on June 24, 2009
Since there are few to no choices in reasonably priced DVD/VCR recorders containing an ATSC digital tuner, I purchased three of these Samsung DVD-VR375 recorders and matched them to three Channel Master digital converter boxes.
I bought them expressly to record over the air TV programs on DVDRWs so that I could record programs for my wife. I already was using two Magnavox units for this purpose and had a group of dedicated DVD+RWs which allowed me to record, erase and re-record more programming.
I was disappointed to find that the preferred disk for these Samsungs are DVD-RW blanks which required setting up another group of formatted disks. For my purposes, they had to be formatted in the Video(V) format. There is a VR format used for data and/or other purposes.
I find that they do a credible job of recording my DVDs (I didn't buy them for the VCR recording function) as long as you limit the recording time to two hours. Any time beyond the two hours and the resolution gets really soft. On the other hand, recording an HD program, then playing it back using the HDMI outputs to the TV so that it takes advantage of the unit's upscaling capability results in a very good looking picture though no DVD, regardless of how recorded, will record actual HD.
Since my recording needs are pretty basic, the setup and use was pretty much intuitive which is good because the User Manual could use a good rewrite. Some of the more advanced capabilities of these units including non-video uses would require careful reading of the user manual.
One other negative is that, after a recording has been viewed and is ready to be erased, it is a two-step manual operation which is not clearly explained in the User Manual. I have all units preset to finalize the recordings upon completion since they will always be played in another player-only machine. To get it ready to re-record, you must manually unfinalize the disk and then manually erase the titles.
All in all, though not perfect, they do record as well as one should expect from a budget recorder and, so far, after learning the correct procedures, have worked reliably. The only mishaps have been user induced.
on June 7, 2009
I loved my DVD Recorder when I got it home and set it up. I recorded some VHS tapes to DVD with absolutely no issues. And the picture quality was GREAT (and I LOVED the HDMI cable set-up option)! But, suddenly, you cannot see the picture on the VHS tapes...you can hear sound, but no pictures. I called Samsung (I didn't buy a warranty with the machine...unfortunately!) and they were very nice. They extended my included labor warranty (it was still under warranty for parts) and sent me a packing lable to ship it back to them, which I did. It was returned to me in a couple of weeks, and wouldn't you know? The stupid VHS picture goes out AGAIN! I hadn't watched five minutes of a tape when the picture disappeared! I call Samsung, again, and they send me another shipping label (I had to ask for it this time...there were no more offers from their Customer Service Reps. When I told them that the machine was broken again, already, they actually asked ME what I wanted THEM to do!). I mail it off, and get it back three weeks later. Again the stupid thing dies (it made it through one video, this time). The DVD portion of the machine still works great...but if I had have wanted a DVD Player, I would have bought one, and at a MUCH cheaper price! I cannot get a hold of Samsung, now, but I say: Buyer Beware! Do NOT trust Samsung's products to be high quality and do NOT expect them to stand by them when they die! Buy a warranty with their products or buy some other brand!
on October 19, 2009
I've had a Samsung DVD-VR325 for a little over four years, and recently some of the buttons on the remote stopped working and the recorder was giving me a few too many disc errors, so I replaced it with the DVD-VR375. Now the 325 had three inputs (not counting DV for camcorders): RF/coax, Composite Video, and S-Video. With the 375, the RF input is gone of course because there is no tuner, but I was really surprised to find that the S-Video input is gone too. I have an HD cable box and it only has DVI, Component, and S-Video outputs, so basically I can't use the 375. As a former Samsung employee who used to work with their DVD line, I never would have thought that the unit wouldn't have an S-Video input since so many earlier models did. So before you buy, check your set-top box and make sure it has composite (red, white, yellow) outputs, or else you'll be returning it too.
on November 22, 2009
The unit records outside sources fine. However, when dubbing from VHS to DVD, and the audio and video were out of sync, by about 1/2 sec, enough to be unwatchable. Amazon was great in arranging a return, so I sent the unit back and got a replacement. Unfortunately, the second unit had the exact same problem. Manufacturing defect? I sent the second unit back as well and got a refund, currently looking at a different unit.
on December 28, 2009
I bought this in June of 2008 and it has served me very well. I have filled 85 DVD with SLP recordings. Without warning it started refusing to play nor record on my unfilled DVD. It lasted 18 months and I have a 2 year replacement warranty. If there are no problems with the warranty company, I will be purchasing extended warranties for all electronics regardless of brand. There simply is no end to the unreliability of available electronics. Apparently extended warranties are now worth it. *******End of August 2011, just as I suspected, I will have to see if my 3 years warranty with the mighty SQUARE TRADE WARRANTY is worth anything. I cannot use this unit any longer because the DVD tray pops back open every time I close it. Yes, this model and brand of DVD has to be replaced every few months but who is to say that EVERY brand and model is not just as short-lived as this one. As long as the warranties keep paying off, I will continue to use this Samsung because I don't want to learn a brand new format from a competing manufacturer, just to learn that it does not last any longer than the Samsung. WARRANTY, WARRANTY, WARRANTY!!! Don't sign off without one!********
on December 18, 2009
The main problem with this DVD-R/VHS recorder are its very restrictive inputs. It has ONE input choice* - RCA Video & RCA Audio. In this day and age, it just doesn't cut it anymore. It does have HDMI OUT and Component OUT but NO component in nor HDMI in nor even DVI in and NOT EVEN S-Video IN. Did the MPAA design this recorder?
AND since it has no tuner, no RF in and out either.
* There are two INPUTS but again, both ONLY RCA Video & RCA Audio.
It took me FOREVER to figure out to wire this thing & then discovered its COMPONENT OUT would only send out a scrambled signal. (yes, I tested every combination thinking maybe the color coding was off or the cable was bad. I finally plugged in another component out device to see there was nothing wrong my cables nor my TV set).
This is probably an okay device if you are okay with old school resolution quality of RCA video signal into this device and presuming mine was just a lemon, you can output via HDMI or component so as long as your recording needs are not very high, this might do but for the most part, the INPUT choices are overly restrictive when for less than a dollar, they could've added component in or even S-Video in ... yes, NOT even S-Video in!
on March 2, 2011
As so many others have written, the Samsung DVD-VR375 leaves much to be desired. Instruction Manual is weak (as so many other foreign-written documentation(s) are currently). Without going into major detail: My issue has to do with this units inability to properly display its Output Picture representation correctly onto the TV itself. Any "known good" VCR Commercially made Pre-Recorded OEM Tape(ie:)(a Paramount, Warner Bros. etc. Movie Tape) are displayed in a "stretched/zoom" effect on the TV that you can not get rid of. Yes - not get rid of, regardless whether you view in 4:3 VCR Normal, Standard Setting, or utilizing Screen Fit. You can match up the VCR Output settings, to the TV's Input settings regarding "Picture Option" setting, however, the viewed picture is stretched Horizontally. Regardless whether you use the DVD-VR375's HDMI, basic Composite (3wire), or Component (5wire) output sourcing to the TV, the results are the same.
If you are watching a Live Broadcast being passed through the VCR (same as you would see if you were recording from a live broadcast) the picture, any Streaming Text, any Logos (FOX, CNN, ABC, etc.) are cut off on the Horizontal sides. The DVD-VCR375 setting can be set to Auto, or down to 4:3 Standard, and same corresponding on the TV itself, the Horizontal stretch is still there! WOW. The TV itself is also a Samsung (UN55C6900 a newer Model). Have not had these problems with a Toshiba DVD/VCR Recorder on a Sony Brand TV... Note also, that some of the very last High Quality VCR Commercially produced Recordings (Paramount, Warner Bros. etc. Movies) can also display up to 720 Resolution with Wide Screen (16:9) capability that nearly duplicates today's DVDs regular/normal outputs of 720p and 1080p(i) resolution with the now normal 16:9 wide screen type display.
I have been fighting with Samsung's so called Customer Support organization through their normal/first level, Support group based in the Philippines (hopefully a person who speaks understandable English), then to their second Level Support out of South Carolina. Neither of which are of "any" help. After talking with three different people in South Carolina - it is difficult to believe Samsung allows them to still exist...each time that I was finally enabled to be transferred to this Tier Two (2) facility, the staff members in the background are loud, laughing, and sound reminiscent of a Party or Casual atmosphere - very unprofessional. Twice they have apologized over the phone stating that someone else had just told a joke - but three out of three times now? They also, WILL NOT Call You Back, after they say - "Please allow me to go to the LAB to try and duplicate your Problem, and I will call you right back". I do not believe their is such a thing as: "The Lab" in South Carolina...they do not call you back, they simply "blow you off" as the expression used by younger people today. My problem, may be just "my problem", however, a couple others have stated similar problems with their DVD-VR375 Units. Samsung has stated over the phone, and written back via Email - Oh, just send it in for repair (my S&H expense, and/or any potential repair charge even though it is under warranty) - we will advise you of our finding. Ya sure... my unit is still fairly new, and has been this way since day one. If their repair center is anything like their Customer Support Services, No way!
Try contacting Samsung's U.S.A. operations center, and/or technical department, or Customer Relations Department - Good Luck. We own many Samsung Products (Phones, Appliances, TV's, Recorders & Players), and have not had occasion to have to use their Customer Support Groups - but now, I have learned that Samsung unfortunately really does have the poorest, and most non-technical, unprofessional personnel I've encountered. Hello "Peggy"?...
As for this household, I have an Electronics Engineering background, spent some 26 years in the Customer Services and Management world for a Fortune 100 Company, and can roll with differentiations of people, insights, etc., and Samsung is a "big name" in the Electronics & Equipment World, but they sure do skimp on the quality of the Customer Support Staff members, their Technical Training, and Professionalism. The Support Staff members know quite well how to say "I'm sorry you are having a problem Mr./Ms. xxx, "how can we help you", but that's where it ends. As for the DVD-VR375 - as someone else wrote - Good Luck, VCR's are out, and those of us with massive VCR Tape Collections, enjoy what we can while they still have some Magnetism remaining on their Iron Oxide coated Mylar Film - it disappears you know.