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Pioneer DVR-810H

DVD recorder + 80GB TiVo® Series2 digital video recorder

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Item #: 130DVR810H
 

Review Summary

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Our take on the Pioneer DVR-810H

by Steve Kindig
Pioneer

Pioneer's top-of-the-line DVR-810H is an all-in-one recording solution — a dream machine for time-pressed TV fans. You get the DVD + hard drive recording versatility of Pioneer's DVR-520H, plus TiVo's terrific controls, conveniences, and electronic program guide. Free built-in TiVo Basic™ Service includes a 3-day program guide to simplify recording TV shows (or you can upgrade to the more full-featured TiVo Plus™ Service — subscription required).

But wait, there's more! In addition to full-featured DVD playback and upgradeable TiVo DVR capabilities, the DVR-810H is capable of incorporating TiVo's Home Media feature package (now free with your TiVo Plus subscription!), which opens the door to cool networked home A/V entertainment possibilities. You get access right from your living room to digital photos and music stored on your computer's hard drive! Software available for download on TiVo's website allows you to connect your recorder via its USB port to your wired or wireless home network and your PC (USB network adapter required). Here's a list of all the features you get with TiVo's Home Media package:

  • streaming of MP3 files from a PC or Mac for playback through your TV or home A/V system
  • the ability to view digital photos on your TV
  • remote scheduling of recordings to the DVR-810H from any location with Internet access
  • the ability to connect to another TiVo Series2 DVR elsewhere in your home for program-sharing between the two units

Pioneer's DVR-810H can replace several components in even the most advanced A/V systems. Recording with the TiVo-powered digital video recorder is easy and goof-proof, and any material you want to keep can be archived to a durable DVD disc. The '810H is one of the first hard drive/DVD recorders we've seen that allows high-speed hard-drive-to-DVD dubbing — it's a big time-saver! To top it all off, the DVR-810H also includes Faroudja DCDi™ video processing for superbly filmlike DVD playback.

For details on TiVo's Home Media feature, visit www.tivo.com.

Note: TiVo Plus Service requires a subscription, which costs $12.95/month or a one-time $299 product lifetime payment. Additional subscriptions available for $6.95 per month.

See more info on this item

Highlights:

  • records to DVD-R & DVD-RW
  • plays DVD-Video, DVD-R & DVD-RW
  • plays CD, CD-R & CD-RW, and MP3 CD-R & CD-RW
  • built-in 80GB hard drive for recording/playback (holds 17-102 hours)
  • TiVo Basic 3-day on-screen program guide
  • manual timer recording by channel and time
  • Fast Dubbing up to 18X from hard drive using 4X DVD-R discs (can also record to 2X DVD-RW discs)
  • VBR (Variable Bit Rate) recording
  • 108MHz/10-bit video DAC
  • selectable interlaced/progressive-scan component video output
    (progressive-scan mode is playback only)
  • Faroudja DCDi de-interlacer with 3-2 pulldown processing
  • built-in 181-channel NTSC tuner
  • two stereo audio recording modes: Dolby® Digital 2.0 and PCM
  • optical digital output for Dolby Digital/DTS®/PCM
  • 2 sets of A/V inputs (2 composite, 1 S-video)
  • 2 sets of A/V outputs (2 composite, 2 S-video, and 1 480i/480p component video)
  • RF input/output for antenna/cable signals
  • USB interface
  • phone jack
  • remote control (multibrand for TVs)
  • 16-1/2"W x 3-3/4"H x 15-7/16"D
  • warranty: 1 year parts & labor
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee
  • internal dubbing of copy-protected DVDs is not possible
  • designed for use with "Region 1" coded DVDs
  • Note: TiVo recorders make a daily call for programming updates; long distance charges may apply
  • TiVo service not available in Puerto Rico or Canada

Consumer Alert: This component has only an analog broadcast tuner and will require a converter box after February 17, 2009, to receive over-the-air broadcasts with an antenna because of the Nation's transition to digital broadcasting. Analog-only TVs should continue to work as before with cable and satellite TV services, gaming consoles, VCRs, DVD players, and similar products. For more information, call the Federal Communications Commission at 1-888-225-5322 (TTY: 1-888-835-5322) or visit the Commission's digital television website at: www.dtv.gov

Hands-on research from the Crutchfield Labs (what are the Labs?)

Features and Specs
General
Number of Discs
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1
Hard Drive Recorder
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Yes
Hard Drive Capacity
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80GB
Multibrand Remote
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Yes
Parts Warranty
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1 Year
Labor Warranty
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1 Year
Compatibility
CD-R Capable
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Yes
CD-R/W Capable
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Yes
MP3 Playback
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Yes
WMA Playback
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No
SACD Playback
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No
DVD-Audio Playback
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No
Inputs
RCA Audio Inputs
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2 sets Stereo RCA
Composite Video Inputs
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2 Rear
S-Video Inputs
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2 Rear
Component Video Inputs
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No
Outputs
HDMI Outputs
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---
S-Video Outputs
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2
Component Video Outputs
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1
RS-232C Port
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None
Product Research
What's in the box?

Download owner's manual

  • DVD recorder with TiVo
  • VXX2870 Wireless remote control
  • 2 "AA" batteries
  • 6.5' AC power cord
  • 9.5' Serial (Data) control cable (has a male DB9 connector on one end and a stereo mini-plug on the other end)
  • 69" Audio/video cable (has left and right RCA audio connectors and an RCA composite video connector on each end)
  • 69" RF coaxial cable (has an "F" type connector on each end)
  • 25' RJ-11 telephone cord
  • RJ-11 phone splitter
  • 10' IR control cable (has 2 IR emitters on one end and a mini-plug on the other end)
  • User's Guide
  • Installation Guide
  • Important Safety Instructions
  • Warranty sheet
  • Online registration sheet
  • "Start Here" booklet
  • "Welcome to TiVo" sheet
  • "Caution" sheet

Our Product Research Team

At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team — they open the box, verify contents, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.

DVD Features
Hard Disk Recorder Features
Remote Control
Inputs and Outputs Notes

DVD Features

DVD Recording: The Pioneer DVR-810H can record on DVD-R (record once) and DVD-RW (rewritable) discs; this recorder is compatible with DVD-R discs with write speed ratings as high as 4X, and it is compatible with DVD-RW discs with write speed ratings as high as 2X. Only programs in the Now Playing list can be copied to a DVD. The Now Playing list can contain content recorded from live TV or from a component connected to the A/V inputs. The Now Playing list is stored on the internal 80GB hard drive. After the content has been copied to the hard drive, it can be transferred to a DVD. The DVR-810H features up to 18x record speed (when using a 4X blank disc), so you'll be able to dub a 1-hour program to DVD in basic EP quality mode in just over 3 minutes.

Note: You cannot record copy-protected video including DVD-Video discs and some satellite broadcasts.

Video D/A Converter: This unit uses a 27MHz/9-bit video digital-to-analog converter.

Progressive Scan Output with Faroudja's DCDi: This unit has a progressive scan output featuring Faroudja's patented Directional Correlational Deinterlacing (DCDi). This technology applies new motion adaptive deinterlacing that prevents the introduction of motion artifacts and jagged edges from video signals that originated from video cameras (such as with sporting events, live camera feeds and music videos). The result is a sharper, noise-free picture with finer details. Video images are displayed with optimum naturalness and color reproduction with less flicker and fewer motion artifacts than traditional interlaced scanned pictures.

Audio D/A Converter: The DVR-810H has a 96kHz/24-bit audio digital-to-analog converter for superb audio reproduction.

Digital Audio Output Capabilities: You can select a sampling frequency output setting of "96 kHz to 48 kHz" or "96 kHz". When set to "96 kHz to 48 kHz", the audio signals are always converted to 48 kHz/16-bit. When set to "96 kHz", all types of signals, including 96 kHz/24-bit, are output in their original format. However, if the signal is encrypted for copyright protection purposes, the signal is only output as 48 kHz/16-bit.

MP3 Playback: The DVR-810H will play CD-R and CD-RW discs containing MP3 audio files recorded in ISO 9660 Level 1/Level 2, Romeo or Joliet formats. MP3 files with a compression rate from 32-320 kbps are supported.

Dynamic Range Compression: This function reduces a Dolby Digital soundtrack's dynamic range so you can hear quieter dialogue without being overwhelmed by loud sections. You can turn Dynamic Range Compression on or off.

3D Noise Reduction: If the output is set to progressive, this feature allows you to reduce the amount of noise in the video signal.

Parental Lock Function: You can select a parental control rating from 0-8, which is protected by a 4-digit password.

Hard Disk Recorder Features

Overview: In addition to the progressive-scan DVD player/recorder, the DVR-810H features an 80GB TiVo Series2 hard disk recorder.

TiVo Basic Service: The DVR-810H includes built-in TiVo Basic Service, allowing you to enjoy basic TiVo features right out of the box, with no subscription fees. TiVo Basic Service allows you to control live TV and record programs on a specific channel at a specific time, much like a VCR. TiVo Basic Service also includes an on-screen interactive program guide that provides up to 3 days of information on your favorite upcoming programs.

Note: If you have two program sources connected to this unit, you must upgrade to TiVo Plus service to use them with full TiVo functionality. For example, if you have a system that feeds satellite and antenna signals, satellite and cable signals (without a cable box), or satellite and cable signals (with a cable box) to this unit, you must upgrade to TiVo Plus service to use them with full TiVo functionality. TiVo Basic Service will not provide program guide info for two sources.

TiVo Plus Service: At any time, you can upgrade to full TiVo functionality by subscribing to TiVo Plus Service. TiVo Plus brings you the following features:

  • Season Pass Recordings: allows you to automatically record every episode of your favorite series, all season long, even if the schedule changes
  • WishList Searches: allows you to find and record programs by actor, director, sports team, etc.
  • Search by Title: allows you to browse for shows by title, filter by genre (like "Comedy"), and more
  • Interactive 14-Day Program Guide: allows you to instantly schedule recordings from an on-screen guide that includes detailed show summaries, ratings, etc.
  • More Smart Features: TiVo Plus skips reruns, tracks schedule changes, and more

TiVo Central: Almost everything you do with the TiVo service will start in TiVo Central; you can set up recordings, watch programs, read messages from the TiVo service, and access special Showcases featuring entertaining and informative video.

Status Bar: When you use playback functions, a status bar appears indicating the position of the program you are currently in.

Channel Banner: Whenever you watch a live or pre-recorded show, a channel banner will momentarily display program information. You can choose from the following versions of the channel banner: Small (current time and channel), Medium (adds the title, running time, and rating), or Large (adds program description and icon).

Recording a Live Program: You can always record the program you're watching by pressing the record button. Up to 30 minutes of programming from the current channel is always being saved, even when you are not recording a program.

Now Playing: Now Playing lists all the programs stored on the DVR-810H. As soon as a recording begins, it appears at the top of the list. You can watch any title in Now Playing, even one that is still being recorded.

Pick Programs to Record: With TiVo Basic Service, you can schedule a manual recording on a specific channel at a specific time (just as you would with a VCR). You can also program a recording to repeat every week, every day, or every weekday.

To Do List: The To Do List shows all your scheduled recordings and lets you cancel or edit them.

Messages: This list contains messages from the TiVo service and alerts from the unit itself.

Parental Controls: You can use TV Parental Controls to set limits on television and movie ratings for any programs in live TV or Now Playing, and to lock specific channels so that a password is required to view them. You can use DVD Parental Controls to set limits on movie ratings for DVDs.

Daily Phone Call: To receive the latest programming information and software upgrades, the DVR-810H will automatically make a daily phone call. This call typically takes about 5-10 minutes, and often occurs late at night. In most areas, there is a local access number. In areas where there is not a local access number, a long distance call is required for each update, and you will be billed for long distance calling. You can also use the Internet for updates. To accomplish this, you must connect the DVR-810H to a home network that includes a shared broadband Internet connection.

Video Recording Quality: The DVR-810H lets you choose one of the following levels of video recording quality: Extreme (Fine), High (SP), Medium (LP), or Basic (EP). Basic quality takes up about one-third the space of Extreme (Fine) quality.

Home Media Option: The DVR-810H is capable of incorporating TiVo's Home Media Option feature package, which opens the door to cool networked home A/V entertainment possibilities. The Home Media Option is a software upgrade you can download from TiVo via a dial-up or broadband Internet connection. It turns the DVR-810H into a full-fledged digital media server that connects via USB port to your wired or wireless home network and PC. (A USB network adapter is required.) Purchasing the Home Media Option adds these features:

  • Remote Scheduling: allows you to schedule recordings of shows anytime and anywhere you have Internet access and a standard web browser
  • Digital Music Player: allows you to stream MP3 files from a PC or Mac for playback through your TV or home A/V system
  • Digital Photo Viewer: allows you to view digital photos on your TV
  • Multi-room Viewing: gives you the ability to connect to another TiVo Series2 DVR elsewhere in your home for program-sharing between the two units

Remote Control

Multibrand Remote: The supplied remote is pre-programmed to operate this unit and a number of functions on other brands of components, including TVs and A/V stereo systems.

Inputs and Outputs Notes

RF Input and Output: The DVR-810H has a threaded coax jack to accept signals from your local cable company or a TV antenna, and there is a threaded coax jack that will pass cable/antenna signals to your television. The RF output connection is a bypass output, so only live cable and antenna signals are provided by that output.

Note: For TiVo and DVD output, you must use a composite video, S-video or component video output; TiVo and DVD signals are not passed by the RF bypass output. If your television does not have a composite video, S-video or component video input, you will need to use an optional RF modulator to pass TiVo and DVD signals to your television.

A/V Input: In addition to the A/V outputs, the DVR-810H has two A/V inputs, A/V Input 1 and A/V Input 2. A/V Input 1 has the following jacks: left and right RCA audio, RCA composite video, and S-video. A/V Input 2 has the following jacks: left and right RCA audio and RCA composite video.

Phone Line: An RJ-11 jack is used to connect the DVR-810H to a phone line for accessing the TiVo Service (a 25' phone cord is supplied).

USB: The DVR-810H has a full-size USB jack, allowing you to connect the unit to your wired or wireless home network and PC. (A USB network adapter is required.)

Serial and IR Outputs: Using the supplied Serial (Data) Control cable, the Serial minijack allows you to connect the DVR-810H to a DirecTV receiver. Once the connection is made, the DVR-810H can change channels and control the receiver. If your receiver does not have a serial port, you can use the IR minijack, which allows you to connect the supplied IR Control cable to control the DirecTV receiver.

 
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Pioneer DVR-810H Reviews

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5 out of 5

Pineer 810H dvr

Written By Richard, Douglas Ma. on Saturday, January 14, 2012
 
I have had this unit since 2004 and love useing it. I would like to upgrade it to HDMI high def. I don't know if it can be done. Also up grade the dic player. Other then that I can find no wrong with it. The new units will not burn dvd's, that is a minis about it.
Pros:
Very Good
Cons:
None
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