Product Type: Philips DVD recorders
Newest Review: ... the latest firmware/software installed. Might be something to ask about if you are contemplating buying at this stage. It looks like a ... more
life after VHS
Philips DVDR 70
Member Name: mgoldman
Philips DVDR 70
Date: 05/07/04, updated on 05/07/04 (2328 review reads)
Advantages: its a dvd recorder, it works, reasonable price
Disadvantages: does not use all disc formats, no jpeg playback, complcated
One of the great things about the credit card reward schemes is that you can sometimes buy things that you would have otherwise not wanted to consider. So it was with the DVDR70, purchased from John Lewis: not the cheapest on this occasion but with £90 of vouchers, coming in at just over the cost of a decent player.
I had read lots of reviews of this device prior to purchase, but none on dooyoo. The main competitor was the Panasonic cheap one, but it uses DVD-Ram which is incompatible with everything else. I had also rejected the one sold at Sainsbury's as there were too many tales of problems, but it it said to have the phillips inards inside under licence.
The dvdr70 is pretty basic. It records on DVD+RW or R. As most people will be using it as a substitute for a vhs recorder, the RW or re-writable discs are the only option. Currently, Costco are the cheapest source I have found for branded discs, costing 14.99 +vat for a pack of 10. If you loose the instruction manual, you can print one off the web. There are also software updates on the web, but the one I bought seemed to have the latest firmware/software installed. Might be something to ask about if you are contemplating buying at this stage.
It looks like a large dvd player, and there is a big button which lights up when recording. It is a bit chromie for my taste, but that is the way things look at the moment. It does not fit in with all my other black stuff. Setting up was fairly easy, and the instruction book takes you through the steps like an idiot, and it works at the end of the setup. However, the instruction book is a big one and lots of words are used, and it is sometimes a fag to have to find the bit you want. Almost all of the operations are done through the remote control, and whilst menu driven for the most part, I have found myself having to go back to the manual many times, especially if there was a gap since I used the machine last. It plays most kinds of common d
isc, but will not play back jpeg files, which is a bit of a shortcoming. It is also not obvious how to connect a dolby 5.1 sound system, and I am still working on that. Discs seem to be compatible with other dvd players, but not with older computers.
Recording is probably no more complex than with a vhs recorder. The big difference is that you have to think twice about the time the recording is for. At top quality, a disc will only record one hour, and at slowest, 6 hours. Standard is for two hours, and this is what I use most of the time, but there are some films that just exceed the two hours, so you need to think about this. There are several options for speed, and the fastest speed produce results that are difficult to distinguish from original television. Nothing happens instantly, and when the record button is pressed for immediate recording, it takes some time with lots of strange humming to get going. On my television, automatic 16:9 switching does not work, so that function is not so useful
The recorder comes with a good interpretation of the video plus system, and this has worked well on terrestrial television, but the timer link to a sky digital box has not seemed to work. You have to erase a disc before you can use it again, and this only takes a couple of minutes, but it means that you cant just shove a disc in the machine and hit record, because it records sequentially until a disc is full, and then grinds to a halt.
So, do you buy one of these? Well, I got what I expected. It works, does what it says on the box, and has been reliable for me for about the past three months. The machine is now obsolete, and has been superceeded by better models. The word on the street is to wait for models that are combined DVD and hard disc recorders, but these are still pretty expensive costing about £600-£800. However the price will drop. The DVDR70 originally sold for about £400, and can now be picked up for about £150. If you want to dip
your toe in the water, there could be worse ways to do it. I would recommend it with reservations( mainly about the way things are changing) and I might have bought Sky+ if I had my time again.
I think we have to accept that the days of vhs are numbered, and people want to record from TV, and keep, so hard disk is not the total answer. There are all format machines around, such as the Sony, but they have a £800 price tag at the moment.