DVD recorder instead of DTVPal? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 47 Old 06-29-2008, 02:31 PM - Thread Starter
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After the stunt DTVPal just pulled, their approach to, & support of the OTA consumer is questionable. Perhaps because Echostar's primary business is Dish Network satellite TV service. The more successful OTA DTV / HDTV is, the more it may impact the number of monthly Dish Network subscribers especially during the current economic climate in the US.

If one needs to record, perhaps a Panasonic, Samsung, Sony, or other DVD recorder is a better bet than DTVPal?

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post #2 of 47 Old 06-29-2008, 10:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ota.dt.man View Post

After the stunt DTVPal just pulled, their approach to, & support of the OTA consumer is questionable. Perhaps because Echostar's primary business is Dish Network satellite TV service. The more successful OTA DTV / HDTV is, the more it may impact the number of monthly Dish Network subscribers especially during the current economic climate in the US.

If one needs to record, perhaps a Panasonic, Samsung, Sony, or other DVD recorder is a better bet than DTVPal?


I think about that too. Maybe a real cheap DVD recorder that might be easier to use and with just one tuner to program. But I hate to leave my old recorder just sit there. Of course I could use it for just playing DVDs.

So far it seems difficult/impossible to find a converter for the price of a coupon only. That's it's going to cost $10 - $20 additional plus tax and/or shipping. Maybe it's time to see what cheap DVD recorder Walmart or Target has on sale and put the $20 toward that.
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post #3 of 47 Old 06-29-2008, 11:12 PM
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a DVD recorder WITH tuner is going to cost $130 and up at Walmart...of course, then you'll have a digital tuner AND an improved recorder...

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post #4 of 47 Old 06-30-2008, 01:54 AM
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If you're going to upgrade, might as well go with an ATSC-tunered HDD model like the Philips or Magnavox.
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post #5 of 47 Old 06-30-2008, 09:05 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rammitinski View Post

If you're going to upgrade, might as well go with an ATSC-tunered HDD model like the Philips or Magnavox.

Sounds like a plan. Are there similar competing Japanese models worthy of consideration?

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post #6 of 47 Old 06-30-2008, 10:43 AM
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Unfortunately, no.

But the ones I mentioned are fine for OTA and using on an analog set.

If it was for QAM, and/or a larger, HD set, I probably wouldn't recommend them as your main tuner source.

The Philips DVDR3576H (lowest price at Sam's for only $249.95) is actually a pretty well-built and dependable unit.

One negative difference between it's tuner (and the Maggie's) and a CECB box is that you can't delete subchannels on it with out having to delete all. So if you don't mind having to flip through all those channels, it's OK.
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post #7 of 47 Old 06-30-2008, 11:35 AM - Thread Starter
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If the concept of an ATSC-tunered HDD recorder is such a good idea, why don't the Japanese have a competing model? Does Philips hold a patent on the concept?

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post #8 of 47 Old 06-30-2008, 11:43 AM
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Well, actually I think the Japanese do have some models like that. But I don't know if they could be used fully over here, and they might be pretty expensive. I know their Blu-Ray models are a couple thousand dollars.

It'd probably be a lot easier and cheaper to use the Philips.
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post #9 of 47 Old 06-30-2008, 12:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rammitinski View Post

Unfortunately, no.

But the ones I mentioned are fine for OTA and using on an analog set.

If it was for QAM, and/or a larger, HD set, I probably wouldn't recommend them as your main tuner source.

The Philips DVDR3576H (lowest price at Sam's for only $249.95) is actually a pretty well-built and dependable unit.

One negative difference between it's tuner (and the Maggie's) and a CECB box is that you can't delete subchannels on it with out having to delete all. So if you don't mind having to flip through all those channels, it's OK.

I'd say that is a real pain, and the price is quite an upgrade from "$20 towards a cecb"

I'm not interested myself, but for those with analog sets, I wonder if any of the less expensive DVD recorders have an atsc tuner control where you CAN establish a favorites list (or have a delete function), so that it's only the channels you are interested in that you get with channel up/down or - at least - a favorites button?

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post #10 of 47 Old 06-30-2008, 02:21 PM
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Panasonics with the digital tuner allow you to delete sub channels but start at $229 but that would get you a digital audio out, Upconversion to 1080 and component/HDMI outputs.
Much cheaper to go the DTVPal route.
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post #11 of 47 Old 06-30-2008, 03:43 PM
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Last time I looked at the high-end Sony DVR (RDR-VXD655), I couldn't get a straight answer from Sony Customer Support about whether it passed a full HD signal from the tuner to the television.

There was an obscure note in the manual that make me think it didn't, and I couldn't resolve it: "HD (High Definition) signal through this recorder is converted to SD (Standard Definition) signal, even if the HDMI OUT connection is used." Page 22 of http://www.sonystyle.com/wcsstore/So.../RDRVXD655.pdf

Otherwise I would have bought it. One of these days I'll buy one at Fry's at try it. Anyway it's $379.99 MSRP!

See also: http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...php?p=14058885
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post #12 of 47 Old 06-30-2008, 04:13 PM
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All DVDRs downconvert the signal to 480 and then some upconvert it back to whatever you select. It's not the same as HD by any means.
Mfgs. are rather tricky on their wording but they all do this.
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post #13 of 47 Old 07-01-2008, 03:04 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by avnstf View Post

a DVD recorder WITH tuner is going to cost $130 and up at Walmart...of course, then you'll have a digital tuner AND an improved recorder...

Walmart ATSC DVD Recorders: $130-$280

For those who are focusing on the additional cost of a DVD:
$130 = ATSC DVD instead of NTSC VCR (VHS resolution) + cost of DTVPal AND having to set two timers (VCR + DTVPAL) for each program - correct?
PLUS: Audio: SPDIF & analog. Video: component, S-Video, composite, & RF outputs.

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post #14 of 47 Old 07-01-2008, 03:08 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rammitinski View Post

Well, actually I think the Japanese do have some models like that. But I don't know if they could be used fully over here, ...

so, the Japanese don't have a similar HDD unit specifically for the US market?

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post #15 of 47 Old 07-01-2008, 03:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ota.dt.man View Post

so, the Japanese don't have a similar HDD unit specifically for the US market?

Not that I know of.
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post #16 of 47 Old 07-01-2008, 03:24 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zqxthree View Post

Last time I looked at the high-end Sony DVR (RDR-VXD655), I couldn't get a straight answer from Sony Customer Support about whether it passed a full HD signal from the tuner to the television.

There was an obscure note in the manual that make me think it didn't, and I couldn't resolve it: "HD (High Definition) signal through this recorder is converted to SD (Standard Definition) signal, even if the HDMI OUT connection is used." Page 22 of http://www.sonystyle.com/wcsstore/So.../RDRVXD655.pdf

Otherwise I would have bought it. One of these days I'll buy one at Fry's at try it. Anyway it's $379.99 MSRP!

See also: http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...php?p=14058885

Hi zqxthree,

FWIW, I read in CR that while the current tested models have ATSC QAM tuners, they are not able to record in true HD.
Quote:


"But there's a hitch: DVD recorders remain standard-definition in a world that's increasingly high-def."

So while this solution will work for a current SDTV, these DVD recorders may not be the best long-term choice if one eventually replaces their existing SDTV with a HDTV.
I hope this helps.

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post #17 of 47 Old 07-01-2008, 03:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ota.dt.man View Post

Hi zqxthree,

FWIW, I read in CR that while the current tested models have ATSC QAM tuners, they are not able to record in true HD. So while this solution will work for a current SDTV, these DVD recorders may not be the best long-term choice if one eventually replaces their existing SDTV with a HDTV.
I hope this helps.

The DVD spec does not allow HD recording.
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post #18 of 47 Old 07-01-2008, 03:51 PM - Thread Starter
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The following discusses the future of DVD HD recording:

Quote:
Originally Posted by jtbell View Post

7. Can I use an ATSC-capable DVD recorder as an HDTV receiver?

All of the units seen so far deliver only standard-definition (SD) output. They can receive high-definition (HD) signals, but they downconvert HD to SD both for recording and for immediate viewing via a line output. This is because of limitations in the first-generation integrated chips that are used for decoding and processing the ATSC signal in these units. Someone who works in the industry has stated here that newer chips will be available, that allow output of HD signals via a line output. See the following postings:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showp...&postcount=932

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showp...&postcount=947

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showp...&postcount=953

However, as of April 2008, no such models had been announced.


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post #19 of 47 Old 07-01-2008, 03:57 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ota.dt.man View Post

so, the Japanese don't have a similar HDD unit specifically for the US market?

I just found some info on this question:

Quote:
Originally Posted by jtbell View Post

5. Why are there so few DVD recorders with hard disks (HDD) on sale now?

Older models with only NTSC tuners have mostly disappeared as pre March 1, 2007 stock sold out. As of April 2008, only four new models with ATSC/QAM tuners and HDD have appeared. Each of them has a discussion thread in this forum:

Philips DVDR3575H/37, which has a discussion thread and a FAQ thread.

Philips DVDR3576H/37, which is the successor to the preceding unit, and is apparently identical except for having a black finish instead of silver. Discussion and FAQs are therefore in the threads listed above.

Polaroid DRA-01601A

Magnavox H2080MW8

There have been reports that Panasonic, Toshiba, and Pioneer, at least, have no plans for such units.

Companies that have given reasons for this have indicated poor sales of the previous NTSC-only units. This is in line with the common availability in the USA of HDD DVRs leased by cable and satellite TV providers. These units have relatively low monthly fees in contrast to the high up-front cost of an HDD/DVD recorder, and can record encrypted channels that DVD recorders cannot (at least not directly). Most people apparently mainly want to be able to time-shift programs by recording them temporarily, and have limited interest in archiving programs on DVD.

This situation may change in the future as a result of the FCC mandate discussed in the next section.

Note that HDD/DVD recorders for digital TV are widely available outside the USA, e.g. in Europe, Japan and Australia, which do not have such a high penetration of proprietary leased cable and satellite equipment.

Some people have speculated that digital-rights management (DRM) issues are a cause of the lack of HDD/DVD recorders. That is, these units make it too easy to make high-quality recordings of copyrighted programs, so content providers have pressured consumer-electronics manufacturers to stop selling them in the USA.


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post #20 of 47 Old 07-01-2008, 04:28 PM
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I just saw such a unit advertised for the first time (by J&R), a Sony DVD/VCR recorder where the tuner outputs high-def...looks like they're increasing the price about as much for this added capability as a standalone digital (high-def) tuner!!!

referring to the non-high-def capable ATSC tuners in DVD recorder units for the last year as "first generation" seems a little silly...they already had 5th generation FULLY CAPABLE (ATSC/NTSC/QAM) chips in other types of units!

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post #21 of 47 Old 07-01-2008, 04:47 PM
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I've noticed some basic ATSC recorders for as little as $90. Most were marketed 1-2 years ago and are replaced with a newer model now: So new ones are getting hard to find; most are refurbished. But without a coupon, you can get a recorder for not much more than a converter box.
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post #22 of 47 Old 07-01-2008, 09:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ota.dt.man View Post

I just found some info on this question:

Those 3 US models are all Chinese-made.
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post #23 of 47 Old 07-01-2008, 09:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by avnstf View Post

I just saw such a unit advertised for the first time (by J&R), a Sony DVD/VCR recorder where the tuner outputs high-def...looks like they're increasing the price about as much for this added capability as a standalone digital (high-def) tuner!!!

Don't fall for it - it's a scam. It's 480i.
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post #24 of 47 Old 07-01-2008, 10:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by benmuss View Post

I've noticed some basic ATSC recorders for as little as $90. Most were marketed 1-2 years ago and are replaced with a newer model now: So new ones are getting hard to find; most are refurbished. But without a coupon, you can get a recorder for not much more than a converter box.

The thing is, just about all of those 1st generation ATSC-tunered models were buggy as heck. Being refurbished may help, but it's no guarantee.
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post #25 of 47 Old 07-02-2008, 05:38 AM
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For light recording, the DVD recorders that support dual-layer DVD-RAM will record 8 hours at lower resolutions that still look good and display 480p wide screen. You can actually get even more time by lowering the resolution more, but I've not tried that. I use my Panasonic DVD Recorder to supplement my VIP622 DVR when the new TV season starts until I decide which shows I want to stick with.
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post #26 of 47 Old 07-02-2008, 05:43 AM
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Interesting that CECB prices seem to have escalated and availability is limited. Consumer Reports says they paid $50 for the Tivax T9 but I see it at $69 and back-ordered on most sites.
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post #27 of 47 Old 07-02-2008, 06:44 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rammitinski View Post

Those 3 US models are all Chinese-made.

I'm not surprised. However, China probably makes the majority of CECBs as well. (One exception: The CM-7000 is made in Bulgaria.)

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post #28 of 47 Old 07-02-2008, 05:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rammitinski View Post

Don't fall for it - it's a scam. It's 480i.

yes...I went back and checked on the j and r website, and it says nothing about "HDTV"...I guess the ad IS a scam (I called to complain, but it's outside their telephonic hours)

$379 is INCREDIBLY expensive for this unit, EVEN IF THEY DID HAVE AND USE hdtv outputs on their tuner...without it, it's completely absurd!

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post #29 of 47 Old 07-02-2008, 07:17 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiSmuggs View Post

Interesting that CECB prices seem to have escalated and availability is limited. Consumer Reports says they paid $50 for the Tivax T9 but I see it at $69 and back-ordered on most sites.

Have you seen these threads about two other Tivax products (manufactured by Michley Electronics Inc. in China)?
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post #30 of 47 Old 07-03-2008, 03:32 AM
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They're Chinese-made. But they're good units considering. Better than the Magnavox, and waaay better than the totally cr***y Polaroid.
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