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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all.


I'm looking for an "industrial strength" DVD recorder.


What I mean is one that can record disc after disc, all day, each day, each week, each month without breaking down.


I do a LOT OF RECORDING. Probably more than 90% of this forum.


I need a DVD recorder that can record and finalize about a dozen discs per day, 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year.


That works out to about 3500+ discs in a single year. Various recording speeds, from 60min XP to 240min LP modes will be used.


I plan on getting two, one to dump all these DVR recordings of shows from my cable, and another to dub transfer the contents of about 2000 VHS tapes to DVD.


So, I really need one that can stand up to the pounding.


Any that can do this?
 

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I've used only recorders with hard disks -- Philips and Panasonic. Panasonic doesn't sell these any more.

I have found that the title naming and multi title dubbing are MUCH easier with Panasonic than Philips.

Panasonic has a much more user friendly interface (in my opinion) and offers more features.

Maybe someone can comment on the units Panny sells today which are standalone recorders.
 

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Panasonic and Pioneer do sell DVD recorders through their professional products divisions, but you will pay a very high premium. However, these units offer certain features geared to the professional user, but do not really offer any guarantee of being more durable under heavy use.


Most of it is luck of the draw. I have Panasonic, Sony, and Pioneer consumer recorders and have been very lucky. I'm also dealing with transferring a massive tape archive to DVD and have produced over 12,000 discs to date (with many more to go). Even my old Panasonic E-20 from 2001 is still going strong.


You could buy 10 consumer DVD recorders for the cost of one "professional" unit. My advice would be to have several consumer units on the go and spread the work around so that you aren't putting all the load on one recorder.
 

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No such animal: this isn't like the days of VHS or Umatic when you could buy a $2500 Panasonic or Sony that weighed 57 pounds and would last the rest of your life with minor occasional maintenance. The mfrs of standalone DVD recorders are stark staring utterly terrified of Hollywood, so every single standalone unit, "industrial" or otherwise, is crippled by the inclusion of CPRM and digital rights management embedded in the firmware of their customized burners, which can almost never be replaced easily or cheaply because of the DRM mods. So the "industrial models" are thinly disguised versions of the consumer recorders, with the possible exception of one or two scarce Pioneers that were designed to make "mastering" DVDs, using specialist burners and discs. Even that unit was tiny and none-too-sturdy-looking.


Durability of these recorders has proved completely random, make to make and within the same models of the same make: none are especially more reliable than the other. The advice JeffWld gave to simply buy a half dozen consumer recorders is the best option. Of the new machines still available in North America, for your purposes I would choose a Pioneer over the lone Phillips model. The Phillips 3576 at $200-300 is an excellent unit but not quite up to the build quality of the Pioneers, which also have refined editing features and can burn to any media including DVD-RAM. The Phillips is easily bought in US stores but is rarer in Canada, the Pioneers are not sold in US stores anymore but can be obtained from Canadian dealers. Last years 450, 550, and 650 models are near-identical to this years 460, 560, and 660. They are based on a chassis that has proved pretty reliable for the last three years, only just now are we beginning to get reports of the 2006 model 640 wearing out a bit, and this mostly from hard users like myself who have put a couple thousand discs thru them.


Like you I have thousands of VHS tapes to transfer, so I have sampled nearly every DVD recorder out there these last few years looking for one with a durable burner. The 2006 and later model Pioneers have been by far the most "sturdy" I've tried, and the price is right: a 650 or 450 can be delivered to USA for about $300-350 depending on the dealer or whether you have a friend/relative in Canada just buy one for you and ship it. Of course Canadian residents can just walk into any FutureShop and buy the model of their choice on sale. Depending where you are in Canada, you might also be able to pick up a recently-discontinued Panasonic EH55, but these are highly coveted for their TiVO-like program timers and are fetching ridiculous prices. For your intended uses I'd go with a Pioneer instead.


The only other option is to buy a dedicated HTPC or upgrade your existing PC to home theater capabilities. While initially more expensive, and more complicated to use, the single overwhelming advantage of a PC over a standalone DVD recorder is its easily replaceable burner. A computer uses totally standard generic PC burners, most of which cost $30 or less, and if they break you can replace them with any other random brand or model of burner you like, EASILY, yourself. Also, because of their larger cases and multiple fans, computer-based burners seem to last on average 300% longer than the burners embedded in DVD recorders. The only caveat here is the operating system: stick to a PC unless you are willing to pay for a top of the line Mac Pro tower, Apple iMacs and laptops do not allow easy interchange of their burners: their small form factors necessitate the slim-line slot-loaders which are less durable and a pain to replace.
 

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Everyone makes good points here, but I still can't get my puny little mind around recording ~10 discs per day (@3500/yr) and assuming an avg 2-hr rec mode, means you won't have any time left for watching what you record. I guess the recorded shows are being saved for some future watch-date?


During prime season, I record ~30-40 hours/week of shows on my four HDD DVDRs, 3 Philips 3575's and 1 Pio 640, and we have trouble watching it all, reserving much of it till the weekend.


But, nevertheless, I believe the Philips 3576 will be a durable and effective recorder for your purposes, esp. considering it COULD record some of you stuff directly on its HDD, which would eliminate a real-time step of copying shows from the DVR to the DVDR... everything on any DVDR will be in 480i resolution at some point in your process.


Placing a Philips 3576 1st on the coax and "picking off" any digital channels that may be "in the clear" will ELIMINATE some secondary real-time process in that cable/DVR system... virtually anything rec. to the HDD can be high-speed dubbed to a disc in ~1/4 the real-time, with NO loss in quality (produces a "mirror-image").


Some or all of the other recorders mentioned don't have digital tuners so they have to be used as the real-time copy machine, and others don't have HDDs which make copying and dubbing a much easier, disc-free process.


Click on my signature for some more detailed info, if interested.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by wajo /forum/post/14310878


Everyone makes good points here, but I still can't get my puny little mind around recording ~10 discs per day (@3500/yr) and assuming an avg 2-hr rec mode, means you won't have any time left for watching what you record. I guess the recorded shows are being saved for some future watch-date?

In my case, it's the result of transferring a video collection that was started in 1974 (on U-matic) and has netted a collection exceeding 40,000 programs. It is ironic that so much time is spent transferring, leaving no time to watch...lol. Us collectors are a strange breed.


The disc output/per day isn't as wild as it seems since I will often have 4 workstations going at the same time.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffWld /forum/post/14311358


In my case, it's the result of transferring a video collection that was started in 1974 (on U-matic) and has netted a collection exceeding 40,000 programs. It is ironic that so much time is spent transferring, leaving no time to watch...lol. Us collectors are a strange breed.

I was going to say we're "pack-rats" but when I looked it up on Wiki to make sure, we've actually got our own name: "Digital Pack Rats."

See if this fits you... they've got TESTS, for heaven's sake!?
 

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My Sony RDR-HX900 is probably the last, closest thing to a consumer, "industrial strength" model ever made.


Built like a friggin' tank, and almost as heavy, too. But the hard drives are as prone to break down on them at least as often as any other, average recorder.


If you can't attain one of those Canadian Pioneer (or Panasonic) versions, you could always go with one of those international models from www.world-import.com or www.bhphotovideo.com . The Pioneers at least have an NTSC M tuner that can be used with analog cable here. 'Course, you're warranty is only 90 days labor and 1 year parts on them.


Otherwise, nothing out there is what you can call that dependable these days. In fact, I don't think there ever was anything "industrial strength" in the sense you speak of. You just have to take your chances.


As far as US models, the Philips 3576H is probably as good as you'll get. I haven't heard of too many mechanical problems with them since they've been out.
 

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I have been using Sony RDR-HX900 and its quality is just superb.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by delsin2 /forum/post/14313756


I have been using Sony RDR-HX900 and its quality is just superb.

Oh, oh - now you've done it for sure - all of the handful or two of owners here are gonna come out of their usual hiding and start gushing in agreement. Those are kind of like our babies.



Panasonic, Pioneer and Toshiba all had their great units - but that model was the HDD/DVD recorder world's best kept secret.


All the Sony knockers around here are mostly right - but they really missed out by not even considering having that model in their collections when it was still attainable (another piece of equipment is the DHG-HDD500/250 DVR's - best thing that company ever produced).
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by avsguy2000 /forum/post/14308588


Hello all.


I'm looking for an "industrial strength" DVD recorder.


What I mean is one that can record disc after disc, all day, each day, each week, each month without breaking down.


I do a LOT OF RECORDING. Probably more than 90% of this forum.


I need a DVD recorder that can record and finalize about a dozen discs per day, 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year.


That works out to about 3500+ discs in a single year. Various recording speeds, from 60min XP to 240min LP modes will be used.


I plan on getting two, one to dump all these DVR recordings of shows from my cable, and another to dub transfer the contents of about 2000 VHS tapes to DVD.


So, I really need one that can stand up to the pounding.


Any that can do this?

Such a thing DOES exist, if you want to fork out the bucks! It's called JVC Professional!
http://www.supermediastore.com/jvc-s...-recorder.html

Here's another one with 250GB drive... http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...er_Player.html
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by masochrist /forum/post/14313689


Here's a Pioneer--PRICEY and discontinued.
http://www.avgiant.com/Pioneer-PRV-L...l-DVD-Recorder

This would be a staggeringly expensive mistake
. As I mentioned earlier, obsolete custom burners which cannot be replaced and are known to wear out pretty quickly. This unit uses similar burners (XA-06) to the consumer 310 and 510 series, circa 2003 and increasingly incompatible with modern blank media. Pioneer takes passable care of its ordinary consumers but does not exactly have a stellar reputation for followup with its industrial line: don't expect updated burners for this monster.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 80sGuy /forum/post/14314045


Such a thing DOES exist, if you want to fork out the bucks! It's called JVC Professional!

No, no, no ,no, no- a thousand million times no!!! Current JVC Professional DVD recorders are a must to avoid
. Really bad risks and w-a-y overpriced for the features: nothing but tarted up consumer combo units. For your extra $1200 you get a nicer SVHS instead of standard VHS section, with JVCs popular TBC/DNR, but a dismally unreliable burner known to fail as soon as you get the thing home and a hard drive that even JVC service centers admit they don't know how to replace when it dies, and it does die: quickly. Back in 2005 JVC was an interesting choice, today they're poison. Stay away.


Anyone with an eye to durability should pick up a current Pioneer, a Phillips 3576, or a recently discontinued Panasonic EH55 (if they can find one). All of these sell in the range of $300, if you wear one out buy another. Better yet, buy as many as you can afford to stockpile: within the next few months Pioneer will be the last DVD/HDD units still for sale in North America (via Canada), Panasonic recently walked and the Phillips is gone at the end of this year. Pioneer may fall shortly after. Yes, there were once many interesting Sony, Toshiba, JVC, etc etc recorders available but that was 3-4 years ago and there's little point in buying one used if your plan is to beat on it. Get known-good current consumer units while you can still buy them new: time is running out. The "pro" units are a total ripoff at four to ten times the cost: ridiculous. (All you get for your megabux is a dull-gray cabinet and a rear panel populated with obscure studio-suite connectors you'll never use.)
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rammitinski /forum/post/14313976


Oh, oh - now you've done it for sure - all of the handful or two of owners here are gonna come out of their usual hiding and start gushing in agreement. Those are kind of like our babies.



Panasonic, Pioneer and Toshiba all had their great units - but that model was the HDD/DVD recorder world's best kept secret.


All the Sony knockers around here are mostly right - but they really missed out by not even considering having that model in their collections when it was still attainable (another piece of equipment is the DHG-HDD500/250 DVR's - best thing that company ever produced).

I was going to post the same. The SONY HX-900 is the closest thing I've seen to a pro level consumer HD DVD Recorder. It has by far the best build quality, audio and video adjustments available and quality output. I have too many recorders already and don't need any more, but almost bought a second HX-900 recently (from ebay). Still sort of wish I had, but I spend too much on this stuff as is and just couldn't justify it. One of the finest recorders ever built for sure.


P.S. And yes, the 500/250 DVRs are legendary. Wish I had bought one, but never did.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by bron /forum/post/14315093


(...)The SONY HX-900 is the closest thing I've seen to a pro level consumer HD DVD Recorder. (...) One of the finest recorders ever built for sure.

Agreed, although tough to recommend anymore since its long gone from the scene and was always scarce to begin with. I wanted one badly but Sony's price at the time was crazy-higher than similar decks from Pioneer and Panasonic. One could argue it was a better unit, but it damn well should have been at the price they were asking. I think the discount electronics dealers in NYC were getting close to a 40% premium over other machines for the HX-900 when it was new. Of course, that wouldn't be the first (or last) time Sony priced themselves out of a market. Their timing is always off: they offer pricey over-engineered well-built models just when the market lurches to affordability, then they panic and start selling cheap junk just as the market tips back to wanting a little more quality. Kind of explains why they jumped into bed with Pioneer three years ago to spread the risk: that move was as jarring as seeing Minolta marry Konica
.
 

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A lot of us were lucky to find the HX900 on clearance at Sears for a fraction of it's original retail price. A few of them just sort of appeared back on the shelves, way after they stopped making them and even selling them.


I wasn't about to pay full price for one either, but when I saw that I couldn't pass it up.


(Don't forget - it has component inputs, too!)
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Thanks everyone for your replies, I'll take your recommendations into consideration.


I was using a Panasonic DMR-ES10 I bought in 2005 and had burned about 3000 discs over 3 years until it finally gave out a few months ago. It wasn't any moving parts that stopped working, but looks like it's the voltage regulator or whatever since now when I turn that unit on, it turns on and then turns off, then turns on then turns off. I opened the unit and noticed what appeared to be some suspicious things about what appear to be a cluster of capacitors (and resistors?) near where the power cable plugs into the unit.


I don't need a unit with a HD, as all the material I will be transferring will already be pre-recording on my cable DVR or from my own recordings of VHS tapes.


More specifically, I have thousands of recordings of old college and NFL football games from the 1990s on VHS tape that I want to dump to DVD-R.


Anyway, for "wajo", yeah. For doing 10+ discs a day, what I do is record a bunch of TV shows on my cable DVR and then watch them. Shows like "CSI", "Law and Order", "Grey's Anatomy", etc. AFter I watch them, I use my unit's Copy-To-VCR function to dump them to DVD while I watch another. This way, I can, say, watch "CSI: Miami" while dumping "Law and Order" to DVD at the same time, since my cable box (Scientific Atlanta SA8300HD) has a separate set of outputs to be able to do that. I also dump all the late night talk shows (Jay Leno, David Letterman, Conan O'Brien, etc.) to DVD-R. Then there are the movies on channels, that I don't feel are worth buying on DVD for ~$14.95 or even $9.99 specials at Best Buy or Wal-Mart, but I'll waste a few blank DVDs at about 25 cents each to have them.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by avsguy2000 /forum/post/14320312


Thanks everyone for your replies, I'll take your recommendations into consideration.


I was using a Panasonic DMR-ES10 I bought in 2005 and had burned about 3000 discs over 3 years until it finally gave out a few months ago. It wasn't any moving parts that stopped working, but looks like it's the voltage regulator or whatever since now when I turn that unit on, it turns on and then turns off, then turns on then turns off. I opened the unit and noticed what appeared to be some suspicious things about what appear to be a cluster of capacitors (and resistors?) near where the power cable plugs into the unit.


One of the threads here discusses & explains about replacing leaking power supply capacitors. IIRC there were also some photos. If you're good with a soldering iron it would probably cost only a few dollars to replace the defective parts, presuming that's the problem.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by avsguy2000 /forum/post/14320312


I don't need a unit with a HD, as all the material I will be transferring will already be pre-recording on my cable DVR....

Does make it a heck of a lot easier to edit out commercials, though.
 
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