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  1. #1
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    DVD recorder question

    My old VCR is getting too unreliable - sound and picture quality is getting worse, even with new tapes. I'm thinking of replacing with a recording DVD, perhaps with hard disk.

    What is your experience with these? Are they reliable? Are some brands better than others?

    As usual, I look forward to any advice. Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
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    What? No one made the switch?

    Can't believe no one's made this journey who could share some experiences. I know nothing about this technology and would welcome greatly any tips to help me make a short list. Thanks in advance.

  3. #3
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    Get the Lite On 5001

    You can get the Lite On 5001 Stand Alone DVD Recorder new online for about $175 with shipping. It's excellent and easy to use with the easy guide on the remote control. It'll take you 5 minutes to use this once you unpack it. It replaced my VCR several months ago. I basically use it to occassionally record TV shows (my HD DVR in the living room does the bulk of my recording from TV) & transfer video and 8mm tapes to DVD. It uses DVD+R & RW only. Your better off using DVD+RW as you don't have to format it after its recorded (If you use a regular DVD+R instead and you forget to format the DVD after recording, the DVD is ruined so you're best off using DVD+RW. I'm not sure of the timer recording function on this if that's a factor. It is progressive scan DVD player (you still need to set it on this) & you can use it as your main player as well. It records up to 6 hours. I notice a quality drop after 4 hours. It also records 5.1 sound and is a good basic no frills easy to use set.

    I'd also recommend you get an extended warranty from Lite ON on this was well.

  4. #4
    BooBs are elitist jerks shokhead's Avatar
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    I'm waiting for a TiVo/DVD recorder combo.
    Look & Listen

  5. #5
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    Unhappy Thanks

    The Lite On is being advertised by a local retailer - I'll go check it out.

    I guess that with technology changing so fast at the moment, with blue ray apparantly just around the corner, I'm a little scared of replacing one obsolete technology with another about to become obsolete technology. It would be nice to find something that will be around for a few years. My family uses the VCR a lot mainly to time shift programs - we rarely keep anything for long, and recycle our types until they start to become unuseable.

    I've been doing some reading about the convenience of hard disk based units, and must admit to being attracted by their seeming convenience. I say seeming, because I have no first hand experience. And I have no idea about their reliability or longevity.

  6. #6
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    I use my Harmon Kardon 31 DVD player to watch DVD's and on my HD TV the picture to me is perfect. I honestly can't imagine a DVD looking better even if it is Blu Ray or whatever but if it truly is then, I'll convert when the price is right. In regards to your DVD recorder, I'm not sure they even have DVD recorders (as opposed to DVR's) that record in HD and if they do they're quite expensive and probably will be for a few years to come so I wouldn't have that influence your purchasing decision. I remember when i got a Hi fi VCR on sale no less for like $700 & you can get one for $50 or so today! My first microwave cost $600 & you can get one for $100 today. The best thing about buying stereo equipment is everytime you upgrade you can get rid of your obsolete stuff on Ebay! I'd still recommend renting or buying an HD DVR myself.

  7. #7
    nightflier
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    Make sure it has a hard drive

    Quote Originally Posted by StanleyMuso
    My old VCR is getting too unreliable - sound and picture quality is getting worse, even with new tapes. I'm thinking of replacing with a recording DVD, perhaps with hard disk.

    What is your experience with these? Are they reliable? Are some brands better than others?

    As usual, I look forward to any advice. Thanks in advance.
    I have a Panasonic unit with a hard drive, and I record everything so that I can skip through the commercials (the remote has a 30 sec Commercial Skip button that is worth evrey penny of the unit). The hard drive allows me to record and erase w/o wasting disks, too; if I like something I burn it to DVD, but I seldom do. The only problem with Panasonic is that they are still trying to push their DVD-RAM technology that nobody else uses anymore so DVD-RW disks won't work on my player, only DVD-R (newer models may not have this problem, though, mine is a couple of years old). But I pay no Tivo fees with this unit and watching pre-recorded commercial TV has never been so enjoyable.

    P.S. I wouldn't worry much about Blue-Ray, the industry will be fighting that standards battle for years to come. Instead, I would worry about HDTV encryption that is being rammed down our throats. Apparently we won't be able to skip commercials and pre-recording shows may include a "recording fee" in the future. If that happens I will stop watching commercial TV altogether.

  8. #8
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    Yay DVD Shrink!

    Wow they're going to try to charge a recording fee in the future, never heard that one before but I believe it, the rich think we're all suckers. On that note, if anyone here is not aware, there is a free software program put on the internet (seach Google) by someone who should be awarded the Noble prize, called DVD Shrink that decrypts DVD's and let's you make personal clones for yourself. It seems to work 98% of the time. Without it you will not be able to make backups for yourself of most commercial releases.

  9. #9
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    Thanks fellas

    Your advice about the technology is sound. No point about worrying what may or may not arrive in the future. Since I will need to replace my VCR soon, I need to concentrate on what is available now and likely to serve my needs for a while. The more I read about hard disk based recorders, the more inclined I am to get one.

    My very short list at the moment are the Panasonic (80GB disk) because going up to the higher spec disk is expensive; the Pioneer (same disk considerations), and the LITEON HDD + DVD recorder (LVW-5045) with a 160 GB disk. This last is actually cheaper then the previous two with smaller disks. In addition, it supports all disk formats. However, I have not heard of LITEON before, and don't know what its quality reputation is like. Any ideas?

    Thanks a lot.

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