Combination VHS/DVD recorders come in two flavors: cheap and easy components that make copying VHS tapes to DVD a breeze, and expensive, tweakable units for demanding video editors and gadget lovers. The Panasonic DMR-EH75V ($500) falls squarely into the latter category, with its ability to play back and record to kinds of media: VHS, DVD, and a built-in internal hard drive. While its street price is about the same as a new with three-year subscription, for example, the DMR-EH75V is packed with other features to justify the cost. The most notable extras include dual-layer DVD recording, HDMI upscaling, Panasonic's flexible recording feature, and a free TV Guide EPG, which advertises most of the pleasures of TiVo without the monthly free. In our testing, we were disappointed by the quality of the HDMI upscaling and the unit's compatibility with various discs, but it does just about everything else right. The Panasonic DMR-EH75V is a solid choice for enthusiasts since it boasts a ton of functionality, excellent video quality, and the ability to edit recordings--something that the TiVo-powered DVD recorders lack.
I wanted to record TV programs on DVDs, so I bought the Lite-On DVD Recorder this weekend at Best Buy and it works like a charm. The quality is totally fantastic and I can play the DVD on my computer.
One of the best parts of DVD technology is the ability to personalize your video library. A DVD recorder makes it possible to make copies of your favorite shows or movies. And unlike VHS cassettes, DVDs are durable. While the quality of a VHS cassette deteriorates with each viewing, a DVD retains its quality no matter how many times you watch it.