Monday, April 25, 2005

Time for a new DVD Player

So after a frustratingly short time (about 3 years) it is time to replace my DVD player. It's a Pioneer DV939a and it is a great machine, but it has started becoming very unpredictable. Sometimes it plays a film fine, and other times it just refuses to load a disk. And despite the quality when it is working fine - it has stopped playing my favorite film, Apollo 13, and that is quite unacceptable (and before you impune my trouble shooting abilities, of course I have tried the disk on other DVD players and it works).

Now you can pick up a DVD player from reputable makes like Sony for under £50 but they are no good for me since I need an optical output to link it to my surround sound amplifier. So if the budget market is out, what to choose. Also, should I go for a straight DVD player or a DVD with a hard disk to replace my video as well. Or even a hard disk recorder with a subscription like SKY. My frolleague Cali Clarke is a massive fan of the TiVo, which offers a great user interface and a devoted fan base, but it ain't gonna play my DVDs. Another frolleague Darren Adams is an advocate of the SKY+ box (despite some teething troubles). Once more this cannot play my DVDs, but more importantly, Ali has said she will divorce me if we get satellite TV. Something about the likelihood of me spending 22 hours a day watching the Men and Motors channel apparently :-(

So my current thinking is to go for a combined DVD/Hard Disk recorder. It would get me back in the 21 Century which appeals to my Geeky side, but the ability to stop having to program the video is another big draw. I have been looking lustfully at the Pioneer DVR 420HS romping in at about £300. Has anyone advice, experience or recommendations for these combo devices? Any help appreciated.

4 comments:

Tony C said...

Panasonic do a range of DVD/Hard disc recorders which I've read good things about. I do expect PVR prices to nose dive soon and already theres one or two cheap models from Korean manufactureres you've never heard of. Tesco sell a Philips DVD recorder for under £200.

And this is but a guess; a further shift in this market will be when the next gen consoles hit the streets. I reckon they'll do the Tivo thing as well...

Johnny Hoover said...

Throw out the telly along with the faulty DVD player! ...you know i'm right...

Darren said...

'Men & Motors' is rubbish, especially the motors bit. Ports, in your thirst for knowledge and desire to be pub quiz king the Discovery Channel is more up your street. You can catch a re-run of 'I Survived a 200lb Tumour' most weeks.

Re. Sky Plus - my 4th box (that includes the replacement that turned up non-functional) has been fine (touch wood) although it occasionally forgets to record something. Live pause and rewind... once you've got used to having them there's no going back.Dunno about you but my wife* insists on talking to me in the evening and sometimes I have look like I'm interested in which colour shoes are better (live pause) or rewind cos I missed something.

* Only joking dearest

Matt Newton said...

I have the DMR E30 and got it around the time it dropped from £1000 to £300. You can pick these (or similar) up for around £250 these days. Costco also have good stock of decent DVD recorders. They still have VideoPlus on if you need to set it out of Heat, TVTimes or your favourite trashy TV Mag, and they're dead easy to use. I like the Timeslip function - great for when the wife wants to watch Location, Location, Location and I want to record The Bill (ahem!) - or something like that.
But best of all, if you have any old video tapes from when you were younger (the ones the family usually sit through at Christmas), you can transfer them on to DVD easily and get rid of that tape.