Cheap, generic no-name brand DVD Recorder - Bargains or nightmare?

vbimport

#1

Okay, so I recently bought a Techwood AEDVDRS7 from my local Cash Converters as ex-stock (presumably from where Tesco bought their stock from, since Tesco sold these a few years ago) for £30 and it’s actually very good for the price - It’s cheap and it works from recording from my built-in Freeview on a Grundig TV :slight_smile:

So, my question for today is what makes cheap and generic no-name brands like this any different from having an expensive brand name, like Sanyo, Toshiba, etc, apart from having all the bells and whistles which, in fairness, the average Joe Schmoe / Plain Jane (Let’s not be sexist here :wink: ) probably wouldn’t use?

I just use mine to record and maybe fiddle about with the speed setting. My previous recorder had USB, DV, and a built in hard drive, all features I never really used.

So, my question on this thread is, what makes cheap no name recorders any better or worse than the branded ones?

I know for VCRs they were a different story since they were mainly mechanical based - So cheap parts were likely to jam tapes, and break down far quicker than more expensive ones as they are produced cheaper.

I know my bargain basement recorder had refused to power up for some reason, so I think something must have broken inside :confused: The burner, according to ImgBurn, in my new recorder is identical to my old one, both produced by DVSKOREA.

I never really saw the point of buying an expensive recorder when I don’t need all of the extra stuff that comes with it.

Post your own DVD recorder experiences, perferably with make and model :slight_smile: - How much did you pay? And have you had a DVD recorder bargain? :slight_smile:

But DVD players / Recorders have far less mechanics in them. So, how long would they last


#2

In general, I expect cheap generic stuff to break earlier. It’s not only the mechanical part, also electronic components can be designed technically borderline in order to meet a certain price point. Think of capacitors or PSU components.

Unfortunately, this also applies to brand name stuff, at least to the lower priced models.

Cheap stuff - branded or not - is a waste of precious resources. Better think twice before purchase.

Michael


#3

[QUOTE=mciahel;2615906]In general, I expect cheap generic stuff to break earlier. It’s not only the mechanical part, also electronic components can be designed technically borderline in order to meet a certain price point. Think of capacitors or PSU components.

Unfortunately, this also applies to brand name stuff, at least to the lower priced models.

Cheap stuff - branded or not - is a waste of precious resources. Better think twice before purchase.

Michael[/QUOTE]

Interesting :slight_smile: I know that in my experience in VCRs it was very often the cheap and bargain priced VCRs they would chew up tapes first, whilst the Sony ones I had from the late 80s and early 90s kept on going and going…

So do you think it was mishandling why my last recorder went kaput? I used to take it a lot to my nannans via two buses to record off her Sky + in one of those cotton bags. Other than that, recording it as home as well, I can’t think why it went little over a year in usage :eek: Perhaps this is from the cheap components inside the recorder itself? Or was it something I had done? :confused:

Despite that, it was quite poorly manufactured. Flimsy, buttons were tempremental, buttons required a good push to use… It got the job done though. My new recorder is nearly whisper silent, and it is dang good, and so nice to look at.


#4

[QUOTE=Chad_Bronson;2615979]
So do you think it was mishandling why my last recorder went kaput?[/QUOTE]Not necessarily. But these devices are not designed to be carried around, so such a “treatment” might add to decreasing life time. Here, the mechanical parts are the first to give up. But also soldering points of somewhat heavier electric components (like transformers or cable connections) can break.

Michael


#5

[QUOTE=mciahel;2616045]Not necessarily. But these devices are not designed to be carried around, so such a “treatment” might add to decreasing life time. Here, the mechanical parts are the first to give up. But also soldering points of somewhat heavier electric components (like transformers or cable connections) can break.

Michael[/QUOTE]

Thanks for the reply. My mum said exactly the same thing about not designed to be carried around, but I fail to understand how relatively light treatment (not as if I’m kicking it around :bigsmile: ) would destroy a product. Could it be because it will have had light knocks and things, causing more wear and tear which eventually ruined it?

At any case, my new recorder now is situated at my nannans who has a Sky Plus box - So if anything needs recording, I ask her to do it, and then the next time I’m there, I just record it onto a DVD :bigsmile: so it lowers the wear and tear from carrying it :slight_smile:

Is there a certain MID code DVD recorders prefer? I know some DVD recorders are very finicky about what they like. I’ve been feeding my Techwood a MID code of RitekF16, and it seems to like them, and burns and verifies quite well on my LiteOn burner.

The burner itself is a DVSKOREA DRL-200 burner.


#6

FYI, most generic dvd burners will last at least a year… under heavy usage, my samsung drive still burns decent quality. Now I have a LG 10x blu ray drive. My previous dvd drive was a NEC 3500a which started doing this wicked buffer under-run problem during EVERY BURN (understand, this drive pushed out several hundred dvd records in it’s lifetime which is above average)… couldn’t figure out what the problem was except to say the drive’s buffer memory must be corrupt even though the burns turned out alright since they probably engineer failsafes for acutal data recording.

You should pay around what the going rate is… in the USA it’s $17-$35 for a decent dvd recorder depeding on speed/features/quality. All things being equal… if the brand name is a few $ more… and it has better/established reviews, why gamble? The cost of returning a product, time & media wasted, troubleshooting and the whole mess is not worth it IMHO…

There are some good guidelines for dvd burning: 1. BUY GOOD MEDIA (this can NOT be emphasized enough).
2. Burn at the rated speed to get a good recording quality (media scan scores are for enthusiasts-- but it’s been proven that this tip maximizes cost/benefit). 3. If at all possible DO NOT WRITE ON THE DISC… this will lead to premature wear when the substrate dyes break down it could make the difference between a corrupt sector or a recoverable one 2+ years down the line (store your media in disc folders and put labels on the sleeves instead of writing on the disc)-- I do this now with ALL my blu ray discs. 4. Last but not least… for long term storage… keep your folders out of direct sunlight and at stable temperatures… not in a garage or other place where you don’t regulate temps year-round.

Caveat Emptor: for important media, make multiple backups from different batches of dvd media. ** keep this media separate so you can find it again and re-backup as necessary.

This is a alot to take in, but this is about 8 years experience since 2002 when dvd drives first became affordable.


#7

[QUOTE=tmc8080;2616548]FYI, most generic dvd burners will last at least a year… under heavy usage, my samsung drive still burns decent quality. Now I have a LG 10x blu ray drive. My previous dvd drive was a NEC 3500a which started doing this wicked buffer under-run problem during EVERY BURN (understand, this drive pushed out several hundred dvd records in it’s lifetime which is above average)… couldn’t figure out what the problem was except to say the drive’s buffer memory must be corrupt even though the burns turned out alright since they probably engineer failsafes for acutal data recording.

You should pay around what the going rate is… in the USA it’s $17-$35 for a decent dvd recorder depeding on speed/features/quality. All things being equal… if the brand name is a few $ more… and it has better/established reviews, why gamble? The cost of returning a product, time & media wasted, troubleshooting and the whole mess is not worth it IMHO…

There are some good guidelines for dvd burning: 1. BUY GOOD MEDIA (this can NOT be emphasized enough).
2. Burn at the rated speed to get a good recording quality (media scan scores are for enthusiasts-- but it’s been proven that this tip maximizes cost/benefit). 3. If at all possible DO NOT WRITE ON THE DISC… this will lead to premature wear when the substrate dyes break down it could make the difference between a corrupt sector or a recoverable one 2+ years down the line (store your media in disc folders and put labels on the sleeves instead of writing on the disc)-- I do this now with ALL my blu ray discs. 4. Last but not least… for long term storage… keep your folders out of direct sunlight and at stable temperatures… not in a garage or other place where you don’t regulate temps year-round.

Caveat Emptor: for important media, make multiple backups from different batches of dvd media. ** keep this media separate so you can find it again and re-backup as necessary.

This is a alot to take in, but this is about 8 years experience since 2002 when dvd drives first became affordable.[/QUOTE]

Not to undermine what is clearly sound advice, but we are talking about the often proportiary DVD burners that are installed as default inside standalone DVD recorders. Correct me if I’m wrong, but you are referencing to DVD burners inside computers?

It’s even more difficult inside a standalone since they often feature unremoveable drives (or have to have that exact one) and very crippled firmware.

Thank you anyway; I’m sure someone will find it useful :slight_smile:


#8

[QUOTE=Chad_Bronson;2616550]Not to undermine what is clearly sound advice, but we are talking about the often proportiary DVD burners that are installed as default inside standalone DVD recorders. Correct me if I’m wrong, but you are referencing to DVD burners inside computers?

It’s even more difficult inside a standalone since they often feature unremoveable drives (or have to have that exact one) and very crippled firmware.

Thank you anyway; I’m sure someone will find it useful :)[/QUOTE]

The dvd recorder would have to be very dirt cheap to have an utterly uknown drive with crippled firmware… 99% of all drives are made by about 5 mfg. companies (even those in stand-alone dvd recorders of REPUTABLE COMPANIES), except maybe in the off brand applications you suggest. I’d stick with a name brand maker in that case. Cheap stuff (occasionally associated mfg. sources in Hong Kong/China) are not worth the time & money to deal with if something goes wrong or quality is not what you expect.

About 4 years ago my brother had a dvd recorder he got at a garage sale. It was maybe 2nd generation Aiwa (before acquired by Sony). no hdmi, no upscaling, composite & rf connectors only. it did it’s job & that’s about it… the obvious thing was you couldn’t copy dvds because of the inherent macrovision embedded on many dvds that prevented analog recording or recording back to digital.


#9

[QUOTE=tmc8080;2616566]The dvd recorder would have to be very dirt cheap to have an utterly uknown drive with crippled firmware… 99% of all drives are made by about 5 mfg. companies (even those in stand-alone dvd recorders of REPUTABLE COMPANIES), except maybe in the off brand applications you suggest. I’d stick with a name brand maker in that case. Cheap stuff (occasionally associated mfg. sources in Hong Kong/China) are not worth the time & money to deal with if something goes wrong or quality is not what you expect.

About 4 years ago my brother had a dvd recorder he got at a garage sale. It was maybe 2nd generation Aiwa (before acquired by Sony). no hdmi, no upscaling, composite & rf connectors only. it did it’s job & that’s about it… the obvious thing was you couldn’t copy dvds because of the inherent macrovision embedded on many dvds that prevented analog recording or recording back to digital.[/QUOTE]

Maybe so, but the burner that is installed in my Techwood DVD recorder is produced by DVSKOREA - The exact burner itself is DVSKOREA DRL-200.

So tell me what non-cheap famous names have DVSKOREA burners in them? :wink: :bow:

Please tell me more about the Macrovision however since I think I’m having a similar problem. The discs all seem to burn successfully on the recorder itself, but I keep getting random “L-EC uncorrectable error” when trying to verify the disc on my computer - And this is featured on several different drives.

so I wonder therefore if my recorder has recorded something sneaky on them which prevents it from being copied. Just my luck, really :rolleyes:


#10

[QUOTE=Chad_Bronson;2616585]

Please tell me more about the Macrovision however since I think I’m having a similar problem. [/QUOTE]Start here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Macrovision#Content_protection_.28RipGuard_and_Analog_Copy_Protection.29

Michael


#11

Aha! I was absolutely right! Macrovision is installed on my discs to play haywire with my ability to make DVD ISOs from my discs… Exactly as I thought. Those (insert swear word here)!