I can only comment on this model with about 2 days of experience. I got mine setup yesterday. I'll say it does everything it claims to so far. I'm very impressed. Before this, the only way to get a program from my TiVo to DVD was to capture it to my computer and burn it there, which took several hours. With this thing, I just hit "play" on TiVo and "record" on the recorder...when the program is done the disk is ready to play elsewhere (+RW's are, +R's need to be "finalized"). Picture quality I think is great in 1 or 2 hour modes....longer modes deteriorate quickly, especially if the source video isn't top-notch. Anyone else with any experience on this thing?
I was going to buy that at my local Walmart until I read of many, many problems with the unit. Also if you go to cyberhome's website, this thing has MANY problems. They have already released a firmware fix that isn't included with shipping models!
Also this unit's analog circuits are very questionable. Go to the Q&A section of their site and it has an impedance mismatch with MANY televisions creating a scrambled looking picture on bright flashing scenes. I had this problem with an old JVC Television. It was bad and going out. It was the exact problem. On flashing bright scenes, the picture scrambled. What was funny the mismatch wasn't observed when switching through my Technics receiver but when using a Yamaha receiver's switching, it came to life. Yamaha was great trying to replicate the problem at their company when all along it was a defective television.
IMO, just another no name player that has already been proven to be quite problematic by the manufacturer. IMO, stay away.
Expat, I only hope the best for you. Hopefully you have the means to do the firmware upgrade on your machine. Obviously your not having the impedance mismatch problem or you would had noticed it.
Doesn't appear that any units have been updated with the new firmware requiring you to do it yourself. Firmware download. You can really see all the problems listed in the fix list, that this unit is shipped having. I wouldn't have it, no way.
Here's the knowledge base reporting the distortion on the bright scenes but for some reason, they deleted the page it references with a picture describing the distortion or scrambled picture. Very interesting! Heres the link.
Also, here are some knowledge base links stating all the problems relating to this recorder. #1#2
After a few more days of use I still stand by this recorder. It hasn't failed me yet. Takes a little getting used to if you're doing any "editing" on a DVD, though. But for $248 I'll put up with that. The +RW disks don't play in my older Sony or my Toshiba 2109, but again those came out before the +RW specs did so I'm not surprised. I don't have the Toshiba 1600 to try it on.
Video playback quality is good to excellent -- IF the source video is good to excellent. If you're recording from TiVo on basic quality to DVD on 6 hour mode, it'll look like crap -- garbage in/garbage out in action. Off the air or from a "Best Quality" TiVo recording in 1 or 2 hour mode looks great. Even does Dolby Digital! (apparently 2-0, but haven't tried using a 3-2-L source yet).
All in all, I haven't experienced any of the problems mentioned here or on thier site. I haven't applied the firmware upgrade yet, but probably will - I like to be up-to-date. I'm seriously considering adding a 2nd of these to my bedroom setup.
The compatibility fix may be for 4X media. When I bought my 4X DVD+Rs for my PC, a warning label was attached saying most DVD+RW drives and home recorders will need a firmware update to use these 4X discs. It's fact as my buddy's new cheapo drive wouldn't use these discs and had no available updated firmware. He exchanged it for a better brand that actually works correctly with 4X DVD+Rs.
Is it true that the CyberHome recorder came with 3 blank DVD+RW discs?
If so, what brand are they?
Also, Ive been reading more about disk compatibility and found the following:
1. A post I read said that Philips DVD+RW disks work on my Toshiba SD1600 if I change the bit settings when I record the DVD. I think it said to change the bit setting to 2. Does the CyberHome recorder allow you to do this?
To fix the audio problem just connect via Video 1 or S-Video 1. Picture quality will also improve with these inputs (especially S-Video).
If want a machine that will record compatible discs then the CH-DVR1500 is not for you. However, if you want a replacement VCR then it will work great with DVD+RW discs.
For the occasional disc you want to archive if you have a PC with DVD burner just copy it to the hard drive and reauthor with TMPGEnc DVD Author or ULead DVD MovieFactory. That way you can add nice chapter menus etc (cos lets face it the Cyberhome menus suck!). You can then burn to DVD-R (which is much more compatible in my opinion) or even a DVD+R from a PC burner is much more reliable.
I have this recorder since November last year and have been happy with its performance. Only flaws appear to be minor such as 16X FF not working on recorded discs and constant "no disc" messages after replacing a disc (which can be easily fixed by pressing setup twice).
The picture quality is fine if you have something connected to input s-video 1 *OR* to s-video 2. But if you have cables connected to s-video 1 and s-video 2 at the same time, they both look like crap - over saturation, scrolling lines, etc. The picture becomes fine as soon as you pull the plug on the other one. This doesn't seem to happen if you use composite video in, but I haven't fully played around with that.
Otherwise, I like it. I'm debating whether to exchange it due to the s-video problem, but am wondering if it's a common problem and it will have this problem in other units as well?
I purchased this unit at Wmart about a week ago. I primarily will be using it to archive my old vacation, wedding, etc. videos. Heck, I've already made $60 burning weddings of some of my friends. At a purchase price of $248 I'll be able to get my money back quickly....
Anyway, before using the unit I downloaded the 2 current updates off of the mfg's website and applied them to the recorder. Overall, I am pleased with the performance. The picture quality on the 1hr and 2hr settings is fabulous, I have not tried the other 3 settings. Setup was fairly easy and straight forward, except for the fact that it defaults to a video output setting for Composite hookup. I first hooked it up to my HDTV Toshiba with my Componant cables and did not receive a picture. After reading the manual, I hooked it up with my old cables and received an OK picture, changed the video setting to Componant and all was good.
When watching DVD movie's in progressive mode the picture is very good, but I have to say my 1.5yr old progressive Toshiba player produces a much better picture. The Cyberhome's picture was not as crisp or vibrant in color, but I probably would not know any differance if I didn't have another player to compare it to....
A few other minor issues are the 24 Hr time clock, I can't image why they would not have the option for both, I don't have a major problem with it, but my wife is still trying to understand it. The other issue is that I wish it had a Firewire port for downloading from the newer digital camcorders. I also looked at LiteOn and Gateway's 230 (rebadged LiteOn) which had this feature for about $50 more, but based on the reviews I've found on problems with those models, I settled with CyberHome/Walmart combination.
Again, I would recommend this model for folks wanting to archive old vhs tapes and to occasionally tape Survivor. Dang, I wish Rudy would have one.
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