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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been taping a pay per view sporting event to vhs for many years. Now I would like to transfer them to dvd and will need to have the easiest possible method to do so. I would also like to use it to transfer some satellite programing as well from time to time and need possibly a combo vhs and dvd unit, or whatever else. I would also need the format of write once for the copies and be able to buy cheap dvd discs in bulk. I have a satellite tivo unit and won't need it for short term temporary recording.

I would like to someday be able to record hd but know that it is still down the road. If I could come up with an inexpensive but ok dvd recorder it would allow me to get rid of a bunch of vhs tapes.

What is the maximum number of hours that can be recorded on a dvd disc. Most ofd my tapes are recorded in the extended play 6 hour mode.

I've done some searches but could be here for a long time doing that and thought one of the resident knowledgeable people here could respond. I would really appreciate any help that could be offered.
 

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The amount of material you can get on a DVD really depends on your tolerance for low picture quality.

The short story-- probably about 4 hours on each DVD is as much as you would want to try for with currently available models (with some models, 3 hours or 3.5 hours would be a better target). The recording "modes" involved should be able to reproduce all of the detail in your original VHS without introducing too much unpleasant digital junk.

My wife recorded lots of stuff in VHS EP before I knew her, and I am copying it to DVD using Panasonic's newer LP mode, which gets 4 hours on each DVD. The picture quality is fine for her, but I prefer a bit less digital artifacts, so I shoot for about 3 hours on each DVD for material recorded in VHS EP.


For stuff from satellite, material recorded in VHS SP (especially SVHS SP), I usually stick to SP or XP. (2 hours and 1 hour per DVD, respectively).


Long version-- There are two dimensions to this: resolution and bitrate. The highest resolution modes on DVD recorders will surpass the resolution of VHS, so in theory, all of the details in your original will be visible. The higher resolution modes in a DVD recorder are generally called XP (1-hour per DVD) or SP (2 hours per DVD). After that, there are "manual recording" modes or "flexible recording" modes that get about the same resolution, but at a lower bitrate (which means that digital artifacts such as scrambling details, blotches and such might be introduced). Next comes LP, which is the 4 hour (per DVD) mode. On most recorders, LP is at a lower resolution than SP, but on Panasonics, the LP resolution is the same as SP (but the bitrate is way down, increasing the likelihood of artifacts). Beyond LP, the resolution drops further, as does the bitrate. At EP (6 hour mode) on DVD recorders, the resolution and bitrate produce results that look worse (to me) than the worst VHS EP recordings. Some recorders go beyond 6 hour EP to 8, 10 or even 12 hours per DVD. However, one has to be very tolerant of poor picture to desire those modes.
 

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one advice I'd give, don't buy the cheap DVD blanks.

quality counts

personally I've gone through about 100 made-in-Japan DVD-Rs, and have not had a single dud in the bunch
 

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For ease of transfer I recommend a combo unit and this is the one I own:

http://www2.panasonic.com/webapp/wcs...00000000005702


The ES30VS makes it simple. You can use "FR" (Flexible Recording) mode and get higher resolution in the 3 hour mode (the thing doxtorRay was referring to). It also allows unattended recording as it lets you set for the length of time you want to record in any mode.
 

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You don't need to buy a combo unit to do unattended FR recording.

Why pay extra $50 for the VCR portion that you don't need?


Actually if you have the original VCR that the tapes were recorded on, use it it will give the best playback results of those tapes.


Just connect the VIDEO OUT and AUDIO OUT out of your VCR to the

VIDEO IN and AUDIO IN of your DVD recorder. Set the DVD recorder to record

from that set of video-audio inputs. Set the DVD recorder for FR of 3 hours.

Push REC on the DVD recorder. Push PLAY on the VCR. Come back in 3 hours.

That's all I did.


I have now backed up about 100+ VHS tapes and have only a handful of tapes left.
 

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What I like about copying tapes on the combo is that the VCR and DVDR work together. After you cue and pause the tape, hitting DVD REC starts the recording and unpauses the tape at the same time, never recording more than 2 or 3 frames of the paused image. So you get a nice clean start with no onscreen text (PLAY, PAUSE, etc.) from the VCR.


You can even remove commercials by pausing the DVD recording, advancing and pausing the tape and unpausing the dvd recording which also unpauses the tape. Again, the end result/edit is very clean, maybe even better than when editing a recording on HD where the i-frame location can sometimes mess things up. Though if you have to copy a lot of tapes with commercials then a HD/DVDR would be a better choice since doing the pause/edit method is time consuming.
 

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I don't have one, but don't some/many/all of those combo units put a DVD chapter mark where it sees a VHS index mark on the tape? That might come in very handy, and is something you would not get by taking a standalone VHS machine and plugging it into a standalone DVD recorder.
 

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...get crackin' :p :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
squonk,

i've been taping the ultimate fighting championships since 1993 as well as pride fighting. It seems as though I will be needing to dub from my SVHS vcr to a dvd recorder. I forgot tomention that important fact
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Church AV Guy
I don't have one, but don't some/many/all of those combo units put a DVD chapter mark where it sees a VHS index mark on the tape? That might come in very handy, and is something you would not get by taking a standalone VHS machine and plugging it into a standalone DVD recorder.
Yes, that is one major advantage of some combo units (but not all). For example, the Panasonic ES30V will create a new DVD recording for each time that a new recording was started on the tape. Thus, the content is automatically divided up (although this only works if the tape was recorded on a VCR with Video Indexing).


Also the Panasonic unit can be set up so that you pop in a tape and the machine automatically fast-forwards through the tape, determines the amount of actual recording, and does an FR recording of the content on the tape. All of this is done unattended (after the tape is inserted, of course). Thus, if you have a partially filled tape, the machine is smart enough to figure that out and adjust the recording mode.
 

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If you have 300 hours of tape to put on DVD, the Panasonic is the way to go. If you want to edit the tape, then the separate VHS, DVDR with a hard drive is the way to go. Since you didn't mention editing, you're better off with the ease of use and features available with a combo unit. The "extra" money (actually, for a DVDR with a hard drive the costs are very similar) is well spent considering the amount of time and effort you save. To give you an idea:


1) Connect the VCR to the DVDR.

2) Calculate the length of segment you want to record.

3) Set the DVDR to the appropriate resolution (mode) for your recording.

4) Start the VCR,

pause and

start the DVDR, then

unpause the VCR.

5) After the correct length of time, stop the recording.

6) Stop the VCR.

7) When recording the next segment on tape, rewind to the correct spot.

8) Repeat.


Or....


1) Determine the length of segment you want to record.

2) Set the appropriate length of recording time.

3) Choose the mode (if you want the recording to fill the disc, set it for Flexible Recording)

4) Start the recording. The tape will stop at the set length of time and, for the next recording, pick up exactly where you stopped.


As doxtorRay says, you can also let the machine find the length of the recording, then record the entire tape on one DVD. It is about a 2 step operation.


Once you've tried it both ways, you'll go for the Panasonic combo unit. It's worth the investment.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
whqt is the most cost effective media discs to use. If I have to buy a 100 or 200 discs, what would be the best way to go. I've only purchased panasonic dvd players including my latest s97 so whatever I record onto dvd will not be re-recorded over?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by keithhr
1)whqt is the most cost effective media discs to use.


2)If I have to buy a 100 or 200 discs, what would be the best way to go.


3)I've only purchased panasonic dvd players including my latest s97 so whatever I record onto dvd will not be re-recorded over?
1) This is the subject of much discussion. It is easier to say what to avoid, which includes all cheap off-brands and store-named brands. Some say to buy only Japanese made media. I would say, stick with names like Maxell, Fuji, TDK, and (the name that rates number 1 in this forum) Taiyo-Yuden. There are complaints about Memorex and Ritek, but I've never had any problems with these.


2) It would be best to go through one of the media giants on the web (meritline.com, supermediastore.com) or Costco or Sam's Club. They all carry brand names in lots of 100 (or more) at a discount. Otherwise, local stores sometimes have sales that are comparable (OfficeMax/Depot, Staples, CompUSA, Best Buy).


3) HUH???
 

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As I see it, the big question is this: DO you need/want to do editing? If you are going to edit the tape content before committing it to disk and finalizing, then you want a model with a hard drive. If you are just dubbing, by all means go with the ES30V and save yourself lots of aggravation.


I agree with drbrousters advice on media. If you do a search, you will find many long discussions on the topic. kelson h says "Life is too short to drink bad wine or burn cheap media . . . " and I believe that is my motto too on the subject.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by keithhr
whqt is the most cost effective media discs to use. If I have to buy a 100 or 200 discs, what would be the best way to go. I've only purchased panasonic dvd players including my latest s97 so whatever I record onto dvd will not be re-recorded over?
The 4X Taiyo-Yuden discs at SuperMediaStore.com are definitely a good buy, even with the cost of shipping. Check the Taiyo-Yuden thread as someone posted coupon info so you can get them even cheaper than the stated price.
 

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I alerted everone to the $7.00 off coupon offered by supermediastore.com on the TY thread. Click on the coupon box in the upper left corner for the offer. $22.00 plus shipping for 100. I paid $71.00 for 200 just before they offered the coupon deal. So, your net cost would be about $57.00 for 200 TY 4X's. An unbeatable price on what many here consider the best media made.
 

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Howdy all - been lurking a bit and have a noob question. I also need to dub over a bunch of low quality VHS recordings to DVD. I just bought the panny eh50 to do this. Before asking a bunch of dumb questions here (here's my first... ;-) - can someone recommend a place where I would get good info on differences between +/-/R/RW/VR/chapter markers/editing out commercials/blahblah ? I lost track back when they had CD burners that would RW on a PC where you had to format the whole disc to reuse it - I don't think it's like this anymore, but need input!


Thanks all,

Geoff
 
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