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LG DRT389H DVD Recorder review



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LG DRT389H DVD Recorder
  • LG DRT389H DVD Recorder
  • LG DRT389H DVD Recorder
  • LG DRT389H DVD Recorder
  • LG DRT389H DVD Recorder
  • LG DRT389H DVD Recorder
  • LG DRT389H DVD Recorder
  • LG DRT389H DVD Recorder
  • DRT389H DVD Player/Recorder (DVD+RW, DVD-RW, DVD+R, DVD-RAM, CD-RW - DVD Video, MP3, WMA, JPEG, DivX, CD-DA, Video CD, SVCD, AVI, XviD Playback - Progressive Scan - 21 Hour Recording)


Our Score:


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.

dave doubledecks

October 16, 2008, 3:40 pm

Hi, nice review. The quick start recording you mentioned - can you give us an indication of how long it takes to start recording from power-up? With my current Sony DVD recorder, I have to wait over 2 minutes for it to "boot up" before I can do a thing which is so frustrating. Are we talking seconds or minutes to record from power-up with the LG?

Also, FWIW I thought it was pidgin english, not pigeon?!

Danny P

October 17, 2008, 4:25 pm

Not sure of the exact time but it's certainly less than two minutes, under a minute in fact. In the review I was actually talking about how quickly it starts recording when it's already on, but in both cases it's pretty slick. And yes it is pidgin not pigeon, my brain needs a firmware update.


October 26, 2008, 11:27 am

I have an American camcorder. I tried to connect it before to an old LG DVD recorder that have VHS too. But it wasn't working because the recorder doesn't allow NTSC as an input.

Can I use my camcorder to transfer the NTSC movie with this device?


November 17, 2008, 11:59 pm

Hi - good review. I am looking for another DVD recorder having had a Philips DVDR3597H DVD/HDD but this seemed to have some compatibility issues with an InFocus X10 projector which meant you couldn't connect via HDMI. Do you know if I am likely to have similar issues with this unit?


August 31, 2013, 8:08 pm

I have made a great mistake buying this DVD player. So much goodies that seems to offer but the biggest one is a BIG HEADACHE.

Guys, I swear don't get into this. It's a trick. I had in the past a Sony that I paid in 2002 100pounds and I had working super great for nearly 9 years. Then, it got off broken. So I thought let me find something new in the market with freeview and a few goodies and a nice and good looking style. I thought was my next big step and it was my next BIG HEADACHE. Not to The LG DRT389H.

Reasons: It struggles very much 90% of the time to read DVDs and CDs.

This is enough to don't buying it. What's the point of a DVD player? To play easily DVDs and if it doesn't what is the point of having it. I put mine in the bin after three a year of headache. I didn't that before because I have other things where I can play a dvd otherwise my patience would've last even less.


January 26, 2014, 7:59 pm

I made the same mistake twice had the first one for 13months did nothing but play up finally it would not recognise brand new disks, so went out and bought another one after a year it did the same I wonder if this would come under the trading standards law of not fit for purpose,

Kevin Meechan

February 4, 2014, 11:25 am

Hi there, I was wandering if anyone has got a spare or old remote control for the DRT389H digital video recorder they don't need or don't use anymore, I have just moved house and have lost my remote control, I don't want to go out and get another recorder.

Geoff Richards

February 4, 2014, 12:53 pm

Hi Kevin. If you can't find an original replacement, your other option is a Universal Remote Control. Just don't go for the cheapest ones, which can only learn from another remote (you can use these to learn from your TV, DVD player etc so you only have one remote)

You need one that uses codes or software profiles so you can select your device and the remote will work as the original. The Logitech Harmony range do this, for example. This one might work for you:

Gillian McRobbie

April 14, 2014, 2:55 pm

Hi does this model LG DRT389H DVD Recorder have freeview built in


October 30, 2016, 2:00 pm

I bought a DRT389H new and it is the WORST piece of equipment I have ever bought.
It simply spends literally 15 minutes before it realises there is no DVD - who programmed the software for this - nothing seems to do as you want - AVOID~ at all costs!

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