Monday, October 16, 2006

In search of a DVD recorder

I've always wanted to buy a Tivo like device. You don't get program information in Indian cable networks (at least, not yet; though it's possible with satellite TV), so I was interested purely for live recording and skipping ads. I didn't dare to buy one in the US because of NTSC/PAL issues. The closest I could find in India was Samsung's DV-HR720 which at 24K is way too expensive for me (though the street price would be lower). The next best option was a plain DVD recorder. I got a LiteOn recorder from the US because it specifically mentioned PAL support. Unfortunately, I didn't read the fine print carefully. It turned out that it could play PAL but the tuner was NTSC only :-(. Bummer! I had to send it back. Despite, having learnt a lesson the hard way, I ended up getting another US DVD recorder, this time a Philips one (I won't go into the reasons to maintain peace at home ;-). That had the same NTSC/PAL issues. So I had to find a model in India.

I was pretty excited to see ads for a LG DVD recorder (model DR 165) in Bangalore Times of India for 11.5K. Though Samsung India has had a model (DVD-R121) in India for a while, I didn't know about it till later. Any way, the LG model is DivX capable (player only, not for recording) and quite a bit cheaper. Unfortunately, I can't find it any where in Bangalore (by any where, I of course mean checking 3 or 4 shops in Jayanagar area ;-). If any reader knows where I can get one, please let me know.

Another long hiatus :-(

I don't know how people manage to keep blogging every day, or even multiple blogs in a single day. Oh, well! What's new? I just bought a new Samsung 19" widescreen LCD monitor for my home PC. Ever since assembling my dual-core box, I've been shopping around for a LCD monitor which can take DVI input (my video card has a DVI out). My budget was for a 17" monitor but there were none available which can take DVI input. In fact the only display I found which supported digital input was a ViewSonic 19" model costing about 19K. The price dropped to around 17K but I was still reluctant to go with ViewSonic because Samsung is clearly the leader in LCD displays. Prices of LCD displays are dropping rapidly and I was pleasantly surprised to hear about this new Samsung model (940BW) decently priced (I paid 15.2K). I am sure prices will continue dropping but at around 15K it's worth the price in my budget. I remember paying 13.5K for my first 17" CRT monitor (I also remember about 10K for my first 2X CD writer ;-). I guess you can't call me an early adopter, but I am not too late either ;-).

Oh about the display, it's fantastic. Very crisp display, great colours. Both WindowsXP (yeah, I do boot it once in a blue moon) and Linux had no problems with the 1440x900 display resolution. Recommended.