This ultra slim DVD recorder from Philips is the only one in the company's current range to feature a built-in Freeview tuner, which is surprising given the amount of people who will be upgrading their recorders in time for digital switchover.
But there's much more to the DVDR5500 than a Freeview tuner; it also comes equipped with video upscaling to 1080i and 720p, which lets you upscale those digital TV pictures and watch them on a hi-def ready plasma or LCD TV. It'll also handle your library of digital media files, with a compatibility list that includes DivX, MP3, WMA and JPEG.
The list of supported recordable disc formats is also impressive - the deck can record onto DVD+RW/+R, DVD-RW/-R and DVD+R DL, which will make life easier when it comes to buying the right discs.
DVD recorders aren't usually noted for drop-dead gorgeous design, but Philips has really made an effort to make the DVDR5500 as visually arresting as possible. For starters, it's incredibly slim, which will makes it easy to slot into those awkward little gaps in your AV cabinet, plus the smart reflective black fascia and silver detail make it look sleek and stylish.
The unit's connection line-up is surprisingly extensive for a deck with such slimline dimensions. Upscaled pictures can be delivered to your TV through the HDMI 1.1 output, while the component video sockets offer progressive scan output. These are joined by composite and S-video outputs and coaxial digital audio output to take advantage of the unit's Dolby Digital and DTS compatibility.
The front panel offers more socketry options. Digital camcorder owners will be pleased to find a DV input for transferring footage to DVD quickly and in the highest quality, but even more exciting is the inclusion of a USB port, which lets you connect a USB flash drive or digital camera and play back music or view photos through your home cinema system.