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recorded picture quality: any difference HD vs no HD?

527 Views 4 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  FulciZombieFan
Pretty basic question for this forum I imagine, but I would appreciate any feedback.

I am about to buy my first DVD recorder, and am leaning heavily toward the Panasonic line. My main uses are transferring home videos from Sony Video8 cassette tapes, and recording some hockey games for later viewing.

So my question is: do you get better PQ by transferring the home videos to a HD first, then burning the DVD? Or is PQ just as good when using a model that doesn't have an HD?

I know the HD offers the advantage of being able to edit the material, but I figure it is most important to get the videos on to digital media, then I can edit it sometime later (in my retirement maybe!)

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as long as you don't transcode the data when copying from the hard drive to the DVD you will have a 1 for 1 copy. If you get a panasonic, make sure you do a "high-speed" dub from the hard drive to the DVD.

There will be no picture quality difference between a direct DVD capture and a HDD capture as long as you dub in high-speed mode.

You may notice a picture quality difference when playing the DVD on another machine as each machine will playback slightly differerntly.
Originally Posted by john135
So my question is: do you get better PQ by transferring the home videos to a HD first, then burning the DVD? Or is PQ just as good when using a model that doesn't have an HD?


Reply: The picture quality will be the same when recording on a disc. As you said, the HDD is great for editing.

I would recommend purchasing a recorder that also uses RAM, as each RAM disc is capable of acting as a small, portable HDD (you can edit the same way, etc.). This will leave you plenty of options for editing with the recorder, or doing really fancy editing and DVD authoring on the PC.
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Just to "nit-pick" a little, your question was whether recording on a HDD unit vs. on a DVD-only machine would make any difference.

Obviously, those "difference" relate to the machine as a whole. So, you're really wondering if various recorder "types" (and maybe "brands") makes a difference.

The recording circuitry is different from brand to brand, and maybe even machine to machine within a brand.

A unit with both a HDD and DVD "probably/most likely" uses the same circuitry for recording...it just has to "direct" the signal to one of the drives.(?)

So, you probably should decide if you can use a HDD unit, with its higher initial cost, or a lower-cost DVD-only unit.

Then, you should decide among the "brands" and pick one that you know or have heard has the "better" recording circuitry and schemes, e.g., the Pannys and Pios.

Sorry for the "nit." :D
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I suggest the POLAROID DRM-2001G which can be bought on-line at WALMART.COM for $219.88

The main reason I suggest this model is that it uses the LSI chip which tends to filter low quality video sources extremely well. So home video stuff shot on Video8 fits that model.

This unit has has a built-in HDD which allows you some flexibility i.e., editing.

It also happens to be one of the cheaper HDD models.

My only gripe with it is fixed recording times. 1 hour ... 2 hour ... 2 1/2 hours ... 3 hours ... etc.

However for home video stuff if you only use the 1 hour mode you will be very happy and for the hockey games ... the LSI chipset is one of the better chipsets for extended time recordings (i.e., the 3 and 4 hours modes still make very good recordings).

The only other DVD recorder out now that I would consider as being better would be the PIONEER DVR-640H-S with the one main difference being that you can set the bitrate to pretty much whatever you want based on the running time of the program you are recording. A very nice feature. However while the Pioneer is better at 2 1/2 hours or less ... over that time frame the image quality will suffer more so than the POLAROID.

*** EDIT ***

I wanted to add something here. With a HDD model you can record a hockey game in the 1 hour mode for best quality because it will fit on the HDD this way. Watch it (in super great 1 hour mode recording) then delete it. If you want you can save it to a DVD by splitting it up into segments (no re-encoding) or you can have the unit re-encode it in real time to fit (but the quality will be blah for something with such a long runnging time.
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