LG RC199H DVD/VHS Recorder Reviews? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 131 Old 05-21-2006, 11:38 AM - Thread Starter
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Can anyone offer any personal experience on the LG RC199H DVD up-converting recorder with built-in VCR? Are there any professional reviews out there? (I couldn't find any.)

Is it true, as another thread (the only mention of this machine I could find on AVS using search) seemed to indicate, that the LG RC199H outputs the VCR signal, as well as the DVD, via the HDMI connection? (That's what I'm looking for.)

Also, does anyone know if the machine will play S-VHS tapes? (We've got a lot of videos recorded on an old S-VHS VCR.)

Thanks for any info you can provide!
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post #2 of 131 Old 05-30-2006, 01:21 AM
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Just got one today. Will set it up some time this week. Do me a favor and repost to this thread asking my impressions to remind me to post them and I will post them.

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post #3 of 131 Old 06-03-2006, 09:04 AM
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Any impressions yet? I too am interested in this unit. Thanks!

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post #4 of 131 Old 06-03-2006, 10:41 PM
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I just purchased this today so I can only give very preliminary impressions. Also, I am not a video expert so I will not get technical.

Hookup: HDMI to Panansonic 37'' Plasma (TH-37PX60U) that I also purchased today, digital optical output to Yamaha Receiver, component input from cable box. Everything worked without a glitch.

The only thing I have tried so far is playing DVD movies. I checked it out with The Fifth Element (Superbit) and The Matrix. I compared it to my Sony that is hooked up to a Mitsu 42'' RP and the Panasonic DMR-ES30V DVD that I was using previously on the same new TV but with a component conection. At first PQ seemed a little less sharp that the Pany. However, after messing with the TV PQ controls it got much better (remember, the TV is also new and I have yet to get my setting anywhere near stable). I also tried the "upconvert" between all the seting (480i, 480p, 720p, 1080i) and could not notice any difference (the TV automatically adjusts to the imput signal). One thing to note is that if you change the resolution during playback, it will stop the DVD. No biggie, you just press play and the movie continues from where it stopped.

Overall the first impression is good. The menu's are easy to navigate, everything works as it should, and no glitches so far. One dissapointment is that I did not see options to adjust PQ, but I may have missed them.

Next I am going to try a VHS tape to see how the upconvert works and recording to the DVD from the cable box, video camera, and the VCR. I will post as soon as I have more info.
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post #5 of 131 Old 06-05-2006, 12:21 AM
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One thing I've noticed is the RC199H manual really sucks compared to Sony or Panasonic.
I'm also going to be testing out a Panasonic ES45V.
The Panasonic manual is 87 pages plus being longer and wider than the RC199H which is only 57 pages.
The Panasonic instructions give a more detailed step by step procedure. It also shows a diagram of the remote and labels the buttons you need to press. The RC199H instructions just say press these buttons on the remote and leaves it up to you to hunt for them.


I did copy home movies from a DV Digital camcorder using the DV input onto the DVD burner.

The tape I copied had "empty space" between different recording sessions. When these spaces were encountered the Camera and DVD recorder would both stop and I had to FF to the beginning of the next session and press record again. I'm not familiar enough with DVD recorders to know if this is typical or if it can be turned off.
One more thing about the manual. When I went to finalize the DVD the instructions given in the manual were incorrect. I had to "play around" with the buttons but was eventually able to find the finalize screen. Turns out its really easy to get to but not the way the manual instructs you to.
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post #6 of 131 Old 06-05-2006, 09:45 AM
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I bought an LG RC199H June 1st. $299.

After finally sorting out how to connect the unit up I decided to also purchase some +RW discs to experiment. I bought this at Best Buy and got 10 free +R discs but didn't want to waste them until this old fella knew what he was doing.

I have a JVC region free DVD player that I bought to play discs from England as well. Along with a VCR and was tired of taping and storing that way. So time to upgrade to a DVD recorder.

I also have Dish Network with PVR.

So my first attempt was to record from the PVR to the RC199H. Followed the manual and recording was easy.

Took the recorded disc and played it on my desktop and laptop computer and it worked well there. Make sure you finalize a +R disc..

Next step was to use my JVC player and record off of it. After having the cables connected wrong ( used Monster Cable Y Pb Pr type to the tv and thought just hook up to the "in" on the back of the LG unit. But had to change to the component set up output style on my JVC unit.)

Tried to record a Dvd that was copyright protected first..and got a warning the LG unit would not allow that. So I put in the +R disc that I had previously recorded and it worked. The picture quailty may be not as good. After all I am copying a copy so you can't expect perfection..lol

I am using the HDMI cable connector to my Sony tv which is High Def ready.
( extra..does not come with the unit. So bought a Monster cable Ultra 600 another $100.)

Picture quailty is "enhanced" when playing a Movie DVD. Clearer and crisper. Worth the money.

Now comes the nit picky part.

If you are a serious stereo component person, then my complaint is that the audio connection from the LG unit is just left/right channel set up. It does output play Dolby Pro Logic or Pro Logic II. But it does not have a 5.1 or better output for sound as my old JVC unit did with 5.1. So if your set up at home is for 5.1 or better, this may not be the unit for you if you use it primarily to watch a lot of movies with enhanced sound features.

By using the Pro Logic sound field on my Sony receiver I do get surround sound through my 5 speakers ( 2 front, 2 rear, and center channel). And the sound quality is good to excellent. Haven't tried blasting the sound to hear any distortion, so don't ask. So that I can't say I miss the 5.1 connection....yet.

But if you are buying a DVD recorder, you basically will be recording off your tv or for dubbing. So maybe the higher advanced sound qualities are not needed. And no doubt mean more money.

Have not tried dubbing from the VCR yet. Don't expect any problems when I do. If I do, will pass that along. Nor any of the other features like various memory cards or camcorder ( don't own one).

So far no problems other than those self induced by a rookie.


Satisfied customer.

btw..the LG unit does play my England DVD's with no problems so maybe it is a Region Free unit as well.
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post #7 of 131 Old 06-05-2006, 07:42 PM
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The LG RC199H does have 5.1 digital audio output. It has both coaxial and optical audio outputs. On my receiver it shows that the signal being received from the RC199H is digital and is being decoded to 5.1. Furthermore, I verified this by inserting a DVD and listening closely to the surrond sound.
In this day and age, I don't believe that there is a DVD player that will not send digital audio that can't be decoded to dolby digital or DTS. Perhaps it does not work through the regular RCA analog audio outputs, but it definitely works over the digital outputs.
Did your JVC actually have six outputs? This means that the decoder was actually built into the DVD player. I had a Pioner from the early days of DVD that also had a built-in decoder. These days, the decoding is left to your audio device, normally a 5.1 (or 6.1 or 7.1) receiver.
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post #8 of 131 Old 06-05-2006, 08:43 PM
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Thanx for the tip on the optical output. Didn't have a cable for that so was stuck doing it the left/right channel connection way.

Well can't do the optical route..just checked. I have an older Sony STR-DE715 and there's no optical connect on it for DVD. Thanx anyway.

btw..yes my JVC XV-SA600BK did have the decoder and did have the left/right, left/right, center and subwoofer connnects in the back for 5.1 inputs.
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post #9 of 131 Old 06-06-2006, 09:20 AM
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I just picked up one of these units last week. I purchased my first plasma TV a few weeks ago and wanted to try the HDMI connection. This unit was recommended by a guy at BestBuy because of its ability to up-convert VHS as well as DVD. It being a recorder was a bonus as I already have a 1 1/2 year old Sony DVD recorder for my basement theater setup (the plasma was for my study - the second' TV).

What do I think of this LG unit? It's junk. I'm taking it back this week. I've used it about 6 times so far and most of the time when I turn it on it locks up. The HELLO' never leaves the display and I can't turn it off/on or eject a disc. I need to unplug it, then plug it back in before it works. Once it seemed to work after I turned it on only to have the disc lockup (freeze frame image - you could skip to the next chapter and get a new freeze frame). I thought it was a bad DVD as this was a new title I purchased with the LG so I popped in a title I was using to evaluate the plasma and it did the same thing. I turned the LG off and then on again and this time it worked. I also noticed on two occasions periodic click-click noise in the audio which I suspect is another feature' of this LG unit.

As you can see, I've obviously gotten a bad one but the question is do I really want another one? The BestBuy guy told me that LG is the old Goldstar company with a new name and a new commitment to high-end quality. I would expect it also provides BestBuy with a high-end profit margin.
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post #10 of 131 Old 06-08-2006, 06:29 PM
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Videovark..sorry you had a problem.

I recorded from VHS tape using the direct dubbing feature. The tapes I used was from 2001. ( The Worthington Cup Final and FA Cup final for those who know what those are.)

I am playing the DVD on my desktop with no problem.

The DVD is for my brother so until I send them to him and get his comments when he watches it on his tv all I can say is that it worked fine and color and sound are as expected from 5 year old tapes.

I need to get used to eliminating the commercials out of it if I really want to bother with being more professional about it. But I prefer being lazy at the moment..lol
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post #11 of 131 Old 06-08-2006, 09:26 PM
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I have been busy and have not had time to try everything I want on this unit yet. However, so far, I like this unit. It reads the DVD's faster than my Panasonic and has correctly recognized and worked flawlessly with everything I've thrown at it including DVD+R and MP3 CD's. I really want to try recording a dual layer DVD. This weekend I should have some time to experiment further.

In the past I have been weary of buying LG stuff because of it's lower price and dubious quality. However, it appears that LG is putting out some decent stuff. Their HDTV tuner is getting many accolades elsewhere in this forum. Their TV's seems to be doing well. Let's just hope that the RC199H holds up.
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post #12 of 131 Old 06-08-2006, 09:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lefty51 View Post

Thanx for the tip on the optical output. Didn't have a cable for that so was stuck doing it the left/right channel connection way.

Well can't do the optical route..just checked. I have an older Sony STR-DE715 and there's no optical connect on it for DVD. Thanx anyway.

btw..yes my JVC XV-SA600BK did have the decoder and did have the left/right, left/right, center and subwoofer connnects in the back for 5.1 inputs.

The older sony may have a coaxial digital input. Did you check for that? Otherwise, it's time to upgrade the receiver! Onkyo puts out some very affordable and excellent receivers, or if you want something that will really kick butt try out a Yamaha.
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post #13 of 131 Old 06-10-2006, 01:58 PM
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New receiver..trying to spend my money..

Thanx
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post #14 of 131 Old 06-18-2006, 11:06 AM
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I've had my RC199H for a month now. Got it from my local Best Buy at the best price I could find anywhere. I had a year old Sony DVD recorder which was my first venture into DVD recorders. It was OK, but the LG is awesome in comparison.

I did have to take my first RC back to BB as the original unit had a problem ejecting VHS tapes and the VHS door 'sprung' permanently open. When I took it back last weekend, it was on sale for even cheaper than I originally paid, so I used the extra savings to go ahead and get the 2 year extended warranty. I figure at the end of two more years, the MPEG-4 units will be out and I'll be ready to trade again anyway Plus, after having had a problem in the first 2 weeks of ownership, it seemed to be good insurance for a relatively low cost.

I absolutely love the RC. I have been dubbing all of my old VHS tapes onto DVD every day. I'm throwing the tapes away as I do so and will greatly cut down on the space needed to store my videos.

What I like:

1080i upconversion to my 1080p Toshiba TV. DVDs look noticably better
One unit for DVD and VCR vs. two units
HDMI output
Ability to record on DVD +R DL for twice the time plus ANY other DVD media made
1394 Firewire input
14 type memory card reader to display pictures or play music off of

What could be improved:

Only has one rear video input (one front + 1394)
Only S video input is on the front panel
Unit locks up occasionally requiring unplugging unit then plug back in (hopefully new firmware soon to fix this)
Remote control sometimes needs multiple presses to get the command to the unit
Needs built in HD tuner (yes, nobody does that, but it's a natural to be able to record 480i HD video to DVD)

I'd give it 4 out of 5 stars. I would recommend the extended warranty given the VHS door problem I had in the first 2 weeks and having only owned it for a month. This is the first unit of its kind on the market. I was waiting to look at the Samsung and JVC units which were supposed to be out in May, but LG beat them to the market and the other units still are not out. I'm very pleased with mine.
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post #15 of 131 Old 07-13-2006, 07:22 PM
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post #16 of 131 Old 07-13-2006, 07:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vfr781rider View Post

I have been dubbing all of my old VHS tapes onto DVD every day. I'm throwing the tapes away as I do so and will greatly cut down on the space needed to store my videos.

Can you get those tapes back!

The jury is still out on how long home-recorded DVDs will last. Some people using "cheap" media find they either don't record ("coasters") or don't play back after a short time. It seems to be a matter of how "good" the burn is, which depends on the burner, media, storage conditions, etc. One person even did some tests to see how long DVDs lasted on the dash of his car...I think a couple of weeks was max. Regular DVDs have an ORGANIC media, which to me means it can break down like any other organic substance.

Some "experts" say home-burned DVDs might last 5 years or less. Until those 5 years are up, it might not be wise to trust your precious memories to DVDs exclusively.

At very least, you might follow the advice of others in this forum and only use Taiyo Yuden DVDs purchased on-line from supermediastore.com, altho' there are some other good brands available in stores. There are several threads in this forum re: media choices.
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post #17 of 131 Old 07-20-2006, 11:47 PM
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Just exchanged an LG DR1F9H for the RC199H, and am still having the same problem; namely, neither unit will burn DVDs of movies stored on my DirectTv Tivo DVR. The movies are from HBO, Showtime, etc. I get the message "Copy Protected. Cannot Record". Stuff from the regular network channels record ok. This never happened with my Sony RDR VX500 connected the exact same way.

Is this some sort of compliance feature built into the LG units, or am I missing something?
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post #18 of 131 Old 07-21-2006, 11:30 AM
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Hjames608...I feel your frustration. I'm in the market for a DVD recorder and find there is more to understand than you think.

From my understanding pay movie channels have copy protection flags to keep them from being copied. There are 'video stabilizer' products that you can buy that will get around the copy protection.

For more about copying from a DVR to DVD try a google on 'dvr to dvd recorder'. The ecoustics site has a good forum on this subject.
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post #19 of 131 Old 07-21-2006, 10:45 PM
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SKMS123, thanks for the info.
I know about the various gizmos out there that purport to defeat copy protection, but I was hoping I wouldn't have to use any of them as I am sure they interfere with the quality of the recorded product.
Besides, I didn't have this problem with the Sony! So, this compliance effect is not quite universal, it seems. Definitely need to know the experiences of the other users with the RC199H before I just return this one and try another brand.
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post #20 of 131 Old 07-23-2006, 09:35 AM
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I need to burn mini DV tapes onto DVD+ and would love to do in on this LG. Can it be done easily and how?
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post #21 of 131 Old 07-23-2006, 10:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Strash View Post

I need to burn mini DV tapes onto DVD+ and would love to do in on this LG. Can it be done easily and how?

Yes. The unit has a DV input on the front panel.
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post #22 of 131 Old 07-30-2006, 01:32 AM
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I bought this unit earlier today and have already returned it. It's horrible. It would not read any DVD I have previously recorded. It would not read a DVD I made containing mp3 and wma files. And it would not recognize any of my blank DVD+R's (Office Depot branded).

I called LG and they said you must use the recommended brands in their manual (mainly Mitsubishi and Maxell blanks). WOW! I've never owned a DVD Recorder that was so specific (and trust me I've owned many). Usually I am able to use most of the blanks I own regardless of what the manual the recorder came with states. And I've never had one that is picky with media that has already been recorded to and finalized!!!!

I'm using a Samsung DVD-R135 now. No problems....yet.
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post #23 of 131 Old 07-30-2006, 12:12 PM
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I bought this unit about a week ago, and I'm having problems with the signal from my cable TV. The TV is a Hitachi something or other and is of good age. It says "Ultravision" at the top left corner if that helps. Anyways, I'm not very tech savvy, but I can do the basics. When viewing the TV through the Tuner option of the DVR, certain channels seem especially "grainy" and unclear. My cables are plugged in securely and in the right slots, but still, I cannot seem to get the bad picture to go away. Any tips?
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post #24 of 131 Old 07-30-2006, 01:05 PM
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The symptoms you describe could be caused by one or more not-so-high-quality RF cables. And the connections themselves should be wrench-tightened to maximum protection against interference.
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post #25 of 131 Old 07-30-2006, 01:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atrac View Post

I bought this unit earlier today and have already returned it. It's horrible. It would not read any DVD I have previously recorded. It would not read a DVD I made containing mp3 and wma files. And it would not recognize any of my blank DVD+R's (Office Depot branded).

I called LG and they said you must use the recommended brands in their manual (mainly Mitsubishi and Maxell blanks). WOW! I've never owned a DVD Recorder that was so specific (and trust me I've owned many). Usually I am able to use most of the blanks I own regardless of what the manual the recorder came with states. And I've never had one that is picky with media that has already been recorded to and finalized!!!!

I'm using a Samsung DVD-R135 now. No problems....yet.

I have the same recorder and am tickled with it. Like you, I bought some Office Depot brand DVD+Rs and they would not work at all. I took them back and bought name brand media.

After researching different media out there, it is quite apparent that if you care about what you are recording to DVD, you should only buy name brand media. I am currently archiving all of my old VHS tapes to DVD. IMO the ONLY reliable DVD+R DL media is Verbatim. I would use nothing else. 4.7GB DVD media is not quite so critical. I've used Maxell -R, Verbatim +R, and Taiyo Yuden -R (which a LOT of people say is the best 4.7GB media going), and they all work fine. If you want to record DVDs that will still be around 10 years from now, stick with the good stuff.

Sorry the 199H didn't work out for you. I couldn't be happier. I did buy the BB extended warranty for it, so if anything does pop up, I'll still be in good shape
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post #26 of 131 Old 07-31-2006, 07:09 PM
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Just got the RC199H myself and have some first impressions:
  • PQ is very good, however I had to turn down the brightness on my TV and increase contrast, as the picture from the DVD seemed a bit washed out on the TVs default settings (same settings I used for my old DVD)
  • Both the VHS and the DVD upconvert through the HDMI port. I found that DVD quality was best at 720p and very slightly worse at 480p and 1080i (I have a 1080p TV). The difference is almost impersivable, though.
  • Dubbing from VHS to DVD worked without a hitch, though I haven't tried chapter editing yet. Main reason I got this set over the Panasonic, is that the Panasonic will only let you edit on DVD-RAMs. I did not see any compression artifacts at all.
  • The VCR itself is not that great, compared to the 5 year old Sony that just broke on me. With my old VCR picture quality during pause and fast forward/rewind was perfect. WIth the LG there is some lost-tracking noise in both pause mode and ff/rew. I also miss the fine controls of my old VCR such as variable speed ff/rew and frame advance. However, picture quality during normal playback is quite good, and I think there is even a slight improvement when upconverted to 720p.
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post #27 of 131 Old 07-31-2006, 11:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atrac View Post

I bought this unit earlier today and have already returned it. It's horrible. It would not read any DVD I have previously recorded. It would not read a DVD I made containing mp3 and wma files. And it would not recognize any of my blank DVD+R's (Office Depot branded).

I called LG and they said you must use the recommended brands in their manual (mainly Mitsubishi and Maxell blanks). WOW! I've never owned a DVD Recorder that was so specific (and trust me I've owned many). Usually I am able to use most of the blanks I own regardless of what the manual the recorder came with states. And I've never had one that is picky with media that has already been recorded to and finalized!!!!

I'm using a Samsung DVD-R135 now. No problems....yet.

I just realized that I posted this mini-review/rant to the wrong thread. My comments should be regarding the DR1F9H, not the RC199H. Sorry about that!
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post #28 of 131 Old 08-02-2006, 11:20 AM
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I've been backing up videos to dvd over the last few days. The whole player locked up on me last night. It just froze. Completley unresponsive. So when I got up this morning I just held down the power button and it finaly turned off. Then it worked fine. And the dvd-r I had been burning was aok.

Now about an hour later the entire video became hypercolored. Lots of pink and green neon colors. It was not recording in those colors just outputing those colors. After a I reboot the RC199H the colors went back to normal. FYI I'm using HDMI out into a Pioneer Elete Plasma.

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post #29 of 131 Old 08-04-2006, 12:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eaadams View Post

I've been backing up videos to dvd over the last few days. The whole player locked up on me last night. It just froze. Completley unresponsive. So when I got up this morning I just held down the power button and it finaly turned off. Then it worked fine. And the dvd-r I had been burning was aok.

I've had the unit lock up on me several times. usually it's happened when I'm trying to skip chapters on a DVD to get past the FBI warnings, now playing, future realeases, THX logos, etc. I think when changing titles within the DVD it freezes, and has to be rebooted with a hold down of the power button.
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post #30 of 131 Old 08-06-2006, 07:16 PM
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Believe it or not, after my scathing review of the DR1F9H incorrectly posted in this thread, I decided to buy a LG RC199H today. I took some of my recorded DVD's with me to Best Buy today (namely a "backed up" DVD+R -- Office Depot Brand) and a DVD-R of mp3's and wma's with the intention of finding a DVD Recorder that would play them (since the previous DR1F9H I had purchased would not). My goal was to find a DVD Recorder that had HDMI Upconversion and would play DivX, and recognize my discs!

On a whim, I put the discs in a DR1F9H (their display model). They played! I also tried them in both Insignia DVD Recorders that they currently sell (also made by LG). They also worked flawlessly.

What did I determine? That my faith in LG had been restored! Clearly the DR1F9H that I had previously returned was defective (since it would not play those DVD's of mine).

I ended up going for the gold and buying the RC199H (since the store I was at was having a 50% off Open Box sale (and there was a RC199H in the box but previously returned).

I was concerned that I was going to run into problems (since this unit was returned for some reason??) but luckily, all is well and this unit is recognizing everything I throw at it. I LOVE IT!!! (Especially for the price I paid!!!!).

The only minor quibble I have is DivX material I play back seems to be formatted to fill the screen when I use 720p or 1080i output. Some of the material I have is 16x9 and it should still have black bars on the top and bottom, but the LG chooses to fill the screen and cut off the left and right sides. Not a huge deal, but a minor flaw never-the-less.

This unit gets a *******EDIT********

B- !!!! I've started FULLY testing this unit (which I should have done before posting this review) and have found that my unit is having a problem: AUDIO DROPOUTS.

I've been playing several discs now and it seems like every 3 minutes or so the audio drops out. I am running the coaxial digital output to my receiver and have tried both 48 and 96Khz and it's still happening.

Argh! So close to finding the perfect all-in-one unit! Anyone else notice this problem???

Maybe a firmware update from LG can fix this. Of course first they have to acknowledge it's a problem...unless of course I have another defective unit???
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