JVC DVD & HDD Video Recorder 

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No tape involved you can record to DVD – either R or RW - or to the built in hard disc certainly a vast improvement on the quality associated with VHS tape.

The only other such device I have looked at was last August an offering from Bush that had VHS and DVD recorder, a nice idea that enabled your VHS treasures to be saved on DVD. Here somewhat differently you can record direct to either DVD or HDD. It should be possible to save that movie epic say to hard disc and then transfer to DVD minus the adverts so you get the movie as intended without constant reminders of washing powder, car insurance or perhaps most annoyingly what the broadcaster is showing next Tuesday at 9PM.


Setup should be just a matter of plugging in, attaching an aerial lead and switching on, this did not happen for me because the unit had been previously used and it took a while to find out how to override the information already stored. Once I found this out in the 90 page manual all was a breeze. It autotunes and now you just need to make the hard decisions, what to record, the quality required and if you want to record to the HDD or DVD.


As for setting the timer this can either be done by the time, day, channel method or by using the built in Video Plus where you just enter in a numerical code, 34856 for example, this is shown on checking, as the time, day and channel so you know if you have entered the correct code or not.


Most of my recording was done in the LP mode that I found to be quite acceptable certainly a lot better than even best mode in VHS. A DVD disc can take between 1 and 8 hours of recorded material dependant on the mode selected. The built in hard disk of 80 or 160GB can store between 17 and 136 hours of material on the 80GB model and or course double that on the 160GB unit.


There are two identical units available the DR-MH30S that has the 160GB unit and the one I used the DR-MH20S that has the 80GB unit.


It is 42x33x6cm and has seven buttons in a line on the right front on it’s face with an 9.5x2cm LCD display on the left and an on/off bar below this. Once in place the only button I used was the one beside the DVD door to eject DVD’s everything else and a lot more can be done with the 59 key remote control.


The rear of the unit has aerial in and out sockets as well as Component Video out, S-Video out, Audio out and two SCART sockets.


The unit is also capable of playing MP3 files from CD and displaying slide shows from JPEGS. This is a very full featured unit and certainly something to go on a lot of peoples wish list. There is also another unit the DR-MH200S that seems to be the same but with a 120GB hard disc. I would be quite happy to own any of the three units. The stated high street price is around £550 for the DR-MH20S but I have seen adverts via internet searches as low as £250 for some reason these seem not to include the S at the end but certainly the description and the illustration seem to be the same, if so – with the normal proviso about buying online – snap it up.

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