Magnavox H2160MW9 with 160GB HDD - Virtual Clone of Philips 3576H? - Page 87 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #2581 of 3505 Old 11-09-2009, 09:13 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by videobruce View Post

What advice other than trying different media which I did mention and a software program to tests discs (which wouldn't solve the problem)?

The advice was pretty clear and was actually the probable source of the problem: the Oppo player, which you're still not acknoweldging, even in this post!
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post #2582 of 3505 Old 11-09-2009, 09:29 AM
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No, re-read my posts, the problem shows using at least one software program in a PC, so it's not just the Oppo.
I haven't denied that the Oppo is part of the problem. The part I can't do anything about.

Why can a drive in a PC burn correctly (more or less), but a stand alone drive can't? At least the stand alone doesn't have to fight with M$ to work properly.

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post #2583 of 3505 Old 11-09-2009, 11:33 AM
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There's not a heckuva lot to be gained trying to identify the burner in the H2160: like all recorder burners, its a whack-job, one-off, proprietary beast with bizarro-world DRM mods. Given what a huge company Funai is, it could well be of their own mfr, in which case there is virtually no useful info to be applied to it. If Funai doesn't make it themselves, then its a modifed version of some generic Chinese burner: it still doesn't mean anything.

The issues of playback compatibility and recording compatibility with standalone recorder burners are separate and distinct from each other. In terms of recording, all recorder burners (including those in the very newest models) are slow as molasses compared to a generic PC burner, and their writing strategies date from the stone age. For whatever obscure reason, the burners made for standalones have never been updated to seriously cope with the comparatively poor modern 16x retail media: they are all stubbornly based on circa-2002 Japanese 4x-8x media specs. This is infuriating because aside from TY, no one has actually made circa-2002 Japanese-spec media since 2002. In essence, even a brand new 2009 Mag H2160 is obsolete out of the box. If you use anything but TY or Verbatim 8x media you obtain from online vendors, you're asking for trouble: burns will not be as good as they could be, and you'll cause premature wear and failure of the laser by forcing it to struggle with 16x media it was never designed to handle properly.

All of that has meaning only in terms of basic functionality of the recorder and getting repeatable, reliable burns from it. It has little to do with why we often have trouble with DVDs burned on standalones: as videobruce has confirmed, he tried the TY 8x and got the same playback hiccups on his Oppo and PCs. Media and burner are rarely the cause once you narrow things down. Disc interchangeability and playback issues are caused by the recorders' encoding/authoring software, not the burner itself. You achieve much closer to genuine "DVD Standard" discs with a PC, because the PC is not attempting to make a live DVD on the fly. Its encoder can operate imperceptibly slower, laying down more accurate VOBs on the PC hard drive. Elaborate, accurate authoring software will again take its time and create a flawless DVD-standard image you can then burn to disc using standardized, generic PC burners. Cumulatively, the PC authoring station is able to maintain accurate standards at several points along the path to disc creation that a standalone cannot accomplish.

Standalones are required to record in live, real-time, right-this-second-by-second mode: a paradox because DVD-R is not inherently conducive to this type of recording at all- it munges the DVD standard all to hell. Standalones use a disgusting proprietary file format in a ludicrously overcompensating effort to combat theoretical piracy. Don't underestimate the effect of that nonsense: it contaminates the basic OS of every standalone. Standalones have to start and stop recording several times on a disc (if using a DVD-only model or recording direct to DVD on a DVD/HDD combo). This is fine when creating DVD Data discs, but its not so hot when trying to make a broadly-compatible video DVD. Standalones need to be ready for instant starts and stops, a PC does not. Its not like we have quad core CPUs in these recorders, they use chips just barely capable of keeping up. If its a DVD/HDD model, you sort of split the difference between DVD standalone and PC authoring results: the hard drive gives a DVD/HDD model a lot more breathing room to work with, but its still using the lame OS and rudimentary authoring tools. Mistakes will be made.

All told, its a miracle standalone DVD recorders can create discs that are compatible at all, never mind compatible with everything out there. They are compromise units that give a high percentage of usable results for most people, but they aren't perfect. At todays fire-sale prices, I'm astonished something like the Magnavox actually works well, and gives excellent PQ. It may be too much to ask that any consumer recorder produce 100% DVD-bible-spec discs: if they play on most consumer hardware, thats considered success. Some of us have to go back and use a PC to touch up and normalize a few of our recorder-made DVDs, its an annoying necessity. It doesn't come up too often for me, but when it does a run thru something like VTSFix takes just a few minutes and does the job nicely.

With an enormous number of tapes to transfer to DVD, I'll still take the DVD recorder (with occasional PC touchup as required) as opposed to running the VHS/Beta directly into a PC- I find the PC requires much more nannying and additional external hardware adjustments (TBC etc). If you have the time and already own the expensive additional processors, sure, going direct to PC might work better for you and if you're highly skilled you can get nicer-looking results. Me, I need to slog thru another thousand or so tapes, many of which were recorded off crummy analog cable and are no great shakes to begin with. Connecting a nice used $99 Panasonic AG-1980 VCR to a Magnavox H2160 or a Pioneer is a lot simpler for me, and I can afford to run three-four such setups simultaneously. If I had to run four PCs and spend the $$$$ for four DataVideo TBCs, I'd be broke and in need of medication.

Which I couldn't afford after buying four PCs, encoder boards and DataVideo TBCs!
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post #2584 of 3505 Old 11-09-2009, 11:50 AM
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Maybe I've just been lucky so far, but have only encountered one cranky disc in the 2160A dubs -- and that one was covered in fingerprints. Ooops. The ones I've been burning (both HSD and real time) play nicely on my two pannys and on two computers. I even burned a few 16x DVD-Rs on the 2160, when I had nothing else handy, and much to my surprise, they worked too. I'm not following the Oppo saga, but couldn't you just record on it, rather than on the 2160, using line out, if it's temperamental about reading things it hasn't burned? Or is it a player only? In which case... might be time to get another cheap player. I used to have one DVD reader that would not recognize anything I burned at work,and another that would not recognize anything I burned at home. Finally got rid of both of'em. Too much to keep track of.
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post #2585 of 3505 Old 11-09-2009, 12:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CitiBear View Post

There's not a heckuva lot to be gained trying to identify the burner in the H2160: like all recorder burners, its a whack-job, one-off, proprietary beast with bizarro-world DRM mods. Given what a huge company Funai is, it could well be of their own mfr, in which case there is virtually no useful info to be applied to it. If Funai doesn't make it themselves, then its a modifed version of some generic Chinese burner: it still doesn't mean anything.

Earlier this morning I posted some information that may help differentiate the Philips 3575, 3576 and Magnavox 2080 4x DVD Drives from the Magnavox 2160 8x DVD Drive(s):

https://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...2#post17502402

The attached photos should dispell any notion that these DVD Drives are generic computer-type DVD burners:
LL
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post #2586 of 3505 Old 11-09-2009, 02:35 PM
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We may not be able to buy brand name DVRs in this country but they are alive and well overseas in PAL. The closest thing to a 2160 is the Single tuner 250GB DMR-EX79 with an MSRP of $500 and street price of $440. Upscale models provide twin tuners and TVGOS: 500GB MSRP of approx $1200 and 250GB MSRP of about $1,000.

In support of the point that Citibear has been emphasizing, here are the caveats on a Panasonic DVR.

- This unit can play back Panasonic DVD-R discs recorded and finalized with a Panasonic DVD video recorder. It may not be able to play some DVD-R discs depending on the disc and the condition of the recording.
- This unit can play back Panasonic DVD-R discs recorded with a Panasonic DVD video recorder. A recording may not be able to be played back depending on the DVD-R disc and the recording condition.
- DVD-R discs recorded on the Panasonic DVD video recorder may not be able to be played on some DVD players, depending on the player, the DVD-R disc, and the recording condition.

When you read something like the above at a manufacturer's website (http://panasonic.com.au/products/det...productID=7247) you gotta believe that recording is a crapshoot.

The mantra is "Use TY8 and cross your fingers".
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post #2587 of 3505 Old 11-09-2009, 03:11 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by sydyen View Post

In support of the point that Citibear has been emphasizing, here are the caveats on a Panasonic DVR.

- This unit can play back Panasonic DVD-R discs recorded and finalized with a Panasonic DVD video recorder. It may not be able to play some DVD-R discs depending on the disc and the condition of the recording.
- This unit can play back Panasonic DVD-R discs recorded with a Panasonic DVD video recorder. A recording may not be able to be played back depending on the DVD-R disc and the recording condition.
- DVD-R discs recorded on the Panasonic DVD video recorder may not be able to be played on some DVD players, depending on the player, the DVD-R disc, and the recording condition.

When you read something like the above at a manufacturer's website (http://panasonic.com.au/products/det...productID=7247) you gotta believe that recording is a crapshoot.

The mantra is "Use TY8 and cross your fingers".

That's pretty bad, but this might be badder... this disclaimer appears on a different page in each every Panasonic manual, even single-discers:

"The manufacturer accepts no responsibility and offers no compensation for loss of recorded or edited material due to a problem with the unit or recordable media, and accepts no responsibility and offers no compensation for any subsequent damage caused by such loss.

Examples of causes of such losses are
  • A DISC recorded and edited with this unit is played in a DVD Recorder or computer disc drive manufactured by another company.
  • A DISC used as described above and then played again in this unit.
  • A DISC recorded and edited with a DVD Recorder or computer disc drive manufactured by another company is played in this unit."
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post #2588 of 3505 Old 11-09-2009, 04:07 PM
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Panasonic deserves an A+ for honesty, if nothing else.
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post #2589 of 3505 Old 11-09-2009, 04:52 PM
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Amazing how carried away people can get. The sky is not suddenly falling. DVD recorders do just fine making disks that low to mid-range players can play without issues. The "problem" is with the Oppo. I have a 981HD and knew all about this limitation when I bought it. It's a known problem common to high end players like Oppo and Denon. They are high precision units and they don't like recorded media in general and especially not marginally recorded marginal media -- and as citibear points out, DVD recorder burners are marginal at best. Lots of Denon users have been ticked off after spending $500-1500 for a top end player only to find it won't play most recorded media when a $50 Toshiba player will. That is the name of the game with high-end players. I feed my Oppo a diet of PC-burned Taiyo-Yuden and Verbatim +DL -- that includes a bunch of VHS transfers to my E-85 which were then transferred, edited and burned on my PC -- it loves them all.

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post #2590 of 3505 Old 11-09-2009, 07:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Kelson View Post

I never use text messaging and tell my daughter to never send me any so the only ones I get are from spammers and advertisers. Call me perverse but I rather enjoy calling Verizon every month to have them credit my bill for unsolicited text messages. They would rather do that than have me block text messaging in the off-hand chance I might someday use it and contribute to their coffers. It probably costs them $5 of CSR time (pay, overhead and benefits) to credit my bill for $0.60.

I do it every month and make sure I engage the CSR on the phone for as long as possible. I know -- I'm bad.

You're looking at it wrong....you're ensuring employment of Customer Relation Reps! Other people are talking about the economy...you're DOING something about it!

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post #2591 of 3505 Old 11-09-2009, 10:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Kelson View Post

Amazing how carried away people can get. The sky is not suddenly falling. DVD recorders do just fine making disks that low to mid-range players can play without issues. The "problem" is with the Oppo. I have a 981HD and knew all about this limitation when I bought it. It's a known problem common to high end players like Oppo and Denon. They are high precision units and they don't like recorded media in general and especially not marginally recorded marginal media -- and as citibear points out, DVD recorder burners are marginal at best. Lots of Denon users have been ticked off after spending $500-1500 for a top end player only to find it won't play most recorded media when a $50 Toshiba player will. That is the name of the game with high-end players. I feed my Oppo a diet of PC-burned Taiyo-Yuden and Verbatim +DL -- that includes a bunch of VHS transfers to my E-85 which were then transferred, edited and burned on my PC -- it loves them all.

I concur with Kelson about this high-end vs low-end players stuff. A lot of time, I found that I need to make the high-end Sony (SACD/DVD) plays marginally recorded programs was to create ISO images and then burn them back to DVDs using my PC.
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post #2592 of 3505 Old 11-10-2009, 12:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Kelson View Post

Amazing how carried away people can get. The sky is not suddenly falling.

Of course it isn't.

The point made throughout this thread is that high end machines have more difficulty with recorded DVDs than low end units.

Panasonic goes so far as to warn you in their sales literature with the message that "We are selling you a recorder, but it is likely that anything recorded on it will not be readable in any machine other than the one it is recorded on, and maybe not even then."

Don't you see anything humorous about a manufacturer actively disparaging a primary function of a $1,000 piece of equipment?
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post #2593 of 3505 Old 11-10-2009, 06:18 AM
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I never use text messaging and tell my daughter to never send me any so the only ones I get are from spammers and advertisers. Call me perverse but I rather enjoy calling Verizon every month to have them credit my bill for unsolicited text messages. They would rather do that than have me block text messaging in the off-hand chance I might someday use it and contribute to their coffers. It probably costs them $5 of CSR time (pay, overhead and benefits) to credit my bill for $0.60.

I do it every month and make sure I engage the CSR on the phone for as long as possible. I know -- I'm bad.

I love that some people refuse to get scammed like this. I've thought, for a long time, text spammers must be encouraged by cell phone providers (although they'd never admit it publicly). I'll bet over a million dollars a month or more gets siphoned away from people's accounts due to this behavior. Sure, they have to "put up" with the few people like Kelson that demand a credit, but overall its a nice supplemental income for them in these tough economic times.

I use about 60 - 100 minutes per month on my phone, so I have a T mobile prepaid account. A 1000 minute refill card will last me a year, so I pay an effective rate of $8.33/mo. Seems reasonable, so what's my gripe? Within a couple of days of activating my phone, I started receiving spam. Then I learned you get charged for text messages whether you open them or not. I went to the local store to have them block all text messages...they said that "feature" is not available on prepaid phones. How convenient! If there was some way to buy a phone today that was not text enabled, I'd buy it. I'm pretty sure they no longer exist.
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post #2594 of 3505 Old 11-10-2009, 06:34 AM
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You're looking at it wrong....you're ensuring employment of Customer Relation Reps! Other people are talking about the economy...you're DOING something about it!

And I'm sure India thanks me.

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post #2595 of 3505 Old 11-10-2009, 06:38 AM
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Videobruce -- I didn't intend to suggest that the playback irregularities we saw were identical, but you'd asked "Would real time record make any difference?"

I was just suggesting that it might make a difference, as real time dubbing did correct a repeatable HS dubbing error with my 2160A.

And I was suggesting the possibility that removing chapter marks might also help. No data on that, but suggestions of many that chapter/edit marks too close together may be related to dubbing/playback problems, combined with the relocation of edit marks in HS dubbing, but not in real time dubbing, cause me to suspect that they might be involved in recording/playback irregularities when HS dubbing.

By the way, I didn't see any response to your "2160A requires confirmation via the D-dub button when adding items to the dubbing list" -- yes, that's how it works.

I think it must be in wajo's posted info, as I wasn't surprised when my 2160A demanded that, but I've wondered whether that double confirmation might be a patch for some error like the "won't finalize/format if timer is set" induced by muddling the 2160's properly working software. It doesn't seem to be a place one would need a double confirmation, as if an item is accidentally added to the record list it's easily enough removed -- usually a planned double confirmation guards against accidentally doing something irrevocable
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post #2596 of 3505 Old 11-10-2009, 06:38 AM
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In terms of recording, all recorder burners (including those in the very newest models) are slow as molasses compared to a generic PC burner, and their writing strategies date from the stone age.

Nice to know after the fact.
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You achieve much closer to genuine "DVD Standard" discs with a PC, because the PC is not attempting to make a live DVD on the fly.

These DVDs' were done using HSD (except one as a test which didn't make any difference), not 'on the fly'. Other than less processing power in a stand alone compared to a PC, I don't see where the difference is other than you don't have a choice of 'software' in a stand alone. Your are stuck with what firmware is there.
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Its encoder can operate imperceptibly slower, laying down more accurate VOBs on the PC hard drive.

Was the previous quote referring to the original recording to the HDD from the source, not the burning process itself from the HDD??
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Standalones are required to record in live, real-time, right-this-second-by-second mode

This is referring to recording 'live TV' to the optical disk as opposed to recording to the HDD, correct? If so, then there shouldn't be a problem just recording to a hard drive. Right??
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Standalones use a disgusting proprietary file format in a ludicrously overcompensating effort to combat theoretical piracy.

Almost sound as something I would write.
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Don't underestimate the effect of that nonsense

I would be the last to do so.
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If its a DVD/HDD model, you sort of split the difference between DVD standalone and PC authoring results: the hard drive gives a DVD/HDD model a lot more breathing room to work with, but its still using the lame OS and rudimentary authoring tools.

The O/S can't be that lame, it's not M$.
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Some of us have to go back and use a PC to touch up and normalize a few of our recorder-made DVDs, its an annoying necessity. It doesn't come up too often for me, but when it does a run thru something like VTSFix takes just a few minutes and does the job nicely.

Looks as I will be one of the "us".

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post #2597 of 3505 Old 11-10-2009, 06:59 AM
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I'll still take the DVD recorder (with occasional PC touchup as required) as opposed to running the VHS/Beta directly into a PC- I find the PC requires much more nannying and additional external hardware adjustments (TBC etc). If you have the time and already own the expensive additional processors, sure, going direct to PC might work better for you and if you're highly skilled you can get nicer-looking results.

That was what my original intention was when I purchased this used deck from another forum member. Unfortunately, had I known all of the above from your excellent post, I would of gone the PC/capture card route.

Regarding TBCs', if you know what to look for, they aren't expensive if you search through e-bay. After trying two other model, I picked up one for $45 delivered, that had S-video in and out (very few have the output). It needed some tweaking, a replacement cooling fan and some internal dust buildup cleaning, but it does the job cleaning up typical, multi generation tape dub sync instability. The problems you can't see unless you have a cross-pulse capable monitor. And, of course the ability to tweak levels, notably, luminance and chroma.

Since I brought up the subject, between the ForA, I.Den and Hotronic TBCs' that are common on ebay, AFAIC, the Hotronic AP-41 is the better choice since it is the newest of the three and is a current model. The only catch, if you are using a S-video VCR (and you should even if your tapes are only VHS), you absolutely want the "SW" version with S-video out (D/A converter)! 90% of the AP41s' listed do not have the S-video output. Using the composite in and out (unless it has a wide band filter) will limit the bandwidth severely.

The price? Less than that Datavideo TBC or that AVI TBC/proc amp. As far as size, a standard 1H rack mount TBC fits nicely under a VCR.

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post #2598 of 3505 Old 11-10-2009, 07:04 AM
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JLJ_; I did try the RTD, but it made no difference. I used no chapter marks. I have it turned off for all my recordings.
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By the way, I didn't see any response to your "2160A requires confirmation via the D-dub button when adding items to the dubbing list" -- yes, that's how it works.

No one answered that. Then this additional step was added with the 'A' version??
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It doesn't seem to be a place one would need a double confirmation, as if an item is accidentally added to the record list it's easily enough removed

Agreed. Another unnecessary step. Fixing something that wasn't broke.

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post #2599 of 3505 Old 11-10-2009, 07:27 AM
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The "problem" is with the Oppo.

Then, why is there a problem in a PC running Blaze DVD software? It's not just the Oppo. I'm not saying there isn't a issue with the Oppo, it's just the fact the blame can't be placed in one spot.
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It's a known problem common to high end players like Oppo and Denon

I surely wouldn't consider my $150 Oppo a high end player, thou it's not a $50, dime a dozen player from Chinamart.
One would think the scenario would be the other way around. The cheapies should/would have the problems.
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Don't you see anything humorous about a manufacturer actively disparaging a primary function of a $1,000 piece of equipment?

I'm find nothing funny about that. I'm sure the MPAA has their hand in this. Someone should tell them, the crap they have turned out for the past five or more years isn't worth the plastic it was shot on. IOWs', it's not even worth stealing!

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post #2600 of 3505 Old 11-10-2009, 08:57 AM
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videobruce, sorry if some of my post re "recorder vs PC dvds" was confusing (I confuse myself sometimes). When I said recorders must always work on-the-fly, as opposed to PC authoring being more deliberate and accurate-to-standard, yes I was thinking more in terms of direct-to-DVD recording, especially if a disc is started and stopped (multiple TV episodes on a disc, etc.) As others have pointed out, though, compatibility can still be compromised even if recording to the HDD first and then dubbing a DVD. The H2160 can be unusually sensitive to chapter mark placement and editing workflow, yet (annoyingly) will not tell you when you are going against its wishes. You won't find out until the machine just locks up during editing, refuses to make a HS dub, or the resulting DVD has very poor compatibility. In HS dub mode, it will attempt to "normalize" your chapter marks and edit points, but can create worse irregularities in the process. During a "real time" dub, the Magnavox operates more like a PC and can make more-compatible DVDs depending on the specific HDD recording, but theres no guarantee.

Whether to DVD or HDD, though, the H2160 is designed to record instant, on-the-fly video, primarily from TV sources: it manages this better on the HDD than DVD, but like all recorders its subject to video formatting errors on the HDD that will also copy over to DVD. Its the nature of the standalone beast. Compatibility is sacrificed slightly to emulate VCR responsiveness. While its true a home theater PC is also sometimes pressed to record on-the-fly, the PC is doing it with ten times the horsepower and way more sophisticated software. A home theater PC or authoring setup is at heart still a PC, a standalone recorder is a simplified appliance with some significant limitations. Apples and oranges. Between the oddball burners, the compromised recording OS, and lower-order CPU, a typical DVD/HDD recorder like the Magnavox cannot equal a PC at making widely-compatible discs. Those who own an Oppo or picayune laptop optical drive may have to resign themselves to PC re-finishing of their recorder-made DVDs. That, or like videobruce go the direct-to-PC route in the first place (if you have the patience- I have no patience for PC capture and would rather just refinish the occasional recorder-burned DVD that doesn't play nice with other hardware).

While this is very frustrating, its hard to fault the Magnavox too much, because the price is so reasonable for the PQ and feature set compared to a similar Pioneer/Panasonic/Sony. The machine is clearly designed and priced for lighter use than we AVSers end up giving it. I bought the similar Phillips 3575 for my Dad a couple years ago, but never played with it much. Recently I picked up a couple of the H2160 refurbs for friends, but before passing them on I'm taking the opportunity to really test the Magnavox and see if it could replace one of my Pioneers. It can't: I've discovered I don't like using it at all. The recordings are beautiful, top notch, but the machine itself operates like something designed in the Soviet Union circa 1975. Those who think the refurb pipeline comes from returns based on the timer/finalizing "bug" are way off: most buyers of this unit rarely make finalized DVDs so don't even know theres a bug. The refurb supply more likely comes from consumers who can't stand or can't learn the way the Magnavox operates, period.

I understand the enthusiasm here for the Magnavox, I really do: the price is fantastic, its the only new DVD/HDD recorder easily available in the US, its recording quality is first-rate, and it has the best most-reliable ATSC/QAM tuner timer of any such recorder ever sold. Its excellent value for the money and an excellent "supplementary" recorder to dedicate to OTA timeshifting chores and basic archiving to DVD. But "power users" with complex tape dubbing projects may want to think twice, and instead opt for a new-old-stock Panasonic or Pioneer on eBay or new "multi-region" model from B&H, J&R or World Import. You will spend double to triple the money, and won't get a digital tuner, but you will get a unit more conducive to heavy editing on its HDD with reduced instances of "off-spec" incompatibility issues. Pioneers and Panasonics are designed with HDD editing as a primary feature: it is more-integrated, faster, more responsive, and prevents/alerts "illegal" edit points better than the Magnavox H2160, whose editing system is more of a bonus feature.

There's no free lunch, no single recorder thats perfect for all purposes. The Magnavox is the ultimate ATSC/QAM timeshifting box, perhaps the finest DTV-tuning dvd recorder we will ever see in the USA (certainly the only one with HDD). Anyone with the slightest interest in off-air recording should buy it, nothing else can touch it for dtv broadcast recording at any price. But it is not seriously optimized for heavy editing or heavy work with VHS/Beta dubbing. It can do those things, and give great results, but clumsily and requiring a bit of workaround thinking on your part. A Pioneer or Panasonic DVD/HDD is far more expensive, hard to buy, and near-useless in the USA for broadcast recording, but they shine at the heavy editing and tape dubbing projects for which they're optimized. I'm going to try and create a "best of both worlds" system by picking up a Mag H2160 refurb for myself (next time they're available). I'll stack it with my Pioneer 460 and connect it to the Pio line inputs for use as a phenomenal ATSC converter, giving me double the HDD storage and simultaneous HDD backups for OTA recording. Sweet!
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post #2601 of 3505 Old 11-10-2009, 10:01 AM
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Originally Posted by sydyen View Post

We may not be able to buy brand name DVRs in this country but they are alive and well overseas in PAL. The closest thing to a 2160 is the Single tuner 250GB DMR-EX79 with an MSRP of $500 and street price of $440. Upscale models provide twin tuners and TVGOS: 500GB MSRP of approx $1200 and 250GB MSRP of about $1,000.

In support of the point that Citibear has been emphasizing, here are the caveats on a Panasonic DVR.

- This unit can play back Panasonic DVD-R discs recorded and finalized with a Panasonic DVD video recorder. It may not be able to play some DVD-R discs depending on the disc and the condition of the recording.
- This unit can play back Panasonic DVD-R discs recorded with a Panasonic DVD video recorder. A recording may not be able to be played back depending on the DVD-R disc and the recording condition.
- DVD-R discs recorded on the Panasonic DVD video recorder may not be able to be played on some DVD players, depending on the player, the DVD-R disc, and the recording condition.

When you read something like the above at a manufacturer's website (http://panasonic.com.au/products/det...productID=7247) you gotta believe that recording is a crapshoot.

The mantra is "Use TY8 and cross your fingers".

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Originally Posted by wajo View Post

That's pretty bad, but this might be badder... this disclaimer appears on a different page in each every Panasonic manual, even single-discers:

"The manufacturer accepts no responsibility and offers no compensation for loss of recorded or edited material due to a problem with the unit or recordable media, and accepts no responsibility and offers no compensation for any subsequent damage caused by such loss.

Examples of causes of such losses are
  • A DISC recorded and edited with this unit is played in a DVD Recorder or computer disc drive manufactured by another company.
  • A DISC used as described above and then played again in this unit.
  • A DISC recorded and edited with a DVD Recorder or computer disc drive manufactured by another company is played in this unit."

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Originally Posted by sydyen View Post

...Panasonic goes so far as to warn you in their sales literature with the message that "We are selling you a recorder, but it is likely that anything recorded on it will not be readable in any machine other than the one it is recorded on, and maybe not even then."

Don't you see anything humorous about a manufacturer actively disparaging a primary function of a $1,000 piece of equipment?

Just out of curiousity, does any other manufacturer of stand-alone DVD recorder make better claims? They might say nothing, and allow you to assume what you want. Do any of them make specific claims about compatability with all commercially available media, and that disks recorded on their machines will play on any available DVD player?

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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post #2602 of 3505 Old 11-10-2009, 10:20 AM
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Originally Posted by CitiBear View Post

I bought the similar Phillips 3575 for my Dad a couple years ago, but never played with it much. Recently I picked up a couple of the H2160 refurbs for friends, but before passing them on I'm taking the opportunity to really test the Magnavox and see if it could replace one of my Pioneers. It can't: I've discovered I don't like using it at all. The recordings are beautiful, top notch, but the machine itself operates like something designed in the Soviet Union circa 1975. Those who think the refurb pipeline comes from returns based on the timer/finalizing "bug" are way off: most buyers of this unit rarely make finalized DVDs so don't even know theres a bug. The refurb supply more likely comes from consumers who can't stand or can't learn the way the Magnavox operates, period.

During heavy use of my non-HDD Panasonics (beginning in September 2005) I purchased a Philips 3575 in March 2008. It was painful to learn the main 3575 operating procedures. Switching back and forth from the Panasonics to the Philips the pain continued for several months. That was all before I attempted to edit with the 3575--an even more painful experience for this "geezer." The Owner's Manual was of little help as it didn't even mention (what I later learned is termed) "front and end cut editing." If I recall correctly another poster mentioned his own method for front and end cuts and I responded describing my equally clumsy (and unsatisfactory) version of these edits. Then Wajo chimed in with his sticky thread link to the front and end cut editing that he discovered on his own. Yes, that procedure also seemed a little clumsy at first but for my purposes the Wajo Front and End Cut Editing Procedure works beautifully--Thank You Wajo!

Later, I added to my "recorder stable" one Philips 3576, one Magnavox 2080 and (so far) three 2160 (original 2008) models. (The 3576 is nearly useless as a clear QAM tuner--it's been set up as an effective ATSC tuner/recorder and a dubber from external sources.) These Philips/Magnavox recorders are, in my opinion, outstanding performers.

I no longer have problems switching between the Panasonic and Philips/Magnavox operating systems. My 2160 models are my personal favorites, but the 2080 and 3576 receive the heaviest use among the Philips/Magnavox models. But there is still much that I have yet to learn about these recorders.

My point is that there is a learning curve to use the Philips/Magnavox HDD/DVD operating system--as you've mentioned--especially when coming from experience with a Panasonic or Pioneer. Easy use will come with time and experience, including accessing Wajo's sticky thread and seeking out peer-to-peer help.

There are many times I've exclaimed "Help, Wajo!"

Yes, there will always be the Joe and Jane crowd--that you've also mentioned--folks that won't or can't learn. Those folks provide the customer returns that become the "refurbs" that J&R sells to folks like us. I'll stop rambling now in order to go over to J&R to check for the next 2160--"A" version or not--that I may add to my recorder stable.

"A ROSE BY ANY OTHER NAME WILL SMELL AS SWEET. BUT IT DOES NOT FOLLOW THAT WHATEVER WE CHOOSE TO CALL A ROSE WILL POSSESS THE ROSE'S FRAGRANCE."

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post #2603 of 3505 Old 11-10-2009, 10:33 AM
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During a "real time" dub, the Magnavox operates more like a PC and can make more-compatible DVDs depending on the specific HDD recording, but theres no guarantee.

That didn't help in this case.
Quote:


or like videobruce go the direct-to-PC route in the first place

Unlike videobruce that should of gone this route in the first place.
Quote:


opt for a new-old-stock Panasonic or Pioneer on eBay

Question is; which models? Forget the tuner, cost aside (within reason) which ones have first rate capture ability, some editing capabilities (removing segments) and compatible burned discs?

.
.
Recording free OTA TV for 'time shifting' has been here since 1975. Will there be DVR's to do the same when ATSC3 obsoletes existing DVR's??
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post #2604 of 3505 Old 11-10-2009, 12:12 PM
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Originally Posted by videobruce View Post

Question is; which models? Forget the tuner, cost aside (within reason) which ones have first rate capture ability, some editing capabilities (removing segments) and compatible burned discs?

At the moment there aren't too many choices. Dealers seem sold out of the multi-region Panasonic EH-58/EH-68, and have not received stock yet of the new EH-59/EH-69. The Canadian NTSC Pioneers are almost totally gone, leaving only the multi-regiion 560 and 660. B&H claims to have gotten some Pioneers in recently, and I've had PM exchanges with two AVS members who each bought a 560 from J&R in the last week so I know those are around. The 560 is $399, the 660 is $419, only difference is the 250 GB in the 660 vs 160 GB in the 560 (unlike the Canadian version, the global 660 has no ethernet port: no loss since it doesn't do much of anything). I don't have extensive experience with the Pannies, but others here who do prize them highly. I love the editing system on the Pios: its very quick and responsive, doesn't lock up the recorder if you make a mistake (just hit return once to exit the edit mode: no harm done), and doesn't require any "heads/tails before anything else" planning. It just works. PQ is equal to the Mag at SP, incrementally better if you use faster flex speeds like 85 mins for shorter movies or 130 mins to fit 3 edited one-hour shows on a DVD. No "empty title" appears on finished DVDs and the DVD copies over any custom thumbnails you assigned in the HDD navigator. I've rarely had a Pio-burned DVD play badly in other hardware, but it does happen, so might not be any improvement over the Mag DVDs for your Oppo and PC player issues. I'll try to verify Pio<>Oppo compatibility for you if I can find an Oppo dealer downtown.
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post #2605 of 3505 Old 11-10-2009, 02:53 PM
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Originally Posted by videobruce View Post

Question is; which models? Forget the tuner, cost aside (within reason) which ones have first rate capture ability, some editing capabilities (removing segments) and compatible burned discs?

You are forgetting the other obvious (and cheaper) route. Go buy a $50 Toshiba DVD player for your Magnavox recorded disks that won't play on the Oppo and save the Oppo for commercial disks and PC burns.

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post #2606 of 3505 Old 11-10-2009, 03:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Church AV Guy View Post

Just out of curiousity, does any other manufacturer of stand-alone DVD recorder make better claims? They might say nothing, and allow you to assume what you want. Do any of them make specific claims about compatability with all commercially available media, and that disks recorded on their machines will play on any available DVD player?

No, and they are far more reticent about it. You get a response from tech support telling you to use different media but few are as open as Oppo and admit that it is a known problem with no solution. My Toshiba discs were hit or miss on being readable in other players, and tech support never did anything but point the finger at the customer for doing something wrong.

What struck my funny bone was that Panasonic is so up front and open about the potential for problems you might encounter that it could affect their sales (then again most people probably don't read to the bottom of a web page).

None of the DVDs made on either 3576 or 2160 have had any issues on players belonging to relatives. Admittedly, we are not talking a huge number here, but the experience has been better than with my Toshibas.

Quote:
Originally Posted by videobruce View Post

I have been using TDK +R DVDs' to burn movies with my PC with no issues. Now, when I use them with recorder, playing back on a Oppo HD970 stand alone player, the video is sometimes choppy. Choppy as in appearing to be 2-4 good frames, then skipping 2-4 frames.

I've seen this occur occasionally during playing back from the HDD, usually accompanied by loss of audio. It only occurs in the family room and I believe it is mostly (if not always) the Philips. Repeat restores the audio. It has not happened on either machine in the den.

Quote:
Originally Posted by videobruce View Post

On both the Oppo 970 and two different drives in my main PC using....

Maybe I've missed it in the thread but is it stated anywhere that the choppiness does or does not occur when the DVD is played back on the same 2160 it was recorded on?

If the 2160 cannot play chop-free then I would not expect any player to do so either.

If the 2160 can play chop-free then I would suspect the recorder to be borderline.

One way to find out is hook up a DVD recorder that is known to produce readable DVDs on the Oppo/PC by component output and try that.

If the outboard recording is also choppy then it may be a timing issue with the internal circuitry.
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post #2607 of 3505 Old 11-10-2009, 03:28 PM
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No, re-read my posts, the problem shows using at least one software program in a PC, so it's not just the Oppo.
I haven't denied that the Oppo is part of the problem. The part I can't do anything about.

Why can a drive in a PC burn correctly (more or less), but a stand alone drive can't? At least the stand alone doesn't have to fight with M$ to work properly.

I know it's probably a stupid point to bring up, if so, forgive me, but I suggested many moons ago that it would be wise, if your warranty is up, to pop open the hood of the Maggy and carefully with a high quality Philipps head screwdriver, make sure that ALL the exposed 'mounting' screws are tight, and that would include the 'dock' for the DVD unit and the HDD unit. And also, get some good rubber feet on the bottom of the deck! Vibrations are murder to DVD Burning.....sometimes......
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post #2608 of 3505 Old 11-10-2009, 09:55 PM
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My apologies in advance if this subject has been brought up before. I am in the market for a replacement for my VCR since everythiing went digital. I am very interested in the 2160. I am using an OTA antenna with an HDTV. I read a copy of the owners manual and it mentioned the possibility of the HDD going bad. I realize they do go bad on most everything. If they go bad could it be replaced by the consumer or is it something that has to be sent in for service? I am talking about after the warranty expires. If they can be replaced does the 2160 format it? From the picture it looks like a regular ATA drive. I've built my own computers and replaced my own hard drives. This is something I am taking into consideration before I decide on my purchase
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post #2609 of 3505 Old 11-10-2009, 10:36 PM - Thread Starter
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My apologies in advance if this subject has been brought up before. I am in the market for a replacement for my VCR since everythiing went digital. I am very interested in the 2160. I am using an OTA antenna with an HDTV. I read a copy of the owners manual and it mentioned the possibility of the HDD going bad. I realize they do go bad on most everything. If they go bad could it be replaced by the consumer or is it something that has to be sent in for service? I am talking about after the warranty expires. If they can be replaced does the 2160 format it? From the picture it looks like a regular ATA drive. I've built my own computers and replaced my own hard drives. This is something I am taking into consideration before I decide on my purchase

Not only is it relatively easy for almost anyone to replace the HDD, but you could externalize it with an enclosure and toaster and have a HDD farm. Drives would be portable, "instantly" playable, etc.

See this help file for lots of info on that and esp. check the "Pioneers..." section, #5 for the external drives.
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post #2610 of 3505 Old 11-11-2009, 08:10 AM - Thread Starter
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"Great news" from Jacques Perreault at J&R on 2160A (he didn't specify which, prob. "A"?):

"Great news!
We are about to receive 100 more pieces shortly (1-2 weeks, $160, free ship).
Please, if you'd like to order any (or any friends that may!) please call me directly.

thanks,
Jacques Perreault
J&R Electronics, Salesman #109"

* * * * * * * * *
To order or ask questions, he prefers you call him at:

1-800-221-8180, opt 1, then x1015 after "Please stay on the line for the next sales agent"


He has just ONE in the warehouse now and expects it to go "very soon"... he's suddenly getting lots of calls... wonder why!?

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