Liteon may have started out as a cheap alternative to the super-expensive DVD recorders of yesteryear, but the LVW-5055 sees the company making a strong statement of intent on performance. This is a genuinely first-class recorder that panders to the demands of the serious AV fanatic, and the sheer amount of features the company has packed in should make some of the major manufacturers sit up and take notice.
At £340, the LVW-5055 is still relatively cheap given it's a DVD/HDD combo with a 250GB hard drive, with the huge bonus of support for dual layer DVD+R recording. While DVD+R DL discs have dropped to around £1.50 each, the LVW-5055 still supports the standard DVD-R/-RW/+R/+RW formats, and if you want to back up programmes from the hard drive, write-once media is as cheap as 10p a disc these days.
The recorder has five quality levels to choose from, but the wealth of space means you can fit up to 52 hours of material at the highest quality, and a whopping 312 hours at the lowest. This is in addition to a 'Just Fit' variable recording mode, which will work out the length of the recording and the space left on the disc to create a quality level to match.
Aside from all these recording options, the box is also multi-region DVD compatible out of the box. It will play DivX movies and WMA/MP3 music, and it also has progressive scan video outputs. Throw in a DV input for digital camcorder connection and one-touch backup between DVD/HDD or vice versa, and there's not much that the LVW-5055 can't do.
If Liteon had included a digital tuner, everyone else could go home and we could sit back and enjoy the ultimate DVD recorder. Until that happens, we'll give the LVW-5055 a full test and video review and come back to you later in the month with the complete lowdown on this impressive machine. -GC
Update: a full review of the Liteon LVW-5055 is now live.