I am seriously worried about quality with the this Samsung, as always with that company. First one unit had its front panel completely pulled off from the base, now this second one works, but already skipping on commercial DVDs (my own, in perfect condition), the sound with DVDs is stuttering, and I heard a buzzing from the tuner, just like the buzzing from the tuner in the Samsung DVD-R135. It was only on two of the PBS channels, so I am hoping it's just those channels and not the tuner. The unit in my opinion looks much better in pictures. The real thing is a lot larger than last year's models, not nearly as attractive, and feels poorly constructed. The remote control smells like really cheap plastic.
I don't know something about it just doesn't quite click. I like that the remote is very responsive and doesn't need to be pointed at the unit. I also like the speed when loading discs or changing channels, and I like that the clock is on the front panel in anything but disc playback. Even better, when you press the info button it shows both the time and the date.
But for some reason when I am looking at the picture, both from DVD and the tuner, I didn't quite go "ah" the same way as when I saw the Philips picture. As with other Samsung players and recorders the picture is quite dark. I had to raise the brightness on my projector by about 10 points compared to the Philips, and that always makes the contrast suffer.
Also, although it is very fast changing the channels, it has by far the slowest scan of digital cable of any recorder I've tried. This might be a huger problem for me since I am obviously going to have to switch between cable and OTA for the time being.
The program guide looks nice at first, but then... for the 4 channels that it actually shows... I don't know how much help that is. Would've been nicer if it worked on cable channels too, but maybe that's something that the cable operators block, I don't know.
Luckily Walmart's return policy is 90 days, so I don't have to decide today, but I am not sure I'd keep it given that it's $50 more than the Philips, and the picture is just not quite there.
Has anyone tried the Magnavox? It's $20 less than the Philips, but doesn't seem to have a front display at all, and I hate that.