With my priorities focused on hardware that could play tapes from as many international standards as possible with stereo sound and long-play, it was not without fairly exhaustive online research that I chose to purchase this particular VCR (actually called the Thomson V*T*H 7090 and not VPH 7090 as listed here). The reviews had all been favourable praising a decidedly feature-rich machine that could boast not only ample basic input, playback and editing features but that also even had the unusual, if not unique, capacity to record subtitles ; the final sales clincher came when a representative from rival manufacturer Sony (a firm that I affirm is a firm favourite with me) stated that they thought the Thomson had the edge on anything the Japanese company were producing. What I had been unable to garner from my pre-sales reading was the fact that, with its eye on the European market, this video cannot be connected to an RF or aerial input (the standard and indeed SOLE option on older British televisions) but must instead be hooked into a SCART socket. There isn't one on my portable set and adapters start at £50. Obstacle Number One. This state of affairs was confirmed by Thomson (who were, at best, blunt in response to those e.mails which were not over-looked altogether whilst telephonically so heavily-accented at their, presumably, French call centre as to impede resolution). Gladly, I found an alternative display option via my PC. As it is fitted with a Hauppauge TV card I was able to link the Thomson to it with a cinch cable rather than be forced to reject the VCR so soon after receipt. For a time this get-around seemed more of a solution than a compromise and I was prepared to regard the unit's disappointing (and completely unforeseen) refusal to accept the insertion of certain heavier brands of cassette as merely a "quirk" rather than a serious design fault. However, a year on, I cannot defend the device any longer. I
ts handling of long-play recordings has been utterly abysmal. Repeatedly, it has violently ripped tape from spools - severely damaging the media. It is thoroughly disheartening to expend effort collating a documentary series or sequence of related films only to have the tape ripped out by the very VCR that they were compiled with before having had the opportunity to view the content. My only recommendation with regard to this product is that you don't buy it.