Philips DVDR615

Discussion in 'Blu-ray & DVD Players & Recorders' started by con_dorleone, Nov 3, 2004.

  1. con_dorleone

    con_dorleone
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    Has anyone some first-hand experience of the Philips DVDR615? I understand it has iLink, which is the only difference/upgrade from the DVDR610, but what's its reliability and quality like?

    I also hear the unit requires "immediate updating" with a firmware upgrade from Philips' website? Hopefully someone will correct me.
     
  2. Rasczak

    Rasczak
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    Steer clear of Philips DVD recorders! Every generation of Philips DVD recorders hase been plagued by a number of failures which largely originate from using cheap as you can get components. As effectively little more than a re-cased DVDR75 you can expect little different from this model.

    ...and that is before you even consider the fact that Philips DVD recorders have less features than any other main stream producer. Avoid.
     
  3. Niburu

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    Oh dear, here we go again!!
    Of course Rasczak has owned every Philips DVDR machine and can honestly say that none of them work! Well, I suppose it is a little too much to expect some fair comments from certain people.
    Funnily enough, I have read posts on this very forum from people who are having/or had problems with their Tosh, Panasonic etc etc.
    DVD recorders on the whole can be hit and miss on the bug side of things and firmware updates are being issued across all platforms because the technology is being rushed. This counts for ALL machines.
    Philips gets jumped on here because it supports a different format to what many on here seem to use on a regular basis.
    Your comment that EVERY generation machine is plagued by failures is flawed my friend and I would be interested to see you back this up with sufficient evidence that couldn't be applied to any other supplier of DVD recorders!!!!
     
  4. PhilipL

    PhilipL
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    Hi Niburu

    Unfortunately it is true, Philips DVD Recorders have always had more bugs than the others put together. I realise that some will not like to hear this if they have taken the Philips route, but then they will be equally unhappy when the thing goes wrong.

    If you do not believe the bugs and quality problems exist, then simply count up the number of publically available firmware updates available for a Philips DVD recorder against those available for any other make.

    Regards

    Philip
     
  5. Rasczak

    Rasczak
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    Niburu :) You have my sympathy - your loyalty towards Philips is commendable but misplaced. Like all Philips zealouts you'll learn when you get a little more experience with DVD recorders.

    If that's so then why do I frequently recommend Sony models? - on the HDD/DVDRs especially many users will use DVD+RW/+R disks. Likewise I occasionally recommend Thompson DVD recorders which also only use DVD+RW/+R. I have no loyalty towards any brand or format but I will speak up when machines are very poor. With regard to end product quality, reliability and/or features then Philips come bottom of the league.

    Most users on these boards do not buy bottom of the range kit - therefore there are very few Philips owners here - if you go somewhere such as Digital Spy or even the 'official' DVD+RW forum then you will find thousands of posts relating to problems on these machines. If you still in doubt consider these points:
    - Philips themselves have confirmed that the DVDR8x0 series were 100% faulty - every model will fail after a unspecified running period due to a faulty laser component.
    - More and more reports of 'Disk Error' problems are now appearing on the DVDR7x series
    - Philips recorders stand alone as the only make of DVD recorder to get a whole What Video helpline devoted to them in WVWE magazine.
    - Many retailers (online ones especially) no longer stock Philips products
    ...and if your still unsure do a Google search to see just how extensive the Philips problem is!

    I have trialled every Philips DVD recorder extensively. I also have had considerable experience of people like you coming to me when there machine breaks. I know the industry - and trade opinion on DVD recorders. I don't intend to put forward any proof on this - members on the forum can makeup there own minds from my posts and decide whether or not I know what I'm talking about.

    But the bottom line is there are MUCH better recorders out there than Philips - so why buy a sub-standard machine? You either have to be a Philips employee or rather dim to suggest otherwise...
     
  6. OARDVD

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    Funnily enough, (if you follow these threads through to the end), once all the 'environmental' things like wrong setup or poor media have been eliminated, the number of problems which are attributed to ACTUAL errors in these recorders tends to be quite rare. This is in complete contrast to the HUGE proportion of threads on DVDplusrw.org (and elsewhere) which complain of genuine problems in PHILIPS' recorders.


    Wrong! If we're talking about DVD recorders then Panasonic, Tosh etc, don't even release firmware updates And guess why? Because they don't need them !! It tends to only be Philips p1sspoor efforts that require constant software 'fixes'.

    If you want to be a Philips masochist then fine, but don't expect many takers over here (a Home Cinema Forum) until they fix their quality & improve their functionality since right now they are way behind the competition in both areas.
     
  7. alicat

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    Yeah you're right guys. Like I said the biggest problem here seems to be where to get the machine cheap or how to do a particular task.

    The "other" forum seems to be more of a Philips helpline er, sorry I meant lifeline! :hiya:
     
  8. Niburu

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    Well.

    I am not an employee of Philips nor am I in any way mentally challenged (although some may argue this) I am also not blind to the problems of the Philips machines. Richer sounds refuse to stock them and many other retailers do not stock them because of countless returns but you cannot label 100% because you do not know that for sure! I have a DVDR880, which is almost 2 years old and still plays all my DVD's and still continues to record on an almost daily basis through video-plus timer recording.
    I am not saying it will not break, because I have a fear that it might given the amount of failures I have read on forums. However, for every post about someone having their machine repaired, there are probably many others who remain silent happily using their Philips machine. If 100% of recorders failed, they would have had to do a factory recall.
    Really what I am trying to say, is that you must all remain partial on these forums and not give biased information over. It is fair to say that the 880 is a bugged machine and that many people have had problems (I can admit that) but to say that the DVDR615 is going to fail and that ALL Philips machines are rubbish cannot be justified.
    If/when my 880 breaks, I will review the DVD market again and see what suits my needs. At the time (2 years ago) the 880 was what I wanted to replace my VCR and it has burned over 200 DVD's for me to my complete satisfaction. My next DVD Recorder may be a Panny, Tosh, Sony or maybe even a Philips???!!!
    Lets keep comments fair people .....
     
  9. PhilipL

    PhilipL
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    Hi

    You have said it yourself that the machines have a much larger percentage of problems than any others with some retail outlets even refusing to sell them. If that isn’t an indication of serious quality problems, what is?

    Of course this doesn't make 100% of machines non-functional, what it does make them is statistically much higher that you will have problems with a Philips machine, however this much higher 'probability of failure' comes with 100% of Philips machines across the entire model range. It is this fact that generally gets summed up as, “All Philips machines are rubbish.”

    You are taking statements to literally; no one is suggesting that not a single Philips DVD Recorder is trouble free, just that the chances of getting a trouble free recorder are significantly less than other makes, and this in my opinion, outweighs any advantages these machines offer to make it nonsensical to even consider a purchase.

    Regards

    Philip
     
  10. tobyjuggler

    tobyjuggler
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    Now, I'm all upset :(. I had decided to buy the Philips HDRW720 - until I read this and did a bit more research. What attracted me to it were the 80GB HD, Guide + and the fact that it could control my Sky box. Are there any non-Phillips equivalents up to about £500 (with RGB Scart in and out too)?
     
  11. Niburu

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    tobyjuggler.

    Well, although from what I have read (across many different forums) the HDRW720 is a good machine, Philips are quite new to the HD recording lark and I do know that there are currently better machines out there.
    You will read about problematic Philips machines on this site and others but you will also find positive comments and lots of happy users as well.
    Best thing to do is shop around and write down some model numbers of machines you have found from good retailers, which meet your criteria.
    I have a Philips DVD recorder (2 years old) which I am well chuffed with, so Philips or not, make sure your decision is the best one for you.

    Good luck
     
  12. HMHB

    HMHB
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    Tobyjuggler.
    All I know is what I've seen and heard about Philips DVD recorders on this and other forums, and I've gone the Panasonic E85 route. I've also been given a couple of disks recorded on a Philips by someone I know and they won't play on either of my DVD players (Pioneer and LG).
    There are people on this forum with many posts against their names who know a hell of a lot more than I will ever know about this subject, and their answers are always honest and precise.
    Having said that, the choice is yours to make and I hope you enjoy whichever one you purchase :)
     
  13. GoldFish

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    You certainly will be even more upset if your pride and joy failed to work within a short period of time. (check this thread http://www.avforums.com/forums/showthread.php?postid=1231282#post1231282)
    For £500 I would have a look at offerings from Panasonic, Toshiba, Pioneer.

    Tan
     
  14. Rasczak

    Rasczak
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    The comments on this board ARE fair - I'm sorry if you don't like it.

    Reliability Issues
    It constantly surprises me that Niburu - both on this thread and others - feels the need to deny the problems that Philips has. :rolleyes: I really don't see the need to discuss this issue further - look at the points made above by myself, PhilipL, Alicat and OARDVD. This forum has very few Philips owners on it - the reasons outlined below will explain this - and yet even here you get numerous posts by Philips owners with problems. Do a search of this forum and look at the nature of the failures: discs errors and terminal failures. Consult how many Firmware upgrades are available for their machines. Do a wider Google search. You'll find the problems are epidemic, worldwide and effecting all of their machines.


    Features
    Lets forget about the reliability issue for the time being and consider the features that the Philips do NOT have when compared to those from other main producers:

    No Timeslip/Chasing Playback (on standalones). Not useful for those with Sky+ - but very useful for those without and a defaut feature on virtually every other DVD recorder. The fact it has been applied to their HDD/DVDR shows precisely what an omission it is on their standalones.

    No Accurate Editting. Not much to say on this really: if you want to edit then a Philips machine will never be in consideration anyway.

    No Playlists. The Philips offers no way of re-arranging (e.g.) music compilations or conducting non-destructive editting. This feature is one of the most popular and frequently used by DVD recorder owners.

    No Flexible Record. Unlike most machines the Philips range do not

    Below Average Recording Picture Quality. The November 2004 What Video & Widescreen Entertainment Magazine is probably the best review to pickup if you doubt this. "Recorded images are not so impressive. The deck captures a noticeably lower level of brightness at M1 top-quality setting...the image is darker and less vivid" (p69). In addition the resolution drop occurs 30 minutes earlier than it does on equivalent Panasonic and Thompson machines. Not very impressive.

    No Time Base Corrector. Another significant omission that will affect anyone with old VHS tapes they wish to convert. Philips is the ONLY major producer who has not added a TBC into their design - and it shows. On elderly and slightly distorted tapes lip sync issues do occur. Contrast that with the Sony, Panasonic or JVC machines that have all show their worth at capturing VHS of all qualities/callibres.


    Why Then Would You Buy A Philips? :confused:
    All these issues could potentially be forgiven - or at least overlooked - if Philips machines offered something that was actually a useful feature. So lets look at the Philips pluses:

    Guideplus. EPGs are the way forward - no doubt about that whatsoever. On there top-end machines Philips have opted for Guideplus - an EPG used (in the US) by many major companies including Panasonic and Sony. Superficially then this sounds ideal - unfortunately once you look a little deeper it is not quite so good. For one thing there are doubts over Guideplus long term survival: in the US Guideplus was adopted by Sony, Panasonic, Philips and other major producers. In the UK a lack of bandwidth meant Sony and Panasonic declined the Service leaving Philips as the sole supporter. It is unlikely then that the UK version Guideplus is commercial viable. The second issue facing Guidplus is a lack of bandwidth: the data for the EPG has insufficient 'air time' to enable late programme alterations to be made. This makes it unrelaible for recording - in which case what is the point. Again consult a recent users experience.

    Set-Box Control. A feature sorely missing from many DVD recorders it was good to see Philips add this to their 'high end' machines: the DVDR80 for example. Once again though it has largely failed to be effective given that a large number of main stream producers are not supported. Here, here or here for example. Firmware updates to correct these faults were promised to What Video 12 months ago but never arrived. By comparison Toshiba have managed near universal compatibility with their magic wand...

    Editting Without Loosing Compatibility. Again a potentially useful feature. Unfortunately to achieve this the ultimate 'dodgy compromise' had to be reached, i.e. the editting is inaccurate and anyone who actually wanted to edit in the first place is left with little choice but to go down the PC route. And here they start at a disadvanatge as, unlike Panasonic, Toshiba, Pioneer, Sony, JVC (etc) they still have to edit: the end effect is We now see loads of DVD+ users having to use Womble editting suites and a DVD authoring programme. Had they opted for virtually any other make of set-top then they could have avoided buying the extra software and achieved better results (due to the use of Flexible Record).


    Comparison Of Philips HDD/DVDR
    An issue which does require note is their HDD/DVDR range - it is here they are most lacking. This has been discussed at length elsewhere and so I don't intend to re-cover old ground. But in summary they lack the follow features:
    - No re-encoding of HDD recorded material
    - No accurate editting
    - No direct record onto DVDR
    - No Flexible Record or equivalent
    - No DVD-R support (the DVD+R on offer is highly compatible but less so that DVD-R: Source1/Source2)
    The fact these features are missing effectively negates the whole point of HDD/DVDR combos: that of being able to record at the highest quality settings, accurately edit and then dub to highly compatible media. When slammed for this in a number of magazine reviews Philips argued the machine as a Sky+ replacement. It is nothing of the sort: it lacks the lossless recording of Sky+, the reliable EPG, dual record (etc). Likewise for a comparison with Freeview PVRs. A forum member recently swapped a Philips for a Toshiba - read her opionions here.


    Conclusion
    I think anyone who considers these issues will decide that Philips is not the way forward for them. For those wanting further re-assurance pickup the What Video & Widescreen Entertainment (November) and see the Philips v Pioneer v JVC v Panasonic group test. I think it is very telling that the JVC, Panasonic and Pioneer all scored 5/5 whereas the Philips scored only 3/5! And in both the Home Cinema Choice & What Video Winter Awards (December issues) none of the Philips machines scored.

    The bottom line here is that a potential buyer should ask him/herself the following questions:
    - Why buy a machine the reliability of which is (very) suspect?
    - Why buy a machine with significantly less features than other DVD recorders?
    - Why buy a machine which has not had favourable magazine reviews?

    As he has done before Niburu dived into this thread trying to defend the + format. What he doesn't understand, and needs to, is things have changed since he brought his DVDR880. The format war is over - the format used isn't that important anymore - it's the features the machines offer. DVD+RW does indeed have a future - but it's implementation has been done much better on Sony and Thompson machines than on Philips. :lesson:
     
  15. Neville Street

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    Good Summary, excellent links.

    tobyjuggler - four months ago I started out with the same idea. "I'll buy the HDRW720, it looks great". I had to go through all of the threads here and elsewhere to reach the same conclusion: the Philips sounds good but doesn't stand up to scrutiny. Buy one of the others.

    I bought the Tosh and have found it easy to use. I would actually disagree with comments elsewhere that say it is a bit complex. I have done lots with mine, I find it intuitive and the folks on here very helpful if I do have a query. I have only referred to the manual twice, and not for over two months.
     

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