Here at the GoodGearGuide, we've lost track of how many DVD players and recorders have sat there, their LED Lights blinking the letters "No disc", despite our frustrated and quite often profanity-ridden assurances to the contrary. The differences between DVD-R/-RW/+R/+RW are confusing and irrational even to those of us who deal with them for a living, so we can imagine how they must boggle consumers. The need for units that can play and record to multiple types of DVD media, as well as the need to stock multiple types of disc to ensure compatibility with players unable to play one type or the other, is a serious impediment to the DVD player/recorder industry.
Perhaps this is why Philips' DVDR560H impressed us so much, because it manages to completely eliminate the need for differing media types. According to a press release from Philips,
"When a new blank media is inserted into the disc tray for recording, SmartAlgoTM first analyses the media characteristics. Based on a patented self-learning adaptive technology, it will then choose the optimal write strategy from a database of possible write strategies and apply it to the optical writing head. This results in the best and optimal recording for the particular media type, no matter which brand and what quality of the disc being used.
By always using the '+VR' format recording irrespective of the type of disc used, Philips Dual Media recording offers full playback compatibility with existing DVD Players."
Dual Media recording is, quite simply, incredible! A relatively simple concept, it worked flawlessly in our tests, and we predict that it, as well as similar technologies, will play a big part in helping to improve compatibility and ease of use in the DVD recording industry. As far as we're concerned, the changes couldn't come sooner!
A review of the DVDR560H can be read here.