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The reason I bought this device was because I have a lot of home videos of when we were young and they are all in VHS and as they are quite old now I was very worried that they would become faulty after so many years.
After researching a bit online I found that places were charging up to 10 euro for each VHS to be converted to DVD so I knew it would have been better value for me to buy a DVD/VHS recorder myself and get it done cheaper!
I chose this Philips recorder because I have a lot of Philips equipment throughout the house and I am always happy with the quality and standard of their devices. I got this second hand on eBay for just 30 euro so I wasnt expecting it to be in perfect condition for the price. As long as it worked! I didnt intend to use it for anything more than recording VHS tapes.
There was no instruction manual with it so I had to search online for it on the Philips website which was a bit awkward but I did find it and within an hour I had everything set up and was beginning to record onto my first DVD! The machine is quite chunky compared to modern players but it does need to accommodate chunky tapes after all!
It can be controlled with ease with the remote control included and it took approximately one hour per tape to convert to DVD. It is a bit outdated and may not look very stylish but since successfully recording my old home videos I have put this into our spare bedroom and it is handy for watching DVD's when someone else is hogging the TV!
The playback was a bit jittery at times and it did freeze quite a bit. This was very annoying while watching DVD's because it could fast forward an episode and nothing would make sense. The sound was perfect and the recorded VHS tapes were fine when I played them on my computer but on this machine they didnt play well.
I wouldnt recommend this as a DVD recorder to be honest because I didnt think the quality of the picture and playback was that great. It works best if you are trying to transfer VHS tapes to DVD but I certainly wouldnt use this as my main player.
Unlike a lot of people, we haven't completely abandoned VHS for DVD or set-top box recording. Mind you, it's not easy finding a VHS player these days; the Phillips DVDR3320V gave us the best of both worlds: the ability to play and record to VHS and DVD, and the ability to transfer from VHS to DVD.
The product contains most of the features you'd expect from such a device. You can record direct to VHS, DVD-R or DVD-RW from a television; the back of the machine also has a number of output sockets to enable recording from external devices. For example, ours is connected via a SCART lead to a Virgin Media set-top box so that we can record direct from that service. An aerial plugged in the back also allows us to record from the analogue signal (or at least...what remains of it!)
The playback of VHS has been excellent, though DVD's have been variable. Not all DVD's work, and this includes commercially-produced discs. For example, I have a three DVD set of a television documentary; the first two discs play fine, but the third doesn't register at all. I know it's not the disc that's faulty because it plays perfectly OK on other machines. This problem seems to be recurrent with DVD sets, and I have no idea why this machine fails to recognise or play the final disc in each set...a complete mystery! The machine is also able to play CD-ROM discs of photographs. It displays these in rather a crude fashion as a slideshow, though there's really no flexibility to alter the show once it's running.
The machine records successfully to both VHS and DVD. The timer recording setup is not entirely straightforward, and there are quite a few pages of information to enter. The process is rather laborious, and compared to other devices, it's incredibly slow. Nevertheless, the machine is accurate, and the recording quality is fine. You can also record direct from VHS to DVD, and this has been useful for preserving the former in another format. Amazingly, this process is reasonably simple. You can create menus and chapters etc. on your DVD but this process is lengthy and not necessarily that effective. It also seems to depend on what DVD's you use. One thing to watch out for is that although the machine seems to record to any DVD-R or -RW, these don't always play on other machines; it seems to depend almost entirely on the make.
The machine looks quite modern, and seems very solid. It's pretty heavy, but once it's set up, I guess that doesn't really matter much. The display both on the machine and on the television screen itself is OK, but looks very dated. Unfortately, the clock doesn't seem to change automatically as on many other modern devices.
We've had this machine about four years, and it's done OK. The thing about not playing some DVD's is incredibly irritating, and in the end, this will probably force us to change. In general, it comes across as being rather old-fashioned, but ultimately, it does a pretty good job of what it is intended to do.