Summary: SAVE YOUR $$!! VERY FRUSTRATING---
Review: I'm hoping this review will prevent someone else from being taken ... like i was with this product. I purchased the Philips DVD+R / DVDR985 recorder, with the intention of archiving my videotape collection. At times the recorder seems to work fine, and, aside from a shaky beginning, I began to transfer my collection with few problems. Then the problems started. Let me start by saying that the manual is HORRIBLE. It doesn't begin to cover half of the glitches and how to fix them, that you'll run into with this unit! As pointed out in other reviews, "DISC ERROR" is pretty common with this unit, and once this happens you now have an expensive coaster. Too many of these, and your pocket book will start aching! Exactly what has happened to me. The biggest problem i'm CURRENTLY having (believe me, there are many, many headaches with this monstrosity), is that when I try to record from a black and white source (and some color), the picture will "bleach out" and record this way, so that the entire thing is unwatchable in the end. DOES ANYONE HAVE A CLUE HOW TO FIX THIS?? That's the other thing; I'm asking anyone out there, because another frustrating aspect to this whole experience is attempting to get help from the so-called "helpline". You might as well shoot yourself in the head now. First off, out of the 4 times I've called for help with various issues (disc stuck in tray, won't come out, picture messed up, etc.), the solution is always the same: unplug the unit, and restart the unit by reprogramming the menu, or whatever. This has worked for a couple of problems, but I personally think Philips is being elusive about some of the problems this disc recorder has, such as this buisness with the image "bleaching out" (i've found others on the internet that have the same problem, yet when you tell the customer service about it,and ask for a solution, they claim that they've never heard that particular complaint). This is currently driving me insane, and I'm at the point now of cutting my loses and getting rid of this thing. Problem is I can't in good conscious, pawn it off on someone! It really is a piece of junk. Even when it manages to squeeze out a recording, there's this feeling you have that you've just gotten real lucky. This isn't how it should be. There's too many problems with this unit, and I have to say I can't recommend this thing to anyone. Take my advice, and don't blow your cash on it! You will find yourself as frustrated as I am!
Summary: Plus makes a difference
Review: The Philips DVDR985 works exactly as advertised. One thing I didn't understand before I bought the unit that there was a difference between DVD-R and DVD+R discs. I tried to put a DVD-R disc in the unit and it showed a status of 'No Disc.' After some customer service and Internet reading, I discovered the correct dics I needed to purchase to record. This unit uses the DVD+R or DVD+RW disc.
The only reason I gave this item 4 stars instead of 5 is because the directions, especially for hookup and use, were sparse. I have a VHS and satellite system in addition to the DVD recorder and had to experiment to find the best system connections. Philips also should have been more definitive on DVD formats for us novices who don't know that there IS a difference between DVD+R and DVD-R.
Overall, though, I am happy with the purchase and results.
Summary: DVD RECORDER HMHMHMHMHMHMHM ????
Review: WELL AT FIRST I WAS GOING TO BUY THIS RCORDER FOR 60.99 ON LINE BUT AFTER I SEE ALL OF THESE REVIEWS ABOUT THE PRODUCT I DON`T THINK SO NOT FOR EVEN 61 BUCKS I THINK I MIGHT BE JUST WASTING MY MONEY AND TIME
Summary: Great unit, right up until it implodes...
Review: I purchased this unit in May 2003. It actually was a replacement for a unit bought in April 2003 that had static on the right sound channel, but the second unit had no problems. I used the unit nearly every day, recording TV shows and backing up VHS tapes, and it worked like a trooper. Then, after about 10 months of use, it began to have strange error messages and wouldn't read discs it had just recorded. I did a quick online search and found out this problem is very, very common. I'm probably going to have it fixed, as it's still under warranty, but I'm going to buy another DVR from a different manufacturer in the meantime since there's no guarantee that the unit will be fixed within the next six months. Am I glad I bought it? Very much. I've saved many priceless memories with it. Would I buy another one? No.
Summary: My unit cannot be fixed
Review: For about a year it worked satisfactorily. After a year it failed and displayed different error codes which are not documented anywhere.
I purchased a repair policy when I purchased the unit and thought it would be repaired in a reasonable amount of time. It has been FIVE MONTHS in the repair shop and still is not fixed. The repair shop says they have ordered 4 parts and another is on order.
This unit should be recalled and replaced by Phillips.
Summary: Used daily--works great
Review: I've used this unit almost daily since March 2003 to record our favorite shows and send them to our troops in Iraq. 50 recorded DVDs (200 hours) later it's still working flawlessly. The recorded DVDs play great in every DVD player we own, including a Gateway laptop and a portable Mintek. Only problem I've noted in playback is in the player in our vehicle...the vibrations cause the disk to skip...but that particular player is very sensitive to problem disks. I did experience the error codes mentioned in other reviews once, and ran the diagnostic as detailed in the manual...no more problems after that. I've only had one DVD+R go bad out of the whole batch. Once the unit is set up and you learn how to finalize a disk...it's amazingly easy to use. The Timer function is easier than any VHS recorder I've ever used. I also really appreciate the "one-touch" timer record function, and the fact that I can turn it off if I change my mind (my VHS recorder won't). So far, I'm a happy Phillips customer and my guys in the desert are up to date on every new episode of Alias and the West Wing! :)
Summary: Terrible ...sorry I wasted money on it
Review: It worked okay for about 10 months...then would not play movies then wouldn't record anything. When I called Philips, they sent me a CD to upgrade the firmware...after that it was nothing better than a doorstop. Now it is just barely past the warranty period and they say "too bad, so sad." They did this even though they know I have had trouble with it for months.
Forget it. Buy I Sony.
Summary: Does not work
Review: I have this unit and it just won't work. Called Philips several with no help. Too many bugs.
Summary: have problems but still works!
Review: I have had the recorder for almost 2 years and have recorded close to 200 discs on it. Yes it sometimes will display error
messages and will not read a disc but if i were to turn it off
for awhile and turn it on again it reads the disc. So far i
have lost 3 discs but i consider myself lucky compared to others
who have bought it. It records a great picture in SP or LP
recording modes with good sound. Poor customer service!!
Summary: Not sure yet
Review: I've had my DVDR985 for a little over a year now and I too have started getting disk error messages following the finalizing of the disk. I had been throwing them away at that point but have recently found that if I remove the disk and shut the unit off, upon startup it recognizes the disk and things seem well. So I'm not sure if I'm on the slippery slope toward total failure or what. From what I've been reading I'm thinking I'm doomed. I bought a three year service contract and am close to handing it over for "repairs" whatever that might be. It sounds like no one knows for sure. I have found that it is sensitive to the particular brand of disk you use. The Verbatium disks give me major problems but Fuji disks seem very stable, they are all +R's not RW's.