Pioneer DVR 640h-S User Reports. - Page 4 - AVS Forum
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post #91 of 3215 Old 06-06-2006, 10:07 PM
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Xodiac, it sounds like your Philips is working like a DVR cable box, that is constantly recording whatever you are watching, and you can adjust how much it saves, before it drops it from the HD. My Comcast/Motorola Cablebox/DVR has a buffer, but you can't adjust it. From what Sean has said, I gather that the 640 doesn't work exactly like that. You have to tell it when to start recording to the HD, and it won't
erase anything from the HD until you tell it to do so. I don't have mine yet, so I may be mistaken. I believe there was also some mention of one set of inputs that would automatically start recording, any time they receive a signal.
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post #92 of 3215 Old 06-07-2006, 05:55 AM
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Ah yes, a circular constantly-recording area that acts like a Tivo would fit the description of a "buffer" very well. No, the Pioneer 633 doesn't have such a beast, and AFAIK the 640 doesn't either.
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post #93 of 3215 Old 06-07-2006, 07:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sean Nelson View Post

Ah yes, a circular constantly-recording area that acts like a Tivo would fit the description of a "buffer" very well. No, the Pioneer 633 doesn't have such a beast, and AFAIK the 640 doesn't either.

The 640 doesn´t have it as neither the 633, 520 or 510.

I have a very old ( in todays digital, every day changing world) JVC HDSM1 which is a 40 GB HDD-VHS recorder which once turned on, it starts to temporaly "record" to the HDD what input is selected. This "buffer" size is selectable through the initial set up menu (as I recall in 1 or 3 hour size). So it can be used just like a TIVO or a HDD equiped cable box would be.

It´s software is very primitive when compared with the latest Pioneers or Toshibas but is the prefered by my wife to watch her choosed day recordings because is very easy to use.
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post #94 of 3215 Old 06-07-2006, 01:52 PM
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Originally Posted by zenith2525 View Post

Anyone know yet what kind of menu templates it offers? Just curious if they have added or changed any of the same old 9 options they have always had?

Bump.
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post #95 of 3215 Old 06-07-2006, 11:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sean Nelson View Post

Edit: Actually I think there is a limit to the number of titles on a DVD, I think it might be 99.

Yes, 99 for -R and 49 for +R.

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post #96 of 3215 Old 06-08-2006, 03:17 AM
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640 owners: Does the remote have a chapter mark key?

I have a 480, two 520s and one 531. To say I hate the lack of a chapter mark key on the 531 is an understatement, because it makes editing out commercials (for me) more time consuming. Even if I do not intend to edit something later, making chapter marks via the remote is a feature I use a lot on the 420/520s--I was recording American Idol for a neighbor who can not yank in Fox on their TV (antenna, I have satellite) and inserting a chapter mark just before their favorite contestants sang so they could easily replay these segments (with little work for me).

Let's say I'm recording a few FoodTV programs for a relative, intend to edit out the commercials, and decide I'd like to watch them myself. On the 420/520 I watch the episode and make a chapter mark at the beginning and end of a commercial, using the remote. Later I edit the segment. Since there are already marks where the commercials start and end, I can quickly remove them. This same way of watching/speeding along later editing via the remove can _not_ be done on the 531.

About the only thing I prefer the 531 for is it's ability to high speed dubb all MN speeds from a DVD-RW back to the HD. There is a range of MN settings that require real time dubbing from DVD-RW -> HD on the 420/520. For these I do use the 531.
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post #97 of 3215 Old 06-08-2006, 07:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ngohit View Post

To say I hate the lack of a chapter mark key on the 531 is an understatement, because it makes editing out commercials (for me) more time consuming.

This wouldn't work so well for putting a marker into the content of the show, but on the 531 you can just hit the pause button twice while recording to put in a chapter mark.
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post #98 of 3215 Old 06-08-2006, 01:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sean Nelson View Post

This wouldn't work so well for putting a marker into the content of the show, but on the 531 you can just hit the pause button twice while recording to put in a chapter mark.

Thanks for this tip. I didn't realize one could do this. Before typing this reply, I hit the record button and did the double pause a few times (within a few minutes). Stopping the recording and going into edit, I saw the chapter marks were there. Trying this on something already recorded does not work though, which makes sense--someone might just want to pause, change their mind, then change it again.

*However* I guess I have gotten pretty darn spoiled with the 420/520s. My normal way of watching something I am also recording is to start recording then watch the program via the HDD so I can hit pause if the phone rings, need a soda, want to replay something, etc. Using the chapter mark button while watching this way is great. I can just hit pause and go a few frames forward or backward before using the chapter button.

For long programs with a lot of commercials to be edited out, such as the Hallmark showing of, "King Solomon's Mines," a few weeks ago, I use a 420/520. For programs with next to no editing required, like HBO or Starz/Encore, the 531 is fine. I do find myself sometimes copying something on the 531 to a DVD-RW then doing the editing on the 520.
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post #99 of 3215 Old 06-08-2006, 03:23 PM
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I wonder if the 520 remote (with the chapter mark button) would work it's
magic on a 640?
Could it be that the code might be in there...just no button on the 640 remote?
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post #100 of 3215 Old 06-08-2006, 03:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Earthquake Mike View Post

I wonder if the 520 remote (with the chapter mark button) would work it's
magic on a 640?
Could it be that the code might be in there...just no button on the 640 remote?

I would definitely like to know if it works. If it does, I would order one and give the 531 to a cousin (in another state with cable stations I don't get on DirecTV). That wonderful chapter mark button does not work on the 531. I tried.

No idea why Pioneer would drop this feature. I can't imaging that it added to the cost such that dropping it would result in manufacture savings.
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post #101 of 3215 Old 06-09-2006, 06:06 PM - Thread Starter
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Hmm

My clock got whacked back to april 2004 today. I only noticed it when I went to chase play a recording that was supposed to start at 8:00.

I have reset it via manual mode this time. (By the way auto set failed, If it had TVGOS I'd be crying about losing my channels. Glad I don't have that headache)

Once the clock was reset the recording started. That seems odd to me, if the start time was missed by an hour why would it record.
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post #102 of 3215 Old 06-10-2006, 04:31 PM
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OK...Just got my 640h-s.To clarify, I am tech savy but this is my 1st dvr and even after going through the users guide, I still have 2 questions:
1.Where the hell is the TVGOSD? Is VCR plus+ alll it has? (If this is true, I'm really gonna regret not getting the Panny 55h!)
2.If I'm recording from an external source(VHS) and it is 1h:30min long...how do I get it to record at the best quality so that it fits nicely/completely on a 2hr DVD-R?
THANKS!

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post #103 of 3215 Old 06-10-2006, 04:35 PM
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I've read several times in this Forum that the 640 does not have EPG/TVGOS (be thankful!).

And if it's anything like the 633, the 640 has "MN" recording speeds, one is for 90 minutes (MN26).
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post #104 of 3215 Old 06-10-2006, 07:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nasser117 View Post

1.Where the hell is the TVGOSD? Is VCR plus+ alll it has? (If this is true, I'm really gonna regret not getting the Panny 55h!)

Yes, it only has VCR Plus+, or the ability to manually set it as precise as you like, or a shortcut route that sets things on the hour or in 15 minute jumps. But like everyone else is saying you need to be happy about it not having a TVGOSD, the older Pioneers that have them made a serious racket (very noisy) and the 640 is very quiet. The Panasonic EH55 very well might be a good machine, but you won't regret the Pioneer 640...trust me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nasser117 View Post

2.If I'm recording from an external source (VHS) and it is 1h:30min long...how do I get it to record at the best quality so that it fits nicely/completely on a 2hr DVD-R?
THANKS!

Ok, I know that the Panasonic has an FR mode (Flexible Recording) where without having to worry about it you just set it to that and it finds the best quality setting so whatever you are recording fits the whole disc, but the Pioneer has 6 preset settings, as well as 32 manual settings for just about any time you will need...how much more "Flexible" can you get than that? Also, the Pioneer has a setting...when you are setting a Timer Recording...that says "Auto". That sounds to me like it does exactly what the Panasonic's "FR" setting does.

Give it some time, adapt to the little changes this unit has from other ones, and you will love the Pioneer 640.

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post #105 of 3215 Old 06-10-2006, 07:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nasser117 View Post

OK...Just got my 640h-s.To clarify, I am tech savy but this is my 1st dvr and even after going through the users guide, I still have 2 questions:
1.Where the hell is the TVGOSD? Is VCR plus+ alll it has? (If this is true, I'm really gonna regret not getting the Panny 55h!)
2.If I'm recording from an external source(VHS) and it is 1h:30min long...how do I get it to record at the best quality so that it fits nicely/completely on a 2hr DVD-R?
THANKS!

1. bobkart is right. Be thankful you don't have it.

2. He's right on this, too--MN26 on the 640 and earlier Pioneer models.

I'd much rather have a Pioneer than a Panasonic due to the numerous, manual (MN) settings one can make. Actually, I did have a HD Panasonic over a year ago and returned it.
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post #106 of 3215 Old 06-10-2006, 10:54 PM
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My 640 came on Thursday, and I've spent as much happy time playing with it as I could, but have much more to try, and learn. Still, I have a lot of thoughts on it that I'd like to share, in no particular order. This is my first DVD recorder, and so far, I like it a lot.

I've only cut two DVDs, both real time, from the DVR of my HD Motorola cable box, via S-Vid connections. They both look great! I did them in -R, video mode.

Putting titles on them by moving the cursor and clicking on letters seems a waste of time. They included two USB ports, so why not let us hook up a key board to enter all this stuff quickly? Or, did I just miss that in the manual so far? Also, I wish you could enter the title while watching/recording the program.

The displays can be confusing, since there are four or five different display buttons. Some are faint overlays, with white on grey, hard to read. The channel display is a long, thin, dark blue bar, with faint yellow, small numbers, that is on and off rather quickly, and hard to read. I can't find the numbers in the DVD rec time counter when the DVD is stopped, only while it is recording, and only to the nearest minute, no seconds, when rec is complete.

I love having two sets of S-Vid outs. One goes to the A/V receiver, and the other goes to the TV. That lets me use the PIP to monitor both source, and recording, at the same time.

My biggest confusion, so far, is some conflicting info in the manual. In the specs on page 133, it says that all +R formats can only be used in VR mode, not Video mode, my prefered mode. But, on pages 49 and 50, it indicates that after finalizing in VIDEO Mode, these discs WILL play on other players. Does anyone know which is true? They do have a tech support number, so maybe I'll call them, after I see if I have any more questions.

I haven't bought any DL discs yet, since they are expensive, and I haven't been able to find any -R DLs locally. +R DLs are easier to find, and a bit cheaper. Would those work as well, and be playable on standard DVD players?

I'm so glad it will support inputting photo j-pegs to the HD, and then copying them to disc! I didn't think it would let me do that.

P.S., I have programmed it to HDD rec various news programs, and The Daily Show. I couldn't set weekly recordings of the Daily Show on the cable DVR, because 3 or 4 showings of each ep come up as "first showing." I like the 640 NOT being linked to an outside schedule. I like the several versions of "weekly" recordings, too. Especially the Tuesday - Saturday, which lets you record a 5 day weekly program that starts after midnight.
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post #107 of 3215 Old 06-11-2006, 08:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kjbawc View Post

Putting titles on them by moving the cursor and clicking on letters seems a waste of time.

On the 633 you can enter titles by pressing the number buttons on the remote multiple times for the various letters (the letters are written on the remote), rather like entering letters on a touch-tone phone. I assume the 640 would have the same capability. It's not as good as a keyboard, but it's about 5 times faster than arrowing to select the letters on the screen. You can also use the "pause" key to insert a space, the "chapter skip" key to shift between upper- and lower-case letters and the "stop" key to exit the title entry process.
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post #108 of 3215 Old 06-11-2006, 08:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sean Nelson View Post

On the 633 you can enter titles by pressing the number buttons on the remote multiple times for the various letters (the letters are written on the remote), rather like entering letters on a touch-tone phone. I assume the 640 would have the same capability. It's not as good as a keyboard, but it's about 5 times faster than arrowing to select the letters on the screen. You can also use the "pause" key to insert a space, the "chapter skip" key to shift between upper- and lower-case letters and the "stop" key to exit the title entry process.

All this holds for the 420/520 and 531, too. Hitting, "Stop," saves the title thus far entered on my machines. I assume this is what you mean rather than stop as in not save.

Pressing, "1," toggles period, coma, apostrophy. The key to the left of, "0," toggles between something I don't know the name for and both sides of parenthesis.
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post #109 of 3215 Old 06-11-2006, 08:47 AM
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Speaking of entering titles...

I've been playing around with a new 640 for about a day now. When I burn a "title" (with chapter stops inserted) from the hard drive to a DVD, I would like to enter a name for each chapter, but I can't for the life of me figure out how to do this.

The only way that I can see to do this is to make each chapter a separate "title," then assemble the titles in the chapter list, and then burn the dvd (where I'll be able to enter the names of each title during the finalization process.

What am I missing? Is there an easier way to do this, where don't have to split up my original title and can maintain its chapter marks?
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post #110 of 3215 Old 06-11-2006, 08:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kjbawc View Post

They included two USB ports, so why not let us hook up a key board to enter all this stuff (program titles) quickly? Or, did I just miss that in the manual so far?

The USB ports are only for connecting a device that will allow you to put MP3 files, or Pictures on the HDD, so you can use the PhotoViewer or JukeBox features.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kjbawc View Post

I have programmed it to HDD rec various news programs, and The Daily Show. I couldn't set weekly recordings of the Daily Show on the cable DVR, because 3 or 4 showings of each ep come up as "first showing." I like the 640 NOT being linked to an outside schedule. I like the several versions of "weekly" recordings, too. Especially the Tuesday - Saturday, which lets you record a 5 day weekly program that starts after midnight.

Something else the 640 allows you to do...which I think is great...is if you are going to record a show, lets say every Monday from 8:00pm to 9:00pm, it gives you an option (if you set it to record on the HDD) where you can erase each recording with the newer one the following week.

So this Monday being the 12th would record, then next week on the 19th it will erase what was recorded on the 12th, and put the new recording in it's place. Of course you can also opt to have it keep the previous recording as well, but just the fact that it gives you the choice is a great feature.

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post #111 of 3215 Old 06-11-2006, 09:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by punch View Post

Speaking of entering titles...

I've been playing around with a new 640 for about a day now. When I burn a "title" (with chapter stops inserted) from the hard drive to a DVD, I would like to enter a name for each chapter, but I can't for the life of me figure out how to do this.

The only way that I can see to do this is to make each chapter a separate "title," then assemble the titles in the chapter list, and then burn the dvd (where I'll be able to enter the names of each title during the finalization process.

What am I missing? Is there an easier way to do this, where don't have to split up my original title and can maintain its chapter marks?

I don't think you are missing anything. Maybe this can be done with PC editing.
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post #112 of 3215 Old 06-11-2006, 10:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by punch View Post

...I would like to enter a name for each chapter, but I can't for the life of me figure out how to do this.

This implies you want to have both chapters and titles visible on the menu of the DVD you burned. I can't speak for sure for the 640, but the 633 and it's bretheren can't do this - only titles themselves show up on the menu. The "workaround" as you mentioned is to split everything into it's own title, which isn't that extreme considering that the default action is to play titles consecutively anyway.

If you're adamant about getting chapters to appear on the DVD menu then you have the option of downloading the DVD to a PC and then reauthoring it with one of the software packages that is available.
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post #113 of 3215 Old 06-11-2006, 10:46 AM
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Thanks, Sean and ngohit. I kind of figured that the workaround was the was the way to get chapter titles in the menu, but wanted to make sure there wasn't some other way that I'd overlooked.
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post #114 of 3215 Old 06-11-2006, 12:16 PM
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I am so inclined to spring for one of these Pioneers to replace my aging and cranky Toshiba RD-XS32, but have one reservation: Won't something like this Pioneer but with an ATSC receiver built in be available within a matter of months? (Anybody seen a product announcement?) For the Toshiba right now, I use a standalone HD set-top box in via S-video to get good content to record, but I was hoping to get a one-box solution rather than stay with a clunky two-box solution this time around.

Features sure sound good, though.

Doug
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post #115 of 3215 Old 06-11-2006, 12:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by giantcycle View Post

I am so inclined to spring for one of these Pioneers to replace my aging and cranky Toshiba RD-XS32, but have one reservation: Won't something like this Pioneer but with an ATSC receiver built in be available within a matter of months? (Anybody seen a product announcement?)

Here are some links to LG units that include ATSC tuners. Don't know anything about them but ran across them in looking for the same thing. Someone else might know more and can advize?

HD Receiver/DVR (LST-3410A), $419.99 at Circuit City.

LST-3510A HDTV Receiver/DVD Player, $176 at Price Grabber.
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post #116 of 3215 Old 06-11-2006, 01:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nasser117 View Post

OK...Just got my 640h-s.To clarify, I am tech savy but this is my 1st dvr and even after going through the users guide, I still have 2 questions:
1.Where the hell is the TVGOSD? Is VCR plus+ alll it has? (If this is true, I'm really gonna regret not getting the Panny 55h!)

The Pioneer 640 does not have TVGOS. Pioneer mucked up the implementation of TVGOS in their 2005 recorders to the point that they pulled all the remaining HDD DVD recorders off the market. For the 640, they decided to "downgrade" to VCR plus.

The Panasonic EH-55 does have the TVGOS, and Panasonic has down a very good job implementing it on their HDD DVD recorders. I use the TVGOS almost exclusively on my 2004 Panasonic E-500 and E-65 recorders. It is not perfect, but it has been very reliable. It makes selection of programs to record very easy, includes a description of the program, and even lets you know if the program is a repeat or not.

The TVGOS seems (at least in the Panasonic 2004 models) to work better using direct analog RF input to the recorder. Users with cable boxes report difficulty getting the TVGOS it work, and it was unavailable to satellite users. Judged by the reports here, the 2006 EH-55 and EH-75 (with a VCR) seems to work better with cable boxes and may even work with satellite receivers.

You can still return the 640 and get an EH-55...

RG
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post #117 of 3215 Old 06-11-2006, 01:45 PM
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You can still return the 640 and get an EH-55...

I took it out and set it up already and ONECALL would charge me a 15% restocking fee=$55+$30 shipping+$100 extra for the 55! Nah, I'm very happy with the 640h-s in every other regard!

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post #118 of 3215 Old 06-11-2006, 01:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ngohit View Post

1. bobkart is right. Be thankful you don't have it.

2. He's right on this, too--MN26 on the 640 and earlier Pioneer models.

I'd much rather have a Pioneer than a Panasonic due to the numerous, manual (MN) settings one can make. Actually, I did have a HD Panasonic over a year ago and returned it.

Thanks bobkark and ngohit. I'm still trying to figure it out (#2)
I'm very happy with the 640h-s and my buyers remorse lasted less than 24 hrs!
Its a great unit.

"Music is the wine that fills the cup of silence"
Fripp
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post #119 of 3215 Old 06-11-2006, 04:32 PM
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Hi,

First post here
Been reading the forum for awhile now and decided to get my first DVR a couple of weeks ago and chose the 640H-S.
I received it last wednesday and been playing around with it every since.

I confess one of the main reason I bought it was for the Divx playing capability.
Aside from recording, being pioneer and etc, of course.
The only concern I got so far is playing Divx files, and I hope I'm in the right place (forum wise) and someone can help.

Here it goes:
I have the 640 plugged in the composite-in of my TV and burn the Divx file to a CD-R. The unit recognizes the disc and the divx, so I hit play...
Here's the problem - the image is black and white and there're a bunch of lines moving horizontally through the screen.


Now I got a couple of question:
Maybe it's because it a DivX 6 encoded file? Or because the file is encoded at 25fps? or at a not-supported resolution?

Also, I burned a couple of Divx files to a DVD+RW and the 640 wouldn't even recognize it!?!?

So far I love it, great recorder, easy to use, great quality and etc.

Only feature I would really wish it had was the ability to transfer divx files from say a cd/dvd media or a flash drive or even hook it up with the usb port to a PC and have it show up as a removal drive (wow!)

Regards,
mb
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post #120 of 3215 Old 06-11-2006, 04:36 PM
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rgazzara

No Thanks Pal......sticking with this beautiful 640 pioneer......haha

Good Luck with the panny

^5^5

Mike
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