DVD burners?


Missy
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Okay, so I'm starting to think about getting a DVD burner (so I can convert my wrestling tapes to a more compact format) but I have no idea what I should be looking for.

Also, I keep hearing about the next generation of DVDs that will be able to hold upwards of 200 gigs! How far off is this technology and will this mean we'll need new burners? I mean, will modern burners be able to produce the 200 gig discs?

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200GB???? Jesus, they just have to be a good ways off with that kind of storing capacity. I mean, you're talking about an entire souped-up hard drive's worth of information on one disc. Maybe they are closer than I expected to having that kind of technology available, but I sure haven't heard anything about it.

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If I were you, I'd probably snag a Lite-On DVD+/-R/RW drive, and then a TV Tuner card or an external TV Tuner (I'd go with ATI personally, but there are other good TV Tuner options, I say Lite-On for the burner just because they're cheap and well supported). You'll probably need a lot of hard drive room, probably 10 gigs or so per tape (its not that bad, you just capture the video from the tape, compress the files, and burn it to DVD). This option is cheaper than a set-top box and you'll have a DVD burner for other large computer files. This option will also let you create better menu's; but that's relatively minor unless you have multiple shows on one tape.

The drawback is compatibility. Some (set-top) DVD players don't play burned DVD's at all, and some only play +'s and some only -'s. If you've got a friend with a DVD burner, buy him a couple of discs (a +R/RW and a -R/RW) and get him to make you some test discs to find out what your player can play. One of the big tape sites (I think its Smart Mark, but I'm not sure) has a list of what DVD players can play their DVD-R's, and if your player is listed, you can just use that type of disks. Otherwise you're going to have to check some other way.

If you go the set-top box route, I think it's just as simple as pressing record (I think). You also don't have the compatibility issues as you could just use it to replace your current DVD player and (when you've finished you're conversions) your VCR, and play the movies on the Burner. It is however, more expensive. I don't really know of any ultra superb DVD burners, but if you've got the dough, snag one with a built in TiVo.

All in all I think it depends on your budget, and how often you use your VCR. If you tape things a lot and have no way of getting the television directly to your PC for TiVo like functionality (and subsequent burning), then go set-top, it will most likely be worth it. If the only thing you use your VCR for now is wrestling videos, then I'd go the cheaper route, as it doesn't seem that you would get much more mileage out of a set-top box.

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