Non-Mac Advice: DVD Recorders (DVDs and HDDs)

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Mhaddy, Dec 19, 2005.

  1. Mhaddy macrumors 6502

    Mhaddy

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2005
    Location:
    Canada
    #1
    Hi guys,

    I'm looking into buying a DVD recorder for my Mom for Christmas -- one for the TV, not a computer. Does anyone have any experience with ones that record onto DVDs and those that record onto a HDD? What features am I looking for if I want to get a mid-range model that is easy to use but offers longetivity? Is a HDD model worth forking over the extra couple hundred dollars or...? It would mostly be used for recording my Mom's soaps and whatever TV program / series that she can't watch. She wants something that is like a VCR to use (re: ability to program it to start taping in 2 hrs, etc.).

    Thanks for the input guys! :)
     
  2. richjtg macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2005
    Location:
    UK
    #2
    HDD versions do have some benefits such as not having to worrying too much whether you have enough space left on a disc before recording - handy if you want to start recording in a rush.

    They are also good if you want to edit something (say, take out the ads) before archiving it/lending it out.
     
  3. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #3
    You also get more flexibility w/the HDD recorders in regards to automatic recording. For example, you can program the thing to record a bunch of shows and not have worry about always have a blank DVD in the system. It's kinda like a poor man's Tivo.


    Lethal
     
  4. Mhaddy thread starter macrumors 6502

    Mhaddy

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2005
    Location:
    Canada
    #4
    I think I've decided on a DVD version because if we subscribe to Cogeco HD, then their receiver has a built in 80GB HDD that can be used to record content. Now the challenge is deciding which DVD version to get, and I think I've narrowed it down to the following:

    LG LRA-536 (http://www.futureshop.ca/catalog/proddetail.asp?logon=&langid=EN&sku_id=0665000FS10061644&catid=) for $299 CDN and the Sony RDRGX315 (http://www.futureshop.ca/catalog/proddetail.asp?logon=&langid=EN&sku_id=0665000FS10065042&catid=) for $349. The advantage of the Sony is the dual-layer capability, but the advantage of the LG is the ability to read DivX and XviD discs. So added capacity with the Sony, for less flexibility.

    Thoughts?
     
  5. NYmacAttack macrumors 6502

    NYmacAttack

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2005
    Location:
    NY
    #5

    Depends if you are going to spend the extra money on DL disks. Also the ability to read DivX is a nice feature. Id go with the LG unless you must have DL
     
  6. shdwsclan macrumors member

    shdwsclan

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2005
    #6
    I would suggest a media center PC with Windows Media Center Edition.
    It has a capture card/broadcast card so you can record regular NTSC/PAL. You can upgrade to an HD component, rgb, DVI, or HDMI capture card. If you are using cableTV or terrestrial, then all you need is a regual HDTV tuner card. There are few DTV/HD capture cards out on the market but thats changing rapidly. The pc comes with burning software thats already built in. It comes with a DVDRW too. When the HD format and the HD war heats up, you won't be stuck with a POS. You can always upgrade to a HDDVD, BluRay or a BluRayHDDVD combo drive in the future. You can always build your own and if you dont like MCE there is a LINUX version but its very basic. Also, you have firewire and ethernet so you can have macs and pcs alike grab videos from the hard drive. The media center will play divXs, DVDs, HDDVDs, BluRays, HVDs, OGGs, MKVs, Reals, QTs etc....Also, most come with a 5.1 decoder card bulit in. Did I mention internet access and a remote, wireless keyboard, and gyroscopic mouse. As long as you dont set access privaledges, the NTFS partitions will allow machines that can read ntfs (macOs, linux, winxp) to grab files of if you want to put divXs on your Ibook or labtop for mobility......

    My MCE
    SilverStone Aluminum Black Vacuum Case(the one with the LCD)
    MSI K7N2G ILSR (wifi,bluetooth,ir,gforce4 rgb+svideo,firewire,usb2.0,5.1surround,etc)
    AMD 2400+
    768 DDR Ram
    Seagate 250gb
    Pioneer DVR-A08 DVDRW
    Enermax Multi-18 in 1 reader UC-9FATR2
    Generic Floppy
    MIT MyHD MDP-130

    Thermaltake Silent Water Liquid Cooling System # CL-W0065 (with processor waterblock)
    FluidXP+
    Asetek Chipset Block
    Koolance Hard Drive Liquid Cooler Kit #HD-40-H06
    ...what can I say...I'm obsessed with liquid cooling

    You can probably get a cheaper system for about $400 if you build or buy from a manufacturer like dell...
     
  7. Mhaddy thread starter macrumors 6502

    Mhaddy

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2005
    Location:
    Canada
    #7
    That would be great if it were for me, but there's not a chance in hell that my Mom would be able to figure that stuff out ;).

    I think I'm going to go towards the LG because DL discs, ATM, are way too expensive (I know they'll come down, but so will SL discs) and the ability to read DivX and XviD clips will be incredibly handy.

    Thanks!
     
  8. shdwsclan macrumors member

    shdwsclan

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2005
    #8
    I see your difficulty, MCE is pretty simple OS and is nothing like a window based os. The problem is the setup takes some technical skill, even for a ready made unit.

    You probably want divX but thats optional, since its for your mom. What can I say, look for a large harddrive, and possibly dual layer capability.

    A lot of them have tivo but tivo isn't a free service. Tivo needs an internet connection to sync its service. The microsoft world is all about synchronization. Tivo is good if your out of the house a lot and you have shows going on. You really dont need it if you need to record once in a while.
     
  9. balamw Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    New England
    #9
  10. shdwsclan macrumors member

    shdwsclan

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2005
    #10
    I guess there is a free service.....well thats all you need if your mom wants to record a show as she is running out of the house or something. Some of the features in the plus service should be in basic.
     
  11. Mhaddy thread starter macrumors 6502

    Mhaddy

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2005
    Location:
    Canada
    #11
  12. balamw Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    New England
    #12
    Sorry for the confusion. I was merely replying to the comment that the TiVo enabled DVD recorders' TiVo service was not free. It is, though it is very limited compared to the full TiVo service.

    The only DVD recorders I know of that are also TiVos are from Pioneer and Toshiba, and are not officially available in Canada, though just like DirecTV/Dish Network I am sure there are plenty of unofficial users north of the border.

    B
     

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