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A/V Source Components

Philips is clearly positioning the DVDR80 not only as a replacement for the aging VCR, but also to make inroads in the slowly but surely expanding market for hard disk-based PVRs. The DVDR80’s onboard Gemstar electronic programming guide makes selecting shows to record a simple one-button operation. In addition to the DVDR80’s consumer-targeted convenience offerings, however, Philips is also incorporating features of interest to more discriminating buyers. Up until now, high quality video has not been a high priority for most DVD recorders, but the DVDR80’s DCDi deinterlacing employs the next-generation FLI2300 chip introduced in our CEDIA 2002 report.

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Even more intriguing is Philips’ upcoming DVDR90 (not shown at CES), due out in Q3 at a targeted $999 price point. Retaining the same feature base, this higher-end model will introduce Dolby Digital 5.1 audio recording, a welcome addition in light of the increasing 5.1 content broadcast by digital cable and satellite providers. The DVDR90 will also add a Digital HDMI output. In the red-hot DVD recorder market, feature sets are emerging as the true discriminants – since all manufacturers support the DVD-R standard for commercial software and rental disks, the differences between the additional proprietary formats, whether DVD+R/RW, DVD-RAM, or DVD-R/RW, are less essential than in other format wars.

Right now, DVD recorders are the largest growing market and one of our primary areas of interest,” said Panasonic’s Alberto Reggiani, national DVD marketing manager. Panasonic is spearheading the DVD-RAM recordable DVD format, but don’t look for any raising of the bar just yet in Panasonic’s new E-50 DVD-RAM recorder, which sports an feature set identical to the company’s popular E-30, but leverages streamlined manufacturing processes to offer the same capabilities at a $599 price point (vs. $699 for the E-30). The company is still mapping out the feature sets for its new lineup, which should be announced in April. For Panasonic’s combination DVD/hard disk recorder offering, the DMR-HS2 will continue for a few months, to be replaced with a player to be named later.

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In the DVD-R/RW column, Pioneer Electronics introduced a pair of DVD recorders. The Pioneer DVR-002H (top) with a projected cost around $800, includes an 80 GB hard disk with PVR-type functionality, and Pioneer’s PureCinema™ progressive scan circuitry, and a 32-step mode for finer control of bit rate. The unit has an exceptionally fast transfer capability to DVD – a one-hour program recorded at lowest quality can be archived on DVD in 2.5 minutes. Stripped of the hard disk, the low-profile DVR-001 (bottom), sports an equally sleek price tag, projected to be around $500. Both models are due out by summer. 

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Behind the generic faceplate of Sharp’s DV-RW2 lurks, well, a pretty generic DVD recorder – the company’s first, despite the moniker. The DV-RW2 can record DVD-R/RW, and play back the same, in addition to CD-RW, CD-R and audio CDs. The unit offers copy/paste recorded segments and the usual feature set. Due in March, for $800. []

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Latest additons 7th February 2003:

Panamax Power Conditioning
Xplore Solutions A/V Control
EAD Theatermaster Studio
Focal-JMLab Utopia Loudspeakers
McCormack DVD-Audio/SACD Player
Martin Logan Clarity & Scripti
Artistic Audio & Red Rose Audio
IMF Audio Musica Model 25
Philips, Pioneer & Sharp DVD-R/RW
Opus Distributed Audio
Audio Aero Prestige A/V Player
Philips DVDR80 DVD+RW Recorder
Lexicon Home Theater Products
DVD Entertainment Group Dinner
Universal Remote Control MX-3000
Xantech System Control Products
Linn KISTO & UNIDISK 1.1
McIntosh MVP851 DVD-Audio Player
Von Schweikert VR-S/1 Subwoofer
Von Schweikert VR-1 & VR-4SE
Zu Druid 2 & Gallo Acoustics
2003 Panasonic DVD-Video Players
Universal DVD-Audio/SACD Players
Arcam Home Theater Products
Stillpoints Isolation Products
Panasonic e-Wear & LCD Monitor
SACD Press Conference
Clark Synthesis Gold TST329
Guitammer BKA1000-4 Amplifier
Dynaudio Contour Loudspeakers


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SMR Home Theatre's CES 2003 show report is co-sponsored by High Fidelity Review

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Show report last updated: 7th February 2003 ~ 190 original images on-line.

 

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