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I bought this DVD recorder for my mother so she could enjoy almost twice as many videos and pictures before she needs to change DVDs thanks to the Philips DVDR 3380 supporting the great quality compressed DivX video format. This means that a whole series of the TV programmer 24, her current viewing of choice, can fit onto 2 DVDs as DivX video instead of 4 DVDs in VOB DVD-Video format.
The Philips DVDR 3380 offers all the connectivity you would expect to support all video sources in your non-HD video environment. Twin SCART sockets allow your VHS video recorder or your SKY/cable service box to be connected to the recorder and then looped through to the TV using the second SCART connection allowing you to enjoy them on your TV without first having to turn on the DVD recorder. These SCART connections also allow the recorder to access both the channel selection of your SKY/cable service box as well as the TV's integrated tuner as this DVD recorder has no tuner or decoder built-in.
You can choose either to record from either your SKY or cable-service box or direct from the tuner in the attached TV. These recordings are made in VOB or DVD-video format and you can select from a number of recording quality levels to fit up to 6 hours of VHS-quality video onto a single 4.7GB DVD. The recorder produces an attractive menu for you to select your TV recordings. When you use DVD-RW media you can use these just like blank video tapes on VHS video recorders allowing you to edit and erase part or all of the DVD content. For those programmes recorded from commercial channels you can choose to go through each video and mark those advert breaks with their own "chapter" markers that are rather like bookmarks and then choose to view the video with these ad break chapters hidden during playback.
The DivX compatibility makes for quicker authoring of your DVDs as the content does not have to be rendered in VOB DVD-Video format. The only downside is that you have to create/convert these DivX video files then use them to compile your Data DVDs with a DVD burner-equipped personal computer. If you don't fancy converting files for your favourite TV programmes then you will be able to find them available for download shortly after transmission on the various sites on the internet. The upside to DivX support is that both video and picture files archived onto DVDs to free up space on your computer's hard drive can be played quite happily on this recorder without the computer needing to be connected or even switched on.
The Philips DVDR 3380 records and plays all your movies and music in a mind-boggling range of formats (DivX, MP3, WMA and JPEG) on most DVD media (DVD+-R/RW, DVD+R Dual Layer). You can choose to record video in a range of quality settings allowing you to tyre-iron up to eight hours of VHS-quality video onto a single DVD. This recorder will handle everything from audio CDs, to DivX DVDs. I have even played a DVDR crammed with MP3 music files from almost 80 albums.
This is a well thought out and easy to use DVD recorder manufactured by Philips, the inventors of the CD/DVD technology upon which all players and recorders are based, is ideal for those of us without need for either HDMI connectivity or upscaling functionality just yet, from the true innovators of the art.
DVD player looks great but it's not the easiest to use. The machine takes a good 30 secs to register it's been switched on and then takes ages to eject the drawer. There's no ffwd button on the remote, which is a bit annoying. I can't get it to record on DVD RW discs either! It just crashes when I insert disc. I've never tried a different DVD recorder but this one isn't 100% perfect.