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Hi everybody ! I just joined this forum yesterday after two weeks of visiting . I have to say this is one of the BEST I have come across since my adventure of learning more about DVD recorders . I have read alot of posts in the past which have helped me out alot now I would like some "personal direction" as I plan to purchase a DVD recorder before the start of this upcomming NFL season .


I presently have a :

65 " Hitachi widescreen projection (hd ready but not active)

Toshiba DTV receiver w/directivo

Onkyo receiver and surround sound system


Now my question is (like every other newbie) what is the best dvd recorder for my set up ? Since doing my own research thru other peoples questions it seems like Pioneer and Panosonic are the most prefered . I am looking to spend about $400.00 . I was leaning toward the Pioneer 520 or 420 just because I hear they compliment the satelite TV the best when recording, due to the menu guide situation . Also , if I have my directivo with 80 gb hard drive do I really need my dvd recorder to have a hard drive ? I definetly want a quality picture and sound also. Oh by the way I live in pennsylvania,USA .

I was also looking at the new pioneer 533/531 but it seems like I was reading mixed reviews on it . There is so much out there and so many options and since I don't have the money to throw away I want to be sure the one I get will be one I am very happy with . So any and all help will be very greatly appreciated .


Dwain
 

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You'd be happy with a Panasonic EH50, it's fairly easy to use and RAM is cheap these days.
 

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Dwain:

You ask a lot of questions for someone from Pennsylvania (obscure cultural reference #1).


The one advantage of a hard drive DVD recorder is the ability to do editing.

That, and the ability to record something and decide later if you want to put it on DVD.

So, there are two advantages.


The two advantages of a hard drive DVD recorder are the ability to do editing and to decide later if you want to put something on DVD. Plus the ability to transfer large amounts of taped or tivoed material to the hard drive and sort the programs up and easily put them onto several separate DVDs. So, there are three advantages (another obscure cultural reference?).


So, if you want to do editing, have tapes to transfer, or occassionally want to do a dump of your Tivo stuff and sort through it later, a hard drive recorder is great.


As for the model, I am one of those who has whined about the Pioneer 531/533/633, but I am still keeping mine. It is not perfect, but no DVD recorder is. It has annoyances (some of them are not on the 420 or 520), but also has advantages over previous models, particularly with regard to picture quality at long recording times and the ability to record on dual layer discs.


While I slightly lean to the Pioneers, I also think you would be quite happy with the Panasonic EH50 or Toshiba XS34. Any machine is going to have one feature or design choice that will be annoying or that you wish you could change. However, there are many choices that will give you years of happy service and great discs.


Welcome to the board and the hobby.
 

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I think that you could save some scratch by not going with an HDD. You've already got your DirecTiVo, after all. Given, DirecTiVo will not allow you to edit out commercials, etc., but I see that as the only downfall.


For example, I use a Panasonis ES-80 (I think that's the number). I like it because it has three inputs (all with s-video). It's function is a little more limited than some HDD devices or other recorders - but I'm in this for simplicity (mainly straight run video to DVD transfers or HBO movie recording, etc). I do very little TV recording, as I let my Comcast DVR handle that stuff.


Still, there is a way to edit out the commercials on my player if needed. If you want to record to normal DVD-R or DVD+R (One time recording), then you could always stop the recording during the commercials upon playback, and then, using your TiVo remote, fast forward through the commercials, then begin recording again until the next commercial comes. etc., etc. The disc will be burned with some number of "chapters," which the recorder will pass right over during playback, and it will appear seemless.


The first problem with this, of course, is the hassle. Second, this process requries that your record in real time (no 2X or 4X recording).


However, for programs which you are only going to time-shift and then watch once (like an episode of Will and Grace - don't know why I picked that) and not going to necessarily back it up, then using your TiVo's hard drive will suffice. Also, setting the timer should be a lot easier.


For movies on movie channels, you can always record a TiVo'd program to your DVD recorder, without having to worry about commercials, etc.


I think the main benefit of a DVD recorder is the ability to permanently back up Tivo material as well as home video content, etc. If you have a TiVo type device, I find the HDD concept to be overkill.


Just one man's opinion, though.
 
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