Monday, December 19, 2005

DVD recorders and cheap Chinese TVs

So my DVD recorder stopped opening last weekend. It had been slowly mucking up for a while - not reading discs, crashing when I pressed record, etc. but now the drawer won't open. Luckily I'd taken to keeping it empty so there's no disc stuck in it.

Hopefully this one won't be as hard to fix as our last DVD player. We bought that one back last century when we were early adopters, but over time some functions stopped working. Like playing DVDs (it still played CDs though, and since my wife wouldn't let me replace our old CD player because the DVD plays them too, that was at least something). We rang the manufacturer to find the accredited repairer. We took it to them, and after a month they told us it would be $550 to repair. So we no longer have that one...

[The problem is that it was a 'world zone' player; we bought it already mod-chipped; and half of our DVD collection are region 1 discs.]

So we're hoping the DVD recorder isn't anything like that. Next problem: the Panasonic accredited DVD repairer isn't open on weekends, so I'm not sure when I'm going to get to Yerongpilly to drop it in, because I don't usually have the car on weekdays.

Still, we have our Foxtel iQ box to record things on - I think I've recorded directly to the DVD once in the past 6 months: I wanted to tape three things at the one time and one of them was on free-to-air, so I popped a disc in. But we're running out of things to watch: we haven't taped any Law and Order for about a month because we've pretty much seen them all. The original series isn't too bad, because there are such a lot of them, but SVU and Criminal Intent seem to have been syndicated from their first seasons, which means there aren't enough of them, so they play the same ones over and over.

Luckily we picked up our rainchecked TV/DVD player the same week as our DVD recorder carked it. And, being a cheap Chinese-made player they don't bother with any region encoding - it seems to play anything (well we only have Australian and U.S. discs to check; they both work.) Of course, it is about the worst quality I've ever seen. You know those DVD-Rs you recorded at 0.78G/ hour (6 hours on a disc)? Well they might look okay on the machine that recorded them, but on this thing they look like mpegs copied off the net and blown up to full screen.

So now we have a TV in the bedroom. We're just not used to watching TV in the bedroom. Boycat's Mum is one of those people who falls asleep almosts as soon as she gets horizontal. And if there is white noise in the background, or the audio of a Friends episode she's seen 10 times before, then she's out like a light.

Usually, the discomfort of trying to sleep on the lounge keeps her awake until a reasonable hour of the evening, say 8pm. But when we try to watch DVDs in the bedroom, forget it.

An Aside
Hey, those of you with hard-disc or DVD recorders, what do you call it when you record a program? I still talk about 'taping'. I've tried to change it to a generic 'recording' but it just doesn't come out smoothly. 'Disking' just sounds wrong to me. I thought about 'burning' or 'ripping' but they seem to require that a computer be involved somewhere in the process.


1 comment:

Syme said...








catching Waves?

Fat piping to the hard drive?


cutting the actors out of risiduals?

Keeping Hollywood paranoid?

just invent a verb......