My girlfriend purchased me the LG RC199H because of all the neat features - vhs to dvd dubbing ( both ways ), support of memory cards from camcorders and HD compatability for my birthday.
Unfortunately the experience has been a bad one for the past two months since its purchase compared to my good old Mitsubishi VCR.
The main problem has been reliability
1) Timer recordings never work unless you format the DVD and leave the power on. If you set the timer and power off, it has problems reading the DVD when it powers on and attempts three records before it gives up. The DVD read and hello messages appear continuosly
2) Cannot record from hbo and starz - what's up with that? works fine with my vcr. If I pop a prerecorded vhs tape in ( from hbo ) and try to dub that, also does not work and get the copy protected message. Any premium channel appears to be copyrighted. This is a huge problem. How does one record directly to DV from hbo???? the SIMA godvd will let you do vhs to dvd , but not cable provider to dvd. I can record from ESPN and other sports channels which was my primary concern, but hey - I want to tape a good movie when I'm not home.
3) DVD Disc recognition. You always have to leave a few blank minutes to avoid the finalization problem. I can finalize great with two or 3 minutes left on the dvd, but if you get the full message, good luck finalizing. Took me 8 attempts over 4 days to finalize a football game. I was very angry about this.
Some full DVDs cannot be finalized and had to toss them. Very upset. Also - only the finalized dvds will play on your pc when traveling or on other non LG machines.
4) It tends to vibrate and hum lightly when the power is on. None of my old equipment does this. It appears to be toe cooling fan.
5) quality of speeds - xp,sp,lp and ep.
The ep lets you record 6 hours - quality is horrible.
For tv, movies and music the 4 hour ( lp ) speed seems ok
for sports - you must use thre 2 hour sp speed or you will be very dissapointed, unfortuntaley this means being around when the game is on and switching DVDs at halftime to put in a new one.
Needless to say, I think DVD recorders have a long way to go before they are as reliable and easy to use as the best VCRs.
My three main issues are:
1) ability to record hbo etc ( premium channels )
2) ability to power on , record and power off w/o issue
3) quality of recording speed for the 6 hour mode ( terrible ) compared to the 4 and 2 hour modes when compared to VHS.
Would appreciate any feedback people have on:
1) how to get around the hbo issue for this recorder hooked to a cable source
2) a listing of recorders that do not recognize HBO signal
3) comments on the power on/off issue. It always trys to record once te power starts, while the dvd is still being read, on many of these recorders that takes time. Only solution appears to be to read and format the dvd, and leave power on for the record session.