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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've read some on here related to them. But anyway I currently have the Pioneer 510. Is there enough of a point to upgrading to the piioneer or sony 160 GB ones? I am sure I could sell my Pioneer for $200+ and then I see the Pioneer 160GB one for about $440 and Sony for about $530-$540 I think.


I have ALWAYS loved Sony's performance, whetehr it be my HDTV, cd player that is like 12 years old, vcr, dvd player, etc.


I know SOny doesnt have flexible recording. What editing is so bad or missing also?


Are either of these models worth getting when iw ould only have to pay $300 or less if I sell mine to someone?


I see the Sony has picture zoom. Just wodnering what anyone thinks and what Mike Up will say the main advantages are to upgrading 1 pioneer to another.
 

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I also have the 510 and I'm holding back from doing what you're considering. The new MPEG encoder in the 533/633 does appeal to me as well as the faster DVD drive. I'm wary about the steep drop in the retail price of these units in just two years. How durable are the new models compared with our bigger, heavier recorders?


The Sony recorder isn't for me because I like the customization options I get with Pioneer.


My sense is to wait until next spring. By then Pioneer will announce next year's models so I can decide whether to buy a 533 or 633 on close out or get the next big thing. And I'll probably keep the 510 because it will be worth more to me than what I can sell it for a year from now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yeah I am just so tempted to get something new. I dont know if I should just hold off or not. Depending on which editing features of the 510 are NOT in the sony 160GB currently on the maerker, I would love to have sony's good PQ.


What is so good about the new encoder in the Pioneer? I havent read much on dvd recorders sinc eI bought this one 1 and 1/2 years ago.


I can live without flexible recording really. I am wondering what editing features people are saying are absent from Sony. Surely it has dividing, chapter marking, navi mark/thumbnail, etc.
 

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Surely it has dividing, chapter marking, navi mark/thumbnail, etc.
I don't know about the forthcoming of crop of Sony's, but the 900 surely DID NOT have dividing but I'm not sure what else was missing. Another bad omen is that apparently the new 315 which is out now DOES NOT HAVE A REAR VIDEO INPUT? Not necessarily a deal breaker, but certainly falls in the "what was Sony thinking department" and makes you wonder if Sony is going to take a step backward in the forthcoming recorders and omit potentially necessary features. You seem to want someone to tell you its ok to get a Sony. If you really want one that bad ,just get it. You don't need affirmation from people on this board to do so. What is apparent however is that most Posters here seem to prefer the Pioneer and then the Panny or Toshiba. So that has to tell you something. This includes some very picky people when it comes to video/encoder quality (MIkeUp, Videojanitor, HG) and they are very pleased with the Pioneer.
 

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You have to look at each unit's specifications and performance and decide which is more important to you. Each one has its specific quirks.


If editing and recording flexibility is important to you, then the Pioneer wins hands down. So much so that I bought an Open Box 225s from BB that I will only use to edit -RW discs made with the Sony, to get around its limitations. The edits made on the Pioneer are also more precise than on the Sony.


So why do I still have the Sony? Two reasons: Picture Quality and Component Video Inputs. The Sony 900's PQ is sharper than the Pioneer 420/225 that I have, though the Pioneer is still adequate for analog cable. While some debate the true usefulness of Component Video Inputs when it comes to actual picture quality, what is NOT debatable is that some of the most popular HiDef STB's will NOT output a widescreen signal except through Component. If you have one of these STB's, and you don't have Component Inputs, you're stuck having to record letterboxed content. That's OK if you always plan on watching it on a 4:3 TV, but what about the future when TV's will eventually all be 16:9?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I have a 16:9 HDTV.


I indeed do lean towards Sony, but i ama sking ?s here to know the differences, not just to have someone say get the Sony. Picture quality is obviously a huge deal. It depends on just how much better it is.


I ams till happy with my Pioneer I ahve ahd for 1 and 1/2 years now. Although I could definitely use any better PQ possible.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
and yes before anyone says something, I know my typing is terrible lately. Sorry.
 

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Degrees of picture quality goodness between brands is so subjective that it really doesn't make sense to address it in a discussion forum beyond Brand X is better than Brand Y. When you ask "how much better?" then you just open up a can of worms without possible hope for resolution, just endless debate. At that point only your own eyes can be the true judge. My suggestion is that you purchase from a merchandiser with a liberal return policy so you can do your own X vs. Y comparison on PQ. As far as features are concerned, well you've heard from proabably the biggest Sony advocate on this board that he has decided to supplement his Sony with another recorder to get the editing features he needs.
 

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vferrari gives good advice. I'm glad that I had a chance to take a longer look at the Pioneer DRV-633-HS which is unfortunately going back and I'm going to have to pay some shipping. The differences between the models can be small but some can be glaring including omissions. FWIW, I called Pioneer's tech support line (not reliable) but the guy who I spoke to said someone else asked the same question I did about the "chapter mark" button omission just a few minutes earlier. They confirmed you cannot view your programs/recording and simply mark index points like you can with the 510, 520 and most VCRs. For unknown reasons, this has been removed from the 533/633 models. This means that if you were used to enjoying your videos in full screen and placing chapter marks while you viewed it, you can no longer do so. You will have to go to edit mode and view the video again in a tiny box. Pioneer also confirmed that if the power goes off or you need to reset the box, all your EPG settings are gone. That is not a small matter if you need to reset.


Regarding my research on other models, it seems that the Sonys are overpriced and mediocre. The PQ should be fine but they skimp on the features you would expect, especially since they charge a premium. Toshiba's XS-34 seems to be a real winner but my reservation is that it eats up 17W of power in standby mode because they forgot to put in a temperature controlled fan which is always on and apparently quite noisy in small rooms. You'd be surprised by the noise factor caused by the TVGOS which must download TV Guide material all the time. People seem happy with the Panasonics although there was a big bug issue on an older model and the newer ones don't have a DV/firewire input, if that is a concern for you as it is for me.


It's not an easy choice. The TVGOS / EPG has really muddled this market and makes me wonder whether second generation will be a major and necessary improvement in the current line of DVRs. Unfortunately it's a long wait and I don't care to wait until 2006.
 

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Originally Posted by slinky
vferrari gives good advice. I'm glad that I had a chance to take a longer look at the Pioneer DRV-633-HS which is unfortunately going back and I'm going to have to pay some shipping. The differences between the models can be small but some can be glaring including omissions. FWIW, I called Pioneer's tech support line (not reliable) but the guy who I spoke to said someone else asked the same question I did about the "chapter mark" button omission just a few minutes earlier. They confirmed you cannot view your programs/recording and simply mark index points like you can with the 510, 520 and most VCRs. For unknown reasons, this has been removed from the 533/633 models. This means that if you were used to enjoying your videos in full screen and placing chapter marks while you viewed it, you can no longer do so. You will have to go to edit mode and view the video again in a tiny box. Pioneer also confirmed that if the power goes off or you need to reset the box, all your EPG settings are gone. That is not a small matter if you need to reset.


Regarding my research on other models, it seems that the Sonys are overpriced and mediocre. The PQ should be fine but they skimp on the features you would expect, especially since they charge a premium. Toshiba's XS-34 seems to be a real winner but my reservation is that it eats up 17W of power in standby mode because they forgot to put in a temperature controlled fan which is always on and apparently quite noisy in small rooms. You'd be surprised by the noise factor caused by the TVGOS which must download TV Guide material all the time. People seem happy with the Panasonics although there was a big bug issue on an older model and the newer ones don't have a DV/firewire input, if that is a concern for you as it is for me.


It's not an easy choice. The TVGOS / EPG has really muddled this market and makes me wonder whether second generation will be a major and necessary improvement in the current line of DVRs. Unfortunately it's a long wait and I don't care to wait until 2006.
Hey slinky, there is no perfect recorder out there. All will have some limitations/irritations/quirks. What you have to do is weigh the pros and cons, decide which features are most important and how you will use it, and pick the best imperfect model. I researched and read up on these things for months before deciding I didn't want to wait further; I didn't want to record stuff to SVHS tape any longer (especially since you can hardly find the darn tape anymore and they never lowered the prices on them); and I had a lot of nice stuff I wanted to archive filling up my Directivo hard drive which was preventing me from recording new stuff on the Directivo. So I decided I didn't want the TGOS system right now and went with a Pioneer 520. It doesn't have EVERYTHING I want (wish it had a bigger hard drive, component inputs, coaxial digital out) but it came close to having most of what I wanted. And the 520 has some things which have been left off the newer models. You seem to be letting some relatively minor things (standby power output?) become dealbreakers. That's fine if you want to wait--in the meantime you are just missing out on digital recording at very high quality now


So if continuing to tape on a VCR outweighs putting up with the quirks of an imperfect DVD recorder, tape away!
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by RonDawg
You have to look at each unit's specifications and performance and decide which is more important to you. Each one has its specific quirks.


If editing and recording flexibility is important to you, then the Pioneer wins hands down. So much so that I bought an Open Box 225s from BB that I will only use to edit -RW discs made with the Sony, to get around its limitations. The edits made on the Pioneer are also more precise than on the Sony.


So why do I still have the Sony? Two reasons: Picture Quality and Component Video Inputs. The Sony 900's PQ is sharper than the Pioneer 420/225 that I have, though the Pioneer is still adequate for analog cable. While some debate the true usefulness of Component Video Inputs when it comes to actual picture quality, what is NOT debatable is that some of the most popular HiDef STB's will NOT output a widescreen signal except through Component. If you have one of these STB's, and you don't have Component Inputs, you're stuck having to record letterboxed content. That's OK if you always plan on watching it on a 4:3 TV, but what about the future when TV's will eventually all be 16:9?


HR 10-250 HD DVR outputs a widescreen signal though its S-video output (haven't used composite yet to see if this also outputs widescreen).
 

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Originally Posted by vferrari
As far as features are concerned, well you've heard from proabably the biggest Sony advocate on this board that he has decided to supplement his Sony with another recorder to get the editing features he needs.
My purchase of the 420 was due to the fact that Costco, as you know, was blowing them out earlier this year at a ridiculously low (for a machine that was considered current) $249. Since then I came to like the 420's editing features a lot, and while I do advocate the Sony, I also do advocate the Pioneer x20 series a lot too.


The reason I use the 420 (and now 225) to edit is NOT because the Sony won't edit; it will. The Pioneer simply does a more accurate job of it, and I like the fact that the Pioneer plays back the resulting edit for you BEFORE you make it permanent.


I still don't like the fact that the Pioneer forces you to watch a postage-stamp sized editing screen, and that's why I got the 225 when the prices dropped below $160. My 420 resides in my master bedroom along with the TiVo and a smallish Sony TV. The 225 is in my living room, hooked up to my Sony 36 inch HDTV, so the postage stamp screen is physically much bigger and easier to view.
 

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Originally Posted by igreg
HR 10-250 HD DVR outputs a widescreen signal though its S-video output (haven't used composite yet to see if this also outputs widescreen).
And just so everyone knows, the Pioneer properly records 16:9 via S-video and Firewire when that is the source (I tested this with my camcorder). Unfortunately my Motorola 6412 only sends letterbox 4:3 via S-video.
 

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Originally Posted by squonk
Hey slinky, there is no perfect recorder out there. All will have some limitations/irritations/quirks. What you have to do is weigh the pros and cons, decide which features are most important and how you will use it, and pick the best imperfect model. I researched and read up on these things for months before deciding I didn't want to wait further; I didn't want to record stuff to SVHS tape any longer (especially since you can hardly find the darn tape anymore and they never lowered the prices on them); and I had a lot of nice stuff I wanted to archive filling up my Directivo hard drive which was preventing me from recording new stuff on the Directivo. So I decided I didn't want the TGOS system right now and went with a Pioneer 520. It doesn't have EVERYTHING I want (wish it had a bigger hard drive, component inputs, coaxial digital out) but it came close to having most of what I wanted. And the 520 has some things which have been left off the newer models. You seem to be letting some relatively minor things (standby power output?) become dealbreakers. That's fine if you want to wait--in the meantime you are just missing out on digital recording at very high quality now
I hear you - but I'll tell you a few things about another 17W... when you're about to be paying more than $.20 per kilowatt hour and your monthly electric bills on your one bedroom apartment for one person are over $150 per month, it adds up!!!


Regarding the features, some of them were very difficult to decide what is and what isn't workable. Not being able to view my programs/recordings and place chapter edits to quickly edit out materials later and make cue points was a pretty big deal. I can't tell you what it was like last night fast forwarding to find cue points, stop, back up, back up again, when all I would have to do is hit "forward" to a cue point and then perfect it from there. Wow, saves several minutes every time. I'm not sure how many programs/DVDs I'm going to save so I may decide I can live with this incredible act of stupidity by Pioneer to remove the feature.


Some of the other items are more critical such as double layer vs. DVD-RAM and my desire to archive but I'm finding out that the longevity of the discs are debatable. Almost everything else is debatable except for aspect ratio setting which apparently the Pioneer is supposed to get right automatically and apparently it is, at least for now. The Toshiba has a setting.


But I'll tell you this - what makes it really tough is not being able to demo them both. I may still stick with the Pioneer because others have mentioned how much easier it is to use. Being in a smaller room as well the fan issue and bright blue light are not as small as they seem to be. Unfortunately these small issues aren't so small and it's irritating I need to deal with them because most of the time these would not seem to be items that manufacturers would screw up. I'm going to take out my anger and frustration on TV Guide. Perhaps defacing their publication every time I wait in line at the supermarket might make me feel a little better, lol...
 

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I've had 3 Panny DVDRs, currently own the E80 (hard drive).

Since I got a 16:9 HD tv a month ago, my need now is for recording 16:9 content and so I am strongly eyeing the Sony brand with component IN for this. Most DVD recorders I've seen cannot record full screen 16:9 programming.


I find over the last year, I use my Panny's hard drive mainly as a PVR anyway, for timeshifting shows (SD 4:3) to watch and delete. I don't burn many DVDs of TV programs anymore, and I use the PC to 'edit' DVD movies. so recording 16:9 and a hard drive for PVR is mainly what I want now in a DVDR machine. Machines that can not record full 16:9 content, in HD or not, are outdated now, for my uses.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by gigaguy
I've had 3 Panny DVDRs, currently own the E80 (hard drive).

Since I got a 16:9 HD tv a month ago, my need now is for recording 16:9 content and so I am strongly eyeing the Sony brand with component IN for this. Most DVD recorders I've seen cannot record full screen 16:9 programming.


I find over the last year, I use my Panny's hard drive mainly as a PVR anyway, for timeshifting shows (SD 4:3) to watch and delete. I don't burn many DVDs of TV programs anymore, and I use the PC to 'edit' DVD movies. so recording 16:9 and a hard drive for PVR is mainly what I want now in a DVDR machine. Machines that can not record full 16:9 content, in HD or not, are outdated now, for my uses.
It would be nice to have a component in and I'm wondering why this hasn't been done. I'm also not sure how much of a difference in quality there is with recording at 480i whether you use component or S-VHS inputs. I doubt we'll get to see an HD recorder with a DVD writer for quite a while and, when it's done, they'll be making triple sure it won't write in HD quality.


That said, I've noticed that the Pioneer 633 writes automatically in 16:9 format if it's fed the signal. I have to change my TV's picture type each time (for some reason it always is squeezed into 4:3 until I tell it to just show what it sees and it's 16:9.) The XS34 specifically allows this too.
 
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