Sunday, December 16, 2007

My Philips DVDR3455H HDD/DVD Player/Recorder

My dad "required" me and Cols to attend the wedding reception of a family friend of theirs last night. This caused me to miss an episode of WWE Raw. It has been some time since I missed an episode ever since I bought a Philips HDD/DVD Recorder several months back. But my dad went out of town during the week, and he just could not miss a single episode of his Chinese tv series. So I had to bring my recorder to the folks' place to record the series for him since it only shows in Global Destiny and not Skycable (which is what we have at our place). By Jan 1,2008, Skycable will totally SUCK after they let go of the Solar channels (Jack TV, ETC, C/S, etc.). But that's another story, and I won't digress on that yet...

The DVDR3455H is a personal video recorder (PVR) just like the TiVo (which I think pretty much created and defined the category). While it can do things like pause live tv; or even rewind or forward it; I personally use it mainly as a glorified Video Cassette Recorder (VCR) -- minus the cassette, of course. It stores the video it records onto its internal hard disk. We had a 160Gb HDD installed in ours. Depending on the recording mode, it can store hundreds of hours of video. The recorder allows you to specify the level of resolution/quality you want. Of course, the lower the quality, the more video you can store. Its similar in concept to JPEG compression -- the more lossy the compression, the smaller the image. I use the "standard" mode, which is good for recording 30+ movies from HBO, I think.

So anyway, I would just program the recorder to record all the shows I normally watch. You can tell it to record once or weekly at a specified time. Watching recorded shows is also great -- you can skip all the commercials! For example, the regular 2-hr WWE Raw episode I get to watch in less than an hour after skipping commercials and fast-forwarding through matches that I don't find interesting. Saves me a lot of time and I don't have to contend with Cols' Pinoy Big Brother.

I have been recording the episodes of Heroes 2 from Crime/Suspense (C/S) since it started. I still haven't watched a single episode. Its just accumulating in the hard drive. I will do a Heroes 2 marathon one of these days to catch up quickly on what's happening. The only problem, of course, is -- C/S will also be gone come Jan 1, 2008 thanks to the hare-brained people at Skycable!!!

You can transfer the shows you record on the HDD onto DVD (hence the "DVDR" in its name). The reverse is not true though -- you cannot "rip" a DVD onto HDD. I guess they didn't allow that on purpose to protect themselves against anti-piracy advocates. The device also comes with a USB port which you can plug a flash drive to in order to do a photo slide show (assuming your flash drive contains JPG images). It also has support for standard RCA inputs jacks -- great for migrating all VHS/beta/camcorder tapes from its original player and burn onto a DVD. Heck, there are businesses offering such service for like PHP400 per tape-to-DVD transfer.

Incidentally, I recently saw an ad for a Samsung(?) tv which has PVR functionality built-in. Kinda interesting. I wonder if it will fly or whether people would still rather have this function in a separate box.

Strangely though, Philips seem to have stopped selling the device here in the Philippines shortly after we purchased it. That would be a shame since I think its really a good consumer electronic equipment. Would be nice to sell at our online Mozcom Store.


Moot said...

Do you have alternative brands for a PVR? Informative article, thanks!

Dick Chiang said...

Assuming you are based in the Philippines like I am, the only other brand that I see around is the one from Sony. But the price is significantly higher. I got my Philips DVDR for around PHP19k. The Sony goes for almost double that. I don't know why its so expensive. The 160GB that comes with my Philips has been more than adequate so far. An electronics shop at Market Market was selling a Lite-On one before. But there's hardly any warranty if anything goes wrong.

chanapong said...

Philips Portable DVD player with iPod Dock