>>>>While doing some internet research, I discovered some DVD recorders, like the ones featured at http://www.cnet.com/4520-7384_1-6244097-2.html?tag=tab , which record VHS directly to DVDs without using a computer at all, but I've heard that DVDs made with this method will not play in computer DVD drives, and cannot be copied by computer software such as Nero Recode 2. Is this true of all of them, or are there some DVD recorders which produce DVDs that can be copied by computers?<<<<
You have been misled, on your first concern. Actually, you have been misled on BOTh concerns.
Those who have problems using a DVD Recorder and then finding they cannot play the result on their home players are most probably suffering from one of the following mishaps:
-They are using bad (cheap, low quality) media, and they would probably see the same result from a PC burn job;
-They failed to find out if their standalone player could handle DVD-R, and then they purchased a DVD-R standalone recorder; Or, similarly, they failed to find out if their standalone player could handle DVD+R, and then they purchased a DVD+R standalone recorder; This is somewhat common, since a lot of DVD players out there have limitations on which types of discs they will play.
-They are using DVD-R or DVD+R, and completely miss the step to "finalize" the disc, which is often hidden in a completely separate menu; many forget that this is necessary with DVD-R discs and with DVD+R discs. The computer software we use typically does this automatically for us, without asking us. Standalone units do not, since they often assume you might want to add more later, and that you might even just want to watch it on the same unit that burned it. So, no finalizing is suggested...
You can find out in advance which types of discs your standalone discs will handle okay. Then, you can make certain you buy a unit that will burn in that format, and also that you buy decent quality media.
I have SIX standaole DVD players, so this issue was vitally important to me. I had to find out what they all could play, before I bought my standalone DVD recorder. Because I work in a library, I have bought THREE different DVD Recorders, now. A Lite-On, a Panasonic, and a Sony. And, I can tell you that all three produce discs that play fine in all six of my home DVD Reecorders, with no problems. I did have to be careful, since I have two DVD players that do not like DVD+R discs at all. All three of these recorders have even produced discs that tested fine in the DVD player in my wife's mini-van.
Regarding your second concern -- not being able to copy a disc burned on a standalone using your PC -- , I have had no problems ripping the results of the Lite-On DVD recorder to my PC using both DVDShrink and also using DVDDecrypter. And, I have had no problems ripping the results of the Panasonic DVD recorder to my PC using both DVDShrink and also using DVDDecrypter. I have had no problems burning these results back onto a new blank DVD after some serious editing, re-authoring, creation of menus, etc.
I HAVE had problems doing the same with the stuff I burned on the Sony standalone DVD recorder. Not certain why, and I have not yet had a chance to really tackle this problem (since this should be doable, as long as they are "compliant," which they appear to be. In other words, I cannot honestly say i have done this with the Sony, but I have only tried once, and I suspect i will figure out what I did wrong, eventually.