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Topic # 34863 30-May-2009 19:22
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About 18 months back I bought a Sony RDR-HX950 DVD\HDD recorder and I'm quite pleased with it (except for the extremely confusing handbook).

Ever since I bought it I've been hanging out for a new model with at least 1TB (1,000 gbs) of storage. I build computers for a living, so I'm familiar with the new generation of large hard drives, and I know they're not expensive.

So I don't understand why Sony haven't employed these big drives in their family of DVD recorders.  The largest Sony unit I've found online appear to employ 500GB models, (but I don't know that they're available in NZ), which is odd, as, from what I've read, other manufacturers, like Toshiba and Philips, seem to have had these drives available for several years.

So, my questions for GeekZone people:
1) Does anyone know of upcoming Sony recorders with bigger hard drives?
2) Does anyone know of upcoming Sony recorders that use  a BluRay optical drive?
3) I've always liked Sony (apart from their manuals) but maybe there's a better brand of recorder?

Suggestions appreciated :-)

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  Reply # 219924 30-May-2009 19:33
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HDD/DVD recorders are very much an obsolete product these days.

I don't know what Sony have in the way of BluRay units, I know Panasonic have one but it only has an MPEG2 tuner so it's never been launched in NZ.




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  Reply # 219981 30-May-2009 22:56
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Why do you say "HDD/DVD recorders are very much an obsolete product these days."

I wasn't aware that there were any other options for recording broadcast material for later playback, as well as being able to burn it to DVD.

 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 220443 1-Jun-2009 16:11
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There isnt, but burning to DVD is obsolete in the era of HD.

HDD/DVD recorders all have an analog tuner in them, which is obsolete. If you do find a digital tunered one it will be mpeg2 only so no use in NZ.




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  Reply # 220476 1-Jun-2009 17:50
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geekIT: Why do you say "HDD/DVD recorders are very much an obsolete product these days."



I wasn't aware that there were any other options for recording broadcast material for later playback, as well as being able to burn it to DVD.


There aren't.

DVD recorders are obsolete because they can't support HD content. For those people within a Freeview|HD coverage area all broadcasts are H.264/MPEG2 vs the MPEG2 used for DVD's.

Call me a conspiracy theorist but I just don't think we'll see much of a future for BluRay/HDD units either, with content producers demanding DRM the future is very much HDD based units that prohibit you getting any content off them.


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  Reply # 220498 1-Jun-2009 18:57
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If you build computers for a living why not build a media centre for yourself? They kick the pants of HDD/DVD recorders. I used to have a HDD/DVD recorder and always found it a pain. With a MC or Mysky the epg is intergrated which makes life so much more simple.







Media centre PC - Case Silverstone LC16M with 2 X 80mm AcoustiFan DustPROOF, MOBO Gigabyte MA785GT-UD3H, CPU AMD X2 240 under volted, RAM 4 Gig DDR3 1033, HDD 120Gig System/512Gig data, Tuners 2 X Hauppauge HVR-3000, 1 X HVR-2200, Video Palit GT 220, Sound Realtek 886A HD (onboard), Optical LiteOn DH-401S Blue-ray using TotalMedia Theatre Power Corsair VX Series, 450W ATX PSU OS Windows 7 x64



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  Reply # 220501 1-Jun-2009 19:00
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OK, I see what you're getting at. Then, wouldn't the logical development be HDD recorders with massive storage capabilities? Like multi-terabyte drives?  Then, nobody would have to offload their downloaded content. Shucks, if I had even ONE 1TB drive it'd just about hold my collection.

The other option would be a HDD recorder with removable hard drives. I use this system in my computer business, in all my workshop machines. All I need to do to change drives (or operating systems) is just shut down the device, swap drives in the 5.25" rack bay, fire up and I'm away again with a different hard drive.

With racked 1TB drives, any of us could have a library as large as the local video store. Seems to me that if there's a demand, someone will find a way to do it.

Which brings me to another question that's puzzled me ever since I bought my Sony recorder. Anyone have any information (or website links) about how the 'chase-play' drives work? I'd thought that maybe they have two scanning heads, but I've not seen any confirmation of that.

Later: Nety, I just saw your post.  Haven't dealt with the MediaCentre operating system.  Tell me more.  Or maybe you have some links I could use?

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  Reply # 220506 1-Jun-2009 19:09
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Why would they need 2 heads? You can download and watch on a PC even while its doing everything else so for just 2 things even a junky 5400RPM ATA-33 drive would be fast enough.




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  Reply # 220528 1-Jun-2009 19:57
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Well, maybe. But I'd be interested to know how it's possible to be recording one movie in HQ mode, and at the same time, watch another, previously recorded movie, complete with all the usual facilities of fast forward, reverse play etc. As far as I can see, that's gotta be either two heads at work or some pretty fancy ram utilisation, to say nothing of the quantity of ram required.

But it sound like you know how it's done, richms, so perhaps you'd share the knowledge with us?

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  Reply # 220550 1-Jun-2009 20:28
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A standard HDD is more than capable of doing that.



I've done some testing here on my Windows Vista machine running GB-PVR. I succesfully recorded TV1,TV2,TVNZ6,TVNZ7,Sport Extra,TV3 and C4 all at the same time and watched Maori TV. With Freeview|HD these are all reasonably high bitrate recordings. I could have easily played back a previous recording with no issues.



HDD LED was pretty much on solid but the system coped fine.








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  Reply # 220618 1-Jun-2009 21:57
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geekIT:
Later: Nety, I just saw your post.  Haven't dealt with the MediaCentre operating system.  Tell me more.  Or maybe you have some links I could use?


Just google for "windows 7 media centre screenshots". There are also other options for software out there which all have the upsides and downsides. It is difficult to explain what a media centre is all about but I have tried below to make a list of the main benefits and negatives as I see them. There are sure to me more on both sides of the equation that I have missed.

Benefits

Integrated EPG - This needs to be setup but once done should just work. With integrated EPG you can record series, record on search terms or just record single programs. It is easy as a click of the record button when viewing the EPG.

Expandable - Whether it is more hard disk, more tuners or a faster CPU you can expand the hardware. Also if something new comes out (Freeview|HD for example you have the chance to upgrade the software and or hardware to support it.

Flexible - If you don’t like the software get some other software. There are several options for running media centre software and all have great communities of users happy to help. If you want the media centre to do something else well quite likely someone has already written some software to allow it to do it.

Powerful - Wow Mysky HDi can record 2 things and you can watch another... phittt! as you saw from Sbiddle he can record 7 things and watch a 8th!! not that you would ever do that but with a media centre you have the ability with the right hardware and software.
My media centre can record and play TV be if from Freeview DVB-S, Freeview|HD or analogue from our Telstra STB. But that’s not all. It can play movie files in basically any format, play music from basically any format you like be it CD, MP3 to apple's lossless format. Play DVD's, Blu ray's and the list just goes on.

and the list goes on (but that’s all I can be bothered typing Tongue out )

Negatives

Customised - It does NOT just work out of the box. Windows 7 has got much closer to that goal but MC's are not something that you unpack plug in and have it work. There is a lot of stuff that you need to setup to get it to work and then you have to maintain it.

Unreliable - this one can be as big a problem as you like but unfortunately you cannot eliminate it. If you want a stable MC then don't stuff with it. Get it built running how you want and then LEAVE IT ALONE!! The problem is that we MC types seem to find the last part very difficult and hence the ability to have this as a large problem.
As I said though even if you do leave it alone then don't expect it to be rock solid. It will have the occasional glitch. The glitch could be anything from a program not recording to the whole MC crashing in a steaming pile of blue screens. A lot of people (myself included) take regular backups in case something goes wrong.

Expensive - Depending on your resources you may be able to build a media centre quite cheaply. I used a older PC and initially just brought a case and some tuner cards for it. Cost around $500. However as you want more from it or you want to make it more quiet the cost goes up. It would not be hard to spend 2k or more on a media centre. It really comes down to what you want and are willing to spend.

Addictive - if you do get into running a MC you may well find that you become quite addicted. Be it tinkering with the MC so that you can play that pesky video file that you downloaded or installing a media extender so that you can watch your recorded programs in the bedroom. The reality is that suddenly your weekend has been eaten by your media centre... Wink







Media centre PC - Case Silverstone LC16M with 2 X 80mm AcoustiFan DustPROOF, MOBO Gigabyte MA785GT-UD3H, CPU AMD X2 240 under volted, RAM 4 Gig DDR3 1033, HDD 120Gig System/512Gig data, Tuners 2 X Hauppauge HVR-3000, 1 X HVR-2200, Video Palit GT 220, Sound Realtek 886A HD (onboard), Optical LiteOn DH-401S Blue-ray using TotalMedia Theatre Power Corsair VX Series, 450W ATX PSU OS Windows 7 x64



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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 221074 2-Jun-2009 20:29
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Hmmm, you guys have given me something to think about.  I could use another long-term project..:-)

Let's see if I've got this straight.  It's possible to build a device that's equivalent to my SonyRDRHX950 DVD\HDD recorder, out of standard computer components?  And have it do basically the same things?

This sounds too good to be true, lol.

So, Nety and sbiddle - you're both using Media Center computers? How do they differ from standard pcs?

BTW, what are 'GB-PVR' and 'EPG'?

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  Reply # 221108 2-Jun-2009 21:25
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A media centre PC is just a regular PC with a TV tuner card in it. As to whether it's possible to build a device that's the same as your HDD/DVD player and answer is both yes and no.. Yes it will do the same things but do them far far far better.

You can easily record every channel on Freeview at once with 3 tuners while playing back another show, you can watch DVD's and schedule all your recordings from an EPG.

The problem is that building a system that is solid and does exactly waht you want will consume time. Lots of time. It will also cause you frustrations and lost sleep. Once it works however it's fantastic.



GB-PVR is PVR/HTPC software written in NZ that allows you to record and playback TV on your PC.



EPG = Electronic program Guide.




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  Reply # 221119 2-Jun-2009 22:26
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Where do you live geekIT? someone with a media centre may live near by and be willing to give you a demo.







Media centre PC - Case Silverstone LC16M with 2 X 80mm AcoustiFan DustPROOF, MOBO Gigabyte MA785GT-UD3H, CPU AMD X2 240 under volted, RAM 4 Gig DDR3 1033, HDD 120Gig System/512Gig data, Tuners 2 X Hauppauge HVR-3000, 1 X HVR-2200, Video Palit GT 220, Sound Realtek 886A HD (onboard), Optical LiteOn DH-401S Blue-ray using TotalMedia Theatre Power Corsair VX Series, 450W ATX PSU OS Windows 7 x64



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  Reply # 221152 3-Jun-2009 00:42
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Good call. I'm in Arrowtown, 15k out of Queenstown (NZ)

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  Reply # 221166 3-Jun-2009 06:20
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Ouch... OK well we can see if anyone is near but I have to say I was hoping for a Auckland, Wellington or Christchurch answer. Chances are somewhat slimmer for Arrowtown I supect. Bloody nice part of NZ though Cool







Media centre PC - Case Silverstone LC16M with 2 X 80mm AcoustiFan DustPROOF, MOBO Gigabyte MA785GT-UD3H, CPU AMD X2 240 under volted, RAM 4 Gig DDR3 1033, HDD 120Gig System/512Gig data, Tuners 2 X Hauppauge HVR-3000, 1 X HVR-2200, Video Palit GT 220, Sound Realtek 886A HD (onboard), Optical LiteOn DH-401S Blue-ray using TotalMedia Theatre Power Corsair VX Series, 450W ATX PSU OS Windows 7 x64

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