AVS Forum banner
1 - 20 of 77 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My Pioneer 640 HDD/DVD Recorder is neary 3 years old and I use it so much, I am getting concerned it's going to die on me one of these days. Out of curiosity, I looked on the Future Shop, Best Buy and Costco websites to see what's out there right now, and I could only find ONE HDD/DVD model - the Sony RDRHX780 for $399. CAD. It's reviewed well, but I've read some bad stuff about Sony models on this forum (mostly regarding copy protection and video issues). There's a Pioneer 460 on Ebay from a Quebec seller that looks pretty close to what I have now and would be around the same price with shipping.


I don't need it right now, but I am very nervous that these machines are falling into a black hole and I will have a hard time finding one like the one I have now when I need it. Having a spare seems like overkill, but I am curious to know what the alternative is. Does anyone know if Pioneer is coming out with any more HDD/DVD recorders in Canada or are they being phased-out like they were in 2007 in the USA?


Thanks!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,308 Posts
Being new here, you missed the discussions a few months ago regarding this. Pioneer essentially went bankrupt back in April, and has exited the DVD recorder business. So your answer is no, no new Pios coming for Canada (or anywhere else). Prices for recent used, "open box" and "sealed box" Pioneers have nearly doubled since spring, and supplies are drying up fast. As a long-time Pioneer user, I recommend you opt for the 460 model sold by dealers in Quebec: this was the last machine released by Pioneer and its very very good. Its almost identical to and operates just like your 640, but adds Firewire/DV port along with USB, is easier to use with JPEG still images and MP3, includes a nicer remote, and most importantly has an upgraded 12-bit video encoder.


The Canadian Sony 780 is not as good, especially not for the same money. Beginning with the 640, Pioneer and Sony worked together on shared recorder designs and production. But the Sonys were the lower-end versions: they lack DVD-RAM capability, they use the older 640 internals (older 10-bit encoder, etc.) and their HDMI is often dysfunctional. When they were introduced a year ago, the 460 sold for $429 and the 780 for $299. After six months prices for the 460/560 dropped to $299 and the Sony went to $229. Then Pioneer tanked, and whoever has leftover stock is asking (and getting) much higher prices for the unlovable Sony. $399 is ridiculous for the 780, get a Pioneer 460 instead if you can still find one.


While a durable and rugged recorder, reports are increasing of burner wear on the now three year old 640 machines (usually manifesting as inability to burn store bought media, forcing you to use specialty 8x media from online dealers). The burners cost more to replace out-of-warranty than buying an entire new Pioneer: a backup machine is a wise investment. The market has changed quite a bit since a few months ago, when Pioneer 460s were going for $239 "open box new" and Sony couldn't give away the 780. Those bargain days seem over, so if you're looking at $399 anyway you should also consider the Panasonic multi-region EH58 DVD/HDD recorder, available new from USA and Canadian import dealers. The EH58 is similar to the Pioneer 460 but has no NTSC tuner (you need cable or satellite service, or an American ATSC box if you live within reception range).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,938 Posts
Falling into a black hole? I think the general consensus is that they fell already.


The Pioneer, Panasonic from WI, and a questionable Magnavox. Are there any others? Pickings are slimmer than Kate Moss.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,938 Posts
Smart thinking if you're into archiving to DVD.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
94 Posts
Just bought a pioneer 460 for $339 from Canada on E-bay today. It was about one hundred less than that a month ago. I have a Pio 450 I bought a year and half ago that gets heavy use so I wanted a back up before they are not available or too high priced. I should have done it last month! If you really want one I wouldn't wait too long.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Ha ha - I just bought mine from the Canadian seller on Ebay last night! Just shipped out this morning!


CitiBear - thanks for all of your very detailed information on the 460 - it totally helped me make my decision to buy it now. My 640 makes grinding noises occasionally when I burn my DVDs, so I am guessing it's getting close to having problems very soon.


I don't think I could live without the ability to archive sports, kids shows and my old VHS on DVD, so I just find it so shocking that this type of technology has been phased-out. I guess it just wasn't profitable enough.


I make DVDs from TV for all my friends and family and they are so curious how I've done it! They think I am connecting my PC to my TV/Cable box! They have no idea!!! It's no wonder DVD/HDDs have gone by the wayside...no one really has them!


Can't wait to get my new one! Thanks again for all of your replies!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,938 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by pokee99 /forum/post/16956426


I don't think I could live without the ability to archive sports, kids shows and my old VHS on DVD, so I just find it so shocking that this type of technology has been phased-out. I guess it just wasn't profitable enough.


I make DVDs from TV for all my friends and family and they are so curious how I've done it! They think I am connecting my PC to my TV/Cable box! They have no idea!!! It's no wonder DVD/HDDs have gone by the wayside...no one really has them!

Yeah, that's pretty much it. DVD burning turned out to be a niche market, and none of the manufacturers felt it profitable to make them anymore after trying it for about a decade.


Most people wanted either DVD players or DVR type devices like TiVos. Those two things just killed the recorder market.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
659 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by pokee99 /forum/post/16956447


Doswonk1 - you have THREE Pios in your closet? Hahahahaha! That's like having a rare mint coin collection!

All 3 purchased on the 'Bay from Canada when prices were low. So far they're a better investment than my 401(k).


Interesting.....a lot of folks here are like me: I know I could use a PC to do what I do with the DVDR, but I'd rather stick with a dedicated piece of equipment designed for a single job. Maybe this goes back to the lesson I learned from my first audio "system"--an all-in-one "hi-fi" from Montgomery Wards that didn't do anything well!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,847 Posts
I do both now, I use my PC to capture HDTV and my Philips 3575 to capture shows that I don't care about being HD or I don't get in HD. I've got a pretty solid combo of programs now that can edit and burn quickly to AVCHD disks that play fine on most Blu Ray players and the rest I edit and burn on the philips when I get enough saved up and feel like running some disks off.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,308 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by pokee99 /forum/post/16956426


My 640 makes grinding noises occasionally when I burn my DVDs, so I am guessing it's getting close to having problems very soon.

Yup, thats the typical "burner wearing out" symptom. Fortunately there are a couple ways to work around it and keep your 640 going for quite awhile yet. What has happened is the the disc clamp inside the burner has accumulated enough fingerprint oil and dust that it can't grip the disc securely at the velocity changes and braking required by 16x media. As a temporary fix, you can slightly moisten the tip of your finger with the tip of your tongue, then run that fingertip around the underside of the clear center hub of a blank disc. When you load that disc, the trace of moisture will allow the dusty clamp to get a better grip and cut down somewhat on the grinding noises. Believe it or not, this trick works about 75% of the time (thank memeber jjeff for coming up with that idea: he has a Panasonic but the trick works with Pioneers as well).


Long term, you need to order a supply of Taiyo Yuden 8x Premium Silver DVD-R media from an online dealer like rima.com or supermedia.com. These discs cost about $35/100 including delivery. Aging DVD recorders find these slower 8x discs much easier to spin and burn, all grinding noises cease and you stop getting coasters. My own 640 started with the grinding failure last summer, since I began feeding it only the 8x media it has been working perfectly. (I've noticed, however, the media needs to have a silver shiny finish or a clear center area: when I tried 8x media with a white printable surface, the recorder started grinding again.)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,648 Posts
Citibear, another things that helps on Panasonics (with HDDs) is to run in the silent mode. I'm not sure if Pioneers have such a setting? but enabling the silent mode option during HS dubbing from HDD to DVD slows the data transfer rate and thus potential for disc slippage. Enabling the silent mode option makes a entire disc transfer normally about 20 minutes take 30 minutes. I basically always burn in silent mode but note silent mode is not available with RW or RAM discs since they're already restricted in speed transfer by their formulation.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,530 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by CitiBear /forum/post/16958286


Yup, thats the typical "burner wearing out" symptom. Fortunately there are a couple ways to work around it . . . As a temporary fix, you can slightly moisten the tip of your finger with the tip of your tongue, then run that fingertip around the underside of the clear center hub of a blank disc. When you load that disc, the trace of moisture will allow the dusty clamp to get a better grip and cut down somewhat on the grinding noises. Believe it or not, this trick works about 75% of the time (thank memeber jjeff for coming up with that idea: he has a Panasonic but the trick works with Pioneers as well) . . .

I'm wondering if applying isopropyl alcohol to the clear underside of the disc center area, with several successive reapplications due to quick evaporation, will provide a good-enough hub cleaning. As you've mentioned before Pioneer DVD Drives do not lend themselves to opening for service as do Panasonic DVD Drives.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,308 Posts
Unfortunately only Panasonics have a "silent mode": Pioneers always burn at the highest speed possible for the media loaded. 16x takes about 10 minutes to burn/finalize from HDD, 8x media about 12 minutes. I don't think its the burn speed that the recorder chokes on, its more the braking as it changes velocity during the burn or writes data to the table of contents: then you hear the disc slipping and the grinding and clanking noises as the recorder desperately tries to control it. Even though the 8x media spins only slightly slower, its apparently just enough slower that an aging Pioneer 640 can handle it just fine.


The alcohol trick might work: I'll have to try it and report back
.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,648 Posts
Actually I've found that after doing the spit method(on Pannys) for several discs it also cleans the spindle to a degree. At least after doing it I might not have to do it again for several months. Don't use this method shortly after eating something like peanut butter or jelly etc., you don't want to get anything sticky on the spindle. Iso might also work but I think it might not really stick to the spindle well enough and might also tend to evaporate too quickly to do any good. Wouldn't hurt to try though.

Citibear, I agree with your point about velocity change but if indeed the disc spins at twice the speed with 16x discs it's got to apply more breaking if it needs to slow down dramatically vs if it was spinning 1/2 the RPMs. Just speculating though.

I'm keeping my eye out for a used Pio w/hdd at my local second hand shops to actually use one myself, although while I occasionally see a second hand Panny I've never seen a Pio w/hdd locally. I just don't think they were as popular(if you can ever say DVDRs w/HDDs were popular
) as Panasonic, that or they're snatched up before I see them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
659 Posts
Is "silent mode" available on all Panny HDD recorders, or is it just on late models? I can't recall seeing anything about it in the manual for my 'E85 (in which I use 8x media almost exclusively).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,648 Posts
I know the '05 and '06 model years(with a HDD) had the silent mode, maybe 16x media wasn't as common pre '05 so they didn't have that feature. I know my first few spindles back in '05 were 8x, I think the 16x was around but more expensive.

The silent mode is offered every time you HS dub on '05 model year, on my '06 model year EH-55 silent mode is a menu option you change in the Functions Setup.


edit:it looks like your '04 E85H recommends 4x discs while my '05 EH-50 lists 8x and the EH-55 lists 16x media. Maybe with 4x they didn't find it necessary to limit the dub speed. Funny thing is my '05 EH-50 burns 16x media just fine, actually it's all I use with it
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,948 Posts
Friends don't let friends buy Pioneer DVD recorders.


My Pioneer DVD recorder was my last ever Pioneer purchase.


Based on their current financial condition, I am apparently not the only one.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,938 Posts
If you want a harddrive equipped recorder, Pioneer is one of three choices left, though. And might be the best choice.


The other two are a relatively expensive Panasonic and a Magnavox with an annoying flaw in the timer/finalizing feature.
 
1 - 20 of 77 Posts
Top