Pioneer DVR-7000 review: Pioneer DVR-7000

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CNET Editors' Rating

4 stars Excellent
Review Date:
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The Good Records to DVD-Rs that can be used in standard DVD players; progressive-scan output; FireWire port; video preset memories; excellent recording and playback video quality.

The Bad Expensive; two-hour maximum recording time on single-sided DVD-R; video-editing interface could be more user-friendly; smart VCR features; doesn't record multichannel audio.

The Bottom Line If you're a videophile or an early adopter with the bucks to burn, this is the DVD-R deck to get--for the moment anyway.

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The home DVD recorder, which promises someday to replace the VCR, is still far from a mass-market product. Until then, these expensive devices--the few that are available--are being targeted at videophiles and video-industry professionals. With that demanding audience in mind, Pioneer is offering the DVR-7000, which combines high-end performance with top-flight features. In a few years, this recorder probably won't seem like anything special. But today, it's a unique product. The home DVD recorder, which promises someday to replace the VCR, is still far from a mass-market product. Until then, these expensive devices--the few that are available--are being targeted at videophiles and video-industry professionals. With that demanding audience in mind, Pioneer is offering the DVR-7000, which combines high-end performance with top-flight features. In a few years, this recorder probably won't seem like anything special. But today, it's a unique product.

High-class design
Packing nearly every high-end feature into a sleek, 15-pound deck, the DVR-7000 has elite written all over it. From the retro, silver face to the big multijog dial to the complex, dot-matrix display, this baby looks like it costs big bucks--and it does.

If we had any gripes about the design, it would be that the nonbacklit remote has too many similarly sized buttons. However, the inclusion of a jog dial on the remote helps make up for this minor flaw. Interfacewise, we found the multitude of onscreen menus easy enough to navigate, though we would have appreciated a little more in the way of snazzy icons to better guide us.

As far as connectivity goes, on the back you'll find two A/V inputs and two outputs, all with S-Video connections. The front also has a set of A/V inputs in addition to a FireWire port. Both optical and coaxial digital-audio outputs are available. Aside from the FireWire port, the most noteworthy connection is a progressive-scan component-video output with 3:2 pull-down circuitry, which cleans up film-based material such as DVDs. But more on that in a minute.

Recording media
To record content, the DVR-7000 accepts either DVD-Rs ($5 to $10 each) or DVD-RWs ($10 to $20 each). It cannot, however, record on DVD+RWs or DVD-RAMs. In our tests, DVD-Rs that we recorded worked in most players except a few older decks such as the Apex AD-600 and the Onkyo DV-S525, both of which are from 1999. It's also worth noting that DVD-RWs can be recorded over and over, but they will play in only DVD-RW-compatible machines.

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Pioneer DVR-7000

Part Number: DVR-7000

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Quick Specifications See All

  • Form Factor tabletop
  • Type DVD recorder
About The Author

Section Editor David Katzmaier has reviewed TVs at CNET since 2002. He is an ISF certified, NIST trained calibrator and developed CNET's TV test procedure himself. Previously David wrote reviews and features for Sound & Vision magazine and eTown.com.