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post #1 of 53 Old 09-13-2009, 07:40 AM - Thread Starter
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I am looking to buy a DVD/VCR combo.

Which one is the best?

Are there any good ones out there? It seems they all get very bad reviews for the most part.
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post #2 of 53 Old 09-13-2009, 03:30 PM
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I owned a Panasonic DMR-EZ485VK. It seems pretty good and reliable. I cannot say its the best as its pretty lagging in response to remote keys pressing. Its got a digital tuner, dvd recording and VHS recording. DMR-EZ48VK is another model no. available on eBay new with the same design as the DMR-EZ485V except it did not come with a HDMI cable.

There are a lot of other brands that can do DVD & VHS recording but do not come with digital tuners.
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post #3 of 53 Old 09-14-2009, 11:06 PM
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One gripe about the Panasonic combos: the digital tuner doesn't feed to the VCR. I pulled up the owner's manual on Panny's web site and, in the section on recording, there is a note that only the DVD can record from the digital tuner.

The Toshiba D-VR660 does feed the digital tuner to both VCR and DVD. I don't know if the 670 has the same feature however as the owner's manual is not on Toshiba's web site.

The Magnavox combis appear to use the same board as the Toshiba, and I don't see the "digital tuner for DVD only" note that the Pannys have. The Mag ZV450MW8 does not have an HDMI output. The ZV457MG9 does.

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post #4 of 53 Old 09-15-2009, 05:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gate1975mlm View Post

I am looking to buy a DVD/VCR combo.
Which one is the best? Are there any good ones out there? It seems they all get very bad reviews for the most part.

Toshiba DVR670. Hands down. Powerful tuner.
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post #5 of 53 Old 09-16-2009, 08:14 AM
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If you don't need the tuner and can still find it, the panasonic EA38 (recommended to me by several folks here) has been a little flakey, but not as temperamental as the 48 with tuner -- and, added bonus, it has IRblaster that lets you control converter box etc. Cant say I LOVE it, but since connecting it to a STB to stabilize the tuning issues I was having, it's been fairly reliable - locks up occasionally, but easy to reset without turning it off and losing timer settings (once you find the magic reset button under the front panel) I think, of the panasonics out there, this one is ok and the upconversion is good, via HDMI or component.
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post #6 of 53 Old 09-17-2009, 07:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gate1975mlm View Post

I am looking to buy a DVD/VCR combo.

Which one is the best?

Are there any good ones out there? It seems they all get very bad reviews for the most part.

This is the ONE:

Panasonic DMR-EH75V(80 GB) DVD Recorder / VCR / HDD



Tho its newer siblings, the es35v, and es45v are the greatest combos ever made for the us/canada. I got (3) 35, and (1) 45 + 1 for parts .
Maybe one day I'll get a eh75 and mod it... Only a little over $300 so far on ebay...
Or learn Japanese and get the DMR-XP25V, they have all the best tech in japan.
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post #7 of 53 Old 09-17-2009, 08:04 PM
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^^^^
Yes that would be the Pinnacle of combos
IMO followed by the ES-30v, ES-45/6v and the ES-35v.
I thought the first photo was sexier
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post #8 of 53 Old 09-17-2009, 10:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hansiz View Post

This is the ONE:

Panasonic DMR-EH75V(80 GB) DVD Recorder / VCR / HDD

Tho its newer siblings, the es35v, and es45v are the greatest combos ever made for the us/canada. I got (3) 35, and (1) 45 + 1 for parts .
Maybe one day I'll get a eh75 and mod it...

Yes, I agree with your choice of the DMR-EH75V even though I don't have this model.

I do have a few of the siblings you and Jeff mentioned.

My fully functional Panasonics, in current use or in a standby status include (6) DMR-ES35V, (2) DMR-ES30V (my daughter also has two of these), (2) DMR-ES15, (1) DMR-ES40V (a dreadful product), (3) DMR-EZ17 and (1) DMR-EZ28.

My non-functional Panasonic "parts machines" include (1) DMR-ES46V, (1) DMR-ES35V, (2) DMR-ES15, (1) DMR-EZ17.

I'm attaching two photos more than a year old and three more recent photos.
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post #9 of 53 Old 09-17-2009, 11:27 PM
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Sweet stack. We had em stacked on the backoffice desk, but someone wanted their desk back. So I'll be shopping for something cool to put the 'consumer video equipment' on.

I had to just look at what australians and the japanese have, geez they have blue ray HD recorders with 500G HDD (dmr-bw500), and combos that, well, are the newest eh75v on steriods: the DMR-XP25V

http://japantechniche.com/2009/01/07...dvd-recorders/.
But you would have to shell out like $800 bucks and use this remote:

Its got a BS button.
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post #10 of 53 Old 09-18-2009, 06:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hansiz View Post

This is the ONE:

Panasonic DMR-EH75V(80 GB) DVD Recorder / VCR / HDD



Tho its newer siblings, the es35v, and es45v are the greatest combos ever made for the us/canada. I got (3) 35, and (1) 45 + 1 for parts .
Maybe one day I'll get a eh75 and mod it... Only a little over $300 so far on ebay...

Saw one of these (or something very similar - DVD VHS and 80 GB panny ) the other day on Craig's list in Seattle/Tacoma (cash and carry, local sale only). It does look nice. I guess they're still out there if you look real hard.
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post #11 of 53 Old 09-18-2009, 12:46 PM
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Yup they're out there now and then.

I'd rather get a great SVHS vcr and a great dvd recorder for $300. The combos do have the edge on speeder workflow. The VCR drives are nice in this series, just a tiche down from the best, like a 9 outa 10. It would be a 9.5 if SVHS or DVHS, 10 for a semi-pro pany (AG-1980).

I can't help but wonder if it were possible to mod a es45s with the eh75s HDD controller?
What ya think DigaDo? A service manual, HDD, controller, and a firmware flash?
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post #12 of 53 Old 09-18-2009, 02:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hansiz View Post

Yup they're out there now and then.

I'd rather get a great SVHS vcr and a great dvd recorder for $300. The combos do have the edge on speeder workflow. The VCR drives are nice in this series, just a tiche down from the best, like a 9 outa 10. It would be a 9.5 if SVHS or DVHS, 10 for a semi-pro pany (AG-1980).

I can't help but wonder if it were possible to mod a es45s with the eh75s HDD controller?
What ya think DigaDo? A service manual, HDD, controller, and a firmware flash?

I offered somewhat related speculation about swapping Digital PCBs in this post:

/avs-vb/showt...1#post16680611

Mickinct addressed my speculation here:

/avs-vb/showt...3#post16685863

Mickinict pointed out that hard drive models have longer than normal contact blocks on the underside of their Digital PCBs. Of course such longer contact blocks also require a longer connector on the chassis motherboard. As both these connectors are hard-wired to these circuit boards, these boards are unique to hard drive models.

The Panasonic VHS mechanism in ES, EH, and EZ recorders is very good. Any functional limitations are due to chip-based controller software. I partially disassembled one DMR-ES35V VHS mechanism that had intermittant mechanical jamming during loading/ejecting some videotapes. With reassembly the mechanism functioned properly and there was a wider range of tracking adjustment. That DMR-ES35V became my one Panasonic combo recorder that could satisfactorily track Sony "V" T-160 videotapes of 1996-1998 vintage. (I don't know how my partial rebuild resulted in better tracking performance.) Up to that time most of my Sony "V" T-160 videotaped recordings were played on external Toshiba M781 and M745 VCRs and copied to Panasonic DVD recorders or combo recorders.

A word of advice to Panasonic combo recorder users. Use the Functions menu-initiated dubbing/copying feature for best results with the built-in VHS mechanism. Of course, EZ series combo recorders--and the 2005 DMR-ES40V--are limited to the front panel control for copying videotaped recordings with the built-in VHS mechanism, a serious design flaw producing stop and start recordings and forced "title breaks" with overlapping material at those breaks. These results are beyond crude. For better results use an external VCR connected to an input for copying videotaped recordings.

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post #13 of 53 Old 09-18-2009, 05:35 PM
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At this point it seems talking about the EH75 is like talking about that bottle of wine you'd love to order at a restaurant but can't afford.

A used one sold today on EBAY for over $680!
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post #14 of 53 Old 09-18-2009, 07:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Breyean View Post

At this point it seems talking about the EH75 is like talking about that bottle of wine you'd love to order at a restaurant but can't afford.

A used one sold today on EBAY for over $680!

Yup 681.11 bucks. I did not win it, just watched it zoom up from 300 in a day. Some peeps must really think that combo is worth it.

So a es45v runs about 80.00. HDD drive, not even 80 anymore. If I could do the rest of the mod (HDD in a es45v) for 100, then we'd have something.

Checked out the PCB pics, so some of the 35 and 45 have HDD cable plugs. This isn't for the DVD drive, right? Wonder what the exact differences are on the eh75v PCBs. That some PCBs aren't interchangeable doesn't mean they could be modded to work. Anyone have some eh75v PCB pics and a service manual?

Sorry about going off topic...
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post #15 of 53 Old 09-18-2009, 08:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by artwire View Post

Saw one of these (or something very similar - DVD VHS and 80 GB panny ) the other day on Craig's list in Seattle/Tacoma (cash and carry, local sale only). It does look nice. I guess they're still out there if you look real hard.

This is the very the same DMR-EH75 I found on the Seattle Craig's List a little more than two months ago:

/avs-vb/showt...9#post16792909

It's hard to believe that it didn't sell in July with nearly the same asking price as the current listing:

http://seattle.craigslist.org/tac/ele/1376567094.html

This time the owner is willing to negotiate from the $245 asking price!!!!

C'mon you guys, you better buy it before I take a 2 1/2 hour road trip to the Tacoma/Puyallup area to buy it myself.

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post #16 of 53 Old 09-18-2009, 08:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DigaDo View Post

This is the very the same DMR-EH75 I found on the Seattle Craig's List a little more than two months ago:

/avs-vb/showt...9#post16792909

It's hard to believe that it didn't sell in July with nearly the same asking price as the current listing:

http://seattle.craigslist.org/tac/ele/1376567094.html

This time the owner is willing to negotiate from the $245 asking price!!!!

C'mon you guys, you better buy it before I take a 2 1/2 hour road trip to the Tacoma/Puyallup area to buy it myself.

I would in a minute, but not sure I can justify a 3000 mile trek You should grab it and give it a good home
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post #17 of 53 Old 09-18-2009, 09:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hansiz View Post

Yup 681.11 bucks. I did not win it, just watched it zoom up from 300 in a day. Some peeps must really think that combo is worth it.

So a es45v runs about 80.00. HDD drive, not even 80 anymore. If I could do the rest of the mod (HDD in a es45v) for 100, then we'd have something.

Checked out the PCB pics, so some of the 35 and 45 have HDD cable plugs. This isn't for the DVD drive, right? Wonder what the exact differences are on the eh75v PCBs. That some PCBs aren't interchangeable doesn't mean they could be modded to work. Anyone have some eh75v PCB pics and a service manual?

Sorry about going off topic...

The 2006 model year DVD Drives interface with the Digital PCB through four ribbon cables as shown in the first attached image. In 2006 models the DVD Drive controller is integrated with other logic circuitry of the Digital PCB. Earlier and later DVD Drives have onboard controller circuit boards allowing a single ribbon cable to interface with the Digital PCB.

As I've described in other posts Panasonic service manuals do not provide detailed service information concerning Digital PCBs or DVD ("RAM") Drives as these may not be "serviced" in the field, according to Panasonic, see the DMR-EH75 Service Manual at page 8, the second attached image. What little hard drive information there is deals with hard drive replacement, see Service Manual pages 45 and 46, the third and fourth attached images.

Service manuals are primarily diagnostic in nature, allowing the service person to determine what parts need replacement, see this post for more detail:

/avs-vb/showt...5#post16832715
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post #18 of 53 Old 09-19-2009, 12:03 AM
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One alternative to people wanting a combo VHS/DVD/HDD: how about all three functions, with dual digital tuners, dual timers and dual DVD recorders, for about $500 new? A Toshiba D-VR660 VHS/DVD *and* a Magnavox H2160MW9. Both being Funai built, the menus, timers and tuners all work pretty much the same, but to my surprise, the remotes do not interfere with each other, so I can work with one, while the other machine, sitting on the adjacent shelf, does not react to the first machine's remote.

Prior to getting the Maggy a couple months ago, I used a Super VHS machine to record material off the air that I wanted to edit before burning to DVD. Comparing DVDs dubbed from the Maggy's HD to those dubbed from S-VHS, the difference is night and day. There is so much less video noise in the recordings from the Maggy that I hope the dozen programs I had used the S-VHS on get rerun so I can rerecord them. Soon as I get some other projects cleared up, the S-VHS VCRs and tapes are going on the auction block.
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post #19 of 53 Old 09-21-2009, 11:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gate1975mlm View Post

I am looking to buy a DVD/VCR combo.

Which one is the best?

Are there any good ones out there? It seems they all get very bad reviews for the most part.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hansiz View Post

This is the ONE:

Panasonic DMR-EH75V(80 GB) DVD Recorder / VCR / HDD



Tho its newer siblings, the es35v, and es45v are the greatest combos ever made for the us/canada. I got (3) 35, and (1) 45 + 1 for parts .
Maybe one day I'll get a eh75 and mod it... Only a little over $300 so far on ebay...
Or learn Japanese and get the DMR-XP25V, they have all the best tech in japan.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve203 View Post

...Prior to getting the Maggy a couple months ago, I used a Super VHS machine to record material off the air that I wanted to edit before burning to DVD. Comparing DVDs dubbed from the Maggy's HD to those dubbed from S-VHS, the difference is night and day. There is so much less video noise in the recordings from the Maggy that I hope the dozen programs I had used the S-VHS on get rerun so I can rerecord them. Soon as I get some other projects cleared up, the S-VHS VCRs and tapes are going on the auction block.

I'm sure it's been said many times already, but even the much lauded EH75 was not very useful to me when I was transferring my 1000 or so tapes to DVD. I found the best transfer was gotten using a separate S-VHS player and a separate DVD recorder. All of the combo units I have ever tried resulted in poor transfers. I seriously recommend you stay away from them if that's what you are planning. Of course, like Steve said, even the best S-VHS tape looks flat and noisy compared to a DVD recorder. I agree with his assessment. It is much better to re-record content from a good source than copy from a tape. The only tapes I did copy were those I could not get from any other source, or else they would be prohibitively expensive to purchase. And, yes, there were a lot of them.

Very early on in my DVD recording experiences, I was still unsure if I wanted to make a complete break from VHS to DVD, so I recorded a number of shows on the DVD recorder, a Panasonic E-85, edited them there, and then played them back and recorded them on VHS tape. Really! Well, when I decided to do my tape conversion project, and came to those tapes, you can imagine how stupid I thought I had been.

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post #20 of 53 Old 09-21-2009, 01:43 PM
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I'd agree. Even though I have several wonderful combo ES-30v's the majority of my VHS to DVD recordings were done from a standalone VHS machine to my ES-30v's line input. I just found it easier to use two separate machines, even thought the ES-30v is one of only two Panasonic combos to have the incredibly handy dual displays. Although now that the majority of my converting is done, for one off dubs I've been know to use the internal copy method since my VHS player is only hooked to my TV and not the line input of a DVDR.
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post #21 of 53 Old 09-22-2009, 03:10 PM
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I have one or two ideas about these units. Either they are a great idea that was never properly implemented, OR they were a clever marketing idea to get people to buy a product that little time and money were expended on, solely for high profit margine. The good part of me would like to assume the first, but the pessimist in me thinks the second.

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Evil is charming and beautiful. It makes you doubt yourself. It asks for one small compromise after another until it whittles you down, and it functions best when no one believes in it.-JOA
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post #22 of 53 Old 09-22-2009, 10:22 PM
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Well that answers why its so hard to mod a eh75, or any other pany. Thanks for showing how there is no info in the service manuals.

BTW anyone in Hawaii? There is a craig's list for a EH75 for well $550
Funny its listed as sealed, yet a pic of it on a red cloth?
http://honolulu.craigslist.org/oah/ele/1360314923.html
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post #23 of 53 Old 09-22-2009, 11:14 PM
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I see this question alot and not just on online-shashki. It seems backing up VHS Tapes is a Top discussion. I have a Combo Panny DMR-46V that just bit the dust with an 'error 61'. I also have in storage a Panny with a 100GB Hard drive, unfortunatelly I am too paranoid to use it.
I think there is a much easier solution. How about a top of the line VCR patched (front panel) into a High Quality but common and affordable DVD-Recorder (we can even add those backup enhancers for those stubborn video titles. I think you know what I mean) and maybe even one of those External book sized DVR's.
I would think all of these can be replaced if it was needed.
Am I missing anything? Now what would be the logical choice for the VCR, DVD Recorder, DVR and even the Cables? Would you need a video stabilizer? video enhancer? J
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post #24 of 53 Old 09-23-2009, 09:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rizky View Post

I see this question alot and not just on online-shashki. It seems backing up VHS Tapes is a Top discussion. I have a Combo Panny DMR-46V that just bit the dust with an 'error 61'. I also have in storage a Panny with a 100GB Hard drive, unfortunatelly I am too paranoid to use it.
I think there is a much easier solution. How about a top of the line VCR patched (front panel) into a High Quality but common and affordable DVD-Recorder (we can even add those backup enhancers for those stubborn video titles. I think you know what I mean) and maybe even one of those External book sized DVR's.
I would think all of these can be replaced if it was needed.
Am I missing anything? Now what would be the logical choice for the VCR, DVD Recorder, DVR and even the Cables? Would you need a video stabilizer? video enhancer? J

The DMR-ES46V is one of the four best combo recorders for dubbing/copying videotaped recordings directly to DVD. (The four outstanding dubbing/copying combo recorders are the 2005 DMR-ES30V and 2006 DMR-ES35V, DMR-ES45V and DMR-ES46V.) For best results be sure to use the FUNCTIONS menu-initiated copy function where Time Limited and Flexible Recording is available when copying videotaped recordings with the built-in VHS mechanism.

Has your DMR-ES46V really bit the dust? Perhaps so, perhaps not. The U88, U61 and U99 errors and the first remedial measure, cleaning the DVD Drive lens and hub/spindle, is addressed in this recent post:

/avs-vb/showt...7#post17163187

With current products the alternative to a DMR-ES46V is connecting an external VCR to a DVD recorder input and recording directly to DVD from that input.

The best option is to connect an external VCR to a hard drive recorder like your other Panasonic (or a Magnavox 2160), transferring the material to the hard drive, editing the material if you like, and high-speed dubbing to DVD.

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post #25 of 53 Old 09-25-2009, 04:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DigaDo View Post

The DMR-ES46V is one of the four best combo recorders for dubbing/copying videotaped recordings directly to DVD. (The four outstanding dubbing/copying combo recorders are the 2005 DMR-ES30V and 2006 DMR-ES35V, DMR-ES45V and DMR-ES46V.) For best results be sure to use the FUNCTIONS menu-initiated copy function where Time Limited and Flexible Recording is available when copying videotaped recordings with the built-in VHS mechanism.

Has your DMR-ES46V really bit the dust? Perhaps so, perhaps not. The U88, U61 and U99 errors and the first remedial measure, cleaning the DVD Drive lens and hub/spindle, is addressed in this recent post:

/avs-vb/showt...7#post17163187

With current products the alternative to a DMR-ES46V is connecting an external VCR to a DVD recorder input and recording directly to DVD from that input.

The best option is to connect an external VCR to a hard drive recorder like your other Panasonic (or a Magnavox 2160), transferring the material to the hard drive, editing the material if you like, and high-speed dubbing to DVD.

Thanks DigaDo I guess we are all in the same boat. I am really surprised that the ES46V combo is rated so high. Last year you could buy them for $60 this year refurbished $150. I would be curious as to which one of the four you think is the best? If I use the 100GB Panny and connect a S-Video line from the S-VHS VCR, do you think you would have a higher quality by sending it to the Hard Drive or directly to a DVD-RAM disk? Thanks Again JR
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post #26 of 53 Old 09-25-2009, 06:31 AM
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The PQ would be identical both ways. Most would suggest going to the HDD first and then you could edit the material and finally burn it HS to a standard DVD R. You could edit the material on a RAM disc too but they're more expensive and less compatible.
My favorite of the ES-30v with it's incredibly handy dual displays. Both the VHS and DVD side have their own front panel display. On all other combos the VHS and DVD share a single display which makes it harder to see the progression of both sides at once. I'd probably suggest the ES-45/6v if you liked HDMI upconverting or the ability to record to DL or +RW discs.
The ES-35v just drops the HDMI upconverting part.
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post #27 of 53 Old 09-25-2009, 09:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gritsneggs View Post

Toshiba DVR670. Hands down. Powerful tuner.

This is most likely not the "best" one, but it is probally the best one I can get on a limited budget :-)

Being on a fairly tight budget I am getting a Magnavox ZV457MG9 Digital Tuner/ HDMI DVD/ VCR Recorder (Refurbished) for $137.99 (only $2.99 shipping) from Overstock.com.

(the Radio Shack web site has it new for $249.99 so $137.99 seemed like a good deal)

I haven't had a chance to see how well it works yet, but since the 2 year replacement plan was only $19.99 I figured it was worth it since the cost of the unit itself was so low.

(I had just already received one from Overstock but it was visibly damaged when I received it (likely from careless shipper handling) and one toll-free phone call to Overstock and they are immediately sending out a replacement and also paying for return shipping of the damaged one by having Fed-Ex pick it up pre-paid)
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post #28 of 53 Old 09-25-2009, 09:34 PM
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I had previously gotten a H2160MW9 from Walmart.com for $229 but that didn't have a VCR and my old VCRs started chewing tapes and difficult to get the rewind to work so I figured if I had to get another VCR I might as well get one with DVD recorder to make it worthwhile, especially for just $137.99 as I mentioned before.
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post #29 of 53 Old 09-25-2009, 11:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pepperman View Post

Being on a fairly tight budget I am getting a Magnavox ZV457MG9 Digital Tuner/ HDMI DVD/ VCR Recorder (Refurbished) for $137.99 (only $2.99 shipping) from Overstock.com.

Big Lots has a refurbished Magnavox DVD/VHS recorder with a digital tuner on sale this week for only $79.99.

No HDMI - only component.
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post #30 of 53 Old 09-26-2009, 07:17 AM
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I could use a little advice before I purchased one of these. Iam looking at the:
Magnavox H2160MW9 at Chinamart for $229 It has tuners.
Panny DMR-EZ485 at Costco $229. It has tuners
or the
Sony RDR-VX535 at Costco $149. No tuners.
From everything I've been able to ascertain, they all have their quirks.
My purchase will be to copy some very old vhs commercial movie tapes. using the Clearpix video stabilizer. I guess my question is which of the above would I have the best chance in doing this. I realize its a crapshoot. From what I gather, Sony is the very worst with their CP, even so far as not recording some tapes of your family and saying their copy protected. Any advice would be most appreciated.
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