The literature provided by Kiss Technology about the DP-558 suggests that the reason it doesn't have the facilities to burn DVDs is that it has a hard drive. Fair enough; you can get about 120 hours of footage onto the 80GB version of the DP-558 (there is a 200GB version, too). But what about if you want to archive something you've recorded?

If you're a fan of one of those American series that drag on for hundreds of episodes then you're soon going to fill up a large part of your hard drive. Okay, you can connect the DP-558 to a PC, transfer the files, and burn DVDs, but this seems like a lot of hassle when a drive that could burn to at least one or two DVD formats could have been incorporated into the unit at little extra cost.

This concern aside, the Kiss is a well-designed unit - if a little plain as consumer electronic products go - that will sit nicely on top of your VCR and DVD player. Setting up the unit was fairly simple, though we thought the manual could have gone into more depth - it looks big, but that's because it's translated into half a dozen languages. Most of the basic operations are simple to program and we especially liked the EPG (electronic program guide), which was comprehensive and easy to follow.

What we didn't like, however, was the remote control. It doesn't fit comfortably in the hand and there aren't enough buttons, so you're forced to navigate sub-menus to access important controls - and the buttons you do get are badly laid-out.

Kiss DP-558: Specs

  • 80GB hard drive
  • Scart/component video/composite video/S-Video inputs
  • Scart/component video/composite video/S-Video/analog audio/coaxial audio/optical audio outputs
  • 430x290x76mm
  • 4kg
  • 80GB hard drive
  • Scart/component video/composite video/S-Video inputs
  • Scart/component video/composite video/S-Video/analog audio/coaxial audio/optical audio outputs
  • 430x290x76mm
  • 4kg

OUR VERDICT

We can't quite fathom not having a DVD recorder in the DP-558. It wouldn't add much to the price and would save time when archiving. This is a well put-together machine that does exactly what it says it will - so why leave out such a fundamental feature?

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