Polaroid DRM-2001G DVD Recorder with 80GB Hard Drive
Polaroid DRM-2001G DVD Recorder: When I saw my local Hollywood Video removing their VHS tapes from the shelves, I knew the end had finally come for that particular recording medium. It reminded me of those days when the big record stores began moving their vinyl album section to a small corner in the back of the store. Of course, there was a big difference between that scenario and this one; vinyl wasn’t used at home to record music, whereas a great many people still own VCRs.
“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”
The industry began manufacturing dual-deck machines a few years ago that allowed consumers to continue recording onto tape, while also offering the convenience of watching a DVD in the same unit. Anything that reduces the number of exterior machines sitting atop my television I look upon as a good thing. Although I never did buy one of those DVD/VCR combos. The next step in the digital revolution was to do away with the VCR entirely by marketing DVD machines that could record as well as play. I held out as long as I could, but finally, I took the plunge and bought a DVD recorder off eBay.
The DVD recorder I went for is the Polaroid DRM-2001G DVD Recorder with the 80GB hard drive. In addition to allowing users to record directly onto recordable DVDs, this model also contains a hard drive for recording television shows, making it essentially a DVR/DVD recorder in one happy package. I do most of my recording off television onto the hard drive. The advertising boasts that you can fit 102 hours onto that hard drive, but neglects to inform you (though the information is found in the manual) that the only way you can actually fit 102 hours of TV onto the hard drive is by choosing the lowest possible quality, essentially making it unbearable for viewing anything you really want to see.
Still, even if you go with the high-quality choice, the Polaroid DRM-2001G DVD Recorder will still let you fit an entire season’s worth of your favorite sitcom on the hard drive and then some; the manual claims you can get 17 hours out of a high-quality recording. Typically, I record at the second or third highest level, which promises either 34 or 42 hours of recording space respectively. I usually go with the SP position for things I may want to watch again and the SP+ for something I really don’t care too much about and will delete soon anyway.
One feature I love about the Polaroid DRM-2001G DVD Recorder hard drive recording is that you can delete entire portions of the show you recorded-commercials, in other words, so that when you actually watch the show it will be commercial-free. Another use might be if you recorded a movie with an objectionable scene or two that you want to cut out before letting your children watch it. Another benefit to this component is that if you decided to record from the hard drive to the DVD, it will record the edited version and leave out all the stuff you trimmed.
In keeping with the idea of editing for kid-friendly viewing, the Polaroid DRM-2001G recorder also comes equipped with an option to subscribe to TVGuardian. There is a cost to take advantage of this feature, but if you decided to do so, what TVG actually does is let you input particular words that you would like to be filtered out. When these words are spoken, the sound goes mute and, if you are watching close-captioning, a less offensive substitute is displayed. You can control the level of filtering through TVG’s word subsets. For instance, if you don’t mind curses involving God, but don’t want your kids to hear sexually explicit words, you can choose that. On the other hand, if you do mind offensive references to God, there is a filter available for that.
Actually recording onto a DVD is relatively painless, though it does involve pushing a series of buttons. You can either record onto a DVD that is one time only, or you can use erasable re-recordable disks. The process of erasing a disk so that you can use it over again is painless as well. After you press stop for the first time following recording something onto the disk, the Polaroid DRM-2001G will bring up the option it can be turned off-of using the YesDVD technology to automatically create chapter breaks and thumbnail menus.
Also encoded onto the DVD will be information that allows you to print a cover sheet from your computer by inserting the DVD into your computer’s DVD drive. If you use a DVD+RW disc and you choose to bypass the YesDVD option, you can edit the chapter information manually. This process will allow you to split chapters at any point you wish as well as to join two separate chapters into one.
And now for the downside of the Polaroid DRM-2001G 80GB hard drive DVD recorder. I have experienced a few problems with not being able to play pre-recorded disks. For instance, a few movies I rented from Netflix would play swell up to the title menu but refused to actually play the movie. Each time this occurred I tried it on another DVD player and had no problem at all, so it wasn’t the individual disks themselves. Another irritating thing is that if the electricity goes out, the machine’s clock resets itself to Hawaii time.
What is up with that? But the biggest complaint about the Polaroid DRM-2001G DVD Recorder 80GB hard drive from not only my own experience but from the experiences of just about everyone who has ever lodged a comment about this machine on the internet has to do with its remote control. To put it frankly, it’s the most damnably irritating remote control I’ve ever dealt with. You never know when it’s going to work and when it’s not. It takes some getting used to, and you’re likely to want to immediately replace it with a generic version when you first start using it, but that’s practically impossible since all your controls work from the remote.
You have to experiment with it. I have discovered that, oddly enough, it works best not when at a direct, straight-on angle to the machine, but when held slightly below it and at an upward angle. And then again, sometimes it won’t work at all like that. Sometimes it works from far away and sometimes it doesn’t. The remote control is the single worst element regarding the Polaroid DRM-2001G DVD Recorder 80GB hard drive (provided you have a backup machine for those disks it doesn’t seem capable of handling), but it’s not such a problem that it should make you avoid it. I’m sure there are probably better DVD recorders out there, but for the price I paid on eBay, I can’t imagine a much better bargain.