Pio 533/633 vs. Tosh XS34 vs. Pan EH50 - Page 7 - AVS Forum
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post #181 of 500 Old 05-21-2005, 05:32 AM
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1. Yes, the fan stayed on when I powered the unit off. However, it is quiet for now. I will update this if it turns off or gets noisy.
I guess I will have to wait for Pioneer then. Because this was going to my bedroom. And I can not afford to have noisy fan after I turn it off. I don't understand what is the purpose of keeping fan on all the time.
Only if someone can find the solution to disconnect the fan!!

JHT
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post #182 of 500 Old 05-21-2005, 02:02 PM
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Originally posted by Jithtproject
I don't understand what is the purpose of keeping fan on all the time.
Only if someone can find the solution to disconnect the fan!!
I think this definitely has something to do with the TV Guide EPG feature. The EPG downloads update info only when the recorder is turned off, and it still needs cooling during downloads. The Panasonic recorders with the TV Guide EPG feature all require the same kind cooling during downloads, except their fans are temperature-driven, unlike Toshiba's design.

So there is no way to get around this, unless Toshiba also uses a temperature-driven fan instead. Of course if the EPG is disabled for satellite TV subscribers, the ongoing fan wear and tear at standby becomes rather meaningless.
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post #183 of 500 Old 05-23-2005, 07:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Huskymaniac
6. It seems to be a common "feature" among all DVD recorders but the A/V signals do not pass through when the unit is off. Toshiba and others need to view the A/V signals on DVD recorders like they viewed the RF signals on VCRs.
But VCRs only output the incoming cable signal on the RF out when the VCR was off -- i.e. the exact same thing as when you're in TV mode of VCR/TV.

...and at least some of the DVD recorders ALWAYS output only the RF signals -- i.e. they have no coax out, only have a passthrough coax (useful IMHO).
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post #184 of 500 Old 05-25-2005, 04:30 PM - Thread Starter
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Well if you have been following this thread from the beginning, you know that I have been impatiently waiting for the new Pioneer dvr-533h to be released. The main reason I didn't buy a 520 was because of the black out problem when dubbing VHS tapes. The big question in my mind was whether the 533 solved that problem.

Just could not stand the suspense any longer, so I went to wally world and brought back a 231 (wally version of the 233). I figured that maybe I could tell if the blackout problem had been solved on the 533 by checking out the 231. Now I know that since I have every intention of returning the 231 - that is unethical, but I am very frustrated with Pioneer's delays and withholding of info about their new models.

The good news is that so far I have dubbed 2 old tapes originally recorded on long dead vcrs without a blackout.

But the BAD NEWS - hope you are sitting down - is that the 231 and 233 do NOT have the manual recording feature (32 steps) found on it's predecessors. Pioneer will not confirm this, but it looks like the rest of the new line (RT501, 533H, 633H) will also NOT have manual recording. This stinks because you have to jump from 2 hr SP to 4hr LP. Although "optimized recording" for timer recordings is still there, a 2.5 hr program will be "optimally" recorded in 4hr LP mode. :mad:

It was Pioneer's manual recording feature that had me sold on the 520. I am so dissapointed. :(

If you were wondering how Pioneer was able to lower the list price of the 520 from $799 to the 533 list price of $499 - now you know. :rolleyes:
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post #185 of 500 Old 05-25-2005, 05:58 PM
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Wow, longplay, that would be an AWFUL omission and a deal breaker. I'm HOPING that perhaps they eliminated it on the lower end models but will have it on the 533H and 633H. I just wish they would get off their asses and at least post the manual on their site!
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post #186 of 500 Old 05-25-2005, 06:18 PM
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That makes me very impatient about Pio release. I am also hoping that they would continue with manual recording on their higher end models.

JHT
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post #187 of 500 Old 05-25-2005, 07:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EPlay
I'm HOPING that perhaps they eliminated it on the lower end models but will have it on the 533H and 633H.
I think your assessment is probably correct. While the US version of the 533H and 633H may not have certain features found on Pioneer's Japanese models of the 530H and 555H, such as DVD-R DL recording and/or XP+ mode; manual recording mode is very unlikely eliminated on the HDD-based models. The Pioneer DVR-233/231 model is clearly designed as low end product, and they are not sold in Japan, to compete with others in price, and its features closely match those of the Samsung DVD-R120 currently available at Beat Buy, such as only two sets of input and one S-Video input, also FR mode only for timer recordings.

The new Pioneer recorders are supposed to have a newly designed MPEG encoder chipset, unfortunately they still use 3/4 D1 and 2/3 D1 non-standard resolution in VR mode.
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post #188 of 500 Old 05-25-2005, 07:26 PM
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Pioneer is so bizarre. They once were selling Beta, VHS, Hi-8 and Laserdisc players at the same time. I doubt if laserdisc ever was profitable but I'm glad they stayed with it until something better came along. Now they make $4,000 and $199 DVD recorders. Their Japanese DVD recorders seem to do everything but wash dishes. Here I am waiting to find out if the 533 is worth replacing my 510. The 233 is a step down from the 220. Not encouraging. But then, this is the most unpredictable firm ever.
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post #189 of 500 Old 05-25-2005, 08:01 PM
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Originally Posted by longplay
But the BAD NEWS - hope you are sitting down - is that the 231 and 233 do NOT have the manual recording feature (32 steps) found on it's predecessors. Pioneer will not confirm this, but it looks like the rest of the new line (RT501, 533H, 633H) will also NOT have manual recording.
Did you contact Pioneer about this?
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post #190 of 500 Old 05-25-2005, 09:02 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ngohit
Did you contact Pioneer about this?
Yes, ngohit. When I wrote, "Pioneer will not confirm this, but it looks like the rest of the new line (RT501, 533H, 633H) will also NOT have manual recording." that was after speaking to about 4 reps that insisted that they had NO INFO on the 533/633. Finally, I got to one rep that at least acknowledged that he had a features sheet for the 533 that read the same way in regards to recording modes as the features sheet for the 233 does (that is boasting about being able to record up to 10 hrs, and no mention of manual recording mode). He could not say for sure without a 533 manual, but he did say it looked like the manual recording feature has been dropped from the new line of home user dvd recorders. No rep has said they can get their hands on a 533 manual. In fact until today, no rep has said they had a 233 manual available. Funny how when you have one in front of you - they can get off their ass and go get one. :mad:

Ngohit, it amazed me that you were able to get a Pioneer rep to answer your fairly specific and detailed question about satellite recording on the 533. I suspect that you may have just been told what you wanted to hear. Why don't you give them a call and see what you can find out??

I really hope the 533/633 has manual recording. Maybe the delay is them putting it back in. But I think that is wishful thinking on my part.
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post #191 of 500 Old 05-26-2005, 05:39 AM
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longplay: Even before you took the time to reply to my posting, I dropped Pioneer a message through their web site. At the end I stated that manual recording is very important to me and that their answer will determine whether I wait and buy a 633 or grab a 520 while they are still available. I'll also telephone them tomorrow afternoon [by which time I should have some kind of written reply].

Manual recording and auto recording are two (wonderful) features that set Pioneer apart from the rest of the field. If they drop either feature, they are digging themselves into a hole. Oh, well.
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post #192 of 500 Old 05-26-2005, 09:32 AM - Thread Starter
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Ngohit, your inquiry seems reasonable and quite tactful. Good luck, and let us know how you make out. :)
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post #193 of 500 Old 05-26-2005, 10:46 AM
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I just looked at the specs for Pioneer's current Japanese models (including a DVR-530) and they all mention MN mode (34 on HDD and 33 on DVD because the HDD also has XP+). I may be an optimist but I can't imagine why they would remove that for the North America market.

Here's the PDF that has the specs from Japan.
http://www.pioneer.co.jp/dvd/product...new_hikaku.pdf
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post #194 of 500 Old 05-27-2005, 07:35 PM
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costco is selling the XS34 now. Are the Toshiba as good as the Pioneer (which never seems to be released)?
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post #195 of 500 Old 05-27-2005, 07:51 PM
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never mind, I see that the fan is on all the time on the Toshiba.
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post #196 of 500 Old 05-27-2005, 08:05 PM
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According to the Pioneer's German website, the DVR-433H model may have similar specs to those of the US DVR-533H, i.e. 80GB HDD. Not only the German version has manual recording mode, it also has new features from the DVR-530H such as DVD-R DL recording and XP+ mode:

http://www.pioneer.de/de/product_det...omy_id=367-402

It would be inconceivable that the US version won't get the same features. Also the German market doesn't seem to get the el cheapo DVR-233 model.
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post #197 of 500 Old 05-28-2005, 11:01 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swallowtail
According to the Pioneer's German website, the DVR-433H model may have similar specs to those of the US DVR-533H, i.e. 80GB HDD. Not only the German version has manual recording mode, it also has new features from the DVR-530H such as DVD-R DL recording and XP+ mode:

http://www.pioneer.de/de/product_det...omy_id=367-402

It would be inconceivable that the US version won't get the same features. Also the German market doesn't seem to get the el cheapo DVR-233 model.
Indeed, it would be very nice if the USA 533 had the same features as its German (European) and Japanese counterparts, but I think Healeyguy and especially Swallowtail are being overly optimistic to think that will be the case.

It is very conceivable (even probable) that the US version won't get the same features (especially DL recording - we would have heard this by now). The simple fact that the el cheapo 233 is not even being offered in Japan or Germany (Europe) should tell you that we Yanks are getting the fuzzy end of the lollypop. :(
Keep your fingers crossed about the manual recording on the USA 533/633.

Swallowtail, I have a great deal of respect for your posts, but must confess that some of the things you write go right over my head. In your other post in this thread you wrote:

" The new Pioneer recorders are supposed to have a newly designed MPEG encoder chipset, unfortunately they still use 3/4 D1 and 2/3 D1 non-standard resolution in VR mode."

Swallowtail, would you please explain what this means? I am also somewhat curious as to how you found out about this.



HealeyGuy, the new USA 533/633 is supposed to have a help feature. When one presses the "HELP" button - will a menu of HealeyGuy posts pop up??

Just playing, HealeyGuy. :D
You and Swallowtail are both valuable assets to this site. In fact, I recall that it was posts from both of you fellows that made the Pioneer 520 my DVD recorder of choice when I started searching for info after Santa Claus stiffed me. Last year, I was not a very good boy.
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post #198 of 500 Old 05-28-2005, 12:34 PM
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longplay: Pioneer has not replied to the question (manual recording) I sent them a few days ago. I'm hoping this means someone who is willing to find out the answer rather than just say, "We won't know until it's released," is looking into things.

If I don't get a reply by Tuesday afternoon, assuming they are closed Monday, I'll call, rather than mail for the e-mail reply.
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post #199 of 500 Old 05-28-2005, 01:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by longplay
" The new Pioneer recorders are supposed to have a newly designed MPEG encoder chipset, unfortunately they still use 3/4 D1 and 2/3 D1 non-standard resolution in VR mode."

Swallowtail, would you please explain what this means? I am also somewhat curious as to how you found out about this.
The new encoder chipset information is based on the following link:

http://www.pioneer.co.jp/dvd/product.../index_02.html

Not sure if you can see it clearly without Japanese language installed, but it is a well known fact that Pioneer, JVC, and Toshiba all implement non-standard resoultion in their VR mode recordings longer than 2 hours, and Pioneer continues this practice with the new MPEG encoder chipset. However full D1 resolution (720x480) in DVD-Video mode is extended to 6 hours for DVD-R DL and about 3 1/3 hours for a single-layer disc.

Whether the US version of 533H/633H will get DVD-R DL is indeed unknown, but Verbatim DVD-R DL discs are already available at newegg.com:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16817507001

So it's not like that Pioneer is going to introduce some vapor feature and product. I wouldn't assume the US version DVR-533H/633H will get exactly the same features as the low end DVR-233 simply because it would probably cost more just to disable these built-in features instead of keeping them for every market. If you compare both the 433H and 530H sold in Germany, you'd realize that they have very little difference feature-wise, although the 433H does have a low-end appearance.

BTW, I just read the Pioneer DVR-233 review in the latest issue of Sound & Vision. Not only does it lose manual recording, but the playlist editing function is also missing. Does this also mean the HDD-based 533H/633H lose the playlist feature because the 233 doesn't have one? I guess we'll find out sooner or later.
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post #200 of 500 Old 05-29-2005, 11:38 AM - Thread Starter
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Swallowtail - thanks for the explanation about the resolutions. You seem to believe that Pioneer will have this new encoder chipset on their USA products, but are you basing that assumption solely on the Japanese website (I can't read Japanese, BTW, it was a neat link), or do you have some other indication that the US models will include it. Full resolution to 3.33 hours is almost as good as the heavily promoted Panasonic's LP resolution.

Your point about the features being similar amongst all the products in Pioneer's European line could be taken in another way. It could mean that all the products within the US line will have similar features, as has been the practice. Perhaps, this is a reason why the 233, or equivalent, is not in the European and Japanese product line. The continuity of features within a product line may also be as much, or more, about marketing as it is about manufacturing.

I would like to be as optimistic as you are about the the new US product line. I usually am optimistic. However, after 6 months of STONEWALLING on even the most basic information, a 2 month delay in the release date, and a stripped down 233 on my rack - I have become pessimistic about this new lineup. Tuesday is June - so we should know soon. :confused:
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post #201 of 500 Old 05-29-2005, 12:41 PM
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Pioneer, like other major manufacturers, normally uses the same MPEG encoder chipset for their recorders in all markets. There is no point not to take advantage of economy of scale when price competition is a way of life in the consumer electronics industry. If Pioneer wants to introduce a new product specific to a regional market, it changes features and product number, not a different chipset. Remember the DVR-810H which was specifically designed for the US market? It still used the same chipset as the DVR-510/520H. Pioneer didn't design another chipset just for the 810H, and certainly won't do the same thing just for the North American low-end product. If Pioneer's new products won't satisfy your needs, there are still Toshiba's with manual recording feature, and that's the beauty of competition.

For people who are interested in the Pioneer's new and improved manual recording modes due to the new chipset, you can check out the table of manual recording modes from the European version of the DVR-530H manual from the following link:

http://195.61.130.92/PEEService/Regi...earch?openform

Just type in DVR-530H. If type in DVR-433H, only the Russian version is available, although with the same chart.
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post #202 of 500 Old 05-29-2005, 09:51 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swallowtail
Pioneer, like other major manufacturers, normally uses the same MPEG encoder chipset for their recorders in all markets. There is no point not to take advantage of economy of scale when price competition is a way of life in the consumer electronics industry. If Pioneer wants to introduce a new product specific to a regional market, it changes features and product number, not a different chipset. Remember the DVR-810H which was specifically designed for the US market? It still used the same chipset as the DVR-510/520H. Pioneer didn't design another chipset just for the 810H, and certainly won't do the same thing just for the North American low-end product. If Pioneer's new products won't satisfy your needs, there are still Toshiba's with manual recording feature, and that's the beauty of competition.

For people who are interested in the Pioneer's new and improved manual recording modes due to the new chipset, you can check out the table of manual recording modes from the European version of the DVR-530H manual from the following link:

http://195.61.130.92/PEEService/Regi...earch?openform

Just type in DVR-530H. If type in DVR-433H, only the Russian version is available, although with the same chart.
Swallowtail - So then you are saying that even this stripped down USA 233 has the new encoder chipset that delivers full resolution to 3.33 hours on a single layer disc. What a shame - considering that since the 233 doesn't have manual recording you have to jump from 2hr SP mode to 4hr LP mode, thus limiting the full resolution to 2hrs instead of 3.3hrs. Funny how Panasonic has been telling the world about their new 12 bit converter delivering full resolution to 4hr LP mode, yet not a peep from Pioneer USA about their new chipset and it's advantages? :confused:
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post #203 of 500 Old 05-29-2005, 09:57 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ngohit
longplay: Pioneer has not replied to the question (manual recording) I sent them a few days ago. I'm hoping this means someone who is willing to find out the answer rather than just say, "We won't know until it's released," is looking into things.

If I don't get a reply by Tuesday afternoon, assuming they are closed Monday, I'll call, rather than mail for the e-mail reply.
Ngohit - Are you starting to squeeze the trigger on a 520 yet?
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post #204 of 500 Old 05-29-2005, 11:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by longplay
considering that since the 233 doesn't have manual recording you have to jump from 2hr SP mode to 4hr LP mode, thus limiting the full resolution to 2hrs instead of 3.3hrs.
Not really, the "optimized recording" or "auto mode" for timer recordings is basically similar to the FR mode used by Panasonic. If you set the timer for 3-hour recording on one blank disc, you should still get full D1 resolution. Pioneer's manual recording lets users set both bitrate and length of time, while FR mode lets the users specify only the length of time, and bitrate is determined based on the available space on a disc. The main drawback is that auto mode only works for timer recordings, same as the Samsung DVD-R120 model.

Correction: Pioneer's manual indicates up to 210 min of DVD-Video for D1 resolution, so that's actually 3 1/2 hours of length.
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post #205 of 500 Old 05-30-2005, 06:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swallowtail
Pioneer's manual indicates up to 210 min of DVD-Video for D1 resolution, so that's actually 3 1/2 hours of length.
Just so I'm clear: Does this mean resolution on the new Pioneer is an improvement over the 520/420?

I sure wish Pioneer had released more information on the 2005 models back in January. All they really did was give the HD sizes for their 2 HD models, list other, non-HD offerings--then toot the addition of TV Guide (which is useless for us satellite people).

I'd also like to know if component in/out is on 2005 models.

2 weeks until we know (assuming Pioneer actually does release the 533/633 mid-June as some of us were told by them).
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post #206 of 500 Old 05-30-2005, 09:52 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swallowtail
Not really, the "optimized recording" or "auto mode" for timer recordings is basically similar to the FR mode used by Panasonic. If you set the timer for 3-hour recording on one blank disc, you should still get full D1 resolution. Pioneer's manual recording lets users set both bitrate and length of time, while FR mode lets the users specify only the length of time, and bitrate is determined based on the available space on a disc. The main drawback is that auto mode only works for timer recordings, same as the Samsung DVD-R120 model.

Correction: Pioneer's manual indicates up to 210 min of DVD-Video for D1 resolution, so that's actually 3 1/2 hours of length.
FWIW, the Pioneer rep told me that it would have to jump to the 4hr LP mode because the machine (233/231) only has 6 recording time modes. If it did have the 32 steps manual mode, then it would take the optimal step - but it doesn't have the 32 recording time modes. Sounds logical to me. The manual doesn't really say. I am not going to test it because I am returning it pronto. All I have been doing is dubbing and then erasing old vhs tapes to the -RW disc that was included. No sense wasting DVD-Rs. So far no blackouts.
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post #207 of 500 Old 06-01-2005, 01:15 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ngohit
longplay: Pioneer has not replied to the question (manual recording) I sent them a few days ago. I'm hoping this means someone who is willing to find out the answer rather than just say, "We won't know until it's released," is looking into things.

If I don't get a reply by Tuesday afternoon, assuming they are closed Monday, I'll call, rather than mail for the e-mail reply.
Ngohit - any luck?
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post #208 of 500 Old 06-02-2005, 04:14 AM
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Hi longplay.

Groan. I had written a *lengthy* reply to you and had just clicked the 'post' key when the site started having problems. Actually it looks as if this is the first posting [on any of the threads] since the site database problem last evening.

Summary: Still no reply to my e-mail of May 25th. The Pioneer person I spoke with this time (Wed. afternoon) was useless. I am, however, now concerned that the 533/633 might not have all the features I want, even though the guy said Pioneer does not normally drop functions from year to year.
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post #209 of 500 Old 06-02-2005, 09:17 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ngohit
Hi longplay.

Groan. I had written a *lengthy* reply to you and had just clicked the 'post' key when the site started having problems. Actually it looks as if this is the first posting [on any of the threads] since the site database problem last evening.

Summary: Still no reply to my e-mail of May 25th. The Pioneer person I spoke with this time (Wed. afternoon) was useless. I am, however, now concerned that the 533/633 might not have all the features I want, even though the guy said Pioneer does not normally drop functions from year to year.
Ah, Ngohit, so it was you who broke the website. ;)
Ouch, I also hate it when I type up a long post and it sails off into cyberspace.

Pioneer's stonewalling on info is extremely annoying. I could understand playing their cards close to their vest before the EH50 and XS34 were released, but at this time - what is the point of all this secrecy. Yeah, I know there are other companies out there, but give me a break - not even a features sheet. :mad:

Panasonic EH50 was due in June, arrived in May, and info including owners manual released in April - as I recall. :)

Toshiba XS34 was due in March, arrived in May with owners manual, and info such as specs and features released in April- as I recall.

Pioneer 533/633 was due in April, is now promised for June, and ALL info has been hidden behind a wall of silence. :mad:



Would like to see more feedback from you new XS34 owners. So far, I get the impression that the XS34 is not without a few problems.
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post #210 of 500 Old 06-02-2005, 09:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by longplay
Would like to see more feedback from you new XS34 owners. So far, I get the impression that the XS34 is not without a few problems.
I have updated my review with a couple more comments.

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...&&#post5655677

Basically, so far I am happy with the unit. The location of the IR sensor is a minor annoyance but no big deal. The fan is a non-issue. And it seems like the A/V signal feedthrough only when powered on and TVGuide incompatibility with my SAT receiver are problems common to all or most DVD recorders

I think a new review thread should be started with just reviews so that people don't have to scan past a bunch of discussions which could be carried out on other threads like a users thread.
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