- True PVR recording functionality, effective range of features
- Disjointed and confusing interface, no TV to DVD recording, no DVD to Hard Drive recording
The DVDR725H delivers exceptionally powerful PVR-style recording, but is let down by a poorly integrated interface and the omission of a few notable features.
Price$ 1,299.00 (AUD)
Never before has a product both impressed and infuriated us like the Philips DVDR725H. While Philips has managed to design an incredibly powerful recording unit that combines true PVR functionality with a DVD recorder, certain key features are omitted that prevent this productfrom achieving its full potential. A complicated interface further detracts from what could have been an exceptional offering.
The real highlight of the DVDR725H is its recording functionality. Utilising its Time Shift Buffer, the recorder creates a temporary rolling recording of whatever the viewer is watching, up to six hours long. This allows the viewer to rewind back through their evening's viewing, to pause live TV, and even fast forward to catch up to the recording. The temporary recording, or parts of it, can later be marked for storage, as opposed to deletion, provided that it hasn't already been cleared by the buffer. This is only the first of several incredibly useful features which defines the DVDR725H as a very powerful recording device.
The addition of a DVD+R/+RW burner vastly increases the recording power of the DVDR725H, allowing users to permanently store titles that have been recorded on the hard drive. The lack of support for DVD-R/-RW media is a disadvantage here, but a relatively minor annoyance since there are no substantial differences between the DVD types. Recording titles to DVD from the hard drive is for the most part incredibly easy, and can be done at the touch of a button through the on-screen interface. Recording television to DVD is more complicated, since the recorder lacks the ability to record directly to DVD from television. Titles must instead be saved onto the hard disk first, before they can be archived to DVD. This is unnecessarily time consuming at best and flat-out restrictive at worst. This extra step can be especially prohibitive if the 160 gigabyte hard drive is full.
To complicate matters further, DVDs cannot be copied to the hard drive - even those which aren't copy protected. This is a big omission on the part of Philips, and is a significant restriction on the unit's versatility. Essentially, it makes recording on the 725H a one-way process; recordings are made from TV to hard drive, and then archived to DVD when required. Granted, the 725H probably performs these functions better than any other recorder we've seen, but in an industry that's constantly expanding in terms of flexibility and compatibility, reducing functionality seems to us a step in the wrong direction.
Despite its above average (though albeit limited) recording capabilities, the DVDR725H is marred by a confusing interface. Too many menus and poor labeling of functions left us frustrated as we flicked through various sub-menus and options, struggling to find the settings we were looking for. We found that the visual representation of the Time Shift Buffer to be a little unclear, and users who enjoy sitting a reasonable distance from their television will find themselves having to move closer in order to see the details exactly. A poorly laid out remote further confused matters, and this combined with the disjointed on-screen interface left us almost battling with the controls in an attempt to elicit the functions we required.
Once mastered however, the interface revealed an impressive range of features, including seven recording quality modes. As with the DVDR560H, we felt that the non-standard labeling of these modes was slightly detrimental. We tested the timer function, and were pleased to note that it was implemented and able to be set up quite quickly. Editing titles can be a little complicated, but dividing, merging, renaming and redefining chapter markers is all possible. A solid range of connection options rounds off this unit nicely.
Making a definitive statement about the DVDR725H is a rather subjective exercise. Users who want true PVR functionality, including the ability to pause and rewind live TV, will find that the 725H is an excellent option, especially when considering the ability to archive titles to DVD. But as a standard DVD/Hard Drive combination recorder, the Philips is lacking the both versatility and flexibility that make combination recorders so attractive. A better implemented interface and expanded recording functionality would have truly made the DVDR725H a standout product.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Smart LED Bulb LB130
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
Lexar® Portable SSD
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Acer Swift 7
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Huawei Mate 9
Google Daydream VR headset
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
Surface Pro 4
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Huawei Mate 9 full in-depth smartphone review
- 2 ZTE Axon 7 review: Is ZTE dumping old stock on Australia?
- 3 Oppo R9s smartphone full review
- 4 Finally! LG OLED TV 2016 range review
- 5 Huawei Nova Plus smartphone review
Latest News Articles
- Up next for Apple TV: 4K streaming reportedly in the works
- Apple’s original TV shows are almost ready for prime time
- Apple snags Amazon Fire TV exec to lead Apple TV efforts
- AirTV's slick marriage of Sling TV and OTA channels isn't in the product yet
- Here's what's coming next from Sling TV
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- How to quit Pokemon Go (or to start enjoying it again)
- Huawei Mate 9 full in-depth smartphone review
- Time to ditch Foxtel and the iQ3: How to replace Foxtel packages with cheaper alternatives
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- CCCloud Solution Architect - Financial Services - Continuous IntegrationNSW
- CCSenior Automation TesterQLD
- CCAnalyst ProgrammerVIC
- CCDemand/ Resource AnalystVIC
- FTLevel 3 EngineerNSW
- FTNetwork Solution ArchitectVIC
- CCMultiple System Engineers - Data Centre - TelcoVIC
- CCIT Procurement OfficerNSW
- FTTechnical Support RepresentativeNSW
- FTMicrosoft ProgrammerSA
- FTIT Information Security AdvisorNSW
- FTSenior Web DeveloperNSW
- CCIT Solutions ArchitectQLD
- TPMicrosoft Analyst ProgrammerSA
- TPFront End DeveloperNSW
- FTDevelopment Manager - SaaSQLD
- TPImplementation Business Partner - Business ModernisationNSW
- CCData Migration Consultant - LeadNSW
- FTFront End DeveloperQLD
- CCSenior Technical SpecialistNSW
- FTSystem AdministratorNSW
- CCTechnical Consultant - ITSM/HP Service ManagerNSW
- FTProject Manager (Software product development)VIC
- CCSenior Storage System Engineer - NetApp SpecialistNSW
- FTSolutions Software DeveloperVIC