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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok so as far as DVD recording goes, my needs are pretty simple.


I just need straight, good quality, recording to re-writeable DVDs. My process is going to be to archive stuff from my cable PVR to DVDRW, then rip, edit and re-author on the PC.


So really I don't need a HDD in the unit, or any editing functions. Just something that will do the job for attended recording (dubbing) via S-Video from the PVR to the DVD recorder.


What I would like as an extra function, is DivX playback. I am unsure if any of the current crop of DVD recorders has this function. I wouldn't care, but I'm out of room in my TV cabinet, and my current DVD/DivX player will need to be removed to get the DVD recorder in there.


Any recommendations?
 

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Get the whole "I don't need an HDD" assumption out of your head. This is 2010, 95% of all DVD recorders available in USA are crap, the only one still worth buying is the Magnavox with HDD: period. For many reasons beyond the HDD: if it just freaking kills you to have the HDD, think of it as a bonus that just happened to come with the best recorder you could buy. You can get a like-new refurb Magnavox H2160 from J&R website for $159 including shipping, or the latest MDR513 new from Wal*Mart website for $229. Both are identical save a 160GB HDD vs 320GB HDD. Both have very reliable burners, have proven durable, and can be DIY serviced. The weak point in recorders is the burner: operating them in real time destroys them, and todays media burns lousy at 1x. By dubbing to the HDD, then high-speed transfer to the DVD from HDD, you shave 80% wear on the burner for each DVD you make and up your odds of a successful burn considerably.


For the same price range, the only decent alternative is a Panasonic EA-18 or EA-28. Both have burner reliability issues and are a poor bargain considering you don't even get an HDD. If you love the Panasonic brand, and can find one well under $200, go for it. But the Mags are better values by far. AVOID all other Panasonic with VHS (incredibly unstable) and bargain-basement recorders below $150. A few can be good, most aren't, until you have some experience under your belt don't take chances.


Forget the DiVX playback, ain't gonna happen. Some recorders claim they can play it but they are useless in practice: they only really play a very narrow range of files in specific resolutions. If these are files you created yourself, they might play, but random files off the internet rarely do. The majority of downloaded DiVX files inevitably turn out to be mastered from PAL, which American recorders never play. Dedicated players are much more flexible and will accept most files without balking: keep your player if it does what you want. Get another shelf system if it won't fit. Seriously.
 

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From your requirements in this thread I'd suggest the Panasonic EZ-28. It will give you a very good quality picture and plays Divx(the EA-18 doesn't do Divx) and the EZ-48v is very flaky.

With all Panasonics you'll probably need to clean it's spindle ~ yearly. A 5 minute job(once you've got it on your work table) or it can also be done through the front DVD slot(but you've got to be able to unplug the unit).
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Loobster /forum/post/19516816


What I would like as an extra function, is DivX playback. I am unsure if any of the current crop of DVD recorders has this function. I wouldn't care, but I'm out of room in my TV cabinet, and my current DVD/DivX player will need to be removed to get the DVD recorder in there.

Is the playback only going to be occasional? DVD recorders don't serve well as DVD players unless you use it for that purpose very infrequently. This applies to pretty much all brands. Their lasers are built for burning, not playback, and frequent playback use will mean wearing it out fairly quickly, necessitating another purchase or going through the hoops for servicing.


There is no magic player/recorder that will be as reliable as you're expecting, unless you limit the playback.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulpa /forum/post/19519382


Is the playback only going to be occasional? DVD recorders don't serve well as DVD players unless you use it for that purpose very infrequently. This applies to pretty much all brands. Their lasers are built for burning, not playback, and frequent playback use will mean wearing it out fairly quickly, necessitating another purchase or going through the hoops for servicing.


There is no magic player/recorder that will be as reliable as you're expecting, unless you limit the playback.

That's interesting.


No, the DVD/DivX playback is quite frequent.


Looks like I am going to have to work something out with the TV stand, or replace it. I may have to make use of the space between the bottom shelf and the floor (urgh), just to get everything in there.


The biggest thing in the stack is my amp which obviously needs a certain amount of ventilation - and it's only got about an inch above as it is. Even if I take the DivX player out it doesn't seem like I have enough room for (as an example) the Magnavox 513. I have 2.75" under the bottom shelf, which also doesn't seem like enough room to allow any ventilation. Does the 513 have any top-facing vents? Or are they all side/back facing?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Loobster /forum/post/19519752


No, the DVD/DivX playback is quite frequent.

Then you're better off sticking with a dedicated player. I know it's frustrating, but so is having to swap out a component you recently paid for.


Quote:
Does the 513 have any top-facing vents? Or are they all side/back facing?
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showp...postcount=1610

Quote:
Heat is the laser diode's worst enemy, and the HDD isn't too fond of it either and esp. doesn't like EMI! Many "odd" problems can occur if your DVDR gets too hot. This DVDR's intake air vents are on the top right side (facing unit), and the fan is on the back. Allow ample space for airflow.


* Don't block right side or cram into narrow space.

* Don't place unit on top of other hot components.

* Don't use in a fully-enclosed entertainment center.

* Don't place your DVDR on top of old CRT TV or even close... keep max. distance between them.
 

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The Panasonics probably won't fare any better.
 
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