LVW-5045 DVD Recorder (Progressive Scan, 160GB Hard Drive) - Security Camera User Rating
Manufacturer: Lite-on
Model: LVW5045
: Number of User Reviews: 3

Reviewed by: brettcam from VA on Jan 8, 2005

Experience: 6 Days

Strengths: Point-and-click recording to HD is a breeze.

Weaknesses: Unit has continuous problems with audio/video sync.

Summary: Programs recorded to hard drive start out fine, but as show progresses, audio and video begin to slip out of sync. By the end of a 2-hour program, audio and video are often off by 2 seconds.

The latest firmware (191) upgrade did not fix this problem.

In each case deleting the program and re-recording it to the hard drive has fixed the audio sync problems, but you shouldn't have to record everything twice.

Reviewed by: downwind from HI on Mar 30, 2005

Experience: 32 Days

Strengths: NA

Weaknesses: NA

Summary: My Letter to LiteOn

Dear LiteOn,

The other month I purchased an HDD/DVD Recorder LVW-5045 from Costco @ $349.00 This seemed a good buy at the time. I am sorry to have to tell you that it has proved not to be the case.

I have given this piece of equipment a thorough testing for a month and yesterday decided to take my machine back to exchange it for another LVW-5045 to see if I perhaps had a dud....In fact, the one I picked-up yesterday is even worse than the one I took back.

"So what's the problem I hear you ask"? Please Read on...

1, The first thing I noticed was that the sync between the picture and sound was sometimes off. This of course is highly annoying.

2, Next is the wishy washy picture quality viewed directly through the unit and monitored on the TV, (NOT A RECORDING), but live. What happens is that when the picture (live TV) turns to a dimly lit scene, the colors as so faded that parts of the screen actually turn Black & White. This will get recorded like that as well. Not good.

3, Crash, crash, crash... Yep, that's right. You make a big deal of the fact that this machine can record hours & hours of programs, but it crashes nearly all the time when you split the file up into separate segments. This is a major problem when I have recorded one particular TV channel for 5 or 6 hours, only to find that when splitting the file, it tells me of a disk error and I have lost the lot. It will handle smaller time frames no problem. I'm not sure what that time frame limitation is, but single films work okay in general.

4, HDD to DVD High Speed. Well that's another little fib. I don't call 15-20 minutes for one film particularly quick, do you?

5, My latest machine....acquired yesterday....has all of the above problems and one more to boot. It would seem that the compression ratios have all been knocked down a step or two. What I mean by this is that the tests I have run on all the different compressions settings perform to a worse standard than the first machine. This is very odd, as the model is the same? You tell me.

6, With this new machine, I have installed the latest firmware, downloaded from your site, and there is no apparent visual or technical upgrade in performance. All very vexing.

7, May I also ask, why you make such a big deal of the NTSC/PAL compatibility, when the unit only runs 110V. I don't know of anywhere that has PAL and is on 110V ?. I would like to take this unit with me to the UK and Spain with ease without purchasing a different power adapter. Further to this, I have a Sony PAL DV camera and it won't work through any of the inputs properly. The worst being the DV input, which doesn't work at all, and which would have been nice. My NTSC DV camera works okay, but not in 16:9 only 4:3. This is also disappointing.

I think my main question is "why is this product out in the market place"? It needs further work to rectify the many problems. It has potential to be a great machine and great value for money if only your firmware updates dealt with all the above.

And lastly of all, having read your customer service notes on your website, I see that you do not reply to individual emails, but rather post the question and answer on your site. In a word, this is simply "Terrible" customer service and I doubt very much that you would want to publish mine, so I am lost for any answers from you, moreover, you have probably lost me as a customer whilst I go and try out a Panasonic version of the same thing.

Reviewed by: McFunk from CA on Jan 22, 2005

Experience: 3 Weeks

Strengths: Large Hard Drive. Nice looking. Compact. Decent price. Very easy FirmWare Update. Reads and writes practically all popular formats.

Weaknesses: Noisy drive motor. Over sensitive remote control. Timeshift is practically useless. Poor picture quality output, ie: poor color, picture size is altered (squished) in High Definition mode. More...

Summary: Out of the box and atop my 57 inch TV, this unit looks nice, seems to be well made and has lots of input/outputs, including a DV link (IEEE-1394) on the front panel. I use digital satellite service exclusively and have a truly amazing picture on my TV, but once the signal goes thru the LVW-5045 system, the output picture quality looks more like analog cable tv. In addition to the output picture, when I view HDTV stations, the picture is "squished" from top to bottom even though I already have a 16:9 aspect tv. I can correct this by ajusting my TV Zoom, but then lose a large portion of the picture. Once the signal goes through the box, the colors are unrealistic and somewhat fuzzy compared to the input signal. So far, I have been unable to edit anything on the hard drive, but am still experimenting, and may be able to edit in the future. I like the way it will read or write most any media, though I could not use a CD-RW to update the firmware. CD-R worked fine for updating. I think this machine has potential, though I doubt that firmware will be the answer. The supplied manual is "adequate". The remote control is overly sensitive in that most, if not all, buttons seem to "DoubleClick", leaving you somewhere you were or one step further than you want to be. I could honestly only reccomend this unit to users who thinks "Disappointment" is a necessary part of their day.

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