VCR Replacement Question

Discussion in 'Video Cameras' started by Dave, Mar 26, 2007.

  1. Dave

    Dave Guest

    Please forgive me if this is the wrong place to ask this question, and
    kindly point me to the right place.

    I have an elderly VCR which I am intending to replace, as it's starting
    to give problems occasionally. I plan to buy a DVD Recorder, but I'm
    being pushed towards one combined with a VCR. Since I only want to keep
    the VCR to play the tapes I've already got, this seems like a waste of
    money to me.

    If I bought a DVD recorder, could I couple the two together, allowing me
    to play my stack of tapes (containing programmes I've missed or which
    clashed with other things)? Alternatively, could I copy the tape
    contents to DVD's?

    Any recommendations as to which DVD recorder (or even which type) I
    should go for - there seems to be a wide variety (DVD-, DVD+, DVD-RAM


    Dave, Mar 26, 2007
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  2. Dave

    Trev Guest

    Most these days will be DVD+/-R. DVD-RAM is only on a few mostly Panasonic.
    Good for Making recordings that you will not be Keeping Ie. recording over.
    Main point it works in the same way as a HDD, which you had not mentioned,
    in that you can start watching a recording from the beginning while the
    remainder of the program is still being recorded. If it was a HDD model you
    could then record the prog to
    -/+ disc should you want to save it.
    Trev, Mar 26, 2007
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  3. Dave

    RobDee Guest

    The only people to my knowledge who are buying these combo units are those
    who are stupid enough to believe ignorant (or maybe downright dishonest)
    salesmen who tell them they can copy commercial material without problems
    between the units!

    Yes you can link two separate units together and record your own material
    without problems. A company I did some promotional work for bought a
    Phillips DVD / HD recorder - it proved to be such a PITA to use they have
    rarely made use of it since the first week of purchase (after many long
    hours of pouring over the manual and trying to fathom out how to spend ages
    doing the simplest of tasks). I bought a Sony which accepts all types of
    discs and has 250GB HD - but the best thing is I have yet to even open the
    manual - it's so intuitive and everything's so easy to do. From recording /
    cutting & simple edits / disc transfer / dubbing etc etc.

    Choose carefully to avoid the mistakes outlined above!

    RobDee, Mar 26, 2007
  4. Dave

    Mark Guest

    We have a Panny DVD recorder and use DVD-RAM disk virtually all the
    time. The two main advantages for us are that:

    - you can chase playback
    - you can delete the titles of watched programmes without having to
    throw away all the other titles on the disk i.e. no reformatting after
    Mark, Mar 26, 2007
  5. Dave

    Arny Krueger Guest

    By all means.
    There are now universal DVD recorders which record on DVD +/-R and DVD +/-

    I find that DVD RWs are excellent for loading VHS tapes into Adobe Premiere
    Elements for menuizing and further editing.
    Arny Krueger, Mar 27, 2007
  6. Dave

    Mark Guest

    One other advantage of DVD-RAM is that there is a single (.VRO) file
    on disk, so a recording never spans multiple .VOB files.

    It makes MPEG editing a bit easier on a PC (though you need a DVD-RAM
    capable PC drive).
    Mark, Mar 27, 2007
  7. Dave

    Dave Guest

    Thanks for the advice, folks. Though I still don't feel any the wiser. I
    don't want to edit tapes, DVD's or anything else. But I have a small
    number of tapes which have programmes I want to watch on them still.
    These I would like to be able to either watch direct or copy to DVD &
    then watch.

    Pardon my total ignorance of such things, but what sort of disc does an
    HDD recorder use?

    BTW - at the moment we have both terrestrial programmes and a SKY box,
    so we can watch on terrestrial and record from SKY or vice versa. With
    the switch to digital coming is there anything clever enough to record
    one programme from SKY while we're watching another? Short of a SKY+
    box, of which I've heard so much that I'd be wielding the proverbial
    barge pole if that was the only solution.

    Thanks again,

    Dave, Mar 27, 2007
  8. Dave

    Mark Guest

    Usually a fairly standard 3.5 inch hard drive with a PATA interface.
    Some PVRs are apparently a bit picky as regards the drive spec.
    Mark, Mar 27, 2007
  9. A bog-standard IDE hard drive, in all the ones I've opened.

    Some accept a bigger replacement happily. Others seem locked to the
    original type/size.
    Laurence Payne, Mar 27, 2007
  10. Dave

    Arny Krueger Guest

    Then you need a DVD recorder, hard drive optional, to hook to the output of
    your VHS player.
    Arny Krueger, Mar 27, 2007
  11. Dave

    G Hardy Guest

    Alternatively, if you have a DVD player on your PC and a DVD writer in your
    PC, just get a £20 USB "DVD maker" - these are little analogue converters
    that will encode* "on the fly", and you can burn the resulting MPEG file
    direct to DVDR.
    G Hardy, Mar 27, 2007
  12. Dave

    Dave Guest

    Thanks again, but I'm just getting more and more confused. Perhaps I
    didn't word my last message very well. Let's start from the top again.

    What I have - a VCR that I bought used 7 years ago and is now starting
    to show signs of its age. I also have a stack of videos containing
    programmes I've recorded. Some I want to keep, most I just want to watch
    and discard.

    What I want - a digital recorder that will:

    a. Take the place of the VCR in allowing me to record programmes and
    watch them later.

    b. Allow some connection between the VCR and the TV so I can watch the
    tapes I have.

    c. Allow me to watch one programme while recording another, both
    possibly coming through my SKY box.

    Is this possible? If not would I be better to buy a new VCR and wait
    until something like SKY+ actually works reliably.

    What would you recommend? Please keep it in simple terms - I'm not
    knowledgeable about this stuff, I just want to hook it up and have it do
    the job.


    Dave, Mar 29, 2007
  13. Dave

    Trev Guest

    To watch one program while recording another Needs two tuners or in the case
    of sky two sky boxes or one box with two tuners. If you bought a DVD
    recorder it would replace the VCR in your setup and apart from recording to
    DVD would not change how things work at the moment ie watching different
    program to what you are recording. You can get DVD recorders with Freeview
    tuners that will recorder the free to air digital channels or you can get a
    sky box with two tuners that records to a hard drive from one tuner and
    watch the channel that the other tuner is set too. Not being a cable guy I
    dont know if they have a DVD recorder built in too, if not you will need a
    DVD recorder as well Or a combo DVD recorder that also plays/records VHS
    tapes. If you VCR is still working reasonably well you could just plug that
    into the second scart/AV2 input on the DVD recorder and record from tape or
    if the TV is set to the second scart AV2 input that the DVD is plugged into
    You can watch the tape.
    Trev, Mar 29, 2007
  14. Dave

    Arny Krueger Guest

    IOW, a stand-alone DVD-based video recorder.
    IOW, a stand-alone DVD-based video recorder.

    IOW, a stand-alone DVD-based video recorder.
    Arny Krueger, Mar 30, 2007
  15. Dave

    G Hardy Guest

    The one I bought from Aldi for £30 is pretty good. Its quality is better
    than my previous attempt at analogue to digital conversion, in which used a
    PD150 to convert to DVD via DV. I got a similar one through ebay for £20 but
    it can't handle interlaced footage.

    It's not as if the OP's source material is of particularly good quality -
    and it's not as if the resulting DVDs are archive material - it's just a way
    of watching tape without the hassle of handling the tapes.

    If you have a big collection of prerecorded tapes, there's an added benefit
    that these little USB devices bypass Macrovision, which helps protect your
    investment. it's possible that the standalone DVD recorders do this too, but
    it's something someone else will need to test & confirm.
    G Hardy, Mar 30, 2007
  16. Dave

    News Will Guest

    You want a Philips HD/DVD recorder. eg DVDR3300H (Analogue tuner)

    You can copy all your VHSs to HD and copy to DVD if yuo want (having ediited
    You can record one programme while watching another, or RGB in from SKY
    News Will, Apr 1, 2007
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