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Panny vs Magnavox DVD Recorder for VHS tape archiving

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Sorry for a question that is probably addressed over a multitude of other threads, but I am hoping someone with more knowledge of this forum can offer a more concise answer to my question.

I have a little used Panasonic DMR-EH50 DVD Recorder that was purchased back in 2005 but saw little use. I am embarking on a VHS tape-to-DVD archiving project using a JVC HR-S7600 VCR with internal TBC, Digipure NR, etc. to playback VHS camcorder tapes and recordings of TV programs from the late 80's and 90's (mostly music concerts) all recorded in SP mode.

I'm looking for comments from previous users and forum experts on whether the EH50 will be adequate for this purpose or whether it would be worth my while to invest in a new DVD recorder like the Magnavox MDR513 or MDR 533 series. I have seen alot of good press on this forum and elsewhere on the Maggy 513, 537, etc. Is it worth scrapping the EH50 and buying a Magnavox? Are there real benefits in making this shift; is the LSI processor in the Magnavox worth the $300 investment?

BTW, I will be doing very little in the way of post-record (to HDD) editing, mostly trimming beginning, end , and possibly commercials.

Can someone also comment on whether the Magnavox can support 16:9 recordings?

Comments/recommendations are greatly appreciated!
post #2 of 9
The EH-50 will make a excellent DVDR for your project, initially I used a couple in my VHS to DVD dubbing project but towards the end ended up just using realtime(HDD-less) DVDRs to save time(I didn't need to do any editing). With the EH-50 you'll get up to ~2hrs 7 minutes SP by going to the HDD first and then HS dubbing to DVD. Another advantage to the Panasonics is you can use FR to maximize DVD usage. Using SP for your tapes you should never have to set FR to more than 2hrs 40 minutes(T-160 tapes) if you used those. The maximum I like to use FR for is 3hrs and I really prefer to stick around 2hrs 42 minutes(I call it FR2.7).
All DVDRs support 16:9 but very few(not your EH-50 or any of the Magnavoxes) set the WS bit meaning if you record things in 16:9 and later play them back on a 4:3 TV they will be vertically squished(people will look tall and skinny) but will play just fine on a 16:9 TV with full or stretch settings.
Personally I've never seen a difference between the LSI and Panasonic processors, '07 and newer Panasonics have LSI silicone and I've done side by side tests between a '08 Panasonic and a '05 EH-50 and I see no difference even on a 52" screen.
post #3 of 9
Quote:
I'm looking for comments from previous users and forum experts on whether the EH50 will be adequate for this purpose or whether it would be worth my while to invest in a new DVD recorder like the Magnavox MDR513 or MDR 533 series.

Owning both, I can safely say that *I* would use the EH50 over the Magnavox. I do use the editing and playlist features extensively, but even if I didn't, I would opt to use the EH50 first.
post #4 of 9

Another vote for the Panny. If you need to do any editing, it will be faster on the Panny, and the dub time/disc finalization process much faster than the Mag.

post #5 of 9
Ditto Westly's and others remarks. The Magnavox's strong point is its digital tuner and more readily replaced drives. Editting is primitve, no combining scenes from multiple titles.

The Panasonic is ideal for editting. Camcoder? You bet. You may decide to combine family pictures by family, occasion, whatever. Very easy on the Panasonic, impossible on the Magnavox. Use the PLAYLIST feature on to Panasonic, great feature.

You already have the EH50. Why look further?

Bought my first dvd recoder, a Panasonic E100H in 2003 to edit 6 Hi-8 camcorder tapes of 1993 Solomon Islands. I had, still have, a pair of EV-S7000 Hi-8 Edit vcrs which provide nice editability, but to combine from 6 source tapes? No thanks. The E100H made the task simple.

The first two playlists may be tough, till you learn them, but after that, you'll thank us.
post #6 of 9
I have many Magnavox and Panasonic HDD/DVD Recorders, including two DMR-EH50 models.

My EH50 models are in daily use. In fact, I just finished editing three titles. And now, as I type this post, those titles are being high-speed dubbed to an 8x TY Premium Line DVD-R. The EH50 models are the best editing and high-speed dubbing recorders I've owned. The Magic Wheel allows for precision editing.

While I have five Magnavox HDD/DVD Recorders set up for daily use (and these are also great products), my EH50 models are my real workhorses.
post #7 of 9
Funny you ask, I had the same question, but already had an EH50 and a couple Magnavox 2160's and was facing a large dubbing project of 8mm and vhs tapes.

After doing a side-by-side comparison with an 8mm tape fed into each machine and dubbed onto identical dvd's, then viewing both on the same dvd player, I gave the edge in picture quality to the Panasonic. I was a little disappointed as I was hoping to use all the machines to speed up the project.

And yes, the playlists and editing capabiities of the EH50 came in handy at times. Just my opinion....
post #8 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arob View Post

Funny you ask, I had the same question, but already had an EH50 and a couple Magnavox 2160's and was facing a large dubbing project of 8mm and vhs tapes.

After doing a side-by-side comparison with an 8mm tape fed into each machine and dubbed onto identical dvd's, then viewing both on the same dvd player, I gave the edge in picture quality to the Panasonic. I was a little disappointed as I was hoping to use all the machines to speed up the project.

And yes, the playlists and editing capabiities of the EH50 came in handy at times. Just my opinion....
You did a very good thing smile.gif No matter the outcome, before committing the time and energy to do a large project you want to be able to make the best of your recordings. Can I ask what speed/speeds you used for your tests? I found the speed(mode) you plan on using, particularly when planning on putting more than about 2hrs/DVD to be a very good thing to compare between various brands of DVDRs.
Before I started my VHS to DVD conversion project I really wanted to be able to fit 4hrs/DVD(2 full SP VHS tapes) and I even made a few such copies, luckily I scrutinized the recordings and quickly decided 3hrs and preferably no more than about 2hrs 40 minutes would be the maximum I'd want to fit on a SL DVD using my Panasonic DVDRs. Luckily all my tapes were SP and most all were T-160s and less so that worked out great, unfortunately it meant I couldn't fit more than 1 VHS tape/DVD. If I had used SLP I would have had to split my tapes and even that would have put me into the 3hr maximum mode. Again I commend you for taking the time in the beginning to get it right.
post #9 of 9
I compared at SP speeds, as the bulk of my dubbing was going to be 8mm tapes all recorded at SP. The finished dvd's showed a slight advantage to the Panny in picture quality, in my opinion. I didn't trust my eyes completely, so asked my wife, too. She also said the Panny was just a bit better. Glad to be done with the project, took about 3 winters.

Next, got a bunch of VHS to try to sort through and decide which to keep. I love my Panasonics, have an EH50 and EH55 and plan on keeping them going.
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