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New Sony / Philips DVD Recorders - with HDD and Guideplus

Discussion in 'Blu-ray & DVD Players & Recorders' started by howardmg, Sep 13, 2004.

  1. howardmg

    howardmg
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    I'm interested in buying a DVD Recorder with a hard drive and an electronic program guides like Guideplus. The only models that I'm aware with both are the Philips HDRW720 model (finally just out), and the new Sony HX900 / HX1000 models.

    Does anyone out there have either of these models or seen any reviews? Philips seems to be £70 cheaper but have heard quality issues with their recorders.

    Any feedback would be much appreciated...
     
  2. joolze

    joolze
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    Hi there,

    I have had the HDRW720 for about 3 weeks now, and it is brilliant. :thumbsup:

    The inital setup was a breeze and I have had no problems using it at all. Guideplus makes programming so easy and, providing you are not using the device in the early hours, it updates itself automatically. If you are recording a late night program, it will catch up the following night. Guideplus contains the most popular channels (I use Sky, but it also works with Freeview), but if you do want to record from a channel not listed, the manual programming is really easy, and it will change your set top box for you, so you only have one device to set up.

    In the coming months, a 'Series Link' function is also being added.

    I was aware that Philips have had reliability problems in the past when I was looking into buying a DVR, but was prepared to 'take the risk' for the recorder that best fitted my requirements, and I am so glad that I took no notice of the anti-philips brigade.

    The DVD editing is basic, but perfectly adequate for editing out adverts and making the odd snip here and there. I have transferred my entire DV camcorder and video footage over to DVD with no problems and I am really pleased with the final results.

    If you want any specific questions answering, let me know.


    Joolze
     
  3. Rasczak

    Rasczak
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    But will you be when your recorder dies or suffers ever increasing faults in the near future? Every Philips DVD model has had problems so far that hit after between 6-18 months. Go for the Sony without question...
     
  4. joolze

    joolze
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    I have taken out an extended warranty with a reputable company that I have used many times before which, if they can't repair it, they will replace it FOC. For a £58 premium (which I saved of the price of the HDRW72 by shopping around) I feel that should any problems arise within 3 years, I am covered. After three years, I expect technology will have moved on again and I will be looking for a new model then anyway.

    Joolze
     
  5. Rasczak

    Rasczak
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    Fair enough - but what if it's then lost your all important recording you were making or just suffers occasional 'down time'? Not to mention the hastle of returning it!
     
  6. nashi

    nashi
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    Hi Joolze,
    I have been looking at the new Philips as I am getting a little fed up waiting for a DVD/HD recorder with Freeview Tuner.
    When you record a programme from the Guideplus EPG what shows up in the Recording Library. The manual only shows date/time/Channel Number but I would have hoped that it automatically put the programme name & description from GuidePlus along with a thumbnail.
    Can you confirm please?
    nashi
     
  7. Thrutch

    Thrutch
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    Where have you read that Sony HX900 / HX1000 models have and EPG ? The Sony RDR-GXD500 will have a 7 day EPG as it has a freeview tuner but no hard disk. I don't think the other models have an EPG ?
     
  8. PhilipL

    PhilipL
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    Hi

    Note that the Philips 720 has no re-encoding feature from the hard-drive, this basically means forget using the best quality settings on the hard-drive if later you want to transfer to a disc, otherwise any recording in the best quality mode on the hard-drive over 1 hour in length will have to be split over one or more DVDs!

    Plus no flexible recording rates equals even more wasted space and poorer quality when you do transfer to one or more DVDs.

    The Philips 720 is late to market and lacking in features that have been standard on other makes since the year dot, partner that with Philips questionable reliability and this model is best left on the shelf. There is much better out there.

    Regards

    Philip
     
  9. joolze

    joolze
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    If the program is listed under Guideplus then the program name appears in the recordings listing automatically, together with a thumbnail taken 10 minutes into the recording and the date of the recording. Manual recordings will show the channel number, time, etc but you can easily change the name yourself.

    Yes, there is no re-encoding but I have used M2 for all my recordings so far and there is no difference between the recording and the original Sky broadcast, as far as I can tell. M2.5 is also very good. I have not yet tried M3 or lower.

    Using M2 does mean that any recordings over 2 hours need to be split over 2 DVDs, but most recordings come in under this figure, once the adverts are removed (I do not have a movie subscription). If I have to split a long film over two DVDs occaisionally, then so be it.

    Joolze
     
  10. Rasczak

    Rasczak
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    I totally agree.
     
  11. howardmg

    howardmg
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    Thanks for the feedback. Joolze - good luck with the Philips but the drawbacks on editing and recording from HDD to DVD look too much. And reliability concerns....

    Not sure where I got the Sony HX900/1000 having an EPG - must have been mistaken.

    Would be keen to have an EPG and ideally a disc library and decent editing - are there any models yet with this or do I have to wait to the next generation of machines?
     
  12. Rasczak

    Rasczak
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    The US versions have GuidePlus. It's worth noting that this is another (potential) 'issue' with the Philips machines - will Guideplus (UK) survive? In the US numerous companies use the service (Sony, Panasonic, Philips and numerous others) which pays for itself by advertising. In the UK most companies have decided not to adopt it due to the limited bandwidth it gets here (meaning it frequently cannot be updated for last minute programme changes) and so whether it will remain a viable service is questionable.

    You'll have to wait for next year - the Toshiba RDXS34 will probably be the first (in March) although for true PVR style options you'll probably have to wait for Sony to pluck up the courage to release a HDD/DVDR combo with a DVB included.
     
  13. JethroUK

    JethroUK
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    720 can edit within a frame, replay the edit or the 'full uncut version' (ideal if you have children), or cast the edit in stone and archive to DVD, set the browsing frame & remember what's on the DVD (upto a 1000 discs) so i'm not quite sure what the drawbacks are

    was a concern to me too before i bought it - but in practise (had it 6 weeks now) - i haven't found it an issue - i set the machine to 2+, watching on 32" pixel+ (which enhances the slightest flaws) i cant tell the difference from Live broadcast - archived 30 films to DVD by one-touch and they all fit - archiving takes around 15 minutes & doesn't affect programmed recording

    i'm enjoying my 4th Philips DVD player/recorder (my umpteenth Philips device), and i've never had any trouble with any of them - i'm inclined to think that Philips get more complaints simply because they sell more machines - and since people are 1000 times more likely to complain than compliment any product - complaints should be kept in context

    720 has a brilliant one - futher more - i wouldn't even consider an HDD without one - when you're looking through a listing of 40-50 recordings, how the hell you gonna know what's what? - That's sounds like a living nightmare!

    720 comes with DVD manager (so you can throw away paper-cuttings from the TV guide) - it knows what's on which DVD and which ones have recording space left - you can browse your collection on the 720 by disc or by content (alphabetically) - just click play and it tells you which DVD to put in it and plays it - quite simply, it does not get better than that!

    yes the HDRW720

    no, you could have one for XMAS
     
  14. Rasczak

    Rasczak
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    No it can't - you should play with your machine a bit more before you start claiming it can do things it can't. The Philips allows I frame editting only - it can't support anything else as the DVD-Video structure doesn't allow anything else. This means you are confined to editting where you are told and not where you want to. Thus accurate editting on the Philips depends entirely on the size of the GOP at the cut point - and that can vary by as much as three-quarters of second - which is crap for camcorder edits and pretty unacceptable for TV edits as well IMHO.

    For anyone who wants a comparison of the difference play with a Sony machine. Use A-B erase on a DVD+RW and then do the same on a DVD-RW VR mode disk.
     
  15. PhilipL

    PhilipL
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    Hi

    I thread about the Philips 720 can be found here, http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?s=&threadid=477576

    It seems it suffers from reliability problems, doesn't have a very good user interface, and lacks features standard on other DVD Recorders for the last few years. No change there then Philips! :)

    Regards

    Philip
     
  16. phelings

    phelings
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    Apart from the EPG the Philips is poor compared to other makes.
    If you record in SP,then your finished film of 87 minutes has over 30 minutes of disc space wasted.Space that would be used on a better machine to maximise quality by filling the disc entirely.
    As Philip say,the Philips machines lack features that other makes have supplied for years.
    Sony HDD models have no DIVIDE function and deserve being left on the shelf next to their Philips DVD+ mates
     

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