November 28th, 2004

Angel of the Revolution

Dragonmeet again & cheap DVD recorder

Just a reminder that I'll be bringing copies of the next Forgotten Futures release to Dragonmeet on Saturday, for registered users, reviewers, etc. and will donate 30p to charity for copies picked up by registered users, since I won't have to pay postage.

I've also now got confirmation from the organisers that I can sell copies of the Diana: Warrior Princess RPG from my table. It'll be full price, £9.95, but I'll be donating £2.00 per copy sold to Cancer Research UK.

If you're in the UK this may be of interest: I just heard that Argos stores are selling the Liteon 5005 DVD recorder at £119.99, down from about £165 the last time I saw it advertised. It's a stand alone recorder with video-style programming, doesn't have a hard disk (don't think there are any hard disk / DVD recorders under £300 or so) but it does do DVD-R/RW, DVD+R/W, CD-R and I think CD-RW, and can play MP3 and JPG pictures.

I've seen some pretty good reviews for it and was thinking about getting it at the old price, now I've just reserved on on-line and will pick it up tomorrow. Stock code is 533 4070 if anyone else is interested. Only thing I've heard against it is that someone thought (but wasn't sure) that its built-in TV receiver didn't have Nicam Stereo, but since I'll be using a digital receiver anyway this doesn't really worry me.
marcus 2013

DVD recorder update

Further to my post last night...

Got up in the morning and thought I'd make quite sure I wanted the recorder by checking reviews etc. before I went to Argos. So I did... and I couldn't seem to find anything that said it had SCART sockets. Lots of other things mentioned, but not SCART.

So I was humming and hawing about it when my brother-in-law phoned, having seen the same ad and having the same query. He'd found a web site that said it had one SCART, which isn't much use, but it did seem a little odd. So he drove us round to Argos today to check, it turns out that there are actually two, and we both ended up buying one. Since he is (to put it kindly) a total klutz when it comes to electronic equipment, I ended up setting it up for him; took nearly an hour to get his simple setup (digibox to DVD recorder to TV) working and test everything, largely because the DVD recorder was new to both of us and we had to try everything. At the end of it we got everything working OK, played a DVD, recorded some TV, and looked at disks with MPG and JPG files on them, and all was good.

So I went home thinking "okay, I'm past the learning curve, shouldn't take too long."


What I'd forgotten in my boyish enthusiasm is that mine isn't a simple setup. I've got a digibox, a laserdisc player and a working video (his is currently defunct so I didn't have to install it, that delight is still to come), audio cables to the sound amp, etc., and I wanted to set it up so that I could record from everything else to DVD. Fortunately I did think to buy a SCART switch and a couple of extra cables at a nearby Maplin shop while I was out (the switches are currently in their sale at £9.99 for a fairly good one with three channels, extra AV outputs, various options to cross between channels, etc.) so I actually had everything I needed. Still took more than two hours to get it all working, largely because two of the old SCART cables stopped working while I was moving things around. They looked good - gold plated pins etc. - but they were rubbish when I took a look inside - short pins and crap soldering. Goes to show that gold isn't necessary a sign of quality.

Anyway, I now have the DVD and digibox connected directly to the TV, inputs from the laserdisc player, digibox, and video going to the DVD recorder through the switch box... and funnily enough no desire whatever to watch TV. So I'll get a couple of hours of writing done before Bro-in-law and sister take me out for a meal, which is apparently my reward for sorting all this. Can't really complain, since it's something I've really wanted to get and sorting out his first did help me get the other done faster.

Anyway, just wanted to say again that it's a pretty good DVD recorder and seems to work well. Doesn't have Videoplus, which I hadn't realised before, but if you're recording from a digibox videoplus is sod all use anyway. If you're in the UK it's well worth checking out. See my earlier post for details of the recorder etc., really can't face typing it in again.