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DVD Recorder

Discussion in 'Electronic Repair' started by Buck Turgidson, Jan 21, 2007.

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  1. I am not very tech savvy and up on the latest stuff. I have had bad luck
    with VCRs lately, and am too cheap to pay the monthly Tivo fee. Do DVD
    recorders allow a DVD to be re-written over and over like a video tape?
    Are they are viable replacement for a VCR?

    Thanks for any help.
  2. lsmartino

    lsmartino Guest

    Buck Turgidson ha escrito:
    Yep! You can buy a DVD recorder and use DVD-RW or DVD-RAM media with
    it, and record over and over the same disc, just like a VCR tape. Also,
    you can use DVD-R media, but that is a write once media.

    All in all, a DVD recorder is better than a VCR.
  3. Meat Plow

    Meat Plow Guest

    Yes with a DVD-RW or DVD-RAM.
  4. Probably but a unit with a hard drive would be a big improvement. Been using
    computers with tuner cards for ~10 years. Comparing a DVR to a VCR or
    recording to a disc is like comparing a typewriter to a word processor. Once
    you've paused live TV there's no going back.

    I agree about the fee though.
  5. N Cook

    N Cook Guest

    What would you say the number of write /read/erase cycles could you go
    through before excessive dropout or whatever finally stops the repeated use
    of one disc. ? How many cycles before the play quality is noticeably
    downgraded but still playable . ?
  6. lsmartino

    lsmartino Guest

    N Cook ha escrito:

    That´s an interesting question. I have a Panasonic DVD recorder
    (DMR-ES10) since mid-2006, and i have tried it with DVD-R, DVD-RW and
    DVD-RAM. This is what I have found so far:

    a) DVD-R: you can write to it once, or several times in an accumulative
    fashion. I mean, let´s suppose that you want to store 4 hours of video
    in a disc, but you want to record half hour now, 1 hour tomorrow and so
    on. You can do that until the disc is full, but you can´t erase
    anything from it. I have made several recordings like that, and they
    are still playable. I think it´s matter of buying good quality media.

    b) DVD-RW: you can write and erase it as many times you want
    theoretically, but in practice they don´t endure very well that kind
    of use. Some discs had been able to sustain 100 record/play/erase
    cycles. Others have failed after less than that, like 10 cycles. It
    depends on the brand too. I have several Imation DVD-RW´s at hand who
    have survived a lot of abuse, and I have had Maxell DVD-RW´s which
    didn´t give me more than 10 record/play/erase cycles. Even I had one
    who failed just after formatting it, and it became unusable, even the
    computer refused to take it. I guess I had bad luck with that one and
    it came defective. In any case, this is all dependant on the recorder
    and the media brand used. I would expect different results with another
    machine, or with different combinations of media brands and DVD
    recording machines. Also I have found something interesting: there is
    no gradual loss of quality after a lot of use like it happens with a
    VHS tape. Instead of that the disc tend to fail completely, I mean, the
    recorder can refuse to take it, or it will only reproduce it but not
    record anymore, so it´s more like an all or nothing situation with
    DVD-RW media. It works or it doesn´t. No middle points. I guess this
    happens because it´s a digital medium.

    c) DVD-RAM: the most durable of all. I bought 20 of them as soon as I
    got the DVD recorder, and so far I have used just one of the discs for
    time shifting. The entire disc gets formatted as much as once or twice
    per week, and it´s still going strong. The plus side of using a
    DVD-RAM is that you can record something, and edit it using the DVD
    recorder, that´s one thing that can´t be done using a DVD-RW. The
    DVD-RW only allows you to erase a full segment, ot to keep it, but you
    can´t edit the segment. Also, after editing the DVD-RAM, you can
    reclaim the free space left by the editing and use it to record more.
    That´s something that can´t be done with a single VHS tape unless you
    make a copy of the edited version. Why is this useful? If you are doing
    a timer recording of a TV show, want to keep it, but also do you want
    to erase the commercials. You can erase the commercial after the
    recording, and also get some free space in the process. The only
    disadvantage of DVD-RAM discs is that they are not playable in most DVD
    players (unless they are designed to do that), while a DVD-RW can be
    playable by most DVD players after finalizing the disc.

    d) DVD recordable media costs at least 6 times less than comparable VHS
    tapes, at least in my country, and it´s becoming more easy to obtain
    than VHS tapes.

    e) Overall video quality is better than the one you get of a VHS vcr
    (excepting S-VHS ones), and also the sound quality is better.

    Of course, a lot of the final result will depend on proper handling of
    the discs. The same know handling rules for CD media applies to DVD
    recordable media.

    Summarizing: if you want maximum interchangeability, but don´t care
    about having less read/writing cycles, use DVD-RW media. That way you
    will have a disc which can be playable by almost all DVD players. If
    interchangeability is not that important, then use DVD-RAM media. It
    cost´s more, but is the most durable.

    More info can be found here:
  7. I have a TV card in my PC. But I don't think I can FF or Revwind through
    the show. Plus, I have to sit and watch it on the monitor, which is not
    very comfortable.
  8. JR North

    JR North Guest

    Bullshit. DVD recorders have NONE of the flexibility of a VCR for real
    time recording. VCR: While recording a movie, If you miss Pause when the
    commercial appears, you can stop the tape, rewind to before the
    commercial start, and start recording when the movie starts again, sans
    commercial. You absolutely cannot do this with any format of DVD. If you
    miss the Pause, your screwed. Also, there is a delay, sometimes several
    seconds, before recording starts on a DVD recorder when Record or Pause
    is used. Makes real time recording or dubbing a tape from VCR to DVD
    VERY difficult to do properly. Sure, you can record over on a DVD-RW,
    but as I said, NO flexibility for editing or dubbing.

    lsmartino wrote:
  9. lsmartino

    lsmartino Guest

    JR North ha escrito:
    Nope, you are wrong. At least with Panasonic DVD recorders you can use
    a DVD-RAM disc. With a DVD-RAM you edit your movie, or show, *after the
    recording is made*, and you can cut any commercial or portion of the
    show. And if the DVD recorder has a internal harddisk, you record the
    show to the harddisk, edit it there, and then you produce the final DVD
    recording after all the editing is done, without loosing any quaility.

    No VCR can do that. If you don´t pause the recording live, you can´t
    edit the show unless you produce a second generation copy, which will
    be loosy, as it usually happens when one tries to copy anythin from an
    analog format to another analog format.

    I would expect that other brands of DVD recorders are able to use the
    DVD-RAM discs because they are very convenient for TV show recording.
  10. Try
    Don't expect long life out of the DVDRWs in one of these. They are trouble.
  11. JR North

    JR North Guest

    Well, for DVD recorder features to be "better" than a VCR, they should
    be not only be common and standard across the range of recorder brands
    and models, but intuitive as a VCR is for recording. My Sanyo DRW-500
    does not do DVR-RAM. Any poor schmuck who bought one thinking they are
    better than a VCR because it is "DVD" would be sorely disappointed at
    the lack of aforementioned flexibility. MY Toshiba D-R4 does DVR-RAM,
    but to perform as you suggest, requires not only complete familiarity
    with the remote and ALL menu functions, but also laborious chaptering of
    the offensive sections for deletion. Sure, you can do it, but it's not
    intuitive, particularly easy, or, for that matter, doable by a large
    majority of the consumer public who cannot even program the clock on
    their VCR. How do you expect them to wade through the complicated menu
    functions req to edit a DVD-RAM after the fact?
    The video and audio quality on a DVD is "better", but that's the extent
    of it.
  12. Arfa Daily

    Arfa Daily Guest

    Based on the amount of these that I see for repair - probably 8-10 a week on
    average - I would have to say that they are the most unreliable piece of
    consumer technology to come out in the last 30 years. They can be very picky
    about what media they work reliably with, and even which make. They suffer
    all sorts of software upgrade problems, and the sorts of faults where you
    think that the owner is mad or doing something wrong. For instance, I
    currently have one in where on some commercially pressed discs, you can't
    turn the subtitles off - others it's fine. I have another where timed
    recordings just won't happen. These are both big-name machines. In fact,
    I've found that some of the longest lived ones are actually the cheapo
    supermarket specials, although these tend to have poorly made power
    supplies, and you've got bulging caps on your hands after 12 months.

    Another problem that you may have is that if it does go wrong out of
    warranty, you won't have much luck taking it to your friendly neighbourhood
    repair shop. The manufacturers are *very* anal about who they supply service
    info and spares to for this equipment - particularly so, Panasonic.

    All in all, I don't believe that this technology will replace the humble VCR
    for long. HDD recorders are far better at replacing - and indeed improving
    upon - the functionality of a VCR. My HDD recorder is built into my sat box,
    and has proved totally reliable at its job. My recommendation to anyone
    wanting to invest in a new recorder, would be to spend a little bit more,
    and get a HDD recorder, with a DVD recorder built in. That way, the HDD
    section does all of the time shift day to day donkey work, and if you need
    to get a recording physically off the HDD, you can archive it to disc via
    the DVD writer.

  13. neon


    Oct 21, 2006
    TVO is a hard disk drive system you can buy one and record off the TV input into your computer one 300mega drive will record 50 60 hours. then you may record off the drive any portion any time anywhere. you need software to do that and the quality is very good. two way to erease a dvd just the FAT table or all of the data. one is fast the other is longer but complete all the data will be overwritten.Scratches is the enemy of dvd fingerprint no big deal mild soap soft cloth will do it.
  14. My recommendation to anyone

    Can you buy an HDD recorder that doesn't require a monthly fee to Tivo or
    the like? I just don't like the idea of being beholden to someone for
    whatever amount a month.
  15. Arfa Daily

    Arfa Daily Guest

    Yes indeedy. There are many makes and models with regular tuners for
    terrestrial and cable transmissions. Just Google on " HDD recorder ". I'm
    sure that you will find many in your locality.

  16. b

    b Guest

    couldn't agree more.

    (caution -soapbox comes out....)So much for technological 'progress'.
    I'm growing to hate optical media in general and dvd-rws especially.
    Sad thing is, if the manufacturers had perhaps spent a little more on
    critical components and made an effort designing units with decent
    airflow, my workshop wouldn't be full of stacks of carcasses of those
    things. optical media plus cost cutting nature of today's consumer
    electronics= bad news.

    I also agree with the 'all or nothing' nature of optical media
    mentioned by another poster, making it a poor choice for archiving as
    recovery is so hard. Not only that, but even those 'obsolete' tapes
    the retailers are telling us must be dumped in favour of this optical
    crap seem to survive better - I have cd-rs burned about 6 years ago ,
    stored carefully and now unreadable. I have tapes, some even from the
    1950s, all of which (barring the acetate based ones) ) play perfectly.
    Ok, maybe I was lucky, but to my mind if something such as dvd-rw or
    cd-rw is so new and hailed as a technological advance, it should not
    fail so often and so soon, as this makes a mockery of the whole
    format's claims.

    rant off now ;-)
  17. lsmartino

    lsmartino Guest

    JR North ha escrito:
    I agree that right now there is a lack of standardization, but in the
    end there will be a standard. DVD Recorders have a long way to mature,
    but the basic technollogy is very promising. VCR recorders also took
    several years to mature as the final product we all knew. For my
    personal tastes, I prefer a DVD recorder over any VCR... even after
    having had in the past several models and VCR formats, including Beta.
  18. Search for (build your own pvr).

    Also see
  19. Guest

    Yep, got one running right now recording '24' in HD to be watched
    later. It's using an ATI HDTV Wonder (got 3 of them). The MPEG files
    can be played across the network in real time in HD. The 'main'
    computer is the one connected to the DLP set via DVI. BUT, this rig
    only records Over The AIr (free) HD / SD digital TV. The computers are
    not anything special. 2 Athlon XP 3200s on Gigabyte with nVidia chipset
    boards. The first DVR was a Sempron 2500 with 512 meg RAM which worked
    just fine. You want big disc drives for this. I wouldn't bother with
    <120 gig as an hour of HD (19 megabit) will use 8 gigs.

    There are many tuner cards available from PCI to USB. If you haven't
    tried DTV yet, you're in for a treat.

  20. UCLAN

    UCLAN Guest

    Still waiting for a DUAL TUNER HDD that isn't a Tivo.
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