I have had 14 VCRs (7 different brands) and still have 5, some died some I sold most lasted 2-3 years plus (3 are now 12 years old) and would work fairly well with any tape I would try (at SP speed). Use one and any other was EZ to learn. Tapes would start to lose quality in 6 to 10 years or with frequent play. (can be expensive to fix)
I have had 4 DVD Recorders (3 different brands) and still have 3, one died in a year, one was sent to be repaired 5 time till I replaced the drive twice (now 2.5 years old), one I had to replace the drive in a few weeks. Quality of the recordings very dependent on the DVD media, and the intructions were different for each. (can be very hard to fix)
I have had 8 DVD Players (6 different brands) and still have 5 (some 4 years old), two would not play latest media (I sold or retired), one died, one will not now play origional discs, all were EZ to use. (can be hard to fix)
The price and size give the DVD recorder a clear advantage over tapes. DVD recorders would even more popular if the media and recorders were more consistent and better quality. So companies seen to think you can just dump a DVD drive into a box with a few circut boards and sell it as a DVD recorder.
LiteOn was the first EZ use DVD recorder but the drive was very poor and a bad reputation killed it. To this day I can’t find all that many people who own a DVD Recorders, but as it is getting harder to find VCRs to must change. Lets hope the new DVD recorders are better. Most of the public has no idea about DVD media.