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I'm starting to put together an HTPC for projector use. I see that the Pioneer DVR-AO3 DVD recorder is down to $499 (in black) -- at least at one on-line store. Since I was going to put a DVD drive into the unit anyway, one that would record as well sounds like a nice bonus (if I like a movie I just watched on DirecTivo I could dump it to DVD instead of videotape -- not to mention all the home movie stuff I'd like to put on more permanent media than videotape!).


Has anyone tried using these drives as the source drive in a HTPC? I guess the issues might be how noisy they are while playing a DVD, and how compatable they are with the software players out there.


thanks,


Geoff Sherwood
 

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I just ordered one this morning, should have it by wednesday, I'll let you know. I really wanted it to record digital.


Dan
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Geoff Sherwood
I'm starting to put together an HTPC for projector use. I see that the Pioneer DVR-AO3 DVD recorder is down to $499 (in black) -- at least at one on-line store.
I've had one of these for a while (well, a month or so ;-) so I'll try to help out a little...

Quote:
Since I was going to put a DVD drive into the unit anyway, one that would record as well sounds like a nice bonus (if I like a movie I just watched on DirecTivo I could dump it to DVD instead of videotape -- not to mention all the home movie stuff I'd like to put on more permanent media than videotape!).
Well, for the home movie stuff (that is, for video downloaded from my Sony Digital8 camcorder via a 1394 port) it's great - depending on what software you're using. I'm using Ulead VideoStudio v5.0 DVD Edition, and it uses the DVR-A03 directly. The software that comes with the drive to do general DVD-R/RW and CD-R/RW writing works fine for creating data discs (as long as you stay away from the "UDF" file systems options - ask me how I know (yep, I've got a couple of $10 coasters)).


Dumping a movie to a DVD-R may or may not be more of a problem. Again, I can only talk about my experience with VideoStudio running under WinME on a 1 GHz Athlon-based HP Pavillion. If I can provide VideoStudio with an MPEG-2 file with the proper parameters (720x480, 4000 kbps, etc. - in other words the NTSC DVD parameters) then it can make write you a DVD-R. Since I'm using WinME I'm somewhat limited in that VideoStudio requires a single MPEG-2 file to create the DVD and WinME limits that file to a size of 4 Gb max, which means a maximum playing length of about 2 hours. Also, VideoStudio has no provisions (at least as far as I can tell) for doing anything other than two channel audio, so if your source material has DD 5.1 or DTS sound, you'll lose that (I'd love to find out that I'm wrong on this and that I've just overlooked something, so if anyone knows something I'm missing here, please let me know).

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Has anyone tried using these drives as the source drive in a HTPC? I guess the issues might be how noisy they are while playing a DVD, and how compatable they are with the software players out there.
I've got the drive on my desktop PC (I don't have an HTPC - yet ;-), so I don't have any fancy playback software on it, but it seems to work fine with the DVD player software that came with the PC (the PC came with a Pioneer DVD-ROM drive from the factory).


Hope this helps.
 
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