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Philips DVDR5500 DVD Recorder - Philips DVDR5500
There's a whopping seven recording modes on board, ranging from the top-quality HQ mode (which offers one hour on a single layer disc or nearly two on a DL disc) down to SEP (8 hours single layer, 14 hours double layer). Aside from the usual five modes found on most recorders (HQ, SP, LP, EP, SEP), Philips has slotted in two extra modes, SPP and SLP, making it easier than ever to fit recordings exactly onto a disc in the best possible quality.
After you've made a recording, you can make some simple but effective edits. You can divide recordings in half and insert manual chapters to ‘hide' parts that you don't want to be played back, such as adverts. The section isn't deleted permanently but will be skipped with only a minor pause in playback. Most recorders that use DVD-RW discs allow you to format them in either Video or Video Recording (VR) mode, but that's not the case here - only Video mode is available, which means you can only make the basic edits mentioned above, not more advanced functions like Playlist Editing or chasing playback.
Elsewhere on the feature list is a 7-day EPG, which lets you set the timer quickly and easily. The layout is simple, showing ‘now and next' programme info for eight channels at a time, and it's attractively presented. You can scroll down the channels or along the timeline easily and it makes great use of the colour coded buttons on the remote. The deck also offers lightning quick access to digital text, which allows you to check the football scores without annoying pauses.
This level of slickness permeates throughout the unit, with all of the onscreen menus responding quickly to remote control commands, while channels change instantaneously. The user interface is also well designed, with menu screens that are instantly understandable and easy on the eye.