Well I’m on my 3rd DVD video recorder now. I’ve had a Sony, and two Panasonic units. The first Panasonic wasn’t that brilliant and behaved rather erratically. Not my historical experience of Panasonic products. Typically their solid and dependable. Thanks to the generous Richer Sounds extended warranty I’ve a new machine. I keep asking myself what I’ve gained over and above VHS. At one level I could argue not a lot. In fact in many ways it’s all been a bit of a disappointment. Sure recording quality seems pretty slick and stable but what else? How about having to Format a disk before recording. What’s that all about? I’m more than familiar with such steps on computers, but what does the man in the street know about formatting. Also beware that any given machine will work with any old disk format i.e. -R or +R , a number don’t (like my earlier Pansonic). Another issue to watch for is that I prefer to use re writeable disks. Unfortunately other DVD players (apart from the PC) won’t accept. Use write once media if you need universal playback around the home/office. I’ve gained a Freeview tuner which is useful of course. But unlike the old VHS you have to interrupt the TV watching experience to set the unit up. Progress , I’m not so sure 😉

I think in hindsight a DVD/Hard Disk machine or Hard Disk alone is probably a better overall proposition. No need to format disks, ‘record on the fly’ as you should always have space. Still these have now come down dramatically in price and probably represent the more user friendly option today.

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