* Prices may differ from that shown
I purchased the Philips DVDR 3480 recorder as a replacement for my VHS recorder. I had a basic dvd player but wanted a machine that would also allow me to record dvds in addition to simply playing them.
I will admit that there are features of this player which I tend not to use, as mentioned above I primarily wanted a dvd player/recorder. The 3480 performs these functions very well and is very easy to use, the set up is simple and the on screen menus are easy to navigate. It can also be programmed with a multi-region code to play any region 1 discs that you might have.
One feature that I was very pleased with was the ability to connect a VCR (if you still have one!) to record old family videos onto dvd. It was easy to do and means that I can preserve these memories and share them easily with other family memories.
The machine is also quite modern looking and reasonably small so it fits in well under the TV. The picture quality is great as is the sound quality. I have noticed a slight whirring noise when the machine is playing a disc, however this is not really noticeable when you begin watching your dvd.
The remote is quite small and it follows that the buttons are quite small and close together this means that it can sometimes be difficult to use, but you get used to this.
I have had the machine for a couple of years now and have noticed that there are some problems starting to emerge. The tray that slides out to hold the dvd has started to stick, which means that it won't always open on the first try and on the last occasion I had to physically pull the tray while hitting the open button (hopefully I didn't cause further damage) to get the dvd out.
Overall it performs well but I think that it may need replaced soon.
This is one of the best DVD recorders you will find for the price. It has a few great features which make it worth the price alone. The DIVX playback will be a huge plus for many people for a start. The USB port also means you can play tracks directly from a memory stick which is another massive plsu point for the player.
Off course it does everything you would expect it to as standard and does it with quality. The player itself is pretty nice to look at and would fit in well in any room of the house.
Small downsides of the player are the time it takes to 'finalise' a disc to allow it to be used on other devices. However this shouldnt put you off as the player as a whole is a great success and for the price you will find it hard to find a better player.
The main reason I got this DVD Recorder was for the DivX playback and to record footage from my Camcorder to disk so I could easily use it on my computer. And those two features are worth the £70 alone.
Of course the DVD recorder does all the basics like play and record DVDs. The USB port allows me to play the DivX file via a normal USB stick which is very useful and saves a lot of hassle with disks.
I like the design of the player, however when my family saw it for the first time they said it was ugly!
I had one problem with it though, I set it to record a programme in advance however it told me that you have to switch it in to standby mode to record. So I found this message when I got home, so the DVD recorder had not recorded the programme. Another possible downside is the length it takes to "finalise disks" which is the process of the DVD recorder making the disk ready to be played on other devices. It can be very lengthy.
After owning a dvd/vhs player for about 4 years and the dvd player finally deciding not to work at all, after a period of it sometimes playing dvds and sometimes not depending on the mood it was in, it was decided it was time to get a new one. As we now don't own as many films on vhs after replacing them one by one to dvd it was also decided that there would no need for another combi player and just a dvd player would suffice. However it was after much decision making we decided that a dvd player and recorder would be better so we had a look at ones available and chose to purchase the Philips DVDR3480.
The player in terms of style is very sleek - it has a black finish on the cover wih the dvd slot on the left hand side and the display bit next to this. On the far right hand side is a small flap that covers the ports for the usb, audio and the connections for the scart to connect to a games console or camcorder. To install is very simple with a quick set up guide supplied in the box - the only thing is you'll need an extra scart lead if connecting to a cable box as well as a TV. A remote is included in the box along with batteries which makes a nice change as not every electrical items seem to have these included lately! The remote is also easy to use with simple buttons that state the use rather than tiny little pictures to guess what they are for.
The dvd recorder can obviously record dvds and also plays wide range of different formats of recorded dvds. The full features is listed below:
Plays CD, (S)VCD, DVD, DVD+R/RW, DVD-R/RW, DVD+R DL
Plays DivX, MP3, WMA and JPEG digital camera photos which can either be directly from a USB connection or from a recorded cd
Dual Media records on DVD+R/RW, DVD+R DL, DVD-R/RW
Multi-format playability allows you to play most file formats for maximum listening and viewing pleasure, including MP3, WMA, JPEG and the popular DivX digital media format. DivX playback enables you to play and share compressed high quality DivX video content beyond
DivX Ultra Certified for enhanced playback of DivX videos
DivX Ultra combines DivX playback with great features like integrated subtitles, multiple audio languages, multiple tracks and menus into one convenient file format.
Record up to 12 hours on double-layer discs
i.LINK digital input for perfect digital camcorder copies
USB Direct plays photos and music from USB flash drives
Philips DVD Recorders support 'dual media'TM recording - the ability to create recordings on DVD+R/RW, DVD-R/RW and DVD+R DL discs. Now you can buy any disc and the Philips 'recorder will always create fully compatible recordings, which can be played by any DVD player.
We haven't had the chance to try out such things as connecting a camcorder to check the quality of this feature but have used the USB port to view pictures taken on a digital camera and this feature is very good. The pictures load almost immediately and it is just a case of selecting which pictures you want to view.
The dvd recorder is great with excellent picture quality. The only downside for us is that if recording a program from the cable channels we cannot change the channel it is on. This may be due to the way we have set it up though but, we couldn't find any other way of doing it. However for us it's not really a big problem as we tend to mainly use the record function if going out so not something that is a major issue.
The player itself is absolutely brilliant. The picture is excellent and we can really tell the difference from our old player. The images are so much sharper on it and the sound is also excellent.
Overall this is a good choice for those looking for a multi feature dvd recorder and player. It has enough to keep everyone happy and the cost is decent too. The whole player is very easy to use with simple to follow instructions if you do get stuck.
We paid £99 for our player but his is slightly higher than what you can get on the high street as we ordered our player from the catalogue.
For more information on this product go to: www.philips.co.uk
You can write to the Philips company at:
Philips Electronics UK Ltd
The Philips Centre
Guildford Business Park
Surrey. GU2 8XH
You can telephone the company on: 01293 776675
~ Philips 3480 DVD Recorder ~
We already have a Philips DVDR70 recorder. It was the great service we've had from this machine that helped me decide on buying this latest DVD recorder.
Our other Philips Recorder is still going and is still being used, but we wanted a couple of other options from our player, and are also very aware that the present recorder was now around 4/5 years old! So we thought it wouldn't hurt to get a back up recorder if the price was right.
And since I was looking at getting something for my birthday recently this seemed like an ideal option since it ticked all the boxes we wanted - but it might not do enough for some people.
~ Listed Features *most taken from Tescos website ~
Built in Freeview No
Built in VCR No
Colour Black & Brushed Aluminum
Dual Layer Recorder Yes
Front AV Connection Yes
Hard Drive No
Hard Drive Capability No
Media Format DVD+R/+RW, DVD-R/-RW, DVD+R DL, DVD-R DL
Multi Region Capable No
Product Depth 32 cm
Product Height 4.5 cm
Product Width 36 cm
SCART Sockets 2
DivX Playback Yes
USB Connection Yes
~ The machine in general ~
Our first consideration when looking for a machine was one that had DivX Playback since we tend to use it a bit on our computers. This machine also gives you a USB plug in facility that allows you to show photos or play music from a USB drive. This was an added bonus for us.
We weren't bothered about a multi-region machine either, since the vast majority of our DVD's are in Pal format, and the odd one or two that aren't are playable on a cheap multi-region machine we picked up for that purpose.
This is a player and recorder that offers a little more than a very basic machine, but doesn't have all the bells and whistles associated with some of the others out there. However, for the cost (we paid £79-97 at our local Tescos) we felt this was as good a value as anything you will find out there, and as I've said, having got a Philips DVD recorder that is now around 4/5 years old and still going strong, it made the choice even easier for us.
~ What does it do then? ~
Well, playback is fairly standard for most machines but with the added bonus of DivX as mentioned.
So to list it properly:
It plays - DVD's, DVD+R or RW, DVD-R or RW, DVD+R DL (Dual Layer), CD and SVCD.
The multi-format ability also allows you to play most file formats that hold media content. This means you have the ability to view or play the following:
MP3, WMA (Windows Media Audio), JPEG (Digital Pictures in this format) and the now popular DivX media, which is a form of video, content used on computers.
I've been told the DivX is Ultra Certified that means it gives enhanced playback.
DivX, like most DVD's allows you to have subtitles, different audio language choice, and multiple menus and tracks to navigate around your media.
Its recording ability is also what you would expect, plus a little more besides.
The old Philips we have used to only allow recordings on DVD+R/RW media - nothing else.
This new machine gives us the following options.
DVD+R/RW, DVD+R DL (Dual Layer), DVD-R/RW.
Dual Layer is a system whereby it in effect records double the length of the standard DVD! So, if you have the system set to record normally for 2 hours, you can increase this without loss of quality to 4 hours using a dual layer DVD.
However, one word of warning should you use dual layer recordings - not all DVD players are able to play these back.
DVD-R/RW are also known to cause some issues with playback, and so the recommended media is DVD+R/RW. These aren't infallible, but a few people who work in the industry have told me that they (the + discs) are the ones less likely to give you problems.
If you are using a re-write disc - RW - (in other words, a disc you can use again and again) then one feature we've found on this machine that isn't on the old one is you can 'protect' the title, and so don't risk accidental erasure of something! You can also 'unprotect' the same items if you decide you no longer want to keep it.
If you decide to have chapters placed in the recording (you can chose to have chapters or not) then it does only allow one setting - every 5 minutes is all you get! A little annoying if you have a long programme you want to save.
You have up to 6 hours of recording starting with High Quality (HQ) which is an hour in length, through to Super Long Play (SLP) that is 6 hours of standard recording.
On Dual Layer discs this means you can record up to 2 hours to a maximum of 12 hours on these settings.
One thing we don't have on this model is Video Plus ability, but then again, I'm not sure if this is because of the digital switch over because we've found it didn't ever work on our Sky system, only on the analogue TV signal on the old machine. Now this is not something I know for certain, and is just something we've noticed and so I am just wondering if this is a possible reason behind the decision not to include it this time around? If it isn't it does seem rather a strange one since I know it's popular with a lot of our family and friends.
It also has i.LINK digital input - this means it has firewire quality to allow you to transfer high quality images and audio from digital recording equipment, excellent if you have a digital recorder and you want to make quality copies.
You can also copy those old Video tapes you've got collecting dust in the cupboard.
Playback picture quality is superb and no complaints at all there!
~ So how does it install? ~
Very easily! In fact, it was a matter of minutes to take out of the box and get up and running. Now we are used to the old Philips and so that might have helped, but there are some very definite differences with this model to the old one we have, particularly with the remote control, and so I would say it would be very easy for most people with a reasonable knowledge of putting a DVD player or recorder into your current system to set up.
It has a nice quick set up guide available to you, or there is a more in depth booklet should you want it. However, we found the quick set up guide was all we needed to get it going quickly.
We also had it set up to the surround sound system very quickly, and the sound quality seems very good indeed.
~ Thought on use ~
First of all, a couple of areas some people might not know about but should be aware of when using this machine.
1) If you use a DVD+R, DVD-R disc (the non-rewrite type) then when you have finished your recordings you must finalize the disc in order for it to play in other machines. The information on how to finalize the disc is on page 41 of our booklet - although this page might change depending on when you buy the machine.
2) Again if you use a non-rewrite disc, and are adding more than one recording to it, do make sure you keep it to the same time format when recording! So if your first recording is 30 minutes on HQ (High Quality), then you have 30 minutes left on that disc. You can change the times if you want, but it will mean you can only play back on the Philips machine.
3) The machine is fairly slow! Now, this is something that is exactly the same as the old Philips machine - It's fairly slow when using the remote control. Because its something we've noticed on both machines we can only assume it's a Philips 'thing'! But we've got very used to the old machine and to be honest we don't notice it at all now! But if you are impatient and try to hurry commands along you will get into bother. So, you will need just a modicum of patience until you are used to how it works.
4) I don't know if this is going to be something we find with this machine, but over the years we've found it was false economy to use discs other than the Philips brand! We hardly have any errors since we started using Philips discs, but we did have quite a number even with other well-known brands before that. And to be honest, on Ebay we can pick up discs at a good price which are just as competitive as any out there - so we don't end up paying any more! If anything this costs us less in the long run because we now have so few errors on the discs.
These 4 points aren't really negative - at least not to us. They are just something we've gotten used to on the old recorder and to be honest, we've had other recorders that have not only lasted a fraction of the time our old Philips has, but has never quite given us the same quality of recordings and so think are worth pointing out to make sure you get the best out of the machine rather than have problems with it because you're not aware of them. I honestly feel the machine is too good just to dismiss because you might not know about it being a little slow on responding to your pressing the remote control for example.
The booklet is nice and concise and seems very easy to follow.
The menu layout on screen is also nice and easy to follow, and again we didn't have any problems understanding where something was, either knowing what buttons were needed to give a certain command or get to a certain area, or how to navigate around the menu on screen. In fact we often found we were doing it instinctively from the on screen menu rather than having to follow the booklet, which is a good plus point from me.
~ Look of the machine ~
The model we've got is a nice aluminum brushed look, with a black facia. The display might be a little gaudy for some people since it's a green LCD, but again we've not found it to be a problem and its nice and easy to read. If anything, easier than the older model which isn't as easy to read against the background its on, so that was another plus in its favour over the older model.
It gives just enough information you need to see when in use - and when recording, you see this displayed in red lettering so are in no doubt it is going on.
It's nice and sleek and a lot smaller and lighter than the older model we've got now. But it still feels well built when you handle it, and no buttons feel flimsy, and the disc holder seems firm and solid, both as you place discs in and as it moves when you open and close the machine.
~Final thoughts ~
We paid under £80-00 for this, and so far the record quality has been exceptional and so has playback.
Obviously I can't say at this very early stage how well its going to last, but if the longevity is going to be anything like the machine we've still got, its going to be excellent value for money.
The machine has been lovely and quiet in operation, whether playing a disc or recording - with the exception of finalizing a disc when you do get a small amount of buzzing, but nothing alarming. The DivX playback so far has been excellent as well, certainly better quality than a family members DVD player that also has this feature.
It's not an all singing all dancing machine. Its never can be at the price, but I feel what you do get is excellent value. The recordings are certainly excellent, even on the highest setting of 6 hours - you still get very good quality and most people wouldn't even realize you've recorded on that setting.
In fact, you don't really notice much of a difference in quality between 1 and 2.5 hours recording settings, and even then you don't get a huge drop in quality to 6 hours. It is there, but again compared to the older machine it's far better.
We're currently more than happy with this machine and if you're looking to buy a recorder on a budget you won't go too far wrong than looking at this beast. So for now, I'm happy to give it 5 out of 5 stars.
~ Available from ~
We bought ours from our local Tescos for £79-97
Also available from Argos for £79.99
And Amazon.co.uk for £79.89 with free delivery
Note this is my review also on Ciao.