTAs under the guise of "going digital," its easy enough to go on recording analog signals from the cable converter boxes or DTAs through the RF, S-Video or composite outputs. Of the twelve recorders I currently have set up to record, only one, a Magnavox 2080, is using its clear QAM tuner to record actual digital cable signals directly from Comcast's raw coax cable feed. Eight other digital tuner recorders are enslaved to cable company converter boxes so their recording is analog, even for HD services/networks as these recorders' clear QAM tuners are entirely bypassed. Three other analog tuner recorders are also enslaved to cable company boxes. These all perform as well as "digital tuner" recorders enslaved to converter boxes. A Philips 3576 and a Magnavox ZV450MW8 are connected to antennas for ATSC reception (the Philips is also enslaved to a Comcast cable converter box through its composite inputs.)

In our area Comcast made their "Network Enhancement" back in November 2009. What that actually meant was scrambling most of the clear QAM sub-channels. Comcast effectively returned most home recording to the Analog Era.

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post #6 of 15 Old 05-11-2010, 03:47 PM
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Thanks, Digado. I printed out your information for future use. I was listing all the cable prices to look forward to when I accidently closed this thread (looking for a smiley). My 670 does have a Clear QAM in addition to the NTSC and the ATSC so my choices are not bad right now. I figure the future STBs will double the cable bill..unless I own my own. We'll see what is available when the time comes but I won't give up time-shifting without a really big fight! In fact, what companies don't realize is if they would be fairer to their customers, they would actually make more money than if they try to squeeze every cent...customers will make the effort for "alternatives". We are a hardy bunch, aren't we? (smiling).
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post #7 of 15 Old 05-25-2010, 04:12 PM
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I also have the Toshiba DVR 670 and am happy with it. No problems transferring VHS to DVD.
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post #8 of 15 Old 02-23-2011, 08:43 PM
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I also have the Toshiba DVR670 but have an issue without being able to adjust the tracking once a dub from VHS to DVD starts. Because I have 6 HR VHS recordings that I want to transfer to DVD, but sometimes in the middle of the recording, I need to adjust the tracking to either improve the sound or fix the tracking, but I can't do this manually. Anyone figured how to do this?
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post #9 of 15 Old 02-23-2011, 09:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KrazyJeffSD View Post

I also have the Toshiba DVR670 but have an issue without being able to adjust the tracking once a dub from VHS to DVD starts. Because I have 6 HR VHS recordings that I want to transfer to DVD, but sometimes in the middle of the recording, I need to adjust the tracking to either improve the sound or fix the tracking, but I can't do this manually. Anyone figured how to do this?

Connect an external VCR to a DVR670 input and record from that input while the VCR plays the videotape.

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post #10 of 15 Old 02-24-2011, 11:52 AM
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Digado has a good suggestion that I have added to my notes on using the 670.

Unfortunately, I have seen that the DVD recording will have the quality of what it receives. I had a tape that was recorded in 6 hour and wanted to get a DVD recording of its first hour. I saw the tracking problem on the tape as it played and that's how the DVD recorded. In this case, since the program was still on TV from time to time, I rerecorded it on tape at a 1 hour speed and the dubbing came out without tracking problems. I believe that tapes done in 4 hour speed or less will have the best picture quality transferred. I, too, have always recorded at the EP speed.

I also see the Toshiba VCR section...will play a tape without tracking problems if: 1. the tape was originally recorded on the Toshiba or 2. I record it on a different VCR but rewind it on the Toshiba.

Other than what Digado suggested (which could be the best way providing you have another VCR to use), the only thing I can suggest since you mention it happened in the middle of the tape, is, for you to play the tape on the Toshiba first and see if you have to do any tracking adjustment..then rewind it on the Toshiba..and see if it tracks okay. This would take sometime but I don't see anything shorter. I have a Sony VCR and with certain tapes the Toshiba has a tracking problem, other tapes it is fine.

The 670 manual says on dubbing the picture may be distorted due to auto tracking and suggests playing back the tape until the picture is stabilized and then set a starting point. Sounds like there is no way to turn off its auto tracking. So the other work around would be a second VCR to the DVDR section of the 670....or to have to watch the tape to see what the recording will look like. If your tapes have sat for awhile....another thing to do is FF and REW the tape so it settles okay after having sat with no movement. This will help tracking problems too.

Another suggestion that I have done is do the recording to a RW type DVD so if you are unhappy with the result, at least you can reuse the DVD to try again. I did that with the 1 hour tape I had tracking problems with when it was recorded in EP. After I rerecorded it as SP..1 hour.. the dubbing came out perfect.

Sorry, I don't see any easy answers except that idea of a second VCR maybe tracking better. Even then you should see the picture on that 2nd VCR cause if it has a tracking problem also, that will be transferred to the DVD you are recording to. But I do know the Toshiba can have playback tracking noise that has to be adjusted and all there you can do is hope the noise is at the start only so you can adjust it quickly without monitoring the entire 6 hours.
Good Luck....hope something here helps.
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post #11 of 15 Old 07-16-2013, 12:58 PM
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I was just sent an email saying CrazyJeffSD wrote me a Thumbs UP. I could not access what he said. Sent a note to feedback. Maybe he was helped..would like to know that or maybe he had more questions. would like to know that too. Oh, well.......
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post #12 of 15 Old 07-16-2013, 12:59 PM
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I was just sent an email saying CrazyJeffSD wrote me a Thumbs UP. I could not access what he said. Sent a note to feedback. Maybe he was helped..would like to know that or maybe he had more questions. would like to know that too. Oh, well.......
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post #13 of 15 Old 07-16-2013, 01:00 PM
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I was just sent an email saying CrazyJeffSD wrote me a Thumbs UP. I could not access what he said. Sent a note to feedback. Maybe he was helped..would like to know that or maybe he had more questions. would like to know that too. Oh, well.......
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post #14 of 15 Old 07-16-2013, 01:36 PM
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When signed in if you click the linked "thumbs up" number(which is below your total posts count) it will take you to all the posts you made that someone thought helpful. Everyone gets 10 to start so anything above 10 should show the post you made and who thought it helpful smile.gif You can only access your own thumbs up screen.
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post #15 of 15 Old 07-16-2013, 02:31 PM
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I wonder if people can take a thumbs-up back? A couple weeks ago I lost one -- my counter decremented.
But then I expect anything could happen with this new forum software.

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