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What Happened to DVD/HDD Recording?

by simpleuser01 / February 8, 2009 4:45 AM PST

I currently have a Panasonic DMR-E85H dvd/hdd recorder.
It works great! However, it has an analog tuner.
After several Emails to Panasonic, they tell me that the tuner can not be replaced with a digital tuner, which means I have to hook it to a converter box. Converter boxes are un-programmable, so I'm limited to recording only one channel, unless I'm present to change the channel on the converter box!!
I asked about replacing the whole unit, and Panasonic tells me that they no longer sell a DVD/HDD recorder.
This is untrue, as, they sell a LOT of them overseas!! WHY DO THEY NOT SELL ANY IN THE USA??
This brings me to my main question.
No one is selling them in the USA!! The ONLY place I can find one is a Wal-Mart. They have a Philips DVD/HDD recorder. I'm starting now to find out that even Philips is going to drop it after this year!!
What Is Going On?
If you're in Europe, you have hundreds to choose from. But here in the good ol USA, you have NONE!!
Unless, of course, you want to subscribe to a cable or satellite service who provides a DVR -- FOR A PRICE!!
I can not afford to subscribe to cable or satellite! Not only that, I will not do business with Brighthouse!! They are a crooked company, and they do not care about the customer! They tell YOU what you can get, they don't care what you actually WANT!! No! I will not deal with Brighthouse!
I smell some kind of corruption here!! Are the subscription services doing something to prevent the sell of these machines?
What am I missing here?
Someone please help me!!

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by Coryphaeus / February 8, 2009 7:07 AM PST

They're overseas. Companies go where the market is. You may be the only person in the US that wants this function.

You pay for functionality and versatility.

What you're missing is that you're in the minority.

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Yea, overseas
by simpleuser01 / February 21, 2009 12:48 PM PST

Yea, that's all I can find is overseas.
That don't answer my question.
If I'm in the minority, then why does Wal-Mart keep running out of stock on the Phillips 160GB unit they carry??? Every time they get a stack of them on the shelf, they sell out!!!
Doesn't sound like I'm in the minority to me!!
There is a big market for a DVD/HDD recorder that doesn't need a subscription or cable to operate.
There is something wrong when the selection is big and wide overseas, and we have none here in the USA!!
No, There is some kind of corruption going on.
I'm trying to save up to buy the Phillips from Wal-Mart before they drop them, which I'm sure they will.
The way things are going, by the time I can buy one, Phillips will have gone overseas too!!
This is a shame, and a scam!!

Panasonic should at the very lease, offer a tuner upgrade for the units we already have!!

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by slobra232v / February 22, 2009 12:46 PM PST

due to US copyright laws it is harder and harder to find a DVR/HDD that is not subscription based (Tivo, Sat. Provider,Cable Provider)

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by simpleuser01 / February 23, 2009 3:30 AM PST
In reply to: reason

How can copyright laws possibly effect the sale of DVD/HDD recorders??!!
If that was true, then the same laws would also apply to DVD only recorders as well!! The fact that the machine also records to a hard drive has nothing to do with copyright!!
In point of fact, the hard drive can not be removed and played on a different machine, where a DVD can!!
NO, this has nothing to do with copyright. There is something else afoot.
This whole industry is quickly becoming corrupt!! It's us consumers that is going to get the shaft!!
Another thing. Copyrights apply worldwide!! True, they have to be applied in each country independently, but in the end, it's the same protection laws. If copyright laws prevented the sale of DVD/HDD recorders here in the USA, the same laws would prevent the sale overseas too!!
I still can't afford it yet, but, you can still buy a Phillips 160GB at Wal-Mart! I'm afraid that Phillips is going to go overseas themselves before I can afford to go to Wal-Mart!! If Wal-Mart can keep them in stock!!
NO, Copyright laws are not the answer.

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I got a replacement!
by simpleuser01 / March 14, 2009 6:50 AM PDT
In reply to: Copyrights?

Yea, I finally bought the Philips DVDR3576H/37 at Wal-Mart!!
It cost $300, and I can't afford it, but, this is the LAST DVD/HDD recorder left in the whole of the the USA!!! Unless you want to give in to the subscription services!!
No, I can't afford it, but, Wal-Mart can not keep them in stock!! I've seen whole stacks of them disappear within a week!! I finally saw 2 of them on the shelf, so I just had to plunge in and buy it.
What choice do I have?! If I waited until I could afford it, it very likely will be discontinued, with no replacement!! My stomach is in knots thinking about spending $300!!
I haven't hooked it up yet, but reading the manual, it seems to be very much like my Panasonic and it has more features than the Panasonic had. However, the Panasonic is several years old, which was my problem to start with!!
Panasonic has assured me that they are NOT going to help me!!!
Well, the deed is done!! I've got my DVD/HDD recorder with a digital tuner!! No thanks to the industry, who seems to be trying there very best to force subscription DVR's on anyone in the USA who wants to record to a hard drive!!
I say again...this whole industry is becoming more corrupt by the day!!

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I bought that!
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / March 14, 2009 6:56 AM PDT
In reply to: I got a replacement!

I own that model too. It's a little hard to program compared to my older RCA but the feature to burn a HDD video to DVD is pretty sweet.

You'll like this model (at least until your cable co goes digital.)

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Thanks for the encouragement!
by simpleuser01 / March 14, 2009 8:08 AM PDT
In reply to: I bought that!

After spending $300 on this, I need some encouragement!!
It seems to be very similar to my Panasonic, with a number of things my Panasonic did not have.
One downfall is the Philips does not have a EPG, where my Panasonic did. The upside is, the EPG in my Panasonic now does not work anyway because it received the info via the local PBS station, which has now shut off it's analog signal!!
So I still have no EPG. I guess I'll just have to print out a listing off the web once a week or so.
Also, the Philips has a digital tuner, so it doesn't need an analog signal.
I use an antenna anyway! I can't afford any subscription services!! With all the sub-channels available off the antenna, I really don't need cable!

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Lucky you found one!
by dilly1979 / May 6, 2009 11:22 AM PDT
In reply to: I got a replacement!

The Philips DVDR3576H is going to set a record for actual appreciation of investment. Since these are no longer being produced, the remaining ones are now going for hundreds of dollars OVER retail, if you can even find one. Those few that show up at a random WalMart get snapped up and bid on Amazon for $499-1200, and rebuilt ones are currently $350-400 on eBay. This is absolute insanity. Why hasn't the market allowed these DVD recorders with Hard Drives and ATSC tuner exist??? I smell a huge stinky Hollywood RAT! This would be a good topic for cNet to do an investigative report on.

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Did some digging
by simpleuser01 / May 6, 2009 12:35 PM PDT
In reply to: Lucky you found one!

Yea, I've got it, but I haven't had time to hook it up yet. I've read the manual but the machine is still in the box. Soon....
Anyway, two things.
First, it seems that the new TiVo machines can not be used without subscribing. That option is out!
Second, I found out that the reason you can't buy a HDD/DVD recorder in the USA is BECAUSE of TiVo!! They sued and won the right to HDD recording in the USA!! They claimed patent infringement! How they could have won such a lawsuit is beyond me. But then I never thought this country would go socialist/Communist either, but look at what's happening!!
The good news, if I've got it right, is that the patent runs out next year and the machines will start selling again!!
And it seems that TiVo is having financial troubles too!! To Each His Reach!! They reached too far!!
Hopefully, we will have our pick of HDD/DVD recorders next year!!

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[OT] huh?
by Pepe7 / May 7, 2009 1:18 AM PDT
In reply to: Did some digging

What does output from a patent infringement case have to do with your odd proposition that this country has 'gone socialist'(?)

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by simpleuser01 / May 7, 2009 5:31 AM PDT
In reply to: [OT] huh?

One has nothing to do with the other except to say that I don't understand how either happened.
I don't understand how TiVo can grab the whole HDD/DVD recording industry clean out of the USA!! How is it possible for them to win a lawsuit like that?! It's like Microsoft winning a lawsuit to stop all other operating systems from being sold.
We here in this country, a "free" country, can not buy a simple machine like that, yet they sell thousands of them overseas!!
It's just not right!!
I hope that next year, things will change. I hope my information on that is correct!!

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playing the devil's advocate
by Pepe7 / May 7, 2009 9:48 AM PDT
In reply to: Nothing

I completely sympathize with your point of view, but consider this scenario first before you sign off on the idea as ludicrous.

Pretend that you own a small business which obtains much of its revenue/came into existence from a patent on a process that you've invented. Your employees, funds and time went into inventing a particular process that pays your bills/allows you to exist as an entity. Wouldn't you want to have some degree of protection over what you rightfully invented(?) Granted, we don't know enough of the specifics regarding the TiVo case, but what if what happened in TiVo's case happened with a friend or familar members livelihood(?) You probably wouldn't complain as such. Life can sometimes be a double edged sword, eh?


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by jmarsltd / July 3, 2009 7:34 PM PDT
In reply to: Nothing

TiVo by itself did not have the 'clout' to pull these great machines. Notice that the 'cable' and 'dish' providers all offer a recorder w/HDD. I think they 'suckered' TiVo into paying for the court battle and now they are all going to the 'bank'. I noticed that (Jun 09) has a new one. Look for a come back.

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I didn't make the above post...
by dilly1979 / May 8, 2009 4:33 AM PDT
In reply to: Lucky you found one!

I don't know who or how but someone else made the above post with my user name.

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Recorders in the USA
by bearvp / May 8, 2009 1:36 AM PDT

DVD/HDD Recorders aren't very popular in the USA because of how people have adopted DVRs with their television viewing. DVRs are more intuitive, easier to learn, and more available from content providers than DVD Recorders. Also, the days of recording shows on VHS to watch down the road are over due to and Netflix. Add in the ability for some DVRs to offload their saved content to PC's or external Hard-drives and the usefulness of DVD recorders really is diminished.

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walmart HDD
by winniepoah / May 8, 2009 1:45 AM PDT
In reply to: Recorders in the USA

walmart also now has the magnavox 2160a HDD/dvr in stock for $249 on their site to store.
Just got mine my eamil that it is in, but I have not picked it up yet
Some people have trouble finalizing the dvd on it I have heard at

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It seems like...
by Pepe7 / May 8, 2009 2:53 AM PDT
In reply to: walmart HDD

...there are other issues with those players as well if you poke around more @ AVS. IMNSHO, it's a function of the margin being too low to really make it less than worthwhile for Funai (etc.) to produce a more reliable machine. The costs would outweigh the accounting benefits of writing the less quality/current production models off as lemons/returns/etc. It all boils down to the fact that if we were all more willing to pony up more $$ for better quality products (non-walmart, mind you) this sort of thing would not happen as often.


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Actually they are!
by simpleuser01 / May 8, 2009 1:33 PM PDT
In reply to: Recorders in the USA

Every time Wal-Mart get the odd Philips machine in, it fly's off the shelf!
The reason they're perceived not to be popular is because no one can buy one!! DVR's, (save the Philips machine), are the only option people have right now!!
In order for a DVR to work, Any DVR, you have to have a subscription to some service, be it cable or satellite. I understand that the older TiVo machines would work stand-alone, but the newer ones require a subscription.
I'm thinking about the poorer folks such as myself. I can't afford cable or satellite. I will not do business with BrightHouse cable anyway, they are a crooked company, way overpriced, and refuses to work with their costumers. Another story.
I want to be able to record off an antenna onto a hard drive to either be watched later or burned to a dvd. Simple as that!
Most of the stuff I record just gets watched at a later time then deleted. Some stuff I keep.
The point is, there is no subscription service involved!!
You can't do that with a DVR.

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Found Upcoming Problem...
by simpleuser01 / July 5, 2009 3:05 AM PDT
In reply to: Actually they are!

I've got my Philips up and running, but I see another problem coming. A problem that is deliberately caused by the industry!
First, let me say that the difference in a DVR and a machine like the Philips, is that you can dub shows you want to keep onto a DVD, whereas with a DVR, you can't!
Now, I'm finding that some shows that I record on my HDD has a block on them which prevents them from being dubbed to a DVD!!
It's as I've said from the start of digital tv. The main reason for digital tv is to control that pesky record button!! They could not do that with analog, now with digital...THEY ARE DOING IT!!
It just started way sooner than I expected, and in ways which I did not expect.
Most shows that I record can still be dubbed to a DVD for keeping. However, more and more shows have some kind of block which keeps my < dubbing > tab grayed out!! There's also a symbol of a DVD with a line through it on the thumbnail!!
I was in Wal-Mart the other day, and I noticed that there was not ONE DVD recorder for sale!! Every machine was just a player!!
This is the end result of digital tv.
I've been recording shows since the middle 80's. Now the industry is out to stop ALL recording!!! Soon we will not be able to keep Any shows!!
Break out the old VHS with a converter box!! Even then, I bet that you'll run into that old "picture in - picture out" bit, making even vhs recording imposable!!
Congratulations to the TV Industry!! You've shut down home recording, (except for DVR's which can't be dubbed.)!!
My solution...I just won't watch any shows that I think I might want to keep. Therefor, I won't know what I won't have...and I won't be buying any DVD releases either, because I won't be familiar with the show! Tell that to your marketing people!! I won't see your commercials either!! HA!!

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I'm been wondering this EXACT same thing....
by partypigtn / November 15, 2011 4:56 PM PST

Recently after years of being priced gorged I decided to drop the little expensive dish and move back into the world of OTA (Over The Air Broadcasting) (which American's need to start standing behind more btw before that too becomes confiscated and obliterated into yet another payable format). Anway....back to my story....

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Good idea, but...
by Dan Filice / November 16, 2011 3:11 AM PST

Keep in mind that the programming that appears either OTA or on a paid cable/satellite service, costs the providers money to get that signal to you. They want to be compensated for their efforts of providing you content. How do they get paid for this if everything is "free"? One way is through paid advertising, which is on many of the local OTA channels, but for everthing else, the content appears through some sort of paid service (cable or satellite box or TIVO) what requires a fee to receive the content. Seems like a conspiracy.

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Commercial Free
by Freetval / July 7, 2012 9:07 AM PDT
In reply to: Good idea, but...

Isn't that what commercial are paying for. The entertainment industry has twisted its values and has become so greedy that now it feels entitled and what's to hold the consumers hostage. When they first came out with cable they told the public that you were paying for commercial free entertainment, now you can't watch a show on cable without commercials unless you're willing to pay extra for movies. If the entertainment companies want to broadcast on public airwaves then they need to learn to live within their budget of commercials. Otherwise let someone else who can, seeing that they like to put all these laws in place restricting consumers I think they also need to have laws in place over seeing the quality of broadcasting. If they don't meet the consumer's expectations then they should lose their licenses for broadcasting.

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by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / July 7, 2012 9:57 AM PDT
In reply to: Commercial Free

I find some consumers also get into the entitled mode. That is, they feel entitled to no advertising for free viewing.

Just the flip side of your post?

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Commercial Free
by Freetval / July 7, 2012 10:34 AM PDT
In reply to: Mirror?

Very few people like commercials but yes that is what pays for the programming.

If the advertisers want people to pay attention to their adds then hey need to broadcast something that people don't mind seeing or what to see. That's what marketing is all about.

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And what I see is ugly.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / July 7, 2012 3:41 PM PDT
In reply to: Commercial Free

To tell the truth I opted out of cable, directtv and such 2 years ago. At 90 a month I couldn't justify it. So we use OTA, Amazon Video and more.

I have this SILICON DUST device that I can't wait to get going.

So there are ways to avoid all this. Turn it off.

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