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DVD Recorder Help...What Do All These "+'s, -'s" Mean?....

by Psych Doc / January 12, 2006 10:25 PM PST

...And is it really that big a deal in real usage. In other words, If I got a unit that can only do "-" would it be able to play back a "+" disc made on someone else's deck? What are commercial DVD's...+ or - or is this even an issue with DVD, you get that are commercially made?


Any recommendations for a good DVD recorder with VCR built in that can record in either direction (DVD->VCR or VCR->DVD)?

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Compatibility is the key issue.
by dancrose / January 13, 2006 5:24 AM PST

If you use a DVD recorder that can record in the "-" format the discs will play on even older players. This format seems to be the same as commercial DVDs and I do all my recordings in this format when they are to be shared or archived as they can be used on virtually any player. As for a good lower priced DVD recorder I can highly recommend the Panasonic DMR-ES20. It is a new model out just a few months. In the $200 and under price range it just can't be beat for performance or quality. Also it can record and play DVD-RAM discs. This feature makes the machine perform similarly to a hard drive . You can record one program and watch another you already recorded ON THE SAME DISC AT THE SAME TIME. Also these discs, although a bit expensive, can be re-recorded up to 100,000 times. You can also watch what you are recording with only a few seconds delay. My machine seems durable, reliable, and looks great. I tried 3 other machines [even a Toshiba] before settling on this one. It can record in DVD-R, DVD-RW, DVD-RAM, DVD+R, and should satisfy all but the most discerning or professional. It automatically cleans up those old video tapes as they are copied. Dan

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by Psych Doc / January 13, 2006 5:33 AM PST

...Thanks Dan.

I pulled the trigger and just ordered the "big brother" of the unit you got, the Panasonic DMR-ES40VS based on CNET reviews and others. I probably would have gone for the Lite-On 9006 except it's out of production and no one has it. I think I got a pretty good deal from Circuit City. $275 + tax. No shipping. Now if I just don't get a box of sand I'll be really happy! LOL

Thanks again.

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Combination decks?
by dancrose / January 13, 2006 5:30 AM PST

Don't even consider buying a combo DVD recorder and VCR. You won't be able to copy back and forth in most cases and the results will be far less than satisfactory. With copyguarded material there is generally no way to add a Macrovision or any other copyguard eliminator . Buy stand-alone units as they are always more versatile. Also, when you have a problem with one recorder the whole thing is out of commission while it's being repaired. Upgrading either unit is a snap with stand-alone units, while in combos you have to replace everything to upgrade or replace.

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Combo is versitile
by HTHMAN / January 13, 2006 3:32 PM PST
In reply to: Combination decks?

I love my Pioneer combo unit. With a combo, you can still hook up a stand alone VCR or DVD player to it if you have to strip the Macrovision-there are pleanty of inputs. Also, you could probably hook the stripping unit between the VHS output and the DVD input on the combo and play the VHS tape and burn the DVD rather than using the 1 button dubbing. As far as dubbing, you get much cleaner starts and stops with a combo unit. I have a Dish DVR hooked to mine so I can record from Dish to DVD or VHS, from the DVD recordings to DVD or VHS, dub VHS to DVD or from DVD to VHS. And, it takes up half the space of separates. When you do dub, it could not be easier. I hit a couple buttons and come back later and it is done. Buy a Pioneer or Panasonic and you probably will not have to repair it.

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