List your Philips DVDR issues here



Many people have had issues with Philips DVD recorders. There doesn’t seem to be a particular model and none seem immune. The two I have owned both failed miserably. I am interested to see how many people have had problems with their Philips recorders, what the problems were, and what, if anything, Philips did to take care of the problems. Finally, at the end of your post list a 1-10 rating of your overall satisfaction with your Philips DVD recorder(s), 1 being the worst and 10 being the best. If enough people respond we will get this thread to Philips and see if they have a response. :bow:


Satisfaction: 10

My DVDR75 has never failed me, just want to make shure we’re not only bashing



I have a massive problem with my Philips DVDR980. It’s still working perfectly after nearly three years, so I can’t justify to the wife why I need the latest recorder.



Philips DVDR880.

After 8 months player stops reading.
Repaired in 3 weeks. Laser replaced.
Satisfaction: 8.
Sold already.

Philips DVDR H725.

After 1 month tray of the reader/writer blocked.
Repaired in 2 days. Recorder IC replaced.
Harddiscrecorder: 10
DVDrecorder: 7.


I’ve had a DVDR77 for a few months now and recorded nearly 75 dvd’s without a hitch. The only “issue” I encountered was that it would loose chapter marks once in awhile. I then updated it with the version 6.3 firmware, and so far it’s been great.
I haven’t run into any of the problems I’ve read about with their other models. I suppose I could wack it with a hammer & see what happens. :wink:
Satisfaction: 9.67(?)


My DVDR75 is now almost 2yrs old…no major problems. I record an average 3-4 times each week. It runs cool. I’d buy another.


I’d give it a 9


DVDR70, still going strong after 16 months. 10/10.

I’m in the same situation as Loob. I bought my Philips DVDR70 in December 2003 on the clear understanding that it would fail within 6 months (which is what everyone was claiming at the time). But it hasn’t so I can’t justify replacing it anything newer. D*mn this reliability! If only Philips would live down to their reputation. :sad:


I must say that I am pleased to hear these good reports. For so long I have heard and read about problems with Philips players. Either they are greatly exagerated or the people with the problems aren’t tuned in. I’m glad that you guys have had basically good luck with your machines.

On another note - how important is it to do the firmware upgrades, and does any other company do the same?


I only recommend performing a firmware upgrade if you NEED it (not if you just WANT it). If there’s a new function that you just can’t live without (such as writing to newer, higher speed media), or a bug you just can’t live with is claimed to be fixed, then fair enough, otherwise why mess with what’s working?

There were enough persons who contributed to the forum claiming that a firmware upgrade “broke” their recorder to persuade me that upgrading for the sake if it was more risky than may at first meet the eye. Other contributors to this forum may protest otherwise (and no doubt they will).

I’ve stuck with one firmware (FF11h) for over 30 months and all is still well.



I’ve never upgraded the firmware on mine.


I’ve always upgraded the firmware on mine over the last three years. With no problems.

It seems to me to do what suits the individual since there is no consistent “risk”. Of course if there are no quantifiable improvements to be had, then performing a firmware upgrade is rather “perfectionist” or “seat of the pants” depending on who you are.

In answer the the other question, yes, other DVD recorder manufacturers DO provide firmware upgrades at differing frequencies.



My DVDR history
DVDR985 - From the beginning there were nagging problems with disk errors and freezing up when recording from a noisy VHS. Terrible remote ergonomics and bizzarre timer programming interface. It would also freeze up and require power down reset. The disk errors got worse until it would not record at all. Firmware upgrade helped initially but then it quit after 1.5 years. Took it into local Philips repair. They fixed it overnight (replacing the laser assembly) and did not charge me - even though out of warranty - recognizing there was a problem. And it added more record speeds with the new firmware upgrade. But after 6 months it failed again. No longer local Philips repair. Shop wanted $300 for the parts. Now in storage.
DVDR615/17 – Sept2004. Added 8 hour recording. The electronics were much faster so that if you fast forwarded a VHS for dubbing purposes it would keep up with the on-screen image (The 985 lost the picture if you fast forwarded though a tape).Good recording quality. Nice system. Failed within 6 months - would not recognize any disk. Philips 800 number walked me though some diagnostics including firmware installation but to no avail. Bought it from Good Guys and they are working the repair -likely back to Philips. Rather than go without DVDR I purchased another DVDR615 - now under $200 since I know I need a backup. This one offered exchange extended warranty for $35 for 3 years. This was DVDR615/37. The earlier was DVDR615/17.

BTW the philips number listed on the 615/37 manual is wrong. Use the old number 1-800-531-0039

DVDR615/17 – Took it home and set it up. Remote was worse than previous one. They had added zillions more unnecessary features making it almost impossible to understand. (Ironically Philps has an internal campagne around Sense and Simplicity). Recording needed a couple of extra steps. Then the killer problem When playing back any DVD recorded with Chapter marks - a pop-up marker appears on the screen every 10 minutes at the chapter breaks. This means that every DVD I recorded on my older DVD615 will have a pop-up every 10 minutes of the movie. A called Philips and they confirmed that this was normal and that there was no workaround. Philips the Brain Dead.

I have not decided what to do now. The devil I know vs. the one I don’t? Jump ship to Sony with unknown issues. I can still play existing DVDs on a Sony player without any popups. And record new DVDS with Chapter markers turned off so popups won’t be an issue.
I don’t have much faith that Philips will fix this problem. First it only affects a limited group. Those of us who bought DVDR615s, used chapter markers, and purchased a new DVDR615/37 after the first one failed prematurely. I suppose this is some kind of divine retribution. Punshment for the stupid.

I may just stay with Philips - for the amusement factor. I have actually never had a Philips product that was reliable - every single Philips Item I have ever owned (Back to a reel to reel player in the 70s, has either failed or was defective from Day one.

Oh – Forgot the CDR-785, Audio CD recorder. If you push the on/off button on the remote it turns the unit off. - but hit the button again and it does not turn the unit back on. Go figure.


My DVDR History:

Imported Philips 880 from Australia to US because I wanted to start on major project of transferring my vcr collection to disk. Didn’t want the 985 because I really needed the 2.5 hr mode. Started having glich problems in about 3 months (I call gliches the little skips you get when it suddenly puts 2 chapter marks in a recording and hides the one second between them. This was temporarily solved by using a better quality disk. But in another 1.5 months, there were gliches everywhere, no matter the media. Then Make Edits Compatible" started to destroy my chapter marks. The Philips 75 came out and I immediatley got 2 of them. The first one was great and lasted for 2 years before it started to intermittently timer tape in B&W (using svideo and EXT2). Brought it back twice for repair, but philips is useless in my opinion unless they just replace the mechanism.

The second 75 stated having gliches in about 6 months and found a lovely home as a paperweight in my closet. I bought another 75 which was good for almost a year before having the B&W timer recording problem. I then tried a 615, but returned it because I hate the new menu system and the implementation of hiding chapters. Maybe its because I wasn’t used to it, but it seemed very awkward to me. I then decided that I wanted to finish my project, which had a long way to go, on the old menu system, which means Philips 75s or 77s. I ordered 4 77s from Amazon, and all 4 of them lost several chapter marks after Make Edits Compatible. However they recorded well, and my 75s, which were having problems with a clean color recording, had no problem in editing. So I sent one 77 to Philips repair (another useless exercise), returned 2 to Amazon for a refund, and kept one for timer recording. I then edit the disks from the 77 on my 75.

I then decided that if I was going to need 2 recorders (a 75 for editing and a 77 for recording) I had better get them cheaply and stock up. I now own about a 10 recorders, some 75s and some 77s, gotten from ebay. I called Philips and had them send me an update disk for the 75 and 77. Previous updates had not helped. This one did not help the editing problems of the 77s, but does seem to help the B&W recording problem on the 75.

By the way, the desire to hide commercials was enough to stop me from going to the -R camp. Also, my machines get a huge amount of wear. My main vcr transfer machine runs generally between 14 and 20 hours a a day (I dub tapes during the night). My second recording machine runs 4 to 10 hours a day. My editing machine probaably edits about 3 or 4 hours a day. How can I do all of this. It helps being retired.


I’ve had problems with my DVDR985 from the beginning. The first problem, a digital board malfunction, was incurred before the one year warranty was up. The second problem was another digital board error. This occurred just before I had owned the machine for two years. I called Philips and they had me take it to a repair shop. It took the repair shop nearly a month of phone calls to finally reach a Philips tech. After explaining the problem to them, he was told that the problem was with the laser and it would cost over $300 to repair it. It seems that Philips would do something to try and repair their much damaged reputation for putting out such a unreliable piece of equipment. I have seen hundreds of negative info on this particular recorder.


DVDR80… worked great for about a year, now that it is out of warranty it has erractic problems playing, recording and with the timer. I would NOT buy a Philips again.


DVDR75 was working great for a little over a year. Last week, I discovered how to create hidden chapters (to hide commercials), and that’s where my trouble began. Here’s what happened:

The TV show I recorded had commercials for the first few mins of the recording. I created a new chapter at where the show actually started, and then set Chapter 1 as the ‘hidden’ chapter. All of a sudden, the recorder locked up for about 30 seconds and turned off by itself!!?!?

I turned it back on…it ejected the disk. I put it back in…it said ‘disk error’ or ‘unreadable disk’ or something to that effect. I put in a disk that I had burned a few days earlier and got the same error. I then tried a DVD movie that I bought at the store…same thing. Tried an audio CD that I bought…same thing.

I ejected the disk…turned the unit off (thinking that maybe it needed to reset itself). Turned it back on and now I have this BLOCKED message on the LCD display. Now, when I try to open the tray, it says OPENING, and then immediately says BLOCKED.

I’ve tried everything to get past this (unplugged the unit for a few days, tried all the button combos you can use to reset the machine while plugging it back in, etc.).

I don’t know what else to do. It’s now just an expensive paperweight. I had updated the firmware about 3-4 months ago to whatever was the latest on the Philips site, and it was working flawlessly up until now.

Any suggestions (other than taking it to my local electronics recycling)??

Thanks in advance!!


Ive had an 880 for just over 2 years now, Ive never had a failure with rw discs but lots of problems with r discs, disc errors halfway through a recording or errors when finalising, so Ive always used rw discs and its been perfect. I`ve updated the software a few times and managed a few r recordings but not reliable enough to risk losing a recording.

I just bought a 4kus for £99 from Asda as a back up recorder and its recorded perfectly on every disc Ive tried in it including cheap £ shop discs. The Philips cost nearly £400 when I bought it.


Hi to all, I have a 2 yr old Magnavox MDV630R/17 recorder. The unit has worked really well until recently, when the picture would scramble/freeze periodically while recording, or even while monitoring DirectTV. Even when I just have it hooked up to my vcr(no tv input) to copy my kids on video, (birthdays, etc…), the recordings would scramble, drop frames, and even freeze up.

It happens on all recording speeds, and on generic, as well as name brand media.

Any ideas?



Well, just got my unit back from a repair techician, it seems that the video board is malfunctioning. It can only be replaced by a Phillips board, and Phillips told the technician that the board would be $425.00, minus $125.00 when returning old board.

I will never buy a Phillips…Magnavox product again…their support stinks, as well as their replacement parts dept.



ntserv: This works for my HDRW 725, I’m not sure for the DVDR 75. Turn the player upsite down, where the discdrive is there is a small hole covered with a paper sticker, remove the sticker and with a small screwdriver you can open the tray.
But the player shall not work again, a driver-IC has to be repaired first.