Anyone have any experience with Philips Products? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 26 Old 05-18-2006, 07:43 PM - Thread Starter
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Anyone have any experience with Philips DVD recorders? I am considering buying the new Philips DVDR3400, but since I will be driving all of the way to the nearest Best Buy to return a faulty Samsung DVD-R135, I don't want to end up with a second lemon unit in the Philips.
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post #2 of 26 Old 05-20-2006, 11:08 AM
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My very first DVD recorder was a Philips DVDR-985. It lasted about 2 1/2 years before finally succumbing to the "failed laser assembly" that was common to this model. So common that Philips had actually extended the warranty to two years.

I have no experience with their newest models but I can say that their older models have had a lot of problems. Search the threads for the Philips HDRW-720 and you'll see quite a few posts where members have had problems with theirs.
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post #3 of 26 Old 05-30-2006, 11:44 AM
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My Philips DVDR75 just crapped out last week. I had it about 2 yrs and it was used lightly, yet it will no longer even recognize ANY DVD inserted, even ones it never had issues with. It now just says "No-Disc" all the time. Looking at Amazon and their reviews of this model, it seems I'm not the only one who experienced similar issues at about the 2 yr point.

So, I am staying away from Philips, for the time being(I bought a Panasonic ES25 as a replacement).

Edited for spelling
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post #4 of 26 Old 05-30-2006, 12:56 PM
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I have had a Philips 615 for 6 months. It is used 5 days a week, 5 hours of recording per day, and has had no problems so far.
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post #5 of 26 Old 07-20-2006, 04:11 PM
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I've bought one of the 3400s from circuitcity webstore since I guess this item is somewhat scarce a the moment. Well, It arrived after a long time, and the item is having a lot of audio problems. The video portion is fine, but the audio skips for no apparent reason, and I have elimited all possible side issues, such as cables, connection, the actual pre-recorded DVD, well, it turns out is the unit itself, and now returning it and getting a replacement from CC has been nothing short of nightmarish. If my replacement ever comes and have another problem, then I would steer clear from DVDR3400 altogether. I'm giving Philips another chance because my DVP642 has been going on for over 2 years with no problem with daily usage. So we'll see.

Let us know how your 3400 goes.
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post #6 of 26 Old 07-20-2006, 08:15 PM
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My first DVD recorder was a Philips DVDR75/17 that lasted about as long as the warranty (burned 350 DVDs) before the laser failed. I replaced it with a Philips DVDR77/17 (much improved over DVDR75)... I had to buy three DVDR77s before I found one that would work reliably.

I tried several different brands of non-hdd recorders (Lite-on, Ilo, Sony, Panasonic, Pioneer) before getting a Pioneer 531H hdd recorder. Its a great machine as TVGOS EPG is not needed by me. Although Philips owns a lot of DVD patents, I don't feel their current DVD hdd products are competitive with Pioneer 640 or Panasonic EH50/EH75, or the Toshiba xs34/xs35...Although the Philips may be easier to use because of fewer options.

I still have the DVDR77 but use it very very rarely. The Philips DVDR615/17 is a reasonable entry level non-hdd machine, if you find one at a clearanced price ( less than >$90.).

YMMV
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post #7 of 26 Old 07-21-2006, 08:12 PM
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I bought the DVDR3400 from the best buy website and after 1 month of backorder it arrived. It recorded my Digital 8 tape well enough, however it doesn't seem to capture the DV time stamp as a subtitle (From a few internet forums I gathered the Philips is the only standalone recorder to have ever offered this feature). I had called Philips customer service to ask if the Timestamp to Subtitle feature was included in the 3400, but I got the sense the customer service person had no clue what I was talking about and was just feeding me "yes" es to get me to hang up.

I'm considering returning the recorder to BBY since it doesn't appear to do this (From other reviews, it seems Philips products are hit or miss). Does anyone out there know if there is a standalone recorder that can (through firewire/i.link) capture the time code? Yes I've done it through my computer, but I find that some process on my computer usually starts kicking in and using memory while transferring from the camcorder to the hard drive, and I end up with pixellation or skips.

Thanks for any replies/suggestions. (oh yeah, one positive thing about the 3400 is that I could play a PAL/Region 4 (Australia) CD on my TV in the US.)
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post #8 of 26 Old 07-22-2006, 10:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fitzroyorztif View Post

it seems Philips products are hit or miss).



I'd say mostly miss!
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post #9 of 26 Old 07-23-2006, 09:43 AM
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Any word on the DVR3455H?
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post #10 of 26 Old 07-26-2006, 05:47 AM
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I finally settled on the dvdr-3400/37 after testing probably a dozen different recorders (and taking them back). My old standby was a lite-on clone that had been hacked to record mv protected content (transfer all my kids' vhs to dvd). After it died, I tried 2 or 3 different liteons and couldn't get any to work as well as my old one. I tried the Cyberhome, and it's tuner was just horrible and it was finicky about media. I decided to take the plunge for a Panasonic since everyone says they are awesome. I loved the DVD-RAM features, but I was angry because DiVX playback was disabled on the US machines and the "dual-layer" compatibility was misleading because you had to close out the first layer before recording on the second layer (no continuous record). When the 3400 came out, the features were just right. No, it doesn't do DVD-RAM, but with DVD+RW's being so cheap, why bother? The unit records well, the quality in all but the last level is great, and it not only does DiVX off of CD/DVD's, but from the USB port as well (connect an external 120Gig HD full of kids cartoons and press play and walk away). I was curious why they didn't include HD upconversion on the HDMI link, but it doesn't matter because my plasma has an internal scalar so it upconverts everything anyway. As for quality, it's very subjective. Liteon makes the #1 selling DVD recorders and I've had to often return 1-2 just to get one that works (and Liteon actually makes their own drives for the units). I'd certainly recommend this unit over the Panasonic anyday purely over the DiVX and the fact that it can record continuously to dual-layer discs. By the way, the Panasonic I tested was the latest DIGA line (ES15/25/35).
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post #11 of 26 Old 08-27-2006, 02:33 PM
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Well...looks like the DVDR3400 is going back. There are several "showstopper" bugs with this recorder. Contacting Philips support is a waste of time and the phone rep argued with me even though I obviously knew more about the product than he did...

First off, the audio skipping bug is caused by setting the output to 480p (or anything other than 480i). As soon as you set the unit to progressive, it starts recording improperly. It is really noticeable recording DV from the ilink port because it drops entire frames of video and audio. Using analog sources, the audio gets out of sync, drops out, or in one instance repeated everything 3 times like a really bad echo. If you change it to back 480i, all recording works fine.

Second...the output from the component is poorly synced. I've tried 2 cables now and on certain scenes (usually very white), the video becomes unstable...My plasma (Philips) showed a black screen, but turning off the picture mute from the service menu let me verify that the video was there, just very unstable. Output from the S-Video port does not do this (and probably not the HDMI port).

Third...you can't erase discs unless they were formatted by the Philips nor can you import other DVD+VR titles for use on the Philips (like one recorded on a LiteOn). The idiots at Philips should have made a standalone erase options somewhere instead of building it into their DVD+RW menu structure. I have to erase discs in my PC first to use them with the Philips (if they had previous non-Philips content).

Fourth...you CAN use a USB hard drive with the Philips as long as you provide external power, but the Philips doesn't support .m3u files so you have to manually build playlists over and over again or store all the albums you want to play under the same subfolder. Again...stupid!!!!

Fifth...the remote is very unresponsive...you often have to mash a button 2-3 times for it to take.

Anyway...I think this was the last straw for me as I can't find any good standalone DVD recorders that does it all...I'm opting now to buy an Autumnwave Onair Creator USB tuner card and turning one of my home PC's into a HDTV media center w/ DVD Burner.
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post #12 of 26 Old 08-27-2006, 08:42 PM
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Philips DVDR 3455H/37 Thread

The above linked thread has some fairly in depth posts concerning a recent Philips DVDR Product. You might peruse it for a bit. I personally found the 3455H/37 to be lacking some obvious and expected features, such as True Chase Play of an in progress recording. I can't recommend that unit at anywhere near the $298 price. I also own a Philips/Magnavox 32" WalMart Special Tube Television. It has a nice picture and good sound for an inexpensive Stereo TV. I have had no problems from it to date.
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post #13 of 26 Old 10-24-2006, 03:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ybarra View Post

First off, the audio skipping bug is caused by setting the output to 480p (or anything other than 480i). As soon as you set the unit to progressive, it starts recording improperly. It is really noticeable recording DV from the ilink port because it drops entire frames of video and audio. Using analog sources, the audio gets out of sync, drops out, or in one instance repeated everything 3 times like a really bad echo. If you change it to back 480i, all recording works fine.

so......... download the new firmware which fixes this issue..

http://www.p4c.philips.com/cgi-bin/d...37_fur_aen.pdf
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post #14 of 26 Old 10-24-2006, 05:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by placenta View Post

so......... download the new firmware which fixes this issue..

http://www.p4c.philips.com/cgi-bin/d...37_fur_aen.pdf

successfully upgraded my unit.

FROM Version 08_08
TO Version 09_04

Doing my my first PPV recording now onto a DVD.
Simply have the DVD player output into my Philips TV's secondary HDMI input.
Then I pulled out the Comcast HDMI cable from it and used coaxial 3 piece from comcast box to the DVD players front input.
Then I cycled the DVD's inputs until I saw my regular TV.
I then pressed play on my Comcast UFC PPV, and hit record on my DVd player.

Only strange thing... do i have to watch all 3 hours of this PPV while I record? I guess there are prob better ways to hook it up. This is my first test.
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post #15 of 26 Old 01-20-2007, 06:57 PM
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I just got one of these for christmas and have experienced all the problems already mentioned plus one that I haven't seen anywhere else. When I have the HDMI output going directly to my TV monitor and the coax digital audio going to my Dennon AVR4800 receiver (it doesn't have HDMI and I want the audio to come thru my sound system, not the TV), the audio output is MONO! If I unplug the HDMI cable, the audio switches to 5 channel. This also happens if I change the TV input source to any source other than the HDMI into which the DVDR is connected. I called Philips and the guy didn't know about this but put me on hold a couple of times and then came back and said that the coax does not work if the HDMI is in use! So I have to use the component video to the TV and the coax to the receiver. Now that I understand the problem I just have a question; is the video portion of HDMI any better than component video on a 480p source?
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post #16 of 26 Old 02-04-2007, 10:45 PM
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I just got the dvdr3400 today after returning a Samsung 135. At first I had every problem I ever read about it and then some. After upgrading the software the major bugs went away, but it is still far from good. First of all making the upgrade disc is very confusing and the instructions on the Philips web site are not much help. I pretty much had to do it by trial and error and reading forums on how to make an upgrade disc.

Before the upgrade the recorder would not output anything over the a progressive connection, except for its own menus. Every video signal came out in green only, and in some weird resolution 720X476. After the upgrade things seemed better.


Here are my initial problems:

In progressive mode the coaxial and S video outs will not work.

It seems like after the software upgrade, the machine only reacts to the remote control if you press the desired button twice. It was working normally before the upgrade.

The picture from both tuner and DVD is worse than I have seen from other players. It will not play the drop shadow on the TXH logo.

The whole menu structure is very slow. The display options are not active during disc playback. To change the progressive scan, or the TV shape you have to stop the playback.

Accessing the disc menu is not very intuitive. I had to actually read the manual. But in response to a post above - I am pretty sure I found a way to erase a disc recorded in another unit - simply press record and it will tell you the disc is not ready and ask you if you would like to format it for recording.

The clock cannot be displayed on the front panel, unless the recorder is turned off.

The unit gets quite warm. It is fairly noisy although there is no cooling fan. The disc cannot be ejected until the recorder finishes its start up routine.

The video and audio outputs are separated, fitting cables together is thus harder.

There is no flex time recording mode.

The worst part is that the tuner reception is quite dark and noisy. DVD playback is tolerable but certainly disappointing.

Most features about this recorder are disappointing. Anyone considering buying it, should keep in mind that the software will probably have to be updated. I called long time ago when I had a similar problem with the Philips DVDR615. I could never burn the upgrade CD right, so I called Philips to ask them to send me one, and they refused. I wonder if that is still the case.

On paper the recorder does have a lot of good things going for it. Dual media, dual layer support; PAL and NTSC converters; component input; available region hack; VCR plus; Stereo tuner; etc.

I could have lived with the operational annoyances, but the sub-par picture is a deal breaker for me. I already have a mediocre LiteOn recorder and am really looking for an upgrade that delivers better picture.

Please do not flood me with suggestions to buy a good player only and not a recorder. I have two reasons I need a recorder. One is to be able to watch basic cable on my projector, and two is to reduce the already enormous mess of cables around my TV.

On a separate subject... Does anyone know how to make the annoying search in FireFox go away? Every time I tried to write something with the apostrophe it opens a search box instead and I can not use it. It is driving me nuts and I think I am going to switch back to my favorite Netscape 7.2. I did deactivate it in the tools menu, but does not seem to make any difference.
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post #17 of 26 Old 02-09-2007, 03:46 PM
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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.
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post #18 of 26 Old 02-09-2007, 09:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dhallman View Post

I just got one of these for christmas and have experienced all the problems already mentioned plus one that I haven't seen anywhere else. When I have the HDMI output going directly to my TV monitor and the coax digital audio going to my Dennon AVR4800 receiver (it doesn't have HDMI and I want the audio to come thru my sound system, not the TV), the audio output is MONO! If I unplug the HDMI cable, the audio switches to 5 channel. This also happens if I change the TV input source to any source other than the HDMI into which the DVDR is connected. I called Philips and the guy didn't know about this but put me on hold a couple of times and then came back and said that the coax does not work if the HDMI is in use! So I have to use the component video to the TV and the coax to the receiver. Now that I understand the problem I just have a question; is the video portion of HDMI any better than component video on a 480p source?

I confirmed the same problem even after the upgrade. If you hook a HDMI cable directly to your TV and the Coaxial cable to your AV receiver for DD audio then the audio is MONO no matter what video setting you use on the HDMI output. I took it back because of this.
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post #19 of 26 Old 02-09-2007, 10:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dhallman View Post

Now that I understand the problem I just have a question; is the video portion of HDMI any better than component video on a 480p source?

There is zero difference in the output from component or HDMI; HDMI does not add quality, just convenience of single cable. This sounds like a serious flaw, but one with a suitable work around.
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post #20 of 26 Old 03-18-2007, 01:33 PM
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I also have the Philips DVDR3400 dvd recorder. The remote is terrible - as others have mentioned, it almost always requires two button presses to respond.

However, I'm stuck with it, and for what I use it for - transferring recorded programs from a DirecTV HR20 HD DVR to DVD - although I HATE that the DVDR3400 won't accept HD input from component cables (have to use S-video) - it does work okay.

So, does anyone know how to program the DVDR3400 remote so the Volume control will work with my Toshiba 46HM84 DLP TV?
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post #21 of 26 Old 03-20-2007, 01:02 AM
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seems like there are more questions than answers and I'm sorry to have to add to that, but does anyone know if you can record shows onto a Usb Harddrive? I guess this would essentially turn the Dvdr3400 into a Dvd Recorder with a harddrive, if that was possible.
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post #22 of 26 Old 03-20-2007, 09:24 AM
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My guess is no, but I can't state that as fact. I know of no other Philips DVD recorder that does this.
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post #23 of 26 Old 03-20-2007, 03:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wjones14 View Post

However, I'm stuck with it, and for what I use it for - transferring recorded programs from a DirecTV HR20 HD DVR to DVD - although I HATE that the DVDR3400 won't accept HD input from component cables (have to use S-video) - it does work okay.

No recorder on the market today will accept HD source; check the sticky at the beginning of the forum.
On the other hand, if you set HR20's output to 480i over component Philips will record it: tested by myself. It will also record even widescreen material over component as well as S-video or composite inputs.
On the other hand, recording quality of 3400 over component even worse than Sony GX315 over composite.
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post #24 of 26 Old 03-20-2007, 05:37 PM
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Anyone know of a program to rip dvd's recorded with the Philips DVDr3400 onto the computer. I can't even play the darn thing on my computer even after finalizing, let alone rip it. So far I used Powerlink DVD and AVS media player to play with no prevail, and DVD shrink to try and rip with no luck neither.
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post #25 of 26 Old 03-20-2007, 07:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by V7Goose View Post

There is zero difference in the output from component or HDMI; HDMI does not add quality, just convenience of single cable.

I don't think that's true. HDMI is digital. The signal from a digital source, such as an HD DVR, does not need to be compressed or converted - it is transferred directly from the source to an HD television.

All other connections, component included, are analog. Therefore, the digital signal from the HD DVR is converted to analog, transferred along the cable, and re-converted back to digital at the HD television.

So, small as it might be, there is always some loss when converting from digital to analog and vice versa.

HDMI article on Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hdmi
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post #26 of 26 Old 03-20-2007, 07:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jasdub View Post

Anyone know of a program to rip dvd's recorded with the Philips DVDr3400 onto the computer. I can't even play the darn thing on my computer even after finalizing, let alone rip it. So far I used Powerlink DVD and AVS media player to play with no prevail, and DVD shrink to try and rip with no luck neither.

Try DVDDecrypter. If that alone won't do the job get RipIt4Me and FixVTS..... all are free programs. You could also try DVDFABDecrypter.....free again......

I also use DVDShrink and have it create Video Folders. You can then use PowerLink PowerDVD to load the VOB files and play them on your computer......
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