Lookig for a DVR - AVS | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
DVD Recorders (Standard Def) > Lookig for a DVR
sethm1's Avatar sethm1 01:07 PM 02-06-2011
Looking for a DVD recorder that I can hook up to my cable (using composite out- or if possible eSata or USB).

On occasion for future viewing on the road I copy a TV show off my Motorolla box using a Pinnancle Video Transfer box. Which records to a USB. One downfall is that I have to monitor what I am recording so I can stop the transfer.

Though the cable box is HD, not concerned that not having HD in the transfer.

So curious if there is a DVD recorder that will replace the Pinnacle and perferably (spelling?) less than $150.

If can not suggest a particular recorder, what would I be looking for when shopping? For example, does the DVD recorder need to have a built in tv turner?

Thanks in advance.
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jjeff's Avatar jjeff 01:27 PM 02-06-2011
No standalone DVDRs are going to be able to record from anything better than S-video, no USB or eSata.
You won't need a tuner so a line input only recorder would work just fine. If you want to be able to record to DL media then the Panasonic EA-18 would work good. I'm not sure of it's current price but I think it may be a bit over your $150 PP.
If you can do without the DL recording the Magnavox 513 would also work good, it has a HDD but again is probably more than your $150 PP but refurbished wouldn't be far off, check out Wajo's sticky thread for lots of information on the Maggies.
Both recorders I mentioned have HDMI upconversion for DVD playback and should work fine. I'm personally partial to Panasonic for their sharp encoders and playback but lots of people also like the Maggies too. For sure you get more bang for the buck with the Maggies(the HDD is very handy) but if you don't really want to do editing(or multiple copies) and just a quick DVD burn you may not need it.
sethm1's Avatar sethm1 01:46 PM 02-06-2011
Thanks
Quality not so important as wont be watching on HD player anyways.
Dubbing/editing also not that important - unless a set it and forget is editing (meaning, if I am to record an hour show off my Motorolla (which is a DVR- sorry forgot to
mention that), that I could set the DVD Recorder to 1 hr and walkway.
Tulpa's Avatar Tulpa 02:54 PM 02-06-2011
Can you even get a Panasonic EA18 or a EZ28 anymore? A quick google search shows me a few outlets that are out of stock.

The Maggy is available refurbed from places like J&R and Amazon Marketplace, and Amazon/Wally World have them for $200 new.

The nice thing about the Magnavox is that you can transfer from the Moto DVR to the Maggy's hard drive (with timers, but even if you forget it would take days to fill up the hard drive, and deleting the excess is easy), and then dub over to DVD in high speed later. You can tweak out commercials, etc. The hard drive just gives an extra boost of convenience for not very much money.
jjeff's Avatar jjeff 03:09 PM 02-06-2011
My BB stocks the EZ-28(saw one a few weeks ago and also the buggy EZ-48v) but the only B&M that I ever saw a EA-18 was Ultimate Electronics and a select Targets for a while.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sethm1 View Post

Thanks
Quality not so important as wont be watching on HD player anyways.
Dubbing/editing also not that important - unless a set it and forget is editing (meaning, if I am to record an hour show off my Motorolla (which is a DVR- sorry forgot to
mention that), that I could set the DVD Recorder to 1 hr and walkway.

In your case then you might be a good candidate for one of the $100-$150 line input only recorders. They are generally not recommended because they might not be quite up to the picture quality of more expensive recorders but more importantly they have a propensity for false Copy Protection(CP) issues. Since you'll only be offloading from a DVR(as apposed to a one chance live recording, you may want to try your luck with a cheaper unit.
Of the line input recorders Sony followed by Toshiba and then maybe JVC seem to report the most false CP issues. Unfortunately those are the majority of current line input recorders If you don't mind possible problems you might want to give one a try, I'd just try and buy locally where returns are easy if you run into insurmountable problems.
Rammitinski's Avatar Rammitinski 03:59 PM 02-06-2011
I thought you might be able to find an EZ28, although I haven't looked myself lately. But then again, if Tulpa searched recently and came up with nada, maybe not anymore.

I've been looking around for the EA18 and EA38 new online, and have come up with absolutely zilch.

I have seen a couple of refurbed and used ones for sale, but for outrageously obscene prices, which are waaaay, waaaay out of line (like over 300 bucks).
sethm1's Avatar sethm1 04:37 PM 02-06-2011
thanks all for the input
Tulpa's Avatar Tulpa 05:21 PM 02-06-2011
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rammitinski View Post
I thought you might be able to find an EZ28, although I haven't looked myself lately. But then again, if Tulpa searched recently and came up with nada, maybe not anymore.
Well, I didn't scour the web several google pages deep for them, but you'd think if one was in stock, it'd be among the first few links that come up.
DigaDo's Avatar DigaDo 07:04 PM 02-06-2011
I've browsed around finding that the Panasonic EA18 and EZ28 are hard to come by in retail stores and online. I have one each of these models in current daily use, the EA18 manufactured in 2009 and the EZ28 manufactured in 2008. The EZ28 was purchased used but like new in 2008 and the EA18 is a December 2010 Craig's List purchase of a new old stock open box product. As a Panasonic power user, with more than twenty fully functional Panasonic ES, EZ and EH series recorders, I know what are the best and worst models and what to look for or what to avoid when considering the purchase of a used Panasonic. I've given some advice in this thread:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1281815

The outstanding Magnavox HDD/DVD recorders are the best current recorders found in the US marketplace. These should be purchased new at walmart.com or "factory refurbished" (when available) at reputable online dealers such as J&R World. I own six Magnavox HDD/DVD recorders, (one 2080 that I upgraded with a larger hard drive and a 2160 remote, three 2160 models, one 2160A model and one 515 model). Four are set up for daily use and two are standbys. (I also own two Philips HDD/DVD recorders and two Panasonic HDD/DVD recorders, all of which are set up for daily use.) The first post in Wajo's sticky thread is the gateway to a wealth of information concerning recent and current Magnavox HDD/DVD recorders:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...6#post12244086
jjeff's Avatar jjeff 07:20 PM 02-06-2011
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rammitinski View Post
I thought you might be able to find an EZ28, although I haven't looked myself lately. But then again, if Tulpa searched recently and came up with nada, maybe not anymore. ......
http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage....questid=287526
Looks like plenty of EZ-28's around my area but maybe that's not the norm
DigaDo's Avatar DigaDo 07:35 PM 02-06-2011
Quote:
Originally Posted by jjeff View Post

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage....questid=287526
Looks like plenty of EZ-28's around my area but maybe that's not the norm

In my area Best Buy doesn't stock the EZ28 but it can be ordered and shipped to a local BB store in 7 to 10 days. With the EZ28 priced around $240 I would suggest the better value is $199 for a Magnavox 513 or $248 for a Magnavox 515 ordered through walmart.com:

http://www.walmart.com/ip/Magnavox-M...order/14291489

http://www.walmart.com/ip/Magnavox-M...Tuner/15080509
Tulpa's Avatar Tulpa 09:33 PM 02-06-2011
Quote:
Originally Posted by DigaDo View Post

In my area Best Buy doesn't stock the EZ28 but it can be ordered and shipped to a local BB store in 7 to 10 days.

Yeah, same situation here. The EA18 is MIA.

Not knocking either Panasonic model, I'm just curious as to whether those have finally disappeared for good.
sethm1's Avatar sethm1 05:58 PM 02-17-2011
Fantastic suggestion- thanks.
Can you connect this to a Cable DVR ?
Tulpa's Avatar Tulpa 06:03 PM 02-17-2011
Yes, through the line-in inputs. Either composite or S-video.

You'll have to set the timers on both the recorder and the cable box.
marquitos306's Avatar marquitos306 05:10 PM 02-25-2011
I bought in Wallyworld on line a Sony RDR-GX257 for $54, refurbish. I record off D* DVR and the only channel that I had copy issues is HBO. This unit is hook up via HDMI to the tv and the composive to the DVR. Check Walmart on line, my 2 cents.
gastrof's Avatar gastrof 05:52 PM 02-25-2011
For anyone interested in that Sony recorder from Wal-Mart...

http://www.walmart.com/ip/Sony-RDR-G...ished/15032475

Still there for $54.
DigaDo's Avatar DigaDo 07:06 PM 02-25-2011
Quote:
Originally Posted by gastrof View Post

For anyone interested in that Sony recorder from Wal-Mart...

http://www.walmart.com/ip/Sony-RDR-G...ished/15032475

Still there for $54.

Many of the customer reviews pan that Sony. Let the buyer beware.

But what do I know? I just purchased another panned product, an Insignia (LG) NS-DVDR1 DVD recorder. This was a $20 Craig's List purchase. The seller wrote "we bought it a couple of years ago and never set it up and used it." I've yet to set up this Insignia and check it out.
LL
LL
jjeff's Avatar jjeff 07:24 PM 02-25-2011
Any idea who makes it? since it's both + AND - it might not be a Funai built machine(although as you know the newer ones also support -).
What is the round connector to the right of the RF input/outputs?
It looks like no S-video input/outputs?
For that price you can hardly buy just a player, don't see how you could go wrong. I've tried lots of DVDRs but I don't think I ever tried a Insignia, although I do have a few other Insignia electronics which are pretty decent quality.
DigaDo's Avatar DigaDo 08:16 PM 02-25-2011
Quote:
Originally Posted by jjeff View Post

Any idea who makes it? since it's both + AND - it might not be a Funai built machine(although as you know the newer ones also support -).
What is the round connector to the right of the RF input/outputs?It looks like no S-video input/outputs?
For that price you can hardly buy just a player, don't see how you could go wrong. I've tried lots of DVDRs but I don't think I ever tried a Insignia, although I do have a few other Insignia electronics which are pretty decent quality.

The Insiginia NS-DVDR1 DVD recorder (like the Insignia and Zenith CECBs) was made by LG. Sometimes LG products use the name Lucky Goldstar or the slogan "Life's Good."

That's a S-Video output.
doswonk1's Avatar doswonk1 08:32 PM 02-25-2011
It does have the blocky, squared-off look of the LG HDD DVDRs. The presence of the S-video input also suggests it's a few years old. The HDD units weren't known for their reliability, but for 20 bucks, how can you go wrong, even if your unit only scratches the itch of curiosity?
Tulpa's Avatar Tulpa 08:41 PM 02-25-2011
Yeah, it's LG. I had a newer Insignia recorder for awhile that was identical to an LG in everything except badging and a little trim. It worked okay for about a year, and then it lost all color output for some reason.
marquitos306's Avatar marquitos306 09:55 AM 03-03-2011
I bought a Sony RDR-GX257 a month ago, from Walmart on line. The unit is a refurbish and I payed $54 for the unit. I use Maxell +R to record of a Direct tv HD 24/100. The only problems I ran in to it was HBO is encripted, other than that I love this unit. Is pretty simple to use, slim and I can operate my Sony tv with the unit's remote. I also own a Sony Blue Ray unit. I like both units, they are both easy to operate.
crabboy's Avatar crabboy 08:37 PM 03-03-2011
Quote:
Originally Posted by marquitos306 View Post

I bought a Sony RDR-GX257 a month ago, from Walmart on line. The unit is a refurbish and I payed $54 for the unit. I use Maxell +R to record of a Direct tv HD 24/100. The only problems I ran in to it was HBO is encripted, other than that I love this unit. Is pretty simple to use, slim and I can operate my Sony tv with the unit's remote. I also own a Sony Blue Ray unit. I like both units, they are both easy to operate.

HBO is not normally encrypted. I have no experience with Sony DVDRs, but other posters here will tell you that Sony machines "see" encryption that does not exist.
I am glad you are happy with your machine but others may find that to be a problem.
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