Movie Picture

Day 1: (Philips 23" LCD TV & Philips DVDR615)

- By Justin Case

Dear Diary,

Nah... None of that crap here. This isn't some pre-pubescent schoolgirl thing... This is DIGITAL DIARY! This is the very first installment of MovieWeb's new feature where we grab some cool technology from the hottest digital electronics names and see what its all about!

YEAH! Basically, all the top names in consumer electronics send us stuff and we roll this stuff 'till the wheels fall off!

This being our first outing, we thought it appropriate that we roll with Philips, Europe's largest consumer electronics name and the fine folks that have set us up to give away -- to our users -- some ultra-cool gadgets that were used in the filming of Ocean's Twelve, that much-anticipated film from Warner Bros. releasing in December. Keep an eye out for the contest announcement coming up!

At any rate, the fine folks at Philips set Chris Monfette up with a DVP642 DVD player, which he reviewed recently. You can check this out, if you'd like... just CLICK HERE.

The next gear we picked up from them was the 23PF9945 LCD TV and the DVDR615/17 DVD Recorder.

First, the plug... If you'd like to check these out, you can -- of course -- check them out on the Philips web site by clicking on the links above or ... you can BUY THEM from our good friends at Amazon.com. We have, of course, being the capitalist pigs that we are, included the links to the purchase pages on Amazon for these items as well...

Now, I'm like any 30-something male... When new technology comes delivered straight to my door by DHL and FedEx, I tear into that stuff like a 12 year-old boy on Christmas day. Lunch? It'll wait. Potty break? Nah... didn't really need to go, anyway. I'll hold it. Dammit! I've got boxes to open, cables to connect and instructions to read... well... we'll set those instructions inside the box. What kind of a man would I be if I looked at those?

So... now I've got this stuff set up, plugged into electrical and all the cables connected. Whether or not this stuff is hooked up right, well we'll just have to wait and see. I will say this, though. I'm a big fan of progressive scan with my DVDs. Philips could have made it a bit easier to get that mode selected on both the TV and the DVD player. Oh well. Works now, though.

First Impressions:

23PF9945/37 Flat TV: The TV is a little petite for my tastes. I like to get the big picture. Even compared to the diminutive 27" RCA set in my hibernation-chamber, this thing is dinky. Hell, I've got a Sony 23" widescreen LCD monitor on my desk, so this thing isn't that impressive. HOWEVER... the connections to the thing are ultra-cool. With the PC connections, I could easily swap out the Sony monitor on my desktop in favor of this and, one would imagine, hook up my DISH Sat TV to the back and be ready to roll with DVDs, SatTV and PC work all on the same set-up. That'd be pretty cool. I may test out the practicality of the thing a little later in the trial period... Stay Tuned.

DVDR615/17 DVD Recorder This thing is one damn sleek little device. Decked out in all silver cladding, this thing sits on my TV stand like some fine remnant from Star Trek: The Next Generation. Interesting that it sets itself apart from the other DVD devices in my fine household by displaying a little button with the red outline that is universally understood to mean

RECORD
. Yes, this is a DVDR. The literature makes it sound like I can record my favorite TV shows (although I've got 2 of the DISH PVRs in my digital domicile which, between the 2 of them add up to something like 120 hours, so...). The cool thing, I think (at least on first pass) is that I can hook up my Sony mini-dv camera using i-link and record all my mini-dv tapes to DVD. How great is that? I've got 3 kids...all under 4 years of age. Trust me, that means tons of time logged on the mini-dv that could be forever preserved on DVDR or DVDRW. I'm very enthused about that. Not sure how it works, but trust me I'll get into that later and will post the details!

So... at first pass, these 2 items add up to be a pretty great bedroom set for a NY apartment dweller or college student or single person with limited space and means. Sleek, apparently capable and reasonably affordable, these items are gonna get the full test-drive over the next couple of months.

Keep an eye on this column and my upcoming DVD Reviews for more on this pair from Philips.