Pio 533/633 vs. Tosh XS34 vs. Pan EH50 - AVS Forum
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Old 03-09-2005, 04:03 PM - Thread Starter
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Since these models will soon (hopefully) be released, I was wondering which one you would choose to buy for your one and only DVD recorder? And why?

Obviously, it is likely that nobody has any personal experience with these actual models, and details and specs are a bit sketchy at this point ... but what the hell ... this is a DVD discussion forum.

As for me, I just returned my first dvd recorder, a Sony rdr-gx300. It did everything I expected it to do well, but mostly it demonstrated to me the futility of trying to transfer a large number of VHS tapes to DVD without a hard drive.

My research led me to want to upgrade to the Pioneer 520. Then I read the press release about the 533, which I understand to be essentially a 520 with the TV guide feature. The big news to me is that it lists for only $499 compared to the lowest authorized price of $529 on the 520. So now I am waiting for a new 533 or to see if the 520's price plumets when the 533 is available, since I could live without TV guide.

Then I hear about Toshibas xs34 and Panasonics e50(?), and I'm starting to wonder if I need to begin again my research. Hence this thread.
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Old 03-09-2005, 06:48 PM
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With the release of most new versions of another product, the current lineup of products will plummet in price(most of the time. Sometimes the old product is better than the new).

I too am waiting for the Panny's to arrive. First I will let others be guineau(I do not know how to spell that) pigs and purchase the new units to get their impressions(especially about the NEW LP recording level on DVD's which is supposed to look as good as the SP level) on the new units.

And although the new Panny's will be more versitile(-RW/+R/-R/RAM recording and reading capabilities) will it be worth the money?

If not, the current line-up(E-85 DVD recorder/120GB HDD, E-75DVD Recorder/VHS Player-Recorder. and the E-55 DDV recorder) will PLUMMET in price and there should be plenty left over while the new ones roll out.

This has already begun with the curren Panny line-up at CC, and they will continue to fall.
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Old 03-09-2005, 11:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by STEELERSRULE:
"I will let others be guineau (I do not know how to spell that) pigs..."
Close -- it's "guinea". :)

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And although the new Panny's will be more versitile (-RW/+R/-R/RAM recording and reading capabilities) will it be worth the money?
The new Pannies aren't due out until May (still two months away), and my understanding is that they won't have a DV / Firewire input. I asked them about that almost a month ago, along with a comment about the digital artifacts issue that's been reported in these forums.

Their answer -- which I just got today -- didn't even address the DV input issue. All they said was, "
Thank you for your inquiry....Panasonics current recorder do not have any flaws."

So I asked them again about the reported lack of a DV input, and I'll report their answer (if they give me one) when I get it.
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Old 03-10-2005, 07:18 AM
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My money is on the new Toshiba xs34. I have owned a Panasonic e55, Pioneer 220s, and a Toshiba xs52. Even though the first two don't have hard drives the Toshiba is the best. The only problem, of course is the black level issue, apparently the xs34 addresses this issue. The Toshiba xs52 has powerful editing features, can record 16X9, and has great playback. The xs34 adds DVD-RW, an adjustable 0 IRE / 7.5 IRE Recording Selection. http://ww3.onecall.com/PID_27188.htm#Features
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Old 03-10-2005, 11:51 AM
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Yeah, it looks good. I just wish they'd hurry up and release 'em to the market already! What are they waiting for??? :mad:
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Old 03-11-2005, 10:21 AM - Thread Starter
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rr6966 - thanks for that link to the xs34 specs.

Does anyone have the specs or feature list for the 533 or the new Panny??

I suppose the holdup is to give time for the old stock to clear out.
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Old 03-11-2005, 12:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by longplay
rr6966 - thanks for that link to the xs34 specs.

Does anyone have the specs or feature list for the 533 or the new Panny??
I'm putting the Panasonic at the top of the "wait and see" list. Both Pioneer and Toshiba are essentially offering similar features to previous models. Panasonic is claiming an improved encoder (especially boosting LP resolution), quicker start-up (1 second from a cold start at power-on), and adding recording support for -RW and +R media (and playback support for +RW).
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Old 03-12-2005, 06:55 AM
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There's a saying in the tech business that I never seen applied to members of this forum with the exceptions of Captain Shirk, and STEELERSRULE: Never buy .0 of anything. Just remember that 50% of the people in the US didn't own a computer until the mid to late 90's and that tech is not old technology but relativity new. Technology isn't like that 25 year old car where the carburettor goes bad and all you have to do is go down to the junkyard and find another one.
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Old 03-14-2005, 08:15 PM
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Originally posted by POWERFUL
There's a saying in the tech business that I never seen applied to members of this forum with the exceptions of Captain Shirk, and STEELERSRULE: Never buy .0 of anything.
But even if we do believe that maxim, none of these DVD recorders are ".0" of anything. They're all several generations out. (Panasonic - HS2 -> DMR-E80 - E85, etc; Toshiba RD-S32 -> RDXS-52 -> RDXS-34).
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Old 03-14-2005, 10:05 PM
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I'm with STEELERSRULE. I'd let others be the guinea pig for the new models. It takes quite a long time for bugs to come to light and one could slap down a lot of money on a new recorder and come a few months later find out it has one major bug or another. At least you know better where you stand with the current recorders on the market.

I also can't see things improving by leaps and bounds with the new recorders over the old. Newer isn't always better. The new Panasonic line is promising more changes than the others as someone else noted, but who knows if the machines themselves will be "better". I also don't see how it's possible for LP mode to be as good as SP. What's up with that? It makes no sense. Granted, Panasonics LP mode is crap so it won't be hard to improve, but to make it as good as SP? Doesn't make sense to me how that's possible.

Personally, I'd wait until the current recorders prices plummet come Spring and grab one of the current recorders that gets decent reviews. Either the Panasonic E80/85, or maybe a JVC if you can deal with taking it in should the loading bug rear it's head. Previous to this I would have suggested the Pioneer 420/520 until I came upon the black-out scene bug.

Still, I think it's gonna be a few years before we see drastic improvements in the recorders, they're whipping them out too fast to be taking into account other issues, like bugs and so forth. I find that pretty shoddy, but not altogether surprising.
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Old 03-15-2005, 12:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by luckylisp:
I'm with STEELERSRULE. I'd let others be the guinea pig for the new models. It takes quite a long time for bugs to come to light and one could slap down a lot of money on a new recorder and come a few months later find out it has one major bug or another.
I have to admit, that's true.....

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At least you know better where you stand with the current recorders on the market.
But unfortunately, where we stand with the current recorders ain't that great. :(

And while I certainly agree that it's not likely that we'll see improvements by leaps and bounds, and that "newer isn't always better," I think it's not unreasonable to think that some of the more serious bugs will have been worked out with the newer models. For example, the new Pannies will have 12-bit encoding which suggests that the banding/posterization bug will have been fixed. It appears that the infamous Toshiba black level bug has finally been fixed in the new RD-XS34. And considering how much discussion there has been about the Pioneer "blackout" bug, it's at least a fair bet that Pioneer knows about it and that the new 533/633 models will have that problem solved as well. No guarantees, of course, but all things considered, it's worth a shot. You can always return it if you don't like it.

Now, as for picture quality (sharpness/resolution) with the new Pannies....

Quote:
I don't see how it's possible for LP mode to be as good as SP. What's up with that? It makes no sense.
I agree -- it doesn't.

Quote:
Granted, Panasonic's LP mode is crap so it won't be hard to improve, but to make it as good as SP? Doesn't make sense to me how that's possible.
I agree, but I think you sorta answered your own question. Probably not too hard to improve upon the LP mode. Once they've done that, the short step to saying "as good as SP mode" is just the usual dose of advertising hype, to be taken with a large grain of salt.

Having said all that, though, I do agree with your general premise that they're under pressure to bring new models to market and are therefore "whipping them out too fast to be taking bugs into account." And I agree that that IS a shoddy business practice.
(And dangerous, too -- any manufacturer who does that risks developing a reputation for making crappy products.) But based on what I've seen in the last few months -- the widespread complaints, the changes in the new models, etc. -- I have a feeling that the major manufacturers finally have worked out the most serious bugs.

I hope I'm right!
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Old 03-15-2005, 01:44 AM
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Originally posted by Captain Shirk
[I hope I'm right!
Believe me, I hope you are too. I'll be watching from the sidelines to see how it all plays out. I guess my worry about buying one of the new recorders is most places give you at most a 30 day return policy. I generally find it takes a good 6 months (often longer) for some of these bugs to show their face. I don't want to be left holding one of them. But yeah it's electronics and all so you can never be sure either way. I could wait another year and buy one that's been well reviewed and still not be happy. And I certainly agree with you that where we stand with the recorders now isn't that great, but I do think we're going to have to wait another year or two for a feature rich recorder without major bugs.
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Old 03-15-2005, 10:24 AM - Thread Starter
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I would like to maintain a state of guarded optimism about these new models.

Pio 533 - hopefully the blackout bug of the 520 has been solved. I don't much care about the new TV guide feature, so if thats buggy - no biggy. If the 520 price plummets, I may get one and try it out. If it is bad, I'll return it, and try a 533 if reviews are favorable while I am testing my 520.

Tosh xs34- seems like this is also worth a try. One would think that Toshiba has corrected the xs32 blacklevel bug.

Panny - I think I got the model # wrong. Sorry about that. This seems to me to be the most risky, because they are using substatially different technology (about which I know almost zip). That, and they are racing to release this as fast as possible because they are 2-3 months behind the others.

All this uncertainty is enough to cause one to become an unofficial career 30 day field tester.:confused:
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Old 03-15-2005, 12:48 PM
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Originally posted by longplay
Panny - I think I got the model # wrong. Sorry about that. This seems to me to be the most risky, because they are using substatially different technology (about which I know almost zip). That, and they are racing to release this as fast as possible because they are 2-3 months behind the others.
[/b]
Yeah, I totally agree with you about the Panny. I'd be leery to try out their new recorders before they've been tested and retested by others for the same reasons you state. I think it's possible the new panny's could be worse than the old.

I'm pretty interested in the new Toshiba myself as well. My friend has one of the older Toshiba's and it's a great machine. If they've fixed the black level bug, and surely they have, the Toshiba might be the way to go. The JVC recorders have a great pic, but they have the loading problem, but that will be fixed on newer models. I've never had much luck with JVC myself, though, so I'd probably stay away from it.

As far as the black out bug on the Pioneer 520, I seem to be one of the few people who have had trouble with it on good condition tapes, although I did read another post from someone on here that had the problem with good tapes as well. .
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Old 03-21-2005, 11:26 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks to the notorious HOUSTON GUY, we now have the correct model number and a link to some info on the new Panny DMR-ES10, which is due out in May, according to the HOUSTON GUY. Although the link below does not mention a hard drive,

http://www.panasonic.ca/English/audi...vd/dmres10.asp

The Toshiba xs34 is now being offered for sale at a few e-tailers such as amazon.com, so things should be heating up soon.

Pioneer's silence has been deafening since their press release of Jan. 5th.
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Old 03-21-2005, 12:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by longplay
Thanks to the notorious HOUSTON GUY, we now have the correct model number and a link to some info on the new Panny DMR-ES10
I believe the original Panasonic Canada link pointing to this model originated here
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Old 03-21-2005, 12:18 PM - Thread Starter
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Yes Jeffwld, I now see that you were the 1st on this site to post the link to the ES10, however, Houston Guy's posting was the one that I saw first.
Do you know the model number for the new Panny that has a hard drive?
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Old 03-21-2005, 12:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by longplay:
...The Toshiba xs34 is now being offered for sale at a few e-tailers such as amazon.com, so things should be heating up soon.
Actually, it's not available for sale yet at Amazon.com (or anywhere else, for that matter). The latest information I have is that retailers will be getting them in early April.
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Old 03-21-2005, 12:21 PM - Thread Starter
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Captain - aren't they selling them as a "reserve yours now" deal?
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Old 03-21-2005, 12:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by longplay

Do you know the model number for the new Panny that has a hard drive?
It will be the DMR-E50HS
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Old 03-21-2005, 01:07 PM
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Originally posted by longplay
Captain - aren't they [Amazon.com] selling them as a "reserve yours now" deal?
Well, Amazon isn't, but OneCall.com and BSLess.com are. But I don't consider that as being "now offered for sale." :)
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Old 03-22-2005, 10:30 AM - Thread Starter
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JeffWld - thanks for the correct model #. I'm not sure where I got E50 from, when I started this topic. Glad I was close, at least. I couldn't find it on their site yesterday. I assume it will be similar to the DMR-ES10, but with a hard drive.

Captain - And we know it is not really sold until after they have our money for 30 days.:D
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Old 03-23-2005, 02:12 AM
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I bet THEY consider it sold the second you click on the "checkout" button! :D

(Which is why I haven't "reserved mine now" yet. :) )
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Old 04-05-2005, 12:39 PM - Thread Starter
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Well it will soon be time for all heck to break out.

A rep from Vann's told me thet the Toshiba XS34 is supposed to be in stock on April 10th. The Pioneer 533 is supposed to arrive on April 15th and will be offered at $379.99. Another poster on this forum has reported that the new Panasonic EH50 is being offered at ecost for $379.99 and will be arriving soon.

Some people have been saying that the XS32's so-called "black level bug" has been resolved with the XS34. I am not sure how they know this for a fact. Where did that info come from? Is it addressed in the XS34 spec sheet?
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Old 04-05-2005, 01:26 PM
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Some people have been saying that the XS32's so-called "black level bug" has been resolved with the XS34. I am not sure how they know this for a fact. Where did that info come from? Is it addressed in the XS34 spec sheet?
Re-read the fourth post in this thread. IRE is selectable.
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Old 04-05-2005, 05:32 PM - Thread Starter
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Yes Tom Jones, I had seen that. That is great if that solves the problem. What does IRE stand for, anyway?

3 great hard drive recorders at reasonable prices. This will not be an easy choice, and buy all 3 is not an option!!! ... Not for me, anyway.
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Old 04-05-2005, 09:19 PM
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What does IRE stand for, anyway?
Institute of Radio Engineers

The black bug has been beaten to death. We should let it rest in peace.
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Old 04-06-2005, 01:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by longplay
The Pioneer 533 is supposed to arrive on April 15th and will be offered at $379.99. [/b]
Is that a hard drive model?
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Old 04-06-2005, 10:12 AM
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Originally posted by luckylisp
Is that a hard drive model?

I believe the 533 has an 80 Gig drive and the 633 has a 160 Gig drive.
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Old 04-06-2005, 11:20 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally posted by TomJones The black bug has been beaten to death. We should let it rest in peace. [/b]
I do not have the black level bug... I have never suffered from the black level bug ... All I know is that I don't want to get the black level bug.

Tom Jones, if I can buy an XS34 and not have to learn the hard way about the black level bug ... so much the better. I am sure all the other innocent newbies feel the same way.
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