Upconversion Recorder - Recommendations?

Just got a 1080p Mitsubishi HD TV, so I feel like my Lite-on 5006 (480p output) is just not gonna satisfy me any longer.

So I’m looking for a new DVD recorder that can record from both HD and SD sources and can also upconvert movies and other SD dvds to 1080i or p.

Not interested in an HD recorder right now - would rather wait for the technology to improve and the price to come down.

Would greatly appreciate any suggestions from those of you here who have an upconversion recorder that you love and have been using for a while.

I am particularly interested in being able to record HD sports onto dvd, from my DishNetwork DVR, in order to free up DVR space for future recordings. (I realize the recorded dvds won’t be HD quality, but looking for as near-HD quality as possible with a non-HD recorder.)

Not critical, but sure would like a 3-hr record format too.

Thanks for any input.

:bow:

Oppo-981HD ( Player not recorder) all standalones record at 480i then again all commerical discs are 480i also except Blu-Ray and HDDVD. The higher the record rate the lower the picure quality aka SP, LP, EP modes etc. At 3hr recording your bitrate drops resulting in less quality. SP which is a 2 hr mode is like 4.6 bitrate. IMO after they stopped making recorders with built in HDD and adjustable bitrate they are rather all the same almost. No recorder upconverts but the player part does.

Upscaling is a bit of smoke and mirrors in many cases, don’t assume it offers you anything. But it does offer a digital connect, which has some value. Take some time to get to know your new monitor, because it does it’s own upscaling. Upscaling players add exactly nothing to the DVD image, and with the better monitors you will see no difference at all. The main benefit from upscaling players is when they have better upscaling circuitry than your monitor does.

As an example, and since you already have a HD-DVR sat receiver, try inputting the sat picture to the monitor at different resolutions and over different connections, and see how it looks in comparison. Use an HD channel, one with the best picture you can find, and also a plain SD channel with lesser image quality. This way you can get some feel for the monitor’s upscaling abilities. On a top-quality monitor, you really shouldn’t see huge differences, because most of what is on the Dish HD channels is less than DVD quality. You should pick up small improvements in contrast and color over the HDMI connect, but the image itself shouldn’t be hugely different in sharpness. If it is, then you might benefit from an upscaling player. If your current player/recorder delivers an image that rivals what you see on the HD channels, then you might not need an upscaling player/recorder at all.

Thanks for the input.

I have a Dish 722 HD Receiver, and my primary reason for upgrading my dvd recorder is to be able to get the best possible image quality when recording (during playback of HD recordings stored on my Dish DVR) mostly football and other sporting events.

To store the best non-HD version of those DVR recordings, I expected to limit all such to max of 2-hr mode. So, for a typical 3+ hour football game for example, I would use 2 dvd discs.

Once recorded onto DVD, I will then erase that event from my DVR, to make room for more, future live HD recordings.

I realize the upconversion is only for playback, but I had suspected that newer dvd recorders may also do a better job recording from an HD source than my 3-year-old LiteOn 5006, but that may not be the case.

And I assumed that an upconverted 1080 playback would provide superior image quality to the 480p playback I get from my LiteOn.

But CDan, it sounds like you consider upconversion mostly marketing hype which does not really produce better playback image quality, even when viewed on a 1080p HD TV.

So if I understand correctly, your advice is that I probably would not noticeably improve the image quality of my DVD recordings made from HD stuff on my Dish DVR, or the image quality on my HD TV during playback of those recorded DVDs, with a newer DVD recorder that offers an HDMI output and 1080 upconversion capability.

Is that an accurate assessment of your feelings?

I have been very satisfied with the quality of my LiteOn recordings. About a year ago, I replaced the original burner, and it has performed very well ever since. But I assumed that newer recorders would capture superior image quality when recording from HD sources and, especially, would play back better image quality on an HD TV, through upconversion to 1080i or p output.

Thanks again for any additional input.

[QUOTE=CDan;1919607]Upscaling is a bit of smoke and mirrors in many cases, don’t assume it offers you anything. But it does offer a digital connect, which has some value. Take some time to get to know your new monitor, because it does it’s own upscaling. Upscaling players add exactly nothing to the DVD image, and with the better monitors you will see no difference at all. The main benefit from upscaling players is when they have better upscaling circuitry than your monitor does.

As an example, and since you already have a HD-DVR sat receiver, try inputting the sat picture to the monitor at different resolutions and over different connections, and see how it looks in comparison. Use an HD channel, one with the best picture you can find, and also a plain SD channel with lesser image quality. This way you can get some feel for the monitor’s upscaling abilities. On a top-quality monitor, you really shouldn’t see huge differences, because most of what is on the Dish HD channels is less than DVD quality. You should pick up small improvements in contrast and color over the HDMI connect, but the image itself shouldn’t be hugely different in sharpness. If it is, then you might benefit from an upscaling player. If your current player/recorder delivers an image that rivals what you see on the HD channels, then you might not need an upscaling player/recorder at all.[/QUOTE]

He is correct what he is telling you about upconverting players and how it works etc. However all upconverting players are not created equal. The Oppo 981 HD is a HDMI player only and you see the upconverting difference unless your TV’s processor for upconverting is better then the Oppo. I also will tell you many high quality TV’s use the same chip as the oppo player does so thats why he says a upcoverting player you may see no difference because tbe TV can do it itself and depending on the TV or Player this is true what he says. Also note satellite TV the best your going to do is 1080i and thats it even on a 1080P HDTV. 1080P you will only see with a HD-DVD or Blu-Ray DVD player at the moment or a Upconverting player but upconverting and true 1080P again is’nt the same.

[QUOTE=hleone;1919820]
But CDan, it sounds like you consider upconversion mostly marketing hype which does not really produce better playback image quality, even when viewed on a 1080p HD TV.

So if I understand correctly, your advice is that I probably would not noticeably improve the image quality of my DVD recordings made from HD stuff on my Dish DVR, or the image quality on my HD TV during playback of those recorded DVDs, with a newer DVD recorder that offers an HDMI output and 1080 upconversion capability.

Is that an accurate assessment of your feelings?

I have been very satisfied with the quality of my LiteOn recordings. About a year ago, I replaced the original burner, and it has performed very well ever since. But I assumed that newer recorders would capture superior image quality when recording from HD sources and, especially, would play back better image quality on an HD TV, through upconversion to 1080i or p output.

Thanks again for any additional input.[/QUOTE]
1st, you are not recording HD images, but 480i images. That is all the 722 will output through SVHS connect. It’s a very high quality 480i, but still 480 nonetheless. Upscaling adds nothing to an image, only makes it larger.

Most folks are happy with Panasonic or Pioneer for recorded image quality. The best recorded image quality will be had by using XP (1-hour) mode or by using “Flexible Recording” where the video bit rate is adjusted to fit the disc. SP (2-hour) mode is usually quite good also. And you’re not the 1st person to complain about image quality on LiteOn recorders.

Since most new DVD recorders have upscaling anyway, you might as well get one that does. But the image you see from it will be no better than you would see from just using component connects on the DVD playback, UNLESS your monitor has issues with analog upscaling, which many do.

Given a monitor that has high quality upscaling circuitry, the only difference you would expect to see between component inputs and HDMI will be due to the digital connection vs analog. This might be perceived as slightly better color and contrast over HDMI. So it’s really a question of which has better upscaling circuitry, the player or the monitor.

I record HD content from my Dish 622 all the time on a Panasonic recorder via SVHS connect, results are quite good but not as good as commercial DVDs.

As a side note, be aware that many upscaling DVD players will not upscale DVD’s that have CSS encryption, which includes most store-bought movie DVDs.