The KiSS DP-558 hard disk recorder and network media player offers desirable features for the power user. The machine's silver front panel would coordinate with the majority of modern home theatre equipment, with a DVD-ROM drive in the middle and a row of buttons on the right.
- Wide range of supported formats and connectors, PC connectivity
- No DVD burner
A wide range of supported formats, combined with stylish industrial design, makes the KiSS DP-558 a great hard disk recorder for the power user who doesn't mind recording in MPEG-2 and archiving footage regularly.
Price$ 1,499.00 (AUD)
The machine stands 9cm tall, 43cm wide and 30cm deep, so you will need a relatively large entertainment unit to house it. The rear panel features a 10/100 Ethernet port, antenna in and out, SCART in and out, composite, S-Video, component and RCA audio in and out, along with digital (in both coaxial and optical) audio outputs. It offers progressive scan output and an 80GB hard disk.
The machine doesn't include a DVD burner to archive recorded footage. However, it does ship with an Ethernet adapter so you can transfer archived programs over the network to a desktop PC and burn from there. The KiSS uses an inbuilt FTP server for the transfer of files between its internal hard disk and a PC. The KiSS also comes with well-designed software called KiSS PC-Link, which allows you to play media direct from a PC without having to transfer it to the KiSS's hard disk.
It plays an enormous range of formats, including DVD Video, Audio CD, VCD, SVCD, and burnt discs containing JPEG images, MPEG-2, DivX, XviD, MPEG-4, WMA, MP3 or OGG files. It can also play any files of these types over a network (using KiSS's PC-Link software) or from the internal hard disk, although it can only natively record video in MPEG-2.
The MPEG-2 encoder produces high-quality footage at the expense of hard drive space. There are six recording modes ranging from Super High Quality at 8Mbit/s (for a total capacity of 21 hours recording time) down to Super Long Play at 1.5Mbit/s (114 hours recording time).
The system employs a comprehensive and well-laid-out menu that is easily navigated via the included black remote control. Time shifting is available, along with the ability to schedule recordings. The machine can call on Network Time Protocol to set the time from the Internet if connected, and the machine automatically looks up CD track listings from the Internet, along with stock and weather information.
Setup takes just a few minutes, and after selecting your language, preferred region, output method and aspect ratio, it takes just a few minutes to format the hard disk and tune TV channels.
There are parental control options included along with an electronic program guide, and the machine features a number of elegant touches, like the inclusion of detailed setup instructions and network diagrams in the manual to help get you up and running.
As it stands, the KiSS DP-558 offers myriad features in a robust, easy-to-use package. However, to get the most out of the machine you would have to be comfortable with PCs and networking.
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