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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, I guess I'll have to wait for a quality DVD Recorder with a built-in atsc (digital) tuner.


Here are my abbreviated opinions of what I've seen or tried so far:


Samsung AR650 - Excellent menu and control implementation, good tuner sensitivity (picked up all my local analog and digital channels). Problem - it would lock up unexpectedly when being used in atsc mode. Screen would freeze, couldn't change channels, etc. Only way to resolve was to unplug.


Panasonic - Slow, slow, slow. Poor menu and control implementation, tuner not as sensitive as Samsung. Overall klutzy operation. Problem with clock on first one I tried.


Lg - Somewhere between Samsung and Panasonic on overall operation and speed. Not as sensitive as Samsung. Most expensive of the three.


Philips - Didn't try, but web research was not exactly encouraging.


Magnavox - Same as Philips


Memorex - Didn't try. Could not find any pros or cons


TruTech - Same as Memorex


Sony - Doesn't have a DVD recorder with digital tuner that I could find


Toshiba - Same as Sony


Overall, I've been been disappointed with all the machines I've tried so far. Anyone out there that depends on OTA Signals, has used a DVD recorder with digital tuner for a period of time AND is fully satisfied with their purchase? If yes, tell me why? Did I miss any recorders that are currently available?
 

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Quote:
Overall, I've been been disappointed with all the machines I've tried so far.

Good summary. I am basically where you are on the quality/features of DVD recorders with ATSC tuners. They are not quite yet ready for prime time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the feedback so far. I'll try to check out the JVC and Toshiba and watch for the Sony.


I'd like to add one more complaint about the Panasonic. I tried another recording last night before I returned the machine. Found something interesting. If your signal cuts off during the recording (I sometimes have brief episodes of multipath when it's windy or rainy), the Panasonic stops the recording and the machine turns itself off. When the signal returns, the machine turns back on and the recording resumes. Maybe, this was intended as a feature to avoid blank space on the recording. However, while the multipath loss of signal is typically very brief, the cycling of the machine takes a lot of time. Personally, I'd rather see 10 seconds of blank screen than lose over a minute of the program while the recorder recycles. I wonder if all the recorders do this (I didn't think to test the Lg or the Samsung for this "feature" before returning them).
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Just took a look at the DVR650 on the Toshiba site.


The site says "Built-In ATSC/NTSC/QAM Digital Tuning". However, a footnote on the page says "External tuner source required to record television programming."


Can anyone explain why an external tuner is required for recording if one is included???
 

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Originally Posted by Tomel /forum/post/0


Just took a look at the DVR650 on the Toshiba site.


The site says "Built-In ATSC/NTSC/QAM Digital Tuning". However, a footnote on the page says "External tuner source required to record television programming."


Can anyone explain why an external tuner is required for recording if one is included???

Someone didn't pay enough attention to detail when updating the manual.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tomel /forum/post/0


I'd like to add one more complaint about the Panasonic. I tried another recording last night before I returned the machine. Found something interesting. If your signal cuts off during the recording (I sometimes have brief episodes of multipath when it's windy or rainy), the Panasonic stops the recording and the machine turns itself off.

Pretty funny feature when you think about it.


I'm waiting for the Toshiba and Phillips HD model. I am not optomistic about Sony since their stuff tends to e overpriced made in China junk. May as well buy Funai if your onsidering Sony. At least with the Funai some of the cost savings is passed along to you.
 

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It is funny that it says that.


But I am am with alot of you on these ATSC/QAM recorders. They are just not ready yet, and are not worth it.


ESPECIALLY without the HDD, but since the ones that are on the way share the same innards, they will MOST LIKELY be GARBAGE.


I still say if you can find a good current HDD unit(NTSC ONLY) at a good price, GRAB IT.


Especially if it is either the Pioneer or Panny models currently available.


Keep an eye out, and wait for the price to drop. That is all you can do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Just saw a Polaroid DRA1601A at Walmart. Has 160Gb hard drive, DVD Recorder and ATSC/NTSC tuners. Priced at $268. Decided to research it before buying (I think I've spent the last several days in the return lines). From comments on this site, not worth even trying it out.


SteelersRule . . . I guess there is no way to determine the chipsets in each unit other than by taking them apart? By the way, SkinsWllOnceAgainRuleSomeday (at least, I hope).
 

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If, as has been posted elsewhere by DR1394, the addition of an ATSC/QAM tuner is a non-trivial upgrade that requires extensive new design to produce a much more complex DVDR, then we should consider these 1st gen units to be comparable to the initial Panasonic recorders of 4+ years ago. It took Panasonic, Pioneer & Toshiba several generations to iron out the bugs and produce the machines we all now furiously covet. Correct me if wrong, but the 1st gen units also did not have HDD. Those came later after the initial birthing pains of the new devices.


As someone who gets TV strictly OTA, I feel compelled to buy nothing that is out today or even the near future. I've decided my next purchase will wait until they actually shut off analog and ATSC digital is a no-going-back reality (currently 2/09, but let's see if that holds). In another 2 years there will have been several generations of product development/improvement both on the DVDR side and the ATSC tuner side. By then HDD units will have a better chance of making an appearance, or perhaps the whole market may move to packaged HTPC's. This is clearly a transitional time for DVDR's, expectations are high and reality is pretty low. As such it is a dangerous time to buy.
 

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?


The only pro I can think of is if you need a recorder or an SD ATSC or QAM tuner for whatever reason right now.


I don't know if I'd consider "picture quality" a good reason for wanting it immediately. It is, after all, only SD.


I, personally, think some of you guys that already own recorders, and especially already have a digital tuner of some sort already, are going a little nuts over these new models, which, like Kelson says, are basically starting back at square one as far as features and usefulness.


'Course, it's your money (and, even though I, myself, don't have any interest in what's out there presently, I still do appreciate the reviews.)
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Why would I like an recorder with an atsc tuner now?


o Like Kelson, I'm strictly an OTA viewer


o Like DanielCard, the SD PQ is, IMHO, better than the analog one


o The WB (formerly UPN) analog channel in my location has a very weak signal. However, I can receive the digital WB channel well on the two TV's I have with ATSC tuners. I'd like to be able to tape some of the shows on WB, but the analog signal is not consistently good enough.


o In my area, the Fox affiliate has started airing the MyTV channel, but it's only available on digital. This new station has begun airing some movies and other programs I'd like to be able to tape for later viewing.


o I'm not prepared to plunk down the pocket change required to buy one of the very limited HD recorder's available (over $1,000)


So, unlike Kelson, I'm still in the market for a recorder. However, I'm not going to compromise and buy a piece of junk. For those of you that have responded to this thread (or who are following the responses but not yet contributed), let me make a suggestion. If any of you locate a DVD recorder w/ATSC tuner that actually works and works well, how about reporting your experience back here for the rest of us. It's pretty tough to search all threads in various forums. Bookmarking this thread and checking back regularly will make it a lot easier. What do you think?


By the way, the machine I'm looking for will:


o Have an ATSC tuner with good signal acquisition and multipath rejection (like I said, I have two ATSC-based TV's that meet this criteria, so it's certainly already available. I don't understand why it's a problem implementing it in a recorder)


o Will record +rw and -rw


o Consistently does what it says it does out of the box (I'm not sure how to word this criteria, but the machine should not have defects or problems that a lot of people experience. Sure, every now and then, a machine might be defective, but there should be no pattern of problems).


o Logical implementation of basic features (e.g., unlike the Panansonic, the machine shouldn't turn itself off during a recording if there is a temporary signal loss)


o Reasonably intuitive operation, logical menu organization and effective remote (I list this criteria last, since I'm willing struggle a little with daily usage, if the other criteria are met).


Anybody else want to add their 2 cents?
 

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I need a digital tuner for sub channel rocording. I do it now via Samsung tuner to VHS tape but of course results are not as good as original subchannel quality.


I do have a inexpensive DVD recorder and I agree the quality of the recording from NTSC is much better than any VCR I have ever owned and almost is as good as original NTSC signal.


But it is a very unreliable DVD recorder and I had hoped to replace it with a ATSC DVD/VCR combo recorder but just am not happy with the present line up.


-DonB2
 

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I have a Panasonic, and I am satisfied with it.


Pros:

Start-up is pretty quick, especially if you use "quick start" mode.

Can record to DVD-RAM. Can chase-play.

Digital channel change is relatively quick (2s)

Solid reception (for me)

Cooling fan is quiet

Customizeable brightness level

Better than VHS!!!
Cons:

No zoom mode to remove extra 4x3 boxes

Using it to watch commercial DVDs is a little clunky

Remote wants to be nearly perpendicular to unit to work

Once in a while, locks up hard.

No on-screen program guide (but it does have the current program name and the next program to come)
I am going to keep my Panasonic and hopefully, there will be a firmware update to fix the occasional lock-up bug I am having.
 
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