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It's a great recorder, but the remote is terrible, operating only Philips DVD, not even a Philips TV. So, unless you want a $100 universal remote and can find one that will operate this with TiVo etc., you're stuck with a minimum of two remotes.

Like all DVD recorders, fast forward is slow, slower than a VCR and much slower than TiVo. That's what the "chapters" are for I guess. (TiVo really spoils you when you try to operate any other equipment.)

And I've had problems with the Timer operation. The recorder often misses the recording time, not by an hour or 1 minute, but by 20-25 minutes. Weird.

Other than that, the quality of the recordings is fantastic, as good as any commercial DVD. It's fairly easy to navigate, though the manual is ... like most manuals today, pretty bad.

I think I'd go Sony if I had to do it over again, though I doubt if the cons would be much different. What I want is something that's as easy to use as a CD, as fast as a TiVo, and whose remote works with my TV. For that matter, what I really want is for someone to do all this stuff for me...
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on February 15, 2005
I have had good results from day 1. I have owned this recorder for over a year. The DVDs are very good and play on all my other machines. The only down side is the instruction/owners manual, which was obviously written by a person whose first language is something other than english. Maybe I'm not sophisticated enough to find fault with this recorder
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on January 20, 2005
It started giving problems after nine months of normal use.

Thirteen months later, no warranty and to costly to repair. Stay away from it!
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on April 25, 2006
Phillips is really giving Sony a run for their money as the least competent manufacturer of comsumer home electronics. I was given a Phillips DVDR-985 to try out. It was used so when it stopped working after one month I didn't question it. I went out and bought a new unit. The new unit (I think it was the DVDR-80) didn't do half the things the instruction book said it would. I called the service department and they told me my model was the upgrade of the DVDR-985. They couldn't explain how the DVD-R80 was an upgrade since it does far less than the 985. After failing to explain how to work any of the functions the instructions said the machine was capable of, they told me I would need to get the DVDR-72 to get the features I had bought the machine for in the first place. Naturally, the DVDR-72 was $200 more at the time. The DVD-R72 I purchased worked for less than a year before it began failing to recognize not only the discs I had burned, but any disc at all. I returned this as it was still under warranty and was given another DVD Recorder. My second Phillips DVDR-72 worked for EIGHT MONTHS before the same thing started happening. I have had good luck with my Phillips CD-R burner but I have a Phillips S-VHS VCR too and the image has never been as good as my twelve year old Panasonic standard VHS. I don't think Phillips is capable of making any product with a video image. I wish each member of their design team and the author of their 80 page instuction manual a swift kick to the groin. Seriously.
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on May 18, 2015
Judging from the bad reviews, I must have gotten a good one. I guess you should buy this unit used from a reputable seller so that you know what you are getting, because mine still works.

PROS: 1. It allows you to record close to 2H30 HQ videos on 1 2H disc. Maybe that's possible with other players, but I haven't heard of it. Record in M2X mode. 2. It lasted me a long time, despite being old when I got it; it probably is still fully functional now(12-13 yrs old). 3. It has front and back connections to connect most of the devices that you could need(cameras; RdGrnBlue Video connections; S-Video; RdYelWht-AV; coax). All of the connections can be used all at once--flipping between Video feeds or channels; this allows you combine videos into 1 video from all these different sources.

4. I can only speak for recording videos off of TV/VCR/DVDs and it will improve your video quality probably approaching a standard DVD-video movie that you can get from the dept store. If you need to make the sound louder(as with some store DVDs), then there is free software to do it. If you need to actually edit out pops/clicks/imperfections--you'll need an audio editing software that will edit the audio within the video, you'll probably have to buy that kind of editor. This is a rare thing to have to do unless you have old recordings at home; you have recordings that were done by amateurs; or you had a "mono" source for recording your home video collection. You can't fault a recorder for those problems. VCRs never improved audio when you were recording, but they could improve the video if the original recording was done in SLP or LP(could be improved to better than those 2 modes using SP mode; thus, creating a hybrid). DVD Recorders are better at doing than that, but still can't improve audio out of the box.

5. The unit allows you to put a chapter in wherever you want simplistically and instantaneously(you might could train an average 5 year old to do it). I had a Panasonic that would only record with automatic chapters--a real pain when you want to skip ahead to a certain section when watching a video.

CONS: 1. Rewinding and fast forwarding require that you pull up a dreaded menu to do it; this is instantaneously done on any other dvd unit that I've ever seen. 2. Unattractive blackish squares can line up and down the screen on the dvd you are creating and you cannot see them all at a glance(if they are probably as little in number as 6). Can use random chapters rather than titles to avoid that--requires that you have studied and know your movie well: Once added in a bad spot, there is nothing you can do but delete the section or start over or finish and change your chaps by doing another recording.

3. Imation and Philips(look fragile) discs are the only brands that I've found to work fully. And I've tried a lot. Maxell and Sony produce a lot of errors and you'll be lucky to finish 2 out of 25 on this machine. 4. There is an error code that comes across the screen every so often that requires only(If my memory serves me) that you power it off and back on; it very, very rarely(if ever) will cost you a disc.

5. Remote control is not well designed. Do like the 1 button chapter insertion on the remote, though. 6. If your disc does not look NEW at the bottom(clear side), then you'll probably see skips in the playback. If it is moderately scratched, then the disc may not read. Any more than that and forget about it. Basically, not for playing problem discs. One of the worst that I've seen at playing discs.

7. The M1X mode is as pure a mode that you'll ever see visually, but it only allows an hour of video and--more importantly--far less compatible than the other modes with other players. 8. The modes below M2X approach being awful or are completely undesirable. For M4X, it probably depends on the quality of the source video. To be honest, there is no comparison between the DVDR72's secondary recording modes and a VCR's: LP and EP(SLP) look far better than its counterparts and you don't have the glassy digital squares that show up in your DVDR72 secondary mode recordings.
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on November 28, 2006
I am bitterly disappointed with the Philips DVDR-3400 recorder, and suppose that all of its line has the same problems.

I did not find out until I had burned 300+ DVDs that the disk directory structure created by these Phillips machines is defective. The main title on the disk you make will appear to "play" on your home DVD player... but ALL of the post-recording edits made (cutting out parts you didn't want etc.) are LOST.

AND most PC-based DVD players and other software won't handle the disk, so if you wrote your home movies to disk for long-term archiving, you're out of luck.

I don't know how a company the size of Phillips can release such a piece of crap. They HAD to know of these problems. I am sick to think of the time I have lost. All I have is junk to show for it. And yes, I did everything right (finalizing the disks etc).

Add to this the terrible remote control with rubbery, no-feedback keys that often don't work; little provision for using the deck for playback, etc. etc. (read other's complaints) and you have a real loser here.

I bought my first Phillips tape recorder in 1968. I will never buy another Phillips product.
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on December 17, 2006
I've had mine for a couple years now & I'm still very pleased with it! I've backed up alot of VHS tapes with this onto DVD, & it has very good video noise reduction!
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on June 9, 2015
At first it just ran the video then the screen wouldn't open.
From the start I could not record anything
. this product simply did not work from day one.
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on April 1, 2006
It plays commercial DVDs properly but it is often incapable of playing or recognizing those it has burned itself. I just tried to record two programs and got "disk error" as soon as I pressed the stop button. In other cases, I have gotten "unknown data" or "empty disk" for freshly-recorded DVDs.

Cleaning the disks helps in a minority of the cases. I have probably wasted twenty or more recordable DVDs (and I have no idea of how many finalized ones are actually playable). The directions (page 8) warn against trying to clean the DVD player's lens because the optical unit is more delicate than those in read-only DVDs.
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