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Home > Hardware Reviews > Consumer Electronics

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

1. Introduction

Nowadays, the DVR (Digital Video Recorder or Personal Video Recorder as it is also called) has become a necessary appliance, especially for those who want to record their favorite TV programmes in digital format without having to understand too much about complicated functionality or confusing formats. While the first DVRs were released with only an optical storage drive, KISS Technology as well as several other manufacturers have begun introducing DVRs with a HDD installed that's big enough to store up to 120 hours of continuous recording with the Mpeg2 format. We tested the latest DVR and Mpeg4 player from KISS Technology, the DP-558 and we present its main features along with the results of our "real life" tests. Lets begin :-)

- Features

The DP-558 from KISS Technology is a DVR (Digital Video Recorder) and as KISS states in the product homepage "...Digital Video Recorder from the next generation, the DP-558 proves to be more than what is first expected from such a product. What if you could watch live television, then pause it for a while and start it again when you are ready to watch more. What if you could browse through an electronic program guide, find the desired program, press Record and the schedule for the next recording would be set. What now if you could have online services directly available from your television screen, be able to see the weather forecast or just play games..."

The main feature of the DP-558 is its internal HDD with a capacity of 80GB that allows recording up to 120hours of television programs, depending of course on the chosen recording quality. Recording can also be scheduled, if you know the time of the program you want to record, or for immediate recording just press the record button on the remote control.

Another interesting feature of the DP-558 is the so called "Time Shifting". In case you don't exactly understand what it does "...You're watching a good movie on television when the phone rings. It's an important call, but you don't want to miss the plot. Easy... just press Pause on your remote control, and just like magic the image freezes. After the call, just press Play to resume watching..."

The KISS DP-558 includes a 10/100 network connection, which means that it can be connected to the local network and of course to the internet, for retrieving interesting information that is provided by the KISS Electronic Program Guide. The EPG is a service giving you the opportunity to check all TV programs on the KiSS DP-558 player. This service provides you with the opportunity to check the latest TV programs directly on your TV screen and makes it easy to decide what to watch and record. The EPG covers all the TV stations available in Europe. But more on this feature later...

Something really interesting is the KiSS Remote EPG. In short, you can log on to the TV Guide from your computer, WiFi-enabled PDA or GPRS and browser-enabled phone, and schedule it for recording within seconds. Another use of the network connection...

There are also three other online functions available: the Online Weather Report , Online Games and probably the most interesting, WebRadio 3.

KISS, in order to connect the DP-558 with your local network, offers the PC/MAC Link software. If you have Windows XP or a later Windows version installed on your PC, you can play Audio, Video and picture files located on the connected PC. The DP-588 also lets you transfer files from the PC’s hard disk to your KiSS DP-558's Hard Disk. All this makes it easy to view and play audio, video, and picture files directly from the PC. Of course KISS doesn't support transfer of copyrighted material "...Please note that original audio CDs, video CDs, and DVD videos cannot be copied down to the hard disk!..".

The PC/MAC Link software also allows direct access to your DP-558's Hard Disk from a connected PC through FTP. Simply enter the DP-558’s IP address on your PC’s Internet browser to view the full contents of the player’s Hard Disk. You can now copy all audio, video and picture content to and from the DP-558. You can rename the Hard Disk’s audio, video and picture files from your PC as well as any recordings you have previously made. If you need to share your recordings, no problem at all. Just copy them to your PC and burn a DVD.

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