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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First, I admit that I had a DVD recorder about 3 years ago, and it was a huge pile of crap. It was an RCA brand, and it stopped working about 3 months after I got it. I've been out of the loop on DVD recorders since then, and I'm now finding it difficult to figure out the current status of the market.


I recently got a Canon Vixia HV30 HD camcorder, and I'm looking for a stand-alone DVD recorder that will allow me to make quick 1-1 DVDs on the fly so that, for example, I could send family members home with the video taken during a kid's birthday party. I know I can't record the HD video in an HD format directly, but I'd like to be able to make a DVD straight from the camcorder without having to dump the data into the computer and transcode.


Could anyone please recommend the best (i.e. most reliable and the closest match to what I need) recorder for me? I truly do appreciate it.


Questions / things that I'd like to have:


1) Is it possible to connect straight digital to digital into a recorder and still capture 480i signals off the camcorder when the material is recorded in an HDV format? I've seen things called a DV input on the recorders, but I'm not sure if that's the right thing or would work with an HD camera.


2) I would really like to have a VCR combo unit, as I do still have a bunch of old home movies that I would like to convert.


3) Do any of the recorders automatically set an anamorphic widescreen mode? Or would recording from the HD camcorder result in a hard-matted widescreen DVD? I guess this kind of ties into question #1, too.


4) I guess a digital tuner would be a plus, but it's not a necessity.


5) The same would be true for an upconverting player. I've got a PS3 that does a great job playing regular SD DVDs, so I'm thinking that the wear-and-tear on the recorder would best be saved by not using the recorder to actually watch movies.


6) I don't think an HDD unit is that important (i.e. any actual video editing that I would do would be on the PC when I have time), but would it help in a situation like this? If so, I guss I could go that route, but I also would like to keep the cost within reason.


Overall, is Panasonic still the best out there? At the time that the RCA died, I remember reading (mostly here, by the way) that the Pannys seemed to lead the class. But that's been a few years ago.


Again, I really appreciate any advice and guideance.


Thanks!!
 

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While I'd still consider Panasonic to be best in PQ, reliability of any brand, including Panasonic has much to be desired.

Since you're coming from a camcorder you might want to check into the Sony VRD-MC5 which is basically a standalone DVD burner only, no tuner. It will record HD to DVD in the AVCHD format(playable on BR players only) but I'm not sure if your Canon would support this. It might just be for select Sony camcorders. If it doesn't have to be HD it will record in SD from any source using composite, S-video or DV(maybe just from Sony camcorders?). I've seen them at Costco lately for $169 among other places. I'm not sure how reliable they are since I've never really seen much posted about them. Mostly questions, few answers. It's been around for a year or 2 so if that's any indication maybe it's pretty decent.
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...ght=sony+avchd

AFA DVDRs with digital tuners the Magnavox 2160 and Philips 3576
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=940657

seem to get the least complaints. They don't have a VHS section. I can't really suggest any current combo w/digital tuner, they all have way too many issues for my liking.

No current DVDR will set the widescreen flag. They'll all record squished 16:9 but then you must have a 16:9 TV to stretch it back, otherwise it will look vertically stretched on a 4:3 TV. Some people correct the flag with a simple PC program, I don't bother since I only have 16:9 TV now.
 

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Well, One thing I could tell you is that if your camcorder has a composite out or something you could plug it into the DVD recorder and it should record fine. Not sure about the Widescreen thing though. I've never owned a DVD recorder so I don't have any previous experience with them.


I agree with the other poster, Panasonic should be the best brand to go with.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the replies! Much appreciated!!


Regarding the Sony unit, I'm not sure it would work since the Canon HV30 is in HDV format and uses a tape. It's not AVCHD, so I'm thinking it probably wouldn't be compatible, but that's just my guess.


I was hoping that using a DV input would let me get straight digital to digital, but it sounds like I'm going be limited to using the s-video / composite here. The only problem is, like you said, I'd end up with a squished picture of the native widescreen HD source. It's not that big of a deal, I guess, but it sure would be nice if the current recorders would recognize the widescreen source and allow for an anamorphic transfer. That way the end DVD player could decode the widescreen based on its own settings and not rely on a widescreen tv to do the "unsquishing." I guess it also depends on whether the Canon outputs in a squished format through the analog outs, too. Never tried it, so I don't know.


Yes, I guess I could use IFO edit (or something similar) to set the widescreen flag back on the PC side, but at that point (recording to DVD, copying to PC, then editing and reburning) it would probably be just as fast to capture the original HD video and encode down to SD quality anyway.


Oh, do any of the current records allow for component input or HDMI input, by the way?


Ultimately, it sounds so far like I should just check out the current slate of records and roll the dice (and buy based on a return policy :).


Thanks again for all the help!
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZManCartFan /forum/post/15439506



Oh, do any of the current records allow for component input or HDMI input, by the way?


Ultimately, it sounds so far like I should just check out the current slate of records and roll the dice (and buy based on a return policy :).

Unfortunately no current DVDR has component inputs and none have had or have HDMI.

I agree with your last statement, buy it at a store that has a good return policy and preferably close buy. If you record at SP or better PQ differences are minor, between 2+ and 4hrs/disc I like the Pannys. IMO the Philips and Maggy I suggested seem to be giving the least amount of problems according to the forums.

Note I think?? you'd be able to record from your Canon to the Sony using DV but it doesn't sound like you'd be able to utilize the AVCHD format. Still I would think the DV would be digital to digital. I think the 3576 has a DV input as well as the Pannys and some other models. The Philips also has the advantage of the digital tuner and HDD but would cost ~$100 more than the little Sony.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZManCartFan /forum/post/15435305


1) Is it possible to connect straight digital to digital into a recorder and still capture 480i signals off the camcorder when the material is recorded in an HDV format? I've seen things called a DV input on the recorders, but I'm not sure if that's the right thing or would work with an HD camera.

I use a HV20, and if you are not recording to tape in the camera, then yes, you can output DV to a DV-input capable recorder. I would have to lock the mode to dv in the camcorder setup. I don't know if you can simultaneously record HDV in the camcorder AND DV to the dvdr. I DO know that when I lock output to DV (instead of HDV), the HDMI output is also 480i.


When recording live to a recorder, your movement is restricted by the cable, bur we do that regularly, sometimes with tape in the camera (Sony VX2100, not HiDef).


The advantage of HDD in a recorder, you could make dvd copies at high speed, in ten minutes or less per copy. But are you going to make that recording to dvdr in one continuous run, or a series of short scenes?


Richard
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Interesting. So are you saying that the DV output of the HV30 (a virtually identical camera to the HV20) won't work at all if the camera is recording / has recorded in HDV mode onto the tape? Does it output in 1080i in that case? I was worried about that. I was hoping that the DV output would aways be 480i regardless of the format that the camera captured to tape (similar to the composite or s-vdeo outs).


I definitely don't want to record in DV format on the camera all the time. To me, that defeats the purpose of having the camera. People can just wait as far as I'm concerned to get their DVD if that's the case.



I'm not looking to record "live" to the DVD recorder. I'm looking to just dump the raw material that was recorded onto the tape onto a quick DVD that people could take home. After re-reading my post, I didn't say that.



I think I've settled on the Panny DMR-EZ48VK as it looks like it's got the features I'm looking for. Problem is that I can't find it local anywhere. I'll probably just end up ordering it online.


Again, I truly appreciate the input. Thanks!!
 

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IMO you should really try and find that EZ-48 locally and preferably close to you. DVDRs in general are flaky and the EZ-48 isn't an exception.

It does make very fine recordings it's just the reliability I'd question.

In my area anyway the EZ-48 is the most readily available DVDR B&M.

Target, Best Buy, Circuit City and Sears to name a few carry the EZ-48. Costco and Sams recently stopped carrying it and instead carry the (even worse, IMO) JVC 100 combo.
 

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I don't know what the HV20 would record at if simultaneous DV output was requested.

It sounds like you want to record first (hi definition, of course), then play back in dv. My guess is that would work. You'd have to try it, unless you can find out from the manual. I've never recorded from the HV20; using it only as an observation source for our production room.


You can get HDV and 1080 HDMI, or dv and 480 HDMI. Also, you cannot get analog video and digital at the same time; plugging in HDMI disconnects the analog video- audio still comes through. You CAN get component and composite at the same time.


We needed Hi def video (32" HDTV) for our audio engineer so he could see the color of the microphones various performers were using; the video engineer needed only the regular video to see what was going on. Our solution was to string a set of cables for component input for the HDTV, and composite (yellow RCA) for video tv. Works well.


No discernible difference between HDMI and component other than slight color shift, and on other equipment, no difference between s-video and dv. The HV20 does not have s-video out, so that pretty well restricts you to dv-- which carries audio. I havn't compared composite video and dv on the HV20, but other tests have shown a difference that was noticeable.


Not all dvdr's have dv input, but a number of them do, or did. Check eBay; I've gotten several, and am happy with them.
 
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