Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: DFW area, Texas
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I have a Philips DVDR3400 and, although a long way from perfect, I am quite satisfied (but the firmware upgrade is an absolute necessity).
I do a lot of recording from my TiVo, and I much prefer the editing capabilities of Philips recorders to many other brands I have tried. I also have a Panasonic DMR-ES25S that makes excellent recordings but has limited editing capability and poor disc menus. The biggest plus for this unit in addition to the editing capabilities is that the 4 hour recording quality is virtually equal to my ES25 (500 lines per inch) when compared in playback from my Oppo player on my 62" DLP TV. Another big benefit is that a full dual-layer disc can be burned without stop, unlike the Panasonic that requires the first layer to be finalized before recording on the second layer.
The negatives include a terrible remote, inconsistent and poor response to remote signals (even using other universal remotes), and relatively poor quality playback on an HD screen (lots of jaggies). I can live with the remote irritants to get the recording benefits, and I simply just use a good low-cost player for playback.
I cannot comment on tuner quality, as I use Verizon FiOS, and there are very limited channels available without a STB or cable card. For this reason, all input to my 3400 is either from my HD TiVo or a second DVD player for dubbing. Although the unit has component inputs (like all Philips DVDR units), they cannot be used for HD signals. When used with a standard cable box, I have used the component inputs for SD content and the S-Video input for HD content. Unfortunately, the HD TiVo menus are 720P and cannot be received through the component inputs, so all of my recordings are now from the S-Video inputs. Nevertheless, the signal quality from my HD TiVo on ViOS is so good, my recorded disks in EP mode (4hr) are excellent on my 42" Sony Plasma and very good on my 62" Mitsubishi DLP.
For my purposes, this recorder at $130 is an excellent buy. If you know and can accept the limitations of this unit, you should be very pleased with it.