DVD recorders with DVR review

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02.Results

 

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DVD recorder performance
Brand / model (in rank order within groups) Overall score (%) Ease of use score (%) Digital tuner performance score (%) Faulty DVD playback performance score (%) Standby energy score (%) Price ($)
Panasonic DMR-BW850
www.panasonic.com.au
72 73 86 26 80 1979
Panasonic DMR-XW450
www.panasonic.com.au
72 73 83 35 80 1319
Panasonic DMR-EX79
www.panasonic.com.au
64 72 77 35 20 659
LG RH399D
www.lge.com.au
53 56 77 33 0 599


DVD recorder features
Brand / model (in rank order within groups) Overall score (%) Plays AVCHD Plays DivX Claimed recording hours (highest quality) LAN connection HDMI inputs HDMI outputs Digital audio output Card reader USB port Price ($)
Panasonic DMR-BW850
www.panasonic.com.au
72 Yes Yes 110 Yes 0 1 SDHC 1979
Panasonic DMR-XW450
www.panasonic.com.au
72 Yes Yes 110 Yes 0 1 SDHC 1319
Panasonic DMR-EX79
www.panasonic.com.au
64   Yes 55   0 1 none 659
LG RH399D
www.lge.com.au
53   Yes 85   0 1 none 599


DVD recorder specifications
Brand / model (in rank order within groups) Overall score (%) Dimensions (cm, H x W x D) Weight (kg) Hard disk capacity (GB) Disc media type Number of digital tuners Price ($)
Panasonic DMR-BW850
www.panasonic.com.au
72 6.5 x 43 x 33 4.2 500 BD 2 x HD 1979
Panasonic DMR-XW450
www.panasonic.com.au
72 6 x 43 x 33 4.4 500 DVD 2 x HD 1319
Panasonic DMR-EX79
www.panasonic.com.au
64 6 x 43 x 32.5 4 250 DVD 1 x SD 659
LG RH399D
www.lge.com.au
53 5.5 x 43 x 29 3.8 320 DVD 1 x SD 599


Table notes

Scores The overall score is made up of:

  • Ease of use 55%.
  • Digital tuner performance 25%.
  • Faulty DVD playback performance 10%.
  • Standby energy 10%.

Price Recommended retail, as of September 2009.

na Not applicable.

How we test

  • Ease of use Our tester, Scott O’Keefe, looks for an auto-tuning system that is informative and simple to use. He makes instant and timer-set recordings and checks the menus for ease of understanding, navigation and clarity. He also plays recordings to check the quality and range of functions.He programs each model to record three one-hour events, with starting times 30 minutes apart (if the product has twin tuners). After the end time of the third event, he checks to see which events were successfully recorded on the internal hard drive.
    He assesses each remote control on how easy it is to use for common functions. He also rates the front panel controls for how many tasks can be performed without using the remote control, and the quality of information conveyed via the front panel display.
  • Digital tuner performance Each model is initially provided with a perfect digital TV reception signal using a Rohde & Schwarz broadcast test system. Various forms of interference are then introduced to replicate problems likely to be accounted in a home, such as signal reflection from objects (aircraft, buildings, hillsides, etc), wireless home networks and even a microwave operating nearby.
    All models include the latest firmware upgrades available at the time of testing.
  • Faulty DVD playback performance He uses a DVD with deliberately produced faults to test their ability to cope with discs that might be dirty and/or scratched.
  • Standby energy He connects the DVD recorders to a regulated power supply and meter and records standby energy consumption. Products that don’t achieve a standby power rating of 2W, score 0%.

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