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DVD Recorder Buying Guide

With a DVD Recorder, you can have the recording features of a VCR except in a much more crisp, clear picture. Not only can you record your favorite TV shows straight to a DVD, you can also watch movies just like any other stand alone DVD Player.

There are a lot of things you may need to consider before buying the DVD recorder that's right for you. Below you will find a list of things our product specialists recommend our customers to look for before making a purchasing decision.

Disc Compatibility: You should consider the types of discs the DVD Recorder is compatible with. Try to find a recorder that is compatible with a wide range of formats, including the DVD-R/RW format (which is compatible with most DVD players and computers).

Built-In VCR: If you have a large collection of VHS tapes and want to convert them to DVD, or simply want an all-in-one media player, consider a DVD recorder that comes with a built-in VCR.

Hard Drive: If you want to record television shows and view them at a later time, a DVD Recorder with a hard drive may be for you. A recorder with a hard drive allows you to record, play, and delete files without ever having to burn them onto a DVD. And if you want to keep the files you simply burn them to a DVD for archiving. Another thing to note, a hard drive gives a recorder the ability to function as a basic DVR (Digital Video Recorder).

Editing Capabilities: See if the recorder has any editing features available to make your DVD's a bit more enjoyable. Of course no DVD Recorder can compete with a full on video editing software on a computer, but having the basic editing options can really enhance the quality of your videos.

Electronic Program Guides: Electronic guides such as TiVo® and TV Guide On Screen® provide you with simple ways to set your recordings and can do keyword searches to help you find what you want. A DVD recorder that supports these kinds of services will allow you to record your favorite movies or TV shows whether or not you are home.

IR Blaster: IR Blaster is a feature that comes on some DVD Recorders, which use the same type of signal as your remote to automatically change the channel on your cable box to the appropriate channel when a show or movie needs to be recorded. This way you can record your shows when you are gone even if your TV is set to another channel.

Available Inputs: You may want to connect a digital camera or camcorder to the DVD recorder, so check if the recorder has the appropriate inputs for the devices you want to connect.


IR Blaster (Infrared Blaster): An amplifier of infrared (IR) signals.

VHS (Video Home System): Widely used method of recording audio and video electrical signals onto magnetic tape for use with VCRs.

VCR (Video Cassette Recorder): A magnetic recording and playback machine. Generally used for recording and viewing full-motion video, but useful (when adapted) as a data backup device.

DVR (Digital Video Recorder): A video recording device that uses a hard disk drive or optical disk drive, instead of a VCR tape, to record programs.