Originally Posted by asclarch
I am looking at TIVO HD or the Philips DVDR3575 or DVDR3576. Now comes the hard choice of trading 1 option or the other.
Honestly? If the PQ from the Philips' digital tuner was good enough that it would still look good on a display over 32", I'd say consider it. But it just plain ain't very good.
I know - I've had one, and I thought it was pretty mediocre. Some people find it acceptable enough, I guess, but I thought it was awful, personally. I'm very picky about that stuff. The PQ from, say, the Panasonic DVD recorder's digital tuner IMO blows it away - the downscaled HD from that can almost look like true HD at times. But unfortunately, the 2 Philips and the 2 Magnavox models (which pretty much have the same PQ) are the only SD hard drive models available in the US (well, there was a Polaroid too, but I don't know if you can still get it, and it's a complete POS and not recommended, anyway).
To be fair, they are good units - as long as you find the PQ acceptable, and as long as the QAM tuner works for you, if you're planning on using that feature (the ATSC and NTSC tuners seem to work just fine, and so do the rest of the units, for the most part - the older Magnavox has occasionally shown some timer and clock bugs, though, and people have complained about a "dark" PQ on all of them except the new Maggie at times (but that one just came out).
If you do decide to try the Philips (or Magnavox), I'd suggest getting it from somewhere you can easily return or exchange it (best price on the 3576H is at Sam's Club stores). Many people have to exchange theirs, sometimes more than once, to get one that works to their satisfaction, as far as the QAM tuner. That's because they have Funai tuners, which have a habit of not picking up all of some people's available Clear-QAM channels (and sometimes even dropping them once they have - or they often will just come and go). At least try to get the 3576H, because that one doesn't seem to have as many bad reports as the older model (the 3575H). Of course, it hasn't been out all that long, either. Or consider the newer 160GB Magnavox (which is available through Walmart.com). It actually looks and sounds pretty nice so far. IMO, it's actually an aesthetically better-looking unit than either of the Philips'. It's "normal"-looking, and not as gaudy and angular. (You can return it to any of their stores if you don't like it.)