I am so far sort of disappointed with my brand new (not even 1 day old) Liteon LVW-5005 DVD recorder (it’s a U.S. version, I live in the U.S.)… Unit arrived today in a brand new unopened box from a Pennsylvania store. Again, the unit is brand new and the box was unopened. The setup was very easy. Applying the Region Free hack via the remote controller was simple. (Info about this hack can be found here: http://www.videohelp.com/dvdhacks.php?dvdplayer=LVW-5005 )
Now the unit plays back European (Region 2) DVD’s too. It is doing the PAL to NTSC video format conversion on the fly, and while doing this the picture and the sound quality is okay, no skipping, etc. Motion is a bit jerky when playing back these PAL DVD’s on an NTSC TV though, but it’s normal from a $250 device. The playback of the PAL DVD’s on the NTSC TV is still enjoyable.
Now about my problems with the unit. First of all, I would have installed a modified firmware into the unit with disabled macrovision protection and with the enabled 3-hour recording mode hacks. (Such firmware can be downloaded from here: http://www.digitalfaq.com/reviews/liteon.htm ) But my brand new unit seems to have firmware version 1085 which is much newer then the downloadable 1063 version!! I believe that there is no way to “downgrade” the firmware and I do NOT want to downgrade it anyway, because the newer firmware probably have a lot of bug fixes (such fixes are welcome of course). As I cannot download the actual 1085 firmware file (it cannot be found anywhere on the Internet), I cannot modify my unit’s firmware! Please note, that as of today the “official” Liteon support forum site is completely down ( http://forum.liteonit.com.tw/ ). Was it taken offline purposfully by Liteon? Who knows??? Maybe. If anyone has this 1085 (or newer) firmware file for the LVW-5005 (the US version) please contact me immediately!! In exchange I can “modify it” with the appropriate patches…
I am stuck for the time being with an official 1085 Liteon LVW-5005 firmware (Region Free hack applied though via the remote controller). For testing I used the included DVD+RW disc (it was inside the box next to the user’s manual), it is a “DVD+RW 4x Mitsubishi Kagaku Media” came in a sleeve (no jewel case). The disc looks cheap… First time recording a four minute long video clip in HQ mode was a success. Then I erased the disc from the “Guider” (full disc erase). It was quick. Then I re-recorded another video clip to the same disc. I erased it again and recorded another clip (this was the third time I recorded something to the same disc). Recording has completed successfully, but the playback was not possible!! This third recording turned out to be an unplayable “jumpy video” recording. Seemed like the unit had problems reading the disc it just recorded on (even after an eject + reload)… So I once again erased the disc using the Guider (full disc erase). Now I ejected the disc (after the full erase) then reloaded it. Then I turned off the unit and then turned it back on. I recorded a clip to the disc again, this time it worked, the playback was okay. So I continued to record more music videos to this disc (all in HQ mode). These were 3-5 minute clips each. After three successful recordings I’ve got a “Disc write failed” message on the fourth one. The whole unit became unresponsive and I heard repeated clicking noise coming from the drive. I had to power off the unit (by unplugging its power cord). Upon powering back on, I opted to eject the disc right away. Then I loaded it again. I erased the failed fourth clip from the disc (using the Edit button). Then I attempted to keep recording clips to the disc, and the recordings failed each and every time! The drive started to click like crazy at about the same point… It could be just a bad or incompatible disc. But then, why was this disc included in the package? As I look at the disc now (only about 15 minutes recorded to it), I can see some light circular scratches on it… Looks to me that the Liteon 5005’s drive put those scratches on this disc!! (Since this brand new disc has never been put into any other drive at all). I’m going to try to record to another disc now, I’ll try a DVD-RW… I’ll post a follow up.
So far I am disappointed with the results this brand new recorder gave me. I like the menu structure and everything. But I don’t like the fact the Liteon does not publish my firmware file (version 1085) anywhere on their web site… I might also have a broken unit with a drive that is unable to record to the bundled blank DVD+RW disc and possibly even scratches the disc!! (Those scratches are very light though, maybe they are not even scratches, I’m not sure…)
Again, please contact me if you have the 1085 version of their firmware (or a newer one). Thanks!!