Summary: I Don't know what all the negative Hoopla is all about!
Review: I just received this unit from Amazon.com a few days ago. After reading all these reviews, I figured this DVD Recorder was going to be a real lemon. So far, I do not have one complaint.
I have recorded two TV shows, and a converted a VHS tape to DVD using DVD+RW Discs. Not one problem to complain about.
One complaint I noticed in other reviews was the owner's manual.
I read the manual from cover to cover. Again, I don't understand the issues others have with this manual.
The recorded DVD's play on two of my three DVD players. The one that it doesn't play on is at least 3 years old.
After using this recorder for a few days, I can't figure out all the bad reviews this device has received.
Don't be afraid to purchase this machine based on all the negative reviews. I normally don't write reviews, but after reading all the bad reviews that this recorder received, I felt the need to write something positive about this product.
This recorder is well worth the price.
Summary: Good with some disappointments
Review: This product is a great replacement for a VCR but it has some limitations.
Excellent compatability with all DVD players I tested.
Not too difficult to setup and easy to use.
Good quality recordings.
The component video input is only 480i not 1080i.
The editing features are weak. You can only hide chapters on playback you can't reassemble them. For example you can put in chapter markers before and after commercials and then hide those commercials during playback. It works but it is clumsy and you will often loose the edits when you play back on another DVD player anyway. (By the way, According to the manual you should be able to finalize your edits for playback on another DVD player. This process is not reliable however and Tech support acknowledges this)
You can not timelapse a playback. Unlike TIVO or the Panasonic recorders, you can not, among other playback effects, pause live action when recording. Also you must wait until the recording is complete before playback. Other units, for example, allow you to begin watching the big game after it has started. You can watch playback from the begining as it continues to record. With TIVO you can even fast forward through the commercials and eventually catch up to real time. Not having this capability compared to competitive products is a major disadvantage in my opinion.
The remote control is terrible. For example, the reverse scan and previous chapter functions are integrated on the same button. If you want to do a quick replay of a scene it is easy to inadvertantly go back to the previous chapter or to the start of the recording by mistake. I found this so frustrating that I may have returned the unit had I not been able to use a universal remote that accepted the Philips DVD player codes. The universal remote had separate buttons for these functions
(like most DVD player remotes).The DVDR75 remote control is now in a drawer somewhere.
In conclusion, I believe the product is good for the price but is clearly has limitations. It is able to archive VCR tapes and perform VCR like functions with better quality. However, if you expect more you may be disappointed.
Summary: Difficult & incomplete manual makes for rough time operating
Review: I bought this as a replacement for my VCR and to use with my Tivo to record movies and shows from its hard drive. I therefore installed it with my Tivo and the set up required me to use a different output source from the DVDR to the TV than the default output. I searched the manual for more than an hour trying to find how to switch output sources. There were no instructions anywhere in the manual telling you how to switch from one output source (e.g. EXT-1 or EXT-2) to another. I finally called Philips and asked them how to switch outputs. They talked me through the process. I then asked where the information was in the manual. They told me that they did NOT include the information in the manual! The reason they gave me was that "they didn't consider it important enough." I think that instructions on how to switch between output sources from the DVDR is extremely important. Additionally, every time the power goes out, the DVDR reverts to the default output, so be sure to write down (or memorize) the steps to make the switch because you will have to do it again.
I am reasonably pleased with the recording and playing of DVDs on the device, but have not had much luck playing recorded DVDs in other DVD players. Further, the manual is nearly useless and customer service is terrible. You can spend hours with the manual and never find the information you need because Philips didn't think it was important enough to include. If you aren't well versed in setting up and operating devices like this, or cannot make very lucky guesses at how to use various functions, then be prepared to spend a lot of time on the phone. I cannot understand Philips thinking on this - they should make the user's manual long enough actually to explain how to use each function of the device. I will not buy another DVDR from Philips.
Summary: Works Great. .. At first.
Review: I bought this machine back in May, 2003 and up to Late Janurary 2004 it worked great. Maybe 2 disc errors during all that time, which is reasonable. Recorded off tv on +R/RW just fine, where even the M4 setting looked way better than vhs.
Then the problems started. At first it just stopped recording on the +R philips dvds I had. It would burn for maybe 5-8 seconds then shut off. Very annoying if you set the timer to record something you know you wanted to keep only to find out it didn't even record. So fine, I returned the pack of 50 philips for 50 tdk's. And at first great. Out of the first 30 tdk's one error, but the rest all recorded fine. Then the tdk's started acting up, 4 out of 5 had disc errors and now you can't even record to them at all. Same thing as the philips dvd's. Burn for 5-8 seconds, then shuts off.
So finally Sony's +R discs went on sale for $1 each. I bought some. Hey these are top of the line dvds, they gotta work. First one, disc error. The rest in the box won't even burn at all. 5-8 seconds then shuts off.
So now I'm faced with a player that will only burn to +RW. Ugh.
Not to mention that the other reviews about white out are spot on. Try and record a movie or transfer a vhs tape with alot of bright scenes and it's unwatchable. I will say that most movies/tv shows don't have this problem, but yeah for home movies filmed outside (and that's what most people want to save anyway) it's horrible.
And the final problem is that old vhs tapes with tracking errors seem to create a bad wobble effect when put onto dvd making them unwatchable. Of course that's likely the age of the vhs tapes and no fault of the recorder. But it's still a pain.
I was promised by their customer support to get a firmware upgrade(when the firmware downloaded from their website wouldn't load at all). But I believe that will work as much as I believe in the easter bunny. And hey if it does work I'll make sure to raise the review at least 1 star.
So all in all avoid this recorder unless you only want a good recorder for about 9 or so months and can afford to buy a new one every year.
And it looks like the other brands are no help since even the best reviewed sony won't even record to +R(why make something that will record to -R/-RW and +RW but leave out +R???) making these +R discs useless.
Summary: A few suggestions before you return yours....
Review: Yes, there have been some bad reviews on this product -- BUT, I think most problems can easily be resolved by doing two simple things:
1. Making sure that your unit has enough air flow for proper cooling. If you insist on sticking in between your VCR and cable box, no doubt the heat will cause problems. Mine did until I moved it.
2. Upgrade the firmware -- a bit of a pain, but really doesn't take too long...
Once I took care of these two things, I haven't burnt any more coasters!!!
Besides, how else can you record VHS, DVD, TV onto a DVD permanent, easily readable format painlessly.... try copying a DVD with your computer, you'll know what I mean.
One minor downside, one VHS tape has copywriting info on it and it wouldn't copy it.... BUT the other 50 tapes copied great!!
Summary: Best recorder out there for the price!
Review: I have tried the Panasonic, the older Philips, and even the Sony! The DVDR75 is by far the most user friendly. The manual is systematic and step-by-step, the remote is fairly ingenius, and the menus are easy to navigate. Once you get the hang of it, it is also a lot of fun. (READ THE MANUAL FIRST, THOUGH!) I particularly appreciate the fact that the DVD+RWs recorded on this recorder always work in my other players. After 9 months of recording (about 500 discs so far), it is still going strong! I highly recommend the Philips DVDR75!!
Summary: DVDR75 - Facts and Fiction
Review: Ok, you probably read lots of other reviews by now, but here is a summary, of what you will get for your money. But first, keep two things in mind, when you read other 'low rating' reviews :
1. This DVD Recorder is by far one of the less expensive ones - but what you get for your money is truly amazing.
2. In electronics, there are always 'lemons', but with Amazon's great customer service, it is very easy to exchange a unit, that does not work properly.
Ok, so here is what you get when you purchase this DVD recorder.
- A DVD recorder that records on DVD+R and DVD+RW in amazing picture and sound quality. Depending on what quality level you choose, the picture is clearer than on a pre-recorded DVD or (on the lowest quality selection) as good as a VHS tape. The sound is truly amazing.
- When you copy from DVC to your DVD recorder using the Firewire link, you might get some distortion when playing the recorded DVD on another player. But if you use S-Video and the highest quality setting (M1), then there is absolutely no difference between the original and the copy.
- The reaction time of the DVD player is a bit slow, when you press a button. But once you get used to this, it really isn't a problem.
- The DVD+RW discs do not need to be finalized in order to play them on another DVD player - this is a huge advantage over the DVD-RW format. In general, DVD+R and DVD+RW is much more likely to be compatible to other DVD players than DVD-R and DVD-RW. DVD-ROM is really not a DVD format and is hardly ever compatible to another DVD player.
- Even this DVD recorder does not have a hard disk, it is still cheaper, to buy this unit together with Tivo (the total will be about $ 600.--) than another DVD recorder with a hard drive. This way, you will get all the Tivo benefits and copying from Tivo to this unit is a breeze !
- Operating this unit is extremely simple and it is very easy to organize your DVDs (titles, index pictures, chapters etc.).
- The DVD player is excellent and supports the most recent sound systems. The picture quality is truly outstanding.
My verdict - buy this unit ! It's a fact, that in 2 years from now, it will be as 'outdated' as the more expensive recorders that are out now - but for the price, you really get your moneys worth ! And the DVD+R and DVD+RW discs that you record on this machine will still be 'top of the line', when it comes to picture and sound quality, in many years from now.
Summary: A totally useless piece of JUNK
Review: This multi-regional machine worked for 3 months, during which time, it often froze up, turned itself off whilst recording, or just refused to play certain discs. Three weeks after returning it to richer sounds, I was told it had been fixed, but still wouldn't play just one particular Region 1 disc. I got the staff to try three different machines ( same make/model) in the store, fresh from the box, and each machine was faulty,in one way or the other. After an hour or so, I decided to settle for taking my original "fixed" machine home. Imagine my suprise when my "fixed" machine wouldn't play any region 1 discs at all (over 100 in my collection). This is a totally useless piece of junk that refuses to work properly, but Philips won't admit to it having faults. AVOID BUYING THESE DVD RECORDERS. Even if you are lucky enough to get your money back, the DVD+RW discs recorded with it can't be played on any other machine, and you won't be compensated for the cost of those wasted discs.
Summary: Philips does not stand behind their products
Review: I will never buy Philips again! My machine does not always record from the timer, power randomly shuts off. It wouldn't tape a tv broadcast saying it was "copy protected." It is defective, and I am out the money. It is past 30 days so the store won't take it back. I can pay to ship it to Missouri and maybe they can fix it (or make it worse). Some warranty! I believe that a company should replace defective things they sell. Philips does not. Do not buy from them unless you are willing to throw your money away.
Review: Looks like the DVDR985 is no longer avaible, I would not recomened any Phililps DVD my DVDR985 have to have an upgrade and still will not record a disk. I have recorded a total ot TEN DISK in 18 months, I called there 800 number and was told I would have to ship it to Ca. for repair at my cost! Very sad I paid over $400 so that comes to over $40 per recording. I as ***** Mesa ,Az.