MSI has long pushed the boundaries of invention with its ever-evolving range of laptops but it has now pulled off a world first with the new MSI Creative 17.
- Streamlined feature set, heavy emphasis on core functions, DVD-RAM support
- No auto-chaptering, no DVD+R/+RW support, limited connections
This is a device designed for a single purpose, and designed to do it well. Users looking for flexibility and multiple features would be better served by another product, but those who are interested in a powerful and to-the-point DVD recorder would be hard pressed to find a better choice than the DMR10.
Price$ 499.00 (AUD)
The JVC DRM10 DVD recorder positively oozes slickness and professionalism. Its front panel is backlit by an unnecessary, but undeniably stylish blue light. It sports an aesthetically shaped metallic case, and a trim, clutter-free design. The functionality is equally impressive, replete with excellent recording, a simple, easy to use interface, and plenty of recording modes.
The core functions of the device are, of course, its DVD playback and recording. Both are incredibly simple to use, with a strong emphasis on effective and streamlined functionality, thanks in part to the excellent interface on the DRM10. The lack of VCR or Hard Drive proponents to the device put the spotlight solely on DVD functionality, and JVC have definitely done it justice.
Although playback is excellent on this unit, the real selling point is its recording capabilities. One-touch recording allows users to instantly start recording for predefined amounts of time, in thirty minute intervals. The timer function is relatively easy to set up, and worked perfectly in our tests. We found the lack of support for DVD+R/+RW media to be a slight let down, however, this was overshadowed by our excitement when we discovered DVD-RAM support. Essentially, this gives the user a lot more freedom when making recordings, even allowing them to watch one recording on the disc while making another. This functionality is slightly limited by the size of DVD-RAM discs - only an hour's worth of footage can be recorded at the highest setting - but nonetheless marks the DRM10 as an outstanding recording unit.
We did encounter a few problems when making recordings. The most irritating of these was the lack of auto-chaptering while recording. This means that users have to manually set chapters during or after the recording, if they want the ability to skip quickly through their recording later. The on-screen display is informative, but there's no way to keep it showing up permanently, which we discovered to be incredibly annoying when trying to test the recording times of the various quality modes.
Nevertheless, the interface itself is incredibly good. The remote especially is well laid out, with buttons intuitively placed, to the extent that after a few hours of use we didn't need to look at the remote at all to instantly and easily access the functions we were looking for. The on-screen menu system is rather basic, with a minimum of options, continuing the DRM10's streamlined nature. Recording modes can be easily set via a button on the remote, and offer anywhere between one and eight hours of recording on a single DVD. Generally, however, we found that the lowest quality modes offered image quality that bordered on unwatchable. In contrast, the highest quality XP mode delivered impressively sharp images.
Connection options on the DRM10 are strongly European, with SCART being the dominant analogue output. Component and S-Video connections are also offered, and JVC have included SCART to Composite adaptors, allowing the device to be connected to Australian displays.
Overall, the DRM10 is a first-rate recording unit, delivering powerful, albeit inflexible, recording capability. A streamlined feature set defines this unit as a recorder, rather than the centre of a large home entertainment setup. Users looking for a straight up device for playing and recording DVDs will find the DRM10 to be an excellent choice.
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