As I watched the smoke coming out of the back of my VCR, I suggested to hubby that maybe now was the time to be looking to buy a brand new one. As he fetched the fire extinguisher, he was inclined to agree! We'd had our VCR for many years, and it had been fading fast over the last few weeks. Ours was years old, very erratic and just downright unreliable! And now it was smoking....nuff said! We decided we wouldn’t spend a lot of cash on an all singing all dancing machine, packed with the latest hi-tech gadgets, as neither of us are bright enough to understand how to use them! So, we decided we wanted something modern, inexpensive, easy to use, with basic but good features that even dimwits like us could cope with. Bring on the Sanyo VHR-M291E! This VCR is a mono machine, costing around £90 to buy and is simplicity itself to set up. It comes with the clock already set and automatically tunes every channel for you (including Sky!). The inbuilt clock doesn’t reset itself, even if the machine is switched off for days at a time. It also has VideoPlus for easy timer recording, but make sure you tune channels to the order specified in the manual otherwise it won’t work! The automatic function does this for you anyway! Despite being a fairly basic machine, the VCR does have some good features. One that hubby especially likes, is the CM-CUT feature. This allows you to skip through commercial breaks during playback. Pressing the CM-CUT button fast-forwards the tape by 30 secs, so for a 4-minute interval, you just need to press the button 8 times quickly and off it goes, automatically resuming playback when done! And it’s fast too! You can play tapes both in PAL and NTSC formats (although it will only record in PAL) and features standard play as well as long play. Another useful feature is that the on screen display will tell you how much time you have left on your tape from the position it is set (bot
h on SP and LP), useful if you want to be sure there is enough space left to record your favourite film! If you have programmed the timer to record a film say, and the machine detects there isn't enough space left on the tape, it will automatically convert from standard play to long play in order not to lose the end. Fast forwarding and rewinding speeds are excellent; it can rewind a 3-hour tape in just a couple of minutes! You can set up timer recordings for 7 separate events up to one month in advance. It also features Digital Picture Control, a Save Energy Mode, Auto Tracking, Auto Video Head Cleaning, Child Lock, Wide Screen recording and playback, a real time counter (rather than just digits) and on screen display for easy control and programming using your remote. Plus, there is a very useful Video Doctor facility that informs you by a message on screen if there is a problem with your machine. By accessing the Video Doctor menu, you can check the status of the video heads and/or tape, how many timed recordings you have set up and the next timer programme scheduled. The remote control itself is small, but functional. Buttons are clearly labelled and you’re not presented with dozens of them to confuse you. All programming and tuning etc can be done via the remote using on screen display and good clear icons are shown. You can even ‘disable’ the control buttons on the front of the machine itself so that your VCR can only be operated using the remote. Useful if you have small children who like to play with the knobs and buttons on the front of the machine! The manual that comes with the VCR gives good clear instructions, and isn’t big enough that it resembles an encyclopaedia! It includes good and clear diagrams for every stage, including initial installing. All in all, this is a good mono machine that has a range of useful features without being so technically advanced that you can̵
7;t get past page one of the instruction manual! We’re very pleased with ours, the picture quality is excellent (especially with the built in Digital Picture Control on playback) and has all the features we need for easy viewing and programming. And what's more, no signs of smoke coming out of the back! ;O)
My Sanyo video recorder, which I purchased new has an annoying habbit of de-tuning itself for no apparent reason. Many a time I have set it up to Video a program, pressed record and gone out. I come back, check the tape and lo and behold, I have table with 2 hours of crappy scribbles on it. It is a totaly useless video recorder. So I just used it for watching videos, but last month it just stopped working. No fuses have blown, it has power going into it but nothing is happening. This I can only put down to it being rubbish. And because it's busted I can't even stick an ad for it in Admart and pretend it' stolen. LIFE IS SO UNFAIR SOMETIMES. The Sanyo TV I purchased with it works right enough though. But Sanyo video recorder... Don't touch with a bargepole.
The listed video is actually the VHR290, my sanyo is VHR297. The 297 is a very special video recorder,and if I am correct it is not widely available, you can buy it but need to order it. So What makes it so special? Long/short play videoplus memory access auto record resetting features clock time date remote control easy access The most unique feature about this video recorder is It is also a caption reader, and it will record the subtitles on any subtitled programme you tape. For those who do not understand, when you hire/buy a video some of them have a little box on the side and back of the cover, this means that if you have a caption reader you can watch the movie with subtitles via your video recorder. This is a luxury to any person who is hard of hearing or deaf, and since I bought mine I have had the chance to watch all the latest movies with subtitles, and it is great. One other thing is, if I tape a movie with subtitles it can be played on any video machine and it will also display the taped subtitles. While some of you may not think this is an important feature, if you were to completely block all the sound from your ears and try watching a movie that has not got subtitles you will understand how this video is such an important one to someone who is deaf or hard of hearing. To buy it can be a little expensive, but it is worth it. Mine was bought from my local granada store, my in-laws work for granada so I also got 20% off which was great. The retail price when I bought it was £265.00, minus the 20% was £212.00. Well worth the price.