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DVD Recorder recommendations?

Silver

I don't have a handicap.
Dec 5, 2004
1,863
1
Hey guys...uh...hi :miz:

I've kinda been AWOL, but I'm still alive and well. Still playing (or hoping to play) golf but haven't had the winter for it this year. Still working on fitness, triathlons, health, and almost done law school. Yay.

To the point...everyone here has always had great recommendations re products, so I figured I'd ask. Our DVD recorder was a piece of trash and needed to be replaced. Our VCR as well. SWMBO isn't willing to go VCR'less just yet, best I can tell. I'm hoping to find an all-round positive solution to this mess.

I'm leaning towards HD DVDrs, she's leaning towards the cheapest DVD player/vcr combo unit possible

her - "we'll just tape things on the VCR!" -

me - "oh, you mean those things that keep screwing up 75% of the way through any given episode of ANYTHING you record?" -

her - "right, good point."

so I'm wearing her down and going in the right direction...but I don't have much of a starting place

What do you guys use and/or recommend?

We have full cable included in our rent - they just got digital upstairs, so if we got a digital cable box, we could have whatever programming they choose upstairs. We have crappy, unimpressive TVs. No fancy A/V systems in here.

Thoughts are appreciated!
 

demon

Hybrids are for girls
Oct 29, 2006
1,221
1
What kind of TV do you have? Getting an HD DVD player or cable is useless if your TV cant handle the resolution. I have a single disk DVD player that plays almost all formats of video, Divx, Xvid, VCD's, SVCD's, etc... I have the Toshiba 6980 DVD Player, Tivo, Digital Cable, and a Toshiba 42HM66 DLP. My DVD Player has Upconversion to 1080i but I cannot tell the difference. If you go with HDMI try to get a player with the cable because they cost about 50.00 minimum.
 
OP
S

Silver

I don't have a handicap.
Dec 5, 2004
1,863
1
  • Thread Starter
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  • #3
My tv's a piece of crap. It's irrelevant in the equation in the sense that it negates the any need for HD or anything fancy. I'm looking for functionality more than anything. HDMI and all that other crap mean nothing to me at this point.
 

Pa Jayhawk

Well-Known Member
Nov 15, 2005
7,126
25
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United States United States
We had a $500 Sony RDR-VX500 DVD recorder. It is a piece of garbage. The thing broke twice in 2 years, same thing, and they didn't cover it the second time because it was out of warranty. Not only that, we bought it through Sears, so Sony refused to even do the warranty work. A big part of the problem is they put a NEC ND-2500A Burner in the Sony product, which is a terrible drive and does not even recognize Sony Media. The first time it broke, they only fixed the terrible drive. The second time I figured it wasn't even worth my time to spend 20 hours for them to determine if Sony or Sears would handle it again, as Sony again refused on my first call.

Anyways, enough Sony product bashing, I have had success with alot of their product and even own stock in their company, but when you build a lemon product and provide lousy warranty service, you deserve bad publicity IMO.

I started looking for alternative to replace this one. After a little research, I found I could 3 years of Tivo for $300, and $68 for a box that allowed me to record 2 shows at once, and watch a 3rd that has already been recorded, or Watch one and record one. Or use Pause, rewind and fast forward on live TV. I always had a problem spending that kind of money on Tivo, even though my friends told me alot about it in the past. Doing the numbers I decided I had a DVD recorder for $500 that last less than 2 two years, how is $368 for 3 years a bad deal?? Granted the box only has a 1 year warranty, however the will cover parts for the life of the initial service contract. You can also buy the box in a store for around $200 if this one breaks.

You can also like get a very similar service through your cable provider for a monthly fee that comes to roughly the same amount, and they may replace the box if you have problems. I chose Tivo because my cable provider only had a box that allowed one recording at a time, they also required I go with Digital Cable, which I didn't want. You can get this box for free from Tivo, however I wanted the series that allowed two.

I have had it about 3 months, and there is no going back for me. I will use DVR's from here on out. I can also easily copy the shows off to my laptop, to my PSP or an iPod if you have one. Straight to a VCR or to a Dvd through the PC. Probably the biggest key is doing the season passes and not having to set it up ever again. The 80 hr model is 80 hours on the low setting, about 40 on next to best. Plenty for me even if I am on vacation for a week or so. I don't watch a ton of TV, and no longer need a TV Guide.

So I would consider that, but if you still choose a DVD recorder, I would get one with a HD, and steer clear of Sony. But from one who had just a little faith going into Tivo (or DVR's in general), it is certainly the best option IMO. If you pay monthly, or go less than 3years the contracts run higher, $300 for 3 years was upfront. My cable company wanted $8 a month, which I likely would have chose had I had digital and it did 2 shows. So check theirs as well.

Any questions, let me know. Here is a nice forum to get info on Tivo and DVR's
http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb/index.php?
and Tivo's Price Plans
http://www.tivo.com/2.0.plans.step.1.asp
It is alot cheaper to buy the box through Tivo if you are signing up. Although if you go elsewhere, they have rebates.
 
OP
S

Silver

I don't have a handicap.
Dec 5, 2004
1,863
1
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I like the TiVo idea, but it's functionality/support in Canada is..."limited."

I'm hoping to get something similar in a DVR type solution. I'll track something down.
 

Pa Jayhawk

Well-Known Member
Nov 15, 2005
7,126
25
Country
United States United States
I like the TiVo idea, but it's functionality/support in Canada is..."limited."

I'm hoping to get something similar in a DVR type solution. I'll track something down.
Didn't think of that, but again, you may want to check with your cable provider for similar DVR options. Most providers carry them.

FYI, something else I thought of, they also have DVD recorder options with DVR's. Not sure about Cable Providers but Tivo had them for around $99 with the service, just something else to consider.
 

demon

Hybrids are for girls
Oct 29, 2006
1,221
1
I wish the Tivo HD box was cheaper. I might go with something else since I really dont need there service anymore. Havy any suggestions for a HD DVR?
 

Pa Jayhawk

Well-Known Member
Nov 15, 2005
7,126
25
Country
United States United States
I wish the Tivo HD box was cheaper. I might go with something else since I really dont need there service anymore. Havy any suggestions for a HD DVR?
First to clarify. I assume you are refering to High Definition with HD, where with Silver my assumption was that he was in fact refering to Hard Drive by HD, in purchasing a DVD recorder with a Hard Drive.

As far as High Def, I think the problem you run into is the storage space required to store in the HD format. I believe it requires at least 4 times the space as the standard recording quality.

I do not own an HD TV, but I would assume for the $800+ you would spend on a HD DVR, I would likely opt to build my own Media Center from a PC or Laptop. Cost wise it would likely not be much more and would give you a great deal more functionality.
 

VtDivot

SLIGHTERED
Supporting Member
Apr 16, 2005
7,154
32
My HD DVR is included with my basic DVR package (4$ per month). My HD receiver (10$ per month) came equipped with DVR and just needed to be activated. I'd explore your local cable provider.

I wasn't a DVR fan before, I couldn't live without it now.
 
OP
S

Silver

I don't have a handicap.
Dec 5, 2004
1,863
1
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #11
The word that springs to mind when I think of getting the box supplied by my cable provider (which is an issue in and of itself given the nature of the basement suite and the cable that we have downstairs as a result) is "rape." $748 or 36 easy payments of $22 (=$792).

It's funny, just yesterday morning, one of the chicks on one of the radio stations was talking about how the best present she got this year was a TiVo box. Apparently the usability is fine up here, but the support/warranty/getting the box is more of the issue. Maybe it's worth looking into more, considering the price of the boxes as compared to other PVR solutions.
 

Pa Jayhawk

Well-Known Member
Nov 15, 2005
7,126
25
Country
United States United States
The word that springs to mind when I think of getting the box supplied by my cable provider (which is an issue in and of itself given the nature of the basement suite and the cable that we have downstairs as a result) is "rape." $748 or 36 easy payments of $22 (=$792).
Wow. Not sure if that is a good word for it or not. I would imagine in rape, there is some form of attraction involved. It sounds like your cable company is just in it for the money.

One other question though, that may possibly explain this, but not sure. Back to what I brought up yesterday in Relation to "HD". If you are in fact getting a box for High Def, the equivalent for Tivo does in fact run $799, as it comes with a 250 GB Harddrive and will work with High Def. Not sure the standard boxs for Tivo will do the same. You will find the price of the boxes here, and I believe only the Series 3 is the only that works with High Def.
http://www.tivo.com/2.0.boxes.step.1.asp

So I guess if you intend to get High Def capability, and that in fact includes the 3 years of service, it would appear it may in fact be close to $300 cheaper than what Tivo will offer for 3 years and the box, with exception to the fact that you will not own the box. If however it is just for standard definition, then it would appear they are asking you to grab your ankles.


edit 1 - The entire concept of the abbr for HD is interesting, Hard drive, High Definition, I actually still think of it in the sense of High Density Floppy Disks :D
 

Bravo

Well-Known Member
Aug 27, 2004
5,822
15
I have a Tivo 40 hour DVR and a Panasonic combo DVD recorder/VCR. Our usage of tapes is rare, but I intend to use the box to convert some old tapes to DVD's as I did when I first got it about 18 months ago.

My model is the DMRE75. It has been discontinued but it works superbly.

I usually tell Tivo to record movies and then I burn them onto DVD's at about 25-30 cents a shot.

I am not familiar with the latest Panasonic offerings but if they have improved on this great versatile model - I would recommend the brand to you.
 

demon

Hybrids are for girls
Oct 29, 2006
1,221
1
a lot of the new products are going with HDD for hardrives, like some computers.
 
OP
S

Silver

I don't have a handicap.
Dec 5, 2004
1,863
1
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #15

Yeah, Wow is right. HD for hard drive in my case. My old 27" Sanya and Sony TVs don't warrant anything better. I'll change to HDD to avoid confusion (see below).

My model is the DMRE75. It has been discontinued but it works superbly.

I usually tell Tivo to record movies and then I burn them onto DVD's at about 25-30 cents a shot.

I am not familiar with the latest Panasonic offerings but if they have improved on this great versatile model - I would recommend the brand to you.

Thanks B! Just the kind of info I was hoping to get!

a lot of the new products are going with HDD for hardrives, like some computers.


HDD = hard disk drive...perfectly viable alternative.
 

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