I regularly record from Turner Classic Movies, a great source for early talkie movies through movies of the film noir era. This month TCM (USA) is showing 320 titles made from the silent era through 1960 and 97 titles made after 1960. Very few post-1960 titles are of interest to me.
With my Panasonic DMR-ES and DMR-EZ series recorders I record direct to DVD-R discs. Generally I use the LP recording mode (D1–500 lines–at four hours per disc) or Flexible Recording but I try to limit the FR content to no more than 4:20 per disc to stay as close to D1 resolution as possible.
With my Panasonic DMR-EH50 HDD/DVD recorder I record directly to hard drive, edit/divide recordings and high speed dub the hard drive recordings to DVD-R discs. Generally I use the LP recording mode (D1 resolution up to about 4:11 per disc). Since high-speed dubbing does not require re-encoding there is no loss in picture quality when using high-speed dubbing.
With my Philips and Magnavox HDD/DVD recorders I record directly to hard drive, and since TCM shows movies "uncut and commercial freeâ€ my editing usually consists of no more than a front and end cut edit or title dividing if I wish to preserve interstitials as separate titles. Then I do a high-speed dub of the hard drive recordings to DVD-R discs. With Philips and Magnavox recorders I generally use one of three recording modes, SP (D1 up to 2:07 per DVD), SPP (half-D1 up to 2:46 hours per DVD) or LP (half-D1 up to 3:20 per DVD) when using high-speed dubbing. Since high-speed dubbing does not require re-encoding there is no loss in picture quality when using high-speed dubbing.
For archival use (beginning in 2008) I standardized upon Taiyo Yuden 8x Premium Line DVD-R discs with all my Panasonic, Philips and Magnavox recorders. (8x media is less stressful than 16x media for use in stand-alone recorders where all of my Panasonic, Philips and Magnavox recorders have proprietary DVD Drives.) For duplication or computer work I use 16x Taiyo Yuden and Verbatim AZO series DVD-R media. Itâ€™s easy and inexpensive to replace generic computer-type DVD burners when they suffer laser assembly or other functional failures.