Now that the home entertainment market has moved towards streaming video services and Blu-ray content, there has never been a better time to convert DVD collections to digital.
- Progressive scan, wide range of supported media, easy to use
- Limited number of inputs and outputs, some small glitches
A couple of minor issues hold the Lite-On LVW-5045 back from stardom, but for the techno-savvy it's still an appealing alternative to the bigger brands.
Price$ 899.00 (AUD)
Lite-On's LVW-5045 HDD and DVD recorder is designed to record broadcast analog TV to either a hard disk or directly to an optical disc. It is compatible with CD-R, CD-RW, DVD+RW, DVD-R and DVD-RW discs. It'll even play back MP3, WMA and JPEG files.
The 4.5kg progressive scan model ships with a relatively basic manual, but it does include details of recommended discs to use with the device.
The 43 x 32 x 7cm unit has a silver finish and somewhat boxy appearance, making it resemble an old-style VCR. The front panel displays a basic set of buttons, including Eject, Play, Stop, Record and Source Select. There's even a single toggle to switch between DVD and hard disk, which is basic yet effective. In addition to the buttons, a couple of connectors are available on the front panel to directly connect a digital camcorder, older camcorder or VCR.
The rear panel is a little better adorned, with a pass-through antenna connector, both S-Video and composite inputs, and S-Video, composite, component and digital coaxial and optical outputs.
The machine includes a 160GB hard disk drive, which is good for roughly 66 hours of recording.
The menu system is easy to use and it doesn't take much time before you get the hang of scheduling and recording programs. There is a help key on the remote control in case you get stuck. A feature of this device is the ability to back up movies either from the hard disk to an optical disc or from an optical disc back to the hard disk. This doesn't work on copyrighted material, but is a great way to make quick copies of home movies or friends' productions. You can even perform basic edits.
While the Lite-On device works fairly well, its lack of polish makes it better suited to someone more tech-savvy than the average TV viewer. Still, it's a great alternative to the bigger brands.
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