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Hi, I need help in selecting a good DVD recorder with a tuner but without Hard Disc to replace my current old Philips DVD recorder. I know that a lot of guys here really like the Hard disc but I just don't really want it or need it. I normally just record directly onto a DVD+RW and then watch the DVD when I am overseas.


I do want one that does have good picture quality, have HDMI, 1080p upconverting and DV input. Thanks for any help.


PS, I also posted a thread asking opinion about purchasing a DVD recorder in Hong Kong or China just so I can get around the copy protection problem I have read in the forum, it seems that they are using copy protection to prevent us from coping even regular TV programs now.
 

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I'd suggest a Panasonic EZ-28. It can make some great looking recordings and only has a few quirks, as do most all DVDRs with a digital tuner. I think it's retail new is $229. A better bargain (although it does contain a HDD) is the Magnavox 2160, check Wajo's sticky. If you can find a refurbished one at J&R expect to pay ~$160, I don't believe it's currently in stock. WeGotBetterDeals.com has also been known to stock the refurbished EZ-28 although I'm not sure if they currently do.

Panasonic's are about the least likely to report a false copy protection, although I believe the 2160 has been quite good in this respect too.
 

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I've had 2 Toshiba D-R560s for over a year now and really like them. They do a great job recording and the tuners are pretty good also. The newer D-R570 lists at $179, I believe.


Bob
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by radavisgb /forum/post/17058519


I've had 2 Toshiba D-R560s for over a year now and really like them. They do a great job recording and the tuners are pretty good also. The newer D-R570 lists at $179, I believe.


Bob

Thanks. I did find that on Amazon.com, the Toshiba D-R570 got a higher rating than the Panasonic EZ-28. Does anyone know which one have a better picture quality? I will mainly be using +RW since I purchased a lot of them.
 

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The Toshiba will drop resolution to 1/2 D1 on any speed over SP(2hrs/disc), the Panny keeps full resolution up to LP (4hrs/disc). If you're mainly going to record in SP I might seriously think about the Toshiba, Panny's aren't as friendly to + media (especially +RW) as a Toshiba might be.

Up to SP you'd have to judge for yourself. I prefer the sharpness of the Panny encoders, some others think they're too sharp and accentuate macroblocking. With Picture Quality, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by csun213 /forum/post/17061597


Thanks. I did find that on Amazon.com, the Toshiba D-R570 got a higher rating than the Panasonic EZ-28. Does anyone know which one have a better picture quality? I will mainly be using +RW since I purchased a lot of them.

If you must use DVD+RW media go with the Funai-built Toshiba. Panasonics are most friendly with DVD-R, DVD-RW, DVD-RAM, even DVD+R, but not DVD+RW.
 

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I recently purchased a Toshiba DVR670 (combo DVD/VCR) for $209...no tax or shipping...with an online price match. Best player/recorder I've ever owned! Mainly got it to dub VCR's to DVD and it does a superb job. The picture clarity is outstanding. It has a tuner, no HDD. Great manual and easy to set up. Make sure you use the recommended DVD brands. I searched for quite a while before I found one in stock. They are fast sellers.
 

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The Flexible Recording feature on the Panny's is really a plus. It allows you to record a TV show that's 1:05 long at nearly XP quality, rather than dropping down to SP. However, on the Panny's, you can only record full resolution 16:9 material on DVD-RAM. For all other disk types, the image is scrunched horizontally into 4:3 shape when it is recorded. Of course, you can stretch it back out during playback. But, full resolution has been lost.
 

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People have a difficult time believing this, but just because a particular recorder shares a factory or parts with another recorder doesn't necessarily mean they will function exactly alike. Funai makes Magnavox, Toshiba and a couple of other recorder brands. The Magnavox DVD/HDD models have the lowest incidence of "broadcast copy protection" issues and have very reliable timers for unattended recording. The Toshiba combo VHS/DVD machines, while sourced from the same supplier, are not nearly as resistant to false copy protection triggers and do have other issues as well. I'm not saying those Toshibas are bad machines, but like other brands Toshiba "personality" varies model to model and combo recorders (all brands) are notorious for having the worst track record of timer issues and copy protection snafus. If your primary goal is reliable timer recording and resistance to false copy protection issues, the Panasonic EZ-28 and Magnavox H2160 are the ones to beat.


Other recorders can be fine, but they do incur additional risks. If you decide to try something other than the recommended Panasonic or Magnavox, be sure you buy it from a vendor that allows no-questions-asked returns/refunds. Reviews online can only take you so far: by the time enough reviews accumulate at sites like Amazon, the recorder has usually been updated or replaced (this is especially true of the combos). Don't assume "similar" models from the same brand, even from the same year, will function alike: even the steady Panasonics have wild swings in utility from model to model, with the tunerless EZ-18 and tunered EZ-28 DVD-only models being the best choices. All DVD/VHS "combo" recorders with ATSC digital tuners encounter issues, sooner or later: do NOT throw your money into a combo just because you "like the idea" of a two-in-one unit. Combos are for casual use, with the VHS strictly a convenience feature for playing old tapes. Heavy users of either DVD recording or VHS to DVD dubbing should consider separate decks instead.


Those who need a "watch and erase" machine should usually opt for the Magnavox H2160, because its HDD is far easier to use than any eraseable discs and it costs only $30-50 more than comparable non-HDD models. Even if your primary goal is making temporary RW discs for travel use, the HDD in the Magnavox has advantages: the HDD has much higher storage capacity than an individual disc. This allows recording a great many timer programs at the higher-quality SP speed, which you can then quickly choose from and copy onto +RW discs for travel. Recording directly onto a +RW limits how many shows can be captured in a given time period.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by radavisgb /forum/post/17067020


For all other disk types, the image is scrunched horizontally into 4:3 shape when it is recorded. Of course, you can stretch it back out during playback. But, full resolution has been lost.

That is just a matter of the recorder not being able to properly set the widescreen bit on media other than DVD-RAM. The frame is still 720x480 anamorphic and will look fine when properly displayed in 16:9 aspect ratio by adjusting TV or player. No information is lost.
 

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So true Kelson and I put the majority of the blame on the Panasonic manuals who insist 16:9 material is recorded in the 4:3 aspect for every disc except RAM. All DVDRs do the same thing and AFAIK even commercial DVDs are recorded the same(but they have the flag). As you said the only thing DVDRs don't do is set the flag telling your player to stretch it back out. I have my player set to stretch 4:3 material to 16:9 and I never have to worry about it. The player knows to not stretch out a 16:9 commercial disc since it does contain the flag.

I'm not entirely sold that newer Toshiba's set the flag like the older XS series did, I'd have to see it myself or hear it from someone I know, knows the difference.


A while back I did a very critical comparison between a DVD-R and RAM recording of a wide screen broadcast, I could tell no difference in PQ. That tells me the discs are recorded in the same format and the only thing missing with the non RAM disc is the bit. If they were recorded differently I would think I should have been able to tell the difference.
 
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