Polaroid 2001G or Pioneer 640. I can't decide which to get? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 31 Old 01-13-2007, 06:51 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm trying to figure something out and I don't know what to do. Assuming price is not an issue and you decided to pick either a Polaroid 2001g unit or a Pioneer 640 unit which one would you choose?

I mean, Polaroid is great because it has:

1) Component input
2) Component pass through
3) Upgradeable hard drive. Great if you want more or if the drive goes bad. Just buy a new one and put it in.
4) LSI chip. Good for bad looking analog video.
5) Great picture quality. Incredible video quality with component in and LSI chip set.
6) Little or no copy protection -- great if cable companies block things, channels, Pay per view, bad analog signal, Tivo encrypted video, etc.

Bad:

1) Poor remote control
2) Non-standard DVD file structure. The 1x, 2x, 3x fast forward/reverse doesn't work. It just jumps from chapter to chapter skipping all video in between unless you go 1x.
3) Cheap feel/construction. Seems like something could go bad at any time.
4) They only replace machines. So, once they run out of machines you can't even get a replacement.
5) That small little noisy fan.
6) Bad DVD player. The FF/REW is slow and clunky.
7) Got the vibe that Polaroid is in for a year or two to make money and get out right away. So, 2-5 years from now they won't have any stock that you could get replaced.
8) You only get a hand full of edit points then the machine either crashes or you can't get the "go to" function to work.
9) Only have .5 second editing. No frame accurate editing.

The Pioneer is good because:

1) Has normal video structure. Standard DVD video structure.
2) More sold machine. Better construction. Like it could last years and years as long as the burner and hard drive holds out.
3) I have another Pioneer that the 640 would replace so I could use the older remote for this one.
4) Also has great picture quality. Better than the Polaroid? Only those with both units know for sure but one would think component input is better than S-Video input.
5) A lot of people here love their 640 and say the PQ is the best. It even gets good reviews from magazines for it's quality.
6) Records to all video formats.
7) They repair machines so you could keep your machine for years.
8) Can do frame accurate editing

Bad:

1) Can't do important things the Polaroid can like record component in, 1080 pass through and upgrade the hard drive. Stuck at 160 gb.
2) Costs a lot to get it looked at and parts repaired if it goes bad. Maybe hundreds of dollars to get it repaired where you could just get a replacement Polaroid super cheap as long as they still make them.
3) Have to have that dumb service remote if you want to even try to change a part. Word is, that the whole machine breaks down if you even just try to change the hard drive because it's all locked down.
4) Has copy protection in it. Could block cable channels someday or not record things it "thinks" is copy protected because it is recording a poor reception channel.
5) Picture quality is only S-Video input. So, the picture quality might not be as good as a LSI Chip/component input of a Polaroid.


In general, I get the vibe that the Polaroid is a great tinkering machine with some stuff that you can't do with other machines like upgrade the hard drive which makes it hard not to stay with; but seems to be cheap made and could break down at any time with an odd video VR structure that "real" DVD players can't understand and does things like not read video header info or skips the video itself only seeing the chapter marks. The Pioneer I get the vibe is a great, strong made machine that could last years longer than the Polaroid if the burner/hard drive holds out but it doesn't do the cool things the Polaroid does like upgrading hard drives to make it record hours beyond the Pioneer at HQ, component in, and maybe even better video quality than the Pioneer.

I only have a couple of days to figure out if I should stay with the Polaroid and deal with all of it's odd things and breaking down or give up on it and it's good stuff and get a Pioneer 640 and know I have a strong, well made machine that doesn't have the odd things happening that I get with the Polaroid.

I've been going though this for days and they both have things that each one doesn't. I can't decide and I'm beating myself up afraid I'm going to make a bad mistake and get the wrong one. Polaroid has the cheap built but cool things I can't get elsewhere and it looks like this is it for them. So no more. Pioneer has the "name brand" and the build quality and "real" DVD video structure that all DVD player know, understand and work with; yet they are not making them any more and this is the end of the road for this machine too.

If it were you guys and you were giving the option to get either one which one would you choose?
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post #2 of 31 Old 01-13-2007, 07:51 PM
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After 136 pages of partisan discussion on the 2001G, and 225 pages of partisan discussion on the 640, I don't think you'll get a sudden non-partisan nudge in either direction.

Keep the 2001G and experiment, but keep your other (older?) Pioneer just in case.

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post #3 of 31 Old 01-13-2007, 08:27 PM
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Well if I had a few hundred extra $ lying around I would keep my polaroid and buy a pio 640. I would connect the source to the polaroid component in and then component out to the pio 640 to record in widescreen. The polaroid would be my archive unit with unlimited hard drive space and the pio would be my editing workhorse.

Well thats just how I see it. Let us know what you do.
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post #4 of 31 Old 01-13-2007, 09:01 PM
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A few comments because I have been able to work with the two in question as well as others.

The Polaroid has never been represented as what I would call a "top tier" DVD recorder. It was distributed as the lowest priced HDD DVD recorder when it entered the market in mid 2006. It was not introduced to compete with the likes of Panasonic/Pioneer/Sony/Toshiba. Which I would consider "top tier" DVD recorders of 2006.

It is anybody's guess as to what will be considered top tier for 2007 models. The jury is still out.

That being said the lowly Polaroid 2001G of 2006 did offer the following:

1. Upgradable and replaceable HDD's. With the Polaroid it is a simple plug and play swap. Plus many users use multiple hard drives with the Polaroid. Which equates to unlimited HDD storage. Which means never a worry about a failed HDD which could obsolete a DVD recorder.

2. Easy DVD burner replacement. Plus the ability to use external DVD burners as well. Never a worry about burning out the OEM DVD burner laser. Which would obsolete most DVD recorders.

3. No CP when recording from your favorite cable or satellite STB for "write once" or "write never" flags.

4. Component inputs. Especially important for those that want to record from an HD source (at 480i) in full widescreen format via component inputs.

5. High definition video pass through when powered off. Meaning 1080i/720p/480p video passes through the Polaroid when powered off from a high definition source to a high definition television.

6. LSI Domino chip set for state of the art recording quality. The LSI brand stands on its own reputation for superior PQ quality.

7. Cheap. The lowest cost HDD recorder available when it was introduced.

8. Solid build. Regardless of what others might say. I have ripped it apart. And torture tested it. It is solid. No question.

9. Rare. Somebody try to find me anything similar. But the party is over. The availability is limited to shelf stock.

Now the Pioneer 640:

1. Absolutely stunning reputation for a DVD recorder. Top tier.

2. All recording formats including DL.

3. I have called it a "tweener" in the past. Meaning you can't go wrong. A little bit of this and a little bit of that.

4. Great recording PQ.

5. A DVD recorder more geared towards recording from a standard definition source. No component inputs.

I would recommend keeping the Polaroid and teaming it up with something that offers more than the Pioneer 640 feature wise.

The Pioneer 640 is a great machine but after reading about it and living through all of its quirks it seemed to have more ticks than Walt "no neck" Williams.

That being said it does have a very happy and loyal following.
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post #5 of 31 Old 01-13-2007, 09:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nextoo View Post

The Pioneer 640 is a great machine but after reading about it and living through all of its quirks it seemed to have more ticks than Walt "no neck" Williams.

That being said it does have a very happy and loyal following.

I'm EXTREMELY happy with my Pio 640...and mine's even out of its box!

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post #6 of 31 Old 01-13-2007, 09:14 PM - Thread Starter
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Boy, I wish I could keep the Polaroid and get the Pioneer too but things things aren't going to work out like that. : (

I'm trying all kinds of things out with the Polaroid made disks (i.e. what the PQ looks like in all of my DVD players, etc) and it plays on all machines so far -- except my Pioneer of all things. Most disks can't be read in the Pioneer. Two can, and one makes grinding noises when it plays in my Pioneer. That's the thing about the Polaroid. It's so weird and buggy.

Anyway, my Polariod is messed up and I can't keep it. I've got 17 destroyed disks in the last few days from the Polaroid. I can either look to find another or try a Pioneer but the bill for the Polaroid came today and I only have a short time to decide what to.

I like my old Pioneer 533 picture quality but this Polaroid sure looks as good or better (not sure how much better 640 PQ is over my 533.)

Yet, my Pioneer plays on everything (old player or new player) while the Pioneer player doesn't like Polaroid disks so I can't play them back on all machines.

Also, I'm afraid of over working a 640 if I get one. I mean, if you over work the burner on a Polaroid it's not the biggest loss because the unit itself is kind of low budget but if you over use a Pioneer burner with the price they charge in both the unit and if you have to get it looked at/fixed it's a big hit in price you have to pay. I think you could get a brand new Polaroid for less than what it would cost to get a Pioneer sent, looked at and replaced with a new burner or part in a 640. I'm thinking about all this stuff and more right now and I don't know which way to go.

I wanted a cheap workhose unit that I could use for hours and hours to put all kinds of non-important stuff on and save my flaky 533 and Panasonic E80. For example, I had to have the drive in the Panasonic replaced under warranty and it was like $330. I thought the Polaroid would be good for that. Plus, I couldn't get a 640 but now the Polaroid is messed up so it goes back plus it looks like for a little bit more than the final price of the Polaroid I can get a 640.
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post #7 of 31 Old 01-13-2007, 09:20 PM - Thread Starter
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What kind of quirks does the 640 have? I thought the Pioneer was suppose to be mostly free of messed up things. That's why it's a "Pioneer" name brand and charged price wise as such.
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post #8 of 31 Old 01-13-2007, 09:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Justin Time View Post

What kind of quirks does the 640 have? I thought the Pioneer was suppose to be mostly free of messed up things. That's why it's a "Pioneer" name brand and charged price wise as such.

The quirks are well documented. Follow the threads. But if you can live with them then there is no reason to exclude the Pioneer from your decision.
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post #9 of 31 Old 01-13-2007, 09:37 PM
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Justin Time: You mentioned already having a Pioneer recorder, but do not mention the model number. Which model you have could make a big difference in how much you like the 640H.
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post #10 of 31 Old 01-13-2007, 09:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wabjxo View Post

I'm EXTREMELY happy with my Pio 640...and mine's even out of its box!

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Trust me I believe the world understands that. If they don't by now they should.

Quite honestly there is no one solution. An "all in one" does not exist.

It requires a bit of creativity.

How does the 640 handle DV input? One of at leat a dozen questions. A workaround?
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post #11 of 31 Old 01-13-2007, 09:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Justin Time View Post

What kind of quirks does the 640 have? I thought the Pioneer was suppose to be mostly free of messed up things. That's why it's a "Pioneer" name brand and charged price wise as such.

Oh, the Pio is extremely "quirky!" Haven't you seen the "well documented" evidence. Follow the threads, man!

You really need to try and find another Polaroid...please!

Please, please don't buy the Pio...it's a piece of junk!

It doesn't belong in any polite discussion of quality consumer electronics!

I don't know how they let those units into the U.S.!

We need better border protection!

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post #12 of 31 Old 01-13-2007, 10:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wabjxo View Post

Oh, the Pio is extremely "quirky!" Haven't you seen the "well documented" evidence. Follow the threads, man!

You really need to try and find another Polaroid...please!

Please, please don't buy the Pio...it's a piece of junk!

It doesn't belong in any polite discussion of quality consumer electronics!

I don't know how they let those units into the U.S.!

We need better border protection!

I think it may be getting late for you.
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post #13 of 31 Old 01-13-2007, 10:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nextoo View Post

I think it may be getting late for you.

Lordsmurf was right about you after all!

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post #14 of 31 Old 01-13-2007, 10:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wabjxo View Post

Lordsmurf was right about you after all!

Take the time tomorrow to read what you wrote.

The Pioneer is a great DVD recorder. Is it the end all to be all? No. Is the Polaroid? No. Is a Toshiba? No. Is a Sony? No. Is a Panasonic? No.

But if somebody is looking for component inputs what can the answer be?
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post #15 of 31 Old 01-13-2007, 10:21 PM - Thread Starter
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I didn't know the Pioneer has some messed up stuff. Is it in the thread with 2,000 posts? Is there more problems with the 640 than my 533? The only problem with that unit was the TV guide thing but that was shut off thanks to the person here that found out how to do that. Well, some people had other problems but they all seemed to be with that TV guide function. The 640 dropped that so I thought everything is o.k. with that machine.

Well, I tried the Polaroid disks in my Lite on machine. It also, couldn't fast foward/reverse the Polaroid disks right. Plus, when I was in FF mode and hit the play button to stop it the disks made the unit freeze up. I know it's the Polaroid disks as it was the only ones to do that but what I don't know is if that is what all the Polaroids will do or if I got a messed up lemon and if I try another will I still get the same problems? I also noticed that the Polaroid had a sharper, clearer picture next to my Pioneer 533/Panasonic E80. Ahhh, what to do!
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post #16 of 31 Old 01-13-2007, 10:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Justin Time View Post

I didn't know the Pioneer has some messed up stuff. Is it in the thread with 2,000 posts? Is there more problems with the 640 than my 533? The only problem with that unit was the TV guide thing but that was shut off thanks to the person here that found out how to do that. Well, some people had other problems but they all seemed to be with that TV guide function. The 640 dropped that so I thought everything is o.k. with that machine.

Well, I tried the Polaroid disks in my Lite on machine. It also, couldn't fast foward/reverse the Polaroid disks right. Plus, when I was in FF mode and hit the play button to stop it the disks made the unit freeze up. I know it's the Polaroid disks as it was the only ones to do that but what I don't know is if that is what all the Polaroids will do or if I got a messed up lemon and if I try another will I still get the same problems? I also noticed that the Polaroid had a sharper, clearer picture next to my Pioneer 533/Panasonic E80. Ahhh, what to do!

Justin - I have been following your posts for a while now. Months actually. Sorry for your pain. Give the Pioneer 640 a try. It may be exactly what you need. But be careful about giving up the Polaroid. They are one of a kind.
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post #17 of 31 Old 01-13-2007, 10:49 PM
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Should I GO....or should I STAY......
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post #18 of 31 Old 01-13-2007, 11:03 PM - Thread Starter
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Yeah, that's why I don't want to give up the Polaroid. Why I tried so hard to make this one work. That's why it is so hard to decide what to do and let it go. I don't know if I'll ever find one that does all the special things this does.

Here's my luck. I get another one and it's messed up just like this one but I payed for a Polaroid and I'm stuck with a broken model or I give this up and there will never be a recorder like this again. Plus, they will discontinue the 640 in a few months too. So, I'm left with either a broken model or nothing at all. Yet, if I get the 640 Polaroid will come out with a new model in a few months with a digital tuner, doing all the things this model does, plus even more things that all see to work perfectly.
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post #19 of 31 Old 01-13-2007, 11:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Oldemanphil View Post

Should I GO....or should I STAY......

Very funny. You get it.

Question - If somebody wants a square peg in a square hole what would you suggest?

1. Square peg in a round hole?

2. Square peg in a square hole?

3. Round Peg in a round hole?

4. Round peg in a square hole?

5. Pioneer

6. Panasonic

7. Polaroid

8. Toshiba

9. Sony

Answer?

Number 2
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post #20 of 31 Old 01-13-2007, 11:14 PM
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Quote:
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Yeah, that's why I don't want to give up the Polaroid. Why I tried so hard to make this one work. That's why it is so hard to decide what to do and let it go. I don't know if I'll ever find one that does all the special things this does.

Here's my luck. I get another one and it's messed up just like this one but I payed for a Polaroid and I'm stuck with a broken model or I give this up and there will never be a recorder like this again. Plus, they will discontinue the 640 in a few months too. So, I'm left with either a broken model or nothing at all. Yet, if I get the 640 Polaroid will come out with a new model in a few months with a digital tuner, doing all the things this model does, plus even more things that all see to work perfectly.

The Polaroid days are over in my opinion. As are HDD DVD recorders. The time has past.

You need to either exchange it or return it and go with the Puioneer 640. Either way I have not seen any 2007 HDD recorders so make a decision...fast!
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post #21 of 31 Old 01-13-2007, 11:37 PM
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Isn't there a firmware update that needs to be done to the Pio 640? From what I understand it has to be sent back to Pioneer for the update. Are you ready to buy a new machine and send it to Pioneer for a firmware update? This would also be something to consider with the Pioneer. As far as the Polaroid holding up, you never know. Many machines of high cost and reputation have failed. If you exchange the Polaroid, you may get a good one.
Whatever you do, if you decide to give up on the Polaroid, keep your choices "wide-open" until you take a look at many other machines.
I purchased way to many machines before stumbling on the machines that are now on my component stands and not back in the box.

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post #22 of 31 Old 01-13-2007, 11:39 PM
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Isn't there a firmware update that needs to be done to the Pio 640? From what I understand it has to be sent back to Pioneer for the update. Are you ready to buy a new machine and send it to Pioneer for a firmware update? This would also be something to consider with the Pioneer. As far as the Polaroid holding up, you never know. Many machines of high cost and reputation have failed. If you exchange the Polaroid, you may get a good one.

That was the "wiggle" I was referring to. But my knuckles are raw....
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post #23 of 31 Old 01-13-2007, 11:41 PM
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That was the "wiggle" I was referring to. But my knuckles are raw....

Understood

"Sometimes if we keep our eyes and ears open, we may be surpised at what wisdom we may gain!"
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post #24 of 31 Old 01-14-2007, 12:00 AM - Thread Starter
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Oh boy, a firmware update that you have to send to Pioneer? Already? Is it something that HAS to be done or some minor thing that could be done but isn't really needed? I haven't read the posts yet on the Pioneer link so I don't know what the problem is. I know one thing, I'm tired of boxing up all my stuff and sending it way. I boxed up 4 or 5 things already and sent them all to get fixed. Two of them need to be fixed but I'm sick of sending stuff away so I'm letting it go. I don't want to send anything else away for udating or fixing unless it really needs it.

The reason I say Pioneer instead of other brands is that I really liked my Pioneer 533. I know what the video quality looks like. I know how the editing works like and I liked that. Plus, I don't see Toshiba around anymore either. It's like someone that had a Toshiba or Sony HDD. They liked or loved the quality of the picture and features. So, when it comes time to maybe get another they go with what they know and like. They would go first with Toshiba or Sony. I know Pioneer and Panasonic. Panasonic HDD is way too much price wise and I never see Sony HDD anywhere. So, that leaves Pioneer or deal with Polaroid.
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post #25 of 31 Old 01-14-2007, 08:04 AM
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The reason I say Pioneer instead of other brands is that I really liked my Pioneer 533. I know what the video quality looks like. I know how the editing works like and I liked that. Plus, I don't see Toshiba around anymore either.

I purchased 3 Toshiba HDD models within the past 10 days. My Pioneer has gone back, my Sony RDR-HX900 (Great machine) and Panasonic are now back in the box. Toshiba took over with the only picture to rival or maybe exceed the Sony and has more editing features. I bought two more because I am afraid there will be none to choose from before long. If the Toshibas had DL capability they would be "hands-Down" the only choice... IMHO

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post #26 of 31 Old 01-14-2007, 11:11 AM
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Keep the Polaroid and your current Pioneer for now. Hold on to you $ for a few months and purchase the 640 later, before they dicontinue.

Who knows, by then you may see something even more interesting in the new models that changes your options.
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post #27 of 31 Old 01-14-2007, 11:16 AM
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Hi,

What is the difference between the Pioneer DVH 540, and the 640 ?
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post #28 of 31 Old 01-14-2007, 08:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nextoo View Post

A few comments because I have been able to work with the two in question as well as others.

The Polaroid has never been represented as what I would call a "top tier" DVD recorder. It was distributed as the lowest priced HDD DVD recorder when it entered the market in mid 2006. It was not introduced to compete with the likes of Panasonic/Pioneer/Sony/Toshiba. Which I would consider "top tier" DVD recorders of 2006.

It is anybody's guess as to what will be considered top tier for 2007 models. The jury is still out.

That being said the lowly Polaroid 2001G of 2006 did offer the following:

1. Upgradable and replaceable HDD's. With the Polaroid it is a simple plug and play swap. Plus many users use multiple hard drives with the Polaroid. Which equates to unlimited HDD storage. Which means never a worry about a failed HDD which could obsolete a DVD recorder.

2. Easy DVD burner replacement. Plus the ability to use external DVD burners as well. Never a worry about burning out the OEM DVD burner laser. Which would obsolete most DVD recorders.

3. No CP when recording from your favorite cable or satellite STB for "write once" or "write never" flags.

4. Component inputs. Especially important for those that want to record from an HD source (at 480i) in full widescreen format via component inputs.

5. High definition video pass through when powered off. Meaning 1080i/720p/480p video passes through the Polaroid when powered off from a high definition source to a high definition television.

6. LSI Domino chip set for state of the art recording quality. The LSI brand stands on its own reputation for superior PQ quality.

7. Cheap. The lowest cost HDD recorder available when it was introduced.

8. Solid build. Regardless of what others might say. I have ripped it apart. And torture tested it. It is solid. No question.

9. Rare. Somebody try to find me anything similar. But the party is over. The availability is limited to shelf stock.

Since you played with the Polaroid quite a bit, how is fast-forwarding of its created/finalized DVDs on stand-alone dvd players? I saw some posts that it has issues because of non-standard dvd structure. I am a few months behind in the Polaroid mega-thread

Boldly trying a new DVR: http://moto3416review.blogspot.com/
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post #29 of 31 Old 01-14-2007, 08:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ncaahoops View Post

Since you played with the Polaroid quite a bit, how is fast-forwarding of its created/finalized DVDs on stand-alone dvd players? I saw some posts that it has issues because of non-standard dvd structure. I am a few months behind in the Polaroid mega-thread

It's been a couple of months since it was discussed so your timing is about right. If I remember correctly there were reports of "hyper" fast forwarding on Shinco based players (Shinco, Apex some GE). I could never duplicate the problem but I have no doubt that it existed.

My experience is that 2X - 4X FF generally works fine. After looking into it a bit I think it depends on how chapter marks are set. Once the FF speed becomes larger that the size of the next chapter FF becomes a move from chapter to chapter. So typically you can get to 4X and then FF moves forward at chapter points.

FF forward seems to be more of a challenge than I realized generally. There are problems posted all over across brands in numerous forums. It is not perfect with the Polaroid. But it seems OK to me.
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post #30 of 31 Old 01-14-2007, 09:18 PM
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Originally Posted by nextoo View Post

It's been a couple of months since it was discussed so your timing is about right. If I remember correctly there were reports of "hyper" fast forwarding on Shinco based players (Shinco, Apex some GE). I could never duplicate the problem but I have no doubt that it existed.

My experience is that 2X - 4X FF generally works fine. After looking into it a bit I think it depends on how chapter marks are set. Once the FF speed becomes larger that the size of the next chapter FF becomes a move from chapter to chapter. So typically you can get to 4X and then FF moves forward at chapter points.

FF forward seems to be more of a challenge than I realized generally. There are problems posted all over across brands in numerous forums. It is not perfect with the Polaroid. But it seems OK to me.

Thanks! I have an old Apex and it only goes up to 8x with store-bought DVDs, but only does one slow FF speed (2x?) with Panasonic-burned +R. It was faster to jump around chapter points than pure fast forwarding with it

Boldly trying a new DVR: http://moto3416review.blogspot.com/
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