Combo unit vs. recorder only? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 01-09-2007, 10:03 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm looking to buy a DVD recorder. We have a number of kids' VHS tapes and other VHS movies that I'd love to copy to DVD and then store out of the way to cut down on clutter. Is there any advantage to buying a combo unit for copying them over rather than just hooking up our current VCR to a stand alone recorder? The VCR is an older 4 head GE, but still seems to work ok.

We may also use it to transfer old 8mm home movies to DVD although we've currently been working on that with our PC. Our current camcorder records the mini-DVD's so firewire input on the new recorder would probably be nice. We pretty much never record TV so that feature isn't a huge factor.

We do have an HDTV with HDMI inputs that we're not currently using. Our regular DVD player that's part of our home theater system looks pretty good on it as far as I can tell so I'm not sure that the upconverting thing to use it as a player is a really big deal to us.

Any recommendations on models that will fit the bill?

TIA!
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post #2 of 5 Old 01-09-2007, 05:58 PM
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We have a number of kids' VHS tapes and other VHS movies that I'd love to copy to DVD and then store out of the way to cut down on clutter.

The disadvantage to a combo unit is that you won't be able to copy most of these tapes because they will be copy protected and you won't be able to add a filter between the VCR and DVD recorder because those connections don't come outside the unit. Even with separate units you will have a hassle finding a filter to remove Macrovision anti-copy signals. It might be easier and cheaper to buy the DVD's again if they are available.

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Our current camcorder records the mini-DVD's so firewire input on the new recorder would probably be nice.

I don't think a firewire input will do you any good. Most MiniDVD recorders output a compressed digital signal that a DV-IN won't be able to decode. I think DV-IN ports only decode MiniDV digital signals?

Dave
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post #3 of 5 Old 01-09-2007, 08:46 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by DaveC E100 View Post


I don't think a firewire input will do you any good. Most MiniDVD recorders output a compressed digital signal that a DV-IN won't be able to decode. I think DV-IN ports only decode MiniDV digital signals?

Dave

Hmmm...I was under the impression that we could copy them...I know we've transferred discs to our PC, but you're right it's not firewire. I just remembered that it had a small output jack that looked kind of similar....I should have double checked!

The camera (a Panasonic VDR-D300) came with an Av/S cable that looks like it should hook up to anything (it has the regular RCA and S video connectors on the other end). Of course the fact that we could hopefully just pop in the DVD-RAM discs and play them could be handy too.

I was aware of the copy protection issue and have seen the filters for sale. I'd wondered how that would work with the combo units....I guess I need to look into that more closely.

Thank you!
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post #4 of 5 Old 01-09-2007, 09:33 PM
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If you can still find one at your local Wal-Mart, you should at least check into the $219 Polaroid 2001G with a 80BG HDD.

It seems to have very uniquely "weak protection," component/HDD upgradeability, and HDTV pass-through/conversion capabilities while it's "off."

Nextoo and others have many posts on its one-of-a-kind features, pass-through advantages, and user upgrades.
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post #5 of 5 Old 01-10-2007, 10:43 AM
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There are a couple of rules of thumb you can follow. The first is, you almost always get the best picture if you play the tape back on the same machine you used to record them. The second is, if you cannot use the machine it was recorded on, use the best playback machine you can get your hands on, because the better the initial picture quality the better the final results will be. lastly, make a few trial runs and use the method that looks the best to you. Sometimes, what theoretically should give the best results, doesn't.

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
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