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Philips, the Dutch electronics giant, has introduced a new range of DVD recorders. What’s interesting is that of the six new models, three integrate hard disks. Yes, it’s our old friend convergence rearing its oft championed, but infrequantly seen, head.

At the top of the range sits the DVD725G and the HDRW720 featuring a 160GB and 80GB drive respectively, enough for up to 250 hours and 130 hours of footage.



A great feature is that these drives automatically buffer programs to the hard disk so that you can choose to archive them to DVD even if you haven’t set them up to record. Anyone familar with the buffer feature in a Sky Plus box knows how handy this can be.

Programs are recorded to the hard disks, and can then be easily transferred onto DVD+R/RW discs at up to 20 x the speed of the original recording. Programs can also be watched from the hard disk as another one is being recorded.

The recorders are also very easy to use thanks to the GUIDE Plus+ Interactive Programme Guide (IPG). Philips is the only DVD recorder manufacturer to offer this free on-screen IPG. This IPG displays TV listings for the next seven days on screen and recordings can be scheduled jut by selecting the program and hitting record. Programs can even be sorted according to category such as movies or sport.

The other recorder to feature a hard disk is DVDR520H, which also features an 80GB hard disk, but lacks the EPG.

The DVD725G and the HDRW720 will cost £650 and £550 with the former available now and the latter in September. The DVDR520H is also available in September and will cost £450.

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