Buying Guide: Why should I buy a DVD Recorder?
Lets compare DVD technology to VHS. Recordable DVD’s give better quality and are more durable and convenient. The picture quality from a DVD will be sharper and composed of more lines per inch. Videotape will pass over metal heads & rollers this will stretch and wear out the tape. A DVD will only be touched by a beam of light, which will cause no damage at all. Other advantages include a reduction of storage space required, almost instant forwarding and rewinding also additional features such as the directors cut.
Should I buy my DVD Recorder online?
You can really save money by shopping online. Online stores have very low overheads and can provide very good deals, which cannot be matched offline. The other advantage is the high level of customer service and product information provided online. They just can’t afford to get it wrong because you have the option of clicking to another site.
Can I play my recorded DVD’s on other DVD players?
There is no guarantee that any DVD you make with your DVD recorder will play on all DVD players. This is mostly dependent on the format used to record the DVD.
How much do DVD Recorders cost?
When DVD recorders were first launched they cost in the region of $3,000. However over the last 2 to 3 years prices have dropped fast. You can now purchase DVD Recorders for as little as $199 for a basic machine to $300 for a full-featured unit.
Can I make copies of a DVD I recorded from cable?
Some Cable / Network providers are beginning to protect their programs. They allow you to record to DVD or a hard drive but will not allow you to make copies from the DVD or hard drive.
What is the difference between a DVD Recorder and a DVD Burner?
A DVD recorder is similar to a VCR. It can record from the TV and can record from any analog video source. A DVD Burner is an external or internal DVD drive that is capable of recording video but also read and write computer data and store it on a DVD Disc.
Can I copy original DVD movies using my DVD recorder?
Nearly all original movies come with protective coding which will not allow you to copy them.
What about DVD Discs?
New discs can be bought from most electrical equipment outlets. Always make sure that you buy the right discs for your DVD recorder. For example if you have +R recorder you need to buy a +R disc. A -R disc will not work in a +R recorder. Don’t buy discs labeled for data only as these are designed for computers only. There are many suppliers of DVD discs and prices vary. DVD Recorder Buyers Guide advice is to stick to high quality branded discs. From painful experience unbranded cheap imports just do not have the quality required.
What is a DVD Ripper?
A DVD Ripper is basically software that will digitally extract data from a DVD disc and save the data to the computer’s hard drive. This can then be burnt onto DVD or CD.
What is a DVD Burner?
A dvd burner is hardware (equipment) that records on to a DVD disc using a laser that “burns” the information onto the disc.
What does the DVD Terminology Mean?
At the time of writing there are two main types of DVD recording methods. These are the – format and the + format. The + or – simply states which format the DVD recorder operates. Either format will give you high quality recorded DVD’s. Most DVD recorders will record in only one format. However some will record in either format these are called Multi-Format DVD Recorders. These recorders are more expensive than the single format DVD recorders. Most recorders will play either format. When you start to explore the DVD recorder specifications you will be faced with various terms. We have listed descriptions for the majority of these terms below:
Translates to DVD recordable in the – format. DVD-R is a record once format you cannot re-record on the same disc. This format can be played in most DVD players and is the most universal DVD recording format. DVD-R discs need to be finalized at the conclusion of the recording process before they can be played on another DVD Player. DVD discs can usually hold up to 6 hours data in this format.
Translates to DVD Rewritable in the – format. Discs can be recorded on, erased and re-recorded on many hundreds of times. These discs also need to be finalized. Discs can hold about 2 hours of data.
Translates to DVD recordable in the + format. DVD+R is a record once format you cannot re-record on the same disc. DVD+R discs need to be finalized. This format offers a greater degree of compatibility with current DVD technology. This format can be played in most DVD players. DVD discs can usually hold up to 6 hours data in this format.
Translates to DVD Rewritable in the + format. Discs can be recorded on, erased and re-recorded on many hundreds of times. These discs do not need to be finalized as this happens during the recording process. Discs can hold about 2 hours of data.
This translates to a record once format similar to DVD+R, except that it has 2 layers. This allows twice the recording capacity on one side of the disc. This is a less compatible format.
RAM translates to Random Access Memory. This format is not compatible with most DVD players or computer drives. DVD-RAM Discs can be rewritten to up to 100,000 times.
Check out the 11 Best DVD Recorders on the market right now:
1. Toshiba DR430 DVD Recorder
- With the DR430, converting and archiving your favorite home movies to DVD is simple
- You can also experience your DVD movie collection in near HD quality with the DR430’s 1080p up conversion via HDMI
- Video up conversion up to 1080p resolution via HDMI takes your current DVDs to a new level, for an amazing viewing experience on today’s HDTVs
- One Touch Recording makes recording your favorite show simple
- Just connect the DR430 to your cable or satellite box and you are set to record with the push of one button
- Multi-format recording and playback provides the utmost in recording media convenience with compatibility with DVD-R, DVD-RW, DVD+R, DVD+RW
- Auto Finalize simplifies the recording process by automatically finalizing your recording for playback on standard DVD players
- You can play back a recorded title during current recording or the timer recording on the same disc
- Battery: Fully recharged battery can last about 2 Hour.
- Analog : 2x Audio Input, 2x Composite Video, 2x S-Video, 1x Component Video
- Digital: 1x HDMI, 1x Digital Coaxial Audio, 1x DV Input and Other 1x USB
2. Pioneer DVR-640H-S DVD Recorder with 160GB DVR
- With a big 160GB Hard Disk Drive at your disposal, you can record your favorite TV shows, plus hours and hours of home movies, into temporary storage. Then, you can view them, edit them, or burn them to DVD as keepers. And of course, the DVR-640H-S puts on a great show playing regular DVD movies as well.
- King-Sized 160GB Hard Disk Drive: The built-in 160GB Hard Disk Drive lets you record movies and TV shows for temporary storage. Once they’re recorded you can watch them whenever you want, delete them, or burn them to DVD. The DVR-640H-S, with its 160GB Hard Disk Drive, can hold up to an amazing 340 hours of content (at lowest video quality).
- Disc Backup: With Disc Backup, a Pioneer® exclusive, you can make a direct file transfer of your home-movie DVD back to the Hard Disk Drive, and from that make as many copies of your home movie as you want, all at blazing speed.
- Up to 10 Hours on a DVD: With the recording mode set to SEP mode (lowest video quality), you can get up to 10 hours on one disc.
- HELP Button: Stuck in the middle of a task like setting up a recording? Don’t know the next step? Just press HELP, and you’ll see an on-screen recommendation on what to do next.
- Advanced Disc Navigator: This on-screen menu makes all the key functions really easy to operate. Plus, thumbnails from the beginnings of your recordings are shown in full motion with sound.
- Jump Past the Commercials: SO, you recorded your favorite TV shows and you included the commercials. When you play your shows back, “Commercial Skip” lets you jump past the ads, 30 seconds at a time. Just press the CM Skip button on the remote.
- Chase Play: Prime Time Starts Now: Thanks to the Hard Disk Drive, Chase Play lets you watch, stop, or pause a show — WHILE you’re recording it. Amazing, but true.
- Wide Playback Compatibility: Besides regular DVD movies, you can play your homemade DVDs containing TV content or home movies (HDD/DVD-R/-RW/DVD-R DL/DVD-RAM/DVD+R/+RW/DVD+R DL Recorder, DVD-R/DVD-R DL/DVD-RW (Video Mode and VR Mode Recording, Compatible with CPRM3)/DVD-RAM (Compatible with CPRM3)/DVD+R/+RW/DVD+R DL/DVD). It also plays CDs and CD-R/RW discs with WMA and MP3 files, and its JPEG photo viewer is compatible with Fujifilm™ and Kodak® discs and CD-R/RWs burned from your computer.
- Built-in TV Tuner*: A built-in TV tuner is included, so you don’t have to connect to another component to receive a terrestrial TV signal.
- Sophisticated Video and Audio Playback: PureCinema™ 2:3 Progressive Scan gives you a more film-like presentation when watching movies. The 54MHz/10-bit video DAC (Digital to Analog Converter) delivers beautiful video quality. Plus, they’ve included the latest Dolby® Digital and DTS® Digital surround sound outputs, and a high-end 24-bit/192kHz audio DAC (Digital to Analog Converter) for superb musical performance.
3. Sony RDR-VXD655 VHS DVD Recorder Combo with Built In HD Tuner
- Intuitive graphical interface makes programming your recording easy
- Seven VHS recording speeds let you record up to 8 hours per tape
- Plus, enjoy the convenience of one-touch recording from disc to tape or the reverse
- The DVD deck lets you experience high picture-quality playback from a wide variety of formats, including DVD, VCD, VCR, VHS, SVHS, music CD and more
- Progressive scan playback, HDMI output and 720p/1080i upscaling from DVD/VCR deliver optimal picture quality
- You can even control your DV and Digital8 camcorder for editing via the i.LINK interface
4. Panasonic DMR-EH50S DVD Recorder with 100 GB HDD
- Panasonic DMR-EH50 DVD Recorder offers all the benefits of the DVD-RAM format, like simultaneous recording and playback, random access, Chasing Playback, on-disc editing, and multi-format data compatibility that lets you record TV programs and still pictures
- Now, with expanded multi-format recording and playback capability, the DMR-EH50 also lets you enjoy all your DVDs, no matter which format you choose
- The DMR-EH50 also adds DVD-RW (video format) and DVD+R recording, and DVD+RW playback capability, for enhanced compatibility with personal computers and DVD players
- An integrated 100GB Hard Drive allows up to 170 hours (approximately) of internal storage of your favorite videos for easy access
- Want to store or see digital photos? There’s also an SD SecureDigital memory card reader to read photos recorded on a compatible digital camera or camcorder
- At only 2.5″ high and 17″ wide, you can easily add the DMR-HE50S to your collection of home-theater A/V components
- Virtual Multi Encode System enables LP mode recording with the same 500 lines of horizontal resolution as that in the SP and XP modes Optical Digital Output for dts and Dolby Digital Decoders Smart Wheel user-friendly remote control to quickly find recorded programs and start playback faster than ever (200x quick search and fast-forward smooth search.)
5. Panasonic DMR-EH69 320GB HDD Multi Region DVD Recorder
- The Panasonic DMR-EH69 Multi-System, Multi-Zone DVD-Recorder combines functionality and versatility, with abilities to record your favorite TV shows (PAL format only) or home movies onto a slew of DVD formats
- The internal 320GB hard disc drive can record up to 71 hours high-resolution video, or up to 567 hours low-resolution video
- Your current DVD library will look and sound better than ever before, because this recorder is a progressive scan player capable of upconverting your DVDs to a high-definition experience
- Moreover, this recorder offers incredible features that will be hard to match
- Enjoy the awesome power of Dolby Digital and DTS audio decoding, one second quick-start recording, VIERA Link Control, SD Slot, DV (IEEE) input, and HDMI output
- With worldwide features, connectivity to virtually any A/V source, hi-speed dubbing, and simultaneous recording and playback capabilities, your entertainment choices are endless with the Panasonic DMR-EH69
6. Sony RDR-VX560 1080p Tunerless DVD Recorder/VHS Combo Player
- Sony’s new DVD Recorder/VCR – Just what your cable box ordered
- Save your favorite TV shows, archive old VHS tapes, even burn photos and personal video from Sony USB based camcorders and digital cameras
- The RDR-VX560 brings the ability to record your content to DVD to your living room
- Do you have old VHS tapes lying around? Well, now you can save space and make them last by burning them onto a DVD
- The RDR-VX560 brings ease of use with One Touch dubbing from VHS to DVD, or even from DVD to VHS. It couldn’t be simpler
7. Panasonic DMR-E80H Progressive-Scan DVD Player/Recorder
- This DVD Player/RAM Recorder from Panasonic has a built-in 80GB hard drive allowing you to not only record DVDs but also store more than 100 hours on its built-in memory
- Direct Navigator lets you easily, instantly find and access recorded material
- The progressive-scan video output feature offers film-like quality when paired with an HD-ready TV
- Time Slip lets you go back and replay a scene without disrupting the recording
- Records to both DVD-R and DVD-RAM. Hybrid VBR technology lets you record up to 6 hours on one single-sided DVD-RAM disk
- Plays DVD-Video, DVD-R, DVD-RAM, music CDs, CD-Rs, CD-RWs and MP3s
8. MAGNAVOX MDR513H/F7 HDD and DVD Recorder with Digital Tuner
- HDD and DVD Recorder with Digital Tuner
- Analog : 2x 2-Channel Audio (RCA), 1x Component Video, 1x Composite Video, 3x S-Video, 1x Analog RF
- Digital: 1x HDMI, 1x Digital Coaxial Audio,1x Firewire
- With the MDR513H/F7, you could potentially record a TV show to the hard drive, keep it there and delete commercials with the editing features, then save it to a DVD or simply keep it on the hard drive
- For convenience purposes it has one-touch recording (OTR) and 1-button dubbing
- There are six recording modes with record times from 64-387 minutes on HDD and 60-360 minutes on disc
9. DVD Video Recorder & VHS Hi-Fi Stereo Video
- DVD+VHS Recorder with Versatile Compatible Formats including DivX(R), featuring ATSC Digital/NTSC Analog Tuners, HDMI Output with 1080p/720p Up-Conversion (DVD/VHS)
- VHS Playback via the same output connection as DVD
- Playable Formats: VHS Hi-Fi, DVD-Video, DVD-RAM, DVD-RW, DVD-R, +RW, +R, +R (Dual), CD, SVCD/VCD, CD-R/RW, WMA/MP3/JPEG Digital Still/DivX(R) (CD-R/RW, DVD-R/RW, +R/+RW)
- Recordable Formats: VHS Hi-Fi, DVD-RAM, DVD-RW, DVD-R, +RW, +R
- ATSC (Digital) Tuner: 8 VSB (2-69), Clear QAM (1-135)
- NTSC (Analog) Tuner: VHF (2-13), UHF (14-69), CATV (1-135)
10. Panasonic DMR-EZ48VP-K 1080p Upconverting VHS DVD Recorder
- 1080p Up-Conversion: By interpolating video data using proprietary algorithms, SD format data is up-converted to 1080 x 1920p HD format video data. This conversion increases the richness of the original data by almost six fold, producing the highest possible image quality when viewing content on a large-screen HDTV.
- Digital Tuner Capable: The high-performance hybrid digital tuner is capable of receiving both digital and analog broadcasts. And even when digital signals drop out because of interference with direct signal access, which makes the picture either disappear or become filled with block noise, the Digital Tuner still produces a beautiful picture.
- Easy Operation with VIERALink™: Connect your Panasonic DVD recorder to your VIERA flat-panel HDTV via an HDMI cable, and the TV channel setting information is automatically downloaded to the recorder. Once the Auto Preset Download is complete, the DVD recorder will keep whichever TV channel you’re watching as its receiving channel. This means you can record the program you’re watching by just pressing the Record button on the VIERA remote. With VIERALink™, you don’t have to worry about setting the recorder to the right channel every time you want to record something.
- Expansion of Usages: The Panasonic DMR-EZ48VK DVD recorder is equipped with an SD Memory Card slot and USB terminal, which makes it easy to view photos from your digital camera. Just slip the SD card into the slot or use the cable to connect the camera to the USB terminal, and you’re ready to enjoy a spectacular big-screen slideshow with family and friends. You can even listen to music recorded onto a USB device while viewing your photos.
- Universal Design: All of our DVD recorder models are designed in compliance with Panasonic’s Universal Design principles. Frequently used buttons (Power, Open/Close) are located at the top of the main unit to make them easier to see when the unit is placed in a rack and you need to look down when operating it. Both the remote control and graphical user interface (GUI) were designed for easy use by everyone, based on the results of a Panasonic survey.
11. Toshiba DR570 DVD Recorder/Player
- Enjoy the freedom of recording directly to DVD with the DR570
- Convenient and versatile, this unit offers a built-in digital tuner and 1080p up conversion via HDMI
- Built-in ATSC/NTSC/QAM digital/analog tuner allows for tuning of analog or digital channels from over the air, or cable, including “cable-in-the-clear” digital channels
- Multi-format recording and playback provides the utmost in recording media convenience with compatibility with the most popular formats (DVD-R, DVD-RW, DVD+R, DVD+RW)
- Video up conversion up to 1080p resolution via HDMITM takes your current DVDs to a new level, for an amazing viewing experience on today’s HDTVs
- One Touch Recording makes recording your favorite show simple
- Just connect the DR570 to your cable or satellite box and you are set to record with the push of one button!
- Front DV Input makes it easy to save your precious memories to DVD
- Auto Finalize with Undo simplifies the recording process by automatically finalizing your recording for playback on standard DVD players
- REGZA-LINK (HDMITM-CEC) makes controlling multiple components easy
- Just connect your recorder to other compatible devices using an HDMITM cable, and then control them using one remote, no additional programming or setup required!