Most people buy a DVD recorder to replace their old analogue VCR, but what do you do with all those irreplaceable VHS tapes once your player has been consigned to the scrapheap? The sensible option is to transfer them to DVD, but when you do, all that horrible analogue noise and jitter gets transferred onto your shiny digital discs in the process. LG's latest DVD recorder, the DRT389H, addresses this problem using technology that aims to remove such nasties before they reach your disc.
The deck's DVFX Recording feature uses an advanced 3D digital video process called Motion-Compensated Temporal Filtering (or MCTF) to remove colour breaks and jitters from the original video signals frame-by-frame, before they're processed by the main video chipset. The technology isn't new and has appeared on several previous generations of LG recorders, but since many people will be in the process of archiving old tapes, we thought it was worth highlighting - and we'll test its effectiveness in due course.
It's worth clarifying that the DRT389H is a straight-up DVD recorder with no hard-disk on board, making it best suited to those who prefer the tangibility of removable media, or owners of hard-disk PVRs who like to back up their recordings. The beauty is that the LG can record and play back any type of rewriteable DVD, which means there's no umming and aahing when you're faced with rows and rows of discs in your local store - this deck does it all.
As for write-once discs, the LG can record onto DVD+R, DVD-R and DVD+R Double Layer, the latter doubling (and sometimes tripling) the amount you can fit onto a conventional single-layer DVD+R. There's no mention of DVD-R Dual Layer discs but who needs two dual-layer formats anyway?
On the outside the DRT389H looks like a simplified version of the RHT-399H DVD/HDD combi, stripped of all the hard-disk related logos and its central silver panel. But it's still a very attractive and well-made machine, dressed in a glossy black finish with a silver strip horizontally bisecting the fascia. Above this strip, you'll find a cluster of buttons, including one to change the HDMI output resolution, plus the disc tray and hard-to-read display panel, while the lower half features a flap hiding the DV, composite, stereo audio inputs and USB port.