Palsonic has been around for ages specialising in audiovisual and – a strange bedfellow – airconditioning. Currently they have two DVD recorders on the market and the technical differences between them are so minor, they really can be reviewed together.
Priced at $599 and $699 respectively, these DVD recorders are definitely in the budget category, so feature-wise they are a tad limited against some of the heavier hitting competition out there.
Dimensionally, both the DVDR111 and 212 are exactly the same, however the front panels are cosmetically different, with the DVDR212 having a display panel on the right-hand side.
Apart from that, the only major difference is the location of the Firewire/IEEE1394 (which Palsonic, following Sony convention, calls i.Link). The DVDR212 has this port on the front for easy access and the DVDR111 has it on the rear. The same applies to the S-Video port.
There are also composite, coaxial and an optical port on each unit allowing for direct connection to a digital set-top box decoder. For those with a progressive scan enabled monitor, both units can be set to export progressive scan, which is a plus.
Unlike many other new DVD recorders on the market, Palsonic has decided to stick with the DVD+R/RW format for these two units, and also supports Audio CD, VCD, SVCD Picture CD and Windows Media Player. In effect, if what you record is played back on these units you should have no problems.
Recording options are, however, a bit rigid in comparison, as the flexibility afforded by competitors just doesn’t seem to be there. There are four recording speeds: SLP for 6 hours, EP for 4 hours, and finally SP and HQ for 2 hours on a standard 4.7GB DVD+R or +RW disc.
For timed recordings, both the DVDR111 and R212 support one month/6-event timing and, for-on-the-fly recording, a one-touch system is supported.
In effect, either of these recorders can be used to substitute quite nicely for your existing VCR – you just won’t get the flexibility offered by more expensive units such as Chase Play (Time Slip) or the more elegant inbuilt authoring systems to create menus and the like.