Pioneer DVR-630H

Pioneer's flagship DVD recorder can store up to 24 hours of video on 8.5GB dual layer discs and 455 hours of television on its internal hard disk.


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Pioneer has refreshed its line-up of DVD recorders with four devices: the entry-level DVR-230 (AU$399), the DVR-330 (AU$499), the 80GB hard disk DVR-530H (AU$899) and the 160GB DVR-630H (AU$1099).

Upside
Like the Pioneer DVR-330, the DVR-630H has a new MPEG encoder that allows for up to 13 hours of video to be recorded onto a single DVD-R/RW and 24 hours on a dual layer disc. Pioneer also claims the new encoder allows for 55 percent more detail to be recorded in the same amount of storage space. The 630H also houses a 160GB hard disk that can store up to 455 hours of video at its highest compression setting or 23 hours using its highest resolution setting.

The two hard disk models feature USB connectivity at the front of the recorders for transferring JPEG images direct from a camera, via a USB memory key, or through a card reader attached to the unit. Users can also connect a USB keyboard to the port at the front to navigate the recorder's menu and rename files. A separate type-B USB port is at the rear for printing to PictBridge enabled printers. Hard disk models also have the ability to copy music CDs in real-time at a bitrate of 256kbps, similar to the feature we saw on the Bose Lifestyle 48.

Downside
Pioneer is still entrenched in the DVD-R/RW camp (aka the DVD Forum) as the exclusive format of choice for recording, although it does support playback of DVD+R/RW and DVD-RAM discs.

Photo enthusiasts that like to record in uncompressed RAW or TIFF formats won't be able to use the DVR-630H's USB connection for images as the file manager only recognises JPEG files. Also, the USB port only supports version 1.1 (up to 12Mbit/s, or 1.4MB/s), which is slower than USB version 2.0's maximum speed of 480Mbit/s (or 57MB/s).

Although equipped with multiple composite inputs and outputs, high end connections such as DVI and HDMI aren't included on this round of Pioneer recorders.

Outlook
2005 will be the first year when DVD recorders outsell video cassette recorders, which have experienced declining sales over the past four years, according to Pioneer. Sales of DVD recorders are expected to reach half a million units by the end of the year.

With Christmas around the corner, Pioneer is the first to hit the market with three sub-$1000 DVD recorders (and one AU$1100 unit) that support dual layer recording. Increasing the range of models available allows consumers to pick a model that best suits their needs, such as hard disk recording for heavy users, USB connectivity for digital photographers, and CD copying for music lovers.

We'll have the full review on CNET.com.au soon. Sign up to our free Home Entertainment newsletter for the latest products, news and features.

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Danger76
3
Rating
 

Danger76 posted a review   

The Good:Average Tuner

The Bad:Crappy HDD

Amazingly BAD!

Danger76
7
Rating
 

Danger76 posted a review   

A great DVD recorder, all the needs I need to rid my collection Of VHS tapes and record them onto DVD. The only negative thing/s about it to me, is the fact that when you record onto DVD from HD (The programmes stored onto HD), if you choose to record in any other method besides the standard settings, is that the chapters won't be in the recording of the DVD, hence it will all be just one chapter, unless you divide the show?programme into different sections. Also does anyone know how to crack a copy-righted VHS video tape???. i have a couple of VHS videos that won't allow me to record onto the DVD HD, as it says "This video has copy-protection activated". I'm very annoyed about this as I would like to copy videos onto DVD and I hate VHS video tapes now with a vengence. So it looks like Im stuck with these stupid VHS tapes now.

Ng Chin Hwa
3
Rating
 

"Good picture and sound reproduction. But, alas, poor quality HDD."

Ng Chin Hwa posted a review   

The Good:Easy connection and easy operation. Good picture and sound reproduction.

The Bad:Only 1 channel viewing when recording.
Poor HDD quality.

I bought this model DVR-630H-s in June this year, after going through various reviews in the internet. Settled to this choice because of large HDD capacity and i-Link connection. Initially I was satisfied with my choice and was able to put up with those limitations like only one channel when viewing and recording, and real time recording of DV tape from camcorder onto the HDD.
However, frustration creeps in when there is remaining of about 25 hours of recording time in SP mode in the HDD. I am unable to play, edit and copy to DVD-R disc of those later recordings. The HDD ‘hangs’ and I just can't do anything about it. I have problem switching the recorder off using the remote control at that stage. I have to press ‘Standby/On’ button for about 5 seconds to switch it off.
Imagine the degree of annoyance when one took trouble to record a program and found that he just couldn't view it later.
I tried to optimise the HDD with the hope of ‘cleaning up’ the fragmented file, but the recorder stopped automatically when the screen showed 250 minutes left.
When manufacturer puts up merchandise that boasts a voluminous harddisk space, the consumer expects to make full use of it. But here, a good 30% of HDD space is unusable.
Guess the only choice for me is to dismantle all its wire connections to my home theatre system, send it back to the agent and let it sit there for a few weeks waiting for repair. But that is not the option a consumer chooses when buying a reputable brand.

 

"Pioneer has gone backwards on this model by removing the "create chapter" facility on the remote"

Lenard Lever posted a comment   

The previous models 520 & 620 which had a lesser time to record on the HD had a button on the Remote to "create a chapter" or to make a mark on the HD so that if you were watching a movie & wanted to return to the position where you were a few days later, you merely pressed the Create Chapter button & then days later pressed the skip button until you found the position where you left watching. Pioneer unbelievably have gone backwards by removing this essential feature & making it incredibly difficult to find the point where you left off. I phoned Pioneer help desk who told me they had received several complaints about this. I upgraded to a 160GB HD from a Panasonic E85 which had this facility & will attempt to return the Pioneer & s**** for a Sony or Panasonic which has this essential "create chapter" button on its remote. Otherwise the Pioneer has a lot of very sensible features that the Panasonic does not have, such as once a timer recording is set, you dont have to press the "timer" button to activate the timer & in the Panasonic the tuner then cuts off, as it is done automatically in the Pioneer




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User Reviews / Comments  Pioneer DVR-630H

  • Danger76

    Danger76

    Rating3

    "Amazingly BAD!"

  • Danger76

    Danger76

    Rating7

    "A great DVD recorder, all the needs I need to rid my collection Of VHS tapes and record them onto DVD. The only negative thing/s about it to me, is the fact that when you record onto DVD from HD (..."

  • Ng Chin Hwa

    Ng Chin Hwa

    Rating3

    "I bought this model DVR-630H-s in June this year, after going through various reviews in the internet. Settled to this choice because of large HDD capacity and i-Link connection. Initially I was ..."

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