Help me to choose a good DVD recorder - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 08-14-2013, 06:51 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi, I'm going to bye a DVD recorder to record TV shows. I'm using IEC 169-2 connectors in my home. We are watching UHF/VHF channels(PAL). I want to record one channel while watching another.
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post #2 of 13 Old 08-14-2013, 08:04 AM
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It would help to know which country you are located, and what kind of signal you need to tune (DVB-T digital PAL broadcasts, or analog PAL). There are different models for some regions that are unavailable in others. Also, do you have any interest at all in actually making and keeping DVDs or do you really just need a box for delayed viewing (timer record, watch once, then erase)? Using DVDs for daily watch/erase gets tedious, there are better options unless you truly want to create a DVD library. In many countries, the selection of DVD recorders on offer has become extremely limited vs newer, twin-tuner HDD recorders. If your TV has a current digital tuner, you can watch one channel on the TV tuner and record another with a single-tuner DVD recorder, but if your TV is old with an analog tuner, you will need dual digital tuners in any recorder you buy.

The most popular DVD recorder in UK the past couple of years has been the Panasonic DMREX773EBK, this has a single tuner, 320GB hard drive for storage, and DVD drive. More expensive Panasonics have dual tuners, satellite reception capability, larger hard drives, and/or BluRay drives. Philips has dropped out of the DVD recorder market, but their models remain available under the Toshiba brand name. DVD recorders cannot usually record in full HDTV quality.

More popular have been dual-tuner, hard-drive-only recorders (without DVD). Most of these have the advantage of recording in full HDTV quality from HDTV broadcasts. Many models are available, from the bargain Bush DTR to the more typical Panasonic DMR-HWT130. Sony, LG and Toshiba offer similar recorders.
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post #3 of 13 Old 08-14-2013, 08:24 AM - Thread Starter
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Thank you first,

Yes, I want to keep the DVDs.

I think I won't want a DVDr with a twin tuner.
I now has my RF cable splitted to two TVs. So I'm going to feed one cable to the TV's RF input and other to the DVDr's RF input. Thus I'll be able to record one channel on the DVDr while watching another on the TV. Then I connect the DVDr to the TV via A/V terminals for watching DVDs.

I'm in Sri Lanka and we are receiving analog PAL (UHF/VHF).
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post #4 of 13 Old 08-14-2013, 08:24 AM - Thread Starter
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oops
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post #5 of 13 Old 08-14-2013, 08:24 AM - Thread Starter
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sorry I posted it two times
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post #6 of 13 Old 08-14-2013, 10:03 AM
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Sri Lanka is a market few people on this AVS Forum would be familiar with, and there are significant differences from the North American and European regions. For example, Philips stopped offering DVD recorders under the Philips brand in most countries while apparently they still sell them in Sri Lanka. I've looked up the Philips 3408 you mentioned in your other thread, and it is very similar (probably identical) to the models sold everywhere else as Toshiba.

The Philips/Toshiba (actually made by Funai) recorders without hard drives are the most affordable DVD recorders sold in the current global markets. They are good value for the money but not the easiest recorders to use. Models like these that rely solely on DVD for recording have become increasingly troublesome, because most blank DVDs today are poor quality and unreliable when used in recorders. Western countries still have limited access to a couple of very high quality blank DVD brands (TY/JVC and Verbatim AZO), but these may not be easily available in Sri Lanka.

If you plan to re-use (erase) most of your DVDs, the best kind to use in a Philips/Toshiba would be Verbatim DVD+RW. For recordings you expect to keep forever, try to buy Verbatim AZO DVD-R.

Depending on your budget and availability of models in Sri Lanka, I strongly encourage you to consider a model with built-in hard drive (HDD). They are easier to use, more reliable and more durable than the cheaper DVD-only recorders. In some countries you can still find reasonably-priced DVD/HDD models from LG, Toshiba and/or Philips. Panasonic and Sony were much more expensive.
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post #7 of 13 Old 08-14-2013, 10:12 AM - Thread Starter
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So, which DVD rec you suggest me? Philips DVDR3480?

Please have a look at DVDR35XX models. Which RF cables do they use?
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post #8 of 13 Old 08-14-2013, 10:58 AM
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If the Philips DVDR3480 is the most easily available recorder in Sri Lanka, then yes, you may as well choose it unless you see something much much better. It is very similar to current models sold under the Toshiba brand all over the world: they're OK. The 3480 is an older model no longer sold in the west, but Philips still promotes it in countries that don't require the newer DVB-T digital tuners. The 3480 has an analog PAL/SECAM tuner, so I would assume it uses the standard IEC 169-2 RF connectors. Those connectors are still used in Europe, so I doubt you will have any trouble with your cables.

It is difficult to "recommend" a specific recorder to you: most of the better ones have been discontinued, and today there isn't nearly as much choice in models, so the Philips DVDR3480 may be your only reasonable option in a country like Sri Lanka. The older Sony, Pioneer and Panasonic models were the best, but were discontinued several years ago. The last really excellent DVD recorder with analog PAL tuner was the Panasonic DMR-EH59, a DVD/HDD model still sold all over the world. But it costs triple the price of the Philips DVDR3480.

In 2013, in most countries, the Philips DVDR3480 (or its Toshiba sisters) are the only affordable DVD recorders still available. They are OK, nothing special, the best thing about them is the low price. To get a recorder thats enjoyable to use, you need to spend much more money for something like the Panasonic DMR-EH59. DVD recorders are not like VCRs, where the cheap VCR worked about as well as the most expensive, and the most expensive VCR simply had extra features many people never used. With DVD recorders, the less you spend, the more unpleasant the recorder is to use. The technology is just very different from a VCR: the really nice DVD/HDD recorders were/are very expensive compared to similar VCRs.

EDIT: sorry, I forgot to answer your question about the Philips DVDR35xx models. These are roughly the same recorders as the 34xx series, except newer and usually have analog + digital DVB-T tuners (i.e. DVDR3480 = DVDR3537). The RF connectors should be the same normal PAL connectors as on the 34xx models (if not, RF adapter plugs are available at any electronics shop). If you don't have DVB-T broadcasts in Sri Lanka, you don't need the analog/digital tuner and can use the older analog 34xx models. The Philips DVDR3575 and DVDR3576 were deluxe models with analog+digital tuner and HDD (hard drive), similar to the Panasonic DMR-EH59 I mentioned above, but less expensive. The Philips 3575 and 3576 aren't quite as nice to use as the Panasonic, but they're much nicer than the Philips 3480.
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post #9 of 13 Old 08-14-2013, 10:38 PM - Thread Starter
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So, you finally recommend me the DVDR3480?
DVDR35XXs have a different connectors than IEc169-2
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post #10 of 13 Old 08-15-2013, 08:21 AM
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I don't understand why you're so worried about the connections: that is the easiest thing in the world to change. If your new recorder or TV has different RF connector than your old RF cables, all you need to do is buy a little connector adapter or cut the old connectors off the cable and attach new ones.

The Philips DVDR3480 is an average recorder at a good price. Since you haven't mentioned any other specific models available in Sri Lanka that you can afford, and keep coming back to this Philips, you should probably buy it. Just understand there can be problems with recording directly onto DVDs: that is why Philips later offered models with a hard drive feature like 3575 and 3576. If it were me, I would buy one of those, but if they aren't sold in Sri Lanka or you can't afford them, then the 3480 should be OK.
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post #11 of 13 Old 08-15-2013, 08:21 PM - Thread Starter
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So, you finally recommend me the DVDR3480?
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post #12 of 13 Old 08-16-2013, 08:16 AM
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It's hard to recommend anything else since we don't know what else is available in the Sri Lankan market.

Do you know any other model of DVD recorder sold in your country?

Don't believe everything on the Interwebz! A duck's quack DOES echo!
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post #13 of 13 Old 08-18-2013, 11:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Foxyj View Post

So, you finally recommend me the DVDR3480?

Yes go for it.

Anyway, I recommend you the American Magnavox (Funai) 5XX line. Of course you'll need a some PAL-NTSC-PAL and Voltaje converters, but you can buy it from ebay.

Or maybe you can try to get its European cousin the Funai BH2-M200 Blu-Ray Recorder.
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