Philips HDRW720

Update: continue reading on my Philips HDRW720 page.


A PVR, personal video recorder, recording TV on a harddisc.
Have it for a week now, been playing around. Really cool stuff.

Some general info:

-Build quality is excellent, the tray feels solid.

-Standard play recording M2 (5Mbits/s) allows you to put 2h of video on a DVD, or 32h on the harddisc. Quality is excellent. Haven’t tried M1(9,7Mbits/s) which makes 1h on DVD and 16h on HD. Initally player is on M2x (4Mbits/s), but I didn’t like the quality of the video.

-Every 5 minutes a chapter is added to the movie for easy skipping through the movie.

-Editing out commercials is easy, just selecting the start and finish location of the commercials and ‘hide’ them. You can zoom into a timeline, to do kind of frame level editing.
But allthough I thought I selected the right starting frame of the commercials, a frame was still visible on the DVD. Maybe you should make the selection just right on the last frame before the start of the commercials.

-While a programme is running, you can pause, rewind, start again from the beginning. Cool.

-I burned a DVD+RW in about 19 minutes for a 1:38 minute movie.

-Once the recording is on harddisc, you can no longer change the encoding quality to write it on a DVD.

-I was able to play the DVD+RW on my laptop (DVD-RW drive), on my PC (regular DVD drive),and on my previous, 99euro DVD player, without a problem.

Quality was as you’d expect from a DVD. I’ve seen worse pre-recorded DVDs before.

-I guess the performance of the harddrive will deteriorate after years (months?) of usage, as all harddiscs this HD will also get fragmented.

-It takes some time to start up the device.

Overall, I’m very pleased with it for now.

Product brochure


Have the machine 2 months now. Still love it, but I would like it to be more like the Sony PSX machine (Japan only for now). I did encounter some software problems. For example:

– shutting down while in Guide+ program guide, he doesn’t like that. Next time you start the device, Guide+ is empty. Just stop/start Guide+ display, and all is ok.

– I’ve had a problem twice with recordings, where the device only partially archived to DVD because a glitch in the recording; and another where the device freezes when skipping through chapters. I put that movie on DVD, and it also freezes when skipping through the chapters on the DVD on the HDRW720! On my PC’s DVD player no problem. This player definitly has some software problems which should be addressed in a firmware upgrade.

But next to these glitches, I’m still pretty happy with it.

Update 2(2004-09-12):

The Philips website indicates that a software upgrade will be available for this product in the coming months…
Philips support site

Update 3 (24/09/2004)

Installed the new firmware without a problem. Hope this version is more stable.

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