DVD Recorder / VHS combo Recommendation - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 23 Old 05-01-2007, 08:42 AM - Thread Starter
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Hello all,

Please forgive me if this has been covered, I just registered today and my searches brought up tons of non-relevant stuff.

I am wanting to buy a good quality dvd recorder / vhs combo. I am partial to Sony, but for all I know there are much better units out there. I am definitely open to suggestions.

Can someone point me in the right direction? My ideal unit should be able to record dvd's from the tv and/or the vhs, obviously play dvd's, maybe some mp3 support. Also some sort of 5.1 surround audio support. I found a Panasonic model that had pretty much all of this, except the remote had no eject button for either the dvd or vhs!!

Thanks in advance for your help!

- Joe C.
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post #2 of 23 Old 05-01-2007, 09:59 AM
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If I was buying a combo unit as the "Main" DVD Recorder in my system the only one I would buy is a Panasonic.

Yep, for some reason Panasonic took off the Open/Close button on the remote but believe it or not the unit itself still has that feature so if you have/get a universal learning remote it can be taught the code by using any Panasonic DVD Player or DVD Recorder that has the Open/Close button on the remote control.
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post #3 of 23 Old 05-01-2007, 10:06 AM
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I own the Samsung DVD-VR330 and am very pleased with it. I think it answers the mail for you (including open/close on the remote) IF you can live without an ATSC tuner (it has NTSC). Here are a couple of links of interest.

http://www.refurbdepot.com/productde...roduct_ID=4507

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=797127

http://www.crutchfieldadvisor.com/S-...306/vr330.html
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post #4 of 23 Old 05-01-2007, 11:41 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the suggestions. After going back a few pages, I am seeing more and more recommendations... A lot of them leaning towards the Panasonic models.

Now, for the newbie in me... Is there a link that explains all the acronyms? (ATSC, NTSC, etc, etc...)

Thanks again!!
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post #5 of 23 Old 05-01-2007, 12:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by funkyrobot View Post

Thanks for the suggestions. After going back a few pages, I am seeing more and more recommendations... A lot of them leaning towards the Panasonic models.

Now, for the newbie in me... Is there a link that explains all the acronyms? (ATSC, NTSC, etc, etc...)

Thanks again!!

You might want to try the open box Panny EH75 at J&R for $299 plus shipping. I have one from them and it came complete with all accessories and has worked great.
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post #6 of 23 Old 05-01-2007, 01:36 PM
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I don't think there is a link that explains all the acronyms. If your having any problems with them it's probably just as easy to come back here & ask.

ATSC stands for Advanced Television Science Commitee & what it means in product specs. is that it has the "New" digital HDTV Tuner in it.

NTSC is the old TV System Tuner & a "Qam" Tuner is nothing more than an HDTV Cable Company Tuner but it does not receive scrambled Cable HDTV channels just like the old CATV Cable Channels can't either.

If you can afford to spend $300 & don't need an HDTV Tuner I would take Breyean's advice & jump on the DMR-EH75 with a Hard Disk Drive in it that J&R has & don't worry about J&R they are one of the Better outfits around & over the years I bought stuff from them starting way back in the 70s In fact their big store in NY got blown up during the 911 Attack
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post #7 of 23 Old 05-01-2007, 01:39 PM
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QAM = Quadrature Amplitude Modulation...now we don't know any more than we did with the acronym!
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post #8 of 23 Old 05-01-2007, 01:47 PM
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wabjxo Your Right
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post #9 of 23 Old 05-01-2007, 02:06 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks again folks!! Much appreciated. I am going to search for the EH75 on ebay - I have some 'spare' money in my PayPal account and was looking to purchase it there.

As for the acronyms, I found a FAQ/Glossary link near the top of the page... In between the Use CP and Members List. Very helpful!!
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post #10 of 23 Old 05-01-2007, 03:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by funkyrobot View Post

Thanks again folks!! Much appreciated. I am going to search for the EH75 on ebay - I have some 'spare' money in my PayPal account and was looking to purchase it there.

As for the acronyms, I found a FAQ/Glossary link near the top of the page... In between the Use CP and Members List. Very helpful!!

While checking EBAY, keep in mind most units sold there have no warranties. The EH75 at J&R comes with a warranty PLUS they have a 30 day return policy.

As an aside, if you go with J&R open a new Google Checkout account and you'll save $10. I must have opened 10 of these accounts, all with the same credit card but with different Gmail accounts, for use at the various stores that accept Google Checkout.
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post #11 of 23 Old 05-02-2007, 06:18 PM
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Hey, it's getting pretty late to still be buying analog only recording gear. We're on the cusp of all kinds of Digital TV recording equipment releases! I was just in Wal*Mart and saw half a dozen DVD recorders with ATSC and SDTV tuners -- no QAM, yet. There was a sign on the shelf for a missing Polaroid DRA-01601A DVD Recorder with a 160 GB HDD. I finally found info at Polaroid's site -- no QAM, either. Without QAM you can't record the unencrypted High Def channels off your local cable. Analog is dying soon and you'll really be complicating things if you need to add a digital tuner to get anything to record!
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post #12 of 23 Old 05-02-2007, 06:28 PM
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Addendum: I did a search yesterday after seeing this stuff at Wal*Mart and couldn't find any new recorders with digital tuners and hard drives until the Polaroid today. So far the only ones that I could find with QAM are the Toshiba and LG products -- DVD only, but ATSC and QAM capable. There are info and pdf files at the manufacturers' sites. I hope they come out with Hard Drive versions. High def takes up a lot of space and DVD's are too small for full resolution.
I have a Sony DHG-HDD250 that has ATSC and QAM tuners and a 250GB HD. It's a little quirky, but it's mine and it makes super High Def recordings. I don't know why it was only on the market for a short time. Its biggest drawback is only having one tuner, but it will record anything that isn't encrypted off ComCast cable or OTA. It has a Cable Card slot but I haven't tried that. Comcast wanted about $8 for one of those and I got 2 HD DVRs for $12 each a month... but at present I'm having problems with the digital service from ComCast -- audio and sometimes video dropouts live and on the DVR's. I use the Sony to back up important stuff over the air.
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post #13 of 23 Old 05-02-2007, 09:13 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill1313 View Post

I don't think there is a link that explains all the acronyms. If your having any problems with them it's probably just as easy to come back here & ask.

ATSC stands for Advanced Television Science Commitee & what it means in product specs. is that it has the "New" digital HDTV Tuner in it.

NTSC is the old TV System Tuner & a "Qam" Tuner is nothing more than an HDTV Cable Company Tuner but it does not receive scrambled Cable HDTV channels just like the old CATV Cable Channels can't either.

If you can afford to spend $300 & don't need an HDTV Tuner I would take Breyean's advice & jump on the DMR-EH75 with a Hard Disk Drive in it that J&R has & don't worry about J&R they are one of the Better outfits around & over the years I bought stuff from them starting way back in the 70s In fact their big store in NY got blown up during the 911 Attack

CORRECTION......are you from New York?......I suppose not!
J&R's big store, or for that matter any of their other stores (on the same block) DID NOT get "BLOWN UP" during the 911 attack. They are located several blocks from the WTC site and sustained ONLY smoke and dust damage. It was quite serious and forced them to close for awile but nothing compared with the structural damage sustained by buildings closer to the site. J&R sustained NO structural damage whatsoever!
Please people, get your facts straight!!
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post #14 of 23 Old 05-02-2007, 09:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by funkyrobot View Post

I found a Panasonic model that had pretty much all of this, except the remote had no eject button for either the dvd or vhs!!

Um, don't you have to walk over to the unit anyway to remove the disc or tape and put a new one in? Or do you have your dog or your wife trained to do that?

I've never missed the eject button on the remote for either of my Panasonic DVD recorders or my Philips DVD player.
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post #15 of 23 Old 05-03-2007, 01:02 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jtbell View Post

Um, don't you have to walk over to the unit anyway to remove the disc or tape and put a new one in? Or do you have your dog or your wife trained to do that?

I've never missed the eject button on the remote for either of my Panasonic DVD recorders or my Philips DVD player.

DITTO!......it's just another button on the remote that someone is likely to hit by accident!......serves no purpose!
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post #16 of 23 Old 05-03-2007, 03:44 AM - Thread Starter
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You mean the dvd's dont put themselves away, either? But yeah, maybe I can train one of my cats to fetch my dvd's!! That would be great... Then my wife will have more time to get my beers for me!

Trust me, something like that wouldn't keep me from purchasing a certain model - it's just something I've grown used to having on a remote.

With that said, I'm pretty sure I've decided on the DMR-ES45V or the ES46V - both of which do NOT have the eject button on the remote.
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post #17 of 23 Old 05-03-2007, 06:38 AM
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Well, I just sort of replaced a VCR with a DVD Recorder (Panny ES15). I plan to use it to record shows each week and make copies of VHSC and MiniDv home movies. Here was my logic for choosing an analog unit like the ES15.:

1) Analog signals will still be around for 2 years; maybe longer.

2) ATSC---new digital signal WILL appear in 2009 BUT unless you have an antenna on your roof you likely will not take advantage of it. The cable company will/does broadcast in ATSC but scrambles the signal on most channels.

3) A QAM tuner descrambles the cable company's signal TODAY.

4) So, if you are going to get a unit with a digital tuner, it may pick up some over the air (antenna on roof) stations today, it may pick up some cable company stations today (with out a cable box) but it may not. Of course you can buy one with both an ATSC tuner and QAM tuner. However, who is to say the cable company will not scramble in some other fashion in 2009 rendering your tuners useless?

All this said, an analog or digital unit would certainly still work come 2009. You may just need to use you cable box as its' tuner. Then you have the 1970's nuisance of setting your recorder to channel 4 all the time and having to remember to leave the cable box set to the channel you want to record AND on. Oh yea, then you really can't watch something else while recording. It's a real pain and I think are MANY unknowns as to what is actually going to happen in 2009. The whole industry seams to be driving towards forcing everyone to rent dual tuner cable boxes with built - in DRVs. That works great but now you are paying $13 a month for what the VCR was doing for free!

My logic was this. A dvd recorder with an ATSC / QAM tuner was $200. The analog ES15 was $100. I bought the ES15. In two years from now the ATSC/QAM turns out to have been the way to go I will get one AND by then its cost will likely be down to $100. Either way you are out about the same amount of money. My way I end up with 2 recorders.

That's how I saw it any way----good luck!
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post #18 of 23 Old 05-03-2007, 06:48 AM
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I wish my Panasonic DMR-ES45V had an Open/Close (Eject) button on the remote. It takes a second or two to eject a DVD. I'd rather have the player begin the eject process while I walked from the couch to the player; instead of walking to the player, hitting the button, waiting, and then accessing the DVD tray. I'd spend less time stooped over in an uncomfortable position.

Sometimes I sit beside the player going through my unlabeled home recordings, trying to find the right one. Even then it would be convenient to hit an eject button on the remote in my hand rather than reaching over for the player dashboard.

+1 on the idea. It's not a deal breaker, but would be a nice-to-have.
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post #19 of 23 Old 05-03-2007, 07:57 AM
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slprp1, I stand corrected & you are right & I really should have been more percise about the damage to their store than just saying that it got blown up. Sorry.
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post #20 of 23 Old 05-03-2007, 08:12 AM
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Given the prices of analog units in general, I can't say I blame you for making the choice you have at this point in time. I will pick a few nits though...

Quote:
Originally Posted by AndreLaplume View Post


1) Analog signals will still be around for 2 years; maybe longer.

2) ATSC---new digital signal WILL appear in 2009 BUT unless you have an antenna on your roof you likely will not take advantage of it. The cable company will/does broadcast in ATSC but scrambles the signal on most channels.

3) A QAM tuner descrambles the cable company's signal TODAY.

4) So, if you are going to get a unit with a digital tuner, it may pick up some over the air (antenna on roof) stations today, it may pick up some cable company stations today (with out a cable box) but it may not. Of course you can buy one with both an ATSC tuner and QAM tuner. However, who is to say the cable company will not scramble in some other fashion in 2009 rendering your tuners useless?

1) Some cable companies _may_ decide to continue basic analog service for a while, but I'll be really surprised if any of the major markets still have any analog cable services available by the end of '08 if not sooner. As for OTA, The bandwidth is worth too much money for Uncle Sam to delay the switch any longer than it has to. I'll predict it will happen on time and OTA analog will go dark as planned.

2) In many markets, digital signal is there now. No need to wait till 09. Also, the cable company does not broadcast in ATSC. They use QAM. ATSC is OTA only.

3) Not quite... QAM equipped devices can (generally) receive "Clear QAM" signals. Those are not encrypted in any way. If a device can handle cable card, it can decrypt encrypted QAM signals.

4) Generally true. Note: I have not found an ATSC unit that doesn't also do clear QAM as well. As for scrambling in som other fasion, no need... that's what encrypted QAM is for.

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post #21 of 23 Old 05-03-2007, 08:47 AM
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yea, there are several topic in this forum about 2009. My only fear with QAM is that, what would stop a cable company from scrambling in some other fashion than QAM rendering the subscriber to have to rent more equoment from the cable companies.
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post #22 of 23 Old 05-03-2007, 10:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AndreLaplume View Post

yea, there are several topic in this forum about 2009. My only fear with QAM is that, what would stop a cable company from scrambling in some other fashion than QAM rendering the subscriber to have to rent more equoment from the cable companies.

What prevents them from doing this is that QAM already provides a good solution as far as they are concerned. If they want to put the signal out as Clear QAM, then they can. And they probably will for local network affiliates. Anything they don't want you to be able to get without paying them more, they encrypt (still using QAM) and you'll have to rent a Cable-Card from them (assuming your equipment can handle it). Otherwise, you rent a box from them.

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post #23 of 23 Old 05-03-2007, 11:23 AM
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sooooooo....right now I get most channels right out of the wall as long as my tv / vcr etc has a receiver. In 2009 I need some sort of box from them---if they choose to scramble everything....no doubt the will.
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