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I purchased the Liteon LVW 5001 about a year ago for the sole purpose of a 'budget' method of recording television programs and films, without having to spend a fortune on a harddrive recorded.
You get what you pay for really, the quality appears to downgrade slightly (and yes I have checked the settings are at high), though purchasing a gold plated scart did seem ti improve this a little.
The sound quality is very good, you wouldn't know by listening to it that it was a copy, it's just let down by the 'noise' on the video file.
As for menu navigation, it feels rather cheap, something that has possibly been fixed up on Nero (or any of these DIY title menus). In comparison to the more leading brands (humax for example), the navigation doesn't feel as smooth and certainly doesn't have the same style.
It's quite a big unit too, in comparison to my DVD player, it's at leats twice the height and a little bit wider.
Overall though, you get what you pay for. For a good price (on sale) this served it's purpose and has enabled me to record plenty of missed programs. I have recently upgraded to Sky though, so this no longer really serves a purpose.
I bought the Liteon a couple of weeks ago so that I could transfer my analogue video camera tapes onto dvd. I am delighted with the results and found the unit very simple to use. The picture quality is very good on both the 1 and 2 hour setting, degrading slightly on the 4 hour setting.
The only drawback is that the unit sold in the UK (and Europe) is the 5005B, which only has a composite input connection through the SCART lead (I checked this with the manufacturer). This means that the picture quality is not quite as good as it could be. However, even taking that into consideration, the results are very good.
I am using the s-video connection to my telly as it gives a better picture quality than the composite feed through the SCART lead.
I bought the Bulkpaq Orange 8x DVD-R's as other reviews mention that they work fine. However, I found that I ended up with lots of coasters as the picture would freeze every minute on playback. I am now using the Ritek 4x DVD-R and Bulkpaq DVD+RW 4x with no problems.
Another point worth mention is that "Macrovision" software in the unit prevents copying of copyright material so you can't back-up copyrighted video tapes or dvd's.
I've found that I have various degrees of success in getting other equipment to read the DVD's produced by the unit. This is not a problem with the unit but more a case of compatibility with the DVD-R, DVD+R, DVD-RW and DVD+RW format. As I found later, modern DVD players and drives should be ok with reading them.
I havn't used the firewire connection yet but I'm sure this will be a real bonus when I convince the wife to let me buy a digital video camera.
The LVW-5001 DVD Recorder requires only one touch of a button to start the simple programming process, and the world's first "Easy Guider On-screen Wizard" design allows people of all ages to easily program the recorder step by step. This new innovation truly exhibits DVD recorder's power of simplicity.
Most importantly, LVW-5001 comes with a DV-Link (IEEE 1394) connection port that allows the users to connect the recorders to their digital video camcorders and digitalize their video clips into DVD quality format that can be preserved forever. In addition, the LVW-5001 uses the most powerful DVD+RW/+R format and LSI-8600 Multimedia Image Processing Chipset to maximize the image quality of recorded programs as well as digital camcorder clips. It also supports playbacks of most multimedia formats such as DVD, VCD, SVCD, Audio CD, MP3, and JPEG.