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7 posts

Wannabe Geek


Topic # 112476 10-Dec-2012 12:12 Send private message

Hi there,

I'm visiting my parents in NZ for a few days, & noticed Dad still uses an old VHS recorder.  His recordings were atrocious, as the old tapes are all worn out & I just don't know how he puts up with it to be honest.  I bought them a 40" LCD last year for Xmas, but since they record everything on the VHS, they end up watching everything in low definition anyway.  They record a lot of TV shows.

I'd like to buy Dad a digital recorder, something with decent storage capacity, & something with an intuitive interface (easy to use).  I'm not really up with the play on Freeview in NZ, & even in Australia I don't watch TV so don't really know much about it.  Anyway, I checked JB HiFi & they currently have several options on special.

Option 1. Panasonic DMR-XW390GZK DVD Recorder with 500GB HDD
Option 2. Magic TV MTV3700TD Freeview 1TB Digital Television Recorder

So I was wondering whether either of these, or something else, would be suitable (taking the points below into account).  Thanking you in advance.

1. Ease of use - Dad is in his sixties now & he would need something reasonably simple to use.  My brother still lives at home so could help out to begin with, but in the end I would prefer that whatever I end up buying is not overly complex.
2. Freeview - Is everything broadcast via digital/freeview?  I mean, if I bought one of the options above, would there be channels which could not be recorded?
3. Do not actually require a DVD recorder.  I think recording to HDD is the simplest option & external media is unnecessary for Dad's needs.  The Panny mentioned above is a DVD recorder, however I've listed it as an option because other than this, it seems as though it could be suitable.
4. Storage - Probably 500GB-1TB would be suitable (can't imagine current offerings would provide less than this anyway?).
5. Price - don't really want to spend more than 5-600, but it depends; if there is something available that costs more but has a far superior interface, something more suitable & simple, then I would consider paying extra.
6. "Gotchas" - I did not include the Sammy Bluray recorder as, well, it doesn't seem to be available at the majority of the big shops, & also from reading comments on Whirlpool it seems as though there are some annoying things with the interface which are inexcusable.  For example, recordings stopping if there is a brief loss of signal, deleting watched files potentially overly complicated, & other things).  Just wondering if there were any "Gotchas" or show stoppers with these or other products?

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484 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 2


  Reply # 729692 10-Dec-2012 12:40 Send private message

BIG recommendation for the Panasonic - We install plenty of these = The most reliable, easy-to-use Freeview|HD recorder I have come across.

1567 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 59


  Reply # 729774 10-Dec-2012 13:56 Send private message

illicit: BIG recommendation for the Panasonic - We install plenty of these = The most reliable, easy-to-use Freeview|HD recorder I have come across.

+1
I'm on my third Panasonic. First was analogue only, second was Freeview BW880 and I've just upgraded to the BWT720 3D model.
Dead easy to use. Panasonic will Region Free the DVD side for free via one of their service agents (so I can play my Region 1 & 2 discs). Never had any problems with them in the last 4 1/2 years.
You should be able to demand at least 15% off shelf price at JB HiFI.

58 posts

Master Geek


  Reply # 729878 10-Dec-2012 17:11 Send private message

I'm in my 70s and have had a Panasonic DMR-XW380 for a while (now superceded) It is great and easy to use. So I would agree with the above poster - go Panasonic

2272 posts

Uber Geek
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  Reply # 729889 10-Dec-2012 17:24 Send private message

The Panasonic is the most reliable.
The Samsung is the least... in fact, I wouldn't recommend one to someone unless they were a true, die hard Samsung fanboi.
The Magic TV is actually the most straight forward unit, but really, it hasn't proven to be the most reliable.

I find the Panasonic menu is a little confusing for people like my parents, but younger / more tech savy people are onto it pretty quickly. Remember, most people who post on here will be pretty darned good with tech gear, your folk may not.
Also, do your parents have a DVD player at all? If so, replacing the unit with the Panasonic could be good as one remote can run both the TV and the recorder.



7 posts

Wannabe Geek


  Reply # 730007 10-Dec-2012 22:03 Send private message

Thanks everyone for your recommendations.

My parents don't use a DVD player currently so I don't think the DVD player/recorder will get any use.  If the Panny UI isn't necessarily the most suitable option for a less tech-savvy person, given that the alternatives are potentially less reliable it probably defaults back to the Panny as the best option; at least that's the way i'm seeing it.

One thing that still concerns me is whether the Panny, with its digital tuners, would be able to record everything the old VHS VCR could record.  I wouldn't want Dad to discover he was unable to record something & feel the need to dig out the VCR again.

1567 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 59


  Reply # 730157 11-Dec-2012 09:08 Send private message

muchacho:
One thing that still concerns me is whether the Panny, with its digital tuners, would be able to record everything the old VHS VCR could record.

Why wouldn't it? It has 2 Digital tuners so can record 2 channels at once in HD. Won't record analogue TV though as it only has digital tuners. Who wants to record analogue these days? It also has A/V input so can record from external sources such as Sky as well but only in SD. Show me a VCR that can do all that. Bear in mind that after Dec 2013 his VCR will be useless anyhow (unless he has a digital STB) as it only has an analogue tuner.



7 posts

Wannabe Geek


  Reply # 730328 11-Dec-2012 12:00 Send private message

B1GGLZ:
muchacho:
One thing that still concerns me is whether the Panny, with its digital tuners, would be able to record everything the old VHS VCR could record.

Why wouldn't it? It has 2 Digital tuners so can record 2 channels at once in HD. Won't record analogue TV though as it only has digital tuners. Who wants to record analogue these days? It also has A/V input so can record from external sources such as Sky as well but only in SD. Show me a VCR that can do all that. Bear in mind that after Dec 2013 his VCR will be useless anyhow (unless he has a digital STB) as it only has an analogue tuner.


Well not recording analogue TV is one reason why it wouldn't be able to record everything the old VHS VCR could.

I don't know which channels are available in Freeview/digital & which ones are still analogue only.  Therefore I just wanted to understand whether there will be things which my Dad *may* want to record, but find himself in a situation where he cannot because the device I bought him doesn't support it.  Thanks for mentioning the A/V inputs, as it looks like the TV has a digital plus analogue tuner, so can record via that as the source, if required.

Hawkes Bay
8481 posts

Uber Geek
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  Reply # 730357 11-Dec-2012 12:27 Send private message

Why would analogue TV be of concern to anyone now. Its all getting switched off. Any investment in an analogue TV now, especially over the same $ on digital gear, is a total waste of money surely....




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1567 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 59


  Reply # 730359 11-Dec-2012 12:29 Send private message

muchacho:

Well not recording analogue TV is one reason why it wouldn't be able to record everything the old VHS VCR could.

I don't know which channels are available in Freeview/digital & which ones are still analogue only.  Therefore I just wanted to understand whether there will be things which my Dad *may* want to record, but find himself in a situation where he cannot because the device I bought him doesn't support it.  Thanks for mentioning the A/V inputs, as it looks like the TV has a digital plus analogue tuner, so can record via that as the source, if required.


As I said. After Dec 2013 there wont be any analogue TV left on air to record. It will all be digital. The West Coast and Hawkes Bay have already turned off Analogue. Freeview has all the analogue channels (some in SD and some in HD and widescreen aspect) and more as well.
Have a look at the Freeview website for channel info and compare with analogue TV guides.
And you can't record from a Freeview TV to VCR or DVD as the outputs are audio only. There's no video out socket even for the analogue tuner. There are a few that will record to USB.

869 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 163

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  Reply # 730360 11-Dec-2012 12:29 Send private message

muchacho:
B1GGLZ:
muchacho:
One thing that still concerns me is whether the Panny, with its digital tuners, would be able to record everything the old VHS VCR could record.

Why wouldn't it? It has 2 Digital tuners so can record 2 channels at once in HD. Won't record analogue TV though as it only has digital tuners. Who wants to record analogue these days? It also has A/V input so can record from external sources such as Sky as well but only in SD. Show me a VCR that can do all that. Bear in mind that after Dec 2013 his VCR will be useless anyhow (unless he has a digital STB) as it only has an analogue tuner.


Well not recording analogue TV is one reason why it wouldn't be able to record everything the old VHS VCR could.

I don't know which channels are available in Freeview/digital & which ones are still analogue only.  Therefore I just wanted to understand whether there will be things which my Dad *may* want to record, but find himself in a situation where he cannot because the device I bought him doesn't support it.  Thanks for mentioning the A/V inputs, as it looks like the TV has a digital plus analogue tuner, so can record via that as the source, if required.


Where do your parents live? Analogue TV is in the process of being switched off so that issue is moot. The key issue is can they receive Freeview HD and do they have a UHF aerial? If they can receive Freeview HD and have a suitable aerial then you're set.

If they need satellite then they won't get HD and neither Magic TV nor the Panasonic will work.

1567 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 59


  Reply # 730373 11-Dec-2012 12:44 Send private message

Handle9:

Where do your parents live?
If they need satellite then they won't get HD and neither Magic TV nor the Panasonic will work.


Good point. You didn't say where they live and if they are currently watching Freeview Digital or Analogue on the new 40" set you bought them.
If they aren't in Freeview Terrestrial coverage then they will definitely need Satellite Freeview STB or Sky in 2014.
In that case MySky HDi might be the way to go.



7 posts

Wannabe Geek


  Reply # 730374 11-Dec-2012 12:47 Send private message

tonyhughes: Why would analogue TV be of concern to anyone now. Its all getting switched off. Any investment in an analogue TV now, especially over the same $ on digital gear, is a total waste of money surely....


The TV in question is a digital TV.  I've merely presented a seemingly plausible scenario & requested some information relating to it, so that I can make a more informed decision. 

Why would analogue TV be of concern to anyone now?  Well as mentioned, IF there are analogue-only channels, then it would be of concern to someone who regularly records them on an old VHS VCR, because with a digital-only recorder they would no longer be able to record them.  Is that clear enough?

But that's why I asked the question: are there analogue-only channels?  I'm asking because I don't know, & thought someone here may be knowledgeable in that area, & be kind enough to give me a simple answer.  If the answer is yes, then fine, I'll work around the situation - it's nice to know in advance.  If the answer is no, then fantastic; the options available are suitable as they are.  No one is suggesting investing in analogue technology...

5314 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 810


  Reply # 730375 11-Dec-2012 12:49 Send private message

you could save him a heap of cash and buy a tiVo from trademe for around $200-250. quite a few people selling them for around

320Gb hard drive, but that is till quite a lot.

interface is great too.

main catch is that he needs a broadband connection to get the EPG to work, although it uses almost no data.



7 posts

Wannabe Geek


  Reply # 730377 11-Dec-2012 12:51 Send private message

Handle9:
Where do your parents live? Analogue TV is in the process of being switched off so that issue is moot. The key issue is can they receive Freeview HD and do they have a UHF aerial? If they can receive Freeview HD and have a suitable aerial then you're set.

If they need satellite then they won't get HD and neither Magic TV nor the Panasonic will work.


They live in Auckland & receive a digital signal via a UHF aerial (I believe it's UHF only because many years ago we used to have Sky which required UHF back then, if I recall).  It appears to me that the picture is HD.



7 posts

Wannabe Geek


  Reply # 730378 11-Dec-2012 12:55 Send private message

B1GGLZ:
As I said. After Dec 2013 there wont be any analogue TV left on air to record. It will all be digital. The West Coast and Hawkes Bay have already turned off Analogue. Freeview has all the analogue channels (some in SD and some in HD and widescreen aspect) and more as well.
Have a look at the Freeview website for channel info and compare with analogue TV guides.
And you can't record from a Freeview TV to VCR or DVD as the outputs are audio only. There's no video out socket even for the analogue tuner. There are a few that will record to USB.


Thank you for that - My Dad's disabled & doesn't really have much to do, so any TV, analogue or otherwise, is something that he really enjoys, so it's important for me to consider this.  Given that Freeview broadcasts all the analogue channels then it sounds like I'm sorted.

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