The Yamaha DRX-2 recorder has a plethora of connections available, with inputs for composite, component and S-Video, and outputs for the same. There are also digital and optical audio ports, and two front mounted ?camera ports? ? one analog and one Firewire (i-Link) based.

As per most devices of this type ? whether VCR or DVD where timed recordings are possible ? the first thing you need to do is set the system clock. I couldn?t find a logical part in the manual that pointed me in the right direction. Finally after much hunting around, I found it buried away.

The DRX-2 only supports the DVD+R and DVD+RW format but in reality, as most modern DVD players can read both the +R/RW and ?R/RW formats, it is not that much of an issue in this day and age. Recording a program on the fly is dead easy. Hit the record button with the DVD recorder set to the proper channel and away you go.

The next thing to check out was what many consider the Achilles heel of the DVD medium for recording ? the amount of time you can record.

One hour of course is not suitable for recording, say, a movie, or even some of the 90 minute TV shows, so you are given the option of lowering the quality of the recording to maximise the recording time. In the case of the DRX-2, you can go to a full six hours in steps from the initial one hour with a single DVD. The image quality at that level is on par with videotape.

A special mode called ?FR? is also available to let the unit select the best mode to fit the recording onto the available space on a disc.

To change the recording quality and therefore the length available, it is a simple matter to push the record button a number of times, with each press adding 30 minutes to the recording time (up to the available six hours). Recording chapter points can be set using the remote control.

To fine-tune the DRX-2 to your preferences in areas such as picture, sound, language and other settings, a reasonably easy-to-use on-screen system is employed in conjunction with the remote controller. Some of the onscreen symbols are a little head scratching though. For example we thought the ?Disc Settings? icon was a hot water bottle!

Other features that can be implemented via the remote include still image, frame advance, Slo-Mo (for playback), elapsed time and a child lock and parental control system.

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