Pine Man 09:30 19 Aug 2007

I am about to upgrade from a Sony VHS recorder (model SLV-SF90EX) to a Sony DVD recorder (not sure what model yet).

I have a lot of video cassettes which I want to transfer to DVD. Is this a simple matter of connecting my VHS recorder to my new DVD recorder and letting it rip, or is it a bit more involved than that?

  holme 10:36 19 Aug 2007

Provided the programmes on the video tapes are not commercial/protected, connect up via SCART and away you go.

Suggest set the recorder going first, then play the tapes. The recorder will almost certainly have an 'edit' feature so you can cut out any unwanted stuff at the beginning and end, adverts, etc. HTH.

  Pine Man 10:53 19 Aug 2007

Thanks for your response.

All of the tapes are home recordings so there shouldn't be any problems then.

Presumably there is no way of speeding up the process as I have about 30 three hour tapes!

  holme 12:21 19 Aug 2007

I'm afraid 'dubbing' from video tape to DVD is a real-time operation. So set aside 90 hours...

However, for all practical purposes, it can be a background operation as you can still:

a) Watch TV prog, or
b) Watch a programme pre-recorded on the DVD (many DVD recorders can simultaneously record one thing while playing back something it did earlier), or
c) Switch off the TV and go to work/bed/down the pub/the mother-in-law's etc.

For c), it's easy to set the DVD recorder timer so that after, say, 3:10, it will stop recording.

Note that DVDs will normally hold 2 hrs on 'Standard Play' but, if you want to record 3 hours without a break, selecting 'Long Play' will usually give up to 4 hours per disc. There's an unavoidable drop in display quality but it's still more than good enough for dubbing from standard video tapes.

BTW, a colleague has a Sony RDR-HXD560 which he says is excellent in every respect except that the cooling fan is a tad intrusive.

As an alternative to Sony, you might like to consider Panasonic as they're very quiet running and especially good at dubbing from video tape. IMHO the copied results are often better than the originals (stable display and very effective noise reduction circuitry). HTH.

  Pine Man 13:39 19 Aug 2007

I had a feeling it would take quite a while!

Thanks for the advice on recorders. I will probably stick with Sony as I have had years and years of trouble free use with their products and will probably opt for the model HXD870, which has twin tuners.

Thanks once again.

  oresome 19:02 20 Aug 2007

With regards the twin tuners on the HXD370, are you aware that this refers to a analogue tuner and a digital tuner and the two cannot be used together? Like wise you cannot watch one digital programme and record another without either a digital TV or a further set-top box.

With this machine dubbing would normally be done in real time to the hard drive where editing can then be done before doing a high speed transfer to DVD.

  Pine Man 19:09 20 Aug 2007

Thanks for that. I found out earlier today. The way Sony describe the unit is a dual digital and analogue tuner - very misleading!

I will still get one and also keep my Sony digibox. That way I can watch my TV from the digibox and any recording necessary can be done by the DVD recorders digital decoder - can't it?

  oresome 19:44 20 Aug 2007

No problen with that that I can see providing you have at least two scart inputs on the TV.

  Pine Man 20:03 20 Aug 2007

Yes, two scarts so hopefully no probs :-)

  manford7 00:01 01 Sep 2007

Hi, don't want to throw a spanner in the works but I have a Pioneer DVD/HDD recorder (model DVR-630H). It has 250GB HDD (at longest play mode this is 711hours or 36 hours XP+ highest quality mode).

What I liked about it is one can do frame accurate recording/editing (almost seamless) whereas many other recorders do not have this accuracy. I have had it 1.5 years and converted several 100 VHS tapes no probs.

There is also a choice of about 33 recording modes, from XP (1 hour) down from MN32 (1 hour, not quite as high quality) to MN1 (lowest quality, approx fits 14 hours on 1DVD!!!).

For VHS quality, using MN8 (4.5 hours per DVD) or less is noticing a quality loss.

It is a superb machine accepting DVD-R and DVD-RW discs. It also has DV input for camcorders and S Video as well as 2 SCARTs and standard component video/audio cable plugs.

More info should be available at Pioneer's website (search Pioneer under Google) or any good retailer.

The bests discs I have found to use with it are Mr DVD 8x(Strand) or Woolworths 8x own make. Avoid Verbatim or 16x speed discs as I find there are too many failures at high speed copying from HDD to DVD, especially with 16x speed discs.

When I done a lot of research into buying a DVD recorder some 1.5 years ago I considered the Sony models but could not verify their accuracy for editing which is something I wanted to be highly accurate; Pioneer could and they also seemed to be producing a better mode all round. Pioneer also have a 160GB version.

Hope this helps.

  Pine Man 09:05 01 Sep 2007

Thanks for your interest but I am now the proud owner of a Sony RDR-HXD870S and everything seems to be working just as it should - so far!

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