Appreciating the extra features - AVS Forum
Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
post #1 of 20 Old 06-25-2012, 07:05 PM - Thread Starter
Advanced Member
 
Super Eye's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 927
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7 Post(s)
Liked: 18
Not much positive talk about the Pioneers and Sony anymore so here it goes. Most folks probably take for granted some of the Pio/Sony features such as the MN bitrate settings and the separately adjustable video tweaks for each input and even for the output.

A while ago one of my local channels aired a show I wanted to archive. So I taped the show on my cable PVR and later transferred it to my RDR-HX780’s HDD. But before the transfer I noticed that this channel’s black levels were around 9 IRE too bright and it seemed the white levels were a couple IREs darker than white.

Well thankfully my RDR-HX780 has tweakable black levels, white levels and a bunch of other video adjustments. So I fast-forwarded my PVR to a spot were a black screen was present and could adjust the black level by eye to probably a very close to perfect black level. The white level can only be estimated by eye, but man, what a difference between the raw levels and the adjusted levels.

In all honesty I don’t know how I would get used to a new recorder without the MN settings and the video tweaks. My only beef is the lack of analog audio input levels.

Oh, in case anyone cares the program I archived is Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
450
Super Eye is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 20 Old 06-25-2012, 07:38 PM
AVS Special Member
 
jjeff's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Minneapolis MN
Posts: 9,655
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 51 Post(s)
Liked: 80
I like my Panasonics but I'd really prefer Pioneers MN system and I'd really like those adjustable inputs. Just today I had a perfect case for adjustable inputs.
I was backing up a CP'd DVD and didn't have access to my better Sima(the one that only marginally effects black level) and was forced to use one of my other two that really lighten the picture(I'd guess a good +8 IRE mad.gif) anyway what I did was use my Pioneer DVD player to play the original(instead of one of my Sonys) because the Pio player had output adjustments for brightness, contrast, Gamma among other things. Using a calibration DVD I determined the best settings for the Pio to be +3 brightness and -12 contrast OFF gamma(I know those settings sound odd but I tried every combination and only those settings allowed my to see the various brightness and contrast patterns). It still looked noticeably worse with the Sima inline(vs 0 settings with no Sima) but still better than 0 settings with the Sima. I kind of wonder if I would have had better luck with a Pio DVDR and what the settings would have been but considering what used Pio DVDRs go for(and how rare they are in the US) I'll probably never know frown.gif

edit: change Panasonic to Pioneer
jjeff is offline  
post #3 of 20 Old 06-26-2012, 08:43 AM
AVS Special Member
 
Church AV Guy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: High Desert, California
Posts: 4,530
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7 Post(s)
Liked: 49
Quote:
I like my Panasonics but I'd really prefer Panasonics MN system
I presume you mean "I like my Panasonics but I'd really prefer PIONEER MN system", right?

Luke

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
Church AV Guy is online now  
post #4 of 20 Old 06-26-2012, 12:26 PM
AVS Special Member
 
jjeff's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Minneapolis MN
Posts: 9,655
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 51 Post(s)
Liked: 80
Oops, thats right. Panasonic has the FR which on the surface may seem easier but for more advanced users Pioneers MN seems more logical(at least to me).
jjeff is offline  
post #5 of 20 Old 06-26-2012, 02:28 PM
Advanced Member
 
profhat's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 615
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Super Eye View Post

Oh, in case anyone cares the program I archived is Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
450

A very appropriate program to check IRE black levels. My old Crampsung DVR frown.gif also had this feature.
profhat is offline  
post #6 of 20 Old 06-26-2012, 02:34 PM
AVS Special Member
 
Church AV Guy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: High Desert, California
Posts: 4,530
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7 Post(s)
Liked: 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by jjeff View Post

Oops, thats right. Panasonic has the FR which on the surface may seem easier but for more advanced users Pioneers MN seems more logical(at least to me).
I too would prefer the MN system to the FR system, but I like my Panasonic for most other features. Especially the playlist (99 playlists!) subsystem. That is a really great feature that I have made terrific use of over the years.

Luke

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
Church AV Guy is online now  
post #7 of 20 Old 06-28-2012, 05:32 PM - Thread Starter
Advanced Member
 
Super Eye's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 927
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7 Post(s)
Liked: 18
I have to admit the Panasonic 99 playlist feature sounds very appealing for creating compilation concert discs of one song per artist per disc. But I don’t know if I would trade my I/O video tweaks for it. I find myself using the I/O video tweaks often to fix levels of recordings. Then again you guys have mickinct to fix your Panny units – us Pio/Sony owners have the recycle bin. Never the less I love the features and quality of my RDR-HX780 and its still going strong.
Super Eye is offline  
post #8 of 20 Old 06-29-2012, 09:54 AM
AVS Special Member
 
Church AV Guy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: High Desert, California
Posts: 4,530
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7 Post(s)
Liked: 49
Since my machines HAVE the playlist feature, I use them, and have grown to depend on them for a lot of functions. My DirecTV DVR has a feature that allows me to playback an entire folder, so I can let my machine record a weeks work of some show, then I can play back all of the episodes recorded that week, and put them into a single title on the hard drive. (I do this A LOT.) I then put chapter marks at the start of each episode imbedded in the large title, then using playlists, I select the individual titles from the large recording. I can then edit the individual episodes using the playlist sub-system (trim the episode and take out the commercials) and then make a DVD from the result. All that editing without changing the original title at all, so if I make an editing mistake, it will be very easy to recover from it.

If I had the ability to do I/O tweaks, I'd use it too, but since I don't have it, and haven't grown acustomed to using it, I don't miss not having it. Just a perspective thing.

Luke

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
Church AV Guy is online now  
post #9 of 20 Old 06-29-2012, 03:17 PM
AVS Special Member
 
CitiBear's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 3,024
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 13 Post(s)
Liked: 49
The multiple copylist feature provided with Panasonic and Toshiba XS recorders should have been standard on EVERY dvd/hdd recorder (perhaps 99 lists is a bit excessive, I would be happy with a half dozen). The problem with the Pioneers being stuck at a single copylist is it limits usability of the machines when their HDD becomes full and/or you are working on a complex dubbing project with a lot of edits. Many times I have been working on a very involved project, where its taken me a couple days to finesse the edits, when suddenly I need to quickly burn some other simpler titles off the HDD to DVD. The only way I can do this is if I erase my carefully built up copylist and create a new one to burn the quickie titles. Admittedly most normal users will never be bothered by this, but it aggravates me no end that I can't at least SAVE the complex copylist and have the option for just one more when I need to burn stuff off the HDD before I'm quite finished with my heavy-duty project.

Day to day, this has much more impact on my work than the subtle video tweaks Pioneer/Sony offered. I understand their value to SuperEye because of the variable material he collects, and I have used them on occasion, just not to the degree I would use multiple copylists. Its rare that I encounter material that is fantastically off IRE spec, and I don't find the video tweaks built into my Pioneers stupendously effective at fixing those problems. They help, I'm glad they're available, but I'd trade them in a heartbeat for Panasonic's multiple copylists and "phrase save" title entry feature. These are things I'd use several times a day, the video tweaks maybe thrice a year. At least the Pioneer/Sonys with USB sockets can accept a PC keyboard for title entry: that makes up for the lack of a title memory bank.

The Pioneer MN manual/flex record speeds are wonderful, and I would not want to trade those for the automated Panasonic FR system. The Panasonic system is one of those odd cases of automation being harder to operate than manual controls.

I really like the Pioneer HDD nav interface and mostly-intuitive editing system that never crashes or allows "illegal" edits. The Pioneer edit preview is reasonably accurate compared to several other brands which can be so far off you lose important dialog.

It is nice to have the choice of 6 menu designs for finalized Pioneer discs, I use the three-up and six-up formats most often. The four-up option in later Pioneers and the Sony 780 is hideous, but very nice in the older 510, 520 and 531 (don't know why they changed it). Speaking of finalization, I *hate* Pioneer's decision to make all DVDs have manual menu activation. No Pioneer-finalized DVD can autoplay, which confuses the crap out of everyone I give a disc to and forces me to print out little instruction slips telling friends/family that they need to wait for the disc to load, then manually press the Disc Menu button on their remote. Panasonic's auto-play menus are a better choice for typical consumer use and should have at least been an option on the Pioneers.

The HDMI on the Pioneers works predictably and reliably, unlike most other recorders. The upscaling quality is good, although I gather not quite as good as Panasonic. The 2005 and earlier Pioneer remote controllers are a marvel of intuitive handling that can be operated by feel without looking at the buttons.I stocked up on a few of these and use them instead of the random remotes that actually came with later Pioneers (the Sony remote for the 780 is similar to the older Pioneer remote I prefer). The Pioneers and the Sony 780 have a huge informative front panel display that can be read from 12 feet away (as opposed to the appallingly tiny and useless Magnavox front panel readout).

A little-discussed topic is the actual compatibility of various recorder brands with flawed VHS or Beta signal input. Over the years I have tried several brands: all, except for recent Pioneers (and Sony 780) had major or minor issues when handling VHS/Beta input. My vintage JVCs and Toshibas and very early Pioneers, would flip out unpredictably even with seemingly-perfect tapes. All the current Magnavoxes have a maddening predilection for little video "hiccups" that don't show while monitoring the dub but appear in the recording when you play it back. Recent Pioneers and the Sony 780 are bulletproof at handling tape input: if the tape is great, you get a nice dub, if the tape is bad, it will reproduce exactly, warts and all, but no additional glitches or problems will be added by the recorder (their lock on line-input is incredibly solid). Apparently the Panasonics also excel at this, although I haven't used one extensively enough to test. I'm really tempted to pick up an EH-59 while they can still be had...

Lastly, the Pioneers and Sony 780 have a nifty ability to format ordinary DVD-R or DVD+R for use as "live" backup discs for the HDD. Anything HS dubbed to these specially-formatted DVDs can be HS dubbed back to the HDD in their original editable form. This comes in very handy if you have a lot of compilations: I usually burn one finalized regular DVD and one "live" format DVD of each compilation, so that I can mix and match or update collections at a later date. In a pinch, when a Pioneer burner is failing, it will usually retain the ability to burn these "backup" discs to the bitter end (even if it can't burn standard formats anymore). This has been a lifesaver more than once, when I've had to repair a Pioneer for myself or others (you can back up the HDD contents to ordinary DVD-R, and restore to the new HDD).

I've always thought Sony erred in not continuing the co-production factories after Pioneer tanked in 2008. Granted, the only Sony that got to North America was the Canadian 780, but the Sony EU versions of the Pioneer recorders were runaway hits, the most popular in Europe year after year. It would have been great to see a Sony 790 with ATSC, and perhaps a Sony BD/HDD. But Sony chose to bail on selling top-quality recorders in the wake of the Pioneer Kuro disaster, instead subcontracting a series of truly awful DVD/HDD recorders from Samsung for their EU market. These were so terrible they made the crude Magnavox look like the Panasonic EH55, and killed off Sony's EU recorder sales almost overnight. Today Sony sells nothing in this category, and Pioneer is no more. R.I.P. - it was a nice partnership while it lasted (2005-2008).
CitiBear is offline  
post #10 of 20 Old 06-29-2012, 04:11 PM
AVS Special Member
 
Church AV Guy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: High Desert, California
Posts: 4,530
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7 Post(s)
Liked: 49
Citibear,

I have to agree with everything you said. The DVD recorders from various sources are a mixed bag of good and not-so-good features. If you could take the best from each manufacturer, and make a single machine with all the good stuff, it would be an awsome machine!biggrin.gif
Quote:
The multiple copylist feature provided with Panasonic and Toshiba XS recorders should have been standard on EVERY dvd/hdd recorder
Absolutely. This is one of the best features.
Quote:
The Pioneer MN manual/flex record speeds are wonderful, and I would not want to trade those for the automated Panasonic FR system. The Panasonic system is one of those odd cases of automation being harder to operate than manual controls.
This is very, VERY true. The FR system that was in my very first DVD recorder, the E85 has not been updated since, as far as I can tell. My EH59/69 has the exact same feature. It is still basically fixed on making whatever time you enter fill up a 4000Mb space. They haven't even updated it to use 4400Mb, whcih is the size of actual DVDs. Thus, using FR, either you leave 10% of the disk unused AT BEST, or you need to make two "titles" and burn them both to the disk to fill it up. If you are using a DL disk, it's a real problem. If you are putting many episodes of a TV show on a disk, one at a time, it's almost more trouble than it's worth.
Quote:
I really like the Pioneer HDD nav interface and mostly-intuitive editing system that never crashes or allows "illegal" edits. The Pioneer edit preview is reasonably accurate compared to several other brands which can be so far off you lose important dialog.
I'm not familiar with Pioneer's editing features, but its editing ssystem has atttained legendary status. Some, like the one in my Polaroid DVD recorder, are so primitive I can't even bother to edit my recordings.
Quote:
It is nice to have the choice of 6 menu designs for finalized Pioneer discs, I use the three-up and six-up formats most often. The four-up option in later Pioneers and the Sony 780 is hideous, but very nice in the older 510, 520 and 531 (don't know why they changed it). Speaking of finalization, I *hate* Pioneer's decision to make all DVDs have manual menu activation... Panasonic's auto-play menus are a better choice for typical consumer use and should have at least been an option on the Pioneers.
Panasonic DVD reocrders are limited to an eight title finalized disk menu, and if there are more than eight titles on the disk, then you have multiple pages of eight titles each. that is a bad idea, and I would definitely prefer a choice of 1, 2, 4, or 8 titles per page. The Panasonic gives you a choice of background colors, Whoopie!. It does allow you a choice of autoplay or not. The multiple titles per page, and autoplay option should have been standard.
Quote:
Lastly, the Pioneers and Sony 780 have a nifty ability to format ordinary DVD-R or DVD+R for use as "live" backup discs for the HDD. Anything HS dubbed to these specially-formatted DVDs can be HS dubbed back to the HDD in their original editable form. This comes in very handy if you have a lot of compilations:
This sounds like a great feature. I suppose since the Panasonics support -RAM disks, they don't think they need it, but it would be a good feature to have.

Luke

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
Church AV Guy is online now  
post #11 of 20 Old 06-29-2012, 05:02 PM
AVS Special Member
 
CitiBear's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 3,024
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 13 Post(s)
Liked: 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Church AV Guy View Post

This sounds like a great feature. I suppose since the Panasonics support -RAM disks, they don't think they need it, but it would be a good feature to have.

Yup, I forgot to mention the Panasonics can do a similar HDD backup trick with DVD-RAM. Many recorders can't go bidirectional lossless DVD<>HDD with any disc type at all: I think the only ones were Toshiba XS, Panasonic and Pioneer. Originally just the first two had RAM capability, so before Pioneer added RAM drives they came up with the option of formatting ordinary DVD-/+R for proprietary HDD backups. Later when they partnered with Sony, the hybrid models could back up and restore the HDD from generic RAM or +RW media, or you could special-format standard +/- R for that purpose. The advantage of being able to use regular +/-R is the much lower cost per disc and the fact we always have plenty of it on hand, whereas we might not have RAM or +RW available at short notice. (Sony-branded versions of the Pioneer/Sony design were not RAM-enabled for burning, so cannot back up HDD titles to RAM media.)
CitiBear is offline  
post #12 of 20 Old 06-29-2012, 06:39 PM - Thread Starter
Advanced Member
 
Super Eye's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 927
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7 Post(s)
Liked: 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by CitiBear View Post

I've always thought Sony erred in not continuing the co-production factories after Pioneer tanked in 2008. Granted, the only Sony that got to North America was the Canadian 780, but the Sony EU versions of the Pioneer recorders were runaway hits, the most popular in Europe year after year. It would have been great to see a Sony 790 with ATSC, and perhaps a Sony BD/HDD. But Sony chose to bail on selling top-quality recorders in the wake of the Pioneer Kuro disaster, instead subcontracting a series of truly awful DVD/HDD recorders from Samsung for their EU market.
It’s really strange that Sony totally abandoned the consumer optical disc recorder market because they are going very, very strong in broadcast & production. Count ‘em today they still manufacture a dozen different optical disc recorders for the B&P community.

Link:
http://pro.sony.com/bbsc/ssr/cat-videorecorders/cat-recxdcam/

And the broadcasters are biting something fierce. CBS, ABC, CNN, CBC, CTV news almost totally converted to Sony professional disc. NBC uses them for the Olympics etc. Just about every US made reality show uses them. Then there is this brand new for 2012 announcement. Creation of New Sony Mass-Storage Optical Disc Archive

Link:
http://www.avsforum.com/t/1406619/creation-of-new-sony-mass-storage-optical-disc-archive

Strange abandoning the consumer optical disc recorder market especially since Sony is a co-inventor of DVD-R and the sole inventor of Blu-Ray. But I guess Sony believes that consumers moved on.

Back on subject.
Quote:
Originally Posted by CitiBear View Post

A little-discussed topic is the actual compatibility of various recorder brands with flawed VHS or Beta signal input. …all, except for recent Pioneers (and Sony 780) had major or minor issues when handling VHS/Beta input. …Recent Pioneers and the Sony 780 are bulletproof at handling tape input: if the tape is great, you get a nice dub, if the tape is bad, it will reproduce exactly, warts and all, but no additional glitches or problems will be added by the recorder (their lock on line-input is incredibly solid).
Yes my deck locks on to my tapes really well. I tried a couple of cheap consumer PC capture cards in the past and they were awful compared to my 780.
Quote:
Originally Posted by CitiBear View Post

I *hate* Pioneer's decision to make all DVDs have manual menu activation. No Pioneer-finalized DVD can autoplay,…
I find this very annoying. Everytime I put in a 780 made disc I have to hit the menu button to bring up the menu very stupid indeed. Almost as bad as the annoying auto-calibration OSD message with my JVC SVHS VCRs – how stupid.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Church AV Guy View Post

Since my machines HAVE the playlist feature, I use them, and have grown to depend on them for a lot of functions. …If I had the ability to do I/O tweaks, I'd use it too, but since I don't have it, and haven't grown acustomed to using it, I don't miss not having it. Just a perspective thing.
True. Every time I get a new piece of electronics that no longer has a previous feature – I always miss it for a while. Then I discovery a brand new feature set that I never had before and after I get accustomed to a specific feature I wonder gee how did I manage before this great feature? True with motor vehicles and their feature sets as well.

Getting back to the I/O tweaks I always wanted those in my previous VCRs but the only way to change black levels and stuff was to invest in a expensive proc amp so I did without the feature. I guess since everywhere I work – each and every deck can be tweaked by either a central TBC/Proc or an individual add on, I have come accustomed to tweaking A/V levels at work and now enjoy tweaking my video levels at home. So I can’t say enough about my I/O tweaks feature set.smile.gif
Quote:
Originally Posted by CitiBear View Post

Its rare that I encounter material that is fantastically off IRE spec, and I don't find the video tweaks built into my Pioneers stupendously effective at fixing those problems. They help, I'm glad they're available…
Usually I only come across material that is slightly black level off spec, say 5 IRE to 15 IRE and the I/O tweaks totally fix these off spec levels. Sometimes I need to bring up or down the whites as well and this is harder to do just by eye without any instrument metering but it looks better after tweaking even just by eye. There are other tweaks as well. For those that don’t know – for the I/O video tweaks for each input these decks have three preset settings and three custom set settings. The three presets and 3 customs are
1-built in analog tuner
2-analog out from digital sat/cable box
3-VCR
4-Custom 1
5) Custom 2
6) Custom 3

Again each of the settings can be applied to each input separately. Along with the
black level
white level
7.5 IRE off/on
there are also tweaks for
Hue
Chroma
Y/C
YNC
CNR
Detail
White AGC
And a couple others I believe. And there is an output tweak as well.
A cool undocumented feature is that you can see the levels of the preset settings by going to it and hitting the display button on the remote. Say you’re happy with the preset digital cable box presets but want to remove only a little black
1-Go to the DTV preset
2- Hit the display on remote – this brings the preset levels
3- Hit the up down remote arrows to see all display settings
4- Mark them down
5-go to custom-1
6-recreate all the levels you marked
7-change just the black level settings
8-Done!!!

Did you know that CitiBear?
Super Eye is offline  
post #13 of 20 Old 06-29-2012, 09:13 PM
AVS Special Member
 
CitiBear's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 3,024
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 13 Post(s)
Liked: 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Super Eye View Post

[...]Did you know that CitiBear?

I knew some of it, but really appreciate the way you laid out your ideas for settings, and the display button trick.

Thanks much, I'm going to print your post and put it with my Pioneer manual. Very helpful! smile.gif

Yes, it is a shame Sony is doing so well with broadcast but can't be bothered with the consumer stuff at all anymore. Of course, the consumer switch to flat panel TVs utterly decimated their cash cow, the loss of the Trinitron left them with nothing to subsidize all their other products. The financials they posted recently are truly terrifying, to the point they're planning to sell their flagship office tower here in New York City. Climbing into bed with Satanic Samsung in order to move quickly to LCD TVs has proved unwise, as Samsung totally screwed them. They inked a deal last week to co-develop OLED panels with Panasonic, lets hope that partnership is more successful.

Speaking of Panasonic, I've always thought the single most bizarre Japanese business deal that ever went down was Sony officially giving Panasonic carte blanche to market BluRay recorders everywhere in the world with no competition, except in Japan. Sony developed BD, then decided very early on they wanted nothing whatever to do with BD recorders- only players, the PS3, and collecting royalties from everybody else. The combination of relentlessly unprofitable flat-screen televisions and BD stumbling like a drunken sailor every day since introduction has not been what Sony expected.
CitiBear is offline  
post #14 of 20 Old 06-30-2012, 09:44 AM
Advanced Member
 
plplplpl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Montreal, Canada
Posts: 760
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by CitiBear View Post

A little-discussed topic is the actual compatibility of various recorder brands with flawed VHS or Beta signal input. Over the years I have tried several brands: all, except for recent Pioneers (and Sony 780) had major or minor issues when handling VHS/Beta input. My vintage JVCs and Toshibas and very early Pioneers, would flip out unpredictably even with seemingly-perfect tapes.

Just how vintage were they? Not the Toshiba XS series, I assume.

My Toshiba RD-XS35 never met a tape it didn't like.

Even discount store VHS tapes recorded at EP in the 80s and worn thin from repeated playing and recording over.

If I didn't know better, I'd even say it seems to improve the PQ somewhat.
plplplpl is online now  
post #15 of 20 Old 06-30-2012, 08:12 PM
AVS Special Member
 
CitiBear's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 3,024
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 13 Post(s)
Liked: 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by plplplpl View Post

Just how vintage were they? Not the Toshiba XS series, I assume.
My Toshiba RD-XS35 never met a tape it didn't like.

It was at least five years ago, and I truthfully did not hold onto the Toshiba for very long so did not perform my usual exhaustive OCD tests on it. It was an XS, I can never remember which of the several similar models but it had all the fancy authoring features like chapter thumbnails (which was what made me try it out). With some of my prized second generation tapes made using an old "Showtime Video Ventures" detail enhancer, the Toshiba would exhibit a brief glitch-and-roll symptom several times an hour, a visual effect similar to the typical maladjusted Hitachi/RCA vcrs of the day. The tapes themselves play fine, the glitch rolls only appeared on the Toshiba copy (variations of the same issue occurred with a Pioneer 310, 510, 220, and 520, as well as JVC DR-M100 and JVC DR-MV5). The first DVD/HDD recorder that did not give me such problems was the Pioneer 531, followed by later models such as 540, 640, 450, 550, 460 and 560. The Panasonic DMR-EH55 I briefly borrowed also did fine with these "problem" tapes. I owned the old Pioneers and JVCs for a much longer period, and found they had varying problems encoding some camcorder tapes, some analog cable TV tapes, and were totally useless for anything with MacroVision, even after filtering.

Of course not everyone had the same tapes, so not everyone would have experienced my issues, and those older recorders were extremely good at encoding the more "standard" sources I fed them. So just speaking from my own tape collection, the post-2005 Pioneers and Panasonics seemed to have a stronger grip on a higher percentage of incoming flakey tape signals.
CitiBear is offline  
post #16 of 20 Old 07-01-2012, 09:58 PM
Member
 
ChrisSwanson72's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 68
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by CitiBear View Post

The multiple copylist feature provided with Panasonic and Toshiba XS recorders should have been standard on EVERY dvd/hdd recorder (perhaps 99 lists is a bit excessive, I would be happy with a half dozen). The problem with the Pioneers being stuck at a single copylist is it limits usability of the machines when their HDD becomes full and/or you are working on a complex dubbing project with a lot of edits. Many times I have been working on a very involved project, where its taken me a couple days to finesse the edits, when suddenly I need to quickly burn some other simpler titles off the HDD to DVD. The only way I can do this is if I erase my carefully built up copylist and create a new one to burn the quickie titles. Admittedly most normal users will never be bothered by this, but it aggravates me no end that I can't at least SAVE the complex copylist and have the option for just one more when I need to burn stuff off the HDD before I'm quite finished with my heavy-duty project.
Day to day, this has much more impact on my work than the subtle video tweaks Pioneer/Sony offered. I understand their value to SuperEye because of the variable material he collects, and I have used them on occasion, just not to the degree I would use multiple copylists. Its rare that I encounter material that is fantastically off IRE spec, and I don't find the video tweaks built into my Pioneers stupendously effective at fixing those problems. They help, I'm glad they're available, but I'd trade them in a heartbeat for Panasonic's multiple copylists and "phrase save" title entry feature. These are things I'd use several times a day, the video tweaks maybe thrice a year. At least the Pioneer/Sonys with USB sockets can accept a PC keyboard for title entry: that makes up for the lack of a title memory bank.
The Pioneer MN manual/flex record speeds are wonderful, and I would not want to trade those for the automated Panasonic FR system. The Panasonic system is one of those odd cases of automation being harder to operate than manual controls.
I really like the Pioneer HDD nav interface and mostly-intuitive editing system that never crashes or allows "illegal" edits. The Pioneer edit preview is reasonably accurate compared to several other brands which can be so far off you lose important dialog.
It is nice to have the choice of 6 menu designs for finalized Pioneer discs, I use the three-up and six-up formats most often. The four-up option in later Pioneers and the Sony 780 is hideous, but very nice in the older 510, 520 and 531 (don't know why they changed it). Speaking of finalization, I *hate* Pioneer's decision to make all DVDs have manual menu activation. No Pioneer-finalized DVD can autoplay, which confuses the crap out of everyone I give a disc to and forces me to print out little instruction slips telling friends/family that they need to wait for the disc to load, then manually press the Disc Menu button on their remote. Panasonic's auto-play menus are a better choice for typical consumer use and should have at least been an option on the Pioneers.
The HDMI on the Pioneers works predictably and reliably, unlike most other recorders. The upscaling quality is good, although I gather not quite as good as Panasonic. The 2005 and earlier Pioneer remote controllers are a marvel of intuitive handling that can be operated by feel without looking at the buttons.I stocked up on a few of these and use them instead of the random remotes that actually came with later Pioneers (the Sony remote for the 780 is similar to the older Pioneer remote I prefer). The Pioneers and the Sony 780 have a huge informative front panel display that can be read from 12 feet away (as opposed to the appallingly tiny and useless Magnavox front panel readout).
A little-discussed topic is the actual compatibility of various recorder brands with flawed VHS or Beta signal input. Over the years I have tried several brands: all, except for recent Pioneers (and Sony 780) had major or minor issues when handling VHS/Beta input. My vintage JVCs and Toshibas and very early Pioneers, would flip out unpredictably even with seemingly-perfect tapes. All the current Magnavoxes have a maddening predilection for little video "hiccups" that don't show while monitoring the dub but appear in the recording when you play it back. Recent Pioneers and the Sony 780 are bulletproof at handling tape input: if the tape is great, you get a nice dub, if the tape is bad, it will reproduce exactly, warts and all, but no additional glitches or problems will be added by the recorder (their lock on line-input is incredibly solid). Apparently the Panasonics also excel at this, although I haven't used one extensively enough to test. I'm really tempted to pick up an EH-59 while they can still be had...
Lastly, the Pioneers and Sony 780 have a nifty ability to format ordinary DVD-R or DVD+R for use as "live" backup discs for the HDD. Anything HS dubbed to these specially-formatted DVDs can be HS dubbed back to the HDD in their original editable form. This comes in very handy if you have a lot of compilations: I usually burn one finalized regular DVD and one "live" format DVD of each compilation, so that I can mix and match or update collections at a later date. In a pinch, when a Pioneer burner is failing, it will usually retain the ability to burn these "backup" discs to the bitter end (even if it can't burn standard formats anymore). This has been a lifesaver more than once, when I've had to repair a Pioneer for myself or others (you can back up the HDD contents to ordinary DVD-R, and restore to the new HDD).
I've always thought Sony erred in not continuing the co-production factories after Pioneer tanked in 2008. Granted, the only Sony that got to North America was the Canadian 780, but the Sony EU versions of the Pioneer recorders were runaway hits, the most popular in Europe year after year. It would have been great to see a Sony 790 with ATSC, and perhaps a Sony BD/HDD. But Sony chose to bail on selling top-quality recorders in the wake of the Pioneer Kuro disaster, instead subcontracting a series of truly awful DVD/HDD recorders from Samsung for their EU market. These were so terrible they made the crude Magnavox look like the Panasonic EH55, and killed off Sony's EU recorder sales almost overnight. Today Sony sells nothing in this category, and Pioneer is no more. R.I.P. - it was a nice partnership while it lasted (2005-2008).
NO !!! YOU ARE WRONG! THE PIONEER 640 HAS A USB PORT BUT YOU CAN NOT USE A KEYBOARD!!!!!!
ChrisSwanson72 is offline  
post #17 of 20 Old 07-02-2012, 08:55 AM
AVS Special Member
 
CitiBear's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 3,024
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 13 Post(s)
Liked: 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisSwanson72 View Post

NO !!! YOU ARE WRONG! THE PIONEER 640 HAS A USB PORT BUT YOU CAN NOT USE A KEYBOARD!!!!!!

Your correction of my post would be more effective if you didn't write it in ALL CAPS, and if you had bothered to edit out the one sentence of a multi-paragraph post you disagreed with. Please go back to your own post and cut down my quoted post to just the remark you are correcting about the 640, nobody here needed to see all nine unrelated paragraphs twice in a row. Jeez.

Yes, you are right, I am wrong, a thousand apologies to anyone I misled into buying a six year old discontinued recorder. The 640 did not officially support keyboard use. I haven't had a 640 for a few years now: I sold mine off when I upgraded to 550s and 560s, and only have a single 540 (no USB port) left in my stack. I use a keyboard with my 550 and 560 Pioneers every day, so forgot the near-identical 640 didn't include that capability. (It did rather pointlessly include printer connection over USB, but not keyboard.) The 640 seems to have been a USA/Canada exclusive, the rest of the world got PAL variations of DVR-543 (a 640 with 80GB hdd), some of which were reported to accept keyboard for titling. The feature became consistent and official worldwide beginning with the 2007 550 model, and was included on all of the final 2008 models (460, 560, 660, LX70). Keyboard entry might also work on the Sony Canada RDR-HX780 (a hybrid of the Pioneer 640 and 550), but we'd need a Canadian owner (Super Eye?) to confirm.
CitiBear is offline  
post #18 of 20 Old 07-02-2012, 03:09 PM - Thread Starter
Advanced Member
 
Super Eye's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 927
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7 Post(s)
Liked: 18
Yes CitiBear the USB keyboard feature works on my Canadian Sony RDR-HX780. The keyboard feature is not documented anywhere in the owners manual but someone early on when I signed up here (you?) told me to try it and it works great for titling. I actually use it all the time.

In the manual it states that you can use the USB input for copying/viewing JPGs and MP3s and I tried that and it work from USB sticks and from USB HDDs. The manual states that you can also hook up memory card readers and digital still cameras via USB as well. I don’t use the USB jack often for anything but keyboard titling. The manual states that you can hook up certain Sony HDD handycams and dub via the USB or the DV input but I never tried this. Someone suggested that I try hooking up my PC via the USB jack but I never tried this yet. Along with the DV in, USB in - there is also a PCI bridge jack for direct printing but I never tried it.

To sum it up:
Although not documented in the manual:
Yes on the 780 the USB input works great for keyboard titling and that’s another feature that I use a lot.smile.gif
Super Eye is offline  
post #19 of 20 Old 07-02-2012, 09:45 PM
Member
 
ChrisSwanson72's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 68
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 11
SORRY! I broke my RIGHT wrist, it now has a plate and screws.
I`m still on pain meds. I did NOT realize caps lock was on.
I type with the LEFT hand only. And YES i`m Right handed!
And YES it f`en hurts!!!!!! Sorry!
ChrisSwanson72 is offline  
post #20 of 20 Old 07-03-2012, 09:25 AM
AVS Special Member
 
CitiBear's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 3,024
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 13 Post(s)
Liked: 49
Chris, very sorry to hear about your injury: of course all your AVS pals wish you a speedy, complete recovery. My mother had her hand busted up in a car accident last year, so I know what an ordeal it can be.

Didn't mean to be snippy earlier, but there has been a lot of sloppy posting around here lately, even before the forum layout changed and messed with everyone's head. A few of us have been reminding people to please not quote so extensively, because it takes up too much screen space and dilutes the threads. You're usually pretty concise, so I thought it odd that you re-quoted my entire post on assorted features in order to disagree with just a single point. No offense was intended, as I had no idea of your injury. It was just a reminder for us to be more careful when quoting long posts, and a heads up to several new members who have been posting all caps, all the time.
CitiBear is offline  
Reply DVD Recorders (Standard Def)

User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off