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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am looking to purchase a DVD Recorder combo with VHS.


I will be using this to record TV shows to DVD as well as my home movies from my HD video camera (I realize the DVD recordings will not be in HD).


I will be using the unit with a Toshiba 62MX196 DLP television set.


I am looking for a good unit hopefully with a price tag of no more than $300.


Thanks for your help!
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by realdeal1115 /forum/post/18304882


I am looking to purchase a DVD Recorder combo with VHS.


I will be using this to record TV shows to DVD as well as my home movies from my HD video camera (I realize the DVD recordings will not be in HD).


I will be using the unit with a Toshiba 62MX196 DLP television set.


I am looking for a good unit hopefully with a price tag of no more than $300.


Thanks for your help!

Similar inquiries are posted almost weekly. In recent months many of CitiBear's informative posts have addressed these matters in some detail.


Current model combo recorders are "bragged up" by sellers but the reality with owners/users is that these products are poorly suited for such tasks. Now and then one or another product may rise from being poor to being fair (at best) with these tasks.


The common wisdom of many owners/users is that it's best to connect your present VCR or camcorder to a DVD Recorder or HDD/DVD Recorder input and record from that input directly to DVD with a DVD Recorder or to the hard drive of a HDD/DVD Recorder. With the HDD/DVD Recorder--the outstanding Magnavox H2160MW9A comes to mind--the material may be edited/divided (if one wishes) and then high-speed dubbed to DVD(s).


The Magnavox 2160 is priced at $227 (new) through walmart.com or $160 (like-new refurbished) at jr.com (when available). CitiBear also recommends the Magnavox 2160.


The first post in Wajo's sticky thread is the gateway to a wealth of information concerning the Magnavox 2160:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...6#post12244086
 

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Oh dear...you're going to be disappointed to hear that there really aren't any good combo units to recommend. The best advice you'll get from the veteran dvd recorder owners to to buy a good recorder and use your existing vcr, and if your vcr is broke or on the verge of breaking, visit a pawn shop or consignment shop and look for a used one that's in working condition.


The best current dvd recorder with digital tuner is the Magnavox 2160 found at Walmart.com at a regular price of $227.00, with refurbished units periodically sold at online retailer J&R for around $159 (they're currently out of stock at the moment).
http://www.walmart.com/ip/Magnavox-1...Tuner/10104532

The 2nd most recommended would be the Panasonic DMR-EZ28K. It's digital tuner is said to be more stable than most of the other Panny combo recorders. http://www.jr.com/panasonic/pe/PAN_DMREZ28K/
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by realdeal1115 /forum/post/18305275


Thank you for your response.


If I decided to not get a combo and just get a stand alone DVD recorder, which would you recommend?

Among my fifteen Panasonic ES and EZ series recorders I own one Panasonic DMR-EZ28, a decent enough DVD Recorder that has some annoying bugs and design flaws. The DMR-EZ28 is usually priced around $230.


I also own seven Philips and Magnavox HDD/DVD Recorders including one Magnavox H2160MW9A and three Magnavox H2160MW9 models, outstanding products at bargain prices! The question is not whether to buy the 2160 or not, but, how many?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks guys for your most helpful responses.


I apologize that I apparently did not search as thoroughly as I should have.
 

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As others above have suggested, the Magnavox H2160 DVD/HDD recorder is really the only current machine worth recommending for practically any purpose a consumer may have in mind. The North American recorder market is in a sorry state, most current models are hopelessly flawed and the move to digital broadcasting has made even the better ones unreliable and flaky. The technical reasons are so complicated, yet so incredibly stupid, that consumers have a hard time believing us forum folk when we talk about it. If it weren't the truth, I wouldn't believe it either: all I can tell you is if you don't want to waste time, money and aggravation the Magnavox H2160 is the least troublesome unit you can choose.


That said, an important question is "how do you get your TV signal"? If its via off-air antenna or from cable TV without a box, definitely go for the Magnaxox. However, if you have a cable decoder box or a satellite tuner, your recorder options widen just a tiny bit- the two Panasonic models with no tuner are pretty reliable. The EH-18 is a DVD-only model, the EH-38 is the combo DVD/VHS. The new-fangled digital tuners are what ruin most current recorders: since these two Panasonics rely instead on outboard decoder boxes plugged into their line inputs they are much more reliable. While there are other "tunerless" recorders sold by other brand names, those brands carry over the bugs thru their entire model lineup so aren't as good a risk as the Panasonics. (Believe it or not, the number one most common bug in todays recorders is that they won't record anything, especially from their VHS sides: they either refuse completely or randomly start/stop in the middle of a show.)


Still in all, the Magnavox H2160 is by far the best value. It has the most reliable digital tuner, the most reliable timer system, and the least recording issues of any model sold since 2006. It is the only new machine with the incredible hard drive feature (HDD), which lets you record everything to the internal memory and only use DVDs when you want to make a permanent copy of something. HDD recording is much simpler than direct-to-DVD recording and much less prone to problems (it also lets you cut out commercials or edit your camcorder footage before burning the final DVD- very handy). Finally, and oddly enough, the Magnavox is the most affordable option- usually cheaper than the Panasonics with no tuner and no HDD. Forget any of the other "specials" or "sales" you may see for $99 to $149: those recorders are on sale because they're really really problematic to use. (Unless you live in Canada and find the Canada-only Sony RDR-HX780: this is an excellent DVD/HDD alternative for Canadians when found on sale.)
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by CitiBear /forum/post/18305467


The EH-18 is a DVD-only model, the EH-38 is the combo DVD/VHS.
well at least you're not calling them EZ-18 or EZ-38v anymore


For the OP, that should be EA-18 and EA-38v


The EH's were Panasonics legendary HDD recorders of '05 and '06
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by realdeal1115 /forum/post/18304882


I will be using this to record TV shows to DVD as well as my home movies from my HD video camera (I realize the DVD recordings will not be in HD).

Well as far as your HD camcorder goes, the recordings will be in HD if you use a PC instead of a DVD recorder. In all probability your camcorder is recording in AVCHD format which is the HD format developed for camcorders for recording HD content to standard DVD. You could use the digital out from your camcorder to transfer to your PC and then burn your HD video onto a DVD-R as HD. The only caveat is that you'll need a bluray player to view the disk. But then whats the point of buying an HD camcorder -- or a 62" 1080p HDTV for that matter -- if you are not going to make use of the HD.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjeff /forum/post/18306406


For the OP, that should be EA-18 and EA-38v

My response is to quote the immortal Charles M. Schulz:


1. AAAARGH!


2. I just can't stand it...



Damn Panasonic and their multiple model designations, I'll never get it right. Those of us who've been around here the longest (too tong, actually) have the legendary Panasonic EH model series burned in our heads, its true.


To realdeal1115, as jjeff corrected me
, the current "good" Panasonic models begin with EA, as in EA-18 (DVD) and EA-38 (DVD/VHS), EA meaning "no tuner". The EZ models have really buggy digital tuners and should be avoided, especially the diabolical EZ-48 DVD/VHS combo, although some users find the DVD-only EZ-28 to be OK. The current EH "international" DVD/HDD models are similar to the Magnavox but cost two to three times the price, and don't include tuners for North American TV. Worthwhile if you're a previous Panasonic owner and need a new machine, or you just prefer Panasonic and can afford it. The EH needs an external cable, satellite or DTV tuner box, just like the tunerless EA models.
 

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I have had success with my Toshiba DVR670 DVDR/VCR and my standalone DVD recorder: Toshiba DR560. These are in your price range. I would not buy the DVR660 as it had a problem and decided all copying was protected..Toshiba took mine back, sent me a new 670 and I have had no problems. Whether I record off OTA or cable, The picture quality is fine for me. In fact the 670 actually will recorder to VHS off an Antenna. Both these units I have had the ATSC tuner, the NTSC tuner, and Clear QAM.


Other suggestions here I have read are very good also. Just wanted to give you more choices if you want them.
 
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