Any users of Sony VRD-VC10?

Discussion in 'Amateur Video Production' started by midicad2001, Feb 24, 2005.

  1. midicad2001

    midicad2001 Guest

    This is a standalone or USB2.0 video convertor/DVD recorder. Apparent
    advantage over a lot of standalone DVD recorders is media flexibility,
    it seems a lot of the standalone DVD-R units are limited to DVD-R and
    DVD-RAM for recording. This one looks like it will handle DVD+/-(R/W)
    or however that is expressed. I would need to get a VHS machine with
    S-video out for best results, that's OK, my last one blew up in a power
    surge anyway.

    I already have a USB/1394 DVD-R drive, no video capture hw though.

    Other threads have mentioned that when doing typical bonehead transfers
    of VHS to DVD, standalone hw is equivalent in quality and much
    easier/faster to use than video capture h/w and s/w encoding on PC,
    which does indeed appeal to me.

    Finally I am wondering - OK so I capture a VHS to DVD using this
    gadget, can I then pull the scenes off the DVD to my PC for
    trimming/titles/etc. using Sony Video Studio + DVD? Dumb question,
    however it is not obvious to me how you would do this as once the DVD
    is burned the video files are no longer recognizable as MPG files.


    midicad2001, Feb 24, 2005
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  2. midicad2001

    DanR Guest

    I just purchased this unit on April 23rd. I came very close to returning it.
    First surprise when I got it home and read the manual was that to burn directly
    from analog source (stand alone mode) you MUST use DVD+R media. (I had bought a
    50 pack of DVD-R) You can use the dash R when the unit is connected to a
    Another surprise was that I could not play back the first 2 DVDs I burned on my
    DVD player. (Toshiba SD-2200) The Toshiba is an older unit so I took the 2 DVDs
    to my workplace and they played back fine on 4 different players there. Also I
    used 16X Memorex +R blanks and thought that might be my problem. Because the
    disks played back fine at work I decided to keep the unit.
    I am still a bit leery about this unit. If you notice the packaging on DVD
    players at stores you will see that most / all say they will play back DVD-R
    disks but very few actually write on the box that they will play back DVD+R.
    Another thing I don't like about the VC10 is that you have no control over
    menus. You can NOT key in any text. You can set the DVDs to autoplay and bypass
    the menu on startup. AND you can't easily monitor what you are recording. If you
    are recording directly off a VCR you have tied up the video and audio outputs
    connecting them to the VC10. You either need a DA or to use the RF out of the
    VCR to see what you are doing.
    Does it sound like I'm trying to talk myself into returning this unit? Maybe.
    But I do like the fact that it does 2 jobs. Stand alone and computer DVD. (for
    DVD data use)
    One plus from this is that I had to buy a new DVD player and bought a DVD / VHS
    combo. The one unit replaced two units in the cabinet and left room for more
    DanR, Apr 25, 2005
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  3. midicad2001

    Frank Guest


    You'll be pleased to know that Sony is addressing some of the
    shortcomings in the original VRD-VC10 with the introduction of their
    new model VRD-VC20, available next month. More information can be
    found at the following URL.

    Frank, Apr 26, 2005
  4. midicad2001

    DanR Guest

    Well I'm not sure if I'm pleased or disappointed to learn that a new model is
    coming out so soon after I bought the VC10. I read the article (link) and the
    improvements are substantial. I like the DV input and the addition of DVD-R for
    standalone mode is nice too. What to do?
    DanR, Apr 27, 2005
  5. midicad2001

    Frank Guest

    Agreed, and I apologize for my wording ("You'll be pleased to
    know..."). Right after I posted that I re-read your original post ("I
    just purchased this unit on April 23rd."). I mean, that was four days
    ago (three days when I wrote my original post) -- and this isn't a
    software product where the publisher might offer you a free, or at
    least heavily discounted, upgrade on the "new model".

    I should have said something along the lines of "I hate to tell you
    this, Dan, but Sony just announced..."
    Indeed, it seems that way. Apparently they listened to customer
    feedback and acted upon it. For that, I give them credit.
    Yes, they should have provided full support for all disc types from
    the beginning, IMO.
    Well, that's obvious. Sell your VRD-VC10 on eBay and get yourself a

    Frank, Apr 27, 2005
  6. midicad2001

    DanR Guest

    Well Frank... I took the VRD-VC10 back last night after reading your post and
    the article. The store has a 'return for any reason' policy and I used it. I
    will wait for the new model to come out and buy it. Always feel a bit guilty
    when returning something that isn't defective but I was not "completely happy"
    with the unit. DVD's I burned would not play back on my DVD player and I had
    never had that problem before with other one-off DVDs.
    It looks like Sony has not addressed one issue I had with the VC10. It has no
    video / audio pass through. That makes for a complicated setup for me. My VHS
    player is part of a system and its outs are connected to the receiver. I could
    have used feeds from the receiver to feed the VC10 but it would have meant not
    being able to use the TV for other viewing while burning DVDs of many, many VHS
    tapes. So I had the VHS player feed an A/V DA and return one connection back to
    the receiver and another to the DVD burner. It should be obvious to Sony that
    one needs to see the output of the source when burning. The simplest solution is
    to use the A/V feeds for the burner and the RF out for monitoring. That would
    work fine for a dedicated setup but would not work for me.
    I appreciate you bringing the news of the VC20 to my attention. It would have
    been a real bummer to learn of it later.
    The linked article was just written yesterday. (April 26th) How did you know?
    DanR, Apr 27, 2005
  7. midicad2001

    DanR Guest

    Frank... I read on your website "Comments on transcoding from DV25 to MPEG-2 for
    DVD-Video". It made me wonder if it is better to use the DV input or the S input
    to the VC20 when connected to my mini-DV camera. Do I let the camera xcode from
    DV to NTSC "S" and let the VC20 xcode from "S" to MP2 OR do I let the VC20 xcode
    from DV to MP2? It would have seemed obvious before to assume DV to MP2 is more
    direct. What do you think?
    DanR, Apr 27, 2005
  8. midicad2001

    Frank Guest

    Frankly, I didn't expect my simple little post to have that much
    influence. :)
    Okay. You could order now through the Sony Style Web site, but they
    probably charge list price.
    Maybe you should consider use of a small A/V switch device. I use an
    old JVC JX-S100 for this purpose (no longer made). They currently
    offer a model JX-S111 which might serve your needs.
    Understand. That's how I would have felt myself had I been in that
    I try to keep up new on product announcements. I'm on numerous mailing
    lists and read a lot.
    Frank, Apr 27, 2005
  9. midicad2001

    Frank Guest

    Personally, if it was me, I would take a small sample piece of video
    and try it both ways. Then do a careful analysis of the results and
    use whichever method provided the highest-quality results.

    BTW, here's a link to a (three-page) review from "EventDV" magazine of
    the Sony VRD-VC10 which you might find interesting.

    Review: Sony DVDirect
    By Stephen F. Nathans - Posted Jan 20, 2005

    And here's an example of use of the VRD-VC10 in a real-world
    situation, also from "EventDV" magazine.

    Sony DVDirect Field Test
    By Curt Challberg - Posted Dec 10, 2004

    Good luck!
    Frank, Apr 27, 2005
  10. midicad2001

    Gary Guest

    I got the VC10 and so far so good. Works fine in my DVD player, also
    worked to transfer DVD-AVI for further editing via my Pioneer drive
    (the Sony is not connected to the PC at this time). By the way this
    takes a LONG time and generates about 13 GB of AVI per hour.

    My first couple of VHS transfers I did blind, but am going to get a
    cheap used TV and monitor that via RF out on the VCR.

    Quick read through of the VC20, the only thing I saw was improved
    flexibility with media in standalone mode? Did I miss something else?
    Gary, Apr 28, 2005
  11. midicad2001

    DanR Guest

    VC20 has DV input along with the analog S and A/V. But as far as I can tell
    you're still working blind unless you use a procedure like you describe. (using
    the VHS RF out for monitoring) Or a DA but cheap DAs may degrade the video.
    Sony has always done things the Sony one and only Sony way. BetaMax, Pin2 hot,
    memory stick, 8mm digital, plus not dash, fill in the blank ____________. They
    sometimes conform but I don't think they like to. They make good products but I
    believe a couple of years ago their lower end line got a bit too low end.
    Side note: My spell checker never heard of BetaMax.
    DanR, Apr 29, 2005
  12. midicad2001

    Gary Guest

    Not a big deal to me, the main use for this is for a quick view, e.g.
    "dailies" (of my kids running around of course). I always go back and
    use DV out -> PC firewire to capture for editing. Unless there was a
    way to transfer DVD video to PC, I have the freeware app (can't recall
    the name) that will create AVI's from DVD but it is slow enough that
    recapturing directly from tape is (I think) as fast or faster. Given
    the choice I might get a VC20 had I not already bought the VC10 but
    what you have just described in no way gave me buyer's remorse. A pack
    of 10 +RW media is plenty good for goofing around or handing out a copy
    of the tape you just made.
    Gary, May 10, 2005
  13. midicad2001

    mk Guest

    I have been trying to record a miniDV tape to a DVD via a VRD-VC20. I
    am using a firewire cable to connect the two. The tape has a 30
    second completely blank section separating regular footage. When the
    Sony VRD-DC20 hits the blank spot, it pauses, as it should. However,
    the camcorder also stops, and the recording session is on hold
    indefintately. The camcorder should obviously not stop and just
    continue playing. This behvior only occurs when connected to the DVD
    writer. Sony Customer Sertbice has no answer.
    mk, May 16, 2005
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