Absolutely! I bought a Panasonic DVD-Recorder back in early December and have been recording numerous shows from the "MY SHOWS" list on to blank DVD-R discs. I recommend using the S-video connections for your hook-up. Also the "SP" mode (set on the dvd recorder) gives you very good picture quality with 2 hours recording time per disc. XP is the best but only gives you 1 hour of recording time per disc. However if you are looking to record movies with Dolby Digital 5.1 intact, I do not think the audio will "copy" to any blank DVD. Perhaps someone else here better informed could comment on that aspect?? In any case it's a great way to archive many types of shows & series. By the way in my experience blank DVD's can vary quite a bit in price so I would definitely shop around if I were you!
It is model # DMR-E50 which I got on sale for $360.00 + tax. Using this recorder is quite easy though like anything I would suggest you thourghly read the enclosed manual. I believe they now have model # DMR-E60 & perhaps even another model beyond these with advanced editing features which I wasn't looking for. Anyway we have recorded well over 100 hours worth of material & so far it has been dead on reliable. A couple of things to consider though. First unless you have a universal remote that controls both the ULT TV & DVD recorder you will have to hold both remotes [one in each hand] in order to record any program from the ULT TV. Secondly everything you record will be in "real time" unlike recording audio onto a CD-R in which case you can speed up the process. The point is doing this type of recording can be VERY time consuming! This of course like so many things is really a personal choice of how you want to spend your spare time. What we ran into with only 35 hours(getting ready to upgrade to 105 hrs) on our HD was always having to record things off the HD before they self-deleted (you can only designate so many "KEEPS" HA! HA!) & this became quite time consuming as I said. Overall it is quite worthwhile as these are recordings that in theory one can keep forever!! I am currently in the process of recording the series "Combat" & my wife does quite a few hobby & craft shows to which she can refer to later. Pretty cool actually. Take care.
I just got done recording about 40 hours of show from my UTV to a Sony GX7 DVD recorder. So yes, it is very doable.
The DVD recorder forum on AVS is a great resource.
DVD recorders with harddrives, makes editing easier. If you are going to be archiving camcorder footage, cutting commercials out of shows, or making multiple copies of DVDs I'd highly recommend looking at one of these.
Get Firewire input if you are going to be using it with a digital camcorder.
Memory card slots if you want to dump pictures or mpeg4 video to DVD.
Program guide and IR emitter to control external tuners (although if you've got a UTV I'd use it and just get a basic unit to archive shows).
Formats (compatibility figures are rough, everyone has their own opinion):
DVD-R - Record once, compatibile w 95% of DVD players, editing; erase titles (but you can't reuse the space), cheap media.
DVD+R - Record once, compatible with most PC DVD drives and 75% of home players, same editing as DVD-R, cheap media.
DVD-RW - Rewriteable 1000 times, compatible with 50-70% of DVD players when using video mode, 5% when using VR mode. Editing; video mode, can erase and reuse space can only record to contiguous space, VR mode, can erase and reuse space non-contiguous.
DVD+RW - Rewriteable 1000 times, compatible with 50-70% of DVD players, editing; can erase and reuse space but can only record to contiguous space.
DVD-RAM - Rewriteable 10000+ times, compatible with maybe 5% of dvd players, only rewriteable format that allows you to read and write to the disk at the same time (allows tivo like functionality w chasing play, time slip, etc.)
No recorder can record surround sound, they all record stereo.
As I understand it recorded video quality in the 1 and 2 hour modes on most units are nearly indistinquishable from the source.
The panasonic units have been the leaders in the field and they are really good units. The 50 is a basic DVD-R/DVD-RAM recorder. The 60 adds memory card slots and firewire input, the 80 has an 80GB HD and no card slots or firewire input, the 100 has a 120GB HD w card slots, firewire and high speed dubbing.
I went with the Sony as supposedly it has better playback quality and the longer record modes (3+ hours) may be slightly better quality. It also supports DVD-R, DVD-RW and DVD+RW.
Pioneer has a basic recorder, a HD/DVD recorder and a couple Tivo w DVD Recorder units (no editing though).
There are other units from Philips, Go video, et.al. but I can't tell you much about them.
I personally would recommend the Panasonic DMRE50 if you are looking for a good value... this is Panasonic's 3rd generation of recorders, they've got a very solid unit for the money with the bugs worked out and they have very good recording quality. I also like the RAM format for it's flexibility.
I know Pioneer TIVO/DVD recording quality is not as good as panasonic or Sony (I setup one of these at a customer's house... it's the same quality as the stand-alone Tivo which is just OK). I haven't heard for sure on the 310.
I'd ask on the recorder forum... most folks their are partial to the panasonic but it sure wouldn't hurt to ask, you'll probably get a ton of one-sided opinions but you might stumble across someone who actually owns the units you are interested in and can comment on them.
Originally posted by TVfriend12 Thanks for the info.
What model Panasonic recorder is yours? Do you recommend it?
I have the older Panasonic DMR-HS2, which is essentially the same as the newer models - but the HS2 (and some of the newer models) contain hard drives as well as DVD burners and can funtion as basic (not satellite) DVRs. They also allow the editing of the video file to remove commercials, etc once the file in on the hard drive, as well as variable re-encoding of the video stream when it is burned from the internal hard drive to the DVD.
What does this mean in practice? It means you can take something you really want to keep (example - a 2 hr movie) and record it to the hard drive is max resolution (XP on the HS2). At XP it would take 2 x DVDs to hold the resulting video file. Then remove the commercials, leaving you with a 1 1/2 hour video stream. Then tell the machine to down-res the file only enough to fit it onto a normal DVD. This gives you the maximum video quality on a DVD (less than the XP setting but more than the SP setting). Sure it sounds like extra work - but if you're archiving to DVD it's probably because you want to keep the show - so why not keep it in max resolution w/o commericals?
Anyways - I recommend DVD burners, they're great. I can't imagine one without the HD feature.
(Note - I have standard cable as well as satellite, and I have used the HS2 to record directly from cable on occasion as a backup to my satellite DVR - great extra feature.)
Can someone with a UTV and a DVD Recorder elaborate on how they hooked it up ?? I'm a few weeks away from purchasing a Panasonic DMR-E50, and will use it to archive movies from My Shows to DVD.
I'm guessing this should work:
UTV S-video out to DVD Recorder S-video in. Then, DVD-Recorder S-Video out to TV S-Video in. Is it really that simple ?? Of course, I'm leaving out the audio cables, but it should be the same. Please let me know if I'm missing anything.
Also, with this setup, wouldn't the DVD-Recorder always have to be on to pass the S-video signal on to the TV ??
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