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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Primary need converting old VHS/VCR material to DVD but also would like front I Link and Hard Drive ( if it will help making better DVDs from old material)


Have plenty of VCRs and hard drive cable boxes from Time Warner/BrightHouse


Am I better off getting a combined unit ( DVD Recorder/ VCR ) or is it OK to just hook up VCR to a stand alone DVD recorder?


How does having a cable box with a hard drive help or hinder my choice?


Quite interested in picture quality for conversion project- ? Pioneer, Panny, Sony


Likely a more important question that I am not even aware of so feel free to tell me what it is
 

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Do not get a combined DVD recorder/VCR.


The cable box with hard drive doesn't make any difference other than it keeps you from filling up the DVD recorder's hard drive with programs you plan to watch and delete.


Any of the brands you list (plus Toshiba and JVC) do a nice job. There are user reviews of individual models at the DVD Recorders link at videohelp.com.


If you plan to copy commercial VHS tapes you'll need a video stabilizer device to cancel the effect of Macrovision copy protection.
 

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Your usually better off with a seperate DVD Recorder & a VCR than a combo unit but if you don't need to edit any of your video tapes (Cutting Commercials Out & Etc) & you want a combo unit to just dub the tapes as they are take a look at the Panasonic DMR-ES30V because a lot of people seem to be very happy with it.


Do a search on it here & you will get a lot of info on it & it can be had for around $270 when Circuit City puts it on sale.


If you can afford one with a Hard Disk Drive then go for it because it will make all your future editing a lot easier.


For brands of non-combo recorders I would stick with Panasonic or Pioneer & decide which one has the features you like the most.


From what I understand Most Combo Units like the Pioneer are not made by the Original brand but farmed out to other lower quality companies to make them (Funi, Orion) but Panasonic does make the DMR-ES30V themselves.
 

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If the tapes don't have commercials then a combo VCR/DVDR would make the job easier. I've been using a Panasonic E75 (older model, new Panny VCR/DVDR is the ES30V) to copy my mostly commercial free tapes to DVD. It's great since after you cue and pause the tape, hitting DVD record will start the recording and unpause the tape at the same time, resulting in a much cleaner start than you would get with sepearate units. Onscreen text (PLAY, PAUSE, etc.) from the VCR is surpressed too.


You can also edit with the combo by pausing the DVD recording, advancing and pausing the tape and then unpausing the DVD recording, which also unpauses the tape. It works and the final result is great, but it's very time consuming. I've only done it once. If you have much editing to do then a DVDR with HD would definitely be a better choice.


And if you have many non-VHS tapes to copy then you may also be better off with a HD model. The Panny (and possibly other VCR/DVDRs) does have Quasi(sp?) S-VHS playback, but you would probably get better results with a real S-VHS player if you need to copy any S-VHS tapes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Many of the recordings will be camcorder created VHS tapes to DVD does that make a difference in the ultimate choice of a correct type or name brand
 

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NO it really doesn't make any difference unless your using a "New" Digital Camcorder then you would want a recorder that has a "Digital Input" on it.


But again, are you planning on doing a lot editing (Cutting things out) on the camcorder tapes? If you are just going to be copying them JUST THE WAY THEY ARE or only cutting a few things out then you could get away with the Panny Combo unit.


But if your planning on doing a lot of editing now OR IN THE FUTURE then you would want a recorder that has a Hard Disk Drive in it.


If your not sure about your future editing needs & etc & you can afford it & just to be safe I WOULD GET ONE WITH A HARD DISK DRIVE because you will never regret that you did. Just my 2 cents :)
 
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