Looking For DVD Recorder

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I have a Sony DVD recorder that I absolutely hate. Recently, I recorded something and got sound and no picture. The other day I recorded a movie, and got picture, but no sound. Well, if I turned the volume up to 100% I could make out what was being said. I’m pretty sure it’s the DVD recorder, and not the disks, but I have no clue.

So, I’m thinking of replacing it. I bought Sony because the TV is Sony, and I’ve never had a problem with Sony before, but I’m open to others. If I look at B&H, there are no Sony DVD recorders listed. Here is a list I narrowed down. B&H only has 5 DVD recorders.

Any thoughts or suggestions would be appreciated. I don’t need anything fancy. I like to record shows I can’t watch when they are on, and after watching them erase them and use the disks again. I won’t use it for anything else.
 
Joined
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The problem is copy protection on the source DVD. Use the DVD burner in your computer and load Linux, I use Ubuntu, and all your problems will vanish. There are many free programs for ripping DVDs that work great. AcidRIP is a good one that will give you a 700MB file AVI or MOV that looks decent. You can use other programs to do what you want without all the copy protection crap getting in the way.
 
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Joined
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I've been using the El Gato HD TV device with my Mac for a couple of years. It takes RBG (Component) outputs along with the normal stereo audio of my Cisco Cable box DVR. I've also used it with a Scientific Atlantic 8300 cable box. It converts the signal into proprietary format digital stereo file. From that you can watch it, edit removing the commercials or take Handbrake to convert it to mp4/m4v. I regularly copy Doctor Who episodes off the cable, pull out the commercials and make a DVD for my grand daughter away at college.
 
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I have a Panasonic VHS/DVD recorder. I originally got it so I could transfer my VHS tapes to DVDs. Now I use it to burn DVDs after I've recorded shows. I also have a TIVO that records shows that I like to watch so I don't miss them. TIVO has a season manager and once you set it to record a show, it records it whenever it comes on, even if the TV station changes the day and time.

Carole
 
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I don’t have a cable box if that makes any difference. The cable just comes into my DVD recorder, then to the TV.

I have a Panasonic VHS/DVD recorder. I originally got it so I could transfer my VHS tapes to DVDs. Now I use it to burn DVDs after I've recorded shows. I also have a TIVO that records shows that I like to watch so I don't miss them. TIVO has a season manager and once you set it to record a show, it records it whenever it comes on, even if the TV station changes the day and time.

Carole

A VHS/DVD recorder is what I have so I could watch my old VHS tapes, and maybe move some of them to CD’s. I’ve never used the VHS side.

Doesn’t one have to subscribe and have a cable box from the cable company to use a TiVo?

If it sounds like I’m behind the curve with this stuff, I am. I just like to be able to record a show I can’t be around to watch so I can watch it later and zip thru the commercials. I’m just tired of my current unit not recording picture or sound. It’s rare when it does that, but it’s frustrating when it happens.
 
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Yes, you have to have cable. We get cable included in my apartment rent :) I got my Tivo when they had a special. I got the Tivo box for free for signing up for two years. My two years was up last fall, but I won't give up Tivo as I don't have to remember to set it to record my favorite shows like I did with my Panasonic.

BTW, I've always had Panasonic from my very first VCR and they always lasted really well.

I also have a Philips DVD player that plays multi region DVDs and converts PAL to NTSC, so I can buy DVDs when I go to England or order them online. I LOVE my British comedies :)

Carole
 
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Also, if you need advice on which machine would suit your needs the best, you can email B&H or ask them on Facebook. They have people who answer your questions within a few hours :) They also have days when they have a whole team on Facebook and they answer questions live :)

Carole
 
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I also have a Panasonic DVD recorder. It's quite old but is still running. It includes a UHF/VHF tuner so you can record off air. It's inputs include RG-6 RF cable, composite (yellow RCA plug) and S-Video. Outputs are composite, S-Video and component (RBG). The highest resolution image it outputs is component (but you won't be able to get to the 720p resolution component is capable of because S-Video is as good as you can input. Composite is the lowest resolution. So you can play a DVD on it and send output to the El Gato device to convert to digital. Again, even though component can deliver 720 HD DVDs are only 480 so that's what you get. You also can record an on air program to DVD. The DVD recorder was so good the audio-video industry quashed it; that's why there are no HD DVD recorders. Furthermore, to make choices even narrower the industry has recently agreed to stop putting RBG (component) inputs and outputs on their equipment.

DVI (digital video interface) was used as a step up from component. It's that strange rectangular plug with several rows (3x8?) of pins along with a 1/4" long blade at one end. You still see them on some monitors. This permitted 1080i and 1080p but you had to run a separate audio cable with it. The industry quashed it in favor of the (physically inferior) HDMI plug because that permitted HDCP protocol. HDCP 'handshakes' between the two pieces of equipment. If the content is encoded it will not connect. Thanks guys! :mad:

Bottom line, despite the Panasonic DVD recorder and OPPO Blu-Ray player I rely on my El GAto Eye TV HD box to take component input from cable box to record. I have a Blu-Ray burner and use Makemkv to rip all my DVDs and Blu-Rays to digital and put it also on my Mac Mini home theater computer.

Lots to know. If you want a good place to start to get smart go to avsforum.com They cover every facet of video technology and home theater. I'm a HT geek, if you haven't guessed by now.
 
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Lots to know. If you want a good place to start to get smart go to avsforum.com They cover every facet of video technology and home theater. I'm a HT geek, if you haven't guessed by now.

That's a great site...! Scott Wilkinson (avsforum.com) also has a weekly show on TWiT TV and you can
watch all the previous episodes on demand as well...

http://twit.tv/show/home-theater-geeks/163

@ Gary...

Try contacting your cable company and see what deals they may have for DVR's... They may have a
deal that only costs a few bucks a month including supplying the DVR... It's a lot less hassle than what
you're doing right now and a lot better experience... You could set it up once and it will automatically
record all your shows for you, easy-peasy...

Just a thought... :wink:
 
Joined
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Also, if you need advice on which machine would suit your needs the best, you can email B&H or ask them on Facebook. They have people who answer your questions within a few hours :) They also have days when they have a whole team on Facebook and they answer questions live :)

I do have cable, I just don’t have a cable box, and don’t want one. Cable comes into my DVD recorder and to the TV. I supposed I could try chatting with B&H, but their selection is very small. Even smaller at Newegg.

I'm a HT geek, if you haven't guessed by now.

LOL. Doing research on this type of equipment is like trying to learn the most difficult foreign language out there. I just don’t understand it. I can build a computer from scratch, but DVR, TiVo? Might as well be talking Greek. It was a lot easier when I bought this DVD recorder a few years ago, but I feel like I’m in over my head now.

@ Gary...

Try contacting your cable company and see what deals they may have for DVR's... They may have a
deal that only costs a few bucks a month including supplying the DVR... It's a lot less hassle than what
you're doing right now and a lot better experience... You could set it up once and it will automatically
record all your shows for you, easy-peasy...

Just a thought... :wink:

That’s a thought, but I give them Way too much money as it is. I’ll look at it. It seems like most of this stuff only works if you subscribe to the service from the cable company, and As I said, they get way too much of my money as it is, specially when they remove good channels with no notice and never add anything back.
 
Joined
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Aberdeen, WA USA
How much money were you expecting to pay for a DVD recorder...?

You can buy a TiVo with a lifetime service contract and never have to pay a monthly
service fee...

http://www3.tivo.com/promo/dvrstrea...streambundle&gclid=CLy2sbmd7rcCFeh_Qgod5B4Amg

I've also heard that you can buy them cheaper used off ebay with a transferable lifetime
contract...

Don't know if you're at all intersted but just another thing to think about... :wink:
 
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The more I read about DVR’s and TiVo’s, the less I’m interested. Buying from TiVo is cheaper than doing it from the cable company, but one needs something called a cable card from the cable company for it to work, and I don’t have one, or even know what one is. TiVo replaces a cable box, an item I do not have. Cable comes into my DVD recorder, then to the TV from there.

I’m not a huge TV fan. Some nights I never turn it on. I really only record the occasional program I can’t be home to watch, or there is something else on at the same time. I might go weeks without recording anything. Last night I could not be home, so I set the DVD recorder to record two shows. It never recorded a thing. I got home a little after 10:30 and the recorder was supposed to be recording a show at that time. The recorder was on, but there was a blinking red circle with the line thru it, and I know that meant something was wrong, so it recorded nothing.

I’m not sure what a budget would be. $300 maybe for something that would sit a whole lot more than it would get used. Having a selection of movies and all the other stuff that comes with a TiVo would just be a bunch of stuff I’d be paying for that I would not use. I’m scratching my head on what to do.
 
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The more I read about DVR’s and TiVo’s, the less I’m interested. Buying from TiVo is cheaper than doing it from the cable company, but one needs something called a cable card from the cable company for it to work, and I don’t have one, or even know what one is. TiVo replaces a cable box, an item I do not have. Cable comes into my DVD recorder, then to the TV from there.

The cable card is something you get from your cable company. It's free and it's called an Mcard :) The nice thing about it (as least it was for me) was that I got more channels with the card than with just the cable. I didn't have a box either. We have cable in our apartments and we just plug into it - DVD recorder to the wall outlet.

The nice thing about Tivo is that you don't have to remember to set it every time to watch a particular show. You just enter that show into Season Manager, and Tivo automatically records it whenever it comes on. You can set it to record just new shows, or to record new and repeats. It's up to you.

Tivo also has specials where you get the DVD recorder for free for signing up for two years. That's how I got mine. And I'd never give mine up now :) My plan is $19.99 + tax per month. I think they are having one now as I saw it while surfing the net the other day

Carole
 
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Oregon
You should be a salesman for TiVo. I’ve been watching some YouTube videos about TiVo, and it still seems like overkill for my use, but I’ll keep it in mind. I didn’t think replacing my DVD recorder was going to be so complicated. The selection of plain old DVD recorders seems to be almost non existent. The choices were overwhelming when I bought mine 4 or 5 years ago.
 
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You should be a salesman for TiVo. I’ve been watching some YouTube videos about TiVo, and it still seems like overkill for my use, but I’ll keep it in mind. I didn’t think replacing my DVD recorder was going to be so complicated. The selection of plain old DVD recorders seems to be almost non existent. The choices were overwhelming when I bought mine 4 or 5 years ago.

Yea, Tivo, Nikon, MINI, whale watching in the wild, etc. :)

Carole :smile:
 

Growltiger

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You should be a salesman for TiVo. I’ve been watching some YouTube videos about TiVo, and it still seems like overkill for my use, but I’ll keep it in mind. I didn’t think replacing my DVD recorder was going to be so complicated. The selection of plain old DVD recorders seems to be almost non existent. The choices were overwhelming when I bought mine 4 or 5 years ago.

It is because DVD recorders are going the same way as Beta and VHS. Try to buy a VCR and you will find that difficult now.

Most people simply have the programs recorded automatically to a hard disk and then watch them and delete them. You only need the recorder to keep a long term copy. (Or they simply get them streamed so no need to record them.)

The other reason is that recorders are crippled by copy protection so you can't record HD quality to them, so even a BD recorder can only give a lower quality image.

Once you have used a PVR you won't want to go back.
 
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Everyone that has DVR or TiVo says they will never go back, and wonder how they survived without one. It’s overkill for what I need/want, but I’ve made no decisions yet. I’ll see how difficult it will be to get a cable card from Charter, then go from there. Every time I turn on my DVD recorder now, there is a nasty grinding noise that lasts for about a second. Getting a bad disk that won’t record anything, and I miss what I wanted is kind of old, tho I usually get over it quickly. The other day I set it to record “The Hangover” as it’s one of those movies I can’t get enough of. I got picture but no sound. TV and access to movies is about the lowest priority I have. Some nights, I never turn the TV on at all.
 
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Thought I would update this thread for those that gave me info and helped in this thread. I ended up going with the Magnavox MDR537H 1TB HDD & DVD Recorder with Digital Tuner. It is not called a DVR, but it has a 1TB hard drive and can also record to DVD’s or CD’s. The hard drive has been very nice. It also has the ability to pause and rewind live TV, a feature I am getting to like and without any subscription. The price has gone up since I bought it, but I watched it go up and down every day before I did buy it. So far, I’m pleased with my choice.
 

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