Need DVD Recorder Advice - AVS Forum
Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
post #1 of 20 Old 09-01-2012, 09:29 AM - Thread Starter
Newbie
 
Highnoon1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 11
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
I need some DVD recorder advice. For over 6 years now, I've had a Panasonic ES-20 recorder that has worked very well. But it's getting old now, and it's analog-only tuner is a handicap, so I've been thinking of replacing it. I always record on DVD-RW and then edit in my computer, after finalising, for the stuff I want to keep long term. The source is usually a SD satellite box.

The new Magnavox 533 looks good to me, but I keep reading about the copy-protection recording problems that people have with Magnavox due to its +VR recording mode. I had never even heard of this. Will I run into this problem ? If so, what can I do about it ?

Or would I be better off to get something like the international Panasonic EH-59 and put an external tuner on it. I don't think it uses the +VR mode. This is a lot of extra effort and expense, but what good is the Magnavox if it won't let me record the programs I want. And sometime in the future, I may upgrade to a HD satellite box - does that influence the situation.

Thanks for any advice you can give.
Highnoon1 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 20 Old 09-01-2012, 09:43 AM
AVS Addicted Member
 
wajo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 13,976
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 38 Post(s)
Liked: 132

The "false CP" story is a red-herring, and I'll explain it to you if you're really interested. Send me a PM if so.

 

Basically, the Mag 533 should work fine for your recording needs but many long-term Panny and Pioneer users can't acclimate themselves to the Mag's "bare-bones" interface. The only "saving grace" for you, if you decide to go the 533 route, is to buy from Walmart where you'll have 90 days to try it out.

 

If your source is a SD sat box, you might be better off with an International Panny DMR-EH59, shown here?

wajo is offline  
post #3 of 20 Old 09-01-2012, 10:57 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 Highnoon1 View Post

For over 6 years now, I've had a Panasonic ES-20 recorder that has worked very well. But it's getting old now, and it's analog-only tuner is a handicap, so I've been thinking of replacing it. I always record on DVD-RW and then edit in my computer, after finalising, for the stuff I want to keep long term. The source is usually a SD satellite box.

You have two conflicting TV sources here which need to be addressed separately or together, depending on your usage pattern. People who have satellite usually subscribe to it because their off-air reception is bad: for most of these people, the tuner in their recorder is irrelevant, since all channels are tuned via the satellite box. Of course there are those (like myself) who use cable or satellite for the extra programming, but still record broadcast shows from off-air because our reception is good and the PQ tends to be a little better. The weird thing in your case is that your ES20 has an analog tuner which was rendered useless by the DTV switchover four years ago: it seems more than a little late in the day for you to be interested in a recorder with a tuner, since you've apparently survived just fine without one? Not being sarcastic, I'm asking for clarification because it affects which recorder features you'll need.

Some people encounter difficulties ripping Magnavox +VR recordings to their PC. There are a couple sections in wajo's master Magnavox thread that address how to work with Magnavox rips on the PC: its a matter of paying more attention to your authoring software and intervening when its automated workflow misunderstands or mishandles the +VR files. Some authoring programs handle +VR better than others, if you expect to do a LOT of PC re-authoring of Magnavox rips it may be a good idea to invest in an authoring app that handles +VR seamlessly. OTOH, most of your PC work now is due to your ES20 having no real editing features. With the Magnavox, you record to the HDD first, and if you want to make a DVD you can edit out commercials or re-arrange scenes before burning just as you would on the PC without the bother of ripping (do it all directly in the Magnavox). You would only need a PC to perform extremely fine or complex editing that involves joining individual recordings, or to make very fancy menus including subchapters (like all other DVD recorders sold since 2006, the Magnavox DVD menu is limited to static thumbnails for top-level titles only, i.e. you can have a thumbnail for each episode of a TV series on the DVD but not a submenu to access chapters directly).

Quote:
The new Magnavox 533 looks good to me, but I keep reading about the copy-protection recording problems that people have with Magnavox due to its +VR recording mode. I had never even heard of this. Will I run into this problem ? If so, what can I do about it ?

You might run into it or you might not, but this is also true of nearly any other recorder made since 2002. Every DVD recorder includes sensitivity to various "do not record" signals and will disallow recording if they sense, or "imagine" they sense, anti-record flags in broadcast signals or line-input from a cable box, satellite box, or VCR. There are no guarantees, esp with cable and satellite signal inconsistencies. You do face a slightly increased risk of this problem with the Funais, which seem to misinterpret regular video signals as "flagged" a bit more often. The problem was more common in the Philips-branded versions, which would refuse to record even ordinary analog broadcasts like the Grammy Awards on occasion. The Magnavox versions have improved somewhat but there are still current reports of anti-record lockdowns. The odds of it affecting you are fairly small, if it happens at all it would almost certainly be with the occasional satellite channel. You would work around this the same way everyone else here does: you spend a small fortune ($90-$227) on a "video filter" box or a TBC (Time Base Corrector) which connects between the satellite box and your DVD recorder to continually filter out the stupid real and false "anti-record" flags. This won't help with broadcasts thru the internal tuner but works with cable/satellite boxes. "Tunerless" recorders like some cheaper Magnavox models and rare birds like the Panasonic EZ18 and EZ38 are noticeably less sensitive to false anti-record response: it appears at least some of the reported flakiness comes with the added DTV/ATSC tuner circuit on tuner-equipped recorders.

Quote:
Or would I be better off to get something like the international Panasonic EH-59 and put an external tuner on it. I don't think it uses the +VR mode. This is a lot of extra effort and expense, but what good is the Magnavox if it won't let me record the programs I want. And sometime in the future, I may upgrade to a HD satellite box - does that influence the situation.

HD Satellite is a can of worms when connected to DVD recorders. At least one of the competing services, DirecTV, forces you to go thru a whole resetting process each time you want to switch the output from HiDef for the TV to Standard Def for the DVD recorder (otherwise the video sent to the recorder has a text overlay saying "INCORRECT VIDEO RESOLUTION" or some such). For whatever idiot reason, many current satellite boxes won't simultaneously feed SD analog output to a recorder and HDMI HDTV to a television. If you plan to record a lot, while migrating to HDTV satellite, you'd best opt for the satellite PVR feature and use that for most recording. Then, you only need to change the output setting when you want to make a DVD copy of something in the PVR. Or, keep renting the SD box you have now, dedicating it to the DVD recorder, while adding a second HD box for the TV.

The Magnavox tuner is great with off-air signals, since it records in full 16:9 widescreen standard def which looks much nicer filling the screen than the letterboxed signal from the satellite box. What wajo says about Panasonic and Pioneer owners is true: they tend not to like the Magnavox interface at all, since its much cruder than what they've become used to. This can be a stumbling block for some people, sufficient to make them prefer connecting a separate DTV tuner to their old recorder (as with the Panasonic EH59, for instance). However, this concern applies only to owners of DVD/HDD models: your Panasonic ES20 does not have the hard drive feature, therefore you have no Panasonic hard drive interface or editing system to "unlearn" and would come to the Magnavox as a totally new user. That is a great advantage, because for much less money than the EH59 you can enjoy the Magnavox integrated tuner and WalMart USA warranty. You'll save close to $100 buying the Mag 533 instead of the Panasonic EH59, money you can put towards a filter or TBC should you find it necessary later on.
CitiBear is offline  
post #4 of 20 Old 09-01-2012, 02:50 PM
Advanced Member
 
dare2be's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: FL
Posts: 545
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
To add to what Citibear said, it may be helpful to let us know which satellite company and receiver you have, as my experience with Dish network 722 receiver has all outputs (HDMI, component, composite, s-video) all active at once, so there is no "incorrect resolution" problem in my case. I can watch the HDMI output on my TV while recording from the s-video output to my Mag with no problem.
dare2be is offline  
post #5 of 20 Old 09-02-2012, 11:28 AM - Thread Starter
Newbie
 
Highnoon1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 11
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Thank you very much for your responses. I've already sent a PM to wajo, and now as to CitiBear's lengthy and detailed response.

I also still maintain a cable connection, and there are still a few analog channels on there, so my ES20's analog tuner hasn't been totally worthless. Because of the cable, I'm actually more interested in the Magnavox's QAM tuning rather than the ATSC aspect.

I was under the impression that I was practically guaranteed to run into the copy-protection recording problems with the Magnavox. But what I hear both of you saying is that, while it's possible I'll have problems, I probably won't. And even if I do, a TBC can work around it with added expense.

A few more questions please:

1. Is the picture quality of the Magnavox comparable to the Panasonic, which I thought was very good ? I will miss Panasonic's Flexible Recording (FR) feature.

2. Does a TBC degrade picture quality at all ?

3. Can you recommend a good TBC ?

Thank you once again for your help. I had done so much reading that I was suffering from "paralysis from analysis" and I really needed someone to take my hand and tell me what to do.
Highnoon1 is offline  
post #6 of 20 Old 09-02-2012, 12:54 PM
AVS Special Member
 
jjeff's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Minneapolis MN
Posts: 9,650
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 46 Post(s)
Liked: 80
0. While the Magnavoxes may be slightly more apt to report false CP it's more the exception than the norm. I'd try it and hopefully you won't have problems. If you do they are generally easy to return or if your using line inputs from a cable box(not it's built in tuner) then a video filter(~$100) or TBC(lowest ~$200) should take care of things. The Maggies I tried tended to have a darker picture when recording from the built in digital tuner but line input recordings looked much better in that respect.

1. While the Maggies lack FR they do have many more fixed speeds than a Panasonic. I really like FR and the ability to get up to 4hrs of full D1 resolution video/DVD(Maggies top out at ~2hrs 9 minutes I believe) but others are just fine with 1/2 D1 for longer speeds.

2. Unlike most video filters a TBC should not degrade picture quality and the ones with picture adjustments may actually make a incorrectly mastered source look better. My Sima filter definitely lightens the picture which I do NOT like which is why I'm kind of looking into lower cost TBCs.

3. Courtesy of SuperEye http://www.avsforum.com/t/1425804/long-shot-question-video-processor#post_22343031

Cautions about the international Panasonics:
They have NO US tuner, digital or analog so they must be provided a composite or S-video output(not channel 3 or 4 RF modulated output).
They should be supplied a 0 IRE input signal. US standard is +7.5 IRE. Recording such signal will result in a slightly light picture. DVD players generally provide a DARKER setting(if copying from another DVD player) but I've never seen a STB/DVR with such adjustments. Note I think the above linked TBC would be able to compensate for this with it's brightness adjustment(which is why I'm kind of looking into one) but I don't know for sure. Other than those cautions(oh plus a rather short 30 day sellers warranty) I really like my international EH-59 Panasonic, it has all the nice features of a newer HDD Panasonic + a few extras.
jjeff is online now  
post #7 of 20 Old 09-02-2012, 06:11 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 Highnoon1 View Post

The source is usually a SD satellite box.
The new Magnavox 533 looks good to me, but I keep reading about the copy-protection recording problems that people have with Magnavox due to its +VR recording mode. I had never even heard of this. Will I run into this problem ? If so, what can I do about it ?

Dont' worry you'll be just fine. Also for the +VR, you always can use a program called ISO-Buster.
profhat is offline  
post #8 of 20 Old 09-02-2012, 11:28 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 Highnoon1 View Post

I also still maintain a cable connection, and there are still a few analog channels on there, so my ES20's analog tuner hasn't been totally worthless. Because of the cable, I'm actually more interested in the Magnavox's QAM tuning rather than the ATSC aspect.

Ugh.frown.gif

This is yet another can of worms, far more slimy and wriggly than anything you'd encounter with satellite. QAM is an absolute sick joke, poorly regulated by the FCC and exploited to the hilt by cablecos. So for every Magnavox buyer who thinks its an ideal tuner for their boxless cable, there's another two who regret they ever heard the name Magnavox. The unit is optimized for off-air recording, at which it usually excels, and line input recording from cable or satellite decoders. For tuning boxless cable, not so much. It has a freakish dual-mode digital/analog QAM tuner that is vulnerable to every nasty trick the cable companies tend to pull, and even if you're lucky enough to live in a bubble where cable still functions circa 1998 with no intentional glitches the Magnavox is still prone to mixing up analog and digital cable signals to a point it trips all over itself. While this also happens with many other DVD recorders, the Magnavox tuner is weirder than others and has proven a big disappointment for a significant number of boxless cable subscribers.

There is speculation the tuner in the upcoming Magnavox 533 may be a slightly improved design, but overall there are no guarantees of full reliable QAM tuner functionality with ANY dvd recorder. They are generations behind the design of QAM tuners included in newer televisions: don't assume because your TV never has an issue, or your old ES20 never had an issue, that a new QAM-equipped recorder will work the same way: it won't. You may get lucky- many people are happy enough with them for a time. But eventually they glitch up on you during a timer recording. Be prepared, or make a habit of only using the Magnavox QAM tuner for non-critical recording. For once-in-a-lifetime programs, use your satellite decoder box via line input or the Magnavox off-air tuner. Also bear in mind, if you ever encounter anti-record flags in your favorite cable channels, you can't use a filter or TBC to cure them when using the QAM tuner: filters can only connect between the line outputs of a cable/satellite box and line inputs of the recorder.

Quote:
1. Is the picture quality of the Magnavox comparable to the Panasonic, which I thought was very good ? I will miss Panasonic's Flexible Recording (FR) feature.

The Magnavox is roughly comparable to the Panasonic at the XP and SP speeds. You can reliably fit 127 mins onto a DVD using the Magnavox SP speed. If you use the off-air 16:9 tuner, the Magnavox blows the Panasonic into the weeds, subject to jjeff's caveat that the Mag tuner crushes blacks a bit which some people are sensitive to. Via boxless cable or line input from a decoder box, they're about the same. However the Magnavox has no flex record speeds, beyond SP you get a 150 minute speed, then 3 hrs, 4 hrs, etc. The Magnavox drops to half resolution immediately after SP while the Panasonic holds full resolution to 4 hours. Half resolution means you trade a bit of clarity for more accurate motion with less macroblocking, but not everyone likes that tradeoff and most Panasonic owners bought Panasonic specifically for the full-res 4 hour speed. If you never use anything but the SP speed you won't care, if you do then you'll want to audition the Magnavox carefully to see if its right for you.

There are some workarounds with the Magnavox that are impossible with your ES20 because the ES20 has no hard drive. For example, since the Mag HDD has near-limitless capacity you never run up against DVD recording time restrictions. If you like to record long sports events that run 5 hours or so, you can do it at SP speed on the Magnavox HDD. When you prepare for burning, you can edit out the commercials, then split the game across two DVDs at the SP speed. This preserves picture quality and avoids the necessity for dropping down recording speed, assuming you don't mind using two DVDs instead of one. And of course, if you don't plan to actually keep the recording but just want to watch-and-erase, you needn't make a DVD at all. You record to the Magnavox HDD, watch, then hit the delete button without ever using a disc. For this type of temporary recording, you can set the Magnavox to its best XP recording speed, and the PQ will beat your old Panasonic by a mile. While your ES20 can also record in XP, a blank DVD tops out at one hour capacity, so it isn't really practical. The Magnavox HDD can hold 80 hours of video at the ultimate XP speed, ideal for high-quality timeshift viewing.

Quote:
2. Does a TBC degrade picture quality at all ?

It isn't supposed to, but yes it does. Not as much as a less expensive "filter," but they tend to soften the video a bit as they rip apart and reconstruct a stable signal on-the-fly. Its the nature of how they work, the only "transparent" TBCs are made for professionals and run several thousand dollars.

Quote:
3. Can you recommend a good TBC ?

As jjeff and SuperEye have posted here, the two most appropriate TBCs for consumer use are the AVT-8710 and DataVideo TBC1000. The DataVideo is better built but costs twice as much brand new ($480 vs $227). The AVT8710 is flimsy but much less expensive and includes some handy picture adjustments that can be helpful under some circumstances. Either is much cheaper second hand on eBay, if you're patient the DataVideo pops up every few weeks for about $150-$175 and the AVT for $100-$150. You may want to try a simpler filter like the Grex first, many people are quite happy with it and you can buy it new for under $100.

I use the older Sima filter jjeff referred to as well as a DataVideo. The Sima has some impact on brightness level and color, but preserves sharpness. The DataVideo is completely neutral in brightness and color but does soften the image a bit. Most users of the Grex device rate it somewhere between these two.
CitiBear is offline  
post #9 of 20 Old 09-04-2012, 09:38 AM - Thread Starter
Newbie
 
Highnoon1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 11
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Thanks to all that replied. It looks like the Magnavox is the best bet. But I'm still a huge Panasonic fan, and I wish they would get back into this market.
Highnoon1 is offline  
post #10 of 20 Old 09-04-2012, 10:48 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 Highnoon1 View Post

Thanks to all that replied. It looks like the Magnavox is the best bet. But I'm still a huge Panasonic fan, and I wish they would get back into this market.

Panasonic will never return to this market, because there is no longer any market to speak of. These recorders never really caught on in the USA, which was a huge impediment to rapid development of more desirable features at more affordable pricing. They were very popular in Europe and the rest of the world until recently, when global sales declined to USA levels. Panasonic pinned its hopes on non-USA consumers migrating to updated BluRay/HDD recorders, but migration was slower than expected, and now that the bottom has fallen completely out of global disc recorder demand there is no point in beating a dead horse. Panasonic is phasing out the product class, as all its competitors have already done.

The USA-exclusive Magnavox is an utterly inexplicable anomaly: it is of course wonderful that it remains available for those who need it, but that availability makes no apparent business sense for either WalMart or the mfr Funai. It is nothing less than astonishing that it was renewed for this fall after being discontinued (for the second time) this past spring. So if you want one, don't hesitate, because this is likely the last hurrah of the DVD/HDD recorder.

BTW, Magnavox was the only brand to ever put a contemporary ATSC/QAM tuner into a DVD/HDD model: Panasonic and the other brands opted to leave North America rather than update their tuners. Many non-USA DVD/HDD and BD/HDD models were made with the vastly better-selling non-USA global DTV tuners, but none for our oddball ATSC/QAM system besides Magnavox.
CitiBear is offline  
post #11 of 20 Old 09-04-2012, 11:26 AM - Thread Starter
Newbie
 
Highnoon1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 11
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Some final idle speculations, and then I promise I'll leave you alone.

Let's say that I recorded a copy-once program to the Magnavox HDD and that it would not allow me to dub it to the disc drive. In your opinion, what would happen if I connected the Magnavox ouput (either composite or s-video) to the input of my ES20 to record, which has never had a problem recording anything from any channel. What do think would happen ?

Also, let's say that I recorded a 3 hour program on the Magnavox at the SP or XP speed. Then I connected the output of the Magnavox to the ES20 as above, and re-recorded the program at the Panasonic FR setting. Would the picture quality on the Panasonic be better or worse, than the picture quality I would have gotten if I had recorded to the Magnavox disc at a 3 hour setting, in your opinion ?

Thanks once again for all your help - you've been a tremendous resource.
Highnoon1 is offline  
post #12 of 20 Old 09-04-2012, 01:35 PM
AVS Special Member
 
jjeff's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Minneapolis MN
Posts: 9,650
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 46 Post(s)
Liked: 80
1. My guess is it would record just fine as long as it would play on the Magnavox.
2. While I wouldn't do it for a majority of your recording IMO it might actually give you better picture quality than recording in a speed longer than SP with the Magnavox. Another option which would be better than that would be(for a limited number of your recordings) recording directly from the Magnavoxes tuner to the Panasonic using FR(basically just using the tuner in the Magnavox for those few recordings). This avoids the reencode of first recording to the Magnavox. Either of these options would avoid the 1/2 D1 scenario (if it even bothers you) like it does me. Of course if it turns out your fine with 1/2 D1 then just use one of the Maggies canned speeds, even ones slower than SP. Unlike the Panasonics the Magnavox has handy 2 1/2 and 3hr speeds.
jjeff is online now  
post #13 of 20 Old 09-04-2012, 07:29 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 Highnoon1 View Post

Some final idle speculations, and then I promise I'll leave you alone.

Who said we want to be left alone? smile.gif AVS is in an end-of-summer slump: your questions give us something more interesting to do than guess the exact date the new Magnavox recorders will hit WalMart's website. Stick around- please!wink.gif

Quote:
Originally Posted by jjeff View Post

1. My guess is it would record just fine as long as it would play on the Magnavox.

I agree, and if it doesn't work you could always connect a filter or TBC between Magnavox and Panasonic.

Quote:
2. Another option which would be better than that would be(for a limited number of your recordings) recording directly from the Magnavoxes tuner to the Panasonic using FR(basically just using the tuner in the Magnavox for those few recordings).

I do this quite often myself, using my Magnavoxes as DTV tuners for my older recorders. Although you really do need to just test the heck out of the Magnavox for a couple weeks after you buy it, vs your ES20, and make an overall decision one way or the other about using its 2 1/2 hour and 3 hour speeds vs the FR speeds on a Panasonic. I don't recommend buying a Magnavox to use mainly as a tuner for another recorder, unless you're completely hooked on the older recorder: it wastes the potential of the Magnavox. The key to a satisfactory Magnavox experience is knowing how to exploit its advantages and steer clear of areas where it might disappoint you. The Mag 2.5 and 3 hour speeds can be indistinguishable from (or better than) Panasonic FR speeds if the Magnavox is recording a 16:9 signal from its ATSC off-air tuner: this exploits the strengths of the tuner to offset any theoretical or perceived weakness of its half-D1 slower speeds. OTOH, using QAM mode to record from cable is often not as good because the cable signal is not as good as off-air, and of course the outputs from a cable or satellite box will be 4:3 letterboxed which is not nearly as nice as 16:9 off-air. When recording anything other than an off-air 16:9 signal, there's a chance you might prefer the Panasonic FR system to the Mag's half-D1 slow speeds.

Highnoon1, if you honestly think you'll be in the habit of making frequent recordings in the 3 to 4 hour range per disc, from cable or satellite, you may find you prefer your ES20. Should that happen, return the Magnavox to WalMart and go for the import Panasonic EH59. You'd lose the QAM tuner, but as I mentioned QAM is problematic at best and many many users of DVD recorders are disappointed with it. If you skim the 12,000 posts to the main Magnavox thread here, you'll find 6,000 of them refer to problems tuning cable off the bare wire. Reading of the lengths stubborn users will go to in a doomed effort to make QAM work properly is enough to make your eyes roll back in your head until they pop out your ears. Think of the QAM tuner as a little Magnavox bonus feature that may or may not work well for any particular amount of time, contingent on how nasty or "current" your cable franchise operates. Focus instead on the benefits of the hard drive feature, and how you can exploit that to limit how often you need to use slower recording speeds. Given the lack of recorder choices today, you need to consider compromises. The Magnavox is less expensive than the EH59, includes a USA tuner, has a more durable/less fussy DVD drive, and is easier to get repaired or replaced if it breaks: objectively, these advantages may trump any minor differences in how it records at 2.5 and 3 hour speeds. The Panasonic EH59 has the FR speeds you're used to, but is a pricey grey-market import essentially sold under a cloud with no tuner, no traditional repair techs available, and a lighter picture contrast level hard-wired for non-USA video signals. That last can easily be enough to blow the "look" of FR recordings, tipping the scales back toward Magnavox.

Fortunately your ES20 still works well, so you'll be able to compare all aspects of it to a Magnavox when you buy one. Most likely you'll discover its a wash between them, and be happy with your new recorder.
CitiBear is offline  
post #14 of 20 Old 09-04-2012, 11:42 PM
Advanced Member
 
RichardT's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Clarkston, Washington (State), Southeast corner
Posts: 923
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 13
One possibity not yet mentioned is that a Panasonic EH59 with an external tuner may allow editting and producing the dvd directly, without going thru the pc. No doubt, the copy to dvd-rw to pc to edit back to dvd-r routine has been well worked out, but the Panasonic has great editting capability (use Playlist).
It does not provide frame-accurate editting, custom menus, or easy overlay of audio and video independently, but the occasions where these restrictions would be limiting are rare. I do ALL my editting on the Panasonic (E100H, E85H, or now the EH55).
RichardT is offline  
post #15 of 20 Old 09-05-2012, 01:55 PM - Thread Starter
Newbie
 
Highnoon1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 11
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
All right - I'm convinced. Come on Walmart - when do they arrive ?

I've actually monitored the AVSforums for some time now, and I've picked up a lot of tips. I've just never really had the occasion to actually post until now. And you guys have been just great - very friendly and extremely helpful. So, no, I'm not going anywhere. I may not post much but I'll always be lurking somewhere close. Thanks again, guys !
Highnoon1 is offline  
post #16 of 20 Old 09-05-2012, 02:23 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:
All right - I'm convinced. Come on Walmart - when do they arrive ?

They're here.

http://www.avsforum.com/t/940657/magnavox-537-535-533-515-513-2160a-2160-2080-philips-3576-3575/21400_100#post_22373303

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 offline  
post #17 of 20 Old 09-09-2012, 06:12 PM
Newbie
 
sawing14s's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 5
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by jjeff View Post

Cautions about the international Panasonics:
They have NO US tuner, digital or analog so they must be provided a composite or S-video output(not channel 3 or 4 RF modulated output).
They should be supplied a 0 IRE input signal. US standard is +7.5 IRE. Recording such signal will result in a slightly light picture. DVD players generally provide a DARKER setting(if copying from another DVD player) but I've never seen a STB/DVR with such adjustments. Note I think the above linked TBC would be able to compensate for this with it's brightness adjustment(which is why I'm kind of looking into one) but I don't know for sure. Other than those cautions(oh plus a rather short 30 day sellers warranty) I really like my international EH-59 Panasonic, it has all the nice features of a newer HDD Panasonic + a few extras.
So, jjeff, to clarify: the international Panasonics will receive NTSC or PAL signals in L1, L2 or L3? I'm thinking of getting one myself.
sawing14s is offline  
post #18 of 20 Old 09-10-2012, 12:45 AM
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
They will do, just remember the IRE input signal "issue".
profhat is offline  
post #19 of 20 Old 09-10-2012, 06:51 AM
AVS Special Member
 
jjeff's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Minneapolis MN
Posts: 9,650
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 46 Post(s)
Liked: 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by sawing14s View Post

So, jjeff, to clarify: the international Panasonics will receive NTSC or PAL signals in L1, L2 or L3? I'm thinking of getting one myself.
As profhat said YES the international Panasonics will play and record NTSC just fine from it's line inputs, just no tuner to tune either digital or analog NTSC. With NTSC everything must be done through it's line inputs and outputs.
jjeff is online now  
post #20 of 20 Old 09-10-2012, 12:21 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:
So, jjeff, to clarify: the international Panasonics will receive NTSC or PAL signals in L1, L2 or L3? I'm thinking of getting one myself.

Yes, I can verify from first hand experience that the EH59/69 will record and playback PAL signals input from the L2, L3 or L4, with a SCART adapter, (L1 does not work as an input connector though the operating firmware doesn't know this). It will also record and play back NTSC signals using the same inputs. All that is required for recording is you select the TV System (see page 60 of the manual). It will playbac a previous resoring in whatever format it was recorded in without you needing to do anything. It does NOT convert from PAL to NTSC or NTSC to PAL.

Since you are thinking of getting one of these, I recommend you download a copy of the manual.

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 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