This budget entry into the DVD recorder market from LG offers a dazzling array of features, at a sensible price. The stylish chrome casing and sleek design are sure to be in keeping with your existing home set-up, but the real selling power of this recorder is its compatibility.

With a range of inputs and outputs, coupled with an intuitive navigation system, this mid price player will harmonise your TV, video camera, hi-fi and home cinema. With the option to record from VHS, this could back up your ageing film and home video collection to DVD-R/W, bringing an end to the video era.

The recorder has a 2x DVD-R/W recording capability, (2/4 hrs to 4.7 GB disc), and the transfer is fast and of a good quality. Whether using the one touch recording facility, or adopting a more manual approach, the afterburn functionality acts like a digital editing suite. Combine this with split and erase functions, and recorded data can be edited to your heart's content. Users can also view stills from thumbnails and even insert these into a movie. The file management is simple, with clear, colourful menus to steer you through the process and the DV input, allows you to transfer your home videos direct to disc.

Not to be outdone by your PC, the sleek chrome DR-4810 Supports Nicam, DTS and Dolby Digital 5, 3D surround sound. It's purported to support the DIVX format as well and will play back DVD+R/Ws that friends may lend you although it doesn't record to the “Plus” format which is unendorsed by the official DVD Forum. That means the 4810 could find itself lapped by dual-format decks in spite of the reasonable price.

There are some notable exceptions between the DR-4810 and its more expensive competition. As a region 2 only machine, playback is limited. That said it handles MP3s, JPEGs, copied CDs and DVDs with ease. Noticeable by its absence, between this and a top-level recorder (such as the Panasonic DMR-HS2) is built in storage although like the DMR-HS2 it does sport a SD Card. Without a hard drive, editing and manipulation of data has to be a one shot process but that doesn't mean watching a blank screen during recording.

The DR-4810 boasts LG's PIP (picture in picture) technology. With a smaller window set inside the main picture, you can keep an eye on the TV channels without diverting attention from that all important movie. A clever feature, sure to please even the most dedicated TV fans out there albeit one that has been around for a long time.

Verdict

With the price tag set around the £230 mark, the DR-4810 is the perfect entry-level recorder for those on a tight budget. As a self-contained editing suite for DVD, CD, MP3 and JPEG, it sacrifices little in compatibility and the wide range of inputs will ensure longevity. Check the -R/W media prices before you buy though since those are the only blanks it’ll accept.

This unit is currently only available at

http://www.unbeatable.co.uk