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We've had a Philips DVDR 3440 H for quite some time now and it's worked alright for us. It wasn't cheap at around £150 but it's made by a good brand so we were happy to pay a little bit more for the sake of getting something we thought we could trust. The cheap ones aren't that cheap anyway at nearly £100 so we felt the extra expense was worth it for the sake of convenience and reliability. So we bought this one from Argos after looking at the various options. We could have paid slightly more for a Panasonic but didn't feel the extra expense was justified the other way either.
Setting this up was quite straightforward and there was an instruction booklet included as well as quick start instructions. Being a bloke I refused to read them of course but the Mrs did and she just read out the bits she thought I needed to know. It was just a case of getting everything plugged in including the power and scart lead so it was quite straightforward. I have to admit I made a few blunders when it came to the programming side of things but all in all we were ready to go in under an hour which isn't too bad. I'm sure there are quicker to set up recorders out there but it isn't the end of the world that this one took a bit of fiddling.
When we used it for the first time we were pleased to find that it was really easy to both record something and watch something at the same time. It's especially important in a big household like ours when there's so often an argument over who watches what (Corrie or the footie for example). So fortunately we found that this recorder could manage both with ease.
The only thing I don't like about this is the teeny tiny remote control. The buttons are really, really small no the remote control and I'm sure they don't need to be so small. I've got quite big hands even for a bloke but even the Mrs has grumbled about them being small before. I've also noticed it takes a little while between pressing the button and something happening but then I've noticed that with our new digital television too. I guess we have to learn to be a bit patient with all this technological progression going on.
I think a three star rating for this one is fair because there are a few set backs here that I suspect other DVD recorders won't have. If I had my choice again, I think I'd rather have forked out an extra £20 and got one with a better remote control. But it's not the end of the world and it does do the job it's supposed to be really well.