LG RH7926W

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LG RH7926W
  • LG RH7926W
  • LG RH7926W
  • LG RH7926W

Pros

  • Time Shift functionality, features incredibly well integrated into an impressive interface

Cons

  • Some minor problems with the remote, expensive

Bottom Line

This recorder is a beast. High-budget users will find the RH7926W to be an outstanding unit, delivering top-end performance with a sleek and user-friendly design.

Would you buy this?

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An outstanding recording unit from LG, the RH7926W delivers powerful and versatile recording options, combined with a sleek design and easy to use interface. An expensive price tag may put off potential buyers, however the level of functionality the LG delivers does identify it as an exceptional unit.

A manually activated Time Shift function - allowing users to pause live TV to resume later, fast forward to catch playback up with recording, and even rewind - is the cornerstone of a recording-driven feature set on the RH7926W. Time Shift continues until stopped, or until the 250GB hard drive fills up. When the user is finished they can either clear the Time Shift, or permanently save the recording. Such functionality gives users a lot of control over their recording, especially when enabled preemptively, such as before the start of a live sports broadcast. In general, a Time Shift feature marks a product as a powerful and flexible recorder, and in the case of the LG, this is definitely true.

Recording TV to the hard drive couldn't be simpler. Simply hit record, and recording starts. Hit it again to program a stop time thirty minutes after recording has started, and again for each additional thirty minutes. Fully functional timed recordings are also available, including start times, finish times, and once/daily/weekly repeat options. We were a little disappointed to note that recording quality couldn't be set independently when programming recordings, and that timed recordings simply used the quality mode that the recorder was currently set to. Despite only supporting four of these modes, the LG still offers a versatile range of recording modes, allowing anywhere between one and six hours to be fit onto a single DVD.

DVD recording follows the same trend as hard drive recording, managing to be both simple and powerful at the same time. We were delighted to discover that the RH7926W supports a huge range of recordable media, including DVD+R/+RW, DVD-R/-RW, and DVD+R DL (Double Layer). Copying titles from the hard drive to DVD was effortless, achievable with no more than a handful of button presses on the remote.

Another feature that impressed us immensely was the remote. Intuitively laid out with large, responsive buttons, it made flicking from menu to menu or between channels a breeze. Combined with a large, informative and well integrated on-screen interface, operating the various features of the RH7926W couldn't have been easier.

We could only identify two concerns with the interface, the first regarding the lowest portion of the remote, which was a sliding cover that revealed various buttons, including dubbing (which is accessible via the menu system anyway), and various DVD playback functions (repeat, shuffle, zoom, etc). The cover was quite stiff and we didn't really feel it to be necessary. The second was the fact that the button to switch between DVD and Hard Drive mode was located on the front of the player and not replicated on the remote at all. This was actually quite irritating and really detracted from what was otherwise an incredibly well implemented interface.

Apart from the interface itself being fantastic, it allowed for a really high level of integration between the various features of the recorder. Editing recorded titles proved to be incredibly easy, and once chopped up and remerged together the way we wanted, we were able to quickly and effortlessly transfer them to a DVD. This is the way that all DVD/HD recorders should work in our opinion, and combined with the Time Shift feature, this really makes the RH7926W a central part of any home entertainment setup.

Connection options further reinforce this role, as the LG sports a nice range of well laid out connections, including component output and digital audio out. An eight-in-two memory card reader, accessible via a flip down panel on the front of the unit, combined with DV input offer a range of photo and video editing abilities.

There's actually very little that we can say to fault the RH7926W. The recommended retail price did make us cringe slightly, and seems high, even for a unit as impressive as the one LG have designed. In the end, however, only a few minor foibles regarding the remote can detract from what is otherwise an exceptionally powerful and adaptable recording unit. Ease of use and strong, effective functionality go hand in hand with this device, and it comes with our highest recommendation to those who can afford it.

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