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Downsides to the Pioneer 650 Asian model for N.A.

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I have seen some commentary about New Zealand, versus Asian versus European versus British models being used in the U.S.

There are the SCART issues for the European, and the 0 IRE assumptions that can't always be adjusted from the menus.

In particular.. I've noticed (not all) HDD/DVRs can be set to NTSC record.. its a rare model that does allow that... but from the one or two models that could there are legions of posts saying it wasn't an issue (for those specific models!)

And then there are the Region issues.. some can be overriden and set to Region 1 or Region Unlocked.. but also not all.. in particular the remotes required for those hacks have mostly dried up and are no longer available. Harmony Learning Remotes while tried to emulate those "special" remote codes.. seemed to eventually get [locked out or destroyed] and Logitech wised up to make sure you could no longer download codesets that allowed emulating the "special" remotes.. effectively killing the "emulated service remote" clever trick that some relied on.

I mention all of this because I've seen a tiny trickle of Asian models coming available on eBay and elsewhere.. but were almost never discussed.. so I'm thinking they might be "riskier" than the models like the Panasonic EH58, 59, 68, 69 which people often grey market imported.

Also on my mind is the Australian who posted some messages that "you do Not want the Asian Region 3" models.. he didn't go into detail.. but I made a mental note to avoid those in particular.. perhaps they can't have their menu language set to English? Or was it a sensitivity to power voltages.. I tend to think that was it since the post was in the middle of a static spark problem taking out recorders.. so maybe he was saying they were not very well protected electrically. An eBay model "without hard drive" gave me a lot of pause to think it might be Totally dead.. For Parts Only.. really could mean.. For Parts Only... as silly as thinking otherwise might be.

Any commentary is definitely appreciated.

I know most people left these lines of though almost ten years ago.. but for the very late "Rip Van Winkles".. this would probably be [Very Good] information or advice to the newbies.

Also.. not to swing a 500 lb Gorilla around in the room.. but Citibear.. also made a comment (one time) that the Pioneer 650 asian models "were" less easily adapted than most people thought.. staying with the Canadian imports was his general advice. Nothing negative mind you.. but his musings carry a (Huge) amount of weight with me. He only reluctantly.. much later thought the Middle East recorders (when they were the last of the last models available) were even viable.. and they had SCART adapters.. meaning not only did they start out in PAL mode.. but only offered two S-video CVBS inputs.. one on the back, and one inconveniently on the front.

To clarify a tiny bit from my learnings here...

The Panasonic EH59, EH69 imported through New York.. often were "customized" to make them NTSC at start up and the Region code Unlocked there.. not when they came fresh from the factory.. or fresh from overseas.. so by default "fresh" they were a real bear to setup yourself without a PAL TV or PAL Monitor. And the Region Unlock.. is a non-standard, aftermarket modification.. normally "fresh" these would not play North American, U.S.A. obtained commerical DVD discs.. and of course.. these did not have PAL, SECAM, NTSC or ATSC tuners .. at all..

Canada on the other hand, mostly Pioneers.. started out with the old NTSC tuners like our pre-ATSC 2009 days.. and so they came setup already in English menus, without SCART.. so more inputs on the back.. and just generally ready to go in the US. And they abandonned the tuners altogether and Tvgos much quicker after 2009.. so large delays in startup .. and models without Tvgos are much broader.. the only downsides to the Pioneers are the soaring costs.. even today.. on eBay over a thousand US dollars sometimes.. which seems really odd.. at those prices they are competing with fully equipped PC workstations for capture.

Asia Pioneers and European Pioneers are almost a total "unknown" they (look) like an expensive Canadian Pioneer.. but by default "cannot" be... unless they were customized in the US by someone after landfall in the US.. like the old EH59, EH69. My own experience with Asian electronics on the US power grid is they are "fragile" at best.. they overheat and burn up or flicker out with a minor power overvoltage.

I hope someone with real experience with the Asian Pioneer 650 or the European Pioneers does post commentary.


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