My general impression with these 5005s is that they are the best DVD recorders you can buy for around $150 US or less (CompUSA had it for $100, after $70 mail in rebate sale this past Sunday 2/20/05).
However, I think LiteON is pushing the envelope or the limit and capability of the underlying processors and that there are many little faults associated with the recorder.
Here are the good:
- inexpensive and quality is good (vs other low cost recorders)
- Allwrite DVD +/- RW
- with new 1098 firmware, the compatability is good across most DVD players
- I think only LiteON and it's OEM recorders (iLO and others) can be hacked to be Macrovision free.
- firmware upgrade is fairly easy for most and are fairly frequent to be useful
- many recording modes 1, 2, 3, 4 and 6 hour
Here are the bad:
- created DVD menu kind of minimal and plain (vs Panasonic for example)
- mono tuner and no digital audio
- records in Mpeg 2.0 instead of Dolby digital 2.0
- no editing function (eg edit out commercials)
- timer recording limited to 5 slots/programs
- no automatic clock sync with tuner as in most US VCRs
- no closed caption play back on 5005 itself
bad processing/firmware resulting in:
- clock too inaccurate and gains about 5 sec/day.
- green hue/tint is present for most if not all
- jittering problem for some
- DVD recorded has audio sync off after about 2 hours
- DV IN causes audio monitor problem but resulting DVD created audio is Okay.
- Sometimes DV IN freezing ('stopping' displayed') after prolong or loss of DV input.