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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I want to get a DVD player that has DVI. I also want a DVD recorder. A DVD recorder with DVI would be great but I understand none exist yet. So I will have to get to units. The DVD recorder is to replace a VCR for recording TV shows. I know nothing about the DVD formats. All I want is a unit that is inexpensive and will do what I want.


I've thought about TiVo but, the thought of another monthly fee hurts. Plus I'm not sure if anything recorded on TiVo can be put to disk or tape.


What device and model would be the way to go?
 

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I would suggest getting a DVD recorder with a built-in hard drive, such as the Panasonic DMR-E80 or DMR-E100. The unit will allow you to record TV shows to the internal hard drive (similar to TIVO, but without the special programming features and monthly fee). You can then burn the shows you wish to save permanently to DVD-R, or simply delete them from the hard drive after viewing if you do not wish to permanently save them.
 

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If you want to replace a VCR but not save the shows (normally), yet

don't want to pay a monthly fee, you may want to look at ReplayTV.

I bought one a few months back ($300 for a 40 hour model, reconditioned, and that included the lifetime fee) and love it. It can be programmed to

catch all episodes of a favorite show, changes the channel on my DSS box, etc. The downside would be if you want to save the shows. There are

ways to download it to a PC and then burn onto DVD or VCD, but you probably aren't looking for anything that complicated. You can also transfer to VCR (or DVD Recorder), but if you don't buy one of those, that isn't an option either. Anyway, just thought I would throw it out there as another pretty reasonable choice that you may not have considered.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I kind of like the Panny but learned it goes from digital to analog and back to digital. I guess that really isn't much of a problem since my VCR is much wosre in picture quality. And all I wanted to do was to record shows that I couldn't be there to watch. Not really trying to save a library. It would be nice though to convert old home movies that were on VHS or 8mm to DVD. But then I also understand the Panny will only playback it's recordings on another Panny? That is kind of limiting.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Resist
But then I also understand the Panny will only playback it's recordings on another Panny? That is kind of limiting.
DVD-Rs produced by the Panny recorders will play on most standalone DVD players. Not sure where you heard that they will only play on other Panny players (unless it was due to DVD-RAM which does pretty much limit you to the Panny units).


You can use a Panny with hard drive (such as the E80 or E100) for your VCR functions. You could also record your home movies onto the hard drive, edit out the parts you don't want and then burn to DVD-R (which will play on most players).


Note that the Panny recorders cannot control a cable box or satellite receiver as some VCRs can do.


Another alternative, there is a new Pioneer DVD recorder coming out wih hard drive. The unit has basic 3 day TIVO service (which is free).
 

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Correct, you have to set the timer seperately on both the cable box and the DVD recorder. Yes, its a PITA, no excuse really, but with a digital cable box its really just a matter of selecting the program off the program guide (two button pushes) so its no big deal for me anymore.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I'm lost on how you set the cable box for recordings. Charter told me you can't do timer recordings with the box. You can only record what channel the box is set to.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Resist
I'm lost on how you set the cable box for recordings. Charter told me you can't do timer recordings with the box. You can only record what channel the box is set to.
Newer cable boxes can do this, older ones cannot. Your cableco might be dealing in antique equipment!


If this dual-timer setting is a pain you could also ask your cableco if they are going to be offering a PVR or DVR (Personal Video Recorder - Digital Video Recorder, both names are in vogue right now). I have heard mixed reviews of one of these boxes (Scientific Atlanta 8000) that is a combo of DVR and cable tv box that some cablecos are offering.


My choice would be to go with a DMR-E80 and separate box instead of the cable company DVR.


For more info on cableco DVRs... go to dslreports.com/forums/4/ (sorry, I cannot post a hotlink here yet) and look for your cable company... browse through the forum for your comapny and see if anyone mentions PVR/DVR fpr your company, or make a new post there. THe forums are mostly for Internet-via-cable related issues, but people there would probably know if Charter in your town is offering integrated DVRs.


I just looked at the charter.com website and could find nothing on DVRs...
 

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Well my local cable company Bright House Network formally Time Warner Cable has the explorer 8000 box which they charge the regular rent of 7.00/month plus their DVR service fee which is 10.00/month per box or 6.95/month per box for high speed internet customers. You can also go Dish Network and get a free PVR from them with I think a 5 buck per month service fee. I have DirecTV and You can get a DirecTV DVR powered by Tivo for 200 bucks or less for new customers which is an all-in-one box so you select your show and press record and your done. You can also in the future get a DVD Recorder and just use the Save to VCR feature. The monthly fee goes on your DirecTV bill and is 5 bucks per month for all your DirecTV Tivo boxes or its free for total choice premier customers.


Hope this helps. Oh and if you see DirecTivo boxes that are 35 hours and than see regular Tivos with 80 hours just remember that those 80 hour tivos are only around 35 hours at best quality whereas the DirecTivo box has only one quality level and that is best. The DirecTivo box does no analog to digital conversion and vice versa. It records the digital stream from the satellite directly to the hard drive unchanged. They also have a newer model that has like 100 hours at best quality (only quality).
 

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Quote:
I kind of like the Panny but learned it goes from digital to analog and back to digital. I guess that really isn't much of a problem since my VCR is much wosre in picture quality.
I'm not sure what you mean by this. Any video signal being sent to either the DVD recorder or VCR will be an analog signal (composite, s-video, CATV/OTA antenna). This is the case for any source -- direct antenna feed, satellite box, cable box, etc. The analog video signal will then be converted to a digital MPEG video stream on the DVD recorder. From that point on, the recording can be kept digital for any further editing/copying.


The only situation where there is a digital to analog to digital conversion would be in copying from a TIVO or ReplayTV unit to a DVD recorder. In this case, the original video signal (analog unless you have a DirecTV/TIVO combo unit) gets converted to digital MPEG. Then you would send the video stream to the DVD recorder via an analog connection (composite or s-video), where it would get re-encoded as a digital MPEG stream.


The only current way to transfer any type of video completely in the digital realm to a DVD recorder would be via firewire from a digital camcorder to a recorder with a firewire input. Even in this case, though, there will still be a format conversion from MiniDV (or Digital8) to MPEG.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Resist
I kind of like the Panny but learned it goes from digital to analog and back to digital....I also understand the Panny will only playback it's recordings on another Panny? That is kind of limiting.
All consumer DVD recorders have the same limitations of no digital to digital copying and no copying of commercial DVD's. Were they to open up such features they would risk megabuck lawsuits over DMCA laws, the current climate which is definitely NOT in favor of this. The Pannys are no different in that regard than any other recorder, and all have similar feature sets and recording abilities in general. Pretty much anything out there has analog inputs only for this reason, and this then should not be a factor in a purchasing decision.


My E30 records disks that I regularly play back on my PowerBook. Finalization of a DVDR on a Panny virtually turns it into a disk with the same attributes as a commercial DVD, meaning it should play anywhere.


The only thing unique about formats on Panny's? No +R, no RW, and them being about the last bastion of DVD-RAM.
 
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