Last updated on March 21st, 2022 at 04:46 am
In this age of HD video streaming and Blu-ray discs, DVDs may not raise eyebrows.
Still, it doesn’t mean there aren’t takers for the once-coveted home video format.
DVD-related equipment is still in demand, especially the DVD recorder.
Time was when DVD recorders were popular when it came to recording TV shows.
That function has been largely usurped by affordable DVRs which record shows to hard disk. It is much more convenient and cuts down on the cost of purchasing discs.
There are still the odd few who record TV programs through a DVD recorder though.
But that’s not the primary use of a DVD recorder these days.
Rather, it’s the transfer of analog video from tapes to DVDs that makes the DVD recorder a coveted item.
An Alternative to Computer Video Capture
For those who don’t have the resources or simply aren’t tech-savvy to set up a computer to capture video, a DVD recorder is a God-sent.
A DVD recorder can be operated by anyone without having to undergo a learning curve.
Generally, all you have to do is connect the AV output of your VCR or camcorder to the AV input of a DVD recorder.
Insert a disc into the recorder, play the AV source (VCR or camcorder), and hit the record button on the DVD recorder. Easy peasy.
DVD Recorder Advantage
One advantage of transferring video to DVD is you can create chapters before you finalize your DVD for playback.
This would make navigating a long video much, much easier. You would not have this facility if you convert video to a digital file.
DVD Recorder Disadvantage and Workaround
Despite the convenience and ease of use, there’s a disadvantage. You can’t edit the video you capture.
But that doesn’t mean there aren’t options. If you have a computer with a DVD drive, you can use a free DVD ripper to extract the video to MP4.
An MP4 file can easily be edited by any video editor.
There are two types of Blank DVD discs, generally – DVD+R and DVD-R. Older DVD recorder models record only on either of these discs.
This is a non-issue these days as DVD recorders record on both DVD+R and DVD-R blank discs.
Still, if you wish to play a recorded DVD on an older player, you may want to check what disc format you should use.
Depending on the type of video you want to record, you can adjust the recording modes according to the quality you want.
The standard recording mode is SP (Standard Play). This will allow you to fit about 2 hours of video on a blank DVD.
With the LP (Long Play) mode you can fit about 4 hours of video on a single disc.
With the EP (Extended Play) mode, you can get up to 6 hours.
With LP and EP modes, your video quality won’t be as good as that in SP mode.
Learn more about DVD recording modes.
DVD Recorders Available for Sale
Most top-of-the-line manufacturers have stopped the production of DVD recorders.
Magnavox is the only manufacturer active in this regard.
Some companies have upgraded their old DVD recorder models to include HDMI connectivity to make them work with HDTVs.
Most DVD recorders available for sale online are refurbished units serviced by qualified technicians.
Standard DVD Recorder
A standard DVD recorder looks no different from a regular DVD player. The difference is it can record on DVDs and CDs.
If you have a camcorder and a VCR and wish to transfer your tapes to digital, then you should choose this type of DVD recorder.
Within a matter of minutes, you can digitize your VHS and camcorder tapes.
Toshiba DR430 DVD Recorder
This sleek Toshiba DVD recorder model supports recording on DVD+/-R and DVD+/-RW discs.
After recording on your disc, you can play them back to your HDTV through the HDMI out port.
Multi-recording modes are available ranging from 1 hour to 8 hours on a single DVD.
Auto finalize is also available, in case you don’t want to go through the trouble of doing it manually.
Top that up with a USB port, that would allow you to play movies through an external hard drive or pen drive.
Check out the Toshiba DR430 DVD (HDMI) Recorder.
Sony VRD-MC6 Compact DVD Recorder
This is a space-saving DVD recorder. It’s ideal if you want to convert your tapes to DVD on the go.
You may want to bring this over to a family member’s and convert tapes to DVD there.
The size (slightly bulkier than that of a desktop computer DVD drive) and weight (0.15 pounds) won’t deter you from carrying it around.
What steals the show is a card reader. You can easily burn your photos and videos stored on a memory card to DVD.
Among the memory card formats supported include Memory Stick PRO, Memory Stick Pro Duo, and Secure Digital (SD/SDHC) cards.
You can connect a mini-DV or a Digital8 camcorder through the iLink (Firewire) port.
A USB port is also available. On the AV side, only composite video ports are available. This is a drawback if you wish to transfer an S-VHS tape to DVD through an S-Video connection.
Check out the Sony VRD-MC6 Compact DVD Recorder.
Panasonic DMR-EZ28K DVD Recorder
This is a 2004 model upgraded to include an HDMI port. It also comes with an SD card slot, in case you have images on videos stored on memory cards.
The built-in ATSC tuner will help you record TV programs on DVD.
Apart from recording on standard disc formats (DVD-R (DL), DVD-RW, DVD+R (DL), and DVD+RW) this recorder also supports the recording on DVD-RAM.
Recording modes available include XP, SP, LP, and EP.
There’s also a DV input in case you want to record from a Digital8 or mini DV camera.
DivX playback is also available, apart from DVD-RW, DVD-R, DVD+R, DVD+RW, DVD-RW DL, DVD-R DL, DVD+R DL, DVD+RW DL, DVD-RAM, CD (CDDA), CD-R, CD-RW, MP3, and JPEG HD playback.
If you have a Panasonic television, you can use the Viera Link feature. Use an HDMI cable to connect the recorder to a Viera HDTV.
This allows your TV channel setting information to be downloaded automatically into the recorder system.
It saves you the trouble of manually selecting channels to record in the future.
Check out the Panasonic DMR-EZ28K DVD Recorder.
Check out more DVD recorder buying ideas.
Convert VHS to DVD without a VCR
If you don’t have a VCR and wish to convert your VHS tapes to DVD, you can get hold of a VCR DVD recorder combo.
It saves you the trouble of buying a separate VCR and DVD recorder.
The VCR and DVD recorder are housed in the same unit. All you have to do is pop your tape into the VCR, insert a DVD into the recorder, and hit the play and record button.
Check out VCR DVD Recorder combo buying ideas.