Which HDD DVD recorder the best?

Hi,

I’m looking for one 160GB HDD DVD recorder. The most important requirements for the recorder’s are:

  1. durability - I need to record several hours TV programmes per day and I will often view recorded video files on recorder HDD, burning HDD content to DVD disc and doing online recording all at the same time;
  2. Compatibility - can read & write various kinds e.g. DVD+/-RW & brands of DVD disc;
  3. Speed of burning DVD disc - expect the recorder can burn one full 4.7GB DVD disc around 10 minutes;
  4. User friendly video file searching functions - that enable me to locate requested video file from recorder HDD easily;
  5. Accessible by computer - I haven’t found any recorder has this capability although I found once one model of Toshiba recorder has LAN port at its back;
  6. Other more advanced features such as HDMI, HDTV compatibility were not that important to me.

I’d just walked through several electronics appliances shops and found below candidates HDD DVD recorders:

  1. Pioneer DVR-440H-S
  2. Panasonic DMR-EH57
  3. Philips DVDR3570H
  4. LG RH277H
  5. Toshiba HD-E1
  6. Sony RDR-HX750

The prices of Pioneer, Panasonic, LG & Toshiba are similar (difference within 2%). The price of Sony model is explicitly 10% higher than average while Philips model is 10% below average if including the free coupon (exclude the coupon, its price is just average). I chatted with different salesman of the shops. They gave me feedback that quality of Philips model was actually similar to Pioneer model (Actually they wouldn’t tell me which model was obviously inferior to others). One salesman told me he ran Philips recorder continuously in the demo room and there was no problem with Philip recorders’ durability. Another salesman said Philips’ model could read some DVD disc not readable by Pioneers’ model. They all said Pioneers’ model was more expensive than Philips’ model because Pioneer was the first to produce HDD DVD recorder.

I would like to ask your comment on the above DVD recorders. Based on my requirements which was the best (ignore price consideration). Thanks for comment !

:bigsmile::bigsmile::bigsmile:

I have an older Sony RDR-HX910 (original Sony design) and recently bought a Sony RDR-HX750 (Pioneer design) based on my research.

Lets look at your questions as applied to the Sony RDR-HX750:

  1. I don’t think anybody knows this and I doubt there’s been any attempt to test this. The Sony RDR-HX750 seems solid to me but who knows.

  2. Can read DVD-ROM, DVD±R/RW SL, DVD±R DL, DVD-RAM and CD-R, including playing mp3 files and JPEG files from DVD media (many recorders only support this on CD media).

Not supported: DVD±RW Dual/Double Layer, DVD-RAM not supported for recording (only for playing)

  1. High-speed copying with relevant Single Layer media is performed at 6x which takes 10 minutes for a full disc. Supports 16x rated and lower DVD±R, 8x rated and lower DVD+RW, 6x rated and lower DVD-RW.

High-speed copying with Double/Dual layer media is performed at 2.4x / 2x according to the manual (I haven’t tried yet).

  1. There’s a fairly good Title List where you can assign one of 10 different categories to each recorded title (before or after recording) and you can choose to only display one category.

  2. Not really. The Sony RDR-HX750 can read USB memory sticks and presumably USB harddrives in FAT/FAT32 format, but you canot connect it directly to a computer. No other major brand recorder can do this AFAIK.

  3. It has HDMI. User manual can be downloaded in PDF format if you want to know the details.

I really like my Sony RDR-HX750. It is better than my Sony RDR-HX910 in many ways and not as good in some other ways.

Many people on a Danish forum I participate in (recordere.dk) recommend the Sony recorders when asked.

[QUOTE=DrageMester;1963259]I have an older Sony RDR-HX910 (original Sony design) and recently bought a Sony RDR-HX750 (Pioneer design) based on my research.

Lets look at your questions as applied to the Sony RDR-HX750:

  1. I don’t think anybody knows this and I doubt there’s been any attempt to test this. The Sony RDR-HX750 seems solid to me but who knows.

Many people on a Danish forum I participate in (recordere.dk) recommend the Sony recorders when asked.[/QUOTE]

Concerning point 1, I have below supplement:

1a. While HDD to DVD disc burning is ongoing, I must be able to view current TV channel;
1b. TV programme recording and HDD to DVD disc burning must be allowed to proceed simultaneously, at the same time, I must be able to continue watching TV (at the channel which recording ongoing of course);

These features are available with my current GIEC GK-9300 recorder.

[QUOTE=come_mon;1963348]Concerning point 1, I have below supplement:

1a. While HDD to DVD disc burning is ongoing, I must be able to view current TV channel;
1b. TV programme recording and HDD to DVD disc burning must be allowed to proceed simultaneously, at the same time, I must be able to continue watching TV (at the channel which recording ongoing of course);

These features are available with my current GIEC GK-9300 recorder.[/QUOTE]

Actually, with GIEC GK-9300, I could instructing it to do HDD to DVD disc burning, scheduled TV programme recording to HDD and watched selected programmes recorded in HDD, 3 tasks at the same time.

[quote=come_mon;1963348]1a. While HDD to DVD disc burning is ongoing, I must be able to view current TV channel;
1b. TV programme recording and HDD to DVD disc burning must be allowed to proceed simultaneously, at the same time, I must be able to continue watching TV (at the channel which recording ongoing of course);[/quote] 1a. This is possible when using high-speed copying from HDD to DVD but not when having to reencode your recording to another bitrate (quality) in realtime. You can of course watch any TV channel from your TV tuner instead of watching it from the recorder.

1b. I would have to check this. I’ll get back to you.

EDIT:
1b. It’s possible to perform a high-speed disc copy from HDD to DVD while the recording is recording at the same time. You’ll have to start the high-speed copying from the System Menu instead of using the DUB button (I don’t know why) if a recording is already ongoing. Copying while changing bitrate in real-time is not possible while recording.

[quote=come_mon;1963354]Actually, with GIEC GK-9300, I could instructing it to do HDD to DVD disc burning, scheduled TV programme recording to HDD and watched selected programmes recorded in HDD, 3 tasks at the same time.[/quote] EDIT2: Watching a recorded program while recording a new program and copying a program from HDD to DVD is not possible at the same time with the Sony RDR-HX750.

Sidetrack: I’d also asked the salesmen about time to write a full 4.7GB DVD-RW or DVD+RW. All of them agreed the task should be completed in around 10 minutes. I seriously doubt about that although many brands claimed the High-Speed Dubbing feature enable fast copying of data from HDD to DVD. But if the DVD-Rs/DVD+RWs I use are just 8X/1-8X respectively, how can the making of DVD be completed in less than 10 minutes (e.g. http://sharp-world.com/products/dvd-hdd_recorder/dvhr480s/index.html) ? My experience with my GIEC GK-9300 DVD recorder was at around 30 minutes took to complete the copy. Should it be the real recording speed of the DVD the limiting factor ?

[quote=come_mon;1963502]Sidetrack: I’d also asked the salesmen about time to write a full 4.7GB DVD-RW or DVD+RW. All of them agreed the task should be completed in around 10 minutes. I seriously doubt about that although many brands claimed the High-Speed Dubbing feature enable fast copying of data from HDD to DVD. But if the DVD-Rs/DVD+RWs I use are just 8X/1-8X respectively, how can the making of DVD be completed in less than 10 minutes (e.g. http://sharp-world.com/products/dvd-hdd_recorder/dvhr480s/index.html) ? My experience with my GIEC GK-9300 DVD recorder was at around 30 minutes took to complete the copy. Should it be the real recording speed of the DVD the limiting factor ?[/quote] The Sony RDR-HX750 will perform high-speed copying at 6x with all supported DVD media rated at 6x or higher including 8x DVD+RW and 6x DVD-RW. This will take approx. 10 minutes for a full disc (not including finalization).

I have tested the following RW media which are all supported at 6x and write a full disc in 10 minutes:

Verbatim 8x DVD+RW
Ricoh 8x DVD+RW
Verbatim 6x DVD-RW

A Datawrite 8x DVD+RW (RITEK 008) disc was not supported at full speed, but was supported at 4x which takes 14-15 minutes for a full disc.

Some other recorders may be faster or slower; my Sony RDR-HX910 supports writing at 8x for DVD+R, DVD-R and DVD+RW media. I’ve seen at least one recorder capable of high-speed recording at 12x. Some recorders may be slower than 6x and recording speed will depend on whether the media is properly supported or not.

Copying from HDD to DVD while reencoding to another bitrate is performed in realtime on almost all recorders (e.g. 27 minutes to copy a 27 minute recording). The only exception I’ve heard of is one of the newer JVC recorders which can do this at twice the speed (half the time of a realtime transfer).

EDIT: Some marketing droids have come up with another speed rating for copying speed, claiming such nonsense as 32x, 48x or 64x recording. This is based on calculating how long it takes to transfer a recording made at the recorders lowest bitrate compared to the length of that recording. If the lowest recording quality/bitrate is e.g. 8 hours for a DVD, which is 8 times longer than for an HQ recording, then a recording speed which would otherwise be listed as 6x or 8x can then be marketed at 86x=48x or 88x=64x. It’s a misleading number in my opinion.