So after a frustratingly short time (about 3 years) it is time to replace my DVD player. It's a Pioneer DV939a and it is a great machine, but it has started becoming very unpredictable. Sometimes it plays a film fine, and other times it just refuses to load a disk. And despite the quality when it is working fine - it has stopped playing my favorite film, Apollo 13, and that is quite unacceptable (and before you impune my trouble shooting abilities, of course I have tried the disk on other DVD players and it works).
Now you can pick up a DVD player from reputable makes like Sony for under £50 but they are no good for me since I need an optical output to link it to my surround sound amplifier. So if the budget market is out, what to choose. Also, should I go for a straight DVD player or a DVD with a hard disk to replace my video as well. Or even a hard disk recorder with a subscription like SKY. My frolleague Cali Clarke is a massive fan of the TiVo, which offers a great user interface and a devoted fan base, but it ain't gonna play my DVDs. Another frolleague Darren Adams is an advocate of the SKY+ box (despite some teething troubles). Once more this cannot play my DVDs, but more importantly, Ali has said she will divorce me if we get satellite TV. Something about the likelihood of me spending 22 hours a day watching the Men and Motors channel apparently :-(
So my current thinking is to go for a combined DVD/Hard Disk recorder. It would get me back in the 21 Century which appeals to my Geeky side, but the ability to stop having to program the video is another big draw. I have been looking lustfully at the Pioneer DVR 420HS romping in at about £300. Has anyone advice, experience or recommendations for these combo devices? Any help appreciated.