What happens when a company decides to bring to market a 400GB DVD recorder that supports a string of media formats that is also a high-end DVD playback decoder and a video upscaler? One thing’s for sure, it’s definitely one heck of a home entertainment equipment every which way you look at it. By combining various living products within its stable into one all-encompassing unit, Philips was able to create the DVDR9000H: an all-in-one hard disk and DVD recorder that is all ready to make most if not all of your existing entertainment systems redundant.
Though the primary function of the DVDR9000H is to record one’s favorite television programs, Philips has stepped up to integrate a decoder in its DVD playback function to allow users to enjoy their movies at greater details on a HD TV panel and also the company’s signature Pixel Plus engine. For the uninitiated, the Pixel Plus engine has been the bread and butter technology responsible for the sales performance of Philips televisions, and what it brings to the table is double the resolution of standard TVs to deliver better sharpness, detail clarity and depth.
Being the flagship product, the Philips DVDR9000H carries with it a slew of connections in order for it to be the bridge between input sources and output devices. In addition to the basic antenna input to receive terrestrial or cable programming, the DVDR9000H also has an integrated DVB tuner to take you well into the digital domain. Input sources for nonstandard programming include a DV connector (IEEE 1394a) for digital cameras and analog composite inputs.
There is also a rare SCART connector at the back for analog video sources, which is only useful in places like France and several European countries. On the audio side of things, the DVDR9000H has a coaxial digital audio input jack that supports video recording with 5.1-channel audio track. Finally, with a HDMI sitting alongside the conventional composite video output, the player is HD content ready as well.
While it is all ready for high-definition content via HDMI, the lack of titles means it will be a while before you can truly reap the full benefits of the DVDR9000H and your HD panel. However, because the DVDR9000H has Pixel Plus technology to upscale videos up to either 720p or 1080i (1080p is not supported), it is comforting to know that your investment in a HD panel and the DVDR9000H (if you decide to get one) will at least return you video quality that is higher than what you’re currently enjoying.
In the HQV benchmark test, the DVDR9000H was able to smooth out most jagged edges without incurring too severe a drop in video quality. This was most apparent in the flag video test where the end result was a fluid video showing smooth edges along the waving flag with fairly good details. Also, noise reduction worked well without blurring details excessively. To really get the optimal compromise between noise and sharpness however, it is best that you experiment with the different levels of video sharpening to compensate for details that will be lost from the use of noise reduction.
With a massive 400GB hard drive within, the DVDR9000H has the gut to stomach your weekly and even monthly TV programs and movies. Like conventional set top DVD recorders, the unit offers instant video recording, time shifting and live TV buffering of up to six hours. This just means you can totally unwind on Friday nights with a peace of mind knowing your sitcoms and movies will all be recorded and ready for instant playback by the time you get home – if you’re still sober.
Overall, Philips DVDR9000H will make a great addition to any home system, especially if you already have a HD-ready display sitting proudly at home. With Pixel Plus engine, a large storage capacity, simple menu interface and a host of input/output connections, those who value home entertainment will quickly value the versatility of the Philips DVDR9000H.